Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hasgacha Pratit links

A lot that I've written on before is somewhat linked to the arguments about Hasgacha Pratit that have been current. R. Slifkin recently wrote on it in "Challenge of Creation"; I mostly agree with him on it, as well as his history of the spread of the "popular" conceptions of Hashgacha Pratit that have reigned since the ideas of Chassidut (see also next post about how popular conceptions in Daas Torah also spread from Chassidim to 'misnagdim' in the early 20th Cent).

R. Slifkin recently posted R. David Berger's seminal essay on the views of the Ramban on the issue. Definitely worth reading. Rambam and Ramban, in general, are honestly not that far apart in a central dimension of HP - but both are quite far from the popular perspectives held by many. HKBH's Providence, by both Ramban and Rambam, is gained or lost in accord with an individuals adherence to His norms. How they define HP, what "adherence" really means - that differs between them. Of course, many people will say no one (i.e., me), can know either thinkers thoughts enough to make such generalisations. Thats why I supply links to bigger thinkers that people may then argue with.

R. Gil at Hirhurim has posted several great pieces on the issues, including a sermon by R . Berger here, also this general piece on how he would respond to the issues and more recently his thoughts on R. Moshe Eisemann's "Ramban as a Guide to Today's Perplexed". David Guttman at "Believing is Knowing" has had much to say.

And here's an oft quote piece from Rav J.B. Soloveitchik around the Rambam (Halakhic Man, p. 128):

"The fundamental of providence is here transformed into a concrete commandment, an obligation incumbent upon man. Man is obliged to broaden the scope and strengthen the intensity of the individual providence that watches over him [which is to say that Providence is something we affect by our actions!]. Everything is dependent on him; it is all in his hands. When a person creates himself, ceases to be a mere species man, and becomes a man of God, then he has fulfilled that commandment which is implicit in the principle of providence."

I'll be adding more links, but I wanted this out there.


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