Sunday, July 29, 2007

Shedim (Dis)incorporated

Avishai Ben Hayyim shares the following vignette, which has a lot of unmeasured valance.

ובכל זאת, רבנים חשובים מדגישים שהאמונה בשדים אינה מעיקרי הדת היהודית, ושאפשר להיות יהודי טוב גם בלי להאמין בהם ולהתעסק בהם.
מספרים שפעם שאלו את הרבי מקוצק: איך יכול להיות שהרמב"ם אומר שאין שדים והרי בגמרא כתוב במפורש שיש? "בתקופת הגמרא היו שדים", השיב הרב, "משעה שפסק הרמב"ם שאין, אז גם
בשמים פסקו כמוהו, ומאז אין שדים".

(And they wonder why in the Yeshivot Ger, Alexander, Sochatchov and Izbitz are considered honorary Litvaks.)


mnuez said...

Cool that you should mentiuon this story now as I was just mulling over it a few days ago.

What I was mulling over was a memory I had of something stupid my second or third grade rebbe (possibly in summer camp) had said and I was wondering where he had gotten it from - seems like this might be where.

We'd been discussing sheidim (and tell me, is there a better discussion in camp after third grade?) and our Rebbe had told us a few possibilities regarding them, one of them being that there used to be sheidim but then a big rabbi said that there weren't any. Now, he happened technically to be wrong but in shamayim they didn't want him to lie (because, after all, he was a big rabbi) so in shamayim they retroactively made it that there were no sheidim - so when he said it, it wasn't a lie.

Pretty weird, ey?

andy said...

Of course, when the Gaon wrote that the Rambam was misled by the 'cursed philosophy' they suddenly reappeared.