Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mainstream Views on Providence

This past Shabbos, I arrived at shul early enough to be able to grab the only copy of Talelei Oros (Bereishis, Hebrew edition, vol. 1). The book is a compilation of insights into the weekly Torah reading, mostly from recent Lithuanian-style Talmudic scholars, although there is an occasional insight from a Chasidic or Sephardic scholar and sometimes a medieval or early modern scholar.

To my surprise, on Gen. 18:19, Talelei Oros quotes a brief passage from Ramban's commentary in which Ramban states that Individual Providence only applies to the righteous (see these posts: I, II). There is no further comment, no attempt to limit the Ramban's statement or deflect its significant implications. There you have it. This is an approach with mainstream acceptability.

(Note: You can download Dr. David Berger's excellent article about the Ramban's view on Providence on this website: link at the end of the "updates and corrections" section.)

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