Wednesday, May 10, 2006

R. Chaim David Halevy on Sages and Science

R. Chaim David Halevy, prominent and recently deceased halakhic authority, former Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Tel Aviv, is quoted as being of the following view in Rabbi Haim David Halevy: Gentle Scholar and Courageous Thinker:

Rabbi Halevy remarked that Rambam, who was himself a prominent doctor, relied on contemporary medical and scientific knowledge, even when that information was at time in conflict with opinions of rabbis in the Talmud.[31] Indeed, the rabbis in the Talmud themselves admitted that non-Jewish scholars sometimes had more accurate scientific knowledge.[32] This was a tribute to our rabbis' commitment to truth.

[31] Aseh Lekha Rav 2:1, p. 11.
[32] Aseh Lekha Rav 5:49.
Evidently, he disagreed with those who signed the ban against Rabbi Slifkin's books that this view is unacceptable and heretical.

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