While the Haredi commnuity is suffering a crisis following the passing of
both Rav Elyashiv and Rav Ovadia and have found themselves to be without
“Gedolim” (great Torah sages), Rav Chaim Navon has come out strongly against
this phenomenon which has permeated into the Religious Zionist community.
“There are many things that we can learn from the Haredim. But it is not
worthwhile learning the idea of “Gedolim” from them, which latterly has
increased amongst the Religious Zionist public”, writes Rav Navon on his
Facebook status .
For the followers of these “Gedolim” there are two important rules, explains
Rav Navon: “Only Gedolim can give Halachic rulings in X, and you cannot
disagree with the Gedolim’s ruling.”
“I have not found this argument in the Halachic works of previous
generations”, says Rav Navon. “Even the greatest of the Gedolim justified
their halachic rulings. And when smaller Rabbis disagreed with the ruling,
they responded with substantive answers, and didn’t merely argue that
Gedolim are exempt from debate and disagreement.”
“The real catch with the Gedolim argument is with the question of ‘Who is a
Gadol'”, he warns. “Since there is no objective scale to this question, each
person decides for himself who are his Gedolim who will support his
“In fact, the argument for Gedolim doesn’t result in elevating the big
rabbis, but the smaller rabbis use the names of the Gedolim like a battering
ram, instead of learning their chiddushim (innovations), as is the Torah
way”, he concludes.
based on article from Kipah