Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Know it all?

Leah Hager Cohen wrote a piece entitled "The Courage to Say I Don't Know." She ends as follows:

In Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Émile: Or, Treatise on Education,” the philosopher writes, “I do not know is a phrase which becomes us.” Too often we fear uttering these words, convinced that doing so will diminish us, will undermine our status and block our advancement.
In fact these words liberate and empower. So much of the condition of being human involves not knowing. The more comfortable we become with this truth, the more fully and unabashedly we may inhabit our skins, our souls, and – speaking of learning – the more able we become to grow.

All true. Her words reminded me of what Rabbi Meiselman said in Passaic  a dozen or more years ago. My husband relayed that one of the men in the audience said that his six-year-old daughter asked him what it mean that Hashem said to bring a kapara for Him for having made the moon smaller.  Rabbi Meiselman responded that he didn't have an answer. The man then said, "How can I tell my daughter that her father doesn't know?"

 Rabbi Meiselman said that then she would learn that fathers don't know everything.

BTW if you really do want an answer to this question, the Maharal offers an approach (a bit lengthy to summarize here)  in his Chidushei Aggadot  and Gur Aryeh.  But machshava is not everyone's cup of tea, which is why it eluded Rabbi Meiselman.


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