Another Book On Divine Providence

Jaded Topaz echoes my thoughts: Why is everyone falling in love with "hashkafah" all over again every morning and new yeshiva "zman".
I think arguing "hashkafah" is such an utter waste of intellectual energy,the concept is laughable on its face.
I think halacha has much better answers for stuff than hashkafah.
For every theological theoretical hypothetical philosophcial flaky floppy flippy and flippant theory on divine providence there are sixteen additional similar opinions and suggestions.
You can never win with philosophy, and as I’m sure you know in life its all about the argument winning.

MECHY FRANKEL POSTS ON HIRHURIM: call it a personal idiosyncracy, but i’m pre-disposed to not like (which is not quite the same nuance as dislike) any book that comes with haskomos. of course, a guest introduction by another scholar that adds something is quite common in other circles, but if these approbations were meant as a kashrus stamp, the notion frankly grates.

MYCROFT POSTS: My impression is that often in the chareidi world the haskamot are for the person as opposed to the book-my impression in academic praise is that the person writing the blurb got sent an advance copy/draft by the publisher in order to solicit the praise-thusthe work was read.
I believe B Levy ofMcGill made the point about praise ofArt Scroll by gdolim who never read theworks in hiscirca 82 writings.

WASH POSTS: I love RHS [Rav Herschel Schachter], and I ask him my shaaylos. But come on, he would be the first to admit that he doesn’t know philosophy (I don’t know what you mean by ‘hashkafah’). He has never learnt Moreh Nevuchim or the other medieval works. He never had to as he dropped out of Revel. This is not a putdown of RHS. Other than the Rav which godol knew anything about Moreh Nevuchim?

RZL is a great man in halacha, and he might be great in hashkafah, but that is not philosophy. Do you want to know who is a ‘godol’ in Jewish philosophy? Aviezer Ravitzky, Arthur Hyman, Lawrence Kaplan. Get my drift?

RABBI GIL STUDENT WRITES: RHS is simply not interested in philosophy. I know someone who used to drive him to his Brooklyn shiur and when this guy would start discussing philosophy, RHS would respond politely but without interest and change the subject as soon as possible.

FORMER YU POSTS: After the Slifkin Affair the mainstream publishers (no offense to RGS) require haskamos particularly on any book that touches on hashkafa and jewish philosophy.
The author needs to get haskamos to garner a wider audience for his book. In my opinion it is better that a book like this which deals with hashgacha pratis from a serious intellectual perspective and presents a variety of shittos should get as wide an exposure as possible even if the haskamos brand it to some people as "non-intellectual".

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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