Why are we obligated to have faith in the sages when it comes to Torah matters?
In the Torah (Devarim 17:8) it says that ki yepaleh mimcha davar bein dam ledam, when something will be too difficult for you, so you should go up to the sages in the Lishkas Hagazis in Yerushalayim and they’ll tell you what’s what. And whatever they say, you should obey them even though it seems to you to be wrong. If they say go right even though it seems to you left or if they say left and it seems to you right, you have to follow their words.
Now to understand this simply, of course Lishkas Hagazis is a technical thing and it has a certain technical prerogatives which we don’t have today, but still the general principle is that the sages are called einei haeidah all throughout the Torah. They’re the eyes of the people.
Only what? Every Jew, no matter how ignorant he is, he thinks he understands as well as anybody else. If you know people, that’s a fact. There isn’t a Jew, no matter how ignorant, who doesn’t think he understands as well as anybody else.
Now, when it comes to medicine, why is it that these same people admit that there are experts? They go to people who are acknowledged as experts and they pay them money and they obey their judgment. Are spiritual matters less important than matters of health of the body? The answer is that Torah is not really important to them.
Torah you have to know is not a simple matter. You can’t learn Torah on one foot. Torah is a big job. There are many branches to Torah. And therefore when the chachmei haTorah who have gained a Torah mind, when they tell us something, it’s nothing more than common sense that they are the ones whose opinions must be respected. You don’t need any proofs for that.
And therefore we have to rely on the judgment of experts. And if anyone disregards their opinion, it means he thinks that Torah is not important. When it comes to medicine he knows to go to an expert. But when it comes to spiritual matters he thinks that even without Torah you can understand what’s what. He thinks that Torah is not important – that’s the plain truth.
TAPE # 16