Friday, June 20, 2008

Is There Ruach Hakodesh Nowadays?

Rav Baruch Ber Lebovits, zt”l, once asked his Rebbi, Rav Chaim Soleveitchik, zt”l, if the Chofetz Chaim actually possessed Ruach HaKodesh or not. The gadol responded by citing Yoma 9b, “Chazal said that since the death of Chagai, Zacharya, and Malachi, Ruach HaKodesh has departed from the Jewish people. On the other hand, they also tell us in Eruvin 64b that Rebbi Yishmael received insight via Ruach HaKodesh. The Rambam, zt”l, lists twelve levels of Ruach HaKodesh, so it is difficult to discern what exactly departed from the Jewish people and what elements remained.” He then continued with the following illustrative anecdote:
In Padua a long time ago, two wealthy business partners lost a great deal of their merchandise and property when a blaze broke out in their place of business. Among the things missing and presumed destroyed was the ledger that recorded exactly who owned what. They went to the Rama of Padua, zt”l, for arbitration since they were at a loss as to how the remaining property ought to be divided.
The Rav said, “Provide me with a list of everything that is left and come back tomorrow morning.”
When they returned the following day, the Rav provided them with a list of the remaining property divided to the last penny that was clearly unequal in its distribution. Although this seemed quite strange, the two followed the Rav’s advice and divided it up as he had ordered.
Several days later, the original ledger was found singed, but intact, among the debris. To everyone’s amazement, it proved that the Rav had divided up the estate exactly in accordance with the record!”
Rav Soleveitchik concluded, “For this, one needs Ruach HaKodesh!”

4 comments:

Neil Harris said...

Great story. I can recall several times that I've listen to a shiur or drasha and what was told over was exactly what I was thinking about/dealing with/going through. Ruach HaKodesh? Maybe.

A Simple Jew said...

Neil: I too have experienced that phenomenon on countless occasions as well!

avakesh said...

Here as a psot that clarifies R. Boruch Ber's view:
http://www.avakesh.com/2006/11/r_boruch_ber_le.html

Micha Golshevsky said...

Avakesh: Very nice post.
But I think that in the story I wrote Rav Boruch Ber was discussing the Chofetz Chaim's words when he promised a yeshuah or made a prediction. Not what he said while learning, wrote in the Mishnah Berurah etc.