Monday, July 13, 2009

Is There Ruach HaKodesh Today?

A certain melamed once asserted to his students in the middle of a shiur, “The commentary of the Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh was most certainly not written with ruach hakodesh since prophecy was lost to the Jewish people long before the Ohr HaChaim lived.”
When the people of the town heard this they were infuriated and removed their children from the melamed’s instruction. They decided to consult with the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, zt”l. “Is this man’s view a valid opinion? If it is not and he is unfit to teach, what should be done with his back wages?”
The Divrei Chaim replied, “I see no room for doubt regarding this man’s opinion: he is definitely incorrect. This emerges from numerous sources. For example, in Gittin 6 we find that Hashem ‘agreed with’ Rav Eviasar. Rashi explains: Hashem agreed to reveal a secret to him, as we see from the fact that He enabled Rav Evisar to understand what transpired in private correctly. The Midrash Rabbah says even more than this: ‘Once there was a woman who stayed too long at Rav Meir’s Friday night shiur. Her husband refused to allow her into the house until she spat three times in Rav Meir’s face. Rav Meir saw with ruach hakodesh…’ Rav Meir lived well after the end of the age of prophecy yet the Midrash tells us that he saw with ruach hakodesh.
The Divrei Chaim continued, “Another proof: Rashi explains the gemara in Kiddushin 72a that Rebbi had a prophecy on the day he died. The only person who could deny all this is a heretic. Not only was the Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh surely written with ruach hakodesh, but any truly worthy author, even in our generation, writes his works with ruach hakodesh. Interestingly, the Tumim applies this fact halachically: ‘One may not say that he holds like an opinion which argues on the Shulchan Aruch to excuse himself from paying money, since the Shulchan Aruch was written with ruach hakodesh.’
The Divrei Chaim concluded, “You were definitely correct to remove your children from the influence of this man, but as for his wages this can only be ruled upon when he is present. Perhaps his statement was a mistake? In this matter you should rely on our community’s halachic authority.”

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