R’ Avigdor Miller- “What is Ruach HaKodesh?”


The Gemara states that “Esther b’ruach hakodesh neemra” means Megilas Esther was written with Divine Inspiration” means it was inspired, it was a form of Nevuah (prophecy). After the beginning of the second Temple, that Ruach Hakodesh no longer existed. The Divine Inspiration that’s said about the Sages of Israel is not the Ruach Hakodesh that is said about Megillas Esther. There’s absolutely no comparison.

Ours is a Torah of truth, not a Torah of propaganda.

Ruach Hakodesh as applied to our great men means Hashem gives them an inspiration, He gives them Siyata Dishmaya—help from heaven so they’re able to arrive at conclusions much more rapidly and much more correctly than ordinary people can.

But it does not mean that they cannot make mistakes. Absolutely not. They can make mistakes With Ruach Hakodesh. The Rambam says that when Hashem gave His spirit to the Shoftim (Judges, like Shimshon), “the spirit of Hashem began to beat in him,” it means a spirit of Siyata Dishmaya. Hashem helped him. It doesn’t mean a spirit of prophecy.

Daniel, the Rambam says, also had that, and yet the Gemara says Daniel made a mistake. So you can have Siyata Dishmaya and make a mistake. The truth is Moshe Rabbeinu made a mistake too. He made more than one mistake, and it’s openly mentioned in the Gemara. Isn’t that a tremendous statement to make? The Gemara didn’t have to say that. The Gemara could have said Moshe Rabbeinu is infallible. But the Gemara says he made a mistake.

The answer is this: When Hashem spoke to Moshe, naturally there was no mistake. But when Moshe spoke on his own, he could make a mistake. Because ours is a Torah of truth, not a Torah of propaganda, it says Moshe Rabbeinu made a mistake. Those are glorious words. These words are the honor of our nation. Moshe Rabbeinu made a mistake! That’s the greatness of the Jewish people.

R' Avigdor Miller, z”l; #114, Oral Law, from “Answers with R' Avigdor Miller” Newsletter

http://www.simchashachaim.com

Author: Matthew Zachary Gindin

Freelance journalist and teacher. I write regularly for the Forward, All That In Interesting, and the Jewish Independent, and have been published in Religion Dispatches, Situate Magazine, Elephant Journal, and elsewhere.

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