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Are small mundane things not related to Yiddishkeit Bashert from heaven? [closed]

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Is it true that some Rishonim hold that when a leaf falls from a tree or a bird eats a particular worm, that it is pure chance and there is no bigger plan from Hashem.

I am used to thinking that not a single thing is not ordained from heaven and I would love if someone can point me towards these Rishonim (if they even exist).

EDIT: SEE DOV F'S ANSWER FOR THE CORRECT SOURCES ON THIS QUESTION!


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2   Even if there are such Rishonim they are definitely the minority. You wont go wrong if you follow your upbringing. And philosophy isn't good for us nowadays! - Old WineJul 02  '12 at 23:07
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2   I would be very suprised if there were any such Rishon. Just because we couldn't possibly dream up of a reason for every small thing, I'd be scared to say things happen by chance, in fact I think it pure heresy! - Eitza GeberJul 04  '12 at 18:19
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    @Eitzah Geber I am quite sure of it. You may be in sympathy with the radvaz who wrote on the rambam " Even this King in halacha did not escape being swayed by greek philosopy". I'l try find you the sources. - busy gabbaiJul 04  '12 at 18:22
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    @busy gabbai where does the radvaz say that - Yehuda HaMaccabiJul 04  '12 at 18:28
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    I have also heard that rishonim sya it - people speakJul 05  '12 at 22:29
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5 answers!

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Yes.

I do not believe that it is through the interference of Divine Providence that a certain leaf drops [from a tree], nor do I hold that when a certain spider catches a certain fly, that this is the direct result of a special decree and will of God in that moment; it is not by a particular Divine decree that the spittle of a certain person moved, fell on a certain gnat in a certain place, and killed it; nor is it by the direct will of God that a certain fish catches and swallows a certain worm on the surface of the water. In all these cases the action is, according to my opinion, entirely due to chance, as taught by Aristotle.

-the Rambam (Guide 3:17)


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4   @shoftimveshotrim Here's your verification: http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/gfp/gfp153.htm - it starts in the last paragraph on page 286. - Dov FJul 08  '12 at 21:15
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3   isnt it funny the way he ends of as taught by Aristotle. I would like to hear that in a shuir nowadays - gadol hadorJul 08  '12 at 23:25
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2   Wish i could upvote this twice - gadol hadorJul 08  '12 at 21:19
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2   @gadolhador As the Rambam himself said, שמע האמת ממי שאמרו. - Dov FJul 08  '12 at 23:39
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2   האמת יורה דרכו - shteeblehopperJul 09  '12 at 00:03
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Ive also heard of such opinions existing, and never been so sure who they were..the only thing close that I have found was that the Rambam says in the eighth perek of his Shmonah Perakim that when a person throws a stone in the sky and it falls back down to the ground, or when fire goes up toward the sky, this is not a manifestation of ratzon Hashem, rather it is a natural occurance that Hashem built into the world from sheshes yimai beraishis


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1   But some explain that even natural things like gravity is a constant Chidush from Hashem. But they probably mean that Hashem constantly makes this natural occurence so thet when it occurs, it is Nature which itself was created from Hashem. - shteeblehopperJul 08  '12 at 12:56
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    Woah, I have never heard that before. Gonna check this up in 8 perakim. Sounds facinatingf - Old WineJul 08  '12 at 12:58
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    The truth is that come to think of it, this is really obvious. Does anyone argue? - jokeraiJul 08  '12 at 13:33
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The everything-is-bashert belief became more prevalent after the Besht, who gave the falling leaf example. But many rishonim also made statements to the effect that absolutely everything is directed by Hashem, including Rashi, R' Avraham ben Rambam, Rabbeinu Bachya, etc. You can believe either way. I personally think that everyone should believe that everything that happens to them comes from Above, whether it's to send them hints at what they should be doing, acts of divine kindness, punishment, etc. Even if the path of a snowflake blowing in the wind just follows the laws of nature, that doesn't mean that most of the events in a person's life must be random too.


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    That seems to be a split between the Rambam and his opponents. Your saying that even mundane things when they have an effect on us are Bashert? Is this right? just clarifying - busy gabbaiJul 30  '12 at 21:44
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    Hi Yirmi, welcome to Need An Eitzah. Thank you for your thought-provoking answer and we look forward to continue seeing you around. Enjoy. (PS. Please note that by registering with an email address you will have your own individual picture next to your name!) - Yehuda HaMaccabiJul 30  '12 at 21:49
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    How can a person believe either way? - deepThinkerJul 30  '12 at 22:05
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    Busy Gabbai, I don't think Rambam says anything directly about coincidences that happen to the individual human. I don't remember, but I think Rambam in Moreh cites the example in the Talmud that says there is no tribulation without transgression -- that even when you reach in your pocket and pull out the wrong coin, that was sent from Above. - yirmiAug 02  '12 at 21:05
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    DeepThinker: what I was trying to say is that because there are rishonim on both sides of the issue, it is permissible for people to believe either in the strong or weaker versions of divine providence. However, I think many of our prayers and brachot, such as Birkat Hamazon and Modim and Nishmat Kol Chai, don't make sense unless we believe that Hashem at least does numerous kindnesses to us each day. Not to mention Shulchan Aruch OC 230:5 which requires us to alwayssay (in short) gamzu l'tovah. - yirmiAug 02  '12 at 21:09
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I have heard tell that the Chinuch and the Rambam hold only live species have Hashkacha Protis and all other things are just happenings and could just as well not have happened. I have to find the sources though.


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1   Unlikely. There is a story where a leaf fell of the tree, and one of the amoraim passing showed a talmid that it fell off to protect a worm that was under the sun. So everything that happens to non living is obviously only to change the circumstances for a living thing. - Eitza GeberJul 04  '12 at 18:21
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    @eitzah geber i think you are getting mixed up with an Avrohom Fried song about that. Are you sure it is a gemoro - Yehuda HaMaccabiJul 04  '12 at 18:28
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1   The Rambam holds that hashgacha pratis is only for humans, and not all humans. See my answer and the Guide 3:17. - Dov FJul 08  '12 at 21:17
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1   @Dov F: there should be a system where I could except your answer as the right one! - gadol hadorJul 08  '12 at 21:19
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    @eitza that was the Baal Shem Tov - Joe ShmoeJul 11  '12 at 07:45
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Some time before the 18th of Av, 1943, The Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote a letter to R' Moshe Dov Ber Rivkin, Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva Mesivta Torah Vodaath.

That letter is translated into English in a book called "Led By G-d's Hand".

In the letter, the Lubavitcher Rebbe outlines "An overview of the different conceptions advanced by the Torah sages preceding the Baal Shem Tov, and that advanced by the Baal Shem Tov".

Some of the opinions that are similar to the Rambam include the Shomer Emunim (written by a student of the Ramaz, and cited in Shoresh Mitzvas HaTefillah, sec. 34) and the Ramak (Ein Kol Tamar 5, ch. 1)

You can read the letter for an in-depth analysis of these and other opinions on Divine Providence.

It is important to note, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe points out:

This must be said: Even according to the opinions which state that Divine providence does not control inanimate objects, plants, and animals agree that G-d knows all the minute particulars concerning these creations, as the Ikkarim, Maamar 4, ch. 7, states: "We are forced to say that His knowledge encompasses every entity found in the world and every event that takes place. Nothing -- neither small nor great -- is beyond Him. Nevertheless, He does not watch over (animals) to grant them reward or punishment for their deeds. Instead, He watches over their particulars insomuch as they are part of the general category, protecting the existence of the species, but nothing beyond that.

Menachem!


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    nicked. !!!!!' - gadol hadorAug 01  '12 at 00:33
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