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Monday, March 11, 2013

Rav Yaakov Ades: "My Book Got the Pope to Quit"

This is amazing if true.

Kikar reports (with an accompanying >37 minute Hebrew-language audio interview) that Rav BuhBut from Bnei Brak had sent a book written by Rav Yaakov Ades Shlit"a called "Divrei Yaakov - Pirkei Mahashava" that was translated into Italian to the pope. The book explains the foundations of Judaism and harshly attacks Xtianity.

The pope sent a letter back that he thanks him for the book, he learns a lot from it, it brings in spirituality, and hinted to the idea that the book will continue to bring great spirituality to the entire world.

A few weeks later, the pope resigned. Rav Ades says that it seems to be because of this book. The resignation, says Rav Ades, shows that the pope is denying the foundations of Xtianity as if he was saying that Xtianity is not true and people should stop going to church. A spiritual leader doesn't just quit like a political leader, he says.

What is special about this book? "Is there a lack of books against Xtianity?" Rav Ades asks. He explains that this book shows that while in Xtianity and other religions faith replaces the mind, this book shows that faith in Judaism does not replace the mind.

Rav Ades says that the book shows that supernatural Deveikut is possible even for a non-Jew, something that was missing from Xtianity. 

(I expect a heavy dose of skepticism about this.  Before dismissing outright, however, one should realize who Rav Yaakov Ades Shlit"a is first and how he is not one to look for fame, and then carefully calculate one's words.)

27 Comments:

At Mon Mar 11, 01:41:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anon1 said...

To quite potential skeptics, give us some corroboration.

 
At Mon Mar 11, 02:11:00 PM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

Corroboration for what exactly? For the whole story? I only saw it on Kikar. Perhaps another site has it too, but I didn't see it.

 
At Mon Mar 11, 03:22:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yaak, you've mistranslated gis comparison of the faiths. He says that while in other religions, faith replaces intellect, in Judaism faith does not replace intellect.

 
At Mon Mar 11, 03:56:00 PM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

There is plenty of chatter about Dr R and there has been since long time, but perhaps we should respect his privacy. We will know his viewpoint and reasoning if and when he decides to speak about it in public. This is a learned person and of course he reads whatever books he wants; also he is fluent in many languages (let me leave it at that). But actually, according to amazon.com link in the article, the book is in English.

Regardless of whether there is any truth to it or none at all, I am not so sure it is wise to publish this info in English and have google index it. Perhaps replace "R" and "the p" with "a xian scholar?"

 
At Mon Mar 11, 04:41:00 PM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

Anonymous 3:22,

Thanks, you're right. I corrected it.

Daniela,

The book is in English, but it seems from the article that he was sent the Italian version.

I considered not publishing it for the reasons you stated. I'm not Megaleh Sod here. It was already in Kikar, and would have been picked up in English eventually.

 
At Mon Mar 11, 05:04:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pope's retirement was in the works for over a year. About a year ago, an addition was added to the vatican for the sole purpose of this present/retired pope's home until he dies. So obviously, the pope didn't retire because of this book, if he only responded a few months ago.

 
At Mon Mar 11, 05:17:00 PM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

I agree yaak, that's why I did not suggest you take it down.

 
At Mon Mar 11, 07:03:00 PM 2013, Blogger joshua manevitz said...

I'm afraid the Rabbi is having a delusion regarding the Pope better luck next time !

 
At Mon Mar 11, 07:39:00 PM 2013, Blogger joshwaxman said...

ok, done calculating.

the facts of the story sound plausible. he sent a book to the pope and the pope sent back a form letter. because that is what "he thanks him for the book, he learns a lot from it, it brings in spirituality, and hinted to the idea that the book will continue to bring great spirituality to the entire world" means. it is a standard polite form letter from a very busy public figure. i doubt the pope even read the book. otherwise, a harsh attack on Christianity would not get this response.

then, the pope resigns. this has absolutely nothing to do with this book.

then, Rabbi Ades interprets a connection between the two, and say that "it seems" to him to be cause of his book.

i don't think Rav Yaakov Ades shlita is one who looks for fame. though i don't know him one way or another.

i do think that it is quite possible that he does not understand what a form letter is, and misinterpreted the form letter as a glowing haskama and a renunciation of the Christian faith.

kol tuv,
josh

 
At Mon Mar 11, 09:13:00 PM 2013, Blogger 10rainbow said...

i think what the pope thought in his mind, is something only the pope and Hashem knows. however, as a person who had been a staunch xtian for 40 years of my 62 year of life, i would like to humbly state that it is more than possible the book was a catalyst for his resignation. he may have thought about resigning, but the book it self, could have cemented the action. lets not throw doubts and unnecessary statements at the rabbi. many noahides who left xtianity, had wanted to leave over a period of time and to each, Hashem mercifully brought about a 'push' to tell us, not to be afraid to make that final push to leave idolatry. why should , if true, the pope be any different? apart from other reasons, this could have been that final push he needed. as yeranen wrote, if it is true, lets not straightaway judge it to be true or wrong. let us give the rabbi the benefit of the doubt. sometimes when we are ill or facing old age or other things, alot of matters go thro our minds.

 
At Mon Mar 11, 09:26:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. This Rabbi is either delusional, vain or both to think the resignation of Benedict has anything to do with him. The former pope made the decision to resign almost a year earlier. Benedict will continue to reside in Vatican City. That doesn't seem like something someone disenchanted with their faith would do. As well, it's extremely unlikely that anyone in Benedict's faith would be radically altered after reading one book.

 
At Mon Mar 11, 10:00:00 PM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

Prof Ratzinger is a scholar, like Montini was. Of course Ratzinger has studied relevant works of Judaism, including the Talmud. As a theologian he is well-known to have disagreement with his colleagues. While this is none of our business, it should be remarked that in recent years we did not suffer hostility, something that should not be taken for granted.

10rainbow, please do not speculate or make up things that are untrue, and actually border on ludicrous. Most of all, please notice Judaism does not proselitize and we believe that righteous people of all beliefs will have a reward. Prof Ratzinger is very well aware of what Judaism has to say about xity and yet respects Judaism and Jews: we surely can extend him and his beliefs the same courtesy.

 
At Tue Mar 12, 12:45:00 AM 2013, Blogger Neshama said...

I'm glad it is in English. But wondering why it was not in Hebrew first? I would think the Rabbi would want to dispell the missionary effect in Eretz Yisrael also, if this would.

 
At Tue Mar 12, 02:32:00 AM 2013, Blogger 10rainbow said...

daniella, please re read my comment. i used words, like 'POSSIBLE', 'MAY' 'he MAY have though about resigning'' if it is true' and such. so i fail to see how you could say i speculated, or made up things that are untrue and border on ludricrous. i was very careful with my choice of words. nad if Hashem can bring about the change in people like nebuchadnezzar and others , if He wants, he can also do so with the pope. or any other.
and regarding judaism not proselying let me tell you i know that already. when the internet came to my country in SE Asia, around 1994 or so, its my constant studies and questioning that eventually made my rabbis realise i have seriously left idolatry and firm on studying G-d's laws as meant for us. i have engraved this words in my home and heart. from kabbalahinfo.org
'G-d and hence israel's goal, is not to convert anyone rather to help people discover the truth, so thy convert themselves.'
so you see in my journey 20 years ago from a xtian idolater to studying the noahide laws, this above lesson is the first i learnt from the jews. i humbly dont feel i need any reminder of this, though however, i do admit there is much for me to learn and to improve myself and my sons.
apart from this i know of a very stuanch catholic family living in calif. one of the sons read the book, The HOllow Inheritance, which can be obtained free from the internet, and that set him to leave the catholic faith, and today he, his wife and daughter are noahides. His family after reading the book remain staunch catholics. a book did it for the noahide family. all i said was i supported yeranen, that IF IT IS TRUE.... no one can be 100% sure of anything except Hashem.

 
At Tue Mar 12, 07:20:00 AM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

Dear 10rainbow
there lies the problem, because the correct words are IMPOSSIBLE and MAY NOT BE. Whatever his philosophical and theological position are - and as I stated already he studies many works, including Jewish works, of past and contemporary authors, to better understand where he stands and his own faith and because he is used to discuss and debate with other religions' scholars and of course, most of all, because he avidly enjoys learning - we should admire him and encourage him to keep studying, we should also be grateful that his curiosity for the Jewish writings (and other non-xian philosophies) has led to improving relationship with Jewish people in Rome, in Israel and worldwide. Your suggestion that he might be discontent with xity and seeking for truth within Jewish writings in order to reject xians beliefs, is much more than ludicrous, it is a blood libel.

In regards to your own spiritual journey I wish you success and happiness wherever it will bring you. May I however point out that according to Orthodox Judaism, Kabbalah is reserved for Jewish males over 40 who are very learned in the written and in the oral Torah. Orthodox Judaism also requires that it is only learned from a Rabbi in person ("kabbalah"=receiving, accepting) and not on books. I am telling you this, not in order to demean other approaches to Judaism which address their teachings both to Jews and Non Jews, and notably the Reforms and other movements based on the Zohar book, but so that you are aware and thus can make better decisions with your life - we only have one, and every second is precious.

Not everything can be learned on the internet, especially not Judaism. If you are interested in the Jewish faith and way of life, I advise you go to a synagogue in your country and talk personally to someone: Rabbis try to find some time to speak with everyone who asks for guidance, Jewish or not. May I also point out Judaism does not insist or suggest that catholic believers ought to leave their religion, which seems to be a misconception you have. A different issue would be a Jew who feels drawn to the xian religion and abandons the path of our forefathers, this is forbidden according to Jewish law; but a nonjew has no such prohibition.

To Neshama, Ratzinger's opinion has always been that missionizing is essential to the existence of catholic church, and already as Wojtyla's powerful advisor he made that very clear. Shortly after he was elected, he stated such positions explicitly (while the four popes before him had kept a very low profile in that regard, opting at most for praising "re-evangelization" of baptized people who don't go to church any longer, and foregoing efforts to win over to xity people who were raised according to other beliefs). However, Ratzinger's missionizing efforts were mainly directed towards Asia, and secondarily, towards the Western world, South America and Africa. In Israel, thanks to excellent relations, I am unaware of an increase of catholic missionizing activity (towards Jews), please indicate if I am wrong. May I also mention that in recent years a catholic scholar without any sympathy or opening towards Judaism (C.M. Martini) had been living in Jerusalem after having retired from bishop and cardinal. He had decided to move to Jerusalem to study, and he did so respectfully and in peace, until shortly before his passing.

 
At Tue Mar 12, 07:20:00 AM 2013, Anonymous Anon1 said...

Reason for abdication sent by a reader to my local paper: He was too pooped to pope.

 
At Tue Mar 12, 10:28:00 AM 2013, Blogger 10rainbow said...

this will be my last input on this thread.
its obvious what i wrote was completely misunderstood. that could be my fault for not being more explicit. i thank yeranen for kindly letting me write here over time, knowing i am a non jew. which reminds me of avraham and his chesed, he kept his tent doors open to all, hoping to teach them about the Creator of the universe. thank you yeranen.
i just stated my humble view based on my own beginnings as a gentile and the pope also, being a gentile. Basically, i nor anyone could ever really know what went on in the pope's mind, or anyone's mind. we see the outside, Hashem sees the inside. we can assume ofcourse.
""Your suggestion that he might be discontent with xity and seeking for truth within Jewish writings in order to reject xians beliefs, is much more than ludicrous, it is a blood libel.""

blood libel!!! thats way out. i may be a noahide only but i do know this is NOT blood libel.
you misread, misquoted and misunderstood what i wrote.
because i never never stated as you wrote. i DONT study the zohar. i know all about jews who have to be learned atleast 40 years and such. all my rabbis are orthodox. when i read the parshas or their writings, if i see quotes that inspires me,by any sage like the chofetz chaim, R Meir, the holy Rashbi, Rebbe menachem schneerson who are among my favorites, i write them down. and sometimes i quote it. i know that jews dont proselyte. shirat devorah blogspot, has yeranen and other bloggers articles. i found the above quote in her site, under blog kabbalainfo.org. I DONT STUDY ZOHAR. sometimes i have written to my rabbis and asked them for explanations of certain phrases, midrash, from festival or weekly parshas and so far they have always given me an explanation thats simple enough for me to grasp, even though i will add that if its not meant for me as a gentile i understand and they dont have to explain.

i hope this settles the issue on the Zohar. and that there is no misconception on that.
What plans Hashem has for the pope or any other person, jew or gentile, only He Knows. even the greatest of sages will not claim to know. and i have studied that in my Tanya studies as well as other studies with my ravs. and i only started the tanya after 2 of my ravs told me its alright to do so and even ecouraged me. i do not make any scriptural decisions without my rav's or ravs consent.

 
At Tue Mar 12, 10:31:00 AM 2013, Blogger 10rainbow said...

contd.
\You will be surprised how much can actually be learnt via the internet. there are many parts of the world where no jews are allowed openly, where there are no syngagoues. yet, with Hashem's blessings, the light of the torah is reaching the darkest places in the world. Hashem's Compassion on His creations that has brought light and understanding in places one could never have dreamt of it happening.
and i dont have ANY misconception that jews insist or suggest catholic believers or anyone else to leave their faith. its a misconception you have from my writing, not me. i have re read whatever i wrote, and i cant understand how an misunderstanding could come about. What i wrote in my first email was that some xtians who were hesitating to leave their faith, even when knowing praying to a man-god is wrong, HASHEM (NOT THE JEWS, NOT THE RABBIS, BUT HASHEM...thats what i wrote) brought about the push that we needed, to tell us not to be afraid to leave idolatry. i know that before a gentile converts they have to go before a council three times, and they do all they can to dissuade them . i do have friends in US, who converted and those who backed down, and remained noahides as they felt they could not keep up with the laws and practises. at no time did i have ANY misconception that jews convert or wish catholics to leave their faith.

for your information, my husband is a practising hindu. my rabbis know this from the very beginning. and that my husband encourages my sons and myself in our faith. though he remains in his. i dont wish to go into details , my rabbis never asked me to influence him to leave his faith. they told me family peace is very important. That Hashem brought me and my sons out of idolatry, and that when the time comes, everything will work out according to His Will and Plan. and i am following their guidance for prayers and in all ways.

so i think its you who has misconception of my understanding of where i stand, as a believing gentile and where judaism stands when it comes to non jews. even in the internet i have never tried to go into any site to read the zohar.
all my sites where i enter is what has been recommended by my rabbis. not reform, not conservative. my books are mostly chassidic, famous sayings of the baalshemtov, writings by R Aryeh Kaplan, rebbe menachem schneerson and others, like the Way of G-d by Ramchal. My rabbis said i can read this book and its also taught in the torah.org and aish.com, and chabad. one of my rabbis also advised me to read the kuzari, and i have the book and have read it twice, he told me Hashem will bless my understanding according to my needs, at my level as a noahide. my rabbi from US sent me books and cds, among them, on R Nachman, like Tikun, exchanged children, courage in crises, etc. in one of the chassidic torah articles, this was quoted. Zohar II, 71.
When Yitro who had pursued every possible type of idolatry came to join the jewish people, the Name of G-d was truly glorified Above and below.

so basically what i was meaning is that how Hashem reaches to each and every one of us, idolaterer or believing gentile is not known to us. i dont wish to touch on this thread anymore . if my writing was not clear, i apologise.

 
At Tue Mar 12, 10:39:00 AM 2013, Blogger Genoism said...

If this is true then why did he say he will continue to stay in the church and remain as an advisor?

 
At Tue Mar 12, 11:27:00 AM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

Dear 10rainbow I apologize if I in any way offended or misunderstood you. Also, far from me to question your Rabbi or Rabbis. You are no doubt entitled to search for spirituality as you see fit, and so is your husband and your sons, I wish you all a long and happy life. However I can not agree with what you write. It is very clear what has been and what is G-d's plan for Joseph Ratzinger aka Benedict: to be at the helm of catholic church as long as he wished to be, and now that he decided to retire, his purpose in life is studying, writing books, having theological discussions with his fellow xians and teaching them. G-d's plan is NOT as you keep suggesting, that nonjewish people should abandon what you derogatorily call "worshiping of the man-god" or "idolatry", which are obviously integral part of the xian religion. What Judaism has to advise to nonjewish people is that they should be righteous and honest people, have a job they are passionate about and use it to improve the world, have families and children if so they wish. That is all - and then they will receive their eternal reward. Suggesting that a practicing (nonjewish) catholic is encouraged by Judaism to question his religion and possibly in time come to reject it, is utterly false (Judaism teaches respect for parents and ancestors, for teachers, for authorities), as well as - I maintain - a blood libel you repeat and spread around, out of ignorance and misinformation. You should stop doing that right now.

In regards to your statement there are no Jews and no synagogues where you live, forgive me for being skeptical. Sure, they may not have a sign in big letters upon the door. I can't get into details because you have not published in which country you live (and I applaud you, as there are many creeps on the internet) but if you are interested, you can email Chabad from their website. Many Jews live in the East and even more Jews travel to the East, some do so for work (especially engineers and the like) or for tourism, others do so for religious duty, such as supervising food production or other assembly lines (that can range from kitchen pans to ink, to electrical razors to wheelchair electronic chips to be operated on Shabbat). Not all of these people will contact Chabad, but a Chabad House will be able to give you contacts and also they are very open to nonjews who are interested in Judaism, they will introduce you to people and this way you will be able to find a teacher. If you wish to learn about Judaism, that is the correct way.

 
At Tue Mar 12, 04:18:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please take hold of yourselves everyone. You can be very sure that his resignation has and had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the Rabbi's writings. Popes do things with the approval of whatever system, they go by and approved by their councils. This decision, am sure, was decided upon much earlier. Most probably, they are looking to putting in their last pope, (as I have read somewhere) whatever that means, and maybe that might be the reason for his departure. But, assuredly, it is not because of his realizing that his religion has flaws and was enlightened by Judaism.

 
At Tue Mar 12, 06:18:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

G-d bless you 10Rainbow; May He bless and bless you and yours.
(from a kindred soul in Texas)

 
At Tue Mar 12, 06:32:00 PM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daniela...please grab a Sidur and read the aleinu prayer (after tachanun)

 
At Tue Mar 12, 07:44:00 PM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

Thank you anonymous for your prompt lecturing. Are you a martyr or are you just seeking to R"L spill someone else's blood? I have no idea who this one and that one commenter is, but it's giving me the creeps. It reminds me of another story, one that happened in Iowa, aka Chabadland high-tech goldmine. The very same blood libel was spread. It did not work B"H. The driver of an important person who was in charge of making decisions, had previously been a driver for a big shot CEO - a Chabad Rabbi. The driver was a catholic and had been disbelieving his scriptures, but his employer brought him back to church observance, the Chabad rabbi even went to the point of requesting the driver to say the rosary (repetitive catholic prayer) on the job. The false accusations were dismissed. This was around 2004 or so, and for those who wish to check the story, we are talking about a bleeding-edge pharma. Please do your homework, you don't have to believe me. Everyone knows who he is - many people (chilonim too) were picked up at the airport by that driver, everyone was chattering about it, some expressing shock. Perhaps a respectful question to those who are capable of answering, or good old "SILENCE", is the appropriate reaction to what we don't understand.
A few years later, the exact same thing was attempted again in Iowa in a different sector and as we all know, Rubashkin was not so lucky. After a while, Wendy Runge was sentenced heavily (she was guilty of stupidity and ill-placed trust and a few clerical mistakes, nothing else). What the newspapers don't publish is the sheer mass of flourishing businesses which folded and cashed in the loss - smelling the coffee - in a state that was once very friendly to Jewish investors and entrepreneurs, only a decade or so before.

Everyone knows what Judaism has to say about xity and about j. Ratzinger knows that too, and yet he has been friendly and sensitive. He may well be some sort of xian heretic, although perhaps "heretic" does not properly describe someone who dictates the official church beliefs and is considered infallible by his followers; but he is no closet Jew. You can reread Kikar Shabbat interview, or listen to the video, it is for me hard because I don't master the language, but the Rabbi - even if we believe 100% and take 100% literally - seems to me to be saying, as far as I understand, that he feels Ratzinger resigned because he wants to scrutinize and question (every scholar should do that, and obviously he will have more free time and less institutional engagements and unwanted spotlights); this seems to me very possible. I also am not surprised Ratzinger would send a thank you letter, nor would I be surprised if he indeed read the book. What some people have commented, is completely different.

I have no words for those who are seeking to incite hatred. Reminds me of my grandfather who overheard "I am afraid this war won't come to pass" (both of those people who were so tired of peace, ordinary life and steady jobs, were drafted and perished in WW1). Oh, but at least, they risked and lost their own skin, hide and feathers. Jewry in Arab countries, we all know what happened to it; now all we need is to stir up hatred from xians, then we can dismantle the kehillot in Rome, Paris, Antwerp etc and all of us can move to Anctartica, or maybe to the moon, hopefully we don't get shipped there in the same way our fellow Jew was.

 
At Thu Mar 14, 12:17:00 AM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

Benedict to Miss Inauguration of New Pope

Benedict XVI has decided not to attend the Mass to inaugurate his successor as Pope, the Vatican said Wednesday.

Holy See spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi would not say why the Pope Emeritus would not be at the formal Mass.

(Of course, there could be 1000 different reasons, but it's still interesting.)

 
At Sat Mar 16, 09:52:00 AM 2013, Blogger chiggles said...

So I hear people saying this book is in English. Maybe I'm searching for the wrong thing, but cannot find it.

Anyone have a title and/or link?

 
At Mon Apr 03, 04:50:00 PM 2017, Anonymous Josh said...

Free download
http://dafyomireview.com/advisor-files/divrey_yaakov.pdf

 

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