|כח וַיֹּאמֶר, מֹשֶׁה, בְּזֹאת תֵּדְעוּן, כִּי-יְהוָה שְׁלָחַנִי לַעֲשׂוֹת אֵת כָּל-הַמַּעֲשִׂים הָאֵלֶּה: כִּי-לֹא, מִלִּבִּי.||28 And Moses said: 'Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works, and that I have not done them of mine own mind.|
This predicament would have confused me greatly before medical school. However, there were two things that I learned while in medical school. One was from politics and the other was from actual psychology. However, both ideas led to a single point: People believe what they want to believe. It is true, Dasan and Aviram were at Mt. Sinai, they knew that G-D spoke with Moshe and that everything that Moshe did was from G-D (or at least in accordance with G-D's wishes). Still, they had such a warped mentality that they refused to believe that everything Moshe did was from G-D. Dasan and Aviram hated Moshe, they were they ones (the Midrash tells us) that caused Moshe to flee Egypt (they were the two Jews that were fighting in the Beginning of Shemos and said "Are you going to kill us like you killed the Egyptian). Therefore, Dasan and Aviram could never fully allow themselves to believe that Moshe was the ultimate messenger from G-D.
This mentality is seen throughout the world. Every person's bias pushes them towards certain mentalities. There is a reason why 40% of Americans will always vote Republican and 40% will always vote Democrat. They believe the other side is evil and their side is good. Obviously, this is a warped (to some degree) view of reality and some ideas of one side are good and some ideas of the other side are good, but no one will ever admit that except the people in the middle.
There are other examples, especially of the bloggers that are what I call Anti-Slifkinites, that are so bias one way that they refuse to admit to absolute truths. For example, there are obviously Rishonim and achronim that explain the Rambam held the world was not created in six literal days (from http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2006/03/the-rambam-on-time-during-creation.shtml All translations are from Rav Eidensohn I believe):
The 9th question concerns that which is mentioned in the Moreh Nevuchim. Rambam notes that time can not exist without the movement of the celestial spheres and the the sun and moon. However this raises the question as how there could be time before the fourth day when the celestial spheres and sun were created? The Rambam answered this question by asserting that in fact the spheres and the sun were created on the first day. Thus time existed for the first 3 days in the same manner as it existed on the subsequent days. He explained that in fact everything — both the Heavens and the Earth — were created on the first day. The Rambam cited Chazal that the word “es” indicated that the creation on the first day included everything associated with the Heavens as well as everything associated with the Earth. He also cited the gemora (Chulin 60a) that everything that was created was created in its final form. He also cited another statement of Chazal that the Heavens and Earth were created simultaneously. Thus the Rambam believed that the work of Creation happened all on one day and was not divided amongst six days. He claimed that in a single moment of creation everything came into existence. He explained that the reason for the Torah stating that there were six days of Creation was to indicate the different levels of created beings according to their natural hierarchy. Thus the Rambam does not understand the word day to be a temporal day and he doesn’t read Bereishis to be describing the chronological sequence of creation…. This is the view of the Rambam which he considered as one of the major secrets of the Creation. In fact he tried hard to conceal this view as can be seen in his words in Moreh Nevuchim (2:30). In spite of his efforts the Ralbag, Navorni and the other commentators to Moreh Nevuchim uncovered his secret and made it known to the whole world…. However, despite the Rambam’s greatness in Torah and the apparent support from Chazal, this view of the Rambam is demonstratably false….
The Abarbanel is clear in question 5 that the Rambam certainly held of creation yeish mei’ayin (ex nihilo), that he was not totally declaring creation an allegory — only the notion of a progression of events over the 6 days of time:
Behold you see that the opinion of the Rav [ie the Rambam -mi] was not that all of the story of creation was an allegory, but only a small part of it. All that is mentioned regarding the activity of the six days, from the creation of the heavens and the earth, and all of the phenomena, and the creation of Adam and his wife, up until “vayechulu” [the first Shabbos -mi], have no allegory whatsoever for everything was literal to him [the Rambam]. Therefore you will see that in this very chapter, no. 30 in the second section, in all which the Rav has explicated regarding the activity of the six days, he did not make an allegory or a hint at all. Rather, he did the exact opposite, for he made a concerted effort to support the doctrine of creation ex nihilo and accepted all of the verses literally…
Shem Tov (Moreh ad loc):
Just as G-d is an absolute unity, His actions are also unified and from His organization came out the sequence of Creation. At the start — time was created simultaneously with the rest of Creation. It is incorrect to say that Creation began at the start of time. Consequently creation consisted of entities that were separate and distinct and prioritized — which is not a reflection of G-d Who is an absolute unity. Their prioritization is the result of their nature as to what their purpose and causal relationship is in combining and interacting with other things. Therefore it only in describing their level in reality that we say Day One, Day Two — but not that they were created in this sequence. Thus the Rambam’s explanation rejects the literal meaning of the Torah verses. He asserts that everything was created simultaneously. It is only as a reflection as to their purpose and importance does the Torah say first second and third and the rest of the days.
Aqeidas Yitzchaq (Bereishis sha’ar 3):
The Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim gives the reason for Torah saying that there were days in the Beginning by citing the gemora in Chullin(60a). There it states that the products of Creation were all created complete. In other words all of creations was created at the first instant of creation in their final perfect form. Thus he says that the Creation description is not describing the chronological sequence of events but the days are simply serving to indicate distinctions in their levels and to inform of of the hierarchy of Nature. This was a major esoteric doctrine of the Rambam concerning Creation as those who are understanding can discern from Moreh Nevuchim 2:30) which is devoted to this issue. However the Ralbag publicized it in detail and expounded it thoroughly….
Ralbag (Milchemes Hashem book IV, II8):
You already know from the preceding that the generation of the universe by God occurred in no time, since [its generation] was from nothing to something. Thus, our Rabbis maintain that the heavens and’ the earth were created simultaneously. As it is said in the Chapter [called] “One Does Not Interpret”: “Both were created as one. For it is said, ‘Yea, Mine hand hath laid the foundation of the earth, and My right. hand hath spread out the heavens; When I call unto them they stand up together. “‘ It is therefore evident that the description of creation as being completed in six days is not to be construed as [implying] that the first day preceded the second, for example, by one [whole] day [i.e., twenty four hours]. Rather, they said, this is in order to show the priority amongst various created things. For example, the movers of the heavenly bodies are causally and by nature prior to the heavenly bodies, whereas the latter are causally and by nature prior to the elements and to that which is generated from them. Now, the elements are prior to that which is generated from them according material priority, and the compounds of the elements are also [related] to each other by this kind of priority.For example the plant is prior to the animal; and similarly the imperfect animal is prior to the perfect animal. In the same way, an aquatic animal is prior to a flying animal, and the latter is prior to a walking [i.e., terrestrial] animal while the latter is prior to the rational [animal, i.e., man]. For an aquatic animal produces an imperfect egg, whereas the bird produces a perfect egg; the walking animal, however, produces a living animal in its own body. For this reason Aristotle says in The Book, of Animals that the bird is more perfect than the aquatic animal and the walking animal more perfect than the bird. And there is no doubt that man is the most perfect animal amongst the walking animals.
Alschich (Bereishis 1:1):
Bereshit Rabbah 1 comments on the repeated use of the word “es”, i.e. “es hashamayim”. The first “es” is supposed to include the solar system, whereas the second “es” is a reference to all the vegetation on earth. This sounds perplexing, seeing that vegetation is specifically reported as having been created on the third day, and the galaxies are reported as having been created on the fourth day; so how could they have been included by the words “es” at the very beginning? The answer is that the author of the Midrash did not want foolish people to think that what we know as a time-frame was indispensable for the development of the physical universe from its inception to its completion. We must not be allowed to think that G-d required six days to accomplish what He did. This is one reason why G-d did not say in the Ten Commandments that He created the universe in six days The words used are “six days,” as distinct from in six days, etc. 20,11) The idea conveyed in that verse is that G-d created these six day simultaneously with creating heaven and earth. The Midrash goes on to tell us that the word “es” in that verse is to alert us to the fact that heaven already contained all the elements for the galaxies, etc., and that “earth” already contained beneath the surface all the elements of vegetation, etc. These elements became revealed only at a later stage during the creative process.
Rav JB Soloveitchik (unpublished lectures on Bereishis, #7):
Indeed, one of the most annoying scientific facts which the religious man encounters is the problem of evolution and creation. However, this is not the real problem. What actually is irreconcilable is the concept of man as the bearer of a divine image and the idea of man as an intelligent animal in science. Evolution and creation can be reconciled merely by saying that six days is not absolutely so, but is indefinite and may be longer. Maimonides spoke of Creation in terms of phases and the Kabbalah in terms of sefiros, the time of which may be indefinite. However, our conflict is man as a unique being and man as a friend of the animal. Science can never explain how being came into being, for it is out of the realm of science, while the Bible is concerned with the problem of ex nihilo. Aristotle could not accept evolution because he believed in the eternity of forms.
However, even with these obvious sources, there are people that deny this obvious truth (I am not going to name names, but it is someone on a certain anti-slifkinite website that is not talked about later in this post). The lesson we have to take away from this idea is that we should never be so closed minded that we use our bias to deny simple and obvious truths. We shouldn't accept anything and everything, but we should realize when someone has a valid point, it is a valid point that we should not ridicule and debase. We can disagree, but we must disagree like civilized people. Creating a blog strictly to oppose anything and everything someone says, even when it has merit, is at best disgusting and at worst a chillul Hashem.
The worst example of this is how some Arabs deny the holocaust. That is absurd and it is obvious that the holocaust occurred and was a terrible event, but these crazy people will deny it strictly because of their bias. Bias is useful sometimes, but it can be very dangerous. We must all be careful with our bias and make sure that it does not blind us from the truth.
The most damaging, in my opinion, case of bias I have seen comes from the comments here
"Obtaining enough training and experience in order to earn enough to just tread water financially can take years." (Someone said this and FKM responded in the following way)
"Baloney. Anybody with a personality can sell insurance and earn a good living very quickly. Anybody with a good gemara kup can be a lawyer and catch-up very quickly. Anybody with good hands and a natural technological curiosity can be a good technician with minimum training taking apart and re-assembling computers. Anybody good in math can become an accountant or go into banking. Anybody with an entrepreneurial spirit can start up his own business and make his own niche in a global marketplace.
I've seen all this happen in the Chareidi sector. It takes a lot of thinking out of the four-year institutional enrollment box, but its done all the time."
Anyone can earn a good living very quickly???? What the heck is this guy talking about? I guess no one is having a hard time making a living. Oh wait, THAT is baloney! There are so many falsities in the statements here that I can't even imagine how he thinks the world works.
Of course there are a few people that can get lucky and make money quickly, but that is faaaaar from the norm. Again, this is bias at its worst. Obviously people should have faith that Hashem will provide in times of need, but to state that anyone can make a GOOD living quickly is just not living in reality.
This is like Dasan and Aviram, they were not living in reality. They saw G-D speak on Mt. Sinai and they saw that Moshe was the one that G-D spoke through. Their bias got in the way of their perception of reality and that was the real problem.