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When an individual is said to have da'as torah, is that the natural consequence of intense expertise or is it a God given supernatural gift bestowed on those deserving?

For example, it would be foolish to ignore the investment advice of a world class financial expert. This could be described with a term like "da'as finance". Is da'as torah simply the same concept as applied to Torah or is it a supernatural gift akin to prophecy?

Sources please.

[edit: To clear things up, I am defining da'as torah as the ability of sufficiently knowledgable Talmidei Chachamim to issue advice and/or rulings about issues which are not sourced in halchah. If you wish to use a different definition, that's fine but make that clear in your answer.]

  • In general though, even with regards to prophecy, Rambam argued that everything is the offspring of a natural process and that God designed the world for supernatural events to occur with an immediate cause being something supernatural. – rosenjcb Nov 30 '14 at 23:45
  • judaism.stackexchange.com/a/28786/1856 answered here "Even if a man already includes all the conditions mentioned above..." – user813801 Dec 1 '14 at 12:29
  • This question would be improved with reference to why you think daat Torah exists in the first place. – mevaqesh Aug 14 '16 at 18:10
  • Daas Torah is modern mystical teaching, and mysticism stands in violation of the Torah. – Turk Hill Apr 24 at 17:28
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In a letter to the editor in Tradition 28:3 (Spring 1994), R. Aharon Feldman writes as follows:

Other than followers of certain Hassidic rebbeim, I have never heard of anyone who understands da'at Torah to refer to the likes of metaphysical inspiration. On a personal level, I have had the privilege to being present when recognized gedolim of our times - whose opinions are considered da'at Torah by a large portion of Jewry - have dealt with major decisions. Never did anyone of them imply that their decisions were taken with anything but their human decision making faculties. On the contrary, they were all repelled by anyone who claimed to have arrived at any conclusion through metaphysical inspiration.

And shortly thereafter:

Nowhere in this letter does R. Dessler imply that these gedolim arrived at their decisions by any means other than their human faculties. On the contrary, he emphasizes their outstanding human qualities: their intellectual depth, their selfless involvement, their extreme dedication to the welfare of the Jewish people, while contrasting their meetings to "other conferences to which we are accustomed." (The passages which indicate these points are all omitted in Rabbi Friedman's citation.) It is obvious that R. Dessler’s brief for reliance on their decisions is not based on supernatural inspiration.

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In the introduction to the Sefer chidushei halev, a compilation of shmuessin on the parsha from Rabbi Henoch Lebowitz zt”l (former Rosh Hayeshiva of Chofetz Chaim) he goes through a number of possibilities of what daas Torah might mean. Ultimately he explains that it is not a metaphysical concept but rather a natural one. The Torah represents the will of G-d and the logic/way-of-thinking of G-d (cvayachol). One who totally submerses themselves and humbles themselves to the will and thinking of the Torah, molds their intellect and train of thought to think like G-d and could apply said logic to all matters and situations.

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No. The notion of da'as Torah is charedi and doe not imply that the person or rabbi in question possesses supernatural enlightenment. Actually, according to the Greek pagan philosopher Aristotle and the Jewish sage Rambam, prophecy is no more than a higher level of intelligence. Rabbi Micah Goodman writes in his Maimonides book that, "prophecy is a natural event." Thus, da'as Torah is a natural process.

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