In contemporary times, HaShem's hashgacha over everything is a common hashkafah, at least in the Litvish/Chassidic communities (see Baal Shem Tov, Aruch HaShulchan, Rav Dessler 'Strive for Truth', Ramchal 'Daas vTevunos', etc.).

This of course is in contrast to the Rambam and the Ramban, who hold Aristotlean influenced views (or so i've heard), and for sure at least SEEMINGLY (i've seen them mitaretzed) opposing views.

This question is not to compare/contrast the view points or to explain either of them, but rather to provide any information about other Rishonim that may have held views akin to the Baal Shem Tov etc.

Note: I (think I) remember seeing that Rabbeinu Yonah did in fact hold like the Baal Shem Tov, but I can't remember what I saw or where I saw it.

Also, anything from the Zohar would also interest me.

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  • Here's Rabbeinu Avraham: "[T]he bitachon incumbent upon all the religious people...is a firmly placed conviction and a genuine, heartfelt awareness that the natural causes and normal channels are directed by God's detailed will for each person, in every time and every situation." (Guide to Serving God, p. 213). – Kordovero Apr 13 '15 at 13:50
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    From Rabbenu Bachya: "His generosity is universal and His kindness is all-embracing, as written "The L-ord is good to all, and His mercies are on all His works" (Tehilim 145:9) and "Who gives food to all flesh, for His kindness endures forever" (Tehilim 136:25), and "You open Your hand and satisfy every living thing [with] will" This is brief, but still suggests Providence over all living things. – Kordovero Apr 13 '15 at 19:00
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    @warz3 Not sure, but if you google the text you'll find the source in translation. I also remember reading similar statements in other chapters of that sefer. – Kordovero Apr 13 '15 at 20:50
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    Most of the Rishonim (Rambam included) were rather unclear on this issue, although the vast majority would probably be uncomfortable with extending 'hashgacha' to animals and inanimate objects. However, the Rambam attributes such an opinion to "Jews influenced by the Kalam", which probably meant Rav Saadia Gaon, who did believe that animals go to heaven (see E.vD. 3:17). However, looking at the passage carefully indicates that he didn't believe animals would be saved from undeserved suffering – הנער הזה Apr 13 '15 at 22:19

Rabbeinu Bachya (in Chovot ha-Levavot), from the 11th century: “We ought to trust in God with the trust of one, fully convinced that all things and movements, together with their advantageous and injurious results happen by the decree of the Eternal, under His authority and according to His sentence.”

taken from the comments on: http://www.torahmusings.com/2013/01/does-god-micromanage/

led on the trail from Kordovero's comments.

  • Somewhere on the linked page, someone mentions that the RamBam in Moreh mentions that a Gaon did in fact hold of Hashgacha Pratis on everything, it was speculated as Saadia, but apparently that isn't correct. – warz3 Apr 14 '15 at 1:06
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    I think those are two different Rabbeinu Bachya's (Kad Hakemach is from the one who is a student of the Rashba). – Emet v'Shalom Apr 14 '15 at 22:41

"The Ari says that while many rishonim were wrong on kabbalistic ideas the Ramban wa= s always right. R. Zadok says this proves that the Ran erred. He firther states that once the Zohar was revealed one is prohibited from accepting the Rambam and others who held that hasgacha does not apply to every individual and especially not to every animal. Rather one is required to reject this opinion as apikorsus."

Note, this was copied from http://osdir.com/ml/culture.religion.jewish.avodah/2005-11/msg00211.html

If someone could source this comment from the AriZaL, that would be much appreciated

  • It seems the R. Zadok the quote is referring to is Rav Zadok of Lublin, and the sefer is Tzidkat HaTzaddik. I am not 100% sure but that's what it seems like, and I'm looking into it. – warz3 May 19 '15 at 6:38

Zohar Shelach 3:157b, while explaining Koheles seems to state the hashkafa as the Chassidim

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    This answer would be vastly improved IMO if it were edited to include what the Zohar says. – msh210 Apr 14 '15 at 13:07
  • @msh210 i'd rather not spread it right now; it's there as a reference if someone makes their choice – warz3 Apr 15 '15 at 2:23
  • I haven't seen it inside, but apparently the Gra has discussion about this passage in one of his seforim – warz3 Apr 15 '15 at 2:24

Contrary to your assertion, the Ramban (Nachmanides) does hold that Hashgacha is over everything.

Here is a short excerpt from the last Ramban in Shemos Parshas Bo:

For a person has no share in the Torah of Moshe unless he believes that all our affairs and experiences are signs from Hashem, that there is no independent force of nature regarding either the community or the individual.

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    marbitz.com/midrash/hashgachapratis.html, I might not have been clear, I mean the hasgacha pratis on all things, while that quote famously indicates what you are saying, that link contains other examples that show he held like the Rambam – warz3 Apr 13 '15 at 20:17
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    furthermore, that quote is talking about members or the entire Klal Yisrael; not plant-life, etc. etc. – warz3 Apr 13 '15 at 20:28

here are two pertinent sources from rambam and ramban:

Moreh nevuchim 3:18 (rambam)

providence is not the same for all people but rather differs from one person to another in proportion to the differences in their respective degrees of perfection....Concerning the disparity of providence for pious men and degenerate fools, the verse says, “He will guard the feet of His pious ones while the wicked will be silenced in the darkness, because a man will not prevail with strength” (Shmuel/ Samuel I 2:9). The verse informs us that the reason that some individuals are saved from disaster while others aren’t is not because of their physical strength and natural dispositions. Rather, it depends upon their degree of perfection or deficiency, i.e., their nearness to or distance from God...There are innumerable verses which indicate this principle that providence is proportional to perfection and piety.

Ramban on shemos 13:16

A man has no share in the Torah, unless he believes that all matters and all events, whether on a communal level or an individual level, are miracles, and not due to “nature” or “the way of the world.” Rather, if a person performs the mitzvot, his reward will bring him success, and if he transgresses, he incurs punishment, all by decree from Above.

  • I refer to the RamBam and RamBan in my original post, namely that they hold Aristolean beliefs or something – warz3 May 7 '15 at 23:28

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