Section: Taryag Mitzvos Category: Mitzva Opportunity
|Rav Aleh, The World's Most Relied Upon Posek|
One of the most popular justifications given for performing a halacha the wrong way or omitting it altogether is "but everyone does it" or its yiddish counterpart "Aleh Tu'in Azoi". When someone would be silly enough to try this on my Rebbi, he would always respond, "Oh! Rav Aleh paskened again." The he would say, "don't worry, Gehinom is a very big place. There is room for Aleh." In fact the gemara in Ta'anis (10a) tells us that Gehinom is 60 time bigger than Eden, 3600 time bigger then Gan, and 21,600 time bigger than the entire world. Some even say that Gehinom is limitless.
If we were to follow the majority and their claim that the torah requires this, than we are certainly practicing the wrong religion, being heavily outnumbered by many other popular religions. The answer however as echoed by Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz, The Chasam Sofer, and the Kotzker among many others, is that majority is only when two possible legitimate interpretations are offered, then we follow the majority. However, a majority based on nothing other than convenience or ignorance is not legitimized by the amount of people it can recruit to it cause. This is explicitly stated in the Torah (Mishpatim 23:2), "Lo Sihiyeh Acharei Rabim L'Ra'os", do not be follower of the majority for evil.
So next time Rav Aleh tries to pasken a Shaila for you, remember that by not listening you will not only have reward for not doing the wrong thing, but you will also have the mitzva of not being oveir the special Lav that the torah gives to all Rav Aleh's loyal constituency. Even given the comparatively small size of Gan Eden, rest assure that it is quite spacious since "Aleh" are hanging out in a far bigger place, with their not so holy Rabbi.