Arguing with Rishonim and Achronim

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  • #601708

    Abelleh
    Participant

    Can you do it? If not, why?

    #1158316

    Sam2
    Participant

    Sure you can. You just have to be really, really sure of yourself. And even more sure when arguing on a Rishon (so sure, in fact, that as a practical matter you can’t argue on a Rishon but in theory you can).

    #1158317

    real-brisker
    Member

    What basis would you have if not for a rishon?

    #1158318

    Toi
    Participant

    Sam2- R’ Elchonon said that one who argues with a rishon is a shoteh. so, in theory, ya, you could step off the curb in to oncoming traffic. And really, R’ Akiva Eiger bleibs tz”i or Hashem yo’ir eynay rather then arguing with a Tosfos. You should feel a bit our of youe league here.

    #1158319

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Toi: In all fairness, R’ Moshe ZTL was supposed to have argued with Rishonim in Igros (I don’t have a source offhand).

    Of course, that is R’ Moshe, not little me.

    #1158320

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Even when he argues with acharonim, he can point out that a particular acharon has a different opinion which should be considered.

    I don’t think he ever directly argues on rishonim, but he will sometimes explain their words differently than one would normally understand at first glance.

    #1158321

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    R’ Moshe ZTL was supposed to have argued with Rishonim in Igros

    Even when he argues with acharonim, he will point out that a particular acharon has a different opinion which should be considered.

    I don’t think he ever directly argues on rishonim, but he will sometimes explain their words differently than one would normally understand at first glance.

    #1158322

    Avi K
    Participant

    The Gra argued with Rishonim. However, you have to be on his level or at least close. As for Achronim, you also have to be more or less on the level of the Acharon.

    #1158323

    the chazon ish had a shitah that you cant follow a halachah if you were m’ayain properly and disagree. He holds that you cant use any metal, even nails, to keep a succah together, even though there is a Ritva that says b’feirush that you can, and the bais yosef paskens like that ritva. i assume R’ Moshe had this shitah to some extent as well, but this isnt a universal shitah, and even if you do hold of it, it would only matter if you looked into the sugya properly, which i doubt anyone except a gadol/posek could be sure of – meaning pashtus anyone reading this is not enough of a talmid chacham to decide thathe is 100% sure that a rishon or acharon is wrong. be safe, ask your posek what to do if a shailah comes up, definitely dont argue with rishonim.

    Avi K: the Gra, according to many gedolim, was on the level of rishonim. a certain gadol said he was on the Rashba’s level of learning, so thats not a ra’aya at all

    #1158324

    Sam2
    Participant

    MCR: The Gra himself said he was greater than the Rashba’s level.

    #1158325

    not2bright
    Member

    First of all, “Im rishonim kimalachim anu kbnei adam, v’im heim kbnei adam anu kchamorim” basically if we are machshiv the previous generations as regular people then we are like donkeys so don’t disregard their opinion so easily. Furthermore, yes the rishonim can be wrong, if you think you have a very good svara against their shitta do some research and it’s very possible you may find another rishon who agrees with you, however the first assumption is never to assume that they are wrong. Even if you disagree and yet still think the rishon can still be right you should probably still do some research, perhaps to find out if the rishon is lshitoso etc. and try to determine what the yesod of his shitta is and what your yesod is and find the chiluk and the mechaleik. You can always say tzurich iyun :). That’s how I would approach the situation.

    #1158327

    zvei dinim
    Member

    “the chazon ish had a shitah that you cant follow a halachah if you were m’ayain properly and disagree. He holds that you cant use any metal, even nails, to keep a succah together, even though there is a Ritva that says b’feirush that you can, and the bais yosef paskens like that ritva.”

    Actually the Chazon Ish’s own sucah was NOT a “Chazon Ish scuah”. He only presented another tzad in the sugya, he didn’t argue. However the Sridei Aish writes that it was “b’rov chasidaso” that the Chazon Ish did not argue on Rishonim.

    ????? ??? ??”? ?”? ?”? ??? ? says we can argue on some Rishonim with proper rayos. However he rarely dose so himself.

    The Ravad’s in the Rambam’s hakdama writes “

    ??? ???? ??? ????, ?? ??? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ??? ??? ?????, ?? ?? ????? ???? ???????, ????? ?????? ??? ?????, ???? ?? ??? ????? ?????, ?? ????? ???? ???? ?? ?? ????? ????? ?? ?????, ??????? ????? ???, ????? ??? ?? ?? ???? ????, ????? ?????? ???? ????, ??? ???? ??. ???? ?? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ???????? ????? ????? ?? ?? ?????. ?? ????? ??? ???? ????, ??? ???, ??? ??? ???? ????, ??? ???? ???? ???? ????.”

    The Yam Shel Shlomo writes in one of his hakdamos that while it’s clear that the Rishonim were bigger he’s upset people stopped arguing and says they should. Needless to say the ?? ?? ???? was not ?????.

    #1158328

    zvei dinim
    Member

    “the chazon ish had a shitah that you cant follow a halachah if you were m’ayain properly and disagree. He holds that you cant use any metal, even nails, to keep a succah together, even though there is a Ritva that says b’feirush that you can, and the bais yosef paskens like that ritva.”

    Actually the Chazon Ish’s own sucah was NOT a “Chazon Ish scuah”. He only presented another tzad in the sugya, he didn’t argue. However the Sridei Aish writes that it was “b’rov chasidaso” that the Chazon Ish did not argue on Rishonim.

    ????? ??? ??”? ?”? ?”? ??? ? says we can argue on some Rishonim with proper rayos. However he rarely dose so himself.

    The Ravad’s in the Rambam’s hakdama writes “

    ??? ???? ??? ????, ?? ??? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ??? ??? ?????, ?? ?? ????? ???? ???????, ????? ?????? ??? ?????, ???? ?? ??? ????? ?????, ?? ????? ???? ???? ?? ?? ????? ????? ?? ?????, ??????? ????? ???, ????? ??? ?? ?? ???? ????, ????? ?????? ???? ????, ??? ???? ??. ???? ?? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ???????? ????? ????? ?? ?? ?????. ?? ????? ??? ???? ????, ??? ???, ??? ??? ???? ????, ??? ???? ???? ???? ????.”

    The Yam Shel Shlomo writes in one of his hakdamos that while it’s clear that the Rishonim were bigger he’s upset people stopped arguing and says they should. Needless to say the ?? ?? ???? was not ?????.

    #1158329

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    Abelleh: You can’t help arguing with rishonim and acharonim, even if you don’t say anything not first said by a rishon. There are enough disagreements that you have on whom to rely for almost any reasonable opinion (yeah, that’s almost a tautology. So sue me.) For example, let’s say you take the approach that you can’t argue with anyone earlier than you and you even have a rishon to support you, though I don’t know of any. You are then arguing against the Rambam who says you follow ?? ????? ???? ?? regardless of when he lived.

    #1158330

    yahud
    Member

    mr. coffee room: “the Gra, according to many gedolim, was on the level of rishonim. a certain gadol said he was on the Rashba’s level of learning, so thats not a ra’aya at all”

    As I heard, the story was that the brisker said to his father that he heard that the gra was like the ramban, to what the father replied: chalile!!! maybe like the rashbe! (obviously these ppl – unlike us – appreciated the diference)

    #1158331

    zvei dinim
    Member

    ItcheSrulik the ???”? blasted the ???”? for arguing the way he did on the ??”?.

    Regardless, a ????? is different than arguing.

    #1158332

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    hachra’a is picking the one that makes the most sense, which automatically places you in disagreement with the shitos you didn’t pick. That is what the Rambam did, and what the Ramban called him out on. THis should really be part of the “how does halacha work” thread.

    #1158334

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    “The Yam Shel Shlomo writes in one of his hakdamos that while it’s clear that the Rishonim were bigger he’s upset people stopped arguing and says they should. Needless to say the ?? ?? ???? was not ?????.”

    Huh? Sure it was. I think that people happen to have an easier time arguing on the Maharashal, and for this reason, but to say he wasn’t ????? is not true at all. (Are people machmir on davar gush? Are people machmir on a kli sheini that’s yad soledes bo? Do people eat milk chocolate right after chicken soup? etc. etc.)

    #1158335

    lebidik yankel
    Participant

    My two cents;

    The shach argues regularly on Rishonim, I can think of about ten places offhand. However, he is very reluctant to argue against the Bahag and the others of thart time, because they were Geonim, and they did not write their own thoughts, rather they were actually quoting Ravina and Rav Ashi (as the Shach puts it; “kol divreihem divrei kabalka”). So there is a difference between the rishonim and the Geonim.

    The one who said the Gra was like the Rashba was Rav Chaim Velozoner in the Hakdamak to Sifra Dtzniusa, not the Gra himself.

    According to the Rambam in the Hakdamah to the Yad, you can argue on anyone until the Gemarah (possibly this includes the Geonim, I don’t know), but as all of us know, you would need to be either very sure or very foolish to do so.

    P.s.; the Chazon Ish with regard to sukkah is not arguing on anyone; he is rather quoting a minhag in Lita to be machmir for the shita of the ran and ramban AND RITVA that the maimod needs to be of something kosher for schach. So that was a misquote. However the Chazon Ish does argue on Rishnim, I can remeber one chazon ish in kilayim who argues head-on with a Ritva

    #1158336

    BaalSechel
    Participant

    If you have a difficulty with the words of a Rishon, look around to see if your issue is discussed by the Acharonim. If it is, see how they handled it. If it isn’t, chances are excellent that you don’t have a clear picture of the sugya. Your next move should be to figure out why.

    Ditto for prominent Acharonim whose words are dissected by the later generations.

    #1158337

    Sam2
    Participant

    Yitay: He meant that his Derech wasn’t accepted, not that his opinions weren’t.

    #1158339

    Most of the names mentioned previously, belittled(at the minimum)or just ignored those who argued with Rishonim

    A savvy four year old could also come with proofs against their parent,and they may have some validity in a vacuum

    But only an idiot would side with the preschooler

    If,however,he comes in 40 years,and tells you he really was right when he was a child ,you probabky would give him some credence

    Similarly, if someone ‘plugs’ for 40 odd years ,and THEN still contests ,there’s what to talk about

    #1158340

    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    What’s the shaylah,

    My Rosh Hayeshiva does it all the time (argues with achronim)

    #1158341

    Joseph
    Participant

    When did the era of Achronim end?

    #1158342

    mdd
    Member

    Joseph, most hold it has not ended.

    #1158343

    My Rosh Hayeshiva does it all the time (argues with achronim)

    Does he ,in practice, act accordingly ?or just …?

    When did the era of Achronim end?

    Some say 1940,Some say at least those who reached stature before 1940

    Some say earlier, some say later

    #1158344

    mdd
    Member

    Many say it has not. Chazon Ish, Chacham Ovadya, Reb Aharon, Reb Moshe all argued on the Achronim. And so did Rav Eliyashev.

    #1158345

    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    Time for truth,

    Can you rephrase the question

    #1158346

    Zev7
    Member

    Define “Argue”.

    If my brain tells me that something a Rishon or Achron said is illogical, did I just do something wrong? If I push that thought out of my mind, does that avoid doing the wrong? Am I aloud to think that something they said was illogical but keep it to myself to avoid this Aveirah?

    #1158347

    Joseph
    Participant

    Remember that the Rishonim and Achronim are smarter than you and far bigger Talmidei Chachomim than you, who have gone through Kol HaTorah Kulah more times than you finished Chamisha Chumshei Torah. Then you will better be able to realize even if you think they are wrong on an issue, that they knew more, thought it through more and knew the Torah far far better than you so that it is you who is mistaken – you just can’t find the point of where you went off the rails and see how they are right. But you intuitively know they must be right even if you can’t understand how.

    Just as if you, on your couch, think Albert Einstein made an elementary error in the Theory of Relativity you’re not going to come to your next course in undergraduate Physics 101 and relate to the professor how you found a mistake in Einstein’s theory.

    #1158348

    Sam2
    Participant

    Joseph: Einstein did make a grave and elementary error in his Theory of Relativity when he rejected the existence of faster-than-light quantum entanglement.

    #1158349

    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    Joe,

    Is one allowed to ask a question on his rebbes shiur?

    If you say no, because of your logic, then what about the maaseh with rav shach where he closed his Gemara after the talmid asked a question

    #1158350

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    CA, asking a question and thinking someone’s wrong are two different things.

    #1158351

    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    Would you ask a question if you think the person is right?

    #1158352

    Joseph
    Participant

    Sam, the undergraduate in Princeton’s Physics 101 isn’t the one to find any error by Einstein 100 years later. The gedolei haphysics found it long ago. Similarly we’re not going to find an “error” by a Rishon from 600 years ago that none of subsequent gedolei Rishonim and Achronim never pointed out in the subsequent centuries.

    #1158353

    mdd
    Member

    It also matters who is trying to argue with an Achron – an average 15-year old or an accomplished Talmid Chocham?

    #1158354

    mw13
    Participant

    To quote (or perhaps paraphrase) R’ Ahron Feldman: “One argues with Chazal is not a heretic, just an arrogant fool.” I think the ame can be said about most people today arguing with the Rishonim and Achronim.

    #1158355

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    CA, of course. That’s how you learn.

    #1158356

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Mw13, the Rashba says arguing with Chazal is apikorsus.

    #1158357

    Avi K
    Participant

    DY, the Mharshal (Chochmat Shlomo Sanhedrin 52) says that that does not apply if there is no nafka mina l’dina – and does so himself. Moreover, nobody ever died from a kashia. Resolving it is not arguing but clarifying.

    #1158358

    Sam2
    Participant

    DY: Why do I need the Rashba to tell me that? The Gemara says it. Mach’chish Magideha.

    #1158359

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Good point. Maybe it was clearer in the Rashba that it refers even to rejecting details, not just rejecting the entirety of Torah Sheba’al Peh.

    #1158360

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    To quote (or perhaps paraphrase) R’ Ahron Feldman: “One argues with Chazal is not a heretic, just an arrogant fool.” I think the ame can be said about most people today arguing with the Rishonim and Achronim.

    I argue that when calculating the disgonal of a triangle, you use the Pythagorean Theorem of “A^2 + B^2 = C^2” (for a right triangle).

    Rashi and Tosfos disagree (Bava Basra 102a, Dibur Hamaschil U’Kigon).

    Am I an “arrogant fool” for doing so (instead of other reasons)?

    #1158361

    Avi K
    Participant

    Gavra, actually the perush is Rashbam not Rashi. he is correct that the diagonal of a five by five square is similar to that of a four by six rectangle (the former is the square root of 50 and the latter the square root of 52)). I do not understand how Tosafot made the mistake that the former is greater then the latter, especially as they know that the the area is greater. They are also very close regarding the diagonal of the four by six (the difference can be put down to a scribal error). Chazal definitely knew the Pythagorean theorem as in several places they say that the diagonal of a one by one square is 1.4.

    In any case, this is not Halacha but Geometry.

    #1158362

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Gavra, actually the perush is Rashbam not Rashi.

    Oops, forgot.

    In any case, this is not Halacha but Geometry.

    Joe would tell you that doesn’t make a difference.

    #1158363

    Gavra,

    R’ Dovid Feinstein told me once ??? ????? ??? ?? ?????? ?????

    If your cognition tells you otherwise, that is what you need to rely upon while devoting your years , struggling and wrestling inwardly how to fit with the words of the rishonim

    Zev7,

    If you have a problem with what they said,

    that’s wonderful!

    Once Again,

    A savvy four year old who comes with proofs against their parent,and they may have some validity in a vacuum

    But only an idiot would side with the preschooler OR tell the child HE SHOULD rely on himself

    If,however,he comes in 40 years,and tells you he really was right when he was a child , probably you would give him some credence

    Similarly, if someone “plugs” for 40 odd years on it ,and THEN still contests ,there’s what to talk about

    .. “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time …

    #1158364

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    It is Time for Truth – I have no idea what you mean to say. It is a given that the Pythagorean Theorem is accurate.

    #1158365

    Gavra

    Correct,

    And when push come to shove , you should heed it l’chumra.

    Unless you could somehow explain the sugya in a way that would obviate the need for the postulate to be an absolute

    #1158366

    charliehall
    Participant

    ” this is not Halacha but Geometry.”

    Yes, arguing with Rishonim on math or science is quite different from arguing on halachah.

    #1158367

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Gavra

    Correct,

    And when push come to shove , you should heed it l’chumra.

    Unless you could somehow explain the sugya in a way that would obviate the need for the postulate to be an absolute

    So you advocate the “Rabbi Slifkin” approach, where even though we know the Rishon is wrong, we still follow it L’chumrah because that is the way the Halacha was paskened?

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