Controversial topics list
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- This topic has 110 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 4 months ago by Participant.
November 26, 2021 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #2034637
n0m: If you vanished without posting the “correct” interpretation of the Chazon Ish that you promised, why would you expect a response. The Mishnah/Gemorah and Rambam/Shulchan Aruch are clear and explicit regarding that Halacha.November 27, 2021 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #2034783
HaLeivi, the topic is still going strong and will likely never die in the secular world and in Israel…we need stay relevent 😏November 27, 2021 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #2034544
How long should one sit Shiva for someone who r”l intermarried or shmadded?November 27, 2021 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #2034865
turns out Sephardic view of Ashkenazim is a controversial topic. This was a legit question, in my opinion, but very sad negative reaction. As R Tarfon said – nobody in this generation can accept Tochacha …November 28, 2021 7:11 am at 7:11 am #2034965
AAQ, an anonymous poster on the internet criticizing Ashkenazim is not considered “toichacha”. And he had no valid point at all. “Trauma” is the code word that all phsychos (pshycotherapists, psychologists, etc.) slap on everyone these days. It’s incredibly stup. I would not take “toichacha” from Sephardic in any case. Not because I don’t like them, they have their problems and we have ours. They have their strengths and we have ours.
Besides, Sephardic, Mizrachi and Ashkenazim, in particular Ashkenazim, are so varied, it is stupid to lump everyone into one group and give “toichacha”…November 28, 2021 8:38 am at 8:38 am #2035019
Clear as in that it would never be applicable in the way you imagine it. It’s on this site. No need to deny it. It’s just a wonder that some be people can study a sugya in depth, and it is inconsistent with the way some other people drool their way through ideology. Amazing, is it not?November 28, 2021 8:38 am at 8:38 am #2035020
Your missing it. The issue is not really Ashkenazim or some other culture question. But why does every conversation end up in the same basic rift or two or ten? It is a question to us posting on this site, is this what we want to do? It is a good question. And I’m struggling with my own answer.November 28, 2021 8:38 am at 8:38 am #2035021
To be blunt, your opinion was already squashed. If there was going to be a response, it would have happened before I gave up.
But worry not! We can add on a new controversial topic. Claiming a Torah approach off of one modern day approach/custom/rabbi/essay without any regard for the great number of Torah sources. Come to think of it, this one topic may be inclusive of many others.November 28, 2021 9:44 am at 9:44 am #2035038
Ujm- he said the other poster vanished. I can’t go find the thread on that topic because you inserted it all over the place. No topic relevance necessaryNovember 28, 2021 11:04 am at 11:04 am #2035043
On the authorship of the Zohar. There are two concepts of authorship in Judaic texts. On the Zohar, both authorship questions are almost unanimously considered to be settled. Which to me is somewhat controversial because no other classic Jewish text, has a unanimous perception of even one authorship discussion.November 28, 2021 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm #2035096
N0m, please don’t start the discussion here. The idea is not to have one m mega poly-topic thread. It’s just a list (with its tangents).
Why not start a conversation about your topic.November 28, 2021 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm #2035111
n0m- things don’t have to end in rifts, I just think there are a lot of posters who are used to the Twitter format of conversation. Throw in a good one liner, give a shtuch, toss a compliment, shrug someone up. Its all very monologue-ish. Lots of people talking at people.
Add to that the fact that if you agree with someone there may be less back and forth to be had.
Remembering conversations that didn’t always go into rifts, the running theme was to give more emotionally and personally. To discuss topics about things you found inspiring, challenges you met, poems you wrote, risks you took and what you learned. And join others in sharing and hope others join. People used to enjoy those topics and I think some here still would but we’d have to agree to ignore the hecklers.November 28, 2021 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm #2035120
n0m: You attempted to obfuscate the issue dreying a kup about how a very clear and explicit halacha given in the Mishna, Rambam (on the Mishna in Horiyos), Shulchan Aruch, and many other sources that you were given and cited including the Chazon Ish, Shevet HaLeivi and the Igros Moshe, was not in your view viable or applicable in our day or in any other day. (The Rema, Shach and Taz are additional sources against you that weren’t cited in the thread.) And you offered no source saying what you claimed. You simply tried to drey ah kup that all the explicit sources were irrelevant, even though you had no source saying so, since you posited that all the aforementioned were merely giving a theoretical case that could not (and in your imagination did not) ever occur.
You ended promising to “explain” the Chazon Ish, Tur and S”A “in my next post”, your famous last words — except you made no more posts after those four words.November 28, 2021 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm #2035140
phil > “Trauma” is the code word
I agree that words could have been used better. Still, several last centuries – haskala, WW1, communism, nazis, transplant to US and Israel – would probably break any other community other than us, tough Ashkenazim, already prepared by crusades, ghettos, hmelnitsky, cantons, pogroms … But any survival is accompanied by PTSD, where T stands for Trauma and we would be better off understanding this experience.
> I would not take “toichacha” from Sephardic
“the prisoner cannot free himself” re:R Yohanan pulling a colleague out of sickness but not himself.
People from outside can sometimes help us see what we are not seeing.
> , in particular Ashkenazim, are so varied, it is stupid to lump everyone into one group
yes, but we all are amazingly similar genetically (coming from ~ 100 men in middle ages), and are united by our love of fighting words, as we are amply demonstrating here.November 28, 2021 2:25 pm at 2:25 pm #2035178
Your right. I was ending the topic. Same as the post I responded to. Though I am adding some more.
Different versions of the Tanchuma.
Publication of the Midrash Rabbah.
To whom do we ascribe the basic elements of the Mishna.
The Rishonim editing the Talmud.
Availability of the Yerushalmi in medieval Europe.
How authentic is the current Sifra and Sifre.
Where the Mechillta aware of the each other.
Did the forger of perek shira believe in or oppose the supremacy of the Talmud.
Was Rabbeinu Tam or the Rambam the heir to the Geonim in Bavel.November 28, 2021 2:44 pm at 2:44 pm #2035181
Your correct. Thanks for taking the time! I posted one more and it got lost somewhere it disheartened me, and I never rewrote it. After Chanukah I intend to go through the sugya again and finish posting. That will bump the thread. If I do not get to it, you can just link the thread and ask others to chime in for me.November 28, 2021 3:10 pm at 3:10 pm #2035252
I don’t believe the term “forger” used in association with perek Shira belongs in an Orthodox forum, nor does questioning the authenticity of halachik medrashim. Perhaps you’d find better suited company in the jewish theological seminary. I think the screename “nomesorah” is quite an accurate description.November 28, 2021 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #2035295
This topic is about controversies. Perek Shirah is largely considered to be a legitimate midrash that appeared somewhat suddenly. Which is normal and uncontroversial. However, there were instantly two claims that it was forged. One of the Rishonim said it was forged by a Karaite. And a notable Karaite claimed that it was a forgery from a mideastern rabbi. So the controversy is how can two opposing theologies, see a forgery in the same work.
Similarly, there is an old discussion if there used to be many different versions of the Sifre and Sifra. Or if the one we possess today is the one often mentioned in the gemara…. Etc… No malice intended. My apologies.November 28, 2021 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #2035341
“Male Nurses and Male House-Husbands; Female Military and Political Leaders, Has Western Society Fallen as Low as (or Lower than) Ancient Egyptian Society?”November 28, 2021 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #2035379
If I’m understanding you correctly, the idea that one rishon (r. Moshe tako, a rishon who’s never mentioned in halacha as far as i know. His statements were ignored by the rishonim like rav yosef albo, the ritva and tons others who take it for granted that it’s a braisa) And a karaite both claim something makes us believe it, because certainly if two distinct scholars agree on something, there must be some truth to it. Enough for you to use the term forger as a given.
Let’s unpack that. You’re assuming that a karaite scholar has some measure of credibility or weight. Would you say the same if a rishon and a Christian/muslim/buddhist scholar agreed? You’re also assuming that this one rishon can overweigh every other riahon and achron who by omission and by quoting perek shira completely disregard this shita.
Braysos are torah shebaal peh. Claiming that one is a forgery is probably under the category of machish magideah as per the rambams list of defining apikorsus. And no, I don’t throw around the term easily.
People who harp on dayos yechidim when it makes them comfortable in biblical or Talmudic criticism, yet shun other shitos as “daas yachid” when it’s something they care about are the personification of intellectual dishonesty. One of my rebbeim used to say that the maskilim, who enjoyed researching the source of texts far more than actually learning them, are “modeh bemiktzas begalui and kofer hakol b’seser”.November 28, 2021 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm #2035405
Are you kidding? Reb Moshe Tako is the big hero of the anti Ikkeim club. How can you sideline him like that.
Oh, and by the way, unsurprisingly, they misunderstood him by far, but who’s counting…November 28, 2021 9:56 pm at 9:56 pm #2035411
You are misunderstanding my posts completely. The authorship of Perek Shirah is not at all the discussion. The controversy is that the conflicting accusations here imply that a Tosafist forgery and Karaite forgery could theoretically look the same. As to say that the division between Jews a thousand years ago did not have much depth.
You brought up how much weight to give to words of the Rishonim versus others. I really do not buy it. I think all scholars can speak for themselves. If we need to give their words added weight, than why bother with what they said? If you think that the value of Our Sages is the esteem we accord them, then why bother? Instead of going on, I’ll just respectfully disagree. The words of the Chachamim need to be delved into to the utmost. There is no place for sacred goats in Judaism.
You are even further of off the beaten path with your statement about Beraisah and Torah Shebal Peh. The focus is on the scholars not scholarship. That is not how heresy works. You seem to have compartmentalized the Rambam’s edifice of proper thought and true belief.
We agree about the intellectual dishonesty of making the student comfortable with the texts instead of properly analyzing them. As well as using under quoted
The rebb you mentioned, was he well read in their biographies, or did he just assume that. Because it sounds silly to charge Zunz, Buber, or Lieberman- with opening a sefer and not knowing all it’s contents.November 28, 2021 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm #2035414
The biggest hero of the anti Ikkurim club would be the Rambam. But then they would need to study what he actually says, and that would ruin the atmosphere in the club.
Same thing here.
The biggest hero of the both dogma club would be the Ramban. But then they would need to study that he actually says, and that would ruin the atmosphere in the club.
When your club has the some level of workable theory, the same thing would instantly apply.
Yearn for Hashem, and do not mind being without any club or community. It is the only way out of this conundrum.November 28, 2021 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm #2035427
Also, i never said that the maskilim didn’t know what was inside the seforim. Rather, they fancied themselves as above the seforim and able to engage in, as they called it, higher criticism. They were more interested in the academic, the backstory and history of the sefer, and didn’t really care about internalizing torah as part of themselves, which is a large part of the mitzvah of talmud torah. People who learn the seforim struggle to figure out what the pshat is in the seferNovember 28, 2021 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm #2035426
I think the fact that you’re acknowledging liberman, who the chazon ish (a relative no less) referred to as a shanah upiresh, with the other maskilim, shows that we are on very, very different wavelengths. I don’t think i have anything to offer that would interest you, as my studies are from Torah’s own perspective, not academia and a desire to undermine mesorah. Take care.
Halevi, I don’t think there’s anything to be gained in classifying rishonim….r. Moshe taku is an enigmatic figure who wrote one sefer that we don’t have a complete version of. He’s not quoted in tosfos, or any subsequent halacha sefer as far as i know. In an issue of halacha, we have a beaten path. We (well, nomesorah doesn’t) have a mesorah, handed down from the previous generations in both how to learn and how to believe. Not every statement from every sefer written by every rabbi who ever lived is the same or treated the same. No one’s going to quote a menoras hamaor to argue with something in the Taz or shach. No one’s going to take an obscure sefer and use it to overturn or even reexamine basic rishonim and achronim. The same maskilish ilk like to read r. Moshe taku as being someone who believes that Hashem chas veshalom has a body. We, in the nesorah community, reject this idea and say simply that we don’t understand what he said, and that we have a mesorah that to say such things is forbidden. Likewise, we have a definition of prohibited belief systems outlined in the rambam. One of them is listening to the chachamim who transmit torah from generation to generation,; one who rejects this mesorah, says the rambam, is “machchish magideah”, contradicting the Torah’s teachers. If someone says that a drasha is incorrect, or a halacha lemoshe misnai is false, he has done that.November 29, 2021 7:17 am at 7:17 am #2035441
Your entire dance of a worldview is based on nobody from the mesorah camp every having fully relied upon someone from the scholarship camp. Or someone from the scholarship camp having a major positive impact on the mesorah camp. The problem is that there needs to be some agree upon line from Sinai. And there just simply is not. All lines of mingling takes place from one edge of the spectrum to the other. Rabbis, spouses, and ideas meet up without even the slightest hint of a schismatic line in the sand. You can keep dancing around to keep up the illusion that there is some line somewhere. It is not there.but the Jews will persevere by joining up and not by drawing lines in the sand. Our Great Torah Sages parade over your lines with smiles and winks.
Look around and see how the Torah is infinitely greater than the entire world. If we all fit on Earth, kal vachomer we all fit in the Torah. It does not mean that they [or you, or me] are in accordance with the Torah. It means that the Torah is not threatened by their studies. You have already moved on from one community. No reason to get lost and confused in another community. You were not born here like I was. The yeshiva does not espouse the doctrine that you think it does.November 29, 2021 7:17 am at 7:17 am #2035453
You don’t have to say that you don’t understand him, for two reasons. First of all, he might have been the one that the Raavad was referring to. That he was mistaken in that idea and that’s that. You don’t up to Gehenom for having a wrong conclusion on a non-essential concept.
Second, and more important, as with much of Divrei Torah quoted on academic articles, he is grossly misunderstood. He does not say that HKBH is made up of substance. His whole argument is that Hashem CAN appear with a body. Not that the Rambam, or anyone who has delved into these topics, would agree, but it’s still not what shallow researchers take it to mean.
It is indeed a strange courtship with heresy that you find in some places. I keep noticing topics of lectures or discussions on whether you can get away with dropping this or that Hashkafic belief. Instead of holding the nose and avoiding the garbage, it’s ‘hey, someone threw out a delicious sandwich.’November 29, 2021 7:18 am at 7:18 am #2035454
Avira, I think you misunderstood my comment, btw. I was kidding, and figured that was obvious. It’s a name that no knew heard on Yeshiva, but is overrepresented by some, in order to paint the Ikkrim as debatable.
I’ve heard other shallow academics claim that the Arizal disagreed with the Ikkrim. This is extreme nonsense.
You must have heard the story of the researcher who announced that the Chasam Sofer had Asthma. He found this out because in a Teshuva, he writes לא השבתי מפני קוצר רוח ועבודה קשה.November 29, 2021 8:09 am at 8:09 am #2035517
I think your also overstating the opinion of R Moshe Taku. He is merely saying that since the prophets etc. had physical references to Hashem, there cannot be a prohibition me saying that God is corporeal. The idea is that knowledge of God is not an on it’s own merits obligation.
This is a deep struggle in Maimonidean thought. Can you show me where the Rambam says, that one must think or accept the Ikkarim? (Of course you can find where does not say that one does not have to.) These topics do not work with rov poskim or even accepted thought. They have to be really studied, just to know the basic implications. So the question is, what would the Rambam say to Taku? Or, would he even respond? Is it relevant?November 29, 2021 8:10 am at 8:10 am #2035518
There is no reason to mention academics that have zero objectivity. For those who excelled in yeshiva, it is all a waste of time except the best scholars or essays. [I’m talking about academics discussing Torah topics. Not fields which have more objectivity in today’s universities. But I assume there are some.]November 29, 2021 8:22 am at 8:22 am #2035525
Just because you weren’t given a mesorah doesn’t mean that there isn’t one (or several! Ayin ponim latorah). Maskilim were dismissed by the torah world because they deviated greatly from the mesorah; if you want to think that it’s a free for all… Well, firstly the mishnah says that torah was passed down (moshe kibel etc) and secondly, chazal say anyone who learned but was not meshamesh talmidei chachamim is an am haaretz. The rambam goes through the chain of mesorah. After chazal, everyone learned from a rebbe – no one just opened a sefer and wrote whatever they wanted. Achronim endeavor tp understand rishonim; have you ever learned reb akiva eiger? He constantly writes “lo zachisi lehavin divreihem hakedoshim”November 29, 2021 8:48 am at 8:48 am #2035524
I realize that we could be missing each other completely. I humbly suggest that this topic works the other way. You can think anything. Nobody else knows what is in your head. The sugya is not what must I believe, but what do we believe. So the question is not what is my obligation or exemption. But what am I gaining insight into, versus what am I missing out on. Sure, one can follow some witless academic into a systemized construct that needs no Ikkrim at all. But that follower will lose out on much of the breadth and depth of our heritage. Besides for that academic possibly being an apekorus and missing out on both worlds.
In light of this, what points the Rambam to respond to Taku. Of course there is grounds to say that God is corporeal. But that is not what we Jews think. So what is there to gain?November 29, 2021 9:23 am at 9:23 am #2035546
N0Mesorah: Can you please clarify the meaning/implication of your chosen screen name. Is it intended humorously or do you actually intend to convey that you have no mesora and that you believe it is okay to live life without a mesora?November 29, 2021 9:56 am at 9:56 am #2035556
Big words coming from somebody who rejected the community Hashem sent him into without properly understanding their relationship with Torah. You are doing it again in the yeshiva world. The Torah giants and the major thinkers of the yeshivos do not play your game.
Now here is what you missed.
Nineteenth century history. Unless you want to join Netziv was a maskil and not deserving to be a Rosh Yeshiva club.
The Rambam connects Rav Ashi with Sinai. That refers to the existence of Talmud. Not Judaism.
The Mishna connects the courts or our ethicis with Sinai. Are you insinuating that without this one Mishna, we should assume that the Torah showed us one hundred fifty years ago? (Or whenever you assume was The Great Theological Battle Of Torah True Jews Versus Jews Who Could Not Have Been Torah True Because They Disagreed Over Something That We Did Not Even Care About. Again, I think parts of both the modern and yeshiva world stake their validity to this event having taken place.)
After Chazzal……. When was Chazzal? Were they always zal?
Learned from a rebbe…. The Shagas Arye? The Baal Shem? The Rogotchover? Rav Elyashiv? The ones we never hear about?
Meshamesh….. So get some shimush. You’ll no you have shimush when it ish implicit that his mind is unreadable. And you have to see his actions and reactions to know what he thinks.
No one just opened a sefer and wrote what they wanted. Do you mean just randomly editing what was already published? Maybe that is correct. But entire Seforim have been written without any method of that the writer was trying to convey. Or to cover a topic were the author writes repeatedly, that he never learned these topics.
No idea what your acharonim on rishonim point is.
Do you ever study Rav Akiva Eiger like I do? Or do you see those words and shrug?
My view is that the Torah is divine and those who teach it are the apex of all mortals. If that is correct, what a tradition – even the best tradition add to it’s integrity?November 29, 2021 1:04 pm at 1:04 pm #2035640
Mesorah, you are wrong, period. Judaism IS based on mesorah. Judaism is halacha AND mesorah. Our great Rabbis were the ones who gave over mesorah when teaching us Torah and halachas. That’s why Sephardim have their mesorah, Italian Jews have their own mesorah, Mountain and Caucasian Jews have their own mesorah, Mizrachim have their own mesorah, Taimena have their own mesorah and Ashkenazim have their own mesorahS.November 29, 2021 2:19 pm at 2:19 pm #2035729
A mesorah doesn’t add to the integrity of torah, it is merely the transmission vehicle; it was meant to be transmitted from rebbe to talmid, father to son, in both content and methodology. Those are things you need a mesorah for; to know a good sevara from a crooked one, to know what the kavanos of chazal, rishonim etc were, it’s not about proving the Torah or adding credibility, it’s about getting the tools necessary to understand something that all along was based on a handed down tradition. When the mishnah was completed, it was cryptic and needed the gemara to explain it; when the gemara was written, it would have been a closed book if not for the rishonim; he rishonim thensleves are very perplexing and are constantly studied over by the achronim and ourselves…someone without a mesorah cannot approach these matters because they simply don’t have the tools.
That doesn’t mean you have to blindly accept the particulars of what you’re taught; rashi argues with his rebbeim quite a lot, and tosfos argues on rashi on almost every daf. But those are in the details; tosfos doesn’t say that rashus entire approach was wrong and that they are inventing a new mahalach in torah ex nihilo.
I know from my own years in yeshiva that had i not had intensive blatt shiurim id never be able to understand rishonim; i could try on my own, but it would have been a colossal failure….the worst part of which would be the fact that i wouldn’t be aware of how much of a failure it is
Maysoh bereshis/merkava also was passed down without being written as per the rambam and other rishonim, for another example.
And just what “great torah sages” are you getting this from? Do they have recorded torahs echoing your sentiment? Or is it “mesorah”? Or is it people who you consider torah sages, but are considered heretics by people like rav shlomo zalman (re, kapach) or the chazon ish (re, liberman), or rav shach and the steipler(re, steinsaltz)?November 29, 2021 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #2035739
Also, if Hashem had placed me in a conservative community, I don’t think(or rather, i hope) you’d say that it’s some sort of insult to hashgocha if i changed, because they are not following the Torah; even those among them who claim to keep the mitzvos.
MO has the same issues as conservative, though to a lesser extent. They believe in compromise, in not stressing certain mitzvos that are societally unpalatable, in justifying horrific violations of halacha (in a similar way to solomom shechter’s “catholic judaism” concept) and being inclusive of more and more depravity.
I should share wkth with you one of my watershed moments. I was captain and founder of my school’s debate team. We competed in a league of MO schools; some mixed, some gender separate (mine was the latter). Things were fine until the last debate of the season. My English principal, (an old school MO person who was close with rabbi yoshe ber and his family) and i looked at each other in disbelief when we saw the email that contained the topic that we were to debate; polyamory. Yes, an umbrella organization approved by scores of MO schools was going to have a debate in a yeshuva auditorium between Jewish students as to the status of marriages….i dont want to finish that sentence. It also said that we weren’t supposed to debate it from a religious perspective.
My principal and i wrote a scatching letter to the board and summarily resigned from the league, even though we were in the top tier. This was MO standard education in 2007; it’s only gone way downhill from there. The only reason why my principal was enraged at the topic was because she was from the old generation who copied the goyishe generation of the 60s(not hippies) and 70s, when America had basic decency and awareness of gender biology. MO copied goyim then, and they’re copying goyim now…just now we can see the results and how far one can go.November 29, 2021 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm #2035891
I hear your experience. And I still am telling you that it is the same in every community I know. The only difference is the starting point. The momentum and direction are too similar to avoid parallel results.
I mean it from a communal perspective. Of course certain individuals will do better in one place over the other.November 29, 2021 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm #2035898
Your idea of mesorah is confusing. Is it a way of study? The traditions that are still oral? A secret teaching formula? A code for understanding on your own what was not given over to you? Do you see the pattern. I do. I have seen it a hundred times. It means you can not put a finger on it. So you list the categories that apply to every living doctrine. There is nothing unique about what you call mesorah than what can be found by every philosophical, theological, or anthropological school.
The gemara predates the Mishna. And you should have known that. The Rishonim did not have a tradition on how to study the gemara. That is evident from the writings that they wrote on the mesechta. Any reader notices at once that the authors are working through the basic text of the Talmud. If they were given a certain method, we would see it being employed. To say the Geonim had a mesorah regarding the Talmud, would appear to be correct. Alas, we can discern a tradition at work in their writings. But we can only guess what it was. Obviously, that tradition is lost from us.
We could get into a discussion on Rashi and Tosafos disagreeing in both the basic gemara concepts and their methods of understanding the Talmud. But it would not produce an argument from me that is relevant to this discussion.
I’m not sure what your last line is. But other than societal context, it is hard for me to really parse the opinions of each pair. And I do not know how serious those controversies were. They only are remembered because the other side was also a significant scholar. If it was me instead, I would be considered more yeshivish for it. Like according to the camel is the load line of thing.November 30, 2021 12:24 am at 12:24 am #2035934
I really don’t know how a “reader” can see that the rishonim didn’t have a mesorah, because I’m not a reader; i am a lomeid, and that means approaching the rishonim not as a book but as a piece of torah that is part of the continuum of Torah. You’re suggesting that i “can’t put my finger on it” simply because you cannot put a finger on what i was talking about.
I’ll be clearer – there is a mesorah in how to understand both the language of chazal, the words of the rishonim, and how to properly use Talmudic logic to understand both. This is why steinsaltz, who had no formal education, is so off base with his pshatim (see rav aharon Feldman’s critique for examples). What would make sense to “echad min hashuk” isn’t always a good sevara or shmaataa aliba dihilchasa.
The mechanics behind a gemara, which we call lomdus, is entirely mesorah driven. It’s hinted to in some rishonim, including notably the tosfos ri”d, called in yeshivos “reb chaim of the rishonim”, but mostly was not comitted to print. Rav Boruch ber (cited in rav hadomeh lemalaach) said that when writing chidushim, one should not write “too much”, not the entire shtikel, because we’re not writing artscroll type books. There’s a mesorah for the difference between a rashi writing “begemara mefaresh” and “mefaresh begemara”, as quoted in the shem hagedolim from the chid”a (could have been a different sefardi sefer, I don’t remember the name very clearly, just that it was sefardi)
Chidushim are rooted in that passed down tradition; they’re not a free for all. If someone wishes to open a gemara and pasken halacha without rishonim and achronim, he is rightly deemed a baal gaavah and is held responsible for allowing that which is assur. For example, the academic mentality would not see anything wrong with annuling yom tov sheni, chumra derebe zeira, or other issues that one can dismiss with simplistic kashos. Yet one who does these things is in violation of halacha, because we have a mesorah that we do not deviate from.
Bombarding with questions doesn’t dismantle an argument, but it is a debate technique used to make the other side less appealing, since it raises more questions than it answers; it’s not a real conversation point though, and it’s also evasive, like putting up flares in the hopes of confusing an attacker.
It doesn’t mean that every perush of a given gemara was passed down, much like the discussions in the gemara weren’t passed down, but rather the product of torah reasoning that is based on the amoraim’s rebbeim. The methodology of seeing a good sevara from a bad one is part of this mesorah. You’ll notice that rishonim often say pshatim that are initially hard to understand, and could be dismissed by superficial kashas… only for someone like the chasam sofer or reb akiva eiger to come and completely overturn the sugya and show how the rishon was the best pshat.
I wonder if you’ve ever learned in an iyun driven litvishe yeshiva, or if your experience was in a certain element in YU, an academic setting, a chasidishe yeshiva from which you weren’t intellectually satisfied, or a halacha kollel… it’s easy to hide behind the veneer of achievement in having completed many mesechtos, perhaps even shas (i admit i have not made a siyum hashas), and feeling that one has a complete grasp of gemara…enough to dismiss elementary teachings that one receives in a middle school setting. People who relish discussing “themes” in rishonim are usually at a loss for prime examples if asked; rishonim are way bigger than us and we should endeavor to understand what we can of their words without fooling ourselves into thinking that we can understand overarching “up teitches” the way one would with Dostoyevsky and Shakespeare.November 30, 2021 11:49 am at 11:49 am #2036074
> how a “reader” can see that the rishonim didn’t have a mesorah, because I’m not a reader
the joke is that academics spend a semester on the hakdomos, while learners skip it and go straight for lomdus. There is a good value for meta-learning – what is motivation, what is general approach or knowledge of the author. When you learn from someone in person (or on zoom :), you know the character of the speaker and it helps understanding what he is saying.
> academic mentality would not see anything wrong with annuling yom tov sheni,
I am not advocating academic paskening at all, but this is a bad example, as it is simple Gemorah that you need a better beis din to annul YT2. So, someone advocating such is definitely a ball gaavah as you are saying!
Side note: if we want to have such a sanhedrin, we would definitely need to bring together people with different opinions and let them argue with each other directly rather than through humble proxies like us.
> This is why steinsaltz, who had no formal education, is so off base with his pshatim
In general, R Steinsaltz had yeshiva-educated people working for him. I have no insights on the Gemora editing process per se, but I think there are names listed, I did not open it for a long time. I read R Feldman’s critique of early volumes, I presume it is valid as I do not know better, although there was a response. Even with that, it opened Gemora for a lot of Israelis. I use Artscroll and it also has a lot of problems that can be seen with a naked eye, usually trying to smooth the text and avoid thinking outside the box. No translation is perfect.November 30, 2021 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm #2035718
> Judaism IS based on mesorah.
It is, and sometimes we do not have mesorah and we need to figure it out and create a new mesorah. This is either because information was lost (we discussed this before – Maharal about Bavli method of reconstructing missed information) and sometimes we have new circumstances (Churban, Modernity) and we can apply those Bavli methods (that include sevorah) to new circumstances.
Corollary: when we see people who are not good at applying sevorah to simple rational life problems, these people can not be counted among those who mastered Bavli.November 30, 2021 1:51 pm at 1:51 pm #2036201
AAQ, of course. Mesorah always had a starting point.December 1, 2021 3:35 pm at 3:35 pm #2036806
I see that you are framing the debate like this. There is the Yeshiva Mehalech Halimud, or the Academic Blither Blather. This is the direct heritage of the theological battle of yore, (which is not really investigated honestly. Yeshiva Blither versus Academic Blather). now, it is obvious that these academics are clueless. (I assume we both mean those who want to reimagine entire sugyos because they found one source that every tenth grader is aware of.) Therefore the Yeshiva has a monopoly on the only real way to study The Torah truthfully. Any other way will fail. And the academics are clueless because they tried on their own. In conclusion, anybody who is not learning in the yeshiva way, or better yet was rejected by The Rosh Yeshiva (For example Steinsaltz.) must have tried on his own and is no better than the academics.December 1, 2021 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm #2036807
Torah is immense. Mesorah and halachah combine for a fraction of a fraction of The Entirety of Torah. And most of it is in regards to praxis, anyway. And to read your whole post, it makes no sense. If Judaism is based on mesorah and that only is existent from our rabbis giving it over, then how could it be that each Jewish Community has a different mesorah, but the same Judaism?
PS I’m not really disagreeing, as much as trying to separate the different topics.December 1, 2021 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm #2036808
Judaism is based off of reality, the revelation, and prophecy. When there is a lapse and we are unsure, historically we have always doubled down on Torah study, until we recovered our direction. Until we reach clarity we have a dictum, better be called a fool all my days, then be seen as wicked even once before God. Some people save this dictum only for when they have clarity.
Torah is not merely data then can be lost or retrieved. It is living. More alive than anything but life itself. From Rabban Yochanon Ben Zakkai to Rav Sadya Goan To Rashi to the Maharshal to the Ramchal to Rav Hirsch to Rav Chaim to Aryeh Kaplan, there is not any genesis of a new torah. The study of Torah is by itself self replicating, as is any organism capable of being sustained by life.December 1, 2021 7:49 pm at 7:49 pm #2036970Reb EliezerParticipant
It says that one who is learning Torah lishma, for its own sake gains many things. It also says that one who teaches os achas, one letter should be called rebbi, my teacher as Doag taught David Hamelech two things alone. Asks the Baal Shem Tov what is the proof from two things to one letter? He explains that one letter can multiply and add other knowledge (para verava) but Doag only taught him those two things alone. An example is כל המוסיף גורע one who adds takes away as it says אמתים וחצי ארכו two in a half its length. The GRA explains that the proof is not from אמתים because if you remove the aleph, we don’t know the measurement. The proof is from וחצי when we add a vov it becomes two amos and half, otherwise without the vov the meaning is two amos is half its length and the length would be four amos, so the vov diminishes its value. So one letter changes the meaning.December 2, 2021 9:17 am at 9:17 am #2037097Reb EliezerParticipant
Are the Republicans the party of life or death? When it comes to abortion it is murder almost in all circumstances and when is comes to Omecron COVID-19 variant they downplay it.December 2, 2021 9:30 am at 9:30 am #2037139
Reb E – I know this will be hard for you to accept but omicron isn’t causing deaths. I am fairly certain that it has not even caused any hospitalizations.December 2, 2021 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm #20371902scentsParticipant
It is unfortunate that Covid has become political, on both sides of the political spectrum. However, who is to decide if lockdowns are pro-life as lockdowns change life as we know it.
The republican states have not done that bad compared to the states with strict lockdowns.
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