Pilpul vs. Halacha

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  • #1742328

    Yabia Omer
    Participant

    Which is a greater Maalah? Someone who knows how to dissect a Gemara but is very weak in Halacha, or someone who is strong in Halacha and poskim but not strong in Gemara?

    #1742435

    rational
    Participant

    Dear YO,
    I respect your views, but this OP is for high school kids at best. Go help your wife make Shabbat, your time will be better spent. That’s where I’m going now.

    #1742449

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    It seems to be the old shalah of sinai veokar horim where we say that sinai is greater because with his knowledge he can destroy the whole foundation of the building. So halacha would be greater see the Orchas Tzadikim Shaar Hatorah.

    ספר אורחות צדיקים שער התורה
    ועוד בדור הזה נשתכחה התורה, מחמת כי הלומדים הללו סבורים לעשות כמו הראשונים להחזיק בפלפולים, אך אינם דומים לחכמי צרפת כלל וכלל! הלא לבם היה פתוח כאולם ותורתם היתה אומנתם, והיו ממיתים עצמם עליה יומם ולילה, לכן השיגו וידעו בפלפולם. אבל עכשיו אינם יודעים כן, אלא מבלבלים זה את זה ומבטלים רוב היום, ועוסקים באותו לימוד כחצי יום, והלימוד שלהם עראי דעראי והביטול קבע. אבל בימי חכמי התלמוד הלכו ללמוד עשר שנים ויותר, והיה לימודם גדול בקביעות, שאם היה אחד מתעטש, לא היו אומרים “אסותא” מפני ביטול בית המדרש (ברכות נג א), מזה הענין יש לדעת רוב קביעותם.

    #1742445

    TAS
    Participant

    I think our Yeshiva system answers your question. But you don’t have a question, you just want to complain that no one who learns all day knows any halacha. Which may or not be true (I personally disagree), but our Yeshiva system was set up by Gedolaim. So this post and your post is a waste of time…….

    #1742458

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Look up,the booklet by Rav Shimon Furst called תנו כבוד לתורה about pilpul. In Chasan Sofer, they had two sedorim. In the morning a pilpul shiur and in the afternoon a bekious shiur.

    #1742466

    The little I know
    Participant

    What is silly about this question is that people differ. For those who studied in yeshivos, we have experienced rebbeim who have particular strengths in pilpul, halacha, bekius, etc. All are parts of Torah, and all are relevant to all. Just as someone with artistic talent can develop it and excel, and may well do poorly in something else (or even just average), the same is said for the pursuit of expertise in areas of learning. Noting that a talmid chochom has certain areas of particular proficiency does not ch”v denigrate him regarding other areas. And, of curse, there are those who master several aspects. Again, כולם אהובים כולם ברורים כולם גבורים כולם קדושים. What is far more important is that talmidim should be guided to develop themselves where their strengths lie. If Roshei Yeshivos, Mashgichim, and Magidei Shiurim really knew their talmidim as they should, they would be able to recognize the strengths and direct them appropriately.

    So, to the OP, pilpul vs. halacha is the equivalent of apples vs. oranges.

    #1742532

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    I personally am of the opinion that the Slabodka/American yeshiva derech doesn’t teach enough halachah and the bochrim end up knowing less than baalhabatim. The fact that the derech halimud was set up by gedolim does not mean everyone has to think it’s best. Pressberg had a different derech, the Sphardim have a different derech, etc. It might just be the most popular because it’s the easiest.

    #1742577

    Non Political
    Participant

    @ rational

    “Dear YO, I respect your views…”

    Why??

    @ laskern

    “It seems to be the old shalah of sinai veokar horim…”

    It only deceptively seems like that. I’ll explain. R’ Channina Ben Dosa was a Tana who had a tremendous koach haTephilla. so much so that when R’ Yochanan Ben Zackai’s son was ill he sent talmidim to RCHB”D to pray for them. When his wife asked RYB”Z is RCHB”D was greater then him he answered “no, he is like a servant before The King and I am like a minister before THE KING. Both RCHB”D and RYB”Z where first and foremost Gedolai HaTannaim. Same thing with Rava (oiker harrim) and R’ Yossef (sinai). The question was who to recruit as the next Rosh Yeshiva.

    Next. There is a famous teshuva from the Ri Migash where he points out the advantage to Dayanim of knowing Psakim of the Geonim. No one ignores this. Every major contemporary Posek from R’ Moshe, to R’ Vozner, to R’ Ovadia where versed in psakim of Rishonim and Acharonim backwards and forwards.

    As for talmidim who do not become poskim or dayanim, what would you rather have.
    A) someone who appriciates the amkus of a sugya and knows how to learn
    or
    B) a da’aya zoger

    #1742599

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “As for talmidim who do not become poskim or dayanim, what would you rather have.”

    I would rather have someone who doesn’t have to rely on his wife’s Beis Yaakov education for basic, every day halachos. Your presentation is a false dichotomy. The fact that you think bochrim either learn enough halachah to become a posek or don’t learn any exactly demonstrates the problem people have with the system.

    #1742628

    TAS
    Participant

    So whats the problem Neville? The bochrim either become a baal battim or get married and stay in learning and than learn halacha from their wives 🙂 . In my personal experience, the guys that learn halacha (Tor and S”A) during the afternoon seder, which is not the majority, tend to learn more halacha regarding Shabbos, daily life and niddah.

    As in a side, all systems have flaws, so it may be beneficial to point out the flaws in our current system, but it doesn’t negate the flaws if we learnt differently. It is a though question to answer which negative is worse than the other one. So hence, my comment about our current limud.

    #1742643

    Non Political
    Participant

    @ NCB
    “Your presentation is a false dichotomy. The fact that you think bochrim either learn enough halachah to become a posek or don’t learn any…”

    Please don’t put words in my mouth, I said no such thing.

    Of course bachurim should learn Halacha (and Tanach as well, but that’s for another post). Whatever gave you the idea that I think otherwise?

    #1742639

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “In my personal experience, the guys that learn halacha (Tor and S”A) during the afternoon seder, which is not the majority, tend to learn more halacha regarding Shabbos, daily life and niddah.”
    Meanwhile the majority of bochrim look like am haartzim the second they leave the yeshiva campus and are faced with basic halachic dilemmas.

    “but it doesn’t negate the flaws if we learnt differently.”
    The flaw is that they don’t learn halachah. Learning halachah would, by definition, negate this flaw. The derech halimud is either based on the assumption that they learn halachah in their free time (they don’t) or that they learned enough in their upbringings (they didn’t). Maybe when the derech halimud was thought of, these assumptions were correct.

    #1742693

    TAS
    Participant

    Neville, you missed my point that if they learnt differently, there would be a different flaw. (like they couldn’t learn in depth). Obviously, the flaw we have now is that they don’t learn halacha. You can easily fix it by learning halacha during halacha seder (which is at least a half hour a day). You have built in the system to learn halacha. And many do have a upbringing in halacha and learn during that time. The ones that don’t do this have this problem. You feel it is a majority but I disagree. I do feel though, that they incapable of deriving what the correct halacha is, since they never learnt it in depth. But they do know about the same amount of halacha as their wives. (if not, the difference is minor, not major).

    #1743039

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “I do feel though, that they incapable of deriving what the correct halacha is, since they never learnt it in depth.”
    Since when is the idea for bochrim to be able to posken for themselves?

    “if they learnt differently, there would be a different flaw. (like they couldn’t learn in depth)”
    I don’t believe the OP was talking about learning in depth as in learning a ton of different meforshim on a sugya. He was speaking of the learning style in American yeshivos where they read half a sentence and sit around all day squeezing their brains to figure out where its going instead of just reading the rest to get the full context. I personally do not believe this is a productive use of time.

    #1743103

    Yabia Omer
    Participant

    I do agree that learning the Gemara for the Gemara’s sake is important because one learns the framework in which Jewish law exists, important legal principles and how to think critically. Having said that, I do think a Seder should be dedicated on Poskim (Rambam, Tur, Beis Yosef and contemporary Poskim).

    #1743158

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Tabia Omer , You know the psak of the Rav Yosef Karo, If two of the poskim from Rif, Rambam and Rosh agree, he follows their ruling. So first the emphasize should be on this three. Followed by the Beis Yosef, then the Ashkenazim who are more affected by the Rosh, who was well versed in Tosfas and the other ashkenazic rishonim followed by the RMA within the Tur in Darkei Moshe. In SA, the Taz and Magen Avraham or Taz
    and the Shach or Taz and Beis Shmuel or the Sma, the Taz and the Shach,

    #1743604

    Yabia Omer
    Participant

    Wannabe what? Wannabe people who know what Hashem wants from them?

    There’s a very good expression I heard in Hebrew regarding the Litvish: Mitoch Ahavatam LaTorah, Shechechu Et HKBH.

    #1743718

    The little I know
    Participant

    Yabia:

    There’s a very good expression I heard in Hebrew regarding the Litvish: Mitoch Ahavatam LaTorah, Shechechu Et HKBH.

    Here is what the Maharal wrote in the Hakdamah to Tiferes Yisroel.

    זה שאמרו שם (נדרים פ”א א) גם כן:
    מפני מה אין תלמידי חכמים מצויים שיוצאים מהם תלמידי חכמים?
    מפני שאין מברכין בתורה תחילה.

    כי אף אם היו מברכין בפה, מכל מקום דבר הזה, שהוא נתינת התורה, צריך לברך הש”י בכל לבו, ובזה יש לו האהבה הגמורה אל השי”ת. ואף אם הוא תלמיד חכם והוא צדיק גמור רחוק הדבר הזה שיברך הש”י בכל לבו על נתינת התורה כפי הראוי.
    ועוד, כי התלמיד חכם, לבו דבק אל התורה כי חביבה התורה על לומדיה, ובשביל אהבתם לתורה, דבר זה מסלק אהבת המקום בשעה זאת שבאים ללמוד, כי כאשר באים ללמוד תורה ואהבתם אל התורה, אין בלימוד שלהם האהבה אל השם יתברך במה שנתן תורה. כי אין האהבה לשנים, כי כל אהבה היא דבקות בנאהב, ואם דבק בזה אינו דבק באחר. ולפיכך אהבת התורה שהיא חביבה עליהם, דבר זה מסלק שאין הברכה בכל לבו אל השי”ת במה שנתן התורה.

    וזה שאין מברכים בתורה תחילה, ולפיכך אין יוצאים מהם תלמידי חכמים. כי אילו היו אוהבים אותו במה שהתורה נמצא מאתו יתברך, היה השם יתברך גם כן סיבה לתורה לצאת מהם תלמידי חכמים. ועתה שהם דבקים ורודפים אחר התורה עצמה בלבד, ואינם דבקים בו יתברך, במה שהוא יתברך סיבה לתורה, לא היה יוצא מאתם תלמיד חכם שיש בו תורה, שאין כאן הסיבה המשפיע את התורה הוא התלמיד חכם.

    #1746783

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Meharal is saying above that because of the love of the Torah, we forget its origin where it is coming from. The fact is that we are able to be mechadesh should reflect that this ability comes from Hashem who has hidden in it this sodos and through a kasheh we are able to reveal them.

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