Friday, March 27, 2009

Interesting posts and articles #134

  1. Just a reminder about the 2009 Version of the Absolute Haggadah. You can download it here. My review is here.

  2. On Google Books, Halachos of Pesach, by Rabbi Shimon Eider

  3. Read through all of Rif on Pesachim with an easy PDF.

  4. My treatment of Aharon ben Yosef's explanation of lo tevaaru esh attracted the attention of a present-day Karaite. Check out the discussion in the comment section. (There was a separate post about my take on the interpretation, and my own suggestion, which did not get any comments. It is lonely.)

  5. If you are looking for my posts on parshat Vayikra, you can find them here. Yes, many of the links in this roundup end up being to my own blog. Sometimes that happens.

  6. Rabbi Slifkin with an interesting article on whether tzefardeah are frogs or crocs. Also, a follow-up essay from Rabbi Slifkin about A Defense for My Critics. He responds to a post by Divrei Chaim in there. The blogpost included:
    The greatest error of many who seek to resolve contradictions between science or history and Torah is misframing of the question. The question to be asked is NOT whether espousing a certain belief or interpretation makes on a heretic or contradicts whatever list of ikkarim one subscribes to (belief in 13 ikkarim can no longer to be taken for granted, as some people feel that they can say kim li like some other list in Rishonim). One can concoct many wonderful versions of Judaism that keep to 613 mitzvos and are a hodge-podge of ideas and hashkafos that are built on a diyuk in a Rishon here and a shita of an Acharon there, etc. but which bear no resemblance to the dogma and practice of Jews in any community in our history. It's not the negation of cardinal belief which is the test of Torah true hashkafa. The real test is whether the conclusions confirm with the pattern of belief which our mesorah and people have held dear for generations. So what if there is an odd R' Avraham ben haRambam or a Pachad Yitzchak out there in our literature if there is a strong mesorah that runs contrary to these views?

    But who is to judge what mesorah consists of? I honestly don't see what the confusion is in this regard. R' Akiva Eiger is an acharon; were I to fomulate an opinion on an issue, I too would be an "acharon" -- does anyone in their right mind think my opinion is worth 2 cents compared with R' Akiva Eiger's shikul hada'as, no matter how many ra'ayos I have or proofs to my position? Anyone who has sat in a beis medrash knows that even to have such a hava amina is ridiculous. When R' Baruch Ber would say shiur and answer up a R' Akiva Eiger he would say that his shiur is just a hava amina of R' Akiva Eiger but should not be taken as an absolute conclusion because R' Akiva Eiger said otherwise. Rav Solovetichik (Shiurim l'Zecher Aba Mori, Two Types of Mesorah) taught that there are certain great chachami hador who are ba'alei mesorah. They are not just poskim who decide what is permitted or prohibited, but they are responsible for setting the tone and tenor of Judaism and passing it to the next generation of leaders. R' Akiva Eiger, the Ktzos, R' Chaim Brisker -- these are ba'alei mesorah not just because of an insightful particular tshuvah or chiddush, but because they established what Jewish tradition in all its flavor means and represents. That line of ba'alei mesorah continues to our own day. Whether it is R' Elyashiv, R' Chaim Kanievsky, etc., there are people who klal yisrael look to as the flagbearers of tradition.
    R' Slifkin has a lengthy response, but it a good one, IMHO. Check it out inside.

  7. Frum Kiruv Maniac on Chazal and Anthropomorphism. I disagree with him on most of his major points here -- whether to accuse a source as a forgery because it was discovered and published my maskilim, and whether language in Zohar, and midrashic works redacted in later times, can demonstrate that a particular expression and thus ideology was popular even among Chazal, and from there that something else must be a forgery.

    This was motivated in part by R' Slifkin's article in Hakirah about whether Rashi was a corporealist. See also my own post about an interesting Rashi in this regard.

  8. Divrei Chaim on heseiba as an independent mitzvah, or not.

1 comment:

Freelance Kiruv Maniac said...

Thanks for the link.

whether to accuse a source as a forgery because it was discovered and published my maskilim,

I never made a formal accusation. I simply remain skeptical until the claim is verified.


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