Thursday, July 04, 2013

The problem with Dr. Betech's book: ...

One major problem with Isaac Betech's book, The Enigma of the Biblical Shafan, is its one-sided and highly selective presentation of sources.

This is perhaps best summarized by something he says on page 231: "dot dot dot"

In this section of the book, he is advancing a thesis not directly related to the hyrax. He wants to show that Chazal's statement that "whatever has scales has fins" is an absolute statement that has surprisingly held true through the generations, and that this was halacha leMoshe miSinai, Divine information transmitted directly to Moshe on Har Sinai.

He writes:
From the above, we see an emphatic absolute biological rule stating that the existence of any aquatic creature with scales but no fins is impossible. 
This accurate description of the natural world has held up through millennia of aquatic exploration. And this should not be surprising, for, as clearly stated by Tosafot, the origin of this Rabbinic knowledge was Divine information transmitted to Moshe when he received the Torah on Mount Sinai.
Then he cites Tosafot on Chullin 66b to show that this is so:
כל שיש לו קשקשת יש לו סנפיר. וא"ת מנין היה להם זה לחכמים?  ... יש לומר דהכי קים להו הלמ"מ:
Note the ellipses.


I take issue with ellipses ("dot dot dot") when the elided text changes the meaning. In this case I think it does, as I will next explain. Here is the full Tosafot:

כל שיש לו קשקשת יש לו סנפיר. וא"ת מנין היה להם זה לחכמים וכן לעיל (דף סג:) דתניא שאין במיני דגים טמאים אלא ז' מאות מנין היה להם שהתירו בכך את השאר וליכא למימר מאדם שקרא להם שמות קים להו הכי שמסר לדורות כך שהם טמאין שכן הוא הכיר את כולם דהא לא משמע במקרא שקרא שמות אלא לבהמות ולעופות שאע"פ שידע שמו של הקב"ה כדדרשינן (במ"ר בראשית פי"ז) אני ה' (הוא) שקרא לי אדם הראשון בדגים מיהא לא אשכחן ויש לומר מכל אשר יקרא לו האדם יש לרבות אפי' דגים ואיכא למימר דמאדם קים להו ואם תמצא לומר שלא קרא להם שמות יש לומר דהכי קים להו הלמ"מ:
Tosafot is grappling with where the Mishna in Niddah 51b gets this general rule about fins and scales. I can think of at least four possibilities, and Tosafot offers two of them.
  1. Tosafot #1: Divine intervention + human observation + tradition: Interpret the pesukim where Adam is presented with each animal, such that this includes fish. Thus, Hashem showed Adam every fish. He could deduce this general rule, and pass on the knowledge to future generations.
  2. Tosafot #2: Divine revelation + tradition: If we cannot interpret the pesukim in Bereishit in this manner, then we will posit that it must be a halacha leMoshe miSinai, even though nothing in the gemara explicitly said so.
  3. My own suggestion #1: Human observation: We see these general rules also from gentile scientists contemporary to Chazal. For example, Pliny the Elder deduced the same rule as Chazal had, that דג טמא משריץ דג טהור מטיל ביצים כל המוליד מניק וכל המטיל ביצים מלקט. Chazal could have trusted the contemporary naturalists, or done the research themselves, and applied that rule lehalacha.
  4. My own suggestion #2: Interpretation of pesukim, though the gemara did not make this derivation explicit. For instance: for kosher and non-kosher beasts, those with both signs (split hooves, rumination) were declared kosher, and then those with only a single sign were detailed as non-kosher. Now, for kosher fish, both signs (scales and fins) were given as kosher and then, seemingly unnecessarily, there was a statement that if it does not have fins and scales, it is not kosher. These signs then seem to travel together. Deduce that both indeed travel together. But knowledge of the world, that there are fish with fins but no scales, excludes one of those two cases.
Focusing just on Tosafot's two answers, I think one gets a different sense, even though both of his answers involve Divine intervention as well as a chain of tradition. Tosafot were not "clearly stating" this halacha leMoshe miSinai, as Dr. Betech claims. They were guessing at it, because they had no other way of accounting for the derivation of this general rule.

The first explanation of Tosafot complicates matters, and Dr. Betech leaves it out.

But that is OK, because at the bottom of the page, in footnote 684, he writes "See Hebrew Appendix nispach heh for an extensive compilation of sources."

Surely in that Hebrew Appendix, he will have room to give the full text of Tosafot! Right? Right?!


Nope.

On page 288, second source down, he has the same citation of Tosafot, with the same ellipses. And it does not seem to be in order to conserve space. He gives longer citations than this for other sources, bolding and highlighting only the relevant portion. And he includes many, many random sources which happen to cite this Tosafot saying it is halacha leMoshe miSinai, to bolster the idea.

OK, so Dr. Betech omits the portion of Tosafot which dilutes his point. But surely, given that this is an "extensive compilation of sources", he would not leave out the Rambam, who argues with Tosafot and claims that this general rule about fins and scales was derived via observation! You know, as Rabbi Slifkin wrote in his book, The Camel, The Hare, and The Hyrax, page 194-195:



Given that Dr. Betech's book is intended as a response to Rabbi Slifkin's book, we would expect him to know about this Rambam. And so, he would surely quote it, so as not to leave the reader with the false perception that Tosafot is the only game in town.

Just give me a moment to find it in this extensive compilation of sources...

Um... Not in the main body of the text... Maybe in a footnote... Nope.

It is not just Tosafot answer #1, and the Rambam, missing from this Appendix. Dr. Betech's other major point (besides הלמ"מ) is that almost everyone agrees that the rule is absolute, without exception. Now, there are at least three Acharonim who disagree with this idea, and say that there are exceptions to this general rule about fins and scales: R' Yonasan Eibeshitz, R' Yechezkel Katzenelenfogin and R' Ya'akov Zvi Mecklenburg. (See here.)

We hold like Bet Hillel over Bet Shammai because Bet Hillel would always first cite the words of Bet Shammai before giving their own opinion (Eruvin 13b). Surely Dr. Betech will, in his "extensive compilation of sources", give the actual words of these three Acharonim?

Nope.

The extent of his extensive compilation of sources are those which agree with his thesis. We only find out about Rav Yonasan Eibeshitz (the Kreisi)'s disagreement in two ways. (1) Some of those he quotes argue against the Kreisi's position. (2) In a very late footnote, #876, when dismissing the minority who hold otherwise, he tells us who they are -- two of them, the Kreisi and the Ksav veHakkabalah.


By limiting it in this manner, he accomplishes the following:

(1) He grants them far less credence, since they don't deserve space in the actual body of the essay.
(2) We don't get to read their actual words, which include how they interpret the words of the gemara (words which other sources argue precludes their explanation).
(3) We are less likely to bother to look up the reference, since the average reader is lazy.
(4) We might not even read the footnote.
(5) While each of the extensive list of sources gets its own footnote with a biography, the Kreisi and the Ksav veHakkabalah do not. We won't necessarily know that the Kreisi is the prominent halachic authority, Rav Yonasan Eibeshitz.

This approach, of hiding inconvenient sources, is not limited to his discussion of fins and scales. It extends to his main thesis, of excluding the hyrax and admitting the rabbit, as well. However, I will have to leave that for the second post in this series.

48 comments:

Dr. Isaac Betech said...

B"H
Rabbi Josh Waxman

I agree with some of your criticism and suggestions. Thanks.
I am expanding B”N some sources for the next edition, B”H.

Since you mentioned the book written by Natan Slifkin, I invite you to look for dissenting views and to compare in which book you will find more of them.

Nevertheless your criticism is well taken.

Dr. Isaac Betech said...

B"H
Rabbi Josh Waxman
Since the published classic translation of Rambam words was different, I would like to be able to see the original Arabic; do you know if it is available?
Thanks

joshwaxman said...

thanks.

did you mention the book written by Rabbi Natan Slifkin?

i am pretty sure i wouldn't agree with every conclusion in his book. but i don't feel like he is trying to trick me towards his desired conclusion.

i don't know; there are Rambam scholars, even participating on the Internet, who I suspect would know.

Dr. Isaac Betech said...

B"H
Rabbi Josh Waxman
Thank you for your answer.

I did not mention his book in my book, but his book is mentioned in page 22.

Regarding what I previously wrote:
“Since you mentioned the book written by Natan Slifkin, I invite you to look for dissenting views and to compare in which book you will find more of them.”

For example, in the fish issue you are now posting about, I found around 20 Rishonim who consider the scale/fin Talmudic rule as an absolute one. However, I did not find (besides the famous Tosfot, only mentioned) any of these Rishonim quoted, or at least mentioned by Natan Slifkin in the chapter he wrote about fish in his book.

joshwaxman said...

I can't speak for Rabbi Slifkin, but I would guess that is because it is blindingly obvious that they would say, or 'say' this.

Because these Rishonim were simply citing the gemara, and unless one were given reason to question that the statement were absolute, it is the plain meaning of the gemara. The scincus marinus was discovered in the time of the Acharonim, so of course the Rishonim would simply cite the gemara's statement (which was worded as an absolute statement) and move on. In other words, this is a dumb and trivial conclusion you 'proved', not a ground-breaking one, and I would have been surprised had Rabbi Slifkin wasted space in the manner that you did. No, I do not consider this a deficiency in his book.

(Rabbi Slifkin brings Tosafot to show the source of the knowledge, not to show the absolute nature of the statement. The the absolute nature does follow from the idea of it being halacha leMoshe miSinai; and it being halacha leMoshe miSinai does follow from it being absolute.)

joshwaxman said...

to the reader:
"but his book is mentioned in page 22"
means that Rabbi Belsky mentioned it in the course of his haskama.

this is another example or careful wording to conceal information from the reader.

Dr. Isaac Betech said...

B”H
Rabbi Josh Waxman

You wrote:
… No, I do not consider this a deficiency in his book.

IB:
According to you my book is deficient because I just mentioned the dissenting views without quoting them verbatim, but Natan Slifkin´s book is OK even if he did not mention at all that the Talmudic rules was understood as absolute by 20 Rishonim.

You wrote:
to the reader:
"but his book is mentioned in page 22"
means that Rabbi Belsky mentioned it in the course of his haskama.

this is another example or careful wording to conceal information from the reader.

IB:
You are quoting me:
"but his book is mentioned in page 22"

You are carefully concealing my explicit statement at the beginning of the same sentence, i.e.

“I did not mention his book in my book…”

So I was explicit that in my shafan book I did not mention Natan Slifkin book even once.

I did not conceal it.

joshwaxman said...

No, I was not carefully concealing it. The reader can be expected to follow this thread one comment back, to see what I was responding to.

But what I was highlighting was that, for some strange reason, you don't put in information normal people would. Like "it is mentioned in one of the haskamos on page 22". Only by the reader going on a mission to see page 22 would one know what the heck you are talking about, when you said it 'was mentioned'. You do this in general, writing cryptic statements whose full meaning can only be divined after engaging in much effort. It is either dishonest or sadistic.

Your other point:
You are trying to frame it, and I disagree with your framing. See above for why.

Dr. Isaac Betech said...

B”H
Rabbi Josh Waxman

You wrote:
It is either dishonest or sadistic.

IB:
It is not.
I did not want to proclaim that the only mention of Natan Slifkin in the book is when Rab Belsky shlit”a, writes that he prefers the conclusions of The Enigma of the Biblical shafan over the conclusion of The camel, the hare and the hyrax.

David Ohsie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Ohsie said...


B”H
Rabbi Josh Waxman

You wrote:
It is either dishonest or sadistic.

IB:
It is not.
I did not want to proclaim that the only mention of Natan Slifkin in the book is when Rab Belsky shlit”a, writes that he prefers the conclusions of The Enigma of the Biblical shafan over the conclusion of The camel, the hare and the hyrax.

This confirms R. Waxman's point.

David Ohsie said...

BTW, the text of the captcha message for my last comment was "isawebr". If only we know what "webr" meant :).

Anonymous said...

The ktav yad of the Rambam's peirush hamishna to nedarim is found here http://jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/mss/html/heb5703_h.htm

I do not know if the comment is there, as I do not know Judeo-Arabic.

IB:
It is not.
I did not want to proclaim that the only mention of Natan Slifkin in the book is when Rab Belsky shlit”a, writes that he prefers the conclusions of The Enigma of the Biblical shafan over the conclusion of The camel, the hare and the hyrax.


This is actually a hilarious comment.

zach said...

Sigh, there is just so much weight against Dr Betech's zoological assertions, I'm surprised that you think it fruitful in attempting an intelligent discussion with him on such matters. It is doomed to failure as has been seen numerous times in the past.

David Ohsie said...

BTW, the pictures of the book pages are very effective. Good idea.

Tamir said...

Dr. Isaac Betech: "Since the published classic translation of Rambam words was different, I would like to be able to see the original Arabic; do you know if it is available?"

Anonymous: "The ktav yad of the Rambam's peirush hamishna to nedarim is found here http://jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/mss/html/heb5703_h.htm

I do not know if the comment is there, as I do not know Judeo-Arabic.
"

The linked page only provided the autographed manuscripts for Seder Mo'ed and Seder Nashim.
On anther page on the site( "Commentary on the Mishnah") it say that:
(a) No full autographed manuscript for Seder Tahorot has been found, and only fragments of the introduction have been published.
(b) R. Yosef Qafih used other manuscripts for his edition, where autographed ones weren't available( he did so also for Masekhet Shabat in Seder Mo'ed)

One of the Qafih editions has the Arabic original he used for his translation( there is also an edition that doesn't) - one could try that, for what it's worth.

Dr. Isaac Betech said...

B”H
Dear Tamir
Thank you very much for your detailed information, it is very helpful.
Shabbat Sha-lom

YA said...

"zach said...

Sigh, there is just so much weight against Dr Betech's zoological assertions, I'm surprised that you think it fruitful in attempting an intelligent discussion with him on such matters. It is doomed to failure as has been seen numerous times in the past."

Rabbi Slifkin is not debating his zoological assertions. Rabbi Slifkin is debating on the premise that Shaphan in the Tanach has to mean what was in existence in Israel at the time. It is an assumption and as such it needs backing and can be challenged. You may hear of animals that do not exist where you live. We also use words in more than one way for instance calling the American buffalo a buffalo despite it not being a buffalo. I see you are not interested in intelligent conversation since you just wish to make a personal attack on Dr. Betech. He is not doomed to failure. You are.

Avi said...

@YA

Given that neither the hyrax nor the rabbit exhibit any zoological features which the Chumash enumerates for the Shafan, there is no zoological debate to be had. Now you have to go to other sources. Rabbi Slifkin goes with Dovid Hamelech in his description in Tehilim. Dr. Betech goes with some Rishonim who never saw a hyrax.

joshwaxman said...

YA:
Rabbi Slifkin is not debating his zoological assertions

You are incorrect if you think that Dr. Betech has not made zoological assertions which Rabbi Slifkin would disagree with.

Such attempts at intelligent discussions have indeed failed in the past, in large part because of Dr. Betech's debating tactics, and in large part due to his unwillingness to admit error.

And it is the intelligent discussions that zach asserted were doomed to failure, not Dr. Betech himself, which makes your statement "He is not doomed to failure. You are" not a valid response.

YA said...

He's admitted error to you. Rabbi Slifkin ignores objections constantly. You are able to have conversation with Dr. Betech and others have too and he argues his case. You don't like it and you call it refusal to admit error.

joshwaxman said...

yes, he admitted above. though please note that he did not specify which of the ("some of my") criticisms and objections he agreed with. and it was a staging ground for an attack on Rabbi Slifkin's book as being worse in this regard.

No, I have been remarkably frustrated in the past with Dr. Betech's mode of argument, and I have made this several clear in the past. Perhaps you have not been carefully following all the threads.

See as just one example of many, this post, and how many rounds I need to go through in order to get Dr. Betech to answer a simple question, namely For those 13, what is the definition of maaleh geirah? Is it the case that all except the hyrex / coney and the hare are true ruminants? Please elaborate.. The answer is: many, and in the end, it is I who had to supply the answer on his behalf.

The "refusal to admit error" has to do with corrections regarding scientific literature which mistakenly mentioned rabbits instead of hares.

Meanwhile, YA, you have ignored my points, which is that (1) Dr. Betech has indeed made zoological assertions which Rabbi Slifkin has argued with, and (2) zach did not say that Dr. Betech is doomed to failure. Would you care to walk back those assertions?

YA said...

joshwaxman said...

yes, he admitted above. though please note that he did not specify which of the ("some of my") criticisms and objections he agreed with."

Irrelevant he was telling you something and not standing by all of his statements and besides he told you he will be changing what he wrote and asking you to see. Elsewhere on his site he conceded to you on his site. You really are nitpicking because you are biased unable to see what you don't want to see in another person at least on behalf of Rabbi Slifkin.

"and it was a staging ground for an attack on Rabbi Slifkin's book as being worse in this regard."

Your interpretation and again biased.

"Meanwhile, YA, you have ignored my points, which is that (1) Dr. Betech has indeed made zoological assertions which Rabbi Slifkin has argued with,"

I didn't hear from you what they were. First of all we are talking about the issue of maale Gerah aren't we because that was what I was referring to.

"and (2) zach did not say that Dr. Betech is doomed to failure."

As far as having an intelligent conversation with him he was asserting Dr. Betech is doomed. That's what I was referring to. That's doomed enough career wise.

joshwaxman said...

YA:

I won't engage in a back and forth with you at this time. It is getting annoying. But don't take my shtika for hodaah. I don't take Dr. Betech's vague acknowledgement as admission of error. Was he acknowledging that he was being deliberately misleading in his book, or that it could have been written more clearly? Given his comment in Thursday, July 04, 2013 4:57:00 PM, it does not seem to be the former.

However, in terms of your last statement, this unfortunately speaks to what others have said about your reading comprehension and incoherence.

Zach said:
I'm surprised that you think it fruitful in attempting an intelligent discussion with him on such matters. It is doomed to failure as has been seen numerous times in the past.

You just said:
As far as having an intelligent conversation with him he was asserting Dr. Betech is doomed. That's what I was referring to. That's doomed enough career wise.

Zach was saying that the attempt to have a intelligent conversation with Dr. Betech was doomed to failure. He never said Dr. Betech was doomed. He was saying that my attempt was doomed.

joshwaxman said...

"First of all we are talking about the issue of maale Gerah aren't we because that was what I was referring to"

No, it was about whether archaezoologists say that rabbits lived in ancient Israel and its vicinity. Which is where people have said that Dr. Betech has not admitted error. Have you been following the relevant threads?

YA said...

"I won't engage in a back and forth with you at this time. It is getting annoying."

Yes you are getting annoying by your inclination to make an insinuation concerning an admission that you have points about his book as being no admission.

"But don't take my shtika for hodaah."

Why should I?

"I don't take Dr. Betech's vague acknowledgement as admission of error. Was he acknowledging that he was being deliberately misleading in his book, or that it could have been written more clearly? Given his comment in Thursday, July 04, 2013 4:57:00 PM, it does not seem to be the former."

You make the accusation you back it up or else I don't want to hear it. I am not interested in posturing nonsense. Rather than address his arguments you make accusations that don't change the truth or falsehood of his arguments. He wasn't vague. He said you were right and you don't want to hear that. So you bend and twist pitifully to try and make an admission into none and then also distract with talking of admission of guilt and saying he is not saying that.

He admitted you were right about something. You denied he admitted anything. Why don't ask him what he meant or wait and see in his new edition? You just are biased. You want fairness for your side but not for Dr. Betech.

"However, in terms of your last statement, this unfortunately speaks to what others have said about your reading comprehension and incoherence."

Oh come on. Rabbi Slifkin says both and you expressed agreement with the comprehension and now that there was an incoherent statement. That's exactly two people on record and two people who are not unbiased.


"Zach was saying that the attempt to have a intelligent conversation with Dr. Betech was doomed to failure. He never said Dr. Betech was doomed. He was saying that my attempt was doomed."

Yes I know but he was more specifically saying that any intelligent conversation with him was doomed. I was thinking in terms of him describing Dr. Betech as someone who is doomed as far any intelligent conversation making.

"Blogger joshwaxman said...

"First of all we are talking about the issue of maale Gerah aren't we because that was what I was referring to"

No, it was about whether archaezoologists say that rabbits lived in ancient Israel and its vicinity. Which is where people have said that Dr. Betech has not admitted error. Have you been following the relevant threads?"

If saying where an animal lives or lived is zoology you are right otherwise you are wrong.

You twist and turn someones words for your own gain and then you complain that supposedly someone is writing to mislead. Have a good day anyway. Hatzlacha Rabbah.

joshwaxman said...

"You make the accusation you back it up or else I don't want to hear it."

I don't care what you want to hear. I did back it up.

"Why don't ask him what he meant or wait and see in his new edition?"
Firstly, do you think it is only THIS ONE POINT that is problematic? I gave this as a single example of his GENERAL approach. As I wrote, there is a second portion of this post, which documents another example, this time in terms of hyraxes. Fixing this one item is not going to fix anything.

Secondly, given my experience in the past in which Dr. Betech has been deliberately vague, many times, (e.g. "I could not find them.") I am not going to engage in back and forth in attempt to clarify. I am not going to play that game, and I do not owe him that. If he wants to be vague, then he can be vague, and does not get the benefit of the doubt. Especially if in the same comment he began his attack on Rabbi Slifkin and in a later comment insinuated that it was only my perception that his book was deficient in this regard.

"Yes I know but he was more specifically saying"
So you read something into his words and then attacked him for it, in a way that just LOOKED like a misread of zach's words ('doomed'). Interesting, especially since this is not the first time in the past few days I have seen you do something like this ('motivation').

YA said...

"joshwaxman said...

"You make the accusation you back it up or else I don't want to hear it."

I don't care what you want to hear. I did back it up."

Not to me. Maybe to someone else.

""Why don't ask him what he meant or wait and see in his new edition?"

Firstly, do you think it is only THIS ONE POINT that is problematic? I gave this as a single example of his GENERAL approach. As I wrote, there is a second portion of this post, which documents another example, this time in terms of hyraxes. Fixing this one item is not going to fix anything."

I was talking about here. I don't make claims about other places.

"Secondly, given my experience in the past in which Dr. Betech has been deliberately vague, many times, (e.g. "I could not find them.") I am not going to engage in back and forth in attempt to clarify. I am not going to play that game, and I do not owe him that. If he wants to be vague, then he can be vague, and does not get the benefit of the doubt. Especially if in the same comment he began his attack on Rabbi Slifkin and in a later comment insinuated that it was only my perception that his book was deficient in this regard."

If you want to know facts find out. Meanwhile you ascribed motivations to him without proof as I said.

""Yes I know but he was more specifically saying"
So you read something into his words and then attacked him for it, in a way that just LOOKED like a misread of zach's words ('doomed')."

You are misreading me. He was trying to shut up discussion with him. I was pointing out that Dr. Betech can hold his own as far as intelligent conversation he is not doomed whether or not actual doom was wished upon him. That's what I was thinking. You come along and infer I am saying Zach was saying he will be doomed. You inferred. The best I can say is he was inferring doom as far as intelligent articulation. You confused the issue and then I put it in your terms. You infer and then attack for me supposedly inferring.

"Interesting, especially since this is not the first time in the past few days I have seen you do something like this ('motivation')."

Yeah how? Motivation I spoke of not being included to make a circular argument. You know you say Dr. Betech referred to something and didn't say what and said it is sinister. You do exactly that.

joshwaxman said...

I am done talking to you here. Sorry.

YA said...

Hatzlacha Rabbah again.

joshwaxman said...

Thank you for the well wishes.

In the meantime, if anyone ELSE has points they want clarified, e.g. whether archae-zoologists, in determining where an animal lived, are engaging in zoology, please feel free to ask away!

YA said...

The answer is no. Whether an animal lives or lived in a certain place is archaeology not zoology any more than any other branch of biology is including where an animal lived. I could list where animals live all around the world and I have not been talking biology. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zoology

"Definition of ZOOLOGY
1
: a branch of biology concerned with the classification and the properties and vital phenomena of animals
2
a : animal life (as of a region) : fauna
b : the properties and vital phenomena exhibited by an animal, animal type, or group"

You talk about innuendo. I was wishing well to not have pettiness and here you want to become petty? Please enough already. Hatzlacha Rabbah.

joshwaxman said...

i was not addressing you.

but yes, it was innuendo.

to the rest:
yes, when i referred above to zoology, i do believe that archae-zoology can fall under that term. as well as their analysing of animal skeletons to make such determinations and classifications, based on their "properties", and deciding in which habitats animals resided, and in which "region" animal life resides. that YA has difficulties with reading comprehension and did not understand what I meant... well, that is OK for him. but it does not mean that I was "wrong". it means that he misunderstood my intent, throughout.

YA said...

Habitats can be changed. You can't make up your own definition. You don't say we can examine the properties of your pizza so pizza is a part of science. It is either right or wrong. You claim Dr. Betech has innuendo and special meanings. Look at yourself. Stop being petty and vindictive. Your reading comprehension insult is only that so you are not gaining anything. Further an archaeozoologist is not a zoologist. www.archaeozoology.co.uk

YA said...

Talk about not wanting to admit you were wrong. Enough. I said Hatzlacha Rabbah. Accept it and that's that.

joshwaxman said...

i certainly don't want to admit that i am wrong when i am not. that you persist in arguing does not mean that i am wrong.

nor does pointing to zooarchaeologist who considers herself, but not others, a zooarchaeologist specifically "my background is in archaeology, rather than zoology" mean that archaeozoologists do not engage in zoology.

i am sorry that you misunderstood my meaning. that is too bad.

to the reader:
i hope you can see that engaging on each and every one of the points YA raised would be an exercise in frustration. i don't have the bandwidth for it. to cite zach: i do not think it fruitful in attempting an intelligent discussion with him on such matters. It is doomed to failure

YA said...

"nor does pointing to zooarchaeologist who considers herself, but not others, a zooarchaeologist specifically "my background is in archaeology, rather than zoology" mean that archaeozoologists do not engage in zoology."

I did not say that. But engaging in something is notv the same or else her background would be zoology. Further properly speaking she is an archaeozoologist. She said that.

"to the reader:
i hope you can see that engaging on each and every one of the points YA raised would be an exercise in frustration. i don't have the bandwidth for it. to cite zach: i do not think it fruitful in attempting an intelligent discussion with him on such matters. It is doomed to failure"

Just because you say something doesn't make it true. What's true is that you are being babyish. Stop being vindictive. My goodness you want to show that Dr. Betech is some monster and here you act boorish and petty with no redeeming qualities. You are supposed to be a rabbi? Is vindictiveness allowed. Stop making a fool of yourself. You want to apologize fine. You don't fine but stop being an insulter.

joshwaxman said...

forget this. i just deleted my comment.

Dr. Isaac Betech said...

B"H
Rabbi Waxman

You wrote:
I do think that he is engaging in trickery to do so, and that he believes it appropriate to engage in such trickery

IB:
To both false accusations, my answer is no.

YA said...

Ok. Just for the record I was against the ban. Also I was not passing judgment on Dr. Betech in general. I don't know the whole thing. I only sometimes visit these blogs. Look Rabbi Hatzlacha Rabbah and I am not angry and we should all unite and forgive and everything. God bless you.

joshwaxman said...

please note i deleted the comment above, to which you are responding.

the context was as follows:
I am not trying to show that Dr. Betech is some kind of monster.

I *do* think that Dr. Betech committed a rather heinous act when he went around convincing various Gedolim to ban Rabbi Slifkin's books. I do think that, like many misguided people who do bad things, he thinks that he is doing right.

And, separate from that, I do think that he is engaging in trickery to do so, and that he believes it appropriate to engage in such trickery. And I think it appropriate to point out such trickery where it occurs; that the book is dishonest, and not a fair portrayal of both sides.


I consider Dr. Betech's debating tactics to be a form of trickery. And I think he knows that he is engaging in debating tactics.

YA said...

You too Dr. Betech.

YA said...

"joshwaxman said...

please note i deleted the comment above, to which you are responding."

I know. That is what I was responding to.

joshwaxman said...

sorry about that; this was messed up by the timing. the "you" in "to which you are responding" was Dr. Betech, not YA.

YA said...

Ok now I do have to admit I misunderstood. Sorry about that.

joshwaxman said...

argh! and 'that he is engaging in trickery to do so' did not mean the going around to Gedolim, though that WAS one sided. an editing error. i meant the subsequent book, blogposts, comments, and so on, involved such trickery.

Dr. Isaac Betech said...

B"H
Rabbi Waxman

You wrote:
I do think that, like many misguided people who do bad things, he thinks that he is doing right.

IB:
Instead of thinking about what I think, I kindly invite you to try to refute what I wrote in the book.
Thanks

joshwaxman said...

there is plenty of time for that. and there are others who are already doing that.

i think an analysis of your methodology would be a rather useful contribution to the discussion.

and once i am revealing what i believe to be a dishonest presentation, a dan-lekaf-zechut approach would be to not assign you the worst of motives. that you are not a 'monster', but misguided in your zeal towards what you think are positive results.

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