Sunday, January 10, 2010

Interesting Posts and Articles #244

  1. An ongoing meme: Hirhurim has a blogpost defining Post-Orthodoxy. For example,

    you might be Post-Orthodox if...

    1. You do not believe that the Rambam's thirteen fundamental principles are binding
    2. You believe that there are post-Mosaic additions to the Pentateuch
    3. You think that the Amoraim sometimes distorted the views of Tannaim
    4. You believe that the conclusions of the Gemara are not halakhically binding

    etc., etc.
    To which DovBear responds by reposting someone's "You might be post proto-Orthodox if...."

    1. You believe Da'as Torah is the ultimate authority for everything.
    2. You believe that the latest sefer published by your Rebbe is equal in importance to Shas, SA, etc.
    3. You find Rishonim on Tanach distort authentic Jewish hashkafa and halacha, and think the study of tanach is best avoided
    4. You make no distinction between chumrot and halacha.
    etc., etc., and XGH's response, that one might be an MO moron if

  2. You think that the Rambam's thirteen fundamental principles are binding in any real way

  3. You believe that there are no post-Mosaic additions to the Pentateuch and ignore 200 hundred years of quality scholarship

  4. You think that the Amoraim never distorted the views of Tannaim, and that the chain of mesorah is absolutely unbroken

  5. You believe that the conclusions of the Gemara are halakhically binding because Chazal said so

  6. etc., etc. Besides the over one hundred comments at Hirhurim, and discussions at the other mentioned blogs, you can see the response at ThanBook and My Ober Dicta.

    I have my own thoughts on the matter, perhaps for another post, but for now, let me note that this need not be judgmental, so much as descriptive of a unique sub-class of Orthodoxy. As R' Student writes in his Hirhurim post:

    But first let me be clear. I am not saying that the views are Jewishly unacceptable. That is a more complicated discussion that requires both scholarship and nuance. Nor am I suggesting that someone who is Post-Orthodox is a heretic. This is a sociological argument, not a theological claim.

  7. At Vos Iz Neias, an article on a misquote of a pasuk in Tanach in a gemara. Did the Amoraim know every pasuk in Tanach?

    The Gemorah questions how a certain Braisah knew to understand the verse to apply it to a prohibition on the husband and not to the son. The Gemorah answers that the word “yidbeku” indicates that it applies to a marriage situation. The Gemorah then points out that both verses have the term “yidbeku” and the proof is dismissed.

    Tosfos (Tarvaihu) points out that there are times when they are not Bakiyim – fluent in the verses in Tanach and he cites a proof from Bava Kamma 55a where an Amorah is asked why it does not state “Tov” in regard to the first version of the Ten Commandments. The Rabbi responds, “Before you ask me that, ask me first if I am fluent in what it says in the Ten Commandments.”

    My guess is that in this case, and perhaps in general, we need not resort to this assumption. Rather, it might just be an artifact of the particular Talmudic style. Regardless, this is not the most interesting aspect of this post. Rather, it is this suggestion:

    Perhaps another explanation is that Tosfos may not be referring to Amoraim at all. Perhaps Tosfos is referring to an occasional Makshan or Tartzan in the Gemorah, and the quote of the Amorah is imputed rather than a direct quote of what the Amorah actually said in response to a question. We often find that the Gemorah has imputed quotes such as what the Amorah might have responded to a certain question rather than what he actually did respond with.
    Great Roshei Yeshiva have differentiated the obligation of a Yeshiva student in explaining a Gemorah’s hava Amina between a quote of an Amorah and a hava Aminah of a Makshan. Often there is no need to delve excessively in a hava aminah of a makshen, but one must always do so when it is a quote of an Amorah. Granted, sometimes it is difficult to tell when it is a makshana and when it is an actual quote, but the premise is something that is well known.
    By the same token, we can perhaps explain Tosfos’ words only in application to an occasional makshan and not to the Amoraim. How then do we deal with the quote of the Aseres HaDibros from Bava Kama? One would have to answer that it is illustrative rather than a lack of knowledge on the Amorah’s part.

    I'd have to look at Tosafot inside, but from the description, it seems that Tosafot's proof is from the Bava Kamma gemara, which refers to the named Amora, R' Chiya bar Ashi. Regardless, it is interesting to see mention of a separate savoraic layer, as a well-accepted idea. See the seemingly ignorant comment in the comment section,

    Following your logic the tora itself couldent have been given on har sini cuz it has in it things that happens later,ch"v! Your dead wrong afra lepumei

    , and thus also the gemara could refer to later events via ruach hakodesh. The flaw in this is that this in effect says afra lepumei to Ramban. From his introduction:

    אם כן, התורה יכלול הספורים מתחילת בראשית, כי הוא מורה אנשים בדרך בענין האמונה. וברדתו מן ההר כתב מתחילת התורה עד סוף ספור המשכן, וגמר התורה כתב בסוף שנת הארבעים, כאשר אמר: לקוח את ספר התורה הזה ושמתם אותו מצד ארון ברית ה' אלהיכם, וזה כדברי האומר: תורה מגילה מגילה נתנה.
    אבל לדברי האומר: תורה חתומה נתנה, נכתב הכל בשנת הארבעים, כשנצטוה: כתבו לכם את השירה הזאת ולמדה את בני ישראל שימה בפיהם. וצוה לקוח את ספר התורה הזה ושמתם אותו מצד ארון ברית ה' אלהיכם. 

    That is, if megillah megillah nitna, then there is no such problem. According to the contrary position, it was all given in the fortieth year. This assumption, that the Torah will not relate events that haven't happened yet as if they happened, is the driving force behind the machlokes recorded in the gemara regarding the last eight pesukim of the Torah. Regardless, it is interesting how people bolster the maximal frum position with ignorance.

  8. Cubits, or centimeters

  9. Orthonomics, with a first-hand report from a Hebrew charter school:

    This year, my wife and I decided to try something different. We took our 3 eldest out of Yeshiva day school (the 2 youngest are still at a Jewish preschool) and enrolled them in the local Hebrew Charter School instead. We also enrolled them in the separate Judaic Studies school in the afternoons in a different building nearby. So far, the results are as follows (in no particular order)...

  10. Last week's Haveil Havalim.

  11. Mystical Paths, on the practice of putting tefillin on soldiers at the kotel, even though night has already fallen. Part one and part two.

  12. Shirat Devorah on insanity in the name of Yiddishkeit. Actually, I think there is halachic justification from not fasting on that day; but it is something else to do this because mashiach is already here, or is on his way.

  13. The Wall Street Journal on charity at the register.

  14. Rav Shternbuch denies that he put the dybbuk into niddui, and expresses dismay that thousands of people fell for this. Rather, it is a case of mental illness.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin