Avodah Mailing List

Volume 02 : Number 003

Thursday, September 24 1998

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 14:56:02 -0400
From: David Glasner <DGLASNER@FTC.GOV>
Moavi v'lo Moavit

Abraham Pechman writes:

<<<The exclusion of moavis is not because of the masculine "moavi". It's
because of the next pasuk - "since they did not provide you with bread
water" - which the gemara (yevamos and elsewhere) darshans that the
issur of
moavi is only on those who should have been hospitable, excluding
women who
just don't (didn't) do that. Such logic certainly does not apply to mamzeret
or mitzrit.>>>

Thank you for drawing my attention to this drasha which I probably once
knew but have long since forgotten.  I looked up the sugya in Yevamot
76b-77a on Rosh Hashanah, and found it to be quite remarkable.  A
debate broke out about David's fitness for the throne, when Doeg the
Edomite, Saul's evil, but learned, advisor, asked why are you debating
his fitness to be king, when it is not even clear that he is fit to marry into
the nation, since he is a descendant of Ruth the Moabite.  Whereupon the
answer was given Amoni v'lo Amonit, Moavi v'lo Moavit.  To which Doeg
replied, if so why not Mitzri, v'lo Mitzrit and mamzer v'lo mamzeret?  They
replied mamzer means mei am zar, which includes males and females
and then concerning amon and moav they cited the verse "since they did
not provide you with bread and water..."  But Doeg even had an answer
for that verse, the men should have provided bread and water to the
men and the women should have provided bread and water to the
women.  The gemara says that they were silent, unable to counter Doeg.
 Doeg's objection was not refuted until Itra came and threatened to kill
anyone who rejected the drasha Moavi v'lo Moavit which he claimed to
have heard directly from the beit din of Shmuel ha-ramati.  Thus, the
definitive authority that the gemara cites for the validity of the drasha
Moavi v'lo Moavit is not halacha l'Moshe mi'Sinai or "shamanu mi-pi
ha-Shemuah" but the beit din ha-gadol.  That is completely in accord with
the position of the Rambam in Mamrim 2:1 that the beit din ha-gadol has
the authority to change the halachah of a previous beit din (presumably
including that of Moshe Rabeinu) based on its own understanding of the
relevant Biblical verses.

David Glasner

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 14:00:06 -0400
From: cbrown@bestware.com
Re: da'as hamachmirim, composition of Mishna

In chelek I of Moadim Uzmanim R' Shternbruch goes through many sefikot/
shittot with regard to tekiyat shofar and arrives at the conclusion that
one should blow over 100 kolot to be yotzei all the opinions.  In chelek VI
he notes that he received many responses questioning his suggestion - after
all, acc. to R' Hai Gaon the definition of Teruah is quite broad - and
weren't the ba'alei tokeah of the previous doros who blew without all the
chumros he suggests just as makpid on halacha as we are?  He responds that
the purpose of shofar is hamtakat hadinim.  The earlier generations had
less to fear from the middat hadin and could feel confident in their psak;
our generation requires greater stringency to change the middat hadin.  (I
bring up the sevara just for the record re: chumros and yeridat hadoros -
don't hold me to defending it).

On a different note: I happened to see over R"H that Tos. B"K 93b quotes
R"T that Rebbi compiled the mishnayot from existing texts; he did not write
them from scratch.

Finally, my idea about isha chashuva in sheva berachot was incorrect
because the Ritva notes in his exclusion "af al pi she'hi isha chashuva...

-Chaim B.

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 15:43:32 -0400
From: "Michael Poppers" <MPoppers@kayescholer.com>
Re: use of Tov[ah] as adj., noun

> The truth is, though, that wishing someone a "shanah tovah" is
superfluous --
kol man d'avad Rachmana litav avad. Therefore, /every/ shanah is tovah.
forms of tov, for example, necessary onshin, or nisyonos, don't feel all
tov. Therefore, we wish others a year that is /misukah/, in which you can
/taste/ the tov. <
One might as well ask why we wish each other a good Shabbos (when we're
familiar with the "Shabbas Shalom!" greeting), YT ("Moadim l'simchah!"), or
week (well, whaddaya know, the comparable greeting here is "Shovu'a *Tov*!"
:-).  Somehow, I don't think we're trying to deny that every Shabbos, etc.
is good in the Divine sense of that word.

> (Of course, the phrase comes from the "yehi ratzon" for eating an apple
honey, and it needs to say "umsukah" in order to justify the siman. But I
like the answer, even if the question -- as I heard it -- isn't all that
strong.) <
IMHO the KISS principle applies, and there's no need to darshen why we use
"tov[ah]" in our greetings to each other.

> Not long after hearing this d'var Torah I wondered about the following
grammatical anomaly in the amidah. Why does it say "kadsheinu
visein chelkeinu BIsorasecha... visamcheinu [samach nafsheinu]
but when it comes to asking for tov, we switch the particle to "sab'einu
MItuvacha", with a mem, and not a beis?

> I'd like to suggest a similar answer. The beis in the other requests is a
"beis hakli". IOW, we are asking for sanctity, a better portion, and joy
through the means of getting more mitzvos, Torah, and y'shu'ah,
However, there is no way to ask for more tov, as this would imply that what
Hashem has given us so far is lacking in tov. Instead, we ask for more
sevi'ah, contentment, with the tov we are already getting. <
Even if you don't want to consider "sab'einu" as intransitive, I think the
participle is different because the object in question is indeterminate: we
have the same mitzvos, Torah, etc. in mind (and can, so to speak, point to
them the way we point at Pesach-seder items), but we can't determine what
is Tov[ah] for us.


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 17:21:03 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Re: Avodah V2 #2

     re:  Rebbe Writing the Mishno
     I don't think that Rebbe had to WRITE the mishno in order to be 
     considered its author.  I have not seen the aforementioned rishonim 
     inside, however the usual term used is CHIBER not KOSAV.
     I believe that Yirmiyaho was considered the author of Eicho even 
     thoough he didn't lift a quill (rather he employed is Sofer Baruch ben 
     The prevelance of shibushim seems to lend credibility that there was 
     no authoratative written text.  Much more can be said on this. 
     It is much simpler and clearer to undertand that Rebbe edited the 
     mishon (probably word for word) and comitted it to oral transmission 
     and not to written transmission.  
     re: kbasroi and Doros.
     It seems that the problem of arguing against a previous "era" is by 
     convention only.
     So far as I learned, Amoraim were not responsible to know all beraisos 
     - only all moshnayos so if they "overlooked" a beraiso it was not a 
     kushiiyo on the Amoro.
     The simple point of kebasroi is that he can take into account a number 
     of shitos.  The SA's beis din was exactly such a tool.  The SA simply 
     deferred to those Rishonim to the exclusion of others.  What gave him 
     the right to do it?  Probably, from his long term perspetive, he 
     noticed that by and large the big 3 were given more weight than the 
     others, and he extended it further.  Yet he also avoided introducing 
     his own chidush as being superior.  Basroi implies that the latter 
     posiek can pick and choose from existing predecessors, it by no means 
     allows an overruling of a predecessor.
     Now comes the problem: well why can't we now choose Beis Shammia over 
     Beis Hillel?  etc.
     Perhaps the theory of closure (Mishmo, Gemoro, Shculchan Arush) might 
     apply.  It seems that the Rishonim had little problem overlooking the 
     Rich Wolpoe

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 17:50:19 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Re: Avodah V2 #2

     re: Halocho and Geography
     it seems taht halocho and minhog were closely tied to geography for 
     many centuires. Ashkenaz implied Germany and sections of France, 
     Polish Jews considered themselves as emigrees from Germany at least 
     for a while.  The common denominator of all Ashkenazi Jewis is that 
     that they all spoke some dialect of Yiddish (juedish-deutch).
     Well guess what, a lot of Ashkenazi Jews speak no Yiddish anymore.  
     Also there wer major events that completely uprooted geography:
     the advent of Chasisism and Minhog sefarad in Eastern Europoe
     The followers of the Gra and his changes to Polish and German 
     The haskala
     Reform and Conservative movements
     The reaction to reform
     The massive migrations to the West
     The holocaust
     Medinat Yisroel - which overwhelmingly follows either the Gor or 
     Chassidism or sefardic minhogim.
     The upshot is:  The minhogim of Central and Eastern Europe as it 
     existed until the mid-18th century is pretty well extinguished.
     As you know there are some exceptions.
     There are shuls (eg Breuers) who adhere to minhog Frankfurt.
     Open up the Vilna Kol Bo Machzor and step into the past.  Virtually 
     nobody follows this minhog anymore.  The surving Litvishe world pretty 
     much follows the Gro.  The pre-Gro Litvishe Minhog is practically 
     I would venture to say that the pre-chassidic Galician minhog is 
     probably gone the same route.  I would guess the pre-Chassidishe 
     minhog in Romaina and Hungary is pretty well a relic too.
     Shono Tova
     Rich Wolpoe

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 00:45:45 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@netmedia.net.il>
Re: authority of the Mishnah

David Glasner wrote:

> Daniel Eidensohn writes:
> <<<The Dor Revi'i (Introduction to Chulin) notes with amazement that
> Rashi apparently did not agree with him!. He cites Rashi (Shavuos 4a s.v.
> U'Mishna) and
> Bava Metzia (33a) as believing that the Mishna was only written down many years
> after Rebbe.  He cites the R'shash (Shavuos 4a) who also understands Rashi that
> way.>>>
> I am glad to see that you have read the Dor Revi'i, but please don't put
> words into his mouth.  He registers amazement that Rashi in the cited
> references seems to suggest that the Mishnah was not written down
> until after Rebi's death.  Such a view is contrary to the widespread view
> of the Rishonim, especially Rambam, and the Geonim that Rebi was the
> "author" of the Mishnah.  So I don't see why you chose to
> mischaracterize his amazement in the way you did.

The Dor Revi'is thesis is that the writing down of the Mishna created its authority.
That means whenever it was officially published and available in Rebbe's
standardized edition at the local bookstore it was beyond debate. Rashi - as
understood by the Dor Revi'i and  others is saying that despite the fact that the
authorized edition of the Mishna was created by Rebbe it was not actually written
down until much later. Thus it is a direct contradiction of the Dor Revi'is thesis
and he acknowledged it was a problem for his theory. I was not mischaracterizing his
understanding of Rashi!

>   So if the Dor Revi'i is open to crtique it may be for too readily accepting the
> interpretation of Rashi suggested by the R'shash.

As you yourself seem to acknowledge.

You have not addressed my other evidence that the Mishna did  not become
authoritative at a specific point in time. The fact that Rav and Rav Chiya - in the
years after the publication of the Mishna disagreed with it.

In summary, there are a number of theories for the origin of the Mishna. The Doros
HaRishonim says that it was actually created by the Anshei Kenesses HaGedola -
though finished by Rebbe. R' Reuven Margolis asserts that it was created to show the
Romans what was contained in the Torah and that it was not an anti-government
doctrine. The role of R' Akiva is noted by Chazal. There seems to be no statement
from Chazal about the nature of the Mishna. The source of the authority of the
Mishna is based entirely upon conjecture and inferences. In particular that the
gemora assumes the superiority of the Tannaic sources over later ones. The Kesef
Mishna "guesses" that is was based upon acceptance The Chazon Ish asserts that it
was a simple recognition of the superiority of the Tanaim over the later
generations. Rav Elchonon says that is not sufficient because exception such as Rav
prove that there was not an absolute discontinuity between the Tannaim and Amoraim
so there must have been an acceptance not to argue. R' Lampel suggests that the
Amoraim were afraid to argue with Tanaic sources which contained Halacha L'Moshe
m'Sinai and they were unsure which statements were which..

I reiterate that the Dor Revi'is position is less plausible because it is the only
one which is contradicted by at least some of the data. The authority of the Mishna
is nowhere stated to be the result of its writing down. The fact that Amoraim after
Rebbe did argue with Tannaic source undermines the assertion that the mere writing
down gave it its authority.

Any theory must not only explain all the facts but it must do it better than the

                                   Daniel Eidensohn

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 21:53:00 -0400
From: "Clark, Eli" <clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM>
RE: Conservative movement and its dangers

Harry Maryles describes a thoroughly unhalakhic wedding between JTS
rabbinical students
and writes:
>Perhaps their "scholarship" has
> declined in recent years but their influence has increased,

He concludes:
>The Conservative movement used to be  a comfortable place for an
>unaffiliated jew to go and only a very few of the leadership were
>corrupted and corrupting.  But, with the advent of the Solomon Schechter
>school system, more and more of the unobservant conservative layman are
>sending their children to these dayschools. and a lot of them are
>becoming "Frum" conservative Jews.  They all walk around with yarmukees
>and you cant ebven tell them apart from the orthodox. They interact and
>intermingle with orthodox and its hard to tell who's who without a
>scorecard.  I am told that this is especially true on the upper west
>side of New York. And what about all the pressure on Israel by the
>conservative movement ot recognize their converts?

>Need I go on?  I think the danger are very real.

Although both R. YGB and R. E. Teitz have taken issue with some of
Harry's comments, I would like to disagree with others: the notion that
the Conservative movement's "influence" has increased is, in my view,
utterly false.  There was a time in the 1950's and 1960's when Orthodox
Jews -- laymen and rabbis  -- defected to the Conservative movement in
droves.  As R. YGB noted, that period is long gone.

Since the 1970's, the Conservative movement has moved increasingly
leftward.  The few respected Torah scholars in its ranks passed on and
have not been replaced.  The few traditionalists left were thoroughly
alienated by the decision of JTS to ordain women.

Today the Conservative movement is adrift.  Only a tiny number of
Conservative Jews who have not been ordained by JTS keep Shabbat or
taharat ha-mishpahah.  Indeed, many Conservative rabbis send their own
children to Orthodox day schools.  Not only is the Conservative movement
failing to produce "frum" Conservative Jews, it is failing in its
efforts to halt the tide of intermarriage within Conservative ranks.
This is evidenced by the recent publication of two books by a retired
head of the Conservative Rabbincal Assembly aimed at helping
Conservative parents prevent intermarriage ("It All Starts With a Date")
and dealing with a child who has intermarried.

Harry's strangest claim is that the Conservative movement is producing
Jews who masquerade as Orthodox.  To which I can only respond: Halevai!
The sad truth is that, outside of JTS, very few Conservative Jews know
enough to even pretend to be halakhic.  And of those who do, they
probably mingle with the Orthodox for the simple reason that they have
more in common with Orthodox Jews than with the vast majority of
Conservative Jews.  Indeed, I agree with Harry that there is often
little difference between a right wing Conservative Jew and and a left
wing Orthodox Jew, but I am not sure whether this should be a cause for
criticism of Conservative day schools or of Orthodox day schools.

In truth, I do not understand Harry's critique of the Solomon Shechter
schools.  Although they do not teach halakhah strictly speaking, they
expose their students to Ivrit, Humash, Jewish history and a wide range
of halakhot.  Certainly this is preferable to public school!

Harry is correct to note that the Conservative assault on the Chief
Rabbinate in Israel is cause for alarm.  But it is clear that the
Conservative movement has been far more successful at attacking the
Orthodox establishment in Israel than it has at building up its own
institutions there.

Kol tuv and gemar hatimah tovah,

Eli Clark

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 21:04:47 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
SRH and psak (fwd)

A response on the RSRH & Symbolism issue from my cousin (who many of you
in Passaic doubtless know), a bona fide Hirschian scholar (and descendant
to boot!).

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 98 16:06:21 -0500
From: dbechho@smtplink.mssm.edu
To: sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
Subject: SRH and psak

     I don't know if I am any more of an expert than you on SRH matters. 
     However, after almost completing editing of Vayikra from the new
     English version of the Hirsch chumash (Yes, this is really happening
     but don't hold your breath for it to hit the bookstores; sefer Vayikra
     alone has taken two years), I can tell you that my impression from
     various times when SRH discusses symbolism l'fi shittos harishonim is
     that he is not paskening at all (this is without looking inside; an 
     impossibility from my office).  For example, he will often derive his 
     viewpoint from more than one shitta, which could be arguing l'halacha 
     in pshat in a suggya but still result in a unifying theme. So I don't 
     think one can bring any intent l'halacha from his discussion of 
     symbolism. Kain nir'eh.
     B'birchas k'siva vachasim tova to all.

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 08:26:05 -0400
From: Harry Maryles <C-Maryles@neiu.edu>
Re: Conservative movement and its dangers

Clark, Eli wrote:

> In truth, I do not understand Harry's critique of the Solomon Shechter
> schools.  Although they do not teach halakhah strictly speaking, they
> expose their students to Ivrit, Humash, Jewish history and a wide range
> of halakhot.  Certainly this is preferable to public school!

At the risk of sounding "schizophrenic" I have often pondered the value 
of the Solomon Schechter School system. 

On the one hand they are indeed teaching false Judaism. And this is what 
I mean by "Danger".  A little knowledge is a dangeroous thing.  Combine 
"little knowledge" with false notions about Judaism and you have a 
prescription for tragedy.  The danger is manifested quite clearly in the 
decidedly UNHALACHIC wedding which I described in my previous post on 
this subject. These 2 "Rabbis" who married each other are both going 
into chuinuch.  They will be spending a year studying their Shtuyot in 
Israel (required by the JTS ordination program)  They will be teaching 
their version of "authentic Judaism" to countless numbers of students in 
their lifetimes.  Now it is true that most of those they teach will, in 
the end, just continue to assimilate into oblivion, but, a significant 
minority will be inspired to continue in the movement as committed 
Conservative Jews.

On the other hand, as Eli quite correctly points out,  they will be 
learning elements of Yahadus theat are essentially true.  And perhaps 
they will be motivated to seek further EMES by looking into Orthodox
Judaism after seeing the hypocrisy of the Conservative movement. Without 
Solomon Schechter, these very sincere baalei teshuva would never have 
been exposed to Judaism at all.  

A lot depends on who is running the particular school. There is Solomon 
Schechter elemntary day school here in Chicago that had as it's head an 
orthodox Jew.  Eventhough their shtusim were taught in that school, many 
of their graduates went on to an orthodox high school, Ida Crown Jewish 
Academy, and many but not all, of those graduates remain frum. 
Furthermore, it is much easier to mainstream kids who have had an 
elementery education consisting of reading hebrew, learning chumash, 
navi, Jewish history, and the like, than it is trying to educate baalei 
teshuva who have virtually no background. Without the Solomon Schechter 
Schools, Most of these kids would have gone to public schools and would 
have most likely been lost to assimilation.

So are we better off with the Solomon Schechter school system, or are we 
better off without them?  This is what I have been pondering for a long 


Go to top.

Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 08:57:32 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Methodology of Psak/Techeles

On Wed, 23 Sep 1998, Micha Berger wrote:

> Assuming that it is possible to paskin on something that isn't halachah
> lima'aseh... RSRH also refrains from stating anything along the lines of

Doesn't the Rambam (and, by association, the Rab"d) do this all the time?

> His conclusion reads "In view of the foregoing, there is no need for further
> explanation to show that the interpretation of the Ramba"m, according to which
> onth the eight thread was of techeiles color, accords fully with the symbolic
> significance of both the number eight and the techeiles color."

I was referring more to his first paragraph, where he says that simple
scriptural reading and the Sifrei indicate the Rambam to be correct.


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 10:09:26 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Re: Conservative movement and its dangers

In a message dated 98-09-24 09:23:57 EDT, you write:

 So are we better off with the Solomon Schechter school system, or are we 
 better off without them?  This is what I have been pondering for a long 
It's a great question which really extends to the whole movement. We all are
aware of the strength of the issur of ziyuf hatora(so much so that R' avkulas
allowed the outcome of kamtza and bar kamtza rather than allow a blemished
korbon). However the schools and movement do sometimes keep some people within
striking distance that would otherwise be totally lost.  I guess since they
haven't asked us the shaila as to whether they should continue in existence
,we don't have to pasken. As long as individual Jewish souls are in play,we
need to reach out to them no matter which group they affiliate with.

Gmar chatima tova
Joel Rich

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 09:33:29 -0500
From: "Steve. Katz" <katzco@sprintmail.com>
Re: More on Sheva Berachot

Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer wrote:
> Ma'ariv is a tefillas *reshus* - optional, not a *nedava* - a gift. I know
> the distinction might sound hairsplitting, but it is real, and, hey, if
> we can't split hairs here, where can we?

I'm glad you like to split hairs. Seems to me that Maariv was (past 
tense) tefilas reshus but nowadays is mandatory.
The Rav zt"l, in explaining that in Maariv, unlike in other Shemoneh 
Esrei, if one remembers that he has already davened, he may continue 
because it is a Tefilas NEDAVAH. While Shacharis and Mincha ara Tefilas 
Chova and one must stop immediately.
That's where I came from when I called Maariv Tefilas Nedavah.
With wishes for a chasimah tovah for all.

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 22:38:28 +0000 (GMT)
From: Michael Frankel <FRANKEL@hq.dswa.mil>
Amoroic Right to Dispute

My learned friend David Glasner writes:
<Thus, an Amora may dispute a beraita by arguing that its text has been
corrupted.  But that is clearly more difficult to do in the case of a mishnah
than a beraita (though the gemara sometimes asserts concerning a mishnah,
hisurei mehs'ra) because the beraitot were not as carefully edited as the
mishnayot, and hence are less reliable and authoritative than mishnayot.  Can
you cite any cases where the opinion of an Amora is followed against a contrary

well, yes - which i'll get to shortly. However one needs to keep clear that
there are two separate issues which are being conflated here. Issue number one
relates to the right of the amoroh to dispute a tannoh and focuses on the
evidentiary reality.  Do we in fact find any cases where amoro'im did dispute
tanno'im?.  Issue number two, as articulated in David's ultimate sentence,
really addresses a broader question - which is what should be done about it if
such a dispute is recognized?  do we in fact find that later posiqim,
li'halochoh, ever pasqened like an amoroh in the face of an opposing tannoh, or
possibly even in the face of an explicitly codified mishnoh? (Note as well that
David's explicit formulation of the question may be read to implicitly assume
that amoro'im did in fact dispute tanno'im, he is just doubting the possibility
that later posiqim may have have pasqened like the former in preference to the

Now for some examples:
Gitin 6a., R. Yitzchoq says that two (lines) may be written but not three, the
mishnoh says that three may be written but not four. 

Horoyos 3:12, Shimuel disputes R. Yehuda of the Baraisoh (quoted in Pachad

Shabbos 61a, Abaye, commenting on a position held by R. Yochonon, suggests that
R. Yochonon was indeed aware of a contrary mishnoh, but simply disputed it.

Succos 67, R. Yosef holds yeh'ush loa qoni disputing R. Shimon B. Yochai as
quoted by R. Yochanon on daf 29 (talking about stolen lulovs).
Yom Tov 31a, lihalchoh, Shimuel disputes a mishnoh's pisaq pertaining to the
bringing of scattered wood to the mizbeach (This last reference was just one of
six other talmudic citations referencing instances of amoroic-mishnaic dispute
provided by the Me'ieri in his intro to meseches ovos, most of these cases also
previously cited in R. Shriroh's iggeres). 

The above examples were meant to respond to issue no. 1. though clearly not a
frequent event, it would seem apparant that amoro'im did dispute tanno'im.
turning to issue no.2, did later posiqim ever rule in favor of amoro'im in
place of a contrary tannaitic source, we might consider:
Rosh: Eruvin ch 5, s'11.  cites the Rif, who pasqened like R. Yitzchoq against
the mishnoh.  (though the Rosh explains this puzzling pisaq by assuming that
the Rif must have held that R. Yitzchoq also had the status of a tannoh - a
suggestion not seemingly shared by anybody else - see e.g. the very next

Sh'uT Tashbetz 3:274. Cites the rambam's pisaq according to R. Yitzchoq in
hilchos Yibbum (ch 4, h'7) specifically identifying R. Yitzchoq as an amoroh in
dispute with a mishnoh).

We also have generalized declarations by unimpeachably rc sources asserting the
right to dispute with tanno'im if logic and proofs warrant. Thus:
The Me'ieri in intro to ovos: states that perfection was not achieved even by
the prophets, to the point that acharonim would not be permitted to dispute
with them, at least for a some matters - this following his citation of a
number of instances of amoroi-tanno'itic dispute).

Pachad Yitzchoq (3:12) "An amoroh may occasionally dispute a tannoh"

The Gra (Beiur haGra, choshen mishpot 25) references without demurral that in a
number of talmudic sources the amoroim rejected a mishnoh.
R. Chaim Brisker (quoted in qoveitz shiurim, bovoh basra, 633) asserts that
amoroim had right to dispute tanno'im, though they generally refrained
voluntarily from doing so. But when they were explicitly aware of and yet
continued to dispute a tanno'itic source, we may pasqen like them. 

So, though infrequently exercized and certainly not the universal consensus of
all posiqim or gidolim, it would seem that a respectable strain of gidolim has
always aknowledged both the legitimacy and reality of  halachic preference
(episodic to be sure), of amoroi'im to tanno'im when backed by appropriate

I have limited this post to the topic of amoro'im vs tanno'im. An interesting
and related topic is the common appreciation that with the close of the talmud
in 500 c.e., one may no longer dispute finalized talmudic rulings. But
remembering that succos is almost upon us, and remebering some old mail-jewish
wounds, and with no wish to needlessly inflame litvish hearts, especially the
dor shi'vi'ie (a litvak honauris causa) by dwelling on a topic which may remind
them/him of my lack of intent to spend shimini atzeres in the succoh, and
hoping to extricate myself from this endlessly running-on sentence, I will
forbear to do so at present. 

Mechy Frankel				frankel@hq.dswa.mil    

Go to top.


[ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list, digested version.           ]
[ To post: mail to avodah@aishdas.org                                 ]
[ For control requests: mail the word "help" to majordomo@aishdas.org ]

< Previous Next >