Avodah Mailing List

Volume 16 : Number 065

Monday, December 19 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 11:00:59 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: Length of Maaseh Breshis has no impact on halacha

Not have the tenacity or background to follow this thread properly I
just have a simple question.

Where is it stated that one must believe that the world is less than
6000 years old? Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky has categorically stated that
one might -l'chatchila - accept that the universe is more than 6000
years old because we don't have a clear mesora on this issue. While
it is obvious that others disagree. - where are the sources that one is
required to accept the belief in a younger than 6000 year old universe?
If there is no clear source - as Rav Kaminetsky as stated - why is this
issue causing so much agitation?

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 15:28:25 -0500
From: Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer <ygbechhofer@gmail.com>
Two He'aros from Yerushalmi Pe'ah 5a

1. The Yerushalmi asks under what circumstances can Avodah Zarah and Gilui
Arayos be considered "kalos" (as opposed to "chamuros"), and it answers,
"when he did not do Teshuvah but died with afflictions." From here we
see yisurin are mechaper even without Teshuvah.

2. The Yerushalmi says that in the case of a majority of mitzvos, the
deceased inherits Gan Eden, while in the case of a majority of aveiros the
deceased inherits Gehinom. This seems to indicate that mitzvos and aveiros
cancel each other out, not like the Gemara in Sotah 21. Tzarich iyun.


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Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2005 23:29:16 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Massechet Atziluth

On December 17, 2005, Jonathan Baker wrote:
> Pseudepigraphy is rampant in the Middle Ages. E.g, assigning the Zohar to
> Rashb"i. Regardless of an ancient core, the total book cannot be earlier
> than the late 1200s - v. Emden, Mitpachat Sefarim, and lehavdil Scholem.

R' Yaakov Emden was a daas Yachid until the intellectuals of the
19th century arose and frankly, their shittos are highly suspect in
my eyes. R' Yitzchak d'min Ako also initially thought that the Zohar
was pseudepigraphic until he personally interviewed the widow of R'
M de Leon and verified its authenticity. The Zohar was obviously not
redacted by RSBY because there are opinions found therein by tanaim that
post-date his death. However, the sefer in general is a compendium of
RSBY'S kabbalistic revelations with some further clarification appended
to the work by later authorities who were members of Chazal in good
standing. No Rishonic submissions can be found in the Zohar.

> At any rate, the Masechet Atzilut seems widely attributed to Jacob the
> Nazir of Lunel, early 12th century in Provence.
> It is apparently the earliest work to lay out the basic structure of
> what is officially called Kabbalah - the 10 sefirot qua channels of
> Divine emnations, and four worlds in which the sefirot operate. Yes,
> all other Jewish mysticism except for Maimonidean (Heichalot, Merkavah,
> Maaseh Bereshit, Hasidut Ashkenaz, letter/number mysticism au Yetzirah)
> have been lumped under Kabbalah, but the real structure that led to the
> Zohar and Ari's systems stemmed from this short work.

Your suggestion is not shared by many people. The Gra claims that the
earliest kabbalistic work associated with Zohar and kisveey arizal was
actually Safra dtz'niusa and subsequently other components of the Zohar
unfolded over time as a pirush on the original SD. And BTY, medrasho
shel R' Nechunya ben hakaana (sefer haBahair) was earlier than Zohar
and so was Sefer Yeetzira which is even quoted in the Gemara.

> It can be found in Eisenstein's Otzar Hamidrashim, and was recently
> reprinted, with some commentaries, with R' Meir Poppers' Ilan Hagodol.

Don't forget R' Yitchak Eizik Chaver's excellent pirush on this sefer.

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 10:40:40 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: Massechet Atziluth

Jonathan Baker wrote:
>Pseudepigraphy is rampant in the Middle Ages. E.g, assigning the Zohar to
>Rashb"i. Regardless of an ancient core, the total book cannot be earlier
>than the late 1200s - v. Emden, Mitpachat Sefarim, and lehavdil Scholem.

Regarding authorship of seforim, Rav Tzadok in his Sefer HaZichronos
makes the following statement:
"There is a sefer Mayan HaChochma which has been printed which has
been attributed to Moshe Rabbeinu which is cited by the kabbalists and
accepted by them as a holy sefer. In my opinion this sefer was in fact
composed at the end of the geonic period or close to that time by a
holy person who perceived with ruach hakodesh what had been revealed to
Moshe in his prophetic state. That is because a chochom is superior to a
prophet and he is able to apprehend through his wisdom by means of ruach
hakodesh that which is halacha l'moshe m'sinai... Sefer Rezial which is
attributed to Adam was in fact composed by the Rokeach... One who looks
in the sefer will see sections which are word by word identical to that
which is found in the Sefer Roakeach...."

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 09:15:19 -0500
From: Russell Levy <russlevy@gmail.com>
Logic difference between Shem and Yefes

I have a chevrusa once a week with a BT, who is very much into logic.
I'm not really sure how this didn't come up yet with the Rabbonim who
were mekarev him, or in Yeshiva (he went to OS in EY for a couple months
over last summer). He asked a very simple, but deep question, which
most BTs get to: Why do we learn the opinions of both Abaye and Rava,
when one of them must be wrong? You can't have to opposing opinions both
being correct!

I explained to him that Torah logic works on difference principles
than Western logic, and the principle of Eilu v'Eilu in Eiruvin. I
also explained to him how machlokesim began, but how both are "true".
Though he understood what I said, I would like to forward him to some
sort of essay (it has to be in English) that discusses these differences.


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Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 00:26:54 -0500
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Re: Oter Yisrael Betifara

In Avodah V16 #61. RSC responded to RSK:
> See SA OC 46:1 as far as the mechaber's interpretation of oter yisrael
> bsifara.

Apparently not a contradiction with SA OC 25:3.

RAM asked:
> Those who reference this bracha to Tefillin -- Do they say this bracha on
> Shabbos et al? And if so, what is their kavana then?

I think of the k'sarim we received at Choraiv (see BT Shabbos 88a),
which we describe as "klil tiferes" in Shacharis. See RSRH on Shmos 33:4.

All the best from
 -Michael Poppers via RIM pager

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Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 01:50:43 -0500
From: hankman <salman@videotron.ca>
Nach (was re: Being exposed to minus)

RAM wrote (Avodah V 16 : N 63):
> ... for we do see that it is not only an exception to this d'Oraisa
> (that avodah zaras named in Nach are an exception to the d'Oraisa against
> uttering the name of an avodah zara), but Nach is itself an exception
> to the d'Oraisa against publishing Torah Sheb'al Peh.

This comment made me wonder: What exactly is Nach and by what
rationale do we consider it Torah? The first part is simple - Nach is
the revelation by HKBH to Neviim subsequent to MR needed Ledoros. Part
two needs analysis. Until I read RAM's comment I simply assumed (as I
am sure most do) that Nach IS Torah Sheb'Ksav and therefore does not
require an exception in order to be written. Upon further reflection on
RAM/s comment, I assume he means that subsequent to the revelation to
Moshe Rabbeinu (on Har Sinai and/or the forty years) the entire Torah
Sheb'Ksav was written. No further additions (to Chumash) subsequent
to MR would later be permissible (note the discussion in Gemara about
the authorship of the last eight Psukim of Chumash). Therefore if Nach
is considered Torah it must be Torah Sheb'al Peh, ergo the need for the
exception mentioned by RAM above. However this does not resolve the issue.
Torah Sheb'al Peh was also revealed to MR and subsequent "additions"
to it are also not permissible unless they were arrived at through the
Midos Shehatorah Nidreshes Bohem which were also given as part of the
original revelation to MR. So in what sense can Nach be either Torah
Sheb'al Peh or Torah Sheb'Ksav (which of course we all assume it is)?

Clearly when HKBH reveals some message to a Novi we are required to
listen to the Novi and follow what he tells us, but what elevates the
Novi's words (written or oral) to the status of Torah? In particular we
have the Klal that Torah Lav Bashomaim Hi and Ain Navi Reshai Lechadesh
Davar. (Perhaps Torah Lav Bashomaim Hi only applies to Psak Halacha
and not Divrei Torah? But Ain Navi Reshai Lechadesh Davar remains

The only tentative unsatisfying conclusion I can come up with, is
that in fact all of Nach was in fact somehow included in the original
revelation to MR as part of Torah Sheb'al Peh (as per RAM), but then
why the need for repeat revelation to another Novi? Perhaps to revive a
forgotten revelation like Osniel ben Knaz (but he did it through Pilpul
not Nevius) or perhaps for a timely reemphasis? Hard to see how any of
this would apply to the historical parts of Nach. Also, if previously
revealed to MR, then were all of the events in Nach predestined to happen
(not likely!)? (This is not the same question as Does the knowledge of
HKBH force events to happen or whether Torah's existence prior to the
world forced events to happen, as there is no revelation to man involved
in the latter two). An assumption that a Novi could claim that he is
revealing through Nevius a forgotten aspect of the revelation to MR
at Sinai, would leave a huge exception that one could drive a truck
through, to the Klal of Ain Navi Reshai Lechadesh Davar, an exception
that I assume is in fact not permissible precisely for that reason.

So can anyone shed some light on the nature of Nach and a rationale for
its status as Divrei Torah for me and whether any of my rambling above
makes any sense? Which of my above assumptions are incorrect?

Kol Tuv 
Chaim Manaster

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Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 12:25:48 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Being exposed to minus

In a message dated 12/17/2005 10:56:55pm EST, rivkyc@sympatico.ca writes:
> Don't think of it in terms of nach which didn't exist yet. Think of
> it in terms of what nach represents which is the spoken word of Hasem
> to a navi with an understanding by the navi, or future neveim, that
> Hashem wants those particular words to be written down just like Toras
> Moshe. At the time, there was actually no hochacha that there was ever
> going to be a nach. Chazal say that if klal Yisrael hadn't sinned,
> they would only have had Chamisha Chumshey Torah and Yehoshua.

That is percisely why I brought Megila 7a where it says clearly Zohs =
Torah, Zicoron = Nvi'im, Basefer = Ksuvim, (Halo Chasavti Lcha Shalishim),
and did not bring the more specific Gemara Brochos 5a Asher Kosavti =
Nvi'im uKsuvim (which puts them into one category, which is understood in
its context to permit writing). there are also Medroshim WRT the Nvuos
that they were given to Moshe at Sinai. (See also MaHaRaTZ Chayos on
the Gemara Ndarim 22b).

This whole very broad issue is dicussed at very great lentgh in the first
of the Rambam's Shoroshim in Sefer Hamitzvohs and the Mforshim on it,
also in the Toras Nvi'im from the MaHaRaTZ Chayos.

However this is all within the limited understanding that only Kisvei
Hakodesh have this Halacha WRT AZ however there are many that hold that
even what is mentioned in Shaas is Muttor, this is a very broad topic
that would take pages to explain, but it depends in the reasons of Heter
which I allready quoted.

Kol Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 02:20:57 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: shogeg vs on-nes

In a message dated 12/17/2005 10:56:27pm EST, eliturkel@gmail.com writes:
> 1. A person eats meat based on a very reliable hasgacha and then finds
> out it is definitely treif. Does he need to bring a korban chatat? (I
> am aware of the gemarot in Horayot please give more detailed source)

See Rambam Hil. Shgogos 13:1, that if the error was made by other then
Beis Din Hagodol the eater is Chayov the Chatos.

WRT issues Nogeia even Bizman HaZeh (Knosos) see Mogein Avrohom O"C 318
s'k 3, and Sdei Chemed Kuntres haKllolim Maareches Tes Kllal 27.

> 2. Someone marries an agunah that believes her husband died and later
> the first husband shows up.
> If she got the permission of the bet din she still needs to leave the
> second husband and she has lived in sin be-shogeg.
> Without asking bet din it still seems to be shogeg.
> If so what did Chazal accomplish with their gezera...

See Ramoh E"H end of Simon 17 and Beis Shmuel s"k 172 and Simon 31 s"k 10
(it will not answer your question, but it will clarify the Halacha).

Kol Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 09:37:17 EST
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com

> Aristotle believes that causality cannot not have an end. That means  that
> ultimately there must be the first cause which is coexistent  eternally
> with the the end product of that cause. This end product is  chomer and
> tsurah (and as in I ch. 17 also he'eder) which together  define all
> objects in the universe. Time is an accident (a property of  matter,
> or more accurately motion), however, so it is possible for time  not to
> have a beginning and for the world to be eternal vis-a-vis  time.

> Plato holds of the same idea of causality except that the  First Cause
> causes matter to come into being but the provision of tsurah  to shape and
> specify this matter into objects took place at some  defined, discreet
> point in time. That is what he calls Creation out of  pre-existent
> matter. I think you will find that this is the correct  interpetation of
> these words.

I don't believe that this is  right.  
The rambam defines two differences between Platonic and Aristotelian
kadmut (whether that accurately defines the original platonic and
aristotelian shittot is a different issue)

Those two differences seem to be viewed as implying each other, rather
than logically separate differences.

1. In aristotelian kadmut, the heavenly spheres are eternal and
unchanging, not subject to change and degeneration. In Platonic kadmut,
they are also subject to change. This is the fundamental difference.

2. In aristotelian kadmut matter in the sublunar world puts on and
off different forms - and this process is eternal and not subject to
fundamental change. This is what limits divine intervention.

In platonic kadmut - matter is put into different forms - but this change
may affect the entire universe - not merely the sublunar world - and
this change is done according to divine will - and sometimes matter is
put to create a heavens and earth, sometimes other things. Therefore,
the giving of a specific form occurs at a specific time - but there
isn't the idea that there was time 0 at which form was given, and prior
to which either the concept of prior is meaningless (time being related
to the form of the matter) or there was no form to the matter. Rather,
different forms were given at different times - and the possiblity is
that our world was therefore given form at a given time - but prior to
which that same matter had a very different form - matter always had
some form.

If you are a professional philosopher I defer to you; if not,I would
contend some of the points in your response.
Firstly, Plato's theory of forms has apparently undergone evolution
between early and middle dialogues.
Secondly, I concede that Rambam confounds his discussion of Plato's theory
of Creation with apparently unrelated questions (except that of course
you claim that they are related). I would explain it by pointing out
that this is an introductory chapter and that each of these strands are
taken up later as a separate discussion. Thus, this chapter serves as
an introduction to those topics and that is why they are commingled.
Finally, I bring to your attention the dicussion in Malchamos Hashem,
Book 6 (Ralbag) where he accepts Plato's theory as the correct one of
Creation. Also see an interesting discussion at

Thank you,
M. Lvin

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Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 11:17:38 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: shogeg vs on-nes

In a message dated 12/17/2005 10:56:27pm EST, eliturkel@gmail.com writes:
> 1. A person eats meat based on a very reliable hasgacha and then finds
> out it is definitely treif.

See Mogein Avrohom O"C 318 s"k 3, and Sdei Chemed Kuntris haKllolim,
Ma'areches Tes Kllal 27.

Kol Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 11:28:58 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Moshiach Waiting

Enclosed is from the Igros Moshe (O"C 5 Simon 8). please point to:

Kol Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 14:46:23 -0500 (EST)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Shabbaton: The Shevil haZahav

[Much thanks to RJJB for being the driving force behind this. AishDas and
other Avodah/Areivim people who are in the general area but not local to the
Yavneh Minyan are invited to come to the MM. Last, this is from a flier that
is much prettier in a medium that preserves formatting. -mi]


I am dust and ashes
     The world was created for me.

V'ahavta et Hashem
     Vihalachta bidrachav

...from His right hand He gave them the fiery Torah

AishDas and Yavneh Minyan of Flatbush
present a Shabbaton on

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Finding Balance Socially, Emotionally, Spiritually

For the greater Flatbush community
January 6-7, 2006, at the Yavneh Minyan of Flatbush
1277 East 14th St, Brooklyn, NY - in the Shulamith School

Talks and Discussions --- Inspirational Prayer and Song
it makes you think ... what do I do next?

* * *
The Shabbaton will feature:
    - kabbalat Shabbat in AishDas' unique singing davening,
    - a delicious Friday night dinner with kumsitz,
    - talks and discussion groups after dinner and after Shacharit,
    - melave malka.

AishDas, the Passion of Torah, is participatory. Bring and enrich your life

Featured Speakers: (subject to change)
    R' Moshe Sokol: Rav, Yavneh Minyan of Flatbush; Dean, Lander College.
    R' Micha Berger: founder, AishDas Society, lecturer on Mussar.
    R' Yaakov Feldman: Director, Machon Binah; Hospice care; Translator.
    R' Gil Student: founder, Yashar Books.

Yavneh Minyan: a synagogue in the heart of Flatbush
AishDas: Inreach, to live the Torah with passion, not by rote.

    Ma'avir al Midosav: are we a nation of doormats?
    Choosing Ahavah: can emotions be commanded?
    Simple Emunah and Philosophical Knowledge

Full program (includes Dinner and Melave Malka): $50; $36 for Yavneh members.
Melave Malka only: $18
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Contact RJJB <jjbaker@panix.com> or myself <micha@aishdas.org> for
more information.

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Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 12:19:30 -0500
From: mlevinmd@aol.com
Logic difference between Shem and Yefes

> A question an infrequent calendar poster to these forums asked me last
> night: Has anyone compared the logical axioms of Torah logic to those
> of normative Western logic? ...
> Is there a way to decide which apply and which don't apply to Torah
> logic? Do we have others (HKBH said so --> true)? Do we have special
> names for some of them (KvC, hekesh)?

Here is a discussion form Midrash and Method. I subsequently found the
issue discussed in Kol Hanevua by R. Dovid Cohen, The Nazir of R. Kook's

M. Levin

VaYikra 5765 
The thirteen rules of interpretation. 

The thirteen rules of interpretation serve as introduction and prologue
to the Sifra. While in the past it has generally been accepted that
these rules were Sinaitic in origin and that without them we would not
know how to interpret the Torah (see the eloquent argument for this
in Ra'avad's first comments on the Sifra), in more modern times there
were attempts to present them as self evident rules of logic or language
based interpretation. R. David Nieto in Matteh Dan (end of Dialogue III)
represents first approach and Malbim the second.

Explaining the 13 rules as logic presents a difficulty in that they do
not appear to follow classic rules of logic. Recall that the Greeks
distinguished between logic, a self sufficient science of reasoning,
and rhetoric, an ability to construct an argument for a desired
position. The former is akin to mathematics in rigor and persuasiveness
while the latter, at its worst, deteriorates into sophistry. The 13
rules do not follow classic logical constructs. Contemporary attempts
to accrue validity for the 13 rules as logic, invoked the essentially
different manner in which Greek and subsequently Western, and Talmudic,
or Hebrew mind thinks and reasons. This is a point that has been realized
and expounded by dozens of scholars over the past century and it is
worth considering at some length, in order to understand how some have
approached the difficult task of justifying the 13 rules [1].

Greek civilization was above all visual. Its gods were concrete and
material and so was its conceptual language. Its writers, such as
Homer, wrote in long, detail laden paragraphs in order to describe a
scene that the readers could visualize, as if it was taking place in
front of their very eyes. Homer is famous for the mass of detail and
leisurely development of his scenes, dress and deportment of characters,
their physical surroundings, their movements and behavior. On the
other hand, he is poor in describing their inner states. A picture
may be worth a thousand words for an image with all of its attendant
detail can be grasped in one glance. On the other hand, a picture is
static; it can never be anything more than it is at the moment that it
has been grasped. It does not allow for development or progression,
only for replacement by another picture. Not so hearing. Although it
transmits information but one syllable at a time, speech is dynamic and
flexible. Every word and every saying must be actively perceived, related
and reconciled with the words, syllables, and units of information that
came before and that are yet to come. It is for this reason that Scripture
is discontinuous and filled with gaps and apparent contradictions [2]
that must be filled in and reconciled by the Oral Tradition. The Jews were
above all a nation devoted to hearing. Their Law was spoken and heard at
Sinai; beyond this, the world itself came into being in an act of Divine
speech. A Jew is not a passive receiver but an active participant in the
act of revelation and Revelation and he is constantly in the process of
perception and interpretation.

It is not surprising than that Greek logic sought to establish identity
while Jewish thought desired to reason from similarity. One of the
basic forms of Greek reasoning was a syllogism. The purpose of syllogism
was to reveal an identity relationship between different particulars,
as members of the same class. A syllogism goes like this:
1. All men are mortal. 
2. Socrates is a man 
3. Therefore, Socrates is mortal. 

While syllogisms are excellent tools to equate simple entities, they
are unable to adequately represent complex relationships of things that
are similar in some aspects but different in others. Such "messy logic"
requires different logical tools [3].

The thirteen principles are precisely such tools. What they attempt
to do is to establish sufficient similarity between categories that an
aspect of one is transferable to the other, without, however, changing
the actual nature of either category. Similarity serves not to establish
equivalence but to serve as proof that more than aspect of the one also
exist in the other. We use this kind of logic in everyday life without
stopping to think and formalize it. It may not be Greek logic but it
is nevertheless the basis of our daily functioning and we rely on it to
make major decisions.

An example may be useful. Imagine that you went to the railway station
where you encountered the ticket master in full railroad regalia and
wearing a distinctive conductor's cap. As you board the train, you
are greeted by ticket checker who is in the same uniform but wearing
different pants. After a few hours on the train you make your way across
the engine room and see there a man who is loading coal into the heaving
furnace. Because of the heat in his compartment he is wearing nothing but
shorts and the conductor's hat. Is there any doubt that this one part of
the uniform would be sufficient for you to assume that he is an employee
of the railroad, just like the others? This example illustrates the
kind of logic that enables us to handle shifting and complex categories
without recourse to syllogism and formal categories of Greek thought.

It might be instructive to compare Kal V'Chomer and syllogism in
its so-called a-fortiori form. Whereas syllogism deals with names and
predicates, kal v'chomer deals with sentences. It is not concerned with
relationships of classes. Syllogism apply terms such as 'all' and, 'every'
but kal v"chomer employs juxtapositions - if an aspect of a law is found
in the minor case, so much so must it be present in the major case. In
fact, kal v"chomer works just as well for transferring leniencies as
stringencies, an aspect not found in syllogism. Kal v'chomer argues that
if a lenient aspect is found in the stricter case, it should also pertain
in a less strict case. Conversely, if there is strict aspect to a lenient
case, we should expect that it should also exist in a stricter case.

The underlying principle underlying the thirteen rules of interpretation
is the principle of unity of the Torah. In some ways it is similar
to the scientific method; when different phenomena evidence similar
characteristics, one looks of for common mechanisms. This is known after
J.S. Mills as the Method of Agreement, which states: "If two or more
instances of a phenomenon under investigation have one circumstance
in common, the circumstance in which alone all the instances agree is
the cause of the phenomena". R. Adin Steinsaltz wrote in the Essential
Talmud (p. 97) that "Rabbis anticipated modern science while endeavoring
to employ an empirical approach without having recourse to theoretical
structures that did not derive from tested facts". They applied this
most modern logic to texts and linguistic structures, in the world of
hearing and reception, as scientists apply them to the world of visible
and natural phenomena.

Attempting to explain the logical underpinnings of the 13 rules is
good apologetics but I have a question. It should be evident that the
more these rules can be proven to be based on pure logic, the less they
need to have been Divinely revealed. Why, after all do we need Sinaitic
rules, if we could have figured them out by ourselves. On the other hand,
as decoding tools they hardly need to be logical at all. For those who
believe that the Divine Author encrypted multiple meanings into the Torah
and that the thirteen rules are the code with which to comprehend them,
the supposition that they are pure logic to be nothing but a distraction.

Let us restate the traditional majority opinion about the 13 rule. It
is that that the thirteen principles are themselves received at Sinai
[4]. In this view, the Divine Author intentionally encrypted multiple
meanings in his Torah and also provided the keys with which they may be
comprehended or decoded. In addition, certain limitations on how these
rules work, such as that an individual may not derive a gzeirah shava
on his own, or that principle of D'yo for a Kal V'Chomer, fit best with
this approach. There should be no limitations on use of pure logic,
if that is what the 13 rules are.

There is a third approach - one that sees some of the rules as logic and
others as received decoding devices. This is, for example, the approach
of the Shela [5] who considers the first 10 rules as being received and
the last three as purely logical. The Ra'vad also writes that 12 rules are
received and the last (bringing a 3rd verse to reconcile two conflicting
verses) is logical. This approach deserves farther explication and study.

1 Much of this research has been summarized by Susan Handelman, a
professor of English and seminary teacher of Tanach in The slayers of
Moses: The emergence of Rabbinic interpretation in modern literary theory,
SUNY Press, 1982
2 This point has become widely accepted after Erich Auerbach in Mimesis. 
3 Classic Greek thinkers attempted to surmount this problem by
characterizing the 'metaphor' as the way to deal with comparison of things
that are not susceptible to use of syllogism. Metaphor is essentially
a device that language uses to speak of two different entities as if
they essentially the same, without them becoming same. Thus one can
speak of one beloved's eyes as being as bright as stars without them
actually being stars. While concepts such as metaphor and simile enable
Greek logicians to surmount some of the difficulties they faced, they
led to another unfortunate development in the realm of hermeneutics,
or science of interpretation. Western thinkers became unable to allow
that Scripture may have more than one 'true' meaning. A biblical verse
could have either a literal meaning or be an allegory, with the 'real'
meaning hidden and the literal meaning being no more than a metaphor. When
applied to a living, dynamic, multi-level work written for Jews and in
their language and pattern of thought, it led to more than two millennia
of grievous misinterpretation of Scripture in Christian thought.
4 The minority view, that the Sages extracted the thirteen rules of
interpretation from the mass of received precedent may be represented
by Meiri in Kidddushin 24 and views of those early authorities who
allowed any individual to apply these rules, with the exception of
gzerah shava, without a pre-existent tradition. In the same vein,
Maimonides wrote that gzerah shavah was restricted for use by the
High Court only in order to prevent widespread confusion, implying its
non-Sianitic origin (See Encyclopedia Talmudit, entry gzerah shavah, and
middot, when available). One may explain, however, that gzerah shavah
could on occasion be used without a pre-existent tradition (to prove
meaning, giluy milta) and that his remarks pertain only to such a case
(See Halichot Olam, Beit Yosef's Klalei Hagmara, Techilat Chochma 11,
Margaliyot Hayam to Sanhedrin 16). As R. Nieto points out, in such cases
the rules of interpretation were used to confirm or support established
received traditi! ons. Maimonides himself uses the term "words of
scribes" for laws derived from rules of interpretation. Virtually every
commentator explains that he does not mean that these laws are of Rabbinic
origin; however, his response (#444) that were subsequently published
appear explicit in this regard (See Sefer Hamitsvot and commentaries to
Shoresh 2).
In modern times, the first one to argue that gzeirah shava was only a
giluy milsa was Zechariah Frankel in Darchei Hamishna. Standard editions
of Sifro have a nice response to this by the publisher who appears to
have been a great scholar. R. S.R. Hirsch argues forcefully against this
as well in Vol. 5 of Collected Writings.
5 See Kitzur Piskei Shela, Klalei Hatalmud 

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