Volume 34: Number 156
Tue, 29 Nov 2016
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
From: Simon Montagu
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 21:47:54 +0200
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Love and Marriage
On Sun, Nov 27, 2016 at 9:15 PM, via Avodah <avo...@lists.aishdas.org>
> > Frank Sinatra used to sing a song about love and marriage. In part
> the lyrics are
> >> Love and marriage, love and marriage
> >> They go together like a horse and carriage
> > I am sure that RSRH would insist that the order is wrong and it should
> > be marriage and love. My reasoning is based upon Rav Hirsch's commentary
> > on Bereishis 24:67 which is below.
> Could one say the opposite, based on Bereshit 29,18?
Why not both?
We have been here before, and I believe it was RnTK who pointed out that
the Avot (who are of course a siman labanim) display different models of
courtship and marriage to teach us that each is equally legitimate.
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From: Prof. Levine
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 15:11:48 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Love and Marriage
At 02:15 PM 11/27/2016, ????? ??? wrote:
>Could one say the opposite, based on Bereshit 29,18?
Rav Hirsch does not comment on this pasuk.
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From: Akiva Miller
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 17:48:48 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Borrer Brewing Coffee Shabbos
R' Michael Poppers wrote:
: In Avodah V34n150, R'Micha responded to R'Akiva re the French press.
: Just to clarify RAH's position, published in the previous digest, he
: forbade the French press on Shabbos because it's a *k'li*, even though
: one is still obtaining *ochel mitoch p'soles*.
And R' Micha Berger asked:
> Isn't that mutar for akhilah le'alter? Or am I confused?
It is very easy to forget that the melacha here is not Borer. Because the
selection is being done by means of a keli, the melacha is M'raked.
Rabbi Dovid Ribiat ("The 39 Melochos", pp 509-511) writes that L'alter
helps for Tochain and Borer because it establishes the act as Derech
Achilah. But M'raked requires the use of a specialized instrument, so it is
merely a preliminary preparation *before* the eating, i.e., *not* Derech
Achilah. (It is my opinion that the french press is a great example of
this.) He writes that L'alter helps for M'raked only in exceptional cases,
such as placing a cloth over the cup that one is actually drinking from.
See the lengthy footnote #8 there for his sources.
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Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 18:42:28 -0600 (CST)
Subject: [Avodah] The Benediction Over Soft Matza
> BUT, the Chida does answer one question I had along the
> way... Sepharadim only have this problem with crispy matzah. Soft
> matzah is hamotzi year-round.
You could have seen this question answered last year in Israel, where
the last day of Passover was immediately followed by Shabbath, without
any intervening time in which to buy or bake bread (it is interesting
to think about what Sefardim would do, if they paskened that soft
matza is like crispy matza; the only two alternatives I can think of
are to arrange for a non-Jew to give you kosher bread on Shabbath, and
to perform qvi`ath s`udah with matza, according to whatever criteria
you have for qvi`ath s`udah).
Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
6424 N Whipple St
Chicago IL 60645-4111
"Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur"
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From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 21:41:11 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Brisk and the Ran
On Sat, Nov 26, 2016 at 06:39:43PM -0500, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
:> The Ran ... explains:
:> vehai lav issur gavra hu KEKHOL LO SA'ASEI SHEBATORAH
:> If the Ran holds that every issur is an issur gavra, can a
:> Brisker honestly use the gavra-cheftza chiluq to describe his
:> shitah or any machloqes he is in?
: Are you sure that the Ran really means every single last one, without any
: exceptions at all? Maybe he is just stating a general rule?
Are you suggesting that when the Ran says that a neder is chal al issur
but a shavu'ah is not, he only means in general? That there are some
issurim that are really on a cheftzah, and therefore the neder would
not be chal and the shavu'ah would not?
(And similarly nedarim and shavu'os to fulfill a chiyuv.)
The Ran only invokes this notion that every lav is an issur gavra to
explain why nedarim and shavu'os differ in this way. It would seem to
me to be a bit much to say he doesn't mean they always differ without
the Ran himself writing as much. But YMMV.
And you would still be tying one Brisker arm behind his back. As he
couldn't say that a given issur was in the cheftzah, pe'ulah or chalos
according to the Ran without a hurdle of proof to show this is an
exceptional case. And the rarity would have to be preserved.
Micha Berger "And you shall love H' your G-d with your whole
mi...@aishdas.org heart, your entire soul, and all you own."
http://www.aishdas.org Love is not two who look at each other,
Fax: (270) 514-1507 It is two who look in the same direction.
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From: via Avodah
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2016 12:02:08 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Love and Marriage
From: Professor L. Levine, quoting R' Hirsch:
>> This, too, is a characteristic that, thank God, has not vanished from
among the descendants of Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivkah.
The more she became his wife, the more he loved her! Like this marriage
of the first Jewish son, Jewish marriages, most Jewish marriages, are
contracted not on the basis of passion, but on the strength of reason
and judgment. Parents and relatives consider whether the two young
people are suited to each other; therefore, their love increases as they
come to know each other better.
Most non-Jewish marriages are made on the basis of what they call
"love." But we need only glance at novelistic depictions taken from life,
and we immediately see the vast gulf -- in the non-Jewish world --
between the "love" of the partners before marriage and what happens
afterward; how dull and empty everything seems after marriage, how
different from what the two partners had imagined beforehand. This
sort of "love" is blind; each step into the future brings new
When I was a single girl (and getting a little long in the tooth, having
dated dozens of Mr. Wrongs), the Novominsker Rebbetzen a'h once said to me,
"The goyim put a hot pot on a cold stove. We put a cold pot on a hot
At the time I didn't fully appreciate her words because I thought she was
telling me to go eeny, meeny, miny, mo and just pick somebody already, any
random guy. But now I perceive the wisdom in her words, and I often quote
her. (I add the caveat that you shouldn't go into a marriage without some
level of mutual attraction.) Her words wisely echo R' Hirsch's insight into
the nature of Jewish marriage.
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From: via Avodah
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2016 16:06:05 -0500
Subject: [Avodah] To praise Yishmael?
Here's a question I meant to ask a couple of weeks ago, from Parshas Lech
In pasuk 16:16 we are told that Avraham was 86 years old when Yishmael was
born, and Rashi comments there that this is written in order to praise
Yishmael, since it proves that Yishmael was 13 when he had a bris and he didn't
object. ("Let's see, if Avraham was 86 when Yishmael was born, and 99
when he had a bris, then Yishmael was 13....").
But in 17:25 the pasuk states explicitly that Yishmael was 13 years old
when he had a bris. So we didn't need to do any arithmetic!
What then is Rashi's point? Probably there are Rashi super-commentaries
that address this question but I'll just wait for my friends here on Avodah
to provide an answer. Thank you.
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From: Yisrael Herczeg
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2016 10:44:25 +0200
Subject: Re: [Avodah] To praise Yishmael?
On Mon, Nov 28, 2016 at 11:06 PM, Toby Katz <t6...@aol.com> wrote:
> In pasuk 16:16 we are told that Avraham was 86 years old when Yishmael was
> born, and Rashi comments there that this is written in order to praise
> Yishmael, since it proves that Yishmael was 13 when he had a bris and he
> didn't object...
> But in 17:25 the pasuk states explicitly that Yishmael was 13 years old
> when he had a bris. So we didn't need to do any arithmetic!
I like the Maskil LeDavid's answer to this question. If we had only the
explicit possuk, we'd know that Yishmael was thirteen when he had his
bris but not that he didn't object. The Torah underlines this point
through repetition, implying that it has significance -- although he
was thirteen he didn't object. (According to one pshat in Rashi to 22:1,
it was this particular point that ultimately led to the Akeidah.)
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From: H Lampel
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2016 00:24:15 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Geonim, Rambam and Other Rishonim on Mesorah and
[RHM's sources are available at
> The majority of rishonim give HQBH "ownership" of all the conclusions,
> even though they contradict. Choosing not to reinterpret the gemaros --
> "kulam nitnu miro'eh echad", "49 panim tahor, 49 panim tamei", "eilu
> va'eilu" etc... to fit the Law of Non-Contradiction.
Rabbi Berger, before I begin, I want to apologize in advance for any harsh
or condescending language I might be using in the fire of discussion. I
truly admire your broad learning and maasim in promoting Torah and mussar
learning and practice, and your personal acts of mussar and chesed.
Now, for our disagreement.
> Pashut peshat in Chazal is that machloqes is understood in these terms
> as well.
> "Eilu va'eilu divrei E-lokim, vehalakhah keBH."
> You take it as " pashut peshat"that "divrei E-lokim chaim"means
> "true [despite being contradictory]," but the rishonim I will cite
> below hold that what you consider "pashut peshat" is not correct
> I am not sure what you mean by this last sentence -- that pashut
> peshat is NOT as I take it, so there is no indication that both
> shitos are truely what Hashem Said? Or that this is pashut peshat,
> but you will bring rishonim to meet the burden of proof that correct
> peshat isn't what the words would seem to mean to the naive reader.
Eilu v'Eiu! I purposely left it vague, "pashut peshat" is used in various
ways. One is a reference to the literal meaning of a statement. Another,
to the surface meaning. Another, to an understanding based on a more
careful analysis of the words. And then another would demand that the
analysis requires being informed of external factors. Another definition
is "what the words would seem [to indicate] to the naive reader,"
which you now revealed is what you meant, although there could also be
disagreement over what the naive reader would be expected to think.So yes,
the naive but uninformed (of shittos rishonim) reader may very well take
the memra to mean both sides of a machlokess are true, despite being
contradictory. But that is not the peshat endorsed by the rishonim.
I will deal again with the "kulam nitnu" Gemora later. But a careful
reading of the other talmudic sources' wording reveals that they do not
state that Hashem told Moshe that anything is, in final state, both
assur and muttar, etc. They state only that Hashem revealed to Moshe
the panim, the many, many factors and considerations and rules of drash
that must be weighed and applied to determine the halachic status of
something. (Yes, Hashem was teaching Moshe about halacha l'maaseh, for
Moshe to hand over to the bnei Yisroel as a "Shulchan Aruch," [Rashi,
beginning of parshas Mishpatim] so that they would know how to conduct
themselves. And if there is a disagreement among sages, it's about what
that correct halacha was. And even if they are both conforming to some
metaphysical self-contradiction in shamayyim, they are arguing not about
that, but about what the halacha l'maaseh here on earth is. /Regarding
that/, only the one corresponding to what Moshe explicitly or implicitly
taught is correct.)
You made the claim that the majority of rishonim chose to disregard the
Law of Non-Contradiction. And you based this upon your claim that they did
not reinterpret [from what you consider "pashut peshat"] the gemaros that
say "kulam nitnu miroe'eh echad," "49 panim tahor, 49 panim tamei," "eilu
give HQBH, " etc., but left them,or actually explained them as the naive
reader would take them, as disregarding the Law of Non-Contradiction,
If I understand you correctly, you want to take these sayings as a naive
reader would, and that would be that Hashem told Moshe, "Everything is
both tahor and tamei, muttar and assur, chayiv and patur, etc. (whether
in a metaphysical or physical sense), but as far as halacha l'maa'seh
is concerned, I want the future sages to pick one way or the other
(based upon no precedent or standard) by which people should conduct
themselves." (Or /was/ there halachic precedence that was set, by Moshe's
and/or Yehoshua's sages, in which case the machlokos of the Tannaim
and Amoraim were over reconstructing what those down-to-earth halachic
conclusions were, divorcing the shittos in those machlokos from being
"divrei Elokim Chaim"?)
But I listed (in addition to Rambam) ten rishonim who /do/ explain these
statements differently. Whatever they say, goes in a totally different
direction from simply saying, or working with the notion, that "Hashem
gave Moshe contradicting pesakim from which the sages should pick for
halacha." What they say gives no indication of disagreement with what the
Rambam and Geonim emphasized: that there is a true halacha, explicit or
implicit, going back to Moshe miSinai, which if forgotten or not dealt
with before could and should be reconstructed through the methodologies
given at Sinai, ala Othniel ben Kenaz, and that the halachic status
the sages assign to objects and actions is identical with the one true
overall status of that object or action.
For instance, Rashi, followed by Ritva, explains that "eilu v'eiu" cannot
apply when the opposing parties are disagreeing over what a previous
teacher said, because one of them is saying sheker. If Rashi and Ritva
are taking eilu v'eilu to mean that regardless of the halachic status
of say, muttar, assigned by the previous mentor, in Shammayim it is both
muttar and assur, so the talmid who is misquoting the mentor as saying
"assur" is also "right"--then why would eilu v'eilu not be applicable?
And to repeat, by assigning each of the diverse halachos to
different circumstances, Rashi is working in consort with the Law of
Non-Contradiction. If it is as you say, let him simply say as you do,
that although the two pesakim are contradictory, both are talking about
the same thing in the same time and place, because bashamyim there is no
Law of Non-Contradiction. No, he is taking eilu v'eilu to mean something
else, and something which assumes the Law of Non-Contradiction.
Your response that
> Both are true, and sometimes a slight change in circumstance would
> change which we should follow lemaaseh. (In Maharal-speak, which
> yesod becomes iqar.)
does not explain why Rashi would require a slight change in circumstance
to allow your take of eilu v'eilu to stand.
And as for your comment that according to Rashi,
> But when the machloqes is over sevara rather than the contents of a
> quote, neither is sheqer.
That hardly defends your claim that Rashi /advocates/ that eilu v'eilu
refers to a notion of self-contradictions each being true. As to what it
/does/ mean according to Rashi, we can cull from Ritva, who follows
through on Rashi's explanation.
RITVA, following Rashi, explains Kesubos 57b as saying that it is
preferable to say that two Amoraim are having their own argument about
their own opinions, than to say that Amoraim are arguing over one
Amora's opinion. This former way, neither one of them would be saying
something that [by necessity] is false, but "these and those are the
words of the Living G-d." But when we say that the disciples of one
mentor are arguing over what his words were, one saying this, and one
saying that, it seems that one of them is lying or forgot the
information he learned, something one should refrain as much as possible
Do you not see that his application of eilu v'eilu has nothing to do
with contradicting ideas being both true in shamayim? You count this as
an example of one of rov rishonim advocating your "pashut peshat" in
eilu v'eilu? Even if you insist that what he says /tolerates/ your
"pashut peshat," this is not grounds to say the Ritva advocates it!
But back to what Rashi and Ritva say it does mean, there is a problem.
The alternative, preferred explanation, that the Amoraim are arguing
over what Tannaim were arguing over, is also saying that they are
arguing about the contents of quotes! The Ritva answers this:
And although here, nevertheless, R. Yochonon and R. Yehoshua ben
Levy are arguing over what Tannaim were arguing over, this too is
[merely] arguing over their own opinions, for they did not learn
[the correct understanding of the Tannaim's dispute] from the
Tannaim and did not receive a transmitted report originating from
them. Instead, each of these Amoraim is saying /what seems to him to
be correct to say the Tannaim are arguing over/.
And this is what he holds fits the concept of "eilu v'eilu. In other
words, his explanation of eilu v'eilu is that each disputant is making
an attempt at analyzing information honestly and sincerely, where there
is no necessity to conclude that he is misrepresenting or forgetting the
data at his disposal.
Again, you cite the source I cited, Chagiga 3b:
"Ba'alei asufos" (Qoheles 12:11) ... "Kulam nitnu miRo'eh echad."
One G-d gave them, one source/leader said them, miPi Adon kol
hama'asim barukh Hu. As it says (Shemos 20:1), "Vaydaber E-lokim es
kol hadevarim ha'eileh".
and tell us you find it pretty compelling that simple peshat in Chazal
is that H' literally gave us both shitos. But your claim was that the
rov rishonim hold this, whereas--as I already wrote, but you skipped
over in your response--Rashi takes this passage in a totally different
You don't have any of the disputants bringing a proof from any god's
torah, only from the Torah of our G-d." and he explains "Parness
echad amran"to mean: You don't have anyone bringing a proof from
the words of a prophet who came to argue against Moshe Rabbeynu."
Do you see Rashi saying anything about Hashem literally giving both
shittos? All it means, he goes on to explain, is:
"Since their hearts are [directed] to heaven [i.e. since they are
both making sincere attempts to understand the matter]...learn and
know the words of all [the disputants], and when you will know to
distinguish which one is valid (u'k'sheh-taya lehavchin ay zeh
yikasher), establish the halacha accordingly."
Identical to the Ritva above.
But yet you feel compelled to define the rishonim's shitta by what you
feel to be the simple peshat in Chazal, which is that H' literally gave
us both shitos. Your methodology seems to be that
1.You read the Gemora in a way that introduces an esoteric concept that
contradicts the logical approach assumed throughout the rest of Shas
and rishonim, defending it by creating a concept of a dichotomy between
truth and aim of halacha (which you think is maintained by Maharal,
an acharon or very late rishon).
2. You see the rishonim explaining the Gemora in down-to-earth terms,
not at all hinting to the esoteric take
3. But instead of accepting the "reinterpretation," the pashut peshat
of the rishon, you insist on yours and attempt to show that it is still
compatible with what the rishon says.
4. You then claim that the rishon holds your position because, after all,
that's the naive reading of the Gemora
5. Therefore, the burden of proof is upon one who denies that this is
the rishon's opinion.
I insist this methodology is flawed.
And in terms of a pashtus understanding of Gemoros and rishonim
establishing a basic outlook towards mesorah, I think if you would ask
almost anyone what their naive impression is, it would be that the sages
are striving to correctly interpret what their predecessors held, going
back in a chain mesorah, with the assumption that there is a single
correct halacha for each circumstance that was intended by Hashem, that
they are striving to identify.
Thus, Rashi (Sota 47a-b) writes that the first of the Zuggos brought to
an end "Torah b'amitah, v'ein dofi v'shikcha umachlokess." The
reference to forgetfulness-free, dofi (two-panim)-free, and
machlokess-free as the characteristic of "Torah b'amitah," (and not just
halacha b'amitah), indicates that there was a true, single din for each
situation that was the emes of Torah, as opposed to when machlokos began.
How could this fit the notion that Moshe literally handed down opposite
halachos? Will you say that through the generations up until the Zugos,
even though they knew the Torah b'amito, they preserved the shitta that
was not Torah b'amito to be available for later generations to choose?
> ... See also Gitin 6b: Eliyahu tells R Aviatar that HQBH discussed
> both sides of his debate with R Yehudah about pilegesh begiv'ah. RA
> himself said the levi was getting rid of her because he found a
> zevuv. R Yonasan said he found a hair. Amar Lei: Chas veshalom! Umi
> ika sefeiqa qamei Shemaya? Amar Lei: Eilu va'eilu divrei E-lokim
> Chaim hain
> He found a fly but wasn't maqpid about it, and he found a hair, over
> which he was maqpid.
Note that the dispute was over what triggered the levi's anger.
Regarding the fly in the plate, the conclusion was that the levi was
/not/ maqpid, and it was /not/ the reason he sent the pilegesh away. The
reason he sent her away is that he found hair (in his plate, or on her
in a place that would cause him damage during relations [Rashi]). So
regarding the point in dispute, R. Aviatar was wrong.
> Notice that eilu va'eilu is being used to mean both sides are
> true.... thanks to there being many ways to look at someone's
> motives, both sides could be true even while appearing to
Not really. Not according to Tosefos HaRosh,who logically remarks that
Eliyahu was really supporting R. Yonasan's position. RA thought the cause
of anger was the fly and only the fly, thus his shock at what Eliyahu
told him. And he was wrong about that. The levi was /not/ maqpid about
the fly. R. Yonasan was right. The thing that finally angered the levi
was the hair. The most one can say in RA's defense is that the matter
of the hair made the levi anger, and then he remembered the incident
with the fly, and the two things together enraged him to the point of
sending the pilegesh out. But then, that's not what R. Yonasan thought,
either. If there was a third person arguing that after the fly incident,
the levi considered the hair affair the last straw, he would be the one
and only one who was right about what he meant to say.
To quote from Dynamics of Dispute (p.221 ff.):
Obviously, there are some internal difficulties with this passage.
?Why is Rebbi Avyasar the one being praised when his opponent is
?the one who was right? Even if we say that the fly contributed to
the ?anger, though it was not what triggered it, as Avyasar thought,
Rebbi ?Yonoson was still much more correct. The Tosefos HaRosh
(Gittin ??6b) addresses this problem and answers that people were
not aware ?at all of the contribution the fly made to the man's
anger. They only ?knew about the fact that upon , seeing the hair,
he became enraged ?at his concubine. Therefore Rebbi Avyasar's
remark was a ?remarkable insight, explainable only as divine
Nevertheless, we must recognize that Rebbi Avyasar himself
?considered his report to be irreconcilable with his opponent's.
"Heaven forbid," he exclaimed, when he first heard Elijah say that
?Hashem accepted both of their reports, for as he saw it, either one
?report was right, or the other. The issue that Rebbi Avyasar and
?Rebbi Yonoson were addressing--had you asked them what they ?were
arguing about-was identifying the factor that triggered the ?rnan's
anger. And the plain, direct answer to that simple question ?was,
according to Elijah, the hair, and not the fly. Why then did Elijah
?say, "These and those are the words of the Living G-d?" ?Building
on the Tosefos HaRosh's explanation that--despite the ?opinions of
the two Sages--both a fly and a hair were involved in the ?event, we
can conclude that one's report of the facts was really a
??"recessive gene" cause of the anger. True, Avyasar was not correct ?
according to the way he understood himself, but there was a fly
?involved, and it did contribute strongly to the final anguish,
though ?it was not its principal cause. This is what Elijah meant
when he ?invoked the phrase "These and those." The point of "These
and ?those" is that Avyasar's error was not baseless. He was merely
?reporting a contributing cause to an emotional outburst--its
"recessive gene" cause--which he mistook for the outburst's
immediate ?cause. ?
Tosefos(Rosh HaShonna 27a, cf. Ohr HaChaim on Braishis 1:1 siman 16)
uses this concept to reconcile two mutually exclusive ?versions of
an event. He says that whereas one version was ?reporting a
tradition describing the actual event, the other was ?reporting a
tradition of a strongly considered action: ?
?[The Gemora states] Whose opinion are we following in our
Rosh HaShonna prayers that say the world was created on Rosh ?
HaShonna? --Rebbi Eliezer's, for he holds that the world was ?
created in Tishri (the month in which Rosh Hashonna falls
[supra 8a, lob, Avoda Zorra 8a]). ?
Rabbi Elazar HaKalir composed the Shemini Atserres prayer for ?rain,
which states that the world was created in Tishri, as was the
opinion of Rebbi Eliezer. Yet he also composed the Passover ?prayer
for dew, which states the world was created in Nissan ?(the month in
which Passover occurs), as was the opinion of ?Rebbi Yehoshua! How
[could he contradict himself so]? ?
Rabbeynu Tam answers, " 'These and those are the words of the
?Living G-d.' We can say that in Tishri G-d was /thinking/ of
creating the World, whereas he did not [actually ?create it
until Nissan." ?
We see that "These and those" describes the method of reconcil?ing
two opinions by admitting that only one of them is a description ?
of the subject's action (G-d's creating the world) and taking the ?
other as a description of his prior, considered thought. Although ?
Rebbi Eliezer certainly meant that the world was actually created ?
during Tishri (or else his exchange with Rebbi Yehoshua could not ?
be termed a machlokess), it is desirable, especially when it comes to ?
historical occurrences, to minimize the gap between opponents, ?even ?
if it means interpreting someone's statement differently from the ?
way he himself intended. To this solution, Tosefos attaches the label ?
?"These and those." ?
> > : MAHARAL > > : You invoke the Maharal, but the Maharal (be'er
HaGolah, be'er > rishon) : explains that halacha is like Hashem's
creations... > > ... And Hashem yisbarakh created everything, and He
created the > matter so that is has in it 2 bechinos. Only when it comes
to > halakhah lemaaseh that there is no doubt that one is more iqar than
> the second, like the Acts of H'. Even when something is a compound, >
in any case this is not like the other -- one is more central. For >
wood, which is a compound of four elements, the overpowering iqar is >
the element of wind, as is known. > > The first two sentences (before
the highlight in your scan) make the > point that I was trying to lay
down in that first, groundwork email > -- Hashem gave us both shitos. Is
this not a reinforcement of the > literal read of evilu va'eilu? Hashem
made 2 bechinos, and only when > it comes to lemaaseh we have to choose one.
There is no such statement there that Hashem /gave/ us both shittos or
/gave/ us anything. It's talking about the nature of things.
Those two sentences (which I put in bold) say:?
The two things [not 'the two halachos'--as is seen when the Maharal
goes on to explain himself] are from ?Hashem Yisborach, but nevertheless
/one is closer to ?Hashem Yisborach than the other/, just as in created
and then what I highlighted, where Maharal explains himself:
And ?likewise with the taamim, although both of them [both of the
taamim, not the words or pesakim of the sages] are ?from Hashem
Yisborach, nevertheless one is closer to ?Hashem than the other. But
by Beis Shammai and Beis ?Hillel, both of them were divrei Elokim
Chaim ?equally...Both of them were near the truth of Hashem
?Yisborach... Therefore it says "Elokim Chayim," ?because "life"
is the true-ness of what exists. When one says "'this lives" he
means it is ?what exists and it has no non-existence.?
Maharal is not translating "divrei" as "words of," to be referring
to the words, e.,g. pesakim, of BS and BH. He's translating "divrei"
as "things/elements/factors." These elements/factors that contribute
to the mutar or tahor nature of the thing, and these elements/factors
that contribute to assur or tamei nature of the thing, are all "of
Hashem", i.e. "from Hashem," meaning created by Hashem, and do exist
in some degrees in the object or action being disputed about. In the
case of the matters between BS and BH, they exist in equal degrees. In
all other machlokos, the factors that weigh more determine the nature of
the object or action, and that nature defines the correct halacha.
Thus his example of a tree. I would posit another example. You and I
have both male and female components, and both of them are "from
Hashem." But the male components outweigh the female ones. If one would
say that we are females, it's true that he's not entirely off base,
since we do have female components in us. Eilu v'eilu, all the factors
were created and are "from Hashem" and do exist to some degree. But in
the totality of reality, both halachic and natural, he is wrong. Thus
(with the exception of the disputes of BS and BH) only one is the
halacha because that one is what is factually "closer to Hashem." The
disputants are arguing over which components outweigh the others, and
that is a matter of fact about which they cannot both be correct.
But again, your assertion was about rishonim, not Maharal. It is not
true that "rov rishonim" (if any at all) say that Hashem told Moshe to
tell bnei Yisroel that each thing is both assur and muttar, tamie and
tahor, chayyiv and pattur, etc.
> > ... : CHAZAL > > : You haven't addressed my point that every Gemora's
kushya, or at > least : every tiyuvta-tiyuvta, is assuming the Law of >
Non-Contradiction.... > > Because halakhah requires a single pesaq. I
think you are assuming > that "tiyuvta" must mean that we cannot find
the one shitah given at > Sinai and then presenting my not sharing that
assumption as > question. > > Tiyuvta could mean we cannot figure out
which shitah is more > consistent with other pesaqim already made. It
could mean any of a > lot of different ways we reach a stalemate.
I think your confusing "tiyuvta" with "teyku." Tiyuvta is a
checkmate against a shiita, and establishes the other shittah as the
correct one. Because the authoritative facts--sometimes an authoritative
memra, sometimes a posuk--supports the opposite halacha from the one
maintained by the opposition. My point was that Chazal assume the Law of
Non-Contradiction, something that you denied, but which you see working
> > :... Chazal : taught the Sinaitic rule that if two pesukim are in >
contradiction, a : third one comes to qualify them, to add conditions >
to one or both of : them so that they no longer contradict. > > But this
is a rule of derashah. Meaning, you can decide which shitah > to make
halakhah using the kasuv hashelishi.
So was the kasuv hashlishi put there to point to a specific halacha over
another, or not?
> > I pointed out cases where Aristo's logic doesn't work. > > That was a
central point of that email. In a real world, where > categories have
fuzzy edges, and when dealing with the human > condition ride with
antinomies, dialectics and ambivalence, > two-values logic doesn't work.
I didn't want to get into that. I'm focused on your claim about rov
rishonim. And I wanted to cut it down before you start building on it.
> Here's a related quote from R Tzadoq haKohein, Resisei Laylah #17: > Whenever a new thing about the Torah is found by a wise person, its >
opposite simultaneously arises... When it comes to the realm of > po'el,
it cannot be that two [contradictory] things are true > simultaneously.
In the realm of machashavah, on the other hand, it is > impossible for a
person to think about one thing without considering > the opposite,
Not a rishon. (And even according to this quote, yeah, in the realm of
machshava when one thinks of one thing he /considers/ the opposite. For
instance, if one thinks about Hashem's existence, he must /consider/ the
existence of avodah zorrah, or of His non-existence, chas veshalom. If
one thinks of the truth, he considers the false. And the relevance is...?)
> > ... : When RITVA on the same daf quotes Rashi as the correct peshat,
> it is : because he too is working with the Law of Non-Contradiction >
.(Yes, the : same Ritva who elsewhere quotes the kabbalistic teaching >
about Moshe : being told 49 considerations pointing to opposite >
conclusions, but who : concludes that "that is correct by way of >
drash, but in the derech : ha-emes there is ta'am v'sod ba-davar." > And
pardon me, but I cannot : accept that any one of us can decipher > what
he means, either in the : beginning or the end.) > > This is not some
qabbalistic esoterica -- it's in both Talmuds and > Mes Soferim! Chazal
benigleh say that Moshe was given both set of > arguments.
I'm surprised that someone who repeatedly invokes the Rambam's rule
about not taking Aggadta literally would argue this, especially to
support a literal interpretation that posits a logical impossibility.
> [If] You want to argue that these rishonim did not take those gemaras > at face value, do so.
Yes, I do. And I proved it.
> But "I cannot accept" or our inability to decipher is insufficient > reason to take a gemara at anything but what it says. When the Ritva
> is confusing, we should start by assuming that whatever he means, >
it's consistent with the gemara. Especially when he himself quotes > it.
--He quotes it and says not to take the Gemora literally, nor what the
Rabbanei Tsarfas say literally. I said I could not accept that you or I
can decipher what Ritva means in his Rabbanei Tsarfas comment on Eruvin.
But his comment about the same subject in Kesubos makes it clear he
views eiu v'eilu in a way that avoids contradicting the Law of
Non-Contradiction, and he does not take eilue v'eilu to mean that Hashem
literally had Moshe Rabbenu give opposite shittos to bnei Yisroel, for
them to choose between.
And I'm not the first to balk at a literal take of the Ritva's Rabbanei
Tzarfas thesis. The Shelah (Toldos Adam Beis Chochma III) quotes it and
And I say, where it is possible to uphold the words of both of them
[i.e. they are compatible and not contradictory], then their adage
"eilu v'eilu" is justified (yitsdak). And indeed this is justified
in the account of Pilegesh B'Giveah...because it is possible to
maintain both their words. However, (a) when this one prohibits and
that one permits, it is impossible to uphold both their words. And
(b) regarding decision-making [for practical halacha] (hach-ra-a),
being that it only follows one side's opinion, and we do not uphold
the words of his colleague, if they were divrei Elokim Chaim, how
can one of His devarim be thrown to the ground? The mind (daas),
therefore, cannot be at peace (lo yanu-ach) with the words of the
Rabbanei Tsarfas, z"l. For they are not sufficient (ainam maspikim)
in this. But let it [the meaning of eilu v'eilu] rest [instead]
b'taam v'sod sheyaish bo, al derech ha-emes hamekubal [acceptable]
as the Rav (Ritva) z"l indicated (k'mo sheramaz haRav z"l).
(And I won't go into the Shela's own explanation of eilu v'eilu--he's
not a rishon--but suffice it to say that he maintains his avoidance to
transgressing the Law of Non-Contradiction in explaining it, and does
not accept the notion that Moshe Rabbeynu literally handed down opposite
> > And as I already noted, it makes sense to me to read this Ritva as >
talking about being correct in terms of derashah (emes la'amito), > but
not the way to pasqen. Which is why he quotes a gemara about > acharei
rabbim being a rule to pick between two shitos each given -- > with
their numerous raayos -- to MRAH.
The fact that he is contrasting "l'fi haDrash" with "derech
ha-emmess," makes me wonder how you can maintain that "l'fi haDrash"
indicates the "emmmes l'amitto." I found three other places where he
uses this term, and it seems he takes it to mean a figurative/poetical
expression of an idea not to be taken literally (ala the Pesicha of
Moreh Nevuchim). He contrasts drash with "aval ha-inyan,"
"v'ha-nachon," and with "v'nireh," indicating it's not the "real"
> But in any case, I was arguing that any take on Rashi or the Ritva > that says that Hashem did not give us multiple shitos ion Sinai is >
the side that needs proof. And you fail to give any; you just express >
your inability to accept the alternative.
No, I quoted the Rashi's and Ritva's that explicitly take the meaning of
eilu v'eilu in an entirely different direction from yours. And that
direction maintains the Law of Non-Contradiction.You are ignoring those
plainly stated and comprehensible explanations in favor of another Ritva
that is very difficult to comprehend. Even if it would mean what you
advocate, you would have a shittah that is opposed by these two others
(besides the Rambam and the several others I cited). And that
contradicts your claim that rov rishonim chose not to reinterpret the
gemaros --"kulam nitnu miro'eh echad", "49 panim tahor, 49 panim tamei",
"eilu va'eilu" etc... to fit the Law of Non-Contradiction.
> > > : RAMBAN on Devarim 17:11 says that one should not be afraid to >
follow : Beis Din Gadol even if one thinks they erred... He >
is working : with the assumption that the mikreh has a specific > intent
that is : subject to error. > > Or a range of valid intents that a
Sanhedrin could miss.
We are talking about whether something is tahor or tamei. Or if an act
is assur or muttar. Not such a wide range of intents.
> Or, like the amoraim who argue over a quote, they mistake what the > rov of an earlier Sanhedrin pasqned, and they are not greater >
No, he's talking about the intent of the mikreh. That means he assumes
the mikreh has a specific intent.
> : TOS RABBEYNU PERETZ (Eruvin 13b)begins by taking eilu v'eilu as you > do, : but cannot accept it because it is illogical. "If something is
> assur it : cannnot be muttar, and if something is muttar it cannot be
> assur." He : too is working with the Law of Non-Contradiction. He >
therefore concludes : that Eilu V'eilu merely means that one must >
follow the chachmei hador. I : take it that he means that both > shittos
of a machlokess are worthy of : consideration. > > Or, that both are
emes, but you cannot in practice hold both.
If he held that extraordinary notion, he would have said so. And he
would not have had to talk about following the chachmei hador in order
to explain the memra.
> > : SEFER HACHINUCH states that by commanding us to follow the majority
> : opinion, the Torah teaches us the fact that the majority opinion >
will : always conform to the truth more than the minority. > > Well, we
can't be surprised when the Chinukh follows the Rambam...
I'm not surprised all the rishonim I cited follow the Rambam in this matter.
> > But like the Ritva, "the truth" doesn't necessarily mean "the sole >
shitah given at Sinai". Once the idioms emes le'amito and emes >
lehora'ah exist, a Non-hyphenated use of the word "emes" doesn't > prove
a rishon read in a non-literal read of the gemaros.
According to you, there is no halachic truth until the sages decide upon
it. But speaking of "conforming" to the truth indicates the prior
existence of a truth to which to conform. The rishonim did not introduce
the hyphenated forms of truth. You did. So while you may attempt to
impose a notion (based upon a reading of a gemora contra the
rishonim's), the most you can attempt to show is that they nevertheless
tolerate your take, but not that they advocate it, as you claimed.
> > Really, though, I expect the Chinukh did indeed follow the Rambam on
> this too.
Okay, one more rishonim down.
> > :> Yerushalmi Sanhedrin 4:2 (a similar passage in Tractate Sofrim :>
> 16:5): R' Yanai said: Had the Torah been given decided, we wouldn't >
:> have a leg to stand on. Where? "And Hashem spoke to Moshe." He > said
:> before Him: Master of the World, tell me what is the > halakhah. He
:> responded "Decide according to the majority...." So > that the Torah
be :> interpretable 49 ways tamei and 49 ways tahor. > > : I don't have
peshat in why we would be at a disadvantage if we were > : explicitly
given a pesak for each and every situation that may > arise. > > ...
aside from it being physically impossible. Not a limitation on > the
RBSO, but on human language. There isn't enough room on the > planet for
microfilm of text to cover every possible case.
Then why in the world are you taking, and basing your position, on a
reading of "har'u lo /al kol va-davar/ 49 panim etc." that proposes
that Moshe Rabbeynu handed down two halachos for each of those countless
> > : Probably the thought is that it would be beyond out ability to >
carry all : those details and instead we were given klallim through >
each situation : could be halachically solved. This does not >
contradict the fact that : there is a correct conclusion to reach > for.
> > Except that you're working with a Hashem [Who] gave both
conclusions > to Moshe.
Literally? As opposed to just leaving it to the sages to determine the
correct halacha through application of the rules they were given? And
Moshe literally and explicitly gave those conclusions to bnei Yisroel?
You just nixed that possibility!
> > : Heavenly revelations are no longer valid for determining >
halacha.Why : then was there a bas kol by tanur shel Achnai? Among > the
explanations : given are two by Rav Nissim Gaon ( (Brachos 19b). > (1)
When the Bas Kol : declared the halacha follows R. Eliezer b'kall >
makom, it meant usually, : but not necessarily here, or someting >
similar. (2) It was a test for the : Chachamim to withstand the >
temptation to transgress the principle of lo : bashamayim hee, > similar
to when Hashem grants a false prophet the : ability to > perform a
miracle (or the appearance of one). > > It was a test, because halakhah
lemaaseh is acharei rabbim. But do > you really think the RBSO lied to them?
The issue is not what I think is theologically valid, but what the
rishonim say. Evidently Rav Nissim Gaon learns the poshut peshat in the
Chumash, that Hashem does allow a false prophet to perform miracles as a
test, and maybe he takes as pashut peshat in Gemora Sanhedrin that Rebbi
Yosay Chumash like that as well. Or maybe defining what a bas kol is vs
a real nevuah would help. Or understanding why Hashem presents us with
nisyanos that we perceive as contradicting other things He told us.
> ... ... : --you invoke the RAN, and cite RMH's translation, which > ends : > Yet [God] also gave him a : > rule whose truth is manifest,
> i.e., 'Favor the majority : > opinion'....as the sages of that >
generation saw fit, for the decision : > had already been delegated > to
them... ... : The last sentence reads, in Hebrew, : /aval massar > lo
klall yivadda bo ha-emmess/. ... : But [God] gave him a rule >
/through which one knows the truth/, 'Favor : the majority > opinion'...
> > : And the context removes all doubt that the Ran explicitly denies
> that he : is referring only to "Emes leHoraah.vs Emes leAmito. ... >
How do you get that?
Through recognizing that the Ran's whole point is that like poison, the
taharas or tuma of an object is a matter of its true nature that halacha
identifies, and not merely a designation imposed by the sages. He is
equating the emes l'hora'ah to the emes l'amito.
> The Ran says "the decision was delegated" to the sages of the > generation. How would that be anything but emes lehora'ah? A fact >
finding mission wouldn't place delegation over any other tool at your >
disposal. (As I asked about the tanur shel akhnai.)
"Delegated" is an English word that is unnecessary to delve into. His
terminology is "massar." The responsibility of discovering the true
nature of things was given to the Chachamim, whose consensus, as a rule,
will be successful in that endeavor. He adds that in the rare and remote
instances where their consensus will be mistaken and not match the truth
(notice that there is a truth to correspond to), the bitter results of
that error will be outweighed by the zechus of fulfilling the mitzva of
listening to the chachamim, and by the overall advantage of avoiding
anarchy. I don't know why you fail to see this in the paragraphs I quoted:
> The Torah's remedy for
> this ever-present danger [of disunity and machlokess] was to hand
> over to each generation's Sages the right to resolve halachic
> questions. /For in the majority of cases this will result in both a
> remedy [of the problem of machlokess] and the correct
> decision/.... And even though there is the extremely remote and
> practically absurd possibility that they may make a mistake, the
> Torah ?did not concern itself with that remote danger. The risk is
> worth taking for ?the benefit accrued.
> From just before that, in derashah 5:
>> It is a known fact that the entire Torah, written and oral, was
>> transmitted to Moses, as it says in the tractate Meggilah, R Hiyya
>> bar Abba said in the Name of R. Yohanan: The verse:...and on them
>> was written according to all the words...." teaches that HQBH showed
>> Moses the details prescribed by the Torah and by the Sages... The
>> 'details' provided by the rabbis are halakhic disputes and
>> conflicting views held by the sages of Israel. Moses learned them
>> all by Divine Word with no resolution every controversy in detail.
>> Yet [HQBH] also gave him a rule whose truth is manifest, i.e.,
>> 'Favor the majority opinion'....as the sages of that generation saw
>> fit, for the decision had already been delegated to them as it is
>> written: 'And you shall come to the priest the Levites , and to the
>> judge that shall be in those days' and 'You shall not deviate....".
>> [This means] Moshe got both shitos, with no pesaq.
No. This means Hashem left the truth of some matters for the sages to
discern through analysis. Not that both dinnim are equally valid. He
repeatedly refers to a truth to which the sages' pesak has to be maskim.
He began this thesis with:
This matter requires study. How can we say that two sides of a
machlokess were told to Moshe from the mouth of G-d?...In truth, one
of the opinions is the daas amitis and the other is the opposite.
And how can we say that anything not true went out of G-d's mouth?
Do you not see the Ran is assuming from the beginning that there is a
daas amiti, an emes l'amito, that halacha is supposed to correspond to?
And that Hashem would not tell Moshe the wrong pesak?
So in his answer, he is not just reversing his position, and saying, oh,
never mind, Hashem did say false things to Moshe. Instead, he is
answering that Hashem exposed Moshe to both the true and false opinions,
but told him that one way is correct, and here are the tools by which
you and the coming sages can figure it out.
> Yet [HQBH] also gave him a rule whose truth is manifest, i.e.,
> 'Favor the majority opinion'....as the sages of that generation saw
> fit, for the decision had already been delegated to them as it is
> written: 'And you shall come to the priest the Levites , and to the
> judge that shall be in those days' and 'You shall not deviate....".
For the third frustrating time, as I already wrote in my previous posts,
"[HQBH] also gave him a rule whose truth is manifest" is a false
translation, which I'm now beginning to suspect is purposely used to
avoid admitting that the Ran maintains there is a truth to which halacha
is expected to reflect. The correct translation is "[HQBH] gave him a
klal ["acharei rabbim l'hatos"] through which will become known the
truth." There is a truth to reach for, and the klal will make it known.
So the primary source used to claim that the Ran differed with the
Rambam on this issue is invalid.
> Which is the Y-mi.
Speaking of the Yerushalmi, here's how the Korban HaEida on Yevomos 1:6
explains "Eilu veElilu:
Eilu vEilu divrei Elokim Chaim--because both of them are bringing a
proof fromthe Torah, and Hakadosh Baruch Hu rejoices in BS and BH's
sharp pilpul. For through this is seen the great glory of the Torah.
Also, it is impossible that their pilpul will not produce something
necessary for understanding another subject. But the halacha is like
BH always, because they were zocheh to realize the truth (zachu
l'kavein el ha-emes) because they were humble...
Not so esoteric, and pretty much like Rashi and Ritva. The "divrei
Elokim" value is not talking about the correctness of the pesak of both
sides either l-horaa or l-amita, but in Hashem's joy over their
involvement in His Torah. Only the "v-halacha kBH is addressing the
correctness ofpesak, and regarding that, it belonged only to BH. And
there was a pre-existing emes that they succeeded in realizing. The emes
was not something determined through their designating it.
> In any case, is not the point of the Ran that metaphysical truth > does not decide halakhah? That even if beis din picks the >
metaphysically more damaging shitah, following pesaq is more > important?
So you are agreeing that he holds that poskening the wrong way is
metaphysically damaging? If so, when you say both shittos were handed
down by Moshe, for the sages to choose from, one choice is booby
trapped? And the sages have no way to correctly determine which is
which? You have no difficulty with that theologically or otherwise?
As explained above, the Ran maintains that the objective of the sages is
to discover the correct nature of things and that equates to their
halacha. There is a correct nature. Whether the sages are successful or
not, and the ramifications of in the rare event of their failure, is a
different issue, which he dealt with.
> > The Ran is explaining why the law of contradiction would not apply >
to halakhah even if it applies to metaphysics.
No, not "even if" it would apply to what you call "metaphysics." The
Law of contradiction applies to the true nature of things and actions,
period. It's possible, although unlikely, to get the halacha wrong. But
there is a one and only true and correct halacha, the one that corresponds
to the true nature of things. It is only is rare cases that the system
produces a false halacha, which Hashem nevertheless instructs us to
follow for the overall good.
> Not that one shitah is divrei E-lokim Chaim and the other not,
Both shittos are divrei Elokim chaim. But the phrase does not mean what
you think it does.
> since he oturight says MRAH got both shitos, with no pesaq "every
> controversy in detail".
He got the factors that individually point to variant halachic
conclusions, but he also got the tools by which to determine in each
situation what the overweighing factors are.
> ... Down to the Yam shel Shlomo, who wrote (Introduction to Bava
> Kamma) "Never did two opposite predicates for one subject escape
> the lips of Moshe" ("shelo yatza hadavar mipi Moshe l-olom lihyos
> shnei hafachim b-nosei echad")...
> Which he contrasts with that which is deduced from what Moshe said
> ... because nothing emerges from the seikhel hapo'al, which does not
> arise sensible seconds and thirds.
Yes, one can deduce things from what someone says, either correctly or
incorrectly gauging what he meant or would have thought, depending upon
one's expertise. As Rambam and others say, people of high caliber
thinking, given the same data to work with, will reach a consensus of
the same conclusion. And this was the situation until the days of the
> (Sounds kind of like R Tzadoq, no?)
All I know is that the Yam Shel Shlomo defines "eilu v'eilu" to mean
that "it is /as if/ [but not really that] each of the sages received
his views from the mouth of G-d and the lips of Moshe. For even though
two opposite predicates for one subject never escaped the lips of Moshe,
a Torah scholar's thorough collaboration of the facts convinces /him/
that there is no difference between [the validity of] the information he
deduced from G-d's Active Intellect by means of compelling logic [but
not something actually said by Moshe], and [the validity of] the
information that came to him from Moshe's mouth at Sinai."
In other words, according to the Yam Shel Shlomo, "eiu veilu" merely
means that each talmid chacham is confident that his logical conclusions
are as factual as the data explicitly revealed at Sinai. It does not
mean that he is objectively correct. It does not mean that his pesak was
a choice between two opposing dinim that Moshe explicitly transmitted.
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