Avodah Mailing List

Volume 36: Number 129

Mon, 19 Nov 2018

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2018 17:57:30 -0500
Re: [Avodah] local culture and the Bavli

On Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 05:37:51AM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
: See here for some interesting thoughts on how local culture impacted the Bavli:
: https://kotzkblog.blogspot.com/2018/10/197-babylonian-influences-on-babylonian_72.html
: Yet R' Ellman would not (at least when I asked him) say that any of
: these insights should impact the halachic process today. definite food
: for thought

I like RARakeffetR's mashal (and recall, he is a RIETS RY with a PhD in
Jewish History):

You can ask a historican how the electric refrigerator was invented,
and you will hear about the social forces involved, the wiring of the
American home for power, etc...

None of which tells you how the refrigerator actually works.

(He might even give you the history of the application of thermodynamics
and the Carnot cycle without ever explaining that particular bit of

Knowing that a particular area of halakhah was mined in response to a
given situation doesn't change the fact that the halachic principles
had to be there and had to be applied. And the knowledge does little to
teach you the principles themselves.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When one truly looks at everyone's good side,
mi...@aishdas.org        others come to love him very naturally, and
http://www.aishdas.org   he does not need even a speck of flattery.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Rabbi AY Kook

Go to top.

Message: 2
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2018 18:06:04 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Deference to Minority Opinions

On Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 05:35:38AM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
: Question: I've been thinking about the number of times the shulchan
: aruch(or M"B) says that it's worth giving deference to a minority
: opinion. I'm wondering if this is the result of the algorithmic approach
: rather than going through the entire sugya to come to a conclusion? ...

I think the SA tried to reach conclusions. For that matter, he tried
to follow majority of his short list of major posqim. I think for him
it was just a way of dealing with not being sufficiently convinced;
and not having his triumverate answering the question for him.

For the MB... Not sure I want to reopen that whole "the MB was written
to help posqim, and its 'rulings' are lehalakhah velo lemaaseh" -- not
always even followed by the CC himself. (Who was author of most of the
book, and editor in chief of the rest.)

:                       Other reason why different authorities might deal
: with this issue differently?

The AhS has enough confidence in toras imekha that he would use it to
say that lemaaseh we pasqened like a minority, or like (what seems to
me to be a) dachuq peshat.

There are exceptions, where he holds that common practice is just too
dachuq, but they're rare.

So, for the AhS, being stumped means that not only is there no clear
textual winner, there is no clear minhag (accepted practice) either.
So holding out in fear of a mi'ut isn't likely. Holding like a mi'ut
because the tzibbur already does, much more comomn.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When a king dies, his power ends,
mi...@aishdas.org        but when a prophet dies, his influence is just
http://www.aishdas.org   beginning.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                    - Soren Kierkegaard


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