Can you acquire an elephant by making it jump?
Dinosaur bones are so scary to a creationist but if there is really strong background first, it's just a strong question. With weak background it becomes a pircha. So first we must build the strong background. See just how much chazal really knew. How amazingly kadosh and genius they were. Years down the line, I think most people know about these questions and may not even have perfect answers but they are the ones with the answers. They are the ones way closer to the truth. Not those who walk around espousing that the gemara and rishonim keep getting things wrong
How can you state with certainty that someone living long ago where elephants did not live never saw an elephant?
How do you know that a circus never came to town, or that the individual never travelled to a distant place or that he never saw an accurate sketch or painting of the animal?
Using words like "probably" and likely" help with honesty and also not coming across as a pompous know-it-all.
My point from the last post still stands. Why is it so important to point out that this tosafos is wrong? This causes people to question and even go off the derech Rl. More important would be too learn the thousands of other tosafos and see, after learning with intense iyun that they really knew what they were talking about. After that this question won't be so bothersome because we weigh evidence in context of all of our experiences. The fact that you are so hung up on the mistakes to bring out some point misses the big picture
Rav Schachter explicitly endorsed this idea, that Tosafot in France and Germany hadn't seen an elephant, so their explanation of the gemara is not correct. Even though on a halachic level, the principles they are suggesting are correct.
I posted the audio snippet here: https://scribalerror.substack.com/p/no-today-is-jumping-elephant-day
I don't think another ban is coming for three reasons:
1) It will make the book too popular.
2) You taught them about valid opinions that they didn't hear before. Now it is becoming commonplace.
3) They realised that your whole approach is more correct. There is actually a need for people like you.
RNS מזל טוב. It appears that your efforts to raise questions about the role of scientific knowledge in the understanding of Torah and Halachah and your suggestions as to the approach to take to solve conflicts with accepted viewpoints have taken root. Even more so, some of your suggested answers to apparent conflicts to some religious positions have been subtly accepted.
Lets love chazal!
Ephraim. You are not a lamdan so don't tell a true lamdan he's wrong. Yes you can offer your opinion but don't make a fool out of yourself showing your ignorance in learning. The bottom line is that it is feasible and fact that different rishonim and achronim use rabbinic Hebrew terminology differently. The main thing in lamdus is to understand the theory of what they are talking about instead of trying to be medayek in dictionary definitions.
…The Gemara asks, but then how do you buy an elephant? And it cryptically answers, “with a bundle of vines.” What does this mean? Tosafos explains it to mean that you have them hanging in the air and make the elephant jump to get them. But can elephants jump?…
Well, if I were to try to reasonably decipher that cryptic riposte, I might respond that the purchaser might be paying for the elephant with grape vines or perhaps an entire orchard. And the elephant seeing those luscious grapes simply jumped for joy. Mine is as good an interpretation as Tosafos’.
BTW, who was the Tosafost that concocted that conjecture. What was his name, and some info regarding some of his biographical details. After all, if someone is going to favor us with a really strange mechanism for purchasing an elephant, I would want to know his qualifications and competence for doing so.
Natan, something really crucial you're missing, is that even for people that do occasionally see elephants, that doesn't mean they actually ~know~ if they can jump or not. I bet many would be mistaken when asked.
Tosfos (like Talmud) use dialectic to iron out inconsistencies using logic. Don't see the big deal if they misunderstood a mitzyas.
Is it possible that the p’shat in that gemara is that you use the bundle of vines to, say, hoist the elephant up?
Noson has in there a paragraph stating that when Rabbenu Meshulam suggested that by suspending the vines high up to make the elephant "jump" for them, that the jump must be off the ground, he is utterly WRONG. It means that as a result of suspending the vines high up the man is causing the elephant to rear up to reach the vines and this creates the kinyan.
Of course it is true that when a person does hagba'a for a kinyan it must be raised 3 tefachim off the surface it was placed on, and this would include acquisition of a small animal someone could lift. But, m'heichi teisi, that this rule applies to acquire an animal that is impossible to lift? All these types of kinyanim were defined by Chazal, once an item is kanooy, it belongs to the owner for all inyanim d'oraysa. Rabbenu Meshulam is just defining in the case of acquiring an elephant, this method works according to chazal, which is making the elephant "jump" meaning rear up on its hind legs to reach the food.
As for the definition of "jump": let's say you tell a young child to "jump" and he squats a little and then pushes himself up but does not actually leave the ground. He "jumped" but didn't leave the ground. Similarly, if the vines were suspended so high that the elephant can't quite reach them not matter how high it extends itself and its trunk, the effort falls in the category of "kefitza".
I gave this explanation back when Noson came out with his original article.
You probably addressed this, but couldn't Tosafos just mean an elephant rearing up on its hind legs? That could reasonably be described as "jumping up".
The Talmud discusses how to acquire a female slave . It shares some of the jumping elephant laws and depends on preferences . Talmud has a lot of extreme cases .