More Rejected Comments
Rabbi Shaul Gold issued a follow-up to his post "Trembling Before Rashi" at Cross-Currents. I hope to have time to write a full post on it in the next day or two, but meanwhile, here are some comments that were rejected from the new post:
1. Not sure what language this post was written in. Not English, not Hebrew. “Rabbeim” is not a word.
2. It is not true that Amoraim did not argue on Tannaim. R Elchanan Wasserman has a piece on it. Furthermore, R Yisrael from Shklov, in his introduction, cites the Gaon of Vilna that the phrase “chasuri michsera vehachi ke’tanni, [The Mishna] is missing [words] and this is what it should state,” means that the Amora is actually disagreeing with the Mishna. Thus we don’t find that the text of the Mishna is corrected. (Note: R Yosef Karo in Klale Gemara disagrees with this.)
3. Rishonim argued plenty on the Geonim. And plenty of Acharonim argue on Rishonim.
4. Those Acharonim that tend not to argue on Rishonim, it is not because they felt inferior. Rather because part of Halachic process is that certain poskim have been accepted on the masses. Shulhan Aruch went with Rif, Rosh, and Rambam, not because he thought they were better than others, rather because the masses were already following them. Often he disagrees with the Rambam, and still wrote his opinion in Shulhan Aruch. R Moshe Isserlis did the same. He only argues because in Eastern Europe, people were accustomed to Tosfos, Mordechi, Rabbenu Yerucham etc. Their method of accepting precedence, with regards to Halacha is the same. On the flip side, Maharshal, Shach, and other major Aharonim, decided halacha without precedence. To them, there was the decisions of Gemara, and that’s it. Rambam and Tosfos are only in the equation if they agree with Shach’s understanding of the Gemara. See Shach Choshen Mishpat 36:6 for a very revealing opinion on his method of precedence in halacha.
>It is a fundamental axiom that Rashi was on a higher plane than we are, both scholastically and spiritually.
I have looked and looked all around the great ikarim literature that exists and have not found this axiom anywhere. Please enlighten us from where this axiom appears (other than, of course, in your own judgement of what is proper)
>We must submit to Rashi, we must to Ramban, Rosh, Mordchai, et al, just as they submitted to the Amoraim and Tannaim that preceded them.
I must submit to God. I must submit to my own concience that God implanted in me. But to submit to Basar veDam?!? NEVER! THAT is avoda zarah.
>If we aren’t trembling before Rashi and his ba’alei pelugta, if we can see ourselves as judges of their acuity, as equals or, rachmana litzlan, as their betters in some ways, then we have detached ourselves from Torah and Yir’ah.
If we are not triying to understand what the rishonim ACTUALLY meant in their own historic/intellectual context. If we are not using all the tools at our disposal to understand them as great scholars who lived in a particular time and place and therefore need to be understood in the context of their intellectual era. If we transform them from great intellects into oracles. Then we dishonor them as scholars and as anshei emet.
>Such type of pedagogy is no longer in the realm of Torah, Kedushah and Mesorah. It is now merely Bible studies and its instructors merely purveyors of a scholastic discipline rising no more than Bertrand Russell’s triangle as chairman of a department of ethics.
Intellectual honesty, critical analysis, and historical context are the prerequisites to understanding. And understanding is the prerequisite to talmud Torah of any kind. A type of study that does not use the vastly superior tools that are available to us but were not available to previous generations. A type of study that is limited to the intellectual vistas of the past and ignores those of the present. Such a type of study can never be emet nor can it be a conduit of Kedushah into this world.
Amoraim do not argue with Tannoim, and Rishonim do not argue on Amoraim – in PISKEI HALACHAH. In non-halachic matters, and in explanations for the sources of piskei halachah, we do indeed find dispute. See Rav Shlomo Fisher in Derashos Beis Yishai for further elaboration. Rambam most certainly was not of the view that it is a “fundamental axiom” that earlier generations are scholastically on a higher level than later generations.
Furthermore, the Rishonim were never canonized vis-a-vis us in the way that the Gemara was canonized vis-a-vis the Rishonim. That is why Rav Moshe Feinstein explicitly states (Yoreh Deah 1:101) that he sometimes argues with the Rishonim – in halachah!
The article here is still somewhat ambiguous, but it seems to strongly say that it is unacceptable to say that Rashi interpreted Midrashim literally, or that on occasion his explanation was based on scientific information that is now obsolete. Since both these points were made by countless authorities from R. Moshe Abulafiah to Chassam Sofer to Rav Aryeh Carmell ztz”l, on what grounds does the writer state that this is unacceptable, that it contradicts the notion of mesorah, and that it results in “Torah minayin”?
I can't figure out by which criteria these comments were rejected.