Translate

Showing posts with label Sanhedrin [page 60b]. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sanhedrin [page 60b]. Show all posts

4.9.14

You have the opinion of Rava in the Talmud that one is liable for idolatry only when he accepts the idol  as his god. Abyee disagrees with this but the law is like Rava [as is always the case except in 6 specific cases where the Talmud says the law is like Abyee.][Sanhedrin 61b]

I had thought that perhaps the idea of "accepting as ones god," means to be initiated into the cult of that particular god. But my learning partner pointed out that this is unlikely. It would mean that doing downright straight forward idolatry would be not guilty as long as one has not become a devote. That is, one could walk into  the temple of Zeus, and bring a sacrifice with intension to gain some benefit [like rain (as was the original idea of Zeus before the Greeks elevated his status)], and still not be liable as long as one has not been initiated into the cult. This seems very unlikely.


So far as concerning idolatry I am still in the beginning stages of collecting information. But so far it looks to me that to be liable there is no need for a physical object. E.G. lets us say that some archangel comes down to earth  perhaps even the particular angel that the ancients associated with the name Zeus and this angel appears to a person and the person bows down to it. Would this be liable?

At this point it seems to me the most basic idea of idolatry is the worship of any being besides the First Cause in order to get closer to the First Cause or to gain some benefit. But this benefit has to be not in a natural way. There has to be some idea of this alternative being has some power over some aspect of the world or human life that is beyond normal physical reality.




27.8.14

Sanhedrin [page 60b]

In Sanhedrin [page 60b] we find a braita that says we learn  from the word "sacrifice"זובח לאלהים יחרם to tell us also pouring and burning (עבודות פנים). The reason is that "sacrifice" was in the set of idolatry and came out of the set . And we know that in that case it comes out to teach us something about the whole set. כל דבר שהיה בכלל ויצא מן הכלל בא ללמד על הכלל כולו Rava bar Rav Chanan asked why not learn from, "he will bow down?"וישתחחוו Rav Acha asked, “How is that a good question? If we would learn from ‘bowing’ then what would “how do the nations serve their idols’ come to tell us?”
The Gemara concludes that it teaches us about service not according to its way of idols that are not served in an honorable way.
Tosphot and the Baal HaMeor [that is the book called the Meor Hagadol on the Rif (Isaac Alfasi) in the back of the Gemara] both ask on Rav Acha, “Why not ask on “sacrifice” also what does ‘how do the nations serve their gods’ come to tell us?

 Baal HaMeor  that we could not ask what do we learn from "How do they serve?" איכה יעבדו  because we learn something from it-- kissing idols that one usually hugs.

Tosphot takes a different approach. He says something very deep. He considers that fact that at the point of the question the Gemara is thinking that "bowing" tells us even not in an honorable way. We see this from the fact that the answer of the Talmud is that it does not in fact include service in a dishonorable way.
 Tosphot is saying that when the Gemara asks, "What do we need 'how do they serve?'" it means it literally-- that we would learning everything from bowing. And if that is the case then the answer of Topshot is common sense--if we would be learning from sacrifice then there is a large area that we would need “how do  they serve?” for that is service according to its way that is dishonorable.

Now once we understand Tosphot then we can see its advantage over the Baal HaMeor. Just think about the fact that in fact we do learn from "Sacrifice!" Not from Bowing. So according to the Baal HaMeor how do we know that kissing an idol that one usually hugs is liable?
 I noticed the Maharsha asks some question on the Baal HaMeor and answers it also. I am not sure if it is the above question because I have not had a chance yet to look into it. But I think at this point we can all agree that the Tosphot approach is prima facie better since it gets everything right  with no complications.

























23.5.14

Gemara in Bava Kama page 3


I wanted to write something fast about the Gemara in Bava Kama page 3 side A and then correct my spelling errors later.
And I wanted to point out how this is relevant in a larger way to general understanding of the Gemara. First I wanted to say that this part of the Talmud we need to divide into three parts. Part one and two deal with the braita [outside teaching = teaching that is not part of the Mishna] and the third part derives all four cases of tooth and foot in a different way.


The first way of the Braita is clear. We use "he sent" for foot and to get  to the lesser case [it walked by itself] we use a to tooth. The braita does the same with it ate. It uses it for tooth and to fill in the lesser case it uses a hekesh to foot.
 At this point--part three the Gemara uses "he sent" for both tooth and foot without us. And to get to the two other lesser cases it uses "ubier" ("It ate").. It does this but it only says one case for "it ate." The case the animal walked by itself. the  on the מהרש''א explains that it gets to the second less several case of tooth by means of the logic the gemara just got done using--the fact that tooth and foot are in equilibrium. so if you use it ate for foot you have to use it for tooth also.

 The natural question תוספות asks here is why does the gemara not ask like it did above what do you use the verse  כאשר יבער הגלל?

What this means is that about the Talmud uses    כאשר יבער הגלל to fill in all the gaps. The חמור case of נכלה השורש tooth and לא נכלה. Now what can now after the Talmud derives everything without that verse, what  do you need the verse for?

תוספות answers that the ברייתא means to say that if we did not have the ברייתא way of deriving all for cases we would be able to fall back on the way of the braita,


Ok this piece was what I wrote fast. Now I would like to explain a few things. one thing is that I used simplified approach in explaining this Gemara. You probably noticed that I left out the fact that part one and part two of the gemara assumes that all distinctions of tooth go into foot and visa verse. you cant have missed it because it is an essential part of the reasoning of the Gemara. And yet when I explained the Gemara used on two cases for foot [(a) he sent the animal, and (b) it went by itself] and two cases for tooth [it ate all, it ate part.]  For those of you familiar with covariant coordinates this is easy to explain why I did this. I similar changed the coordinates. I used vertical lines instead of slanted lines to go through my graph. The end result ends up the exact same way.
hard words
hekesh [“similarity” = same aspects of different cases= “what is it with this case? Thus and thus. So is it with that case.]


בבא קמא ג' ע''א 

 First I wanted to say that this part of the תלמוד we need to divide into three parts. Part one and two deal with the ברייתא, and the third part derives all four cases of שן and רגל in a different way.


The first way of the ברייתא is clear. We use ושילח for ניזקי רגל and to get  to  איפה שהלכה  בעצמה we use  שן. The ברייתא does the same with וביער בשדה אחר. It uses it for שן and to fill in the lesser case it uses a היקש to רגל.
 At this point the גמרא uses ושילח for both שן and רגל without us. And to get to the two other lesser cases it uses "וביער בשדה אחר. It does this but it only says one case for וביער בשדה אחר. The case the animal walked by itself. The מהדורא בתרא של המהרש''א explains that it gets to the second less several case of שן by means of the logic the גמרא just got done using  that is fact that שן and רגל are שווים. So if you use וביער for רגל you have to use it for שן also.

 The natural question תוספות asks here is why does the גמרא not ask like it did above, What do you use the verse כאשר יבער הגלל.

What this means is that about the גמרא uses כאשר יבער הגלל to fill in all the gaps. The מצב  החמור of שן and the מצב הקל.  Now after the גמרא derives everything without that verse, what can do you need the verse for?

 תוספות answers that the ברייתא means to say that if we did not have the third way of deriving all for cases we would be able to fall back on the way of the ברייתא,










2.3.14

Trust in God

We do not find that the Alter of Navardok [the Madragat HaAdam] ( Joseph Yozel Horwitz )  tried to justify Torah based on reason.
In fact it seems that one of the minor themes that are developed in his book is the idea of tests. That is that people can have tests of their faith because of reality.

It is hard to know what he would've said about the Guide for the Perplexed of Maimonides.


On the surface it does look like a basic difference in approach.


I would like to suggest that there is no contradiction and that Joseph Yozel Horwitz was referring to a Platonic level of reality that supersedes physical reality.
 [I may not have said it in so many words, but I tend to look at the world as a superposition of a lot of planes of existence. There is a moral plane- -a world as real as this, and it is superimposed on this physical reality. This is not a thing different than Plato except that I think there are these planes right "inside" of things like Aristotle ]





I think in the West people been highly influenced by the empiricists like Hume and thus find this approach to be difficult to accept.


One of the most famous essays in the history of philosophy, and specifically in the philosophy of religion, is Hume's "Of Miracles," which is Section X in the Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Yet Hume's argument against miracles suffers from a logical circularity.
While Hume is the most famous for undermining the certainty and necessity of the Principle of Causality, that every event has a cause, miracles do not in fact violate the Principle of Causality. They are caused. The Red Sea parts, not because it just happens, but because God makes it happen.
[Trust in God and learning Torah,  Gemara, Rashi, and Topshot were the major themes in the book of Joseph Horowitz. Tests that prevent one from this path were a minor theme also mentioned in his book. He seems to have the idea that Torah always comes with tests. But the tests will be different for each person. In his days the attraction of the wider world seems to have been the major test.

Today people might have tests of different paths that lay claim to be legitimate Torah paths. But regardless of the type tests involved the Alter of Navardok thought that learning Gemara, Rashi, and Tosphot  every day as much as feasible defines the true Torah path.
To get to Torah you have to deal with several layers of tests. One is being thrown out of good yeshivas. The other is to run from the frauds and charlatans that claim to be following the path of Torah. There might many other tests , but these two are the main ones. Even Hillel got thrown out of teh yeshiva of Shamaiya and Avtalyon. and in the Gemara there were plenty of great amoraim that had this happen to them too.