This shiur is Rabbi Triebitz’s most controversial and radical (and exciting) shiur to date! He shows that the opinions of both the Rosh and the Rambam are that later authorities (perhaps even up to the time of the Rishonim) are permitted to argue with the halachic conclusions of those parts of the gemara which were written after Ravina and Rav Ashi. He brings proofs that the binding authority of the Talmud only applies to those sections that were included in the ‘sof hora’ah’ of Ravina and Rav Ashi, but that things written by the (early) Savoraim do not have the same authority.
This shiur casts light on all of the previous shiurim and will change the way that you think of the halachic process.
It seems from Rambam (according to Rabbi Triebitz’s reading) that the concept of G-d and the theology which is alluded to in the tetragramaton does not appear in Chumash at all. Apparently the concept of negative theology and (according to Rambam) true monotheism was entirely word of mouth until the time of the second Beis Hamikdash.
A very interesting, if somewhat radical and scary, shiur.
Rabbi Triebitz discusses the difference in approach to Torah (and particularly Mishna) between the Bavli and the Yerushalmi. It seems that the Amoraim in Eretz Yisrael had a totally different approach to learning than their Babylonian counterparts.
Rabbi Triebitz explains that to fully explain the redaction of the Yerushalmi is too complicated for the number of shiurim we have available. However in this shiur he discusses the question of whether the codifiers of the Bavli had the completed ‘text’ of the Yerushalmi in front of them (in Oral form) or whether they only knew certain statements and sugyas, but the final redaction of the Yerushalmi had not happened yet.
Most of the shiur is showing that the opinion of Yitzchak Isaak Halevi in the Doros Harishonim is wrong, and that his reading of the Rishonim is incorrect.
Rambam explains the loss of tradition of Negative Theology, using the Cohanim and their knowledge of the 4,12 and 42 letter names of G-d as a paradigm. Rabbi Triebitz goes on to make what he says is his most radical claim about the nature, function and purpose of Moreh Nevuchim. Now I understand why some people think Moreh Nevuchim is a dangerous book – not for the weak of faith!
Rabbi Triebitz shows from the Talmud in Temura 15b that there have been other paradigm shifts in the transmission of the Oral Law, similar to that which took place when Rebbi codified the Mishnayos, or when Ravina and Rav Ashi compiled the Talmud.
He tries to find the source for the Meiri’s statement that originally prophecy was used to resolve undecided halachic disputes. He also talks about different concepts of ‘lo bashamayim hi’ (the Torah is not in Heaven).
All names of G-d are descriptions except for the tetragramaton which is the name of G-d. Rabbi Triebitz reads through Chapter 61 of Moreh Nevuchim and sets up a real cliff hanger for next week. He points out the apparent contradictions within Rambam, and when he seems to contradict his own rules of negative theology.
Rabbi Triebitz also refers to Chapter 71 of Moreh Nevuchim, which either explains or confuses the issues (depending on your point of view).
Rabbi Triebitz discusses the radical change of paradigm between an Oral Culture and a Written Culture.
He also reviews and clarifies everything that he has said until now regarding the redaction of the Talmud, coming to a (possibly) disturbing conclusion.
There are several sources for this shiur:
Sanhedrin 33a and the Rosh there
Bava Metzia 63a
Rav Elchanon Wasserman and Chazon Ish in Kovetz Inyanim p. 194ff
Sefer Hakaballa of the Meiri
Chapter 61 of Moreh Nevuchim is a pivotal chapter coming between the chapters explaining negative theology and the chapters which deal with the history of negative theology and the verses in the Torah that seem to contradict negative theology. Rabbi Triebitz discusses the apparent contradiction between the Rambam’s claim that the Torah writes in a way that looks as though it is using positive terminology to describe G-d – because the Jews were so steeped in idolatry when they left Egypt – and his claim that even accidental belief in any positive aspects of G-d is heresy.