This shiur is basically a summary of the past 19 shiurim. Rabbi Triebitz reviews what we have covered in these shiurim, and clarifies a few points. The final date for the writing of the Talmud (and the change from an oral to a written culture) is approximately 960, just before Rabbeinu Chananel, and the Rif.
Rabbi Triebitz ends this series of shiurim discussing what mitzvah we have been doing for the past few months in learning about the history and development of the Talmud. Is it considered Talmud Torah? If not, what have we been doing and why?
This is the final shiur in this series. Hopefully we will begin a new series of shiurim after Pesach. This past series has been very successful. There has been lots of very positive feedback, and many new listeners and participants. The web site has received over 6500 hits in the past few months, which is a lot of people listening to shiurim. Baruch Hashem we have been able to spread Torah via the internet, and hopefully have encouraged people to think and to learn about Torah, history and the Talmud.
You can continue to send any questions, feedback (or donations) for Rabbi Triebitz via me. My e-mail address (one of many) is admin at hashkafacircle.com. Hopefully Rabbi Triebitz will be able to answer questions, but even if he doesn’t answer he certainly reads everything and is very keen to hear your thoughts and views.
It turns out that last week’s shiur which I thought was so radical is actually just simple pshat in the Meiri. Rabbi Triebitz shows from Seder Hakaballah that the transition from oral culture to written culture took place in the 11th century at the transition from the Gaonim to the Rishonim.
Rabbi Triebitz also answers some ‘apparent’ contradictions in Rambam. For example in Hilchot Malveh ve-Loveh Rambam talks about older versions of the Talmud.
Rabbi Triebitz also explains why Rishonim also wrote halachot psukot, even after the transition to the written culture. He also attempts to show that the Netziv’s concept of aish and das may be a continuation of the two strands of oral and written culture.
Next week will be the final shiur (iy”h) and we will make a siyum for anyone who wants to join in.
And here is the answer to last week’s question – when was the Talmud written down? Rabbi Triebitz shows fairly convincingly from the Raavad when the paradigm shift occurred from an oral culture to a written culture. The answer is as surprising as it is logical – this is perhaps the most radical thing that Rabbi Triebitz has yet said in these shiurim.
If this shiur is accepted we can rewrite the history books, and understand more clearly the distinction between Gaonim and Rishonim.
This shiur continues on from the previous one, showing that for the Rishonim (most of) the gemara is binding, and anyone who argues is a heretic (or worse).
Then Rabbi Triebitz points out the ‘black hole’ in both his theory and Jewish history – why do we have no record of when the Talmud was written down? Surely that was (almost) as momentous an event as Har Sinai, yet the Talmud seems to just emerge in history fully formed. What was the heter to write it down at all?
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.
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.
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).
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
Rabbi Triebitz discusses the most fundamental questions which is – What is the Oral Law?
Why do we have both Oral and Written Torah? When was the Oral Law (i.e. Mishna) written down? What difference does it make in our approach to Oral and Written Torahs? Who is entitled to make divrei Torah, and who can decide halachos?