Rabbi Triebitz examines the Netziv’s views on the development of the Talmud (taken from his commentary Haamek Sheila on the Sheiltos). He looks at the difference between mesorah and pilpul – described by the Netziv as Aish and Das.
In this radical and exciting shiur Rabbi Triebitz discusses and develops an idea of Rabbi Professor Shaul Lieberman – the distinction between “historical truth” to “textural truth”. With this idea Rabbi Triebitz explains the incomensurability between the approach of the academics and the Rabbis.
“Historical truth” involves conjecture using textual analysis and other techniques to ascertain the text in its historical context. “Textural truth” attempts to understand how the text and later authorities understood the text. Analysis of the “Jewish tradition” – how later commentaries viewed the text.
According to Lieberman only the second form is valid. According to Rabbi Triebitz only the second is Orthodox.
Rabbi Triebitz then looks at the Baal HaMaor and Milchemes on Bava Metziah (p. 28 on the pages of the Rif) and then looks at a very interesting opinion of Rabbeinu Tam in Bava Kamma 70a.
History & Development of Talmud shiur 7
Showing Continuity to the Stam
Rabbi Triebitz refutes Halivni’s claim that the stamaim lived a long time after Rav Ashi and that they didn’t understand what the Amoraim were talking about. He does this by analyzing the Gemara in Avoda Zara 71a and shows, using Ramban and other Rishonim, that Ravina begins the ‘stam’ of the gemara by asking a question directly to Rav Ashi.
History & Development of Talmud shiur 3
Rabbi Triebitz cites the opinion of the Doros Harishonim as to when the ‘stam’ of the gemara was written. Doros Harishonim holds that there was a proto talmud already from the time of Abaye and Rava (and possibly even from the time of Rav and Shmuel). One of his ‘proofs’ for this is the Talmud in Shabbat 9b.
Rabbi Triebitz goes through this page of Talmud and shows that many Rishonim learn exactly the opposite of the Doros Harishonim, and that the whole basis for what he says has shaky foundations.
In this second shiur Rabbi Triebitz studies the Talmud and commentaries for evidence as to when it was compiled. He finds a fundamental argument between the Rashbam and Ramban on one hand, and Rabbeinu Tam (and everyone else) on the other, as to whether the Talmud is a historical record of chronological responses to questions, or whether the statements in the Talmud were compiled later by an anonymous author who made it appear that they were responding to each other. This difference of opinion also leads to an argument about whether Gaonim or Savoraim speak in the Talmud.
This is the first shiur in the series of the History and Development of the Talmud. Rabbi Triebitz discusses the ‘chasimas hashas’ – the final compilation of the Talmud. The Talmud says that Ravina and Rav Ashi were the ‘end of instruction’ which is understood by many to mean that they compiled the Talmud. Yet there are statements in the Talmud of later generations. And according to Rav Sherira Gaon the Talmud was not written until many generations later.