Category Archives: Thirteen Midos

Thirteen Midos 10 – Four Paradigm Shifts

There were several changes in paradigm, from deriving halachot from the text, to embedding halacha within the text, and back again. Rabbi Triebitz suggests that it was with Rabbi Akiva whose teachings form the basis of the mishna, tosefta, sifri and sifra.

In fact this was the third paradigm shift – Hillel and Bnei Beseira; Rabbi Yishmael; Rabbi Akiva. Then Rabbi Akiva’s students froze this process when they compiled the texts of the Oral Torah. After Rebbi Yehuda HaNassi the paradigm shifts again and sources for halacha are found in baraisas and mishnayos, rather than in text.

This is the final shiur in this series, but tune in next week for the first in an exciting new series “Gemara aliba de-hilcheta” (Learning the halacha (and process of halacha) from the Talmud).

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

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Thirteen Midos 09 – Rabbi Akiva, basis for Mishna

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Thirteen Midos 08 – Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yishmael

In this shiur Rabbi Triebitz looks to the disagreement between Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Akiva and claims that it shows two differing world-views in the concept of midos. The issues between them are whether the Torah was given all at Mount Sinai, or whether only the general principles were given there, while the details were explained in Ohel Moed.

Furthermore, Rabbi Akiva famously learned mountains of halachot from every crown on every letter of the Torah, obviating the need for formal midos.

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

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Thirteen Midos 07 – Earlier Paradigms

In this shiur Rabbi Triebitz explains the Talmud in Temura 16a that says that “1700 kal va-chomers, gezeira shavas and dikdukei sofrim were forgotten after Moshe’s death, and Osniel ben K’naz rediscovered them using his pilpul.” At first glance this seems to contradict everything that has been said about the midos until now.

He also explains the Talmud in Sanhedrin 99a which seems to pose a great difficulty for the approach that he has taken in explaining the midos:

Another [Baraitha] taught: Because he hath despised the word of the Lord — this refers to him who maintains that the Torah is not from Heaven. And even if he asserts that the whole Torah is from Heaven, excepting a particular verse, which [he maintains] was not uttered by God but by Moses himself, he is included in ‘because he hath despised the word of the Lord.’ And even if he admits that the whole Torah is from Heaven, excepting a single point, a particular ad majus deduction or a certain gezerah shawah, — he is still included in ‘because he hath despised the word of the Lord’.

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

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Thirteen Midos 06

In this shiur Rabbi Triebitz brings more evidence for the points that he made in last week’s shiur. He shows how the purpose of the midos, and particularly gezeira shava, is to create a new text. Not only does gezeira shava create new meaning within the words, but it also frees up other words that would have been used for those halachos so that new laws can be learnt from them.

Perhaps this is the real meaning of the concept of ‘black fire on white fire’ mentioned in the midrash as the primal Torah.

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

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Thirteen Midos 05 Interrelationship of Midos

Rabbi Triebitz learns a couple of gemaras with Rishonim demonstrating that the midos are not simply logical constructs but the creation of a new Judaic text.

The difference between Hellenistic thinking and Jewish thinking is that the former is logical, philosophical, whereas the latter is textural.

Rabbi Triebitz shows this by learning Rishonim on Bava Kama 6a, Bava Metziah 3b and Bava Metzia 61a. In addition he brings a Yerushalmi on Berachos, a Ran in Nedarim and many other sources.

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com

Apologies for the poor quality of the video. The audio is fine.


Video of shiur 05

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Thirteen Midos 05

Thirteen Midos 05 Interrelationship of Midos

Rabbi Triebitz learns a couple of gemaras with Rishonim demonstrating that the midos are not simply logical constructs but the creation of a new Judaic text.

The difference between Hellenistic thinking and Jewish thinking is that the former is logical, philosophical, whereas the latter is textural.

Rabbi Triebitz shows this by learning Rishonim on Bava Kama 6a, Bava Metziah 3b and Bava Metzia 61a. In addition he brings a Yerushalmi on Berachos, a Ran in Nedarim and many other sources.

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com

Apologies for the poor quality of the video. The audio is fine.


Video of shiur 05

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Thirteen Midos 04 Greek Logic or Jewish Mesorah

This shiur is a refutation of those (Daube and Lieberman) who argue that the midos of Hillel (and Rabbi Yishmael) are derived from Hellenistic oratory techniques. Rabbi Triebitz argues that the Greeks and Romans had similar techniques, but that their’s were based on logic. The midos, on the other hand, begin with logic, but also include a non-logical component (or dimension), which was the innovation of Hillel.

Rabbi Triebitz also discusses Rav Tzadok HaCohen’s idea that whenever there is a paradigm shift in Judaism we find a similar paradigm shift amongst the non-Jewish nations of the world. This idea can be found in many places of Rav Tzadok, including Resisei Laila, Pri Tzadik, Tzidkus ha-Tzadik (and also here) and Takanas Ha-Shavin.

The shiur also contains a discussion of Gittin 41b and the Ritva’s commentary there, which demonstrates the two dimensionality of the midos, and the difference between a hekesh and a gzeira shava.

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com

You can now download a transcription of this shiur as a pdf:

Thirteen Midos Shiur 04 Transcription


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Thirteen Midos 03 Defence against Sadducees

This shiur begins with an analysis of Bava Kama 83b-84a. Rabbi Triebitz then shows how the Nimukei Yosef supports what Rabbi Triebitz said last week – that every g’zeira shava is based upon a hekesh.

There are parallels to the Talmud in Sotah 33a

Rabbi Triebitz then goes on to discover the reason and purpose for the development of the 13 midos (at least g’zeira shava) and suggests that it is a response to the Sadducees and their attacks on Pharasaic Judaism.

This series has so far been probably the best one yet – at least in my opinion. Today’s shiur is equally excellent.

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com

You can now download a transcription of this shiur as a pdf:

Thirteen Midos Shiur 03 Transcription


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Thirteen Midos 02 Radical Conservatism

In this shiur Rabbi Triebitz demonstrates from the Talmud in Pesachim (66b) and also in Rosh Hashana (31a) that the explanation of the Meiri (mentioned last week) is the correct one. Hillel did not introduce new halachos with his midos, but found sources for the halachos by creating the midos.

Rabbi Triebitz shows that this approach of Hillel, to use logic and create a common language for dialogue, is reflected in several other places in Shas, including the three scenarios of the converts who first come to Shamai (who rejects them) and then to Hillel (Shabbos 31b).

Finally Rabbi Triebitz explains how despite the radical change to Judaism and Oral Law wrought by Hillel, it turns out that in fact it is all halacha le-Moshe mi-Sinai (which he proves from the fact that nobody argues with the concept of midos).

Please contact me if you would like to attend the shiurim in person. They are held in Jerusalem on Mondays from 5:30-6:30. Please e-mail me to find out where the secret location is.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com
NEW: You can now download a transcription of this shiur as a pdf:

Thirteen Midos Shiur 02 Transcription


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