History and Development of the Talmud part 8

Historical Truth versus Textural Truth

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.

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History and Development of the Talmud 8
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History and Development of the Talmud 08
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