[Avodah] FW: Shituf

Chana Luntz Chana at kolsassoon.org.uk
Thu Jan 10 06:20:19 PST 2013

RMB writes:
>The Tosafos in question are Sanhedrin 63b d"h "asur le'adam" and Bekhoros
> 2b d"h "shema yischayeiv lo aku"m shevu'ah".

> Actually, see RJDBleich, "Divine Unity in Maimonides, the Tosafists and
> Me'iri" pg 239 in "Neoplatonism and Jewish Thought" published by SUNY in
> 1992.

>RJDB notes that R' Tam can be read either way, but that the weight of
> mesorah since is to take him as saying. IOW, there is one way to read it
> that is more natural to Lisa and RMJB, and then there is the Noda
> beYehudah's way. (Fn 7 is not in the Google preview, and I couldn't find the
> mar'eh maqom in the NbY myself.)...

Um, I don't think RJDB is saying this about the Noda BeYehuda (I agree
he is not very clear) but the opposite. The Noda BeYehuda is (as the
item from R' Doniel Neustadt you cited earlier correctly points out)
in the other camp, ie he holds that shituf is also assur for non Jews,
and therefore reads down the Tosphos. R' Neustadt quotes the "Rama,
O.C. 156 according to Pischei Teshuvah, Y.D. 147:2; Mor u'Ketziah 224;
Sho'el u'Meishiv, Tanina 1:51; Seder Mishnah, Yesodei ha-Torah 1:7"
as being the ones who do not consider shituf to be idol worship for
non Jews. Surprisingly he leaves out what I think most people consider
to be one of the strongest voice for this position, that of the Shach
(eg Orech Chaim siman 151 si'if 1) who explicitly links the permission
in the Rema to sell things connected to non Jewish worship with the
permission to form partnerships (based on Tosphos).

So I think rather RJDB is saying that the majority accept the literal
reading of the Tosphos, but that the Noda BeYehuda accepts an alternative
reading, which he agrees does not strain the plain meaning of the text
and is followed by a number of latter day authorities.

So I think you are correct in saying that there are two distinct readings,
and that the weight of the mesorah is with the idea that shituf is not
prohibited to non Jews (and that is what Rabbanu Tam is saying), but it is
rather that the Noda B'Yehuda who is the most significant voice on the other
side, disagreeing.

So in that sense I agree with RZS that:
>I think you're misreading RJDB.  The NB's view, as he explains it, is
> exactly what RLL just wrote.  

On the other hand, I would disagree with RZS's further comments that:
> And really, if you look at the gemara and the Tosfos, it's pretty clear
> that it is correct.  Neither the gemara nor the Tosfos is talking about
> beliefs, >but only about oaths.  The only part of the Tosfos that touches on
> what is permitted to nochrim is the line at the end where he dismisses the
> concern >for lifnei iver, and what one is causing the nochri to do is not to
> believe or worship but to swear, and we don't find *that* issur applying to
> nochrim.

>What I think most people miss when they read this Tosfos is the context of
> the previous page, 63a, to which RLL alluded.  That's where "shituf"
>is defined for this context, and it doesn't refer to any kind of belief; it
> means, literally, combining Hashem and something else in the same phrase.
>And it is *that* which Tosfos says was not forbidden to Bnei Noach.

While I agree that the context of the previous page in the gemora at 63a is
highly relevant, and is the place where shituf is defined - I would say the
opposite, that it clearly does refer to matters of belief.  The situation is
where the Bnei Yisrael say regarding the golden calf "this is your god that
brought you up [in the plural, with an extra  vav] from the land of Egypt" -
and Rabbi Yochanan says were it not for that extra vav, the Jewish people
would have been completely destroyed.  And Rashi explains - why were they
not completely destroyed, because they did not deny Hashem completely they
just referred to him in partnership with another thing "shitfuho bdavar
acher" - ie according to Rabbi Yochanan even for Jews, worshipping in
shutfus is a lower level of issur than worshipping another god entirely, and
that is what they were doing vis a vis the golden calf, by acknowledging
that there was in fact another who had brought them out of Egypt in
partnership (namely HaShem).  And Rabbi Shimon disagrees, and says no -
based on the pasuk bilti l'Hashem levado.

But since bilti l'Hashem levado is only a commandment for Jews, one can
learn from this that for non Jews, so long as Hashem is involved in there
somewhere, it is permissible, and that is how those who learn the tosphos
are learning it.

And that is why I would also disagree with:
> In any case, I think RJDB makes a major error in the first paragraph of the
> page when he writes "clearly the doctrine which the Tosafot seek to
> legitimize for non-Jews is Trinitarianism.  I don't see that at all in the
> Tosfos, who refers only to their saints, "kedeishim shelahem", which is
> clearly a cacophemism for "kedoshim".

Most people understand this as two separate aspects. The issur on an
oath to an idol being caused by a Jew is an independent issur from lifnei
iver - it is due to the pasuk - lo yishma al picha - and that means,
no matter what the intention of anybody, if you cause an idolatarous
name to be spoken, then you have violated an issur. So first, to allow
for partnerships, there needs to be no actual idolatrous name spoken
(that is the kedeishim shelahem portion), which is the first section
of tosphos, and relates to the pasuk lo yishma al picha. And second,
there is a potential problem of lifnei iver, if in fact non Jews are
forbidden in the belief in which they stand. This is independent of
lo yishma al picha. In order to allow a Jew to form a partnership
therefore, Tosphos has to deal with both issurim, one is not enough,
and that is why the second half of the tosphos deals with lifnei iver,
and it is the lifnei iver aspect that people understand as not being a
problem because they are not commanded on shituf.


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