[Avodah] Torah mi-Sinai and More

Prof. Levine llevine at stevens.edu
Tue Mar 12 06:35:58 PDT 2013

 From http://seforim.blogspot.com/2013/03/torah-mi-sinai-and-more.html

Torah mi-Sinai and More
by Marc B. Shapiro

1. Some people have requested that I do more posts on theological 
matters, as I have done in the past. So let me begin with what I 
think will be a three-part series on Torah mi-Sinai.

In a previous post, available 
I mentioned R. Shlomo Fisher's rejection of R. Moshe Feinstein's view 
that R. Yehudah he-Hasid's "biblical criticism" was not authentic. As 
R. Fisher put it, R. Moshe assumed that even in the past everyone had 
to accept Maimonides' principles, but that was not the case, and when 
it came to Mosaic authorship R. Yehudah he-Hasid disagreed with 
Maimonides. R. Uri Sharki has apparently also discussed this with R. 
Fisher, as he cites the latter as claiming that the issue of whether 
post-Mosaic additions are religiously objectionable is a dispute 
between the medieval Ashkenazic and Sephardic sages. See 

What this means is that in medieval Ashkenaz it was not regarded as 
heretical to posit post-Mosaic additions, while the opposite was the 
case in the Sephardic world (and this would explain why Ibn Ezra 
could only hint to his view). I am skeptical of this point, 
particularly because Ibn Ezra's secrets are, in fact, explained 
openly by people who lived in the Sephardic world.[1] Yet Haym 
Soloveitchik has also recently made same point, and pointed to 
differences between Jews living in the Christian and Muslim worlds. 
His argument is that since medieval Ashkenazic Jews were not 
confronted with a theological challenge of the sort Jews dealt with 
in the Islamic world, where Jews were accused of altering the text of 
the Pentateuch, there was no assumption in medieval Europe that 
belief in what we know as Maimonides' Eighth Principle was a binding 
doctrine of faith.

See the above URL for more.
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