[Avodah] Shituf

Zev Sero zev at sero.name
Wed Jan 9 11:42:19 PST 2013

On 9/01/2013 1:35 PM, Micha Berger wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 09, 2013 at 11:02:37AM -0600, Lisa Liel wrote:
>> Tosfot, which is often used as a support for shituf being permissible
>> for non-Jews, says nothing of the sort...
> 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. <books.google.com/books?id=m0yhkWuqIqYC&pg=PA239>
> 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.) Although, unlike Lisa's flat denial,
> RMJB does find the NbY's reading to fit the text. (Just less "literal".)

I think you're misreading RJDB.  The NB's view, as he explains it, is
exactly what RLL just wrote.  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.

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".

Zev Sero               A citizen may not be required to offer a 'good and
zev at sero.name          substantial reason' why he should be permitted to
                        exercise his rights. The right's existence is all
                        the reason he needs.
                            - Judge Benson E. Legg, Woollard v. Sheridan

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