[Avodah] Kitniyot

Zev Sero zev at sero.name
Sat Mar 30 20:39:47 PDT 2013

On 30/03/2013 10:52 PM, Micha Berger wrote:
> (2) even the sole
> known (to me) non-Constitutivist rishon, the Rambam does himself follow
> the authority of the qabbalah of the ge'onim over the computed year
> for shemittah.
> If you can explain why you do not believe Shemittah 1:4-6 isn't a
> pre-10th cent example of accepting halachic process produced results
> over a computation of truth, I would appreciate it.

Shmita is rather like kidush hachodesh, in the sense that it depends on an
actual count.  You can't just calculate when shmita should be and decide
to keep it then, there's a mitzvah of "vesafarta lecha".  BD must keep a
count, and declare shmita according to it.  As I understand the Rambam,
he's saying that he holds that the BD back then counted it wrong, and had
he been in charge then he would have set them right, but right or wrong that
is the way they counted, so the shmita cycle is in the "wrong" place but
it's still the cycle.  He's only accepting the mesorah of the Geonim as a
matter of historical metzius, not as proof that his shita is wrong.  Without
this mesorah he would have assumed that the historical metzius matched his
shita, and that those who keep shmitah today on the "wrong" year are

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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