[Avodah] Mesora only through Rashi

Heather Luntz via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Fri Aug 14 12:13:15 PDT 2015

I have been struggling with this thread, but have not found it easy to
explain why, although I will do my best:

On Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 11:153am EDT, R Saul Guberman wrote:
: RGS makes the claim that we would not have TSP & our Mesora without Rashi
: the Tosafists.
: http://www.torahmusings.com/2015/07/who-was-greater-than-rambam/
: Our *Torah shebe'al peh* is based on Rashi and the Tosafists. If Jewish
: history had not included Maimonides, the Jewish world would have missed a
: great deal. Maimonides enriched our thinking and world view tremendously,
: but the *Torah shebe'al peh* would have survived without him. However,
: without Rashi and the Tosafists, there would not have been any *mesora*,
: any chain of tradition; we could not teach *Torah shebe'al peh* today.

And RMB then wrote:

>Which is a different statement than the subject line.

>I took RGS's expansion of RYBS's idea to mean that we got our mesorah
through all these parallel strands. However, the loss of a codifier who
stands alone, like the Rambam, is less critical to >the survival of mesorah
than the parshanim. Rambam added a lot to our mesorah. But Rashi and Tosafos
made it possible for later generations to continue understanding the gemara.

I think what troubles me about this line of argument is that the Shulchan
Aruch relies far more heavily on the Rambam than upon Rashi and the
Tosaphists.  It would surely not be unfair to say that without the Rambam,
we would not have the Shulchan Aruch.

Which seems then to mean this line of argument to be saying that the
Shulchan Aruch is irrelevant to our mesorah?!?

I really struggle with that statement.

Now, if you want to limit the claim, and say that Rashi and Tosphos are far
more key than the Rambam to what people do in modern day yeshivas all day,
including (if not particularly) the Briskers, then it would be hard to

But is what people are doing in yeshiva all day in the 21st century "the
mesorah" or is the Shulchan Aruch "the mesorah"?

What are the consequences if we relegate the Shulchan Aruch and elevate the
Tosphists in terms of halacha as she is practiced?

Somehow these seem troubling directions in which to be heading, but I must
log off as shabbas is coming very soon in this part of England (and I, for
one, am not about to rely on Rabbanu Tam, Tosphotist par excellence,
regardless of his mesorah, I don't know about you,).


Shabbat Shalom 


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