[Avodah] Mesora only through Rashi

Micha Berger via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Fri Aug 14 13:48:03 PDT 2015

On Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 08:13:15PM +0100, Heather Luntz via Avodah 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...
: 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?!?

Let me make it far more more explicit. The subject line differs from my
understanding of RGS' expansion of RYGB's idea in that it claims "Mesora
ONLY through Rashi" (emphasis added), whereas I heard them talking about
cofication being "less critical". Comparative terms, not absolute ones.

IOW, the mesorah could survive without codes, if we had to. But it
couldn't survive without parshanim. Without them we couldn't handle
any new case that isn't in a code, nor even have the skills to always
determine which are the new cases.

In terms of R Yosef Caro's works, it would be like saying the BY was 
more important than the SA. Not that the SA is irrelevant, but we
could have limped along without it. Not so the genre that discusses
how the conclusions are reached.

Mesorah, in RYBS's lexicon, is the conversation down time, the flow of
the Oral Law from generation to generation. The code describes a
snapshot. The parshan connects the past to the now.


Micha Berger             Life isn't about finding yourself
micha at aishdas.org        Life is about creating yourself.
http://www.aishdas.org                - Bernard Shaw
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