[Avodah] Mesora only through Rashi

Eli Turkel via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Sun Aug 23 02:10:56 PDT 2015

[Email #1, in reply to R' Akiva Miller.]

> My point is that while RMB and RCL are trying to imagine what Torah would
> look like without Tosaphos, as I see it, even the Tosaphos that we do have
> is a somewhat random document.

I believe this is somewhat of an exaggeration. The school of Tosafot was
basically begun by Rabbenu Tam followed by Ri (haZaken). Unfortunately we
don't have much of their notes and Sefer haYashar is fragmentary. However,
from Tosfat Shantz through Tosafot Tuch we have several manuscripts. It
is true that the early publishers (or more exactly the rabbis chosen
by these publishers) used whatever material they had however, I don't
think that in most cases the differences between different talmidim were
that great. Obviously some were more verbose and some less so and each
included their individual rebbes and their own opinions. Nevertheless
on the whole they were similar.

Tosafot haRosh was the main version used in much of Spain. For reasons
that are not clear to me this version was lost for many centuries before
reappearing relatively recently.
In individual cases one learns something new from Tosafot haRosh but I
am not sure that on the whole it is that dramatically different from
the printed versions

[Email #2, in reply to me. -micha]

> To pasqen mar'os, a rav must also have a mesorah in that sense. It's
> a skill, a craft, that is learned from practice under the guidance of
> a mentor. Usually called "shimush".

I recall seeing recently (on avodah?) a machloket of poskim whether one
needs shimush in order to pasken on maaros or it is sufficient to learn
from seforim.

In general some poskim feel that for many areas shimush is no longer
needed now that we have detailed seforim. A number of gedolim of the
20th century essentially learned alone with minimal input from teachers.

Eli Turkel

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