[Avodah] Multivalent truth

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Mon May 6 16:24:59 PDT 2019

On Mon, May 06, 2019 at 02:09:19PM -0400, Zvi Lampel wrote:
: You have to understand what's bothering Rashi. As I described it, he is
: dislodging the adage from its naive reading, He's doing that for a reason.

Yes, but it can't be because he has a problem with a multifacted truth,
because in Kesuvos 57a, he embraces the idea. More later.

Skipping ahead to another comment you make on this first Rashi:
: In explaining the adage that others use to promote the concept of
: contradictory truths, he explains it not at all as talking about that, but
: about determining pesak...

Actually, Rashi says that while there are complementary truths,
that doesn't mean that we need to consider all claims, nor that the
contradiction means that one wasn't in Moshe's Torah.

Now, the Rashi I didn't bother with last time, because it's another
repeat from previous years:

:  "Make you ear act as a funnel/hopper": Since  all of them [the baalei
: machlokess], their hearts are to heaven (leeban la-shamayim), make your
: ear one that listens, and learn, and know the words of all of them. And
: when you will know to discriminate (le-havchin) which one of them will
: succeed (yichshar), establish that as the halacha.

Yes, yikhshar as usable halakhah. Which is exactly what Rashi says in
the last clause. Not on the level of "eiluv va'eilu divrei E-lokim Chaim",
multifacted truth, but on the level of "vehalakhah ke..."

: The phrase, "Aysehua yichshar," is from Kohelless 11:6. "In the morning,
: sow your seed; and in the evening, do not let your hand rest [from doing so
: again], because you do not know which [attempt] yichshar, whether this or
: this, or if both of them are equally good."

: In Yevamos 55b Rashi explains this posuk's "yichshar" to mean
: "yatzliach"--succeed.

This *reinforces* how I read the Rashi on the gemara in prior iterations.
Rashi's measure is not truth-vs-falsehood but success-vs-failure. He is
talking about what is usable for halakhah lemaaseh.

Now, on to the third Rashi:
:> But in Kesuvos 57a, "ha QML", Rashi says that one side being wrong in
:> a machloqes is something specific to two amoraim arguing about what a
:> tanna or earlier amora says, "terei amora'ei aliba dechad amora". A limit
:> which would seem to be intentionally excludes the gemara's other case
:> "terei amora'ei aliba dechad amora".

: > The earlier amora could only have meant one of the two. But the Torah
: > could indeed mean both.

: Again, you're not showing that Rashi holds this, just that he's not saying
: he doesn't, and that you wish to impose it upon him.

He makes a chiluq between aliba dechad amora and ata'amei denafshei. The
first part of the Rashi says that terei amora'ei alibe dechad amora alone
one is right and the other erred. And then he closes by saying that
when they argue ata'amei denafshei "eilu va'eilu divrei E-lokim Chaim".

Kind of more than just "not saying he doesn't" -- Rashi pretty explicitly
denies plurality ONLY in a minority of machloqesin, those where the debate
is over what an earlier amora (or a tanna) said.

See https://www.sefaria.org/Rashi_on_Ketubot.57a.9.1 again, because I don't
see any way of saying it's less than muchrach.

: Further, he explicitly says that eilu va-eilu means that each side of a
: machlokess will hold true in DIFFERENT circumstances, but not at the same
: time and place and situations.

Each is true and therefore each can be used halakhah lemaaseh in different
situations. Or to use Rashi's words, each is "shayakh" in different
circumstances. Shayakh, relevant. Not limiting when it "holds true".

In this email I'm sticking just to Rashi, because I don't know how many
arguments I can retread at once.

Chodesh Tov!
Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 16th day, which is
micha at aishdas.org        2 weeks and 2 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Gevurah sheb'Tifferes: What type of discipline
Fax: (270) 514-1507                             does harmony promote?

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