[Avodah] Multivalent truth

Zvi Lampel zvilampel at gmail.com
Mon May 6 18:51:48 PDT 2019

On Mon, May 6, 2019 at 7:25 PM Micha Berger <micha at aishdas.org> wrote:

> 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,

We're not discussing multifaceted truths. We're discussing the concept of
something and its inverse both being true in the same situation, tiime and

because in Kesuvos 57a, he embraces the idea.

He does not.

> 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,

We are are not discussing complementary truths.  We're discussing the
concept of something and its inverse both being true in the same situation,
tiime and place.

that doesn't mean that we need to consider all claims, nor that the
> contradiction means that one wasn't in Moshe's Torah.

I cannot decipher this statement.

> 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, "Ayzehu 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."

So you are agreeing with my point that Rashi is dislodging the adage of
"kulan me-Adon echad" from meaning eilu va-eilu as you take it.

> : 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.

And not talking about  a notion that despite what the halacha l.maaseh is,
there is really truth to both one thing and its inverse in the same
situation at the same time and pace.

> 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.

First of all, I don't know where you get the idea that the debates over
what  an ealier Amora or Tanna said are in the minority. It seems to me to
be otherwise. All the more so since Rashi and Tosefos' stand, that when
there is such a debate, one of the sides is sayimg sheker, logically
applies not only to what the previous authority said, but what he meant and
held. ("V'ee michlalah, lama li?")

Secondly, I reiterate that Rashi explains himself that in those cases where
the debaters are not deliberating over what former authorities held/said,
but promoting their own sevaros, each one atamei d'nafshei, this is where
the concept of eilu va-eilu applies. Why? Not because eilu va-eilu means
that one thing and its inverse can both be true in the same situation and
the same time and place. But because on the contrary, Rashi explains that
eilu va-eilu means that each of the sevaros are shayyach (applicable,
appropriate, fitting) in DIFFERENT circumstances.

> : 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".

He doesn't says both sevaros are shayyach to both situations. He says one
sevara is shayyach in one situation and the other sevara is shayyach in the
other situation. (So "Shayach doesn't mean relevant. It means it fits that
particluar situation.)

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

I know the feeling....

...But I did introduce new data--the Avodas HaKodesh (and Recanti).

> Chodesh Tov!
> Tir'u baTov!
> Amen!

Zvi Lampel
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