[Avodah] umdena(presumptions) and halakhic theory

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Thu May 9 12:48:12 PDT 2019

On Wed, Apr 10, 2019 at 01:16:54PM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
: While I can certainly construct a logic, it's hard to see why an umdena
: as to people's awareness would not follow the actual facts on the ground

It would depend on whether we're talking pesaq or din derabbanan. If
a pesaq is based on an umdena, when the umdena changes, we should be
saying it's a new situation and requires a new pesaq.

But if we're talking about chazal making a taqana or gezeira because
of an umdena that is no longer true, wouldn't it require a Sanhedrin,
and maybe one gadol mimenu bechokhmah uveminyan, to change the law?

Then you have matters like RYBS's position WRT tav lemeisav, where
he holds (according to one interpretation) that since the Torah says
"ve'al isheikh teshukaseikh" we are only fooling ourselves if we
think the umdena changed. And really, deep down, feelings haven't.

: I'm also not convinced that at some level following two different
: "unrelated" psakim of two poskim does not run the risk of inconsistent
: application (or tartei dsatrei). Especially if you take the position
: that Hakachic intuition is based on their total knowledge of Torah.

Makes sense. But then... even a single person isn't that consistent.
For example: How I respond to questions about scientific theories of
origins depends on the day, my mood, and how the question was phrased.
And I am betting I'm not alone on that. Our positions aren't all
perfectly integrated. So if we really demanded perfect consistency
across all inyanim and including even very subtle implications, even
relying on one poseiq would only reduce the problem, not eliminate it.

I think tarta desasrei is more limited than that. Like the way one
pelag-to-sheqi'ah can be either day or night, but the next one needn't
be consistent. Not sure where that thought is taking me, though...

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 19th day, which is
micha at aishdas.org        2 weeks and 5 days in/toward the omer.
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