[Avodah] Understanding tosafot

Joseph Kaplan jkaplan at tenzerlunin.com
Fri Oct 8 05:22:01 PDT 2021

“ I was responding to a discussion based on R. A Lichtenstein.  I assumed it meant that “moving on” without having expended maximum effort to understand any  (not just tosfot) piece of Torah was not acceptable.”

But then the alleged “moral failure” is in not expending the time rather than in not understanding because sometimes you can spend time and exert effort and still not understand. Perhaps not Rav Lichtenstein, but it’s true of us mere mortals. 

It also doesn’t take into consideration that time is not unlimited. At some point, the student might make the decision that it may be possible for her to understand this tosfot if I she spends an additional 10 hours on it. But in that same time she can learn 10 other tosfot. I don’t see making that decision to be a moral failure. 

Sent from my iPhone

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