[Avodah] understanding tosafot

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Mon Oct 18 08:59:37 PDT 2021

On Thu, Sep 30, 2021 at 06:24:16PM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
> At one level I certainly get the idea that not fully understanding Tosafot

... because one gave up, rather than because of lack of ability ...

> might be a "moral" failure. On the other hand I distinctly remember
> hearing a shiur quoting R'YBS as saying that question doesn't bother me.
> I always understood this in two ways. The first being that there's just
> a limited amount of bandwidth that each of us has and while we believe
> we could reconcile all these questions, if they're not to the heart of
> the matter...

If I were to learn daf yomi, it would likely be Gemara-Rashi-Meiri. Both
are presenting local peshat, rather than trying to figure out how this
text relates to other sources.

First, because Tosafos is really the start of iyun, and that's not what DY
is for. DY is a way to get the beqius needed to make be'iyun possible.

Second, because knowing two different rishonim's idea of peshat opens
up one mind to the whole idea of a range. Either one becomes much less
self-evident. You only get peshat from Rashi, you often miss how much
is gemara, and how much is particularly to Rashi's understanding of
the gemara.

R Menchaem Meiri was a Catalonian follower of the Rambam. About as far
from Rashi's eidah and approach as you're going to find among Meforshei

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 If you want others to be happy,
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   practice compassion.
Author: Widen Your Tent      If you want to be happy,
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF    practice compassion.

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