Sunday, April 23, 2006

Bibliography

Please note that in alphabetising this list, I have disregarded titles such as "Rabbi" and "Dr." where they appear. Thus (hypothetically) "Kehati, Rabbi Pinchas" would be listed before "Kehati, Quincy". When there is more than one entry for a single author, I have listed his biographical information only once. Please note also that for software-related reasons, I have not italicised book titles.

Abarbanel, R. Yitzchak (1437-1508; Spain-Portugal-Italy). Peirush al Hatorah. Jerusalem: Bnei Abarbanel, 1963/64.

Abitbul, R. Shaul Yeshayah (1747-1821, Morocco). She'eilot Uteshuvot Avnei Shayish, Part II, #118. The Responsa Project (CD), Version 11. Tel Aviv: Bar-Ilan University / Jerusalem: Talmudic Encyclopedia, Yad Harav Herzog, 2003.

Abraham, Abraham S. (Israel). Nishmat Avraham, Vol. Even Ha’ezer/Choshen Mishpat. Jerusalem, 1986/87.

Abrahams, Israel, ed. and trans. Hebrew Ethical Wills, Part One. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1926.

Abulafia, R. Chaim (1660-1744; Israel). Mikraei Kodesh, in Kol Kitvei Rabbi Chaim Abulafia. Jerusalem: Hamaor Institute, 1993.

Abulafia, R. Meir ben Todros Halevi (c.1170-1244; Spain). Yad Ramah, Sanhedrin. Jerusalem: 1999/2000.

Abulafia, R. Todros Halevi (1225-c.1285; Spain). Otzar Hakavod, Masechet Ketubot, quoted in Leon A. Feldman, "Otzar Hakavod Hashalem Lemasechet Ketubot Lerabbeinu Todros Halevi Abulafia Mitultula," in Sefer Hayovel Lichvod Shalom Baron, Hebrew Volume (Saul Lieberman, ed.) (Jerusalem: The American Academy for Jewish Research, 1974), pp. 297-318.

Aderet, R. Shlomo ben Avraham. See Rashba.

Alasevilli, R. Yom Tov ben Avraham. See Ritva.

Alashkar, R. Moshe ben Yitzchak (Maharam) (1456-1542; Egypt). Responsum #96. The Responsa Project (CD), Version 11. Tel Aviv: Bar-Ilan University / Jerusalem: Talmudic Encyclopedia, Yad Harav Herzog, 2003.

Albalag, R. Yitzchak. Tikun Hade'ot. Jerusalem: The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1973.

Albo, R. Yosef (c. 1380-1444; Spain). Sefer Ha-`Ikkarim, Vol. I. Dr. Isaac Husik, trans. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1929.
—Sefer Ha-`Ikkarim, Vol. IV, Part 1. Dr. Isaac Husik, trans. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1946.

Alfandari, R. Yaakov (c. 1620-1695; Turkey). Mutzal Mei’eish, addenda printed at the end of Rav Yosef, by R. Yosef Katzabi (which see).

Anav, R. Tzidkiyah ben Avraham (1230-1300; Italy). Shibolei Haleket. In collection containing: Shibolei Haleket, Sefer Minhag Tov, Seder Troyes. Jerusalem, 1985/86. Reprint of Vilna: Widow and Brothers Romm, 1886/87.

Arama, R. Yitzchak (1420-1494; Spain). Akeidat Yitzchak, Vol. II. Pressburg: Franz Edlen von Schmidt, 1848/49.

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Ashkenazi, R. Gershon (c.1625-1693; Poland-Austria-Germany). She'eilot Uteshuvot Avodat Hagershuni. Jerusalem, 1981/82. Reprint of Lvov, 1860/61. Scanned copy on Pischei Teshuvos (DVD; The Society for Preservation of Hebrew Books & HebrewBooks.org, 2006).

Ashkenazi, R. Mordechai ben Hillel (c. 1250-1298; Germany). Sefer Mordechai, Tractate Pesachim, in Talmud Bavli: Masechet Pesachim. Jerusalem: Tal-Man, 1981.

Ashkenazi, R. Shmuel Yafeh (1525-1595; Turkey). Yefeh Toar. Jerusalem: Wagschal, 1988/89. Reprint of Ferrara, 1691/92.
—Yefeh Toar, in Midrash Rabbah, Vol. I (Genesis-Exodus). New York: Z. Berman. Reprint of Vilna: Widow and Brothers Romm.

Auman, Shlomo. "Bein Torah Lemada," in Hama'yan 23:3 (Nisan 5743) (1983), pp. 1-7. Jerusalem.

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Bacharach, R. Yair Chaim (1638-1702; Germany). She'eilot Uteshuvot Chavot Ya'ir. Lemberg: Uri Ze'ev Wolf Salat, 1895/96; new edition with index of Talmudic citations, Jerusalem: 1982/83.
—She'eilot Uteshuvot Chavot Ya'ir, #210 and #234. The Responsa Project (CD), Version 11. Tel Aviv: Bar-Ilan University / Jerusalem: Talmudic Encyclopedia, Yad Harav Herzog, 2003.
—She'eilot Uteshuvot Chavot Ya'ir, #219. Accessed from The Responsa Project of Bar-Ilan University at www.responsa.co.il, Feb. 17, 2008.

Bachya, Rabbeinu (ben Asher) (c. 1265-1340; Spain). Midrash Rabbeinu Bachya: Torah Commentary by Rabbi Bachya ben Asher, Vol. 5 (Vayikra-Bechukotai). R. Eliyahu Munk, trans. Brooklyn: Lambda, 2003.
—Peirush Rabbeinu Bachya al Hatorah, Vol. II. Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook, 1993/94.

Barzilay, Isaac. “Yoseph Shlomo Delmedigo, Yashar of Candia: His Life, Works and Times,” in Studia Post-Biblica, Vol. 25, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1974.

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Ben-Tzvi, Meir, compiler. “A Response to Rabbi Aharon Feldman’s Article, ‘The Slifkin Affair – Issues and Perspectives.’” http://www.zootorah.org/controversy/Feldman,%20Rav%20Aharon,%20Second%20Version%20Response.rtf.

Ben Zerach, R. Menachem (?-1385; Spain). Tzeida Laderech. Lemberg: S. Back, 1859.

Biber, R. Avraham Ze'ev. Peshuto Kemashma'o, Pesachim. Lakewood, NJ: 2004/05.

Bleich, R. J. David. Judaism and Healing: Halakhic Perspectives. Augmented Edition. Jersey City, NJ: Ktav, 2002.
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Breuer, Dr. Mordechai. “Hora’at Hahistoria Ve’emunat Chachamim.” Shema’tin 10:36-37 (Iyar 5733) (1973), pp. 52-62 (Bnei Brak, Israel).
—"Ma'amar Rabbi Shamshon Raphael Hirsch Zatzal al Aggadot Chazal." Hama'yan 17:2 (1976) pp. 1-16 (Jerusalem).

Carmell, R. Aryeh (1917-2006; UK-Israel). Comments on Shlomo Sternberg's Review of Guide to Masechet Hullin and Masechet Bechorot by I.M. Levinger, in Bechol Deracheha Da'eihu 6 (Winter 1998), pp. 57-67. Ramat Gan, Israel: Bar Ilan University Press.
—"Freedom to Interpret". http://www.zootorah.com/controversy/RavCarmell.pdf.

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—Torat Nevi'im, in Kol Sifrei Maharatz Chajes, Vol. I. Jerusalem: Divrei Chachamim, 1958.
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Cooperman, Yehuda. "Tochachat Megulah Ve-ahavah Mesutarah," in Hama'yan 13:3 (Nisan 5733) (1973), pp. 13-25. Jerusalem.

Cordovero, R. Moshe (1522-1570; Israel). Pardes Rimonim. Jerusalem: Yerid Hasefarim, 2000.

Da Silva, R. Chizkiyah (1659-1698; Italy-Israel). Kuntres Devei Shimsha, in Mayim Chaim. Kiryat Sefer, Israel: Machon Nachalat Yisrael, 2001/02.
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—Pri Chadash, Yoreh De'a, Vol. I. Jerusalem: Eliyahu Nachum ben R. Yehoshua Heschel Frenkel Te'omim, 1994/95.

Daniel Habavli, R. (13th century; Middle East). Ma’aseh Nissim. B. Goldberg (“B.G.”), ed. Paris: R. Yechiel Breil, 1866.

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David ben Shlomo ibn Avi Zimra, R. See Radvaz.

Davis, Joseph. Yom-Tov Lipmann Heller: Portrait of a Seventeenth-Century Rabbi. Oxford: The Litmann Library of Jewish Civilization, 2004.

De Boton, R. Avraham ben Moshe (c.1545-1585; Greece). Lechem Mishneh, Shabbat, in Mishneh Torah, Vol. II (Zemanim). Jerusalem: Shabsi Frankel, 1994/95.

De' Rossi, R. Azariah (c. 1511-1577; Italy). Me'or Einayim. Jerusalem: Mekor, 1969/70. Reprint of Vilna: David Cassel, 1864-1866.
—The Light of the Eyes. Joanna Weinberg, trans. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001. (Translation of Me'or Einayim, first published in Mantua, Italy, in 1573.)

Delmedigo, R. Yosef Shlomo (Yashar of Candia) (1591-1655; Mediterranean-Northern Europe). Elim. ?Jerusalem: ?1970.
—Elim. Odessa: M.A. Belinson, 1867.
—Ma’yan Chatum. Amsterdam: Menashe ben Yisrael, 1629. Scanned copy at http://www.seforimonline.org/seforim3.html, 2006.

Dessberg, R. Uri. “Parashat Derachim Shel Halachah Umetziut,” in Shanah Beshanah, 5744. Jerusalem: Heichal Shelomoh, 1984.

Dessler, R. Eliyahu (1891-1954; Poland-UK-Israel). Michtav Mei'eliyahu, Vol. IV. R. Aryeh Carmell, ed. Jerusalem, 1999/2000.

Di Trani, R. Yeshayah (c. 1180-1250; Italy). Tosefot Rid Hashalem, Moed-Niddah. Jerusalem: Machon Ma'arava, 1995/96.

Donolo, R. Shabtai (913-982; Italy). As quoted by R. Yosef Kara in his Commentary to Job (which see), and in Peirush Rabbi Yosef Kara Lesefer Iyov (which see), Appendix 1.

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Duran, R. Shimon ben Tzemach (Rashbatz; Tashbetz) (1361-1444; Spain-Algeria). Magen Avot. Jerusalem: Machon Haketav, 2006/07.

Duran, R. Shlomo ben Shimon. Sefer Harashbash: She’eilot Uteshuvot. Jerusalem: Machon Yerushalayim, 1997/98.

Edels, R. Shmuel Eliezer (Maharsha) (1555-1631; Poland). Chidushei Agadot, in Talmud Bavli (20 vols). Jerusalem: Tal-Man, 1981.

Efron, Noah J. Judaism and Science: A Historical Introduction. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2007.

Ehrenreich, R. Shlomo Zalman (1860-1944; Hungary). Even Sheleima, in Even Ha’ezer, by R. Eliezer bar R. Natan. Jerusalem, 1974/75.

Eidensohn, R. Daniel. Daas Torah. Jerusalem: Emunah, 2005.

Einhorn, R. Zev Wolf (Maharzav) (?-1862; Lithuania). Peirush Maharzav, in Midrash Rabbah, Vol. I (Genesis-Exodus). New York: Z. Berman. Reprint of Vilna: Widow and Brothers Romm.

Eisen, R. Chaim. "Maharal's Be'er ha-Golah and His Revolution in Aggadic Scholarship," in Hakirah 4 (Winter 2007), pp. 137-194.

Eliezer ben R. Natan, R. See Ra’avan.

Eliezer ben Yoel Halevi, R. See Ra'aviah.

Eliezer of Metz, R. (1115-1198; Germany). Sefer Yere'im, Vol. I. Vilna: Widow and Brothers Romm, 1891. Reprinted in Israel.

Eliyahu ibn Chaim, R. See Ra’anach.

Emden, R. Yaakov (1697-1776; Germany). Mitpachat Sefarim. Jerusalem: Orach Tzadikim, 1994/95.

Ephodi. See Yitzchak ben Moshe Halevi, R.

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—, trans. Seder Mo`ed Vol. II (Shabbath II). 1938.
—, trans. Seder Mo`ed Vol. IV (Pesahim). 1938.
Lazarus, H. M., trans. Tractate Makkoth, in Seder Nezikin Vol. VIII (Shebu`oth–Makkoth­­–`Eduyyoth–Aboth). 1935.
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Simon, Maurice, trans. Seder Zera`im Vol. I (Berakhot). 1958.
—, trans. Tractate Tamid, in Seder Kodashim Vol. VI (Temurah-Kerithoth-Me`ilah-Tamid-Middoth-Kinnim). 1960.
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Ettlinger, R. Yaakov (1798-1871; Germany). Binyan Tziyon. Jerusalem: Devar Yerushalayim, 2001/02.

Evenshmuel, Yehudah, trans. and annotator. Moreh Nebukim (by Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides)), Vol. 3 (Pt. 2, Vol. 1). Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook, 1958.

Eybeschutz, R. Yehonasan (1690-1764; Central Europe). Bnei Ahuva. Jerusalem, 1965.
—Ya'arot Devash, Vol. II. Jerusalem: Or Hasefer Book Publishing Association, 1983.

Falk, R. Yehoshua (1555-1614; Poland). Derisha Uferisha, in Arba’a Turim, Yoreh De’a, by R. Yaakov ben Asher. Jerusalem: Machon Yerushalayim, 1990.

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Feinstein, R. Moshe (1895-1986; Russia-USA). Iggerot Moshe, Vol. IV. New York: Noble Book Press, 1963.

Feldman, R. Aharon (USA-Israel-USA). "The Slifkin Affair – Issues and Perspectives". http://www.zootorah.com/controversy/ravaharon.html.

First, Mitchell. Jewish History in Conflict. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1997.

Fisher, R. Shlomo (Israel). Sefer Beit Yishai: Derashot. Jerusalem: Frank/Chemed, 1998/99.

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Frimer, Dov. “Jewish Law and Science in the Writings of Rabbi Isaac Halevy Herzog,” in Jewish Law Association Studies V. B.S. Jackson, ed. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991, pp. 33-47.
—“Keviat Avhut Al Yedei Bedikat Sugei Dam (Bema’arechet ABO) Bamishpat Hayisraeli Uvamishpat Ha’ivri,” in Assia 35 (Vol. 9, No. 3), Shevat 5743 (February 1983), pp. 38-61.

Frizenhoizen, R. David (1758-1828; Austria-Hungary?). Mosedot Tevel. Vienna: Anton Strauss, 1820. Scanned copy accessed at www.otzar.org, Feb. 19, 2008.

Gans, R. David (1541-1613; Germany-Poland-Bohemia). Nechmad Vena’im. Jesnitz: R. Israel bar Avraham, 1742/43.

Gelis, Yaakov. Entziklopedia Letoldot Chachmei Eretz Yisrael, Vol. 3. Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook, 1978.

Gellman, Prof. Yehuda (Israel). "A Response to Rabbi Aharon Feldman's 'The Slifkin Affair – Issues and Perspectives'", at http://www.zootorah.com/controversy/Gellman Response.doc.

Gerondi, R. Nissim. See Ran.

Gersonides. See Ralbag.

Gesundheit, R. Yaakov (1816-1878; Poland). Tiferet Yaakov, Vol. 2, on Tractate Chullin. Jerusalem, 1969/70. Reprint of Warsaw: Yoel Lebensohn, 1866/67.

Gikatilla, R. Yosef (1248-c. 1305; Spain). Ginat Egoz. Jerusalem: Yeshivat Hachaim Vehashalom, 1988/89.

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Ginzberg, R. Yosef. Itim Levinah. Warsaw: R. Yitzchak Goldman, 1887. Accessed May 26, 2009, at www.hebrewbooks.org.

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Goldberg, R. Zalman Nechemiah (current; Israel). Kuntres Hishtanut Hateva’im, in Hishtanut Hateva’im Bahalacha, 2 ed. (expanded), by R. Neriya Gotel (which see).

Goldberger, Menachem. Comments on Shlomo Sternberg's Review of Guide to Masechet Hullin and Masechet Bechorot by I.M. Levinger, in Bechol Deracheha Da'eihu 6 (Winter 1998), pp. 69-71. Ramat Gan, Israel: Bar Ilan University Press.

Goldenberg, Shmuel Leib. Kerem Chemed, Vol. VII. Prague: M.J. Landau, 1843.

Gotel, R. Neriya (Israel). Hishtanut Hateva’im Bahalacha. Jerusalem: Machon Yachdav, 1995.
—Hishtanut Hateva’im Bahalacha, 2 ed. (expanded). Jerusalem: Machon Yachdav, 1998.
—"Hishtanut Teva'im," in Bechol Deracheha Da'eihu 7 (Summer 5758 (1998)), pp. 33-47. Ramat Gan, Israel: Bar Ilan University Press

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Guttmann, Julius. Haphilosophia Shel Hayahadut. Y.L. Baruch, trans. Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 1951.
—Philosophies of Judaism. David W. Silverman, trans. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1964.

Ha’ikriti, R. Shemarya (1290-1340; Greece). Sefer Hamora. Manuscript in the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (New York); France?, 1890.

Halevy, R. Haim David. Asei Lecha Rav (responsa), Vol. 5. Tel Aviv, 1982/83.

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Hershkovitz, Meir. “Rabbi Elazar Halevi Ish-Horowitz,” in Areshet 5. Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook, 1972.

Herzog, R. Yitzchak (1888-1959; UK-Ireland-Israel). Judaism: Law & Ethics. Essays selected by Chaim Herzog. London: Soncino, 1974.
—Letter regarding blood tests to establish paternity, in Dov Frimer, “Keviat Avhut Al Yedei Bedikat Sugei Dam (Bema’arechet ABO) Bamishpat Hayisraeli Uvamishpat Ha’ivri,” which see.

Hirsch, R. Samson Raphael (1808-1888; Germany). Letters on Aggadot. See Breuer, Dr. Mordechai.
—"Trusting the Torah's Sages", Yehoshua Leiman, trans., in Two Giants Speak, Jerusalem: Neve Yerushalayim, 2002. Orig. published in Light magazine, nos. 191-195 (Vol. XIV:1-5), 1978.

Hoffmann, R. David Tzvi (1843-1921; Hungary-Germany). Sefer Vayikra I Meforash Bidei David Tzvi Hoffmann. Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook, 1965/66.

Horwitz, R. David (USA). Halakhah and the Scientific Revolution: An Analysis of Spontaneous Generation (booklet). New York: The Aaron, Martha, Isidore N. and Blanche Rosansky Contemporary Halakhah Program, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, 2005.

Hutner, R. Yitzchok (1906-1980; Poland-Israel-Germany-USA). Pachad Yitzchak: Iggerot Uchetavim. Brooklyn, NY: Gur Aryeh, 1991.

Ibn Kaspi, R. Yosef. (1279-1340; Provence-Spain). Menorat Kesef, in Asara Kelei Chesef, Vol. 2, Isaac Last, ed. Jerusalem: Mekor, 1969/70. Reprint of Pressburg: Abraham ben David Alkali and Son, 1902/03.
—Sefer Hamusar Hanikra Yoreh De'a, in Israel Abrahams, Hebrew Ethical Wills, Part One (listed separately), p. 127 ff.

Ibn Tibbon, R. Shmuel (c. 1150-1230; Provence). Yikavu Hamayim. Pressburg: Druck und Verlag von Anton Edlen v. Schmid, 1837. Scanned copy at www.hebrewbooks.org, March 2007.

Ibn Tovo, R. Raphael Elazar Halevi (?-1886; Morocco-Israel). Pekudat Elazar, Vol. II. Jerusalem: Ahavat Shalom, 1977/78.

Ibn Walid, R. Yitzchak (1777-1870; Morocco). Vayomer Yitzchak, Vol. II. Livorno: Eliyahu ben Amuzag and Colleague, 1854/55. Scanned copy on Pischei Teshuvos (DVD; The Society for Preservation of Hebrew Books & HebrewBooks.org, 2006).

Israeli, R. Shaul (1909-1995; Russia-Israel). Perakim Bemachshevet Yisrael. 4th ed. Pardes Chana, Israel: Midrashit Noam, 1973/74.

Jachter, R. Chaim. “Blood Tests and DNA – Part 1.” 2006. http://www.koltorah.org/RAVJ/Blood_Tests_and_DNA_1.html.
—“The Role of Archaeology in Halachic Decision Making – Part One.” 2005. http://www.koltorah.org/ravj/14-22%20The%20Role%20of%20Archaeology%20in%20Halachic%20Decision%20Making%201.htm. Accessed May 19, 2008.

Jakobovits, R. Dr. Immanuel (1921-1999; Germany-UK-Ireland-USA-UK). Jewish Medical Ethics. New York: Bloch, 1959.

Jellinek, Ad. (Aharon). Bet ha-Midrasch, Vol. 5, 3rd ed. Jerusalem: Wahrmann Books, 1967.

Jerusalem Talmud (7 vols). New York: Z. Berman, 1994/95.

Kafach, R. Yosef (1917-2000; Yemen-Israel), ed. and trans. Moreh Hanevuchim. Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook, 1976/77.
—, ed. Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Shabbat, in Horwitz, R. David: Halakhah and the Scientific Revolution: An Analysis of Spontaneous Generation (which see), pp. 12-13.
—, ed. Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Yesodei Hatorah. Jerusalem: Gal'or, 1983/84.

Kamelhar, R. Yekutiel Aryeh (1871-1937; Poland). Hatalmud Umada’ei Hatevel. Lvov: Y. Kamelhar, 1927/28. Accessed at http://www.otzar.org/otzar/index.asp, Jan. 6, 2008.

Kara, R. Yosef (c. 1065-1135; France). Commentary to Job 9:9, excerpt printed in R. Shmuel David Luzzatto, “Hetekot Yekarot Misefarim Shonim Kitvei Yad Im He’arot Muskalot Mei’eit Hanal” (which see), p. 61.
—Peirush Rabbi Yosef Kara Lesefer Iyov. Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook, 1988.

Karelitz, R. Avraham Yeshaya (1878-1953; Russia-Lithuania-Israel). Chazon Ish: Even Ha'ezer, Nashim. Bnei Brak, Israel: Harav Greiniman, 1990/91.
— Chazon Ish: Orach Chaim, Mo’ed. Bnei Brak, Israel: Harav Greiniman, 1972/73.

Karo, R. Yosef (1488-1575; Portugal-Greece-Turkey-Israel). Beit Yosef, in Arba'ah Turim Hashalem, Vol. IV (Orach Chaim IV). Jerusalem: Machon Yerushalayim, 1998/99.

Kasher, R. Menachem Mendel (1895-1983; Poland-Israel). Ha’adam al Hayare’ach. Jerusalem? 1970?
—Kav Hata’arich Hayisraeli. Jerusalem: Beit Torah Sheleima, 1976/77.

Katzabi, R. Yosef. Rav Yosef. Jerusalem, 1969/70. Reprint of Constantinople, 1735/36. Contains addenda to Mutzal Mei’eish, by R. Yaakov Alfandari (which see).

Kehati, R. Pinchas (1910-1976; Israel). The Mishnah: A New Translation With a Commentary by Rabbi Pinhas Kehati, Vol. I (Seder Zera'im Vol. 1: Berakhot Peah Demai Kilayim), Rafael Fisch, trans., Avner Tomaschoff, gen. ed. Jerusalem: Eliner Library Department for Torah Education and Culture in the Diaspora, 1994.
—Mishnayot Mevo'arot Kehati, Vol. I (Zera'im I). Jerusalem: Heichal Shlomo, 1991/92.

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6 comments:

Yehuda said...

Very very impressive. HOWEVER, Supposing there were not a single religious source for the conclusion that the Rabbis could not make a mistake in matters of science. Would that make it any better a belief that they could not be mistaken? All one has to do is read what the Rabbis said about cosmology, about animals, about a woman's womb, about rain, and so on and so on.The idea is absurd on its own merits. Yehuda Gellman

He Who Must Not Be Named said...

I personally agree with you. If there were no traditional sources saying Chazal could err, I think it would still behoove the thinking modern Jew to draw the conclusion that Chazal had erred.

However, if traditional Judaism insisted explicitly, unequivocably and universally that Chazal had not erred, it might force us to doubt the validity of Judaism as a whole: if one non-negotiable part of the package falls, the rest may fall with it. These sources demonstrate - I think - that no Jew need find himself in this predicament, because there has never been such an explicit, unequivocable and universal insistence on Chazal's scientific infallibility.

These sources also lend support to those who argue (as indeed I do myself) that the belief that Chazal could err is not so marginal that one can claim it is now heresy, having "fallen out of the masorah."

Also, if one believed that the evidence in favour of the Torah's correctness outweighed all the modern evidence against Chazal's various problematic scientific pronouncements, and if one believed the Torah treated Chazal's scientific statements as necessarily correct, one would presumably need to conclude that the Torah was true, and the modern science false. This list might entitle such an individual to believe in both the Torah and the contradicting modern science, rather than accepting the Torah and rejecting the science. (I am not such a person, but I believe that such people do exist.)

Anonymous said...

My thinking on this is quite different from yours. The idea that the Rabbis made no false claims about scientific matters is so patently absurd that if all we had were statements saying they were infalllible then I would conclude that the people who said the latter were simply mistaken. They obviously know nothing about science. I would not take their pronouncements about the Rabbis as a dogma but as just obviously NOT a dogma of Judaism. I suspect you are sharing with some of your opponents the idea of all statements adding up to doctrines and dogmas. Yehuda Gellman

He Who Must Not Be Named said...

I think it would depend on who asserted Chazal's infallibility, and how they did it.

For example, if all the Rishonim said that Adam was created directly from earth, not from evolution of species, and if I were convinced that he was the product of evolution, I might well agree that although the Rishonim, having no reason to assume otherwise, took Genesis literally and understood Adam's creation as being from earth, their unanimity on this matter would not imply that Adam's non-evolutionary origin is a fundamental tenet of Judaism.

However, if Rambam, Ramban, Tosfos, Rashba, etc. - or Chazal - all insisted that it is a fundamental precept of Judaism that the earth is quite literally less than 6000 years old - leaving no wiggle room - and if I held this dating of the earth to be incorrect, I am not sure what I would do. It would be a judgment call as to whether this assertion ought to be considered part of basic Jewish dogma or not.

Similarly regarding the infallibility of Chazal: one must make a judgment call as to what constitutes a fundamental statement of dogma.

Note that in order for something to be verifiably true, it must make assertions that are, at least in theory, falsifiable. If one assumes that any Torah assertion that is falsified must not actually be a Torah assertion, one precludes the possibility of falsifying the Torah, which means that the Torah can never really be proven true either: whenever a problem crops up, we will simply edit it out of the Torah. So I do not take the falseness of an assertion found in the Torah to imply that the assertion is ipso facto not actually part of the Torah. Whether it is really Torah dogma or not must be assessed without reference (or at the very least without exclusive reference) to the assertion's truth.

Yehuda said...

1. I see no difference between the Adam case and the creation case. )I don't see why there might be a difference.
2. One can make a "judgement call" that anything is a fundamental statement of dogma, eg. anti-Zionism, ie that Zionists are all kofrim; that Rav Eliashiv is THE gadol hador, ie anyone who denies this is a kofer;,that the world is made from four elements, that Rashi had ruach hakodesh, that Hazal had ruach hakodesh, that segulot work, that every aggadic statement of Hazal was given at Sinai, etc. etc.
3. What you say in your last paragraph is true only to a point. When the statement is so patently absurd, then Judaism deserves at least that much respect as to say that this statement could not possibly be a fundamental dogma of Judaism. Judaism has enough going for it to resist such an absurd idea. This is different from where Judaism has been "found out" to be wrong on many matters that it judges sincerely and informatively about that simply "turned out" to be wrong. Yehuda Gellman

He Who Must Not Be Named said...

Re. (1): I may have obscured my actual point by switching from the Adam example to the age of the earth example. I meant only to say that if the universal or perhaps almost universal consensus of (eg.) Rishonim is that X is true, and I believe that X is false, I may well agree that the Rishonim simply made a mistake and did not realise that X was false. However, if they all say that the truth of X is a fundamental dogma of Judaism, and I believe X is false, I may have to reject Judaism.

Re.(2): I agree. One needs to have good judgment, or to consult someone who does.

Re. (3): You say, "Judaism has enough going for it to resist such an absurd idea." That is precisely what I believe needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis: Is there sufficient evidence in favour of the truth of Judaism to outweigh the indications that it insists on a falsehood? An extreme example: If everyone from Moses on down averred unambiguously that they had positive knowledge that the Torah insists the earth is flat, that mass of data might trump the evidence in favour of Judaism. I do not see how I could claim that Judaism does not aver X if every single one of its past exponents said that Judaism does. One must consider, in each case, on the one hand (a) the strength of evidence in favour of the Torah's veracity; and on the other hand, both (b) the strength of evidence contradicting the assertion(s) it is supposed the Torah makes, and (c) the strength of evidence that the Torah actually does make those seemingly false assertion(s). After weighing these considerations, one can draw inferences about whether the Torah has stood up to scrunity.

So far I think it's doing fine.