Audio Roundup 2019:10

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by Joel Rich

I’m writing you because I know that you are very machshiv Rav Asher Weiss. I’m just curious if you have any thoughts on his psakim being based on an approach which differs From the one I assume you received. I’ve heard him say in the past that he is not enamored with the tzvei dinim approach. At the recent yarchei kallah He made a point of saying that he stresses in his Yeshiva That often times modern questions are not based on competing underlying rishonic conceptualizations (I assume he meant chakira) but rather on nuanced differentiations [That’s what I pretty much heard] Do you agree with my assessment from your experience and, if so, how does that affect your evaluation of his psak

The Gemara in a number of places (e.g., Shavuot 4a) uses the principle “Umishna lo zazah mimkoma” (the [original] Mishna did not move) to explain why two mishnayot might seem contradictory. (This earlier version is “no long operative.”) Rashi (Shavuot) explains this principle on the basis of oral transmission practicalities—the generations after Rebbi could not “forget” the earlier one due to its being known in widespread “nodes.” Therefore, they left both versions intact and assumed that it was clear that the later version was the primary one. The Ritva (Yevamot 30a) uses the principles as an explanation as to why the two versions weren’t cohered (but sounds like they did want to keep the earlier version as well).
1. What’s the purpose of keeping the earlier version?
2. If Rashi is correct, why wasn’t the earlier version dropped when the switch to written vs. oral transmission was made?
3. Who changes their mind these days?

Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

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