Audio Roundup 2023:18

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by Joel Rich

“One of the basic limitations of interpreting ancient text, lies, and comprehending the cultural references. When it comes to the meaning of physical gestures, biblical interpreters, engage in a good deal speculation, most of which means unsubstantiated.”

This is a footnote in Dr. Yael Ziegler’s book on Lamentations (Iyov), but to me it’s a comment that reflects our everyday learning of both commentaries on Tanach and Halacha throughout the generations. When is it a tradition and when is it intelligent people looking at texts, and making their best guess based on their total life study and experience?

In “Rabbi school” the R Chaim Pesach four cups of milk question (he realized that the question implied the questioner couldn’t afford meat) is used as an example of needing to identify the unasked question (per R D Feldman).

Me – this is a basic life skill especially for consultants (when I was employed as one, we spent a lot of time trying to teach this competency)

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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