Audio Roundup 2024:9

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by Joel Rich

The mishna in chulin (100b) features a machloket as to whether gid hanasheh applies only to kosher animals (tanna kama) or all animals (R Yehuda). In the Mishna itself R Yehuda brings a proof from the fact that bnai yaakov were commanded in gid hanasheh even though non-Kosher animals were permitted t o them. The response to him was that the prohibition was given at sinai but written in its place by the Yaakov story.

This raises a number of questions in my mind but I’ll just pose one area. Is this an argument in historical mitziut (did Yosef eat gid hanasheh)? If not was it result of command or minhag)? Did the tanaim have a mesora as to the historical facts or were they interpreting history through the lens of a mesora or a derivation of what the halacha was as to gid hanasheh’s application to non-kosher animals?

The genara (Shabbat 146) disputes whether yesh or ein mazal lyisrael. The overwhelming majority say ein mazal which is interpreted as meaning that good deeds and prayer can overcome what was otherwise predestined (AIUI). Most of the proofs seem based on cases where the amoraim knew what the result was supposed to be but somehow it did not occur. I always thought that ein mazal was a slam dunk, but now it occurs to me that there’s a very strong reason for saying yesh (that at least sometimes a future result can’t be changed by human efforts.)

If every decree can be changed by human effort, it would seem to me that it would be theoretically quite possible that HKBH could not promise us anything with 100% certainty since there would always be a combination of human efforts, even though extremely low probability, which would not yield that result.

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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