Sunday, 27 December 2009

If Ravina and Rav Ashi..

If Ravina and Rav Ashi are "sof hora'ah"
Then what does the Mechabeir mean in YD 334:40 "kach Horah Ha Ro"sh"?

Clearly the Ro"sh followed both Ravina and Rav Ashi! So what's the Mechabeir saying - or what does he mean to say?



Garnel Ironheart said...

Clearly there are different levels of hora'ah. When the Gemara was closed, did poskim just stop working and say "Well, hora'ah is over, no point in chidushim, we're stuck where Ravina and Rav Ashi left it"?
An example of this would be the Shulchan Aruch which brings the era of the Rishonim to a close and thus is a form of sof hora'ah itself.

Rabbi Ben Hecht said...

If we speak of different levels of hora'ah, as Garnel suggests, it may be important to articulate the distinctions, specifically whether they are of a qualitative nature or quantitative nature. By the former, I mean that they are different in their inherent nature; in other words, a completely different process. By the latter, I mean a distinction that is not inherent but nonetheless significant; same process but just better.

As an example of the latter, the difference between the Rishonim and Achronim would be a good example. Basically, the analysis was of a similar nature; it is just recognized and accepted that the Rishonim were better at it than the Achronim. As such there is a great hesitancy to argue with a Rishon -- but there are exceptions in various ways and for various reasons.

An example of the former would be, as someone once mentioned to me, would be the process of drashot that are applied in the mishna. We do not even know the process by which these drashot are undertaken. For example, do we even know the yesod of the machloket of whether kivshu'ah should exclude women from pru u'rvu or not? We have no idea of the science of drashot and how this analysis was undertaken. As such, one cannot argue with a mishna because we don't know the science (for want of a better word).

I would venture to say that it is to this type of distinction that is being referred with the statement that Ravina and Rav Ashi was sof hora'ah, but I am not exactly sure what this was.

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Rabbi R Wolpoe said...

Garnel's point is well-taken.
my provocation was transparent - in that using slogans like mantras without context and parameters can be misleading. It seems obvious!

But i was locked in a bitter struggle on Avodah List with several rigid "literalists" who insisted that ther is NO such thing as a Post-Talmudic g'zeira! But I proceded to show the Rambam using the term 3 times, The Rema several and the SA of the Baal hatanya once.

of course the post-Talmudic g'zeira may indeed be of a different quality, but getting hung up on rigid terminology will simply prevent learning basic texts by misconstruing terms from other contexts.

So I showed that one can END hora'ah but also continue doing it, it just takes on a different quality.