In a series of articles exploring Talmudic Logic, discovery displays interpreted text in an understandable manner, free from rabbinical propagation soliciting adherence to rigid traditional dogma.
Today we address Sanhedrin 5b and illogical logic.
מ“ש למר דקא קרי בן אחי ומ“ש למר דקא קרי בן אחותי וכי תימא הכי הוה מעשה והאמר מר איבו וחנה ושילא ומרתא ורבי חייא כולהו בני אבא בר אחא כרסלא מכפרי הוו רב בר אחוה דהוה בר אחתיה רבה בר חנה בר אחוה דלאו בר אחתיה
This incident raises several questions, which the Gemara asks in sequence. What is different concerning this Sage, Rabba bar Ḥana, that Rabbi Ḥiyya called him: My brother’s son, and what is different concerning that Sage, Rav, that Rabbi Ḥiyya called him: My sister’s son? And if you would say that this was the situation: Rabba bar Ḥana was his brother’s son and Rav was his sister’s son, but doesn’t the Master say: Aivu, Rav’s father, and Ḥana, the father of Rabba bar Ḥana, and Sheila, and Marta, and Rabbi Ḥiyya, were all sons of Abba bar Aḥa Karsala from Kafrei? Consequently, Rav would also be Rabbi Ḥiyya’s brother’s son.
The Gemara answers: Rav was his brother’s son who was also his sister’s son, as Rabbi Ḥiyya’s half-brother married Rabbi Ḥiyya’s half-sister; while Rabba bar Ḥana was his brother’s son who was not his sister’s son. Therefore, he referred to Rav in a manner that emphasized the additional relationship.
ואי בעית אימא
And if you wish, say instead that he called him: My sister’s son, for a different reason:
על שם חכמתו דכתיב אמור לחכמה אחותי את
It was due to his extraordinary wisdom, as it is written: “Say to wisdom: You are my sister” (Proverbs 7:4). Therefore, calling him: My sister’s son, was an indication of his great wisdom.
יתיר בכורות אל יתיר מאי טעמא אילימא משום דלא חכים הא קא אמרינן דחכים טובא אלא משום דלא בקיע במומי
The Gemara had related that Rabbi Ḥiyya asked Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: May Rav declare a firstborn animal permitted, and that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi had responded: He may not declare such an animal permitted.
The Gemara asks: What is the reason that he denied him this permission? If we say that it was because Rav was not sufficiently wise and learned, but that is difficult, as we already said that he was exceedingly wise. Rather, it must be that it was because, although he was quite knowledgeable about the halakha, he was not an expert with regard to blemishes, meaning that he lacked the practical expertise to apply the halakha to actual cases.
Here the discussion deals with whether an animal should be permitted for sacrifice or not. The logic used for wisdom is the following:
“It was due to his extraordinary wisdom, as it is written: “Say to wisdom: You are my sister” (Proverbs 7:4). Therefore, calling him: My sister’s son, was an indication of his great wisdom.”
This connotates that EVERY sister’s son indicates great wisdom over all those who are not a sisters son, but not necessarily correct in understanding a situation “because, although he was quite knowledgeable about the halakha, he was not an expert with regard to blemishes” according to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi.
In short, if you have a sister, who has a son, that son has great wisdom with this logic.
This we know is a false statement.
Not EVERYONE who has a nephew from a sister can say that nephew has great wisdom! Far from this opinion cries logic and wisdom.
Examples such as above can be found throughout Talmud and can be easily misunderstood AND TAUGHT incorrectly as applying to logic, where in reality this was a nice opinion by the Rabbi.
We have many instances where there are equally bad opinions by Rabbi and not so nice commentary.
Moving on we see a further explanation from Gemara.
והאמר רב שמונה עשר חדשים גדלתי אצל רועה בהמה לידע איזה מום קבוע ואיזה מום עובר אלא לחלק לו כבוד לרבה בר חנה
The Gemara rejects this answer. But didn’t Rav say: I apprenticed with a shepherd for eighteen months in order to be able to know which blemish is a permanent blemish, and which is a temporary blemish? Evidently, he had a high level of practical expertise in this matter.
The Gemara explains: Rather, it was in order to bestow honor upon Rabba bar Ḥana. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi wanted to ensure that Rabba bar Ḥana would be treated with respect, so he made sure that there was an area of halakha with regard to which the people would not be able to consult with Rav and would need to consult with Rabba bar Ḥana instead.
ואיבעית אימא משום הא גופיה דרב בקיע במומי טפי ושרי מומי דלא ידעי אינשי ואמרי כי האי גוונא שרא רב ואתו למשרי מום עובר
And if you wish, say instead: It is due to this fact itself: Since Rav was a great expert with regard to blemishes, he would permit blemishes that average people do not know about. And as a result, they would erroneously say with regard to a different blemish: In a case like this Rav declared the animal permitted, and in this way they would come to erroneously permit an animal with a temporary blemish, believing it to be identical to the blemish that Rav had declared permitted. Due to this concern, Rav was denied the authority to declare firstborn animals permitted on the basis of a blemish.
Here we find a further answer that basically says since Rav is too much of an expert, since he was trained to spot blemishes for 18 months, average people might mistake what he is saying and make an error.
The logic here is quite ridiculous, and shows the need to literally HAVE an answer for every mistake anyone ever makes, which again the Talmud is rife with and explains much of modern Jewish culture and Torah misconception when elucidating from Talmud tractate.
We now must have further explanation why Rav cannot teach about animal sacrifice, although he is an expert, since the average person will error or perhaps misunderstand his expertness, or what he says without Rav catching on or correcting them.
This is told though another incident,
וטעו נמי בהא מי קרמיון ומי פיגה פסולין מפני שהן מי (בצעים) ואינהו סבור מדלגבי חטאת פסילי אכשורי נמי לא מכשרי ולא היא התם לענין חטאת בעינן מים חיים הכא אכשורי כל דהו מכשרי
And the residents of that same place erred also with regard to this: It was taught in a mishna (Para 8:10): The waters of the Keramiyyon River and the waters of the Piga River are not fit for mixing with ashes of the red heifer to use as water of purification, since they are water from swamps.
And they erroneously thought: Since this water is not fit for use as water of purification, this means it is not considered water, and therefore it also does not render food susceptible to contracting impurity. But it is not so, as there, with regard to water of purification, we need: “Running water” (see Numbers 19:17), and water from swamps is not running water. But here, with regard to rendering food susceptible to impurity, any water renders food susceptible.
תנא באותה שעה גזרו תלמיד אל יורה אלא אם כן נוטל רשות מרבו
It was taught: At that time, when Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi discovered the consequences resulting from a Torah scholar who was not precise with his terminology, the Sages decreed: A Torah scholar may not teach halakha unless he receives permission from his teacher to do so. The teacher should not grant him this permission if he does not know how to express himself in a clear manner.
What it all comes down to, the logical answer – through an illogical explanation is this,
“The Sages decreed: A Torah scholar may not teach halakha unless he receives permission from his teacher to do so.”
That’s it in a nutshell and what defines all Yeshiva.
You must receive permission to teach, not only the “the correct opinionated version” of Torah, but have the approval of your “mentor” or head Rabbi, the Rosh HaYeshiva from which you were produced.
Why do I say produce?
Production or indoctrination is a requirement. The thoughts are not your own thoughts, nor can they be.
The thoughts must adhere to the teaching approved by Rosh through Rashi and RamBam agreed upon dogma.
Outside interpretation or linear opinion have no place in Talmudic Logic unless approved by those who control the narrative.
The interpretation of Sanhedrin 5b here can be argued five different ways from five different Rabbi, from five different Yeshiva.
Who is correct? The sages said…and the Gemara answers.
In actuality it is the Rabbi of your Yeshiva that tells you the interpretation and that word is final, unless countered directly by a superior Rabbi.
In New York Chabad that would be Rebbe Schneerson, who was proclaimed Moshiach by his followers, and is now deceased.
In Israel, we have multiple factions Hasidic, Haredi, Sephardic. The Haredi Senior board of Rabbi’s determine all decisions and Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman is the Rosh of Bnei Brak Yeshiva’s.
Other influential Seniors are Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, Rabbi Yaakov Zissholtz, Rabbi Nissan, and Rabbi Kanievsky who claims he is speaking directly with Moshiach.
The Ger Hasidic had a split in 2019, which was a long time coming and is now under the banner of Rebbe Yaakov Alter and his cousin Shaul Alter, Rosh of Ger Yeshiva.
The Sephardic have lesser authority under Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, the son of deceased Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who was the top rabbinic leader. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/176100
According to Haaretz,
“Ger, also known as Gur, is special. The largest Hasidic court in Israel (and one of the three largest in the world along with Chabad and Satmar) has unparalleled political and financial power, and its thousands of Hasidim are ruled with an iron fist. It’s a community with branches across Israel and in the United States and Europe, but with the characteristics of a closed cult where the leader dictates the most intimate details of the lives of his followers, who are dependent on him for everything.” source
The Haaretz article goes on to say,
“The generation of all-powerful rabbis has died out. Even the tiny handful of holy nonagenarians like Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky at 91, the current senior “Lithuanian” rabbi, have to be carefully packaged and sold to the public — which is why his boosters invented the title “minister of Torah” for him. The people just know too much about the rabbis and are no longer afraid of them.”
Obviously all communicable Talmud ideology still flows from these branches of newly created Sanhedrin dogma.
Israeli’s, having lived amidst the child abuse, “whispers,” and eccentric nuances for decades openly call what I also declare these organizations to be – “abusive cults.”
In a world of mass communication and open courts, it’s difficult to white wash litigation and court records of child abusers and those who can openly speak out through “apps” that hide member identity,
“We have much more information than we ever had about the rebbes,” says one Ger Hasid. “And it’s not just what we know, it’s who’s saying these things. It’s Hasidim on WhatsApp who aren’t afraid to openly trash the rebbe.”
This is generally chalked up to be slander of the most heinous kind against rabbi and in which reporters are paid off to not run stories.
Albeit, the real slander is the silent suffering of the victims who are continually subjugated to harassment and a disconnect from their family and community if they openly cry foul.
Victims from decades old abuse are streaming forward, while in New York, powerful legal partners loyal to Yeshiva rabbi’s continue to suppress data of widespread abuse recorded since the 1960’s and the anti-gentile, anti-Christian hate speech emanating from some of the top Rosh, such as Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in Riverdale NY, which publicly calls for the destruction of Christian’s through online articles.
I have no doubt as Rabbi Kanievsky claims, that HaMashiach will be here soon, but He won’t be the Moshiach the Sanhedrin is looking for.