Applying General Rules of Halakhah in Halakhic Exegesis

in Review of Rabbinic Judaism
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Rather than a sequence of indeterminate differences of legal opinion, the Halakhic texts in the Bavli as it has reached us incorporate a series of meta-principles stated as general rules for resolving the debates of the Tannaim. The present article focuses on the maxims of Halakhic arbitration cited in the Bavli in the name of R. Yohanan. Formulated as unequivocal, definitive prescriptions, R. Yohanan’s maxims for the arbitration of Tannaitic disputes are actually of debatable applicability; particular instances of Halakhah running counter to the general principles underscore this ambiguity. The ambiguity is both perplexing and a passageway to insight. Can any methodic classification of approaches to it be produced to facilitate a hermeneutic for reading both R. Yohanan’s imperatives and the cases of deviation from them that the Bavli preserves? The present article takes up the challenge.

Applying General Rules of Halakhah in Halakhic Exegesis

in Review of Rabbinic Judaism

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References

3

E.B. HalivniThe Rules for Deciding Halakha in the Talmud (Lod 1998; Hebrew); Y. Brandes, “The Begining of the Rules of Halakhic Adjudication,” Dissertation, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 2002 (Hebrew); R. Hidary, Dispute for the Sake of Heaven: Legal Pluralism in the Talmud (Scholars Press, 2010), pp. 43–62; Y.D. Gilat, “Lo Titgodedu” (Bar-Ilan1981) p. 84 n. 26; P. Heger The Pluralistic Halakhah (Berlin and New York 2003) p. 195; Y. Brandes “Mahpechat HaPessika shel R. Yohanan: Klalei HaPessika” in B. Ish-Shalom ed. BeDarkhei Shalom: Studies in Jewish Thought Presented to Shalom Rosenberg (Jerusalem 2007) pp. 515–535.

13

Kitzur Kelalei HaTalmud p. 6 s.v. “Ein Lemedin.”

17

Halichot Olam 5:2 p. 105.

35

Shot Havat Yaeir 94 p. 278.

38

Hidushei HaMeiri Eruv. 46b p. 325.

41

Kenesset HaGedolah 101 p. 18.

44

Hidushei HaMeiri Ibid. p. 326.

49

Shot HaRashba ibid. 114 p. 49.

80

Sefer Kritut Yemot Olam 4:3 pp. 184–185 n. 42.

81

Halichot Olam 5:2 p. 105.

84

Knesset HaGdolah 101 p. 18.

87

Kitzur Kelalei HaTalmud p. 8 s.v. “Af Al Pi.”

88

Kenesset HaGdolah 101 p. 18.

89

Kenesset HaGdolah 99 p. 18.

93

Sefer Ravieh Eruv. pp. 371 400–401.

104

Knesset HaGdolah Ibid. 2 p. 14 s.v. “Af Al Gav” (Rif).

105

Sheyarei Knesset HaGdolah Ibid. 5 p. 14.

108

Yad Malachi Kelalei HaReish 580 p. 146.

114

B. Shab. 157a; VeHizhir VaYakhel p. 121.

119

Yad Malachi ibid. p. 146.

120

Sheyarei Knesset HaGdolah ibid. 2 p. 14.

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