על גבולותיה של הכרעת ההלכה: לתולדות שיטת הרמב" ם ולגלגולי הגישות שברקעה

Translated title of the contribution: On the Limits of Deciding Halakha: The Evolving Maimonidean Methodology Within the Milieu of Shifting Talmud Approaches

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Abstract

In a number of places within Maimonides' oeuvre the assertion was made that controversies among the Sages without any practical consequences were not subject to any final ruling. From Medieval Rabbis to contemporary Maimonidean scholars, it was understood that this contention referred to the realm of faith and beliefs, and only within this area did Maimonides hold the opinion that there was no room for any legal determination. However, based upon an exhaustive analysis of those places where Maimonides did indeed express this opinion, this monograph comes to the following conclusions: 1. In the Mishneh Torah Maimonides retracted his original position and now rendered a final ruling according to one of the views of any such controversy. 2. This non-subjectivity to any final ruling did not refer to matters of faith and belief at all, but to legal and Halakhic issues that cannot be carried out by man, such as those subject to death by Heavenly visitation. The examination of these sources demonstrates that although Maimonides revised his position in the Mishneh Torah with regards to Divine Justice and rendered final rulings in such controversies, in disagreements that dealt with historical-exegetical issues only, he still retained his original opinion that these were not subject to any final decision. Maimonides' assertion concerning matters that were not subject to any final ruling turned out to be one of the shifting Talmudic reservations concerning determining Halakha in laws pertaining to the Messianic Age. This reluctance is elucidated by means of detailed analysis of the Talmudic sources, including their echoes in the literature of the Medieval Rabbis.
Translated title of the contributionOn the Limits of Deciding Halakha: The Evolving Maimonidean Methodology Within the Milieu of Shifting Talmud Approaches
Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)49-72
Number of pages24
JournalDaat: A Journal of Jewish Philosophy & Kabbalah
Volume61
StatePublished - 2007

IHP Publications

  • ihp
  • Jewish law
  • יוסף (אמורא)
  • משה בן מימון (רמב"ם) -- אגרת תחית המתים
  • משה בן מימון (רמב"ם) -- משנה תורה
  • משה בן מימון (רמב"ם) -- פרוש המשנה
  • פסיקה (הלכה יהודית)

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