Sunday, April 02, 2006

Tosefes Shvi'is: strange yerushalmi

The first Mishna in Shevi'is (I am a bit ahead on the daf) discusses the shiur for tosefes shmittah. This halacha no longer applies because (as the gemara explains) Rabban Gamliel and his bais din nullifed the original takkanah (the right of the latter b"d to do that was built into the original takkanah). Asks the gemara: if the takanah of tosefes was nullified, why is it still recorded in the opening Mishna?
Now, for those of us who are natively bavli-biased, we expect the answer to be something along the lines of saying R' Gamliel is mishna achrona, this is the original takkanah, "v'mishna lo zazah m'mkoma" (as the bavli answers in various places to this type kashe).
Answers the Yerushalmi - just because a flood will never happen do we erase Parshas Noach? Just because there will never be another weekof miluim, do we erase Parshas Miluim?
All I can say is I don't know what to make of this.


  1. Anonymous9:27 AM

    Isn't that the same answer?

  2. I didn't think so! The Bavli approach is that Rebbi **chose** not to go back and change what was already in the text. The Yerushalmi approach is that to go back and change the text of a Mishna even where it is not applicable is either absurd or impossible - it would be the equivalent of trying to change the text of Torah (parshas noach or miluim).

  3. Anonymous10:01 AM

    I'm not sure if you're understanding is correct. Obviously, the "sugya" (of redaction of mishnayos and mesora) is enormous, but I can give you a few mareh mikomos:

    R. Reuven Margolious has 2 important books on the subject: Hamikra V'haMesora deals with a lot of these types of issues regarding Torah Shebiksav, and Yesod Hamishna V'arichasa handles the Torah She'Baal Peh aspect. Both are fantastic books, but not easy reads. They are very short, though, and broken up into readable chapters. Better brush up on your modern Hebrew.

    Also, R. Saul Lieberman has a book in english called "Hellenism in Jewish Palestine" where many of these issues are discussed incidentally. (Also a very scholarly work; not at all a light read.)

    I, of course, can't remember what either of the authors mentioned specifically about the issue of "mishna lo zaza", but I can virtually guarantee you that I saw it in at least one of these books.

    If you subscribe to the more yeshivish bent - which it sounds like you do - I would stick with R.R.M. His ideas are a lot less likely to ruffle your feathers. You can get his books at Biegeleisen. For Lieberman, go to your closest conservative or reform seminary and ask for the library. You can also but it online via JTS. My guess is their not carrying his stuff at Eichler's. :)

  4. bill selliger:
    I had to laugh when I saw that you acccused Reb Chaim of having a more yeshivishe bent.
    Then again I guess I've known him for longer.

  5. Isn't the Yerushalmi's teretz along the lines of why the Torah talks about Ben Sorer U'Morer even though it will never happen?

  6. Just for the record, Chaim M: I take umbrage : )
    I see the analogy to ben sorer, but that gufa is the difficulty - you obviously can't change a parsha in chumash, but this is a mishna text that could have been rewritten by rebbi to conform to the "real" halachic practice. I e-mailed my BIL to see if he has anything to say. Since this is my first excursion into the Yerushalmi, I don't know if the Yerushalmi ever utilizes the logic of "mishna lo zazah m'mekoma".

  7. Anonymous5:05 PM

    According the Ohr Yaakov, the answer here is not referring to the Parshas in the Torah, but to 2 mishanyos:
    1) Miluyim = Menachos Perek 7, Mishna 2
    2) Dor Mabul = Sanhedrin Perek 10 Mishna 3.
    L'aniyas da'ati I would go with the first post's response, i.e., the Yerushalmi means essentially the same as the Bavli.

  8. It is quite possible the Y-mi is going with it's shitta on 2b that kach nitna halacha, so we are not dealing with a classic bittul gezeira u'mishna lo zaza me'mekoma.