Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

The least-read blog on the ‘net continues…

For the longest time, I always wondered why the rabbis always quote Mishnayot in the name of another rabbi. For instance, Chullin 104b states, “Agra, the father-in-law of R’ Abba taught a baraita…” or as it says in b.Pesachim 94b, “R’ Yitzchak Bar Rav Yosef said…

I appreciate the strong sense of honor given to the rabbis who came before, but the Talmud uses a lot of space giving credit [where credit is due]. Why is credit meticulously?

Chapter eight of b.Chullin details the laws regarding mixing meat and dairy. On page 104b, a new Mishnah is introduced and no one is credited. Therefore, the Gemara asks, “Who is the Tanna Kamma?” The answer, “R’ Yose” is given. By crediting R’ Yose, the Gemara notes that this is keeping with the law found in Pirkei Avot 6.6, “Whoever reports something in the name of the one who said it brings redemption to the world as it is stated, ‘And Esther related it to the king in the name of Mordechai’” [Esther 2.22].

The Imrei Emes points out that certain Torah thoughts are destined to be disseminated in a collaborative fashion. The initiator of the thought develops the novel idea, while another broadens the insight and related the idea to a broader audience. It is through this collaborative effort that the final redemption will be hastened [Pirkei Avot 6.6].

I started studying the Meat and Dairy subject beginning at b.Chullin 103b on Rosh Hashanah, and I haven’t gotten very far. With the interruptions at home, I have to restudy sections in order to regain my bearing. In addition, I really want to understand these concepts, so I am paying very close attention to the arguments. In a future blog, I will explain why [at this moment] I think the Rabbis seem to have based the whole argument on a faulty matrix [but I hesitate to say that right now, because I haven’t absorbed their complete argument yet… and chances are better that I get to explain why my theory holds no water].


One thought on “Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

  1. Shalom Slade;
    What I like about the quoting others is that it is not all about the speaker giving credit to the self. Acknowledging that it came from some one else. In the end It all came from our Creator for the Torah writes ;”Bereshiet”.


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