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THE DAFYOMI DISCUSSION LIST
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Kesuvos 093: Prof. Aumann's Lecture
Ruby Ginsberg asked:
Prof. Aumann's explanation of the Mishna was both fascinating and illuminating. It seems to be the true thinking of the Tanna - but for the fact that none of the amoraim understood the Mishna in this manner. Is it a legitimate form of Talmud Torah to suggest a pshat in a Mishna (utilizing modern scholarship) that the amoraim themselves didn't fathom?
Ruby Ginsberg, NY, USA
The Kollel replies:
Ruby, I refer you to the comprehensive comments of the professor himself about your question in the Hebrew article, letters Chet and Tet.
I might point out, though, that although the professor's approach is brilliant, and I enjoyed it immensely, it is not a very convincing approach Halachically. Besides not conforming to the Gemara, the division he suggests does not have a strong logical basis. (He himself notes numerous times throughout the lecture that there does not seem to be a strong reason to prefer one type of division over any other.)
I myself have suggested an alternate approach, which happens to fit quite well into the words of the Gemara Bavli and Yerushalmi here. It is written at length (13 sides) in Hebrew, and can be found at the following link: Kesuvos 093 Hebrew.
A very brief summary in English can be found at Kesuvos 093 English.