Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Acharonim (and Mussar) as TT, Redux

Way back in the previous century, I posted the following:
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 13:03:38 -0600 (CST)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer"
Re: Just What is Talmud Torah Anway?

I would assume that it means engaging in the study of either Torah
she'b'Ksav or Torah she'b'al Peh. TSBK is easy = Tanach. TSBAP is more
tricky. I assume it definitely includes everything up to "Rav Ashi
v'Ravina sof Horo'oh" but I do not know how it extends betond that.
Nevertheless, the understanding of Talmudic texts and opinions inherent in
the study of Rishonim and Acharonim is likely TT l'kol ha'dei'os, but
what, indded, would the struggle to understand a passage in the Ktzos that
did not relate to Rishonim and Acharonim constitute? I think it still
fulfills the mitzva me'divrei kabbala of "V'higeisa ba yomam va'lyla",
i.e., to occupy oneself with thoghts that relate to Torah.
Some discussion ensued, but never achieved any finality, so far as my perusal of the archives just now discovered. Moreover, I seem not to have come up with any source to back myself up at the time.

This came up in shiur in OS last week. I again asserted that, say, Mussar bereft of pesukim and/or ma'amarei Chazal does not fall into the category of TT, strictly speaking (but that as th DE that is kadma laTorah it is of utmost importance nonetheless!). I was severely challenged on that assertion.

I did find today that in Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Hil. TT 3:4 he writes that only Mussar works that are based on Chazal are considered Torah, not ones based on "Seichel Enoshi."

My question remains, however, if one were to learn an Acharon of some sort that had no pesukim and/or ma'amarei Chazal, would it in and of itself somehow be considered a "Cheftza shel Torah" or not. Any mare mekomos or ra'ayos anyone?


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