Monday, June 20, 2011

Why can’t the hyrax be the biblical shafan?

BS"D

Update on this issue: Hyrax out of favor

Additional update: Natan Slifkin surprised by the disfavored hyrax

As the beginning of Mashechet Chulin on Daf Yomi approaches, we have been researching once again the difficult issue of the identification of the biblical animals.

Unfortunately in many books, Chumashim and Gemarot, it is written and/or illustrated with pictures, that the biblical shafan mentioned in Parashat Shemini and Ree is the hyrax.

In my humble opinion this is not correct because of the 6 reasons explained in the linked document.

Any comment or suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

VeHashem yetakenenu beetza toba milefanav.

Dr. Yitzchak Betech.

P.S. Please feel free to redistribute the linked document at your discretion.

63 comments:

  1. What differences does it make if the Hyrax is the shafan or not? Either way it is not kosher. I happen to agree that it is not the shafan, but I don't see why it matters, but you claim there are some ramifications so please share what those ramifications are.

    ReplyDelete
  2. B"H
    Dear E-Man
    I am glad to know that you also think that the Hyrax is not the Biblical Shafan, and I agree with you that obviously the Hyrax and the real Shafan are both non Kosher.
    Regarding your main point, I deliberately at this moment did not write what I think are the ramifications of misidentifying the Shafan, because by now the goal of this post is to look for the truth analyzing the biological traits of the Hyrax.
    Thank you for your interest.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just wanted to point out that the only point you make I agree with (out of your 6) is that the Hyrax does not chew its cud). I think your other 5 points are wrong or irrelevant.

    The Hyrax is not a sheretz, unless you want to claim that many more animals in the world are actual sheratzim which would be ridiculous. Some dogs would then be considered sheratzim. All cats, so on and so forth.

    Have you seen the hyrax's claws? They are not hoof like in any way. So it has nothing that could be confused with a cows hoof.

    The Rashbatz and Rashba can say whatever he wants about the Hyrax that doesn't necessarily mean they identified the right animal. You know just like the olive, how can there be two different sizes? Obviously, someone was wrong.

    I don't really think there was a mesorah for the shafan in existence, just like there is no mesorah for the chilazon. Rashi says the chilazon's blood is green and other rishonim say it is blue or bluish purple. Someone got it wrong. Doesn't mean anything.

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  4. against my better judgement...

    from r' aryeh kaplan:
    hyrax
    Hyrax syriacus or Procavia capens syriaca. Shafan in Hebrew; chiorogryllios in Greek, (Septuagint); tafan in Arabic. The hyrax is a small mammal, around 20 inches long, living in the Negev mountains. It has short feet, covered with elastic, a flexible tail-less body, and pads. It nests in the clefts of rocks (Psalms 104:18), and lives in small groups (Proverbs 30:26). Since it has a maw like a ruminant, it is considered to 'bring up its cud.'
    Saadia similarly translates it into the Arabic wabr, denoting the hyrax or rock badger (cf. Malbim). Other sources translate it as a coney or jerboa."


    this gives the explanation of 'why', according to those opinions -- not that 'it practices rumination, etc.'. i second e-man about rashbatz and rashba. one can equivalently bring Rav Saadia Gaon (assuming the we can establish the Arabic as referring to this) as 'proof' that rashba is incorrect. machlokes in identification happens all the time. see for one example of many the machlokes about the identity of mor deror.

    kol tuv,
    josh

    ReplyDelete
  5. B"H
    Dear E Man
    You wrote:
    I just wanted to point out that the only point you make I agree with (out of your 6) is that the Hyrax does not chew its cud). I think your other 5 points are wrong or irrelevant.

    IB:
    By now, your last 2 posts are enough for proving that you agree with the main goal of this post, i.e. Why can’t the hyrax be the biblical shafan?
    If you do not agree with reasons 2 to 6, at least you accept that the hyrax is not maale geira, i.e. the biblical requisite for being the shafan.
    Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
  6. B"H
    Dear R. Josh Waxman
    Thank you for your interest.
    The Torah does not write that the shafan "is considered" maale geira, but writes that the shafan is maale geira, so the hyrax can not be the biblical shafan.
    Re. Rav Saadia Gaon, he did not describe any detail that could help us to know to which animal he was speaking about, he just wrote 3 arabic letters meaning hair or hairy. There are many hairy animals.
    So you cannot prove that RSG was speaking about the hyrax.
    Best regards

    ReplyDelete
  7. look, i am not trying to *argue* it. but if you want to respond to their points, you should address their actual points. your document did not give the claim, but responded as if they put forth another claim.

    the torah does not say ... a lot of things. this is a matter of interpretation, quite possibly. to choose a random example, the torah does not say that the penalty for one who poked out someone's eye is something that 'is considered' an eye. or ba bamachteret, for another example. that is a matter of tradition, or interpretation, or what have you. you can choose to be a literalist where you like, but that is not necessarily an ironclad argument. this crosses into how the Torah speaks in the language of man.

    Rav Saadia Gaon did not write 'three arabic letters'. He wrote six Judeo-Arabic letters, ואלובר, in the course of translating the Torah, and the entirety of the pasuk, into Judeo-Arabic in his Tafsir. (you can read it here.) That means, 'and' + 'the' + 'wabr'. Are you saying that he did not mean to give a translation, but a description? 'And the hair'? And the hairy? Does this work out in Judeo-Arabic? Does it flow well in the translation of the pasuk? Please explain. Meanwhile, Rav Saadia Gaon was writing for an audience which spoke Judeo-Arabic, and would understand it as referring to the animal which was well-known at that time as the wbr. According to your distortion, is he being deliberately misleading in what is supposed to be an edifying translation?

    So too for Ibn Janach, who *apparently* defined it in sefer shorashim the same way. (I haven't found it inside, though, but only the statement that it is known.) Now, these authorities translate the name of a number of other animals. Are you willing to deconstruct their definitions in every single case, or is this the lone exception? Please explain why specifically HERE you analyze this as a descriptive adjective, other than that you don't want to have him in the list of authorities to contend with.

    Look, I apologize for my somewhat intemperate tone. I don't have patience for such silliness and (what I view as) distortions. To be frank, I am not interesting in arguments, or hearing more and more kvetches to justify a position. I am sure one can come up with a kvetch. Thus, my first remark that this was against my better judgement.

    kol tuv,
    josh

    ReplyDelete
  8. B"H
    Dear R. Josh Waxman
    Please let me begin, by now, with the first point.
    In case that you think that for the Torah it is enough if the shafan can be considered as maale geira, is there any support to that idea?
    I am ready to analyze any kind of support to that suggestion.
    Best regards

    ReplyDelete
  9. you'd have to check the writings or those who actually support the identification of the shafan as a hyrex. i am not interested in debating the point, really.

    i suppose the support would be an assumption of a tradition, from Moshe Rabbenu until Saadia Gaon, of shafan as hyrex. just as we know via tradition from Moshe Rabbenu that bein einecha means on the head-pate, rather than a literalist between the eyes, immediately over the nose. since we have as tradition what the action of putting on tefillin is, we can properly understand what the pasuk means.

    we could then take the pasuk of 'ki maaleh geira hu' as 'it is a maaleh geira' rather than 'it does the action of maaleh geira'. this would be classification into known species types, much as saying in Hebrew that a penguin is an עוף should not be taken as a definite claim that it flies. it means that it is a bird.

    i don't know, btw, what R' Aryeh Kaplan meant by having 'a maw like a ruminant', but i can guess. a little searching on Google revealed this that in biology, the maw refers to the abomasum, the fourth stomach of a ruminant. and that while not chewing their cud, the hyrex does have a divided stomach.

    see also here:
    http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=1133

    where they try to argue that the digestive process indeed makes it a 'ruminant'.

    kol tuv,
    josh

    ReplyDelete
  10. of course, rabbi natan slifkin's text is full of interesting suggestions:
    http://www.zootorah.com/hyrax/hyrax.pdf

    kt,
    josh

    ReplyDelete
  11. B"H
    Dear R. Josh Waxman
    Thank you for your answer.
    The examples you have presented regarding "tradition" like "bein einecha", "the penalty for one who poked out someone's eye" are based on statements from Chazal, but I am not aware of any similar statement by Chazal regarding the acceptability of 'it does the action of maaleh geira', but the opposite, e.g. the Midrash (Vayikrah Rabbah 13:15) speaks about the shafan as an animal who indeed has a Tahara sign.
    Best regards

    ReplyDelete
  12. you mean:
    רבנן ור' יהודה ברבי סימון
    רבנן אמרי: מה השפן הזה יש בו סימני טומאה וסימני טהרה, כך היתה מלכות מדי מעמדת צדיק ורשע.

    yes, the pasuk also speaks of it!

    off the cuff, simanei taharah would be the ruminant-like maw. the tradition would be the definition of the animal. (who knows what contemporary science held, when Aristotle believed hares were ruminants? so an explicit answer to this might not have been sparked in Chazal, despite the tradition as to the identity of the shafan.) and i gave you a grammatical alternative to maaleh gera hu as noun rather than verb.

    i am not interested in continuing this argument. yes, one motivated to find objections will find them. but the other side has some merit at least, and such that is at least equal to the slightly forced things which appear in halachic discussions. please do not pretend otherwise, in your final document. i will not waste any more time on this post, on a discussion that would likely continue endlessly. i've done this too many times in the past. please excuse my falling silent at this point in time.

    kol tuv,
    josh

    ReplyDelete
  13. B"H
    Dear R. Josh Waxman
    Thank you for your answer.
    In case you change your mind and would be interested in continuing this intellectual interchange, please let me know, it would be very enlightening for me.
    Meanwhile best regards.

    ReplyDelete
  14. B"H
    Dear R. Josh Waxman
    You wrote:
    of course, rabbi natan slifkin's text is full of interesting suggestions:
    http://www.zootorah.com/hyrax/hyrax.pdf

    IB:
    If Natan Slifkin presents a refutation to my suggested 6 reasons against the shafan = hyrax issue, I am ready to an intellectual, respectful interchange.
    This blogspot is not censured, so he can write here whenever he wants.
    Best regards

    ReplyDelete
  15. as you well know, rabbi slifkin is not interested in debating you. nor does he need to, as most readers will appreciate. (your six points are really not that good, and the difficulty in point #1 he stresses throughout the entire article.) nor, in my opinion, should he. i think your actions regarding your presentation to the Gedolim was disgraceful, although no one will ever convince you of this fact (or of almost any fact!), such that teshuva is impossible.

    kol tuv,
    josh

    ReplyDelete
  16. B"H
    Dear R. Josh Waxman
    Although I could not understand all the sentences on your last post, I will answer to the main points.

    You wrote:
    your six points are really not that good,

    IB:
    Of course, it is easy without serious "shakla vetarya" to qualify "my 6 points as really not that good". If you or any of your friends want to discuss them systematically, please let me know.

    You wrote:
    and the difficulty in point #1 he stresses throughout the entire article.

    IB:
    Could you please tell me in which page of the above mentioned book, does the author present a definition of Maale Gera that helps him throughout the whole book?

    ReplyDelete
  17. "Of course, it is easy without serious "shakla vetarya" to qualify "my 6 points as really not that good"."

    indeed, that is an accurate statement. in fac

    you intended it otherwise. i've seen your "serious shakla vetarya" in the past, and i have been unimpressed.

    no, i will NOT be dragged into a 'serious' shakla vetarya with you, in which you obfuscate, reframe the questions, ignore answers, pretend you have answered questions you have not, so that in the end you can pretend and proclaim that you have triumphed.

    Could you please tell me in which page of the above mentioned book, does the author present a definition of Maale Gera that helps him throughout the whole book?
    no, i will not. that is not what I stated. you shifted the question, as I've seen you shift the questions dozens of time. this reframing is one of your tricks.

    did I say that he presented a 'single definition of maaleh gera that helps him throughout the whole book'? what I said was "and the difficulty in point #1 he stresses throughout the entire article." And a normal person will read that statement, read the article, and see that this is indeed what he does.

    see, this is why i won't debate you. it would be a pointless and silly thing to do.

    but,
    kol tuv,
    josh

    ReplyDelete
  18. Although I could not understand all the sentences on your last post, I will answer to the main points.

    this is another rhetorical trick you are using. claim you don't 'understand' all the sentences, so that you ignore what you want.

    then, you 'answer' what you choose to consider the 'main points'. like this, you control the direction and flow of the argument.

    Could you please tell me in which page of the above mentioned book...
    this is another rhetorical trick that you use. send me on a mission to hunt for page X or Y, to prove what you want proven. this lets you control the discussion, puts the other person on the defensive, distracts from the main flow, implies that the other person is making unsubstantiated statements, and messes up the normal flow of give and take.

    this is not 'shakla vetarya'. these are rhetorical tricks of a skilled orator and master debater.

    and that is why i don't want to play your game.

    kol tuv,
    josh

    ReplyDelete
  19. B"H
    Dear R. Josh Waxman
    Thank you for your last 2 answers.
    I see that our approach to analyzing serious issues is coming closer.
    Please suggest a protocol for a written "shakla vetarya" which will not permit to "a skilled orator and master debater" to use his tricks.
    I will do my best B"N to stick to that protocol, I am sure you will do the same.
    Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Dr. Betech:

    Why would Rashba and Rashbatz know what a shafan is? They didn't live anywhere near Eretz Yisrael. It would make more sense to see what Rav Saadiah Gaon says. What does he say?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Also: I assume that you don't want to say that the Torah is wrong, ch"v. So what do you think the shafan is?

    ReplyDelete
  22. B"H
    Dear Yissacher
    Welcome back to this blogspot.

    Sorry for not addressing in this post your second question, this post is exclusively to analyze "Why can’t the hyrax be the biblical shafan?"

    Regarding your first question, it will be certainly be on place after you give me your position on the first of the six reasons, i.e. that hyrax is not maale guera.
    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Why? What does one thing have to do with another? Suppose I don't have a position on the first of the six reasons. Why does that mean that I can't object to your other reasons?

    ReplyDelete
  24. This seems to be exactly what Josh Waxman was talking about above. A rhetorical trick to mess up the give-and-take, and to avoid answering questions.

    ReplyDelete
  25. B"H
    Dear Yissacher

    You wrote:
    Why? What does one thing have to do with another? Suppose I don't have a position on the first of the six reasons. Why does that mean that I can't object to your other reasons?

    IB:
    Because in case you can not prove the hyrax as maale gera you are missing the explicit biblical description of the shafan.

    You wrote:
    This seems to be exactly what Josh Waxman was talking about above. A rhetorical trick to mess up the give-and-take, and to avoid answering questions.

    IB:
    Same answer, i.e.
    I see that our approach to analyzing serious issues is coming closer.
    Please suggest a protocol for a written "shakla vetarya" which will not permit to "a skilled orator and master debater" to use his tricks.
    I will do my best B"N to stick to that protocol, I am sure you will do the same.
    Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
  26. "Because in case you can not prove the hyrax as maale gera you are missing the explicit biblical description of the shafan."

    But what does that have to do with whether your other reasons are valid? Even if the shafan is not the hyrax, we want to have valid reasons for this, not invalid reasons.

    Here is a protocol. You provided six reasons why the shafan cannot be the hyrax. If people challenge any of them, you have to respond. That is the way that normal discussions work.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Please suggest a protocol for a written "shakla vetarya" which will not permit to "a skilled orator and master debater" to use his tricks.
    I will do my best B"N to stick to that protocol, I am sure you will do the same.


    no, i will not. normal people don't need a *formalized* shakla vetarya. they respond to points raised. your attempt to formalize this (or make others formalize this) is nuts!

    I see that our approach to analyzing serious issues is coming closer.
    this is a falsehood, once again. or rather a rhetorical trick of reframing.

    meanwhile, i still have no intent of debating you, for the reasons listed. i did give a good answer to many of your 'objections' at the head.

    but again, i don't want to get dragged into a crazy 'debate'. such reluctance is not due a weakness of position, but a rational decision based on how you have conducted your precious debates, and how you continue to do so after it was pointed out.

    (i don't, meanwhile, think that every objection needs to be answered. the answer *could* be 'tzarich iyun' or 'we don't know'. in the face of masorah, one need not answer every difficulty; just as I don't need to answer for Biblical and Talmudic descriptions for the shemesh/chama going around the earth in order to identify the shemesh/chama as our Sun; or need to answer for Talmudic descriptions of the nachash with a gestation of 7 years before identifying it as a snake. there might be all sorts of good answers, which we know, or don't know -- i have a couple -- but a kasha is not a tiyuvta.)

    kol tuv,
    josh

    ReplyDelete
  28. precious should read previous.

    ReplyDelete
  29. B"H
    Dear Yissacher,

    You wrote:
    Here is a protocol. You provided six reasons why the shafan cannot be the hyrax. If people challenge any of them, you have to respond. That is the way that normal discussions work.

    IB:
    P. Abot chapter 5:7
    7 debarim bechacham... veal rishon, rishon... specially here that the first one is from the written Torah.
    Please suggest additional guidelines for the protocol.

    Best regards

    ReplyDelete
  30. B"H
    Dear R. Josh Waxman
    Thank you for your last answer.

    You wrote:
    but again, i don't want to get dragged into a crazy 'debate'. such reluctance is not due a weakness of position, but a rational decision based on how you have conducted your precious debates, and how you continue to do so after it was pointed out.

    IB:
    Certainly I have had many debates, but not in the blogosphera. In the blogosphera I just challenged Natan Slifkin who refused many times as documented, and now you.

    You wrote:
    i don't, meanwhile, think that every objection needs to be answered. the answer *could* be 'tzarich iyun' or 'we don't know'.

    IB:
    I agree with you that sometimes the answer *could* be 'tzarich iyun' or 'we don't know', but this has to be the last resort after a comprehensive research and pilpul chaverim.
    If you still does not want "to debate" with me, at least you can write a post in your blogspot with your refutations to my sis reasons why the hyrax can not be the biblical shafan.
    If you do that, please feel free to publish here a link to it.
    Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
  31. "P. Abot chapter 5:7 7 debarim bechacham... veal rishon, rishon... specially here that the first one is from the written Torah."

    That is applicable to you, not to me. It means that if you are answering questions, you answer them in order. I am not answering your questions - I am asking questions to you. Right now I only have questions on your last three points. And you are refusing to answer them at all!

    The only reason that I can think of for you not answering is that you don't have an answer. So why not just concede that you don't have six objections to the shafan, only three? Then we can take it from there.

    You know, this is why people think that you're crazy. I can't think of anyone else in the world who has debates in this way - claiming to want to debate, but constantly refusing to respond to challenges that are raised.

    ReplyDelete
  32. B"H
    Dear Yissacher

    You wrote:
    You know, this is why people think that you're crazy. I can't think of anyone else in the world who has debates in this way - claiming to want to debate, but constantly refusing to respond to challenges that are raised.

    IB:
    Now you have an opportunity to check the hypothesis you presented in the name of "people".
    You just have to go to the first reason, i.e. that hyrax can not be the biblical shafan since it is not maale gera; present one definition of maale gera according to which the hyrax is maale gera, and then you will see if I respond to challenges or not.
    I am sure Natan Slifkin´s book can be very helpful to you.
    Of course when we finish analyzing the first reason we can go to second, and so on.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Guys, talking to Dr. Betech is a waste of time, he WILL NOT answer you. He will spit back what you say and add three or four words without actually responding. It is pointless.

    ReplyDelete
  34. B"H
    Dear E-man

    IB:
    Now you have an opportunity to check the hypothesis you presented to your "Guys"
    You or one of your "guys" just have to go to the first reason, i.e. that hyrax can not be the biblical shafan since it is not maale gera; present one definition of maale gera according to which the hyrax is maale gera, and then you will see if I respond to challenges or not.
    I am sure Natan Slifkin´s book can be very helpful to you.
    Of course when we finish analyzing the first reason we can go to second, and so on.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Dr. Betech, you are funny. You gave six reasons, but for some reason you continuously say "prove the first reason wrong." I agreed already that the first reason I agreed with. However, every other reason is WRONG and you refuse to defend them. Therefore, retract your other 5 reasons and everything will be fine. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  36. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    You wrote:
    I agreed already that the first reason I agreed with.

    IB:
    By now for me it is enough in my discussion with you in this comment thread, because what you wrote is enough to disqualify the hyrax as the biblical shafan.
    Concerning you, the purpose of this post have been achieved, B”H
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  37. Your response shows your ignorance and incapability to enter into a normal discussion. This post WAS WORTHLESS for me. I wrote a post on my own blog a while ago as to why I didn't think the hyrax was the shafan. You are hopeless Dr. I hope one day you can answer questions without avoiding straight out truths. Your other 5 reasons are as worthless as a discussion with you.

    ReplyDelete
  38. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    I think you missed what I wrote: "By now for me it is enough..."
    For me!
    Thank you
    P.S.
    Please feel free to link a post from here to your blog where you wrote why you think the hyrax is not the shafan.

    ReplyDelete
  39. B"H
    Dear Yitz
    Thank you very much for the link, where the author correctly explains that the hyrax is not maale gera and hares are maale gera.
    Finally he (as previously published by other authors) suggests that the pika is the biblical shafan.
    In my humble opinion the pika probably has to be classified as a sheretz, because it has short legs, so the pika is not a candidate for being identified as the biblical shafan (described as a chaya, and not as a sheretz).
    If someone has a better definition (based on sources) for sheretz or a reason to think that the pika is not a sheretz, I am interested in reading it.
    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  40. Dr. Betech, where do you get your definition of sheretz from? I have been trying to locate a place that says how low legs have to be to be considered a sheretz and I have been unable to find it. Please show sources as to why you believe the pika (and hyrax) are considered sheratzim. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  41. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    For the definition of sheretz please see Leviticus 11:41, Rashi ad loc, Rashi on Genesis 1:24, Baba Kama 80a and Tosfot s.v. Dektine shake, etc.

    Although I have not found any published quantitative tool to evaluate “how low legs have to be”, I think in most cases a qualitative evaluation is enough, as evident from the use in published literature of words like “has short legs” regarding hyrax and pika.
    If you are interested and have time available, a quantitative tool could be developed.

    Any comment is welcomed.
    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Dr. Betech, you've convinced me. Clearly the Torah is mistaken. After all, there is no better candidate for the shafan than the hyrax. But, as you insist, (and in contrast to plenty of rabbis who have studied this topic), the hyrax cannot possibly be correctly described as "chewing the cud." So the Torah must have been mistaken when it described it as chewing the cud. And so we must conclude that the Torah wasn't written by God.

    ReplyDelete
  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  44. B"H
    Dear Yissacher
    I am glad that now you acknowledge that "the hyrax cannot possibly be correctly described as "chewing the cud." And hence it can not be the biblical shafan, so the main goal of this post has been achieved regarding you, my dear “Yissacher”.

    Regarding the rest of your post, I am afraid you skipped the conclusion of the linked document, which I copy for the benefit of the readers.
    http://tovnet.org/files/ShafanHyraxEnglishLong.pdf

    Conclusion:
    If it is agreed that the hyrax is not the biblical shafan, logically you may ask: so who is it?
    1. You can say: after the long exile, I do not know (better to say I do not know than to say something disproved by these 6 kushiot), or
    2. You can look for all the characteristics that the Written and Oral Torah (as well as Rishonim) specified regarding the biblical shafan and then look for any animal that includes all of them (this is the subject of an extensive research, B”H).

    ReplyDelete
  45. Dr, the goal of your post was to turn Yissacher off the derech. To make him disbelieve in the Torah? That is strange.

    ReplyDelete
  46. B"H
    Dear E-Man
    Whenever you want you can repost your post that you recently erased.
    Regarding your last post:

    I am afraid you skipped the conclusion of the linked document, which I copy for the benefit of the English speaking readers.
    http://tovnet.org/files/ShafanHyraxEnglishLong.pdf

    Conclusion:
    If it is agreed that the hyrax is not the biblical shafan, logically you may ask: so who is it?

    1. You can say: after the long exile, I do not know (better to say I do not know than to say something disproved by these 6 kushiot), or

    2. You can look for all the characteristics that the Written and Oral Torah (as well as Rishonim) specified regarding the biblical shafan and then look for any animal that includes all of them (this is the subject of an extensive research, B”H).

    ReplyDelete
  47. I am going to use the Betech approach to conversation:

    Dr, the goal of your post was to turn Yissacher off the derech. To make him disbelieve in the Torah? That is strange.

    ReplyDelete
  48. "1. You can say: after the long exile, I do not know"

    Why would I say that? YOU don't say that "After the long exile, I, Isaac Betech, don't know why the hyrax is described as chewing the cud" - instead, you make a conclusion, that the shafan is NOT the hyrax. Well, I have reached a different conclusion: That the Torah must be wrong.

    "You can look for all the characteristics that the Written and Oral Torah (as well as Rishonim) specified regarding the biblical shafan and then look for any animal that includes all of them."

    But there isn't any such animal! You haven't mentioned any possibilities, because there aren't any. The hyrax is the closest, and that's what Rav Saadiah Gaon says is the shafan. Are you saying that he was wrong? His view is very much respected in the Torah world. The only question is why it is described as chewing the cud. All the sifrei kodesh that I have seen, prefer to say that maaleh gerah can mean something other than chewing the cud, rather than to say that the shafan is not the hyrax. Because there is no other animal that it could be! But you've successfully convinced me that maaleh gerah can't mean anything else. So the simplest conclusion is that the Torah was plain wrong in saying that the shafan chews the cud.

    I must say that this is very distressing to me. I've always been secure in my emunah. But now you've made me doubt everything.

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  49. B"H
    Dear Yissacher
    Regarding your emunah crisis you can speak with your personal Rabbi.

    Regarding facts, you wrote:
    All the sifrei kodesh that I have seen, prefer to say that maaleh gerah can mean something other than chewing the cud...

    IB:
    Please write according to which definition the hyrax is maaleh gerah and what is the basis for that definition.

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  50. Regarding your emunah crisis you can speak with your personal Rabbi.

    Why would I do that? He's not going to be able to explain why the Torah is not mistaken here. He doesn't know anything about this topic.

    Please write according to which definition the hyrax is maaleh gerah and what is the basis for that definition.

    You know the answers that they give. The way it chews, merycism, etc. But you've convinced me that they're wrong. So the Torah must have been mistaken. And therefore it can't have been written by God. You've convinced me.

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  51. B"H
    Dear Yissacher
    1. Look for a Rabbi that knows about this topic.
    2. In your previous post (June 30, 2011 11:42 PM) you skipped the last words of the following paragraph:

    You can look for all the characteristics that the Written and Oral Torah (as well as Rishonim) specified regarding the biblical shafan and then look for any animal that includes all of them (this is the subject of an extensive research, B”H).

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  52. 1. Rabbi Slifkin seems to know a lot about this topic. Maybe I'll ask him.

    2. Your claim about extensive research is meaningless to me. You haven't produced an answer. There is no other animal that's a better candidate than the hyrax.

    I don't know if your goal was to convince people that Torah is false, but you've managed to do that very well. After all, the mesorah from Rav Saadiah Gaon is that the shafan is the hyrax, and you've convinced me that the hyrax is not maaleh gerah.

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  53. B"H
    Dear Yissacher

    1. You can ask him to post a refutation of the 6 reasons before he publishes another edition of his mistaken book on the hyrax.

    2. "The enigma of the Biblical shafan".
    Torah and scientific research suggesting a solution.

    Probably will be avilable soon B"H.

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  54. "Probably will be avilable soon B"H"

    "Probably"?! "Soon"?! And in the meanwhile, you just convince people that Torah is not from God?

    Wasn't there one of the Rishonim who said that it's not wise to raise questions without presenting answers? Did you ask a Rabbi whether you should be convincing people that Torah is mistaken about the hyrax without giving a better solution?

    What you wrote has put me in a lot of turmoil. I don't know if I'm even going to hang around to wait to see if your solution ever appears, and if it makes any sense.

    Rav Saadiah says the shafan is the hyrax. So do all the sifrei kodesh that I have seen. And you've convinced me that the hyrax doesn't chew its cud. So you've convinced me that the Torah is mistaken.

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  55. What’s everybody's problem??? Have you never heard of Nishtanei Hatevah? In the times of Moishe, the hyrax chewed its cud, today it doesn’t anymore :)

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  56. elemir is the winner. Dr. Betech loses. YAY

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  57. to e-man....

    thanks for the vote, but sadly the hyrax is not the ONLY problem...the divine authorship of the Torah is in doubt because of multi-dozens of other flaws. It is replete with scientific, historical and moral errors.

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  58. B"H
    Dear Yissacher

    Again you skipped the first point, i.e.

    1. You can ask him (Natan Slifkin)to post a refutation of the 6 reasons before he publishes another edition of his mistaken book on the hyrax.

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  59. What's the problem elemir, nishtaneh hatevah works for everything.

    ReplyDelete
  60. As long as we are just repeating the same thing over and over again:

    Dr, the goal of your post was to turn Yissacher off the derech. To make him disbelieve in the Torah? That is strange.

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  61. B"H
    Dear readers

    Since Yissacher wrote: “I don't know if I'm even going to hang around to wait to see if your solution ever appears, and if it makes any sense”.

    So I think I will not have time to answer to posts without substance, since I will be rushing the publication B"H, unless Natan Slifkin writes a refutation to the 6 reasons why the hyrax cannot be the biblical shafan.

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  62. >>>> What's the problem elemir, nishtaneh hatevah works for everything.

    I was just being facetious...."nishtaneh hatevah" borders on nonsense and invoking it just shows how some of the so-called "gedolim", aren't.

    and obviously it doesn't work for all the historical inaccuracies n(to be kind) and the myriad of contradictions.

    ReplyDelete