Since much of the JBlogosphere is occurring in English (see the blogs referenced in the side bar). I decided to translate some of the posts, should someone stumble upon this blog.
The blog heading cites a Talmudic discussion (Baba Kama 46b):
the Sages say that the burden of proof is upon the plaintiff.The Sages ruled that whoever has a claim (money or property) on his fellow man, has to produce proof to substantiate that claim (that's the burden of proof).Said R. Shmuel b. Na'hmani: Whence is this rule deduced? From [Exodus 24]: "Whoever may have any cause to be decided, let him come unto them." That means, he shall produce proof before them.R. Ashi opposed: Why is a verse necessary? Is it not common-sense…
Rabbi Shmuel bar Na'hmani tries to bring support for that principle by quoting a Torah verse.
Rav Ashi assaults the very approach that common-sense principles even require any proof from scripture.
Literally R. Ashi said: "why do I require scripture? It is common-sense!".
In Hebrew: lama li kra? sevarah hu! (hence the blog's name)
This concise Talmudic passage captures, in my opinion, the constant tension within Judaism between the two sources of knowledge: Revelation (scripture –"kra") and human reasoning or intelligence ("sevarah").
Throughout the ages Jews have asked:
- What is a revelation and what is its purpose?
- Is revelation still relevant today?
- Does revelation make reason redundant?
- What is the difference between revelation and any other human experience?
- Can the Torah and its Commandments be understood via human intelligence?
In the last generation I saw that Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits (REB) has tackled these questions. Much of what is written in this blog is inspired by his writings.