Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Great Regulars: Finally, Shimon's story also offers an

interesting sidelight on the way the rabbis measure Torah knowledge. Before he entered the cave, the Gemara explains, Shimon would pose a legal question and Rabbi Pinchas would respond with 12 possible solutions. But after his years of isolated study, Shimon was able to provide 24 possible answers to every question of Pinchas'.

This is deeply counter-intuitive, for our usual expectation is that every question has one correct answer. Shimon, we might think, ought to be able to find out what that answer is, just as a good judge delivers the one correct verdict and a good scientist comes up with the one correct result.

from Adam Kirsch: Tablet: First-Century Technology


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