Hashkafah

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Chumra and Prohibiting the Permissible. (החומרא ואסירת המותר)The Talmud Yerushalmi cautions about taking unnecessary stringencies, both in their positive sense of taking upon oneself what is not required and the negative sense of abstaining from what is essentially permissible. The Sages singled out passages  specifically from the Talmud Yerushalmi in forming their own attitudes toward stringency which is intertwined with any halakhic decision. (In progress . . . )

Tradition vs inquiry in establishing fact or reality in the Talmud Yerushalmi. We find different approaches among the Sages to the question of how to establish the halakhic status of natural phenomna ((e.g. the classification of a growth as fruit or vegetable or the definition of a term). Some Rabbis relied on Tradition, while others rellied on inquiry. The Talmud Yerushalmi itself suggests inquiry into the reality and even if a Tradition exists.

The Talmud Yerushalmi and Miracles Nowadays Miracles are commonly believed to happen even nowadays and even to ordinary people. The Talmud Yerushalmi takes this belief to the point that it factors it into halakhic decision. For example, under certain circumstances a person may not be considered definitely dead as perhaps a miracle occured and  saved him. 

The study of the Torah vs the Performance of its commandments.  Given an chance to study the Torah or to perform  its commandments what should one do? Unlike the Talmud Bavli which stresses the study of the Torah, the Talmud Yerushalmi appears to give preference to the performance of the Torah’s commandments. Different explanations for this dichotomy exist (in progress . . .)

The attitude of the Talmud Yerushalmi towards Gentiles. The Talmud Yerushalmi in various places stresses the wickedness of Gentile, most likely ingnited by the Roman Occupation. Nevertheless, the  Talmud Yerushalmi instructs us to show kindness towards them and tells us stories about Rabbis who went to extreme lengths to do so.

“Better let them remain ignorant of sinning”.  A dilemma that the Rabbis constantly wrestled with is whether to correct the masses of erroneous halakhic behavior. Should they let them continue in their path and sin unknowingly or should they correct them and risk having them sinning knowingly, taking full-responsibility for their actions?

The active role of God and Satan in man’s affairs. The Talmud Yerushalmi tends to make plain God’s  and Satan’s involvement in the affairs of man. The Talmud Bavli often extracts the active force in parallel passages. 

The tension between the Sages of the South and Galilee