View Full Document

Some Examples of Mathematical Analysis Applied to Talmud Study



View the full content.
View Full Document
View Full Document

3 views

Unformatted text preview:

Some Examples of Mathematical Analysis Applied to Talmud Study1 Jonathan Rosenberg As a motto for this article I would like to invoke the last from the 3rd Chapter of One can translate this roughly as follows Mishnah Avot Chapter 3 Mishnah 18 Rabbi Eliezer the son of Chisma says and while difficult tractates involving complicated quantitative issues are an integral part of the Astronomy and geometry2 are the embellishments3 of wisdom Thus this speaks both of the value of mathematics in and of itself and of the value of applying mathematical analysis to Talmud study I certainly don t want to claim that the latter should be the normal way to study Talmud as in fact it only applies to a few isolated But if we are to take the idea of seriously then we should entertain the idea that mathematics even serious mathematics might sometimes have something useful to say about Talmud study So I would like to consider three examples Example 1 Probability and Family Planning 1 Based on a talk given at KMS on January 20 2001 Everyone agrees that the term comes from the Greek but some say that it corresponds to our word geometry and others say that it comes from the same root gramma meaning letter as our word grammar The latter is more likely when the term refers to the numerical value of letters but here geometry literally in Greek earth measurement is a better match for astronomy 3 This is a gastronomic metaphor The term means a side dish or dessert Such a course is not central to the meal but it often makes the difference between a humdrum meal and a memorable one so the shouldn t be ignored 2 Mishnah Yevamot Chapter 6 Mishnah 7 A man should not abstain from having children unless he already has children How many are needed to fulfill one s obligation Beit Shammai say two males and Beit Hillel say a male and a female as it is said He created them male and female Let s see what the consequences of this Mishnah are Suppose a couple starts to have children and agrees they will



Access the best Study Guides, Lecture Notes and Practice Exams

Loading Unlocking...
Login

Join to view Some Examples of Mathematical Analysis Applied to Talmud Study and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or
We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up

Join to view Some Examples of Mathematical Analysis Applied to Talmud Study and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or

By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?