Text of RAB 409 Introduction to Mishnah and Tosefta. Mishnah Berachot 1:1
RAB 409 Introduction to Mishnah and Tosefta
Mishnah Berachot 1:1
So, we have other manuscripts with textual deviations. But yet, I assume we are reading THE Mishnah. I understand the codification process of Yehuda haNasi, but it seems that there was a secondary redaction with the advent of the printing press. Is the Mishna we read in class the standard because someone picked it as the 'best' (be it Albeck, Dr. Cohen, or Jewish society at large?
The discussion we had toward the end of class this week regarding the fluidity of text really interests me. Growing up in a traditional Sephardic household there was never a question about what law to follow or what text was considered authoritative. There was no room for the possibility of other correct opinions within the tradition. I am really curious to see how what we are learning in this class will shape my relationship with the text and ultimately my relationship with the tradition. The fluidity of the text allows for the possibility of a world that is not looked at through black and white glasses. There are a lot of questions I personally have about the authority of law and text and what that authority means in regard to the evolution of our tradition. Realizing that text is fluid seems to hinder my ability to find clear answers to my questions....but I can not say I would have it any other way.
It is a historically Jewish practice the persistence of this mode of learning over uncountable centuries
Shaul Stampfer, The Lithuanian Yeshivah in its Development The students in Volozhin generally studied alone and not in pairs (hevrutot). Studying in hevruta was a sign of weakness. A weak student paid a partner who was better than him to teach him; one needed the money and the other needed the help in studying.
Simchah Asaf, My Years of Learning in Telz a youngster who was not accepted to the lowest class was not allowed to hear the lecture of the roshei yeshivah, rather he had to hire one of the older students to learn with him an hour or two a day and prepare him for entrance to the lowest class.
Regarding the group work in class, It was refreshing to use a new learning technique. I found that teaching the text to the class really helped reinforce the material. Additionally, I really liked working with classmates in chevruta that I normally didn't get a chance to work with. My only complaint (based on my group experience) is that certain individual's inability to work together got in the way of the task at hand....which I found to be very frustrating. Having said that, I think that it is a problem that we as adults should be able to work out within the group, and should not be an immediate concern of yours (Dr. Cohen).
My major response is concerning the large group work that was done in class. I think that it could work out very well but when forced to work with people who have already pushed ahead and learned the material it is hard to learn. Perhaps it would be more conducive to learning if we were split up in a way that only one person from each havruta is in a larger group, this way it cant feel as though one person is being attacked for an opinion that they might hold. This sounds like a good option. All in all, I think it is beneficial to mix it up every so often so as to maximize learning opportunities.