My Mesorah

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  1. Huh. I just came across


    and visually more impressively


    So my late Uncle Dick was a 7th-generation talmid of Kant, who was 3 generations from Leibniz.

    I’ve seen similar databases for math and CS PhDs.

  2. Richard Wisan, that is. Also a school-friend Jeremy Avigad is on the tree, but by a very different path. You have to go all the way back to Trendelenburg, only two generations out from Kant, to find a common philosophical ancestor. Which I suppose makes them 4th cousins twice removed.

    Not having a specific person I consider “my rebbe”, since I didn’t go sit in yeshiva after HS, I don’t know how I would relate to that.

  3. levi@israel says:

    i did not get this issue of Rambam and chain-even if you belong to some certan chain it is impossible to ignore the opinion of greatest hahamim of Torah

    • micha says:

      My point was that finding my own line adds a sense of confidence and trust in how I do things, the reality that my tradition really is the mesorah Moshe got at Sinai. (Or at least one way of looking at it.) That is not to be confused with the totality of the Torah received.

      To put it another way:
      It is one thing to know that one can trace one’s own lifestyle back to the giving of the Torah.
      That’s not enough to know what that lifestyle actually is.
      It’s not even enough to know every possible path back to Sinai. Just an existence proof that there is one.

  4. Curious says:

    Why there is no date by the second Navi, Pinechus?There are over 300 missing years.

    • micha says:

      This is an example of why I wrote that I was following the Rambam for the first 40 generations. I couldn’t make it all work out, so I appealed to authority.

      In this case, Chazal say that the Pinechas of the desert generation is the same Pinechas who failed to prevent the battle of the Pilegesh beGiv’ah, meaning that he could well have lived from Yehoshua all the way to Shemuel. (This long life is part of the Zohar’s discussion that he is Eliyahu.) But that kind of fantastical medrash is just the type of story the Rambam says only fools and heretics (out to make the Torah look silly) take as a historical claim. Which is why, as I opened, I have no idea how to explain it myself, and instead am blindly following the Rambam.

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