Arachin 15b ~ The Evolutionary Advantages of Gossip

ערכין טו,א

האומר בפיו חמור מן העושה מעשה

One who utters malicious speech with his mouth is a more severe transgressor than one who performs a [forbidden] action

Today the Talmud launches into a long discussion of the sin on lashon hara (lit. evil language), which is most commonly (though not only) understood to mean gossip. It is considered to be a terrible sin, as shown in these examples:

שכן מצינו שלא נתחתם גזר דין על אבותינו במדבר אלא על לשון הרע

אמר ר' יוחנן משום ר' יוסי בן זימרא כל המספר לשון הרע כאילו כפר בעיקר

אמר ר' יוסי בן זימרא כל המספר לשון הרע נגעים באים עליו

ואמר ריש לקיש כל המספר לשון הרע מגדיל עונות עד לשמים

אמר רב חסדא אמר מר עוקבא כל המספר לשון הרע ראוי לסוקלו באבן

רבי אחא ברבי חנינא אומר סיפר אין לו תקנה

תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל כל המספר לשון הרע מגדיל עונות כנגד שלש עבירות עבודת כוכבים וגילוי עריות ושפיכות דמים

במערבא אמרי לשון תליתאי קטיל תליתאי הורג למספרו ולמקבלו ולאומרו 

Our ancestors in the wilderness were only punished because they spoke lashon hara

Speaking lashon hara is like denying a fundamental tenet of Judaism

Speaking lashon hara is punished with leprosy

When you speak lashon hara the sin is magnified all the way to the heavens

It is fitting that a person who spoke lashon hara be executed by stoning

There is no remedy for one who has spoken lashing hara

Anyone who speaks malicious speech increases his sins to the degree that they correspond to the three cardinal transgressions: Idol worship, and forbidden sexual relations, and bloodshed

In the West, Eretz Yisrael, they say: malicious speech about a third party, kills three people. It kills the one who speaks it, the one who hears it, and the one about whom the malicious speech was said.

THE SCIENCE OF Gossip

gossip.jpeg

Because gossip is widespread across different cultures, it has been the subject of academic study. Over fifty years ago, for example, Bruce Cox spent time on a Hopi Reservation of Native Americans in northeastern Arizona, to study, among other things, what it was that Hopi gossip about. It turns out that they mostly talked about oil exploration, roads, and the installation of utility lines in the villages. So not your usual stuff of gossip. But most of the content of gossip that we recognize as such is about people and what they have done. The academic study of all things gossip is now so important that this year Oxford University Press published The Oxford Handbook of Gossip and Reputation, which fills an intellectual gap, “providing an integrated understanding of the foundations of gossip and reputation, as well as outlining a potential framework for future research.” And it can be yours for only $121.

So why do we gossip?

From the academic literature there appear to be four main reasons why people gossip. First, to maintain or strengthen the close relationship between the teller and the hearer. Second, to enable the hearer to learn more about the subject, and third, to harm the subject of the gossip. It is this last reason that is most in keeping with the Jewish aversion to gossip. But there is a fourth reason to gossip that turns out to be vital to the functioning of our human interactions: gossip helps people learn about how to function effectively within the complex and ambiguous structures of human social (and cultural) life.

Why gossiping is good for you

Might this be a positive aspect of gossip? In a review of the literature published in 2004, Roy Baumeister of Florida State University noted that gossip can be used to learn the unwritten rules of social groups and cultures. “Gossip anecdotes communicate rules in narrative form, such as by describing how someone else came to grief by violating social norms. Gossip is thus an extension of observational learning, allowing one to learn from the triumphs and misadventures of people beyond one’s immediate perceptual sphere.”

Modern human society is a rapidly changing, highly complex system. It offers great opportunities but also contains unforeseen risks and problems. Often neither the problem nor its solution can be foreseen reliably and safely. Individuals may therefore have to make their painful way through a problem’s shifting mazes by hard experience.
The way can be smoothed and softened, however, by learning about the adventures and misadventures of others.
— Baumeister F. Zhang L. Vohs D. Gossip as Cultural Learning. Review of General Psychology 2004.8, (2): 111–121.

The original work of psychologists who study gossip was based on the view that it was a form of aggression, and was rooted in the malicious desire to harm others by damaging their reputation. Baumeister concedes that sometimes this may be the case. “People may well seek to harm someone by passing along information that makes him or her look bad, thereby encouraging people to hold a poor opinion of that person (whom we label the target of gossip).” But this might not be the primary motive of the gossiper.

Consider the work of Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist who directs the the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He has spent much of his academic career studying gossip and has come to the conclusion that gossip is an important form of social communication. It bonds people together as they share information in the form of gossip about themselves and about others in their social community. In humans, gossip has replaced grooming as a way for people to maintain social relationships. “Apes spend hours picking bugs off each other,” wrote Baumeister summarizing Dunbar’s work, “while people spend hours discussing the misadventures of their neighbors, and in both cases the jointly spent time can help cement and maintain social bonds.”

In addition, gossip serves as observational learning of a cultural kind. By hearing about the troubles of others, we may not have to endure costs to ourselves because we will have successfully avoided making the mistake they made. Gossip not only serves to educate the listener about social norms; it also affirms them. And gossip is not just for adults. Children as young as four and five will gossip in a way “which sounds remarkably similar in form to the gossip of adults.”

The Chofetz Chaim, Guardian against Gossip

In 1873 Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan of Radin (1839-1933) published Sefer Chofetz Chaim (The Book of the One who Cherishes Life) on the laws of lashon hara and rechilut (gossip and slander). Yisrael Meir soon came to be known as “The Chofetz Chaim” and his book has remained in print and widely read ever since. The Chofetz Chaim wrote that lashon hara was the most significant cause (אַךְ חֵטְא הַלָּשׁוֹן הוּא עַל כִֻּלּוֹ) of the then prolonged exile of the Jewish people, and that if the magnitude of the rabbinic prohibitions against the practice were really understood, it would “make the hairs of your head stand on end” (וּמִי שֶׁיְּעַיֵּן וְיִתְבּוֹנִן הֵיטֵב בָּהֶם, תִּסְמַּר שַׂעֲרוֹת רֹאשׁוֹ מִגֹּדֶל הֶעָוֹן).

As the Chofetz Chaim makes clear, though, not all negative speech about others falls under the prohibition of lashon hara. He gives this example:

If a person sees that Reuven wants to enter into partnership with Shimon, and Shimon does not know Reuven's nature, and the person knows Reuven well from the past — that he is indifferent to the money of others because of his bad nature — he should warn Shimon from the beginning not to enter into partnership with him, and there is no lashon hara in this.

This example is what some academics have described as helpful gossip - it provides useful knowledge for living in a community that would otherwise have to be learned the hard way. The Chofetz Chaim would agree, but there are many more examples in which such gossip would be prohibited. And in the politically fractured and highly partisan societies in which we are living, there is no doubt that whether or not gossip is an evolutionary necessary tool, the damage that is caused by malicious speech is profound and irreversible. And it’s not just the target of the speech that is damaged, as the today’s page of Talmud teaches. Lashon hara “kills the one who speaks it, the one who hears it, and the one about whom it is said.”

National Speak No Evil Day

In his book Words That Hurt, Words That Heal: How to Choose Words Wisely and Well, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin envisioned a “National Speak No Evil Day” that would eliminate “the pollution of our emotional atmosphere.” It would be a day on which “we would refrain from saying a single nasty comment about others…and will speak about others with the same kindness and fairness that they wish others to exercise when speaking about them.”

In fact a resolution in the US Senate introduced by Senators Connie Mack of Florida and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut aimed to establish a “National Speak No Evil Day.” The Canadian Member of Parliament Irwin Cotler, made a similar proposal: to declare a day on which “both citizens and politicians would refrain from personal insults and ad-hominem attacks.” So it’s not just the Talmud that attempts to prevent lashon hara. Some of our cherished democracies have had the same laudable aspiration.

Whereas words used unfairly, whether expressed through excessive anger, unfair criticism, public and private humiliation, bigoted comments, cruel jokes, or rumors and malicious gossip, traumatize and destroy many lives;

Whereas an unwillingness or inability of many parents to control what the parents say when angry causes the infliction of often irrevocably damaging verbal abuse on the children;

Whereas bigoted words are often used to dehumanize entire religious, racial, and ethnic groups, and inflame hostility in a manner that may lead to physical attacks;

Whereas the spreading of negative, often unfair, untrue, or exaggerated, comments or rumors about others often inflicts irrevocable damage on the victim of the gossip, the damage epitomized in the expression “character assassination’’; and

Whereas the inability of a person to refrain for 24 hours from speaking unkind and cruel words demonstrates a lack of control as striking as the inability of an alcoholic to refrain for 24 hours from drinking liquor:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate designates May 14, 1996, and May 14, 1997, as ``National Speak No Evil Day’’.

The Senate requests that the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe the days with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and educational endeavors.
— S.Res.151 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)
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Arachin 9b ~ The Problem of the Moving Molad

To understand a passage in today’s page of Talmud requires a deep dive into lunar mechanics. Take it slowly and it all makes sense. We will get back to the Talmud in a moment. But first, some astronomy.

The Molad and the lunar conjunction

Each Jewish lunar cycle begins on the molad (lit. birth). This is the moment at which the sun, the moon and the earth line up. At that time the moon is completely invisible because no sunlight can reach the side of the moon that faces us. In astronomy, this moment is called the lunar conjunction.

The precise moment of the lunar conjunction. It should be the same as the calculated time of the molad. But it isn’t.

The precise moment of the lunar conjunction. It should be the same as the calculated time of the molad. But it isn’t.

The Jewish lunar month (based on Babylonian measurements) has a fixed period of 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3+1/3 second (or 29 days, 12 hours, and 793 chalakim, a chelek being 1/1080 of an hour). So if you know the time of the molad of one Jewish month, the next one will be precisely 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 31/3 seconds later. On the Shabbat before the start of every Jewish month (except one), the time of the molad is announced in the synagogue. The first day of that new month follows the molad, though the interval of time between the two varies. So far so good.

Here’s the Problem - and you could even see it

From  here .

From here.

The problem is that the length of the calculated molad and the actual length of time between one conjunction and the next is not the same. There was a visual demonstration of this in North America during the total solar eclipse of 2017.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon gets directly between the sun and the earth and they are all on the same plane. That time is of course by definition, the same as the lunar conjunction for that month. The 2017 eclipse began on August 21 at 15:46 GMT which was 5:58pm in Jerusalem. That was when the moon started to move across the face of the sun. The total eclipse - when the moon directly covered the sun, occurred at 18:25 and 35 seconds GMT, which was 8:25:35pm in Jerusalem. That is the true astronomic lunar conjunction. But the molad for that month (which was Rosh Chodesh Elul) was announced as “Tuesday, August 22, at 10:44 a.m. and 15 chalakim” (Jerusalem time) — about 12 hours and 20 minutes hours later.

That solar eclipse (which I was lucky enough to witness on the beach in Charleston South Carolina - it was amazing-) visibly demonstrated two things. First, that molad we announce on the Shabbat preceding Rosh Chodesh represents a theoretical time only, and has absolutely no relationship to any astronomical phenomenon. And second, that the molad and the lunar conjunction are often several hours apart.

Why the molad time is not astronomically correct

The length of the Jewish lunar month is very precise, but alas, not accurate. Or at least not accurate enough. This is because the actual length of a lunar month varies from month to month and from year to year. It is affected by the speed of the earth’s orbit around the sun which changes as the earth gets closer or further away from the sun, and the changing distance of the moon from the earth (neither orbit being perfectly circular). NASA kindly provided a histogram which shows the length of the lunar month over 5,000 years. As you can see, thousands and thousands of lunar months have longer or shorter lengths compared to the mean length of the month.

Length of lunation over 5,000 years.png

The actual lunar month is longer than the molad month when the earth is moving at its slowest (the aphelion) and the moon is moving at its fastest (the perigee). In addition, the average length of our solar day (fixed at 24 hours) is getting longer as the tides imperceptibly slow the spin of the earth on its axis. The moon also slows the spin of the earth; every 100 years the day is about 2 milliseconds longer.

Today the average difference between the traditional moladot and the true mean lunar conjunctions, (referred to the meridian of Jerusalem) range from 2+1/2 hours early (Nisan) to 5 +2/3 hours late (TishreiCheshvan), but the maximum differences range from 12 hours early to 16 hours late.

Sometimes then, the Jewish lunar month is shorter or longer than the actual lunar month, but over time it is not all averaging out. Something remarkable is happening: more and more of the calculated molad lunar months are falling behind the actual new moon. You can see this graphically below, thanks to the clever work of Dr. Irv Bromberg at the university of Toronto. The chart depicts the average relationship between the molad and the actual time of the lunar conjunction. The difference between the red line and the blue curve represents the error of the molad with respect to the actual lunar conjunction.

Dots above the thick horizontal line at zero indicate months in which the  molad  was or will be  after  the actual new moon. Dots below the thick horizontal line at zero indicate months in which the  molad  was or will be  before  the actual new moon.The difference between the red line and the blue curve represents the error of the  molad  with respect to the actual lunar conjunction. From  here .

Dots above the thick horizontal line at zero indicate months in which the molad was or will be after the actual new moon. Dots below the thick horizontal line at zero indicate months in which the molad was or will be before the actual new moon.The difference between the red line and the blue curve represents the error of the molad with respect to the actual lunar conjunction. From here.

Now we can tackle today’s daf

Since some Jewish months have 29 days and others have 30, the average should be 29 1/2 days, But what do we do with that extra 44m and 3secs (or 793 chalakim) left over each month? Eventually they will add up to an entire 24-hour day, and so every three years or so an additional day must be added into the length of one of the Jewish months to bring it back into synchrony with the true lunar conjunction. In such a Jewish year (if it is a regular year) there will then be 355 days instead of the usual 354.

But even this adjustment is not enough. This three-year tweek still leaves an additional 48 minutes each year which adds up to just over one day every 30 years.* So every 30 years an additional day must be added to one of the Jewish months, and (if it is a regular year) there will then be 355 days instead of the usual 354.

ערכין ט,ב

והאיכא יומא דשעי ויומא דתלתין שני

This extra fraction beyond twenty-nine and a half days is compounded month after month and year after year, and as a result, eventually there is an additional day that must be added to the calendar every three years due to the accumulation of hours, and an additional day that must be added every thirty years due to a further accumulation of the extra parts of an hour.

But as we have seen even this fix does not get us back on track over the long run. In about another 3,000 years every calculated molad will be after the actual lunar conjunction, and the difference will grow over time (following the path of the blue curve in the graph above). Who will fix the problem then?

ואין לנו לדאוג כ”כ יותר כי בודאי בעת ההיא וגם הרבה קודם יהיה הגאולה ונקדש ע”פ הראיה
There is no need to worry [about any future problems with the calendar] for certainly by that time the Redemption will have occurred and we will go back to sanctifying the new moon through the testimony of witnesses.
— Biur Halacha 427.

For the calendrically inclined:

1 Jewish lunar month= 29d 12 h 793ch

Those extra 793ch are a problem.

Over a year of 12m they add (793ch x 12=) 9,516ch or 8h 48s to the length of the lunar cycle.

So over 3 years that is an additional 24 hours = 1 day PLUS 876 ch or 48m 40 secs

Over 30 years that additional 876ch is 26,280ch or just over one day (one day is 25,920ch).

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Arachin 7a ~ Post Mortem Cesarean Section

ערכין ז,א

א"ר נחמן אמר שמואל האשה שישבה על המשבר ומתה בשבת מביאין סכין ומקרעים את כריסה ומוציאין את הוולד

Rabbi Nachman said in the name of Shmuel: If a pregnant woman in labor died on Shabbat, we bring a knife, incise the abdomen and deliver the child.

A Modern case of post mortem Cesarean Sections

A post mortem cesarean section is (mercifully) vanishingly rare. One review published in 1971 claimed that at the time there were fewer than 150 cases with infant survival reported in the world literature.

But it does happen. A recent case report from Turkey is pretty typical of the sort of things that gets published in medical journals. A 29 year old woman who was 31 weeks pregnant suffered massive head and chest injuries in a car accident. She stopped breathing in the ambulance and CPR was started, which continued in the emergency department. An emergency cesarean section was performed “15 minutes after arrest” and a baby girl was delivered. The baby required breathing support and had some bleeding complications, but was discharged after a month in the hospital and remained healthy with no neurological or physical problems. Alas not all cases end like this; most of the infants die soon after delivery.

Although informed consent is often not realistic, physicians should be aware that as a community they are not only medically mandated but also morally, ethically and legally required to perform perimortem CS.
— Druker L. et al. Perimortem cesarean section for maternal and fetal salvage: concise review and protocol. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 93 (2014) 965–972

post mortem Cesarean Sections in ANCIENT Greece and Rome

An early Roman law, Lex Regia, attributed to Numa Pompilius the second king of Rome (753–673 BCE) seems to require the procedure:

Negat lex regia mulierem quae praegnans mortua sit, humari, antequam partus ei exciditur: qui contra fecerit spem animantis cum gravida peremisse videtur.

The lex regia forbids the burial of a pregnant woman before the young has been excised: who does otherwise, clearly causes the promise of life to perish with the mother.

An even earlier written report of a post mortem cesarean birth is the stuff of myth. The Greek poet Pindar (c. 518-438 BCE.) described the birth of the god Asclepius by cesarean section, after his mother Coronis was murdered in a fit of rage by his father Apollo:

Thus he spoke, and with his first stride came and snatched the neonate from the corpse, while the burning flames parted for him. (Pindar, Pythian Ode Three, 43-44) [6]

Woodcut of the post mortem cesarean birth of the Greek god Asclepius. From Alessandro Beneditti's  De Re Medica  published in 1549.

Woodcut of the post mortem cesarean birth of the Greek god Asclepius. From Alessandro Beneditti's De Re Medica published in 1549.

The quicker the better

It has long been known that fetal survival from a post mortem cesarean section depends on the speed at which it may be delivered and resuscitated. The seventeenth century Portuguese physician Rodrigo de Castro (1546-1627) explained why:

Physicians should be warned of a very important matter. After the mother’s death, the neonate can not survive in the womb, unless it is removed from the uterus when the soul migrates from the maternal body or shortly before, while the mother is in agony and the vital spirits are still present. The reason is that when the mother’s life and her movements cease, the neonate’s life and its heartbeats also cease, which depends on the neonate’s distension and contraction of two umbilical arteries. When this movement ceases in the maternal body it also ceases in the neonate, because it does not carry the spirit through its mouth before cutting the navel. While the neonate is in the uterus it cannot breathe through its mouth, wrapped in membranes, closed within the uterus walls and surrounded by so many membranes and fluids; therefore we must believe that all those…who survived were removed when the mother’s heart was still beating or the mother was still alive.

(Castro, R. De universa mulierum medicina. Oficina Frobeniana, Hamburgo, 1603, II vol, II. 447. From here.)

Castro was spot on. Compare his insights to those published in this 2009 case report.

The performance of a perimortem Caesarean delivery is a challenging aspect of maternal resuscitation. Adherence to a ‘4 min rule’ means that the response team must rapidly assess the patient, institute appropriate resuscitation, and also prepare for delivery. The timing of restoration of adequate cardiac output is critical for both the mother and the baby, with the mother likely to experience hypoxia earlier in the course of an arrest due to the increased oxygen demands of pregnancy and decreased oxygen storage, while the fetus is reliant on the maternal circulation for oxygen supply.

In their recent review of the topic, Lior Drukker from Sha’arei Zedek hospital together with colleagues from Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem reviewed the protocol for a peri-mortem cesarean section. In these instances the mother is close to death or still undergoing CPR, but resuscitation efforts have not yet been abandoned. They provided this useful flow-chart for those considering the procedure:

Resuscitation protocol in pregnancy following maternal collapse. From Druker L. et al.  Perimortem cesarean section for maternal and fetal salvage: concise review and protocol.  Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 93 (2014) 965–972.

Resuscitation protocol in pregnancy following maternal collapse. From Druker L. et al. Perimortem cesarean section for maternal and fetal salvage: concise review and protocol. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 93 (2014) 965–972.

And if you are quick enough the baby has a chance; a review of reports of infant survival from 1985-2004 identified thirty-eight perimortem sections, some resulting in twins and one, remarkably, that delivered triplets. Out of thirty-eight perimortem cesarean deliveries, thirty surviving infants were delivered. (But bear in mind that there is a tremendous amount of selection bias here. Physicians tend to publish only those cases in which there was a successful outcome.)

 
Perimortem cesarean deliveries with surviving infants with reports of time from maternal cardiac arrest to delivery of the infant, 1985-2004. From Katz V. Balderston K. DeFeest M.   Perimortem cesarean delivery: Were our assumptions correct?   American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2005. 192; 1916–21

Perimortem cesarean deliveries with surviving infants with reports of time from maternal cardiac arrest to delivery of the infant, 1985-2004. From Katz V. Balderston K. DeFeest M. Perimortem cesarean delivery: Were our assumptions correct? American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2005. 192; 1916–21

 

It may save the mother’s life too

Sometimes a perimortem section does not only save the life of the fetus; it saves the life of the mother too. There are several cases in the literature in which this has been described. When lying on her back, the mother’s circulation is severely impeded as the gravid uterus presses on the inferior vena cava, the main conduit returning blood to the heart. It also presses down on the aorta, the garden-hose-like vessel that carries blood away from the heart. Delivery of the baby immediately relieves these two compressions and improves the maternal circulation, which also makes any CPR efforts more effective.

The Talmud did not believe a post mortem cesarean section to be a futile procedure. Precisely because there was a chance of saving the infant, usual Sabbath prohibitions could be overridden. What we now understand is that occasionally this extreme last ditch effort might save not one life, but two.

[See also Bava Basra 142 for a further discussion of cesarean sections and maternal death rates.]

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Arachin 5a ~ Rabbi Meir on Maximizing Meaning

The tractate Arachin (ערכין) studies the rules about a specific kind of donation to the Temple: a donation of someone’s monetary worth. But what happens if you make a nonsensical declaration like “I vow to give the value of a newborn child” when such a child has, at least technically, no monetary value? The rabbis state that the pledge is meaningless and so no money need be donated. But the great Rabbi Meir (c.~2nd century CE) disagreed:

ערכין ה,ב

אין אדם מוציא דבריו לבטלה

A person does not say things without reason
— Rabbi Meir, Arachin 5

This teaching established a hermeneutic principle that came to be widely discussed over 1,800 years later, most notably by three American philosophers Willard Quine (d. 2000),  Ronald Dworkin (d. 2013) and Donald Davidson (d. 2003). It is the Principle of Charity.

The Principle of Charity 

The Principle of Charity asks the reader (or listener) to interpret the text they are reading (or words they are hearing) in a way that would make them optimally successful.  Here's how Moshe Halbertal from the Hebrew University explained it:

[A]lthough a person’s words might be read as self-contradictory and thus meaningless, they should not be interpreted in that way. If someone tells us he feels good and bad, we should not take his statement as meaningless but rather understand by this that sometimes he feels good and sometimes bad, or that his feelings are mixed.
— Moshe Halbertal. People of the Book. Harvard University Press 1997, p27.

Other philosophers of language, like the late American analytical philosopher Donald Davidson developed this Principle of Charity. “We make maximum sense of the words of others,” wrote Davidson, “when we interpret in a way that optimizes agreement.” But sometimes The Principle of Charity requires that the reader change the meaning of the text in order to maximize the likelihood of agreement with the author’s words, as long as such a rational or coherent interpretation is available to the reader. It is the attempt to read the text in the “best” possible light.

We could include in this discussion Ludwig Wittgenstein (d. 1951). In his Philosophical Investigations he claimed that there is no single correct way that language works. Instead, there are "language games" - with the rules of the game changing as the needs of the speaker change. Or the American philosopher John Searle's important work Speech Acts, in which speech follows certain rules, and it is the context of the words that determine which rules are in force.  Or the father of deconstruction, the French Sephardi philosopher Jacques Derrida (d. 2004) who believed that once they are cut off from their author, words can mean something other than what they meant in their original context. Or J.L Austin or Paul Ricoeur or....

Just remember that it was Rabbi Meir who introduced us to the hermeneutic Principle of Charity. Now who can please fix that Wiki article so that Rabbi Meir gets his just recognition?

[Repost from here].

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