Monday, April 12, 2010

Hat Tips

I've often wondered why many a time the Gemara quotes statements of one Rav in the name of another. I suppose that the most probable answer is that the Oral Law was obviously handed down orally, and hence the statements were recorded in the names of those last few links.

However, what may be more accurate is that Chazal were trying to honor this saying by R' Elazar in the name of R' Chanina:

ואמר ר"א אמר רבי חנינא כל האומר דבר בשם אומרו מביא גאולה לעולם שנאמר ותאמר אסתר למלך
בשם מרדכי
(Megillah 15A)

What I find ironic is that more often than not, this Chazal is stated without naming Rav Elazar or Rav Chanina. What is most ironic, is that this saying is stated originally in the Mishna (Avos 6:6) anonymously!

UPDATED 4/13/2010 3:20 PM

I have given this some more thought and I believe I have arrived at the answer. Please let me know if the logic is solid.

It seems that what the underlying theme of this statement is that one should not take false credit for himself. It is a form of stealing. Esther could have used the information that Mordechai provided her for her own self promotion, yet she rightly refused to take the credit.

Rav Elazar in the name of Rav Chanina is teaching the message that it is a Geneivas Daas to have someone else think more highly of you than is rightfully so. Therefore there is no need to mention them when repeating this dictum. Everyone knows it nowadays. But not everyone knew about Bigsan and Theresh’s plot. That would have been incorrect for Esther to make believe that she became privy to that information on her own.

The idea is not to go around repeating that I heard this from so and so. The idea is that one should not go around taking credit for someone else’s intellectual property/chiddush.

When you repeat this chiddush to someone, tell them you saw it on SoMeHoW Frum!


  1. Without plagiarism there is no blogosphere.

  2. Theodor Seuss GeiselApril 13, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    Hey, that is my picture you copied without any honorable mention.

  3. i think another poshuta reason was to develop l'shitosos or steeros in a particular khokom or among his talmidim.

  4. Bray

    I think the Leshitosos is the effect, not the cause. Do you agree with my Teretz? Also, I'd like to know your list of Jewish Classics.

  5. I think it's the cause. Shoot me! Once the first makhlokisn broke out during the zugos it was vital to know who said what to have any mesorah in p'ska wahtseover.

    Classics of what? Mistama you mean music albums as i'm unqualified to opine on anything else.

  6. Bray, you are correct. See Likutim to Avos 6:6.

    Also, it seems that the Tiferes Yisrael learns that it is Pashut that you shouldn't be stealing someone else's Torah.

    As for classics, see my previous post where I discussed books. Although you have prompted me now to write one on music.


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