« Truth and G-dliness | Main | "Rabbinic Fellowship" and historic experience. »

March 08, 2008



But what is the source for saying that a kal vachomer can be used for leniencies as well as stringencies? Something like this would most certainly have caught my attention, and I don't remember ever being bothered by that sort of difficulty.


To answer kurkevan's question: Qal vachomer is used min hachomer el haqal (from the stringent case to the lenient) ie to prove leniency must exist in the mitzvah that proves itself lighter.

Sevara and derashah are different things. The former is a priori reasoning, the latter is an analysis of the text knowing the rules the Author used in writing His subtext.

It's therefore difficult to know how qal vachomer gets categorized as a form of derashah. Particularly since it can be performed without a text, just off previous conclusions. A syllogism has a preliminary step. Before saying that a combination of premises yields a conclusion, you first have to determine your premises. In order to resolve my above problem, I would like to suggest that the syllogism itself is sevara. Rather (and I realize this suggestion is somewhat avante gard), perhaps Rabbi Yishmael is only discussing the derivation of one of the premises from a verse when he lists it as a derashah.


Perhaps Rabbi Yishmael's listing of qal vachomer is limited to cases where the text is used to te


The comments to this entry are closed.