Abelard, the Tosafot and This Blog
I decided to change around the template of this blog. I will try and do a few more changes in the coming weeks. As to the quote in the header, “Dubitando quippe ad inquisitionem venimus; inquirendo veritatem percipimus”, it is from Abelard’s introduction to his Sic et Non. Its translation is “Therefore, by doubting we come to inquiry, and by inquiry, we grasp truth.” The entire translation of his introduction can be found here. Jose Faur in his important essay on the Tosafot, “The Legal Thinking of Tosafot, in Dine Israel 6 (1975), quotes extensively from this introduction of Abelard and compares it to the hermeneutical methods of the Tosafot. E.E. Urbach is very critical of Faur for what he claims is Faur’s opinion that the methodologies which the Tosafot used to study Talmud were taken from the Scholastics and Glossators (see Baalei HaTosafot, p. 87, n. 9). I.M. Ta-Shema correctly points out that this is not what Faur said, rather Faur claimed that “similar historical circumstances naturally create similar responses.” In my opinion there is still much to researched and written about this question.
I.M. Ta-Shema, “Halakha and Reality-The Tosafist Experience” in Rashi et la culture juive en France du Nord au moyen âge“, pp. 313-329. For more on the question see Ephraim Kanarfogel, Jewish Education and Society in the High Middle Ages, esp. ch. 5.