Steven Levy Remembering Rabbi Gettinger

Examples of Rabbi Gettinger’s unique approach to learning:

1) This is a chiddush of his that’s classic Rabbi Gettinger and easy to explain. In the second Rashi on daf 2a (dibbur hamaschil: Ad sof ha’ashmura rishona (until the end of the first watch period)), Rashi writes, “shelish halayla” as the Gemara explains later. However, if you turn to page 3a where the Gemara discusses whether the night has 3 or 4 ashmurot (watch periods), nowhere do you see the words “shelish halayla” which are quoted by Rashi. Rather, you see the words “arba shaot” (four hours) and “shelosh shaot” (three hours), which Rabbi Gettinger explains are modern intrusions into the Gemara and original wording, as we see in the Munich Manuscript (and Rashi’s comment) was “shelish halayla” and “revi’is halayla”, respectively. It was only the medieval period, when clocks came into use, that one could possibly confuse a sha’ah with a 60-minute hour, but in the Talmud, sha’ah is a measurement used exclusively during the day.

2) The other attachment relates to today’s daf (11), in which Rabbi Gettinger handed out copies of the Florence and Paris Manuscripts to demonstrate that the text had become corrupted.

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