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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999 23:59:51 -0500 (EST) Subject: RE: Halachick vs Tnachic Works In volume 30 Number 16 Avi Feldblum writes concerning some comments of mine on the Abarbanel's view on monarchy that >>>>>>>>>>> [I think I have some problems with the above paragraph. I'm putting this here to the whole list, since I see similar type posts from many people. The tone of the last paragraph clearly sends a message to me when I read it that commentaries like the Abravanel and the Nitziv are doing something "wrong" and you ask what our attitude should be. I think a more productive approach is to make sure one knows the range of halachic opinions on the topic is question (here, whether appointing a king is a desired positive commandment, or is a requirement only if the people demand a form of government outside of Sanhedrin/Navi), try and understand if the halachic issue is dealt with by that reashon or acharon possibly in a different location. Mod] >>>>>>>>>>> But to reiterate my point, THAT is exactly what my question was. Yes,... I know the Abarbanel does not like Monarchy and I also know he emphasizes the words "AND YOU WILL SAY I WANT A KING"(Dt 17:14) to show that Monarchy is not a "commandment" but rather a "concession to human weakness". BUT...my questions stand (let me rephrase them so Avi's remarks will not hold): A) Since the Abarbanel did NOT write a halachic work am I justified in using his Biblical commentary to INFER halachic viewpoints? (That he legally held that Monarchy was not a Mitzvah). B) If I am not allowed to infer halachic viewpoints from his commentary should I then disregard his commentary (Since it is not coupled with appropriate halachas). C) On the other hand if I am allowed to infer from his commentary that the Abarbanel had a halachic viewpoint that monarchy was a concession to human weakness then how do I deal with all the talmudic statements treating monarchy as a law and how do I deal with the lack of any literature reconciling the Abarbanel to these Talmudic statements. D) With regard to Perry Dane's comments in Volume 30 Number 18 I would simply say that, YES, we do believe that halacha is the ideal (Prv 3:17-18) I refer Perry to my article Maimonides' Attitude towards Sacrifices (Tradition, Volume 13.4, Summer 1973, pp 163-180) in which I give strong defenses that the Rambam did not believe what he said in the Moreh Nevuchim about sacrifices but rather did believe they were an ideal state Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; http://www.shamash.org/rashi/