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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2000 13:00:33 -0400 (EDT) Subject: RE: Full-Defective Spellings Ben Katz in v33n26 writes on my thesis that a DEFECTIVELY SPELLED WORD means the object is POSSIBLY DEFECTIVE and MISSING COMPONENTS (for example TABL (spelled without the "E") could refer to a 2 or 3 legged table(ie a defective table missing a leg). I then cite about half a dozen Rashis that explain a priori difficult Talmudic statements dealing with full and defective spellings. I show that these Talmudic statements do not contradict our Mesorah but rather are based the above grammatical rule. (See http://www.RashiYomi.Com/fd-12.htm which summarizes Rashis in Dt06-09a, Dt09-10a, Ex31-05e, Lv23-40c, Gn01-21a, Gn09-12a,Gn01-28a). Ben writes >>The major problem with Dr. Hendel's clever arguments is that they violate a fundamental law of logic known as Occam's razor or the law of parsimony. When confronted with TWO DOZEN examples of a phenomenon it is logically much more desireable to assume they all have a single explanation rather than to explain each one away in a different manner. This would be analogous to a physician confronting a patient with a fever and a headache to treat each symptom separately and not assume that they were part of the same disease process. The only reason not to follow this approach is if the unifying hypothesis is shown to be incorrect, which can happen. I submit that in instances such as this the unifying hypothesis is theologically problemmatic to current thinking and is therefore rejected a priori.>> My question to Ben is "What is 'theologically problemmatic' about the above grammatical rule on full/defective spellings which has 1-2 dozen examples" Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA Dept of Math; Towson Moderator Rashi is SImple http://www.RashiYomi.Com/