Trembling Before Rashi

By Shaul Gold

One of the defining moments in the development of my hashkafas hachaim (outlook on life) occurred during a Shiur Klali (weekly lecture) I attended as a talmid in Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim.

The Rosh Yeshiva, R’ Nochum Partzovitz, ZT”L, was a son-in-law of Rav Chaim Schmuelevitz, ZT”L, and one of the preeminent Maggidei Shiur that emerged after the War. He was one of the famed Mirrer talmidim from Shanghai and a talmid of R’ Boruch Ber Levovitz (Rosh Yeshivah in Kamenitz and a Talmid Muvhak of R’ Chaim Soloveitchik). R’ Nochum’s awe and reverence of R’ Boruch Ber and R’ Chaim Brisker was well known.

R’ Nochum suffered from arterial sclerosis and, when I arrived at the Yeshivah, was already confined to a wheelchair. He gave a daily shiur, a chaburah on Thursday nights, and a preview of the Shiur Klali on Motza’i Shabbos. The preview shiur was unique in that, while it was ostensibly a small gathering in his apartment, it was, in fact, attended by hundreds of talmidim from other Yeshivos that gathered in the hallway and stairway to hear the shiur. The shiur was a great strain for R’ Nochum physically, but was an exciting analysis of the sugya and a great preparation for the Sunday Shiur Klali.

The first few Shiurei Klali I heard from R’ Nochum were difficult for me. I hadn’t sufficiently prepared for the shiur, and, without adequate preparation, it was difficult to appreciate the full depth of the shiur. I had to learn a different level of preparation than I was accustomed to previously in order to enjoy and get the most out of the shiur.

Now to the defining moment: One Shiur Klali was based on a tosfos in Kesubos. Tosfos responded to a question with an answer that both R’ Chaim and R’ Boruch Ber found problematic. Both endeavored to clarify Tosfos’ response, each in his own way. R’ Nochum reviewed both pshatim and argued that, while both pshatim were brilliant, and both answered Tosfos’ question, neither explained Tosfos’ response, which is what they purported to accomplish. He then proceeded to explain Tosfos’ response with a different approach.

All of this is pretty standard in a Shiur Klali. What was out of the ordinary, what was a life-changing moment to me, was ‘how’ R’ Nochum argued on R’ Chaim and R’ Boruch Ber. An English rendition cannot possibly do this justice but I will try.

R’ Nochum began to stutter. He began to shake visibly. He repeated over and over how great R’ Chaim was and how his rebbe, R’ Boruch Ber towered over anyone he knew intellectually. He praised the explanations and commented on the power and depth of their reasoning. He must have uttered “the Rebbe”, about R’ Boruch Ber, a dozen or more times in a halting and trembling voice before finally in a spurt of shame and with eyes averted he said; “ubber, ubber, ebber, … dos iz nit pshat in Tosfos’ teretz”, “but, but, but, … that is not pshat in Tosfos’ response.”

I was glued to R’ Nochum at that time and a shiver ran down my spine. When R’ Nochum learned a pshat of R’ Boruch Ber’s he saw d’mus deyukno (his appearance) before him. His reverence for R’ Boruch Ber and for R’ Chaim was an essential part of his being, and for him to argue on them, for him to point out a perceived flaw in their Torah, he had to so with utter hachno’oh (subservience) and humility.

It was a life changing moment for me. I began to understand R’ Nochum and many of the other great Chachomim that I had encountered in a new light and I had to change the way I was a mekabel (recipient).

I was recently privy to a conversation regarding the efficacy of teaching “fantastical” Rashis and midrashot to young students. An example given referred to the age of Rivka when she met and married Yitzchok and the discussion included whether such material can or should be taken literally and/or whether other commentaries that gave more “rational” explanations, should supplant those Rashis and Midrashim.

My thoughts went back to R’ Nochum and to the many other great sages that stood in awe and reverence of their predecessors – to those who viewed the early Achronim and the Rishonim as towering giants that far surpassed them quantitatively, qualitatively and spirtitually. I thought about Rashi and how carefully each of his words was weighed, about the amount of times each comment was reviewed and rewritten before it was presented to the public, and about Rashi’s acclaim as the father of pshat. And then I thought about the cavalier manner that this holy genius’s work was being reviewed and how much more “savvy” our contemporaries are.

I thought about R’ Nochum and how he stuttered and I thought about Rashi. I thought about how our teachers and sages trembled when discussing a difficult Rashi and the joy they had when they reached an understanding of the deeper meaning behind Rashi’s words. And then I thought of those that know better than Rashi.

Like my Rabbeim, I tremble before Rashi. But I shudder at the thought of those that wish to deconstruct him.

Rabbi Shaul Gold serves as a Rabbinic Coordinator for the Orthodox Union. He was previously the mara d’asra of the Young Israel of Ave. U, has been an educator for many years.

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20 comments to Trembling Before Rashi

  • joel rich

    Interesting, but in the end your rebbi had to say that with all his respect for his rabbeim, in his humble opinion this was not pshat. I agree that disagreements based on our best efforts should be stated in terms of respect, I fear that they will be outlawed which imho is the greatest disrespect to our rabbeim.
    KT

  • Larry Lennhoff

    For you the point is how R’ Nochum trembled. For me it is how he overcame the temptation to say “Who am I to disagree with ..” and insisted on telling the truth as he saw it.

  • S.

    “Like my Rabbeim, I tremble before Rashi. But I shudder at the thought of those that wish to deconstruct him.”

    Tremble and shudder all you will, but you pose no salve and no solution for the problem that many Jews cannot tremble before Rashi the way your rebbe trembled before R. Boruch Ber (he did say R. Boruch Ber was incorrect, mind you, even while trembling). What do you suggest we do for them when your preferred approach will not work?

    What about the Ramban’s model of “open rebuke, hidden love” which he displayed toward Ibn Ezra, rather than trembling? Or Rashbam’s testimony that he challenged his grandfather over not achieving the goal of a pshat commentary, and that Rashi told him that if he had the time he would write such a commentary? These are, I believe, possible alternate models for those who will not tremble.

  • Liora

    This is beautiful. As a Tanach teacher in a modern Orthodox day school I confront the disdainful attitude that Rabbi Gold describes on a daily basis, but his story really gives me chizuk.

  • Bob Miller

    Rabbi Gold,

    How do you personally handle disagreements among Rishonim who are commentators on the Chumash, where they appear at first glance to contradict each other completely (such as on the age of Rivka when she married)? Do you rank these commentators themselves in a particular order to arrive at the resolution, or is it really their arguments that matter most? Are there some such disagreements you just put aside because you can’t see the resolution even after careful investigation and thought?

  • Jewish Observer

    As a Mir alumnus I very much appreciated and was moved by R Gold’s story in that it provides a first hand glimpse into a godol with whom I did not have the privilede to interact. That said, a disntinction needs to be made between disrepecting Rashi’s greatness and understanding his true intentions in offering a commen. There are numerous times when Rashi’s “pshat” is clearly not pshat. That is to say, it is homiletical, as opposed to e.g. Ibn Ezra’s rendering of the same verse. To blindly accept everything he says as “pshat” is to disrespect Rashi by not having the confidence that could have meant something beyond what our meager minds can fathom. As true students of Rashi who revere his greatness, in those cases we must challenge ourselves as to what drove Rashi to veer from the obvious, and to track those trends as a way of understanding his overall mahalach.

  • Charles Hall

    The age of Rivkah is not a very good example, as Rashi was simply quoting his text of Seder Olam Rabbah. However, other texts of Seder Olam Rabbah have Rivkah married off at age 14 (and other rishonim support this). Furthermore, Chazal even uses the fact the Rivkah was a “naarah” which would mean a 12 year old to derive halachah (Yevamot 61b). In this case, the “deeper meaning” may just be a textual error.

  • David F.

    R’ Shaul,

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story about one of the under-appreciated geonim of our generation. I never had the זכות to study under Rav Nochum ז”ל personally, but I did study for a time under one of his talmidim and have used his seforim extensively. His brilliance and clarity opened up the study of Gemara like none other.

    I recently had occasion to speak to a contemporary giant in Torah as well as secular subjects about the trend toward rationalism in certain circles. Considering his impressive background in both Torah and Science and willingness to explore touchy subjects with an open mind, I desired to hear his opinion regarding some recent controversies. I did not ask him for permission to quote him so his name shall remain anonymous, but his response to me was far from ambiguous.

    When I asked him what he thought about certain books on the subject and whether their approach was correct, he answered, “The questions are excellent and need to be asked. The answers may or may not be correct. Of one thing I am certain, however. The author is guilty of excessive עזות in the manner in which he flippantly discards Rashi and other Rishonim. If one must disagree with them, the option exists, but it requires a whole lot more trepidation than he evidenced in his works.”

  • Younger Light

    Rav Gold,

    Thank you for the beautiful story. Although you discuss Rav Nachum and Rashi separately, Rav Nachum (as I’m sure you know) was also a big supporter of Rashi. He would always try to answer for Rashi against Tosfos’ questions and do so affectionately. I heard all of this from his son-in-law Rav Asher Arieli, who quoted his Shver many times, especially to explain Rashi. Rav Asher told me that one time they were learning together and it was Rosh Chodesh Tamuz or Av, and Rav Asher mentioned to his Shver that it was Rashi’s yahrtzeit. Rav Nachum began to cry. That was his deep and real love for Gedolim and Rishonim.

  • Shaul Gold

    I would like to thank the commenters for their kind words and thoughtful remarks. Your points are well taken; I will take this opportunity to elaborate slightly on my post.

    Just as the Rishonim are many generations before us, so too, they are many levels above us. I would consider it is presumptuous to entertain arguing with, or classifying, any Rishonim in any manner whatsoever. When I learn the Rishonim on Chumash I never conclude that one Rishon or the other is correct, nor should it be my place to determine which Rishonim are correct and which not. I study their commentaries and recognize that these Rabbinic giants had certain differences in their understanding of Pshat. Perhaps “Trembling before Rashi” should more accurately be “trembling before the Rishonim”, followed by “trembling before the early Acharonim”, followed by”trembling before …” .

    Rashi is very explicit when he is not explaining pshat or when he feels that the accepted understanding is not pshat (Rashi then says “va’ani lo bassi ela l’faresh peshuto shel mikra”). If Rashi says that Rivka was three, and he says so without qualifiers, he is then stating that this, according to his understanding, is peshuto shel mikra.

    In the discussion that I alluded to there was a feeling that students would have no respect for a godol like Rashi that believed that Rivka was three when she married Yitzchok and as a result there was a feeling that such Rashis should either not be taught, or be taught with an explanation that “we” understand things differently. To my mind, that type of Chinuch breeds contempt for our Gedolei Yisroel through the generations and implies that Rashi (and others) were not as sophisticated as “we moderns” are.

    We need to teach our children reverence for Rashi, Ramban, et al, and to teach them (and ourselves) that we are not the final arbiters of the truth, and that we need to submit our understanding to their superior ken and wisdom. In my years of teaching I noted that generally, this attitude among students reflected the disdain they sensed from others, including their parents and some teachers. It rarely came from an innate cynicism and a cultured intellectual palate.

    As to R’ Nochum arguing on his Rabbeim, I don’t think the quality or tone of the discussion ever rose to the level of abnegation of his Rabbeim. Quite the opposite, it was part of the natural ebb and flow of the rischa d’oraisso, and I am sure that R’ Nochum would have wanted to discuss this directly with his Rebbe and hear his Rebbe’s explanation. When I was a bachurin Yeshivah, in Telz and in Mir, it was expected that the Rebbe’s shiur be challenged, oftentimes in the middle of the shiur itself. There is no one-upmanship involved but rather a healthy discourse that leads to a clearer understanding of the topic at hand.

    Rashi’s peirush is beyond that stage, and disagreement belongs only to his contemporaries. There is a big difference between Yir’as hakovod and being judgmental and that difference is what I hoped to highlight.

  • lacosta

    elsewhere online , the tack taken is that this attitude is reflective various schools of thought between eg rationalists and non-, and in many ways between haredi thought and other camps within Orthodoxy.
    eg r slifkin’s body of work , though possibly 100% valid, cannot meet the current concepts of fealty within haredi thought.
    let us hope these standards, which conceivably serve the haredi community well [ though can be used as a method to quiet dissent], will not be used as a weapon to smear other O jews whose communities see things differently….

  • dovid landesman

    Although I did not hear shiurim from Reb Nachum zt”l, many of my friends were close to him and I was zocheh to hear his Torah eid m’pi eid. I studied under a number of his contemporaries, including Reb Dov Schwartzman zt”l and Reb Gedaliah Schorr zt”l. I do not think that either would be considered modern critics of the rishonim or achronim by anyone in the yeshiva world. Yet, they evidenced a very different style of shiur and while there was an obvious “b’dchilu verichimu” in their approaches, they were never hesitant to subject rishonim to scathing analysis or even ignore most acharonim after the Maharsha, the Pnei Yehoshua and R. Akiva Eiger. Even when Rav Schorr quoted Rav Shlomo Heiman or Rav Dov quoted Rav Aharon, they did not speak with the same reverential tones as Rav Nachum. This may have more to do with their personalities and less to do with their derech halimud. I am not certain that many talmidim of Rav Nachum would characterize his greatness as a maggid shiur – and he was famous as being the ba’al masbir par excellence – by an example of the manner in which he quoted his rabbeim.

    You write that talmidim today need to be taught respect for Rashi, the Ramban et al and contend that this lack of respect generates contempt for gedolai Yisrael. In three decades in the classroom, I have rarely found this to be true, and I will go so far as to contend that “halevai” this was a major problem. What I have encountered – and continue to encounter – is an apathetic malaise that has stymied anything more than robotic repetition without critical thinking. Simply put, there is no ritcha d’oraisa. I have found, and this is true especially of better talmidim, that the deeper the analysis and the more honest the approach, the greater the interest level. Ultimately, and rather quickly, this will lead to greater appreciation for the rishonim. Rav Schorr zt”l often taught that the beauty and simplicity of the Rashba and Ritva when understood was more awe inspiring than the genius of Rav Chaim.

    In shiur, and in private discussions and sessions with talmidim, I always stressed that one can and should question Rashi and others; contend with him and even claim that his words are difficult. That is an inherent part of developing understanding. At times we can reject Rashi; I don’t think that there is anything wrong with telling a talmid that Ramban’s p’shat is intellectually easier to accept. By accepting a different approach, I am not exercising a value judgement, I am simply expressing my opinion that a certain p’shat resonates better in my mind. Never should Rashi – or any other commentator – be dismissed disparagingly; I would not allow talmidim to label Rashi – or any other sefer – as ridiculous or silly. At the same time, however, I encouraged them to challenge and seek an understanding that they could accept.

    There is a legend, perhaps apocryphal, that the Sha’agas Aryeh was studying when suddenly the bookcase in his home fell on him. Supposedly, when his talmidim arrived and lifted him under the seforim, his first words were, “they were all [the many gedolim with whom he took issue - often quite critically] mochel except the Levush. He then quoted the passuk, “ari [his first name] sho’ag, mi [an acronym for Mordechai Yaffe - the Levush] lo yirah.”

  • Dovid Goldman

    Rav Gold,
    I would like to suggest a “middle ground” of sorts in this debate, primarily in response to your comment here rather than to your original post. You write of the need to teach that
    “we are not the final arbiters of the truth, and that we need to submit our understanding to their (our predecessors’) superior ken and wisdom.”
    Are they, then, speaking as the final arbiters of truth? If you asked Rashi or the Ramban, for example (or Rav Boruch Ber), if they meant to write in such capacity, would they not have said something like k’patish yfotzeitz – that there are multiple meanings and perspectives and that every person has his own chelek in Torah? Would they have approved of the term “final arbiter of truth” when it comes to Torah?
    This is absolutely not to take anything away from the epic battle for Emes that is necessary for serious learning. And I, like many, have observed that most people who pipe up with “shivim panim laTorah” or “eli v’elu” in these kinds of conversations really mean there must be as many panim as we need for everyone to be equally correct and please don’t confuse us with any facts.
    Let me skip to my bottom line: There is a mitzvah to learn all of shas in addition to Tanach. There is no mitzvah to learn Rashi, the Ramban or R’ Boruch Ber. Every individual is meant to learn Torah from a Rebbi but to achieve their own understanding of Torah. That is simply the basic mitzvah of Talmud Torah. When you sit down to learn, your job is not to prepare to parrot what other chachamim said or even to understand what they said – it is to understand the pesukim or the gemara. That is the gift G-d gave you. If you are serious about understanding these, you will treasure the words of the rishonim, acharonim, etc. and will hopefully recognize that as great as your understanding of Torah can be if you give your life over to it, it will never scratch the surface of the understanding achieved by Rashi or the Ramban, etc. You will no doubt focus a majority of your learning on rishonim and acharonim but not because anyone is a final arbiter of truth. It’s because you’d be a fool not to devour every word they said in your quest to understand the Torah. Especially in chumash, there is nothing wrong with a serious talmid with years of learning behind him saying “I hear the Ramban’s kashia on Rashi, as enhanced by the Gur Aryeh and in light of abc, very shtark and will develop my appreciation for the parsha this year based on that approach.”
    I agreed wholeheartedly to your original post and would equally lament those who make light of Rav Boruch Ber, let alone Rashi. But to my knowledge, the formulation in your added comment is not accurate*. It may seem a subtle distinction but, upon further analysis, it is the difference between whether we are still allowed to learn Torah or whether all we can do is read and discuss the multiple opinions offered by others on each topic. And to add a final perspective which makes all the difference in the world, when one is tested on his learning, so to speak, after 120 years, will he be able to get away with “I have no idea what the pasuk/gemara means but I can report what others have written about it”?

    * I recognize that your approach seems consistent with the Brisker Derech and that mine lines up more with the “classical” approach. This is certainly not a new debate but it is one that I believe deserves much more attention today. I suspect that much of the alienation currently observed in the Yeshiva world is related to the emphasis on how far away from us Torah knowledge really is and how unimportant our own sensibilities are.

  • Daniel Weltman

    After discussion with other commenters, I am amazed at the level of comment-blocking that has gone on on this thread. It is a new level of censor for cross currents, and this reader is appalled.

    This is a מחלוקת לשם שמים, and the decision of the editors, or the author (whoever it is that is moderating comments) to exclude thoughtful comments that may disagree completely with the post or with Shaul Gold’s point of view is one that intentionally stifles honest Torah debate.

    It really does call into question the purpose of posting this article, and Cross-Currents’ vision of itself: are we here to indoctrinate or educate? To speak from atop a mountain, or discuss with people who are just as committed as we are to Torah, but may have a different viewpoint?

    I urge the moderator to let comments through – the value of free speech and open debate is that readers have the chance to weigh opinions and become more knowledgeable – to reject more firmly, or become convinced, by views different from their own. It is not as if this issue even approaches a point of halachik validity or invalidity – the whole range and gamut of views on this subject have been made by Rishonim and Acharonim. It is quite ironic that Shaul Gold’s comment above claims that he does not choose between Rishonic views, and yet at the same time, the post is moderated and certain Rishonic views are blocked.

    [YA I love ya, Reb Daniel, but you have Cross-Currents pegged wrong on several counts:
    1) You are jumping the gun. We’ve pointed out many times before that people moderate the comments at odd moments during the week. If you submit a one-liner that is completely non-controversial, and you do not see it posted after four or five days, chances are it has been rejected. Submit something that is thought provoking and requires an intelligent response, you shouldn’t jump to any conclusions for at least a week, sometimes longer. In this case, Rabbi Gold is a new guest contributor, and it should be expected that he might need more time to formulate an effective response. It also (check your calendar) is the week of Purim. Chill out.
    2) I don’t think that it is fair to assume that the purpose of CC is to be a forum of discussion for all topical and intellectual issues. It wasn’t designed that way. Some of our contributors (but not all) and some of our audience (but not all) might be OK with that. OTOH, it tries hard not to be a bully pulpit for preaching from the mountain. it is supposed to be something in between, where topics that lie at the intersection of Torah and current affairs meet. It attempts to be friendly to large parts of the Orthodox world – but not all. Hashkafically, it wants to be particularly friendly to a group that does not have as many friendly sites as those available to other groups, namely haredi-lite, LWMO-RWY, or haredi classic, depending on what you like calling them. Here, hashkafa matters a good deal, even in areas very far removed from kefirah. What to you seems like an issue of academic interest with Rishonim on both sides is seen by others as a challenge to the yiras ha-rommemus we have for gedolim of the past. CC can cautiously host the debate, but only if it is sure that the hashkafos of a very large number of bnei Torah are adequately represented.

  • yeshivaforum

    R’ Gold, you say, “We need to teach our children reverence”. When I was in yeshiva, I learned exactly that from my parents and rebbeim. We cannot challenge Rashi. If we don’t understand him, there is something wrong with us. Now, I don’t know if these ideas are connected, but I gradually lost all interest in honest, serious thought about Rashi. I knew that taking any other position was assur and I had to swallow everything whole. As a result, I did “robotic repetition without critical thinking” as Dovid Landesman says so well. The ironic and sad result of all this was that I looked at chumash and rashi as intellectually weak, and unable to stand up to critical analysis- by a 3rd grader. Because obvious issues were not addressed. They were suppressed- as you are advocating! I can’t tell you just how wrong and short-sighted I feel your ‘instilling fear of rashi’ method of teaching is to children. Chanoch lena’ar al pi darco. If you set a child on HIS track, then he will follow it all the days of his life. If you shut him down and try to force your track in, he’ll reject it and there will be a whole slew of issues, like doubt and guilt that you will have created.

  • Gil Student

    The story of Reb Nochum is meaningful. You can disagree with a Rishon but must do so with great respect and only with the hesitation demanded by recognition of their genius and piety. Disagreeing with a Rishon flippantly is a symptom of misundertanding — who you are, who the Rishon was and probably the subject itself.

  • Lawrence Kaplan

    Rabbi Gold writes that Rashi comes to offer the peshat, unless he says otherwise. This not exact. In in famous comment on Gen.3:8 Rashi states that his goals are to explain 1) peshuto shel mikra; and 2) aggadah ha-meyashevet divrei ha-mikra davar davur al ofanav.” Whatever Rashi means by the second type of explanation (and there is a whole literature on this), it is not the same as the first.

    Re Rivka: The issue that needs to be understood is the assumption that leads Rashi to arrive at the age of three for Rivka. The assumption is that the akedah, the birth of Rivkah, and the death of Sarah happened one right after the other. Indeed, they are related one after another in the Torah. I explain to my students that 1) this leads to Isaac being 37 at the time of the Akedah, in which case he was an adult, and was, alongside Abraham, also tested; 2) it further means that Rivkah was born at the moment that Isaac was spared, thus assuring the continuity of the generations; and 3) that this ties in with the midrashic understanding that Sarah died as a result of being told about the Akedah, thereby introducing a deeply tragic and ironic element into the narrative. My students appreciate and relate to all of this. I then show how 4) this assumption of simultaneity leads to to Rivkah being three in the story at the well and when married to Isaac. Here my students balk.

  • Steve Brizel

    The story of R Nachum ZL is IMO illustrative of how all of us should think before we even think that we can disagree with a Rishon. I would add that especially in the realm of Chumash that one should at least have an excellent command of the classical Mfarshim, such as Rashi, Ramban, Seforno, Ibn Ezra, and Rashbam, Netziv,and Meshech Chachmah, before one concludes, often mistakenly, that no prior commentary was correct , or assuming in a far more seriously mistaken manner, that Mfarshim on Chumash do not disagree on major issues in Chumash. IMO, it is very important that students of Chumash realize that, as opposed to Talmud and Halacha, where there is a vertical approach that governs what makes or breaks a Chiddush, kulah or chumra, in Parshanut, there are many equally valid approaches to understaning Chumash within the Mesorah that may very well contradict each other for many valid reasons.

  • Steve Brizel

    S wrote in part:

    “Or Rashbam’s testimony that he challenged his grandfather over not achieving the goal of a pshat commentary, and that Rashi told him that if he had the time he would write such a commentary

    If one reads the entirety of Rashbam’s comment on that section of Parshas Vayeshev, one will also see that Rashbam had a strong sense of appreciation for the Parshanut of Rashi, which he described as the primary focus of Rashi’s commentary and other classical Mfarshim. In fact, if one looks at Rashbam at the end of Sefer Shemos and in the begining of Vayikra, Rashbam comments that he refers all who are interested to the commentary of Rashi thereat.

  • Shades of Gray

    “Here, hashkafa matters a good deal, even in areas very far removed from kefirah”

    I enjoy asking stiros mineh u’beih in Cross Current essays(perhaps I should stick to Rashi :) ):

    Rabbi Adlerstein wrote the following on a 3/18/07 comment, implying that hashkafos are less important(“Gentler, Kinder, Meaner, Leaner Cross-Currents”, response to comment):

    “The last time I looked, the Rambam counted 13 essential prinicples…your comment was acceptable. CC will resist all pressure to shrink the list…”

    I suppose time has become a factor and its reasonable not to publish if no one is available to adequately rebut a hashkaficaly problematic/contraversal comment.