[b-hebrew] Common Sense

Harold Holmyard hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Oct 18 11:54:57 EDT 2006

Ethel Jean (Kowan) Saltz wrote:

> For me, I've decided that Judaism historically is a documentation of Common
> Sense and that's what Y'H'W'H means.  In fact, in a recent article in Jewish
> World Review there appears to be an article (I haven't read) that states
> that Judaism is not a religion.  So that debate is now ongoing, I guess.  I
> don't think it is either.  Also there are the beginnings of saying the Bible
> (with/without Apocrypha/Koran) is the oldest ancient history book that
> exists.  I also came to that conclusion 25 years ago.  So it's a relief that
> there are glimpses being published with this sort of intellectual
> management.  I don't have time to read every single article in every
> newletter I get, so I use the lead statements to justify that I can
> participate with my own mind.  With blogs abounding, that's what we've got,
> and thus you get a feel for the way the Sekhel Ha-Yashar is going.  Lots of
> individual expressions at last.  Out of this talmudic management of the
> collection of books called the BIBLE we can all get our own support for our
> own lives  from common cheap ancient history textbooks.
> 1.  Is it correct to say in Hebrew that Sekhel Ha-Yashar means Common Sense,
> as my Webster's New World does?

HH: I think in Hebrew you would need to add 
another definite article before Sekhel. Here is an 
example in a quotation from a Jewish publication:

After discussing at length the opinions of the 
Hatam Sofer and those who disagree with him, Rabbi 
Messas adds that the opinion of the Hatam Sofer is 
rather unusual (hiddush), and that it runs counter 
to reason and common sense (she-debarav enam 
musbarim kefi ha-sekhel ha-yashar), for if the 
husband (or the rabbi) designates specific 
witnesses, he thereby indicates that he wants 
these witnesses and no others.

HH: If you don't add the early definite article, 
the phrase means something like "insight of the 

Harold Holmyard

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