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What religious communities teach about the Tosefta תוספתא today? I know that among some teachers it is considered legitimate to compare and contrast parallel teachings in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and where possible, the Midrash. Do any Orthodox kollels or yeshivas do so, on any subject? May rabbis today pasken using information from the Tosefta?

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    Tosefta is a part of oral transmission. Poskim use it as gemara and commentaries use it – kouty Oct 15 '16 at 22:30
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    Critical analysis, such as studying all Tannaic texts in light of each other, and not based on their Ammoraic interpretations is generally eschewed in yeshivot. A classic expositor of this approach would be Prof. David Weiss HaLivni. Is this what you are referring to? – mevaqesh Oct 16 '16 at 0:41
  • The meqori approach focuses on primary sources, beliefs, and practices. Those who subscribe to such an approach would place much more value on direct proofs from the Tosefta. One proponent of this approach is R. David Bar-Hayyim of Makhon Shilo. – mevaqesh Oct 16 '16 at 0:50
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It's certainly part of the canon! Rabbi Yechezkel Abramski wrote a commentary on it that you'd find on most yeshiva bookshelves.

The Tosefta certainly features in the halachic process. At this point, though, you wouldn't find a contemporary authority saying "oh the Gemara, Yad HaChazaka, and Shulchan Aruch say it's prohibited -- but I permit it because of the Tosefta!" Earlier authorities had access to it, too.

  • From the fact that the OP does not mention studying the Tosefta in light of Amoraic sources such as the Talmud, I strongly suspect that he is referring to critical analysis. This has nothing to do with whether it is "canonical". And similarly has little to do with R. Abramski's commentary. – mevaqesh Oct 16 '16 at 3:45
  • "From the fact that the OP does not mention studying the Tosefta in light of Amoraic sources such as the Talmud, I strongly suspect that he is referring to critical analysis. This has nothing to do with whether it is "canonical". " Incorrect. I'm not restricting to that at all. I'm being quite literal: What religious communities teach about the Tosefta תוספתא today? – IndependentThinker Oct 21 '16 at 3:32
  • I ask because I have been told by many Orthodox Jews that the Tosefta is not taught in Orthodox yeshivas, which I found surprising. I do know that it is taught in Conservative. I am happy to see replies which indicate some that some of Orthodoxy does teach about the Tosefta. (I wondering why I was told, until recently, that this isn't so?) "This has nothing to do with whether it is "canonical"." Just to be clear, I never asked about that. Did someone else rule out the Tosefta as canonical? I have been under the impression that it is canonical. Do some communities reject this? – IndependentThinker Oct 21 '16 at 3:33
  • mevaqesh writes "This has nothing to do with whether it is "canonical"." I have been under the impression that Tosefta is just as canonical as the Mishnah and early Midrash, but not used as much (and not necessary to use) Is this incorrect? – IndependentThinker Oct 21 '16 at 3:35
  • It's certainly there -- it's printed in the back of the standard volumes of Talmud! It's not that any yeshiva has anything against its existence; different yeshivas will spend more or less time on different texts. If, for instance, Maimonides' code is paraphrasing a Tosefta, that will be pointed out. – Shalom Oct 21 '16 at 11:55

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