There are instances in the Talmud (usually fleshed out by the Rishonim) where we learn a concept that is **so logical** that we don't need a pasuk or drasha to teach it to us, THAT'S how logical it is.

A few examples:

  • "המוציא מחברו עליו הראיה"- If my ox gored and killed your pregnant cow and the cow’s fetus was found dead at its side- and it is not known whether the cow gave birth before (ie unrelated to the goring) or whether it gave birth after the ox gored it, if you want me to pay you have to prove the latter because: "the burden of proof rests upon the claimant" Bava Kamma 46a

  • "כל דאלים גבר"- In a financial dispute between two people where there is neither evidence nor presumptive ownership for either litigant, "whoever is stronger prevails" Bava Basra 34b

  • "כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא חוֹטֵא נִשְׂכָּר" - If dough became impure accidentally, one need take 1/48 for challah. However if the dough became purposely impure, the amount for challah one must take is 1/24. Why? "so that the sinner does not profit [from his sin]" Challah 2:7 (expounded further here)

My question is why is svara used sparingly as a halachik source/ reason only in certain areas? "Don't kill" and "don't steal" are both pretty obvious- yet we have explicit p'sukim telling us not to.

Why isn't svara applied for these two or for any other seemingly logical mitzvos?

Edit: the examples listed above don't explicitly state the word "svara" even though that's the concept at work: Thus here are links for each that explains how each is a "svara"

המוציא מחברו עליו הראיה - see "הכלל ומקורו" number 3

כל דאלים גבר- under “מקור וטעם”

כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא חוֹטֵא נִשְׂכָּר- under “מקור”

  • I write it as comment. But it's an answer. In logic and mathematics, and linked sciences, there are DEMONSTRATIONS. Often in Talmudic learning to, there are logical demonstrations. The value of common sense is also equivalent to demonstrations. Because logical mathematical demonstrations are also based on "natural deduction" which is in reality common sense – kouty Feb 27 '19 at 4:42
  • @kouty Interesting, but I'm assuming there are other halachot that can also be learned out from "demonstrations"... yet nonetheless are learned from drasha, gezeiras ha'kasuv, or any of the 13 middos. Why would this be necessary if they could all be learned out via being a svara or demonstration? – alicht Feb 27 '19 at 5:28
  • @alicht because they cannot. It's very rare to proof by reasoning only. But sometimes it's possible and they say למה לי קרא סברא היא – kouty Feb 27 '19 at 12:06
  • I've heard that some details of "don't kill" or "don't steal" aren't logical, which is why we need a verse. – robev Feb 27 '19 at 19:06
  • @robev interesting- like which details? – alicht Feb 27 '19 at 20:01

A very unpopular but seemingly true answer:

Judaism lacks consistent and systematical methodology. Totally. Practically, when you go through the Rabbinical argumentation in the Gemmorah, everything goes. Why?

  1. The Rabbinical Judaism (as opposed to the Kabbalah or science for example) focuses mainly on setting the code of behavior - the Halacha, not researching the underlying mechanisms or inner structure.

  2. The Halacha is "created" by Rabbis presenting their own opinions/attitudes and defending them.

  3. The essence of the Halachic dispute is to convince either the competitors (other Rabbis) themselves or the next generations of the Poskim. Once you do it, by any means, your opinion is the Halachah, no matter how it is derived.

    A wonderful example of such Halachic "war" is brought in my question "what-happened-in-r-chananyas-penthouse" in Yerushalmi Shabbos 9a:

תנא ר' יהושע אונייא תלמידי ב"ש עמדו להן מלמטה והיו הורגין בתלמידי ב"ה. תני ששה מהן עלו והשאר עמדו עליהן בחרבות וברמחים. תני שמונה עשרה דבר גזרו ובשמונה עשרה רבו."

It was taught: R. Yehoshua taught, "The students of Beis Shamai stood bellow and were killing the students of Beis Hillel." It was taught: Six of them went up and the rest stood over them with swords and spears. It was taught: Eighteen decrees were enacted on that day...

As you see, everything goes, and if you need a majority of votes, you just ... I think it speaks for itself.

  1. So Rabbis' focus is put on argumentation for the sake of a specific Sugya in the discussion. Therefore every Sugya takes a different path - some take things for granted, some rely on common logic, some on common knowledge, some on tradition, some on Asmachtot from the Torah etc. Pretty much randomly.

Sorry to break the myths. I would love to be proven wrong, but -1s just don't cut. So if you want to help please argument.

  • 5
    I don't know what with the downvotes but I observe that answers without sources don't do well. I saw by coincidence (on this SEDE query, run it then click on average score in results) that your average answer score is negative. You are the only one in top 100 users to be like this. Maybe it is time to play more by the rules of the game, and invest more in less questions. I'm not saying this as criticism, just making an observation, since I find it a pity that someone who knows a lot gets such reception – mbloch Feb 27 '19 at 17:56
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    FYI, if you keep arguing with people giving well-reasoned arguments why they gave a downvote to sourceless and easily disproven answers, eventually people will get tired of trying to repeatedly explain why something is wrong and just downvote it and move on. – Salmononius2 Feb 27 '19 at 18:33
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    Since you've failed to convince or "overcome" anybody with your arguments, according to your own system you must be wrong. – Heshy Feb 27 '19 at 20:02
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    Al, it is not the responsibility of anyone else to prove you wrong. You aren't "right until proven wrong". If nobody wants to bother talking to you they don't need to. They should still downvote wrong material in order to not let it mislead anyone. – Double AA Feb 27 '19 at 20:44
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    Generally on this site nobody downvotes for sourceless answers. True, they don't seem to upvote too much for sourceless answers, but that doesn't seem to invite mass downvotes. When an answer is downvoted this much, it usually means there is a general consensus that the answer is wrong or offensive. This answer is in fact both. It is certainly deserving of many downvotes. – user6591 Feb 28 '19 at 2:53

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