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59. 210 HAYM SOLOVEITCHIK dubious legal worth. But by massing them together, Ashkenazic scholars produced, with a few deft twists, a tenable, if not quite persuasive, case for the permissibility of suicide in times of religious persecution. 8 8. See reference in Katz, Bein Yehudim,p. 91, n. v. mutav, in Shittat ha-Qadmonim 'al 'Avodah Zarah, ed. Y. v. ha; Semaq Zurich (Jerusalem, 1973), Imp. 3, 6; Arugat ha-Bosem, ed. E. E. Urbach, I (Jerusalem, 1939), p. 122; Tosafot ha-Shalem al ha-Torah, ed.

17-18. 60. Ramban (Nahmanides) in his addenda to Maimonides' Sefer ha-Mitsvot, no. 17, and Maimonides, Sefer ha-Mitsvot, shoresh 14, cited in Bleich, ContemporaryHalakhic Problems, p. 16. There is some question among commentators whether the war against Amalek requires the intervention of the urim ve-tumim, but this appears to relate to Amalek as a symbol of evil rather than to the Amalekites as a specific nation. , pp. 16-18. 61. Bleich, "Preemptive War," pp. 28-29. 62. , p. 25. 200 GEOFFREY B.

2 Furthermore, detailed study will show that often the practices referred to were ones that were not under heavy economic or social pressure. A good many of the practices allowed by the tosafists certainly were products of such pressures (especially those in the areas of trade or business), but others were not at all. A few that were legitimized were even contrary to the material interests of the community. 3"Reinterpretation" actually is a misleading term. More accurately, one should ask what led them to read the Talmud, to perceive the Talmud, in a fashion which can only be construed as a justification I.

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