Mathematical Reasoning and Its Discontents

In the course of preparing the previous post, I encountered this bizarre passage in the commentary to the mishnah of Rav Shimshon b. Avraham (the Rash) of Sens: ובני אדם חכמי המדות אמרו דכל מרובע ב’ קוים במרובע האלכסון שמודדין מדת רחבו ועושין מרובע כמדתו ומודדין מדת ארכו ועושין ריבוע כמדתו ומודדין מדת אלכסון ועושין […]

That Damned, Elusive π

We seek him here, we seek him there, Those Frenchies seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven? — Is he in hell? That damned, elusive Pimpernel The previous post featured Rav Ya’akov Gesundheit’s remarkable assertion that the true value of π is actually less than three, and we objected that irrespective of the mathematical inaccuracy, […]

That’s What He Meant, More Or Less

Update: As ER explains in a comment, I made a grave cognitive error in formulating this post; the תפארת יעקב clearly meant exactly what the text says, although my point about the Tosafos in Eruvin stands. We shall reconsider this topic at greater length in a subsequent post, בג”ה. In a recent comment on this […]