Briskers are very adamant that there cannot be a machloket bemetziut, a dispute about realia in the Gemara (or for that matter Rishonim). After all – they should have just checked and resolved the dispute! However, it has always seemed to me that this is unlikely. Real people, lay people, jurists, poskim, secular judges, all dispute reality and that effects how they live or establish law. Why should Chazal be different?
The main sugya that usually indicate that there can be a dispute about reality is found in several places(ex. Pesachim 22a):yesh begiddin binoten taam or ein begiddin binoten taam – do tendons have taste? The implications of this relate to kashrut issues of the gid hanasheh. The simple understanding of this dispute is that this is a dispute about reality. The Maharam Chalavah, however, argues that everyone agrees that it has a weak taste – the dispute is one of standards – how strong does a taste have to be to be legally “taste”? He clearly accepted the Brisker claim. However, many Rishonim did not. Continue reading Can There Be a Machloket About Reality?