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Proposal: Rambam

Mi Yodeya is already dedicated to Judaism, and even has a tag for the Rambam with 242 questions, ~80% of which have answers. Do we really need a dedicated site for this topic?

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    Yeah, seems like. – David Arenburg Oct 19 '15 at 10:54
  • @DavidArenburg, are you answering the question or its title? They have opposite answers. – msh210 Oct 21 '15 at 18:30
  • @msh210 it's not OPs proposal, rather a proposal under discussion. The question and the title are the same - We don't need this additional site. – David Arenburg Oct 21 '15 at 19:55
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    @DavidArenburg, the question is "Do we really need a dedicated site for this topic?" and its title is "Isn't Rambam a subset of Mi Yodeya?". "Yeah" to the question (we really need a dedicated site) and "Yeah" to its title (it's a subset) are opposites. Thanks for clarifying your intent in your second comment; might I recommend you flesh out that answer in an answer post, below? – msh210 Oct 21 '15 at 20:09
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The current description of the proposed scope of Rambam.SE

Proposed Q&A site for people interested in halakhah from the Mishneh Torah, Yemenite Jewish customs, Dardaim, and a general Meqori approach to Judaism

looks clearly like a subset of the scope of Mi Yodeya

a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more

The community of experts on Judaism that Mi Yodeya exists for is meant to include subspecialists on various more specific topics and traditions within Judaism, and it does indeed include individuals who are particularly interested in, for example, Chassidism, Scripture, Kosher slaughter, and Yemenite traditions.

Thus, both the content and the expert community described here are, explicitly and in practice, welcome at Mi Yodeya.

The chief distinction, other than the more-restricted scope, between this proposed site and Mi Yodeya is the set of shared assumptions. Just as Mi Yodeya assumes that all answers are from the point of view of (or at least compatible with) Jewish tradition, Rambam.SE would assume that all answers are from the point of view of Maimonidean (/Yemenite/Meqori) Jewish tradition. This point of view is certainly welcome on Mi Yodeya, but a site founded specifically on this point of view would just as certainly host a different flavor of discourse than Mi Yodeya.

So, yes, the scope of the proposed site is a subset of that of Mi Yodeya, just as Signal Processing is a subset of Electrical Engineering. However, it's still possible that Rambam could attract a distinct community from that of Mi Yodeya and host content with a distinctly different focus and flavor.

Practically, though, I strongly suspect that it will be very difficult to bring together a critical mass of experts on Maimonidean Judaism who are interested in English-language online Q&A on this topic. The broader-scoped Mi Yodeya is just big and active enough to be a mature SE community after over five years of growth, thanks to the relatively low overlap of experts in Judaism in general with people interested in SE-style Q&A. The Area51 process will determine this, one way or the other.

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Yes, we certainly do. The world of Rambam studies and related topics are a discussion unto themselves that are in many ways highly specialized.

One of the reasons I proposed this site is because questions related to the Rambam, Mishneh Torah, etc. get clogged with arguments of what the Rambam "actually meant" in accordance with defective manuscripts, whether we "hold" or "posken" like the Rambam, and counter-assertions from the kabbalah.

This site would be with basic assumptions in place that all true scholars/students of the Rambam essentially agree upon. There would be no attacks, slights, dismissals, and other non-productive comments from those who follow more mainstream paths of Judaism. Even the methodology of halakhic application from the Rambam is fundamentally different.

Additionally, users would be free to question, criticize, or even deny the writings and practices of the kabbalah. They could do this, again, without the constant downvotes, backlash comments, and wasted productivity that comes with expressing such views on Mi Yodeya.

Again, YES. We definitely need a Rambam SE and NO this is not merely a subset of Mi Yodeya.

Thank you. Kol tuv.

  • 3
    How are you going to have not have "arguments of what the Rambam "actually meant" " on this site if your not able to do it on the existing site? – James Jenkins Oct 21 '15 at 16:59
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    "There would be no attacks, slights, dismissals, and other non-productive comments from those who follow more mainstream paths of Judaism." So is what you're saying that this SE site is not simply for studying Rambam, but rather for people who attempt to exclusively follow Rambam? – Daniel Oct 21 '15 at 17:22
  • @James Jenkins - Sure there would be such discussions, but it would be of a necessarily different character. I have had these discussions for years with Talmidhei HaRambam and they rarely become petty and slighted because (a) the mindset of meqori'im is different amd more open generally than yeshivah-trained types, and (b) the outcome of the discussion is not theoretical, but practical halakhah. Kol tuv. – user144551 Oct 21 '15 at 17:29
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    @Daniel - There are very few, if any, who "exclusively" follow the Rambam. Rather, it is more like "essentially" follow the Rambam. But, basically, yes. – user144551 Oct 21 '15 at 17:32
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    @Maimonist Do you think there are enough such people (or people who are interested in the topic) to support a full site? – Daniel Oct 21 '15 at 17:34
  • Yes, for sure. Just not sure how many of them are yet familiar with Stack Exchange. – user144551 Oct 21 '15 at 17:49
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    There is no reason any version/sect/community/stream of Judiasm can't ask on MY and specify in it that it seeks only responses accd to any given version/sect/community/stream of Judiasm or any set thereof (or any set of assumptions at all, in fact, though motivation for more unusual sets of them would improve the value and hence quality of the post to the general public). If someone does that, then all other content posted there is liable to be deleted. Hence, there is absolutely no need for this site. If we can handle Ashknazim and Sefardim (as SO handles C and JS), we can handle Rambamim too – Double AA Oct 22 '15 at 1:10
  • @DoubleAA - If you look at the breadth of SE sites, you will notice that there are general categories and then highly specific and specialized categories - that could conceivably fit within the broad ones - but yet they have their own sites. This is essentially what I am proposing. I would like to see specialized students and scholars focusing their energies on these specific types of issues. Whether or not MY can handle them is beside the point. As long as we are thinking that way, why do we have distinct sites for each religion? They should all be under one general Religion site, right? – user144551 Oct 22 '15 at 1:20
  • You could also make the argument that all of the various SE sites dealing with software coding and various platforms are superfluous and should rather be gathered together under on general computer sote with each coding language or other subject as tags within it. – user144551 Oct 22 '15 at 1:27
  • @Maimonist SE does condense sites a lot in order to maintain critical masses of experts. There are no C++ and Python sites. There are no mechanics and electrodynamics sites. No Sunni and Shiite. No Protestant and Catholic. Baking and frying. Algebra and geometry. Your proposal is a clear fit in Judaism, and that's where it should be. Topics that attract overlapping sets of experts deserve to be together. – Double AA Oct 22 '15 at 4:02
  • Well, I think MY should be deprived of the pleasure. Plus, if such an SE site did exist, it would surely attract users for whom MY holds no real interest. Lastly: Why do you care? Why are you so invested in keeping all Jewish things in MY? Anyway. Kol tuv. – user144551 Oct 22 '15 at 4:15
  • @Maimonist Keeping Judaism related things in Mi Yodeya keeps them easier to find on the internet. If someone wonders something about Rambam and searches Mi Yodeya finding nothing while there is a duplicate question on Rambam SE, that is wasted effort. – Daniel Oct 23 '15 at 15:22

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