Friday, March 25, 2005

Tired-Taiku Theory

We munched on Myth-Moshol. We noshed on Nes-Nisayon. We wallowed in Weird-Wacky. Now its time to talk about Tired-Taiku.

Tired-Taiku (TT) is really more of an approach than a definitive answer. Teiku is actually roshei tevos for "Tishby Yetaretz Kushyas Ushailos" (Elijah will answer all questions). I have heard various discussions about what that means exactly, but in a contemporary setting, when someone says "Taiku is the answer", they generally mean one of the following:
  1. We have some reasonable answers, but no way of knowing which is correct, so lets just leave it.
  2. Any hope of finding any answer seems remote, so lets just leave it.
  3. I don't know enough about this topic, so lets just leave it.
  4. The obvious answer is clear, but we really don't like it, so lets just leave it.
  5. I can't be bothered to discuss this anymore, so lets just leave it.
  6. I don't want to to discuss this at all, so lets just leave it.
  7. This is not worth discussing, so lets just leave it.
  8. For some unrelated reason, I don't wish to answer right now, so lets just leave it.

For example, your average yeshivah bochur, after only a few moments on a science vs torah discussion will lose patience and say "Why do you bother with all this stuff anyway ! Just go learn a daf Gemoroh and forget about it, It has no practical halachic ramifications anyway. Lets just say taiku !". (True Story). Probably a 5 or 7 above.

When Rav Mattisyahu Solomon says "Taiku is an answer", he probably means to say that "I don't really know enough about it, the science seems pretty strong but I cannot possibly take Torah non literally, so lets not go there" i.e. Number 2 above. He may also mean 3 above, or maybe 6.

So is Tired-Taiku the correct answer to questions of Science & Torah ?

Taiku V8 !