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Hava Amina

Those of you who study Talmud probably know this expression. Its usually used in logic/halachic discussions, broadly meaning the logical premise or assumption a person is working from. “He has a hava amina” means something like “he assumes” or “he might be thinking” but its used more in a positive or logical manner. Many religious Jews use this idea and expression even in regular life. Someone just pointed out to me that the idea behind the “hava amina” is the belief that everyone in a (Talmudic) discussion is looking for (halachic) truth, and acting in good faith, and therefore has a real basis for their beliefs and viewpoints, and its vital to understand where theyre coming from. I’ve known and used the expression for years, but never thought about it in these terms. I find this such a beautiful concept, and think it has really contributed to the “Jewish approach” to discussions, discourse, logic, philosophy and science. Just wanted to share.

submitted by /u/PlukvdPetteflet
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