Date: Jul 27, 2006 1:01 PM
Author: Toni Lassila
Subject: Re: Skepticism, mysticism, Jewish mathematics

On 27 Jul 2006 09:34:28 -0700, "Craig Feinstein" <>

>If you look at Jewish Talmudic sources, you'll see that rigorous and
>sophisticated mathematics was never really so high on the list of
>priorities for the rabbis.

This claim, like many by Craig Feinstein, is dubious:

Game theoretic analysis of a bankruptcy problem from the Talmud

Robert J. Aumann and Michael Maschler

The Hebrew University, 91904, Jerusalem, Israel


For three different bankruptcy problems, the 2000-year old Babylonian
Talmud prescribes solutions that equal precisely the nucleoli of the
corresponding coalitional games. A rationale for these solutions that
is independent of game theory is given in terms of the Talmudic
principle of equal division of the contested amount; this rationale
leads to a unique solution for all bankruptcy problems, which always
coincides with the nucleolus. Two other rationales for the same rule
are suggested, in terms of other Talmudic principles. (Needless to
say, the rule in question is not proportional division).