In this short piece, R. Yosef Abramson recounts a conversation he had with the late Prof. Israel Ta-Shma three years ago. Ta-Shma had declared quite emphatically, starting with an article he published in 1980 (now reprinted in his Knesset Mehkarim) that the author was, in fact, R. Pinchas.
One of those who disagreed with Ta-Shma was Prof. Y. S. Spiegel, who wrote a rejoinder to Abramson's article. He describes the telephone conversation he had with Ta-Shma after his dissenting article appeared. After arguing back and forth for more than an hour, they agreed that it was impossible to reach a clear and unequivocal conclusion. "Then why", asked Ta-Shma, "did you write that my conclusion is untenable?"
That was, in fact, what Spiegel's article said. "From all of this it is apparent that Ta-Shma's conclusion has no basis". מכל אלה נראה שהשערתו של תא שמע אין לה על מה שתסמוך.
And this was the answer. The reason I have bothered blogging about this whole debate. Spiegel explained that what he himself had written was simply that the matter required further investigation. השערתו של תא שמע צריכה עוד לפנים. It was the editor who, finding this too meek, changed the wording.
Once, while still in yeshiva, I wrote an article relating to the week's Torah reading, and gave it to the editor of the yeshiva's in-house parsha sheet. The editor accepted it, but when I came to take a look at it before publication, I found that he had rewritten the entire conclusion. He thought my take on it was incorrect, and therefore saw it as his duty to change it. I was apoplectic. As luck would have it, the editor was green, and his immediate predecessor is a good friend of mine. So, with the application of moderate force, the editor backed down and my article was published with my own ideas in it.