One of the questions on Mi Yodeya is:

I remember hearing that Rachel Imeinu was buried in kever Rachel, but was only there for one night and then she went to Mearas Hamachpaila.

I can't remember in whose name it was said. Does anyone know a source for this?

YEZ posted this as an answer:

I would just point out that such a pshat would be arguing with Chazal on several accounts - The sifre says Yaakov did not bury Rachel in Maaras Hamachpela because he would have been embarrassed about being married to two sisters. The midrash in Bereishis Rabba (82) says that he buried her specifically there so that she would be on the route of their path into exile and pray for them.

So you are looking for someone going not with Chazal.

The question asks specifically for a source for a statement, and the answer provides precisely the opposite: an indication (with evidence) of what a source for the statement isn't (viz Chazal). So I deleted it as a non-answer; because it has good value toward answering the question, I converted into a comment on the question.

YEZ then pinged me with this comment:

I posted an answer to the question about Kever Rachel being moved. You deleted it, saying that it did not answer the question. I posted it as an answer after reading the "How to answer" section of the help page, which says "Any answer that gets the asker going in the right direction is helpful, but do try to mention any limitations, assumptions or simplifications in your answer." I think my answer pointed in a direction of a category of commentaries to look at.

The help page in question is "How do I write a good answer?", and YEZ is quoting accurately. The quoted line seems, indeed, to say that YEZ's answer is not worthy of deletion.

However, as far as I can tell we've always deleted similar answer posts, or converted them to comments on the question: answer posts that neither answer the question nor contradict an assumption of the question (which itself is a sort of answer) nor even indicate where one should look for an answer (though I think we convert those to commments also), but merely indicate what won't be an answer. That is, I think we've always contradicted that sentence of "How do I write a good answer?", to the extent it applies to answers of the sort YEZ posted.

Two questions, then:

  • Am I misremembering? Do we not, in fact, convert answers such as YEZ's (which only indicate what sort of thing isn't an answer) to comments?
  • Assuming I'm not misremembering, and our general practice runs counter to the help page, should we continue our current practice?
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    I would point out that I wasn't merely ruling out one source - I think my "answer" pointed to a group of commentaries that take a more liberal attitude towards arguing with Chazal. So it positively identified a group, although that group may have been not well defined in my answer. – Y     e     z Jan 30 '14 at 20:22
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    I think that this comment was helpful, but did not "get the asker going in the right direction." Pointing out two statements of Chazal that run counter to an idea certainly doesn't point explicitly in the direction of a commentary or class of commentaries, and I submit that it doesn't do so implicitly, either. For any given set of statements of Chazal, especially in the realm of Agada, there could easily be other statements of Chazal that are directly contradictory. So, this comment doesn't demonstrate that the answer must be a liberal commentator; it doesn't even rule out Chazal themselves. – Isaac Moses Jan 31 '14 at 15:00
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    ... In keeping with the concept that comments are ephemeral and not meant to be part of the permanent record, I think the appropriate thing to do with such content would be to incorporate it into the question, along the lines of "This would, of course, run contrary to the conventional notion that she remained interred at Kever Rachel, which is clearly the assumption of the following statements of Chazal." – Isaac Moses Jan 31 '14 at 15:03
  • @IsaacMoses not withstanding a debate of whether my answer did rule out or isolate a group of commentaries - would your suggestion be the course of action for the person with this observation, or should be a comment and left to the OP to edit in to his question? – Y     e     z Feb 11 '14 at 21:09
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    @YEZ The minhag in this community for an edit of that significance would generally be to comment first, see if OP responds with a comment or edit, and if not, then make the edit yourself. OTOH, if you feel like you can make the edit yourself without stepping on OP's intent, you can try doing that. – Isaac Moses Feb 11 '14 at 21:16

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