או דלמא [ידיעה] דההוא ב"ד דהורו בעינן תיקו
Or perhaps, for liability we require the awareness of the same court that issued the ruling, and that court no longer exists. The Gemara concludes: The dilemma shall stand unresolved.
אמר רבי יונתן מאה שישבו להורות אין חייבין עד שיורו כולן שנאמר (ויקרא ד, יג) ואם כל עדת ישראל ישגו עד שישגו כולן [עד שתפשוט הוראה בכל עדת ישראל] אמר רב הונא בריה דרב הושעיא הכי נמי מסתברא דבכל התורה כולה קיי"ל רובו ככולו והכא כתי' כל העדה הואיל וכך אפילו הן מאה
§ Rabbi Yonatan says: Even in the case of one hundred judges who convened to issue a ruling and erred, they are not liable to bring an offering unless they all issue that ruling, as it is stated with regard to liability to bring the offering: “And if the entire assembly of Israel shall act unwittingly” (Leviticus 4:13). From the term “entire” it is derived that the judges are not liable until they all act unwittingly, and the ruling must disseminate and be adopted throughout the entire assembly of Israel, i.e., the Sanhedrin. Rav Huna, son of Rav Hoshaya, said: So too it is reasonable to conclude this, as throughout the entire Torah we maintain the principle: The legal status of the majority of an entity is considered like all of that entity, and here: “The entire assembly,” is written. Since it is so, a majority does not suffice. Even if they are one hundred judges, they are liable only if the erroneous ruling was unanimous.
[תנן] הורו ב"ד וידע אחד מהן שטעו או תלמיד וראוי להוראה והלך ועשה על פיהם בין שעשו ועשה עמהן ובין שעשו ועשה אחריהן ובין שלא עשו ועשה ה"ז חייב מפני שלא תלה בב"ד
We learned in the mishna: If the court issued that ruling, and one of the judges knew that they erred, despite the fact that the majority ruled against his opinion, or if he was a student and was qualified to issue halakhic rulings, and that judge or student proceeded and performed that transgression on the basis of the court’s ruling, then whether the judges performed the transgression and he performed it with them, or whether the judges performed the transgression and he performed it after them, or whether the judges did not perform the transgression and he performed it alone, in all these cases the judge or the student is liable to bring an offering. This is due to the fact that he did not associate his action with the ruling of the court.
האי הוא דחייב הא אחר פטור ואמאי הא לא נגמרה הוראה הכא במאי עסקינן כגון שהרכין ההוא אחד מהן בראשו
The Gemara notes that one may infer: It is this judge or student who is liable, but another who acts on the basis of the ruling of the court is exempt. But why would he be exempt? The ruling is not completed if it is not unanimous. The Gemara answers: What are we dealing with here? We are dealing with a case where the one dissenting judge among them bowed his head and indicated his agreement with the remaining judges.
ת"ש הורו ב"ד וידע אחד מהן שטעו ואמר להן טועין אתם הרי אלו פטורים טעמא דאמר להן טועין אתם דפטורים הא שתיק מישתק חייבין וגמר לה הוראה ואמאי והא לא הורו כולן אמרי ה"נ כגון שהרכין בראשו
The Gemara suggests: Come and hear proof from a mishna (4b): If the court issued a ruling, and one of the judges knew that they erred and he said to them: You are mistaken, they are exempt. One may infer: The reason that they are exempt is that the judge said to them: You are mistaken. But if he was silent, they are liable, and the ruling is complete. And why, according to Rabbi Yonatan, would they be liable? But isn’t it so that not all of them issued the same ruling? The Sages say in response: So too here, it is a case where the dissenting judge bowed his head.
מתיב רב משרשיא סמכו רבותינו על דברי רשב"ג ועל דברי ר"א בר' צדוק שהיו אומרים אין גוזרין גזירה על הצבור אלא א"כ רוב הצבור יכולין לעמוד בה
Rav Mesharshiyya raises an objection to the statement of Rabbi Yonatan from a baraita: Our Sages relied on the statement of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel and on the statement of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Tzadok, who would say: One does not issue a decree upon the congregation unless the majority of the congregation is able to withstand it.
ואמר רב אדא בר אבא מאי קרא (מלאכי ג, ט) במארה אתם נארים ואותי אתם קובעים הגוי כולו והא הכא דכתי' הגוי כולו ורובא ככולא דמי תיובתא דר' (יוחנן) [יונתן] תיובתא
And Rav Adda bar Abba said: What is the verse from which this principle is derived? It is derived from the verse: “With the curse you are cursed, yet you rob Me, the entire nation” (Malachi 3:9). The verse is referring to the oath taken by the entire people to observe the halakhot of tithes, and they violated those halakhot. But here it is written: “The entire nation,” and yet, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel and Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Tzadok, relied on this verse to derive that the legal status of the majority of an entity is like that of the entire entity, and therefore if a majority of the congregation can withstand the decree the court may issue it. The Gemara concludes: The refutation of the opinion of Rabbi Yonatan is indeed a conclusive refutation.
ואלא מאי כל עדת דקאמר רחמנא ה"ק אי איכא כולם הויא הוראה ואי לא לא הויא הוראה
The Gemara asks: Rather, now that Rabbi Yonatan’s opinion has been refuted, what is derived from the phrase “the entire assembly” that the Merciful One states? This is what it is saying: If there are all the judges present and they issue that ruling based on the majority, it is a ruling, and if not, it is not a ruling.
אמר רבי יהושע י' שיושבין בדין קולר תלוי בצואר כולן פשיטא הא קמ"ל דאפילו תלמיד בפני רבו
With regard to a court session Rabbi Yehoshua says: When there are ten judges who sit in judgment, the chain [kolar] placed around the neck of the person taken to his punishment is suspended around the neck of all of them, i.e., they are all responsible for the decision. The Gemara asks: Isn’t this obvious? The Gemara answers: This teaches us that even a student before his teacher may not be silent in deference to his teacher, as he bears responsibility for an erroneous ruling.
רב הונא כי הוה נפיק לבי דינא מייתי עשרה תנאי דבי רב לקמיה כי היכי דנימטיין שיבא מכשורא רב אשי כי הוו מייתי טרפתא לקמיה מייתי עשרה טבחי ממתא מחסיא ומותיב קמיה אמר כי היכא דנימטיין שיבא מכשורא:
The Gemara relates: Rav Huna, when he would go out to the court to sit in judgment, would bring ten tanna’im, i.e., people who recited mishnayot and baraitot in the study hall, to sit before him and serve as partners in judgment with him. He said: I do this so that we will each receive a splinter from the beam, i.e., each of us will bear only a small part of the responsibility. The Gemara relates on a similar note: Rav Ashi, when they would bring a slaughtered animal before him to determine whether or not it was a tereifa, would bring ten slaughterers from Mata Meḥasya and sit them before him while rendering his decision. He said: I do this so that we will each receive a splinter from the beam.
מתני׳ הורו ב"ד וידעו שטעו וחזרו בהן בין שהביאו כפרתן ובין שלא הביאו כפרתן והלך ועשה על פיהן ר' שמעון פוטר ור' אלעזר אומר ספק איזהו ספק ישב לו בתוך ביתו חייב הלך לו למדינת הים פטור
MISHNA: In a case where the judges of the court issued an erroneous ruling and they discovered that they erred and reversed their decision, whether they brought their atonement offering for their erroneous ruling or whether they did not bring their atonement offering, and an individual who was unaware of the new ruling proceeded and performed a transgression on the basis of their first ruling, Rabbi Shimon deems him exempt from bringing an offering, and Rabbi Elazar says: There is uncertainty with regard to his status and he is liable to bring a provisional guilt-offering. Which is the case of uncertainty for which one is liable to bring a provisional guilt-offering? If one sat inside his house and performed the transgression he is liable to bring a provisional guilt-offering, as he could have learned of the change in the court’s ruling. If he went to a country overseas and is relying on the initial ruling, he is exempt.
אמר רבי עקיבא מודה אני בזה שהוא קרוב לפטור מן החובה אמר לו בן עזאי מאי שנא זה מן היושב בביתו שהיושב בביתו אפשר היה לו שישמע וזה לא היה לו אפשר שישמע
Rabbi Akiva said: I concede in that case of one who went overseas that he is closer to exemption than he is to liability. Ben Azzai said to him: In what way is this person who went overseas different from one who sits in his house? Rabbi Akiva said to him: The difference is that with regard to one who sits in his house it would have been possible for him to hear of the court’s reversal, but with regard to that person who went overseas, it would not have been possible for him to hear of the court’s reversal.
הורו ב"ד לעקור את כל הגוף אמרו אין נדה בתורה אין שבת בתורה אין עבודת כוכבים בתורה הרי אלו פטורין הורו לבטל מקצת ולקיים מקצת הרי אלו חייבין
The mishna explains for which type of unwitting transgression based on the ruling of the court there is liability to bring an offering. In a case where the judges of the court issued an erroneous ruling to abolish the entire essence of a mitzva, not only a detail thereof, e.g., they said: There is no prohibition against engaging in intercourse with a menstruating woman written in the Torah, or there is no prohibition against performing prohibited labor on Shabbat written in the Torah, or there is no prohibition against engaging in idol worship written in the Torah, these judges are exempt, as this is an error based on ignorance, not an erroneous ruling. If the judges issued a ruling to nullify part of a mitzva and to sustain part of that mitzva, these judges are liable.
כיצד אמרו יש נדה בתורה אבל הבא על שומרת יום כנגד יום פטור
How so? An example of this is if the judges said: There is a prohibition against engaging in intercourse with a menstruating woman written in the Torah, but one who engages in intercourse with a woman who observes a clean day for a day she experiences a discharge is exempt. When the woman sees a discharge of blood for one or two days during the eleven days between the end of one menstrual period and the expected start of another, the blood is assumed to not be menstrual blood. If after the second day, the next day passes without any discharge of blood, she may immerse immediately and she is ritually pure. The judges ruled erroneously that it is permitted to engage in intercourse with her on the day that she is observing a clean day, even without the day having passed and her having immersed.
יש שבת בתורה אבל המוציא מרה"י לרה"ר פטור
Another example is if they said: There is a prohibition against performing prohibited labor on Shabbat written in the Torah, but one who carries out objects from the private domain to the public domain is exempt.
יש עבודת כוכבי' בתור' אבל המשתחוה פטור הרי אלו חייבין שנא' (ויקרא ד, יג) ונעלם דבר דבר ולא כל הגוף:
Another example is if they said: There is a prohibition against engaging in idol worship written in the Torah, but one who bows to the idol but does not sacrifice an offering is exempt. In all of these cases, these judges are liable, as it is stated: “And the matter is hidden” (Leviticus 4:13), from which it is derived that there is liability only if a matter, a single detail, is hidden, but not if the entire essence of a mitzva is hidden.
גמ׳ אמר רב יהודה אמר רב מ"ט דר"ש הואיל וברשות ב"ד הוא עושה איכא דאמרי אמר רב יהודה אמר רב אומר היה ר"ש כל הוראה שיצאה ברוב צבור יחיד העושה אותה פטור לפי שלא ניתנה הוראה אלא להבחין בין שוגג למזיד
GEMARA: The mishna teaches that Rabbi Shimon deems exempt one who performed a transgression on the basis of the initial ruling of the court even though the court reversed its ruling. Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: What is the reason for the statement of Rabbi Shimon? The reason is since it is with the permission of the court that he performs the transgression, he is exempt. Some say there is a different version of the statement cited by Rav Yehuda: Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: Rabbi Shimon would say: Concerning any ruling that disseminated to the majority of the congregation, even if the court later reversed that decision, an individual who performs a transgression based on the first ruling is exempt, because a ruling is given only to distinguish between unwitting and intentional acts. One who performs an action on the basis of that ruling is unwitting, as he associated his action with the court, and he is unaware that the court reversed its decision.
מיתיבי פר העלם דבר של צבור ושעירי עבודת כוכבים בתחלה גובין עליהן דברי ר"ש ר' יהודה אומר מתרומת הלשכה הן באין אמאי כיון דגבי להו הוי ליה הודע
The Gemara raises an objection from a baraita: For a bull brought for an unwitting communal sin, and for goats brought for the unwitting violation of the prohibition of idol worship, the Temple treasury collects money from the congregation to pay for the offerings from the outset, i.e., a collection undertaken specifically for that offering; this is the statement of Rabbi Shimon. Rabbi Yehuda says: The money for purchasing these offerings comes from the funds of the collection of the Temple treasury chamber, just like the money for purchasing all other communal offerings. According to Rabbi Shimon, why is this person exempt? Since they collect money specifically for each of these communal sin-offerings, the transgression is for him one that became known, as he presumably heard about the collection, and he should be liable because he is aware of the reversal in the court’s ruling.
איבעית אימא כגון שגבו סתם
The Gemara answers: If you wish, say that the reference in the mishna is to a case where they collected the money without specification. Therefore, he was unaware of the reversal of the court’s ruling.
ואב"א כגון דלא הוה ליה במתא
And if you wish, say instead that the reference in the mishna is to a case where the person was not in the city. Therefore, he was unaware of the collection of the funds and unaware of the reversal of the ruling of the court.
ואיבעית אימא רב כאידך תנא סבר דתניא איפכא בתחילה גובין להן דברי רבי יהודה ר"ש אומר מתרומת הלשכה הן באין
And if you wish, say instead that Rav holds in accordance with the opinion of the other tanna who cited the dispute between Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Yehuda, as it is taught in a baraita with the attribution of the opinions reversed: The Temple treasury collects money from the congregation to pay for the offerings from the outset; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Shimon says: The money for purchasing these offerings comes from the funds of the collection of the Temple treasury chamber. According to Rabbi Shimon’s opinion in this baraita, it is possible that the transgressor remained unaware that the court reversed its decision.
תני ר"מ מחייב ור"ש פוטר ר"א אומר ספק משום סומכוס אמרו תלוי אמר ר' יוחנן אשם תלוי איכא בינייהו
Apropos this topic, it is taught in a baraita: If an individual performed a transgression on the basis of the original ruling of the court after the court reversed its ruling, Rabbi Meir deems him liable to bring a sin-offering and Rabbi Shimon deems him exempt. Rabbi Elazar says: There is uncertainty with regard to his status. In the name of Sumakhos, the Sages said: His status is suspended and remains uncertain. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: It is with regard to a provisional guilt-offering that there is a practical difference between the opinion of Rabbi Elazar and the opinion of Sumakhos. According to Rabbi Elazar, he is liable to bring a provisional guilt-offering, whereas according to Sumakhos the question of his liability is suspended, and he does not bring a provisional guilt-offering.
א"ר זירא משל דר"א למה הדבר דומה לאדם שאכל ספק חלב ספק שומן ונודע לו שמביא אשם
Rabbi Zeira says: There is an analogy to illustrate the opinion of Rabbi Elazar. To what is this matter comparable? It is comparable to a person who ate a piece of fat with regard to which there is uncertainty whether it is forbidden fat and uncertainty whether it is permitted fat, and he thought that he was eating permitted fat. And he later became aware that there is uncertainty whether he unwittingly ate fat for which one is liable to receive karet if he ate it intentionally, as in this case he is liable to bring a provisional guilt-offering. In the case in the baraita too, when he later discovered that the court reversed its ruling, it is like one who is uncertain whether he associated his action with the court or associated his action with himself.