Sanhedrin 88b:3סנהדרין פ״ח ב
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88bפ״ח ב

בן סורר ומורה שרצו אביו ואמו למחול לו מוחלין לו

The second matter is that in the case of a stubborn and rebellious son whose father and mother sought to forgive him for his gluttonous and drunken conduct and decided not to bring him to court, they can forgive him.

זקן ממרא שרצו בית דינו למחול לו מוחלין לו וכשבאתי אצל חבירי שבדרום על שנים הודו לי על זקן ממרא לא הודו לי כדי שלא ירבו מחלוקת בישראל תיובתא

The third is that in the case of a rebellious elder whom his court sought to forgive for his deviation from their ruling, they can forgive him. And when I came to my colleagues in the South, with regard to two of the cases they agreed with me, but with regard to a rebellious elder they did not agree with me, so that discord would not proliferate in Israel. This supports the opinion of Rabbi Elazar and is a conclusive refutation of the opinion of Rav Kahana.

תניא אמר רבי יוסי מתחילה לא היו מרבין מחלוקת בישראל אלא בית דין של שבעים ואחד יושבין בלשכת הגזית ושני בתי דינין של עשרים ושלשה אחד יושב על פתח הר הבית ואחד יושב על פתח העזרה ושאר בתי דינין של עשרים ושלשה יושבין בכל עיירות ישראל

It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yosei said: Initially, discord would not proliferate among Israel. Rather, the court of seventy-one judges would sit in the Chamber of Hewn Stone. And there were two additional courts each consisting of twenty-three judges; one would convene at the entrance to the Temple Mount, and one would convene at the entrance to the Temple courtyard. And all the other courts consisting of twenty-three judges would convene in all cities inhabited by the Jewish people.

הוצרך הדבר לשאול שואלין מבית דין שבעירן אם שמעו אמרו להן ואם לאו באין לזה שסמוך לעירן אם שמעו אמרו להם ואם לאו באין לזה שעל פתח הר הבית אם שמעו אמרו להם ואם לאו באין לזה שעל פתח העזרה

If the matter was unclear and it was necessary to ask and clarify it, those uncertain of the halakha would ask the court that is in their city. If the members of the court heard a clear halakhic ruling with regard to that matter, they said it to them, and if not, they would come to a court that is adjacent to their city. If the members of the court heard a clear halakhic ruling with regard to that matter, they said it to them, and if not, they would come to the court at the entrance to the Temple Mount. If the members of the court heard a clear halakhic ruling with regard to that matter, they said it to them, and if not, they would come to the court at the entrance to the Temple courtyard.

ואומר כך דרשתי וכך דרשו חבירי כך למדתי וכך למדו חבירי אם שמעו אמרו להם ואם לאו אלו ואלו באין ללשכת הגזית ששם יושבין מתמיד של שחר עד תמיד של בין הערבים

And the elder whose ruling deviated from the ruling of his colleagues says: This is what I interpreted and that is what my colleagues interpreted; this is what I taught and that is what my colleagues taught. If the members of the court heard a clear halakhic ruling with regard to that matter, they said it to them, and if not, these judges and those judges would come to the Chamber of Hewn Stone, where the Sanhedrin would be convened from the time that the daily morning offering is sacrificed until the time that the daily afternoon offering is sacrificed.

ובשבתות ובימים טובים יושבין בחיל נשאלה שאלה בפניהם אם שמעו אמרו להם ואם לאו עומדין למנין רבו המטמאים טמאו רבו המטהרין טהרו

And on Shabbatot and Festivals, when court is not in session, the members of the court would sit at the rampart. When a question was asked before them, if the members of the court heard a clear halakhic ruling with regard to that matter, they would say it to them, and if not they would stand for a vote on the matter. If the judges who deemed the item in question ritually impure outnumbered those who deemed it pure, the court would deem the item impure. If the judges who deemed the item in question ritually pure outnumbered those who deemed it impure, the court would deem the item pure.

משרבו תלמידי שמאי והלל שלא שמשו כל צרכן רבו מחלוקת בישראל ונעשית תורה כשתי תורות

From the time that the disciples of Shammai and Hillel grew in number, and they were disciples who did not attend to their masters to the requisite degree, dispute proliferated among the Jewish people and the Torah became like two Torahs. Two disparate systems of halakha developed, and there was no longer a halakhic consensus with regard to every matter.

משם כותבין ושולחין בכל מקומות כל מי שהוא חכם ושפל ברך ודעת הבריות נוחה הימנו יהא דיין בעירו משם מעלין אותו להר הבית משם לעזרה משם ללשכת הגזית

The baraita continues its discussion of the workings of the Sanhedrin: From there, the Sanhedrin writes and dispatches the following statement to all places: Anyone who is wise and humble and the minds of people are at ease with him shall be a judge in his city. If he is successful in his city, from there, they promote him to the court at the entrance to the Temple Mount if there is a vacant seat on the court, and from there they promote him to the court at the entrance to the Temple courtyard, and from there to the court in the Chamber of Hewn Stone.

שלחו מתם איזהו בן העולם הבא ענוותן ושפל ברך שייף עייל שייף ונפיק וגריס באורייתא תדירא ולא מחזיק טיבותא לנפשיה יהבו ביה רבנן עינייהון ברב עולא בר אבא:

Apropos the appointment of judges, the Gemara relates that they sent the following statement from there, i.e., Eretz Yisrael: Who is the one destined to receive a place in the World-to-Come? It is one who is modest and humble, who bows and enters and bows and exits, and who studies Torah regularly, and who does not take credit for himself. The Sages cast their eyes on Rav Ulla bar Abba, as they perceived him as the embodiment of all these characteristics.

חזר לעירו ושנה: ת"ר אינו חייב עד שיעשה כהוראתו או שיורה לאחרים ויעשו כהוראתו

The mishna teaches: If the rebellious elder returned to his city and he taught in the manner that he was teaching previously, he is exempt from punishment, unless he instructs others to act on the basis of his ruling. The Sages taught: He is not liable unless he acts in accordance with his ruling, or he instructs others and they act in accordance with his ruling.

בשלמא יורה לאחרים ויעשו כהוראתו מעיקרא לאו בר קטלא הוא והשתא בר קטלא הוא אלא שיעשה כהוראתו מעיקרא נמי בר קטלא הוא התינח היכא דאורי בחלב ודם דמעיקרא לאו בר קטלא הוא והשתא בר קטלא הוא אלא היכא דאורי בחייבי מיתות ב"ד מעיקרא נמי בר קטלא הוא

The Gemara challenges: Granted, if he instructs others and they act in accordance with his ruling there is a novel element in the fact that he is liable to be executed, as initially, before he was deemed a rebellious elder, he is not liable to receive the death penalty for instructing others to perform the transgression, and now, he is to receive the death penalty. But if he acts in accordance with his ruling, initially, before he was deemed a rebellious elder, he is also liable to receive the death penalty for performing that action. The Gemara clarifies the difficulty: This works out well in a case where he ruled with regard to forbidden fat and blood, as initially he would not have been liable to receive the death penalty; rather, he would have been liable to receive karet, and now he is liable to receive the death penalty. But in a case where he ruled with regard to a transgression for which one is liable to receive a court-imposed death penalty, initially, he is also liable to receive the death penalty.

מעיקרא בעי התראה השתא לא בעי התראה

The Gemara explains: There is a novel element even in a case where he acts in accordance with his ruling, as initially, before he is deemed a rebellious elder, he requires forewarning in order to be executed; now, he does not require forewarning in order to be executed.

מסית דלא בעי התראה מאי איכא למימר מעיקרא אי אמר טעמא מקבלינן מיניה השתא אי אמר טעמא לא מקבלינן מיניה:

The Gemara asks: If the rebellious elder’s ruling was with regard to one who instigates others to engage in idol worship, who does not require forewarning, what is there to say? Both before and after he is deemed a rebellious elder he is executed without forewarning. The Gemara answers: Initially, before the rebellious elder ruled that instigating others to engage in idol worship is permitted, if after he instigated others, he stated a reason why he thought that it is permitted, we accept his explanation from him and exempt him. Now, after he issued the divergent ruling, if he stated a reason, we do not accept the explanation from him, since he already indicated that he holds that instigating others to engage in idol worship incitement is permitted and that is the reason that he engaged in instigation.

מתני׳ חומר בדברי סופרים מבדברי תורה האומר אין תפילין כדי לעבור על ד"ת פטור חמש טוטפות להוסיף על דברי סופרים חייב:

MISHNA: With regard to the rulings of the rebellious elder the mishna states: There is greater stringency with regard to traditional rabbinic interpretations of the Torah than with regard to matters of Torah. If one states: There is no mitzva to don phylacteries, and his intention is in order to have others violate matters of Torah, he is exempt from punishment as a rebellious elder. One who disputes matters written explicitly in the Torah is not considered an elder and a Torah scholar, and therefore does not assume the status of a rebellious elder. If, however, he disputed a matter based on rabbinic tradition, e.g., he stated that there should be five compartments in the phylacteries of the head, in order to add an extra compartment to the four established according to traditional rabbinic interpretations of the Torah, he is liable.

גמ׳ אמר ר' אלעזר אמר ר' אושעיא אינו חייב אלא על דבר שעיקרו מדברי תורה ופירושו מדברי סופרים ויש בו להוסיף ואם הוסיף גורע ואין לנו אלא תפילין אליבא דרבי יהודה

GEMARA: Rabbi Elazar says that Rabbi Oshaya says: One is liable only for issuing a ruling with regard to a matter whose essence, whose basic obligation, is from matters of Torah and whose explanation is from traditional rabbinic interpretations of the Torah and which includes the possibility to add to it, and if one added to it, one compromises his fulfillment of the mitzva and does not satisfy his obligation. And we have only the mitzva to don phylacteries that meets those criteria. And Rabbi Oshaya’s statement is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who says: A rebellious elder is liable only for a matter whose essence is from matters of Torah and whose explanation is from traditional rabbinic interpretations of the Torah.

והאיכא לולב דעיקרו מדברי תורה ופירושו מדברי סופרים ויש בו להוסיף ואם הוסיף גורע

The Gemara asks: But isn’t there the mitzva of lulav and the other species that one takes on the festival of Sukkot, whose essence is from matters of Torah, and whose explanation is from traditional rabbinic interpretations that establish the identity and the number of the four species enumerated in the Torah, and which includes the possibility to add other species to it, and if one added to it, one compromises his fulfillment of the mitzva and does not satisfy his obligation?

בלולב מאי סבירא לן אי סבירא לן דלולב אין צריך אגד האי לחודיה קאי והאי לחודיה קאי ואי סבירא לן דצריך אגד גרוע ועומד הוא

The Gemara rejects this possibility: That is not the case, as with regard to the mitzva of lulav, what do we hold? If we hold that fundamentally a lulav does not require binding of the species together in order to fulfill the mitzva, then adding an additional species is inconsequential, as these species with which he fulfills the mitzva stand alone and that additional species stands alone. It is as though he were holding the species of the mitzva and an additional unrelated item that does not affect fulfillment of the mitzva. And if we hold that a lulav requires binding of the four species together in order to fulfill the mitzva, fulfillment of the mitzva is already compromised from the outset. The rebellious elder is liable only when the object of the mitzva was as it should be and the addition compromised that object and disqualifies it. In this case, the object was never as it should be.

והאיכא ציצית דעיקרו מדברי תורה ופירושו מדברי סופרים ויש בו להוסיף ואם הוסיף גורע

The Gemara asks: But isn’t there the mitzva of ritual fringes, whose essence is from matters of Torah, and whose explanation is from traditional rabbinic interpretations that establish the number of fringes enumerated in the Torah and the number of threads in each fringe, and which includes the possibility to add fringes or threads to it, and if one added to it, one compromises his fulfillment of the mitzva and does not satisfy his obligation?

בציצית מאי סבירא לן אי סבירא לן דקשר העליון לאו דאורייתא האי לחודיה קאי והאי לחודיה קאי ואי סבירא לן

The Gemara rejects this possibility: That is not the case, as with regard to ritual fringes, what do we hold? If we hold that the upper knot is not mandated by Torah law, and one fulfills his obligation by placing the threads on the corner of the garment, these threads with which he fulfills the mitzva are independent and that additional thread is independent and does not compromise fulfillment of the mitzva. The additional string is not considered as joined to the required strings. And if we hold