Authority, Politics and Pluralism: Behind the Scenes of the Rabbinic Intellectual Revolution
There was another incident involving one gentile who came before Shammai and said to Shammai: Convert me on condition that you teach me the entire Torah while I am standing on one foot. Shammai pushed him away with the builder’s cubit in his hand. This was a common measuring stick and Shammai was a builder by trade. The same gentile came before Hillel. He converted him and said to him: That which is hateful to you do not do to another; that is the entire Torah, and the rest is its interpretation. Go study.
Beit Shammai say, "No man shall divorce his wife, unless he found in her unchaste behaviour, as it is stated [Deuteronomy 24:1], 'Because he found in her 'ervat davar' [unchaste behavior].'" Beit Hillel say, "Even if she spoiled his food, because it is said, ervat davar". Rabbi Akivah says, "Even if he found another [woman] prettier than her, as it is stated [ibid.] 'If it happen that she does not find favor in his eyes.'"
תני רב יחזקאל עשה כדברי בית שמאי עשה כדברי בית הלל עשה רב יוסף אמר עשה כדברי בית שמאי לא עשה ולא כלום
Rav Yeḥezkel taught: One who acted in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai has acted appropriately and is not in violation of the halakha. One who acted in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel acted appropriately as well. According to this opinion, Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai agree that one who acted in accordance with the opinion of the other fulfilled his obligation. Although the halakha was ruled in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel, Beit Hillel would agree that one who acted in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai fulfilled his obligation. However, Rav Yosef said: One who acts in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai has done nothing
אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵלּוּ אוֹסְרִין וְאֵלּוּ מַתִּירִין, אֵלּוּ פּוֹסְלִין וְאֵלּוּ מַכְשִׁירִין, לֹא נִמְנְעוּ בֵּית שַׁמַּאי מִלִּשָּׂא נָשִׁים מִבֵּית הִלֵּל, וְלֹא בֵית הִלֵּל מִבֵּית שַׁמַּאי. כָּל הַטָּהֳרוֹת וְהַטֻּמְאוֹת שֶׁהָיוּ אֵלּוּ מְטַהֲרִין וְאֵלּוּ מְטַמְּאִין, לֹא נִמְנְעוּ עוֹשִׂין טָהֳרוֹת אֵלּוּ עַל גַּבֵּי אֵלּוּ:
Even though these [one school] prohibit and these [the other school] permit, these disqualify and these allow, Beit Shammai did not refrain from marrying women from Beit Hillel, nor did Beit Hillel [refrain from marrying women] from Beit Shammai. [With regard to] purity and impurity where these ruled [a matter] pure and these ruled [it] impure, they did not refrain from using [utensils] the other deemed pure.
And these are the rulings that were made when the Rabbis were convened in the attic of Hanania b. Hizkiya b.Garon, when they went to visit him and voted and Bet Shammai had a majority over Bet Hillel. Eighteen rulings were decreed on that day
אותו היום היה קשה לישראל כיום שנעשה בו העגל... תנא ר' יהושע אונייא תלמידי ב"ש עמדו להן מלמטה והיו הורגין בתלמידי ב"ה. תני ששה מהן עלו והשאר עמדו עליהן בחרבות וברמחים.
That day was as severe for Israel as the day in which the Golden Calf was made...
R. Yehosua Oniya said: The disciples of Bet Shammai stood at the entrance and were killing the disciples of Bet Hillel.
We learned: Six of them went up to the attic to vote, and the rest stood over the disciples of Bet Hillel with swords and spears.
המקום שבו אנו צודקים
מן המקום שבו אנו צודקים,
לא יצמחו לעולם
המקום שבו אנו צודקים
הוא רמוס וקשה
אבל ספקות ואהבות עושים
את העולם לתחוח
כמו חפרפרת, כמו חריש.
ולחישה תישמע במקום
שבו היה הבית
The Place Where We Are Right
by Yehuda Amichai
From the place where we are right
Flowers will never grow
In the spring.
The place where we are right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard.
But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard
in the place
Where the ruined
House once stood.