More Discussions for this daf
1. Judging the Bet Din 2. A Hadran 3. Ruling of Rambam against Mishnah
4. Rambam, Hilchos Shegagos 5. Beis Din 6. Shitas Chachamim
7. Eating Chelev Relying on Beis Din 8. Yachid she'Asah Al Hora'as Beis Din

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu asked:

I understand that a chacham can decide if the Bet Din has erred. If he knows it erred but nevertheless goes by its decision to allow something forbidden, he is guilty. But in the Torah we are commanded that we must follow decisions, even if we are told "left is right and right is left". In Horayot, the chacham is deciding whether to follow the bet din or not, thereby putting himself above the bet din. Please clarify.

Shvua tov,

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, Bet Yatir Israel

Shmuel Katz asked:

Our Mishna states that if the individual knew the the Psak of Bet Din was wrong, and yet follows their Psak, he is liable.

Yet we see many cases in Shas that individuals are forced to follow the majority, Rov, and do things that they feel is Asur. In these cases the individual knew the Bet Din was wrong, and yet we see it is a Mitzvah to follow them.

1 - Bava Metziah 59B, R. Eliezer Ben Horkanis, and the oven

2 - Rosh Hashana 25B, and the debate as to which day is Yom Kippur.

Are we to say that our Mishna is referring to a case , where the individual did not share his information with the Bet Din. But had he shared his information, and they don't accept it. Then he is obligated to follow the Bet Din, even though it is against his beliefs ?

Thank You,

Shmuel Katz

Aurel Littmann asked:

how could beis din err? did they not have daas torah that would have prevented them from erring?

The donkey of a rabbi would not eat food that was not tithed...certainly these rabbis?

many stories are said of R. Moshe how he did not err in *matiring agunos....where it was easy to err as people got separated during the war...but he had siyato d'shmayo.

What is the halacha of lo sosuru min... where if the rabbis tell you something that you may not fully understand, still follow the first mishnah in horeyos ... if one suspects that the beis din paskened wrong he should not follow them!?

Does the first mishnah show that we don't have a concept of papal infalibility? But, again...when is one to follow daas torah?

The Kollel replies:

Let us first refer to the words of the RAMBAN in Sefer ha'Mitzvos la'Rambam, Shoresh Rishon:

"And one who transgresses the words of the Sanhedrin of his generation, and relies on his own opinion, has transgressed this Lo Sa'aseh (of Lo Sasur) and this Aseh. Even if Beis Din is divided on the issue, we follow the majority as it it is said in Sanhedrin 88.... And one who transgresses and relies on his own opinion is a Zaken Mamrei... and this is what is said in the verse regarding one who acts 'b'Zadon' not to heed the Kohen. For the Written Torah which was given to us by Moshe Rabeinu A"H clearly will not be understood in the same way by each person, and therefore Hash-m decreed that we follow the Sanhedrin in whatever they say, whether they have received the interpretation through transmission or whether they interpret the Torah as they understand it, for the Torah was given according to the understanding of the Sanhedrin.

"And this is what is written in the Sifri: 'Even if they tell you regarding right that it is left.' For that is the Mitzvah of the Giver of the Torah -- that a dissenter should not say, 'I shall permit this to myself for I know clearly that they are mistaken,' for we will reply to him, 'It is this that you are commanded (i.e. to follow the Torah according to the Sanhedrin's interpretation), as Rebbi Yehoshua conducted himself with Raban Gamliel on the Yom Kipur of the latter's calculation, as related in the Gemara in Rosh Hashanah.

"However, there is a contingency, as can be seen in the Gemara in Horayos 2, which is that if there was in the time of the Sanhedrin a scholar who had reached the level of Hora'ah and the Sanhedrin ruled to allow an Isur, and this scholar thinks that they have made a mistake, he may not listen to them and be lenient with himself, but rather he should observe the stringency with regard to his own conduct, and surely if he was actually a member of the Sanhedrin... he must come before them and voice his objections, and if they all agreed to dismiss his objection and his reasoning, he must then follow their ruling."

We do not believe in infallibility, nor do we believe in the pope. Tosfos throughout Shas (Shabbos 12b, Gitin 7a, Yevamos 99b, etc.) says in the name of Rabeinu Tam that "Ein ha'Kadosh Baruch Hu Meivi Takalah Al Yedeihem" applies only to where the Chacham himself eats something Asur, but not with regard to a ruling that a Chacham makes for someone else. Anywhere the Gemara cites this principle with regard to a mistake, Rabeinu Tam changes the Girsa.

As for the rulings regarding Agunos, although in general there is Siyata d'Shemaya in any Psak and a mistake is rare, the Agunah situation is something else entirely. If the husband were to arrive, it would not be because the Rav erred; the Rav ruled in accordance with the Torah. Still, it would be possible that the husband is actually alive. For that Rav Moshe says that there is a Siyata d'Shemaya that nothing should go wrong with a correct Psak. Here, in contrast, we are talking about a mistaken Psak.

D. Zupnik