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Inspired by this question ( SE Challenge: Halachot in which rulings range from permissible to Torah violation?) , I thought I'd go further. Can you think of any Halachoth whose rulings range from obligatory to a (Torah) prohibition?

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What do you mean by "Torah" (only mid'oraysa or just Torah as opposed to, e.g., New York State law), and what do you mean by your parentheses? –  msh210 Nov 25 '11 at 19:26
@msh210, I meant the former. The parentheses are to imply that it might be easier to find things that are prohibited MiDeRabanan, but +1 if it's MiDeOraitha. –  Seth J Nov 27 '11 at 5:59
Are you including talmudic arguments, or only contemporary ones? –  YDK Dec 30 '11 at 16:44
@YDK, I'm interested in all cases, but I'm particularly interested in cases that are still subject to dispute. –  Seth J Dec 30 '11 at 18:19
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3 Answers

Easy. Just take any halacha whose rulings range from permissible to forbidden and have a parent ask you to do it.

For example: If a parent asked you to carry something on Shabbos within an eruv in a large city. One opinion would be that you must do it because of kibbud av v'em. The other opinion would say it's assur, and that you are required to disobey your parent.

The same would apply if a parent asked you to shave, smoke, or open an umbrella on Shabbos.

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+1, but accepting this is out of the question. This answer is (kind of) a cop out. –  Seth J Oct 4 '13 at 18:56
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One will certainly find posters in Israel claiming that it is both prohibited (Biblically?) to vote, and obligatory (Biblically?) to do so.

While you'll occasionally meet a Jew who refrains from consuming grain grown after last Passover (chadash/*yashan*), Rabbi Michel Shurkin is said to prohibit it in Israel as the risk of insect infestation is too high.

Similarly, applying oral suction after circumcision is something some communities consider obligatory, others ban for health reasons.

But all of these involve more considerations than a single point of dispute in halacha.

Many prohibit shaving on Chol HaMoed; Rabbi Joseph Soloveichik told those students who asked him, if they would follow his opinion, that they were obligated to do so out of honor for the holiday.

Of course the easiest way to find a bona-fide matter where the opinions range from prohibited to obligatory is where the obligation is overriding an otherwise-prohibited situation. The opening Mishna in Yevamot construes a case whereby the House of Shammai says this woman is obligated to either marry this man or perform a chalitza ceremony, with marriage being the Biblically-preferred choice. The House of Hillel maintains in such a case that marriage would be prohibited.

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+1 for tzaras habas. First thing I thought of when I read the question. –  Alex Nov 25 '11 at 20:54
IN Israel, everyone agrees that Chadash (grain planted after pesach) is forbidden. Even in chutz la'aretz, it is unreasonable to insist on eating something that almost all rishonim prohibit. –  Ariel K Dec 19 '11 at 3:49
Many of these topics are very controversial, which may make people exaggerate their claims for polemical reasons. E.g. I don't think the Torah discusses voting. –  Ariel K Dec 19 '11 at 3:51
+1 overall, especially the last paragraph. –  Seth J Dec 30 '11 at 18:17
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Following on Shalom's answer, any case where one principle is overriding another. If two people disagree as to whether an ailment requires driving to the hospital on Shabbat (or otherwise violating Shabbat or Yom Tov), that would put one side as: you must and the other as assur min hatorah. A borderline case of murder/idolatry/sexual immorality could have a machloket between "you must 'sin' to save your life" or "you must die rather than sin".

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Good answer. I think it must generally be a situation in which competing Halachoth need to be evaluated to determine which overrides which. –  Seth J Dec 30 '11 at 18:18
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