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The Shut Min Hashamayim was written by a Rishon in the time of Tosfos. He used to ask questions from Shamayim (Heaven) in a Sheilas Chalom (Dream Question) and write the answers down. Many of those questions are practical Halachic questions (for example, is the correct Tfillin Rashi or Rabbeinu Tam, etc).

How is this not a violation of Lo Bashamayim Hi (Torah is not in Heaven)?

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Who said he paskined like it? –  Double AA Mar 2 '12 at 19:21
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Your question would be much improved if it would explain what "lo bashamayim hi" means and is. –  msh210 Mar 2 '12 at 19:25
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@DoubleAA If there is no disclaimer in the book to not pasken like it, then you can assume that the book will be used by people who read it to come to a halachic conclusion. In which case the question is on the book, for not having a disclaimer. –  avi Mar 4 '12 at 6:56
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@DoubleAA A Disclaimer doesn't have to be a real disclaimer, just some hint in the text that it's not to be taken seriously. Given the time and place it was written, there is no reason to think it wasn't serious. –  avi Mar 4 '12 at 7:06
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The Radvaz supposedly answers this question, but I can't find the Teshuva. –  Hacham Gabriel Mar 6 '12 at 23:58
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1 Answer 1

I do not know what it says in the introduction of that book, however I would imagine that his explanation would go something like this.

The story of "Lo Bashamyim hi", exists in a very specific context. That context is a Beit Din arguing with one of the members of that Beit Din. That is, we have a situation, where a beit din is gathered, and they are making a ruling. In those contexts, the Shechinah is said to have descended upon the group. The Majority of that Beit Din are then given the authority to make a ruling, and Bat Kols are not a valid form of testimony to the beit Din.

However, the concept of "Lo Bashamayim hi", does not necessarily apply in a situation where there is no beit din, or there is no sanctioned method of testimony.

There are numerous examples in the Talmud, where a halacha is learned or passed down by eliyahu to a single individual, or through other form of knowledge gained from "the heavens". Never in any of those situations, do we argue "lo Bashamayim hi". The only time that argument is really made, or has any valdity is in a situation of a beit din, or a gathering and a strict vote, which is gathered from numerous talmid chachamim "sitting together" to discuss and come to a conclusion.

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