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I've heard a few times that in the times of Moshiach the Halacha will follow the opinion of Beis Shammai. What is the source and reasoning for this? Is it true? We will no longer follow Beis Hillel but follow Beis Shammai?

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All the sources quoted so far in the answers below are Achronim. Can anyone find an earlier source? –  Double AA Oct 17 '12 at 4:06

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The idea that the Halacha will be in accordance with Beis Shamai in the time of Moshiach comes from the Arizal. It is quoted in his name by Mikdash Melech to Zohar Parshas Bereishis 17b and in Likkutey Torah (Rabbi Shnuer Zalman of Liadi) Parshas Korach 54c. The Arizal interprets the Mishna in Pirkey Avos (5:19) that an argument for the sake of heaven such as that of Hillel and Shamai will endure; although now the Halacha is like Beis Hillel, the argument will endure as later the Halacha will be like Beis Shamai. An alternate source is Tosfos Chadashim at the beginning of Avos who brings this in the name of the Gaon of Nikolsburg.

There are two general explanations brought:

1) Mikdash Melech: Hillel represents kindness and Shammai severity (hence the rulings of Beis Hillel are almost always more lenient). When Moshaich comes the advantage of the severity will be revealed and therefore the halacha will be in accordance with Beis Shamai. [Based on this reason some say that this is only in cases where Bais Shamai are stricter].

2) Tosfos Chadashim: Bais Shmai comes from such a high level this present world is incapable of withstanding and only when Moshiach comes will we be able to follow their opinion. [It seems based on this reason we will follow all Beis Shamai's rulings, not only the stricter ones.]

The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains at length in his Kuntres "Torah Chadosha Me'Iti Teztzei" how the fact that the Halacha will change in accordance with Beis Shamai is consistant with the immutable nature of the Torah.

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The Rogachover Gaon I believe held only the chumros of Bais Shammai will be followed but not every shitta. –  sam Oct 17 '12 at 3:35
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Can you please include bio links where possible as some of these sources are pretty obscure? Also can you indicate which of the sources is earliest? –  Double AA Oct 17 '12 at 3:55

The Tosfos Chadashim (same author as Nezirus Shimshon, bio) in his introduction to Avos mentions this in the name of the av beis din of Nikolsburg.

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Who is Tosfos Chadashim? Do you have a bio link of some kind to include? I'm not seeing anything on he.wikipedia –  Double AA Oct 17 '12 at 3:56
    
@DoubleAA Actually, I just found an entry on him in Shem HaGedolim: pt. 2 letter nun note 1: books.google.com/… –  b a Oct 17 '12 at 4:14
    
How's that? Thank you for your effort. –  Double AA Oct 17 '12 at 4:31

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