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In terms of why they argue, the Arizal wrote that Beis Shammai embodied the characteristic of middas hadin, strict justice, whereas Beis Hillel embodied the attribute of middas harachamim, mercy. They had world-views which led to their manifold disputes, with B"S consistently falling on the side of stringency and B"H on the side of leniency. (It was once ...


3

The Iggeres HaRav Sherira HaGaon, a fabulous history of the Oral Torah and how it came to be written down in the Mishna and subsequently in the Gemara, speaks to this point. Rav Sherira (ca 900-1000 CE), who was one of the last heads of the Pumbedisa yeshiva, states that following the destruction of the Second Temple, the various rabbis and their students ...


2

Your premise is wrong, they do not argue in most places, in fact compared to the amount of things they agree on it is almost as if they do not argue about anything. For example in the example you brought they disagree about whether a person's objects are required to rest on Shabbos. They only disagree about this after they agree that: Melacha is Assur on ...


1

You asked: Why is it that the Academies of Shammai and Hillel have contradictory opinions in most of the verses? Tosafos on Chagiga 16a "Yossi ben Yo'ezer" answers this by quoting a Yerushalmi that says that [for some unspecified reason, maybe related to upheaval and the proximity of the destruction of the Temple] the students of Shammai and Hillel ...



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