New answers tagged tannaim
It was R' Masya ben Charash. The Tanchuma (Chukas) relates the story you mention, except it says that he burned his eyes (he didn't stab them). The story is related in the Hebrew Wikipedia article (fn. 14).
Rabbi S.R. Hirsch writes that the story cannot be understood like this, because then the vote would be meaningless. He explains that Beis Hillel had been refusing a formal vote, and Beis Shammai on that day gathered outside the building and forcefully prevented Beis Hillel from leaving until a vote was held. Beis Hillel were the majority, but Beis Shammai ...
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