The Talmud Makkot 16a records the following exchange:

א"ר יוחנן אין לנו אלא זאת ועוד אחרת
א"ל ר' אלעזר היכא א"ל לכי תשכח נפק דק ואשכח

R' Yoḥanan said: [There are two mitzvot on this matter:] This one and another one.
R' Elazar said to R"Y: Which is that other mitzvah?
R"Y said to him: Find out for yourself!
R"E went out, examined the matter, and discovered the answer.

Is this a teaching that one must always check things out for oneself in matters of Torah, if one is capable, and not take anybody's word for it?

  • 1
    Or maybe the Rebbe just wanted his student to go put in some effort – DonielF Mar 13 at 17:30
  • Because rabbi Yochanan know that Rabbi Eleazar know this berayta – kouty Mar 13 at 20:47

I liked your conclusion, but the truth is it is not so complicated to find out the answer as you might think (I think the reason that you think it's hard is that you didn't quote the beginning of the conversation):

זה הכלל כל מצות לא תעשה שיש בה קום עשה אין חייבין עליה

as this is the principle: With regard to any prohibition that entails a command to arise and perform a mitzva, one is not liable to receive lashes for its violation. Rabbi Yoḥanan says: We have only this mitzva and another where one would be flogged if not for the relevant mitzva.

(as there are only 248 positive Mitzvos vs 365 negatives, it's easier to check through the positive) You take the 248 positive Mitzvahs and check if there's a negative Mitzvah against it. R"Y claimed there's only one besides the "sending the mother bird" - "With regard to a rapist who divorced the woman he raped"

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