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The Vilna Gaon famously held that there is no proof from Chazal that the obligation of tefillin applies on Chol HaMo'eid. In Bi'ur HaGro on Shulchan Oruch Orach Chayyim 31:2:2, he refutes the most famous proofs that the obligation of tefillin does apply on Chol HaMo'eid. One of those proofs is a Mishno, namely Beitzoh 1:10. There are two versions of this Mishno - the Bavli version, which says:

"One may send clothes... provided they are necessary for the festival"

and the Yerushalmi version, which says:

"One may send clothes... even though they are not necessary for the festival."

All those that use this Mishno as a proof for the obligation to put on tefillin on Chol HaMo'eid use the Bavli version, and so to refute this as a proof, the Vilna Gaon says that the correct version is the Yerushalmi version.

It is well known that the Talmud Bavli has been preserved far better and is far more reliable with regards to different versions of texts than the Talmud Yerushalmi (see Tosfos on Yevomos 104a and Chovos Yo'ir 23:4).

So, my question is: Why does the Vilna Ga'on decide to use the Yerushalmi version of Beitzo 1:10 instead of the Bavli version?

  • The sub-section in chovas yair may not be real. – Dr. Shmuel May 30 '19 at 12:38
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    The halachos presented in the beginning of yerushalmi, kidushin 3.1 are unique to yerushalmi and thus brought in tur and Shulchan Aruch 35 – Dr. Shmuel May 30 '19 at 12:42
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    I don't think that is well known at all. – Double AA May 30 '19 at 12:49
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    Isn't he using it because he's arguing a certain position? I don't understand what you seek. – Double AA May 30 '19 at 12:50
  • Chovas yair does not seems to be referring to Mishnah text at all. And I don’t see reason to include it. – Dr. Shmuel May 30 '19 at 14:13
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Perhaps these two quotes from Mavo Hatalmud (33) could provide some insight.

Perhaps the Yerushalmi is an older version.

נשאר אצלנו לבאר ולדבר מענין חתימת המשנה והתלמוד, וכבר ידענו דסדר המשנה היה עוד קודם רבינו הקדוש ואמרו (שבת קכ״א ע״א) משנה זו בימי נחמי׳ בן חכליה נשנית, ראינו דכל המשניות בפ״ק דביצה, יבאו אלינו עוד מזמן נחמי׳ בן חכליה בתחלת בית שני בשעה שנאסר על ידו טלטול כלים בשבת,

Perhaps the Yerushalmi falls into this category, where Yerushalmi receives precedence.

וכן במאמרי התנאים אשר נזכרו בירושלמי להיפך מן הבבלי, אז גם בזה לירושלמי משפט הבכורה

Moreover, he differences in wording of אין and הן is understandable as being a scribe’s error. There is a similar phenomenon regarding the words אין and הן by the Mishna at the beginning of ch. 17 in Keilim.

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