There's something seemingly erratic in Heaven's behavior as reflected in the Gemmorah.

If "לא בשמים היא" and "אחרי רבים להטות" were established Heavenly Halachot why would G-d smile and state "My children have triumphed over Me" and why would he get angry with R"G and let R"E kill him?

And if both R"E and R"Y were right and Elu Ve'elu, how G-d can say "my left hand has beaten my right hand"? Isn't R"Y's view that of G-d also?

  • The link you made shows repeatedly that Rabbi Eliezer's view on several halachic questions was correct, even to the extent that he answered all questions about his view & after that even received Heavenly signs publicly that his views were correct, and yet the majority of Poskim, his contemporaries, didn't agree with him. That indicates that they were not vessels to receive his teaching. They didn't merit it. And G-d's system has dictated that the rule for us while in this world is to follow the majority view. The majority here has a temporary victory over G-d's true teaching. – Yaacov Deane Sep 25 '19 at 17:29
  • @YaacovDeane Are you implying that R"Y wasn't דברי א"ח and he was simply wrong? Like B"H isn't G-d's point? אחרי רבים isn't G-d's commandment? Does G-d admit "my right arm beats my left arm"? – Al Berko Sep 25 '19 at 17:33
  • This is more of an indication that what directs our course of action in this world is actually part of the process of our refinement from a defective state of being. When we merit to the true teaching, then we will understand what the leader of the generation gives. – Yaacov Deane Sep 25 '19 at 17:35
  • No, not making that implication. It's understanding what that concept is actually about. – Yaacov Deane Sep 25 '19 at 17:36
  • @YaacovDeane Sorry, you lost me, can you say it in English? I edited the question to include my last point. – Al Berko Sep 25 '19 at 17:39

The Sefer HaChinuch §496 explains, based on his premise that the reason we listen to the Sanhedrin is because if everyone paskened halacha for himself Judaism would fall apart very quickly, so it's better to have a central body which everyone follows, even if they're occassionally wrong, than everyone have their own version of Judaism:

אמרו שם אשכחה רבי נתן לאליהו וכו' אמר לה מאי עביד קדשא בריך הוא בההיא שעתא? אמר לה חיך ואמר נצחוני בני, כלומר שהיה הקדוש ברוך הוא שמח על שהיו בניו הולכים בדרך התורה ובמצותה להטות אחרי רבים, ומה שאמר נצחוני בני חלילה להיות נצחון לפניו ברוך הוא, אבל פרוש הדבר הוא על ענין זה, שבמחלקת הזה שהיתה לרבי אליעזר עם חבריו האמת היתה כרבי אליעזר וכדברי הבת קול שהכריעה כמותו, ואף על פי שהיה האמת אתו בזה, ביתרון פלפולו על חבריו לא ירדו לסוף דעתו, ולא רצו להודות לדבריו אפילו אחר בת קול, והביאו ראיה מן הדין הקבוע בתורה שצותנו ללכת אחרי הרבים לעולם, בין יאמרו אמת או אפילו טועים, ועל זה השיב הבורא ברוך הוא נצחוני בני, כלומר, אחר שהם נוטים מדרך האמת, שרבי אליעזר הוא היה מכוין בזה את האמת, והם באים עליו מכח מצות התורה שצויתים לשמע אל הרב לעולם, אם כן על כל פנים יש להודות להם בפעם הזאת כדבריהם שתהיה האמת נעדרת, והרי זה כאלו בעל האמת נצוח.

They said there [in Bava Metzia 59b]: "R' Nassan found Eliyahu... He said to him, 'What was Hashem doing at that time?' He said to him, 'He laughed and said, "My children have triumphed over Me."'" That is to say: Hashem was happy that His children were going in the way of the Torah and its mitzvah to follow the majority. That which He said, "My children have triumphed over Me," G-d forbid that there should be triumph against Hashem, but the explanation of this matter is based on this idea. In this dispute between R' Eliezer and his colleagues, the truth was like R' Eliezer, like the Bas Kol which agreed with him. Even though the truth was with him, because of the depths of his knowledge compared to his colleagues, they were unable to understand him. They did not want to agree to him even after the Bas Kol, and they brought a proof from the fixed rule in the Torah which commands us to follow the majority, whether they say the truth or are mistaken. On this Hashem said "My children have triumphed over Me" - that is to say, since they strayed from the truth (since R' Eliezer had discerned the truth in this), and they were approaching him from the power of the mitzvah to follow the majority always, if so in any event he should have agreed to them in this instance like their words, that the truth be pushed aside, and so it's as if the Master of Truth was triumphed upon.

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  • OK, but wasn't that the original intention in both לא בשמים היא and אחרי רבים להטות? That they can and will be wrong? – Al Berko Oct 7 '19 at 19:03
  • I don't understand your question. – DonielF Oct 7 '19 at 19:04
  • See drashot haran – kouty Oct 8 '19 at 0:15
  • @kouty On this Gemara? Will do, B”N. – DonielF Oct 8 '19 at 3:32
  • The Ran has an explanation of tov in Sanhedrin – kouty Oct 8 '19 at 5:29

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