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There's a famous dispute between R' Eliezer and R' Yehoshua when the world was created: Tishrei or Nissan. Their dispute is recorded in Rosh Hashanah 10b - 11a:

תניא רבי אליעזר אומר בתשרי נברא העולם בתשרי נולדו אבות בתשרי מתו אבות בפסח נולד יצחק בראש השנה נפקדה שרה רחל וחנה...‏

Rabbi Eliezer says: In Tishrei the world was created; in Tishrei the Patriarchs were born; in Tishrei the Patriarchs died; on Passover Isaac was born; on Rosh HaShana Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah were remembered by God and conceived...

ר' יהושע אומר בניסן נברא העולם בניסן נולדו אבות בניסן מתו אבות בפסח נולד יצחק בר"ה נפקדה שרה רחל וחנה...‏

Rabbi Yehoshua disagrees and says: In Nisan the world was created; in Nisan the Patriarchs were born; in Nisan the Patriarchs died; on Passover Isaac was born; on Rosh HaShana Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah were remembered by God and conceived sons...

As we can see from this baraisa, they both agree that Yitzchak was born on Pesach (since Sarah conceived on Rosh Hashanah).

Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita, in his sefer LeMachseh Atik to Genesis 21:2, brings a dispute as to when Yitzchak was born. Seder Olam Chapter 5 and Midrash Tanchuma Vayeira § 17 say Pesach, yet the Zohar III parshas Beha’alosecha p. 151a1 says he was born on Rosh Hashanah.

His final comment is that this dispute is the same dispute found in Rosh Hashanah 10b between R' Eliezer and R' Yehoshua. Yet, as shown above, they both agree on this point! He even cites Rosh Hashanah 11a as a source that Yitzchak was born on Pesach (although he writes עי' ראש השנה, not sure his intention there...).

How can this be resolved?

Screenshot of the sefer

Note: See the comments of the Turei Even, Poras Yosef (פור"י ד"ה בתשרי נולדו), and Aruch LaNer (ד"ה בתשרי מתו) to 11a, where it is clear they understood the gemarra to be saying everyone agrees that Yitzchak was born on Pesach.


1 Not sure if this helps but the sefer cites p. 302b, but on Sefaria there is no p. 302b. I found it on p.151a.

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  • I assume this is just a typo on the typists part, and not a mistake by Rav Chaim
    – robev
    Oct 20, 2021 at 15:10
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    Note the other (older?) edition of the book has the exact same note.
    – Harel13
    Oct 20, 2021 at 20:14
  • @Harel13 I hope there's something I'm missing and it's more than just a typo...
    – robev
    Oct 20, 2021 at 20:16
  • I don't think this resolves your question, but there is one more independent source which claims that Itzhack was born on Pesach -- this is Rashi commentary on Bereshit 18:10. According to Rashi the whole action of Bereshit 18,19 goes on on Pesach, which is probably based on Ber. 19:3 where Lot prepares matzot for angels on the night of the same day. I understand that the relation "Itzchak - R'hSh" is important for Zohar but I also always have been confused on what this opinion is based on
    –  V. Rogov
    Nov 17, 2021 at 23:56
  • @V.Rogov Rashi is just quoting the gemarra I'm citing
    – robev
    Nov 18, 2021 at 6:44

1 Answer 1

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Presumably he means that there is a dispute between the gemara and the Zohar as to the opinion of R' Eliezer. In the gemara, R' Eliezer agrees that Yitzchak was born in Nissan, but not according to the Zohar. That would be simpler than saying the Zohar is a brand new opinion.

When he writes עי' ראש השנה, he is saying see there for the differences. This is a common way for writers to acknowledge there are complicating sources without getting further into the discussion.

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  • I know you're motivated to answer the question, but that's not the translation of פליגי בה ר"א ור"י. It would say פליג אר"א ור"י. The expression פליגי בה פלוני ואלמוני always means ploni argues with almoni. Furthermore, he doesn't need to tell you the Zohar disagrees with the bavli, as he already wrote the bavli's opinion one line earlier. | That would be simpler than saying the Zohar is a brand new opinion what do you mean? The Zohar is definitely a new opinion...? | he is saying see there for the differences I don't see any differences, hence my confusion.
    – robev
    Oct 20, 2021 at 18:06

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