The Gemara in Eruvin 51a relates the following:

(Source(s) from Sefaria)

רַבָּה וְרַב יוֹסֵף הֲווֹ קָא אָזְלִי בְּאוֹרְחָא. אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַבָּה לְרַב יוֹסֵף: תְּהֵא שְׁבִיתָתֵנוּ תּוּתֵי דִּיקְלָא דְּסָבֵיל אֲחוּהּ. וְאָמְרִי לַהּ: תּוּתֵי דִּיקְלָא דְּפָרֵיק מָרֵיהּ מִכְּרָגָא.

יָדַע לֵיהּ מָר? אֲמַר לֵיהּ: לָא יָדַעְנָא לֵיהּ. אֲמַר לֵיהּ: סְמוֹךְ עֲלַי, דְּתַנְיָא, רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר: אִם הָיוּ שְׁנַיִם, אֶחָד מַכִּיר וְאֶחָד שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַכִּיר — זֶה שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַכִּיר מוֹסֵר שְׁבִיתָתוֹ לַמַּכִּיר, זֶה שֶׁמַּכִּיר אוֹמֵר: תְּהֵא ״שְׁבִיתָתֵנוּ בְּמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי״.

וְלָא הִיא, לָא תְּנָא לֵיהּ כְּרַבִּי יוֹסֵי, אֶלָּא כִּי הֵיכִי דְּלִיקַבֵּל לַהּ מִינֵּיהּ, מִשּׁוּם דְּרַבִּי יוֹסֵי נִימּוּקוֹ עִמּוֹ.

Rabba and Rav Yosef were going together along the way. Rabba said to Rav Yosef: Our residence will be beneath the palm that carries its brother, the one with another palm tree leaning on it. And some say he said to him: Our residence will be beneath the palm that spared its owner from the land tax [karga], the palm which yielded enough dates for its owner to pay his entire land tax.

Rabba asked: Does the Master know of that tree? Rav Yosef said to him: No, **I do not know88 of it. **He said to him: Then rely on me, as it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yosei says: If two people were walking together, one of whom is familiar88 with a particular location in the distance, and one is not familiar with it, the one who is not familiar with it entrusts his right to designate his residence to the one who is familiar with it, and the one who is familiar with it says: My residence is in such-and-such place.

The Gemara comments: But it is not so; that is not the opinion of Rabbi Yosei. Rabba only taught it as if it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei so that Rav Yosef would accept it from him, due to the fact that Rabbi Yosei’s reasoning accompanies his rulings, Since the halakha is usually in accordance with Rav Yosei’s opinion, Rav Yosef would be less likely to raise doubts with regard to the ruling.

My Question:

The above exchange appears to be a deception done by Rabba so that Rav Yosef would accept his opinion. Is this an acceptable method to establish a Halacha? If so, what are other sources that support this?


1 Answer 1


This is cited as law by R. Abraham Gombiner in Magen Avraham O.C. 167:1

אם שמע דין ונראה לו שהלכה כך מותר לאמרו בשם אדם גדול כי היכי דליקבלי מיניה

If one hears a law and it seems to him that the law is as such it is permissible to say it in the name of a great person in order that they accept it from him.


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