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The more I study the Sugyah of Tanuro Shel Achnai, the more I get confused:

At the culmination of the argument "Rabbi Yehoshua (c. 100 CE) stood on his feet and said: It is written: “It is not in heaven” (Deut. 30:12). Bava Metzia.59b And that's how the original story ends. He does not mention the majority rule and this causes very bad things happening to R' Eliezer and R' Gamliel, etc. Had the majority rule been evoked the story could end peacefully.

Only two centuries later the Gemara asks: "What is the meaning of the phrase “It is not in heaven”?" and quotes Rabbi Yirmeya (c. 350CE): "Since the Torah was already given at Mount Sinai, we do not regard a Divine Voice, as You already wrote at Mount Sinai, in the Torah: “After a majority to incline” (Ex 23:2) ibid, which is a complete misinterpretation of the original verse:

"you shall not give perverse testimony so as to pervert it in favor of the majority" (Rashi in place).

So, what is happening here? Why, if this was the original tradition from Moses, R' Yehoshua doesn't mention the majority rule?

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  • Why should he have? Rabbi Yehoshua's point was that a heavenly voice does not overrule the decree of the majority. – Maurice Mizrahi Mar 10 at 17:17

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