The Torah prescribes settling the law in a very special place:

"If a case is too baffling for you to decide, be it controversy over homicide, civil law, or assault—matters of dispute in your courts, you shall promptly repair to the place that the LORD your God will have chosen, and appear before the Levitical priests, or the magistrate in charge at the time, and present your problem." Deuteronomy.17.8-9

In my understanding of the passage, the Torah prescribes to authorize all future Halochos in a dedicated place (aka Sanhedrin), following certain official legal procedures.

IIRC, all halachic disputes in the Talmud occur outside the official Sanhedrin, even after its exile: in shuls, private homes and penthouses, on private journeys, etc.

Many ruling Halohos are ruled in such spontaneous gatherings, however, it is never mentioned that the gathering had the official status of a Sanhedrin, or that certain official procedures took place.

What is the legitimacy of such gatherings, and why would a decision of a spontaneous gathering even if the majority supports it, obligate others?

NB: I do not use examples, because, as I mentioned, IIRC, on the paper, all Talmudic arguments take place outside Sanhedrin.

  • 2
    Also, the Torah doesn't say the law can only be settled in one place. After all, the Torah also says to have courts in every city. It means that there is an ultimate final authority in the Sanhedrin, if lower courts deadlock or don't know the answer. But rulings outside the Sanhedrin are perfectly valid.
    – N.T.
    Jul 27 at 10:29
  • aish.com/jl/m/pm/48932007.html?mobile=yes. "Since the Talmud was accepted by all Israel, it is the final authority in all questions of Torah law. Since such universal acceptance is a manifestation of God's will, one who opposes the teachings of the Talmud is like one who opposes God and His Torah. All later codes and decisions are binding only insofar as they are derived from the Talmud."
    – Chatzkel
    Jul 27 at 14:14
  • 2
    First of all, we do have examples of things being decided in the Lishkas Hagazis; see Peah 2:6 for an example. (The debate between Hillel and Bnei Beseirah was most likely there too, the more so since it involved the Korban Pesach.) Second, what N.T. said.
    – Meir
    Jul 27 at 14:54
  • @N.T. You confuse setting the global Halacha (think of the Congress) vs solving cases in municipal courts. The Halacha can not be set in towns' courts.
    – Al Berko
    Jul 27 at 15:36
  • @Meir Yes, occasionally the scribe was in the Lishkah, but not the Sanhedrin. I asked a question once and did not find a case that was brought before the Sanhedrin. Also see my reply to nt.
    – Al Berko
    Jul 27 at 15:58

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