I am delving into the concept of the rabbinical authority based on the following pasuk

"If a case is too baffling for you to decide, be it a controversy over homicide, civil law, or assault—matters of dispute in your courts—you shall promptly repair to the place that the L-RD your G-d will have chosen" [...] You shall act in accordance with the instructions given you and the ruling handed down to you; you must not deviate from the verdict that they announce to you either to the right or to the left.

Based on this, I have the following question:

  1. The Torah states "If a case is too baffling for you to decide", does this means that you'll need to take a decision by yourself first, and then, when you do not know how to handle, "go to the place that the L-RD your G-d will have chosen"? This seems to be what Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l did, he wrote only a responsa after he delved with great effort in a particular halacha (refer to his Hakdama on Igros Moshe, Chelek a).
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    It seems appropriate to break this question up into several individual questions in keeping with the guidelines. You are broaching a whole range of ideas here. Just glancing over Rabbi Linzer’s article, a few important details seem to be getting lost. The source of our laws and how we understand them comes to us via the Law Giver, Moshe Rabbeinu. We learn the concept of Rabbinic authority via his semichah of his student, Yehoshuah, who filled Moshe’s place. Court interpretation only comes when there is dispute between litigants. Otherwise, the is no Heavenly help to the Judges. Nov 22, 2021 at 22:49
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    Continued: Another critical idea to keep in mind is that according to Jewish tradition, at least as we understand it from Sherirah Gaon, is that prior to Hillel and Shammai (the individuals) there was almost no disagreement over halacha among all Israel. Individuals might have a dispute over what applied. But what the actual laws were, was in agreement. That’s something difficult to imagine today. Good group of questions though. Nov 22, 2021 at 22:56
  • @YaacovDeane Thank you. I am aware of the Igeret Rav Sherira Gaon, haven't read it completely though. Any other recommendations to read on this subject?
    – Shmuel
    Nov 23, 2021 at 9:39
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    Re link to Igrot Moshe, this idea comes from its introduction, see a translation here, starting from "Since decisors of equal standing with those of earlier generations are not available today"
    – mbloch
    May 8, 2022 at 3:17
  • Thanks @mbloch. However, the pasuk states "if a case is to baffling for you to decide", implying that if it's not, you are able to pasken by yourself?
    – Shmuel
    May 8, 2022 at 12:56


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