It says in sources in the talmud that the first machlokes recorded was regarding, do we do semicha on yomtov. So why is there so much machlokes in the mishna and gemorah?

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    How much do you want there to be that you think the current amount is so much?
    – Double AA
    Nov 8, 2022 at 23:23
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    By the time the gemara was written down, it was just in time to correct for the growing information loss that had been accumulating over hundreds of years of troubling times. The machlokes in gemara is not like today, political and tribal. In fact, many of the machlokes' in the gemara aren't actual conversations. The gemara is going through the sources, trying to get to the bottom of the seeming contradictions, the missing clarity, and the other problems it spots along the way, in a pure pursuit of truth. However much there is, it's the perfect amount to be solved in 2000 daf as best we can!
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Nov 8, 2022 at 23:36
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    That was the first machlokes, but it surely wasn’t the last. What’s the question?
    – Chatzkel
    Nov 8, 2022 at 23:56
  • I think the question is upside down, a little. There was a period of time in which there were very few machlokeses! What would such a world look like, where everyone's approach to Torah is so clear and perfect that they all end up in the same place? It certainly has not looked that way since then. The Rishonim and Acharonim cover every possible approach to understanding the gemara. Someone holds like each possibility, and they have very good imaginations, and what we call "psak" is weighing the choices somehow. Frequently we are just machmir.
    – MichoelR
    Nov 9, 2022 at 7:25
  • Might be interesting: chabad.org/therebbe/article_cdo/aid/4018203/jewish/…
    – Shmuel
    Nov 9, 2022 at 12:42

1 Answer 1


It seems clear that it was not the first mahloket; of course, even before that one, people would not agree one with the other. Rather,it is the first "recorded" mahloket, or the first mahloket that lasted. Indeed, before, when there was a mahloket, the Sanhedrin just decide the halacha, and so no mahloket could last. But at this time, the two Beit Hamidrash (Hillel's and Shammaï's) would not sit "as a sanhedrin" together, hence mahlokot began to multiply.

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