1

At some point after the Moshaich comes, we will famously no longer have a Yeitzer Hara (e.g. Sukkah 52a).

At that time, will we still need the fences Chazal put around the Torah? I don't just mean the official סייגים, but any rules and regulations the Chachamim (even contemporary responsa) enacted for the sake of protecting ourselves from our Yeitzer Hara.

E.g. following the discussion in this question, it's becoming apparent that drugs are probably only forbidden by contemporary responsa because they are conducive to letting our Yeiter Hara take over, and are not banned d'oraita (don't view this as conclusive, it is still being discussed there). Same with being overly drunk. I just wonder what things will look like in a world where we have no Yeitzer Hara.


I ask because sometimes I feel like there is a bit of a downside to have fences. They, quite literally, "get in the way"*. Of course I understand and respect the divrei Torah that explain that the fences themselves are clever and holy insights into Hashem's ratzon, so I'm sure it will be a complicated scenario, but perhaps we can say that some fences around the Torah are just fences, nothing more, and without a Yeitzer Hara wouldn't be needed. So I am contemplating what the halachic scene will be when we have a much closer interface with Hashem's direct ratzon. So I don't seek answers that follow opinions or speak only of future situations when we do have a Yeitzer Hara, I'm strictly focused on the day when there isn't one.


* I.e. in the context of Yediyat Hashem, it's harder to get to know Hashem, which we do by learning what He wants, when we have some confusion about what He wants absolutely, and things He only wants in the context of a Yeitzer Hara. I'd wager the vast majority of people have no idea what laws are actually d'oraita and which are rabbinic enactments in the contexts of Yeiter Hara. I think this question has quite far implications, and touches on a lot of hot issues in halacha. Lots of arguments erupt as a result of this, e.g. when certain isolated Jewish communities in Africa who still practice Yibbum/Halitza are expected to give it up and take on Rabbinic decrees that happened to other communities at other times. As someone who loves Yediyat Hashem, I am very interested in questions like this.

2
  • 3
    Technically it says that this will occur לעתיד לבוא (in the future to come), which may be in a post-messianic era. As for the messianic era itself, the Rambam holds עולם כמנהגו נוהג (that the world will continue to function according to its natural order)... so at least according to his view, there would seemingly be no reason for the Sanhedrin to repeal effective legal safeguards. Apr 27, 2023 at 1:57
  • How is yibbum and chalitzah relevant? That is a dispute whether we pasken like the Chachamim or Aba Shaul. And it is not isolated African communities, it is mainstream Sephardic psak halacha, as Rav Ovadya Yosef zt"l wrote.
    – N.T.
    Apr 30, 2023 at 5:46

2 Answers 2

2

The Rambam in Hil. Mamrim 2:3 writes that although a greater beis din can overrule a lesser beis din, this does not apply to things which were prohibited as "fences" (סייגים). These cannot be overturned.

במה דברים אמורים, בדברים שלא אסרו אותן כדי לעשות סייג, אלא בשאר דיני תורה. אבל דברים שראו בית דין לגזור או לאסור אותן, לעשות סייג--אם פשט איסורן בכל ישראל--אין בית דין הגדול אחר יכול לעוקרן ולהתירן, אפילו היה גדול מן הראשונים.

1

The Gemara (Avodah Zarah 36a) says that a Beis Din does not have the power to overrule a Takkanah of a previous Beis Din - even if the reason why they were enacted no longer applies - unless the latter Beis Din is greater - aside from the 18 rules which were created as a fence for the Torah, and were accepted among the majority of the Jewish people - among which are the rules created in order to prevent forbidden marriages, which even Eliyahu and his Beis Din cannot nullify these rules!

It seems from the Rambam in Hilchos Mamrim that the same would apply to any rule that was created as a fence, and was accepted among the majority of the Jewish people

It also says that the rules of Tznius will apply (to a certain extent) like it says in the Gemara (Succah 52a) that there will be “separate seating” by the Hesped of Moshiach Ben Yosef - which will take place after there will be no more Yetzer Hara!

Nevertheless, there are those who hold (such as the Chasam Sofer on Beitzah 5a) that if the reason for the rule is known to all, it can be nullified if the reason no longer exists

Regarding those Rules getting in the way, I’m sure Moshiach will take care of that too :)

1
  • Thank you. I will reword the question now, because I don't want to restrict it to just the 18 סייגים, but all Rabbinic enactments, even contemporary responsa.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Apr 27, 2023 at 8:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .