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וַהֲלֹא דְבָרִים קַל וָחֽוֹמֶר, וּמַה דָּוִד מֶֽלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלֹּא לָמַד מֵאֲחִיתֹֽפֶל אֶלָּא שְׁנֵי דְבָרִים בִּלְבָד, קְרָאוֹ רַבּוֹ אַלּוּפוֹ וּמְיֻדָּעוֹ, הַלּוֹמֵד מֵחֲבֵרוֹ פֶּֽרֶק אֶחָד, אוֹ הֲלָכָה אַחַת, אוֹ פָּסוּק אֶחָד, אוֹ דִבּוּר אֶחָד, אוֹ אֲפִילוּ אוֹת אֶחָת, עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לִנְהָג בּוֹ כָּבוֹד

Surely we can infer a fortiori: if David, king of Israel, who learned nothing from Achitofel except for two things alone, nevertheless referred to him as his master, guide and intimate, it certainly goes without saying that one who learns from his fellow a single chapter, a law, a verse, a saying, or even a single letter, is obligated to revere him.

This kal vachomer has always troubled me. It seems to be a clear violation of the principle of dayo, that we cannot learn a greater lesson in the case we're learning to than the lesson we know in the case we're learning from. David learned two things from Achitofel. Therefore, it seems that the more correct application of this kal vachomer should have said that anybody who learns two things from his fellow is obligated to revere him. Yet the mishna learns a kal vachomer that we must revere someone who teaches us even a single letter. How is this a valid kal vachomer?

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  • I thought it was David vs us (we're much less learned than he), not what he learned vs what we learned.
    – magicker72
    Commented Aug 15, 2023 at 12:00
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    @magicker72 agreed, that's why it's a kal vachomer. But it still violates dayo. It seems to be the kal vachomer should have been "Just as David, the great learned king of Israel, showed kavod to Achitofel who taught him two things, certainly we should show kavod to anybody who teaches us two things."
    – Daniel
    Commented Aug 15, 2023 at 12:03
  • I agree with magicker72. You can also point out for instance that another fault is that usually in a kal vachomer we learn from the greater to the lesser. So how can we learn from Achitophel, who was one of the worst reshaim, to our regular fellow Jews, who are surely better than Achitophel? This, along with your two teachings to one letter problem, shows that the ikar of the kal vachomer is from David, the greatest king, to us simple Jews Commented Aug 15, 2023 at 13:14
  • Looks like this is a duplicate: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/20197/…
    – EraserX
    Commented Aug 15, 2023 at 14:43
  • In addition to other answers that have been given in the earlier question, I was wondering (no source found yet) whether the domain of where דיו has an affect is only in the realm of psak and din eg. assur/mutar, dinei mamonos, etc. but not in the realm of the inyan discussed in this Mishna. The following might have some further hints which discusses the scope of where דיו can work: yeshiva.org.il/wiki/index.php/… especially in the section marked כשאינו דין חדש
    – EraserX
    Commented Aug 15, 2023 at 14:44

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