While the Gemara usually sides with Rava, there are famously 6 places where we say the Halacha is like Abaye, known as יע"ל קג"ם (as explained by Rashi)

  1. יאוש שלא מדעת - אביי אמר לא הוי יאוש (Bava Metzia 21b)
  2. עד זומם - אביי אמר למפרע הוא נפסל (Sanhedrin 27a)
  3. לחי העומד מאליו - אביי אמר הוי לחי (Eruvin 15a)
  4. קידושין שאין מסורין לביאה - אביי אמר והוו קידושין (Kiddushin 51a)
  5. גלוי דעתא בגיטא - אביי סבר לאו מלתא היא (Gittin 34a)
  6. מומר אוכל נבילות להכעיס - אביי אמר פסול (Sanhedrin 27a)

While obviously a memorable mnemonic, it struck me as strange that it's out of order - Specifically #2 and #6, which are on the same Daf just a few lines away from each other.

In general, mnemonics seem to be in order, why not this one? Is it simply because this was the easiest to remember?

1 Answer 1


The sefer Doresh Letzion (a collection of the Noda Biyehudah's derashos on sugyos in Shas) has a series of his derashos, given on three successive Shabbos Teshuvahs in the years 5511-13 (1750-52), that deal with this at great length. The Noda Biyehudah's reasoning is far too long to even begin to excerpt, but the gist is that each one leads to the next: because Rava's opinion in the matter of yeush was refuted, then that logically requires his opinion about ed zomem to be refuted too (i.e., had the Gemara found a way to resolve the contradiction against him regarding yeush, it could have also found a way to support his opinion regarding ed zomem), and so forth.

R. Levi Yitzchak Schneersohn (father of the last Lubavitcher Rebbe) has a Kabbalistic take on it. He explains that Abbaye symbolizes Gevurah, as do the Leviim, the names of whose families were קהת, גרשון, מררי, so that their acronym is קגם. The phrase יעל קגם, then, can be translated as "let קגם (and the Gevurah they represent) be elevated (above Chessed)."

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