2

Is there any documented case of a major Torah scholar changing his mind as the result of a logical argument put forth to him by someone who was not basing his argument on any clear Torah sources the Torah scholar did not know, was not testifying that the opinion of some other greater scholar was different, was not also learning the same topic and presented an alternate argument. etc. The case would be that the Torah scholar had an opinion on a Torah related topic (halacha, haskafa etc.) Someone made a logic based observation and argument that you don't need to be a Torah scholar to have made and the major Torah scholar immediately changed his mind as a result. If such (a)documented case(s) exist where are they?

7
  • Does someone presenting factual data qualify, meaning "מציאות"?
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Apr 16 at 14:34
  • Any clear cut information that scholar hadn't known would not be included in the question.
    – Schmerel
    Apr 16 at 14:38
  • 1
    How about Eduyot 1:12-14?
    – Double AA
    Apr 16 at 14:40
  • 1
    @Schmerel The question doesn't say "unlearned person" but rather "Someone made a logic based observation and argument that you don't need to be a Torah scholar to have made"
    – Double AA
    Apr 16 at 15:00
  • 1
    How about Chagigah 15b, the story with Acher's daughter and Rebbi?
    – Meir
    Apr 16 at 19:07

1 Answer 1

5

Yevamos 65b:

כִּי הַהִיא דַּאֲתַאי לְקַמֵּיהּ דְּרַבִּי אַמֵּי. אֲמַרָה לֵיהּ: הַב לִי כְּתוּבָּה! אֲמַר לַהּ: זִיל, לָא מִיפַּקְּדַתְּ! אֲמַרָה לֵיהּ: מִסֵּיבוּ דִּילַהּ מַאי תֶּיהְוֵי עֲלַהּ דְּהָךְ אִתְּתָא? אָמַר: כִּי הָא — וַדַּאי כָּפֵינַן.

This is like the case of a certain woman who came before Rabbi Ami and requested a divorce due to her husband’s inability to father children. She said to him: Give me the payment for my marriage contract. He said to her: Go away, as you are not commanded to be fruitful and multiply and have no right to demand a divorce. She said to him: In her old age, what will be with this woman, i.e., if I have no children, who will take care of me when I grow old? Rabbi Ami said: In a situation such as this, we certainly force the husband to divorce her and pay her marriage contract.

הָהִיא דַּאֲתַאי לְקַמֵּיהּ דְּרַב נַחְמָן. אֲמַר לַהּ: לָא מִיפַּקְּדַתְּ. אֲמַרָה לֵיהּ: לָא בָּעֲיָא הָךְ אִתְּתָא חוּטְרָא לִידָה וּמָרָה לִקְבוּרָה? אֲמַר: כִּי הָא וַדַּאי כָּפֵינַן.

The Gemara relates a similar incident: A certain woman came before Rav Naḥman and requested a divorce due to her husband’s inability to father children. He said to her: You are not commanded to be fruitful and multiply. She said to him: Does this woman not require a staff for her hand and a hoe for her burial? In other words, the woman said that she wanted children so that they could care for her in her old age and bury her when she would die. Rav Naḥman said: In a case such as this, we certainly force the husband to divorce her.

You must log in to answer this question.

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