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Are there any examples in the history of Rabbis giving conflicting opinions on the same issue

closed as too broad by mevaqesh, sabbahillel, Monica Cellio Aug 15 '16 at 3:51

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    I'm not going to downvote, but this is a very basic question. Humans are human. There are going to be disagreements by the very nature of things. Do you mean to seek some examples of famous disputes, or do you actually mean, "hey, do all rabbis have their own brains," as it sounds? – Seth J Feb 28 '13 at 20:26
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Yes, there are thousands of such examples. It's hard to go through one chapter of Mishna without seeing examples of this. Here is a pdf of one chapter of Mishna for your perusal to see many such examples.

  • Yes, I know there is exactly one chapter of Mishna without any dissenting opinions. – Double AA Feb 28 '13 at 17:40
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    It's hard to go through one Mishnah without seeing examples of this. – Seth J Feb 28 '13 at 20:27
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    @DoubleAA, you've piqued my interest. Which one? – Isaac Moses Feb 28 '13 at 22:05
  • @SethJ Though significantly easier than going through a whole chapter. – Double AA Feb 28 '13 at 22:09
  • @IsaacMoses 5th chapter of Zevachim IINM. – Double AA Feb 28 '13 at 22:09
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Yes, there are countless instances of rabbis (from Talmudic times to the present) disagreeing on a wide range of halachic (legal) and hashkafic (theological) issues.

As an example, Rabbi Natan Slifkin has demonstrated that dozens of Rishonim (medieval rabbis) argued that Chazal (the rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud) erred in scientific matters, because they were relying on the science of their time, rather than a scientific oral tradition from Mount Sinai. Other Rishonim disagreed (some believed that Chazal only appeared to be incorret about some scientific matters, because nature had changed.)

Today, many charedi rabbis dispute Rabbi Slifkin's approach (the book was banned by some prominent rabbis), and maintain that Chazal were definitely right about science and everything else. I don't know whether these rabbis explicitly disagree with those rishonim who believed Chazal erred, as opposed to interpreting them in a different way (or more ambiguously, saying "they can say it; we cannot.") But Modern Orthodox Jews are less likely to have problems with Rabbi Slifkin's approach (and thus with those rishonim who held Chazal erred in science).

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    You make it sound like the machloket is between Rishonim and Charedim, instead of among various Rishonim. – Double AA Feb 28 '13 at 17:51
  • You make it sound like the Modern Orthodox Jews you mention are evaluating Rabbi Slifkin's hashkafa instead of the hashkafos of the Rishonim. – Double AA Feb 28 '13 at 18:01
  • As for the first comment, I edited the post in response. As for the second, I meant that Modern Orthodox haskafos tend not to be offended by R' Slifkin's approach. I'll edit that a bit too. – Kordovero Feb 28 '13 at 18:09

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