Why did unresolved disputes begin specifically at this time? Why were there no unresolved disputes before?

  • 1
    The semicha machlokes was long before
    – user2800
    Aug 16, 2013 at 10:27
  • 2
    Welcome to Mi Yodeya. Where do we learn that there were none before? You can edit your answer to add more information. Thanks. Aug 16, 2013 at 13:07
  • 1
    Interestingly, the rabbi who gave one of the parsha shiurs that I attended just last night made the same comment that Hillel and Shammai introduced Machlokes to Israel.
    – Daniel
    Aug 16, 2013 at 13:49
  • 2
    Hillel and Shammai were not the first to have Halachic arguments, Yosi ben Yoezer and Yosi ben Yochanan were. see here torahlab.org/images/uploads/Pirkei_Avos_-_Perek_1.pdf
    – Menachem
    Aug 16, 2013 at 15:26
  • @Menachem please write where in the document specifically this is found Aug 16, 2013 at 18:52

2 Answers 2


the reason is that until then questions were brought to the sanhedrin, which followed "acharei rabim lehatos", therefore any opinion that didnt win the majority vote was discarded.

however King Herod nullified the sanhedrin. therefore when hillel and shamai had different opinions, even though they followed majority in their own school, they couldn't come together for a global ruling.

  • But Beis Hillel was there with him! Aug 16, 2013 at 18:55
  • see Shabbos 14 or so Aug 16, 2013 at 18:56
  • what's your new understanding of the Gemara? Aug 16, 2013 at 18:57

Tosafos ד"ה יוסי in Chagiga Daf ט"ז says that the Machlokes between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel was caused by students who didn't do enough שימוש by their teachers.

Essentially the students didn't spend enough time studying, possibly out of laziness, as we see Hillel accusing בני בתירא of doing in פסחים on Daf ס"ו.

Hillel and Shammai themselves only argued about 4 issues, as enumerated here.

Before that there was only one unsolved argument that went on for 5 generations; whether one can do Shmicha on a Korban on Yom Tov, as mentioned in Chagiga Daf ט"ז.

You must log in to answer this question.

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