What is the source for R' Meir and R' Elazar being members of Beth Shammai? Also, what is the source for the Beth Hillel membership of R' Yehuda? I heard from several persons (including one Rabbi) they were members of these Academies but I do not have the source for this information.

  • I don't know if your claim is correct, but we sometimes find Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda arguing over the correct interpretation of a dispute between Beis Hillel and Beis Shammai (e.g. Sukka 15a, Shabbos 37a).
    – Fred
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 23:19
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/36635
    – Fred
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 23:20

2 Answers 2


Re: R' Eliezer, In Niddah 7b it says:

כל ימיו של רבי אליעזר היו עושין כרבי יהושע לאחר פטירתו של רבי אליעזר החזיר רבי יהושע את הדבר ליושנו כרבי אליעזר בחייו מ"ט לא משום דרבי אליעזר שמותי הוא

(Note the word in bold: שמותי)

The generally accepted translation in English is:

Throughout the lifetime of R. Eliezer the people acted in accordance with the ruling of R. Joshua, but after the passing away of R. Eliezer, R. Joshua re-introduced the earlier practice. Why did he22 not follow R. Eliezer during his lifetime? — Because R. Eliezer was a disciple of Shammai

Note that the key is the word שמותי. Rabeinu Tam and the Rashba translate it as "disciple of Shammai" (proof being that R. Eliezer frequently/always sides with Beit Shammai). Rashi notably translates it as "being under the ban" (reference to the story of the "tanur shel achnai").

Re: R' Meir, R' Yehuda:

I don't currently have as good a source for these two, but here is some circumstantial evidemce:

1) Rabbi Akiva has a dispute with someone from Beit Shammai (and apparently gets totally creamed in a logical argument) in Yevamot 16a (אתה הוא עקיבא ששמך הולך מסוף העולם ועד סופו אשריך שזכית לשם ועדיין לא הגעת לרועי בקר). This implies that Rabbi Akiva is a Beit-Hillel kind of guy.

2) Pretty much all of mishna is the students of R' Akiva, (he's basically the only one who gave smicha after the Romans prohibited it) -- R' Yehuda, R' Shimon, R' Meir, R' Yossi, and R' Nechemia. This implies that R' Yehuda and the others would technically be Beit Hillel.

3) The exception is R' Meir, who was also a student of R' Yishmael. There are a bunch of "ifs" going on here, because it appears that "Meir" was a nickname so we don't really know who he was. Also, there is likely more than one R' Yishmael (one of which was Kohen Gadol), so things are a bit murky. In any case, there are halachot in the names of R' Yishmael and R' Meir that are both in agreement with Beit Shammai.

  • Chagiga 6a (brought in the other answer by Danny) has R' Yishmael and R' Eliezer in agreement with B' Shammai

  • Nazir 9a has a Beit Shammai halacha that shows agreement with R' Meir.

  • Thanks. What about the 2 others?
    – far22
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 10:07
  • I don't currently have any reference for the other two one way or the other off the top of my head, but RM/RY were both quite late Tanaiim. It's very possible that the whole BH/BS thing was gone/defunct by the time of the Bar-kochba. rebellion.
    – Nic
    Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 15:33
  • Ok, I added my best answer for R' meir/ R' Yehuda. Will update further if I find better evidence.
    – Nic
    Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 16:12
  • There's no reason to suspect that R' Akiva got "totally creamed in a logical argument." It's more likely that R' Yonasan insulted R' Akiva out of frustration over R' Akiva's capable argumentation ("אקשי ליה ואוקמיה"), and that R' Akiva demurred out of humility in response to the insult.
    – Fred
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 20:48

Partial answer:

The Gemara in Chagiga on the bottom of 6a - top of 6b mentions that Rav Elazar holds (in a certain historical case) like Bet Shammai.

That doesn't mean he was a member of Bet Shammai, but in this case he held against Bet Hillel.

אמר אביי: "בית שמאי, ורבי אלעזר, ור' ישמעאל, כולהו סבירא להו עולה שהקריבו ישראל במדבר עולת ראייה הואי. ובית הלל, ורבי עקיבא, ור' יוסי הגלילי, כולהו סבירא להו עולה שהקריבו ישראל במדבר עולת תמיד הואי."‏

  • Thanks! What about the 2 others?
    – far22
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 0:36
  • @far22 - as soon as I find an answer, I'll post it. Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 7:42

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