Why do we learn Gemara, where each opinion gets equal weight and the strongest opinion wins, and we are thus taught not to be peti, but to only accept a true answer, while today, its enough that one Rabbi said 'this' and we don't bring arguments: if he said it, it's holy of holies. Why not ask questions and find the truth? Just like the Gemara, but today? An example we learn from the first daf of Maseches Horayos where if one who learned knows the halacha and the Sanhedrin was wrong, he should have not listened, but argued until they did a psak. Then he is a zaken mamre if he publicly contradicts the Sanhedrin's ruling, but he must stick to his opinion in private, for if not, then when the Sanhedrin finds they are wrong, he has no kapara from their korban

  • You seem to be asking two questions. One about Torah study (why we learn Gemara), and one about ruling legal matters (ruling based on debate). Please clarify this point or split your question into two questions. – mevaqesh Jun 18 '15 at 23:38
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    It should be noted that legal (halachic) literature today includes arguments as well, as in the time of the Gemara; question continue to be asked. There is, however, somewhat of a paradigm shift between the methodology of pesak (legal decision making) in the period of the Gemara, and in the present day. That distinction lies in the available authoritative resources. Then, halacha was determined based on the Mishna (and other works of the period). Opinions, of contemporaries were expected to be squared with these. Today, we (generally) dont evaluate the opinions of the Gemara... – mevaqesh Jun 18 '15 at 23:42
  • Although sages in that period questioned each other. Our relationship with the Gemara is akin to the relationship between the Ammoraim and the Tannaim. Therefore, the fact that we dont generally challenge the authority of the Gemara doesnt create a disparity with the approach of the Gemara. Regarding post-talmudic authority, poskim (decisors) factor both the stature of the authority espousing a view, and their view of the strength of the arguments. This is parallel to the approach of the Gemara which sometimes proclaims that in disputes between particular sages the law accords with one, ruling – mevaqesh Jun 18 '15 at 23:46
  • Bases on the authority of the decisor, while elsewhere, the Gemara determines the bindidng conclusion through logical arguments. – mevaqesh Jun 18 '15 at 23:47
  • @mevaqesh ...and im asking why (your second note) – Aryeh Beitz Jun 18 '15 at 23:49

When the Amoraim Paskened, the people had to listen to them as well. What you are seeing is the conversation between the rabbis.

A side point: Between the arguments we seem to forget that most often, when a greater Amora was quoted, it was taken as a Psak and a proof and not naturally questioned. For example. when Rav Mori bar Rachel got a Psak, he didn't wait until he got convinced. When Shmuel was quoted that was the end of the conversation, not the beginning of the debate. Arguing on a Rebbe was the exception, not the rule.

Nothing changed in this regard. Many Rabbanim argue on their Rabbeim in certain instances.

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  • People are the amaratzim who knew nothing. You dont learn in kollel for ten years to stay "the people" – Aryeh Beitz Jun 18 '15 at 23:51
  • @user3548935 not every guy who went to the Kallah (who by the end of his life may have learned more than people who sit for ten years nowadays) was mentioned in the Gemara – Shmuel Brin Jun 18 '15 at 23:55
  • I think it mattered more if one said things l'inyan. Abaye appeared from a young age for just that reason, as well as countless 'yenukas' – Aryeh Beitz Jun 18 '15 at 23:58
  • @user3548935 Rebbe Yehoshua violated his own Yom Kippur. But more importantly, if you are up to par, then surely you will be discussing it with your Rav. – HaLeiVi Jun 19 '15 at 0:05
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    @user3548935 The Gemara also says משום שאנו מדמים נעשה מעשה? Rebbe Yochanan says in Shabbos אם ברור לך הדבר כאחותך שהיא אסורה לך אמרהו. Wanting to Pasken is not good enough of a reason to do so. Psak is not about decisively ruling in the direction you lean more, it's about knowing. Otherwise we get, even by Tannaim, היה חוכך בזה להחמיר. – HaLeiVi Jun 19 '15 at 0:32

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