Sometimes in reading a difficult Rishon or Acharon, you come across a statement which seems limited and difficult to understand. Sometimes it's what seems to be an answer to a question which skims over the main point; other times, it seems as though they didn't logically work out the implications of their statement.

Are we allowed to excuse a statement of a Rabbi, in the face of opposing logic or even scientific proof? Are all Rabbis infallible? Issues that need to be addressed in an answer include: what type of Rabbi (Rishon, Acharon, or another category), and what type of statements (Halachic, scientific, philosophic, etc)

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    rabbis aren't infallible judaism.stackexchange.com/q/22752/759 they are human, and it follows they can err – Double AA Jan 19 '16 at 2:13
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    This question seems quite broad, encompassing halachic, logical and scientific error. It is also vague: what do you mean "are we allowed to assume"? – mevaqesh Jan 19 '16 at 2:38
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    Are you asking if this assumption may be correct, likely to be correct, or "permitted". If the latter, some reason for it to be prohibited ought to be provided, as everything is permitted unless it has been forbidden. – mevaqesh Jan 19 '16 at 2:38
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    There are certainly numerous statements in which rabbis themselves admit to errors of all categories: scientific, logical, and halachic. Sometimes the mistakes involve such basic issues as misrecollection of pertinent texts. Rambam writes that no one can know the entire Talmud by heart. (Although there have clearly been people who disproved this dictum, it remains a relevant source). – mevaqesh Jan 19 '16 at 2:40
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    Although rabbis are certainly not infallible, it's often most reasonable to assume that they've thought of any logical argument or proof from another part of Torah that you've thought of. – msh210 Jan 19 '16 at 2:51

I would like to turn this question onto the Gemmorah itself, to learn from the source. As we see, the G. is full of disputes and discords, where different Rabbis present different opinions.

I spot two opposing patterns in dispute resolutions as presented by the Gemmorah:

  • A settlement of the conflict, showing that both sides are right [though in different situations], as G. says "אלו ואלו דברי א' חיים" (Eruvin 13b)

  • Discarding one of the opinions as ... well, FALSE. The Tannoyim and Amoroyim hold that their colleagues can be wrong. I don't have any other explanation.

  • [There's also always an option for תיקו or leaving the dispute unresolved]

This also holds for all of the Rishonim and Achronim, as they strictly follow Gemmorah's pattern of resolving existing discords either by finding a settlement or simply calling it wrong.

So if we trust them all in their rulings, why shouldn't we trust them when they say the other Rabbis are [sometimes] wrong?

NB: Should I bring examples or is it obvious?

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    Since you asked, you should know that nearly nothing you write on this site is obvious, and yes your bringing examples and sources would improve that – Double AA Aug 2 '18 at 12:43
  • @DoubleAA I'm flattered! But, besides examples, did you like the logic? – Al Berko Aug 2 '18 at 12:50
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    I don’t see how this answers the question whatsoever. – DonielF Aug 2 '18 at 22:37
  • @donielf its answering the second half of the el question whether rabbis can be wrong. In any arguement each rabbi thinks the other is wrong. – Orion Aug 2 '18 at 23:16

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