As this answer explains, "divrei sofrim" refers to a category of halachos instituted by rabbis, but understood as having a Divine imprimatur because prophets were involved in their legislation. They are interesting to me because they are seen by some as having a halachic level between d'orayta and derabbanan laws.

  1. Does this category include all the (great many) laws established by the Anshei Keneses haGedolah?

  2. What does it actually mean that these laws are "between" d'orayta and derabbanan? How are they treated in matters which distinguish between the two statuses, such as

-safek d'rabbanan kulo/safek d'oraisa l'chumro

-ability of (other) rabbinical law as well as Torah law to limit these laws

-yotzeius/shlichus and degrees of obligation

  1. Are these laws mostly treated as a group with regards to the above, or are there many differences among individual laws?
  • The term "Divrei Sofrim" isn't used the same way by everyone or in all contexts, so it's hard to call it a well defined category.
    – Double AA
    Nov 4, 2016 at 16:32
  • 1
    It seems that "Divrei" or "Minhag Sofrim" have a "stronger" status than other minhagim. Two examples of items that I have seen called "minhag sofrim" - the practice of observing the 2nd day of Yom Tov. (I'll check this, but I think Ramab"m refers to this as Divrei Sofrim.) Seems to be "universally" accepted and practice by Orthodox Jews. (No one I know of has abandoned it.) 2) Hoshannot beating on Hoshannah Rabbah - Conidered so important, that the starting day of Rosh Hashannah can be postponed just to be able to perform this.
    – DanF
    Nov 4, 2016 at 17:42
  • Indeed, this seems rather complex. I am viewing hashkafacircle.com/journal/R1_MB_Shoresh.pdf You may want to view it, as well. If I can, I'll try to summarize something and pose an answer. It requires some effort to digest what the author in the article says.
    – DanF
    Nov 4, 2016 at 19:06
  • Most Rishonim used DS as synonymous to derabanan
    – kouty
    Nov 6, 2016 at 0:15
  • @kouty exactly what most of the article I mentioned in the above comment states. Perhaps, you want to browse through it? I had a tough time digeting all the various opinions and compiling a definitive answer to OP's question. Maybe, you can sssist?
    – DanF
    Nov 6, 2016 at 1:32


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