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In Shas, there is the principle "Chachamim decree only in normal cases." (e.g Beitzah 19a about 1/6 down the page, (number 8 in Gemara text)). Does the same apply to Torah commands/safeguards?

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    What do you mean by Torah enactments or safeguards? In what way is your category different than "Chachamim decree"? Nov 29 '16 at 17:21
  • @DavidKenner I updated the language a bit; I'm just referring to d'oraita (i.e can you say the Torah decrees in normative cases etc.)
    – Fei23
    Nov 29 '16 at 17:46
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No. If Hashem only prohibited likely situations, there would have been no room for the debate as to whether certain prohibitions were ever implemented and could ever be implemented.

From Sanhedrin 71a:

כמאן אזלא הא דתניא: בן סורר ומורה לא היה ולא עתיד להיות, ולמה נכתב - דרוש וקבל שכר, כמאן? כרבי יהודה, איבעית אימא: רבי שמעון היא, דתניא, ... אמר רבי יונתן: אני ראיתיו, וישבתי על קברו.

כמאן אזלא הא דתניא: עיר הנדחת לא היתה ולא עתידה להיות ולמה נכתבה - דרוש וקבל שכר. כמאן - כרבי אליעזר, דתניא, ... אמר רבי יונתן: אני ראיתיה, וישבתי על תילה.

כמאן אזלא הא דתניא: בית המנוגע לא היה ולא עתיד להיות, ולמה נכתב - דרוש וקבל שכר. כמאן - כרבי אלעזר ברבי שמעון. דתנן, ... תניא, אמר רבי אליעזר ברבי צדוק: מקום היה בתחום עזה והיו קורין אותו חורבתא סגירתא. אמר רבי שמעון איש כפר עכו: פעם אחת הלכתי לגליל וראיתי מקום שמציינין אותו, ואמרו: אבנים מנוגעות פינו לשם

With whom does the following beraisa agree: There never has been a 'stubborn and rebellious son', and never will be. Why then was the law written? That you may study it and receive reward. This agrees with R' Yehudah; alternatively, you may say it will agree with R' Shim'on, For it has been taught: ... R' Yonasan said: 'I saw him(12) and sat on his grave'.

With whom does the following beraisa agree: There never has been a condemned city, and never will be? It agrees with R' Eliezer. For it has been taught.... R' Yonasan said: I saw [a condemned city] and sat upon its ruins.

With whom does the following beraisa agree: There never was a leprous house [to need destruction], and never will be? Then why was its law written? - That you may study it and receive reward. With whom does it agree? - With R' Eliezer ben R' Shim'on. For we learnt: R' Eliezer son of R' Shim'on said... It has been taught: R' Eliezer ben R' Tzadoq said: There was a place within a Sabbath's walk (2,000 ammah) of Gaza, which was called the leprous ruins. R' Shim'on of Kefar Akko said: I once went the Galil and saw a place which was marked off, and was told that leprous stones were thrown there.

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  • Maybe the opinions that state that those mitsvot were indeed implemented, hold that they arent so infrequent. Or at least frequent to the degree that the Torah would address them.
    – mevaqesh
    Feb 12 '17 at 7:24
  • @mevaqesh If they were frequent, how could the debate arise? (BTW, it isn't "the opinions". It is R Yonasan, who said he was at such locations, vs the chakhamim. Aside from being one person, "opinion" in the singular, some rishonim understand him as referring to a pagan city that was destroyed despite not technically qualifying, a rebellious son who was killed but didn't quite fit... in short, R Yonasan's position as it literally appears was rejected.) Feb 12 '17 at 14:59
  • The question is whether there is a threshold of commonness necessary for the Torah to state a law. We do not see whether or not such a threshold exists from the debates regarding the rebellious son and the like. According to the view that it never happened, you do indeed see that there is no threshold. According to the view that it did happen, however, you do not see whether or not there is a threshold. | BTW it is highly interesting that R. Yonatan in particular is credited as having been at all these events, yet the Talmud does not clarify that this settles the debate... | Which Rishonim?
    – mevaqesh
    Feb 16 '17 at 1:18

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