In Megillah 19a there is an argument as to how much of the actual text of the megillah one needs to read in order to fulfill the obligation. Rebbi Meir says you need to read the whole things and the halacha, as ruled there in the Talmud and codified by the Shulchan Aruch, is in accordance with him. However the gemarah in Eruvin (13b) indicates that the halacha is never like Rebbi Meir because his colleagues could not fathom his reasoning.

My question is why is there an exception made for this one halacha, to pasken like Rebbi Meir?

  • In this case his reasoning looks the simplest to me
    – Heshy
    Commented Dec 27, 2016 at 20:39
  • It's interesting that the same statement that rules like R Meir mentions the other option as if it was popular or accepted by others הלכה כדברי האומר כולה ואפי' למאן דאמר מאיש יהודי צריכה שתהא כתובה כולה The Halakha is like the opinion that you have to read all of it, and even according to the opinion that you read from Ish Yehudi it needs to be entirely written. This isn't a solid proof, but interesting anyway IMO.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 27, 2016 at 20:47
  • 1
    Gemara did not say "never" but "not" <= halacha is never like Rebbi Meir
    – kouty
    Commented Dec 27, 2016 at 21:49
  • There is, by the way, an implicit second reason not to follow an opinion recorded as Rav Meir's. Because stam mishnah keRav Meir -- a plain [unattributed opinion in the] mishnah is according to Rav Meir. And a stam mishnah has more authority than most quoted opinions. If Rav Yehudah haNasi meant that the halakhah was like R' Meir (his rebbe and prior editor of the mishnah), he would have edited the mishnah as being nameless. Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 11:17
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    @MichaBerger Stam Mishna means that Rebbi felt that there was no dissenting opinion worth writing. Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 17:56

1 Answer 1


Because those general rules are not exhaustive, as the Gemara itself says (about Rabbi Shimon vs Rabbi Yehuda), "ומאי קושיא דילמא היכא דאיתמר איתמר היכא דלא איתמר לא איתמר "

The Gemara rejects this argument: What is the difficulty posed by this ruling? Perhaps where it is stated explicitly to the contrary, it is stated, but where it is not stated explicitly to the contrary, it is not stated, and these principles apply.

And, as Rashi put it:

בהדיא הלכה כרבי שמעון איתמר וכי כיילינן רבי יהודה ור"ש הלכה כרבי יהודה להיכא דלא איתמר הלכתא לא כמר ולא כמר:

That the general rule that the Halacha follows Rabbi Yehuda against Rabbi Shimon applies only where there wasn't an explicit ruling. But if there's an explicit ruling (א"ר חלבו אמר רב חמא בר גוריא אמר רב הלכה כדברי האומר כולה), the Halacha follows the ruling.

  • 1
    +1 The only general rule that really holds consistently is אין למדין מן הכללות
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 18:02

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