We have two Biblical sources that show by deduction than "ceremonial" acts involving k'dusha must be done in a quorum of at least ten. One pasuk is the primary one cited in the Talmud Y'rushalmi -

לשבור בתוך הבאים

and one pasuk is the primary one brought to bear in the Talmud Bavli -

הבדלו מתוך העדה.

In each case the significant word תוך is extended to apply to Hashem's granting of his k'dusha among the nation of Israel, by comparison to

ונקדשתי בתוך בני ישראל.

Rabenu Tam, quoted in Rabenu Bachaye's commentary on Vayikra 22:32, calls the latter d'rasha "imprecise" because it is not right to draw conclusions about Hashem's k'dusha from bad people, prioritizing instead the former d'rasha, which refers to Yosef's brothers, who were righteous. He calls this "ikar hanuscha" - "the main version".

כל דבר שבקדושה צריך עשרה. והוא שאמרו בברכות, "אין דבר שבקדושה בפחות מעשרה שנאמר 'ונקדשתי בתוך בני ישראל', וכתיב התם (במדבר י״ז) 'הבדלו מתוך העדה'. מה להלן עשרה אף כאן עשרה", ופירש ר׳ יעקב שאין נוסחא זו מדוקדקת שאין להביא ראיה מעשרה מרגלים לדבר שבקדושה, אבל עיקר הנוסחא היא כן: אתיא "תוך תוך" - כתיב הכא 'ונקדשחי בתוך' וכ׳ התם (בראשית מ״ב) 'לשבור בתוך הבאים'. מה להלן עשרה אף כאן עשרה. ועכשיו יביא ראיה מעשרה אחי יוסף שהיו צדיקים לדבר שבקדושה

What exactly is Rabenu Tam saying about the correctness of the d'rasha based on the m'raglim?

  • Is he simply saying that methodologically both conclusions are possible, but that when it comes to applying* the halacha we must use the better one?

  • Is it just that we, who have access to both, prefer the one involving tzadikim to that involving r'sha'im, while the amora'im in Bavel didn't have access to the other d'rasha?

  • Is he actually saying that the transcript of the relevant discussion in that g'mara is wrong and that the conclusion they came to in Bavel was also that Yosef's brothers are the source?

*It is reasonable to think that Rabenu Tam's discussion is not only a theoretical one on the basis of its mention in Y'chave Da'as 6:5.

  • שאין נוסחא זו מדוקדקת means that he doubts the text and prefers a textual variant. That's just what the words mean. Do you have reason to suspect that he means something other than what he says?
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 2, 2017 at 19:10
  • @mevaqesh No, I might just be distracted by the Y'rushalmi/Bavli thing. You're suggesting ר"ת was not referring to the ירושלמי at all, but to a better בבלי version. So "עיקר הנוסחא" should be understood as "the correct version", or something like that.
    – WAF
    Jan 2, 2017 at 20:08
  • The Tosafists weren't in the habit of rejecting the Gemara because they don't like it. They weren't Zionist Yerushalmi revivalists. They were, however, in the habit of emending texts, or preferring one text over another text.
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 2, 2017 at 20:10
  • @mevaqesh Heh. Yeah, a "conspiracy theory" is not what was distracting me. I was just not assuming that Rabenu Tam had another version of the Bavli that looked like that because it wasn't mentioned specifically in this quote. But maybe it is that simple. Thanks! I suppose I need the source of the quotation.
    – WAF
    Jan 2, 2017 at 20:26
  • You mean the R. Bachye's source?
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 2, 2017 at 20:28

1 Answer 1


The third possibility is the right.

אין להביא ראיה מעשרה מרגלים לדבר שבקדושה

It is not a right inference to provide a proof from a group of wrongdoers for groups of Holy work. (The attributes of a group of wrongdoers have perhaps different criteria.)

אין להביא ראיה is a rule of argumentation.

But maybe that after the observation of the third place of the word Toch in meraglim we can refute the hava amina which prevented the direct link between meraglim and davar shebikdusha. Rabbenu Tam addresses mainly the logical sequence of the drasha.

  • I'm not familiar with "אין להביא ראיה". Can you explain how it fits here? I'll check the k'lalim references also.
    – WAF
    Jan 3, 2017 at 14:44
  • @WAF " it is not possible to provide evidence from"
    – kouty
    Jan 3, 2017 at 14:46
  • @WAF if you want to check klalim of Gzera shava, I don't know enough to help you. Bu I know that there are several kinds of GS, in some cases, they know that there is a GS תוך-תוך and the choice is not really a part of the kabbala; additionally there is more than a formally technic, as the gzera ובא הכהן ושב הכהן זו היא ביאה זו היא שיבה , Rabenu Tam refers as a rule that requires a contextual equivalence (I assume, but no proof), anyways the אין להביא ראיה can be checked if you have a digitalized chass.
    – kouty
    Jan 3, 2017 at 14:52
  • And I fear that even the application of the g"sh rules could be questionable here because Ra"n holds this whole discussion is only asmachtos. I have a couple on paper, but not with me at the moment.
    – WAF
    Jan 3, 2017 at 14:55
  • @WAF if it is asmachtot so it's more probable to build the din derabanan on the basis of the brothers
    – kouty
    Jan 3, 2017 at 14:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .