Eruvin 3:8:

מַתְנֶה אָדָם עַל עֵרוּבוֹ וְאוֹמֵר, אִם בָּאוּ גוֹיִים מִן הַמִּזְרָח, עֵרוּבִי לַמַּעֲרָב. מִן הַמַּעֲרָב, עֵרוּבִי לַמִּזְרָח. ... אִם בָּא חָכָם מִן הַמִּזְרָח, עֵרוּבִי לַמִּזְרָח. מִן הַמַּעֲרָב, עֵרוּבִי לַמַּעֲרָב. ...

A person can make a condition on his eruv [techumin] and say that if non-Jews [tax collectors - Bartenura] come from the east, my eruv is [the one I set up] to the west. [If they come] from the west, my eruv is to the east. ... If the Chacham comes from the east, my eruv is to the east. If he comes from the west, my eruv is to the west. ...

Let’s say that a person makes both of these conditions - if the Chacham comes from the east my eruv is on the east, and if a tax collector comes from the east, my eruv is on the west. Then over Shabbos the Chacham and the tax collector both came from the east. What now? His two conditions contradict each other. Do we say he gets to choose (as per the later clause - “if he/they come from both sides, my Eruv is whichever I wish”)? Do we say neither is valid, since they contradict? Do we say that whichever one he used first/last is the one we go like, similar to the terms of a business deal (BM 102b)? Something else?

This question isn’t particularly limited to Eruvin; this could theoretically be made with any context where we say Yesh Bereirah and thus can make conditions which are later clarified to contradict each other.

  • Who said you are allowed to make multiple conditions? – Double AA Jan 6 '18 at 23:50
  • @DoubleAA I don’t see why you shouldn’t be allowed to. “If x and y are true, then z.” – DonielF Jan 7 '18 at 0:18
  • what you just said can't lead to contradictions bc it's one condition: a conjunction. If the conjunction is true or not. – Double AA Jan 7 '18 at 0:24
  • @DoubleAA Right. So if I make a conjunction that ultimately leads to a paradox, then what? – DonielF Jan 7 '18 at 0:35
  • That's doesn't make sense. A conjunction is either true or not true. – Double AA Jan 7 '18 at 0:36

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