The Talmud says, in two places, "He who reports a saying in the name of its author brings deliverance to the world." [Megillah 15a; Chullin 104b] Elsewhere, it says, "Rabbi Shim’on ben Zebid said in the name of Rabbi Yitzhaq ben Tabla, who said it in the name of Rabbi Hiyya Areka, who belonged to the school of Rabbi Aha, who said it in the name of Rabbi Zera, who said it in the name of Rabbi Eleazar, who said it in the name of Rabbi Hanania, who said it in the name of Rabbi Mi'asha, on the authority of Rabbi Yehudah ben Il'ai: ___" [Nedarim 8b] But we are still not redeemed. So my question is: How many levels of attribution do we need to bring about the redemption?

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3 Answers 3


Let's be clear - the original person who says something is the one who we are supposed to say it in the same of.

Therefore, I would suggest that it is due to this exact case that we are not being redeemed! Had the Gemara just said it in the name of "Rabbi Yehudah ben Il'ai", then we would have been redeemed. However, the Gemara attributed it to the wrong person no less than 8 times! Do you really expect us to be redeemed?!

  • Ah, but the Gemara made it clear who the originator was. Mentioning all his followers through the ages only serves to bolster his authority. Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 17:41
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    @MauriceMizrahi Is this PTIJ or not? Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 17:43

As I suggest here based on R' Hirsch citing Isaiah, the ultimate Redemption is associated with our attribution of God as the Author of everything.

Therefore, R' Shim’on ben Zebid's reporting the attribution of his idea all the way back to R' Yehudah ben Il'ai gets us part of the way back to God, but not all the way. Had R' Shim'on continued tracking the provenance of his teaching all the way back to Moshe Rabbeinu and thence to God, that would have constituted Redemption.

It's possible the R' Shim'on was overcautious about making such an attribution. The very lesson he was transmitting was:

מאי דכתיב וזרחה לכם יראי שמי (שמש צדקה וגו') אלו בני אדם שהן יראין להוציא שם שמים לבטלה

What is the meaning of that which is written: “But to you that fear My name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings; and you shall go forth and leap as calves of the stall” (Malachi 3:20)? “You that fear My name”; these are people who are afraid to mention the name of Heaven in vain.

Translation including elucidation from the William Davidson Talmud on Sefaria

So, perhaps he was afraid that if he attributed the idea all the way up to God, people would think he was taking God's name in vain, contradicting the lesson itself. Oh, well. No one ever said Redemption would come easily.

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    The Rambam in the introduction to the Yad attributes all the way back to G-d, so we'll have to figure out where he went wrong. Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 18:48

Y'know, repeating something that someone else said can get you into BIG trouble.

True story as an example:

My kids used to have this game where they would throw clothes up to the ceiling fan and watch the fan bat it around the room. They thought it was funny. (Kids have such queer imaginations, sometimes!)

One day, I go up to the bedroom, and I see my ceiling fan is not rotating. Stuck around the fan was a pair of pantyhose. I ask my oldest son, who did it? He says he did it, but, I shouldn't get angry at him because his younger brother suggested that he do it. Guess who got in trouble? The older son, not the younger one.

He thought that he would redeem himself by telling us that his brother suggested it. He was very wrong.

In my opinion, I don't know what the rabbis in Talmud Megillah and Chulin were thinking. But the ones named in Nedarim seemed like they were all drunk on Purim wine.

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