There are some actions which are permitted, but we do not teach about, in order that people will not abuse or misuse the law. This is called halacha v'ein morin ken ("halacha, but it is not taught").

Could someone provide me with some examples of this in the Gemara? As brought up in the comment section, more "realistic" cases should be discussed in private.

  • 12
    I could, but…
    – msh210
    Apr 23, 2018 at 4:50
  • @msh shouldn't this be closed under the "modesty" policy? "certain questions are discussed only in private"
    – Double AA
    Apr 23, 2018 at 12:29
  • @DoubleAA - even the 8 cases that appear in the gemara <sefaria.org/…>? HvMK is not about modesty as much as worry that the masses would abuse a pesaq. Either because the pesaq only holds in "least of evil" circumstances or because social forces are just waiting for a crack in the floodgates... Apr 23, 2018 at 13:31
  • 1
    @DoubleAA: How did the gemara say "halakha ve'ein morin kein" to begin with and publish a pesaq that it itself should not be published? Moreh is about hora'ah, not discussion. People interested in and capable of theoretical discussion isn't what the idiom is trying to avoid informing. Although, today, with Western notions of autonomy leading people to try pasqening for themselves, perhaps things did get more complicated. Apr 23, 2018 at 14:23
  • 1
    @micha buried away in advanced legal codes and published in searchable English in stack exchange and Google don't seem quite identical
    – Double AA
    Apr 23, 2018 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


Some example below:

Shabbos 12b:

איבעיא להו שמש שאינו קבוע בדמשחא מהו אמר רב הלכה ואין מורין כן

A dilemma was raised before the Sages: What is the ruling with regard to a servant who is not regularly employed in terms of examining cups and dishes by the light of an oil lamp? Is he permitted to examine the cups by candlelight, or not? From the perspective of his being a servant not regularly employed, it should be permitted. On the other hand, because it is an oil lamp it should be prohibited. Rav said: The halakha is that it is permitted, and, however, ab initio a public ruling is not issued to that effect so that they will not come to sin.

Beitza 28b

ואמר אביי הוה קאימנא קמיה דמר והוה קא מעבר סכינא אשפתא דרחיא ואמרי ליה לחדדה קא בעי מר או להעביר שמנוניתה ואמר לי להעביר שמנוניתה וחזיתי לדעתיה דלחדדה קא עביד וקסבר הלכה ואין מורין כן

Similarly, Abaye said: I was standing before my Master and teacher, Rabba, and he was running a knife over the edge of a millstone on a Festival. And I said to him: Does the Master wish to sharpen it, or is he doing this in order to remove its fat? And he said to me: To remove its fat. And I perceived his intention, that he did so in order to sharpen it, but he holds: This is the halakha, but a public ruling is not issued to that effect.

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