So I've heard many times that the Talmud is sealed and there's no arguing with it or repealing rabbinical decrees. But I've also heard that when Moshiach comes his court will repeal many decrees. But how does he do this if it's sealed? Even if you say when the rule was made it was intended that Moshiach be an exception to the rule, but I believe I've heard in the beginning we won't know he's Moshiach. Does that mean he only begins repealing decrees after absolutely proving he's Moshiach?

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  • @Rosends That first link is also merely related. It doesn't answer the question. Also it's strange because it appears to be wrong on two points. The first is not neccesarily true, that the Torah is neccesarily sealed, as some argue that if Hashem decided to do another har Sinai level event and add or subtract HE could. So it is sealed for us I suppose. The second is that the Talmud is the Oral Torah and therefore sealed as clearly many parts of the Talmud are not Oral torah but based on logic or are about rabbinical decrees. Yet these parts are also sealed.
    – Orion
    Sep 3, 2018 at 22:54

2 Answers 2


A future court may overturn a ruling of a previous Sanhedrin, if it is greater in wisdom and number than the previous court. (Talmud Tractate Ediyus 1:5)

Moshiach will eventually reach that qualification.

Since we do not consider ourselves greater in wisdom and number compared to the Sages of the Talmud, we view it as "sealed" for all intents and purposes.

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    But how do we know he's greater in wisdom? Generally when anyone has a problem with something earlier Rabbunun said peoples reaction is "what you think your smarter than blank??". So how do we know to listen to him? And how does he know that he's wiser?
    – Orion
    Sep 3, 2018 at 23:07
  • @Orion See this related question: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/59523/… Sep 3, 2018 at 23:10
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    @Orion If he isn't that wise... you got the wrong Moshiach buddy. :) Your further question is valid, but its not part of your initial question and my answer was for your question only. But to add for the sake of your comment's q: Moshiach will be the ultimate Jewish personage. He will be granted extreme wisdom that will qualify him to accomplish such things as decide law and overturn something if needed. Regular people don't receive that. Sep 3, 2018 at 23:12
  • It's worth mentioning that the Messianic era will include (according to most accounts, though the Rambam appears to disagree) a whole plethora of exceptional events in Jewish history including the abolishing of all holidays except Purim...on some level you could look at quite a lot of Judaisim as being temporarily sealed until his arrival. Sep 4, 2018 at 0:28
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    @SAH the guy who wouldn't marry Rus agrees with the Mishnah in the answer above. He lived way before the Talmud was sealed and worried that a future court may overturn the heter given to Rus. As far as giyur issues, I do not think the chumrahs being advised are for issues that have been certainly sealed/resolved by the Talmud. If you have a specific issue in mind, please ask about it. :) Sep 13, 2018 at 22:41

When I started my Talmud study I also thought so, but the Talmud is not what you think. Talmud is sealed the same way any other book, like [להבדיל] "The Old Man and the Sea" is sealed. The text is fixed.

But what you do with the text and what Halachot you derive from it is open for everyone. This is the reason the Rishonim (Ri"F, Ro"sh, Rambam, Rahi etc) learned Halachot differently from one another on the basis of the same Talmud.

When Moshiach comes he can offer his understanding of the Talmud that will form new Halachot without altering the text of the Talmud.

To your premises:

  1. "there's no arguing" - there's no need arguing, the Talmud is extremely vague - everyone can understand the same statements differently and arrive to contradicting Halachot.

  2. "repealing rabbinical decrees" - no need to repeal. You can always say [the same way Rabbis treat the Mishnah] that a decree only refers to a private case, and rule the Halachah otherwise. BTW the number of clear and final rulings in the Talmud is very very small. We don't rely nowadays on the Talmud alone but only on the Rishonim and the Achronim.

  • arguing with it or repealing rabbinical decrees doesn't sound like offering a different understanding of it.
    – Alex
    Sep 4, 2018 at 12:13
  • @Alex I don't understand what you're saying
    – Al Berko
    Sep 4, 2018 at 12:18
  • The question here was that he heard that one can't argue with the Talmud or repeal rabbinical decrees so how can Moshiach repeal decrees? You answered that Moshiach can offer his understanding of the Talmud, but the question seems to be asking about actual disagreeing.
    – Alex
    Sep 4, 2018 at 12:21
  • @Alex I added the "premises" part - did you read it? Talmud is not a compendium of Halachot as the OP suggests, it is a compendium of riddles everyone solves differently. So in some way the existing Poskim already repeal the Talmudic decrees and it's OK with everyone.
    – Al Berko
    Sep 4, 2018 at 12:27
  • I see your edit now. When an answer consists of rejecting premises of the question, make sure you explicitly state that you are refuting specific premises. In this case your answer still assumes that the premise of But I've also heard that when Moshiach comes his court will repeal many decrees. is incorrect, so you might want to state that explicitly in your answer.
    – Alex
    Sep 4, 2018 at 12:32

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