In Sanhedrin 14a, the Gemara is explaining how semicha is given. It gives the story of how Rebbi Yehuda Ben Bava gave semicha to his five talmidim. The Gemara asks: how can Rebbi Yehuda Ben Bava give semicha alone? Don't you need at least 3 judges? The Gemara answers that there were two other people there as well, but they weren't mentioned because of the honor of Rebbi Yehuda Ben Bava.

There is a discussion whether all three judges need to have semicha to confer semicha or if only one needs to have semicha. The Ran wants to prove from here that only one needs to have semicha, since if the other two had semicha, they would be mentioned.

My question is: why does Rebbi Yehuda Ben Bava need two extra people according to the Ran? Let him take two out of the five talmidim and give semicha to the other three, then take two and confer semicha to the last two. It seems the fact that Rebbi Yehuda Ben Bava brought two others seems to imply that they all need semicha.

  • Maybe since they were his students they can't give semicha alongside him, even if they don't need to have semicha themselves? Maybe the three have to be Talmidei Chaveirim to one another?
    – DonielF
    Mar 1, 2019 at 2:58
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    Seeing the answer to this question makes me downvote it... Sorry. Mar 1, 2019 at 14:49
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    Oh wow! I saw qoute of the Ran holding that only one needs to have semicha ,I did not look up the Ran inside,very big mistake on my part for not doing so.
    – sam
    Mar 1, 2019 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


The Ran actually writes explicitly that he used two of his students to give smicha to the other.

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