Questions tagged [infallibility]

Questions regarding the ability of an authority/authorities to err.

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9 votes
3 answers

How can the Sanhedrin ever err?

On the one hand we know that if a Sanhedrin issued an erroneous decision (which was acted upon) they must bring a sacrifice (Vayikra 4:13). On the other, we have the concept of "lo bashamayim hi" (...
  • 2,054
4 votes
1 answer

If rishonim/acharonim frequently make mistakes in their zeal to critique others, can we still justify a belief in their singular devotion to truth?

I was always taught that the great Torah scholars were as near-perfect human beings as could possibly be, particularly in their scholarly abilities, but perhaps even more so in their character traits ...
  • 48.4k
4 votes
6 answers

Can Chazal be wrong? [duplicate]

I understand that a later ruling can't contradict an earlier one, but does that mean that Chazal are infallible, the way Catholics believe the Pope is infallible? And if so, where's the line? Who was ...
  • 396
5 votes
1 answer

Are we allowed to assume that a Rabbi may have not thought of something?

Sometimes in reading a difficult Rishon or Acharon, you come across a statement which seems limited and difficult to understand. Sometimes it's what seems to be an answer to a question which skims ...
  • 4,283
5 votes
1 answer

Why are observant Jews so reluctant to admit that Chazal could ever make mistakes? [closed]

I have great respect for many of our sages of blessed memory, but there seems to be a tendency among Jews to refuse to admit the possibility that they could have ever made mistakes. I have been ...
  • 5,155
8 votes
3 answers

Are the works of Maimonides treated as divinely inspired?

How are the writings of Moses Maimonides typically "seen" by Jews? Are his works considered to be directly inspired by God (such as the Tanakh) and therefore infallible, or are they considered to be "...
  • 221
8 votes
3 answers

How can I know a rav has daas Torah

I have been privileged to know rabbis of great wisdom and knowledge who could address my issues with unique and helpful insights through the prism of Torah. I always understood them to have "daas ...
  • 15.8k
1 vote
3 answers

Are gedolei Yisroel fallible?

Is there a source to assert that the leaders of the Jewish people at any given time are always correct in how they lead (perhaps because their decisions are divinely inspired), or is it possible to ...
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