Questions tagged [machlokes]

Questions concerning arguments within Judaism and their outcomes.

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17
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are challenges to respected rabbis not treated seriously?

Say someone disagrees with the Chazon Ish or has a problem with the Aruch HaShulchan in a particular halachic area. Sure, they're no gadol, and they might have not even learned an extensive volume of ...
12
votes
4answers
629 views

How could Rav be disproved?

Frequently, when the Gemara tries to disprove Rav from a Mishna, it answers that he's considered a Tanna and can argue on a Mishna. But there's this case in Berachos 37a, where Rav and Shmuel both ...
12
votes
3answers
350 views

Why is there a difference of opinion about whether modern magic is prohibited or permitted?

I'm an amateur magician. All of the Ashkenazi rabbis that I've talked to said that as long as my audience knows that I am just doing tricks and not real magic, the Torah allows me to perform magic ...
11
votes
2answers
756 views

Plain seltzer on Pesach

The 2016 Passover Directory published by the Star-K (Orthodox Jewish Council of Baltimore) says: Any unflavored seltzer may be used. A 2016 Twitter post by the Chicago Rabbinical Council says: ...
11
votes
3answers
477 views

Why was a bat kol able to settle the dispute between Battei Hillel and Shammai?

Eiruvin 13b recounts an argument between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai. The argument grew very heated until a bat kol intervened and stated the famous line elu v'elu divrei elohim chayim ("These and ...
10
votes
4answers
399 views

Why is there a dispute as to which tefillin are the correct ones?

Since the mitzvah of tefillin is observed every day except for Shabbos and festivals, there should have been continuous knowledge as to the correct order of the parshas. So how did it come about that ...
10
votes
1answer
99 views

What's behind the disagreement about the first words of the blessings immediately before Shema?

The Talmud, in Berachot 11b, records a disagreement between Shemuel and the rabbinic majority regarding the beginning of the blessings that we say immediately before Shema in the evening and in the ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel always argue?

Why is it that the Academies of Shammai and Hillel have contradictory opinions in most of the verses? It's almost as if one is waiting for the other to give a contradictory opinion. Take, for example,...
9
votes
7answers
1k views

Why don't we just follow the shittah of Moshe Rabeinu?

My question can apply to virtually all mitzvos where there is a disagreement in the standard way to fulfill them. If one reads the hakdama (introduction) to the Rambam's peirush mishnayos (commentary ...
8
votes
2answers
118 views

Why does the order of temple services in our prayers follow the non-hallachic opinion?

Something that has bothered me for a long time, and I have not found a good explanation for, is why we recite the order of service in the temple following Abbaye in the name of Abba Shaul, despite the ...
8
votes
1answer
227 views

Are there traditional Orthodox websites that counter thetorah.com?

thetorah.com promotes arguments for the view that the Torah (and other books of Tanach) were written by multiple authors over a long period of time. They do this while still seeing themselves under ...
8
votes
1answer
143 views

How come Bais Hillel is usually lenient and Bais Shammai usually stringent?

It seems like the Bais Hillel had a tendency to be lenient in Halachic matters vs the Bais Shammai, it was a sort of a presumption to them in which they were almost always successful to back up with ...
7
votes
2answers
362 views

Examples of Rabbis who had strong disagreements and were amicable

I'm looking for examples of Rabbis who had a serious disagreement and were nevertheless very kind and thoughtful towards each other. The main reason I'm asking for examples is to illustrate what a ...
7
votes
1answer
327 views

What's the deal with horseradish at the seder?

Every Pesach seder I've been to, including ones run by Chabad and Hillel, has used horseradish root as the maror. But this seems to be controversial -- maybe horseradish isn't ok at all, or maybe ...
7
votes
2answers
157 views

Koren Siddur on Kal Atzmotai Tomarna

(Note: likely not relevant to those who Daven/read Hebrew with an Ashkenazi pronunciation.) This Shabbos I was asked to lead Pesukei Dezimrah at a shul I was visiting, and I was given a Koren Siddur ...
7
votes
1answer
199 views

Game theory in the Tanaim

I read an article a while back (maybe over a year ago?) in the Mishpacha English Magazine (I'm pretty sure, although it may have been in the Ami) that discussed a certain machlokes Tanaim about how to ...
7
votes
2answers
480 views

What were the arguments for and against man's creation?

The gemara in Eiruvin 13b teaches that for two and a half years there was a dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel - these said that it was better for man not to have been created than to have ...
6
votes
2answers
383 views

How can all the great rabbis' practices be accepted by Hashem? [duplicate]

This may seem like a child's question, but it's one I never thought to ask as a child, so I never learned the answer. Rabbinic traditions — even within continuous geographical lineages amongst ...
6
votes
1answer
589 views

What did Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai argue about for three years?

Eiruvin 13b records a dispute between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai that went on for three years, after which a bat kol (voice from heaven) intervened. The point of bringing this story here in the g'...
6
votes
3answers
118 views

How do I decide between conflicting opinions?

Let's say there are two opinions about a halachic matter and different rabbis rule differently according to one or the other. Let's also say everybody knows that. What should I do, or must I do, or ...
6
votes
2answers
260 views

When can you turn a dispute into a safek?

In this answer, I proposed that since there is a machlokes rishonim on a certain issue, it counts as a safek (doubt), although the Shulchan Aruch rules strictly. DoubleAA commented, saying that he ...
6
votes
1answer
200 views

Understanding Yevamot 4:13's proof of who, exactly, is a mamzer

When it comes to the question of who is a mamzer, numerous conflicting theories abound in the early rabbinic literature. The opinion presented anonymously in Qiddushin 3:12, which appears to be ...
6
votes
3answers
213 views

If two rabbis tell you opposite things which do you listen to?

If you ask two rabbis the same question and they give you opposite answers (one says mutar the other says assur). Which do you listen to?
5
votes
1answer
282 views

Is Chabad halachically monolithic?

Is there such a thing as a machlokes in practical halacha within Chabad? As far as I know (which isn't very far), Chabad has, or at least had until 2 decades ago, one central figure leading the ...
5
votes
1answer
80 views

Mekor for R' Haim on Tannaim vs Amoraim

I've heard that R' Haim Soloveitchik said that although there is no law stating that Amoraim may not argue with Tannaim, nevertheless it isn't customary for an Amora to contradict a Tanna. Does ...
5
votes
1answer
168 views

picking and choosing halachic rulings

I have heard many times from Rabbinim and in lectures that to pick and choose rulings is forbidden. I would like a halachic source for this. I can understand that one should be consistent, but if one ...
5
votes
1answer
43 views

Why the different wording for the three proofs atop שבת דף מ ע״א?

The Bavli, Shabas 40 amud 1, cites a disagreement between Rav and Sh'muel. It then brings three proofs to Sh'muel's view. Each proof quotes what appears AFAICT to be a b'raysa, and each proof is ...
5
votes
0answers
95 views

Poskening Leniently

For situations where a Rav is searching for a lenient ruling, such as in cases of major financial loss or aguna, etc., what are the guidelines that he must follow? Is he allowed to rule like a single ...
5
votes
2answers
199 views

Why does the Mishna/Gemara so rarely mention the practical Halacha?

The Mishna frequently mentions different opinions. Some opinions are generally rejected Halachicly (Rabbi Elazar, Beis Shammai). Why doesn't the Mishna mention who the Halacha follows (in general). ...
5
votes
0answers
123 views

The Fourth Exile, Persia or Rome?

When Avraham experiences a vision of 'fear, darkness, great, descending upon him', (Gen 15:12), the Midrash says that these four words refer to the 4 exiles. Fear is Babylon, darkness is Medea, great ...
5
votes
0answers
162 views

Disparate Zemanim in the same local community

Someone pointed out on a local email list that the ending time for Tish'ah BeAv is listed differently - significantly so - at various institutions in our local community. He noted the following times ...
5
votes
0answers
136 views

Following the stringencies of different opinions

There is a tangential discussion in 'Eruvin, Daf 6b-7a about whether or not we can take the stringencies of two conflicting opinions. The Gemara seems adamant that we cannot, though there are examples ...
5
votes
1answer
62 views

How could (or why did) Raba follow Rav's stringencies but not his leniencies?

Eruvin 6 amud 2 says someone who follows the stringencies of Bes Shamay and of Bes Hilel is a fool walking in darkness: rather, it says, one should follow the one or the other, both when it is lenient ...
4
votes
2answers
101 views

How did the initial Mishnaic disagreements arise?

The Wikipedia on Tannaim says this Until the days of Hillel and Shammai (the last generation of the Zugot), there were few disagreements among Rabbinic scholars. After this period, though, the "...
4
votes
1answer
245 views

Is it wrong to hang a Mezuzah diagonally?

I heard we're supposed to hang a mezuzah the same way as the door bolts. The door bolt is either horizontal or vertical. I know that the strong debate over whether it should be vertically or ...
4
votes
1answer
154 views

Who was the “Tana Dvei Rabbi Yishmael”?

What are the teachings labeled "Tana Dvei Rabbi Ishmael"? Are they Braisos or Amoraic teachings? On one hand, on Shabbos 26b we find it arguing on Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar (a Tana). On the other ...
4
votes
1answer
129 views

How were long-running talmudic discussions actually conducted?

Eiruvin 13b records two years-long disputes between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, and surely these are not the only long-running debates. How did that work in practice? Did they really have a single ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Why are disputes in pairs?

The final paragraph of this answer: We do have the tools to derive from the Torah what those Halachos are (Moshe Rabeinu taught them to us), but these rules are very general in nature and therefore ...
4
votes
1answer
203 views

GE Shabbos / Yom Tov mode on ovens - Machlokes

In this question How does Shabbos/Yom Tov mode on a stove work? it discusses how the Shabbos / Yom Tov mode works. I have recently heard that there are Rabbis that do not allow using this mode. Does ...
4
votes
0answers
211 views

Current Chicken Controversy in Jerusalem [closed]

The original questioner asked the following: What is the kashrus problem with Eida Chareidis Chickens, and why does the Eida think its not a problem? (kikar.co.il/194374.html – @kouty) However this ...
3
votes
2answers
592 views

when is the halacha like Bais Shammai and not Bais Hillel?

When is the halacha like Bais Shammai and not Bais Hillel? Are there overarching principles that apply? What are the cases? Is there a good reference that summarizes them?
3
votes
2answers
121 views

Tannaim vs Amoiraim

Can an Amora argue with a Tanna? From the Talmud it would seem that an Amora cannot argue with a Tanna and that is why it tries to fit in all Amoraic statements into the words of the Tannaim.
3
votes
1answer
151 views

Rema more meikel than mechaber in bb"ch?

Is Rema more lenient than mechaber anywhere in the laws of milk and meat? Usually, it seems, he is stricter.
3
votes
1answer
646 views

Rav Moshe's Psak on Fertility Treatments

I recently read an interview with Rav Dovid Feinstein and he referenced a two year period of Rav Moshe's life that were troubling due to backlash he received following a controversial psak regarding ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Why does Rambam say the omer can be cut by day and on Shabas?

Rambam תמידין ומוספין chapter 7: מצותו להקצר בלילה בליל ששה עשר בין בחול בין בשבת. וכל הלילה כשר לקצירת העומר ואם קצרוהו ביום כשר The command of [the omer] is to be reaped at night, the night ...
3
votes
1answer
283 views

If the Oral Torah is Divine, why are there arguments? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why don’t we just follow the shittah of Moshe Rabeinu? If the Oral Torah is Divine, how are there arguments in the Mishnah and Gemara? (I have heard this question asked ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

Arguing with the Rishonim

Is there an accepted understanding among Orthodox Jews that an Achron cannot argue with a Rishon (Torah scholars who lived between the years 1000 and 1500)? If so,what is this concept based on and ...
3
votes
0answers
142 views

What's wrong with Rashi's explanation of Hechsher Mitzvah?

A Daf Yomi Shi'ur that I listen to went into details about Hechsher Mitzvah when we reached Yevamoth 6a. Essentially, Rashi says that the Gemara's term, "Hechsher Mitzvah", is referring to a scenario ...
2
votes
2answers
238 views

When did we start to be machmir?

When looking into the Talmud in the most places after bringing a machloket it says that the halacha is like x. On the other edge of the time when reading the Mishna Brurah it looks like he doesn't ...
2
votes
1answer
270 views

How do we treat a י"א in the Shulchan Aruch?

Is there a general principle for how we treat a י"א = יש אומרים (yesh omrim, "some say") cited in the Shulchan Aruch for the purposes of determining halacha? If not, are there examples of two halachos ...