16 votes
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Is anyone against the rational teachings of Maimonides?

Yes, several subsequent Jewish authorities criticized Maimonides, either for his general approach or for specific statements. A few examples: Nachmanides in his commentary to Genesis 18:1 criticizes ...
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13 votes

Why do Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel always argue?

In terms of why they argue, the Arizal wrote that Beis Shammai embodied the characteristic of middas hadin, strict justice, whereas Beis Hillel embodied the attribute of middas harachamim, mercy. ...
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13 votes
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How could Rav be disproved?

I thought to answer as follows: When the Gemara answers that Rav is a tanna, that is when the question is on Rav alone. In this case the question is on a joint statement of Rav and Shmuel. (Whether ...
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11 votes

List of instances where Rambam argues on the Rif

We have testimony from Rambam himself about this. Towards the end of his introduction to his Commentary on the Mishnah, Rambam writes as follows: וההלכות שעשה הרב הגדול רבינו יצחק זצ"ל הספיקו ...
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10 votes
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What's the deal with horseradish at the seder?

TLDR: The Talmud's preferred plant for Maror is lettuce-like and leafy. In cold climates people started using horseradish root because it was still too cold to grow leafy plants at Pesach time, and if ...
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9 votes
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What's controversial about Chemdat HaYamim?

The work deals with laws and customs, particularly relating to the holidays. It is strongly associated with Sabbatianism and was attributed by R. Yaakov Emden (e.g. in his Torat HaK'naot, Altona, 1752,...
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9 votes
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How can we say something is a machlokes Rashi vs Tosfos, if Rashi can't respond or defend himself?

The general assumption made while learning rishonim (and even more applicable to ammoraim and tannaim) is that they meant what they said, they are consistent with their own shitos/halachic positions ...
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8 votes

Examples of Rabbis who had strong disagreements and were amicable

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook and Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld were practically polar opposites in terms of hashkafa (for example, in response to Rabbi Kook setting up the Eretz Yisrael Chief Rabbinate, ...
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8 votes

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

The Encyclopedia Talmudit entry on “Bas Qol”, the paragraph about its impact on halachah focuses on the apparent conflict between the conclusion one would get from the Tanur Akhnai story and from the ...
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  • 8,740
7 votes
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Plain seltzer on Pesach

The CRC is the source of a detailed article (written January 2008) that explains the reasoning behind the discussion of the generation of carbon dioxide. The significant part is at the end where they ...
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7 votes

Is anyone against the rational teachings of Maimonides?

See Rabbi Samson Refael Hirsch, in his Nineteen Letters, letter 18. He criticizes the rational approach of Maimonides, but without mentioning him by name: he sought to reconcile Judaism with the ...
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  • 1,767
6 votes
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When did we start to be machmir?

This is an oversimplification, but the question is also very general. I will preface with another two questions. Why is it that if someone rules according to Beis Shamai, or for that matter any ...
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6 votes

Plain seltzer on Pesach

OUKOSHER.ORG says that carbon dioxide used to be produced from grain fermentation. I imagine that the Star-K has determined it is not a concern and the CRC-Chicago has been unable to verify this to ...
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6 votes

Rav Shach and Lubavitsher Rebbe

In his letters printed in michtavim umaamarim (Simanim 534 and 535), Rav Shach responded to an accusation of disliking chasidim in general. He vehemently denied this, stating as proof that there were ...
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6 votes

Rav Shach and Lubavitsher Rebbe

There were several things. One was the Rebbe's innovation of learning Rambam everyday to finish it in 1 years or 3 years. R. Shach mocked it saying that people already knew of the Rambam before the ...
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  • 2,365
6 votes

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

This kind of questions are generally in masechet Eduyot. Masechet Eduyot 1, 12 until the end of the perek, 5, several Mishnayot with Kule BS. Shabbat 1, 4: Succa 2, 7: Tosfot in Succa 3a in ...
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6 votes

How could Rav be disproved?

There is another gemara where Rav is refuted from a beraita, and the gemara does not answer that Rav is a tanna who can argue. Take a look at Menachot 5a (today's page in the Daf Yomi cycle!). Rav is ...
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6 votes
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Koren Siddur on Kal Atzmotai Tomarna

Newer editions of the Koren Tanach also mark kamatz katan, and they agree with the siddur and mark this one as kamatz katan as well. Here's what they have to say about it in the back: באותו אופן ...
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6 votes

How do I decide between conflicting opinions?

The Gemara (Chagiga 3b) discusses this very question: אלו תלמידי חכמים שיושבין אסופות אסופות ועוסקין בתורה הללו מטמאין והללו מטהרין הללו אוסרין והללו מתירין הללו פוסלין והללו מכשירין שמא יאמר אדם ...
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  • 7,331
5 votes

Why do different halachic authorities arrive at conflicting rulings?

Besides for the difference in applying identical methodologies detailed by @y.lub there are also differing methodologies used. For example, Rambam relied heavily on the Talmud Yerushalmi while most ...
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5 votes
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Game theory in the Tanaim

The discussion is indeed Dr. Aumann's discussion on Kesuvos 93a regarding the man who dies with insufficient funds to pay for his three wives' Kesubos. He claims to be the first to come up with this ...
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5 votes

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

First off, this is a perfectly valid and very important question, and it deserves a thorough, well thought out answer. While I'm not sure I can provide that, I'll try to give at least a small answer ...
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5 votes

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

תלמוד בבלי מסכת עירובין דף יג עמוד ב אמר רבי אבא אמר שמואל: שלש שנים נחלקו בית שמאי ובית הלל, הללו אומרים הלכה כמותנו והללו אומרים הלכה כמותנו. יצאה בת קול ואמרה: אלו ואלו דברי אלהים חיים הן, והלכה ...
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  • 6,588
5 votes
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Sefer on Igros Moshe

The work in question is the Ma'aneh L'igrot מענה לאגרות of R. Yom Tov Schwartz.
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5 votes

Why is there no tayku in the Jerusalem Talmud?

Rashi in Bava Metzia 85a explains why Rabbi Zeira fasted for 100 days in order to forget the Babylonian method of learning so that he could be a receptacle for the Talmud Yerushalmi with a clear mind: ...
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5 votes

Eruvin 51a: Using Deception to Assert an Opinion?

This is cited as law by R. Abraham Gombiner in Magen Avraham O.C. 167:1 אם שמע דין ונראה לו שהלכה כך מותר לאמרו בשם אדם גדול כי היכי דליקבלי מיניה If one hears a law and it seems to him that the law ...
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  • 48.1k
4 votes
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Mekor for R' Haim on Tannaim vs Amoraim

See Kovetz Shiurim (Bava Basra 633). (The book Torah Chazal and Science quotes the R. Elchonon citing R. Chaim. I imagine then that it isnt in any of R. Chaim's sfarim.)
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  • 34.9k
4 votes

Why do Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel always argue?

The Iggeres HaRav Sherira HaGaon, a fabulous history of the Oral Torah and how it came to be written down in the Mishna and subsequently in the Gemara, speaks to this point. Rav Sherira (ca 900-1000 ...
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4 votes

Why no argument between Bet Shamai & Bet Hillel regarding how to count the Omer?

Chanuka is inherently connected to Sukkot where the Musaf offering includes a "countdown" of bulls. Sefirat HaOmer, on the other hand, is a biblical command to count 50 days from the offering of the ...
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