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Eruvin 46: When the Many Dispute the One, and the One Wins

How did the Amoraim view the Tannaim, and the process of halakhic development? Transmission from the previous generations, or inference? The Halakhah is lenient when it comes to eruvin. And that has to be a specific uttered statement, not inference – because it’s too easy to think that the opinion of the “many” would prevail against the opinion of the one (R. Yochanan ben Nuri) – but it doesn’t. Eruvin is rabbinic in any case! The daf continues to explore these principles of how the sages established Halakhah. A case study, as it were, if the one vs. the many – in the context of hearing that one of the 7 close relatives has died, in a “near” or “distant” report (ie: within the first 30 days of when the person has died, or after those 30 days). It’s R. Akiva vs. the sages, in this case (whether one sits shiva if the news arrives more than 30 days after the day of the death). All of this (one vs. many) is when the solitary view is the lenient position, and the many take the stringent view. But the halakhah follows R. Akiva! Breaking this rule! In this case, it’s a matter of the topic, and not the process.


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Anne and Yardaena

Anne Gordon is the deputy editor of Ops & Blogs at The Times of Israel. She is a veteran educator, having taught in high school and post-high school institutions in Israel and America for several decades. Yardaena Osband is a pediatrician and teaches in her community and online. They both hail from Boston, proud alumna of Maimonides School, where they first learned Gemara. Talking Talmud is their conversation (via podcast) on the daf yomi. They say: "Learning the daf? We have something for you to think about. Not learning the daf? We have something for you to think about! (Along with a taste of the daf...) Join the conversation with us!"
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