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Eruvin 7: How to Not Be Wicked – and Also Not a Fool

What do you do when you want to follow the stringencies of two opinions, and they contradict?! Bottom line principle: Follow Beit Hillel! What if you like Beit Shammai’s position better? Sure, go ahead. What you should *not* do is follow only the leniencies of both Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai. *Nor* only the stringencies of both. Example: Is the new year for the trees on the first or the fifteenth of Shevat? There are practical differences… and Rabbi Akiva kept the stringencies of both dates. Also: The intertextuality of this Gemara – going back to the principle that the ruling is always in accord with Beit Hillel, as told by a bat kol. But that position only works as long as you accept the notion that a bat kol is authoritative – which R. Eliezer does not. Our daf presumes knowledge or the background… And is thereby engaging in a nuanced discussion about the multiplicity of approaches within halakhah.


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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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