[Avodah] "It is as if there was a bas kol..."

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Wed Jun 5 17:51:54 PDT 2024

In YD 274:13 (this coming Friday) RYME writes, "... Uke'ilu Bas Qol Yar
yatza dehalakhah kehaRambam." He famously says something similar about
community eiruvin - "To what effect is any of this extended analysis,
after Eiruvin spread out in most Jewish cities for many hundreds of
year, just relying on this heater. And is it like a BQ went out that
the halakhah is like this opinion." (OC 345:18)

But we know from the famous Tanur Akhnai story that a Bas Qol telling
us what the halakhah should be is meaning!

Doesn't that make this an odd turn of phrase?


That was the post I submitted yesterday. Between then and now, (Jun 6
9:12am EDT) when I picked it out of the moderation queue, I had another

There is another bas qol, one which we do follow lehalakah. Back in 2005
I posted a summary of positions about the halachic authority of a bas qol
from the Ency Talmudit entry "bas qol".
That discussion revolved around contrasting our not holding like R Eliezer
that a tanur akhnai can become tamei -- we hold like the majority that its
pieces aren''t connected enough to qualify as a single keli. The other data
point is "eilu va'eilu divrei Elokim Chayim" -- where we do hold like the

So one resolution is that in the usual case BQ has authority, and there
is a reason why the TA case was different. But that's not commonly held,
and so I doubt that's what RYME is referring to.

In another venue, R Dan Margulies mentioned that R Asher Weiss uses this
idiom as well, for example whenwarning people against being meiqil about
electricity on Shabbos "hotzi es atzmo min hakelal, and it is as if a BQ
was emitted from Shamayim that there is a cheshash melakhah deOraisa."

Anyway, this is where I am currently leaning:

Lekhol hadei'os, when a BQ tells you to do what the kelalei pesaq would
also tell you to do, you are going to hold like a bas qol.

We follow the BQ about following Beis Hillel, but they were the rabbim

Why then the BQ? Well, Beis Shammai were sharper, so maybe people questioned
the applicability of "acharei rabbim". Or, maybe it's because this is
around when the Sanhedrin left the lishqas hagazis (to prevent dinei
nefashos), and people weren't sure about acharei rabbim lehatos when there
was no vote on Har haBayis. I don't know. We do know lemaaseh that Shammutim
existed and didn't follow the majority.

Which is much like the person who chooses to be machmir in the AhS's cases
(at least, the two I remembered), or meiqil in RAW's. Perhaps the idiom
just means "this is such a clear and ancient rov, it is as if a bas like
the one that endorsed Beis Hillel..."

Shetir'u baTov!

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