[Avodah] Bas Kol

Joseph Kaplan jkaplan at tenzerlunin.com
Mon Jun 10 07:48:07 PDT 2024

Let me try this explanation for the possible non- contradiction of the two bas kol stories. In the tanur story, Rebbi Eliezer asked for the BK to intercede. He went outside the usual parameters of deciding Halacha. In that case, even though the BK answered, the rabbis rejected it to make the point to other rabbis that their seeking such heavenly support is not the way we decide halachic disputes and will not help them. It wasn’t really so much rejecting the BK as it was rejecting the idea of asking heaven to tell us what to do. In some ways, rejecting action easycapiriachvyo hakacha; that’s, instead of working in it, just go back to the boss and get your instructions again.

In the eilu ve-eilu story, no one sought heavenly support. There was an ongoing dispute and the heavens wanted to use that dispute to teach an important general lesson about Halacha; namely, that in some situations, we can take an
eilu ve-eilu attitude even though at first blush such a position is not intuitive. In that type of situation, where it’s done by heavenly initiative without an human request and where it’s a new general halachic idea, we do listen to the BK.


Sent from my iPhone
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