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מסכת הוריות

פרק א משנה ב

הורו בית דין

If Beis Din issued a decision

וידעו שטעו 

and [then] knew it was in error

וחזרו בהן 

and they retracted

בין שהביאו כפרתן 

whether they had brought their atonement,

ובין שלא הביאו כפרתן 

whether they they had not brought their atonement,

והלך ועשה על פיהן 

and one proceeds to act based on their [previous, erroneous] word

רבי שמעון פוטרא

Rabbi Shimon exempts [him from liability]א

ורבי אליעזר אומר ספקב

and Rabbi Eliezer says it is a case of doubt.ב

איזהו ספק  

What is a case of doubt [that Rabbi Eliezer is referring to]?

ישב לו בתוך ביתו חיבג 

One who sat at home is liableג

 הלך לו למדינת הים פטור

one who traveled overseas is exempt.

אמר רבי עקיבא  

Rabbi Akiva says:

מודה אני בזהד

I concede in this caseד

שהוא קרוב לפטור

that he is near to being exempt

מן החובה 

than liable

אמר לו בן עזאי 

Ben Azzai said to him

מה שנה זה 

how is this different

מן היושב בביתו 

than one who sits at home?

שהיושב בביתו

[Rabbi Akiva replied:] One who sits at home

אפשר היה לו שישמע

had the opportunity to have heard [of the retraction]


and this one

לא היה אפשר לו שישמע

did not have the opportunity to have heard.


משנה ג

הורו בית דין

If Beis Din issued a decision

לעקור את כל הגוף

to uproot the entire body [of a particular area halacha],

אמרו אין נדה בתורה

[such as if] they say there is no [laws relating to] niddah in the Torah,

אין שבת בתורה

[or] there is not Shabbos [laws] in the Torah,

אין עבודה זרה בתורה

[or] there is no idolatry [prohibition] in the Torah,

הרי אלו פטוריןה

in such a case they are exempt.ה

הורו לבטל מקצת

If they issued a decision to abolish part

ולקים מקצת

and to fulfill part,

הרי אלו חיבין 

they are culpable.


How is such a case?

אמרו יש נדה בתורה

If they say that there is [the prohibition of] niddah in the Torah

אבל הבא על שומרת יום כנגד יוםן

but one who has relations with a woman observing one day opposite the other day,ן


they are exempt,

יש שבת בתורה

[if they say] there is Shabbos in the Torah,

אבל המוציא מרשות היחיד

but one who takes [an object] from a private domain

לרשות הרבים פטור

to a public domain is exempt,

יש עבודה זרה בתורה

[if they say] there is [a prohibition] against idolatry in the Torah

אבל המשתחוה פטור

but one who bows is exempt

הרי אלו חיביןז

they are culpable,ז

שנאמר (ויקרא ד:יג)י

as it says

ונעלם דבר מעיני הקהל

"And a matter will be forgotten from the eyes of the community"

 דבר ולא כל הגוף

[this refers to] a matter, but not an entire body [of halacha].


הערת שוליים

א.    This case is where a majority of the nation had followed this erroneous ruling, allowing the individual to be included in the כפרה of the פר העלם דבר של צבור.

ב.    An individual is obligated to keep himself abreast of the latest developments from the בית דין, and so this creates a questions of whether or not this particular individual is personally culpable in such a case, and so according to ר"א he must bring a קרבן אשם תלוי, as appropriate in cases of doubtful culpability.

ג.    This refers to being חייב to bring an אשם תלוי.

ד.    The case referred to by רבי עקיבא here and in his subsequent exchange with בן עזאי is of a person who is at home at the time that he transgressed, but was preparing to depart on a trip overseas.  In such a case, רבי עקיבא holds, the person is so involved with his trip we judge him closer to exempt than culpable for his failure to remain abreast of the latest news from ב"ד.

ה.    That is, the בית דין is exempt from having to bring a פר העלם דבר, but anyone who transgressed based on their error must bring a קרבן חטאת.

ו.    A woman who sees blood during the eleven days following her being a נדה is considered טמא and must watch to see if she experience any bloodflow on the following two days, in which case she is considered a זבה.

ז. In all three of these cases, the גמרא asks, the ב"ד is actually uprooting what should be considered an entire body of law.  Therefore we say that in the case of a שומרת יום כנגד יום, the ב"ד said that this rule applies only in the case of seeing blood at day, but not at night; in the case of הוצאה, the ב"ד either allowed זריקה or הכנסה; and in the case of עבודה זרה, the ב"ד permitted kneeling, though not bowing.