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Mamrim - Chapter 1, Mamrim - Chapter 2, Mamrim - Chapter 3

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Mamrim - Chapter 1

Introduction to Hilchos Mamrim

They include nine mitzvot: three positive commandments and six negative commandments They are:

1. To follow the directives given by the Supreme Sanhedrin;
2. Not to deviate from their words;
3. Not to add to the Torah, neither to the mitzvot of the Written Law, nor to their explanation which was transmitted by the Oral Tradition;
4. Not to detract from the mitzvot;
5. Not to curse one's father or mother;
6. Not to strike one's father or mother;
7. To honor one's father and mother;
8. To fear one's father and mother;
9. For a son not to rebel against his father's and mother's instruction.

These mitzvot are explained in the coming chapters.

רמב"ם הלכות ממרים – הקדמה הלכות ממרים. יש בכללן תשע מצות, שלש מצות עשה, ושש מצות לא תעשה. וזה הוא פרטן: (א) לעשות על פי התורה שאמרו לנו בית דין הגדול.
(ב) שלא לסור מדבריהם.
(ג) שלא להוסיף על התורה לא במצות שבכתב ולא בפירושן שלמדנו מפי השמועה.
(ד) שלא לגרוע מן הכל.
(ה) שלא לקלל אב ואם.
(ו) שלא להכותם.
(ז) לכבדם.
(ח) ליראם.
(ט) שלא יהיה הבן סורר ומורה על קול אביו ואמו. וביאור מצות אלו בפרקים אלו.

1

The Supreme Sanhedrin in Jerusalem are the essence of the Oral Law. They are the pillars of instruction from whom statutes and judgments issue forth for the entire Jewish people. Concerning them, the Torah promises Deuteronomy 17:11: "You shall do according to the laws which they shall instruct you...." This is a positive commandment.

Whoever believes in Moses and in his Torah is obligated to make all of his religious acts dependent on this court and to rely on them.

א

בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁבִּירוּשָׁלַיִם הֵם עִקַּר תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה. וְהֵם עַמּוּדֵי הַהוֹרָאָה וּמֵהֶם חֹק וּמִשְׁפָּט יוֹצֵא לְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל. וַעֲלֵיהֶן הִבְטִיחָה תּוֹרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז יא) "עַל פִּי הַתּוֹרָה אֲשֶׁר יוֹרוּךָ" זוֹ מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה. וְכָל הַמַּאֲמִין בְּמשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ חַיָּב לִסְמֹךְ מַעֲשֵׂה הַדָּת עֲלֵיהֶן וְלִשָּׁעֵן עֲלֵיהֶן:

2

Any person who does not carry out their directives transgresses a negative commandment, as Ibid. continues: "Do not deviate from any of the statements they relate to you, neither right nor left."

Lashes are not given for the violation of this prohibition, because it also serves as a warning for a transgression punishable by execution by the court. For when a sage rebels against the words of the court, he should be executed by strangulation, as the following verse states: "A person who will act deliberately...."

We are obligated to heed their words whether they:

a) learned them from the Oral Tradition, i.e., the Oral Law,

b) derived them on the basis of their own knowledge through one of the attributes of Biblical exegesis and it appeared to them that this is the correct interpretation of the matter,

c) instituted the matter as a safeguard for the Torah, as was necessary at a specific time. These are the decrees, edicts, and customs instituted by the Sages.

It is a positive commandment to heed the court with regard to each of these three matters. A person who transgresses any of these types of directives transgresses a negative commandment. This is derived from the continuation of the above verse in the following manner: "According to the laws which they shall instruct you" - this refers to the edicts, decrees, and customs which they instruct people at large to observe to strengthen the faith and perfect the world. "According to the judgment which they relate" - this refers to the matters which they derive through logical analysis employing one of the methods of Biblical exegesis. "From all things that they will tell you" - This refers to the tradition which they received one person from another.

ב

כָּל מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ עוֹשֶׂה כְּהוֹרָאָתָן עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז יא) "לֹא תָסוּר מִכָּל הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר יַגִּידוּ לְךָ יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאל". וְאֵין לוֹקִין עַל לָאו זֶה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּתָּן לְאַזְהָרַת מִיתַת בֵּית דִּין. שֶׁכָּל חָכָם שֶׁמּוֹרֶה עַל דִּבְרֵיהֶם מִיתָתוֹ בְּחֶנֶק שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז יב) "וְהָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה בְזָדוֹן" וְגוֹ'. אֶחָד דְּבָרִים שֶׁלָּמְדוּ אוֹתָן מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה וְהֵם תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה. וְאֶחָד דְּבָרִים שֶׁלְּמַּדוּם מִפִּי דַּעְתָּם בְּאַחַת מִן הַמִּדּוֹת שֶׁהַתּוֹרָה נִדְרֶשֶׁת בָּהֶן וְנִרְאָה בְּעֵינֵיהֶם שֶׁדָּבָר זֶה כָּךְ הוּא. וְאֶחָד דְּבָרִים שֶׁעֲשָׂאוּם סְיָג לַתּוֹרָה וּלְפִי מַה שֶּׁהַשָּׁעָה צְרִיכָה וְהֵן הַגְּזֵרוֹת וְהַתַּקָּנוֹת וְהַמִּנְהָגוֹת. כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מֵאֵלּוּ הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לִשְׁמֹעַ לָהֶן. וְהָעוֹבֵר עַל כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה. הֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (דברים יז יא) "עַל פִּי הַתּוֹרָה אֲשֶׁר יוֹרוּךָ" אֵלּוּ הַתַּקָּנוֹת וְהַגְּזֵרוֹת וְהַמִּנְהָגוֹת שֶׁיּוֹרוּ בָּהֶם לָרַבִּים כְּדֵי לְחַזֵּק הַדָּת וּלְתַקֵּן הָעוֹלָם. וְעַל הַמִּשְׁפָּט אֲשֶׁר יֹאמְרוּ אֵלּוּ דְּבָרִים שֶׁיִּלְמְדוּ אוֹתָן מִן הַדִּין בְּאַחַת מִן הַמִּדּוֹת שֶׁהַתּוֹרָה נִדְרֶשֶׁת בָּהֶן. מִכָּל הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר יַגִּידוּ לְךָ זוֹ הַקַּבָּלָה שֶׁקִּבְּלוּ אִישׁ מִפִּי אִישׁ:

3

There can never be any difference of opinion with regard to matters received through the Oral Tradition. Whenever there arises a difference of opinion with regard to a matter that shows that it was not received in the tradition from Moses our teacher.

The following principles apply with regard to matters derived through logical analysis. If the entire body of the Supreme Sanhedrin agrees with regard to them, their consent is binding. If there is a difference of opinion, we follow the majority and decide the matter according to the majority. Similarly, with regard to the decrees, edicts, and customs, if a portion of the judges perceived that it was necessary to issue a decree, institute an edict, or establish a custom for the people, and a portion perceived that it is not appropriate to issue this decree, institute this edict, or establish this custom, the judges should debate the matter back and forth. Afterwards, a vote is called, and we follow the majority and execute the matter according to the decision of the majority.

ג

דִּבְרֵי קַבָּלָה אֵין בָּהֶן מַחְלֹקֶת לְעוֹלָם וְכָל דָּבָר שֶׁתִּמְצָא בּוֹ מַחְלֹקֶת בְּיָדוּעַ שֶׁאֵינוֹ קַבָּלָה מִמּשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ. וּדְבָרִים שֶׁלְּמֵדִין מִן הַדִּין אִם הִסְכִּימוּ עֲלֵיהֶן בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל כֻּלָּן הֲרֵי הִסְכִּימוּ. וְאִם נֶחְלְקוּ בָּהֶן הוֹלְכִין אַחַר הָרֹב וּמוֹצִיאִין הַדִּין אַחַר הָרַבִּים. וְכֵן הַגְּזֵרוֹת וְהַתַּקָּנוֹת וְהַמִּנְהָגוֹת אִם רָאוּ מִקְצָתָן שֶׁרָאוּי לִגְזֹר גְּזֵרָה אוֹ לְתַקֵּן תַּקָּנָה אוֹ שֶׁיָּנִיחוּ הָעָם הַמִּנְהָג הַזֶּה וְרָאוּ מִקְצָתָן שֶׁאֵין רָאוּי לִגְזֹר גְּזֵרָה זוֹ וְלֹא לְתַקֵּן תַּקָּנָה זוֹ וְלֹא לְהָנִיחַ מִנְהָג זֶה נוֹשְׂאִין וְנוֹתְנִין אֵלּוּ כְּנֶגֶד אֵלּוּ וְהוֹלְכִין אַחַר רֻבָּן וּמוֹצִיאִין הַדָּבָר אַחַר הָרַבִּים:

4

When the Supreme Sanhedrin was in session, there was never any prolonged differences of opinion among the Jewish people. Instead, if a doubt arose in a Jew's mind over any law, he would inquire of the court in his city. If not, the questioner and that court - or its agents - ascend to Jerusalem and ask the court which holds sessions on the Temple Mount. If they know, they will reply to him, if they do not know, everyone comes to the court that holds sessions at the entrance to the Temple Courtyard. If they know, they will reply to him, if they do not know, everyone comes to the Chamber of Hewn Stone, to the Supreme Sanhedrin, and presents the question. If the matter that was unresolved by all the others was known to the Supreme Sanhedrin - either as part of the Oral Tradition or because of its derivation through the principles of exegesis - they relate the decision immediately. If, however, the decision was unclear to the Supreme Sanhedrin, they deliberate about the matter at that time and debate it back and forth until they reach a uniform decision, or until a vote is taken. In such a situation, they follow the majority and then tell all the questioners: "This is the halachah." The questioners then all depart.

After the Supreme Sanhedrin was nullified, differences of opinion multiplied among the Jewish people. One would rule an article is impure and support his ruling with a rationale and another would rule that it is pure and support his ruling with a rationale. This one would rule an article is forbidden and this would rule that it is permitted.

ד

כְּשֶׁהָיָה בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל קַיָּם לֹא הָיְתָה מַחְלֹקֶת בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל. אֶלָּא כָּל דִּין שֶׁנּוֹלַד בּוֹ סָפֵק לְאֶחָד מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל שׁוֹאֵל לְבֵית דִּין שֶׁבְּעִירוֹ. אִם יָדְעוּ אָמְרוּ לוֹ. אִם לָאו הֲרֵי הַשּׁוֹאֵל עִם אוֹתוֹ בֵּית דִּין אוֹ עִם שְׁלוּחָיו עוֹלִין לִירוּשָׁלַיִם וְשׁוֹאֲלִין לְבֵית דִּין שֶׁבְּהַר הַבַּיִת. אִם יָדְעוּ אָמְרוּ לוֹ. אִם לָאו הַכּל בָּאִין לְבֵית דִּין שֶׁעַל פֶּתַח הָעֲזָרָה. אִם יָדְעוּ אָמְרוּ לָהֶן וְאִם לָאו הַכּל בָּאִין לְלִשְׁכַּת הַגָּזִית לְבֵית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל וְשׁוֹאֲלִין. אִם הָיָה הַדָּבָר שֶׁנּוֹלַד בּוֹ הַסָּפֵק לַכּל יָדוּעַ אֵצֶל בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל בֵּין מִפִּי הַקַּבָּלָה בֵּין מִפִּי הַמִּדָּה שֶׁדָּנוּ בָּהּ אוֹמְרִים מִיָּד. אִם לֹא הָיָה הַדָּבָר בָּרוּר אֵצֶל בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל דָּנִין בּוֹ בִּשְׁעָתָן וְנוֹשְׂאִין וְנוֹתְנִין בַּדָּבָר עַד שֶׁיַּסְכִּימוּ כֻּלָּן. אוֹ יַעַמְדוּ לְמִנְיָן וְיֵלְכוּ אַחַר הָרֹב וְיֹאמְרוּ לְכָל הַשּׁוֹאֲלִים כָּךְ הֲלָכָה וְהוֹלְכִין לָהֶן. מִשֶּׁבָּטַל בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל רָבְתָה מַחְלֹקֶת בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל זֶה מְטַמֵּא וְנוֹתֵן טַעַם לִדְבָרָיו וְזֶה מְטַהֵר וְנוֹתֵן טַעַם לִדְבָרָיו זֶה אוֹסֵר וְזֶה מַתִּיר:

5

The following rules apply when there are two sages or two courts that have differing opinions in an age when there was no Supreme Sanhedrin or during the time when the Supreme Sanhedrin was still undecided concerning the matter - whether in one age or in two different ages - one rules that an article is pure and one rules that it is impure, one forbids an article's use and one permits it. If one does not know in which direction the law tends, should the matter involve a question of Scriptural Law, follow the more severe opinion. If it involve a question of Rabbinic Law, follow the more lenient opinion.

ה

שְׁנֵי חֲכָמִים אוֹ שְׁנֵי בָּתֵּי דִּינִין שֶׁנֶּחְלְקוּ שֶׁלֹּא בִּזְמַן הַסַּנְהֶדְרִין אוֹ עַד שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה הַדָּבָר בָּרוּר לָהֶן. בֵּין בִּזְמַן אֶחָד בֵּין בָּזֶה אַחַר זֶה. אֶחָד מְטַהֵר וְאֶחָד מְטַמֵּא אֶחָד אוֹסֵר וְאֶחָד מַתִּיר. אִם אֵינְךָ יוֹדֵעַ לְהֵיכָן הַדִּין נוֹטֶה. בְּשֶׁל תּוֹרָה הַלֵּךְ אַחַר הַמַּחְמִיר בְּשֶׁל סוֹפְרִים הַלֵּךְ אַחַר הַמֵּקֵל:

Mamrim - Chapter 2

1

When, using one of the principles of exegesis, the Supreme Sanhedrin derived a law through their perception of the matter and adjudicated a case accordingly, and afterwards, another court arose and they perceived another rationale on which basis, they would revoke the previous ruling, they may revoke it and rule according to their perception. This is reflected by Deuteronomy 17:9: "To the judge who will be in that age." This indicates that a person is obligated to follow only the court in his own generation.

א

בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁדָּרְשׁוּ בְּאַחַת מִן הַמִּדּוֹת כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁנִּרְאָה בְּעֵינֵיהֶם שֶׁהַדִּין כָּךְ וְדָנוּ דִּין. וְעָמַד אַחֲרֵיהֶם בֵּית דִּין אַחֵר וְנִרְאֶה לוֹ טַעַם אַחֵר לִסְתֹּר אוֹתוֹ. הֲרֵי זֶה סוֹתֵר וְדָן כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁנִּרְאֶה בְּעֵינָיו. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז ט) "אֶל הַשֹּׁפֵט אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם". אֵינְךָ חַיָּב לָלֶכֶת אֶלָּא אַחַר בֵּית דִּין שֶׁבְּדוֹרְךָ:

2

The following rules apply when a court issued a decree, instituted an edict, or established a custom and this practice spread throughout the Jewish people and another court arose and sought to nullify the original order and eliminate the original edict, decree, or custom. The later court does not have this authority unless it surpasses the original court in wisdom and in its number of adherents. If it surpasses the original court in wisdom, but not in the number of adherents, or in the number of adherents, but not in wisdom, it cannot nullify its statements. Even if the rationale for which the original court instituted the decree or the edict is nullified, the later court does not have the authority to negate their statements unless they are greater.

How is it possible that the later court will surpass the original court in number? For every Supreme Sanhedrin consists of 71 judges. The intent is the number of sages in the generation who consent and accept the matter stated by the Supreme Sanhedrin without opposing it.

ב

בֵּית דִּין שֶׁגָּזְרוּ גְּזֵרָה אוֹ תִּקְּנוּ תַּקָּנָה וְהִנְהִיגוּ מִנְהָג וּפָשַׁט הַדָּבָר בְּכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְעָמַד אַחֲרֵיהֶם בֵּית דִּין אַחֵר וּבִקֵּשׁ לְבַטֵּל דְּבָרִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים וְלַעֲקֹר אוֹתָהּ הַתַּקָּנָה וְאוֹתָהּ הַגְּזֵרָה וְאוֹתוֹ הַמִּנְהָג. אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה גָּדוֹל מִן הָרִאשׁוֹנִים בְּחָכְמָה וּבְמִנְיָן. הָיָה גָּדוֹל בְּחָכְמָה אֲבָל לֹא בְּמִנְיָן. בְּמִנְיָן אֲבָל לֹא בְּחָכְמָה. אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְבַטֵּל אֶת דְּבָרָיו. אֲפִלּוּ בָּטַל הַטַּעַם שֶׁבִּגְלָלוֹ גָּזְרוּ הָרִאשׁוֹנִים אוֹ הִתְקִינוּ אֵין הָאַחֲרוֹנִים יְכוֹלִין לְבַטֵּל עַד שֶׁיְּהוּ גְּדוֹלִים מֵהֶם. וְהֵיאַךְ יִהְיוּ גְּדוֹלִים מֵהֶם בְּמִנְיָן הוֹאִיל וְכָל בֵּית דִּין וּבֵית דִּין שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד הוּא. זֶה מִנְיַן חַכְמֵי הַדּוֹר שֶׁהִסְכִּימוּ וְקִבְּלוּ הַדָּבָר שֶׁאָמְרוּ בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל וְלֹא חָלְקוּ בּוֹ:

3

When does the above apply? With regard to matters that were not forbidden to create a safeguard for the words of the Torah, but rather resemble other Torah laws. A different principle applies, by contrast, with regard to matters which the court sought necessary to issue a decree and create a prohibition as a safeguard. If the prohibition spread throughout the Jewish people, another Supreme Sanhedrin does not have the authority to uproot the decree and grant license even if it was of greater stature than the original court.

ג

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁלֹּא אָסְרוּ אוֹתָן כְּדֵי לַעֲשׂוֹת סְיָג לַתּוֹרָה אֶלָּא כִּשְׁאָר דִּינֵי תּוֹרָה. אֲבָל דְּבָרִים שֶׁרָאוּ בֵּית דִּין לִגְזֹר וּלְאָסְרָן לַעֲשׂוֹת סְיָג אִם פָּשַׁט אִסּוּרָן בְּכָל [יִשְׂרָאֵל] אֵין בֵּית דִּין גָּדוֹל אַחֵר יָכוֹל לְעָקְרָן וּלְהַתִּירָן אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה גָּדוֹל מִן הָרִאשׁוֹנִים:

4

A court may, however, suspend the application of such decrees temporarily, even if it is of lesser stature than the original court. The rationale is that these decrees should not be considered as more severe than the words of the Torah itself, and any court has the authority to abrogate the words of the Torah as a temporary measure.

What is implied? If a court sees that it is necessary to strengthen the faith and create a safeguard so that the people will not violate Torah law, they may apply beatings and punishments that are not sanctioned by Torah. They may not, however, establish the matter for posterity and say that this is the halachah.

Similarly, if they saw that temporarily it was necessary to nullify a positive commandment or violate a negative commandment in order to bring people at large back to the Jewish faith or to prevent many Jews from transgressing in other matters, they may do what is necessary at that time. To explain by analogy: Just like a doctor may amputate a person's hand or foot so that the person as a whole will live; so, too, at times, the court may rule to temporarily violate some of the commandments so that they will later keep all of them. In this vein, the Sages of the previous generations said: "Desecrate one Sabbath for a person's sake so that he will keep many Sabbaths."

ד

וְיֵשׁ לְבֵית דִּין לַעֲקֹר אַף דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ לְפִי שָׁעָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא קָטָן מִן הָרִאשׁוֹנִים שֶׁלֹּא יְהוּ גְּזֵרוֹת אֵלּוּ חֲמוּרִין מִדִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה עַצְמָהּ שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ דִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה יֵשׁ לְכָל בֵּית דִּין לְעָקְרוֹ הוֹרָאַת שָׁעָה. כֵּיצַד. בֵּית דִּין שֶׁרָאוּ לְחַזֵּק הַדָּת וְלַעֲשׂוֹת סְיָג כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַעַבְרוּ הָעָם עַל דִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה. מַכִּין וְעוֹנְשִׁין שֶׁלֹּא כַּדִּין אֲבָל אֵין קוֹבְעִין הַדָּבָר לְדוֹרוֹת וְאוֹמְרִים שֶׁהֲלָכָה כָּךְ הוּא. וְכֵן אִם רָאוּ לְפִי שָׁעָה לְבַטֵּל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה אוֹ לַעֲבֹר עַל מִצְוַת לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה כְּדֵי לְהַחְזִיר רַבִּים לַדָּת אוֹ לְהַצִּיל רַבִּים מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל מִלְּהִכָּשֵׁל בִּדְבָרִים אֲחֵרִים עוֹשִׂין לְפִי מַה שֶּׁצְּרִיכָה הַשָּׁעָה. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהָרוֹפֵא חוֹתֵךְ יָדוֹ אוֹ רַגְלוֹ שֶׁל זֶה כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּחְיֶה כֻּלּוֹ כָּךְ בֵּית דִּין מוֹרִים בִּזְמַן מִן הַזְּמַנִּים לַעֲבֹר עַל קְצָת מִצְוֹת לְפִי שָׁעָה כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּתְקַיְּמוּ [כֻּלָּם] כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים חַלֵּל עָלָיו שַׁבָּת אַחַת כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּשְׁמֹר שַׁבָּתוֹת הַרְבֵּה:

5

When a court sees it necessary to issue a decree, institute an edict, or establish a custom, they must first contemplate the matter and see whether or not the majority of the community can uphold the practice. We never issue a decree on the community unless the majority of the community can uphold the practice.

ה

בֵּית דִּין שֶׁנִּרְאֶה לָהֶן לִגְזֹר גְּזֵרָה אוֹ לְתַקֵּן תַּקָּנָה אוֹ לְהַנְהִיג מִנְהָג צְרִיכִין לְהִתְיַשֵּׁב בַּדָּבָר וְלֵידַע תְּחִלָּה אִם רֹב הַצִּבּוּר יְכוֹלִין לַעֲמֹד בָּהֶן אוֹ אִם אֵין יְכוֹלִין לַעֲמֹד. וּלְעוֹלָם אֵין גּוֹזְרִין גְּזֵרָה עַל הַצִּבּוּר אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן רֹב הַצִּבּוּר יְכוֹלִין לַעֲמֹד בָּהּ:

6

If a court issued a decree, thinking that the majority of the community could uphold it and after the decree was issued, the majority of the community raised contentions and the practice did not spread throughout the majority of the community, the decree is nullified. The court cannot compel the people to accept it.

ו

הֲרֵי שֶׁגָּזְרוּ בֵּית דִּין גְּזֵרָה וְדִמּוּ שֶׁרֹב הַקָּהָל יְכוֹלִין לַעֲמֹד בָּהּ. וְאַחַר שֶׁגְּזָרוּהָ פִּקְפְּקוּ הָעָם בָּהּ וְלֹא פָּשְׁטָה בְּרֹב הַקָּהָל הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּטֵלָה וְאֵינָן רַשָּׁאִין לָכֹף אֶת הָעָם לָלֶכֶת בָּהּ:

7

Sages issued a decree and thought that it spread among the entire Jewish people and the situation remained unchanged for many years. After a long duration of time, another court arose and checked throughout the Jewish community and saw that the observance of this decree had not spread throughout the Jewish community, it has the authority to negate the decree even if it is of lesser stature than the original court in wisdom and in number of adherents.

ז

גָּזְרוּ וְדִמּוּ שֶׁפָּשְׁטָה בְּכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעָמַד הַדָּבָר כֵּן שָׁנִים רַבּוֹת וּלְאַחַר זְמַן מְרֻבֶּה עָמַד בֵּית דִּין אַחֵר וּבָדַק בְּכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְרָאָה שֶׁאֵין אוֹתָהּ הַגְּזֵרָה פּוֹשֶׁטֶת בְּכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל. יֵשׁ לוֹ רְשׁוּת לְבַטֵּל וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה פָּחוּת מִבֵּית דִּין הָרִאשׁוֹן בְּחָכְמָה וּבְמִנְיָן:

8

Whenever a court releases two decrees, it should not rush to release a third decree.

ח

וְכָל בֵּית דִּין שֶׁהִתִּיר שְׁנֵי דְּבָרִים אַל יְמַהֵר לְהַתִּיר דָּבָר שְׁלִישִׁי:

9

A court has the authority to issue a decree and forbid something which is permitted and have its decree perpetuated for generations to come. Similarly, it has the authority - as a temporary measure - to release the Torah's prohibitions. What then is the meaning of the Scriptural prohibitions Deuteronomy 13:1: "Do not add to it and do not detract from it"?

The intent is that they do not have the authority to add to the words of the Torah or to detract from them, establishing a matter forever as part of Scriptural Law. This applies both to the Written Law and the Oral Law.

What is implied? The Torah states Exodus 23:19: "Do not cook a kid in its mother's milk." According to the Oral Tradition, we learned that the Torah forbade both the cooking and eating of milk and meat, whether the meat of a domesticated animal or the meat of a wild beast. The meat of fowl, by contrast, is permitted to be cooked in milk according to Scriptural Law. Now if a court will come and permit partaking of the meat of a wild animal cooked in milk, it is detracting from the Torah. And if it forbids the meat of fowl cooked in milk saying that this is included in "the kid" forbidden by the Scriptural Law, it is adding to the Torah.

If, however, the court says: "The meat of fowl cooked in milk is permitted according to Scriptural Law. We, however, are prohibiting it and publicizing the prohibition as a decree, lest the matter lead to a detriment and people say: 'Eating the meat of fowl cooked in milk is permitted, because it is not explicitly forbidden by the Torah. Similarly, the meat of a wild animal cooked in milk is permitted, because it is also not explicitly forbidden.' "And another may come and say: 'Even the meat of a domesticated animal cooked in milk is permitted with the exception of a goat.' And another will come and say: 'Even the meat of a goat is permitted when cooked in the milk of a cow or a sheep. For the verse mentions only "its mother," i.e., an animal from the same species.' And still another will come and say: 'Even the meat of a goat is permitted when cooked in goat's milk as long the milk is not from the kid's mother, for the verse says: "its mother."' For these reasons, we will forbid all meat cooked in milk, even meat from fowl."

Such an approach is not adding to the Torah. Instead, it is creating safeguards for the Torah. Similar concepts apply in all analogous situations.

ט

הוֹאִיל וְיֵשׁ לְבֵית דִּין לִגְזֹר וְלֶאֱסֹר דָּבָר הַמֻּתָּר וְיַעֲמֹד אִסּוּרוֹ לְדוֹרוֹת וְכֵן יֵשׁ לָהֶן לְהַתִּיר אִסּוּרֵי תּוֹרָה לְפִי שָׁעָה. מַהוּ זֶה שֶׁהִזְהִירָה תּוֹרָה (דברים יג א) "לֹא תּוֹסִיף עָלָיו וְלֹא תִגְרַע מִמֶּנּוּ". שֶׁלֹּא לְהוֹסִיף עַל דִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה וְלֹא לִגְרֹעַ מֵהֶן וְלִקְבֹּעַ הַדָּבָר לְעוֹלָם בְּדָבָר שֶׁהוּא מִן הַתּוֹרָה בֵּין בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁבִּכְתָב בֵּין בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה. כֵּיצַד. הֲרֵי כָּתוּב בַּתּוֹרָה (שמות כג יט) "לֹא תְבַשֵּׁל גְּדִי בַּחֲלֵב אִמּוֹ". מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁזֶּה הַכָּתוּב אָסַר לְבַשֵּׁל ולֶאֱכל בָּשָׂר בְּחָלָב. בֵּין בְּשַׂר בְּהֵמָה בֵּין בְּשַׂר חַיָּה. אֲבָל בְּשַׂר הָעוֹף מֻתָּר בְּחָלָב מִן הַתּוֹרָה. אִם יָבוֹא בֵּית דִּין וְיַתִּיר בְּשַׂר חַיָּה בְּחָלָב הֲרֵי זֶה גּוֹרֵעַ. וְאִם יֶאֱסֹר בְּשַׂר הָעוֹף וְיֹאמַר שֶׁהוּא בִּכְלַל הַגְּדִי וְהוּא אָסוּר מִן הַתּוֹרָה הֲרֵי זֶה מוֹסִיף. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר בְּשַׂר הָעוֹף מֻתָּר מִן הַתּוֹרָה וְאָנוּ נֶאֱסֹר אוֹתוֹ וְנוֹדִיעַ לָעָם שֶׁהוּא גְּזֵרָה שֶׁלֹּא יָבוֹא מִן הַדָּבָר חוֹבָה וְיֹאמְרוּ הָעוֹף מֻתָּר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא נִתְפָּרֵשׁ כָּךְ הַחַיָּה מֻתֶּרֶת שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא נִתְפָּרְשָׁה. וְיָבוֹא אַחֵר לוֹמַר אַף בְּשַׂר בְּהֵמָה מֻתֶּרֶת חוּץ מִן הָעֵז. וְיָבוֹא אַחֵר לוֹמַר אַף בְּשַׂר הָעֵז מֻתָּר בַּחֲלֵב פָּרָה אוֹ הַכִּבְשָׂה שֶׁלֹּא נֶאֱמַר אֶלָּא אִמּוֹ שֶׁהִיא מִינוֹ. וְיָבוֹא אַחֵר לוֹמַר אַף בַּחֲלֵב הָעֵז שֶׁאֵינָהּ אִמּוֹ מֻתָּר שֶׁלֹּא נֶאֱמַר אֶלָּא אִמּוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ נֶאֱסֹר כָּל בָּשָׂר בְּחָלָב אֲפִלּוּ בְּשַׂר עוֹף. אֵין זֶה מוֹסִיף אֶלָּא עוֹשֶׂה סְיָג לַתּוֹרָה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

Mamrim - Chapter 3

1

A person who does not acknowledge validity of the Oral Law is not the rebellious elder mentioned in the Torah. Instead, he is one of the heretics and he should be put to death by any person.

א

מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מוֹדֶה בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה אֵינוֹ זָקֵן מַמְרֵא הָאָמוּר בַּתּוֹרָה. אֶלָּא הֲרֵי זֶה בִּכְלַל הָאֶפִּיקוֹרוֹסִין [וּמִיתָתוֹ בְּכָל אָדָם]:

2

Since it has become known that such a person denies the Oral Law, he may be pushed into a pit and may not be helped out. He is like all the rest of the heretics who say that the Torah is not Divine in origin, those who inform on their fellow Jews, and the apostates. All of these are not considered as members of the Jewish people. There is no need for witnesses, a warning, or judges for them to be executed. Instead, whoever kills them performs a great mitzvah and removes an obstacle from people at large.

ב

מֵאַחַר שֶׁנִּתְפַּרְסֵם שֶׁהוּא כּוֹפֵר בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה [מוֹרִידִין אוֹתוֹ] וְלֹא מַעֲלִין וַהֲרֵי הוּא כִּשְׁאָר כָּל הָאֶפִּיקוֹרוֹסִין וְהָאוֹמְרִין אֵין תּוֹרָה מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהַמּוֹסְרִין וְהַמּוּמָרִין. שֶׁכָּל אֵלּוּ אֵינָם בִּכְלַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לֹא לְעֵדִים וְלֹא הַתְרָאָה וְלֹא דַּיָּנִים [אֶלָּא כָּל הַהוֹרֵג אֶחָד מֵהֶן עָשָׂה מִצְוָה גְּדוֹלָה וְהֵסִיר הַמִּכְשׁוֹל]:

3

To whom does the above apply? To a person who denied the Oral Law consciously, according to his perception of things. He follows after his frivolous thoughts and his capricious heart and denies the Oral Law first, as did Tzadok and Beitus and those who erred in following them.

The children of these errant people and their grandchildren whose parents led them away and they were born among these Karaities and raised according to their conception, they are considered as a children captured and raised by them. Such a child may not be eager to follow the path of mitzvot, for it is as if he was compelled not to. Even if later, he hears that he is Jewish and saw Jews and their faith, he is still considered as one who was compelled against observance, for he was raised according to their mistaken path. This applies to those who we mentioned who follow the erroneous Karaite path of their ancestors. Therefore it is appropriate to motivate them to repent and draw them to the power of the Torah with words of peace.

ג

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּאִישׁ שֶׁכָּפַר בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה בְּמַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ וּבִדְבָרִים שֶׁנִּרְאוּ לוֹ. וְהָלַךְ אַחַר דַּעְתּוֹ הַקַּלָּה וְאַחַר שְׁרִירוּת לִבּוֹ וְכוֹפֵר בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה תְּחִלָּה כְּצָדוֹק וּבַיְתּוֹס וְכֵן כָּל הַתּוֹעִים אַחֲרָיו. אֲבָל בְּנֵי הַתּוֹעִים הָאֵלֶּה וּבְנֵי בְּנֵיהֶם שֶׁהִדִּיחוּ אוֹתָם אֲבוֹתָם וְנוֹלְדוּ בֵּין הַקָּרָאִים וְגִדְּלוּ אוֹתָם עַל דַּעְתָּם. הֲרֵי הוּא כְּתִינוֹק שֶׁנִּשְׁבָּה בֵּינֵיהֶם וְגִדְּלוּהוּ וְאֵינוֹ זָרִיז לֶאֱחֹז בְּדַרְכֵי הַמִּצְוֹת שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא כְּאָנוּס וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשָּׁמַע אַחַר כָּךְ [שֶׁהוּא יְהוּדִי וְרָאָה הַיְהוּדִים וְדָתָם הֲרֵי הוּא כְּאָנוּס שֶׁהֲרֵי גִּדְּלוּהוּ עַל טָעוּתָם] כָּךְ אֵלּוּ שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ הָאוֹחֲזִים בְּדַרְכֵי אֲבוֹתָם הַקָּרָאִים שֶׁטָּעוּ. לְפִיכָךְ רָאוּי לְהַחְזִירָן בִּתְשׁוּבָה וּלְמָשְׁכָם בְּדִבְרֵי שָׁלוֹם עַד שֶׁיַּחְזְרוּ לְאֵיתָן הַתּוֹרָה:

4

The "rebellious elder" mentioned in the Torah, by contrast, is one of the sages of Israel who has received the tradition from previous sages and who analyzes and issues ruling with regard to the words of Torah as do all the sages of Israel. His rebellion involves an instance when he has a difference of opinion in one of the Torah's laws with the Supreme Sanhedrin and did not accept their views, but instead issued a ruling to act in a different manner. The Torah decreed that he should be executed. He should confess his sin before being executed so that he will be granted a portion in the world to come.

Even though he analyzes and they analyze; he received the tradition and they received the tradition, the Torah granted them deference. Even if the court desires to forgo their honor and allow him to live, they are not allowed so that differences of opinion will not arise within Israel.

ד

אֲבָל זָקֵן מַמְרֵא הָאָמוּר בַּתּוֹרָה הוּא חָכָם אֶחָד מֵחַכְמֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּיָדוֹ קַבָּלָה וְדָן וּמוֹרֶה בְּדִבְרֵי תּוֹרָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיָּדוּנוּ וְיוֹרוּ כָּל חַכְמֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. שֶׁבָּאת לוֹ מַחְלֹקֶת בְּדִין מִן הַדִּינִים עִם בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל וְלֹא חָזַר לְדִבְרֵיהֶם אֶלָּא חָלַק עֲלֵיהֶם וְהוֹרָה לַעֲשׂוֹת שֶׁלֹּא כְּהוֹרָאָתָן. גָּזְרָה עָלָיו תּוֹרָה מִיתָה וּמִתְוַדֶּה וְיֵשׁ לוֹ חֵלֶק לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא דָּן וְהֵן דָּנִים הוּא קִבֵּל וְהֵם קִבְּלוּ הֲרֵי הַתּוֹרָה חָלְקָה לָהֶם כָּבוֹד. וְאִם רָצוּ בֵּית דִּין לִמְחל עַל כְּבוֹדָן וּלְהַנִּיחוֹ אֵינָן יְכוֹלִין כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַרְבּוּ מַחְלֹקֶת בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל:

5

A "rebellious elder" is not liable for execution unless he is a sage, erudite enough to issue halachic judgments who has received semichah from the Sanhedrin and who differs with that court with regard to a matter whose willful violation is punishable by kerait and whose inadvertent violation requires a sin offering or with regard to tefillin. He must direct others to act according to his ruling or act according to his ruling himself, and differ with the Sanhedrin while they hold session in the Chamber of Hewn Stone.

When, by contrast, a student who has not attained a level of erudition that enables him to issue halachic rulings, but, nevertheless, issues a ruling, he is not liable. This is derived from Deuteronomy 17:8 which states: "If a matter of judgment exceeds your grasp...." Implied is that the passage concerns only a scholar who is unable to grasp something which is exceedingly difficult to comprehend.

ה

אֵין זָקֵן מַמְרֵא חַיָּב מִיתָה עַד שֶׁיְּהֵא חָכָם שֶׁהִגִּיעַ לְהוֹרָאָה סָמוּךְ בַּסַּנְהֶדְרִין וְיַחְלֹק עַל בֵּית דִּין בְּדָבָר שֶׁזְּדוֹנוֹ כָּרֵת וְשִׁגְגָתוֹ חַטָּאת אוֹ בִּתְפִלִּין וְיוֹרֶה לַעֲשׂוֹת כְּהוֹרָאָתוֹ. אוֹ יַעֲשֶׂה הוּא עַל פִּי הוֹרָאָתוֹ וְיַחְלֹק עֲלֵיהֶן וְהֵן יוֹשְׁבִין בְּלִשְׁכַּת הַגָּזִית. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה תַּלְמִיד שֶׁלֹּא הִגִּיעַ לְהוֹרָאָה וְהוֹרָה לַעֲשׂוֹת פָּטוּר. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז ח) "כִּי יִפָּלֵא מִמְּךָ דָבָר לַמִּשְׁפָּט" מִי שֶׁלֹּא יִפָּלֵא מִמֶּנּוּ אֶלָּא דָּבָר מֻפְלָא:

6

If a sage was an exceedingly great scholar and a member of a court and differed with [the Supreme Sanhedrin] and he returned home and taught others according to his [original] conception, but did not direct them to act accordingly, he is not liable.1 [This is derived from ibid.:12 which] states: “And the person who acts obstinately”; [i.e., the punishment is warranted] not for speaking obstinately, but for issuing a directive for action or for acting oneself.

ו

הָיָה חָכָם מֻפְלָא שֶׁל בֵּית דִּין וְחָלַק וְשָׁנָה וְלִמֵּד לַאֲחֵרִים כִּדְבָרָיו אֲבָל לֹא הוֹרָה לַעֲשׂוֹת פָּטוּר. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז יב) "וְהָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה בְזָדוֹן" לֹא שֶׁיֹּאמַר בְּזָדוֹן אֶלָּא יוֹרֶה לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹ יַעֲשֶׂה הוּא בְּעַצְמוֹ:

7

If he found the Supreme Sanhedrin outside their place and rebelled against their ruling, he is not liable. This is derived from ibid.:8 which states: "And you shall arise and ascend to that place," implied is that the place is the cause for capital punishment.

All of the individuals mentioned above who are not executed and anyone who acts in a similar manner, although they are not liable for execution, the Supreme Sanhedrin should place them under a ban of ostracism, separate them from the community, subject them to corporal punishment, and prevent them from teaching their interpretation of the matter.

ז

מְצָאָן חוּץ לִמְקוֹמָן וְהִמְרָה עֲלֵיהֶן פָּטוּר. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז ח) "וְקַמְתָּ וְעָלִיתָ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם" מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהַמָּקוֹם גּוֹרֵם לוֹ מִיתָה. וְכָל אֵלּוּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן שֶׁהֵן פְּטוּרִין מִן הַמִּיתָה יֵשׁ לְבֵית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל לְנַדּוֹתָם וּלְהַפְרִישָׁן וּלְהַכּוֹתָן וּלְמָנְעָן מִלְּלַמֵּד כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁיֵּרָאֶה לָהֶן שֶׁהַדָּבָר צָרִיךְ לְכָךְ:

8

How is the law applying to a rebellious elder adjudicated? When a matter is undecided because of its difficulty and a sage who is erudite enough to issue rulings whether with regard to a matter which he arrived at through his own reasoning or which he received from his teachers. He and the sages who differ with him ascend to Jerusalem and come to the court which holds sessions at the entrance to the Temple Mount.

The court tells them: "This is the law." If the elder listens and accepts the ruling, it is desirable. If not, they all go to the court which holds sessions at the entrance to the Temple Courtyard. They also say: "This is the law." If the elder listens and accepts the ruling, they go their ways. If not, they all go to the Supreme Sanhedrin in the Chamber of Hewn Stone from which the Torah emanates to the entire Jewish people, as Deuteronomy 17:10 states: "From that place which God has chosen." The Supreme Sanhedrin tell them: "This is the law" and the all depart.

If the elder returns to his city and continues to interpret the law as he did previously and teaches this interpretation to others, he is not liable. If he gave a directive for action or acted according to his conception himself, he is liable for execution. There is no need for a warning. Even if he offers a rationale to explain his conduct, we do not heed him. Instead, once witnesses come and testify that he acted according to his own directive or that he directed others to perform a deed, we sentence him to death in his local court. We take hold of him and bring him from that place to Jerusalem. For we do not execute him in the presence of his local court, nor in the presence of the Supreme Sanhedrin who left Jerusalem, but instead, bring him to the Supreme Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. Until the next pilgrimage festival, he is kept under watch. During the pilgrimage festival, he is executed by strangulation, as implied by ibid.:13: "And all Israel shall hear and become fearful." This indicates that his execution must be announced.

There are four transgressors whose execution must be announced publicly: a rebellious elder, lying witnesses, a person who entices others to worship idols, and a wayward and rebellious son. For with regard to all of them, the Torah states: "so that they will hear and become afraid."

ח

וְכֵיצַד דָּנִין זָקֵן מַמְרֵא. בְּעֵת שֶׁיִּפָּלֵא דָּבָר וְיוֹרֶה בּוֹ חָכָם הַמַּגִּיעַ לְהוֹרָאָה בֵּין בְּדָבָר שֶׁיֵּרָאֶה בְּעֵינָיו בֵּין בְּדָבָר שֶׁקִּבֵּל מֵרַבּוֹתָיו. הֲרֵי הוּא וְהַחוֹלְקִין עִמּוֹ עוֹלִין לִירוּשָׁלַיִם וּבָאִין לְבֵית דִּין שֶׁעַל פֶּתַח הַר הַבַּיִת. אוֹמְרִים לָהֶן בֵּית דִּין כָּךְ הוּא הַדִּין. אִם שָׁמַע וְקִבֵּל מוּטָב וְאִם לָאו בָּאִין כֻּלָּן לְבֵית דִּין שֶׁעַל פֶּתַח הָעֲזָרָה וְאוֹמְרִים לָהֶם גַּם הֵם כָּךְ הוּא הַדִּין. אִם קִבְּלוּ יֵלְכוּ לָהֶן וְאִם לָאו כֻּלָּן בָּאִין לְבֵית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל לְלִשְׁכַּת הַגָּזִית שֶׁמִּשָּׁם תּוֹרָה יוֹצֵאת לְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז י) "מִן הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר ה'". וּבֵית דִּין אוֹמֵר לָהֶם כָּךְ הוּא הַדִּין וְיוֹצְאִין כֻּלָּן. חָזַר זֶה הֶחָכָם לְעִירוֹ וְשָׁנָה וְלִמֵּד כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהוּא לָמוּד הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר. הוֹרָה לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹ שֶׁעָשָׂה כְּהוֹרָאָתוֹ חַיָּב מִיתָה וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ הַתְרָאָה. אֲפִלּוּ נָתַן טַעַם לִדְבָרָיו אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ אֶלָּא כֵּיוָן שֶׁבָּאוּ עֵדִים שֶׁעָשָׂה כְּהוֹרָאָתוֹ אוֹ שֶׁהוֹרָה לַאֲחֵרִים לַעֲשׂוֹת גּוֹמְרִין דִּינוֹ לְמִיתָה בְּבֵית דִּין שֶׁבְּעִירוֹ. וְתוֹפְסִין אוֹתוֹ וּמַעֲלִין אוֹתוֹ מִשָּׁם לִירוּשָׁלַיִם. וְאֵין מְמִיתִין אוֹתוֹ בְּבֵית דִּין שֶׁבְּעִירוֹ וְלֹא בְּבֵית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁיָּצָא חוּץ לִירוּשָׁלַיִם אֶלָּא מַעֲלִין אוֹתוֹ לְבֵית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁבִּירוּשָׁלַיִם. וְעַד הָרֶגֶל מְשַׁמְּרִין אוֹתוֹ וְחוֹנְקִין אוֹתוֹ בָּרֶגֶל. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יג יב) "וְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל יִשְׁמְעוּ וְיִרָאוּ" מִכְּלָל שֶׁצָּרִיךְ הַכְרָזָה. וְאַרְבָּעָה צְרִיכִין הַכְרָזָה. זָקֵן מַמְרֵא. וְעֵדִים זוֹמְמִין. וְהַמֵּסִית. וּבֵן סוֹרֵר וּמוֹרֶה. שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּכֻלָּן נֶאֱמַר יִשְׁמְעוּ וְיִרָאוּ:

Footnotes
1.

The classic example of this principle is Akkavya ben Mahallel who received four teachings from his teachers which - though they represented the majority views at that time - were not accepted by the majority of the Sages in the following generation. Akkavya refused to change his conception of these laws, and yet, in deference to the majority, did not issue rulings for action according to his conception. Moreover, before his passing, he advised his son to accept the ruling of the majority (Ediot 5:6-7; Sanhedrin 88a)

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Vowelized Hebrew text courtesy Torat Emet under CC 2.5 license.
The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
Download Rambam Study Schedules: 3 Chapters | 1 Chapter | Daily Mitzvah