1

What is meant by the statement that if one of the conditions mentioned the court will be exempt and the transgressors liable?

If the court of one of the tribes ruled that the fat of the stomach is permitted and the people of that locale ate it as a result of these statements, that court is exempt and all of those who partook of it must bring a fixed sin-offering for his inadvertent transgression.

Similarly, if the High Court ruled that the blood that collects in the heart is permitted, but the head of the academy was not with them one of them was not fit to be appointed to the Sanhedrin, e.g., he was a convert, a bastard, an old man, childless, or the like, and the people acted on their ruling and partook of the blood that collects in the heart, the court is exempt and all of those who partook of it must bring a fixed sin-offering for his inadvertent transgression.

What is the source that teaches that the verse is referring only to the High Court? Leviticus 4:13 states: "If the entire congregation of Israel shall inadvertently err...." What is the source that teaches that all must be fit to deliver rules? Numbers 15:40: "If the seers of the congregation....," i.e., you must regard them as seers, and Numbers 35:24 states:"And the congregation shall judge." Just as the term "congregation" used in reference to capital cases must be comprised entirely of judges fit to render judgment, so too, the term "congregation," used in reference to this inadvertent violation must be comprised only of judges fit to render judgment.

Similarly, if the court issued a ruling and one of them knew that they erred and protested: "You are making an error," but those who sought to permit the matter outnumbered him and permitted it, the court is exempt and all of those who acted on their ruling must bring a fixed sin-offering for his inadvertent transgression, as Leviticus, op. cit. states: "If the entire congregation of Israel shall inadvertently err...," i.e., the entire Sanhedrin.

If one or a lesser part of the Sanhedrin knew that those who sought to permit the matter erred, but he or they remained silent, since the ruling was issued, and there was no dissenting view, and the ruling was disseminated among the entire people, the court is liable and all of those who acted on their ruling are exempt. If those who remained silent act upon the court's ruling, they are liable for a sin-offering, because they did not rely on the court.

Similarly, if the court debated the issue and stated "This matter is permitted," but did not issue a ruling and did not explicitly tell them: "You are permitted to act in this manner," and a person heard their decision that the matter is permitted and went and acted according to what he heard, anyone who performs a transgression is liable for a fixed sin-offering, The court is exempt, for it did not issue a specific ruling to act.

Similarly, if they issued a ruling and the lesser portion of the congregation acted according to their ruling and the error became known, the court is exempt and the lesser portion of the people who acted upon their directive must bring a sin-offering.

א

כֵּיצַד אִם חָסֵר אַחַת מִכָּל הַדְּרָכִים שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ יִפָּטְרוּ בֵּית דִּין וְיִתְחַיְּבוּ הָעוֹשִׂים. הֲרֵי שֶׁהוֹרוּ בֵּית דִּין שֶׁל אֶחָד מִן הַשְּׁבָטִים לָהֶם שֶׁחֵלֶב הַקֵּיבָה מֻתָּר וַאֲכָלוּהוּ אַנְשֵׁי מְקוֹמָם עַל פִּיהֶם אוֹתוֹ בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין וְכָל מִי שֶׁאָכַל מֵבִיא חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה עַל שִׁגְגַתוֹ. וְכֵן אִם הוֹרוּ בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁדַּם הַלֵּב מֻתָּר וְלֹא הָיָה רֹאשׁ יְשִׁיבָה עִמָּהֶן אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה אֶחָד מֵהֶן אֵינוֹ רָאוּי לִהְיוֹת מְמֻנֶּה בְּסַנְהֶדְרִין כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיָה גֵּר אוֹ מַמְזֵר אוֹ זָקֵן אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא רָאָה בָּנִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וְעָשׂוּ הָעָם עַל פִּיהֶם וְאָכְלוּ דַּם הַלֵּב הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין וְכָל מִי שֶׁאָכַל מֵבִיא חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה עַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ. וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁאֵין הַכָּתוּב מְדַבֵּר אֶלָּא בְּבֵית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ד יג) "וְאִם כָּל עֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל יִשְׁגּוּ" וְגוֹ'. וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁעַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ כֻּלָּן רְאוּיִין לְהוֹרָאָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טו כד) "וְאִם מֵעֵינֵי הָעֵדָה" עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ לָהֶם כְּעֵינַיִם. וּלְהַלָּן הוּא אוֹמֵר (במדבר לה כד) "וְשָׁפְטוּ הָעֵדָה" מָה הָעֵדָה הָאֲמוּרָה בְּדִינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת כֻּלָּן רְאוּיִין לְהוֹרָאָה אַף עֵדָה הָאֲמוּרָה בִּשְׁגָגָה זוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ כֻּלָּן רְאוּיִין לְהוֹרָאָה. וְכֵן אִם הוֹרוּ וְיָדַע אֶחָד מֵהֶן שֶׁטָּעוּ וְאָמַר לָהֶם טוֹעִים אַתֶּם וְרַבּוּ עָלָיו הַמַּתִּירִים וְהִתִּירוּ. הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין וְכָל מִי שֶׁעָשָׂה עַל פִּיהֶם חַיָּב לְהָבִיא חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה עַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְאִם כָּל עֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל יִשְׁגּוּ עַד שֶׁיִּשְׁגּוּ כָּל הַסַּנְהֶדְרִין. יָדַע אֶחָד מִן הַסַּנְהֶדְרִין אוֹ מִעוּטָן שֶׁטָּעוּ הַמַּתִּירִין וְשָׁתְקוּ הוֹאִיל וְהוֹרוּ וְלֹא הָיָה שָׁם חוֹלֵק וּפָשְׁטָה הַהוֹרָאָה בְּרֹב הַקָּהָל הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּין חַיָּבִין בְּקָרְבָּן וְכָל שֶׁעָשָׂה עַל פִּיהֶם פָּטוּר. וְאֵלּוּ שֶׁשָּׁתְקוּ אִם עָשׂוּ עַל פִּי אֵלּוּ שֶׁהוֹרוּ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חַיָּבִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא תָּלוּ בְּבֵית דִּין. וְכֵן אִם נָשְׂאוּ וְנָתְנוּ בַּדָּבָר וְאָמְרוּ דָּבָר זֶה מֻתָּר הוּא וְלֹא הוֹרוּ לָעָם וְלֹא אָמְרוּ לָהֶם מֻתָּרִין אַתֶּם לַעֲשׂוֹת וְשָׁמַע הַשּׁוֹמֵעַ מֵהֶן בְּעֵת שֶׁגָּמְרוּ מֻתָּר וְהָלַךְ וְעָשָׂה כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁשָּׁמַע הֲרֵי כָּל הָעוֹשֶׂה חַיָּב חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה וּבֵית דִּין פְּטוּרִין שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הוֹרוּ לָהֶם בְּפֵרוּשׁ לַעֲשׂוֹת. וְכֵן אִם הוֹרוּ וְעָשׂוּ מִעוּט הַקָּהָל עַל פִּיהֶם וְנוֹדְעָה הַשְּׁגָגָה. הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין וְאֵלּוּ הַמִּעוּט שֶׁעָשׂוּ חַיָּבִין וְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מֵבִיא חַטָּאתוֹ:

2

When the members of the Sanhedrin themselves act according to their ruling they are not counted when determining if a majority followed their ruling. Instead, the majority must be comprised of others aside from the members of the Sanhedrin.

If the majority of the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael acted according to the erroneous ruling even if the transgressors were only from one tribe, and, similarly, if the majority of the tribes acted according to the erroneous ruling even if they are the lesser portion of the congregation, the court is liable for this sacrifice and the transgressors are exempt.

What is implied? There were 600,001 inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael. Those who acted according to the ruling of the court were 300,001 and they were all members of the tribe of Judah alone - or they were members of seven tribes even if they numbered only 100,000 the court is liable for this sacrifice and the transgressors are exempt.

We are not concerned with the inhabitants of the Diaspora, for the term kahal ("congregation") applies only to the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael. The tribes of Efraim and Menashe are not considered as two tribes in this context. Instead, they are counted as one tribe.

ב

וְהַסַּנְהֶדְרִין עַצְמָן שֶׁעָשׂוּ בְּהוֹרָאָתָן אֵינָן מִצְטָרְפִין לְרֹב הַקָּהָל. עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הָרֹב שֶׁעָשׂוּ חוּץ מִן הַסַּנְהֶדְרִין. עָשׂוּ רֹב אַנְשֵׁי אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל פִּיהֶם. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵלּוּ הָעוֹשִׂים שֵׁבֶט אֶחָד. וְכֵן אִם עָשׂוּ רֹב הַשְּׁבָטִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מִעוּט הַקָּהָל. בֵּית דִּין חַיָּבִים וְהָעוֹשִׂין פְּטוּרִין. כֵּיצַד. הָיוּ יוֹשְׁבֵי אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף וְאֶחָד. וְהָיוּ הָעוֹשִׂין בְּהוֹרָאַת בֵּית דִּין שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף וְאֶחָד וַהֲרֵי כֻּלָּן בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה בִּלְבַד. אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ הָעוֹשִׂים בְּנֵי שִׁבְעָה שְׁבָטִים כֻּלָּן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן מֵאָה אֶלֶף. הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּין חַיָּבִין וְכָל הָעוֹשִׂים עַל פִּיהֶם פְּטוּרִין. וְאֵין מַשְׁגִּיחִין עַל יוֹשְׁבֵי חוּצָה לָאָרֶץ שֶׁאֵין קָרוּי קָהָל אֶלָּא בְּנֵי אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְשֵׁבֶט מְנַשֶּׁה וְאֶפְרַיִם אֵינָן חֲשׁוּבִין כִּשְׁנֵי שְׁבָטִים לָעִנְיָן הַזֶּה אֶלָּא שְׁנֵיהֶם שֵׁבֶט אֶחָד:

3

If at the time the transgression was committed, the transgressors constituted the majority of the people, but at the time they became aware that a transgression had been committed, they were the lesser portion of the people, or they were the lesser portion at the time of the transgression, but the majority at the time they became aware, the ruling whether or not the court is required to bring a sacrifice depends on the proportion at the time of the transgression.

ג

הָיוּ הָעוֹשִׂים מְרֻבִּין בִּשְׁעַת הַחֵטְא וּמוּעָטִין בִּשְׁעַת יְדִיעָה. אוֹ מוּעָטִין בִּשְׁעַת הַחֵטְא וּמְרֻבִּין בִּשְׁעַת יְדִיעָה. הַכּל הוֹלֵךְ אַחַר שְׁעַת הַמַּעֲשֶׂה:

4

The people at large are exempt in the following instance. The court issued a ruling that one of the types of forbidden fat was permitted and the lesser portion of the congregation partook of it because of their ruling. They became aware that they sinned and retracted the ruling. Afterwards, they ruled that a particular form of worship of false deities was permitted and a lesser portion of the congregation performed that form of worship because of their ruling. If a majority of the congregation would be reached when the number of those who partook of the forbidden fat were added to the number were added to those who worshiped the false deity, the two numbers are combined and the people exempted even though the court became aware of their first error in the interim.

When does the above apply? When it was one court that delivered the rulings. If, however, the members of the court that issued the ruling died and another court arose and issued the second ruling, the two groups of transgressors are not combined.

ד

הוֹרוּ בֵּית דִּין בְּחֵלֶב מִן הַחֲלָבִים שֶׁהוּא מֻתָּר וְאָכַל מִעוּט הַקָּהָל עַל פִּיהֶם וְנוֹדַע לָהֶם שֶׁחָטְאוּ וְחָזְרוּ בָּהֶן. וְאַחַר כָּךְ הוֹרוּ שֶׁעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה פְּלוֹנִית מֻתֶּרֶת וְעָבַד אוֹתָהּ עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה מִעוּט אַחֵר עַל פִּיהֶם. וּכְשֶׁיִּצְטָרְפוּ הָאוֹכְלִים לָעוֹבְדִים יִהְיוּ רֹב. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מִצְטָרְפִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָיְתָה לָהֶן יְדִיעָה בֵּינְתַיִם. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיָה הַמּוֹרֶה בֵּית דִּין אֶחָד. אֲבָל אִם מֵת בֵּית דִּין שֶׁהוֹרָה תְּחִלָּה וְעָמַד אַחֵר וְהוֹרוּ אֵין אֵלּוּ מִצְטָרְפִין לְאֵלּוּ:

5

Even if two courts issued rulings concerning one matter, e.g., concerning two types of forbidden fat or two types of blood and similarly, if the transgressors did not inadvertently sin because of the ruling, the court is exempt and all of the transgressors are liable.

What is implied? The court ruled that it is permissible to partake of that fat of the stomach in its entirety. One of the members of the congregation knew that the court erred and that the fat of the stomach is prohibited. He, nevertheless, partook of the forbidden fat, because he thought that it was a mitzvah to listen to the court even though they erred. This person who partook of the fat is liable to bring a fixed sin-offering for partaking of it. He is not included among the number of those who transgressed inadvertently because of their ruling.

When does the above apply? When the person who knew the error was a sage or a student who had attained the knowledge that enables him to issue a ruling. If, however, he is a common person, he is exempt, because his knowledge regarding the Torah's prohibitions is not definitive. He is thus included among those who transgressed inadvertently because of their ruling.

Similarly, if one did not know that the court erred and intended to eat permitted fat, but instead ate the fat of the stomach which they erroneously permitted, but he did not know that it was the fat of the stomach, that individual is liable for an individual sin-offering. The rationale is that his eating came as a result of his own inadvertent error, not because of their ruling. He is not included in the number of those who transgressed inadvertently because of their ruling. These concepts are alluded to by Numbers 15:26;: "For the entire nation has erred unknowingly." Implied is that the entire nation committed the same error.

Similarly, if the person acted on his own initiative and partook of the fat of the stomach that the court ruled was permitted, not because of their ruling, but because he considered it as permitted, he is obligated to bring a fixed sin-offering individually.

This is the general principle: Whenever one relies on the court, he is exempt, provided all of the conditions that were mentioned were fulfilled. Anyone who is individually liable is not included when calculating whether a majority transgressed inadvertently.

ה

אֲפִלּוּ הוֹרוּ שְׁנֵי בָּתֵּי הַדִּינִים בְּדָבָר אֶחָד כְּגוֹן חֵלֶב וְחֵלֶב. אוֹ דָּם וְדָם. וְכֵן אִם לֹא הָיוּ הָעוֹשִׂים שׁוֹגְגִין עַל פִּי הַהוֹרָאָה. הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין וְכָל הָעוֹשִׂים חַיָּבִין. כֵּיצַד. הוֹרוּ בֵּית דִּין לֶאֱכל חֵלֶב הַקֵּבָה כֻּלּוֹ. וְיָדַע אֶחָד מִן הַקָּהָל שֶׁטָּעוּ וְשֶׁחֵלֶב הַקֵּבָה אָסוּר וְאָכְלוּ מִפְּנֵי הוֹרָאָתָן. שֶׁהָיָה עוֹלֶה עַל דַּעְתָּן שֶׁמִּצְוָה לִשְׁמֹעַ מִבֵּית דִּין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵם טוֹעִים. הֲרֵי זֶה הָאוֹכֵל חַיָּב חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה עַל אֲכִילָתוֹ. וְאֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף לְמִנְיַן הַשּׁוֹגְגִים עַל פִּיהֶם. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיָה זֶה שֶׁיָּדַע שֶׁטָּעוּ חָכָם אוֹ תַּלְמִיד שֶׁהִגִּיעַ לְהוֹרָאָה. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה עַם הָאָרֶץ הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר שֶׁאֵין יְדִיעָתוֹ בְּאִסּוּרִין יְדִיעָה וַדָּאִית וּמִצְטָרֵף לִכְלַל הַשּׁוֹגְגִים עַל פִּיהֶם. וְכֵן אִם לֹא יָדַע שֶׁטָּעוּ וְנִתְכַּוִּן לֶאֱכל שֻׁמָּן וְחֵלֶב וְאָכַל חֵלֶב הַקֵּבָה שֶׁהִתִּירוּהוּ וְהוּא לֹא יָדַע שֶׁהוּא חֵלֶב קֵבָה. הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֲכִילָתוֹ מִפְּנֵי שִׁגְגָתוֹ לֹא מִפְּנֵי הַהוֹרָאָה. וְאֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף לְמִנְיַן הַשּׁוֹגְגִים עַל פִּיהֶם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טו כו) "לְכָל הָעָם בִּשְׁגָגָה". עַד שֶׁתִּהְיֶה שְׁגָגָה אַחַת לַכּל. וְכֵן אִם תָּלָה בְּעַצְמוֹ וְאָכַל חֵלֶב הַקֵּבָה שֶׁהוֹרוּ לְהַתִּירוֹ לֹא מִפְּנֵי הוֹרָאָתָן אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מֻתָּר בְּדַעְתּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ. זֶה הַכְּלָל כָּל הַתּוֹלֶה בְּבֵית דִּין פָּטוּר וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שָׁם כָּל הַדְּרָכִים שֶׁמָּנִינוּ. וְכָל הַחַיָּב בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ אֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף לְרֹב הַשּׁוֹגְגִים:

6

When the court intentionally ruled incorrectly and permitted something that is forbidden and the congregation erroneously acted on their ruling, the court is exempt from bringing a sacrifice, because they acted intentionally. Each of the people who acted upon their ruling is obligated to bring a sin-offering individually, because he transgressed inadvertently.

If the court delivered an erroneously ruling unknowingly and the congregation knew that they erred and that it is not correct to accept their ruling, and yet they acted in accordance with it, both the people and the court are exempt from bringing a sacrifice. The court is exempt, because the congregation did not act according to their erroneous ruling. And all the transgressors are exempt, because they are considered as having acted willfully, because they knew that the court erred and that it was not correct to act according to their ruling.

ו

הוֹרוּ בֵּית דִּין לְהַתִּיר דָּבָר הָאָסוּר בְּזָדוֹן וְעָשׂוּ הַקָּהָל עַל פִּיהֶם בִּשְׁגָגָה בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין מִן הַקָּרְבָּן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן מְזִידִין. וְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מִן הָעוֹשִׂים עַל פִּיהֶם חַיָּב קָרְבָּן בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא שׁוֹגֵג. הוֹרוּ בֵּית דִּין בִּשְׁגָגָה וְיָדְעוּ הַקָּהָל שֶׁטָּעוּ וְשֶׁאֵין רָאוּי לְקַבֵּל מֵהֶן וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵּן עָשׂוּ הַקָּהָל עַל פִּיהֶם. אֵלּוּ וְאֵלּוּ פְּטוּרִין מִן הַקָּרְבָּן. בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא עָשׂוּ הַקָּהָל מִפְּנֵי הוֹרָאָתָן שֶׁהִטְעָתָם. וְכָל הָעוֹשִׂים פְּטוּרִין מִן הַקָּרְבָּן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמְּזִידִין הֵם שֶׁהֲרֵי יָדְעוּ שֶׁטָּעוּ וְשֶׁאֵין רָאוּי לַעֲשׂוֹת: