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Mishnayos Eduyos Perek 5 Mishnah 7

עדיות פרק ה׳ משנה ז׳


At the time of his death he said to his son, “Retract the four opinions which I used to declare.” He (the said to him, “Why did not you retract them?” He said to him, “I heard them from the mouth of the many, and they heard [the contrary] from the mouth of the many. I stood fast by the tradition which I heard, and they stood fast by the tradition which they heard. But you have heard [my tradition] from the mouth of a single individual and [their tradition] from the mouth of the many. It is better to leave the opinion of the single individual and to hold by the opinion of the many.” He said to him, “Father commend me to your colleagues.” He said to him, “I will not commend you.” He said to him, “Have you found in me any wrong?” He said, “No; your own deeds will cause you to be near, and your own deeds will cause you to be far.”

בִּשְׁעַת מִיתָתוֹ אָמַר לִבְנוֹ, בְּנִי, חֲזֹר בְּךָ בְאַרְבָּעָה דְבָרִים שֶׁהָיִיתִי אוֹמֵר. אָמַר לוֹ, וְלָמָּה לֹא חָזַרְתָּ בָּךְ. אָמַר לוֹ, אֲנִי שָׁמַעְתִּי מִפִּי הַמְרֻבִּים, וְהֵם שָׁמְעוּ מִפִּי הַמְרֻבִּים. אֲנִי עָמַדְתִּי בִשְׁמוּעָתִי, וְהֵם עָמְדוּ בִשְׁמוּעָתָן. אֲבָל אַתָּה שָׁמַעְתָּ מִפִּי הַיָּחִיד, וּמִפִּי הַמְרֻבִּין. מוּטָב לְהַנִּיחַ דִּבְרֵי הַיָּחִיד, וְלֶאֱחֹז בְּדִבְרֵי הַמְרֻבִּין. אָמַר לוֹ, אַבָּא, פְּקֹד עָלַי לַחֲבֵרֶיךָ. אָמַר לוֹ, אֵינִי מַפְקִיד. אָמַר לוֹ, שֶׁמָּא עִילָה מָצָאתָ בִי. אָמַר לוֹ, לָאו. מַעֲשֶׂיךָ יְקָרְבוּךָ וּמַעֲשֶׂיךָ יְרַחֲקוּךָ:


בד' דברים – hair of a leprous spot which remains after the inflammation has partly receded (see Tractate Negaim, Chapter 5, Mishnah 3), and greenish blood and the detached hair of a firstling animal, and the handing of the bitter water to the suspected converted wife and a freed slave-woman.

מוטב להניח דברי היחיד – because he also received [his tradition] from a majority, and his words are like the words of the majority, and because of this, it is stated, better to set aside, etc. and if not for this, what is “better” that is stated? Is it not from the Torah as it is written (Exodus 23:2): “you shall not give perverse testimony in a dispute so as to pervert it in favor of the mighty,” and it is obligatory to set aside the words of the individual against his will, but the reason that he (i.e., Akavyah ben Mehalalel) said “better” and he did not say, “it is better,” because that even he received [his tradition] from a majority, as has been explained, but the Halakha is not according to Akavyah ben Mehalalel in all four of these things.

בארבעה דברים. שער פקודה ודם הירוק ושער בכור התלוש והשקאת גיורת ומשוחררת:

מוטב להניח דברי היחיד. משום דהוא נמי מרבים קבל והוו דבריו כדברי רבים, משום הכי קאמר מוטב להניח וכו׳. דאי לאו הכי מאי מוטב דקאמר, והלא דאורייתא היא, דכתיב (שמות כ״ג:ב׳) אחרי רבים להטות, וחייב להניח דברי היחיד בעל כרחו. אלא טעמא דאמר מוטב ולא אמר חייב, משום דאף הוא מרבים קבל כדפרישית. ואין הלכה כעקביא בן מהללאל בכל ארבעה דברים הללו: