100b Consistency is Key

by | Mar 1, 2021 | Psachim

ומעשה ברבן שמעון בן גמליאל [ורבי יהודה] ורבי יוסי שהיו מסובין בעכו, וקדש עליהם היום. אמר לו רבן שמעון בן גמליאל לרבי יוסי: ברבי, רצונך נפסיק, וניחוש לדברי יהודה חבירנו? אמר לו: בכל יום ויום אתה מחבב דבריי לפני רבי יהודה, ועכשיו אתה מחבב דברי רבי יהודה בפני, הגם לכבוש את המלכה עמי בבית? אמר לו: אם כן לא נפסיק, שמא יראו התלמידים, ויקבעו הלכה לדורות. אמרו: לא זזו משם עד שקבעו הלכה כרבי יוסי.


There was an incident involving Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, and Rabbi Yehuda, and Rabbi Yosei . . .     Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said to Rabbi Yosei: Is it your will that we should interrupt, in keeping with Rav Yehudah’s opinion, that one is obligated to interrupt his meal?

Rav Yosi said to him: Each and every day you cherish my statements before those of Rabbi Yehuda, and now you cherish the statement of Rabbi Yehuda before me?

Rabban Shimon said to him: If so we will not interrupt; perhaps the students will see that we have broken off our meal and will establish the halakha for generations in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda. The Sages later said: They did not move from there until they established the halakha in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosi, that one need not interrupt one’s meal on the eve of Shabbat and Festivals.


We must assume that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel had good reason to suggest following Rabi Yehuda’s opinion this time; perhaps to show honor to Rabi yehuda or perhaps as a stringency. How then do we view Rav Yosi’s rejection?


Rav Yosi seems to be saying, that despite having good reason to follow an alternative opinion, it is important to be consistent. Rabban gamliel seems to agree, explaining that if we are not consistent, others may become confused about the Halacha.