Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday's Thoughts on the Daf - Horayos 4

The following are a few thoughts on Horayos 4 and the mesechta in general.

Unlike many other mesechtos, Horayos is truly devoted to one topic - what happens when the Sanhdedrin or another Beis Din makes an incorrect ruling and someone (or many someones as the case may have it) follow the directive of the authority. As my wife's cousin R' Aharon F explained to me - the purpose of the mesehcta is to teach you that sometimes even Rabbis make mistakes.

In relation to Horayos 4, I was intrigued by the opinion of R' Yehuda who teaches that if seven tribes sinned based on the ruling of the Sanhedrin, the seven tribes bring seven bulls and the remaining tribes bring bull offerings as well, as even though they did not sin, they bring an offering because of the sinners. The Kehati on the mishna quotes the Rambam who explains that whether the sinning tribes are a minority of the population of Jews (but a majority of the number of tribes), or whether they are a minority in the number of tribes but a majority of the population, or even if its only one tribe but they are a majority of the population of Jews, they are all deemed sinners and must bring sacrifices for each tribe.

My question was (and I am throwing this out to the readers of the blog for an answer as I have not seen one in print) is why must the other tribes bring their own offerings? Is it because they did not intervene to prevent the sinning tribes from improperly following the ruling of the Sanhedrin? Or could it because of a general principle of kol yisrael areivim zeh bazeh? Or perhaps for some other reasons? Please feel free to post your thoughts as a comment to this blog post.

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