Sunday, May 19, 2013

48 Ways: #38 - Avoid issuing rulings


Pirkei Avot 6:5 teaches that Torah is acquired in 48 ways, which it lists for us. The thirty-eighth of the 48 is lo sameach b'horaah, that one does not enjoy issuing halachic rulings.

One who takes pleasure from instructing others in proper practice runs the risk of glossing over the hard work needed to truly understand the debates which lie behind the law. The result is a superficial understanding which is not up to the task of taking apart new situations and figuring out what the issues are, and how they interact, and this will lead to incorrect rulings - but for the purpose of our mishnah, it will also lead to deficient Torah study.

Have a great day,


  1. perhaps this is related to Rebbi Yishmael's caution earlier (4:7) of והגס ליבו בהוראה, שוטה רשע וגס רוח.

  2. Anonymous-
    The criticism certainly matches, although R' Yishmael's comments are more general.