A Preface.

I’ve often encountered a challenge when writing about topics that interest me – where I start writing without realizing how involved the topic and how much time it will take to write something accessible to a general audience. As such, recently I’ve tried to write really short self-contained blog posts.

So it’s with some misgivings that I start writing about an extremely involved and contentious topic like the sugya of מצוה לשמוע לדברי חכמים. But at the end of the day, I want to write about things that interest me.

That said, some disclaimers must be made. This is a topic where a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and I make no promises to finish this in a comprehensive way. Perhaps that is not responsible, but then again, I don’t claim to be a very responsible person. Of course, as always, I must say what goes without saying:

Even if I had intended for whatever I wrote to be authoritative – it would not be – because I am not an authority on anything. But I do not intend for anything I write to be authoritative at all – I am just thinking out loud – so even in the alternate reality where I was an authority on the subject matter, what I write here would not be authoritative.

To be well versed in on the subject, besides knowing the relevant sugyot in Shas and the commentaries – there is a lengthy תשובה in the שו”ת חקרי לב about the matter. Depending on how far we go, we will likely reference it a lot and we may go into it at depth. It would make sense for anyone trying to really understand these matters to go through the תשובה

Here is a link:

שו”ת חקרי לב א יו”ד סימן פ”ד

(It has been noted that the print in the Hebrewbooks.org copy of חקרי לב is not the clearest and most pristine, but it is the only one I know of that it publically available online. If anyone knows of a link to a version with a better print – a link in the comments would be most appreciated.)

Some sources for the first post:
  1. Deuteronomy 17:11
  2. Bavli Bava Basra 47b – 48a
  3. Miamonides Hilchos Gerushim Chapter 2 Halacha 20
  4. Bavli Horayos 2b
  5. Yerushalmi Horayos Chapter 1 Halacha 1
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