Sources For Daas Torah

1. Beia 36b – must follow ruling of rebbe even l’kula. [Abaye has a brick mill that can be damaged by water. It is raining on Shabbos; there is a hole in the roof of the room containing the mill; there is a keli under the hole, but when the keli is full it will overflow and the water will damage the mill. He asks Raba what to do. Answer: put your couch in the room. The water is repulsive; repulsive items are not muktza and so the keli can be emptied repeatedly on Shabbos. Abaye questions: Is it permissible to create repulsion on purpose [by moving into the room deliberately]? While he pauses to think the issue through, the water overflows and the mill is damaged. Abaye says: “I deserved this because I violated the words of my rebbe [Rashi].” Now Raba gave Abaye a heter and Abaye decided not to take advantage of it – he was more stringent in his practice. And for that he was punished.]

2. RH 25a-b - peshita that the lesser authority must obey the greater. [Rabban Gamliel and Rebbe Yehoshua disagree on the date of Yom Kippur. Rabban Gamliel requires Rebbe Yehoshua to appear before him on the date which Rebbe Yehoshua considers Yom Kippur and he does so. Rabban Gamliel praises him, saying that although Rebbe Yehoshua is superior in wisdom, he accepted Rabban Gamliel’s decree. The Talmud then comments: Happy is the generation in which the greater [scholar] listens to the lesser [scholar], this proves that [lit.: all the more so] the lesser must listen to the greater. The Talmud objects: does this need a proof? It is obvious [that the lesser must listen to the greater]! Rather, when people see that the greater listens to the lesser, they apply this all the more so to themselves [and listen to greater scholars].]

3. “ain ruach chachomim nocha heimenu” – see Tos. Yom Tov on Avos 3:10 who cites Rashi on Baba Metzia 48 and Kiddushin 17 – The sages have pleasure from his action and are indebted to him. [Apparently this is enough to render his action praiseworthy: it pleases the sages – without satisfying any other prior law or value.

4. Avos 1:16 – see Rambam on assey l’cho rav – not for the sake of talmud Torah [since that is covered in Mishna 6] – rather, this Mishna teaches that we should avoid doubt by seeking the psak [of a scholar] and rely upon him for [questions of] issur and heter. [Now if everyone has this responsibility, then we have an obligatory chain linking everyone to the very greatest scholars of the generation.] [Kaganoff]

5. Sanhedrin 32b - [“Tedek tzedek tirdof” – seek beis din yafe [the best? Better? Beis din.] – brought by Rif and Rosh, but not later poskim [Kaganoff]

6. Deverim 1:12 - “Tzedek tzedek tirdof” – see Ramban who is looking for the source for the din that a baal din may require the addition of dayanim to a beis din of three, even though he cannot withdraw from such a beis din [as he could if he had accepted kerovim or pesulim]. He speculates that it could be learned from Sanhedrin 32b – the requirement to go to the makom havaad [from tzedek tzedek tirdof] because there is a greater probability that the din will be correct. [Kaganoff]

7. Sanhedrin 87a – “v’kamta v’alisa’ – see Rashi – from beis din to higher beis din [from the context – when one beis din has a doubt or a controversy it is required to go to a greater beis din] [Kaganoff]

8. Eruvin 13b – the Sanhedrin voted on noach l’odom she nivra – clearly a matter of hashkofo. It would be ossur to disagree. [Meiselman]

9. Rambam Hil. Mamrim 1:1 – The Sanhedrin is 1. ikar Torah she baal pe, 2. amudei horo-oh and 3. mehem chok umishpat yozei l’chol Yisroel. Now 2 is judicial – interpreting the Mesora. 3 is legislative. What is 1? It is plausible to say that this includes hashkofo since that is clearly part of the Torah she baal pe. [Meiselman]

10. Chovos Halevovos, Shaar Avodas Elokim, perek 4: every action is either commanded or forbidden, nothing is permitted and upon to undirected choice. [The particular subject is providing for one’s physical needs.] Presumably, these decisions need to be informed by torah knowledge to be made correctly.