Bava Batra 131 - Is Theory or Practice More Important?


Which is to be followed, a ruling issued by a Sage in the course of learning, or his practical ruling in court?

Neither. While learning, the Sage may not have considered all aspects of the matter. A practical ruling, on the other hand, may be misunderstood by the observer as to the reason behind it. Rather, the Sage has to declare both that the law agrees with a certain view, and that it is to be followed in practice.

Is the ruling about changes in inheritance true for someone on his deathbed, because of "... on the day when he makes his sons inherit ...", or even for a one who is young and healthy? Rebbi said (and some state, ruled in an actual case) that it works for a healthy person also. The two reports disagree on "is theory or practice more important."

Art: Baron Mikhail Petrovich Klodt von Jurgensburg - Beside a Sick Woman