Shabbat 139 - Stricter laws for the ignorant
Rabbi Yose ben Elisha says, "If you see a generation upon which many troubles come - go and examine the deeds of the judges in the Jewish courts, because troubles come to the world only on account of corrupt judges, who use their influence for their own benefit. Ulla said, "Redemption will come to Israel through charity, following Isaiah: ' Zion will be redeemed through justice and its people through charity .'"
The people of Bashkar sent three queries to Levi, but by the time the messenger arrived, Levi died. Shmuel then said to Rav Menashia, "If you are sufficiently wise, answer them." The question was about putting up a canopy on Shabbat (which, if it has even a small a roof at its top, is akin to building), and the answer given was "I have reviewed all considerations and have not found ground to permit this." But he could have suggested a canopy which rolls to the side with a rope!? This would be permitted because it is obviously not building but opening or closing, or because adding to a temporary tent is permitted, only building it is forbidden. - The Bashkarians were not learned Sages, and they could have adopted other leniences, basing them on this one.
The second query was about planting - with the same result as the first, an extra stringent ruling. The third one was about burial on a Yom Tov holiday, and he told them that it was not allowed, either by a Jew or a non-Jew, either on the first or on the second day of the holiday. But there were other opinions that he could have followed!? Some allow burial by non-Jews on the second day, and others burial by non-Jews on the first day, and by Jews on the second! - Again, the Bashkarians were not learned Sages, and they could have adopted other leniencies, basing them on this one.
Art: Childe Hassam - Building the Schooner