Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023

Yevamos 20: Inadvertent Transgressions

On this daf, we find that one who does not keep rabbinic commandments is called wicked. On Shabbos 110 we find that one who transgresses a rabbinic prohibition will be “bitten by a snake.” This means that one who violates a rabbinic ordinance is more prone to punishment in this world than one who transgressed a Torah commandment. This is even more explicit in Eiruvin 21, where we find that one who violates the words of the sages is liable to the death penalty.

Even one who transgressed a rabbinic prohibition accidentally might need atonement. Although the Nesivos holds that one who inadvertently eats something that is a rabbinic prohibition does not require atonement—and the same holds true for transgressing other rabbinic ordinances— other authorities argue.

Rav Yitzchok Elchonon Spector and the Maharsham are among the dissenting opinions. They rule that even an inadvertent rabbinic transgression also harms one and atonement is needed (Nesivos, siman 234; Ein Yitzchok, Even Ha’ezer 67:21-22; Mishpat Shalom #244)

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