Tag Archives: medicine

More on the Parameters of Rov

A few weeks ago (here), I raised some questions about the applicability of the principle of acharei rabim lehatot – does it apply outside of Beit Din contexts, outside of halachic issues altogether (our previous example being medical issues), does it apply when there is no formal vote, does it apply when opposed to the rov is a small set of experts, etc? A few sources I found weigh in on these issues, though with some combinations I had not seen before.

The Rosh was asked whether a minority segment of the community can opt out of certain decisions the community made by majority vote. He answers that they cannot because “in all issues where the community agrees, we follow the majority.” Continue reading More on the Parameters of Rov

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Does Majority Rule Apply Outside of Halachic Issues?

In the past (here and here) we have discussed the machloket between the Shach and Bach (both in the Kelalei Psak of the Shach- Yoreh Deah 242) whether the rule acharei rabim lehatot applies only to cases of Beit Din or to all cases of pesak. The Shach argues that anything that has been ruled on by a majority of poskim throughout the generations becomes binding pesak and cannot even be invoked in a shaat hadechak. The Bach disagrees, arguing that only in Sanhedrin, where there was a formal vote, can we invoke rules of rov.

Both R. Yaakov Emden and R. Yonatan Eibshitz notes that practically the Shach is impossible to implement, as we have no way of knowing how many sefarim have been lost, how poskim have rules orally, etc, making it impossible to reach a rov. Continue reading Does Majority Rule Apply Outside of Halachic Issues?