THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) "TALMID CHAVER"
OPINIONS: When Rav Ashi asked Ravina, his student, how we could render
Halachic decisions and not refer them to his mentor, Ravina responded that
he is a Talmid Chaver of Rav Ashi, and it is permitted for a Talmid Chaver
to render Halachic decisions when he is not in the presence of his mentor.
This was also the reason that Rav Hamnuna rendered Halachic decisions when
he was in a different city than his mentor, Rav Chisda (see Tosfos 62b, DH
2) HALACHAH: "MOREH HALACHAH BI'FNEI RABO"
What exactly is the definition of a "Talmid Chaver?"
(a) RASHI (DH Talmid Chaver) explains that a Talmid Chaver is someone who is
just as knowledgeable as the mentor ("Chacham K'moso"), but learned from him
*one or more* things.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Talmud Torah 5:5) implies that one who has *not
learned most of his knowledge* from a certain teacher is considered a Talmid
Chaver, even though he is *not* on an equal standing with him in Chachmah.
(The RIVASH (#271) writes that when Rashi, too, defines a Talmid Chaver as
someone who is equally as wise, he does not mean it literally, but rather he
means that the mentor is not the primary source of the Talmid's knowledge,
as the Rambam explains. The Rivash proves this from the Amora'im mentioned
in our Gemara, Rav Hamnuna and Ravina, who were each called a Talmid Chaver,
but were certainly not equal in wisdom with Rav Chisda and Rav Ashi,
(c) The MAHARIK (#170, cited by the REMA YD 242:7) writes that a Talmid
Chaver refers to one who began as a Talmid, but *grew* in his Torah wisdom
until he became as great (or almost as great, according to some) as his
mentor. This is also the explanation of the RASHBAM in Bava Basra 158b (DH
Talmid Chaver). (According to the Maharik's explanation, it would thus be
possible for a full-fledged Talmid to become a Talmid Chaver.)
(d) RABEINU SHLOMO SIRILI'O (cited in YAD MALACHI) posits exactly the
opposite of Maharik. A Talmid Chaver is someone who was on an equal level
with his colleague in Torah wisdom and was then *surpassed* by his
colleague. That is, he started as a "Chaver" and then became a "Talmid."
(However, the YAD MALACHI cites a number of proofs to reject this
QUESTION: Rava states that if a person issues a Halachic ruling in front of
his mentor (Moreh Halachah bi'Fnei Rabo), if his mentor is actually present,
then the Talmid is Chayav Misah. If his mentor is not present, it is Asur,
but one is not Chayav Misah. It seems from the Gemara that "Lo b'Fanav," not
in front of his mentor, means that the Talmid is more than three Parsa'os
(twelve Mil) away from his mentor, and yet it is still forbidden to be Moreh
How can this be resolved with the Gemara on 62b that says that Rav Chisda
ruled in Kafri in the days of Rav Huna, his mentor, and Rav Hamnuna ruled in
Charta d'Argaz in the days of Rav Chisda, his mentor? If it is forbidden to
be Moreh Halachah even when not in front of one's mentor, how was it
permitted for them to do so?
(a) TOSFOS (DH Rav Chisda) answers that Rav Chisda was a Talmid Chaver of
Rav Huna, and Rav Hamnuna was a Talmid Chaver of Rav Chisda, and that is why
it was permitted for them to be Moreh Halachah when they were not in front
of their mentors. In front of one's mentor, though, it is forbidden even for
a Talmid Chaver to be Moreh Halachah.
(b) TOSFOS in Sanhedrin (5b, DH Ela Im Ken) answers that for any Talmid it
is permitted to be Moreh Halachah she'Lo bi'Fnei Rabo when the Talmid is
more than three Parsa'os away, but only on condition that he has permission
from his mentor to do so. When the Gemara says that it is Asur even she'Lo
b'Fanav, it refers to when the Talmid did not get explicit permission from
(c) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Talmid Torah 4:3) answers that it is only Asur to
pass Halachic rulings even not in the presence of one's mentor if one makes
himself an *established Posek*. It is permitted, though, to rule on an
Halachic query on occasion when not in the presence of his mentor.
(d) The RASHBA and RAN explain that when the Gemara says that "she'Lo
b'Fanav" is Asur, it means when the Talmid is *within* three Parsa'os but
not directly in front of his mentor. If one *is* more than three Parsa'os
away, though, even for a lowly Talmid is permitted to make Halachic rulings.