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Authority In Israel

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A Voice

         Rabbi Eliezer now faced the rabbanim and said:

         If all these proofs are not enough for you let Heaven itself prove my position.”

         No sooner had he finished speaking than a voice from Heaven cried out:

         “Do not differ with Rabi Eliezer, for the law is as he says.”

         But not even this could help Rabi Eliezer. Once again Rabi Yehoshua rose and looking to Heaven said:

       “We cannot listen to a voice from Heaven. The Torah is not in Heaven. It was given to us at Sinai and in it was declared: ‘After the majority shall you go.’”

         “We cannot allow a minority to defy the rule of the many. This would doom the Torah.”

         And so it was decided, for the unity of the Torah, that Rabbi Eliezer who refused to obey the will of the majority would be placed under the ban.

The Storm

As Rabi Eliezer was under the ban, Rabban Gamliel boarded a ship for a voyage on the sea. Swiftly, the sky darkened and the waves lashed at the tiny craft. It appeared certain that the ship was doomed and that in only a matter of minutes she would go under with all aboard.

         Rabban Gamliel, seeking the danger said to himself: “It must be that all this is because of Rabi Eliezer.

         Raising his eyes to Heaven he spoke:

        “Sovereign of the Universe! It is known to You that all that I have done is not because of personal honor or for the honor of my father’s house. Rather it was done only for Your honor – that there not be multiply differences and divisions in Israel.”

         Hearing this, the Almighty commanded the sea to calm its wrath. Such is the importance of proper authority in Israel.

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He followed her advice and, before departing, the rabbanim offered him a bracha. “Aba Yudin, may the Lord return your wealth, for all the kind deeds you do.”

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In their perverted justice they also declared the following law: Anyone who was injured by another so that blood flowed from his wound, was compelled to pay his attacker since he bled him!

“When I asked why she cried so much she said she came from a very religious home and feared she would be sold to a non-Jew and forced to convert.

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And so the enemy burst into the Sanctuary and set up a stand on the Temple Mount.

By means of a clever pretext, they succeeded in getting Rabi Yitzhak aboard a ship and sailed it down the river.

When the young man awoke, he did not know where he was. As he looked around, the princess looked out and saw him.

One winter morning a terrible blizzard raged, the weather dropped to below zero, and the woman became desperately ill.

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