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Why was Rabbi Eliezer ostracized?

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The context here is the aftermath of the debate about the oven of Akhnai.

What did Rabbi Eliezer do that was worthy of ostracism?

Dissent, by itself, must have happened many times without disciplinary action.

Was he considered to have broken the rules (using reason to settle legal questions) by asking for miracles? But he had started with reasoned arguments, many of them. Their substance is not recorded but assumptions can be made based on his career and reputation.

Dissent can take the form "I disagree, but acknowledge that I'm outvoted and won't fight the decision". What did Rabbi Eliezer do that went beyond that? I'd understand the Sanhedrin finding a serious problem if, hypothetically, a rabbi were to teach students and the public that something was ritually pure when the Sanhedrin had ruled it was impure. But I haven't seen anything at all close to that in the few sources I've read.

Certainly praying for bad things to happen to the Sanhedrin was outside the bounds of normal dissent, but didn't that happen after he was ostracized?

Was it a straw that broke the camel's back situation? Did I get the correct impression that it was not the first time he was a minority of one?

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To my reading, the discussion that follows makes it clear that the rabbis were wrong to excommunicate Rabbi Eliezer. Rabbi Eliezer's excommunication is followed by various disasters, including the death of Rabban Gamaliel (who headed the Sanhedrin that excommunicated him) at the hands of heaven.

Some years ago I attended a talk by Rabbi Danny Schiff, which I wrote about at the time. I'm drawing what I say here from that talk; I searched for better written sources to support R' Schiff's argument but didn't find them (at least in English). He argued that the other rabbis were concerned that Eliezer, by appealing for an answer from heaven instead of following the process of deriving law, could not be trusted in his other rulings either: if he didn't follow the process here, why should we assume he followed it elsewhere? Thus, they sought to remove him from authority so he couldn't cause others to go astray through his incorrect methods. My own interpretation is that the goal was good but the methods were overzealous and without regard to the harm they did, and that's why the disasters followed.

It wasn't merely about disagreement; as you noted and as our sources make clear, disagreements over the law happened a lot, with the houses of Hillel and Shammai being the most prominent. But those disagreements arise within the system, not by stepping outside of it.

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