Chapter 6, Mishna 1
Yesterday we learned that Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov’s view prevails over R’ Meir’s in our Mishna. Several Sages agree with this conclusion, but for different reasons. Abaye says to his teacher Rav Yosef, that we follow R’ Eliezer ben Yaakov in nearly all disputes including this one. Rav Yosef challenges his student, saying a student should not issue a ruling in the presence of his teacher. Many illustrations of this principle follow, hammering home the fact that the honor of a Sage is a BIG DEAL. And this may even be the reason that Aaron’s sons perished after bringing strange fire on the Altar in the Tabernacle in the wilderness – their mistake was not so much the fire as that they relied on their own ruling when they should have asked their teacher, Moses.