How and/or why did it happen that there is so much unclarity both in the Gemara and in the Poskim about the details of Rabbinic decrees? Why wasn’t the Sanhedrin more clear about what the details of the gezeira was? Why wasn’t it recorded/communicated in a way that would remain without so much machlokes?
One of countless examples to bring out my point: Cholov Yisrael is unclear whether it’s a davar shebminyan. It seems bizarre that such a fundamental aspect of the gezeira would be unclear, leading to widepread machlokes in the poskim. Gevinas akum is a machlokes in the Gemara why exactly they made the decree. It’s a machlokes in poskim whether watching a goy make the cheese is good enough. etc.
How and why were such important details not more clearly passed down to us?
A related question- I have a much harder time relating to the concept of eilu v eilu by debates regarding derabbanans, since it really depends on the facts how they made the gezeira in the first place.
I would really appreciate some sources about these questions. Thanks so much!
Your question relates in general to the transmission of Torah Shebal Pe. Originally, the oral Torah including the rabbinic decrees were transmitted from teacher to student, and was not meant to be written. The reason being that the torah should stay special among the Jews and not be accessed by the gentiles. However during the time of the second Bais Hamikdash, there were numerous, extreme difficulties including the destruction of the second Bais Hamikdash, Chuban Beitar, the students of R’ Akiva dying, and many, many other difficulties, that you will see when reading about those difficult years. Rabbeinu Hakadosh, who was befriended by Antoninus, and was the Nasi, had the unique opportunity to write down the oral law, which he compiled, and wrote, even though essentially it was meant to stay oral. Even after that, the Mishna was written in a short handed form, in order that many that would read it would not understand it, insuring that the torah will still stay special for the Jews, and not be read by the other nations. All of those difficult years caused that many of the fine point regarding the mitzvos and takanos d’rabonon, were forgotten. Hence the lack of clarity. However when the takanos were instituted, it was clear to all of them what the takana was, the same was the mitzvos were clear, for hundreds of years, until the time of Hillel and Shamai when things started becoming unclear and controversy started to creep in. Until the situation that we have today that there are many fine points that we are not clear about, and this is part of the reason that we daven for Eliyahu Hanavi and Moshiach to come and give us clarity to all of our questions in Torah.
Regarding eilu veilu, this is another issue, and a very deep one. One of the guiding rules regarding torah shebal pe, is that when Hashem gave us the Torah, he not only gave us the rights to learn it, but also to establish, the halacha according to our understanding. This is the meaning of the term “torah lo bashamayim he” The torah is not in heaven. Therefore, if the chachamim later on understood, regarding a certain question, that “this is the way that the takana was instituted” that becomes the halacha. Not only here but even as far as bais din shel maalah is concerned.