Once they were studying the laws of a Nasi who commits a transgression and Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish asked, “If a Nasi committed a sin, may he be flogged or not?” He was answered in the affirmative. He later asked, “If a Nasi has been flogged, may he be reinstated to his office?” “No, for fear that he might execute his judges.” When Rabbi Yudan Nasia heard of this discussion, he sent “Goths” (Neusner) to arrest Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish, but he escaped. Rabbi Yohanan came to the Bet HaVaad and began searching around. When the Nasi asked him what he was looking for, he replied that he needed ben Lakish, the “key” to their studies. “Where is he?” asked the Nasi. Rabbi Yohanan said he was hiding in Magdala. They went and brought him back. Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish told the Nasi, “You have acted similarly to God’s actions. Instead of sending a messenger to liberate me, you have come in person to do it.” The Nasi asked, “Why did you ask insulting questions?” Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish replied, “You should not imagine that I would refrain from studying Torah out of fear of you.” B. Sanhedrin 2.

 

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