Hillel responds, “Leave
Granted, this story has Halakhic implications, but it should be read as aggadah, with a literary narrative structure. As I’ve mentioned previously, the lines between Halakha and Aggadah are not sharply drawn. In this instance, the same story appears in the Tosefta (Pesachim 4:1), Bavli (Pesachim 66a), and Yerushalmi (39a/6:1). Each version has slight variations, and there’s a wealth of scholarly material on this (for example, here – see especially the comparison chart at the end). My point is only that there is license to treat this story aggadically.
In both Talmuds, Hillel suggests that the collective intuition of
The population that Hillel instructs us to ‘leave alone’ consists of those who are bringing the Paschal sacrifice. As I mentioned in the last post, the Pesach is the vehicle through which our identity as