Nevertheless, his fellow Rabbis would often disagree with his opinions, leading to lengthy philosophical and theological debates.
During one debate on the subject of the legal minutiae of a religious ritual he found himself at odds with three of his colleagues. While everyone recognized that Rabbi Eliezer was the greater scholar, the quorum would follow the majority. He knew he would have to sway at least one of them to his side.
He started with every logical and technical argument that he could imagine. While they were impressed, the other three stood firm in their opposition, three against one.
Getting agitated he said “if I am correct then that tree will fall over!” and sure enough the tree fell over. The others said “well that could just be coincidence. Trees do fall over all the time.”
Getting more desperate he said “if I am correct that river will flow backward!” and sure enough the river began to flow backward, but the others said “this too can happen naturally sometimes when the right circumstance of tides and rainfall coincide.”
Finally he shouted “If I am correct then let Heaven come answer my call” and sure enough a heavenly voice rang out and said “He’s right you know…”
After hearing this, the other Rabbis conferred and finally returned with “Sorry, its still three against two”