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In the Book of Judges 2:10 it says that after the death of Joshua and his generation, "there arose another generation after them, who knew not Hashem nor the deed which He had done for Israel." Implicit in this sentence is that there was no one around who knew Torah (certainly if the entire generation did not know Hashem or His deeds on behalf of Israel, it is kind of hard to believe that they knew or believed in either the Written or Oral Torah). G-d, soon thereafter brings on the Judges (Judges 2:16). But if the knowledge of Hashem was lost and forgotton by the previous generation, wasn't there a break in the line of tradition of the Oral Torah, even if G-d restored it through the Judges?

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I don't think your assumption is correct. That sentence doesn't necessarily imply that they didn't know Torah. – Hacham Gabriel Jan 24 '13 at 20:50

Pirke Avot 1:1:

Moses received the Torah from Sinai and gave it over to Joshua. Joshua gave it over to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets gave it over to the Men of the Great Assembly.

That "a generation arose" does not have to mean every single person after Joshua. It could be that most but not all did not know Hashem (but you only need a few), or it could be rhetorical. Or, as Hacham Gabriel points out in a comment, knowing Hashem isn't strictly necessary to know or follow (most) torah.

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It could also refer to widespread ignorance, perhaps not even most of the public, but enough of the general society was breaking down because of a vacuum of leadership. – Seth J Jan 13 '15 at 22:35

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