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An atheist told me that rather than being the Word of God, the Torah and the Mitzvot were actually concocted by the Rabbis and therefore they are not binding.

According to his own admission, all mitzvot, being invented by rabbis, are d'rabbonon. But even a mitzva d'rabbonon is binding.

Can anyone resolve this apparent contradiction?


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closed as off-topic by msh210 Mar 19 at 3:20

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3 Answers 3

The fact that even a mitzva d'rabbonon is binding stems from a mitzva in the torah -

עַל פִּי הַתּוֹרָה אֲשֶׁר יוֹרוּךָ וְעַל הַמִּשְׁפָּט אֲשֶׁר יֹאמְרוּ לְךָ תַּעֲשֶׂה לֹא תָסוּר מִן הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר יַגִּידוּ לְךָ יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאל

“According to the law that they direct you and the judgement that they will say to you you should do, you should not stray from the matter that they instruct you to the right or to the left.”

So the Rabbis told you to listen to the Rabbis. So every mitzva is a גזירה לגזירה.

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1  
Welcome to Mi Yodeya! Please note that this question was posted in the spirit of Purim Torah, and that therefore, answers that take the question seriously are not what the question is looking for. Don't worry! Outside Purim Torah season, we normally require all questions and answers to be real Q&A about Judaism. I encourage you to check out, for example, our 118 actual mitzvah questions. –  Isaac Moses Mar 12 at 16:17
    
@IsaacMoses I think this could be salvaged as a Purim answer. –  YEZ Mar 12 at 17:16
2  
I edited your answer to make it more absurd. You can change it back if you don't approve. Welcome to Mi Yodeya! –  YEZ Mar 12 at 17:17
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@YEZ well-corrupted! –  Isaac Moses Mar 12 at 17:20
    
@IsaacMoses I made his answer much more popular than my own :) –  YEZ Mar 12 at 18:25

The gemara in Bava Basra 60b states

שאין גוזרין גזרה על הצבור אלא אם כן רוב צבור יכולין לעמוד בה

Any decree which the public cannot handle should not be made

Ritva there:

ואם גזרו אינה גזירה כלל

And if they do make such a decree, it is not valid

Every mitzvah is a גזירה שאין הציבור יכול לעמוד בו, as we see from the fact that he isn't doing them. So they aren't binding.

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By "not binding" he meant that he believes that violating them does not subject one to the death penalty, imposed in some cases by tying a rope around the guilty party's neck.

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