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2
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2answers
108 views

Is the Oral Law mainly of Divine origin or is it largely influenced by the rabbis/cultures of the time?

Do we now dismiss parts of the Oral Torah as incorrect? For example scientific statements in the Talmud are nowadays largely ignored (things like flies moving the air around/lice coming from ...
0
votes
3answers
56 views

What does Exodus 21:28 mean if an Oral Torah was given at Sinai?

One of the claims Rabbinic Judaism makes is that Oral Torah contains instructions for how to "properly slaughter" animals. The laws of shechitah are not in the Written Torah, yet one of the proofs for ...
4
votes
2answers
99 views

What are “secrets of Torah” according to the Rambam?

The Rambam explicitly acknowledges that there is something called "secrets of Torah." His words (or at least R' Kapach's translation of his words) are (Moreh Nevochim 2:33): שאי אפשר להכנס למעמד ...
2
votes
2answers
55 views

Why are rules of proper behavior not in the written Torah?

Pirkei Avot 1:1: Moshe received the Torah from Sinai... Bartenura on Pirkei Avot 1:1:1: ... the author began with this tractate Moses received the Torah from Sinai, to say to you that the ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Does Judaism have a concept of holy text literalism?

Apologies if this is an ignorant, foolish or offensive question. I am not Jewish, and am asking to satisfy my curiosity. Some time ago, on a political forum online, I was discussing religious ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Are We Biblically Commanded to Study the Oral Law According to Maimonides?

Rambam writes in Hil. Talmud Torah (1:7) that one must pay to teach his son the entire written Torah. וְחַיָּב לְלַמְּדוֹ בְּשָׂכָר עַד שֶׁיִּקְרָא תּוֹרָה שֶׁבִּכְתָב כֻּלָּהּ Kessef Mishna ...
4
votes
0answers
31 views

Why were the baraitot excluded from the mishnayot?

The Gemara (or Talmud) is full of Tannaitic teachings known as baraitot (or baraita in the singular). Nevertheless, these teachings were not codified in the Shishah Sidre'i Mishnah (Six Orders of The ...
3
votes
0answers
59 views

Source for the oral traditions in Megillas Esther?

I'm trying to understand where the Rabbis in tractate Megillah get their information. I thought that the way they interpret the five books of Moses was because they already knew all the laws and ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Using Ethiopian oral law to resolve machloket

This question and particularly my comment on the question got me thinking. Assuming those who became the Ethiopian Jews received the oral law exactly the same as the rest of Israel, could we ...
1
vote
1answer
217 views

What did medieval rabbis like Maimonides write, generically? What do modern rabbis write?

OK, so - the Torah is the same as the Pentateuch/first five books of the Christian Old Testament; the Tanakh is roughly the same as the OT, but there are some differences in ordering, inclusion, etc. ...
7
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3answers
554 views

Is there a mention of the Oral Torah in the Written Torah?

Is there an explicit mention mention of the Oral Torah in the Chumash? If not, why not?
4
votes
2answers
454 views

How does the oral Torah not contradict Dvarim 4:2?

If God intended there to be an oral Torah, why would He say not to add anything? Shouldn't He have at least mention this exception in the Torah, so we know the Talmud is divine? Devarim 4:2 ב ...
3
votes
0answers
35 views

How can there be machlokes in gezairah shavos?

The Gemara says (Nidah 19b, among other places), אין אדם דן גזירה שווה מעצמו - a person can't make up gezaira shavos, they have to have been learned from one's teacher. If so, how can there ever be a ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views

Writing down the Oral Law

If the rabbis consider it Biblically forbidden to write down the Torah she'al peh, why is it not listed as one of the 613 mitzvot by Rambam and others
-3
votes
4answers
238 views

Why does Halacha not follow the simple reading of the Biblical text?

There are many Halachot which appear to contradict explicit Biblical statements. For example, that an "Eye for an Eye" means monetary compensation. Why does Halacha not follow the simple reading of ...
-5
votes
1answer
72 views

mishenichnas adar

To our great delight on Rosh Chodesh Adar our children all walked in with a creatively designed משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה. To my initial dismay I was sure that all our well meaning teachers may have ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

What was/is the leviathan as described in Tanach and Rabbinic literature?

Today the Hebrew word "leviathan" is translated as a whale. But the leviathan of the Tanach seems to be some kind of sea creature. See Job 41:1-34. Tehillim 74 there is an implication that G-d ...
11
votes
4answers
395 views

Why is the torah so misleading without the oral law

In parsha ki tetze (Devarim 22) it says if a man takes a wife, hates her, accuses her of not being a virgin, etc. Then the elders spread out the bedsheet to see if there is blood of virginity. If not, ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

If there is only one oral Torah how do we reconcile different interpretations of a written verse? [duplicate]

Many times when you read a confusing verse in the scriptures, several commentators offer their own interpretation. For example, Rashi can say X, Sforno says Y, and Ramban says something completely ...
2
votes
3answers
263 views

Talmud comes from Har Sinai?

I recently heard from an unreliable source that a certain Chasidic rabbi in my hometown claims that the entire oral Torah in its current written form (including the Bavli, the Yerushalmi, and all of ...
0
votes
2answers
173 views

What are the earliest sources of Oral Law irrespective of Jewish denomination like Kariate Samaritan etc

I read Oral laws were forbidden to be written down by MOses and then due to a threat people started to write it down , Hence curious to know which is the first manuscript on Oral law , most probably ...
-1
votes
2answers
409 views

Jewish sects that accept only the Tanach [duplicate]

Are there any Jewish sects which regard the Oral Law, Talmud and other interpretations of Tanach as unlawful addition to the religion? If yes who are they and what are their beliefs?
5
votes
0answers
64 views

What is the status of the “minor tractates”?

There is a collection of "minor tractates" some of which contain material not found in other works of torah sh'baal peh (the oral law). What is the origin of these tractates? Who wrote/compiled them? ...
3
votes
1answer
162 views

How did the Oral Torah survive the years after Joshua died?

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." ...
3
votes
1answer
173 views

Does Rambam include the Oral Torah in his eighth principle?

When Rambam says that a principle of faith is that the entire Torah that we now have is that which was given to Moshe, does he include both written and oral Torah, or only the written Torah? If the ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

If someone doesn't believe in the Gemara, is he a heretic?

If someone says "I believe that the Mishnayos/Braisos/Toseftas are accurate, but I think that the Gemara made mistakes and has no holiness. Is such philosophy heresy? What about someone who argues ...
7
votes
3answers
195 views

Why does Jewish law and tradition specify times for saying Shema?

This question is asked at a very basic level, not deeply aware of Judaism or the process of Jewish law. I'm not Jewish so it isn't directly applicable to me, but it helps me to ask a broader question ...
2
votes
1answer
181 views

If the Oral Torah is Divine, why are there arguments? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why don’t we just follow the shittah of Moshe Rabeinu? If the Oral Torah is Divine, how are there arguments in the Mishnah and Gemara? (I have heard this question asked ...
6
votes
6answers
720 views

Why don't we just follow the shittah of Moshe Rabeinu?

My question can apply to virtually all mitzvos where there is a disagreement in the standard way to fulfill them. If one reads the hakdama (introduction) to the Rambam's peirush mishnayos (commentary ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Shomronim (Samaritans) and Sheviit [closed]

I am wondering if the Samaritans observe the Sabbatical year differently than most the "Masoretic" Jews. If so, how?
6
votes
5answers
437 views

Does Joshua 8:34-35 disprove oral law's existence?

I was reading about Karaite Judaism and it lists a number of reasons, some which I thought were compelling, for rejecting the Oral Law. For example, Joshua 8, 34–8, 35 states: After that, he ...
8
votes
0answers
104 views

Explanations for forbidding writing Oral Torah [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why was Torah sheBal Peh not allowed to be Written? The Wikipedia article for Oral Torah mentions the possibility that it was forbidden to write and publish Oral Torah. ...
16
votes
2answers
554 views

What is the oldest manuscript of Torah Shebaal Peh?

We don't have (and more's the pity!) R' Yehudah Hanassi's autograph copy of the Mishnah (well, okay, it's a controversial issue whether he actually wrote it or only arranged it orally), or Ravina and ...
6
votes
3answers
328 views

What is the Yetzer Harah?

What is the meaning of the "Yetzer Harah" - יצר הרע? How does it compare to the סטן?
2
votes
2answers
158 views

Does participating in Torah discussion websites fit into the spirit of Torah sheB'al Peh?

This question is a follow-up to Why was Torah sheBal Peh not allowed to be Written? and Why can people write Torah sheBal Peh nowadays? As discussed in the above questions, there were many reasons ...
6
votes
1answer
223 views

Why can people write Torah sheBal Peh nowadays?

This is a follow up to: Why was Torah sheBal Peh not allowed to be Written?. The Gemara in Temurah (14b) states that one may not write Torah sheBal Peh. It then states an exception that was made so ...
14
votes
4answers
550 views

Why was Torah SheBe'Al Peh not allowed to be written?

The Gemara states that it is forbidden to write down the Oral Torah ("Torah SheBe'Al Peh") [1]: דרש רבי יהודה בר נחמני מתורגמניה דרבי שמעון בן לקיש, כתיב: +שמות ל"ד+ כתוב לך את הדברים האלה, וכתיב: ...
11
votes
5answers
389 views

The authenticity of rabbinic literature

I am studying the history of various branches of Judaism. I understand the position of rabbinic Judaism that parts of the laws were oral and not written. But this alone would not justify the ...