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20

Such halachic restrictions fall into two categories: those which we believe were given as part of the Oral Law along with the Torah, and those that were clearly put in place later by the rabbis. The former is not adding, as it was part of the given word. E.g. Deuteronomy 12:21, to eat non-sacrificial meat, just slaughter it "in the manner I have ...


15

Excellent question. The answer is that the Rabbis themselves are invested by the Torah with the duty to protect the basic halacha - see for example Deuteronomy 17:8-11, where it basically states that we are Scripturally bound to comply with the rulings of the Sanhedrin. Furthermore see Pirkei Avos 1:1, which states, "... make a protective fence for the ...


14

The Jews believe in the Written Torah as it was given word for word from God to Moses. But additionally, we believe that Moses was taught by God an Oral Torah, that is, a tradition of how to explain the text of the Written Torah, how certain laws are applied, how we practice certain mitzvos, and other additional concepts pertaining to Jewish law. Moses ...


10

Mishneh Lamelech (on Rambam, Hil. Melachim 10:7, end of the first paragraph) states that "regarding Noachides, we never find anywhere that [the Rabbis] enacted preventative measures (seyagim) for them." So apparently not. On the other hand, it would seem from the sources that they may, and perhaps should, enact their own precautionary measures. We are told ...


9

Frankly, kaveh, we don't know it's 100% the same. Traditional rabbinic literature is riddled with arguments about legal details. But, that is part of traditional Judaism. G-d expected unclarity in areas, that is why he gave us the laws of Deuteronomy 17- the Supreme Court on the Temple Mount. This becomes the absolute law even if a greater scholar ...


9

Generally, one is not allowed to clap to a beat on Shabbos (S.A. O.C. 339:3) Some have said that nowadays the gezeirah doesn't apply since we're not adept at instrument repair and the incidence is not common. The Rema brings this for even dancing. Others only permit for hand-clapping. I don't even know if this heter would apply now since instrument ...


8

The reason why we see leniencies by rabbinic laws is because of the rule that we don't make decrees perchance that someone will come to transgress a rabbinic violation. (gezaira l'gezeira). But that is only when the 2nd decree is not related to the 1st decree. Sometimes when the rabbinic law parallels the Torah law, the chachamim will extend the decree to ...


8

Maris Ayin (literally "the vision of the eye") describes rabbinic enactments that were put into place to prevent a third-party viewing one's actions from arriving at the incorrect conclusion that a forbidden action is permitted. Examples: It is forbidden to eat the blood of fish (which itself is permitted according to Torah law) lest someone watching you ...


8

There are basically 2 types of additions which are allowed: Those that prevent us from accidentally transgressing - as it says in the first Mishna in Pirkei Avot: Make a fence around the Torah. Those instituted by the Sages and Prophets under the umbrella of " כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר יוֹרֽוּךָ" - "you shall do whatever they teach you" (Devarim 17:10). Keep in mind ...


8

By the way, generally a "Talmudist" means someone who studies the Talmud; the rabbis who wrote the Talmud are known as The Sages, Hazal (an acronym for "our sages of blessed memory"), or the Tannaim (those before the year 200) and Amoraim (from 200 to 500). Okay, let's back up here. The reading of Deuteronomy is a very nuanced one, which your translation ...


7

Primarily, the torah was given to be a living document, subject to certain modes of understanding and application. In order to establish a system of that understanding, the chumash instructs the people to adhere to the particular teachings of those who, in each generation, are the authorities based on their learning and understanding. The torah is not in ...


7

Good question. The same question comes up with all the blessings regarding a second-day yom tov on the Diaspora; e.g. kiddush and shehechiyanu on the second night of Sukkot, Shavuot, and Shmini Atzeret. Until the Jewish calendar was fixed in place (around the year 500 or so), those in the Diaspora were keeping two days, going "maybe yom tov is really ...


7

1) See Shabbat 23a, which discusses Menorah on Chanukah: מברך אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו להדליק נר של חנוכה והיכן צונו רב אויא אמר מלא תסור רב נחמיה אמר שאל אביך ויגדך זקניך ויאמרו לך Soncino translation: What benediction is uttered? — This: Who sanctified us by His commandments and commanded us to kindle the light of Hanukkah. And where did He ...


6

See Igros Moshe (OC:2:100) regarding the enactment prohibiting dancing on Shabbos. The basic rule is where we can interpret the original enactment as having allowed for its expiration due to shifting realities, then we say it expires. In the case of gilui, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein says we interpret the enactment not as one that prohibits exposed liquids; ...


6

Yalkut Yosef 338:1 כגון להכות כף אל כף כשהוא במקום שמחה ושיר, אסור. In a circumstance of happiness and singing, it is prohibited. 338:2 מותר להכות כף אל כף בשבת כדי לעורר את הישנים מתרדמתם, שמאחר ואינו דרך שירה אין בזה איסור משום השמעת קול בשבת. To wake people up it is permissible because it is not in a way of music.


6

If you read the original responsum of the committee (here), you will find that they choose to rule that all prohibitions other than homosexual male anal intercourse (such as the prohibitions of yihud and negiah) are all rabbinic and are superseded by the concept of kvod habriot. (How they deal with the issue of השחתת זרע לבטלה is less clear, which is likely ...


6

Babylonian Talmud, Hullin, 116a: עוף איכא בינייהו ר' עקיבא סבר חיה ועוף אינן מן התורה הא מדרבנן אסירי ור' יוסי הגלילי סבר עוף אפילו מדרבנן נמי לא אסיר תניא נמי הכי במקומו של רבי אליעזר היו כורתין עצים לעשות פחמין לעשות ברזל במקומו של רבי יוסי הגלילי היו אוכלין בשר עוף בחלב לוי איקלע לבי יוסף רישבא אייתו לקמיה רישא דטיוסא בחלבא ולא אמר להו ולא מידי כי אתא ...


6

Rambam, Shabas 1:3, says: Someone who does so on purpose, we hit him with a smiting for rebellion (makas mardus). That is, bes din does.


5

Today we don't treat the second day of yomtov as a "maybe it's yomtov"; it has been rabbinically enacted for us (non-Israel-dwellers) as a full-fledged yomtov. The Talmud established long, long ago that rabbinic law has the power to order someone to be passive rather than fulfill a Torah obligation, e.g. not putting on tefilin on 2nd day yomtov (or not ...


5

There are at least four answers to this question: Instead of explaining them, I will provide the relevant citations. Maimonides which has already been cited here. R. Judah Halevi in the Kuzari 3:41. R. Joseph Albo, Sefer ha-Ikkarim 3:14, which is also the view of Maharal (Be'er ha-Golah, beginning). Maharsha to Megillah 14a, as well as R. Chaim ...


5

Shulhan Arukh Y"D 87:3 אינו נוהג אלא (ה) בבשר בהמה טהורה בחלב בהמה טהורה, ג אבל בשר טהורה בחלב טמאה, או בשר (ו טמאה בחלב טהורה, <ב> מותרים בבישול ובהנאה. ד (ז) ה] ובשר חיה ועוף, אפילו בחלב טהורה, (ח) ו] מותר בבישול, ובהנאה; ואף באכילה אינו אסור, אלא ז] מדרבנן. ה <ג> אבל דגים וחגבים, אין בהם (ט) איסור, אפילו מדרבנן. הגה: ו ח] ונהגו לעשות (י) חלב משקדים ...


4

There are a few different cases of "don't do X lest you do Y." Let me try to state a few off the top of my head, and hopefully that can get you started. This is a pretty technical and advanced question; I wish I could do a better job explaining it, but I apologize as I'll probably lose some readers here. A.) "Don't do action X because others will assume ...


4

The Gemara in beitza (5a) states: אמר רבה מתקנת רבן יוחנן בן זכאי ואילך ביצה מותרת דתנן משחרב בית המקדש התקין רבן יוחנן בן זכאי שיהו מקבלין עדות החדש כל היום אמר ליה אביי והא רב ושמואל דאמרי תרוייהו ביצה אסורה אמר ליה אמינא לך אנא רבן יוחנן בן זכאי ואת אמרת לי רב ושמואל ולרב ושמואל קשיא מתניתין לא קשיא הא לן והא להו ורב יוסף אמר אף מתקנת רבן יוחנן בן ...


4

אכל דבר איסור, אף על פי שאינו אסור אלא מדרבנן, אין מזמנין עליו ואין מברכין עליו לא בתחלה ולא בסוף. (שולחן ערוך או"ח סימן קצו:א)‏ If one ate something prohibited, even if it was only prohibited rabbinically, one does not combine him to a zimmun, nor would he say a beginning or after blessing [on that food]. (Shulchan Aruch OC 196:1)


4

There are different views as to nature of the truth of the Oral traditions. Many Geonim felt it almost entirely originated from Sinai and was passed down. The kaarites argued that the existence of Machloket showed that the oral tradtion wasn't authentic. However, Rambam emphasized how there were certain principles and halachot which were passed down, while ...


3

The Rambam lists the chain of people that it went through from Moshe on down. Its not perfect as it does not go to the present day, but I dont think that most would argue the authenticity of the rambam. In addition, if you are interested, this is a lecture that is online about the subject given in an easy to understand, fairly logical way. Warning, it is ...


3

In the Mishna (Shabbat 23:3), a machloket is presented between Abba Shaul and the tana qama. The Mishna states that it is forbidden to wander out to the Shabbat boundary during the day in order to hire workers or tend to your vineyards the moment that it gets dark. Abba Shaul, however, permits wandering out during the day if it is in preparation for ...


3

The Verse (Devarim 4:2) states: Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Rashi's Commentary on the Verse says: Verse 2: Do not add. For instance to place five parshiyos in the tefillin, to take five species [of fruit] for ...


3

Here are some thoughts. I'm not familiar with the process of Jewish law (I'm not Jewish), so I'm not writing with authority. These are just answers to questions that I've asked in my own desire to understand where I can hear that God is speaking. Questioning rabbinical law In order to find some common ground, it would be helpful to listen to what his real ...


3

Firstly, I don't know that you necessarily can convince your friend, but he might wish to consider the insufficiency of the Torah without any form of additional, correlative instruction. For example, how might he deal with contradictions within the text? How might he deal with passages that go into insufficient detail for their laws to be put into practice? ...



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