Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

21

From the archaeological evidence it is clear that the Hebrew srcipt being used during the First Temple Period was what's known as the Ivri script (a handy conversion chart can be found here) which is very similar to Phoenician, as opposed to our script nowadays which is called Ashuri script. In terms of what script was used at Mount Sinai, there is a 3 way ...


17

One popular explanation: When the Jewish People reached Mount Sinai, the Torah (Ex. 19:2) describes their encampment in the singular form - ויחן שם ישראל נגד ההר. Rashi, citing Mechilta, states that this means that they really felt unified, "as one person, with one heart." That unity among Jews, then, was by itself worth reaching Sinai in order to achieve. ...


13

In the Vilna Gaon's commentary to a story in the Gemara (Bechoros 8b) about a debate between R' Yehoshua and the "Sages of Athens" (this commentary has been adapted into English, in The Juggler and the King, by R' Aharon Feldman), he explains that Hashem's reason for offering the Torah first to the nations was indeed to demonstrate that it doesn't "fit" with ...


13

Mechilta Drav Yishmael - Yisro - Parsha 5 says that it was not given in Eretz Yisroel in order that the non Jews would not to be able to say that they did not accept it since it was given in the Jewish land. Another reason was to avoid a dispute between the Shevatim. ומפני מה לא ניתנה תורה בארץ ישראל? שלא ליתן פתחון פה לאומות העולם, לומר: לפי שנתנה תורה ...


11

Because it wasn't put to them as a choice, but unilaterally imposed on Noach and his descendants by G-d. Being human carries basic obligations, because humans have abilities animals do not and a corresponding charge that animals do not: basic maintenance of the world (the Jewish understanding of the word often mistranslated to English as "subdue").


11

A large percentage of the families who are affiliated with groups with liberal Judaic practices, such as the Conservative and Reform movement, tends to become less affiliated after their children become bar/bat mitzva age. From my understanding, confirmation, although not a Jewish concept per se, seemed to be a great way of keeping the children and families ...


8

כִּי אֵל רַחוּם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לֹא יַרְפְּךָ וְלֹא יַשְׁחִיתֶךָ; וְלֹא יִשְׁכַּח אֶת-בְּרִית אֲבֹתֶיךָ, אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לָהֶם. (דברים ד:לא)‏ For the LORD thy God is a merciful God; He will not fail thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which He swore unto them. (Deuteronomy 4:31)


7

Another angle, given in various places in Chassidus, and developed further in one of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's talks (Likkutei Sichos, vol. 14, pp. 156ff - English adaptation on chabad.org) is that Simchas Torah specifically commemorates the giving of the second Tablets on Yom Kippur, and so we celebrate it at the end of that season of holidays. In this talk, ...


7

I'd have to find the source, but one of the answers I remember learning is based on the Talmud (Makkot 23B-24A). There (also brought in this answer), the Talmud tells us that the verse (Devarim 33:4) "תּוֹרָה צִוָּה לָנוּ מֹשֶׁה מוֹרָשָׁה קְהִלַּת יַעֲקֹב", hints to the 611 commandments that were given to us by Moshe. "תּוֹרָה" is the numerical value of ...


7

As the reform movement "loosely" based this ceremony on the practice of another religion, it would in fact be explicitly prohibited as chukos hagoyim to engage in it.


7

It is clear that angels have jealousy towards humans from Tosfiyos Brachos 3a that says that some say that we say certain prayers in Aramaic in order that the angels should not be jealous of us, and Tosfiyos does not say there is no jealousy, only that we say other prayers in Lashon Kodesh so that can not be the reason. Also Rashi Braishis 1:26 indicates ...


7

Additionally, it was given in the desert (no-man's land) so that no people would be able to claim that they have no share in the Torah. (See English comments in the Stone Chumash; I can't give a more specific reference because I don't have the book on my lap ATM, sorry). edit: Mekhilta De-Rabbi Ishmael (Exodus 19:2).


6

It seems from the gemara (Hullin 92a bottom line) that they did indeed accept commandments upon themselves. The gemara uses the phrase: שלשים מצות שקבלו עליהם בני נח Thirty commandments which Bnei Noach accepted upon themselves.


6

Aside from the other excellent answers listed here, two points: 1) Dayeinu does not mean that it would have been enough for us, as in it being an end in itself, but rather than it would have been sufficient cause for us to give praise to Hashem. See here for further elaboration. Each step in the process was wonderful and deserving of our praise. 2) This ...


5

There's a debate in the Talmud (which is in turn subject to more debate by commentaries how to understand it), the two opinions appear to be as follows: The original Torah was given in the script we now know (ktav ashuri). Back then, this script was only used for "sacred matters." Regular (not sacred) Hebrew documents were written in the proto-script (ktav ...


5

So they should not have complaints we should have the offer to we would have said yes. As we know at Har Sinia "Sina YArdah Lolam"


5

I asked my Rav this question once. He answered that they would learn theology such as belief in God and the mitzvot Ben Adam Lechavero that are obvious (such as גזל). I guess it would be best comparable to ibn Pequda's Chovot HalLevavot, parts of which he derives from what he calls "sekhel". He also pointed out that they must have had some form of mesorah in ...


5

HaSeder Haruch (vol. 3, Iyunim Behagada pg. 414) collects ten explanations (some of them may overlap answers already posted, but I nonetheless bring the whole list for sake of completeness and because they are well sourced): The Gemora (Shabbos 146a, Avoda Zorah 22b) states that when the Jews stood before Har Sinia "Paskah Zuhamasam Miyisroel" (Machzor ...


5

Rav S.R. Hirsch in the Collected Writings Vol.1 in an article entitled "The Uniqueness of the Torah" writes that the connection between Shavuos and Matan Torah is only stated in the Torah Shebaal Peh in order to teach us that someone who does not accept the Torah Shebaal Peh never has had a Kabolas Hatorah


5

Without knowing what this ceremony is I would say that orthodox Judaism is averse to instituting any type of ceremony unless there is a valid, orthodox source that can be seen as a precedent (usually the older the better). If for no other reason than to adopt one ceremony would open the floodgates and dilute any meaning (this is a pet peeve I have with ...


5

I've heard the previous UK Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, quote another scholar as saying: "Greek literature is televion; Bible is radio." Generally the Torah has much more emphasis on what's said/heard than what's seen. We have virtually no description of what any Biblical character looked like, unless it occasionally serves to drive the plot ("Joseph was very ...


5

The Ta'amei Haminhagim (618) mentions this reason: The reason that we are awake all night on the night of Shavuos and are busy with (learning) Torah is because the Bnei Yisrael slept all night and Hashem had to wake them, as we see in the Midrash. Therefore we need to fix this. (Magen Avraham OC:494) Magen Avraham was written mid-17th Century


4

Because it is a much more basic covenant than that which exists between G-d and Bnei Yisrael. The latter is based on mutual responsibility and chosenness. G-d chose Bnei Yisrael for a particular mission. He also chose them as His protected people because of the actions of their fathers. If Bnei Yisrael abide by G-d's commandments, which are set up in such a ...


4

Emes LeYaakov by Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky Genesis 28:11 answers this. In brief summation Rav Kamenetsky suggests that the Torah learned in the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever is the "Torah of Galut" (exile). And Yaakov needed to learn it before he went to live with Lavan so that he could deal with the hardships over there. It also explains why he taught it ...


4

As others have mentioned, there are three opinions in the talmud regarding the issue. To summarize (as brought by DoubleAA): Rav zutra / R' Yossi - Torah was given ivri and turned to ashuri in the time of Ezra. Rebbe - given in ashuri, forgotten and used ivri until Ezra fixed it back to ashuri. R' Elazar Hamodai - Torah was always in ashuri. Rabbonim ...


4

The Medrash Bamidbar says "the Torah was given with three things: fire, water, and desert. The Medrash may have one more lesson that is not so readily apparent that is the Kosher aspect. That is, just as the Torah expects our dishes to be Kosher so to Hashem expects no less of us, in order to receive the Torah. The Three elements are clear illustrations of ...


4

R. Shlomo Kluger in his explanation of the Haggadah here says that even if Yisrael had not been commanded the Torah they would have known it by themselves, just like the patriarchs knew the whole Torah. As the Alshich explains, when Yisrael came to Mount Sinai the spiritual impurity that was in them from the sin of Adam HaRishon went away, and therefore they ...


4

Per Rashi he converted. According to the Even Ezra he converted after Matan Torah. The Ramban and Abarbanel say prior to Matan Torah. The Ramban says that he returned home afterwards to convert his family.


4

Rav Leuchter in his second shiur on the Hagodo says that at the time of Har Sinai “posku zuhamosom” Klal Yisroel went back (admittedly for a short time) to the state of Adam before he sinned. That would have been enough (reason to be grateful to Him).


4

A gentile brother of a Jew (say the Jew is a convert) wouldn't be obligated in yibbum because he was never obligated in Torah. Even if he somehow were, the Jew is no longer his brother, halachically speaking, so yibbum wouldn't apply. (Per @DoubleAA, see Rambam: Issurei Biah 14:11-12 and in English.) And yibbum is a mitzvah that applies to individuals, ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible