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I had a series of seemingly true statements that lead me to a contradiction I'm unable to solve:

  1. Moses knew all the Torah => Moses knew all the Halacha.
  2. Moses knew all the Halochos of Shabbos => when Shabbos starts and ends => Shabbos doesn't start simultaneously everywhere, there are places with no Tzeis or Neitz at all and at the poles there's no time to tell.

Then Moses had to know that the Earth is round and the Sun revolves around it and differences between time zones and latitudes. And he had to pass all that knowledge on to Neviim up to Knesset Hagdolah.

However, nowhere in our sources, this Halachicly necessary knowledge is mentioned and it is completely "lost" for millennia.

How the total lack of this knowledge through the following generations can be explained?


A lot of people are trying to prove that sages knew numerous scientific facts by interpreting their vague statements, but my point is that that knowledge should always have been a part of the Jewish Halachah starting with Moses, the fact we don't find in our sources.

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    Why did Moshe have to know about time zones? He would know how to look outside and see stars. That's all anyone needs to know to determine the end of Shabbat. – Double AA Jun 26 at 14:14
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    Without questioning the validity of your 'seemingly true statements', how would you have expected this to be recorded? Let's say Moshe did know everything about chemistry, he still only wrote 5 books. Were you expecting a sixth book about chemistry (and a seventh about metallurgy, and an eight about... etc.)? – Salmononius2 Jun 26 at 15:05
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    I can't respond to claims containing ambiguous terminology. – Double AA Jun 26 at 15:17
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    Rav Asher Weiss says the obvious fact: Hashem could have given Moshe a science book, but he didn't. He have him the Torah. You don't need to know the scientific facts if you have all the halachos. He knew what to do if there's no sunset or sunrise. Just like the gemarras that discuss outlandish cases are presenting a true halacha, even if they at the time had no conception of airplanes or electricity or whatever, it didn't matter. – robev Jun 26 at 17:29
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    I know what you asked. As usual I'm informing you that your premises may be false – robev Jun 27 at 19:24
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The question is based on a false premise.

You seem to understand that 'the Whole Torah' requires a specific knowledge and detailed understanding of every potential application. This is incorrect.

"Knowing all the Torah" (in relevance to Halacha) means knowing and understanding all the laws and intricacies, which can then be applied to any hypothetical scenario. If Moshe knew all the Torah, he would therefore be able to answer any halachic shaila, once presented with all the scientific facts.

Torah is everlasting and unchanging not because it includes a detailed list of instructions for every scenario, but because a true understanding of it's absolute principles and complex subtleties allows for application in a variable world.

  • So you're saying Moses did or didn't know the Earth is spherical to start with? I claim that in order to rule every Shailah about Shabbos starting time he HAD to know that fact. – Al Berko Jun 28 at 11:03
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    And his answer directly tries to deny that claim. You only want answers that conform with your premises? – robev Jun 28 at 13:06

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