1. Torah (the 5 books) is [considered] G-d dictated, holistic and include all the necessary knowledge. It is allowed to be passed in the written form.

  2. The detailed interpretations were given orally and are to be passed in that way and forbidden to be written.

  3. G-d notifies, that eventually and occasionally, He will appoint additional prophets, people should listen to.

I have difficulty understanding why #3 falls into category #1, as it isn't Moses' prophecy and is "extra Toranean". Besides, as per various Gemmoros (see B"B 15a) Na"ch wasn't written by the originators, but by much later generations.

If the Torah includes everything, why do we need additional books? And if they are extra-Toranean what permission is there to write them down?


2 Answers 2


We have explicit statements in Nach itself that G-d commanded the writing of (at least certain) prophecies, for example Yirmiyah 30:2 and 36:2, and Yechezkel 43:11. It's hardly a stretch to say that other prophets were given similar instructions that may not have been recorded. (Consider, for example, Neviim Rishonim. Would you assume that Hashem told Yehoshua or Shmuel or Yirmiyah to just announce these histories publicly, or to write them down?)

And sure, the Torah includes everything. But for that matter, the Aseres Hadibros include all 613 mitzvos. So why the need for the rest of the Torah? Yet Hashem knew that we need to have the "voltage" stepped down into something that can power our daily lives, "translating" the Aseres Hadibros into more down-to-earth terms. That relationship, then, roughly parallels the one between Torah and Nach.

  • I do not think the OP is questioning whether they were allowed, which express instruction from Hashem would answer. Rather, he is asking WHY this is allowed and unlike committing Torah shebaal Peh to writing which is prohibited (and a Navi does not have the authority to nullify the prohibition against doings so)?
    – Yirmeyahu
    Jul 12, 2019 at 22:20
  • @Yirmeyahu Then that ought to be clarified in the question. What basis is there for saying that everything outside of the five Chumashim is Torah Shebaal Peh and subject to the prohibition on writing it down? By that logic, no one would be able to write a grocery list.
    – Meir
    Jul 14, 2019 at 3:40

The Torah includes all laws, and no later prophet could add to or change the laws given to Moses. However, other prophets received messages from G-d that they were called on to announce to the Jews, and some prophets and wise men wrote books that were considered necessary for Jews to study because of the wisdom they contained. These were later collected into Prophets and Writings (Nevi'im u'Ksuvim), but they are not as holy as the books of Moses (see the beginning of Chapter 4 of Maseches Megillah) and cannot teach new laws (see Bava Kamma 2b).

SO in other words, #3 does not go into #1 but is a separate category.

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