After Moses broke the first set of tablets, according to the Midrash:

God told [Moses]: Do not feel bad about the first tablets, for they only contained the Ten Commandments. However, the second set of tablets I am giving you will also have halakhot, Midrash and Aggadot. אֲנִי נוֹתֵן לְךָ שֶׁיְהֵא בָהֶם הֲלָכוֹת מִדְרָשׁ וְאַגָּדוֹת [Shemot Rabbah 46:1]

But the halakhot, Midrash and Aggadot were in the Oral Law. How could they be contained in the written tablets?

  • Since it's Midrash, it's not definitely practically speaking. Or it is, but in a subtle deep way. I.e that Which was on the tablets one could arrive all of the other teachings Aug 5, 2020 at 23:15
  • cf Berachot 5a.
    – Alex
    Dec 20, 2020 at 4:27

2 Answers 2


The same conversation is mentioned elsewhere in Medrash but with greater detail and there it is made clear that the halakhot, Midrash and Aggados that were being given additionally were being given as part of the Oral Law.

e.g. in Shemos Rabbah 47:7 the same concept is repeated but it is followed by

לָמָּה אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא כְּתָב לְךָ, וְהָכְתִיב (שמות לב, טז) וְהַמִּכְתָּב מִכְתַּב אֱלֹהִים הוּא חָרוּת עַל וַיִּכְתֹּב עַל הַלֻּחֹת כַּמִּכְתָּב הָרִאשׁוֹן, אֶלָּא כָּךְ אָמַר (דברים י, ד) לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, כְּתָב לְךָ תּוֹרָה נְבִיאִים וּכְתוּבִים שֶׁיִּהְיוּ בִּכְתָב, אֲבָל הֲלָכוֹת וּמִדְרָשׁ וְאַגָּדוֹת וְהַתַּלְמוּד יִהְיוּ עַל פֶּה

Roughly it means that yes it was added to what was told to Moshe but only as Torah S'Baal Peh (oral Torah)


No. According to Rabbi Tzadok, the Oral Torah began with Deuteronomy. He wrote:

“Deuteronomy is... the beginning of the Oral Law.”[1]

[1] See his comment to Pri Tzaddik 21 and Maamar Kedushat Shabbat 7

  • Who is "Rabbi Tzadok"? Is he Tzadok the priest? Is he Tzadok the tanna? Is he Tzadok the Hasidic master? Someone else? And where does he say this?
    – Alex
    Dec 19, 2020 at 23:48
  • @Alex The Chassidic Rabbi Tzadok Hakohen Rabinowitz of Lublin. See his comment to Pri Tzaddik 21 and Maamar Kedushat Shabbat 7.
    – Jonathan
    Dec 20, 2020 at 0:13
  • 2
    It is helpful to include a link or at least a citation in your answer. Otherwise, it is just an unsubstantiated claim.
    – N.T.
    Dec 20, 2020 at 9:14

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