It's difficult for me to accept that laws that I see written in a modern day Halacha sefer really originate from what G-d Told Moshe thousands of years ago. This is because there is so much time in between, and because my mind is very fuzzy about exactly how information was transmitted.
Writing out precise, clear, rational explanations of how this Mesorah was actually transmitted, could help me settle my mind and give me peace of mind – provided that those explanations aren’t my own invention but have actually been claimed by the great scholars of Judaism as how the system of Judaism actually works.
Therefore I have written my understanding here. I am looking for sources that deny or confirm my understanding:
Regarding the part of the Oral Torah that’s "known via direct Mesorah": The Oral Torah includes EXPLANATIONS and DETAILS of the Written Torah (this is what I call “known via direct Mesorah”). Those explanations and details were not transmitted verbatim, but rather G-d taught it to Moshe, and then Moshe (and every teacher after him) transmitted it to his students in his own words. This means that every student in the chain of the Mesorah (some of whom later became teachers themselves) understood those explanations and details using his own LOGIC and passed it on based on HIS understanding. This is compounded by the fact that some things a student learned via reading it in a sefer (and not directly from his teacher) – which might have required even more injection of his own logic to understand.
Despite the fact that each person probably had a slightly different version of the Mesorah (due to the addition of his own logic – which was probably slightly different than another person’s logic), these differences would be ironed out and corrected over the generations, because the scholars in every generation analyzed and debated each other (and themselves) about the Mesorah that they were receiving and they would have figured out the best version and who to pasken like.
I am calling this the "historical process of mistakes and corrections".
(I also have the same understanding of "historical process of mistakes and corrections" regarding the Mesorah of the exact laws that the Rabbi's interpreted and legislated). (If you don't understand what I mean here, it could be helpful for you to read the 3 types of Oral Torah defined here)
See Sifra and Rambam here for support of my assertion that the Oral Torah includes EXPLANATION and DETAILS of the Written Torah.
See here (quote from Emes L'Yaacov) for potential support of my assertion that those explanations and details were not transmitted verbatim.