Possible Duplicate:
Why don’t we just follow the shittah of Moshe Rabeinu?

If the Oral Torah is Divine, how are there arguments in the Mishnah and Gemara?

(I have heard this question asked several times and I wish to be equipped properly to answer it.)

  • Dupe? judaism.stackexchange.com/q/18735/5
    – Seth J
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 4:52
  • @SethJ, yes, I think so. Why didn't you vote to close?
    – msh210
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 5:24
  • @msh210 I wanted feedback first.
    – Seth J
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 5:52
  • 1
    I'm having a hard time seeing this question as an exact duplicate of the one referenced. They obviously overlap, but this question is of a far more basic nature, whereas that question was focused on a specific detail.
    – LazerA
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 6:39

1 Answer 1


The laws could have been forgotten. 3,000 (!) halachos were lost in the time of the mourning for Mosheh (Rashi, Yehoshua 1:2). However, the only disputes were in matters of logic, but not in tradition (Tosfos Yom Tov, Avos 1:4).

  • If i would say this, they would reply: If they were forgotten then how do we know they are correct now? They are no longer necessarily Divine since these aren't the actual halachot given at Sinai
    – AEML
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 4:30
  • We don't know. In fact, we follow the agreement of the majority of rabbis even when there's a clear sign from G-d that the minority opinion is right (as in the case of the tanur achnai)
    – b a
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 4:36
  • What, then, is the source for following the majority?
    – AEML
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 4:37
  • @AaronLevian Exodus 23:2
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 4:40
  • ba What exactly is an argument of logic? Did some Tannaim hold of Non-Normal Logics?
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 4:43

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