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Are there Rabbinic "apologetic or polemic works" that focus only on the rational validity, and logical objections raised by other Jews1 -- against: (1.) the Rabbinate's authority in Judaism over other Jews; and (2.) The authority to supersede Written Law with Oral Law, (De-Rabbanan over De-'Oraita)?

These objections all assume the premises that: (1.) God Is; and (2.) A certainty that God revealed himself at Sinai, and through His Prophets.

I'm looking for Apologetic Works more-so than Polemic if possible; (Defensive rather than Combative).

For Example:

  1. Saadia Gaon: Published a series of works explicitly written to other Jews, and as I recall, exhibited well formed arguments; But I am not certain which. Perhaps Emunoth Ve-Deoth? Are there other works like this?

But Not:

  1. Not Ḥizzuq Emunah (חזוק אמונה): This is a Polemic Work which is widely published that attacks Christianity and other religions -- but does not resolve the internal conflict / rational objections against Rabbinicism -- by other Jews.

  2. Not Sefer Ha Kuzari: This is largely a Polemic work, whose defense is attacking the Karaites, Sadducees, Boethusians, and Christians -- rather than answering the objections raised. For example: "Thou shalt not add to, or diminish thereof." And in response, "This was only said to the masses, that they should not conjecture and theorise as the Karaites do", (Kuzari 3:41).

The Polemic works seem to insufficiently tackle the internal objections listed below; (Insufficient because they do not adhere to the Rabbinate's own Rules of Interpretation (the 4 & the 13 Principles), and/or the fundamentals Formal Logic).


1 Examples of types of objections to Rabbinic Judaism raised:

  1. Challenging the authority to supersede Written Law with Oral Law.

  2. Circular Fallacy, Begging the Question -- the source of rabbinic authority is rabbinic statements. (Also noted in this question.)

  3. Rabbinic arguments depend on (1) whether all traditions were actually gathered (Introduction to the Mishneh Torah 14); and (2) whether or not there was actually universal acceptance, (ibid. 29).

  4. Inconsistent interpretation or application of the law: Partiality in Cases where the same law might be applied more strictly or leniently depending on if the Rabbinate is involved, as opposed to anyone else, (regarding adding to or diminishing the law, the authority to issue death sentences without trial or witnesses, penalties for false prophecy and causing stumbling, etc, etc).

  • I think that you can find alot of great reflection about this in the 14 principles of The Sefer Hamitsvot from Rambam – kouty Aug 29 '16 at 7:15

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