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I heard it is. I heard that the Torah only states what is wrong (adultery, stealing, killing, etc.), but it doesn't establish any punishment for it. So some men decided to assign stoning to the crime of adultery, cutting the hand to the crime of stealing, and so on.

Is it true?

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    Where did you hear such a thing? – Double AA May 25 '16 at 15:56
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    Adultery doesn't get a punishment of stoning in Halakha, nor does stealing get a punishment of amputation. – Double AA May 25 '16 at 15:57
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    Rather than saying "I heard it is", I would recommend reading the Torah to see what it says. That might help improve your question. – Dennis May 25 '16 at 16:13
  • re: "Doesn't establish any punishment" bible.ort.org/books/… – rosends May 25 '16 at 16:16
  • Just because there is no punishment explicitly stated, does not imply that it is not wrong. You know that. Have you ever insulted your friend, even unintentionally? Has s/he punished you, in some way? OK. Was that punishment made up by him / her, even if there was no Torah written rule about it? – DanF May 25 '16 at 17:07
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Partially but mostly not. You have to understand the important distinction between the written torah and the oral torah. Think of it this way: judaism is like a speech, and when a speaker gives a speech, he does not write down every last word he is planning to say with every last detail. Rather, he writes major themes/topics in the form of bullet points. The written torah introduces all the themes and bullet points, but all of the details that are crucial and come along with it were given to Moshe on mount Saini who then passed the information down via an oral tradition generation to generation through the elders/sages of each respective generation. Eventually it started to be forgotten so Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi followed by Ravina Rav Asi and Rav ashi encoded the oral law into the the written Talmud. Roughly 95% of halachic law has a basis in the Talmud.

Also Rabbis were given the power by the Torah itself to make fences/boundaries for the people to keep them far away from sinning, so I guess technically you can say that those laws are "man-made" but really they are not because they were given permission to do this explicitly by Gd in the Torah itself.

  • Your answer seems good. But, I think it would be a lot stronger if you can source something. I recommend strengthening the last paragraph by sourcing and / or summarizing the discussion in Talmud Shabbat (I think it's near the end) that discusses why on Chanukah, when we light candles we say that G-d commanded us, when, actually, Chanukah is a rabbinical holiday. Let me know if you have trouble locating this. – DanF May 25 '16 at 19:11
  • I think you will find it in the second perek – newcomer May 25 '16 at 19:51
  • Yes I agree that adding sources is alwasy a plus, it's just due to the nature of the question, it seemed like the person asking the question would not have benefitted from such a technical answer, so i instead offered a general outlook approach – Yosef May 25 '16 at 23:28

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