Related: Was Malbim an innovator?

I was learning Rav Chaim Volozhin's Drasha for Selichos. Near the end he writes:

שאמרו דליכא מידי באוריתא דבע"פ דלא רמיזא באוריתא דבכתב

They said: there is nothing in the oral Torah that isn't hinted to in the written Torah

I'm curious what he is possibly quoting? What are the sources for this idea. I'm looking for as early as possible.


2 Answers 2


One source earlier than R. Hayyim Valozhiner is Ritva (Rosh HaShana 16a) who states precisely this:

וכל תורה שבע"פ רמוזה בתורה שבכתב שהיא תמימה

The entire Oral Law is hinted to in the Written Law, which is perfectly complete.

Another source which states this (before the 18th century) is the Shelah (Tol'dot Adam R'mazei HaOtiot Lahatimat HaHakdama):

כל תורה שבעל פה רמוזה בתורה שבכתב

The entire Oral Law is hinted to in the Written Law

A broader statement, that everything is hinted to in the Torah is made by R. Eleazar Rokeah in Sefer HaShem (p. 43):

ללמדך כי כל דבר רמוז בתורה אלא שנעלם מבני אדם

To teach you that everything is hinted to in the Torah, but it is hidden from people.

A similar sweeping statement is made by R. Nattan of Clermont (late 13th century) in his commentary to the haggada (published in Moriah 257-9 (5759)):

שכל הענינים רמוזים בתורה

All things are hinted to in the Torah.

The context is the praise of "barukh hamakom" praising God for giving the Torah, in conjunction with the statement that the Torah hints to the responses to four types of children.

  • Note also Rabbenu Bahya's comment that all the disciplines are hinted to in the Torah: ספר כד הקמח סוכה וכן שאר כל החכמות בלי ספק כלן רמוזות בתורה, ולכך נקראת תמימה שנא' (תהלים יט) תורת ה' תמימה ואלו היתה חסרת חכמה אחת מכל החכמות לא היה קורא אותה תמימה
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 25, 2017 at 3:14

The earliest source I believe, of which the above quote is a paraphrase, is TB (Ta'anit 9a):

מי איכא מידי דכתיבי בכתובי דלא רמיזי באורייתא

  • 1
    That's referring to Kesuvim, Writings, not the Oral Torah. See Rashi ad loc. ולא רמזה - משה באורייתא שהחומש הוא יסוד נביאים וכתובים ובכולן יש סמך למצוא מן התורה:
    – robev
    Sep 24, 2017 at 21:17
  • @robev You asked for "sources for this idea", and like I carefully wrote - it's a paraphrase. This is certainly the source for the idea. Else where you find similar quotes but this is the original source. See here then: he.m.wikisource.org/wiki/זהר_חלק_ג_רכא_א
    – Oliver
    Sep 24, 2017 at 21:29
  • It may be the source that there are hints found in the Torah, but I don't see how hints to Kesuvim are indicative that everything in the Oral Torah has a hint
    – robev
    Sep 24, 2017 at 21:31
  • @robev is your last comment a reply to my answer or to the source in my comment?
    – Oliver
    Sep 24, 2017 at 21:37
  • To your comment. The Zohar you quoted is if I understood correctly saying everything is in the Torah, which I feel is a separate discussion
    – robev
    Sep 24, 2017 at 21:38

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