Questions tagged [oral-torah]

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Veracity of the Oral Torah [closed]

A Christian blogger commented: Rabbinic Judaism also has some relatively unconvincing claims of oral transmission from the past.  It claims that its interpretations of the Torah (which are compiled ...
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Why was Shlomo haMelekh not a part of the Oral Torah’s transmission?

Reading the Rambam's introduction to his Mishne Torah, I am struck by the fact that he has Achiya haShiloni succeed David in the transmission of the Oral Torah, and not David's son Shlomo. I'm curious ...
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Were there additional written scrolls given by G-d to Moses?

Yalkut Shimoni, claims that there was an additional written scroll - the Temple Scroll (?) - given by G-d to Moses and passed on to all the following generations to Shlomo, mimicking the first lines ...
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100 views

Do women have to have long hair according to Jewish law?

Does it say anywhere in the Oral Torah that women have to have long hair?
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123 views

How does the gemara know where to start?

In any tractate, why isn't the background or explanatory information presented first? For example, why do the laws of Shechita not begin with the laws of Shechita? Masechet Chullin (and the Yoreh De'...
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Matan (Oral) Torah on Purim details

Following this question's comments, I wondered: In what form did the Jews "receive/accept" the Oral Torah on Purim, was there some kind of a ceremony, or nation-wide event, maybe some other one-...
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148 views

Does Amorayim read berayta in Gemara rather than recite it

I noticed a very atypical expression on Yevamot 40a: יתיב ר' חנינא קרא קמיה דר' ינאי ויתיב וקאמר הלכה כר' יהודה א"ל פוק קרי קרייך לברא אין הלכה כר' יהודה תני תנא קמיה דרב נחמן אין הלכה כר' יהודה א"...
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Why Halachot LiMosheh MiSinai can not be derived from the Torah?

The existence of the term "Halachot LiMosheh MiSinai" hints on the fact that some Halochos are not derived / can not be derived from Torah in any way but Moses received them orally. Because if it was, ...
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52 views

Women and Oral Law

I see that there are numerous poskim who permit women learning the Written Torah, but not the Oral Torah. What I don't understand is that you can't understand the Written Torah without the Oral Law, ...
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Were Rabbinic Laws like Muktzeh given at Sinai

Did Rabbinic Laws such as Muktzeh exist in the time period between the receiving of the Torah and the time they were written down and institutionalised in Halacha? Are there different opinions on ...
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111 views

If Moshe received ALL future Torah at Har Sinai, why didn't he understand R' Akiva's shiur (Menachos 29b)?

(inspired by this question) The Talmud Yerushalmi Peah 2:4 - (daf 13a) states: ריב"ל אמר... אפי' מה שתלמיד ותיק עתיד להורות לפני רבו כבר נאמר למשה בסיני מה טעם (קוהלת א) יש דבר שיאמר אדם ראה זה ...
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Do Karaites have the Kabbalah?

When studying the Kabbalah it is clear that the tradition of its wisdom did not start at Mount Sinai but dates back to the creation of the world (a hint here): וכתוב בשער הספר כי המלאך רזיאל מסר את ...
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Did God give Moses on Mount Sinai all future rabbinical decisions?

Which of these two is the correct Jewish teaching: (1) God gave the Written and Oral Law to Moses on Mount Sinai. On this basis, rabbis past, present and future derive what Jews must do. These ...
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3answers
127 views

Are there any non-inspired writings before Philo's time?

I came across some writings of Philo, which I found very interesting, and wondered if there are any Jewish writings either around his time (circa 20 BCE to circa 50 CE) or before. I looked around and ...
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1answer
192 views

How did Tzedukim practice fundamental Halachic principles not mentioned in the written Torah?

Many basic and fundamental Halachic principles are not mentioned in the Torah at all but learned by the Sages only from some [even seemingly unrelated] Psukim. For example, Kiddushin is not mentioned ...
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165 views

Additional Oral Law classification systems?

This question is a follow-up to the "no-form-for-the-oral-law" question. These are the systems of organizing the total Oral Law (as opposed to Mitzvos Classification systems) that are known to me: ...
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54 views

What was given on Mt. Sinai at each of the 40-day intervals

It's known that Moshe was on the mountain for 120 days and nights total, although I personally am not sure exactly what was given when. (I'm aware of this question How is the story of the Torah being ...
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94 views

Why does there have to be a written Torah?

I’d like to ask the opposite of this question. There, the OP asked why we have a distinct Torah SheBa’al Peh; wouldn’t it help to disseminate the Torah better if everything were written? Answers ...
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Were Midrashim and Aggadeta transmitted to Moshe on Sinai like the Halachic Torah She'be'al Peh?

The halachic part of the Torah She'be'al Peh was transmitted to Moshe on Sinai along with the written Torah (or in the Ohel Moed afterward). Sifra: How is Shemitta relevant to Mount Sinai? Were ...
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Why include details of the Oral Law in the Written Torah? [duplicate]

Some Mitzvot are written in the Torah very briefly or even hinted to, like "כבד את אביך", "לא תבשל גדי", "וקשרתם לאות על ידך" and many more. For example, the Torah gives no details on how the כיבוד אב ...
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179 views

Is Pirkei DeRebbe Eliezer the earliest Torah she'be'al'peh to be written down?

The Radal mentions that Rebbe Eliezer ben Herkinus's talmidim wrote down the Pirkei DeRebbe Eliezer. Would that make it the earliest book of Torah she'be'al'peh to be written?
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How early were maps used to understand Tanach?

In many editions of Tanach I’ve seen there are often maps of the middle eastern area in attempt to explain the places where certain events occurred. (For example, the journeys of יעקב אבינו or stuff ...
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Why is it neccesary to have an Oral Law?

Why was it necessary to have an oral law? Couldn't we have avoided inaccuracies and machlokot in the mishnah, gemara and etc by writing it down originally?
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Source/proof of which Oral Law the 8th of the Thirteen Principles Refer to? [duplicate]

On page 179 of the Artscroll Siddur (1984 ISBN: 0-89906-650-X) it lists “The Thirteen Principles of Faith”. Number eight stats “…that the Torah now in our hands is the same one that was given to ...
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Why krias yam suf, not bkias

As far as i know, the torah shebichsav never refers to the splitting of the sea as a 'kriah', i.e. a ripping. The torah says things like ויבקעו המים (Shemos 14:21) which means that the sea split. In ...
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55 views

Did the sages speak in generalities (i.e with exceptions)?

I've heard that the sages speak in generalities (i.e that exceptions may exist for their statements)? Could that be a mistaken interpretation of the halacha being stated in the normative/usual case? ...
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91 views

No divine form for the Oral Law?

This seriously puzzles me. The Oral Law in the form of the Mishnah (and the following Gemmorah), which is the six Sdarim, is well known, and the Gemmorah itself testifies (Shabbos 31a) its division is ...
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Why did Rabbi Akiva write down Torah She Baal Peh?

In the Rambam's introduction he writes: וחיברו חכמי משנה חיבורין אחרים, לפרש דברי התורה: רבי הושעיה תלמידו של רבנו הקדוש, חיבר ביאור ספר בראשית. ורבי ישמעאל פירש מאלה שמות עד סוף התורה, והוא ...
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Everything in the oral Torah has a hint in the written Torah

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 ...
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Is there any sect of Judaism that interprets both the written Torah and oral Torah literally [closed]

Is there any sect of Judaism that interprets both the written Torah and oral Torah literally?
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72 views

Kivrei Tanaim and Amoraim

How do we know for certain where in Israel Tanaim and Amoraim are buried if we've been exiled for so long?
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111 views

Is there an underlying logic to the selection of detail in the Torah?

When studying a text, I tell my students that nothing is accidental and that details are included or excluded for some sort of reason. Part of discussion is hypothesizing what that reason is (in each ...
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140 views

Memorising large swathes of Torah by heart

Before gemara was written down, (and a long time afterwards too, according to this lecture J. Woolf on rishonim and achronim), people knew all of shas off by heart. According to the aforementioned ...
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214 views

Torah transmission according to the Rambam

the Rambam in the introduction to Mishne Torah counts 40 generations from Moshe Rabeinu to Rav Ashi (compiler of the talmud) in the transmission of the oral law and lists the names of these sages. ...
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Should the Writing and Publishing of New Sifrei Halacha be Discouraged? [duplicate]

Since the Torah Sheba'al Peh (Oral Torah) was originally prohibited from being written down (Gittin 60b), and was only compiled and written by Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi for fear that it's transmission might ...
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Is there possibly a requirement to write down your Chiddushei Torah?

There is a principal of "devarim shebichtav iy atah rashai le'omram b'al peh" - Torah that is written is not permitted to retell purely from memory. It is for this reason we do not permit the bal ...
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434 views

Can the Rabbinic council and tradition hold the authority to overrule God's words and scriptures?

How does orthodox Jews see rabbinic disagreements and on what basis do believers determine which school of thought to follow? Does majority decides what is truth, and since even today there exist many ...
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1answer
86 views

Does the Torah prohibition to not add or subtract from the mitzvot also apply to the Oral Torah?

Since it says in the Torah to not add or subtract from the mitzvot so does that also apply to the Oral Torah. "Do not add or subtract from the mitzvot." (Deut. 4:2)
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Why do the Jews not live strictly by Moses' law? [duplicate]

The books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy contain a very strict and specific set of laws. Why don't modern Jews live as strictly to the scriptures and the ancient Israelites did?
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Praying to the Avot? [duplicate]

In the Oral tradition, it appears to be people who pray to their forefathers and foremothers, like Yousef begging Rochela Imeinu at her grave to save him from the Midianyim, and Calev went to the ...
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Why do we follow the “basra'a” - later one?

We know in Shas that in various situations, when there is a machlokes as to how to pasken, we follow the opinion of he that was chronologically later. (Ex. see Tosafos to B'rachos 13b s.v. Amar Rava.) ...
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How did Chazal attain its continued acceptance?

My question is: How did Chazal attain its authority? More specifically, how did the Pharisees who evolved into Chazal beat out the Sadducees who would later become practically extinct (some say that ...
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1answer
236 views

Mishna was a book in time of Gemara?

Rabbi Jacob Bar Abba asked Abaye: Is it permitted to a disciple in a district under his Master's jurisdiction to give a ruling that was as authoritative as those contained in the Scroll of Fast-Days, ...
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Does Rabbinic Literature misunderstand the infinitive absolute?

The infinitive absolute is a conjugation classified generally by a qametz under the first consonant, and a holem or holem - vav by the second. According to the Cambridge Introduction to Biblical ...
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569 views

Oral Tradition in the Book of Yehoshua

Are there any chapters or verses in the Book of Yehoshua that allude to Torah SheB'Al Peh?
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84 views

Where does Rav Hai Gaon explain the meaning of the phrase צורבא מרבנן?

In the Steinsaltz Edition of Masechet Bava Metzia perek Eilu Metziot there is a side note that רב האי גאון explains the shoresh of צ-ר-ב as meaning a rock, stone (from Arabic). This root is more ...
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God created both the written law and the oral before the world was created. Why didn't he make all of it 'written'?

If He wanted to us to follow all of it and the oral law was most of what we received at Mount Sinai why didn't He tell us to write it all down?
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How is Dvarim 12:21 proof of Oral Torah? [closed]

Devarim 12:21 - If the place where the LORD has chosen to establish His name is too far from you, you may slaughter any of the cattle or sheep that the LORD gives you, as I have instructed you; and ...
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364 views

Is the Talmud 100% Oral Torah?

I've been taught that the Oral Torah was passed from generation to generation from Moshe Rabbeinu. And I've also heard that the Talmud is basically a recollection of Oral Torah. This would suggest ...
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What is the basis that allows Rabbis to create laws?

I understand that the Torah gives instructions to obey Judges for legal cases and questions, but what is the basis that Rabbis have for creating new laws, such as for celebrating Chanukah with a ...