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Questions tagged [oral-torah]

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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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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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What parts of Torah are Non-Jews forbidden to study?

I heard that there are certain parts of the Torah that non-Jews are forbidden to study (sorry, don't remember the source). What are these parts? What are the sources explaining such a prohibition? Are ...
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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?

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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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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1answer
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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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1answer
79 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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108 views

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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1answer
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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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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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1answer
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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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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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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
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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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221 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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239 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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1answer
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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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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 ...
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1answer
54 views

Writing down Torah she'beal peh for personal use before the Tannaic period

Before the ruling was given that allowed the oral component of the Torah to be written down, what exactly was permitted and what was not permitted? More specifically, I would like to know if an ...
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1answer
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Are the passages following the blessings over the Torah always mandatory before prayer?

The Ashkenazi Artscroll Siddur, from which I learned most of my liturgical Judaism, has a page in the very early sections of שַחֲרִית for blessings over the Torah. These are blessings which it claims ...
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231 views

Is the Oral Law mainly of Divine origin or is it largely influenced by the rabbis/cultures of the time?

Do we now dismiss parts of the Oral Torah as incorrect? For example scientific statements in the Talmud are nowadays largely ignored (things like flies moving the air around/lice coming from nowhere)....
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What does Exodus 21:28 mean if an Oral Torah was given at Sinai?

One of the claims Rabbinic Judaism makes is that Oral Torah contains instructions for how to "properly slaughter" animals. The laws of shechitah are not in the Written Torah, yet one of the proofs for ...
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What are “secrets of Torah” according to the Rambam?

The Rambam explicitly acknowledges that there is something called "secrets of Torah." His words (or at least R' Kapach's translation of his words) are (Moreh Nevochim 2:33): שאי אפשר להכנס למעמד הר ...
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Why are rules of proper behavior not in the written Torah?

Pirkei Avot 1:1: Moshe received the Torah from Sinai... Bartenura on Pirkei Avot 1:1:1: ... the author began with this tractate Moses received the Torah from Sinai, to say to you that the ...
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Does Judaism have a concept of holy text literalism?

Apologies if this is an ignorant, foolish or offensive question. I am not Jewish, and am asking to satisfy my curiosity. Some time ago, on a political forum online, I was discussing religious ...
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Are We Biblically Commanded to Study the Oral Law According to Maimonides?

Rambam writes in Hil. Talmud Torah (1:7) that one must pay to teach his son the entire written Torah. וְחַיָּב לְלַמְּדוֹ בְּשָׂכָר עַד שֶׁיִּקְרָא תּוֹרָה שֶׁבִּכְתָב כֻּלָּהּ Kessef Mishna (and ...
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Why were the baraitot excluded from the mishnayot?

The Gemara (or Talmud) is full of Tannaitic teachings known as baraitot (or baraita in the singular). Nevertheless, these teachings were not codified in the Shishah Sidre'i Mishnah (Six Orders of The ...
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Source for the oral traditions in Megillas Esther?

I'm trying to understand where the Rabbis in tractate Megillah get their information. I thought that the way they interpret the five books of Moses was because they already knew all the laws and ...
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238 views

Using Ethiopian oral law to resolve machloket

This question and particularly my comment on the question got me thinking. Assuming those who became the Ethiopian Jews received the oral law exactly the same as the rest of Israel, could we ...
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What did medieval rabbis like Maimonides write, generically? What do modern rabbis write?

OK, so - the Torah is the same as the Pentateuch/first five books of the Christian Old Testament; the Tanakh is roughly the same as the OT, but there are some differences in ordering, inclusion, etc. ...
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636 views

Is there a mention of the Oral Torah in the Written Torah?

Is there an explicit mention mention of the Oral Torah in the Chumash? If not, why not?
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How does the oral Torah not contradict Dvarim 4:2?

If God intended there to be an oral Torah, why would He say not to add anything? Shouldn't He have at least mention this exception in the Torah, so we know the Talmud is divine? Devarim 4:2 ב לֹא ...