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The most famous instance of Jews choosing to follow only the written Torah without the oral rabbinic interpretations would be the Karaites who flourished from about 760 CE to 1100 CE. Today their numbers are relatively small. Wikipedia gives a worldwide estimate of about 45,000 people, but the source of their numbers is not given. Karaite Judaism is ...


12

1) See Shabbat 23a, which discusses Menorah on Chanukah: מברך אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו להדליק נר של חנוכה והיכן צונו רב אויא אמר מלא תסור רב נחמיה אמר שאל אביך ויגדך זקניך ויאמרו לך Soncino translation: What benediction is uttered? — This: Who sanctified us by His commandments and commanded us to kindle the light of Hanukkah. And where did He ...


12

The Talmud (Pesachim 54b) states that only for Tisha bAv must we be stringent for Bein Hashemashot. There is an opinion in Rishonim that only regarding the Bein Hashemashot at the beginning of the day is Tisha bAv unique, but all fasts require being stringent at the end because we have to wait until it is certainly night to uproot the current status (chazaka)...


12

At least with regards to hilchos Shabbos, you should choose the derabannan. See שמירת שבת כהלכתה לב:כז-כח*, who writes that if there is no difference in speed or quality of care, that one should choose to do a rabbinically prohibited action, instead of one that is Biblically prohibited. I don't know if this is Shabbos-specific, or if this rule applies ...


12

The passuk is not saying that tzitzis are a proof to someone's adherence to the other commandments, it is saying that by wearing tzitzis one will come to perform the other mitzvos. If anything, wearing them is a sign of intention to grow, not an award for completion of one's job to. If one is really worried about maaris ayin one can wear the tzitzis under ...


10

If you read the original responsum of the committee (here), you will find that they choose to rule that all prohibitions other than homosexual male anal intercourse (such as the prohibitions of yihud and negiah) are all rabbinic and are superseded by the concept of kvod habriot. (How they deal with the issue of השחתת זרע לבטלה is less clear, which is likely ...


9

Babylonian Talmud, Hullin, 116a: עוף איכא בינייהו ר' עקיבא סבר חיה ועוף אינן מן התורה הא מדרבנן אסירי ור' יוסי הגלילי סבר עוף אפילו מדרבנן נמי לא אסיר תניא נמי הכי במקומו של רבי אליעזר היו כורתין עצים לעשות פחמין לעשות ברזל במקומו של רבי יוסי הגלילי היו אוכלין בשר עוף בחלב לוי איקלע לבי יוסף רישבא אייתו לקמיה רישא דטיוסא בחלבא ולא אמר להו ולא מידי כי אתא ...


9

I think that you are answering your own question. First of all, the reason to perform G-d's commandments is because G-d said so. The goal of every Jew is to strive to reach this sense of faith and to act and understand the concept of being an Eved Hashem - a servant of G-d. (When Moses died, the Torah calls him an "Eved Hashem".) Therefore, one is required ...


8

By the way, generally a "Talmudist" means someone who studies the Talmud; the rabbis who wrote the Talmud are known as The Sages, Hazal (an acronym for "our sages of blessed memory"), or the Tannaim (those before the year 200) and Amoraim (from 200 to 500). Okay, let's back up here. The reading of Deuteronomy is a very nuanced one, which your translation ...


8

Today we don't treat the second day of yomtov as a "maybe it's yomtov"; it has been rabbinically enacted for us (non-Israel-dwellers) as a full-fledged yomtov. The Talmud established long, long ago that rabbinic law has the power to order someone to be passive rather than fulfill a Torah obligation, e.g. not putting on tefilin on 2nd day yomtov (or not ...


8

Rambam, Shabas 1:3, says: Someone who does so on purpose, we hit him with a smiting for rebellion (makas mardus). That is, bes din does.


8

As far as I know there are currently no rabbis who are actively involved in legislating rabbinc-level laws. Those laws were set in stone centuries ago. As DoubleAA mentioned in the comments on your question, rabbinic laws could theoretically be repealed by a court under certain circumstances; however, there is not currently a court as great as the Sanhedrin ...


8

The following taxonomy of kinds of halachic ruling was culled from the Rambam, Hilkhos Mamrim ch. 2, and includes thoughts learned at a shi’ur given by R’ Yonasan Sachs (who was then of RIETS, now of Lander's College and is still rabbi at the Agudath Israel of Passaic-Clifton). You only asked about the difference in definition and application of no.s 2 &...


7

The Gemara in beitza (5a) states: אמר רבה מתקנת רבן יוחנן בן זכאי ואילך ביצה מותרת דתנן משחרב בית המקדש התקין רבן יוחנן בן זכאי שיהו מקבלין עדות החדש כל היום אמר ליה אביי והא רב ושמואל דאמרי תרוייהו ביצה אסורה אמר ליה אמינא לך אנא רבן יוחנן בן זכאי ואת אמרת לי רב ושמואל ולרב ושמואל קשיא מתניתין לא קשיא הא לן והא להו ורב יוסף אמר אף מתקנת רבן יוחנן בן זכאי ...


7

אכל דבר איסור, אף על פי שאינו אסור אלא מדרבנן, אין מזמנין עליו ואין מברכין עליו לא בתחלה ולא בסוף. (שולחן ערוך או"ח סימן קצו:א)‏ If one ate something prohibited, even if it was only prohibited rabbinically, one does not combine him to a zimmun, nor would he say a beginning or after blessing [on that food]. (Shulchan Aruch OC 196:1)


7

Primarily, the torah was given to be a living document, subject to certain modes of understanding and application. In order to establish a system of that understanding, the chumash instructs the people to adhere to the particular teachings of those who, in each generation, are the authorities based on their learning and understanding. The torah is not in ...


7

There are two sources I know of indicating that one does not fulfill the mitzvah of Talmud Torah by learning laws which are derabanan: There is a law that one may not receive payment for teaching Torah, but the Rama (Y.D. 246:5) writes that this is not true regarding teaching of rabbinic laws. This strongly implies that there's no biblical obligation to ...


7

The Talmud addresses this issue in Bava Kamma 41a: ת"ר ממשמע שנאמר (שמות כא, כח) סקל יסקל השור איני יודע שנבילה היא ונבילה אסורה באכילה מה ת"ל לא יאכל את בשרו מגיד לך הכתוב שאם שחטו לאחר שנגמר דינו אסור באכילה From the fact that it says "the bull shall be stoned" do I not know that it is neveilah (unslaughtered), and neveilah is forbidden to eat? So ...


7

Orthodox Jews live their lives based on rules explained/instituted by great Rabbis many years ago. Throughout the generations many learned people have continued to interpret and apply those laws. While in theory anyone could say anything they want today, people would only listen if you are learned, serious and respect precedent. While nowadays there is no ...


6

The following does not answer the historical aspect of the question directly, but it provides background suggesting that (1.) the circumstances during the diaspora seem to have frequently (if not usually) qualified as "times of oppression", not only during the most acute tragedies of Jewish history, and (2.) the fasts under those circumstances would not have ...


6

Yalkut Yosef 338:1 כגון להכות כף אל כף כשהוא במקום שמחה ושיר, אסור. In a circumstance of happiness and singing, it is prohibited. 338:2 מותר להכות כף אל כף בשבת כדי לעורר את הישנים מתרדמתם, שמאחר ואינו דרך שירה אין בזה איסור משום השמעת קול בשבת. To wake people up it is permissible because it is not in a way of music.


6

The Lechem Mishna to the Rambam Hilchos Melachim 10:9 says that the fact that a non-Jew is not allowed to keep Shabbos or learn Torah is, in fact, a Rabbinic prohibition. So according to that, there are in fact Rabbinic enactments that apply to non-Jews, but perhaps it is only, like those two, where specified.


6

If you're looking for a perfect theory of everything it may take a lot of mental gymnastics, but in addition to the above excellent answers, here are a few pointers: There are a whole host of rabbinically-prohibited activities on Shabbos known as shevus. It appears that with these, the rabbis prohibited entire categories of actions so that our shabbos would ...


6

Rambam Shemitta veYovel 10:10,12 משגלה שבט ראובן ושבט גד וחצי שבט מנשה, בטלו היובלות--שנאמר "וקראתם דרור בארץ, לכל יושביה", בזמן שכל יושביה עליה: והוא שלא יהיו מעורבין שבט בשבט, אלא כולן יושבים כתקנן.‏ ... ובזמן שאין היובל נוהג, אין נוהג עבד עברי, ולא בתי ערי חומה, ולא שדה אחוזה, ולא שדה חרמים, ואין מקבלין גר תושב; ונוהגת שביעית בארץ מדבריהם, וכן ...


6

The Chinuch (p394 in this edition) gives the list below and explains each in detail! The 7 Mitzvos are: 1) Berachos - Reciting Berachos 2) Netilas Yadayim - washing your hands 3) Eruvin - allowing one to carry within an Eruv and walk further on Shabbos through an Eruv Techumin 4) Reciting Hallel on festivals 5) Ner Shabbos - Shabbos candles 6) ...


6

The comments, above, approach the correct analysis. This question is discussed in detail in Talmud Shabbat 23a, near the middle of the page (as seen in the Sefaria site). There is a statement that says that one makes the blessing "Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the Chanukah light." It is a given that Chanukah, itself,...


6

This is answered directly by Rambam in his introduction to the Mishna Torah. This authority to make new laws was taught directly by Moshe Rabbeinu as cited below from Deuteronomy 17:11. "The mitzvot given to Moses at Mount Sinai were all given together with their explanations, as implied by [Exodus 24:12]: "And I will give you the tablets of stone, the ...


6

Sources For Rabbinic Authority There are several divergent approaches to this. Rambam (Introduction to MT: 26) is of the opinion that Rabbinic legislation falls under the rubric of "Do not stray from all that they tell you" (Deut. 17:11): וכן יתבאר מהם המנהגות והתקנות שהתקינו או שנהגו בכל דור ודור, כמו שראו בית דין של אותו הדור, לפי שאסור לסור מהם, ...


6

According to Rambam (discussed here), the obligation to listen to the rabbis is itself Biblical, on the basis of "Do not stray from all that they tell you" (Deut. 17:11). According to Ramban (discussed there), however, rabbinic law is not automatically Biblical. If it were, he asks, why do we find that rabbinic laws are treated more leniently? For example, a ...


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