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Talmud Revealed At Har Sinai


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#1 haimon

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 01:43 AM

I'm not well 'learned' in our religion, but I was thinking of this today, and perhaps someone can give me a simple explanation. The Talmud is a discorse of rabbanim of the time discussing and arguing issues pertaining to judaism. I think, that it is accepted that this was revealed at har sinai, but how is it so, if the rabbanim were clearly from a later time discussing matters pertaining to Jews of that time. So how was it revealed at har sinai?

#2 Kalashnikover_Rebbe

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 03:27 AM

I remember once reading something about the 3 shitos of revelation. I think in Likutei Sichos but I can't find it.

One of them is that EVERYTHING in Torah until the end of days was Revealed already on Mount Sinai.
Another is that the basic CONCEPTS and framework were revealed and it is up to US to work out the details.
I forget the third.

But there are certainly those who hold to the first position, that All chidushei Torah were revealed on Sinai, and by extension that would include the ENITRE Talmud.
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#3 WolfishMusings

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 10:56 AM

I'm not well 'learned' in our religion, but I was thinking of this today, and perhaps someone can give me a simple explanation. The Talmud is a discorse of rabbanim of the time discussing and arguing issues pertaining to judaism. I think, that it is accepted that this was revealed at har sinai, but how is it so, if the rabbanim were clearly from a later time discussing matters pertaining to Jews of that time. So how was it revealed at har sinai?


A far more logical approach to take is this:

At Sinai, we received the written Torah (define it as you will). In addition, we also received an oral corpus of law, detailing the mitzvos contained in the written text.

Over the course of time, many of those details became lost and/or forgotten. Indeed, some of them became lost in the month following Moshe's death. As time progressed, the oral tradition came to include not only what remained of the original oral law, but applications of the law to new situations that didn't exist in Moshe's day, as well as homelitic teachings, common folklore and medicine, the science of the day and teachings about post-Mosaic biblical characters.

In time, all of these components of the oral tradition were eventually discussed in the Batei Midrash of Israel and Bavel and codified into the Talmud we have today.

The idea that the Talmud as we have it today was handed down to Moshe is laughable.

The Wolf

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 12:34 AM

A far more logical approach to take is this:

At Sinai, we received the written Torah (define it as you will). In addition, we also received an oral corpus of law, detailing the mitzvos contained in the written text.

Over the course of time, many of those details became lost and/or forgotten. Indeed, some of them became lost in the month following Moshe's death. As time progressed, the oral tradition came to include not only what remained of the original oral law, but applications of the law to new situations that didn't exist in Moshe's day, as well as homelitic teachings, common folklore and medicine, the science of the day and teachings about post-Mosaic biblical characters.

In time, all of these components of the oral tradition were eventually discussed in the Batei Midrash of Israel and Bavel and codified into the Talmud we have today.

The idea that the Talmud as we have it today was handed down to Moshe is laughable.

The Wolf

The Torah tells us of the mitzva of t'fillin. Nowhere in the Torah does it discuss the shape of t'fillin or how the parshiyos are to be inserted within. This is covered by the oral law, which tells us that the boxes have to be square & the straps have & boxes have to be black, etc.

The bottom line is that whatever was forgotten at the time of Moshe Rabbeinu's death was recovered using the principles by which the Torah is interpreted. When there was a danger that the oral tradition would be lost, it was then permitted to write it down... This was a special situation.

Actually, the application of the principles to each situation is not the oral law, but the codifications & shaiylos & t'shuvos.... They are about the oral law. This is the way it was supposed to be, the Torah tells us this ... al pi hadavar asher yorucha - according to what they (leading rabbis) will rule...

#5 RebPropagandist

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 06:23 AM

The Torah tells us of the mitzva of t'fillin. Nowhere in the Torah does it discuss the shape of t'fillin or how the parshiyos are to be inserted within. This is covered by the oral law, which tells us that the boxes have to be square & the straps have & boxes have to be black, etc.

Not only doesn't the torah tell us the color of the boxes, it doesn't tell us to wear boxes at all. The only reference to tfillen that's mentioned in the torah is where it says hold this things between your eyes (or bear it in mind), keep it on your heart etc.. how fanatical do you have to be to take what is obviously just allegory and fulfill it literally?
Think about it.
"Shake off all the fears and servile prejudices under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." --Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1787

"How could you have a slogan like "freedom is slavery" when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."
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Sentimentality is the emotional promiscuity of those who have no sentiment.---Norman Mailer

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 06:43 AM

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#7 RebPropagandist

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 06:48 AM

The Rashbam thought about it.

can you elaborate ?
"Shake off all the fears and servile prejudices under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." --Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1787

"How could you have a slogan like "freedom is slavery" when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."
- From 1984
שויתי יהוה לנגדי תמיד
Sentimentality is the emotional promiscuity of those who have no sentiment.---Norman Mailer

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 06:53 AM

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#9 RebPropagandist

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 06:57 AM

Take a look at the very first Rabeinu Bechayei to Pirkei Avot.

melech

can someone please sum it up here? I don't have access to the rabeinu bachnors.
"Shake off all the fears and servile prejudices under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." --Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1787

"How could you have a slogan like "freedom is slavery" when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."
- From 1984
שויתי יהוה לנגדי תמיד
Sentimentality is the emotional promiscuity of those who have no sentiment.---Norman Mailer

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 08:49 AM

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 08:51 AM

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#12 Kalashnikover_Rebbe

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 08:59 AM

That said, the Rashbam still wore tefillin.

Yes, but was it Rashi or RT???
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#13 TipuseiHarim

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 09:58 AM

I'm not well 'learned' in our religion, but I was thinking of this today, and perhaps someone can give me a simple explanation. The Talmud is a discorse of rabbanim of the time discussing and arguing issues pertaining to judaism. I think, that it is accepted that this was revealed at har sinai, but how is it so, if the rabbanim were clearly from a later time discussing matters pertaining to Jews of that time. So how was it revealed at har sinai?


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#14 WolfishMusings

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:51 AM

That the Tanach, talmud, and Targum were given to Moshe Rabbeinu on Har Sinai.


And are you also then proposing that the Talmud was passed down, intact, from Moshe to Rav Ashi?

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#15 WolfishMusings

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:58 AM

The Torah tells us of the mitzva of t'fillin. Nowhere in the Torah does it discuss the shape of t'fillin or how the parshiyos are to be inserted within. This is covered by the oral law, which tells us that the boxes have to be square & the straps have & boxes have to be black, etc.

The bottom line is that whatever was forgotten at the time of Moshe Rabbeinu's death was recovered using the principles by which the Torah is interpreted. When there was a danger that the oral tradition would be lost, it was then permitted to write it down... This was a special situation.

Actually, the application of the principles to each situation is not the oral law, but the codifications & shaiylos & t'shuvos.... They are about the oral law. This is the way it was supposed to be, the Torah tells us this ... al pi hadavar asher yorucha - according to what they (leading rabbis) will rule...


I think you misunderstood me. I'm not denying the existence of an oral law - indeed, I agree that such an oral tradition must exist.

What I find laughable is the idea that the Talmud in it's present form (especially the aggadata sections) have been directly and faithfully transmitted word-for-word from Sinai.

The Wolf

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 11:08 AM

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 11:11 AM

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#18 Gabbe

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 11:29 AM

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#19 WolfishMusings

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 11:43 AM

No. The way I understand the comments of R. Bechayei, Mosheh received all that but didn't necessarily pass it along.


Well, if it was known to Moshe and he didn't pass it along, then the net result to the rest of us is that it wasn't revealed at Sinai. After all, if God told Moshe about the telephone and he didn't pass it along, does that mean that Alexander Graham Bell didn't invent it?

At least as far as Na'ch goes, he seems to say it was known to Moshe Rabeinu, and then re-revealed to the neviim in ruach ha-kodesh. Maybe it was known to Moshe Rabbeinu and forgotten (perhaps purposefully), sort of the same way all of torah is revealed to fetuses in utero and then we forget it and all learning post partum is re-learning what we had known at one point.

melech


I think that when discussing what was revealed on Sinai, we need to define some things.

It should be fairly obvious that the Torah (by which I mean the Pentatuch) as we have it today was not given at Sinai. If it were, do you think that Korach would have rebelled? Do you think the spies would have brought back an evil report about the land? Even if you posit that it was given to Moshe privately and only written down at Arvos Moav, you still have the problem about Moshe's sin. Would Moshe have struck the rock? Wouldn't he have warned Miriam about her fate beforehand?

You can't even posit that the Torah as we have it up to Parshas Yisro was given at Sinai. Can you imagine the conversation that must have occured:

Person: Um, Reb Moshe, I was looking through this book you brought down from the mountain.
Moshe: Yes, what about it?
Person: Well, it seems that I have a question about it.
Moshe: Well, go ahead and ask. That's why I'm here.
Person: Thanks. Anyway, it says here, right toward the end, that we ate the Manna for 40 years until we got to the promised land.
Moshe: Yes, so?
Person: Um, I thought we were going to get there in a few days. We're not going to get there for 40 years? Why?
Moshe: Um.... I can't tell you yet.

So, what was given at Sinai? You can't even argue that we got all the mitzvos at Sinai. There are at least three instances where the proper law was unknown or changed after Sinai - the penalty for Shabbos desecration, Pesach Sheini and the law allowing daughters to inhereit in the absence of sons.

The best that you can say is that God gave us the mitzvos at Sinai, along with some of the text of the Pentatuch. The rest of the text, as well as additional details were given at different times during the Sojourn until the Torah was finally compiled in it's final form at Arvos Moav.

That's the written Torah -- or at least the Chumash.

I also believe that an oral explanation was given together with the Written Text. As many others have pointed out, it is simply logical, as the Written Torah is severly lacking in details regarding the performance of the Mitzvos. But I highly doubt that the Oral Torah that was given to Moshe was the text of the Gemara as we have it today. Rather, it was probably organized much better into chapters and sections where the clear halacha for a given situation was given. I don't beleive that there were any disputes in the Oral Torah as originally given.

To suggest that an Oral text, transmitted from generation to generation without being written down for over a thousand years survived intact word-for-word is simply incredible. If the Written text, for which we can always go back to a Torah and check, could not survive completely intact (there *are* different variants of the Torah's text today), then surely a purely oral tradition could not have survived. Indeed, some of it began to be forgotten right after Moshe's death. True, there are rules to derive the halacha, but you cannot say with any certainty that the derived halacha is exactly the same as the original. In the end, you have to simply say "lo bashamayim hi" and accept that the halacha as we have derived it (assuming we follow the rules given) is the correct one.

I have more to say on this subject, but am pressed for time right now. Perhaps this would make a great blog post.

The Wolf

#20 Gabbe

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 11:50 AM

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