Godssecret's Weblog

July 19, 2012, 12:58 pm
Filed under: Torah | Tags: ,

So-called modern thought clouds people’s understanding and this greatconfusion is compounded by there appearing to be several versions of Judaism. All this is far from the truth, for the Torah is ancient, having been transmitted in unbroken suc­cession since the time of Moses, and one can only do harm by disregarding the commandment “Do not add or subtract from this law” (Deut. 13: 1). We have seen the consequences in this generation: unprecedented assimilation and spiritual annihi­lation. Contemporary attitudes only rob our brothers and sisters of their spiritual heritage, by letting them believe they are living as they should, fulfilling what their Creator has asked of them-when in reality the glory of the holy Sabbath has passed them by. As the Rambam1 taught in the Mishneh Torah,2 “Moses received all the mitzvot (commandments) (Ex. 24: 12). ‘And I give to you the Tablets of Stone, and the Law and the Commandment.’ The Law refers to the Written Torah; the Commandment to the Oral Torah, its explanation. Moses taught the whole of it in his court to the Seventy Elders, as well as to Joshua. Pinchas received it from Joshua; Eli from Pinchas; Samuel from Eli; David from Samuel; Ahiyah from David; Elijah from Ahiyah; Elisha from Elijah;

  1. Moses Maimonides

  2. The Book of Knowledge

Jehoiada from Elisha; Zachariah from Jehoiada; Hosea from Zachariah; Amos from Hosea; Isaiah from Amos; Micah from Isaiah; Joel from Micah; Nahum from Joel; Hebakkuk from Nahum; Zephaniah from Habakkuk; Jeremiah from Zephaniah; Baruch from Jeremiah; Ezra from Baruch; Shimon HaTzaddik from Ezra; Antigonus from Shimon HaTzaddik; Yoseph ben Yoezer and Yoseph ben Yochanan from Antigonus; Yehoshua and Nittai from Yoseph ben Yoezer and Yoseph ben Yochanan; Yehuda and Shimon from Yehoshua and Nittai; Shemaiah and Avtaliah from Yehuda and Shimon; Hillel and Shammai from Shemaiah and Avtaliah; Rabban Shimon from his father, Hillel. and from Shammai; Rabban Gamaliel the Elder from his father Rabban Shimon; Rabbi Shimon from his father Rabban Gamaliel the Elder; our teacher, Rebbe Yehuda the Prince, from his father Rabbi Shimon; Rabbi Yochanan, Rav, and Shmuel from Rebbe Yehudah the Prince; Rav Huna from Rabbi Yochanan, Rav, and Shmuel; Rabbah from Rav Huna; Rava from Rabbah; and Rav Ashi received the Torah from Rav. All the sages mentioned here were the great men of the successive generations. Besides them, there were thousands and myriads of disciples and fellow students. Ravina and Rav Ashi closed the list of the sages of the Talmud. The Talmud is an exposition of the Mishnah, which was compiled by our teacher, Rebbe Yehuda the Prince. The Talmud elucidates the abstruse points of the Mishnah, ex­plaining what is permitted and forbidden, what is unclean and what is clean, what is unfit and what is fit, all in accordance with the traditions received by the sages from their predecessor in unbroken succession up to the teaching of Moses, “father of all prophets.”

The above is the true tradition of the Torah as it was passed down generation to generation.

The fundamental difference between a Orthodox outlook and the Conservative Judaism outlook is that according to the Orthodox the Torah is divine. End of story.

The Conservative movement, by way of contrast, rejects the idea that any part of the Torah is divine (both oral and written). Both are the products of man, with varying degrees of “divine inspiration” That is a big difference.

The prophets were Divinely inspired and they were many. The sages tell us that the few works of the Prophets have now are but a small sample of the many prophets who lived and spoke to Yisrael.

The Torah is completely unique. The Rambam in Moreh (II:39) explains that the prophesy of Moses was unique. As it is written “If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known to him in a vision, and will speak to him in a dream.Not so with my servant Moses, for he is the trusted one in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, manifestly, and not in dark speech” (numbers 12) Rabbi Soloveitchik explained that Torah is categorically distinct from prophecy. No other Prophet created or could create Torah except for Moses.

The Conservative movement sees no difference between the Divine inspiration of Moshe, Jeremiah, perhaps even the Talmudic sages, etc. The Conservative movement believes their human hand was guided to compose great works of inspiration that contained the truth of Judaism.

Orthodox Judaism holds that the Torah is unique. The significance of the event of Mount Sinai is that a new CATEGORY of revelation introduced into the world that transcended any other prophecy or Divine inspiration. Therefore the giving of the Torah could only occur through Moses , the only Prophet who attained this level of Revelation.

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