Godssecret's Weblog

Concerning the Oral Torah
August 4, 2010, 10:14 am
Filed under: Oral Torah

The Written Torah is written in a way so that almost nothing can be understood without the Oral Tradition, recorded in the Talmud and other works of our sages. The Written Torah has influenced all mankind, even Christians and Muslims believe the God gave the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai and they believe they have accepted the Torah into their own faiths. While the Oral Torah is the exclusive possession of the Jewish people and they don’t accept that there is a “Oral Torah”. But The Written Torah is written in a way so that almost nothing can be understood without the Oral Tradition !

Its written  “Speak to the people of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a thread of blue “

(Numbers 15:38)

So how are these “fringes” made, how many strings, how are they tied, where does the blue tread come from ?

There is no way to understand the Bible with out the Oral Torah ! Keeping of the Torah’s laws, is impossible , without the “oral Torah”.


“Safeguard and keep (these rules) since that is your wisdom and understanding in the eyes of the nations. They will hear all these rules and say, ‘this great nation is certainly a wise and understanding people'”.

(Deut. 4:6)

Throughout history, in almost every country, the Jews have led in fields of intellect. Through the worst of the “Dark Ages”, when the only men capable of reading were the clergy and some nobility, just about every Jewish male knew how to read Hebrew, and many were equally proficient in the language of the land. Jews have been at the forefront of every civil movement, every intellectual movement, and have been known as scholars throughout all of history.

Even non-Jews have recognized this, and you can find mention of it in numerous places, and in the writings of many cultures.

What is the source of our wisdom?

The Torah is the source!

Anyone who has ever tried to learn the Scriptures alone knows that they are a closed book, full of confusing and difficult-to-understand statements. The Torah is generally briefly worded, and lacks detailed directions. Obviously, commentary is necessary. This commentary is the Oral Tradition, also known as the Oral Law, or the Oral Torah. The Written Bible is completely incomprehensible without the Oral Tradition.

And the Lord said to Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the Torah, and the commandments which I have written; that you may teach them.”

(ex 24:12)

The Torah refers to the Written Torah; the Commandments 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;  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 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).

This “Torah” is the foundation of the worlds 3 great religions Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The Koran and New Testament many times refer to ideas in the Torah. They accept the Written Torah as the word of God, but do not accept the oral Torah (law).

A gentile once wanted to convert to Judaism.  He said he would accept the Written law (Torah) but not the Oral Torah (Law). Hillel taught him the correct order of the Hebrew Alphabet. The next day he reversed the letters. The convert was confused: “But yesterday you said the opposite!?” “Well, then, you need me, a Rabbi, to teach you the Hebrew Alphabet? So you have to trust my knowledge of the tradition of the letters. What I tell you is the Oral Tradition. You can’t read the alphabet if no one tells you what it means. And you think you don’t need the Rabbis’ knowledge of Jewish Tradition in order to understand the words of the Torah? Those are much more difficult! Without an Oral Tradition you will never be able to learn the Torah.”

Said Hillel: “You now see that the Written Word alone is insufficient. We need the Oral Tradition to explain G-d’s Word.”

So it is clear that an Oral Tradition is needed, and that one exists.

Hillel also taught him: “What you dislike, do not do to your friend. That is the basis of the Torah. The rest is commentary; go and learn!”

And the Lord said to Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the Torah, and the commandments which I have written; that you may teach them.”

(ex 24:12)

The Torah refers to the Written Torah; the Commandments to the Oral Torah, its explanation.

The path of the Torah has many diverse ways, but the key to it is balance, harmony, and beauty in all its ways together. One must always remember that the Torah is an oral tradi­tion and has been learned this way since the beginning. Rabbi Eleazer teaches that whoever contemplates what he learns from his master while at the same time seeing the wisdom reflected in his face can thereby obtain an additional portion of spirit.

The Torah  is silent on many important subjects, or fails to reveal enough details for their observance this proves to us that there must be accompanying Oral Torah. In the Bible it tells us to :

Make fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a thread of blue” (Numbers 15)

Now just how are these “fringes” made ?,

That is only found in the Oral law !

It is written :

And it shall be for a sign upon your hand, and for frontlets between your eyes; for by strength of hand the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt.”

(ex 13)

Now what is this “sign upon your hand, and for frontlets

That is only found in the Oral law !

What are frontlets? The Hebrew word for frontlets, totafot is used three times in the Torah — always in this context (Exodus 13:16; Deuteronomy 6:8, 11:18) — and is as obscure as is the English. Only in the Oral Law do we learn that what a Jewish male should bind upon his hand and between his eyes are tefillin (phylacteries).

That is only found in the Oral law !

Another example is the fourth of the Ten Commandments, ordains, “Remember the Sabbath day to make it holy” (Exodus 20:8). From the Sabbath’s inclusion in the Ten Commandments, it is clear that the Torah regards it as an important holiday. Yet when one looks for the specific biblical laws regulating how to observe the day, one finds only injunctions against lighting a fire, going away from one’s dwelling, cutting down a tree, plowing and harvesting. Would merely refraining from these few activities fulfill the biblical command to make the Sabbath holy? Indeed, the Sabbath rituals that are most commonly associated with holiness-lighting of candles, reciting the kiddush, and the reading of the weekly Torah portion are found not in the Torah, but in the Oral Law.

The Torah forbids “work” on the sabbath?  What work is forbidden and what is not? Without an oral explanation of the details of this forbidden work, it is impossible to know what the Torah means.

Without an oral tradition, some of the Torah’s laws would be incomprehensible !

When the Bible tells us (Lev. 20:14) to take together four species on the first day of Succos (festival of booths), which four species are meant, and what are we supposed to do with them?

Without an oral tradition, some of the Torah’s laws would be incomprehensible !


The Written Law, demands an “eye for an eye” (Exodus 21:24). This does not imply that if one person accidentally blinded another, he should be blinded in return.  The Oral Law explains that the verse must be understood as requiring monetary compensation: the value of an eye is what must be paid.

When God gave Moses the Torah, Orthodoxy teaches, He simultaneously provided him all the details found in the Oral Law. It is believed that Moses subsequently transmitted that Oral Law to his successor, Joshua, who transmitted it to his successor, in a chain that is still being carried on (Ethics of the Fathers 1:1).

R. Albo states that a perfect text must, by definition, be totally unambiguous.  The Torah is called perfect [Psalms 19:8], the Torah must not have any ambiguities.  However, it does have ambiguities.  Like the example above “eye for an eye” (Exodus 21:24).,  How can a perfect Torah contain ambiguity?  Only if the Torah includes an oral explanation that clarifies all ambiguities can it be called perfect [cf. Maimonides, Moreh Nevuchim, 1:71].  Therefore, R. Albo states, there must have been an oral tradition transmitted along with the written Torah.

R. Yehudah HaLevi [Kuzari, 3:35] states it is impossible to read and understand the words of the bible without a tradition regarding the vowelization and punctuation of the words.  A simple reading of the text requires an oral tradition. The Torah Scrolls have always been written with out vowels on its letters. The vowel, which give meaning to the Bible’s (Torah’s) words are only found in the Oral tradition. One who accepts the vowelization and punctuation must also accept the oral law.

Any one who accepts the simple meaning of the words of the Bible as we know them now, whether Jew Christian or Muslim is by this accepting the Oral Torah. As this is the only place where the vowelization and punctuation are found.

R. HaLevi further asks what the Torah means when it says [Exodus 12:2] “This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months”?  To which months is this referring?  Is it referring to Egyptian months (where the Jews were living at the time) or Chaldean months (from where their patriarch Abraham originated)?  Solar months or lunar months?  Without an oral tradition, there is no way to know to what this verse is referring.

Furthermore, when the Torah [Lev. 3:17] says “It is a law for all time throughout the ages, in all your settlements: you must not eat any fat or any blood”, what exactly is fat?  Are there different types of animal fat, some which are permitted and some which are forbidden?  How are these fats differentiated?

When the Torah [Ex. 16:29] says “Let no man leave his place on the seventh day” to what place is this referring?  Does it mean his home, his property if he has more than one home, his neighborhood, his city, or something else.

And the Lord said to Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the Torah, and the commandments which I have written; that you may teach them.”

(ex 24:12)

The Torah refers to the Written Torah; the Commandments to the Oral Torah, its explanation.

It is clear that an Oral Tradition is needed, and that one exists.

This post is not saying  Judaism is the only way to God, it is not !


It is clear that an Oral Tradition is needed, and that one exists.

Unlike what is taught by Christians and Moslems :

It was revealed to Moses at Mount Sinai that Judaism is not the only true way to God. It is not for every person. The God has revealed different ways to other people. You can have “your own path”

Gentiles are not responsible to observe the commandments of the Sinai covenant, as are the Jews.

Universal commandments were given by God to all mankind through Adam and Noah, and are included within the Bible. These universal commandments and the details of their observance all comes from the Torah Revealed at Sinai. These universal commandments are known as the “the seven laws of Noah”.

These 7 laws include :

1.Do not worship Idols

2.Do not use the Name of God in Vain

3.Do not kill

4.Do not act in a sexually immoral manner

5.Do not steal

6.Do not eat the limb of a living animal-no animal cruelty

7.Establish courts of Justice

Elijah the Prophet teaches in Tana D’vei Eliyahu, (Eliyahu Rabbah 9)

that a Gentile like a Jew can receive Ruach HaKodesh

(The Holy Spirit) in accordance to his/her actions.

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