Wait a minute, you just talked about the Talmud and now you want to talk about it again by just changing the name? OK, you caught me; but, I am doing it for a good reason. I received comments that have shown much confusion about the subject. I tried to answer one of the comments just before Shabbos began and in my haste I didn't do a good job. Here is my update to try to rectify the confusion.
First of all it should be made clear that the Torah consists of more than the written five books of Moses. It is brought down that all the empty space on the original Torah that Moshe (I think I will start calling Moses by his real name) wrote contained the information of the Oral Torah. Whether that is literally or figuratively true is unimportant – the message is that Moshe was taught all the detailed information that was eventually written in the Talmud. To say that the information came from the Rabbis and not from Hashem is blasphemy – the Rabbis codified the information but it was handed down from Mount Sinai. It is the excuse that all the heretical groups used for thousands of years to not follow the word of Hashem. Proof of all this can only be seen by scholars of the Oral Torah who see very quickly that what the Rabbis said could not have come from them.
As I wrote in "The Folding of History" 7 May 2012
The Oral Torah, the Talmud which is a very detailed and complete explanation of the laws in the Torah, was passed down orally until the time of the Roman siege. The Oral Torah faced the problem of the information being lost after the Jews were exiled from their land. To preserve the Oral Law, the sages of Babylon constructed the written Talmud that we study today. The event was miraculous and proved to be very accurate, guided by Hashem all the way. Rabbi Judah the Prince gathered Rabbis from all over who had knowledge of the Oral Torah. He found that even though they were strangers to each other, they had the exact same details handed down through their Rabbis.
This miracle could have come only from Hashem. Another great miracle is that a tremendous amount of prophecy is in the Talmud. The Rabbis disclosed details of what was coming up including that which is happening in modern times. If this were their opinion, then they seem to have had the same opinion as the prophets who received the information from Hashem. You may think "well, that is where they got their info." Fact is they came up with details that are not in prophecy and are only being disclosed in our generation. I have mentioned some:
- That before redemption can happen, the two giants, Sichon and Og, called two towers must be destroyed. My calculations from the Talmud description of their height came to the height of the World Trade Center towers. How did the Rabbis know that?
- The crossing of the Sea of Reeds and the miraculous detail. How did the Rabbis know that?
- The number of stars in the universe and much more information about outer space that scientist have only discovered in recent years. How did the Rabbis know that?
- The details about kosher animals, birds, fish and crawling things. How did the Rabbis know that?
- All of science and mathematics is covered, both overtly and covertly. How did the Rabbis know that?
- An extensive discussion of what is going to happen in the end of days before the coming of the Messiah. The accuracy of what is happening now gives one chills. How did the Rabbis know that?
- An interesting discussion is in Yoma 10 which is the upcoming attack on Iran. How did the Rabbis know that?
I think I can go on with quite an extensive list of subjects that are covered in the Talmud that we call "d'rabbanim," from the Rabbis. One would logically question "How did the Rabbis know that?" There is only One Source of information Who sees all of time and events and can tell us about it. I rest my case.
There is another very important aspect of the Talmud that can't be ignored. The Torah tells us what the 613 mitzvot are but gives us very little detail about how to meet our obligations. Examples include:
From the Shema: "And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes." What does that mean? My interpretation is: get a small Torah with all the mitzvot in it, some rope and tie it to my arm and have a much smaller copy right between my eyes – on the bridge of my nose. The Oral Law carried down all the details of Tefillin that we wear today. But did that come from the Rabbis? Let's get spookier. There are basically two types of Tefillin we wear today. Let us concentrate of what we call Rashi Tefillin. The famous commentator Rashi (1040 to 1105) gave us all the details about what was brought down and talked about in the Oral Law. So we are saying that the Tefillin we wear today is the opinion of a Rabbi from the 11th century? In 1947 with the famous find of the Dead Sea Scrolls, we found Tefillin which just happened to be exactly as Rashi described. Wait a minute! We found Tefillin that was put in a cave about 2300 years ago (about 13 centuries before Rashi was born) and we didn't even find them until the 20th century. How did they know what Rashi's opinion would be 13 centuries before he was born? The consistency of information that could have only come from Hashem becomes obvious. Let me put some more icing on the mystical cake.
While considering the spiritual effects of Tefillin, we must note the famous research of Dr. Steven Schram of the United States, an expert in the areas of acupuncture and chiropractics. His article in the British Journal of Chinese Medicine showed that the points where Tefillin touches the head and the arm perfectly match the Chinese acupuncture points for increased spirituality and purified thought. He further emphasized that the very order in which Tefillin are traditionally put on, first wrapping the arm, then placing it on the head and then returning to wrap the hand, mirrors the pattern of treatment found in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. In conclusion, Schram claims to have no explanation for the fact that the millennia-old Jewish tradition, which has never had any connection with Chinese culture, employs procedures used by Chinese healing techniques. I guess the One Who created acupuncture is also the One Who commanded us to wear Tefillin.
From the Shema: "You shall inscribe them on the doorposts of you house and upon your gates." Once again my interpretation of what the Torah is saying means that I can use a ballpoint pen or maybe crayons (I like crayons) and write this message as I have been commanded. The Oral Law carried down all the details of the Mezuzah that we use today. But did that come from the Rabbis? I think you are getting my point.
The laws of keeping kosher are what brought all this on. The fact that is does not say anywhere in the written Torah that I can't eat meat and milk together. Well as the word Tefillin and Mezuzah are not in the Torah, I guess all the details about kashrus need the Oral Torah information as well. Just be assured that when we received the Torah, the Jews were not educated yet on the kosher slaughtering of animals and hence the tradition to this day of having a dairy meal on Shavuot (it was delicious). We knew from day one not to mix milk and meat.
I am Noahide again. Can I try myself with Tefillin? Or it is forbidden for Noahide to try with Tefillin?
I really didn't know the answer, so I Googled it. Is seams by most authorities that you shouldn't put it on since you do not have the requirement to do so. Similar to Jewish women and children under the Bar Mitzvah age who are not required to do so. This website seems to cover it: http://www.noahide.com/minimum.htmDelete
Thank you for your blogging. Very informative and inspiring to all.ReplyDelete
Thamk God for your site, thank you very muchReplyDelete
It is my pleasure and if you are following the ways of Hashem, that is all the thanks that I want. It is you that I thank.Delete