[b-hebrew] daughters jacob never spoke of

Brak Brak at neo.rr.com
Thu Jun 22 21:38:22 EDT 2006

The reason I joined this list was to engage in scholarly conversations 
about textual analysis, not get into theological discussions.

But since this thread has beens o long and so persistent I have decided 
(maybe the result of lack of better judgment) to give my three cents 
(extra penny due to inflation)

According to various belief systems (including some Christian sects) the 
Law was given in two formats - written and oral. Hence the acceptance o 
f an Oral Law does not constitute an "adding" to the Law, but rather the 
acceptance of the Law in its fullness. And as stated there are a lot of 
blank spaces which the Oral Law fills in. Also their is the reality that 
a picture is worth a thousand word - and so is oral instruction. Imagine 
trying to write instructions, using only words, on how to throw a 
football correctly. It would be very hard and cumbersome, a lot of time 
and effort would be involved - as opposed to the minute or two it would 
take to do it in person via an oral teaching format. This helps the 
puzzle to fall into place, as if you knew of the oral teaching and you 
read a simple note from the coach saying "throw the ball" you would know 
what to do. But without that context you could very easily try to throw 
the football in the way a  pitcher throws a baseball - a throw but not 
the right one.

It is important to make a distinction between the Oral Law given to 
Moses at Sinai, and the Rabbinical Laws added as an attempt to "fence in 
the Torah". Many people make the mistake of merging these two distinct 
items into one, but the Mishnah and Talmud do make these distinction.

As to the Jesus factor. In the context of the text He was speaking 
against the Rabbinical additions that the particular group of Pharisees 
had created. It wasn't a statement again the Oral Law, or all Rabbinical 
Law - just that of the particular group.
There were sub-sects within the sect of Pharisees. The two major ones 
that most are aware of is that of Hillel and Shamia. If you study the 
debates between those of Hillel and those of Shamia, and then compare 
that to the debates between Jesus and the "Pharisees" you will find some 
amazing similarities. For example the issue with the healed paralytic 
carrying his mat on the Sabbath was a debate whether it is lawful to 
carry an item within the same domain. According to Hillel you can (this 
is the halacha observed today), according the Shamia you can't. And let 
us not forget that Jesus taught His follows to obey the halacha of the 
Pharisees and Sages. "Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in 
Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe 
and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." (Mat 
23:2-3) So Jesus was saying that even though they may not practice what 
they preach - we as Christians are to.

But I return to my initial line of thought. Is this area of discussion 
proper for this forum?
I was under the impression that the forum was to discuss variants 
between manuscripts, q/k issues, parsing of words and translation.
This thread to me has been basically about doctrine, dogma, creed, and 

So am I incorrect and this forum is open to theological debating, or is 
it as I originally thought - an area for textual analysis and research.

If I am incorrect please forgive me for raising an issue about it. If I 
am correct please forgive me for adding my three cents to the discussion.

John Steven

Shoshanna Walker wrote:

>So how many fathers do I have, if there were three "forefathers", 
>Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov?
>I know you are teasing me, though....
>So you didn't need Oral Torah to teach you that Avraham showed 
>courage in leaving the security of his family, but that isn't what is 
>referred to by saying that the Torah emphasizes that Avraham was a 
>man of faith.  It is specifically faith in G-d that the Torah teaches 
>about Avraham - and courage has a different meaning than faith 
>anyway.  Without Oral Torah you wouldn't know that G-d tested his 
>faith with 10 tests.
>Although it may not be applicable to you, without Oral Torah there 
>are many Mitzvot that we wouldn't know how to perform, because the 
>details of how to perform them were not included in the written text. 
>Deut. 12:21 - "As I have commanded you"  Where did G-d command us how 
>to perform slaughter?
>Or "You shall keep Shabbat holy, as I have commanded your fathers" 
>Jeremiah 17:22.  Where did G-d command us exactly in detail how to 
>keep the Shabbat holy?
>Rav Aryeh Kaplan explains it better than I am able: 
>And what apparent contradictions between Oral and Written Torah are 
>you referring to?  How can you make that statement when you haven't 
>learned Oral Torah?
>I don't mean to be disrespectful to those on this list who don't 
>believe that Torah consists of Oral and Written Torah, but if, from 
>time to time, I am able to cite how some of our Commentaries explain 
>verses that you are discussing, do you mind?  Some of our Sages and 
>Commentaries were famous as Biblical Hebrew linguists, shouldn't 
>their input be included here?
>Shoshanna wrote:
>Abraham merited being one of our avos (forefathers).  His 2 most
>famous character traits were that of a man of FAITH and
>charity/chesed.  Hashem subjected him to 10 tests of faith, he passed
>all of them.  This abduction of Sarah by Avimelech was one of these
>tests.  He therefore was not a coward.
>JCR: If Abraham was one of your fathers wouldn't that
>make you one of his daughters?
>Also, I think I agree with you that the word 'coward'
>was a poor choice of word as Abraham had already shown
>great courage in leaving the security of his family
>to go and reside amongst foreigners who might decide
>to kill him at any moment.
>However, one observation I would like to make is that
>I don't need any oral torah to reach this conclusion
>as the information given in the actual torah is more
>than sufficient.
>Personally, I find it quite enlightening to listen to
>your testimonies of what the oral torah has to say
>because I don't have a copy and have never had the
>chance to read it. However, I do have to agree with the
>sentiments expressed by Peter that it would be a little
>unreasonably if someone were to expect the list members
>to accept the oral torah as Yah's word especially where
>there are apparent contradictions with the testimony of
>the real torah.
>b-hebrew mailing list
>b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org

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