[b-hebrew] I think this is what Kirk asked for

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Sat Jun 24 23:21:01 EDT 2006

"Levicus 23, the Bible speaks about Atonement, Yom Kippur, and the 
Bible says on this day we have to afflict our souls. How do you 
afflict your souls? This is a commandment of 'God.' It is not clear 
how you would fulfill this law, and 'God' is giving this as a very 
important law.

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

When the Torah forbids certain birds [Lev. 11:13-19], does that mean 
that all other birds are permitted?  Or are there sign for birds like 
there are for animals [Lev. 11:2-8]?  How can anyone know whether 
biblical law permits or forbids eating ducks, geese, and turkeys?

  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 ?  In fact, Isaiah [66:23] says "It shall be 
that at every New Moon and on every sabbath all mankind will come to 
bow down before Me - said the L-rd" which implies that people will 
leave their homes on the sabbath and go to worship the L-rd .  
Evidently, Isaiah did not understand this verse in Exodus as the 
simple reading would have it.

What does the Torah mean when it [Ex. 20:10] 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.  How did G-d command our 
fathers to keep Shabbat?  "You shall keep Shabbat holy, as I have 
commanded your fathers" (Jeremiah 17:22).

The sections of Exodus [ch. 21] and Deuteronomy [ch. 21-25] that deal 
with monetary and physical crimes do not seem to contain enough 
information to formulate a working legal system.  How can a court 
legislate with so few guidelines?  Certainly, for courts to function 
based on biblical law there must have been more information given in 
the form of an oral law

The laws of inheritance as stated in Numbers [27:8-11] cannot begin 
to address all of the many complicated situations that can and have 
arisen throughout the generations.  Without an oral law, how does a 
society apply the biblical inheritance laws?

How does one fulfill the biblical commandments of circumcision [Gen. 
17:10-14], fringes [Num. 15:38-39], and booths [Lev. 23:42]?  There 
is not enough detail in the biblical directive to know how to fulfill 
these commandments properly.  What are fringes?  What is a booth?  
How much and where must be cut off in circumcision?  The biblical 
text is too silent to enable following these commandments unless 
there was an oral explanation

A baby must be circumcised on the eighth day [Gen. 17:12].  What if 
the eighth day falls out on the sabbath?  Can a circumcision take 
place on a sabbath or is that considered work?  What if the baby is 
sick?  For what conditions would it be permitted to delay the 

The Passover sacrifice must be brought by every Jew [Ex. 12:47] on 
the day before Passover [Num. 9:5].  What happens if that day falls 
out on the sabbath?  Surely, slaughtering and offering a sacrifice is 
work.  Which takes precedence -- the sabbath or the paschal 
sacrifice?  There must be an oral law to explain this if these laws 
were intended to be put into practice

Numbers 8 describes the building of the menorah in the temple. This 
work of the candlestick, which was a beaten gold unto the shaft 
thereof, unto the flowers thereof with beaten work according to the 
pattern which the Lord had showed Moses.  Where is the picture of the 

There is a reliance on sages for interpreting the law in Exod  18:36 
and in Deut 17:8-11.  In Deut. 17:8-11   What possible knowledge is 
there that can be hidden?  If there is no oral law, then the only 
basis for judgement is in the Torah which is open for anyone to 
study.  Clearly, the entire need for the above process of going to 
the central court and following their ruling implies that there is an 
oral tradition which also serves as the basis for judgement.

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