[b-hebrew] oral law
rosewalk at concentric.net
Sun Jun 25 00:11:29 EDT 2006
I did originally mention the verse: Deut. 12:21
The commandment of Tefilin is actually mentioned 4 times in the
Torah: Deuteronomy 6:8, Exodus 13:9, Exodus 19:16, Deuteronomy 11:18
And while it is your opinion that details of how to follow the law do
not matter to G-d, our opinion - those of us who are careful to
observe Torah - is completely the opposite. A commandment that is
mentioned 4 times, must be important enough not to be left to random
interpretations about how to perform it.
And of course principle behind it is also important, but there are
many cases where we don't know the principle behind a commandment.
> I am looking at the Hebrew in this verse. You can slaughter the
>animals as I have commanded.
But you didn't say which verse. Presumably we are permitted to
discuss the interpretation of the Hebrew of a particular verse, but
we can't do so if you don't tell us which verse. You also wrote
> The written text tells us which texts to put into the Tefillin, but
>it doesn't tell us how to make them, how to tie them, and more.
Of course it doesn't. That's because such matters, like so many
details of religious practice, are not divinely specified. If this
verse, I suppose you mean Deuteronomy 6:8, is intended to be taken
literally at all, God did not choose to specify exactly how these
commandments were to be tied to hands and foreheads because this was
a matter for each person, or each community, to decide for
themselves. And that is what happened; one community's decision on
these details has become traditional Jewish teaching and practice.
But what matters to God is not the details the principle behind it.
E-mail: peter at qaya.org
More information about the b-hebrew