[b-hebrew] oral law

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sun Jun 25 23:42:12 EDT 2006

Peter, Harold, Shoshanna and others,

We seemed to have arrived at a dead end. While I do think that this topic is 
a perfectly legitimate one, I think that we have made itself clear. 
Shoshanna, based on her traditional Jewish position, insists that: a. the 
Law is indented to be kept as literally as possible, in every minute detail, 
and b. that those details that are not in the written text were given to 
Moses as an Oral Law, which has come down to us through rabbinic tradition. 
I, while not agreeing with Shoshanna on every issue, have tried to clarify 
what this means from a historical perspective. Peter and others, instead of 
accepting this as the Jewish tradition (which they of course do not have to 
accept in itself), have attempted to "prove": a. that the traditional Jewish 
view is historically unlikely (with which I agree but Shoshanna obviously 
does not), and b. that God never intended the Law to be carried out in 
minute detail, and that the prophets (including Jesus!) have made it clear 
that what is important is the moral aspects of the Torah, not the ritual 
People: point b. is exactly as Christian-faith-based as is Shoshanna's 
opinion Jewish-faith-based. Obviously any opinion based on sayings of Jesus 
is not relevant to Jewish tradition (I know that I'm going to ruffle some 
feathers with that one!). Since we have all clarified out positions, any 
further debate, without introducing new evidence, DOES come close to 
proselytizing, which I, for one, DO think is not appropriate for this list. 
So unless someone comes up with something really new, that's my last word!


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