- Are the Rabbis Teachings Authentic?
- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- Question: I
accept your proofs concerning the authenticity of Tora from Siani, but
is there a similar proof for the veracity of the Talmud? In other
words, how do we know that Hazal didn't substantially revamp the
religion from the way it existed during the First Commonwealth? The
fact that absolutely no statements or rulings are attributed to
sources that lived during the First Commonwealth only exacerbates the
problem. If the court system and direct mesora existed as Rambam
writes in hilkhot mamerim, wouldn't at least one of those rulings have
been passed down? If you read a gemera, it would seem as if Hazal made
it all up themselves?
- Response: Do you think Chazal
could have unanimously agreed to revamp? Wouldn't at the least a few
of them held firmly to the authentic Torah? And therefore we would
find - according to you - some history written about such a conflict
- What I would say the unified approach of Chazal teaches, is that
they were all following the authentic Torah and the rules of
interpretation received from Moshe. This is why you never come across
statement of one rabbi accusing another of deviating from the method
of interpretation. All we find are differences in their formulations,
but not in their adherence to the methods of derivation and learning.
- Additionally, regarding your concern for their reliability of their
Mesora, G-d has promised that the Torah will never be lost from our
nation, see the prayer "U'va L'Tzion", taken from Yeshiah,
- Question: Can you prove that the Mishna is authentic and that
the oral torah that was brought down to text wasn't distorted? Please
base your facts on texts prior to the Mishna. If you do have proof so
please tell me why is it different from oral laws of other religions?
- Response: We do not find the
Rabbis in the Talmud claiming any distortions. Had our law been
distorted, the original recipients would have spoken up. All those
sages who have studied the texts meticulously were in universal
agreement that they had the authentic texts. Had any transmitter of
the Law altered the texts, others would have spoken up. But none have.
This mass silence prove that there were no distortions. Had anyone 30
years ago tried to alter the story of JFK's assassination, they would
have met with harsh ridicule from all others who had the correct
version. So too with Torah.
- Question: Since there is no High court in the temple mount
today, and we have different streams in Judaism, why am I obligated to
adapt one of them?
- Response: You will find
orthodoxy as the only branch of Judaism tracing itself back to Moses,
who received the law from God. This is proveable if you read the
article "Torah from Sinai".