The Oral Torah
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Hashem spoke to Moshe on Mt.
11th century French sage, quotes the comments of the Toras Kohanim (Mishnaic era
200-100 B.C.E) on this verse.
The Toras Kohanim asks, why is it necessary for the Torah to state that
Hashem spoke to Moshe on
If this true, however, then why does it not list all the details of every commandment given down? When Hashem gave us the Torah at Sinai 3300 tears ago, He in reality gave us two components of the Torah: the written part and the oral part. The written part is what we call the Chumash, the Bible, or the five books of Moshe (Prophets, such as Joshua, Isaiah, etc. and Writings, which include Psalms, Proverbs, etc. were written later as the events occurred).
The reason Hashem gave us the Torah in such a fashion, as opposed to writing details of every mitzva in the written law, is to keep the Torah alive amongst the Jewish people. Something that is written down could possibly become irrelevant at some point. However, the Torah has a written element that can only be understood through using the oral element.
the Torah was given, generation after generation would read the written part,
and using the oral Torah, they would explain all the details relevant to the
verse. The Laws of Shabbos provide an example. The written Torah says to
remember and safeguard the Shabbos. The oral Torah Shabbos explains exactly what
it means to remember and safeguard
the Shabbos. This method required constant study, which in turn created an
intellectual vibrancy that led to true love of the Torah. In fact it states in
the Talmud that in the time of King Chizkiah there was not a small child found
Furthermore, it is impossible to truly comprehend even one commandment of the written Torah without the oral Torah.
before the destruction of the 2nd
To assume the Rabbis made up laws afterwards is an illogical assumption. At which point would they have told the Jews that one cannot plant on Shabbos? Why would the Jew listen to them? He would say I have always planted on Shabbos. At which point were the details made up, and why would the people have followed them? We are a stiff-necked nation. Rabbi Sa’adiah Gaon (8th century Babylonian sage) explains that we are Jews by virtue of the Torah Hashem gave us. On Shavuos we will celebrate the written and oral law that were given to us by Hashem at Har Sinai, 3300 years ago.