Scroll to the bottom for the full transcript.
In a historic first, Dr Eitan Bar sat down with eminent Jewish scholar, Rabbi Haim Sheitrit, for a live debate. The subject was on the authority of the “Oral Law”: the extra-biblical instructions of rabbinic Judaism passed down from generation to generation. Rabbinic Judaism holds that the Oral Law is divinely authoritative and was given to Moses at Sinai. Dr. Bar naturally refuted those claims, with evidence that it was from a much later date and devised by men, not God.
Held in a neutral space in Tel Aviv, their head-to-head went out live and unedited. Eitan said that it was a defining moment of his life – something he’d been preparing for over many years that had finally come to pass, and that he really enjoyed it.
“Messianic Jews really impress me… I think at the end of this semester I’m going to order that book and read it.”
(Comment on YouTube)
There have been several such events in English, but it has been very difficult to find a rabbi who was willing to sit and debate matters of faith in Israel – up till now. We want to express our sincere appreciation to the rabbi for his coming and participating. Rabbi Sheitrit is a “rosh kollel”, the head of the Jewish equivalent of a seminary for advanced study of the Talmud.
The atmosphere was cordial and Eitan and Haim parted as friends, but the debate itself was heated at times. Rabbi Sheitrit chose to make his case first, presenting for about 20 minutes his claims to the authority of the Oral Law, then Eitan laid out his reasons for believing it was not divine or authoritative at all. Then each were to respond to the claims of their opponent for some 15 minutes, followed by a short closing statement (about 7 minutes) from each participant.
Rabbi Sheitrit made a case of why he felt the Oral Law was important to Judaism, but offered no real evidence that it was given to Moses at Sinai by God. Eitan gave many reasons to doubt that it hadn’t been, which came from his recently released book on the subject. He included the contradictions with science, the mythological aspects (mermaids feature, for example) and the parts which contradict the character of God by demeaning women and other races.
During the response time, Rabbi Sheitrit defended rabbinic attitudes towards women, making clear that he treated his own wife and family with love and honor, and continued to assert the importance of the Oral Law in Jewish history, but he did not really give any rebuttals to Eitan’s assertions. In fact, someone who had accompanied him expressed disappointment that he hadn’t interacted more with Eitan’s points. The rabbi felt frustrated about the lack of time but the parameters of the debate had been agreed upon from the outset.
At the end of the debate, one of the staff who had come with Rabbi Haim said, “You’ve given me a lot to think about!”
The full debate with English subtitles is here. https://youtu.be/fj4POLkTqJY We have received a great deal of very positive feedback from all quarters. Please pray for many more to watch it and be impacted!
“Eitan’s arguments were difficult to refute but on the other hand the rabbi did not present a significant argument that it’s possible to believe in the Oral Torah. I personally studied in a yeshiva and studied Gemara, but thanks to them I came to the conclusion that there is no such thing as the Oral Torah… I’m happy that I found you and hope you upload more content of this kind – it helps everyone very much! Wish good luck and thanks for the video.”
“An interesting discussion, first of all for the fact that there was a dignified and respectful discourse which is amazing these days!”
“Thank you very much Eitan, for removing any doubt I had. And Rabbi Haim, in my opinion, you went round and round and you made me dizzy.”
“It was just amazing! I really appreciated the efforts of both sides.”
Here’s the word for word transcript of the translation below.
Eitan: Welcome to the debate on the Oral Torah. I am Eitan Bar, a Messianic Jew. Sitting next to me is Rabbi Haim Sheitrit, head of a Jewish seminary, a rabbi, and I have heard that you are also a writer, so you have quite a few occupations. Haim, I must first tell you that I am not your enemy or anything of the sort. I have a great deal of respect for you, I really appreciate your coming here today, and I even admire you for that, since I know that people were trying to convince you not to come, yet you decided to come anyway, so I really appreciate it. Today’s debate is about the following question: “In addition to the written Torah, did God also give us an Oral Torah?”. In fact, the whole Rabbanic law is based on this concept, which means that if the Oral Torah wasn’t given by God, then the Jewish Rabbinic law will lose its validity. So today’s subject in question is the origin of the Oral Torah.
The format… The format is as follows: Haim asked me to let him speak first, so he will now have about 20 minutes to present his arguments. I said ‘about 20 minutes’ because we are going to be flexible, we are not in the army. If one needs a few extra minutes to finish what he has to say – it’s fine. Then, I will have about 20 minutes to present my arguments. Next, Haim will have about 10-15 minutes to respond to my arguments, and then I will do the same. Haim will then speak again for about 5-7 minutes, then I will speak again for about 5-7 minutes. There will be no disturbances from the audience, nor from the other debater. If one of us is speaking, everybody else must remain silent. Haim asked us, in advance, to sign an agreement, which prevents us from cutting out parts of the recording. It was done in advance, I signed it, and we made a commitment not to alter these recordings. I will give it to you, so you can hold on to it. Well Haim, you asked for the first 20 minutes. Good luck, my friend. I’m listening.
Haim: Thank you. Since both of us believe the Bible – the Jewish Scriptures anyway – is the Word of God, then the first thing we must understand is that: whoever claims to speak for God must pass the test which God Himself wrote in the Bible. In the Book of Isaiah chapter 44 – Isaiah, you really love him. My son’s name is Isaiah, I really love him too. It says: “and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.” which means: If you claim to speak for God, who is supernatural, then you should be able to tell the future in details. No human can do that. If a single human could do that, he would’ve won the lottery every week, since he can tell the future. No human can predict the lottery numbers; not even 30 minutes in advance. Seriously, there is a whole division in the Bible – it’s called Nevi’im (the prophets) about prophecies, which tells the future in detail. And that’s one evidence, among others, that the written Bible is truly the Word of God. Can the Oral Torah pass this test? God himself said that through this test, one can tell if this Word is indeed the Word of God. Now, in the last 100 years, the Jews went through two major events. We are not going to talk about every single prophecy in the Oral Torah.
We will focus on the prophecies that we have witnessed in the past 100 years, and even then we will only discuss the main events. The first thing is a good thing: the State of Israel, established in the last 100 years; and the second thing, as evidence for cruelty among humans, is the horrible holocaust. We will first discuss the holocaust. Speaking of such major events, in the Book of Genesis, chapter 18, the Lord asks Abraham: ‘Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do’? So he actually tells him ‘Sodom? I will not hide it from him. Such a major event – do you really expect me to hide it from him?’ Therefore, he who received the Word of God is expected to know the great things, which will happen in the future.
Now, we shall focus on the prophecy of the Holocaust: The prophecy in Ketubot tractate, page 111, says, ‘and that they should not distance the end’ which is one of the oaths it appears in Song of Songs, ‘I charge you, O ye…’ – sworn by the Jews, that they shall not delay the appointed time. We know…that Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917… you see, that is the mandate for Israel in the Balfour Declaration, and, the Jews had to come to Israel even the British wondered why Jews aren’t immigrating to Israel; delaying the inevitable; trying to avoid the prophecies prophesied by the prophets, that we shall return to Israel. It goes on to say ‘The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to the Jewish people: If you fulfill the oath (not to distance the end), it is good, and if not, I will abandon your flesh like the gazelles and like the hinds of the field.’ That’s exactly what happened, during the horrible Holocaust. Megillah tractate, page 6, ‘Jacob said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, grant not to the wicked Esau the desires of his heart, Further not his evil device [zemamo]’ “zemam” like a dog muzzle, placed over its snout… ‘do not remove the muzzle, This is Germamya’ Prior to the holocaust, the Vina Gaon also… and during the Gmara period, there was no country called ”Germamia” There was a country called Germany. There was no “Germamia” And so, the common explanation is that it refers to Germany, so there is a scribal error in the Gmara. “Germamia”? Germany… ‘Germamya of Edom, As, if would go forth, they would destroy the entire world.’ By the way, they couldn’t destroy the world during the Gmara period. They used knives, swords, fire at best. Destroying the world? We know that during World War 2, there was a race for the atomic bomb. A race. Germany was first to start developing a secret weapon. Einstein, a Jew, was also there. They (The Germans) made mistakes. They took Einstein and exiled him, revoking his German citizenship. Einstein decided to leave… I know an article regarding this matter, it’s from an internet site. In 1941, the Germans already had heavy water plants, and Uranium components of high quality. The German army had hundreds of scientists and engineers, and it seemed like it was only a matter of time before Germany will achieve this goal. That’s exactly what it says, that Jacob is praying that the Germans will fail to destroy the world. We know what Hitler would have done, if he had nuclear bombs. If he had developed it before the United States. What kept the nuclear bombs out of Hitler’s hands? A lot of stupid things did, and one of them was exiling Einstein too soon, revoking his citizenship. Einstein was the one who convinced the president of the United States, to invest a significant amount of resources – 300 places, I think – worth billions today, in the development of the nuclear bomb. That’s exactly what it says, ‘As, if would go forth,’ – And Jacob prayed that they won’t destroying the whole world. Let’s move on – the end of the Holocaust period.
In the Book of Esther we can see the Final Solution, just like it was with Hitler. Twice in history, the Final Solution to the Jewish problem: Once with Hitler, once in the Book of Esther, which you know, with Haman. In Esther Rabbah, chapter 3, It is said that every time that ‘The King’ is mentioned the Book, then there is Peshat (direct meaning) King Ahasuerus, ‘The text does not leave its most simple meaning’… I’m not telling you anything that you didn’t already know, I hope. I noticed that sometimes, in your films, you’re talking about it. we also say, ‘The text does not leave its most simple meaning’. its says so in Shabbat Tractate… According to the Peshat, ‘The King’ refers to Ahasuerus. But you also have a Derash, ‘The King’ refers to God. Now let’s look at the Derash, which I know you don’t like; I can even say that it’s the Derash that you despise. Let’s see how the Book of Esther goes on. According to Hazal [the Jewish Sages], when it says ‘The King’ – it refers to God. According to the Peshat – Ahasuerus; According to the Derash – God. It says ‘The king said to queen Esther’… just the king, not Ahasuerus, which means God. ‘In Susa the capital, the Jews have killed a total of five hundred men, as well as the ten sons of Haman. What then must they have done in the provinces of the realm! What is your wish now? It shall be granted you.’ I shall give it to you… ‘And what else is your request? It shall be fulfilled.’ Esther requested: ‘Esther replied, If it please Your Majesty, let the [Jews in Susa] be permitted to act tomorrow’. Tomorrow’ means in the future, like… Hazal also repeat that many times ‘the Jews which are in Susa which means that it won’t be thanks to the Jews during the time of the Holocaust. Hazal said that they became religious, which is something that 48 prophets couldn’t do… They removed Haman’s ring, when they thought that their end is near the Jews became religious.
Thanks to the Jews in Susa ‘to act [tomorrow] also as they did today’ which means, just like many Jew haters were killed in the present; ‘and let Haman’s ten sons be impaled on the stake.’ And indeed, You see? There’s a Wikipedia page – and that’s not a religion based encyclopedia – see? and that’s not a religion based encyclopedia – see? I highlighted the part which I like to discuss now. ‘5025 Nazi war criminals were convicted from 1945 to 1949. Many were executed and many others were sentenced to life in prison’. In other words, that’s exactly what Esther asked, but she asked that ten people will hang – sons of Haman. ‘My son’ can also mean ‘My pupil’, according to Maimonides. A lot of times, or so we’ve heard, ‘My son’ refers to ‘My pupil’; or you can say ‘from the seed of Haman’ since they saw that they were Edomites, just like Haman was. The Gmara stated so. So it says that Esther asked for ten, but as you can see in this picture-, I don’t know if it got all the people. No, it didn’t, but there were 11 of them in this trial. 11 people were sentenced to death, but one of them managed to commit suicide, because Esther asked to kill many of them, and to hang only ten of them. No more than ten. Less than 100 years ago, they didn’t hang people, they had the electric chair instead. However, Esther wanted them to be hanged, even though there is an international law that prohibits the hanging of Generals, but they were hanged anyways. She also asked that they will be hanged on a tree if you’re hanging, you should use metal. But no, Esther asked for a tree, and she asked to hang ten of them. That’s exactly what she got, according to the Derash of the Oral Torah. Now, let’s move on to what I think is the most amazing part.
What year are we talking about, according to the Jewish calendar, which is based on the Oral Torah, Hazal and was also written in Seder Olam. According to our calendar, now we’re in year 5781, which is the current time. What year was it exactly? You can’t just try taking a lucky guess, it was written only once, so you have to get it right, because a prophecy must be precise. If it’s not precise, it’s not a prophecy. If it was given by God, then it has to be perfectly precise.
Let me show you what we have here, In the Book of Esther. By the way, I can guarantee that these things were already mentioned by the Vilna Gaon, but it doesn’t matter, we don’t need the Kaballah. The Book of Esther strictly states-, Can you tell me that it’s just a coincidence? The letters are clear-, there are about 50 letters in the whole Bible – according to our tradition, the Oral Torah tradition – that are either bigger than the lines or smaller than the lines. All the other letters are just normal letters. There are four different letters here, in the exact year-.Tav and Shin There’s the picture, hope you can see that clearly through the camera. Zayin and a big Vav, since it’s the sixth millennia-, if it’s between 0 and 1000, then we call it the first millennia. It’s what we call ‘the 21th century’. The sixth millennia, exactly once-, there are no lucky guesses here, just one. They just knew the correct answer, which is the year I just said, according to the book in the Oral Torah.
Let’s move on, I’m telling you things shortly because there are many other details to discuss in the prophecy of the Holocaust, according to the Oral Torah alone. I never said anything about the details given by the written Torah, even though there are quite a lot of them. But… let’s move on to the prophecy of Israel. Shabbat tractate, page 130, one: ‘May the majority of the people of Israel continue the commandment of circumcision, with joy and even devotion’. Now look, if I was secular, I think that the first Mizvah I would’ve canceled was the circumcision. Abusing a defenseless minor. I’ve heard that the supreme court was asked to discuss the matter lately, since we’re talking about abusing a defenseless minor. They don’t mind that you are keeping the Shabbat, but circumcision is a whole different story. You can be a Shabbat keeper, it’s your right to do so. But abusing a defenseless minor is out of the question. The prophecy that we see here is quite amazing. It says that most of the Jews will have circumcision, and they will do it with joy and even with great loyalty. Why did I refer to the prophecy of circumcision? What does it have to do with Israel? Because the Zohar, part two, page 124, tells us that thanks to the Brit Milah – an act that Jews will keep on doing, even if they are not so religious the Jews will return to Israel. That’s why it has a lot to do with Israel.
And now I will discuss something truly amazing, something amazing in my point of view. I have here… According to this section of Matah encyclopedia I know that it’s an encyclopedia for kids, but worry not, I also checked it with other encyclopedias, including the Hebrew encyclopedia. It is written here that during the period of Israel’s independence there will be about 600,000 Jews in Israel. That’s a very precise number, 600,000 you know. Well, we need it to be the word of God, right? It strictly states that this is the divine trial – prophecies of a precise nature. The Bible strictly states that. It is written in Yalkut Shimoni, where it refers to a verse of the Exodus, that there will be a little more than 600,000. 600,000-700,000, so we’ll call it 600,000. If the Bible says 600,000, it means a little more than that. But it says 600,000, 600-700 so we’ll call it 600. It strictly states that it is what the future holds, a future return, just like the prophets kept saying. There will be 600,000. See? I just showed you the Matah. It strictly says that the Jewish population was 600,000.
By the way, the pupils of Agra, that Agra encouraged to migrate to Israel… they asked him ‘Do you think we can make the desert bloom?’, and he replied ‘Yes, when you’ll reach a population of 600,000’. It’s a rumor. That’s not my main argument, but there is a rumor that Agra told them ‘when you’ll reach a population of 600,000, as stated by this Midrash, you will succeed’. We know that there were Jews in Israel, but not a population of 600,000. They arrived, reached a population of 600,000 and Israel became an independent country.
I can keep on going with this… By the way, if you want to tell me’that there will be 600,000 men only, so it’s not correct, since it should be 600,000 men and women’– but if you want, you can read the additional writings. ‘Iruvin’ tractate, page 6, strictly states and clarifies this subject. The tradition of the majority. What do we learn in the Bible? 600,000. That this number consists of what was written.That way, we can only learn that which was written, even though here it includes women and children, yet here there were only men, that’s why it’s not even a question, it was strictly said so, and its a tradition by the way which is a major one also… even though I’ve never seen any opposing view, but we’ll ignore that. You have to study only the written verses, not the non-written ones. It doesn’t say woman and children. The Torah only speak of counted figures, which means that only those that were counted, are to be included in this figure.
Anyway, I can keep talking about this subject, but there’s one more very interesting thing: God knows the future, right? We can both agree to that, we only argue that we also get some information regarding the future from the Oral Torah, so we’ll know that it came from God. And more… I think that God gives us the necessary means, to deal with the atheists. God also gave it to us in the Bible… also in the Bible God also gave us the necessary means in the Oral Torah.
I looked for the most difficult question the atheists had ever asked, and you can tell me that I’m wrong, but I think that the following question is the most difficult one to answer. By the way, I think that in ‘Hagiga’, I think page 16, evolution is mentioned. It says that God created this world on top of the ruins of an old world – Which means that there were other worlds before – it strictly states that… weren’t as good as this world. It is mentioned in the Kabalah that it’s the second time a human roams the earth, and the fourth time the world exist. The first human – that’s the fourth time he roams the earth. But never mind, I think it’s a petty question. How old is our world? That’s a petty question, that was also answered in the Oral Torah. I think that the most difficult question is the one I’ve mentioned before, you see here? That’s a video on Youtube, made by atheists, ok? and It claims to have winning proof in their opinion, that human beings evolved from the apes, ok? Look, it shows the similarities. That’s a picture of Obama… as a human specimen, ok? See? It then shows the genes, only this is the tiny difference between humans and apes. And now he show that even he himself look at the similarities between the human and the ape. Then you can see below, that he tells us ‘look at the numbers. How can you possibly get it to be so precise?’ For him, that’s the ultimate proof that humans evolved from the apes.
But here, this atheist says so himself… here he says, that it is possible that the apes evolved from the humans, or vice versa, he admits so. but he dosn’t believe that there is a scientific possibility for that… that… the ape came from the human. but still… ‘Sanedrin’ tractate, page 107, strictly states that some people were turned into monkeys in the Tower of Babel. And by the way, it speaks of four things, and according to Maimonides these four are actually four kinds of monkeys – apes. There’s a primate, which is a monkey with a tail. Modern science calls them apes, yet Hazal called them monkeys. You can see how Hazal were trying, in vain, to explain it. This great question… yes there is a connection between chimpanzees and humans. They are related, but the order of things is different: The human didn’t evolve from the chimpanzee. It’s not even a question, but the Gmara states that – long before science did – they are related. That the Chimpanzee evolved from the human.
Since we don’t have a lot of time, I wanted to say that I know one prophecy from the new testament, correct me if I’m wrong, but it says: ‘And when he (Yeshua) came near, he beheld the city (Jerusalem), wept over it, saying, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another’. I know that Jerusalem still stands. By the way, even the Temple Mount and what’s inside there is more then just the foundations. You can find a pictures if you want, on Youtube… check it out. He says ‘they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another’. I argue that Yeshua didn’t pass the biblical trial: he didn’t know the future. We can see that Jerusalem still stands and even growing.
The Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 18, states that: ‘But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken,’. There, he said it will happen and it didn’t, right? So he never spoke for God. Now seriously, I believe you have excuses in this subject, and I think that if you look at it as it is… and I was really just summarizing it, since I had only 20 minutes to talk. I think that if you look at the details, you can see that they couldn’t know that 2000 years ago, Not even 1000 years ago or 1700 years ago, when the Talmud was written. Therefore, we have to say that it came from God.
By the way, since I just realized I have an extra minute or two, let me just say: truly the Bible, the Torah, are based on the Mosaic covenant. That’s our opinion anyways. the Mosaic covenant. How do we know that he didn’t just claim to have gotten it from God? The Mosaic covenant – a whole nation was born that day, and it’s still around today. The Oral Torah also never mentioned a Rabbi called Akivah. We know that there was a group of people that were studying the Oral Torah. On the other hand, unlike Jesus, Mohamad and almost any other religion – it all started with one man. In other words, it’s a whole nation. 2.2 billion believers, all because of one person who was talking. And they never even saw him personally, it was written after he was gone. Nevermind it’s not important right now, even if some did… We also believe that there was a man called Yeshua, but we don’t see him as a true prophet or a divine being. So that was a brief summary of everything that I wanted to say. With pleasure.
Eitan: That’s it, thank you. Before presenting my arguments, I would like to clarify that I do believe in God, and I believe that the written Torah and the whole Bible are a divine creation guided by the Spirit of God. When it comes to the Oral Torah, I have no doubt that beautiful tradition can be found in it, a lot of wisdom as well, and since so many things are written in it, of course we can find quite a lot of wisdom.
You know, as a Jew, I really enjoy celebrating the Jewish holidays. I wore a Kippah at my wedding, but for me it’s just culture. Jewish culture, my Israeli culture. I don’t think it has anything to do with the Oral Torah or the God of Israel. I don’t believe that these traditions came from God – even though they are beautiful and I enjoy them. Since I have about 20 minutes, just like you, I too decided to write down my arguments, so that I can stay focused, and not exceed my time limit – otherwise, I will talk for an hour. If you read my book, which I wrote with Dr. Golan Broshi, ‘Debunking the myth of Rabbinic Oral Law’, then you probably know that we present all of our arguments there. I will briefly present ten of them. Let’s begin.
The first argument is that the written Torah, and in fact the whole Bible, never mentions an Oral Torah. Now, imagine that your landlord enters your apartment, takes the keys to your new car that you bought, and drives away, claiming that it’s in the contract. Now, you ask him ‘what are you talking about? I know the contract, and it never mentioned anything like that’. He then replies that ‘that’s true, it’s not in the written contract, but it’s in the oral contract’, which grants him the right to use your car. Now, it might sound a bit strange, but that’s exactly the logic behind the rabbinic idea of Oral Torah. So the Oral Torah is supposed to be inseparable from the written Torah, right? I quote Rabbi Shimshon Refael Hirsh: ‘It is impossible to understand the Torah, without knowing the Oral Torah first’. Now, if that’s true, then we would expect the written Torah and the Bible to mention the Oral Torah thousands of times, right? I remind you that the Bible is not a short book, and that it was written over the course of 1500 years, ok? Now, just for example, two of the main terms in the bible are “Israel” and “God”. Each of these terms appear at least 2500 times in the Bible. Now, how many times does the term “Oral Torah” appear in the Bible? Zero. Not even once. If you can find this term in the Bible, I will give you a million shekels. And I don’t have that kind of money. So how can you expect anyone to believe in the Oral Torah, if its’ written origin, allegedly, never mentioned it? It’s like saying that the main character in “Lord of The Rings” is not Frodo, but rather Rabbi Mordehai Vakninus, yet it is not even written so in the book. No such character is ever mentioned, Not even once. That’s what you are asking of me. By the way, the term “Oral Torah” does not appear even in the external books. This term is not found. In fact, the first time the term Oral Torah appears is in the Oral Torah itself, which is a logical fallacy of circular reasoning. That was my first argument.
The second argument is that Moses himself, the one who received the Torah, didn’t know the Oral Torah. If Moses, the one who received the written Torah, also received a clarifying Oral Torah, then how come he didn’t know, on so many occasions how to implement the commandments? When he was asked, that is. There are at least four different cases: Leviticus 24; Numbers 15; Numbers 9; Numbers 27. The people come to Moses, Moses says ‘I don’t know’, he then asks God and waits for an answer. Now, how does it make any sense if he received a clarifying Torah, an Oral Torah which he knows? It was given to him.
The third argument: The leaders and writers of the Bible didn’t acknowledge and never mentioned the Oral Torah. First of all, who is the main character in the bible? God, of course. He talks to the Jews about a written Torah, he refers to it hundreds of times, he is referring to it, quoting it constantly, all over the Bible; yet He never referred to an Oral Torah, not even once. How can it be? Same goes for all the other characters. Not Moses, not Joshua, not king David, nor Jeremiah, Isaiah or even Ezra the writer who revived the Torah, and not any Priest, king or biblical writer in a period of 1500 years none of them is depicted as a character that practiced commandments from the Oral Torah, studied the Oral Torah, taught others from the Oral Torah, quoted from the Oral Torah, referred to the Oral Torah, or even sentenced people by the rules of the Oral Torah. Additionally, no one was ever even punished breaking one of the commandments of the Oral Torah. It’s like telling me that the IDF has a corps called the Moomins corps, which is the biggest and strongest corps in the army, but no one has ever heard of them, talked about them, knew them or saw them. No Chief of the General Staff, General, or officer has ever mentioned them, ok? How can it be if they’re real?
Fourth argument: The written Torah itself claims that everything was given only in writing. The Mosaic Covenant was a contract. A contract between God and the people of Israel. This contract and all of the conditions written in it, were given only in writing, and this is exactly what the Torah is telling us, dozens of times. I want to quote just a few things: Exodus 24:4 – ‘And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD’. Exodus 34:27 ‘And the LORD said unto Moses, write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.’ Deuteronomy, 31:9 – ‘And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests’. It’s important, I’ll get back to that later. Joshua 8:34-35 might be the most powerful quote: ‘And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel,’. Hundreds of years later, 1 Kings 2:2 – ‘And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies,’… where is it written? – In the Torah of Moses, Not the Oral Torah, just there. All of these things, it’s just like someone realized that in the future, someone might come up with a new idea, and he will say ‘I have some additional parts of the Torah, but it is oral, so you have to come to me’, ok? So in order to prevent that, the bible keeps repeating, again and again and again, that everything was given only in writing. A legal contract works the same way, so you can’t say… ‘Yes, I know, we have the contract that we have signed on, but I have an additional oral version, and you can find it there’, you see? It doesn’t work like that.
Fifth argument – the Oral Torah lacks continuity. If we’re talking about a Torah that passes from generation to generation, then it must always keep itself consecutive. If the Oral Torah was real, then it had to be perfectly consecutive and unending. That’s exactly what Rabbi Yuval Sharlo said, I quote: ‘the tradition of the true Torah was passed From generation to generation. We can’t skip generations and confirm its trueness in any other way’. Rabbi Yehezkel Soffer also speak of the Oral Torah, I quote: ‘This chain never broke, not even for a single day, and it lives on in our time’. But the Bible completely contradicts that. In the 7th century BC, the high priest, Hilkiah Ben Shalom, found the Torah book in the Temple in Jerusalem. He brought it to Shafan the scribe, and Shafan read it to the king, who tore his clothes. Why? 2 Kings 22:13 – ‘because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.’. If the Oral Torah really was passed in a consecutive manner, the Jews wouldn’t have any problem to follow the laws of the Torah. There is some serious logical contradiction here. Now, as a result of finding the Torah in the Temple in Jerusalem, The king orders to celebrate Passover, for the first time since the Judges period, hundreds of years. The king said, I quote: ‘Keep the passover unto the LORD your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant.’ Why Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days of the judges’. If there really was an Oral Torah that was passed consecutively, how can it be that not a single Jew knew how to celebrate Passover for hundreds of years? The lack of knowledge proves that there wasn’t any Oral Torah, let alone one that was passed in a consecutive manner.
Sixth argument – The Jews of Ethiopia contradict the Oral Torah. We are familiar with the Jews of Ethiopia, we know that they are very religious. And yet, when they came to Israel, they didn’t know anything about the Oral Torah. How can it be? Because these Jews were exiled to Ethiopia before the Second Temple Period, meaning that they never came across the Oral Torah and its traditions, which was invented by the Pharisitical Rabbis later on. Prof. Michael Korendli, An expert in Ethiopian Judaism, wrote in his book ‘Ethiopian Judaism, identity and tradition’, that the Jews of Ethiopia weren’t familiar with the Oral Torah. I quote: ‘They are not familiar with the Oral Torah, because it was written during the Second Temple Period’. Dr. Yosi Ziv, An expert in Talmud in Bar Ilan, have also admitted that the traditions of the Jews of Ethiopia, contradict the Oral Torah. He then provides us with an example in his book. We also discuss it in our book, but enough about that.
Seventh argument – The priesthood along with the Urim and Thummim, contradict the Oral Torah. In the Book of Exodus, chapter 28, the Urim and Thummim are depicted. The Urim and Thummim used to provide direct answers from God to the priests, when they didn’t know the answers for the people’s questions. It means that the very existence of the Urim and Thummim, proves that they didn’t have any clarifying Oral Torah; otherwise, why would they need the Urim and Thummim? Now, as we all know, the priests were entrusted with keeping the Torah, as it was written, and later they became the Sadducees. If an Oral Torah was given along with the written Torah, then the Sadducees should have had it as well. But the Sadducees, as we all know, didn’t believe in the Oral Torah and completely rejected the whole thing, which was invented by the Pharisees. completely. So how can you, as a descendent of the Pharisees theologically speaking – explain that?
Eighth argument – Modern science contradicts the Oral Torah. I believe that God appeared to humanity in two ways: Through the holy writings, which we can both agree upon; and also by general revelation, which means through his creation. So if the Oral Torah came from God, it shouldn’t have any contradictions with science. So in our book we have gathered a list of contradictions , I’d like to present 12 of them to you, from the Oral Torah.
Let’s begin: According to Ketubot tractate in the Talmud, you can check a woman’s virginity by placing her over a barrel of wine. If she is a virgin, the scent of wine is blocked by her hymen, and it won’t rise. But if she is not a virgin, the scent of the wine will pass through and will come out of her mouth. Rabbi Gamliel – if I remember correctly – used to smell and tell if a woman is a virgin or not. Now, someone confronted Rabbi Ariel Stern with this section of the Oral Torah – and remember, it’s not just any Rabbi, it’s the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem and the head of Halacha Brura Institute – and ironically he wrote the following lines in response, I quote: ‘We cannot explain it. Perhaps natures,’ the nature of the human body that is ‘were different back then’.
Next. According to Shabbat tractate 78, rubbing bat’s blood on the eyes cures illnesses. Not only that science contradicts it – and by the way, I recommend that you’ll stay away from bats and their blood, so we won’t be infected with another kind of Covid-19 – we now know that this tradition came from pagan cultures since the Pharaohs period, Ok? You can also find it in Islam. Speaking of bats… according to Bekhorot tractate 7, bats lay eggs. Now, according to science they don’t; and I have seen in the ‘Hidabrut’ internet site that Rabbi Menashe Israel gave some ‘Acrobatic’ argument, attempting to explain it; there was one thing he said that really caught my eye, I quote: There are more than 1000 kinds of bats. Maybe one of them can lay eggs’. I don’t think that’s how it works, but fine.
According to Bekhorot tractate 59, the sound of thunder, which we can hear in the winter, is made by the clouds as they rub against the stars in the sky. That’s not right. According to ‘Shabbat’ tractate 27, lice come from human flesh and sweat. As we all know, that’s also not true. According to ‘hullin’ tractate 127: ‘There is a kind of rat, that is half soil and half flesh’. I never came across such a rat. According to ‘hullin’ tractate 45: ‘The Trachea splits in three directions: Lung, Liver and Heart’. Which of course is wrong.
According to ‘Niddah’ tractate, a woman breastfeeding her baby doesn’t get her period, because the blood turns into the milk which the baby then drinks. Which is, of course, wrong. Rabbi Steinsletz, said in a clarification to ‘Niddah’ 9: ‘According to Rabbi Meir, While she breastfeeds her baby, her blood becomes murky, then it changes and turns into milk’. Magic…
According to Rashi and Bekhorot tractate 8, there are sea creatures that are half human and half fish, you see? A mermaid. And how did they come to exist? A result of a human-dolphin mating. Rashi referred to them as ‘Sirens’. Nobody has ever seen one of them either. Maybe they live out there with those soil rats, I don’t know. The interesting thing is that long before Hazal’s period, the Greek mythology mentioned such creatures. The difference is that they knew it was just a myth, and none of it is real. These are Nymphs, half fish-half human hybrid. You know how they were called? “Sirens”, by coincidence the same name. According to Tractate Berakhot 28, the human spine has 18 vertebrae, yet science tells us there are actually 24. According to Tractate Yoma 84, in order to cure rabies, one must hunt down a hyena, strip down its skin and write the following incantation on it: “Kanti kanti cliros” ok? Sounds like witchcraft. According to ‘Genesis Rabbah’ 20, a hedgehog is pregnant for three years; according to science, it’s actually last a little longer than 6 months. These are just a few examples.
The ninth argument – almost done – is the poor ethics of the Oral Torah, which I personally think that cannot represent the God of Israel. I would like to discuss two things: First thing is the status of women; the second thing is racism in the Oral Torah.
Let’s begin with women. In the bible, we can see women that play the roles of: prophets, queens, judges, leaders and other key roles. In the Rabbinic Halakha, on the other hand, not only that the women were excluded to the kitchen, they also became a piece of property. A man’s property, of course. A few examples: The Sephardi Chief Rabbi, Yitzhak Yosef, ruled that: ‘Women are enslaved to their husbands, to cook and clean for them’. Where did he get it from? Maimonides, Jewish marital law 21, stated that, I quote: ‘Whenever a woman refrains from performing any of the tasks that she is obligated to perform, she may be compelled to do so, even with a rod.’ And in Laws of Forbidden Intercourse 21, Maimonides ruled that, I quote: ‘Therefore a man may do whatever he desires with his wife. He may engage in relations whenever he desires, kiss any organ he desires, engage in vaginal or anal intercourse or engage in physical intimacy without relations. By the way, nowadays, we call it rape… Rabbi David Ibn Zimra proclaimed, I quote: ‘If she does unjust things according to our law, he has the right to torment her, hit her, and return her to her glory, because she is his property.’ According to Tractate Berakhot 24, women are forbidden to sing, and they also must cover their bodies, including their hair, so that no man – God forbid – will be tempted by them. By the way, in the New Testament, Yeshua said that if your eye – a man’s eye – is tempting you, you must pluck it out, instead of blaming the woman. In Tractate Pesachim the Tosafists ruled that woman should not be allowed to check the house for leaven; why? Because she is lazy by nature and cannot be trusted. In ‘Genesis Rabbah’ Rabbi Yehoshua claims that unlike the man, the woman stinks by nature. Therefore, she must perfume herself to cover her horrible smell. Rabbi Yehoshua Weizmann, Chief of Ma’alot Yeshiva, agreed with him and said, I quote: ‘It is only natural for a woman to put on perfume, because her natural smell is not so good, this is what Hazal Said. The man, on the other hand, doesn’t need perfume’. I don’t know how things are in Ma’alot, but I want him to come with me to Jerusalem in August, we’ll take a bus ride together, and we’ll see if it’s true. In the Talmud, Tractate Shabbat 152, it is said that a woman is like a vessel full of faeces and blood, yet stupidity drives men to run after her. I quote: ‘A woman is essentially a flask full of feces, and her mouth is full of blood, and they all run after her with desire.’ Rabbi Yuval Sharlo admitted that, I quote: Amorai, the one who said that, probably viewed women as despicable beings.’ and we’re talking about Amorai, not some Yossi Mizrahi, right? There are many other examples, but that’s enough.
Let’s move on to racism. I don’t believe that God loves some parts of his creation more than others, ok? I’m quite near the end now. Tractate Sanhedtin 104, forbids us from befriending a Gentile, and even from inviting him over to your house. The Tannai Rabbi Eliezer, wrote that: ‘Dining with a Gentile, is like dining with a dog’. Ben Abraham the wise, seconds that and wrote in ‘Shechita’ Halakha that: ‘Gentiles are like animals, they are like donkeys’. Rabbi Yitzhak Ben Shlomo the wise, wrote the following in the ‘tree of life’: ‘The Gentiles have no spirit or soul, and they are not even the equal of an animal which is Kosher to eat’. even today, Look at what Rabbis are saying nowadays: Rabbi Refael Zar was talking about Russian women in Israel – Anastasia, cover your ears, you don’t need to hear that – I quote: ‘The streets are full of ‘Goyas’, There are so many of them in Israel, they are being sold by the pound. This one wasn’t in the company of Svetlana, He was in the company of a donkey. The Gmara said that “their flesh is the same as donkeys flesh” ‘. in the book of Ha-halachot, the king’s law that was gathered by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, I think, they clarify the Torah’s commandment not to kill; and it says, I quote: ‘This commandment speaks only of a situation in which a Jew kills a Jew. Killing a Gentile is not included in this special commandment of thou shalt not kill’. Rabbi Ishmael wrote that even good Gentiles must be killed: ‘Even the most righteous Gentile, deserves to be killed.’ One last brief subject, is the question of what kind of an Oral Torah do you follow. Here’s something that the Rabbis don’t like to talk about, ok? There are a few different versions of the Oral Torah, or at least to the Mishnah, and at least three of them are still around today in full form: Kaufman, Perma and Lu. They contradict each other often, and sometimes the contradictions are really critical. If you’re interested, you can find a description in books such as Dr. Refael Tzvi Feintuch and Prof. Shimon Sharvit’s books. In addition, David Rosental from the Talmud class in the Hebrew University, stated that these versions, which contradict each other – The Mishnah versions, that is – make it difficult to determine which one of them is the original one, and which is not. So I will be very glad to know which one of the three Oral Torahs you’re following.
These were my arguments… I’ll appreciate it if you will refer to each one of them, and we will now return to you, so you can answer.
Haim: Alright. First of all, you asked about 50 different questions there, if I may say. I can answer them one by one, but it will take a little more than ten minutes.
Eitan: You can have 15.
Him: 15 minutes won’t suffice, if we want to be serious about it, right? But I will answer the main questions, alright? You always ask ‘Why is the term ‘Oral Torah’ never appear in the Torah?’. Maybe you should ask a different question: ‘How come It was never written?’, instead of ‘why is it not written?’. thats what we ask… How come Its not written? Let’s take another step – why weren’t the main parts of the Oral Torah written? That’s another question. Hazal have already answered this question. Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer clearly states, ‘So that the Gentiles won’t take it, like they took the Torah’. To preserve the Oral Torah, you just need a Rabbi, so it will be difficult to take it away. You can see that they didn’t take it, even though Christianity was created after the Oral Torah, in your opinion. They didn’t even take it. It clearly states ‘So they won’t take the Oral Torah away’, and what do you know – exactly when Christianity was created, the Oral Torah was allowed to be written. Is that by chance? Exactly after… You are asking the wrong question. You should ask ‘what was the reason it wasn’t written before?’ instead of asking ‘why wasn’t it written before?’ or ‘where was it written?’. The wise ones answered that, as follows: ‘So other religions won’t take it. Won’t steal it’. Therefore you must keep your lips sealed and never tell. If we will tell, they will take it away, just like they took away our Bible. Only everybody agree that the Bible was given to the Jews.
Now we can move on to your main arguments. Forgive me, but you are distorting a lot of it. If you want me to teach you, I am more than willing to bring a third party, and to present a lot of cases from the Oral Torah. You quoted correctly, but you are taking things out of context. Let me tell you, for example, about the women – why didn’t you praise them? You just talked about Rabbi Yitzhak Ben Yosef, it’s a wise Rabbi that lives today. Why didn’t you ask our wives how we treat them? It’s very easy to talk, but let’s test things in real life. I can call my wife and ask her: ‘How do I treat you?’. It’s just nonsense. My point is: can you take things out of context and then ask questions? ‘why does it say that?’, why didn’t you quote: ‘Blessed be He, granted a woman a greater understanding [bina] than that of a men.’ in Niddah 45? And why didn’t you quote: ‘Thanks to righteous women, Israel came out of Egypt’? and why didn’t you quote Pesahim 108… it is written: ‘Since even they were part of that miracle.’ according to The Rashbam… And there are many other praises for the women in the Talmud. I can’t take every believer in Yeshua and make him a representative, to quote him and make a whole story out of it. Finally, about the way we treat our wives. I can assure you that I treat my wife – I don’t know if you’re married – much better than you treat your wife. Anyway, I will tell you the simple rules we follow, and it will answer this question and many other questions.
You assume that we claim something; then, based on this assumption, you claim that there is a problem. In your book, that you have here, page 104, you wrote that ‘there is no further need,’ you claim that we say so, that’s what you wrote… ‘there is no further need for sacrifice offerings,’ You said it on other occasions as well, but page 104 is one of them. Pal, we pray every day, you should come to Jerusalem… you have to make sacrifices to ‘Dvir Baiteha’ which is the Temple in Jerusalem… It’s important to cry out ‘Tikkun Chatzot’ every day, we say ‘No further need’ but we do cry about it. We don’t think that it’s necessary. It’s just an example for your distortions of the words of Hazal. And so is the Bein Metzarim period – the three weeks we spend crying for Jerusalem, and it ends with 9th of Av, along with a fast. Personally – you all are my witnesses – I cry on 9th of Av, for the Temple in Jerusalem. Even now, during the Counting of the Omer-, they added another prayer after the Counting of the Omer. ‘The Merciful One will return to us the work of the Temple to its place in a hurry in our day’ Chapter one of Shulchan Aruch – The Jewish book of Halakha in the first chapter! – its the opposite of what you just said – ‘The Merciful One will return to us the work of the Temple to its place in a hurry in our day Amen Sela:’ We assume that there is a great need for sacrifices in the Temple, It’s the opposite of what you wrote, and that’s one example of your distortions.
But… let me tell you a few Talmudic rules that you’ve ignored. Anyone who knows a thing or two about the Talmud knows that it’s foolish to say that Moses brought a Babylonian Talmud. Nonsense. The Babylonian Talmud was an attempt to restore forgotten things, which is also one of the reasons for the creation of Oral Torah. There are Rabbinic writings concerning this matter. Let me show you: Rosh Ha’Shana page 26, they’ve learned it from some house maid – A woman, by the way – they’ve learned from her, some house maid. Shabbat page 9, they’ve learned it from a washer. In ‘Ta’anit’ page, there’s another woman there, they took advice from a smart woman. They took her advice… from a smart woman.
It is also stated that… learning from to doctors Tractate Niddah page 22: what if the doctors made a mistake? You said it yourself, in your book, page 123, that Hazal copied the Greeks. You wrote that. Oh, so they didn’t copy their mistakes? What you see fit, they copied from the Greeks. Scientific discoveries? ‘It’s not their wisdom, it came from the Greeks’. The foolish things, You said it yourself its from the Greeks, that’s the reason for their mistakes. It’s obvious, since they lived with the Greeks, they were under a Greek rule, so they copied them. I agree, but what does it have to do with the Oral Torah? We’re saying they also had the Oral Torah. So everything that they said, was it from God? By the way, unlike you, we’re not saying that Hazal were divine. Hazal could make mistakes.
By the way, there are two kinds of Hazal, as you can see in ‘Yavamot’ 76, 15: ‘If you are reporting a halakha that you received, we will accept… But if you merely wish to prove your case…’ which means it’s not the law, it’s study. So it’s not quite true, but there is an answer. That’s why many mistakes by Hazal, ended up with them saying ‘we were wrong’. They weren’t afraid to admit that they made a mistake, In ‘Nidah’, page 3. Everything you said was wrong – alright, maybe. I’m also a Rabbi and I can be wrong, even a Rabbi that lived 2000 years ago could also be wrong. I’m not God and neither were them. In ‘Nidah’ page 3, ‘Hulin’ page 56, 57 and many other cases that Hazal admitted ‘we made a mistake’. That’s why after Hazal… Rabbi Yeshayahu Rishon, page 62, wrote that: ‘No teacher,’ he spoke of Tannaim and Amoraim… ‘is free from errors ‘. That’s true. But what does it have to do with the Oral Torah? The Babylonian Talmud is not an Oral Torah. It contains some Oral Torah, but also many other writings of wise men. Rabbi Saadia Gaon… especially in legends, just like you quoted what you claim is incorrect. Rabbi Saadia Gaon and Rabbi Hai Gaon, in ‘Otzar HaGeonim’ page 65: (Aramaic) ‘Since the beginning they said this was commentary’ from the beginning they claimed it was an estimation but you decided to make a big deal out of it. from the beginning, according to the wisdom of… these are the words of wise men of the world. I didn’t understand your arguments.
In Genesis 21, Abraham made a mistake when he didn’t send away Ishmael from his household and Hagar. He sent Hagar away, she’s a woman, according to the written Torah. He cast her away, just like in the Oral Torah. Isaac made a mistake and wanted to bless Esau – Genesis 27. In Genesis 29, Jacob thought that the shepherds were thieves, but he was wrong. He also thought that Leah was Rachel. And even Moses our teacher, in Leviticus 10, was wrong when he was angry with Aharon, until Aharon explained himself. Moses was wrong, so can’t Hazal be wrong? And it is within the written Torah, not the Oral Torah. We never said that everything is the word of God. It’s what the sages said. There’s this book that came out,published by ‘Arie Nir’ called ‘mistakes made by geniuses. I’ll read you a little bit of what it says. Mistakes made by geniuses like Einstein etc… If you’ll look back far enough, to Hazal period, you can easily find a scientist who only made mistakes, no matter how revolutionary he was. He got everything wrong. Everything. Whether he’s smart or a genius – he got everything wrong. Hazal didn’t get everything wrong, you said so, and this debate is recorded, right? Let me give you an example: Aristotle lived before Hazal period,and every single conclusion he had in the field of physics was wrong. We’re talking about Hazal period, right? No wonder ‘Yeshu’ (Jesus) never said such things. Yeshua, sorry. He says… ‘everyone makes mistakes, and nobody claims that Hazal were divine’. Yet, I will read a section of the Hebrew encyclopedia, Its writers, or at least most of them, said that they don’t believe in the Oral Torah. Some of them are even Atheists. look at what they say about Hazal – its the opposite of your argument. For some reason, he is astonished by the knowledge Hazal manifested, considering their time in history. He says: ‘The anatomy in the Talmud is vast,’ That’s from the anatomy section ‘it’s full of details, and it,’ that’s a secular encyclopedia, you know ‘can be used to describe a healthy body and a sick body, making the cadaver dissection book obsolete’. And you said that they copied the Greeks. The encyclopedia says ‘Unlike the Greek cadaver dissection book, some details are astonishingly precise, to the point of small cartilages in pipes, which the western anatomy only discovered in the 17th century’. He is astonished by Hazal’s conclusions, he is completely objective. You were also a bit astonished by them but… it says… in fact In your book, page 52, you said that Rabbi Akivah said something similar to you, the idea of sin, right? You were astonished… See? the Oral Torah can also be right sometimes… anyway, the point is that you’re turning it into a matter of principle. It’s not.
Hazal also had something called Asmahta, what does it mean? Some quotes in your book, are Asmahtas (Reference). Hazal also said so, you quoted it. It was just an oral study, meant to help memorize. So they said ‘see? That’s the same thing. This verse here, reminds what was written there’. You always say ‘it was never written anywhere’. They also said it, they just claim that this is a reference. That’s exactly why we can keep arguing over every verse, right or wrong. Sometimes you’re right, the verse didn’t say what we thought it said. We can argue all day long, I’ve done that before with Messianic Jews. But that’s not a matter of principle. It’s just not.
The thing is that there is an Oral Torah, and that’s exactly what I just proved. If it tells us things that no human can tell, and there are quite a lot of them. How could they tell the exact date? It’s not like he said: There are so many books in the Oral Torah, There are many other books in other religions. You’re searching for this kind of things. You were the one who said that the Bible is huge. How many books did Hazal write? The last ones, not the traditional Oral Torah. How many are there? it states the exact date, what are the odds for that? it states the exact date, what are the odds for that? the exact date… What are the odds to prophet that exactly 600,000 Jews will return to Israel? What are the odds for that? You can clearly see that there was an Oral Torah. You know, as we always say: If there was a conspiracy in the Oral Torah, then the mosaic covenant was also a conspiracy.
And by the way, some of the verses you quoted – I can contradict them. What you said about Shafan, who brought the Torah. This verse you quoted, saying that an Oral Torah was never mentioned there, only the details regarding this story were mentioned. How is this connected? How can you claim that it holds for the whole Torah, I don’t understand… Even the neutral interpreters, they say ‘these things’, they never wrote ‘the things’. You can see these things, it was all written there. write down ‘these things’, So… some of the things you said were correct, and I agree with them, But they do not contradict the Oral Torah, that’s all I’m trying to say. I think that some things you did there are nothing short of a scandal, especially when you quoted modern Rabbis, you took things out of context.
I told you, the real test is what we really think the Oral Torah means. You spoke of Rabbi Yitshak Yosef, as if he represents… it’s a good thing you didn’t say ‘the great Rabbi’… But even this one, the Chief Israeli Rabbi, can say odd things. Everything is perfectly fine, we all make mistakes.
What’s really important is that I respect my wife. I speak about myself, since you said that I am a descendent of the Pharisees – do I respect my wife or not? That’s the question you should be asking. If I have nine children and another two step children – that makes eleven. Yes, I have step children, got that? Two step children and another nine of my own, so my family is probably a well-functioning family. I don’t think that a wife will have nine children with her husband, and as I was saying, you also distorted the words of Maimonides when you said that a husband can treat his wife like an object. Why don’t you read Tasmish Ha’Mita? So she won’t say that such intercourse is forbidden, that’s exactly what Maimonides wanted to tell us. He said so himself, there are sons of a raped victim Shulchan Aruch, 240, which means that you mustn’t rape a woman. Are you claiming that we say otherwise? Hazal wrote it, Maimonides that is. You just picked what you wanted from some other Halakha. You never picked anything that might contradict your arguments. For example, that you mustn’t rape a woman. You said ‘should’, you turned it upside down. I’m a Rabbi, I know a little more than you about the Torah, got that? More than you.
By the way, I have my own interpretation for the Torah, written in five volumes. I know a thing or two about the Torah, do you understand? The Torah as it is, the subject you’re talking about. I have my own interpretation for the Torah, written in five volumes. I worked on it 11 years, so I know a thing or two about the Bible. Just a bit. Forgive me, but you have completely distorted the verses. A lot of them, anyway. I never said ‘all of them’. I never said that you are completely wrong about everything, but I am saying that you have distorted a lot of things, then you asked questions based on these distortions. I am willing to answer every single one of them, but I don’t have the time to do so. Therefore, I told you our simple rules, that for some reason are not so simple for you, and I think they answer all of your questions.
Eitan: Great, Thank you. I’m glad that you wrote a book about the Torah for 12 years, and that it’s supposed to refute…
Eitan: I didn’t quite understand how it has anything to do with the quotes of Maimonides that I brought up, Since Maimonides… did not exist during the period of Torah. That’s the Oral Torah, that’s something else. These are two different things, since you mentioned it. Anyway-,
Haim: I was talking about Maimonides.
Eitan: I will now reply to some… I think most of your arguments from before, and some of the more recent ones: You spoke of Isaiah 44, and somehow you jumped to Ketubot tractate, then you claimed that actually, there is a prophecy about the Holocaust in there. I argue that the fact that the Oral Torah, the Talmud, spoke about a future Holocaust, is only due to the fact that it was copied from the written Torah. because In Deuteronomy we can already see it, a long time before the Talmud interpretations came to be. So it’s pretty clear that the Talmud was copying the Torah. It’s not providing us with any new information. You know, even after the Torah, I’m reading it with my son, Asaf, these days. He’s only eight years old, but we are reading the Bible from the beginning to the end. Right now we’re at Isaiah and Jeremiah, and we repeat these prophecies again and again, the apocalyptic prophecies concerning all kinds of Holocausts on the Jews. Why? Because they stopped following the divine path. The fact that hundreds of years later the Talmud says the exact same thing, doesn’t prove anything about the Oral Torah. It just proves that they copied it from the written Bible.
By the way, speaking of Holocaust and apocalypse, as a result of the Jews forgetting the divine path – when we, as a nation, rejected Jesus as the Messiah, the Temple was destroyed. The prophecy of Israel, you also mentioned it. It’s the same thing; a prophecy telling us that the Jews will return to Israel – we can find it in the Bible. In Ezekiel somewhere between chapter 34 and 37, we can see these prophecies, telling us that God will bring the Jews back to Israel. The fact that 1000 years later the Talmud looked back and copied it, proves nothing about the Oral Torah.
Let’s move on. Atheism? I don’t know, I don’t understand how it proves the Oral Torah. I’m on your side, I’m not an atheist; I just don’t understand how it has anything to do with the Oral Torah. You made a comment about Jesus and his prophecy about ‘stone on stone’, notice the context – he’s talking about the Temple in Jerusalem and the destruction…
Haim: Where did he say that?
Eitan: It’s my turn now. That’s exactly what’s happening 40 years later, in 70-AD. Even if Jesus was a false Messiah, it doesn’t support the Oral Torah, ok? Even if it was true. Again, he was talking about the destruction of the Temple the context is clear.
Next argument… Basically, your argument for the Oral Torah was as follows: ‘In order that other religions won’t steal it from us. it was passed on orally’. Now wait a minute, why is it alright that the written Torah and the whole Bible will be in writing? Wait, they can’t steal that, but it’s ok to let them steal this? It doesn’t make any sense to me, and I didn’t get how it can possibly prove the existence of an Oral Torah. It’s an argument from silence, ok? A logical fallacy.
Now about women, you spent a lot of time… When I quoted things that were said about women from the Talmud, I was quoting an interpretation of a modern Rabbi, specifically, in order for you not claim that I was taking things out of context, ok? I presented you with your own interpretation of these things; like in the case of the stinky woman, these kind of things. But this subject is in dispute; you spent a lot of time discussing it, but that’s secondary. I am really happy that you’re being kind to your wife, ok? I’m sure that you’re a wonderful father and a wonderful husband. I’m sorry if I offended you in any way, but I’m not trying to attack anyone. I meant to discuss a subject. Now… You being kind to your wife is a wonderful thing, but it doesn’t compensate for the things that Hazal said. And the fact that here and there you find in the Talmud things like: ‘thanks to righteous women’ etc… doesn’t compensate for the bad things. And by the way, I found it interesting that we escaped Egypt thanks to them, but this story is not from the Oral Torah, it’s from the written Torah, and thank god that Debora the prophet – a woman in the biblical period – was there to do so, ok?
Eitan: Also. They copied… You mentioned a subject that I was talking about, about science in my book, that Hazal copied things from the Greeks, and why do I only quote the correct things and not the stupid things. I agree, they copied wise things as well as stupid things, but since I watch lectures in which Rabbis say: ‘Here is an example of Hazal’s wisdom’, without saying where they took it from, therefore I must show the correct things. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t any stupid things, I agree.
You also spent a lot of time telling us that the Oral Torah contains a lot of wisdom. I agree, I said it at the beginning ‘there’s also a lot of wisdom in the Oral Torah’, but there’s also a lot of wisdom in the Hindu literature and Buddhism, Islam, Quran, you will find a lot of wisdom in many different places – yet it doesn’t prove that it was given by God, it just proves that humans have wisdom and logics which they follow and base their writings on. It’s fine. You gave an example, you compared Aristotle and Einstein and said ‘They also made mistakes. Even Einstein and Aristotle the geniuses’. But that’s not a good comparison, since they never claimed that what they are passing on to us, was given to them by God, Orally. They never claimed so. Hazal did claim so, and that’s the difference. So the standard, the scale by which I compare Einstein, is about science and about Einstein as a human; since he’s only human. But when Hazal are telling us ‘That’s a commandment, you must obey it’, and that a woman that won’t do a dough offering, will be punished during birth, in…
Eitan: Yes, that was said under divine authority, and you cannot be wrong about these things. There is no such thing as ‘maybe he made a mistake’. There is no such thing. If he’s speaking for the Oral Torah, which was given to Moses, and he says ‘mistake’, then he is taking the name of God in vain, and by doing so he is leading people to oblivion. This is unacceptable. So… I think I exceeded my ten minutes, don’t know, right? I still have some time? Oh good, great. Well. Well I think I actually said everything I wanted to say, so back to you.
Haim: First of all, you didn’t answer anything. I told you that it says 600,000 Jews, how come a specific year was mentioned, where was it written in the written Torah? According to the tradition of the King, only then they could understand the written Torah, because the written Torah never mentioned that ‘the King’ referred to God. It was only mentioned in the tradition that was passed on by Hazal. Where do you see 600,000 in the written Torah? You didn’t understand the argumets of the atheists, is it my problem? It’s your problem. I mean, you admit that it’s difficult, you have no excuse for it. You said “I don’t get it”. Everything you will answer to with ‘I don’t get it’? everything was solved.
What you say about women – again, you also took the modern Rabbis out of context. If you and I will approach Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, and we’ll ask him ‘is that how you suppose to treat a woman?’, the Rabbi that you quoted; it is very likely that he’ll say no. That’s exactly what we call taking things out of context. What does it have to do with anything? Our great Rabbis, Hazal, you also took them out of context. You also said that they pretended to speak for God they didn’t pretend to do so in every subject. They also came forward and said ‘we made a mistake’. I said it. You didn’t answer anything.
You actually didn’t answer anything. Can you understand it from the written Torah? How can you understand that 600,000 will come to Israel? How can you possibly understand that right after they’ll break their oath to come to Israel, and they will be punished with a Holocaust. They didn’t abandon the written Torah. I clearly stated that the cause for the return to Israel, The Holocaust. It is written in the written Torah, I just told you the details and you didn’t even answer.
You said ‘everything was already written, they copied it from the written Torah’. When did they copy anything about the Holocaust? That if they won’t come to Israel, they will suffer in the Holocaust? It’s not in the written Torah. When did they copy anything about 600,000 Jews that will return to Israel, and there will be 600,000 Jews in Israel? where is it in the written Torah? what you have said? where is it written that exactly in 5707 these ten people will be hanged, plus the whole story that we discussed earlier? where is it in the written Torah? In other words, you didn’t answer anything, and you also distorted a lot of things like the destruction of the Temple that you’ve mentioned in your book, you distorted the word of Rabbis; some of them, I’m not saying that you distorted everything, some of it was correct. You picked the bad articles. If we’ll look at Benjamin Netanyahu and everything that he said, and we’ll look for the bad things he said about women, I assure you that we’ll find something. So I said things in their favor, why didn’t you quote that? Be fair. If you’re quoting the bad things, you should also quote the good things.
You can see that anyone says good things, bad things, you see? Why didn’t you quote: ‘Don’t steal from a gentile’ It means that you must not steal from a Gentile. Why didn’t you quote that? You quoted that one can kill a Gentile. In some situations, Jews are allowed to be killed, according to the Bible, not only by the Oral Torah; Even according to the Bible, killing is allowed in some cases, even if it’s a Jew. So – yes, also a Gentile. But you mustn’t steal from the Gentiles, it’s a clearly stated Halakha, not to mention killing a Gentile, God forbid. So I think that everything you just said is a distortion, most of the things you said, not all of them. I’m correcting myself. Its a distortion of reality.
You quoted people that said… let’s go together and ask them if that’s a way to treat a woman. You understand? The percentage of divorced couples within the Orthodox jews is low, praise God, I think we have… you can’t get martial harmony like ours. You’re coming home, you don’t have an Iphone, nothing. You speak to your wife, to your kids, you’re there for them.
That’s why I think, since you said ‘take God’s name in vain’ I didn’t get the context. Then even now we take God’s name in vain. But we never claim to speak for God. If I tell you ‘these are the words of God’ but I lie, If you really insist, then we might have taken God’s name in vain. But when I tell you ‘I speak for myself’, just like we’re talking now, just like we’ll probably talk after this debate, while walking together, takes God’s name it vain’ – Don’t say a word shhh; Or Einstein ‘Takes God’s name in vain’ shhh; they didn’t say that, they said ‘We made a mistake here and there’, which means ‘we don’t speak for God’. They said only some things are. Some were also forgotten. There are some things that we also said ourselves. That’s why I think that everything that you said, pardon me, doesn’t count as a solid argument, all the more so serious arguments. That’s what I think, and I think that I’m right. I also read your book, and you’ve really distorted so many things… I have some knowledge regarding the Oral Torah, this argument is about the Oral Torah, not about Jesus. You said ‘let’s not argue about Jesus’, alright. About Yeshua. Alright, we won’t argue about Yeshua. But when it comes to the Oral Torah, I know a little more than you, and you’ve distorted a lot of things. I think that all your arguments are incorrect, I answered what I could answer in this time frame.
Eitan: Alright, so… now to my reaction: I will go over my arguments, and then I will refer to your arguments in a moment. My first argument was that the written Torah, and the whole bible, never mentioned the Oral Torah. You gave me some explanation, and I have already answered.
Second argument, Moses himself didn’t know the Oral Torah, He didn’t have any answers from an Oral Torah, and he just asked God.
Third argument, the main characters and writers of the Torah, never knew, mentioned or quoted the Oral Torah.
Fourth claim… and by the way, even if the Oral Torah was passed between the Jews, you’d still expect to see some references to it in the Bible, even if it was a secret. But you have none. Fourth argument, the Torah clearly states that everything is in writing. Not just a specific case, but the whole Torah.
Fifth claim, no consecutiveness. They didn’t celebrate the holidays for hundreds of years, so how can it be if there was an Oral Torah all along?
Sixth argument, The Jews of Ethiopia – you didn’t even talk about it, they completely contradict the Oral Torah.
The seventh argument was that the priesthood and the Urim and Thummim had to ask God for answers through the Urim and Thummim. The Sadducees didn’t believe in any Oral Torah, and they are the priests, they the ones who received the Torah, so it doesn’t make any sense.
We saw all the contradictions with science, a lot of contradictions.
When it comes to the poor ethics of the Oral Torah, I spoke about it or about the women, and I realized that you put all your efforts to answer only the ninth argument.
I think that-, It’s a matter of ethics, a little more objective than that, we can argue about that. You know what? Never mind, forget about it. The rest is a lot more important than that, I said it before, The subject of ethics was secondary.
The tenth argument – you completely ignored it is the question of which Oral Torah is the right one, since there are lots of them, and they contradict each other, as researchers show. There’s a number of them.
I will first answer a few questions that you’ve asked before: 600,000 – you never showed me… you never quoted anything about 600,000 from the Oral Torah. You picked some page, then you started to circle all sort of terms, letters, ‘look at this word, now look at this one’, all sorts of Kabalah games. You never quoted any verses, one by one, and then you made a whole show, just to show that some sentence-, I don’t know, maybe I’m dumb, I did not understand how it proves the Oral Torah,
The viewers will decide, perhaps its just me, I don’t know, ok? You brought up Benjamin Netanyahu as an example, again it’s the same with Einstein, Netanyahu doesn’t say things, and then claim it’s a divine oral torah. Hazal did. ok? Now, when it comes to killing… by the way, killing and murdering are two different things, ok? But I want to finish by quoting a few people, that some of them were religious, ok? Prof. Avigdor Shanan, I’m pretty sure you know who he is, he’s an expert in the field of Hazal literature, in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Pay close attention to his following words: ‘I’m a professor in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and my field of research is the Jewish literature of the post biblical period, which means – everything that was written among the Jews from the second century BC, Mishna, Talmud, Siddur, Aggadah and Bible translations. Our leading theology nowadays, regarding Judaism, is not the theology of the bible. The Halakha that guides us nowadays, is not the biblical Halakha, but Hazal’s Halakha’. In other words, he contradicts what you just said, hat it was passed in secrecy… It just never existed.
Haim: Who says that I agree with that?
Eitan: Of course you don’t agree with that, I can imagine that you don’t. He’s religious, by the way. The Jewish Halakha – Shabbat precepts, Kashrut precepts, everything that you can think about is not from the Torah or the Bible. There are no synagogues in the Bible, there is no Kadish in the Bible, there is no Kol Nidrei in the Bible, there is no Bar Mitzvah in the Bible, there is no Talit in the Bible. Everything that is defined as “Jewish”, if you track it’s origins, it’s not from the Bible. It’s Hazal, that’s where everything starts. It means that it contradicts everything that you said about it being passed in secrecy; because even if it was so, we would’ve seen these traditions in the biblical period. ok?
Haim: Hazal said it. Not me…
Eitan: Prof. Shay Rozen Tzvi, the head of Talmud department in Tel Aviv University, wrote in his book, ‘Between the Mishna to the Midrash’, about the Rabbinical attempt to claim that the Oral Torah is ancient, and originates from the biblical period. Pay attention, I quote: ‘Different sources of Hazal’s writings, claim that the Oral Torah was given during the mosaic covenant. These kind of arguments are based on a speculative restoration, and even a mythical one ‘Mythos’ and on controversial motives, that have nothing to do with actual empirical facts. We have no pre-Hazalic source that can approve such arguments, regarding the Oral Torah’. It’s a professor, not some…
Haim: So what?
Eitan: missionary that doesn’t know anything, trying to distort…
Haim: so why do they think that they said otherwise?
Eitan: Ask them…
Haim: So, they said so…
Eitan: Ok, so they are also distorting it. fine.
Haim: A professor is not God.
Eitan: Professor Alan Avery-Peck researcher in the field of Judaism and an expert for Hazal’s writings – these are all Jews, ok? Pay attention to his words: ‘The Rabbinic idea of an Oral Torah, cannot be counted as a serious collection of rules and interpretations, which existed through the whole history of the people of Israel’. You can say that I distort things, and take things out of context, but you cannot say that… well you can say that about these professors but…
Haim: Did I say anything about professors during our conversation?
Eitan: no, but…
Haim: you never gave me the chance to answer. It’s pretty obvious that I cannot answer everything with I only ten minutes. I don’t even know what you wanted to argue about. Did you really expect me to answer everything when you only gave me ten minutes? Even if there was an answer…
Eitan: Ok but…
Haim: But you never even answered one question, that’s the difference. How come it says Tashaz (5707)? ‘No, that’s just a speculation’ you said. How could they possibly know that?
Haim: The chances are one in… How did they do that? Speculation.
Eitan: Wait, I did answer… Just a second… it’s my turn to speak… I answered.
Haim: Your five minutes have passed. No?
Eitan: I answered, and I told you that I personally didn’t get this explanation, and…
Haim: Alright, so you don’t get it. Don’t start making excuses.
Eitan: Alright, so…
Haim: You didn’t get it, you admit…
Eitan: I said that I didn’t get it, the viewers will decide. I said it.
Eitan: Ok? The whole thing with the circles…
Haim: I understand what you’re saying, and I can tell you that what you said wasn’t right according to the Oral Torah. You quotes only the sentences that you saw fit… fine.
Eitan: Ok, again, The whole thing about the ethics…
Haim: If I had enough time, I would’ve answered everything, I can do that.
Eitan: If we… The whole thing about the ethics is secondary. When it comes to my arguments, you never answered. That’s the bottom line. You started talking about your wife…
Haim: It’s your claim.
Eitan: Fine, you…
Haim: I answerd a few… I had no time.
Eitan: You chose how to…
Haim: I can answer everything, but I had no time…
Eitan: You chose how to answer…
Haim: but with the time I had, I answered some of you stuff…
Eitan: Yes but it’s my time now.
Haim: You didn’t answer anything.
Eitan: I didn’t disturb you during…
Haim: But your five minutes have passed.
Eitan: No. I still have some time left. Let me finish.
Haim: Fine, but…
Eitan: I just want to say… May I?
Haim: Yes, sure.
Eitan: Ok, You chose to spend your time telling stories about your wife and Rabbis. You planned your time, don’t blame me.
Haim: I’m not blaming you. Did I blame you?
Eitan: Yes, you kept saying ‘I don’t have enough time’, yet you chose…
Haim: No I don’t have a problem answering everything, I never blamed you.
Eitan: So you… you choose what you think is the most important question to answer…
Eitan: I didn’t choose for you, don’t blame me.
Haim: True. I can’t blame you.
Eitan: You knew it. You chose to speak first.
Eitan: you could’ve used this time to tell me ‘Eitan, you go first. I want to answer your questions’.
Haim: No, no. It’s enough for me.
Eitan: Wait a minute…
Haim: I can answer everything else.
Eitan: But I said…
Haim: That’s what I wanted…
Eitan: Haim, Haim, I told you before. I gave you the honor of choosing when to talk
Eitan: You could’ve told me ‘Eitan, you choose’, and you’d have 30 minutes…
Haim: I don’t regret it.
Eitan: To answer me but you kept saying ‘I don’t have enough time’.
Haim: Even 30 minutes is not enough.
Eitan: You’re telling me time and time again ‘I don’t have enough time’, but don’t tell me ‘I don’t have enough time’ if you chose to speak first. I told you…
Haim: You’re telling me that I didn’t answer everything? that’s hard for you, I tell you that I didn’t answer everything, because I don’t have enough time. But since I answered some of your questions, it proves that I can answer all of them. I didn’t want you to start first, but…
Eitan: OK, that’s what you think. I don’t think that you proved…
Haim: We can check it out.
Eitan: Look, I didn’t hear any proof for the Oral Torah, and I didn’t hear you proving me wrong. The only thing you managed to do, was to discuss women seclusion. That’s all, that’s everything you did. All the rest was never there. that’s it. But I had a lot of fun…
Haim: I think I answered… I also had a lot fun.
Eitan: Right? Good.
Haim: Of course
Eitan: This conversation… I want the viewers to know, that this a conversation between jews
Eitan: I’m not some Swedish Gentile that came here to argue, or something like that…
Haim: You’re not a Gentile, but I think you act like one.
Eitan: Wait, I’m still growing the beard. I’ll start wearing black…
Haim: I love you. I told you that in the SMS, That’s exactly why I love you. But I think you didn’t answer anything, you just touched the subject here and there, you turned things
Eitan: That’s for the viewers to decide.
Haim: I said that I think so, I wasn’t talking about the viewers. Let them. Let them.
Eitan: Me too. Me too.
Haim: I’m very glad that we did it.
Eitan: Indeed, indeed.
Haim: It was fun.
Eitan: That’s a good and healthy conversation between Jews.
Haim: Sure, it’s just that I didn’t make any excuses for not answering everything, because I didn’t have enough time. I think that I can answer everything. I’m sure you’ll have the answers, and then I will answer you, and you will answer me…
Eitan: True, sure thing. But you never answered any of my arguments.
Haim: At least I answered some of them.
Eitan: And then we’ll talk for ten hours.
Haim: How can you explain the Tashaz? How can you explain these 600,000? You said ‘you never showed me’. Ask me to show you and I will. Yalkut Shimoni… I gave you the exact source… I said it. Most of the things I quoted correctly… Megillah page 6, Ketubot page 111… I told you.
Eitan: I meant exact quotes, but never mind. Fine.
Haim: I told you that Esther Raba, chapter 3, says Tashaz , about the king, which tells us the year.
Haim: I gave you the source.
Eitan: And then…
Haim: I’m not to blame if you don’t know the source.
Eitan: You showed me those circles…
Eitan: I got that… I got that, but it’s not enough to convince me. Highlighting letters…
Haim: No, these are small letters, that’s traditional.
Eitan: The Book of Esther is the same everywhere in the world, long before the Holocaust, got that? I just copied it and showed you. The Book of Esther is a part of the Bible, not the Oral Torah…
Haim: But the Oral Torah interpreted the Book and said that ‘The King’ means ‘God’. Then we read it, and based on that, we interpreted these verses
Eitan: So for me it seems like a game.
Haim: Alright, a game. They just guessed the right year, and these 600,000. Everything is by chance.
Eitan: You didn’t have a correct year… It’s all chance.
Haim: I think you’re a fanatic believer in probability, just like the atheists are…
Eitan: I think it’s just a manipulation of letters.
Haim: I don’t think so.
Eitan: Manipulation of letters…
Haim: What you said was a manipulation. Why? You quoted all sort of things. So what? I can quote Netanyahu, just choose a character and I will quote it. Who would you like me to quote?
Eitan: But Benjamin Netanyahu never claimed…
Haim: Who is this, who is that… I will speak of one thing you said. Here, listen to what he said. You said ‘The Oral Torah says… forget that, and I will quote the rest, just like you said it. Listen to what he said. some of the things you’ve done…
Eitan: True, but Netanyahu never claimed that God gave him something. I hope not.
Haim: They also don’t say that about everything. That’s what I said. They do say ‘I made a mistake here, and here…
Haim: The Jewish Talmud – not all of it came from God. But the bottom line is that there is an Oral Torah tradition. That’s the argument…
Eitan: You know, the Jerusalem Talmud, which I know is less… it says that ‘ ‘Even what a veteran student would instruct before his rabbi had already been told to Moses at Sinai’. Fine, but…
Haim: Did you read the interpretations? Read it. You didn’t understand it and you’re making it difficult.
Eitan: Leave the interpreters out of it.
Haim: The interpretation was written even before you arrived.
Eitan: A Rabbi that reads…
Eitan: A Rabbi that reads it – what can he possibly learn from it? He learns…
Haim: He’s reading the traditional interpretations. They received it from a teacher throughout generations… Ok, but what can it possibly tell him? Did they interpret it like you did? Did anyone?
Eitan: But what does it tell him?
Haim: That’s the question.
Eitan: I didn’t interpret.
Haim: So they said something like a parable… You took it as is
Eitan: Wait, I didn’t interpret it. I just read it.
Haim: That’s a problem.
Haim: But what does it mean? Like you said there are a lot of parables,
Eitan: Wait a second…
Haim: A parable on the wall…
Eitan: Explain this to me…
Haim: I wanted to show you but…
Eitan: Ok, so please tell me the interpretation:
Haim: Proverbs is parables, not the Torah, you’re confused. Even what a veteran student would instruct before his rabbi had already been told to Moses at Sinai’.
Eitan: Ok, can you explain it to me?
Haim: There’s another teaching.
Eitan: Hold on, can you explain this one to me, don’t go anywhere else.
Haim: No, I will show you all the teachings, so you can see it all fits.
Eitan: No, no. explain this one.
Haim: It means that we have the Halakha. The conclusion – He knew it.
Haim: Moses knew the whole Torah, and its conclusions.
Eitan: The final conclusions? So why do I need the whole discussion?
Haim: Yes, the true ones. The true conclusions, just like a pupil learning the Torah, Moses had the conclusions. It was forgotten, so we discuss it in order to restore it. That’s exactly what is written about him in the Midrash.
Eitan: But if there’s…
Haim: Theres the teachings of Rabbi Akivah, and some say it’s another parable, that it wasn’t really from Moses, You have to understand, Maimonides said that if you won’t learn the whole Midrashim… He said… ‘walks in the dark’ and all sort of hard things… So you need to understand Hazal’s teachings before you even study it.So he says it’s just a parable, told in the Yeshiva of Rabbi Akivah… And he didn’t understand Rabbi Akivah. What does it mean?
Eitan: So Or Hahaim and even Rashi said that the giving of the Torah is first. this teaching… According to Rashi it is as is and and not a parable…
Haim: Or Hahaim and a lot of interpreters wrote what I just said, that he knew the conclusions, but he didn’t know the discussion. Rabbi Akivah was forced to add the discussion, since people already forgot everything. Moses didn’t know the discussion, but he did know the conclusions. He received the conclusions, and not all at once. We’re talking about phases, that’s why he had to ask God. Hazal said that he got the books one by one, the written books and the Oral Torah, he received them one after the other, not everything at once. And when he was asked, at this point he didn’t get them yet, where is the argument here?…
‘There are no penalties from the law’, You know what is that? How come there’s no punishment in the Oral Torah? Because there is a Halakha in the Oral Torah ‘There are no penalties from the law’. so the question becomes irrelevant. Everything you asked – it all becomes irrelevant. If you truly know the Oral Torah. I think I know a thing or two more than you about it, that’s why I’m telling you all that.
Eitan: I have no doubt that you know the Talmud 1000 times better than I know it. It doesn’t change the fact that in my opinion… and the viewers will decide for themselves. You didn’t prove that it was given by God during the Mosaic Covenant. You didn’t prove that it was given by God during the Mosaic Covenant.
Haim: I think you didn’t disprove anything.
Eitan: I think that I did, but each one of us will decide for himself.
Haim: True, I agree with you on that. Each one of us will decide for himself, very good. Alright.