Tsvi on the Oral Law

There is an oral law, no there isn’t yes there is. Hmmmm

There was a Chinese man that said there was no Oral Law in Judaism; he followed the Holy Scriptures alone. A Jewish man went up to him and said Let us both do a sample Passover together. You do it your way and I will do it mine. The Chinese man said very good. So he went first. He set up his table and was about to kill his lamb when the Jewish person said Wo! Wait up! you cannot do that. Why; said the Chinese man? Because we can only sacrifice in the Holy Temple which has been destroyed because of our sins. OK… so he continued and took some bitter herbs and slapped it on a piece of matzah and proceeded to eat it, and the Chinese Seder comp lee. Our Jewish person asked him what does this mean to you. The answer was he was celebrating his deliverance from Egyptian bondage. Our Jewish friend said….Now come to my Seder. Of course they first searched for a crumb of leaven, they lit candles said the blessing. There was the hand washing, the asking of the questions by a little boy and the Maggid, the answers to the four questions. Yes they had the Maror and Matsah, they had the Shulchan Orech, and finally they sang Adir Hu, and all of the songs. Our Chinese friend said. That is not in the bible. Our Jewish friend said Oh but it is… Passover is a celebration. By the way, we have been doing this all the way back since we left Egypt. How long have you been doing your seder? Our Chinese friend said Just a year…

It is perhaps misleading to use the terms the Written Law and the Oral Law as if there were two laws. There is only one law. It was spoken to Moses by God, and he taught it to Israel for 40 years, and he entrusted it to Joshua and the Elders of Israel. We the people lived this law as commanded from that day until this. Oh yes, He wrote the Holy Scriptures and in them when a Jew reads the Pesach (Passover) story he knows the full meaning of each and every word written because of how it was Implemented for over 3,500 years. The person who has not the connection with the people has only words that are written but sadly lacks the total meaning entrusted to Israel alone (Psalm 147:19,20) Thus it is with every written word in our sacred Scripture. The meaning has been a living experience within the Jewish people from our very beginning. One cannot just take a written paragraph without having lived it.

Tsvi Jacobson

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2 Responses to Tsvi on the Oral Law

  1. Cowboy says:

    I dont know if you are familiar with the US court system & Government, but I often see Oral Torah as decisions being made by US Federal Courts or the Supreme Court (since the Bill of Rights and admendments are additions to the Constitution, but decisions are often like legally binding commentaries). Is that a good way to describe Oral Torah or is it too far off-base?

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