Re: Oral law from Sinai

Yehoshua Kahan (
Mon, 2 Jun 1997 20:54:54 -0700

Steven Smolin wrote:
>Must the Jew, by definition, believe that the Talmud (oral tradition)
>was given in its entirety to Moses at Sinai?

About the Talmud; to the best of my limited understanding, the Talmud was
not given at Sinai, but the ideas it contains were. That is, the practical
halacha along with the methods for deriving the halacha from the verses,
the philosophical and theological ideas, and so forth; all this was
arranged into the orders, tractates, chapters, pages, and phrases of the
Talmud by the Rabbis between about 200 b.c.e and 500 c.e.

--Yehoshua Kahan