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School Sends Out Warning About Alleged Child Molester | Main | Racism:
Haredim Still Block Sefardi Girls From Schools

AUGUST 17, 2011

Scholars: The Torah We Have Today Is Not The Torah Our Ancestors Had
Sofer hands closeup A dull-looking chart projected on the wall of a university
office in Jerusalem displayed a revelation that would startle many readers of
the Old Testament: The sacred text that people revered in the past was not
the same one we study today.

Sofer hands closeup


Photo: A Jewish ritual scribe, sofer, writing a mezuzah scroll; Reuters.

Jerusalem scholars trace Bible's evolution


Hebrew University researchers have been quietly at work for 53 years on one
of most ambitious projects attempted in biblical studies publishing
authoritative edition of Old Testament

Jerusalem (AP) A dull-looking chart projected on the wall of a university


office in Jerusalem displayed a revelation that would startle many readers of

the Old Testament: The sacred text that people revered in the past was not
the same one we study today.

An ancient version of one book has an extra phrase. Another appears to have
been revised to retroactively insert a prophecy after the events happened.

Scholars in this out-of-the-way corner of the Hebrew University campus have


been quietly at work for 53 years on one of the most ambitious projects
attempted in biblical studies publishing the authoritative edition of the Old
Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible, and tracking every single
evolution of the text over centuries and millennia.

And it has evolved, despite deeply held beliefs to the contrary.

For many Jews and Christians, religion dictates that the words of the Bible in
the original Hebrew are divine, unaltered and unalterable. For Orthodox Jews,
the accuracy is considered so inviolable that if a synagogue's Torah scroll is
found to have a minute error in a single letter, the entire scroll is unusable.

But the ongoing work of the academic detectives of the Bible Project, as their
undertaking is known, shows that this text at the root of Judaism, Christianity
and Islam was somewhat fluid for long periods of its history, and that its
transmission through the ages was messier and more human than most of us
imagine.

The project's scholars have been at work on their critical edition of the
Hebrew Bible, a version intended mainly for the use of other scholars, since
1958.

"What we're doing here must be of interest for anyone interested in the
Bible," said Michael Segal, the scholar who heads the project.

The sheer volume of information makes the Bible Project's version "the most

comprehensive critical edition of the Hebrew Bible in existence at the present


time," said David Marcus, a Bible scholar at the Jewish Theological Seminary
in New York, who is not involved with the project.

But Segal and his colleagues toil in relative anonymity. Their undertaking is
nearly unknown outside a circle of Bible experts numbering several hundred
people at most, and a visitor asking directions to the Bible Project's office on
the university campus will find that many members of the university's own
staff have never heard of it.

Only 3 books published in 5 decades

This is an endeavor so meticulous, its pace so disconnected from that of the


world outside, that in more than five decades of work the scholars have
published a grand total of three of the Hebrew Bible's 24 books. (Christians
count the same books differently, for a total of 39.) A fourth is due out during
the upcoming academic year.

If the pace is maintained, the final product will be complete a little over 200
years from now. This is both a point of pride and a matter of some mild selfdeprecation around the office.

Bible Project scholars have spent years combing through manuscripts such as
the Dead Sea Scrolls, Greek translations on papyrus from Egypt, a printed
Bible from 1525 Venice, parchment books in handwritten Hebrew, the
Samaritan Torah, and scrolls in Aramaic and Latin. The last member of the
original team died last year at age 90.

The scholars note where the text we have now differs from older versions differences that are evidence of the inevitable textual hiccups, scribal errors
and other human fingerprints that became part of the Bible as it was passed
on, orally and in writing.

A Microsoft Excel chart projected on one wall on a recent Sunday showed

variations in a single phrase from the Book of Malachi, a prophet.

The verse in question, from the text we know today, makes reference to
"those who swear falsely." The scholars have found that in quotes from
rabbinic writings around the 5th century A.D., the phrase was longer: "those
who swear falsely in my name."

In another example, this one from the Book of Deuteronomy, a passage


referring to commandments given by God "to you" once read "to us," a
significant change in meaning.

Other differences are more striking.

The Book of Jeremiah is now one-seventh longer than the one that appears in
some of the 2,000-year-old manuscripts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Some
verses, including ones containing a prophecy about the seizure and return of
Temple implements by Babylonian soldiers, appear to have been added after
the events happened.

The year the Bible Project began, 1958, was the year a priceless Hebrew
Bible manuscript arrived in Jerusalem after it was smuggled out of Aleppo,
Syria, by a Jewish cheese merchant who hid it in his washing machine. This
was the 1,100-year-old Aleppo Codex, considered the oldest and most
accurate version of the complete biblical text in Hebrew.

The Bible Project's version of the core text the one to which the others are
compared is based on this manuscript. Other critical editions of the Bible,
such as one currently being prepared in Stuttgart, Germany, are based on a
slightly newer manuscript held in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Considering that the nature of their work would be considered controversial,


if not offensive, by many religious people, it is perhaps surprising that most of
the project's scholars are themselves Orthodox Jews.

"A believing Jew claims that the source of the Bible is prophecy," said the
project's bearded academic secretary, Rafael Zer. "But as soon as the words
are given to human beings - with God's agreement, and at his initiative the
holiness of the biblical text remains, even if mistakes are made when the text
is passed on."
POSTED AT 04:35 PM IN HISTORY, ISRAEL, RELIGION, RELIGION & STATE |
PERMALINK
COMMENTS
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Captool
@Golden calf/red heifer Yes if you look back at all the different scripts extant
when paleo-hebrew was being used you only find 22 letters. That is including
other languages from the area that were closely related.

POSTED BY: CAPTOOL | AUGUST 25, 2011 AT 01:09 AM

Golden calf/red heifer


@pagan

Just because Arabic has a separate letter for ghain and ayin doesn't mean a
damn thing. They also have separate letters for sin and shin (as well as
others) next are you and your psuedolinguist friend Jeff Benner going to claim
there is a missing letter sin that got obsorbed by the letter shin?

There is no hard evidence that there is a whole letter that went missing. Just
that the ayin was pronounced differently at one point in time.

The gimmal and daled also had different pronunciations at one time. What is
your point?

POSTED BY: GOLDEN CALF/RED HEIFER | AUGUST 19, 2011 AT 03:57 PM

AaronM
Yochanan Lavie: "Look like" is a hard question to answer, but sound was
probably more guteral/glottal. Think of the difference between a Hay and a
Chet as an example:

Hay:Chet :: Gimmel:Ghayin

not a perfect explaination, but gets you into the ballpark.

A different way to think about it is in most older Semitic languages a Ayin is


not a silent letter (like an aleph) but a glottal-stop - think of the hard pause in
the phrase "I am" if you pronounce each word completely. A ayin is an
unvoiced stop, a Ghayin is that same stop, but voiced.

POSTED BY: AARONM | AUGUST 19, 2011 AT 10:30 AM

Yochanan Lavie
What did the ghayin look like? How did it differ from the gimmel and the
'ayin?

POSTED BY: YOCHANAN LAVIE | AUGUST 19, 2011 AT 07:48 AM

Pagan
Sorry Joe, not so. LXX typically omits to transliterate ayin because it is
(almost) silent. Baal and Balaam for instance contain ayin in Hebrew but no
equivalent in Greek. The transliteration with gamma therefore represents a
voiced letter.

Also, the nearest cognate languages to hebrew - Arabic and Ugaritic - keep
the distinction between ayin and ghayin. Indeed, you can find many Arabic
words that contain their ghain where the modern Hebrew has ayin, and the
hypothesis that this was originally ghayin is a strong one.

(The example given in class was the word for "crow": Hebrew 'orev, Arabic
ghuraab. The triliteral root is gh-r-b.) Likewise, triliteral gh-m-r became Arabic
ghumr but Hebrew 'omer.

More on this can be found in Jeff Benner's article here: http://www.ancienthebrew.org/4_missing.html

POSTED BY: PAGAN | AUGUST 19, 2011 AT 04:48 AM

Joe in Australia
No, Pagan is absolutely wrong. She mentions the Septuagint's transliteration
(as well as the English one - which is of course based on the Septuagint,
because English wasn't spoken until a thousand years after the Septuagint).
The Septuagint has a transliteration based on the way that a Greek reader
would have pronounced 'aza and 'amora (where 'a is an ayin). Greek doesn't
have an equivalent to ayin, so they used a gamma. That doesn't mean that
the Hebrew text had a ghayin: it didn't. In fact we have written Hebrew texts
from the time of the Septuagint and before (e.g., the Dead Sea Scrolls, some
inscriptions) and they use the same alphabet we have today.

POSTED BY: JOE IN AUSTRALIA | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 11:42 PM

Chicago Sam
Pagan is absolutely correct, and by the way--"Gaza" in Biblical Hebrew is
"Aza," much for the same reason. Language changes, and by the way--the
letters reish and dalet often got mixed up, because of their similarities--and
sometimes created some embarrassing moments in the ancient synagogues,
e.g.,


(Exo 34:14 WTT)


(Deut. 6:4)

Why the enlarged letters? Because of the serious scribal errors that once occurred
(switch the letters around in each passage, and you will see). The text of the Torah is not
"immaculate," it is maculate! There never was a "perfect" Torah because the people who
write the Torah are far from perfect.

POSTED BY: CHICAGO SAM | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 04:56 PM

shmuel
And what about the notion of "tikkun sofrim" in which chazal touched up @17 biblical
verses out of respect for God? When is it thought that they did this,anyway?

POSTED BY: SHMUEL | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 04:15 PM

shmuel
The guys at www.daatemet.com have a whole libfraRy of articles aBout just this issue.
Click on "torah text".

POSTED BY: SHMUEL | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 04:08 PM

Anon

Could there be any credence to the idea that the power of myth is not weather it is
factual accurate or not? It has been suggested rather that the power of myth is it's ability
to help communicate Truths which are otherwise not easily communicable.

POSTED BY: ANON | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 03:50 PM

Pierre
Dr. Leiman lists examples that "go beyond that" in terms of consequences for practices
that are not necessarily merely scribal errors.

POSTED BY: PIERRE | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 02:57 PM

Shmarya
The traditional Jewish version is based on the Keter of Aleppo.

Sigh.

No, ghj, the traditional version is NOT based on the Aleppo Codex.

The "traditional" version post-900 CE (or even later) is based on Aleppo.

Before that, rabbinic Jews including Chazal had several different versions.

And while copying errors clearly make up the majority of the differences between the
versions, some of the differences go beyond that.

If this is confusing for RHS, well, that's too bad.

POSTED BY: SHMARYA | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 01:42 PM

ghj
This article is misleading garbage. Any real talmid chocham knows that this is nothing
new.

There are several different ancient versions of the Tanach. They mostly differ in spelling.
The traditional Jewish version is based on the Keter of Aleppo.

In his book Masters of the Word, Rav Yonatan Kolatch quotes HaRav Hershel Schachter
as saying that the variant Biblical texts are a natural consequence of human copying
error.

The Keter was always acknowledged as the most authoritative Tanach text. There are
many responsa from the Middle Ages that show that the Keter was consulted for
accuracy.

In the Mishna Torah, the Rambam says, "In these matters, we rely on the codex, now in
Egypt, which contains the 24 books of Tanach and which had been in Jerusalem for
several years. It was used as the standard text in the correction of books."

The Yemenites, who follow the Rambam, use this text in their Torah scrolls. There are 11
differences from our Torah. These are primarily chosar and molei--whether certain words
have a vav in them or not.

Bar-Ilan has 10 volumes out, with critically corrected commentaries of the Targum,
Rashi, Radak, and other rishonim.

There are a lot of things in Judaism about which even your typical frum Am haAretz is
not aware.

POSTED BY: GHJ | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 11:30 AM

Pierre
R. Barry Freundel can give you - if either you or he have time - a whole megillah about
the significance of changes in text, the middle letter of torah, blahx3. And obviously
charedim will not accept his thoughts, but...he's not slouch on these things, and why
would you people want to extol Right Wing views of the tradition as extolling the "true"
perspectives on these things? The sources I give give OTHER voices, even "gedolim" of
a RW caste - who utterly contradict the presumptions that the news source paint as
those of Orthodox Judaisms et al.

POSTED BY: PIERRE | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 11:07 AM

Shmarya
That really isn't true, Isa.

Both of those versions of the Torah are based on one of the two the Masorite versions
(the same one), and date to about 900 CE.

There is no proof of standardization before then, and much of the standardization that
exists after that comes from the increased intermingling of the two populations and then
the printing press.

POSTED BY: SHMARYA | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 11:00 AM

Isa
There is the Ashkenazim Torah and the Sephardi Torah
The difference over 2000 years ?
One letter
The Ashkenazim has an Alef the Sephardi has an Aiyn

The Ashkenazim pronounces both the same


While the Sephardi, especially the Yemenite, uses a very distinct sound for the Aiyn

POSTED BY: ISA | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 10:51 AM

Pierre
This is a conversation in the Gemara and in virtually every generation...just because it's
baked-up news to "The News" doesn't mean it's news TO THE JEWS - every few years I
post these pieces and others because...well, every few years people forget the
conversation a few years before;

http://cs.anu.edu.au/~bdm/dilugim/CohenArt/

http://www.leimanlibrary.com/texts_of_publications/74.%20Masorah%20and
%20Halakhah%20A%20Study%20in%20Conflict.pdf

http://books.google.com/books?
id=3mvL6tUMIA0C&pg=PA156&lpg=PA156&dq=fixing+god's+torah&source=bl&ots=9q
Mz4-MlEz&sig=AVH7IoH8lF83V84eVYDxGCvoQaQ&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false

POSTED BY: PIERRE | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 10:45 AM

Shmarya
This is simply false.

You can see that Chazal had a different version of the Torah than we have, and you can
see the differences between the Leningrad Codex and the Alleppo Codex.

Stop spouting ArtScroll BS that was never thought true, even by them.

POSTED BY: SHMARYA | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 10:41 AM

Garnel Ironheart
> Bible Project scholars have spent years combing through manuscripts such as the
Dead Sea Scrolls, Greek translations on papyrus from Egypt, a printed Bible from 1525
Venice, parchment books in handwritten Hebrew, the Samaritan Torah, and scrolls in
Aramaic and Latin.

The problem with using these sources is that none of them are authoritative. How does
one know if a Dead Sea scroll fragment is from an actual Torah of that time or the
handwritten note of someone trying to remember what he heard? The Samaritan and
Greek Torahs were corrupted on purpose by folks in each group with an agenda. Despite
the high level of scholarship this changes pretty much nothing.

POSTED BY: GARNEL IRONHEART | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 10:21 AM

Golden calf/red heifer


@Pagan

How do you know that the "g" pronunciation of the letter ayin wasn't just standard or
alternate pronunciation? Why do you claim with certainty it was a whole different letter
that went missing? Couldn't it have been like the " "letters which all at one time
had more than one pronunciation (bet-vet, gimmel-jimmel, etc.)?

Unless you can show a lot of evidence that "ghayin" was a different letter that completely
vanished, I think it is dishonest to post as if it were indisputable fact.

That being said, found the article interesting. One thing I found funny that religious
people I used to study with could never accept, somewhat on this same topic, is the fact
that the Hebrew characters (with all their "kabbalistic" meanings on every nuance of their
shape) weren't originally Hebrew letters but adopted from Aramaic probably around the
first temples destruction. One interesting thing found in the dead sea scrolls were

scriptures written all in the modern letters except for all the places gods yud, hey, vav,
hey name was written, gods four letter name was written always in the original "paleoHebrew" letter form.

POSTED BY: GOLDEN CALF/RED HEIFER | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 09:58 AM

mimi
Matzo is just Lavosh. My dad remembers Lavosh from a child as a soft bread that
hardens quickly because it is only flour and water. It is an everyday bread where he is
from. I can only assume that factory made matzo "keeps" better when baked hard.

Personally I'm glad that religion evolves with civilization.

POSTED BY: MIMI | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 08:33 AM

Mendy Hecht
ok, what this all philosophically boils down to is rejection of God. So let me make this
simple; Judaism works. (Some) people don't. The system works. The people (or at least
some of them) are rotten. Don't equate the people with the system.

POSTED BY: MENDY HECHT | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 08:28 AM

dimlat
Not really news, see shulchan Aruch O C 143:40 and Ramo there.

POSTED BY: DIMLAT | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 06:48 AM

Abracadabra
Pagan - that is fascinating. Do you have any sources for this?

Thanks.

POSTED BY: ABRACADABRA | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 06:01 AM

Adam Neira
To Yochanan Lavie,

"what these scholars are doing is legit."

Correct !

POSTED BY: ADAM NEIRA | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 05:07 AM

Pagan
Another interesting observation (not mine, I hasten to add). If you look in an English
Bible at Genesis xviii, you'll find the infamous "cities of the plain", Sodom and Gomorrah.
You'll find almost the same in the Greek Septuagint. But in today's Torah, the second city
is "Amorah". What gives?

The answer is that, not long after the 3rd century BCE, the Hebrew alphabet lost its 23rd
letter, usually called "ghayin". Just as Greek had lost its digamma, centuries earlier. In
other words, not just a verse here and there, but an entire letter of the alphabet has
vanished from the Torah translated by the 72, and hence from any Torah that Moses
wrote.

Not many words contained ghayin, and the homonyms that were created are usually
distinguishable from context. But this evolution is a certain killer of the "Bible Codes"
movement. You can't knock a letter systematically out of an entire text and hope to keep
intact any equidistant letter sequence long enough to make a phrase.

POSTED BY: PAGAN | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 04:31 AM

Yochanan Lavie
Back from vacation: Ezra the scribe, and the commentator Ibn Ezra both state the torah
we have is not the exact torah m'sinai. So even from an Orthodox standpoint, what these
scholars are doing is legit.

POSTED BY: YOCHANAN LAVIE | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 03:54 AM

shmuel
Even mishpacha magazine had a piece on this! See its kolmus magazine, pesach 5769,
titled "text messages: distorted or just different? When chazal and tanach don't match"

POSTED BY: SHMUEL | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 03:04 AM

shmuel
See tosfos bt shabbos 55b "maaviram ksiv": "our talmud disagrees with our Biblical
books..."
And see marc shapiro's work, the limits of orthodox theology, pp. 91--121, "the bible
'codes': a textual perspective" by jeffrey tigay of penn (oct. 13, 1999), "the idea of the
sanctity of the biblical text and the science of textual criticism" by menachem cohen of
bar ilan

POSTED BY: SHMUEL | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 03:01 AM

lol
the 11TH commandment that never made it's way in:
THOU SHALL NOT MOLEST THE SON OF THY NEIGHBOR

POSTED BY: LOL | AUGUST 18, 2011 AT 12:01 AM

Adam Neira
To Nigritude Ultramarine,

When Maimonides did his remarkable study of the Pentateuch he codified 613 mitzvot
when in fact there are many more. One example that he didn't include was the need to
carry a paddle outside the camp to perform one's ablutions. The question remains, can
you place the mitzvot into some sort of hierarchy of importance ?

i.e. Is the negative commandment against child sexual abuse more important than the
mitzvah to wear tfillin ?

The importance of this question is great, as so many scholars and sages have based
their worldview and political philosophy on how they interpret the mitzvot. If you build a
house and get the structural priorities wrong it will not stand for long. It will be also be a
very ugly replacement model for what is really possible.
POSTED BY: ADAM NEIRA | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 11:14 PM

Nigritude Ultramarine
@Dave's List

mazoh wasn't the hard cracker it is now


clothing wasn't distinct from others unless dress code was imposed by governments (like
hats: Judenhut / pilleus cornutus -- mandated by the Fourth Lateran Council, 1215)
chickens did not have to be shected
the wine of gentiles was OK
polygamy was permitted
there was never a tradition (apart from for selected and respected scholars who would
sit an do full time Torah learning and be supported by the commiunity) of large numbers
of Jews such as Charedim of not working or being prepared to fight in the military

Chicken was pareve


POSTED BY: NIGRITUDE ULTRAMARINE | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 11:02 PM

Nigritude Ultramarine
If the pace is maintained, the final product will be complete a little over 200 years from
now.

They're like cathedral builders.

POSTED BY: NIGRITUDE ULTRAMARINE | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 10:18 PM

Korbendallas72
That was supposed to say "the 5 books stand alone", but Hashem manifested himself in
the form of a typo and my auto-spell.

POSTED BY: KORBENDALLAS72 | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 10:02 PM

Korbendallas72
The 5 books stand one. I just want to know about that Prague ayin, what the hell, guys?

POSTED BY: KORBENDALLAS72 | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 10:00 PM

Dr. Dave
I wonder if they found the third tablet with the other 5 commandments that Mel Brooks
accidentally dropped...

The History of the World Part I

POSTED BY: DR. DAVE | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 09:41 PM

Adam Neira
To Dr.Dave,

Artscroll should not feel threatened by this "new media". The publishing house puts out
some great quality books. Alternative sources of information should be considered
especially when new truths are revealed. Perhaps some people in positions of power are
petrified right now because their carefully crafted edifices are in danger of collapsing
around them. This is the threat that these researchers at Hebrew University pose. The
film "Name of the Rose" comes to mind. I will bet my left leg that the findings from these
scholars do not conflict with my worldview and understanding of the Tanach even one
percent.

People should study the Tanach from an early age, but especially the Pentateuch, i.e.
Five tools in ancient Greek. This should be in conjunction with : History; Geography;
Science; Mathematics; Art; Literature, Economics and Politics. The physical side of
education should also not be ignored. Some sport is good. The international language of
English should be studied as well as the national language. Travel in the late teens, early
twenties is also a good way for young people to broaden their horizons. Obviously a
good education is predicated on a certain level of the general welfare in a nation.

The problem when people drift straight to the Talmud or other commentaries is that they
fail to think autonomously and reason through issues. If there was total freedom of
enquiry on the Planet most people would reach the same conclusions about the human
condition and the true potential of humankind. The word "educere" comes from the Latin,
to bring forth from within. The best form of education is guided curiosity. One learns best
when curiosity is sparked. A good teacher knows how to do this. It is good to think new
thoughts. As prophecy unfolds on the Planet people are going to be surprised at the new
thoughts, ideas and insights that enter their minds. G-d is the ultimate teacher. Some
people are scared of new thoughts because they threaten the frame of reference they
have carefully and tirelessly built. What they must realise however is that this frame of
reference influences their entire being.

Anyway, truth is pouring into the zeitgeist right now. You can avoid entering the stream of

consciousness for only so long. G-d will get you in the end...

"Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet. Then all things
are at risk."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson


POSTED BY: ADAM NEIRA | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 09:34 PM

Pagan
The Leningrad Codex states that the number of letters in the Torah is 400,945. That is
about 100,000 more than you will count today. So somewhere along the line, 25% of the
Torah has disappeared.

Unless you suppose the author of a definitive edition of the Tanakh simply couldn't count,
in which case why consider it definitive?

POSTED BY: PAGAN | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 09:26 PM

jancsipista
adam- keep on repaeting the same lies over and over and over and you know the rest it
becomes fact thats youre perception of the world.

POSTED BY: JANCSIPISTA | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 09:02 PM

Dr. Dave
Has anyone told Artscroll about this?

I bet they put out a 5 volume commentary of each redacted book with voluminous pages

of chareidi commentary about why the new version is wrong for $50.00 a volume.

POSTED BY: DR. DAVE | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 08:49 PM

Adam Neira
The Tanach is part : Genealogy; Drama; Lawmaking and Interpretation; Jurisprudence;
Romance; War Battles; Power Dynamics; Place Naming; Object Referencing;
Chronology; Prophecy; Allegory; Metaphor ; VIPs; Filler and Wise Counsel. Weighing up
the relevance of the different pieces should be left to very wise souls. The shore of
history is littered with the ugly flotsam and jetsam resulting from the terrible decisions
made by various people who thought they understood the true meaning of the good
book. The Tanach is the most important book in the world. The 79,976 words of the
Pentateuch assume primacy.

The various parts of the Tanach were written by humans. They did not magically appear
on a slab or a scroll of papyrus. Such a fact does not negate the supernatural aspect of
revelation as outlined by the sixth article of faith.
POSTED BY: ADAM NEIRA | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 08:39 PM

jancsipista
but we did have metzitza b:l peh lets not forget that.

POSTED BY: JANCSIPISTA | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 08:29 PM

Office of the Chief Rabbi


Slow news day, Shmarya?

You didn't reprint today's NY Times story on Aron. Wake up and get to work!

POSTED BY: OFFICE OF THE CHIEF RABBI | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 08:24 PM

seymour
Posted by: chussid | August 17, 2011 at 06:31 PM

well it is the truth, want to live your live based on falsehood go ahead

imagine if it did not say 3 times do not cook the calf with the milk of its mother
and it only said it twice i wonder what would happen

POSTED BY: SEYMOUR | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 07:58 PM

chussid
is not a worse myth from evolution or other kefirah like this drek!

POSTED BY: CHUSSID | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 07:57 PM

seymour
Posted by: chussid | August 17, 2011 at 06:31 PM

finally figured that out that the whole thing is built on a myth

POSTED BY: SEYMOUR | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 07:54 PM

ruthie
o the wine of gentiles was OK

YAY!

POSTED BY: RUTHIE | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 07:45 PM

chussid
How can you post such menuvaldike kefirah on your site? You say lubavitchers are bad
for believing the rebbe is moshiach while you are kofer in kol hatorah kulu!

POSTED BY: CHUSSID | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 07:31 PM

RE:search
@david

oh, and they didnt use internet or electricity...

POSTED BY: RE:SEARCH | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 06:39 PM

RE:search
@david What? chickens needed to be shechted since the gemmora. yayin nesech too

POSTED BY: RE:SEARCH | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 06:37 PM

David
Up until 3-10 centuries ago Judaism was a different religion to what it is now.
E.g.:

o mazoh wasn't the hard cracker it is now.

o clothing wasn't distinct from others unless dress code was imposed by governments.
o chickens did not have to be shected.
o the wine of gentiles was OK.
o polygamy was permitted.
o there was never a tradition (apart from for selected and respected scholars who would
sit an do full time Torah learning and be supported by the commiunity) of large numbers
of Jews such as Charedim of not working or being prepared to fight in the military.

POSTED BY: DAVID | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 06:08 PM

Jayman
Just because there are other versions of the torah from different sects who were not
careful in their transmission of the tanach, does not prove that the pharisees did not
have an authoritative torah scroll that they kept safe from corruption throughout the
ages. There is a well written essay about this here;

http://www.aishdas.org/toratemet/en_text.html

POSTED BY: JAYMAN | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 06:06 PM

Chicago Sam
These rabbis probably think the earth is also flat, since the Tanakh often speaks about
the "four corners of the earth."

POSTED BY: CHICAGO SAM | AUGUST 17, 2011 AT 04:58 PM

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