Monday, July 22, 2013

TMS debate continues

R' Gordimer writing on Cross Currents:
"It is critical to realize that there exist some undeniable and dispositive  common denominators that are essential elements of acceptable belief in all of the views cited by R. Helfgot: that the words of the Torah are the direct and literal Word of God, that the words of God reported in the Torah as having been communicated directly from God to Moshe were indeed communicated as such, that the Torah was given at Sinai in a tangible manner of historical veracity, that the historical events in the Torah that form the basis of our faith (such as the Exodus) did occur, and that Torah She-b’al Peh is of direct Mosaic origin and is part and parcel of the Torah itself. "
He wrote these words in response to an article written by R' Nati Helfgot, but the passage makes it clear that he didn't read Helfgott very caregully. RNH quoted Ibn Ezra and Tananim who said the last [x] number of verses were not "communicated directly from God to Moshe" and he quoted a Rishon who allowed for the possibility that lots of Torah material was revealed by prophets long after Moshe died. So how can those ideas be "essential elements of acceptable belief" if bold name rabbis didn't believe them? How can they be "common denominators?"

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