How Halakha developed - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Yonatan
    • 18.10.07 | 18:23 (IST)

    The Torah wasn't canonized (sanctified) until late in the Persian Period or in the Hellenistic Period. Once it became sanctified, it was immediately realized that peole couldn't live by it, because it had developed during an earlier period, when social and economic conditions were different; and because the laws in the Torah were often too general and not specific enough; or because laws in many fields were simply missing. This is because the Torah was not composed to be a lawbook but the History of a Covenant. So it became necessary to supplement and emend the Written Torah by developing an "Oral Law" . This developed over several centuries until it was edited as the Mishna by Rabbi Judah the Prince about 200 CE. Anyone who reads the Mishan or Talmud critically can see that the Oral Law - the Talmud - is not at all ancient, but developed little by little, often by decisions taken by majorities in the leading yeshivot. Thus, the Halakha, is entirely of human manufacture.

    from the article: Zionist rabbis agree to serve on independent conversion courts
    First published 00:00 18.10.07 | Last updated 00:00 18.10.07
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