Re. brain sizes: Einstein's and women's

Bob LeChevalier lojbab at
Tue Nov 5 01:01:39 EST 2002

"John Knight" <jwknight at> wrote:
>"Bob LeChevalier" <lojbab at> wrote in message
>news:d6rbsu4cl0gkgd6t1ev3kpl7qvtpobdnuq at
>> JDay123 at (Jd) wrote:
>> >Bob LeChevalier wrote:
>> >>>JDay123 at (Jd) wrote:
>> >>>Your view that the Talmud is a type of codification of the oral
>> >>>Torah is off  by one order of magnitude in that the earliest
>> >>>document of rabbinic literature is the "Mishnah" not the Talmud.
>> >>
>> >>The Mishnah is part of the Talmud.
>> >
>> >And your point?
>> You said "the "Mishnah" not the Talmud".  If the Mishnah is part of
>> the Talmud, your claim above makes no sense.
>What is it about the Talmud that you can't get straight, lojbab?

When are you going to learn something rather than continuing to repeat

> The
>"traditions of the elders" which Jesus Christ rightly condemned was the ORAL
>tradition practiced by the jews who had infiltrated Judaea.

He condemned the practices of the Pharisees.  If you look below, the
Sadducees rejected the Oral Law.

>centuries later, RABBIS based the written "Mishnah" on those oral

>They had NOTHING to do with the Holy Bible, as the people who
>wrote this screed HATED Christians, Christianity, and Jesus Christ
>(according to their OWN writings).

Since the Mishna were composed (though not written down) before
Christ, the people who wrote those parts could have no opinion on
Jesus Christ.  According to the Judaism FAQ (see following) the bulk
of the Torah/Pentateuch is repeated in the Talmud.

Oral Law:
>Question 3.5: What is the Oral Law?
>                                  Answer:
>   The Torah makes it clear that it was being transmitted side by side
>   with an oral tradition. Many terms and definitions used in the written
>   law are totally undefined. Many fundamental concepts such as shekhita
>   (slaughtering of animals in a kosher fashion), divorce and the rights
>   of the firstborn are all assumed as common knowledge by text, and are
>   not elaborated. Some specific examples:
>     * In describing the proper way to slaughter animals for food, the
>       Torah writes "If the place which G-d your L-rd has chosen to place
>       His name there will be too far from you, then you shall kill of
>       your herd and of your flock which G-d Lord has given you, as I
>       have commanded you." (Deut 12). However, the Torah doesn't record
>       that earlier commandment anywhere.
>     * When it comes to divorce -- the bible never discusses the laws
>       outright, they are assumed in passing in a discussion about when
>       remarriage would be allowed. (Deut 24:1-4)
>     * There is a reliance on sages for interpreting the law in Exod
>       18:36 and in Deut 17:8-3.
>Question 3.6: How was the Oral and Written Law passed down to us?
>                                  Answer:
>   The traditional view is the the Written Law was given to Moses at
>   Sinai, and has remained unchanged since that time. At the same time,
>   according to the traditional view, the Oral Law was dictated but not
>   written down, in order to provide clarifications of Torah. To some
>   extent, this is necessarily the case; the Written Torah mentions some
>   core laws (e.g., the identities of kosher and non-kosher species,
>   shechita [slaughtering], the kinds of activities prohibited on
>   Shabbat, how Yom Kippur is observed, how the shofar is blown, what
>   t'fillin [phylacteries] are, what is a sukkah, marriage and divorce)
>   only briefly, without any of the requisite details. In many such
>   instances, the Oral Torah has special status, and is referred to as
>   "halakha l'Moshe mi'Sinai" (literally, Law to Moses at Sinai), and has
>   the same immutable status as the Written Torah itself. Another factor
>   "forcing" the recognition of the Oral Torah was the need for the basic
>   halakhic principles of the Written Torah to extend and adapt (within
>   limits) to societal changes; cultural and social changes demanded
>   halakhic decisions, and these halakhic decisions had to be transmitted
>   across generations. Deut 17:8-9 tells the people to "go the the judge
>   who shall be in those days;" the rabbinic tradition thus explicitly
>   commands adherence to the Oral Torah and to rabbinic authority.
>   We do not know much of the early history of the Oral Torah, but much
>   of it (e.g., the basic structure of the Amidah liturgy, and the basic
>   principles of halakhic exegesis) is ascribed to the Men of the Great
>   Assembly (539-332 BCE, the era of the Second Temple and Persian rule).
>   Subsequent development of the Oral Law took place in the era of the
>   Zugot ("pairs" of scholars who served as spiritual and intellectual
>   leaders of the Jewish community under political domination of the
>   Greeks and Hasmoneans; it was in that period that the Sadducees, who
>   substantially rejected the authority of the Oral Torah, arose. But the
>   varieties of modern Judaism derive from the Talmud, in which the
>   essential principles of rabbinic Judaism were more fully discussed and
>   developed. If the Oral Torah was indeed given to the Jews at Sinai at
>   the same time as the Written Torah, how does one explain the talmudic
>   disputes? There are at least three possibilities, and they are not
>   mutually exclusive. Perhaps the Oral Torah was transmitted
>   inaccurately, and the task of the rabbis was to reconstruct it.
>   Alternatively, the halakhic principles of the Oral Torah were used by
>   the rabbis to derive new laws, and to apply old laws to novel
>   situations. The third possibility is that the Oral Law gave the rabbis
>   the right (perhaps the responsibility) to legislate.
>   Non-traditional movements have different positions on the origin. Some
>   hold with the "documentary theory", which has four authors. Some hold
>   with divine inspiration. Others believe in divine inspiration, written
>   in the language and context of its time. However, all agree that the
>   Written and Oral Torah contain eternal truths that apply as well today
>   as when the documents were committed to parchment, and that study of
>   both is critical.

>Question 3.9: What is the Mishna?
>                                  Answer:
>   The Hebrew verb 'shanah' literally means 'to repeat [what one was
>   taught] and is used to mean 'to learn'. The term 'Mishna' basically
>   means the entire body of Jewish religious law that was passed down and
>   developed before 200 CE, when it was finally redacted by Rabbi Yehudah
>   haNasi (Judah the Prince). He is usually simply referred to as
>   'Rabbi'.
>   Prior to the time of Rabbi, all Jewish Law was transmitted orally; It
>   was expressly forbidden to write and publish the Oral Law, as any
>   writing would be incomplete and subject to misinterpretation and
>   abuse. However, after great debate, this restriction was lifted when
>   it became apparent that it was the only way to insure that the law
>   could be preserved. To prevent the material from being lost, Rabbi
>   took up the redaction of the Mishna. He did not do this at his own
>   discretion, but rather examined the tradition all the way back to the
>   Great Assembly. Some of tractates preceded him; these he merely
>   supplemented.
>   During this time period (around 200 CE) the Mishna, as such, was never
>   published. Instead the main study of Jewish law was conducted in
>   memorized form, except for private letters and notes

>Question 3.1: What is the Written Law?
>                                  Answer:
>   The Written Law consists of the books of the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh.
>   It should be noted that the term "Bible" is more commonly used by
>   non-Jews, as are the terms "Old Testament" and "New Testament". The
>   appropriate term for Jews to use for the Hebrew Bible is "Tanakh".
>   Tanakh is an acronym for Torah, Nevi'im, and Ketuvim.
>   The Torah is also known as the Chumash, Pentateuch, or Five Books of
>   Moses. The word 'Torah' has the following meanings:
>    1. A scroll made from kosher animal parchment, with the entire text
>       of the Five Books of Moses written in it by a sofer [ritual
>       scribe]. This is the most limited definition.
>    2. More often, this term means the text of the Five Books of Moses,
>       written in any format, whether Torah scroll, paper back book,
>       CD-ROM, sky-writing or any other media.
>       Any printed version of the Torah (with or without commentary) can
>       be called a Chumash or Pentateuch. However, one never refers to a
>       Torah Scroll as a Chumash!
>    3. The term 'Torah' can mean the entire corpus of Jewish law! This
>       includes the Written and the Oral Law, which includes the Mishna,
>       the Midrash, the Talmud, and even later day legal commentaries.
>       This definition of Torah is probably the most common among
>       Orthodox Jews. Usually you can figure out which definition is
>       being used by the context.
>Question 3.10: What is the relationship between the Mishna and the Torah?
>                                  Answer:
>   The Mishna contains the detailed instructions necessary for following
>   the rules that were merely outlined in the Torah.
>   Which is a subset of which? Consider that although the basic laws of
>   Judaism were revealed/developed simultaneously, only the basic mitzvot
>   (without instructions on how to fulfill them) were originally written
>   down. Although the Mishna was written centuries later, they are both
>   of equal stature. However, because the Mishna includes most the laws
>   of the Torah--and presents additional information--one could say that
>   for practical purposes the Torah is a subset of the Mishna. Note that
>   the Mishna does not quite cover all the laws in the Torah. Omissions
>   include the laws of Mezuzot and the Priestly benedictions.
>   When one gets to the Talmud, one sees that the Mishna is a subset of
>   the Talmud, as the Talmud includes practically all of the Mishna as
>   well as additional information.

>Both the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud are based on the Gemara,
>or commentary.

Not correct
>Question 3.14: What is the Gemara and what is the Talmud?
>                                  Answer:
>   The term 'gemara' means addition; The gemara is an addition to the
>   Mishna. Interestingly, although there is only one Mishna, there are
>   two gemaras, each developed by many rabbis over a few centuries. One
>   gemara was developed in Israel, and is called the Yerushalmi; the
>   other was developed in Babylonia, and is called the Bavli. You never
>   find the gemara printed by itself. It is always printed along with the
>   Mishna.
>   When you have the Babylonian gemara and the Mishna printed together,
>   it is called Talmud Bavli (The Babylonian Talmud).
>   When you have the Israeli gemara and the Mishna printed together, it
>   is called Talmud Yerushalmi (or the Jerusalem Talmud, or the
>   Palestinian Talmud, or the Talmud of the Land of Israel.)
>   Keep in mind that the gemaras do not stick closely to the text, but
>   offer a huge amount of additional material which is only loosely
>   connected to the Mishna. They supplement the Mishna with haggadic
>   materials and biblical expositions, and are a source for history and
>   legend.
>Question 3.16: What is Talmud Yerushalmi (Jerusalem Talmud)?
>                                  Answer:
>   The Talmud Yerushalmi, also known as the Jerusalem Talmud (JT), the
>   Palestinian Talmud, Talmud Eretz Yisrael (Talmud of the Land of
>   Israel) and Gemara de Eretz Yisrael, is the Mishna plus the Yerushalmi
>   gemara. It is interesting to note that the JT that we have today is
>   missing a huge amount of material. There is only commentary for the
>   first four orders of the Mishna; The rest has been lost to history.
>   The JT gemara is also missing for tractates Avot and Eduyot, parts of
>   Toharot and other sections as well. Despite extensive scholarship, it
>   still is unclear why this material was not included in the final
>   redaction of the JT.
>Question 3.17: What is Talmud Bavli (Babylonian Talmud)?
>                                  Answer:
>   The Talmud Bavli (BT) is the Mishna plus the Babylonian gemara. It is
>   much more complete than the Talmud Yerushalmi (JT), and the redaction
>   is much more careful and precise. Still, it is by no means complete.
>   The gemara only exists for 37 out of the 63 tractates of the Mishna.
>   Why did these tractates remain without gemara in the BT? The
>   traditional answer is that the laws of Zeraim and Toharot (except
>   Niddah) had no practical relevance:
>     * The agricultural laws were tied only to the land of Israel. In the
>       diaspora these laws simply were of no use.
>     * The purity laws (except for family purity) were no longer
>       applicable, because there was no longer a Temple and sacrificial
>       system.
>   One might think then that there would be no BT gemara on Qodashim...
>   but there is. This is probably because the study of the sacrificial
>   regulations is generally thought of as being on par with actually
>   performing sacrifices.
>   In the usual printed editions, the BT comprises the full Mishna, the
>   37 gemaras, and the extra-canonical (minor) tractates. Typically, this
>   comprises 5,894 pages, and is much more extensive than the JT.
>   The overall character of BT is encyclopedic. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
>   states:
>     The Talmud is the repository of thousands of years of Jewish
>     wisdom. And the Oral Law, which is as ancient and significant as
>     the Written Law (Torah), finds expression therein. It is a
>     conglomerate of law, legend, and philosophy, a blend of unique
>     logic and shrewd pragmatism, of history and science, anecdote and
>     humor.

>The jews have successfully confused you by telling you the following known
>1)  The Holy Bible was written by jews.

The Jews do not claim this.  They claim that several books, including
those which Christians later called the "Old Testament" were written
down by Jews.

>Question 3.2: What are the books of the Jewish Bible (Tanakh)?
>                                  Answer:
>   First, note that the Bible isn't the entire corpus of what we call
>   "Torah"; in fact, it's the smaller piece. In traditional Jewish
>   thought, the Torah (in the limited sense) is "merely" lecture notes --
>   the minimum needed to remember or rebuild the larger body of
>   knowledge. The non-written part we call Oral Torah (Torah shebi'al
>   peh). The word Torah in the narrower sense refers to the five books of
>   Moses, or to a scroll that contains those books. However, this is only
>   because we believe that the entire Torah -- using the word in its
>   broadest sense -- is implied by the words of its text. That includes
>   not only the ideas in the Oral Torah, but also the ideas in the
>   prophetic and inspired works that compose the rest of the Jewish
>   Bible. The prophets wrote down their words to increase their impact,
>   not because these were innovative ideas. Tradition has it that the
>   text of the Torah can be simultaneously understood on 4 levels: the
>   simple meaning (p'shat), as mnemonics based on extra or missing
>   letters, gematria, acrostics, etc... (remez), through scriptural
>   hermeneutics (d'rash), and on a philosophical and kabbalistic level
>   (sowd). The acronym of these four levels is "pardeis" (orchard) and is
>   associated with the concept of Paradise.
>   Also, note that the word "Bible" is more commonly used by non-Jews, as
>   are the terms "old testament" and "new testament", although
>   "scripture" is a synonym used by both Jews and non-Jews. The
>   appropriate term to use is Tanakh. This word is derived from the
>   Hebrew letters of the three parts that make it up:
>   Torah:
>          Books of Genesis (B'reishis), Exodus (Sh'mos), Leviticus
>          (Vayikra), Numbers(Bamidbar), and Deuteronomy (D'varim).
>   N'viim (Prophets):
>          Books of Joshua, Judges, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II
>          Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah,
>          Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habukkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah,
>          and Malachi. (The last twelve are sometimes grouped together as
>          "Trei Asar." ["Twelve"])
>   K'Tuvim (Writings):
>          Books of Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth,
>          Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel (although not all
>          that is included in the Christian Canon), Ezra and Nehemiah, I
>          Chronicles, and II Chronicles.
>   It should be noted that the breaking of Samuel (Shmuel), Kings
>   (Melachim), and Chronicles (Divrei hayamim) into two parts is strictly
>   an artifact of the Christian printers who first issued the books. They
>   were too big to be issued as single volumes. Because every one
>   followed these de facto standards, the titles of Volume 1 and Volume 2
>   were attached to the names. The division of the Tanach into chapters
>   was also done by medieval Christians, and only later adopted by Jews.
>   Many Christian Bibles have expanded versions of several of these books
>   (Esther, Ezra, Daniel, Jeremiah and Chronicles) including extra
>   material that is not accepted as canonical in Judaism. This extra
>   material was part of the ancient Greek translation of the Tanakh, but
>   was never a part of the official Hebrew Tanakh. Jews regard this extra
>   material as apocryphal. Among Christians, there is a difference of
>   opinion. Catholics regard this material as canonical, while many
>   Protestant sects regard this material as Apocrypha. What is and is not
>   regarded as Apocrypha varies among the many Christian sects. Some of
>   the most famous Apocryphal stories are closely associated with the
>   book of Daniel, and indeed are printed as part of that book in some
>   Christian Bibles. These stories include: Susan and the Elders, The
>   Song of the Three Children, and Bel and the Dragon.
>   There are other books mentioned in Torah. For example, Joshua 10:13
>   refers to a book of "Jasher". Are such books part of the Jewish canon?
>   No. Do they exist? There are many books on the web that claim to be
>   such lost books. However, there are many sites (such as
>   [5] that points out that
>   many of them are hoaxes.

Different Jewish groups have different opinions on the writing of the
Jewish Bible:
>Question 3.4: Who wrote the Torah?
>                                  Answer:
>   Ah, yet another easy question. :-)
>   The traditional view is that G-d gave the Jewish people the entire
>   Torah; hence the Torah is the word of G-d. As described above, the
>   Torah consists of a written and an oral portion (although much of the
>   oral portion is now written down). Of the written portion:
>     * The first five books (Pentateuch, Chumash) were dictated by G-d to
>       Moses, while Moses was in a conscious and aware state.
>     * N'viim (the Prophetic writings) were transmitted by G-d to the
>       prophets by various means (such as by a dream or vision) and
>       transcribed by the prophet in his (or her) own style and wording.
>       G-d communicated with all prophets (except Moses) through dreams
>       or visions. These writings are considered a level "below" that of
>       Moses. Specific laws are not derived from the Prophets, except
>       through examples of how a mitzvah was actually performed. There
>       were many more prophets in the history of Israel than are recorded
>       in the Neviim. See Section 12.11 [5]"Who were the prophets?"
>     * K'Tuvim (Sacred Writings) were the result of "Ruach HaKodesh"
>       (roughly: "Divine Inspiration"), which is one level below
>       "prophecy". Visions from the writings are more mystical and may be
>       complete allegory. Unlike prophecy, they do not have to come true.
>       The Rambam defines a number of different "levels" of prophecy
>       (based on the method through which the prophet received the
>       message and the clarity with which he/she received it) and points
>       out that they do not have to function on the same level at all
>       times. For example, many people include Daniel among the prophets
>       while his book is in K'Tuvim. Other examples are King David and
>       Tehillim or Jeremiah and Eichah (Lamentations).
>   The Liberal movements hold less with the notion of the Torah being the
>   actual word of G-d, and more with the notion of the Torah being of
>   divine inspiration, written in the language and context of its time:
>     * Conservative. The Conservative movement teaches that the Torah is
>       not one long quote from G-d, but rather is a human document that
>       was written in response G-d's revelation of himself to us at Mount
>       Sinai. Within the Conservative movement are basically two schools
>       of thought with regards to the content of Revelation:
>          + Rabbi Solomon Schechter is a good example of the
>            traditionalists, who explicitly taught that G-d not only
>            revealed his existence, but G-d also presented Israel with
>            specific ideas and commandments, although the form in which
>            these were given is something beyond what language can
>            describe. Whether or not 'words' were used to convey ideas is
>            irrelevant: What is relevant is that meaning was conveyed.
>            Thus, the text of our Torah is a record of a human response
>            to the Divine commandments.
>          + Rabbi Elliot Dorf is a good example of the modernists, who
>            explicitly teach that G-d did not reveal specific ideas or
>            commandments in any propositional form. Rather, G-d revealed
>            his existence, but did not impart any propositional content
>            to Moses or the later Prophets. Instead, the Torah is a
>            literary document that was produced as a result of Israel's
>            encounter with the Divine. Thus, any laws contained within it
>            can only be considered as semi-Divine in origin, as they do
>            not express G-d's will, but rather express our best attempt
>            at understanding what G-d wants of us.
>     * Reform. Reform Judaism uses the idea of progressive relevation.
>       The Torah may be the product of divine inspiration, but it was
>       written in the language and context of its time, and must be
>       continually reinterpreted into today's language and context.
>     * Reconstructionist. Reconstructionist Jews believe that the Torah
>       was not inspired by G-d in any way and is more the folklore of the
>       Jewish people, albeit a folklore that is of the greatest
>       importance. However, they do claim that the traditional mitzvot in
>       the Oral and Written law are more or less binding, but for reasons
>       of cultural significance only. It should be noted that some of
>       today's new Reconstructionist rabbis are publicly questioning this
>       theology, and our adopting a more traditional stance, although
>       this trend has not yet made any real inroads among its laity.

>2)  The Talmud is the Mishnah.
This is not what the Jews claim, nor what I claimed.  The two versions
of Talmud INCLUDE the Mishna, but also include commentaries.

>3)  The jewish holy book is the "Torah", which is the first five books of
>the Holy Bible.

Not quite what they claim.  See above regarding Torah.

>If you ever manage to get these LIES straight,

If you ever STOP telling lies, and turn away from the Prince of Lies
whom you serve, you might learn something.

>> >Then why don't you know about OT saints?
>> Because no church I have been a member of has claimed that there were
>> any such thing.
>awww, poow wittwl wibberal.
>If the church doesn't read its dog-eared copy of the Holy Bible to it, it
>must now know what's in the Holy Bible, eh?

Since many translations of the Bible do not use the word "saints" in
the Old Testament, they can read their Bible all they want but still
not find Old Testament "saints".

>> >Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their
>> >beds.  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a
>> >two-edged sword in their hand;  To execute vengeance upon the
>> >heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with
>> >chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them
>> >the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the
>> >Lord. (Psalms 149:5-9)
>> Revised standard version has "faithful ones" for your "saints".
>And another "revised version" substitutes "jews" for "Israelites".

Only where it is correct to do so.

>Why would you entrust your faith in Christ on jew LIES?

Since Christ himself was a Jew, as was Paul.  If everything written by
Jews is a lie, the entire Christian religion is a lie.


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