Oral Law

This week’s Parsha speaks about the various laws connected with the holidays. When Succot is discussed, there is a commandment to take a פרי עץ הדר, a fruit of the citrus tree.

Rabbi Soloveitchik points out that this is a classic example of our מסורת, tradition. The Torah never uses the word, אתרוג, yet, everyone everywhere knows what an Etrog is.

Similarly, I always added תפילין and שחיטה to this list of examples of where we need the Oral Law for it’s explanation.

The word, תפילין, is not found anywhere in the Torah but Jews everywhere know that it refers to two black boxes with straps and specific passages written in parchment.

There are five traditional rules related to the laws of slaughtering. The word, שחיטה is not found in the Torah. This is הלכה למשה מסיני. These are all based on the Oral Law.

We must never minimize the importance of the Rabbis and their role in maintaining the Torah and keeping Judaism alive. Shabbat Shalom