Sunday, June 01, 2014

When Quoting Pesukim (Bible Verses) Is Heretical.

I suppose it's one thing to be afraid of heretical ideas (supposed or actual) that might cause one to lose faith in their principles.  It's not an approach I approve of (I was never a believer in burying  your head in the sand), but it is one which is common in yeshivish circles.

However, I find it puzzling that the modertators of the Yeshiva World CoffeeRoom are not only afraid of heretical ideas, but they're actually afraid of actual verses from the Torah.

Take, for example, the recent thread titled What exactly did we get on Shavuos?   In the thread, one person stated the following:

According to the opinion that it was bit by bit ("megillah, megillah nisnah") Moshe wrote down the Torah from Breishis until Matan Torah right then. 

I pointed out that even the portion of the Torah leading up to Mattan Torah could not have been written with the exact text that we currently have.   When asked to elaborate, I did so.  The post I responded with was as follows:

Sh'mos chapter 16 (the chapter discussing the gift of the manna) is before written before the chapter of Mattan Torah and takes place chronologically before Mattan Torah. Nonetheless, the text of the chapter as we have it today must have been written during the last year in the wilderness -- not at Sinai.

The proof of this, comes from verse 35 where it says that they ate the manna for forty years until they arrived at the land of Canaan. At the time of Mattan Torah, they had not yet been sentenced to wander the wilderness for forty years.

Obviously, at a minimum, you have to say that that verse was inserted before Moshe's death in the fortieth year.

To me, this seems obvious.  If chapter 16 of Exodus were given as we currently have it on Sinai, then wouldn't the Israelites have asked Moshe "Hey, what's this business about not getting to the Land of Canaan for forty years?"  Clearly, this verse at a minimum (and perhaps the entire chapter) was written, at the earliest, in the fortieth year in the wilderness.

Apparently, however, even this is unacceptable to the moderators at the CoffeeRoom.  Apparently they are so wedded to the notion that everything from B'raishis until Yisro had to be written as we have it at Mattan Torah that they seem willing to completely ignore the verse that testifies to the fact that it could not have been written before the last year in the wilderness.  My response was deleted. 

I then followed up with a simple question to them:

Really?!   Is what I posted such kefira that it had to be censored?  Is it not something that a normal person could determine simply by reading the pesukim?

That, too, was deleted without response.  My guess is that the moderators of the CoffeeRoom view reading and quoting the pesukim with their simple menaing as heretical.

The Wolf