The Ramchal in his “Essay on Fundamentals” says that G-d did not desire to write the Torah so clearly that it would not need any explanation. Quite to the contrary, He wrote in it many undefined concepts, so no man could possibly know its true meaning without being given an explanation. This explanation must come from a tradition emanating from G-d Himself, Who is the Author of the Torah.
Ramchal mentions there are three ways in which the Written Torah is modified by the Oral Tradition
– Concepts which are mentioned in a general manner, but whose details are explained in the Oral Tradition
– Concepts which are fully explained in the Written Torah, but can be interpreted in different ways
– Where the words in the written Torah have one meaning, while the Oral Tradition explains it in a very different manner
When teaching beginners Torah, it is sometimes hard to convince them about the importance of the Oral Torah’s centrality in understanding the written Torah. They need to be taught that you can’t understand individual Posukim without an explanation.
What challenges did you need to overcome to accept the Oral Tradition as the ultimate source of explanation?
How would you help others come to that understanding?