Varied Jewish Thoughts on Torah
When Moses was on high, he found the Holy One decorating the Torah’s letters with coronets. He asked the meaning of this, and the Holy One said, After many generations, a man by the name of Akiba will expound heaps and heaps of laws on each of these tittles.” Moses went and sat down behind eight rows of disciples listening to Akiba’s discourse, but he was unable to follow the discussion. At one point, the disciples asked, “Whence do you know it?” and Akiba replied, “It is a law given to Moses on Sinai.” Said Moses, “Lord, Thou hast such a man, and Thou givest the Torah by me?” God replied, “Such is My decree!”
-Rab. T. Menahot 29b.
What brief verse contains the whole substance of the Torah? Proverbs, 3.6, “In all thy ways acknowledge God, and He will direct thy paths.”
-Bar Kappara. T. Berakot 63a.
I believe with perfect faith that the whole Torah, now in our possession, is the same that was given to Moses our teacher.
-Maimonides, Commentary to Mishna: Sanhedrin, 1168, 10.1. Thirteen Principles, #8.
Allegiance to the authority of the rabbinic tradition is binding upon all sons of Israel.
-Z. H. Chajes, Mebo HaTalmud, (1845) 1954, ch 1, p. 4.
Think not that I came to destroy the Law…I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. Verily, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.
-New Testament, Matthew, 5.17f.
Where two meet in Torah, the Shekina is present.
-Hanina b. Teradion. Mishna Abot 3.2
Enlighten our eyes in Thy Torah that we may cling to Thy commandments.
-Union Prayer Book, i. 118. DPB, ed Singer, 40.
The cord of God’s ordinances and Law are suspended from heaven to earth, and whoever lays hold of it has hope.
-Maimon b. Joseph, Letter of Consolation, 1160
The essence and aim of the whole Torah is love for God and devotion to Him.
-Katz, Toldot Jacob Joseph, 1780. q HLH 1, 32.