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Quote on DINET bracelets


danish
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Hi everybody!

I just got my dinet bracelets at the end of last week, and am so excited to have them! :) Right away I gave one to one of my best friends, who really liked it. Her dad, who is a rabbi, noticed it right away when he came to pick her up (see I gained pots awareness within only hours of having the bracelets! :)). He did mention, however, that he had never heard the quote before. He did some research and made a few phone calls, and found out that Hillel never actually said that. Obviously, it's an innocent mistake, and as he pointed out, a really great quote nonetheless. However, he suggested that if there is a second print up of bracelets you write "unknown" instead of Hillel. I wasn't sure who's in charge of this type of thing so I just thought I'd post it.

Anyway, the bracelets really are great!

~Sarina

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Hi Sarina!

Thanks for posting about this. I work in a library and tried to look up the quote in our various quote books but could not find it in any of them. I searched the quote on the web and did find it many times with Hillel listed as as the author, but I could not find a citation to verify Hillel as the author. Nina is on vacation right now, but I'll ask her to read this when she gets back.

Michelle

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Briarrose,

Anything that Hillel, Shammai, and Yochanan Ben Zakkai all said were recorded in the talmud, most of them in Pikei Avot, but many in Ketubot, and Eruvin too. Obviously, Hillel said more things in his life, but considering that he lived in the 1st century BCE, it's extremely unlikely that any quotes have been passed down by word of mouth. In addition, he lived during the time of Herod which was a very oppresive time for Jews, so any other records of what he said were destroyed by the Romans who were occupying Palestine.

We do have hundreds of quotes of things Hillel said, most of them from when he was nasi (president) of the Sanhedrein (the Jewish supreme court), but this isn't one of them. Hillel has been wrongly attributed to quite a few things, so this anything new.

Like I said before, it isn't a big deal and obviously a GREAT quote. My four best friends all have bracelets and I can't wait for school to start and other people to see them!

~Sarina

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Guest tearose

Nina, I know your just getting back into your groove after vacation but I love this quote and want so much to find the citation somewhere. Any leads? When you get a chance..., please let us know your findings, thanks

danish, what about the oral tradition? there is lore and law...how can we be certain it is just the interpretation of haggadah vs. halacha?

best regards, tearose

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Unfortunately, I no longer have the links I used when we did the original research. I recall, however, that I found the quote on a number of sites, one of which was all about Hillel. Also, the original wording we'd voted on was different from what I found on the sites--so we decided to change the text on the bracelet to match the original wording.

For this one, I'll leave the arguing up to the Jewish history scholars. :) Nina

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Hi everyone.

Tearose, the Talmud is the oral tradition. It's made up of the Mishnah (which is commentary on the Torah), and the Gemara (which is commentary on the Mishnah). Like I said before, the Talmud is our sole record of what Hillel said and did, and this quote isn't anywhere in the Talmud. My friend's father asked a couple Jewish scholars of this era, and both of them confirmed what he originally thought. He gave me a pretty definitive answer, but if anyone feels like doing more research, why not?

Obviously, I'm no expert on Jewish history, or rabbinics (although you do pick up quite a lot after 11 years of going to a Jewish school.... :)), but I do trust his knowledge.

~Sarina

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Guest tearose

Hi Sarina, thanks for your info. I love learning. Just curious, since I too am not a scholar, do the orthodox scholars still write and interpret texts since the time of the Talmud? The reform and conservative movements continue to write oral law. That can be demonstrated in the essays that allowed women to become rabbis in conservative and how reform still write responsa to questions. respectfully, tearose

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Tearose,

Like I said before, I?m not a scholar or anything. I?m sure if you look online you can find a lot of information on all of this, but this is what I remember in the midst of brainfog. I?ll answer what you asked/said in order, but I do think that you?ve been misinformed about a couple things. By the way, sorry that this is SO incredibly off topic from POTS.

1. In Orthodox Judaism, Halachah (basically all of the laws in the Talmud) is taken very seriously. In Orthodoxy, the commandment of ?lo tasif vi lo tizroah? (do not add or subtract) is strictly followed, meaning no halachah can be added or taken away. So no, no oral law can be added. However, the beit deinim (religious courts) still make decrees, rulings, and customs which are considered authoritative. In addition, Orthodox Judaism makes no attempt to interpret or understand any mitzvot or halachah, as they carry out the verse in Genesis, ?na?aseh vi nishmah? (doing then understanding), so Orthodox study is limited to the practice.

2. Conservative Judaism is pretty much parallel to Orthodoxy as far as adding or subtracting halachah, or oral law, and live their daily lives ?k?fi halachah? (according to halachah) like Orthodox Jews. So, no, Conservative Jews actually don?t add on to oral law. However, asking questions is at the core of Conservative Judaism. Getting their inspiration from the verse in Psalms, ?hevee?ani? (give me understanding) they believe that it is important to understand why you are following the laws. Basically, Conservative Jews are at the opposite of end of the spectrum from Orthodoxy as far as finding reasoning, as they carry out the verse in Deuteronomy, ?vi?yasmanu atah vi na?aseh? (and you will understand and then you will do).

3. The reason that Conservative Judaism allows women to be rabbis is not because they have changed or added oral law, but simply because they understand it differently. The reasoning behind their thinking is really confusing but I?m about to send you a PM with a basic explanation. Obviously, anyone else can read it if they want to but this post is already very long.

4. Most Reform Jews completely disregard Halacha, although a few follow it to the minimum. Also, reform Judaism only requires the abiding of the ethical mitzvot (don?t gossip, visit the sick, etc.) or ones that add to their secular life (although most observe other customs as well). Reform Jews consider themselves ?first nationals, and then Jews?, and will allow their members to do anything to ?fit in? with the outside community. Reform Judaism has written their own rules and regulations in place of Halacha, but technically they aren?t ?adding? Halacha (oral law), just doing away with it.

I just realized how long this all is. So SORRY!! Ha my 6th grade teacher would be proud. :)

~Sarina

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Guest tearose

Sarina,

The point of the discussion in my opinion was in fact related to our bracelet which is pots related...

If we chose this quote and misrepresented it I would make it my business to rally support to correct any error!

Enough information is out there in numerous writings with the quote attributed to Hillel

I do not believe it is an error and wanted to be sure of what I believed before stating so.

I do not find any problem with the bracelet as it is now. In fact the group voted on this and it met with approval of the forum.

Thank you for your concern. I for one am satisfied with the way the bracelet is now.

best regards, tearose

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