The Unbroken Chain
Author: Rabbi Dovid Sapirman
Book Type: Hardcover
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Our entire lives revolve around our commitment to Hashem’s mitzvos. Yet, hardly a single mitzvah in the Written Torah can be understood on its own. What defines the forbidden “work” on Shabbos, the “affliction” on Yom Kippur, or the day of “blowing an instrument” on Rosh Hashanah? How shall we tie “words for a sign” upon our hand? So little is revealed in the Written Torah.
At Matan Torah, each and every mitzvah was explained in all its details to Moshe Rabbeinu, in what we call the Oral Torah. This Oral Torah explanation is the only way to understand — and the only true meaning of — what is contained in the written Torah.
The study of Torah She’baal Peh is the neshamah and the life essence of Klal Yisrael. We have dedicated ourselves to it and made tremendous sacrifices to maintain it. Yet in our time of weakened emunah, the confidence in the Oral Torah system has also diminished.
Indeed, the system of the Oral Torah seems to be a mystery:
- How could it have been passed down authentically for thousands of years?
- Could the multitude of details have been retained through memorization alone, with no written texts to lighten the burden?
- Seeing as the Oral Torah was given by G-d (in all its details) at Mount Sinai, how did disagreements come about?
- Can Rabbinic laws actually be binding when they are human inventions?
These obvious questions were surely not overlooked by all the wise Rabbis throughout history. Rabbi Akiva, Rashi, and the Rambam most certainly thought of them! Indeed, the greatest minds of all generations adhered to the Oral Torah unswervingly, kept its rules and regulations to the letter, and never expressed any doubts. Why? Because they understood the system of the Oral Torah properly, and when that happens, all questions disappear.
Written by a master-mechanech and expert in the field, The Unbroken Chain offers everyone, young or old, the opportunity to comprehend the system of the Oral Torah and answer its related questions with ease. Never before has such a work become available to the broader community. Considering its subject, depth, and comprehensive explanation, this unique work is sure to be classic.
In this fascinating book, Rabbi Sapirman shows that the Oral Torah we have today is the original, authentic one that was given to Moshe Rabbeinu on Mount Sinai. This unique and necessary book explains many puzzling issues, and will undoubtedly bring considerable chizuk to the emunah in Torah She’baal Peh.
Gustavo P –
Read this book slowly, make sure you understand the information he is speaking about. He also has an audio series on his website which goes through the book and is well worth it as well.
This is a book about Emunah, belief in the Almighty, and a fascinating discussion of the oral torah, passed down from generation to generation. The author does a really nice “laying down the facts” to bring us to the conclusion of how the torah that is oral is part-and-parcel of the written torah, and why orthodox jews have “the real thing.” a very interesting book. I haven’t yet read Rabbi Sapirmans other book, but this book stands on its own and explains the arguments and history. If you are jewish or in general, a seeker of truth, I suggest this.
Israel Drazin –
I described Rabbi Dovid Sapirman’s views and that of other Haredi Jews about the origin of Jewish law in my review of his book “Emunah.” I will not repeat it here. I recommend that readers read that review. However, very briefly stated Haredi, that is fundamentalist Jews, believe, that not only did God give the Five Books of Moses, the Torah, to the Israelites while they stood at Mount Sinai, God also gave the Israelites what came to be called the “Oral Torah.” Haredi Jews understand the “Oral Torah” to be how God wanted the Torah to be understood. These “explanations” were not written down until the days when Jews wrote Midrashim, Mishnah, and Talmud, close to two thousand years after Sinai.
In this book, Rabbi Sapirman explains his views on how the extensive oral explanations were passed down from the time of Moses until much was written down. How could all of this information – such as what work is forbidden on the Shabbat, what work is prohibited on holidays, that “a sign upon your hand” means tefillin, and a multitude of other details – be memorized, how did different views on what the laws required develop, and many other questions that evolve from the understanding that God told Moses how to interpret Torah orally.
Aaron Perlman –
Great for the first time as well as easy to use for reference.
Inspirational and educational. Feels in gaps and helps with emuna.