“The Myth of the Oral Law,” a book in Hebrew by Dr. Golan Broshi and Dr. Eitan Bar, from the ministry ONE FOR ISRAEL, debunks one of the most basic pillars of faith in Rabbinic Judaism. After having spent some time on an Israeli e-book platform, e-vrit, it has now reached the nation-wide network of physical bookstores, Steimatzky.
The basis of the Talmud, the Mishna, is a work of 6 books that encompasses rules and regulations for daily life. Even though organized and put together by Yehuda haNasi in the 3rd century AD, Rabbinic Judaism claims the laws contained within it emanated from God himself and then passed from mouth to ear throughout the centuries since the time of Moses. These laws existed and were revered in Jesus’ time, perhaps alluded to in Mark 7:5, but it seems that this “oral law” was elevated and associated with Moses much later.
In the Steimatzky online bookstore, the book is described as following: “The Rabbis claim the Torah cannot be understood, interpreted or kept without the oral law. The goal of this book is to show that the God of Israel did not give Moses an oral law… The book is based on modern research of dozens Bible scholars, historians and archaeologists, most of them Jews and Israelis. It details the most common claims of rabbis in their teachings and sermons, and debunks them, showing the logical fallacies behind them. It shows that the existence of an oral law is not acceptable, not biblically, not historically, and not logically. The book also examines the true sources and motives behind the oral law.”
At the time of writing, the book has two comments by Israeli readers. One says “Wow, this book is a must for every Jew.” The other says “My lecturer recommended this book in the WhatsApp group of our discipline. This book is a must!”
KNI reached out to the authors and asked more about why they chose to write a book on this specific subject, and what was the purpose behind marketing it to the wider secular Israeli audience.
Dr. Broshi responded: “Dr. Eitan Bar and I wrote this book as a part of the efforts we invest in exposing the fallacies of the Rabbinical religion, which started with the Pharisee sect. It has been well received among both believers and secular Israelis, and most comments have been positive. The responses from the religious establishment have avoided our chief claims and answered in shallow terms. They attacked the book without dealing with its focal points. There was, however, an ultra-orthodox website which tried to attack some of our claims in a half-serious way, so we answered them in hope of an honest and open dialogue. One of the blessed fruits this book brought was the open debate between Eitan and the Rabbi [Chaim Sheitrit] on the subject of the reliability of the oral law.”
How do you answer the claim that you’re using the same claims against Judaism as anti-Semites do?
“One of the greatest challenges when working with apologetics and polemics against Rabbinical Judaism is indeed to not fall into any anti-Semitic pitfall. That’s why we, at every opportunity, emphasize that the dialogue between us and our religious brethren is an internal discussion between two different branches of Judaism.”
The book has sold in a few thousand copies (digital and physical). The number is expected to increase now that Steimatzky carries it. It has been translated into English and will be published soon, with the help and expertise of Dr. Michael L. Brown who is adapting it for the English-speaking audience. For a summary of the claims that appear in the book, see “Rabbinical Judaism Debunked,” published in 2018.
How can KNI’s readers pray for you?
“Pray for wisdom for the distribution of more books in the field, and more than anything, that the book will change hearts and bring many Israelis and Jews to the Messiah, our Righteousness.”