Friday, August 30, 2013


This thread is going to be iffy for the next month.  Wednesday night begins the Jewish New Year and I won't be posting on the High Holy Days.  If the calendar allows, I'll post earlier in the week.

Fact-checking Torah, like fact-checking any other urban legend, means going back to the source.  Besides finding the source, you have to read the source.

You thought I was going to ask the question this time but I want to explain one more part of the process to you before we get into any discussions.

Remember I said that the things I learn or experience contribute to my understanding of things that I read, so that when I re-read them, they mean more to me.

They also mean something different.

I predict that if you keep reading this thread on the blog, what Torah means to you may be different from what it means now.

I’m trying to manage your expectations.

I am not going to show that your urban legends have some truth in them because I already said, I don’t care what those urban legends say.  They aren’t the source.  The source is Torah.

I am going to tell you things that you didn’t know before.

When you decide to QUESTION ME!! Part of the time you will be upset because I’m telling you something you didn’t know before.  And that’s when you’re going to tell me one of the urban legends that you already were sure of.  Since it’s an urban legend, you won’t be able to tell me the source.

And I’m going to tell you that it’s an urban legend and since you can’t give me the source, I won’t take your question into account.

If you have absolutely no intention of learning anything that says something different from the urban legends you were sure of, then this thread is going to constantly upset you and you will be constantly frustrated because I won’t pay attention to your objections based on your urban legends.

Then you will try to make me feel guilty by saying that I am trying to brainwash you or convert you.  It won’t work. 

It won’t work because I am telling you now, that you have the right to believe what you want.

That means you don’t have to read this thread at all.  I never intended to come around and hold a pistol to people’s heads to make them read this.

It’s up to you.  If you’re happy with your urban legends, you don’t need to read this thread. 

If you read this thread, you may learn things that will make you re-think your urban legends.

You may decide you don’t agree with your urban legends any more.

You may decide you don’t agree any more with the people who told you those urban legends.

Don’t tell them that.  They have the same right you do to keep believing those urban legends.

I’m not here to interfere with your right to believe what you want. 

I’m here to tell you that if you already have started not to believe the urban legends, you may have the same questions as dozens of other people who posted those questions to the discussion group.  I’m here to tell you what the answers to their questions were. 

And then it will be up to you to learn how I got those answers, and try to use those methods to answer the questions I don’t answer.

So while you are meditating on Exodus 21:24-25, you have time to think what you really want from reading this thread, and if you realize you want to hear confirmation of your urban legends, you have another choice to make.

You can change what you want.  Or you can decide not to read the rest of the thread.

I know how much information is ahead because I’ve drafted the rest of the thread, and at one post a week, it will take about 3 years to post all the information.  I’ll say more about that next week.

If you don't have a Bible and don't read Hebrew, you can go here and get a copy in English.

You can learn about fallacies and how to find them here.

Hebrew language: (two parts)



Aramaic language (for Talmud):

Jewish Bible read out loud (mostly in Hebrew):

Babylonian Talmud audio and text


Jerusalem Talmud audio



Tannakh, Talmuds, Midrash Halakhah 

Midrash Aggadah                              

Talmud in PDF                                                    

There are audio lectures at the following sites which use a medieval commentary, famous among Jews, by Rabbi Shelomo ben Yitschaq, AKA Rashi. – find Rabbi Yehoshua Gordon’s Torah video lessons – find R. David Grossman’s Torah audio lessons

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved


  1. you suggested i read it, after i commented to you about two Hebrew translations of your`s to which i suggested another translation, I really do it with Knowledge as well as good will. After all i speak read Breath HEBREW 24/7 most of my life, i also had trhe most marvelous well read Teachers and profesors ,,, your above translation [those i remarked upon ] were not correct , Sorry ,,

  2. I am writing about Biblical Hebrew. You have not been speaking Biblical Hebrew, you have been speaking Modern Hebrew. You missed the point that they have different grammars.

    What your teachers taught you in the 20th century was based on 19th and 20th century material. The most wonderful teacher in the world is not psychic and cannot know what new information will turn up in a field after you graduate from their courses and so they cannot teach it to you before you graduate. The people whose work was summarized and expanded in Dr. Cook's 21st century dissertation did not do that work deliberately to insult your teachers, they did it because that's where the data took them.

    The most important thing missing from your comment is a reference to any advanced studies you are now doing in the field of linguistics. I have to assume that you aren't doing any. As a result, you probably won't understand the following analogy, but some people will.

    You can't "correct" Biblical Hebrew based on Modern Hebrew any more than you can "correct" Anglo-Saxon based on Modern English.

    It's a real pity that, if you had 21st century advanced studies to draw on, you didn't provide a link to them at your institutional website in your answer. It would have been a much better answer than what you posted.