DovBear · @DovBear

10th Feb 2011 from Twitter for iPhone

@MarkKorman @berelshain @rabbidmk @marksofla @e_fink @noahroth cont. Can't say what that might mean about it's origins for two reasons. The first reason is it all comes down to pre existing assumptions. If you assume the Torah was given by God all the signs of humn tampering can be explained away, as indeed they have been explained by midrashim and rishonim.

The reverse is true as well, if you assume the Torah was not written by God, that it's a human artifact and a historical document like any other, well, then you run the risk of seeing "human fingerprints" that are really nothing of the sort.

As we don't have the ability to travel through time, there is no way to conclusively settle the question. And so I acknowledge the evidence of human tampering, while stopping short of saying with any certainty what those apparent maculations tell us about the torahs origins.

I note here that yom Tov elum did not share my scruples. He like ibn Ezra was aware of some of the signs that some sentences and sections had human authors but where ibn Ezra hinted at human intervention, yom Tov elum said it outright. I stop short of that. This is why I say that a rishon goes further than I would on tms. Yom Tov elum says outright that human beings wrote sections of the Torah and bin Ezra hints at it broadly. I only agree that in places it looks that way. I hope you recognize the difference.

There more to say. My second reason has to do with respect for tradition, convention, community, taboos and sensibilities. Perhaps ill elaborate on it later.

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