What does "unbroken chain of mesorah" mean to you?
I am told that Moshe was told how to slaughter a cow on mt Sinai and that knowledge was handed down through the ages and we slaughter our cows the same way now, and if you slaughter it some different way then you are doing it wrong.However, Miri just commented that to her it means this:
A collection of similar traditions is what I call the Mesorah and this is what constitutes the basis for orthodox Judaism
Unbroken mesora= people passed their thoughts and opinions down from one generation to the next. Unbroken Mesorah does NOT = everyone thought the same exact thing since Moshe Rabbeinu.
So, there is quite a difference there in terms of implications. I am talking about concrete Laws - kashrut, korbanot, etc. Miri is talking about thoughts and opinions. Which is right? Can they both be right?
And "this just in..." - Tobie argues that nobody believes in this "unbroken chain of tradition" in my sense of it after the time of the Gemorah anyway. So does this mean that I am a poor listener, or is the kiruv movement trying to be disengenuous?
Of course I always am wary of this kind of discussion because there are many folks out there, especially in the jblog world that will take the position of "if you only understood the true meaning of X, you would see how mistaken you are". Unfortunately, their "true meaning" is always some minority stretch that most of the mainstream does not hold by. So even though they are in the fold, this "mad scientist" stance is not exactly a convincing argument.