The Torah's Divine Origin & Why Moses' Face Shone
Moshe Ben-Chaim

Question: Is it not possible for the Jews to have produced the Torah over the course of the Exodus? Couldn't the Torah have been written in parts over a period of time?
Mesora: If you ask when the Torah was written, Rashi answers your question. He says that Moses received the Torah, commencing with "Genesis", and concluding with the very event of Moses' acceptance of the Ten Commandments, and the Written Law together with the Oral Laws. This makes sense. If you are of the opinion that Moses received the entire Five Books, this would pose great difficulties: The Five Books included all events yet to transpire, including the sins of the Jews, and Moses' responses to God on the Jews' behalf. What type of honest plea could Moses present, knowing years in advance what his plea and God's response would be? Knowing the exact outcome of his prayers, Moses would not really be praying. Many similar difficulties arise for both the people and Moses, had they learned all future events. Certainly they would be on guard so their depicted disasters would be avoided. In that case, the Torah would be false if they indeed avoided what God said would in fact happen. If they didn't avoid the Torahs predictions, then what type of free will did they have? Certainly not one deserving of punishment. We have an impossible series of events.
In truth, Moses received the Torah up to the event at Mount Sinai. As time went on, Moses wrote down more of the Torah in accordance with God's exact enunciations.
But, if you ask, "Could the Torah be man made?" I reply as follows: The people all attested to the miraculous event of Sinai. There was not one person that doubted it. Moses said later, (Deut. 4:9) "Guard yourselves and guard your souls exceedingly, lest you forget the things your eyes saw...", (Deut. 4:34)"all the signs and wonders which God has performed for you in Egypt as your eyes have seen", (Deut. 4:35) "You have been demonstrated to know that God is Elokim, there is no other besides Him", (Deut. 4:36) "From the heavens He made heard His voice to prove you, and on land He showed you His great fire and His words you heard from amidst the fire". If anyone doubted what Moses said, the Torah would not have been accepted. However, we see that the nation unanimously accepted all of these statements. They taught them to their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. In turn, these descendants used this reason of unanimous acceptance of an event, as 100% proof of the event. Unlike all other religions, the Jews were not asked to accept "beliefs", or to "believe" fabrications, but Moses repeatedly confirmed that they all saw a demonstration of God's existence and selection of Moses as His prophet.
The only question is how we know that Moses' written Torah was in fact from God. This was not performed in front of millions as was Sinai. I believe this is where Moses' "beams of light" comes into the picture. We read in Exodus 34:29-35, "And it was when Moses descended from Mount Sinai, and the two Tablets of Testimony were in the hand of Moses when he descended from the mountain, and Moses did not know(1) of the light beaming from his face with His talking to him. Aaron and all the Children of Israel saw Moses, and behold his faced beamed with light, and they feared to draw close to him. Moses called to them and then returned to him Aaron and all the princes in the congregation, and Moses spoke to them. And afterwards, all the Children of Israel drew close and he commanded them all that God spoke on Mount Sinai. And he finished from speaking with them, and he placed a vail on his face. And when Moses came before God to speak with Him, he removed the vail until he exited, and he went out and spoke with the Children of Israel what was commanded. And the Children of Israel saw Moses' face, that Moses face beamed light, and Moses replaced the vail on his face until he came to speak with Him." What is the necessity for God to make Moses' face shine beams of light?
I believe this ongoing miracle was enacted to address the very point you question. Again it says, "And the Children of Israel saw Moses' face, that Moses face beamed light, and Moses replaced the vail on his face until he came to speak with Him." Even after Moses departed from God's presence, Moses was commanded by God not to replace the vail until the Jews saw the light beams on his face. This happened each time Moses spoke with God until he died. (Ibn Ezra, Exod., 34:35) This was to demonstrate God's continual endorsement of all Moses' words to the Jews, and that all his writings form God's Torah - not his own. A continuous miracle on Moses' behalf means God approves of Moses' actions. Had Moses deviated from God's intended words of Torah, God would certainly not sanction Moses with any miracle, allowing Moses to lead the people astray. God understood the people might suspect a leader of forming his own system. This notion was dispelled through such an overt, divine endorsement of Moses. We see the people feared to draw close to Moses, teaching that this phenomena was not natural, and could only be the product of the Creator. Only He could suspend laws of nature, creating such a miracle. Thereby, all the Jews knew that Moses was completely in line with God's will. Moses wrote only that which God instructed him to write. The entire Torah is divine. This very fact that Moses was to stay unveiled, displaying his face lit while communicating God's commands to the Jews, proves that the light was for the express purpose of endorsing all of Moses' words as reflecting God's commands.
Perhaps light is the form of this endorsement, for the reason that light - in this case - is merely a reflection. It is not originating in Moses. Someone's face has no abilitiy to emanate light beams. So too Moses' teachings are reflecting God's word exactly - they are not his own thoughts.
The miracles' structure also teaches us of God's wish that man respect the Rabbis - the Jews were certain of Moses' relationship with God. From the very outset, God desired the system of Torah embody a teacher/student relationship. Moses received the Torah from God - his Teacher - and passed it to Joshua - his student. From Joshua, the Torah was transmitted to the elders, and then to the prophets and then to the men of the Great Assembly, as stated in the commencement of "Ethics of the Fathers". This relationship teaches that we must always return to Sinai to verify what authentic Torah is. Without Rabbinic tradition and unbroken lineage, we do not have Torah. For this reason, today, we discount anyone's claim to the authentic Kabbala - "accepted traditions". No one today can trace Kabbala's origin - student to teacher - all the way back to Moses.
All is not written down - all cannot be written down. Words alone cannot embody God's infinite wisdom. Perhaps this is one reason we also have an Oral Law. Torah is a system of "derivation". Through various principles, our Rabbis learned and continue to derive keen insights, philosophies, and structures of Halacha - Jewish law. These principles are indispensable tools required to lead us down the endless path of wisdom where each step of the journey becomes more exciting. It is a system unknown to one alien to Talmudic study. It is a science where only intelligence rules, where solid, unshaken principles lay the foundation for future insights - where halachik formulations and axioms are more real than the physical world. The Talmudic scholar is not a skeptic, where he finds multiple possibilities as acceptable ends to his studies. No, the Talmudist earnestly digs, searching for principles and explanations for Torah law which are impregnable, definitive and exclusive solutions to a given problem. Only upon discovering the "single answer" is he satisfied. If he does not find this stability in his results, he is dissatisfied and continues his search until he does. He is aware that God 's Torah is not based on "maybes", but it is built on very definite truths. This is why God is termed our "Rock." He is that Source of all knowledge which is the Unification of all ideas, where all knowledge is harmonious and complimentary. All natural sciences too are God-made, reflecting on each other, and providing greater understanding of our world - also working with definitive rules. This is what the Torah scholar seeks - definite, absolute principles explaining God's creation, His Torah laws, and His justice. The Talmudist knows it exists. His entire being is compelled to come closer to this truth. This is how God designed man.
We must note, without tutelage of a mentor trained in Talmudic thought and analysis, one has little or no chance of truly understanding the vast difference between a book,....and the unique Torah system.
(1) "Moses did not know of the light beaming from his face with His talking to him" teaches that this miracle was not for Moses, but for the Jews. They were in need of proof of God's sustained endorsement of Moses. Moses had no need for this light.
(2) The point in time when God enacted this miracle of Moses' beams of light supports our theory. This miracle was initiated upon Moses' receipt of the Torah, thereby teaching that the light was to support Moses' mission of successfully transmitting a Divine system.