Now...check this out:
We're prohibited from adding to the Torah:
"Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you," (Deut. 4:2)
"Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you," (Deut. 4:2)
A Messianic gentleman told me and my wife this week that we were only bound to the Noahide laws. Fortunately, I have full confidence in my wife's understanding of Messianic Theology. I didn't need to correct the gentleman. I practiced KAIROS in the negative sense of refraining from speaking. I could've easily refuted him. The so-called "Noahide laws" are easily refuted. But I held my peace.
"The view of halakhic authority held by Orthodox Judaism is quite different from that maintained by Progressive Jews. This latter term refers here to certain circles of rabbis and scholars affiliated with the Movement for Progressive Judaism (which goes by the names 'Reform,' 'Liberal,' or 'Progressive'), with the Masorti (Conservative) Movement, and with the Reconstructionist Movement, and a number of Modern Orthodox rabbis. Milton Steinberg categorized the outlook of these circles as 'modernist' (a term I shall use frequently below), as opposed to the 'traditionalist' approach of Jews with a fundamentalist philosophy. In fact, this difference is perhaps the major source of contention between Orthodox and non-Orthodox decisors. The Orthodox stance is summarized in a brief submitted by the Chief Rabbinate Council in response to a suit brought by the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, asking that its rabbis be granted the status of marriage registrars and the right to officiate at weddings in Israel.
The Rabbinate's brief advanced two main arguments: (1) The Torah given to Moses on Mount Sinai and the rulings of the Sages have absolute authority. (2) Nothing may be changed in Halakhah, whether in response to contemporary circumstances or to the urgings of individual conscience....
Although the Chief Rabbinate offered no textual support for its position that Halakhah is static and immutable because the Revelation on Mount Sinai was a one-time event valid for all generations, there are classical texts that may be interpreted as supporting this view. Citing the verse 'these are the laws, rules, and instructions that the Lord established, through Moses on Mount Sinai, between Himself and the Israelite people' (Lev. 26:46), the Sage remarked that 'this teaches that the Torah--its laws, details, and interpretations---was given through Moses on Sinai' (Sifra, Behukotai 8:12). In the Gemara, Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish holds that not only the Torah--that is, the Pentateuch--but also the Prophets and the Hagiographa, the Mishna and the Gemara, were all given at Mount Sinai (BT Berakhot 5a).
If everything was already revealed at Sinai, there is no room for innovation and change. Indeed, the conclusion inferred from the concept of a perfect revelation at Sinai is that 'no prophet is permitted to innovate in any matter from this time on' (BT Shabbat 104a). If prophets are so restricted, how much the more are rabbis and scholars: 'Even what a long-time student will one day expound before his teacher was already given to Moses at Sinai' (JT Pe'ah 2:4). It is this fundamentalist position that leads most Orthodox thinkers to reject the historical and scientific view of the evolving nature of the Bible and rabbinic literature held by modernist Jewish scholars.
On the other hand, there are also many passages in which the Sages recognized the fact that Judaism changes. Consider the well-known midrash that Moses visited the academy of Rabbi Akiba (early second century) but 'did not understand their discourse [about the Torah he had received] and felt faint.' Only when a student asked Rabbi Akiba for the source of his teaching, and the Sage replied that 'it is a Halakhah given to Moses on Sinai,' did Moses recover (BT Menahot 29b).
For the British Rabbi Louis Jacobs, this midrash could be interpreted as follows:
"The Torah that Akiba was teaching was so different from the Torah given to Moses because the social, economic, political, and religious conditions were so different in Akiba's day that, at first, Moses could not recognize his Torah in the Torah taught by Akiba. But he was reassured when he realized that Akiba's Torah was implicit in his Torah, was, indeed, an attempt to make his Torah relevant to the spiritual needs of Jews in the age of Akiba."
pg. 43 "The constant, dynamic changes in human society make it impossible to record the particulars of all customs and provide an account of all epochs to come. Hence, the Oral Law includes general principles that make it possible for the wise schoalrs of every generation to apply them and interpret the Written Law for their own age. One cannot help contrasting Albo's dynamic approach to the evolution of Halakhah with the position of those who believe that it all began and ended at Sinai."
pg. 43 "...liberal scholarship has reached the conclusion that 'long before the rise of modern criticism some of the Jewish teachers had a conception of revelation which leaves room for the idea of human cooperation with the divine.'
How is the divine will revealed in the Halakhah? According to Jacobs,
'Revelation must be understood as a far more complicated and complex process of divine-human encounter and interaction and quite differently from the idea of direct divine communication of infallible laws and propositions, upon which the traditional theory of Halakhah depends.'
Evolving, modernist Halakhah, then, must be founded on such a reinterpretation of revelation."
pg. 44 "This theological-halakhic position has implications for the authority of traditional Halakhah. For the non-Orthodox Jew:
'The ultimate authority for determining which observances are binding upon the faithful Jew is the historical experience of the people of Israel, since, historically perceived, this is ultimately the sanction of the Halakhah itself.'"
"Reform Judaism recognizes the principle of progressive development in religion and consciously applies this principle to spiritual as well as to cultural and social life....Revelation is a continuous process, confined to no one group and to no one age...Being products of historical processes, certain of its laws have lost their binding force with the passing of the conditions that called them forth."
 It is therefore our principle of reform: 'All forms to which no meaning is attached any longer are an impediment to our religion, and must be done away with."
 Another principle of reform is this: 'Whatever makes us ridiculous before the world as it now is, may safely be and should be abolished,' for we are in possession of an intelligent religion, and the nations from our precept and example should be led to say, 'This is a wise and intelligent people.'
 A third principle of reform is this, 'Whatever tends to the elevation of the divine service, to inspire the heart of the worshipper and attract him, should be done without any unnecessary delay,'...
 A fourth principle of reform is this, 'Whenever religious observances and the just demands of civilized society exclude each other, the former have lost their power;' for religion was taught for the purpose 'to live therein and not die therein;' our religion makes us active members of civilized society, hence we must give full satisfaction to its just demands.
 Last, or rather first, it must be remarked, the leading star of reform must be the maxim, 'Religion is intended to make man happy, good, just, active, charitable, and intelligent.'"
"...Judaism does indeed allow changes. The early teachers, by interpretation, changed the literal meaning of the Scriptures; later scholars that of the Mishnah and the post-talmudic scholars that of the Talmud. All these interpretations were not intended as speculation. They addressed themselves to life precepts. Thanks to such studies, Judaism achieved stabilization and avoided estrangement from the conditions of the time in various periods..."
"Reform Judaism has asserted the right of interpretation but it rejected the authority of legal tradition. Orthodoxy has clung fast to the principle of authority, but has rejected the right to significant reinterpretations. The Conservative view is that both are necessary for a living Judaism. Accordingly, Conservative Judaism holds itself bound by the Jewish legal tradition, but asserts the right of its rabbinical body, acting as a whole, to reinterpret and to apply Jewish law," (Rabbi Mordecai Waxman Tradition and Change: The Development of Conservative Judaism
Reconstructionism diverges from Conservative Judaism in terms of priorities. We believe that the basic tenets of Judaism need to be re-examined and restated for our age. We see this as a more pressing priority than the particulars of Jewish law. Jews need to know why they should be Jewish at all before they worry about how to change details of observance. Concerning observance, we differ specifically on the issue of how far one may go in amending Jewish law and who has the right to be involved in that process. We believe that rabbis and scholars should work together with committed lay members of the Jewish community formulating guides to Jewish practice for our time. These guides should reflect a desire to protect and preserve tradition as well as an openness to creativity and evolution as we face a new age in Jewish society.
"Therefore, like Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist branches of Judaism we recognize that the new circumstances of the modern world require adaptation in traditional practices." (MJRC Standards)
"As Messianic Jews we affirm the special precedence given to Scriptural law in Rabbinic Halakhah. However, we also affirm the Scriptural character of the Apostolic Writings. While the Torah is foundational in relation to the teaching of Yeshua and the Shelichim (Apostles), the writings that record that teaching (the New Covenant Scripture) are also inspired, and they offer us an entirely reliable guide to the meaning and intent of the Mosaic Torah.
In principle, Scripture always has highest authority in the halakhic process. However, in practice other sources play as significant or a more significant role. While all Halakhah is rooted in Scripture, the text usually provides limited information on how the mitzvot are to be lived out and how they are to be adapted to new circumstances. In order to add concrete substance to halakhic decision making, we must have recourse to the way the mitzvot have been understood and observed by Jews throughout history and in the present," [MJRC Standards]
The main prayer in worship--often called simply 'prayer' (tefillah)--is the Amidah, recited while standing (which is the meaning of the Hebrew word). It is also called the 'Prayer of 18 Petitions' (Shemonah Esreh), even though only the middle 13 blessings of the Amidah are petitions...Its content has many points of contact with the Lord's Prayer."
"It must be remembered that until about the eighth century C.E. prayers were always said by heart. There had existed a fundamental resistance to writing down prayers (Shabbat 115b), just as there had been a tradition against writing down the Oral Torah. The prohibition was eventually lifted, but is was not until the eighth century that written prayer books came into use. The first formal siddur for year-round use, as we know it today, was compiled by Rav Amram Gaon (ninth century C.E.). Before then it was necessary to memorize the prescribed prayers in order to fulfill one's religious duty," pg. 15 (ibid)
"The general arrangement of the services in most siddurim intended for daily year-round use and their identifying Hebrew headings are as follows:
The first part of the siddur is reserved for the weekday services. These are arranged in the following order:
The Morning Weekday Service...
The Afternoon Weekday Service...
The Evening Weekday Service...
The next part of the siddur is reserved for the Sabbath services. These are usually arranged in the following order:
Welcoming the Sabbath
Evening Service for Sabbaths and Festivals
Morning Service for Sabbaths and Festivals
Additional Service for Sabbath
Afternoon Service for Sabbath" (pg. 28, ibid)
"The Shemoneh Esrei is the heart of every service. It contains the basic components of prayer: praising God, petitioning Him, and thanking Him. Whenever the Talmud refers to tefilah ('prayer'), it means the Shemoneh Esrei, and not any other blessing, supplication, or psalm. it is The Prayer....Shemoneh Esrei means simply 'eighteen.' The prayer is so called because the original version consisted of eighteen blessings....This prayer is called by still another name--the 'Amidah,' which means 'standing.' The prayer is called this because it reflects our having stopped to stand in the presence of God," pg. 69 (ibid)
"LAWS AND CUSTOMS RELATING TO ITS RECITATION...The Shemoneh Esrei is said while facing in the direction of Eretz Yisrael..." (pg. 71, ibid)
"THE STRUCTURE OF THE SHEMONEH ESREI....
INTRODUCTORY SECTION: PRAISE OF GOD
Order and Name of Blessing
1 Fathers ('Avot') [Begins with the words 'Barukh atah']
2 Powers of God ('Gevurot') [Begins with the words 'Atah gibor']
3 Holiness of God ('Kedushat HaShem') [Atah kadosh]
MIDDLE SECTION: REQUEST OF NEEDS
A. Personal Needs
4 Knowledge ('Binah') [Atah honen
5 Repentance ('Teshuvah') [Hashiveinu]
6 Forgiveness ('Selichah') [Selach lanu]
Physical, Material and Emotional
7 Redemption-Security ('Geulah') [R'eh v'onyeinu]
8 Health ('Refuah') [Refaeinu]
9 Economic Prosperity ('Birkat Hashanim') [Barekh aleinu]
B. Needs of the Jewish People and Society
10 Ingathering of the Dispersed ('Kibbutz Galuyot') [Teka bashofar]
11 Restoration of Justice ('Birkat Hamishpat') [Hasiva shofteinu
12 Destruction of Israel's Enemies ('Birkat Haminim') [V'lamalshinim]
13 Prayer for the Righteous ('Birkat HaTzadikim') [Al hatzadikim]
14 Restoration of Jerusalem ('Birkat Yerushalayim') [V'liYerushalayim]
15 Coming of the Messiah ('Birkat David') [Et tzemach David]
C. Summary Blessing
16 Hear Our Prayer ('Tefilah') [Retzei]
CLOSING SECTION: THANKING GOD
17 Worship ('Avodah') [Retzei]
18 Thanksgiving ('Birkat Hodaah') [Modim]
19 Peace ('Birkat Shalom') [Sim Shalom]" (pg. 73, ibid)
9 Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.11 Give us this day our daily bread.12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
"When asked by Pilate whether he was the king of the Jews, Jesus replied, 'Thou sayest it', thereby virtually pleading guilty to revolting against the Roman emperor and the king recognized by him...There can be no doubt that a confession such as this was sufficient in Roman law for conviction of the defendant. Nor can there be any doubt that it was this charge of claiming to be the king of the Jews that was the ground for conviction and sentence; proof is furnished by the fact, reported by all the Gospels, that the words Rex Judaeorum were inscribed on the Cross, and the inscription on an offender's cross was prescribed by Roman law.
The (armed or unarmed) insurrection inherent in the claim to be king, without being appointed or recognized as such by the Emperor, was an offence against the Lex Julia Majestatis, enacted by Augustus in the year 8 B.C. The offence was punishable with death," pg. 88 of Jewish Law in Ancient and Modern Israel by Haim H. Cohn
"The fact that Jesus was tried by Pilate, presumably under Roman law, does not exclude the possibility that he had previously (namely, the night before) been tried by a Jewish court, presumably under Jewish law. This sequence of events is that prima facie suggested in the Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew and Luke--except that Luke places the Jewish trial in the early hours of the morning). The theory that the only 'real' trial took place before the Jewish court, and that Jesus was delivered unto Pilate for purposes of execution only, is now generally discarded. It is also incompatible with the tradition of the Gospel of John, according to which the trial before Pilate was the only trial and that what preceded it was but an interrogation of Jesus by the HIgh Priest. According to John, Pilate called upon the Jews to take Jesus and try him themselves and they replied that they could not lawfully try capital cases. If that reply were correct, it follows that either no Jewish trial did in fact take place, or that it was a fact-finding trial only, without competence to pass sentence," pgs 85-86, ibid.
"....The Forty Years tradition is found in the Talmudic sources in two version: one (the Jerusalemite) speaks of the cessation of captial jurisdiction ('forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the capital jurisdiction ('forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the capital laws were taken away from Israel.' Y. Sanhedrin 7,1); the other (the Babylonian) speaks of the banishment, forty years before the destruction of the Temple, of the Sanhedrin from its hall of justice in the Temple precincts to a 'shop', where according to the law no Sanhedrial jurisdiction could be exercised (see Deuteronomy 17, 8-10)," (footnote 15, pg. 86)
What should you do if you are a Messianic in need of fellowship but the only Messianic fellowship group available does the speaking in tongues and it makes you feel uncomfortable?
"5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’" (Exodus 19:5-6)
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
"Pork is not more dangerous to your health than beef," --Derek Leman
"Animals that chew their cud are known as ruminants....By having these four chambers, ruminants are able to eliminate bacteria, toxins, parasites, and other vermin that might otherwise end up as part of the animal's flesh," pg. 13, ibid.
"I disagree [that pork is safe to eat]. Pigs eat enormous amounts of food, and this dilutes the hydrochloric acid in a pig's stomach. This in turn allows toxins, viruses, parasites, and bacteria to be absorbed into the animal's flesh,"
"...swine are also extremely filthy animals. They will eat garbage, feces, and even decaying flesh. Pigs readily harbor parasites including Trichinella, the pork tapeworm, and toxoplasmosis....Aside from the diseases routinely carried by swine, pork is also a very fatty meat. The toxins in pork are held especially in the fat..."
(1) Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
(9)That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
(10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
(14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
(15) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!Now let's hear Kinzer's own words:
"I do believe that the Abrahamic covenant offers Jewish people access to God in and through Yeshua. That does not mean that all Jews, by virtue of being Jews, have a right relationship with God. It does mean that God's favor still rests upon Israel, and He makes a way for humble and faithful members of His people to enter His presence through the unrecognized mediation of Israel's Messiah," [from: http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/havurah/7_1/letters]Let's break this down. Kinzer teaches that you don't need to believe that G-d raised Yeshua from the dead in order to be saved--you don't even need to be aware of Yeshua at all! According to Kinzer, a Jew can be completely incognizant of Yeshua and still receive Yeshua's mediation! That's a complete reversal of Paul's words in Romans 10!
"Yet for all that, in spite of their sins, when they have been in the lands of their enemies, I have not rejected them utterly' (Lev. XXVI, 44). All the goodly gifts that were given them were taken from them. And if it had not been for the Book of the Law which was left to them, they would not have differed at all from the nations of the world. (Sifra 112c.)"
"R. Jeremiah said: Whence can you know that a Gentile who practices the Law is equal to the High Priest? Because it says, 'Which if a man do, he shall live through them' (Lev. XVIII, 5). And it says, 'This is the Law [Torah] of man' (II Sam. VII, 19). It does not say: 'The Law of Priests, Levites, Israelites,' but, 'This is the Law of man, O Lord God.' And it does not say, 'Open the gates, and let the Priests and Levites and Israel enter,' but it says, 'Open the gates that a righteous Gentile may enter' (Isa. XXVI, 2); and it says, 'This is the gate of the Lord, the righteous shall enter it.' It does not say, 'The Priests and the Levites and Israel shall enter it' but it says, 'The righteous shall enter it' (Ps. CXVIII, 20). And it does not say, 'Rejoice ye, Priests and Levites and Israelites,' but it says, 'Rejoice ye righteous' (Ps. XXXIII, I). And it does not say, 'Do good, O Lord, to the Priests and the Levites and the Israelites,' but it says, 'Do good, O Lord, to the good' (Ps. CXXV, 4). So even a Gentile, if he practises the Law, is equal to the High Priest. (Sifra 86b (cp. San. 59a (cp. ; Bab.K. 38a).)", (pg. 564, A Rabbinic Anthology)
" 'They shall call the peoples unto the mountain; there shall they offer righteous sacrifices' (Deut. XXXIII, 19). The peoples and their kings will come together on business to Palestine, and they will say, 'Since we have troubled ourselves to come hither, let us look at the business of the Jews, and what its nature is,' and so they will go to Jerusalem, and they will observe how Israel worships One God only, and eats one sort of food only, while of the nations, each worships different gods, and the food of one is not the food of the other, and they will say, 'It is well to join this people,' and they will not budge from Jerusalem until they are made proselytes, and they will offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. (Sifre Deut., Berakah, [subsection] 354, f. 147a (cp. Moore, I, 336, n. I).)", (pg. 564-565, ibid)For those who are new to this blog, check out some more One-Law Midrashim from Mekhita de-Rabbi Ishmael: