Judaism’s Torah — What does it mean?

Many Christians are bewitched by Judaism without knowing what the religion teaches, what it’s origins are and that modern Judaism is in fact based on Oral Rabbinic Traditions and not based on the TaNaKh (Old Testament).

For the most part, the religion of the TaNaKh (Old Testament) is no more, it’s been replaced over time with the Traditions of the Fathers. The Traditions of the Fathers was relatively small during the time of Jesus. But since Jesus it has grown into a monumental work of Talmud, Zohar and other Judaic literature. It’s important to note that Jesus, Paul and John preached against the Traditions of the Fathers.

Judaism consists of an Oral Law (Traditions) and a Written Law (Mosaic).

What does these two Laws mean?

From a Judaic perspective this means that Moses was given two sets of Laws, he wrote down one and passed the other by word-of-mouth. The only problem with excepting this version of events means that Moses disobeyed God. Because God clearly told Moses to write down everything, Exodus 17:14; Exodus 34:27. To accept the Judaic version we have to believe that Moses withheld information that God commanded him to write down.

From a Christian perspective, there is only one set of Laws that God gave to Moses which were written down and transmitted to us in the form of the Pentateuch (the first five Books of the Bible). This is often referred to as the Torah in Judaic circles, but the word Torah has a much deeper meaning.

Christians have become duped into accepting the basest meaning of the term Torah. In fact the word Torah encompasses the entire spectrum of Judaic literature. If you are going to use the term Torah then read all of the Judaic literature and see for yourself how much of it comprises of TaNaKh (Old Testament) and how much of it agrees with the teaching of Jesus for instance.

I am quoting from the Pirke Avot which is a commentary of Jewish ethics as laid out by the Traditions of the Fathers. It states that the group who conceived the idea of Oral Law were the Pharisees. The Pharisees were in opposition to the Sadducee who were Zadok (Priests) during the time of Solomon. It was the Sadducees who were overseers of Temple proceeding. In opposition to the Temple (and I assume the Sanhedrin, which were the ruling courts) the Pharisees set up an institution of ruling ‘elite’ known as Rabbi’s. Kravitz, L. and Olitzky, K. (1993). Pirke Avot. New York, N.Y.: UAHC Press,p.12.

One of Jesus’s warning comes to mind and that was not to call any man Rabbi. Why then do these Christians call Jewish leaders Rabbi’s? They are in direct rebellion to the teaching of Jesus.

The Rabbi’s took it upon themselves to expand on the Oral Traditions, which is part and parcel of what I mentioned earlier. The entire spectrum of Jewish literature including Talmud and Zohar, together they comprise Torah and are part of modern day Judaism. In 70 A.D. the Temple was destroyed by Titus and without the Temple the Sadducees faded off into oblivion. Or, maybe not, they were in fact present at Council of Jamnia, in Yavneh at the Canonization of the Hebrew text in 90 A.D. Eventually, they did fade off into oblivion. But fear not! They have resurrected and now consist of the Sanhedrin who will oversee Temple proceeding in the upcoming Temple. Are they real Sadducees? Probably not, more like Pharisees who are now taking over the priestly line of Zadok.

In the end the Pharisees survived together with their texts which they call collectively —Torah.

Cheryl Mason April 2019.

“Torah: literally, instruction. At first, the first five Books of Moses; then Scriptures as a whole; then the whole corpus of revelation, both written and oral, taught by Pharisaic Judaism. Standing by itself, Torah means “study”, the act of learning and discussion of the Tradition.” Jacob Neusner.

Neusner, J. (2004). The Emergence of Judaism. 1st ed. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, p.218.

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