Monday, June 3, 2013

Yeshua was a Halachic Jew

Did Yeshua think that Judaism was just a bunch of silly "traditions of men"?  Or did He keep the mitzvot according to halachic norms of His day?  Let's take a peek at the Apostolic Writings and see:


Did Yeshua "work" on Shabbat?  No.  NOTE:  in Mark 2, a strict sect of Pharisees argued that the disciples shouldn't pluck grain on Shabbat.  However, that interpretation conflicts with the Written Torah (see Deut. 23:25) which allows the plucking of grain on Shabbat.  


Did Yeshua declare all foods clean?  No.  See the following article:  CLICK HERE FOR LINK


Was Yeshua against Tefillin (i.e. Phylacteries)?  No.  Notice that Yeshua criticized the Pharisees for making their Tefillin too broad (Matt. 23:5) but He didn't criticize the practice itself.  How could He criticize the underlying mitzvot, which was given by G-d (Deut. 6:8).  Also, note that Yeshua approved of Deuteronomy 6 (see how He affirmed it in Mark 12).


Did Yeshua wear tzitzit?  Yes (see Matthew 9).  


There's absolutely ZERO evidence that Yeshua was against the mitzvot and absolutely ZERO evidence that Yeshua's teachings/practices violated halachic norms of His time.  On the contrary, Yeshua taught His disciples to obey duly-authorized Jewish authority:

"23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you." (Matt. 23:2-3)


  1. Contradiction:

    "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you." (Matt. 23:2-3)"

    "Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread."

    If Jesus was teaching his disciples to be careful to do everything they tell you, why were they not "careful" to wash their hands when they ate bread?

    "Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition."

    Was Jesus teaching his disciples to keep the traditions that make the commandment of God to no effect? If they were to "be careful to do everything"?

    I think you misunderstand the seat of Moses, its purpose and Israels reason to obey what judgments issued from it.

    In other words, when correctly understood....the traditions of the elders did not proceed from the seat of Moses.

    1. Yeshua kept many of the "traditions of the elders" and he also took issue with a few of them as well. It is not an either or case. Clearly some of the traditions were worth keeping, or He would have taken issue with all of them.

      Peter is not arguing that tradition comes before the teaching of the Torah, but he is also not making the mistake of thinking all the traditions of the elders are against the commandments of God, it is a very balanced view.

  2. "but he is also not making the mistake of thinking all the traditions of the elders are against the commandments of God"

    I can not figure out if Peter teaches the teachers have the binding authority or they do not. Which is it? If what you say is true, why did not Peter say so?

    If we can go through the rabbinic teachings and pick out what we believe is good and discount the rest, then the argument should be that rabbinic law is not binding.

    If rabbinic law is binding, we have to keep the rabbinic law.

    So, as far as I can see what Peter means according to your comment...

    We should do whatever we agree with and not what we don't agree with. That would make rabbinic law NOT binding. Is that right?

    1. Anonymous,

      Thank you for the questions. I don't think Yeshua was contradicting Himself; rather, He taught that traditions were mandatory provided they comported with the letter and spirit of the Law.


      Ritual handwashing. The ritual handwashing was a tradition that did not comport with the letter of the law. Ritual handwashing dictated that clean food could be rendered unclean merely by coming into contact with hands that had not been ritually washed. So that particular tradition exceeded its authority, deeming unclean that which G-d had declared to be clean.

      As a movement, we're still in the process of establishing which traditions comport with the letter/spirit of the Law and which do not. We do not attribute carte blanch authority to the Rabbis of the Talmud and Codes.

      Hope this answers your questions.



    2. Anonymous,

      Here are some reasons for having Jewish traditions/customs:

  3. OK, I finally think I understand. The traditions are like crutches or a cast on a broken leg.

    Because one is unable to keep the commandment (broken leg), other rules are set up like a cast to guard the commandment?

    Unfortunately, the leg never heals and there will be no end to making up casts. The problem is.... the commandments get broken anyway and a great additional burden is placed on the people trying to keep the commandments. Then those who keep the casts springing up begin to think they are accomplishing G-d's will. They begin to believe their cast and crutches are the goal and that this pleases G-d.

    You can put up a blanket between men and women during worship. But, if the sin problem of lust is not taken care of in Christ, it is a waste of time. Sin will still pop up when alone, or upon seeing an attractive women on the streets or on T.V., and the man that lusts commits adultery or fornication.

    Will more blankets, casts and crutches help? We have thousands of years of evidence that these do not keep Israel spiritual. Israel is for the most part secular in spite of the traditions. No amount of tradition has kept them from sin. No tradition stops them from marring outside the faith of Judaism.

  4. This is ridiculous...Abraham, you spiritual father sin in lust flies in the face of your bizarre Statement...

  5. One reason given in the above suggested document is

    "1. To make a 'fence around the law,' for those who know it and for those who may violate it inadvertently;"

    My comment was concerning this list of why we need traditions.

    It suggests that some are going to inadvertently violate the Torah, (my metaphor is broken leg) and so then need to have some sort of cast to protect the command (fence or guard), crutches to walk (tradition).

    Yeah, tradition is ridiculous for this purpose, it never worked and to suggest we should make more of them for this purpose is just stupid.

    1. "Abraham, you spiritual father sin in lust flies in the face of your bizarre Statement..."

      Where is Abraham found making up these "fence around the commands"?

    2. Anonymous,

      First, thank you for engaging on this important topic.

      Re: "OK, I finally think I understand. The traditions are like crutches or a cast on a broken leg."

      Think of it this way: G-d's instructions are beautiful, yes? And so we should imitate Him and beautify the commandments. Don't just WRITE a sefer Torah, make it beautiful, show that you appreciate it! Don't just celebrate Shabbat with a Friday evening meal; make a very special meal! Have the pan-seared hangar steak! For desert: have a babka! Or something nice.

      The idea is to enjoy the commandments of our Father. He wants us to enjoy! Let's celebrate the wisdom and the joy of the commandments! : D

  6. Peter,

    Thank you for your comments. I agree we should celebrate the part of the commandments meant for celebration. We certainly must celebrate with joy the wisdom of the Torah.

    With that said I would go back to what is NOT Torah or commandment.

    All I'm saying is that I finally understand WHY men want to add to the Torah, I'm sure they mean well in some cases, in other cases they like to be in charge and rule over others(my opinion, no one needs to agree with me).

    For instance, we might inadvertently fail to properly sanctify the Shabbat at the exact moment, so we codify a certain number of time BEFORE Shabbat to 'light candles and say prayers' that were not commanded. This is explained to me as needful because we might "inadvertently" break the commandment, we can place a fence.

    Now, we are instructed that it is good to "call the Sabbath a delight" and one may choose to delight in the Sabbath by more prayer. One may choose to delight by special meals, one may delight by spending time with grandchildren. These types of things are natural and normal human ways to keep the Sabbath day holy and a delight. People do not need rules and regulations for keeping the Sabbath day holy, outside of the Torah and the Prophets, including Apostolic. Making up rules such as not using an elevator or running a car because it is 'making a fire' is foolish and not the spirit of the Torah of Shabbat. It corrupts the meaning of the "wisdom and joy of the commandments" you and I would like to celebrate in.

    These rules and regulations start out trying to "fence the commandments" but become burdensome and keep out those who want to enter. They do not have the benefit of "keeping Israel" as is purported. The evidence is the destruction of Jerusalem, the diaspora, and the ruins of the temple.

    The Torah and good and the Commandments are pure and lovely. Men just can't keep their dirty little hands off of them. Sad, but Yeshua will restore!

    Thank you for your polite response. We don't always agree but we can always treat each other with kindness. I need to be more kind and respectful. Your respectfulness makes me want to do better.


    1. Anonymous,

      We are agreed that the commandments are pure and lovely. We both also want traditions to be in keeping with this letter and spirit.

      We both also see a danger when rules become too strict. But is it possible to find a balance?

      You wrote "People do not need rules and regulations for keeping the Sabbath day holy"

      But the Bible gives us rules and regulations for Shabbat for that purpose. So the author of the Bible must think that we do need rules and regs for keeping Shabbat holy. Because if there was no universal (objective) standard then each man would interpret things like "work" in whichever manner is most convenient. So the Bible defines certain things as work (e.g. collecting fire wood on Shabbat). We need clarity in the Law. In fact, if a law is unclear then it is a bad law (Sententia non fertur de rebus non liquidis--"Sentence is not given upon a thing which is not clear").

      We're probably more in agreement than our feelings will allow. It's a hot topic but at least we are engaging with each other. That's positive.

    2. I think we are very much in agreement, more than I let on. Like I said, I am 'one law'.

      But, I like to examine all idea's and concepts and that means they must be challenged when issued. Then, of course anyone can change their mind and position based on a change in perspective. Shalom

  7. "Where is Abraham found making up these "fence around the commands"?"

    That is the point, he didn't...He did not have a blanket between him and Hagar...

  8. "He did not have a blanket between him and Hagar..."

    I'm confused, did Abraham sin with Hagar?

  9. Of course he did, we call it adultery...

  10. And we call his marriage to Sara incest. Quite the evil man I suppose. All of his physical decedents of incest and adultery?

    I guess I need to see Abraham in a new way. According to the Torah he should have been stoned to death.