Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Mitzvot Series: #1

So recently a Christian teacher who is a friend of mine asked me to enumerate all the mitzvot that I believe are currently valid.  He wants to be thorough and define everything--a very wise approach, yes?  Oddly enough, I've never really thought through all the mitzvot and considered which are binding for Messianic Jews and non-Jews in the modern day.  So this will be a beneficial exercise.  Without further ado, here's the first in the mitzvot series.  And I'll be borrowing heavily from Abraham Chill's "The Mitzvot" for all of this (one of the chillest rabbis of all time by the way).  Oh, and for the one's that pose issues for Messianics (e.g. rabbinic authority issues or One-Law issues) I'll post a brief note discussing my personal view and if anyone wants to comment then feel free (all perspectives are welcome here).

PROCREATION
"Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it" (Gen. 1:28)

CIRCUMCISION
"Every male among you shall be circumcised" (Gen. 17:10)

PROHIBITION OF EATING THIGH MUSCLE
"Therefore the children of Israel are not to eat the thigh muscle on the hip socket" (Gen. 32:33)

SANCTIFICATION OF THE NEW MOON
"This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be unto you the first month of the year" (Ex 12:2).
NOTE:  How do we get to the mitzvah that each new moon should be sanctified?  It's implied from "beginning of months" that just as Pesach is reckoned from a new moon so too must each subsequent month be reckoned by the new moon.

PREPARATION OF THE PASCHAL LAMB
Ex: 12:6; 23:18
NOTE:  When the Temple is standing, the Israelite householder goes to the Temple, waits his turn to enter the courtyard, has his sacrifice processed, and returns with the paschal lamb to his house where everyone eats it. (See "Those Forbidden to Partake of the Paschal Lamb" for a special note for One-Law Messianics)

PARTICIPATION IN THE PASCHAL FEAST
"And they shall eat the flesh in that night" (Ex. 12:11)
"Ye may not eat of it raw nor boiled in water" (Ex 12:9)
"With unleavened bread and bitter herbs shall they eat it" (Ex. 12:8)

PROHIBITION OF LEFTOVERS FROM THE PASCHAL LAMB
Ex 12:10; Numbers 9:12; Deut. 16:4

THOSE FORBIDDEN TO PARTAKE OF THE PASCHAL LAMB
Ex. 12:43,45,48
NOTE:  A convert, after the model of Abraham, is initiated into the covenant via faith.  A male convert thus initiated then ratifies his conversion via circumcision. When the Temple is standing, a circumcised male convert may then consummate his conversion by eating the paschal lamb.  This model of conversion (initiation, ratification, consummation) is obviously not held by "the rabbis".  Yet it is the model which I believe best describes the reality of a convert's journey as demonstrated in the Tanak and the Apostolic Writings.

NOT TO BREAK THE BONES OF THE PASCHAL LAMB
Ex 12:46; Numbers 9:12

MUST EAT PASCHAL LAMB IN THE HOME
"You may not carry forth any of the flesh away from the house" (Ex 12:46)

BAN ON LEAVEN DURING PASSOVER
Ex 12:15,17,18,19,20;13:3; Deut. 16:3

SANCTIFICATION OF THE FIRST-BORN AMONG HUMANS AND ANIMALS
Ex 13:2; Num 18:15,17; Deut. 12:17;15:19
NOTE:  This was historically interpreted to mean that the father was duty-bound to "redeem" his first-born son thirty days after the birth by presenting the Priest with five pieces of silver or an object of equal value.

RELATING THE STORY OF EXODUS TO ONE'S CHILD
"And you shall tell your son on that day" (Ex 13:8)

REDEMPTION OF EVERY FIRST-BORN DONKEY
Ex. 13:13
NOTE:  I'm not going to attempt to explain the rationales behind each mitzvah...

TO BE CONTINUED...







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