"The relationship of the orally transmitted Torah to the written Torah is also likened to this image of 'black fire on white fire' (Jerusalem Talmud, Shekalim 6:1, end). Just as a white background contains no meaning for man, representing the metaphysical world beyond his grasp, the written Torah given at Sinai carries no meaning for man until it is 'humanized' by the orally transmitted Torah...The mystical white space between the letters on the Torah parchment is [like] the written Torah, but the black letters--[which are like] the orally transmitted Torah--make the knowledge of a higher world accessible to man through the human language of narratives and laws," Nathan T. Lopes Cardozo, The Written and Oral Torah.
Earlier today I realized that the concept to which I'd been referring as Oral Torah (knowing full well that the Rabbis use this same term to refer to a different concept), can more accurately be termed "Meta Law" or "Meta Torah." The prefix "meta" is helpful because it refers to all the necessary elements beyond a given object. Previously I've outlined that there are 5 necessary elements beyond the written Torah (LINK), elements which do not necessarily correspond to the Rabbinic Halachah. So, going forward, I will refer to these 5 necessary elements as Meta Torah in order to avoid terminological confusion.
The term "Oral Torah", as it is commonly understood, applies the 5 meta elements directly to the Rabbis, to Rabbinic Halachah--indeed to Rabbinic Judaism. To use this term as a descriptor for reality thus gives the appearance that one is attributing mandatory authority to the Rabbis and Rabbinic Judaism.
As a follower of Yeshua, I certainly want to avoid attributing mandatory authority to a Judaism that rejects Yeshua.
If the Rabbis had the meta Law then they would understand the written Law as referring to Yeshua. But they have only the Letter (written Torah), not the Spirit (which is arguably an aspect of meta Torah).
"If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me," John 5:46
"Because the new Testament teaches Yeshua’s followers to observe Torah, it also necessarily teaches to keep the tradition of the fathers, or the Oral Law [i.e. Rabbinic Authority]," Tsvi Sadan, Halakic Authority in the Life of the Messianic Community
"Those who demand that we reject [rabbinic] authority are actually calling for the rejection of our Jewish identity," ibid.On one level, I'm almost agree with him...
After all, my view is susceptible to the following attack: I say the Rabbis have advisory authority and yet I totally depend on them for the tradition of the written Torah as well as many of the traditions. By all accounts I'm left looking like the arrogant and idiotic Gentile from midrash:
I don't agree with Tsvi Sadan...and yet some of his points are solid. The Rabbinic Halacha ("Oral Torah" has preserved the written Torah and the Jewish People.
Yet this Rabbinic Judaism mandates the rejection of Yeshua...