(c) 1998, Rabbi David Markel Hall
The Flames Are Still Burning
The following are excerpts from an e-letter I received from B.R. His
comments are in fixed width and underlined font. My comments are
in variable width font.
He is among the thousands of misguided and misinformed Christians that
make it so difficult to spread the truth among our people. The doctrines
of separatism and anti-Semitism have strewn many boulders in the fields
of Judaism. The spirit which is exhibited here is raw, unadulterated Anti-Semitism.
Like it or not, Yeshua (Jesus) was and is an observant Jew (practicing
the customs and traditions of His people). When He returns; he will be
a Jewish king, sit on the throne of His father David, and rule the world
from the Jewish state of Israel.
... regarding the 'woes' and the 'bewares' that Jesus
proclaimed, about 70% of these Jesus was warning Christians
There were no "Christians" in Yeshua's day. He was speaking to a
100% Jewish crowd. Christians were first called Christians at Antioch.
(Acts 11:26) Remember that while Jesus was alive there was nothing to define
a "Christian", i.e. to believe in a "risen savior."
.... no words were harsher than those spoken of the
Scribes and Pharisees. Words like, 'you fools', 'you blind guides', 'woe
unto you', and 'white washed sepulchers.'
Yeshua (Jesus) was a Pharisee along with Nicodemus and Joseph of
Arimathaea, who buried him. He was addressing the Pharisees using Pharisaic
praxis (i.e., expressing a strong point of view in an emotional and firm
way). The "doctrine of the Scribes and Pharisees" which you are attacking,
were primarily those of the temple crowd, Herodians, who were in alliance
with Herod and Ceasar. In almost all references to "the Pharisees" you
will find members of the false priesthood (who were placed into their positions
by Herod and Ceasar), or the temple scribes, standing there with them.
The statements in Matthew 23, were made at or in the Temple (see Matthew
24:1 "And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple.").
Moreover, the apostle Paul, referring to the destructive
nature of the doctrines which the Scribes and Pharisees propagated...
Regarding the "destructive nature of the doctrines", Which doctrines? When
the Torah tells us, to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy and
do no servile work in it, if I were a doctor, would I be breaking the Sabbath
to assist someone with a medical emergency? The teachings of the Pharisees
clarify this statement so I can know that it is okay to render acts of
mercy and kindness on the Sabbath, otherwise I would probably do nothing
to assist someone based on the Torah alone.
... giving the fact that much of the New Testament teachings
deal with the destructive nature of the laws, doctrines and traditions
of the Jews (Judaism)...
This is erroneously lumping together laws, doctrines, and traditions. These
three are not one.
In the last days, when Yeshua returns to sit on His throne, He
will enforce upon the gentiles the feast of tabernacles or booths (Zech
14:16-21 the supposedly "Jewish custom", "Jewish Doctrine", or "Jewish
law" of Sukkot). He will even punish the gentiles who refuse to come up
to observe this "law, doctrine and tradition of the Jews (Judaism)"
...would it be good to learn exactly what these laws,
doctrines and traditions were?
Before "laying the ax to the tree", we should find out if the tree is evil
or not. Hence, we definitely should study Judaism before attacking it (2
Tim 2:15). The apostles even indicated that it would be okay for Christians
to go to the synagogues to learn Torah (Moses, inferred from Acts
15 note verse 21).
...Christians are beginning to incorporate Judaism into
Christianity. Thus telling Jews, you do not need to change your Jewish
heritage or traditions, you only need to accept Jesus as the Messiah.
The perception here is as taught by mainstream anti-Semitic theologians,
who take the words of the Bible out of context and use them to cut down
and rip to pieces anyone or anything they do not understand.
Acts 21:17-26 tells us that the Apostles were more than aware of the
"thousands of Jews" who were doing exactly what is being preached against.
They actually gave support to the Jews being "zealous of the law". Paul
himself did not argue with them when they confronted him. He did not say,
"I do not keep the law any longer." On the contrary, he went with the men
who had a vow (in which they shaved their heads, i.e., the nazerite
vow), he paid their charges and participated in the ritual (Was this a
tradition or law?). The nazerite vow was for the purpose of working
in the temple. They would not only be involved with the temple rituals,
but offering sacrifices along side the Levites. Paul would not have done
this if he was in any way against Judaism.
However, this mixture of Judaism and Christianity, if
one was to accept the teachings of Jesus, Paul and the other apostles,
one would see that mixing Judaism and Christianity together is like mixing
oil and water, they do not mix, and never will.
Paul not only encouraged the practice of Judaism among the Jews, he did
so himself. As for the other "Apostles", you can see how firm they were
about these matters by reading Acts 15. They gave special instructions
to the gentiles, much of which originated in the "Pharisaic teachings"
(i.e., Noahide Law). Timothy was circumcised and Peter wrongfully avoided
contact with believing gentiles in the company of Jews as was pointed out
in Gal 2. John taught the Jews (Paul was the Apostle to the gentiles the
others were apostles to the Jews) that breaking the Torah is sin
(1 John 3:4), etc. etc..
Contrary to that, which is commonly taught, Judaism
is not an emulation of the Old Testament. Instead, the rabbinical teachings
known as the Babylonian Talmud are the real essence of Judaism.
Talmud teaches us how to comply with "Old Testament" law (Torah).
The commandments say of the Sabbath "… no manner of work shall be done
in it…" When a farmer milks a cow for a living, is it wrong for him to
milk the cow on the Sabbath? According to the Talmud, it is not
wrong because stopping the milking of the cow will create pain in the animal
and reduce or eliminate the production of milk.
Yeshua used "Pharisaic doctrine" (Talmudic principles)
to reveal the truth about healing on the Sabbath (Mark 3:4, Luke 13:15,
14:1-6, etc., etc.). He used these wicked, evil, perverted doctrines on
many other occasions as well. Therefore, what is so wicked, evil or perverted
about them? Any doctrine can be twisted to be made evil even if it is not
inherently so by nature. Witches use the Psalms quoting them in reverse
to pronounce curses. Does this mean the Psalms are evil? Of course not.
The Babylonian Talmud addresses even more issues which
are difficult to resolve like;
This is why, for most holy days, we observe two days in the Diaspora but
only one in Jerusalem.
When does the Sabbath begin in Texas? Jerusalem time or local time?
Being so far from Jerusalem, which day do we observe in keeping the Sabbath?
Which day should be observed for various holy days?
And these doctrines and traditions (Talmudic teachings)
of present day Judaism are those same teachings, which Jesus so boldly
warned us to stay away from.
The Talmud of today did not exist in Yeshua's day. The *Babylonian
Talmud was compiled around *500CE to clarify questions of Torah
observance that the *Jerusalem Talmud (compiled around
*400CE) did not cover. The earliest writings of the Talmud were
compiled around *200CE by Rabbi Judah, and are called Mishnaoth.
The word Talmud is derived from lomed which means "study",
and is referring to the study of the Torah and Mishnaoth.
Mishnaoth means "study of traditional law by oral repetition."
* from Jewish Literacy by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Chapter
83, Babylonian Talmud, Jerusalem Talmud and Mishnah.