Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The one where I answer a question about my life as a messianic believer.

I was recently asked the following question:

"Do you follow all the Jewish laws?"

I thought the answer might be informative to my few readers- so here goes:

I follow the mitzvot (as outlined in the old testament, and of course to the best of my abilities) but NOT the Talmud- which are the additional rabbinical writings that are the "Jewish Laws."

When you break it down, most believers attempt to follow mitzvot. There are 613 Mitzvot in the Torah. I break them down into four categories.

The first group are basic moral laws about caring for one another and the land.

  • The 10 commandments
  • 11 commands about how we are to love one another
  • 2 laws to learn Torah and to respect scholars of Torah
  • 51 about customs and forbiding idol worship.
  • 1 law about repenting of sin
  • 17 laws about marraige, divorce and adultry
  • 8 laws about honesty / vows
  • 48 laws about doing business ethically / lending money
  • 5 laws about how to farm
  • 13 laws about caring for the poor
  • 36 laws about murder / theiving etc
  • 37 laws about forbidden sexual relationships

Then there are an additional 89- that the "Torah Observant" attempt to follow:

  • 33 laws about food / slaughter
  • 11 laws about prayer and worship (recite the Shema, post mezuzahs, Bless His name after eating.)
  • 5 laws about keeping the sabbath
  • 30 laws about observing the holidays

Then there are these- which I am still studying and trying to figure out how they apply today.

  • 22 laws about the year of Jubilee

The rest of the laws aren't applicable today- either because there is no temple- or because the Messiah was the ultimate sacrifice or because we aren't Nazarites or Isreali.
  • 10 laws to the Nazarites
  • 29 laws about offerings to God
  • 47 laws about temple worship
  • 39 laws about sacrifice
  • 20 laws about ritual purity
  • 74 laws about how the kingdom of Isreal was to be run


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