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The Need for Halacha (Jewish Law)

halach mashiach | The Need for Halacha (Jewish Law)

Messianic Judaism – The Need for Halacha (Jewish Law)

This is the next in a series of articles about the growth of Messianic Judaism within the broader Jewish movement.  This time I will focus on the need for Messianic Halacha.

Wikipedia defines Halacha as follows: Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה ‎) — also transliterated  Halacha— is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law (the 613 mitzvoth ) and later Talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.

Judaism has many sources of Jewish law the Torah, Talmud, The Shulchan Aruch, etc. And these are just a few of the sources.  So as Messianic Jews, who are part of Judaism, we need to define our own sense of Halacha.

Now as Messianic Jews who believe in Rabbi Yeshua we would obviously follow Torah, just as Yeshua himself did.  We would also include the Besorah HaTovah (Good News), which includes the writings of the Emissaries.  However, what do we do with the rest of Jewish Law?  Do we simply discard it or is there a way to include it within Messianic Judaism?

I believe that if we are to be taken seriously by the Jewish community at large we need to address these questions.  I always like to preface that I am only one Jewish voice.  The purpose of these articles has always been to have an open, honest and respectful debate within the Messianic Jewish community.

First and foremost I believe that Yeshua must be the example we follow.  As my Rabbi I want to follow his teachings.  This is no different than any other Jew who follows the teachings of their Rabbi.  We also need to follow Torah since Yeshua himself said that he did not come to abolish Torah, but to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17).  In fulfilling the Torah Yeshua came to explain the true meaning of Torah and what it means to lead a real Torah observant life.

What about other sources of Jewish Law such as the Talmud, should we as followers of Yeshua read it?  I will give you a very Rabbinic Answer, Yes and No!!

I believe we must view everything through the eyes of our Rabbi Yeshua.  We know that he himself was Jewish and therefore, he followed Torah faithfully, but did he follow any other sources of Jewish Law?  I believe the answer is yes.

In Mark Chapter 7, for example, the Pharisees accuse some of Yeshua’s disciples of not doing the practice of Netilat Yadayim (the washing of their hands).  Notice, that they do not accuse Yeshua of this, simply some of his disciples.  I believe Yeshua did wash his hands because there is no reference to say that he did not.  Netilat Yadayim is simply a Jewish tradition and not a Torah commandment of Hashem.

There seem to be those of us within the Messianic Jewish community which forbid reading Talmud, Zohar, etc because we argue that those sources are not biblical.  I would humbly disagree.  I think everything including rabbinic literature has its place within Messianic Judaism.

For example, the kosher laws are mentioned in Vayikra Chapter 11 and repeated again in Devarim Chapter 14.  However, the process of how to slaughter the animal in a kosher manner is found in the Talmud.  So, I think it is wrong to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  We must simply remember to view everything through our ultimate authority our Rabbi Yeshua.

Also, the Messianic Jewish community practices many traditions which are not found in the Torah.  These include, but are not limited to: lighting Shabbat candles, chanting the Torah and lighting the Chanukah candles.  None of these practices are mentioned in the Torah, but we still do them.  So, it seems a little hypocritical to me to be telling people not to follow rabbinic traditions when we follow many of them ourselves.

We are not the Jewish Church!

http://bethaderech.com/

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Interesting read. I believe many things you said here in some way align with my Netzari Yahudi VS Netzari Israelite write up (that I need to edit). I think with study it is clear that Yahushua / Y'shua kept some Oral Torot but rejected others.

With halachah what do you do if some disagree with certain things? I know I have issue with some things, but at the same time if we are all together then it's better in many ways. It seems to me a balance has to be struck.

It's a similar unity issue with names. I wouldn't say I'm a sacred namer in the extreme sense but in some ways I am. I don't mind if people use a title for Elohim but I do take issue when replacement is made when reading or speaking the names as part of scripture. But in a community (even satanic or atheist) where most believe 1 thing the minority is often booted for not getting in line. So, where do we draw the line with halachah? To what goal are we to be tolerant and conversely in opposition to something? If I'm around most Yahudim and I say YaHUaH or YaHWeH or YeHoVaH or any studied opinion of Yod Heh Vav Heh (Not Yod QEH vav QEH!) I guess based on what I have seen online I will be whinged at for breaking command 3 by taking the name in vain or ruin, and yet the view point I and others hold is that replacing the Heh with Quph or Kaph and never saying the name at all is also bringing the name to vanity and ruin.

I'm not part of a believing community so my walk is in my own experience very hard but if I do find some people I expect it to be the same squabbling that I've seen all my life. I wish I didn't have to say that but I have known no different. Maybe one group believes the other is wrong and should just keep quiet and get in line but we all know it won't happen. Many of us want to find, uphold and do the truth and again we hit another problem - everyone has a different understanding of what truth is, so everyone is convinced their message is correct and yet it contradicts others. Halachah and Hebrew has more than one interpretation layer too so another issue. Big sighs!

Mashiyach I pray will straighten us ALL out and set the true halachah/halachot for eternity, then we can all lay our doctrinal errors down and truly be brothers and sisters, but for know at least, what can we do?

My questions and concerns are not just about the name but it's always a good and obvious example to bring up. My concerns cover many other issues.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

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