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A RIGHT RESPONSE TO RABBINIC JUDAISM
By Daniel C. Juster, Director
A Renewed Mind
When we are filled with the Spirit and our faith is centered on Yeshua, on all that He has done, and will do for us, a wonderful transformation takes place: we are endowed with a renewed mind which can weigh viewpoints, practices, and philosophies (Romans 12:2). In this regard, when we reflect on that huge corpus of literature known as rabbinic literature with a renewed mind - and I include in this the prayer books - we are filled with what I would call profound ambivalence. What do I mean by this term?
My Personal Story in Responding to Rabbinic Judaism
As a young leader in the Messianic Jewish movement I devoted myself to working my way through the Talmud, the primary multi-volume corpus of the application of Jewish Law. I was also taking a course on Jewish Worship at Spertus College of Judaica that concentrated on the prayer books. There is no doubt that I missed a great deal; the literature is difficult to interpret. However, I think I also gained a sense of what was going on. I was positively amazed at the doctrine of grace in the Siddur (the prayer book) and also some of the wonderful values reflected both in the Talmudic stories and also in the good applications of Torah. On the other hand, I was stunned by the level of legalism, foolishness and superstition. These types of statements are never found in the Bible itself. Lest some think this is an anti-Semitic statement, I want to clarify that other religions and some sectors of Christianity entertain similar legalism and foolishness...
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicted, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Tikkun International, Inc. is not affiliated with TIKKUN magazine,
the Institute for Labor and Mental Health, or Rabbi Michael Lerner.
Tikkun International, Inc. is not affiliated with TIKKUN magazine, the Institute for Labor and Mental Health, or Rabbi Michael Lerner.