If the Jewish people believe the Savior is yet to come, why have most Jews forgone the written law in the Hebrew Scriptures?
I recently wrote about Judaism and its long tradition of legalism. You seem to be asking why the majority of Jews — i.e., most Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Jews, along with plenty of other progressive and/or secular Jews — aren’t obeying all or even most of the laws found in the Torah. I would refer you, first of all, to a previous column of mine, titled “Are there any biblical texts that you clearly understand to be not for our time?” Personally, the answer is a definite yes.
And just for the record: “The Jewish people” aren’t a monolith. Some Jews and some communities of Jews hold certain beliefs. But when you come down to it, every human has a unique faith (or lack thereof). I don’t believe a savior is yet to come. If I did, then I probably would do my best to obey Jewish law as I understood it, as many religious Jews do.
As I explained in my article on legalism, this would mean not only consulting the Torah but also observing laws developed by rabbis over the centuries and abiding by customs that may or may not have the full weight of Jewish law. As for why a Jew who believes the Messiah is coming would forgo “the written law in the Hebrew Scriptures” — well, perhaps simply because human beings are imperfect and often maddeningly contradictory, and also because obeying millennia-old laws to the letter can be really, really hard in modern times.
- Gary and Me - Aug 15, 2017
- On forgiveness and forgetting - Aug 4, 2017
- Ask a Jew: How can God be refreshed when God is the all-powerful creator of all existence? - Jul 18, 2017
- Ask a Jew: What does “mitzvah” mean? - Jul 17, 2017
- Ask a Jew: Why do so many people still deny the Holocaust? - Jul 5, 2017
- A response to Mark Azzara’s “An America run amok” - Jul 3, 2017
- Ask a Jew: What is a Reform Jew’s viewpoint on interfaith marriage? - Jun 15, 2017
- Ask a Jew: If the Jewish people believe the Savior is yet to come, why have most Jews forgone the written law in the Hebrew Scriptures? - Jun 1, 2017
- Ask a Jew: Why do some Jews wear curls on the sides of their heads? - May 30, 2017
- A response to Mark Azzara’s “How Do We Know Who We Are?” - May 29, 2017