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72411Re: ABH Questions raised by the Torah's Structure and Theology

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  • richfaussette
    Feb 18, 2014
      Dear Eileen,

      613 commandments...

      The oral Torah is the Torah of Genesis, of diaspora, where there is no temple, priesthood or written Law. That's why it was promised in the wake of national destruction in Jeremiah's Gospel before the Gospels and in the Gospels of the NT. When you read the Pentateuch, it is obvious that the oral Torah came first and it is the oral Torah that is considered superior by God in Jeremiah 31:31.
      Even the rabbis considered the oral Torah superior. A rabbi could not study the oral Torah until he had mastered the written Torah. Jesus disagreed with holding off the study of the oral Torah. He faulted the priests for keeping it to themselves. 

      In an imperfect world of good and evil, we need the written Torah to tell us what we should and should not do. In the perfect world of oral Torah, men/women have internalized the written Torah, written the 613 commandments on their hearts, so that the good and evil dichotomy is gone and there is no longer a choice between good and evil. That choice is made once and for all when the oral Torah is written on the heart.   

      Don't take my word for it. Take Gershom Scholem's words for it as he explains the Zohar-

      "...Since Adam sinned the world has been governed not by the Tree of Life (as it properly should be) but by the tree of Knowledge. The Tree of Life is entirely and exclusively holy, with no admixture of evil, no adulteration or impurity or death or limitation. The Tree of Knowledge on the other hand contains both good and evil, purity and impurity, virtue and vice, therefore under its rule there are things forbidden and things permitted, things fit for consumption and things unfit, the clean and the unclean. In an unredeemed world the Torah is revealed in positive and negative commandments and all that these imply, but in the redeemed future all uncleanliness and unfitness and death will be abolished." from the Messianic Idea in Judaism, Gershom Scholem, page 40

      Once the people have written the Torah on their hearts (making it an oral Torah), the Kingdom of God, (the community of the redeemed world), will be established. 

      Rich Faussette

      ---In AncientBibleHistory@yahoogroups.com, <enhancing_your_life@...> wrote:

      Richard,  My take on this is:  The written Torah cannot be replaced with the Oral Torah. 
      They are two distinct elements.
      The written Torah consists of 618 Commandments given to Moses at Mt. Sinai telling us how
      to live in every aspect of life according to G-d's plan for humanity.  Following these
      rules will enable people to become Holier in body, mind, and spirit. These Commantments
      must be studied and past on to our children, their children, etc.  They are rules of conduct
      to follow that pleases G-d.  Including what to eat, what to avoid for health reasons.
      How to be fair in business, how to have personal integrity, etc.  The list goes on.....That
      is why they are written.
      The Oral Torah is an extension of the written Torah and passed down through the Rabbis..  
      When the Messiah comes, the Teachings of the Torah will no longer have to be taught and studied.  It will not take conscious self-control to obey and understand the wisdom of G-d's ways to follow a Holier life.  It will be instilled in everyone's heart without question.  Right from wrong, good from bad, healthy or destructive, etc.  To me, this means that a higher level of human consciousness will have evolved spiritually.  To evolve spiritually brings us closer to 
      G-d because it relates to our connection to G-d Himself.  We will not have to depend on
      the teachings of Torah and the self control needed to overcome our human ego that is the 
      enemy of our spirituality. Now and in the past, to become G-d connected, we must banish
      being hindered by: Lust, Greed, Vanity, Hatred, Ego, and Desires of all types.  Nobody can
      do that for anyone else because we all have our demons--but the Torah is a guided roadmap.
      I know that Christians do not believe that the Torah is relevant anymore, but this should be reconsidered if one believes in G-d.  He Himself communicated it.
      Anyway,  That's the story.

      On Thursday, January 9, 2014 10:54 PM, "RFaussette@..." <RFaussette@...> wrote:
      Dear list members,
      In the essay The Fundamental Structure and Systematic Theology of the Torah in the section Re-membering Man, the structure of the Gospel of Thomas logion 37 is compared to the structure of the fall in Genesis 3:6-7 to demonstrate that the author of the logion believed the “gnosis” he knew and described was nothing less than the return from the fall.
      The essay Working the Torah Loop explains how Jeremiah’s Gospel before the Gospels describes a Law “written on the heart” which God promises the Biblical population forced into diaspora by the Babylonians in 587 B.C. The Law “written on the heart” is later prescribed by the authors of the New Testament for the Jews of the first century as they are forced into diaspora by the Romans (Hebrews 8:10).
      If you compare the passages and accept the fact that the author of logion 37 understood the import of the fall in Genesis 3:6-7 when he reproduced in his logion the essential elements of the Genesis passage – in reverse - you will then be able to identify the gnosis with “writing the Law on one’s heart” and the gnosis becomes integral to traditional Torah Judaism for you rather than an influence imported from a “mystery” religion. The gnosis is also arguably at the core of Christianity in the ministry and self sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
      Now, consider that rabbinical Judaism; the Judaism of the Torah scroll, emerges at the same time as Christianity emerges.
      A Jewish religious scholar of the first century witnessing the forced diaspora of his people would be presented with a dilemma.
      Do I teach them the difficult oral tradition of writing the Law on one’s heart in diaspora as the patriarchs in Genesis did in Genesis 17:2 and as Jeremiah was promised by God in Jeremiah 31:31 or do I depreciate the oral tradition of writing the Law on one’s heart to reproduce a written Torah on portable scrolls for the conquered nation’s scattered diaspora communities?
      These positions are mutually exclusive and antagonistic.
      This raises a few  questions. 
      Is Gnostic Christianity which teaches a Law “written on the heart” the traditional pastoral theology of Torah Judaism?
      Is rabbinical Judaism with the Law written on scrolls the heretical innovation?
      Richard Faussette
      January 9, 2014

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