Latest Blog Posts

Posted July 25, 2014 - 7:21pm

Rabbi (Judah) said… Be as scrupulous about a light commandment as of a weighty one, for you do not know the reward allotted for each commandment. (m.Avot 2:1)

Judaism claims that within the boundaries of Torah there exists the concept of precepts which are either “light” or “heavy.” Of the six hundred and thirteen enumerated commandments, there are those which fall into the category of being a “light” commandment and those which are considered to be “heavy.” Rabbi Judah proposes that there should not be a difference between the observance of the two. But does this distinction truly exist? Are there such things as light and heavy commandments? Don’t they all “weigh” the same? Citing James 2:10, Christian apologetics teach that if you’ve broken one, then you’ve broken them all. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (KJV). As a matter of fact, there is currently an evangelism curriculum which uses this reasoning to lead people into confessing their sinfulness and subsequent need for a Redeemer. They barrage their target with a series of questions designed to elicit a confession of guilt for breaking at least one of God’s commandments. From there, they use this passage in James to point out that that offense was not an isolated event and that they have been marked as a “sinner” and are in need of a Savior, because they have, in effect, broken all of God’s commandments. If this understanding holds true, then there is no such division between the “light” and “heavy” commandments, for they are all the same in the eyes of God. According to this theology, if we break even the least of the commandments our souls are in danger of the flames of Gehinnom.

Posted June 27, 2014 - 5:37am

And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord's doing,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away. (Mark 12:1–12)

Posted May 14, 2014 - 6:07am

Editor's note: This article was originally scheduled to appear in the Messianic Times the week before Passover, but did not appear due to unforeseen circumstances (hence the reference to Passover).

The Struggle

After Moses received the commandments on Mount Sinai, Scripture says that he “took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people” (Exodus 24:7). Immediately, the Children of Israel responded by saying, Kol asher diber Hashem na’aseh v’nishmah — “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will hear.” They immediately resolved to submit to the voice of the Holy One and live within the parameters set forth for them as a redeemed people. However, as we know, this resolve did not have lasting results. Shortly thereafter, their Redeemer quickly took a back seat to the egel hazahav, the golden calf. It seems that within both Judaism and Christianity, this has been the struggle of our spiritual existence ever since.

James, the brother of our Master, reminds us that even after the coming of Messiah, his followers continued to struggle with the same duplicity. He commissions the disciples of Yeshua to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:22–25). Do we, as Messianics, struggle with these issues even today?

Posted April 30, 2014 - 5:13am

How does Yeshua use the Torah to deal with adultery?

 

Let’s take a look at an example in which deliberate judgment is demonstrated by Jesus in the case of the woman “caught in the very act of adultery” (according to the KJV) from the eighth chapter of the Gospel of John. Although most are familiar with this passage, let us refresh our memory before we continue. 

Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:2-11) 

Pages

Latest Book Review

The Magerman Edition

Author: Daniel Rose & Jay Goldmintz
Publisher: Koren Publishers
Year: 2014

The Koren Ani Tefilla Siddur is one of the latest in Koren’s growing collection of siddurim (prayer books) geared towards a specific demographic. Koren describes Ani Tefilla as “an engaging and thought-provoking siddur for the inquiring high school student and thoughtful adult.” Koren says that Ani Tefillah has been developed in order “to help the user create their own meaning and connection during the Tefilla [prayer] experience.” The name of the siddur is connected with its objective. Ani Tefilla means “I pray.” 

Welcome

Welcome to Emet HaTorah! We're blessed to have you here! We hope to be an online source for discipleship resources from a Messianic Jewish perspective. If you're new to Emet HaTorah have a look around and enjoy some of our online teaching resources and sign up for our monthly newsletter. You'll be blessed!