Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart
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Sunday, 24 May 2009

Indignation at the Truth

My recent post on honesty and Orthodoxy generated quite a vigorous response. The number of comments was a record for this blog and, for once, most of them were not me commenting on myself.
What I found most interesting was the outrage from the non-observant commenters. My point in posting the excerpt from the Tana D'vei Eliyahu was not to try and claim that all frum Jews are honest. Rather, my point was to show that within halacha there is excellent support for those who contend that Torah law forbids the cheating of and stealing from non-Jews. In other words, those Orthodox Jews who contend that it's okay nowadays to do such sins are wrong when they say that the halacha permits them to.
But the response to that was fascinating. Instead of what I expected: "Yeah? Well then all Orthodox Jews are hypocrites because they break that law!", I got this: "No, you're wrong. Orthodox not only allows but tacitly encourages theft from and cheating of non-Jews". In other words, people don't want to hear about how we sin. They want to hear that we are just following our religion when we cheat and steal.
That led me to think about what people on the outside want to believe about Judaism, and it isn't pretty. For them Torah Judaism is a religion that is bigoted, hateful and deceitful. Never mind all the examples that I can bring to the opposite, they're prepared to dismiss all those proofs because it doesn't fit with their view of how the Torah should be (as opposed to how it is).
Why is that? I believe that it's to help with the justification of their own personal beliefs. After all, if the Torah is a moral system, then one must work hard to justify why, as a Jew, one does not hold by its rules. Not that there is not justification. Philosophy is a flexible enough field of inquiry to allow that to happen. But it's much easier to justify why one hates and avoids Torah Judaism if one can villify it in the first place. For those who have left "the derech" it seems essential to remember that derech as a path filled with hate and deceit. That the Torah itself is not that way cannot be acceptable.
To summarize: if there is a problem with Torah Judaism today, it is the fault of the people who are not carrying it out correctly or twisting it to fit their own personal agendae, not the fault of God's Torah itself. I am quite fine with people saying they stopped being religious because of a lousy high school rebbe or a bad experience within the community, but we must never allow people to misrepresent the Torah as the reason for their loss of faith. That's just not honest.

38 comments:

SJ said...

>> I am quite fine with people saying they stopped being religious because of a lousy high school rebbe or a bad experience within the community, but we must never allow people to misrepresent the Torah as the reason for their loss of faith. That's just not honest.


Garnel you have a classic case of head in sand syndrome.

E-Man said...

You are never going to be able to convince the people that think Judaism is inherently bad. These people don't actually understand the religion and want to just hate it. It is pointless to argue with these people.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Well SJ is a good example. His personal obsession is the "no touching" rule. He disagrees with it and has concluded that it is OBJECTIVELY bad.

Now, if he would say that he thinks it's SUBJECTIVELY bad, ie. he doesn't like it, that would be fine and there's be no argument. But by stating to know objective truth, he has created the conflict.

Shalmo said...

Ah?

People all over the world are disgusted with the Torah, not just former frummies.

There is nothing divine about a book where rape, murder, ethnocentrism and genocide are what half the book is about.

People don't think it ok for Yahweh to ripp apart 42 children just because they were making fun of Elisha's bald head. They don't think taking children out on the battlefield and killing them for "vengeance" is something God would order. They don't don't killing little boys, pregnant women and enslaving virgins is moral either.

The virginal obsession that is filled to the brink in the Torah is more than enough to conclude primitive and horny tribesman wrote this ghastly literature, not God.

People stop believing in the Torah coz its nonsense, nothing more to it.

Dr Mike said...

Shalmo, anyone ever told you that you're repetitive?

Shalmo, anyone ever told you that you're repetitive?

Shalmo, anyone ever told you that you're repetitive?

Shalmo, anyone ever told you that you're repetitive?

SJ said...

>>> Well SJ is a good example. His personal obsession is the "no touching" rule.


This is why Garnel has head-in-sand syndrome. Shomer negiah is hardly a personal obsession of mine, and there are far more reasons why I have rejected this crap.

Shalmo said...

DrMike if you wish to have a debate with me on the legitamacy of Judaism (publically or privately), please feel free to say. Ad hominems betray your character.

DrMike said...

Shalmo, when I first started reading your comments, I figured: well educated guy but clearly misguided.

But when I got to your "The Torah commands us to eat our children, look it's says so right there is Deuteronomy!" well that's not interpretation, that's downright misrepresentation.

Statistics I can argue. Philosophy I can argue. But your statements imply that you are prepared to present a text in a deliberately twisted fashion to make your point. And I don't see the point in arguing with that.

E-Man said...

Anyone know the answer to this question: If an Ad hominem is when you don't argue to the point of the argument, what is it called when you make up "facts" for your argument?

Yeshivish Atheist said...

An argument that is valid but the premises in the argument are false is an argument that is not sound.

Yeshivish Atheist said...

Garnel,

Surprisingly there is some truth to your words in your post. The trick here is to sift out the truth from the paint-branding nonsense that plagues the rest of your conveyed message.

Of course, even if Judaism permitted theft from non-Jews, it would have nothing to do with the validity of Judaism. If could be that Judaism is true and it is A-OK to steal from non-Jews.

To attack Judaism's validity on moral grounds is a complete waist of time for a number of reasons.

1) Firstly, it is nothing more than an appeal to consequences: Essentially you are just saying something along the lines of:

If Judaism is true, then X if permitted.

I don't want X to be permitted.

Therefore, Judaism is not true.

This is the kind of logic one expects from frummies, not skeptics.

2) Secondly, there is no such thing as Objective morality: Attacking Judaism on moral grounds is like attacking food on the grounds that it's not "cool" or "not tasty" or that it "smells bad"

These things are subjective-based objections.

Whether Judaism permits theft or not is a pointless discussion with regards to the validity of Judaism. It has no influence either way.

Now, Let's get to the paint-branding nonsense in your post:

"Not that there is not justification."

This is quite a curious claim. Are you saying that no one goes OTD for this reason? To say that people that went OTD did so for other reasons is fine. To say that no one goes off for those reasons is simply not the case.

"For those who have left "the derech" it seems essential to remember that derech as a path filled with hate and deceit"

Oh dear. Is this what you really mean to say? Do you think that *all* OTDers think of Judaism in such a light?

Personally, I can tell you this is most definitely not the case for me. I happen to think that OJ is a wonderful religion. It made me happy, and gave me emotional fulfillment.

The only issue I have with it, is it's validity. I don't think there is enough evidence for the claims it makes.

Truthfully, I do wish it were true. What kind of moron wants do die and that's it? What kind of fool wishes to not have an opportunity to go to Heaven.

It would be very nice if OJ was true. But then again, it would also be very nice if the spiritual cookie monster was also true: I hear he makes some killer chocolate chip cookies.

The problem is plain and simple: my brain is not convinced. I have heard argument after argument, stretch after stretch, kvetch after kvetch, and nothing doing. (FYI: my experience is not limited to UO)

You seem to come off as a paint-brander, so eager to categorize everyone into placements which you feel comfortable with. Someone rejects the Torah? Must be they emotionally had a bad time with it. Must be it was because it's to help with the justification of their own personal beliefs. Must be it's because we don't want to follow halacha.

Or maybe, just maybe, Some of us are searching for truth? Maybe, some of us deeply want it to be true, but can't see ourselves, in any intellectual honesty, believing in it?

The world is not black and white, painting it as such is highly inaccurate.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Hi YA,

I'm not following this:
1) Essentially you are just saying something along the lines of:
If Judaism is true, then X if permitted.
I don't want X to be permitted.
Therefore, Judaism is not true.

How is what I'm saying connected to this?

As for objectivity, one must remember that it is axiomatic in Judaism that the Torah, as the revealed will of God, IS objective truth. Now, you and I can argue whether or not the Torah is indeed the will of God or if, chas v'chalilah, He's really there but from my position of having accepted His existence and Torah, I believe that I know what the objective truth is.
My point regarding atheism in prior posts is that by its very definition it cannot claim any objective truth and if that's the case, then there's no real concept of evil because evil means an objective concept of what's good.

> Oh dear. Is this what you really mean to say?

Obviously people leave religion for various reasons. For some, it's apathy. I would assume they enter their new lifestyle with the same lack of excitement they left Judaism with. It's the same blah but without the kosher matzoh.

Some leave for intellectual reasons. It sounds like that happened to you. Of course you're not bitter. You didn't leave because of negative emotions but because you didn't let your positive emotions overcome your sense of logic, am I right? It then follows that you would have positive memories of where you came from, like you describe.

And then there's the enthusiastic folks who left because they couldn't believe in Judaism but they do want to believe in something passionately. So they found their way into the new age atheist stuff which is essentially a godless religion and have embraced it with all the energy they should have given to God and Torah.

Like a reverse baal teshuvah who would have no problem torching a Reform temple because they're all kofrim (I am NOT endorsing such behaviour, BTW), what drives their sense of justification of their new lifestyle is hatred of their old. And it's those I'm referring to.

So I agree we cannot pain the world as black and white but those two colours as well as various defined shades of gray must continue to exist.

Listen, in school 79% is a B and 80% is an A. The B gets you a "couldn't you have tried harder" and the A gets you a few bucks to spend at the store as a reward. All for a difference of 1%.

If I give an 11 month and 29 day old baby his 1 year needles, Public Health demands I repeat them in a month. If I wait a day, I don't have to. Did something magical happen to his immune system overnight?

We need categories because we have to know where we belong and how to interact with those who are in different groups. And we need open mindedness to remember that just because you're in a specific group it doesn't mean you have to accept every little part of that group.

Friar Yid (not Shlita) said...

I believe that it's to help with the justification of their own personal beliefs. After all, if the Torah is a moral system, then one must work hard to justify why, as a Jew, one does not hold by its rules.Not necessarily. There are plenty of philosophical systems in the world that have some good ideas in them. That doesn't mean I should spend all my time trying to decide whether I'm better off living as an Orthodox Buddhist, Catholic, Sikh or Jew.

I think there is morality within Orthodox Judaism (as there is in most religious/ethical sytems). But there are also plenty of rules, customs, and perspectives that I have no interest in living my life by. Ortho Judaism doesn't have to be satanic for it to not be super-attractive to your average Jew, especially those not raised observant and who can't relate-- emotionally, intellectually, etc-- to all the things (baggage? mitzvot?) associated with living a fully frum lifestyle.

I'm happy where I am with my Judaism. I will probably become more observant as time goes on, in little ways. But I'm not interested in becoming Orthodox, because it's not something I find appealing or attractive, any more than I want to rush out and join a monastery.

Shalmo said...

Dr. Mike:

the Deuteronomy verse I cited is subjective for you to take that interpretation so alas I don't agree with you at all. But fine I'll give you that. What about all the other verses cited by me, or are we using different Torahs?

I've also asked Garnel to answer my objections of the entire Talmud being a violation of Deut. 4:2. I got no response for that either. I'm not a christian (and very much loathe Christianity), but I still haven't been given a reason why its not alright for Paul of Tarsus to call the Torah a curse and say all its 613 laws are abrogated, when rabbis can go through loopholes doing just that. Whatever law doesn't suit their temperaments they go around. Which in a nutshell is really just a pick and choose religion and explains fully well why all other jewish sects were opposed to the pharisee position in second temple Judea. Perhaps you can explain the matter, since clearly Garnel can't.

Btw Dr. Mike ARE YOU Garnel speaking through a different user to me? I have just been warned about how our Lord Garnel apparently has multiple personality disorder, hence he is so busy taking on different user-names in order to appear as different people all over the Jewish blogosphere. hmmmm?

Garnel Ironheart said...

Friar Yid, it goes back to what I wrote earlier. Different people drift away for different reasons. For those who left because they found something better, there is little animosity. For those who left because they first rejected Judaism and then stumbled into something like atheism as an alternative, there is still the anger centred around the rejection.

Ah Shalmo, check a few posts back and you'll see my declaration:
I am Garnel Ironheart and only Garnel Ironheart. I have no heistation to wade into other blogs under my own name and have done so (too much, I fear) in the past.

As for Devarim 4:2, are you aware of all the discussions the Talmud has regarding this? The law is not a simple black/white issue. There are actual rules around its usage.

I would recommend that you read through Rav Shimshom Rafael Hirsch's pierush on the Torah for a more educated answer to your queries than I can give between patients right now. Or, if your Hebrews good enough, look through the Haamek Davar.

Shalmo said...

My Lord you ASSUME I haven't read literature on this stuff already. I am fully aware that despite Deut. 4:2 there are even examples in the Torah and others books of the law changing such as the daughters of Zelophad (spelling?) story and Ezekiel changing sin goes to 4th generation to son shall no longer inherit the sin of the father. But then that would also be a contradiction in what it is saying, particularly since Ezekial came many many years after Moshe.

But my real objection has to do with why its OK for rabbis to circumvent laws that don't suit them, yet someone like Paul can't do the same with the whole 613 set. He was at least more honest, since unlike the rabbis he's not playing semantical games with the language of the Torah.

The problem is not that I haven't read the apologetic literature, its that I haven't been given an answer that is remotely believable

If you are busy with patients, then that is fine. I will come another day.

Yeshivish Atheist said...

"I'm not following this:
1) Essentially you are just saying something along the lines of:
If Judaism is true, then X if permitted.
I don't want X to be permitted.
Therefore, Judaism is not true.

How is what I'm saying connected to this?"

It's not. That part of my comment was a criticism of atheists who attack Judaism on moral grounds.

It is an appeal to consequences.

P1) If Judaism is true, then it is moral to steal from goyim

P2) I don't want stealing from goyim to be moral

Therefore, Judaism is not true.

Let's say for arguments sake that all the premises of the argument are true. Does it then follow that Judaism is not true? Of course not. It's an appeal to consequences.

I don't see how an the belief in an objective truth is conflicting with Atheism. I do agree that Objective morality can not be claimed, but that is not the same thing as objective truth. That being said: I personally believe that humans do not have the cognitive capabilities required to know with 100% certainty if objective truth exists or not, and even if objective truth exists, we are not capable of knowing what that objective truth is 100%. This of course, does not mean that all beliefs are equal, if someone says the earth is perfectly flat, while someone else says the earth is perfectly round, they are both wrong. But one is closer to the truth than the other.

"You didn't leave because of negative emotions but because you didn't let your positive emotions overcome your sense of logic, am I right?"

Of course, and I don't think there is anything incorrect about that. I live my life primarily by my logic. I find logic to be the best tool to get closer to truth at my disposal.

If my logic is telling me that a certain girl is not compatible for me, while my emotions are telling me "No! You love her!"

If my logic tells me that OJ is an unreasonable belief system to hold, while my emotions tell me "No! It's a beautiful religion!"

I guess I could come up with more cases if I had the time, but in these cases, what is the logical thing to do? Why, the logical thing to do is to listen to your logic of course!

If something wants my emotions it needs to get past my logic first.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Hi Shalmo,

Much as I like flattery, you don't need terms like "Master" and "My Lord" around me. "Sir" will do just fine.

Spelling: The English translations generally go with Zelopehad. The closest transliteration I've seen is "Tzlof'chad".

At any rate, if you're familiar with Rav Hirsch, then you recall that he writes that the entire Written Torah was commited to text in the manner that a student copying notes in a lecture will record information in point form, using his memory and the power of association to recall the other details of the lecture he didn't write down. Thus he concludes, bringing various examples from the text, of how we at Sinai were given the entire Torah, Written and Oral, were completely aware of both but that Moshe then only copies down the short version that God directed him to.

Otherwise, how can you explain (I don't have a chumash in front of me) how Moshe openly describes the laws of shechitah with the phrase "And you shall do as I've shown you here today." Or how Jews all over the world use the estrog on Sukkos even though there's no mention in the Torah of what the "etz hadar" is.
Furthermore, the Torah itself notes that there is room for growth in the legal system in response to changing circumstances over time, given power to the courts (somewhere in Ki Tavo, I think, but don't hold me to it) to innovate new laws based on the Torah's framework should circumstances arrive.

Even in the Torah there is an example: in the desert non-ritual slaughtering was forbidden. This mitzvah ceased to exist when we entered Israel and spread out. The rabbis are not circumventing laws but using the original and their principles to adapt the halachah to new situations.

And I'm always busy...

Garnel Ironheart said...

YA, check your ears and the colour of your blood. If the former are pointed and the latter is green, I have a great movie for you!

Interesting, I agree that logic is an excellent system by which to live one's life. Your acceptance of logic took you away from Judaism. Mine brought me to it. Okay, to each his own. I would take issue with your example of the earth being flat vs round as an example of possible objective truths.

Science and faith are not compatible with each other. You cannot prove things which are based in faith because then there would be no faith. The earth's shape is not a matter of belief but rather of scientific fact. God's existence, on the other hand, is physically unprovable and therefore 100% reliant on faith.

One question could arise from another example you raised, the one about the girl. Yes, in a logical world one would find the partner best suited to him/her through logical, practical means. Marriages would be a lot more stable and productive, kids would be raised with a consistency that many families lack now.

Now, my devil's advocate side asks: how much fun would that marriage be? Where would the smiles come in? Where's the fun? A world completely based on logic would work efficiently and be utterly joyless, lacking in spontaneity.

So I put this question out to you: you can't live with 100% logic. How does one fit emotion into there?

Yeshivish Atheist said...

Like I said. Get past the logic first, and then the emotions can come.

To integrate this into my analogy: Logically evaluate if someone is compatible for you, and if yes, then fit the emotions in.

One does not need to advocate that one reject emotions completely, just that one must prioritize them appropriately.

If emotions are a necessity, then they should be regulated by logic. Not the other way around.

Garnel Ironheart said...

But that's my point exactly about faith and reason. Don't you see?

You're talking about logic regulating emotions? I don't think that's possible because emotions are illogical. That was the brilliance of the original Star Trek, with Spock functioning on cold logic alone and McCoy on pure emotion. Neither could command and on those rare occasions where they were forced to, they failed miserably. But Vulcans do have emotions, they just suppress them. Why couldn't Spock logically use them to his advantage? Because you can't. At least that's my opinion.

Take it to the extreme - logic suggests that a family's financial security is a paramount priority. So you're at the store and your child says "Daddy, I wants a lollipop" (sic). Why? Because it would make her happy. But it's an illogical choice because it's not worth the financial investment. Yes that sounds bizarre, but that's the degree to which the "logic only" system can go.

Emotions are about unpredictability and randomness. We cry when we're happy and sad, remember? I can't see logic regulating them.

Yeshivish Atheist said...

You could still control whether you act on your emotions or not. And that can be regulated with logic. That is what my analogy was all about.

Yeshivish Atheist said...

Also emotions and logic don't always conflict with each other. It is possible to be happy being religious and having come to that conclusion with logic.

It is also possible to logically evaluate that someone is compatible for you and also loving that person.

The case we are dealing with is when they contradict each other. In that case, I would probably advocate the suppression of emotions.

Gannel Ironheart said...

Okay, so let me suggest there are strong emotions and weak emotions. You would control the latter with logic but not the former.
For example, consider, chalilah, the death of a parent after a prolonged and painful illness. Logically there's no reason to cry. After all, the person was suffering, the family was suffering and now that's all over. Logically there should be a sense of relief but what loving child would throw a party on hearing the news of the passing?

Logic cannot be an end-all and be-all either. Sometimes the emotional response is the better one. To use Star Trek once again as an example as the contrast to our approaches:
Star Trek II: Spock died because logic dictates that the needs of the many (the crew of the Enterprise) outweigh the needs of the one (him).
Star Trek III: Spock comes back to life because Kirk illogically decides that the needs of the one (Spock) outweigh the needs of the many (Kirk and his friends who almost lose their lives and do lose the Enterprise).
Why does Kirk go out to bring Spock back? Because the idea of leading a logical life without his friend is emotionally unacceptable. And logic cannot regulate such a response.

Besides, if everyone thought like you I'd have no smokers in my practice and then what would I do all day long?

Yeshivish Atheist said...

Okay, so some emotions are stronger than others. So? It just means it is harder to not act on. Not impossible.

Also, I don't think you have the best analogy with a death of a parent. It could be quite logical to cry. Crying can be a coping mechanism to deal with your emotions. In certain cases, not crying may not be that logical if it can lead to harm.

I realize that not everyone thinks like me on this issue, including many atheists. But that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

Garnel Ironheart said...

I'm not saying you're wrong, just that we disagree on the idea that all emotions can be controlled by logic, no matter how strong. I also don't see that as a desirable outcome because it takes all the spontaneous fun out of things. You enjoy spontaneous fun, don't you?

Yeshivish Atheist said...

"You enjoy spontaneous fun, don't you?"

Sure, but I won't engage in it if it goes against my logic. It would be quite fun to get high and party, but my logic is telling me not to.

Other forms of fun are condoned by my logic, and thus there is no contradiction.

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

Okay, look at it this way. You go to the restaurant to have a night out with your family. You look at the menu and there's the spinach souffle with some high fibre vegetable matter included. It's healthy and reasonably priced . On the page opposite is the double cheese pizza with all the fixin's. And you like pizza, especially with extra cheese.

Logic dictates that you order the spinach souffle. Emotion says go for the pizza. From my understanding of what you're saying, you would have to order the spinach 100% of the time. If not, how do you decide to choose the pizza?

Yeshivish Atheist said...

Well not 100% of the time. A pizza once in a blue moon won't harm you, so it won't go against logic to get it.

But yes, in principle I agree. You should get the spinach souffle. And I think if everyone thought like that, we would all be much healthier, in fact much less people would die if people thought like this.

Now, that doesn't mean our will is perfect. We are bound to screw up now and then. But that doesn't mean we should give up and say "might as well screw up". We should try to get more logical in our actions.

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

> A pizza once in a blue moon won't harm you, so it won't go against logic to get it.

Wait, logic gets to take a vacation? What are the parameters of that?

I also don't think that imperfect will means screwing up. Sometimes the random emotional moments can provide one with a lot of beauty. I'm saying that logic deciding all your actions can potentially deny you that.

As for OTD, please don't interrupt when the adults are talking. Can you mention something to him, YA? He might listen to you.

Yeshivish Atheist said...

"Wait, logic gets to take a vacation? What are the parameters of that?"

I never said that. Logic is still there alright, just eating the pizza doesn't go against it. That is all.

Do you really think the fun in a slice of pizza is more than the lives that can be saved if they relied more on logic and ate healthy?

If the increased health and lifespan is worth more to you than chowing down on pizza, then the logical thing to do is to stop eating pizza.

"I'm saying that logic deciding all your actions can potentially deny you that."

Maybe so. But I think it's worth it. I think the loss of the beauty we may find in this world will be made up for by the increased lifespan, advancements in science, more stable marriages, less obesity and therefore less risk of all sorts of disease...the list can go on almost indefinitely.

Overall, I think it's an exchange worth making.

Now I have a final to study for.

My emotions tell me that I want to finish this conversation.

My logic is telling me to study and continue this conversation later.

I think I know which one to listen to.

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

So do I. Happy studying and good luck on the exam

E-Man said...

This is a great conversation and deserves a post of its own. Twi very intellignet people that are both reasonable, when does that ever happen in the blogosphere?

Shalmo said...

Garnel you didn't answer my question

I told you I am already aware of the Torah itself speaking on altering laws.

My questions was why is it not ok for Paul of Tarsus to abrogate laws of the Torah, but it is ok for the rabbis to do so? Why is it that when christians say the law is abolished that they are violating Deut. 4:2, yet when rabbis do the same they are not?

Simple question. requires a simple answer. but I don't think you have an answer.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Shalmo, there is a huge difference between the rabbonim and Paul.

Paul came and aborgated the entire authority of the Torah in the first place. His final purpose was to get people to worship his invented god and the Torah as it stood prevented him from doing that.

The rabbonim don't so much alter laws as modify them while leaving the original rules in place.

For example, one is allowed to bow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah on Shabbos. But nowadays it's forbidden because of rabbinical concerns. The original law is still there but its been superseded.

Another example is Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai altering the law of when chodosh can be eaten. When the Temple stood, once the omer offering was offered on the altar, chodosh became permitted. After the destruction of the Temple, what was to be done? He decreed that chodosh would remain forbidden the entire 15th of Nissan so as to avoid problems. But the original law is still there, no one says davka you're not allowed to blow the Shofar on Rosh HaShanah at all, it's just we don't do it because of the enactment.

My final example is that of shvus on Shabbos, the rabbinical prohibitions of muktzeh. Through darshening seemingly superfluous words in the verses describing Shabbos observance, our rabbonim determined that Shabbos has to have an "atmosphere" to it. They didn't abolish any of the Torah's rules but enhanced them to encourage a better Shabbos experience.

That help?

Dr Mike said...

I have a different answer.

In Devarim, there are two relevant passages. One describes the court system and how it will use the law to deal with new situations. The other is the law of the "false prophet" who comes to uproot the whole law. in the former case, the sages of the day are authorized to extend the law to incorporate these novelties. In the latter, the guy gets executed.

Clearly the rabbonim are working with the former while Paul is exemplified by the latter.

E-Man said...

Well if we follow the rule of occam's razor, Dr Mike gives the best answer. It is plain and simple. Garnel-your answer is good as well, but Dr Mike has the most simplistic answer that does a mighty fine job.

Torah said...

Torah is a great gift!!