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Torath Mosheh

Excerpted with permission from:

A Torath Mosheh Response to Missionaries and Messianics (Part 1)

by Shimshon Tzadoq found at Facebook
In all cases the basic starting point is to understand that any person of Jewish background who assigns themselves to any aspect of Christianity is a heretic not only to Judaism, but also the fundamentals of Torath Mosheh. Yet, in order for this to be understand one must first understand what Torath Mosheh is.

What is Torath Mosheh?

“… what exactly is Torath Mosheh? … The first step in understanding Torath Mosheh is to define the terms themselves that make up the statement.

תורה pronounced “Torah” from the Ivrith (Hebrew) root (י-ר-ה) meaning to throw, cast, shoot out like an arrow, cast or lay a foundation. The feminine noun Torah means instructions, directions, precepts, and laws. The Ivrith (Hebrew) terms for a teacher, mode, or manner come from the same root.

משה Pronounced “Mosheh” from the Ivrith (Hebrew) root (מ-ש-ה) is the correct way to pronounce Moses’s name. Mosheh is known as Mosheh ben-Amram (Moses son of Amram) or Mosheh Rabbeinu (Moses our Teacher). He is the greatest of all prophets, he is the only prophet to have interacted, both in public and in private, directly with the Creator of all things יהוה.

Pronounced “Torath Mosheh” meaning instructions, directions, precepts, and laws which are directly connected to the Written and Oral Torah received by the people of Yisrael (Israel) on Har Sinai (Mount Sinai). These include both Divine and non-Divine  methods of instruction in performing the Will of the Creator of all things whose name is pronounced יהוה.

  1. Oral Torah during the time of Mount Sinai – At Mount Sinai the entire nation of Yisrael heard, saw, and experienced the same event. Hashem, the creator of all things, speaking both in verbal and visual form. Thousands to millions witnessed and experienced this event as if it was one united experience. (Shemoth 20:14; )
  2. Yisraeli/Jewish sources state that all of the Yisraelim (Israelis) witnessed that the prophecy of Mosheh was correct and they heard the Creator’s words approving of Mosheh.
  3. The Torah of Hashem was further explained to Am Yisrael by Mosheh Rabbeinu, thus these are the teachings of Mosheh. (Malachi 3, Tractate Shabbat 89a, )
  4. Torath Mosheh is the correct method of Torah application which focuses on performing the will of the Creator of all things whose name is pronounced יהוה. (Qoheleth 12:13)
  5. Based on both written and oral understandings transmitted from Torah observant Yisraeli parents, starting at Mount Sinai, to their children until the present era. (Devarim 32:7, Mishlei 1:8 )

 Thus the following is also true:

  1. The written Torah of ancient times exists completely intact today.
  2. The correct understands still exist to this day.
  3. The center of Torah understanding begins from the land of Yisrael (Israel).
  4. Torah represents 1 universal truth, and there are no others.

As much as people may argue about the existence of an Oral Torah, the reality is that there is a correct and an incorrect way to understand the Torah and the physical and philosophical commands given in it. These methods of correct methods of Torah application are the Oral Torah.

Understanding Modern Messianic Heresy

Much has been written about the history of Christianity and its inception. I will not cover much of this, but instead focus on the modern movement which claims to be both Jewish and Christian.

Modern “so called” Messianic Judaism claims to follow on a history of emergence of Jewish believers in Jesus seeking to reclaim their identity as Jews and as followers of Jesus at the same time. A simple summary of that history should note that in the 18th and 19th centuries, Christians of Jewish descent increased in numbers due to social issues in Europe and America. In Europe and America the growing number of Jewish Christians were represented by missionary organizations to the Jews with quaint names.

The Christian missions to the Jews movement made an advance when Hebrew Christians, as they were known, began to associate and come together for conferences. The idea of maintaining Jewish identity as followers of Jesus began to grow. At first this had little to do with Judaism.

In the 1970’s, some of these Hebrew Christians, especially under the influence of Martin Chernoff and Manny Brotman, developed Messianic Judaism in its incipient form. The advancement here was the idea of Jews actually practicing faith in Jesus in a Jewish way.

Increasingly, however, in the 1980’s and 1990’s, Messianic Judaism became a haven for non-Jews looking to find a restoration of a perceived early church or some alternative to a church that had grown soft on Biblical practice and strong on revivalist tradition.

Messianic Repacking

Due to the fact that Messianic movement is low on actual Jews, and especially devoid of Jews with a sound Torah base they have recently tried to repackage their messages to appear to be more “Jewish.” This repacking is not only for the purpose of trying to convince more Jews that their form of Christianity is somehow valid according to the Torah, but also because some Messianics have themselves felt that Christianity as a whole is lacking the actual elements that makes them Jewish. Thus, the reasoning is that if they themselves are so called Messianic “Jews” then how can they live as Jews with a text, the New Testament, that carries so many non-Jewish interpretations with it.

A perfect example of this repacking effort are Messianic commentaries on the New Testament claiming, that it can understood using Jewish texts such as the Talmud and various Midrashim. Another angle comes from a shadowy group called the Netzarim, claiming to live in Raanana, Israel, that claims to have reworked and revamped the book of Matthew to paint early Christianity a quasi-halakhic battle between Yeshu, who they claim was a rabbi of Beith Hillel, vs. a rouge sect of Beith Shammai Pharisees.

Several problems exist within the New Testament framework that makes forcing it into a Jewish, in the above mentioned ways, VERY problematic.

  1. Is there any real evidence that Jesus existed?
  2. If Jesus did exist are there any 1st hand accounts of him? Accounts written between (7 BCE to 33 CE).
  3. Why were the 4 existing gospels of the New Testament written so late?
  4. Do modern day Messianic groups serve as reliable sources commentaries to the New Testament?
  5. Why is most of the New Testament written by someone who didn’t know Jesus personally?

The above questions are very crucial in determining if such conclusions are able to be marketed as a “Jewish” methods of understanding the New Testament. Further, these questions are important if one wants to try and use Jewish texts, such as the Talmud and Midrashim, to try and make sense of Christian texts. If the baseline facts about Christian texts cannot be backed up by Judaic requirements for information, said Christian texts cannot be analyzed in this Judaic manner.

Answering the above questions reveal the following answers.

  1. There is no real evidence of the existence of Jesus. There were about 40 historians who wrote during the first two centuries. None state anything about the existence of Jesus in the 1st century. None of the historians from his supposed time period mention him or the events of the 1st gospels as well as the history given in the book of Acts.
  2. There are no first-hand accounts of Jesus, and he himself wrote nothing. The consensus of many biblical historians put the dating of the earliest Gospel, that of Mark, at sometime after 70 C.E., and the last gospel, John after 90 C.E.
  3. There is no explanation of why the Gospel texts were written so late and they can not be considered reliable sources.
  4. Modern day Messianics do not have any historical connection to the first Christians. The Messianic movement began in the late 1800’s. They are separated from any connection to the original Christians by almost 2,000 years.

All of this is important because of the fact that ALL of Judaism is based on concept called Mesorah. This means a tested, trust worthy and unbroken chain of understanding and tradition. Further, this means is that modern Rabbis, from all ancient Jewish communities, received their ordinations as rabbis and learned from ordained Rabbis before them who learned from Jewish sages before them going all the way back to Mount Sinai. After some time these ordinations were from within two Judaic schools of thought, one in Israel and one in Babylon, with the Judaic school in Israel having the highest authority originally. After the disbandment of the Judaic school of thought in Israel, the Judaic school in Babylon become the head school of thought.

Lets take a major example, of how the New Testament fails the concept of Mesorah according to Torath. In the New Testament book of Acts 2:1; 2-13.

1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” [2]

So according to this section of the New Testament Jews from all over the Middle East, North Africa, and Southern Europe were present during Shavuot in Jerusalem and they witnessed this major event. This event, is considered by Christians scholars the genesis of their church. Yet, the account begs the question; If there were all these Jews that witnessed this event how come there are no other accounts of it?

Using Torath Mosheh, concerning the giving of the Torah at Har Sinai, the same story and the same Torah has been preserved by Jews all over the world. If you go to Jews from Israel, Lybia, Morocco, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Afganastan, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Spain, Kurdistan, etc. you find Jews with the same story of how the Torah was given and the actual text of the Torah itself. Many of these communities had little or no communication with the fellow Jews in other regions, yet their central core Judaism is the same. Even amongst sects like the Karaites and the Samaritans one finds some of the same govering history regarding the events at Mount Sinai and how the Torah was given.

Yet, if you go to the Jews of the locations that the book of Acts claims Jews came from and ask them if they have a Mesorah from their ancestors for the events mentioned in acts you won’t find it. Go to a Lybian Jew, a Persian Jew, a Mesopetamian Jew, etc. and ask them if their ancestors had heard of such an event. It must be noted that even until about the 1500’s to 1600’s there were Jews in North Africa and Arabia who had never even heard of Jesus, let a alone Christianity. You will find that there is no account, outside of the book of acts, that records these events. Now the bigger question is who wrote the book of acts and are they are a valid Jewish source for the events they claim happened during that time?

Further in Acts 2:40, after Peter gives a speech to everyone present, which must have meant thousands of Jews, and it is claimed that only 3,000 of those present joined the early Christian movement. This begs one of the most obvious questions of who were these supposed 3,000 who joined them? Where were they from and where did they go? It is obvious that the Christian claim behind this story is to try and connect it with the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Yet, there were millions of Israelites at Mount Sinai and their descendents continue to the present age. If the Christian movement was so “spirit filled” why did only 3,000 join them and why did none of these 3,000 write down their accounts and their names for the sake of history? Why did these 3,000 also not continue to teach their children about this event?

Why is it that no Jew today has a continuous tradition of their ancestors having witnessed this event? There is no comparison to the Torah because the Torah lists various names of Israelites who were at Mount Sinai and who what tribe they were from.

As Rabbi Yisrael Chait writes about the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai:

“You are the ones who have been shown, so that you will know that God is the Supreme Being and there is none besides Him. From the heavens, He let you hear His voice admonishing you, and on earth He showed you His great fire, so that you heard His words from the fire.”

Someone may ask how we know that these events were as described in the Torah, clearly visible, and that they transpired before the entire nation. Perhaps this itself is a fabrication? The answer to this question is obvious. We accept a simple fact attested to by numerous observers because we consider mass conspiracy absurd. For the very same reason no public event can be fabricated, for we would have to assume a mass conspiracy of silence with regard to the occurrence of that event. If someone were to tell us that an atomic bomb was detonated over New York City fifty years ago, we would not accept it as true because we would assume that we would have certainly heard about it, had it actually occurred.

The very factors, which compel us to accept as true, an account of an event of public proportion safeguards us against fabrication of such an event. Were this not so all of history could have been fabricated. Had the event at Sinai not actually occurred anyone fabricating it at any point in time would have met with the stiff refutation of the people, “had a mass event of that proportion ever occurred we surely would have heard of it.” Fabrication of an event of public proportion is not within the realm of credibility. [3]

From this we learn that the Christian claim is not acceptable to Torah standards, and the only way Messianics know to deal with these issues is to claim that this event and others were buried by the Jews around the world out of hatred of Jesus. That is to say that the Messianic claim then must become that the Jews who don’t accept Jesus or the New Testament are rejecting reality and in return are rejecting truth, regardless of all of the historical issues with the New Testament and the Jesus narrative. Thus in the eyes of the Messianics and Missionaries Jews who reject Jesus are at fault and must be saved from eternal damnation.

Photo of Magen David on Jerusalem wall by Zeevveez’s Photostream

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2 responses

  1. The Parsha Shemini is about the completion of the inauguration of the Tabernacle. The number seven represents all things occurring within the natural construct of this finite world, while the number eight represents all things beyond nature, or infinity. According to Rashi, the eighth day was the day of re-establishing the eternal connection with the Almighty that we had lost when we stumbled and fumbled with the golden calf. Here at the beginning of this portion, we are witness to the momentous occasion of our reconciliation with our Creator, who is beyond all things natural and supernatural. Once Aaron had achieved atonement with the final offerings of the eighth day, the Shechina descended into full view and all of the people fell on their faces. G-d resumed His place among His people. Thus the Torah reminds us that we are a Holy people whose very existence as a nation is beyond nature. Therefore, the prime minister would do well to remember that G-d is the Guardian of Israel and that destroying Jewish homes gives the impression to our enemies that the Israeli government has abandoned the Jewish people who remained in Samaria leaving us at the mercy of the Arab cutthroats. The only way to prevent more killing is for the Israeli politicians to back up the Jewish heroes who are establishing their homes on Jewish land in the face of Arab hatred and, worse yet, Israeli government apathy. More at http://moshesharon.wordpress.com

    March 23, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    • BS”D – Thank you for visiting my humble little blog, and for taking the time to share these important insights Moshe Aaron.

      March 23, 2011 at 9:13 PM

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