Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yet another look at Leviticus 17:11

Biblical Jewish faith takes teshuvah (repentance) along with blood sacrifice as both essential for atonement. This topic of blood can seem bizarre or primitive, but it is to teach us the real horror of sin: sin kills. Rather than explain away as unnecessary the principle of blood atonement found in the sacrificial system, we suggest that sacrifices in their function were like promissory notes paid off by Yeshua. All of the pieces were meant to point to something greater than the symbols themselves (and this is true both before and after Yeshua's Coming).

It is in this vein that I am putting up these notes by Sam (with son) in response to a Jews for Judaism article. It was sent by a Jewish friend who in the past has had some great questions about Messianic faith. Since she did not have a specific question this time - the upshot of the email was just "I don't know what to do with this ... Can you respond to it?" - we tried to oblige and just respond to what is said. Sadly, their article 1) misreads the context of Leviticus 17:11, 2) completely misunderstands the point of symbol of (sacrifical system --> Yeshua), 3) argues against a straw man of the Messianic point of view, failing to note, for example, that followers of Yeshua also assert the need for repentance, and 4) gets other non-trivial facts wrong, some of which are noted only briefly (below the jump).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Who is begging the question?

I see where Rabbi Brackman is coming from in his ynet op/ed. He is trying to make an argument against a multiple source theory, an approach which basically seeks to dismantle divine Torah. He knows his audience is ideologically mixed, including many of whom might be quick to pigeonhole his (my?) views as "fundie."

But, then, its also an audience with one broad ideological commonality: most of our people do not believe Jesus is the Messiah. Moreover, a broadly shared traditional assumption is that however "those Christians" might interpret the Hebrew Bible, they do so incorrectly.