The following is a letter from Alan on Paul’s abuse of the Jewish Bible recorded in Romans 4:3. In that passage Paul quotes Genesis 15:6 where Abraham’s faith is counted as “tzedakah.” Paul reads this as if it said that Abraham’s faith rendered him innocent of sin.
A person is born into this world INNOCENT and PURE FROM SIN – but not a TZADIK. A tzadik is someone who ACTS according to God’s LAWS – he/she lives a life of TZEDEK (justice – the state of being law abiding) and DOING TZEDAKAH (justice-love) to his fellow humans. A rasha (a wicked person) is someone who does not live according to God’s Laws, he does not fulfill his duties of tzedakah (justice-love) to his fellow humans.
So Adam and Eve came into the world innocent and pure from all sin, but they were not yet tzaddikim until God taught them His laws. Once they were aware of God’s laws, they could then choose whether to DO His laws or whether to NOT DO them. When they chose to do God’s laws they were tzadikim. But they were not created tzadikim.
Paul of Tarsus and the rest of the NT teach that according to God (and the Tanakh) a tzadik is ONLY someone who believes in the “Final Eternal Yom Kippur Sacrifice (Jesus)”. And Paul of Tarsus attempts to bring proof of this from Tanakh. His “proof” is one of the most ignorant “Torah lessons” I have ever seen. He takes the word tzedakah (in the verse about Abraham) which means an act of justice-love and teaches that it instead means innocent – that “believing” is an act of tzedakah which makes the person innocent. TZEDAKAH NEVER MEANS “INNOCENT OF SIN” IN ALL OF TANAKH. Paul of Tarsus told one of the biggest whoppers in human history.
(I need to clarify something so that I do not leave anything out. I wrote that the primary meaning of tzadik in Tanakh is a person who does tzedakah and tzedek. When the word tzadik appears in Tanakh it has this meaning the overwhelming majority of times. There are a handful of times in Tanakh that the word tzadik does not have this meaning, but rather means someone who is on the right side of the law in a court case, just as the word rasha (wicked) is sometimes used in Tanakh to mean one who is on the wrong side of the law in a court case, e.g. “and they (the judges) vindicate the tzadik and find the rasha guilty” (Deut. 25:1). This verse is speaking about people who take their grievance to court.
However, the word tzedakah only means justice or justice-love in every instance in Tanakh. It never means innocence, nor vindication, nor justification, nor “being right with G-d” as Paul of Tarsus and the NT teach us. This one NT teaching has pulled the wool over the eyes of people who don’t know Hebrew and has also killed the heart of the Torah, namely Hashem’s love of true righteousness which is the DOING OF TZEDAKAH.)
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal