The Talmud – excerpt from The Council of My Nation

Another activity through which God preserves the unified national consciousness is the living discussion. Through participation in the ongoing living discussion, a discussion that spans the centuries and millennia, the individual Jew joins with the national consciousness of the eternal nation. When the Jewish people were centralized in the Land of Israel, this discussion touched the entire community in a pool of common thought. The throngs that gathered in Jerusalem during the three pilgrimages were hubs of interaction that impacted the nation. During the times of the Second Temple, the weight of the central communities of Babylon and Israel maintained the interconnectedness of the living discussion. In the centuries following the destruction of the Second Temple, various circumstances forced Jews to wander far from the bastions of Torah scholarship. This situation necessitated the writing of a book which would unify the nation’s thought process – not only throughout the communities scattered around the globe – but one that would also join the nation throughout the corridors of time. This book is the Talmud.

The Talmud is not written as a record of facts or as a chronicle of events. The Talmud is written in the format of a run-on discussion. An intricate and involved discussion, with questions and answers, proofs and counter-points, arguments and explanations. The Talmud is not a book that can be read as a leisurely diversion. Study of the Talmud demands complete involvement, and generates intense discussion. Since the writing of the Talmud, the Torah discussions of the Jewish nation centered on the Talmud. Through the study of Talmud the 21st century American Jew is joined with his brethren in Israel today, with the Jew who lived in 16th century Poland, in 13th century Spain, in 10th century France, in 5th century Iraq and in Israel of the3rd century B.C.E.  Although they are strewn throughout the realms of space and time, countless Jewish communities are linked together to stand before God as one entity – Eternal Israel. This living discussion spanning the generations joins the elements that make up the body of Eternal Israel.

By maintaining the identity of Eternal Israel, the only true context of the Law is preserved. But the relationship does not end there. Just as the Law needs Israel to act as the living setting for its own vitality, Eternal Israel needs the Law for its own existence. It is only to the degree that the individual Jew bears the Law in his heart (Isaiah 51:7) that he is united with the eternal community. Israel is only eternal to the measure that she discharges her duty in relation to the Law.

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9 Responses to The Talmud – excerpt from The Council of My Nation

  1. My Pharisee friend! As usual, I learned from this concise and acute explanation of the Talmud. Thanks!
    “The Talmud is written in the format of a run-on discussion”
    I am curious how the format of the Talmud, created by Jewish wisdom, is also used in the Gospels.
    A Christian pastor Tom Hughes in L.A. wrote a book, “Curious” and He mentioned that in the Gospels, Yeshua was asked 183 times by his contemporaries and most of the time (179 times) he avoided the direct answer; rather He created a curiosity for discussion by asking a question in response and telling a parable, etc. Curious, huh?

    • Eleazar says:

      If you read those “Yeshua” responses carefully, you’ll notice much of the time they were designed to either deflect away from himself, put the onus on his inquirers, or as a way to avoid giving a reasonable answer to a reasonable question.

      Pharisees: By what authority do you do these things? (reasonable question)
      Jesus: By what authority did John baptize? ( non-answer)
      Pharisees: We don’t know. ( reasonable answer)
      Jesus: Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. (refusal to answer)

      Classic Jesus

      • Brother Eleazar, I thank you for inviting me to the discussion. As you said, read carefully.

        Mark 11:29ff.
        Yeshua: I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.

        Chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders: (they reasoned with themselves, saying)
        If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?
        if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.

        Chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders: We cannot tell.

        Yeshua: Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

        1. If Yeshua answered “by authority from heaven,” they would have said, “prove it.”
        Yeshua would have said, ” i healed all kinds of diseases and sicknesses, set people free, cast out demons, even raised the dead.” Then, they would have to be silent.
        If Yeshua answered “by men,” they would have been silent because more people followed and acknowledged Yeshua as the true prophet than those who followed John the Baptist.
        Thank God, Yeshua’s not answering actually saved those religious leaders from public humiliation!

        2. Why Yeshua had to save them from public humiliation? This account took place at the end of Yeshua’s ministry. Yeshua was approaching his mission for crucifixion. Yeshua had to make religious rulers look more right and reasonable to the Jewish crowd and to make himself more unreasonable and humiliating so that they would deliver him to crucifixion. I believe this is one of the hidden messages of the Gospel. Thanks.

        • LarryB says:

          Gean
          What about 27 – 28?
          27 They came to Jerusalem again, and as Jesus was walking in the Temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him,

          28 and they said to him, ‘What authority have you for acting like this? Or who gave you authority to act like this?’

          29 Jesus said to them, ‘And I will ask you a question, just one; answer me and I will tell you my authority for acting like this.

          • Happy New year my brother Larry!
            I appreciate your keen observation!
            Matthew says, “Yeshua was teaching”
            Mark says, “Yeshua was walking in the temple”
            Luke says, “as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, ” Why?

            1. Matthew’s main audience is Jews. Yeshua was teaching the Word of God, the Torah, the Tanakh, not his own teaching, nor new commandments. (1 John 2:7)
            2. Throughout Mark’s gospel, the immediate obedience of acting and following is emphasized. Yeshua not only taught the Word but also lived (walked) on the Word. Also, Yeshua who was about to face the great tribulation, he might have desired to behold the glory of God after the crucifixtion and to be filled with heavenly courage and comfort in the temple. Was this a fulfillement of David’s psalm 27:1-5? ” … Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
            For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock…”
            3. Luke’s main audience is gentiles. Luke might have wanted to remind gentile Christians of the authentic gospel, saying, “preaching the gospel cannot be seperated from teaching the Tanakh! Never ever dare to create a new doctrine apart from what the Tanakh teaches. ” Thanks.

          • RT says:

            Hi Gean, first, just because Jesus was a Jew does not mean he was teaching the Torah. This is an assertion, not a fact. Also, what he might have want to, or desired was not written, nor would have been possible for Matthew to know. You also assert that Jesus knew that he was going to be killed. He might have believed he was going to be killed, or that the Jews were plotting against him, but he could not have known the future.

            Psalm 27 is not a prophecy, there is nothing prophetic about that passage.

            Luke… You assert that Luke believed like you do. There is nothing clear in that passage that demonstrates that Luke thought that “preaching the gospel cannot be seperated from teaching the Tanakh”. You search too deep meanings that are plainly not there. Can you find any verse where it say that the gospel cannot be separate form Torah? Why it’s so not clear as per the new testament what is the Gospel. (I mean, if it would be so important that the “gospel” be preached, why the gospel is so no clear!

  2. Shana Tova, brother RT!
    Thank you for sparking the discussion.

    Unless Yeshua taught the law, he would not have said these words; “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but WHOSOEVER SHALL DO AND TEACH THEM, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:17-19)

    Yeshua implicitly fortold his future death; for example, “And Yeshua said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.” (Mt9:15)

    “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Mt 12:40)

    Matthew 16:20-21 records the exact time when Yeshua explicitly fortold his future death;
    “Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
    THAT TIME FORTH, began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day” –> Since Yeshua knew the how and when of the future death, he made his disciples not tell people that he was the messiah. Otherwise, they would have spread it out and he would have been hailed as king, not crucified.

    what about Psalm 27:13, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” The prophet David has spoken what the Lord would do for him in the future?

    I want to call the gospel of Luke, “a book of warning to gentile Christians.”
    Luke seems to warn the gentile church that they should not misunderstand the gospel because throughout his gospel, he adds the core theology of Judaism to the synoptic accounts.
    In other words, Luke foresaw the history of gentile church that will be obsessed with justification by faith alone without action, anti nomianism, and ‘blood of Jesus is enough without repenctance,’ etc. His unique descriptions of the synoptic accounts prove this.

    Only Luke records the narratives surrounding the family of John the Baptist and Yeshua.
    Look carefully how Luke defines the righteous one- ” And they were both righteous before God, WALKING in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” (Lk 1:6)

    Luke’s understanding of Gospel- good tidings is unique! Look carefully the capitalized words;
    “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you GOOD TIDINGS of great joy, which shall be to all people For unto you is born this day IN THE CITY OF DAVID a saviour, which is Christ the lord” (Lk 2:10-11) I guess most christians don’t pay attention to Luke’s addition of “IN The City of David” however, the good news is NO good news at all if it does not fulfill the Tanakh! Why is it a GOOD news? because Yeshua was born IN THE CITY OF DAVID- the Bethlehem according to the prophecy (Micah 5:2)!

    Paul’s understanding of the Gospel is not different; “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the GOSPEL which I preached unto you… that Christ died for our sins ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES (TANAKH) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES (TANAKH)” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

    Look, only Luke highlights how the Yeshua family kept the Torah;
    “And when the days of her purification ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF MOSES were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord
    AS IT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAW OF THE LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord
    And to offer a sacrifice ACCORDING TO THAT WHICH IS SAID IN THE LAW OF THE LORD, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons…
    And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him AFTER THE CUSTOM OF THE LAW…
    And when they had performed all things ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF THE LORD, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth….
    And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem AFTER THE CUSTOM OF THE FEAST.” (Luke 2:22-42)

    Look, only Luke hightlights the ACTION as an evidence of repentance!
    “And the people asked him, saying, What shall we DO then?
    He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
    Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we DO?
    And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you
    And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages” (Lk 3:10-14)

    Concluding his gospel, Luke defines what the gospel means- “And that REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF SINS should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem”
    (Luke 24:47)

    There are more to write here, but just to remind you of the fact that Luke who wrote both Gospel of Luke and Acts is most JEWISH even though he was a gentile.
    As a reference, notice how often Luke uses the word “repent, repentance, Jerusalem (future kingdom of God)” in comparison with other Synoptic gospels.

    REPENT: Matthew 2 times, Mark 2, Luke 5, John 0, Acts 5
    Repentance: Mt 3, Mk 2, Lk 5, Jn 0, Acts 6
    Jerusalem: Mt 12, Mk 11, Lk 32, Jn 13 Acts 58

    • RT says:

      Gean, what does it mean to fulfill (bring to completion or reality) the law? The torah is meant for every Jews, not just Jesus.

      I can also foretold my death “One day, I will die, it’s was not a hard guess, just go and throw the money out of the temple, call the leaders of Israel Vipers and you might have a chance to die of a premature death…

      Mt 12:40) Sorry, three days might be hard to get from the gospel account…

      Psalm 27:13: You see things that are not there. David did not know about Jesus, and was not obsessed by him. this could be that David saw the Goodness of G-d in the land of the leaving… or it could mean Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, it’s up to you which lenses you want to put…

      Luke foresaw the history of gentile church (Claim without proof, you may believe that, but it does not make it true)

      Look, only Luke highlights the ACTION as an evidence of repentance! Or maybe that shows the inconsistency between the gospel? What do I have to do? Follow torah and believe in Jesus, or eat his flesh and drink his blood?

  3. Dina says:

    Following.

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