The Jew and the Law

One cannot separate the Christian hostility for Jewish disciples who continue to keep the practices of their people from the Christian attitude of dismissal and even suspicion of the Torah, the “old law” or “law of Moses.” To the minds of most Christians, there is an insurmountable wall between the Law and the Grace they …

Inspecting the Lamb (the real post)

My post yesterday ended up going off in a different direction than I intended when I started to write it, but I completely forgot to change the title. My apologies to anyone who was confused as a result. Today is the 10th of Nisan, the anniversary of the date that each Hebrew household in Egypt …

The Eighteen Measures, Part 5: “Woe to You, Pharisees!”

Many of Yeshua’s attacks on the Pharisees who had fallen into hypocrisy seem to have been focused on the provisions in the Eighteen Measures and the environment of violence that their institution fomented: The murder of the disciples of Hillel – “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of …

The Eighteen Measures, Part 3: The Measures and Ritual Purity

The discussion in the Gemara is, as always, challenging, and does not seem to provide a complete list of enactments.  Nevertheless, it presents the following as representative of the whole, citing m.Zavim 5:12: These render terumah (wave offering) unfit: He who eats food unclean in the first remove; and he who eats food unclean in …

The Eighteen Measures, Part 1: Introduction

Yeshua’s relationship to the Pharisees has been routinely characterized among Christian authors as universally hostile.  Indeed, “Pharisee” is actually defined in modern dictionaries as, “a sanctimonious, self-righteous, or hypocritical person” (Dictionary.com).  This low view of the Pharisees has long been promulgated by most of the most respected Christian commentators: But it deserves inquiry, whether he …