Torah For Gentiles

A Website for Gentiles who want to know the Basis for the New Testament.

How to study Torah

Judaic Interpretative Model

There is a magnificent story in the Talmud about four Sages who went into Paradise. The story is remarkable because it is speaking about Torah Study and how the Jewish people have come to Interpret the Scriptures.

Here is a representation of the Story

The Rabbis taught: Four entered the PaRDeS. They were Ben Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher and Rabbi Akiba. Rabbi Akiba said to them,

“When you come to the place of pure marble stones, do not say, ‘Water! Water!’ for it is said, ‘He who speaks untruths shall not stand before My eyes’ (Psalms 101:7)”.

Ben Azzai gazed and died. Regarding him the verse states, ‘Precious in the eyes of G-d is the death of His pious ones’ (Psalms 116:15).

Ben Zoma gazed and was harmed. Regarding him the verse states, ‘Did you find honey? Eat as only much as you need, lest you be overfilled and vomit it’ (Proverbs 25:16). Acher cut down the plantings.

Rabbi Akiba entered in peace and left in peace.

The Jewish Sages and Teachers of the Torah today would say that Gentiles cannot nor should Study the Torah

This is important to realize because no matter what we think, we need to realize we are studying Jewish Writings to understand the Torah, as they are the only ones who are called to study and observe it. 

I do not believe that we are under the Halacha, or Law of the Rabbis, because we are Gentiles as they say, unless we convert to Judaism or live in Israel. I do not see how we can be bound to their Halacha, but we do have to listen to their wisdom as it is the most pure on this planet..

The restriction for not Studying Torah I believe, stems from twisting its truths, and we all know that if we change Gods Word and teach others to do so there are judgments we do not want against us. Its not my judgment and I withhold any because the men who made this are much smarter and Godly than I am.

What I realized as I began Studying the Torah was many of the commands are to the Nation of Israel and not the Nations of the World, and are also for the Temple and Temple Worship which we do not have anymore.

Jesus, by His acceptance and seeking out of us as His followers, has brought us into some of these commands by allowing us to be called Children of Abraham because of our belief in Him.

Belief has always been the reason Humans are righteous or unrighteous, not because of what we do, but what we believe, and who and what we accept in our life.

The Jewish Teachers of Torah say the key for Torah is Kavannah, in my vernacular I understand it as heart surrender and then application.

This is what happens when we believe something, as Paul says in Romans 10:9+10 we believe it in our heart then we are able to say it and with that saying it becomes part of our lives.

The beauty of what Jesus brought to all those Nations outside of Israel by His Death and Resurrection was to allow us access to a way of Belief. 

Lets get back to studying Torah, in the story above, we see four things that can happen when we Study Torah.

1.     Rabbi Ben Azzai gazed at it and Died

2.     Rabbi Ben Zoma gazed at the Garden and subsequently went insane

3.     Rabbi Acher looked and then cut down the plants destroying the Garden

4.     Rabbi Akiba looked in peace and then left in peace, not affected by the wonder of it

When we study Torah we need to realize that it is a life changing decision. 

Jesus is the Living Torah (John 1:1), when we first said yes to Jesus we were radically changed.

The same thing happens when we choose to follow Jesus, He wants to "bring us into the fold" (John 10:16), following Torah is Following Jesus.

If we intend to walk as He Walked then we need to understand HOW He walked and this is by Torah Principles. 

What does PaRDeS mean?

PaRDeS is an Interpretive method that the Sages used long before it was codified in the Talmud, if we look at how the Apostles taught, and how Jesus taught we can see this Interpretative model in use. 

First, we need to define what this interpretive model called PaRDeS mean.

  1. P = P’SHAT  - “plain” (“simple”) or the direct meaning
  2. R = REMEZ – “hints” or the deep (allegoric: hidden or symbolic) meaning beyond just the literal sense.
  3. D = DRASH or DRASHA – from Hebrew arash: “inquire” (“seek”) — the comparative (midrash) meaning, as given through similar occurrences
  4. S = Sod – (pronounced with a long O as in ‘bone’) — “secret” (“mystery”) or the esoteric/mystical meaning, as given through inspiration or revelation. 

 TORAH IS LIFE

 Without the Torah there could;

1. Be no Creation,

2. No written morality,

3. No written account of what God deems righteous behavior for humans,

4. No Messiah of Israel, because He would have been needed.

Without a Messiah of Israel, there would have been no Jesus, or His Disciples, Apostles, and followers (which means any Gentile who believes the Bible is true).The Torah was the beginning of everything, and it also explains why Jesus and the Apostles taught as they did.

The Torah simplifies all the issues because it explains how and why we are to do the things in our hearts.

Torah Study does not give us Righteousness, that is only found in belief in the Messiah of Israel, but what the Torah does, is explain to us why we needed a Savior, why we needed 

I looked a bit deeper into why this may be the case and found that both of these groups of people had one thing in common. They each knew and followed Torah Principles.

The Rabbis do not hope things are true, they know what is true and speak with authority, just as Jesus did and does now to our hearts 

 

 

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