The rabbis know that no matter what they say, those who believe in them will accept and follow their decrees, even if they are wrong or making things up. After all, the Talmud demands blind faith from its believers.
An example of this can be found in the Tractate Sanhedrin 89, where the Sages say that even if a rabbi tells you that your right hand is actually your left hand, and of course, you know he is wrong… it doesn’t matter. You are obliged to whatever the rabbi says.
If a rabbi tells you to eat something which God forbids you, or even to kill a man who you know is innocent, even then, you are obliged to do as the rabbi commanded you. With this kind of power, along with the fact that the absence of the Temple spurred the need to re-invent Judaism, the rabbis invented a new term, the “Drash” (interpretation of Jewish Scriptures). Thanks to the “Drash”, the rabbis can decree whatever they desire, including twisting the biblical text and interpreting it according to their agendas.
In Exodus 34:27, God says to Moses:
“Write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you.”
The Sages, who needed to assert the authority of their “Oral Law”, invented a new Drash, which decreed that the term “in accordance with” comes from the word “mouth”, which is therefore proof that Moses was also given an “Oral Law” by God.
But this is not at all what God said to Moses in this verse; If anything, the contrary is true.
The meaning of “in accordance with” in biblical Hebrew as well as in modern Hebrew, is “in accordance with”. Therefore, God’s emphasis to Moses was on a covenant that was made in accordance with what iswritten.
In Tractate Sanhedrin of the Talmud, the Sages focused in on the verse from Exodus 23:2:
“You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice.”
This verse can be simply understood to mean, ‘Don’t go along with the crowd to do wrong, or to distort justice.’ But what did the Sages do? They took the words “fall in with the many” (go along with the crowd) out of context by ignoring the vital preceding words, “You shall not”! They invented a new Drash, claiming that God instructs us to follow the crowd and go along with the rabbis. According to this Drash, as long as the rabbis have a majority among themselves (the crowd), they can interpret and decree anything they want, while the people of Israel are obliged to follow them and their decrees blindly, no questions asked. You don’t have to be a genius in order to see the intentional distortion here.
In the Talmud, rabbi Joshua commented on Deuteronomy 30:11-12:
“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’”
In other words, God says that the Law is not far-off or complicated, that, “it is not in heaven”, but is close, for anyone to reach. What did rabbi Joshua do? He took three words out of the verse and gave them a new, twisted interpretation. He claimed that “not in heaven” means that the power and the authority is no longer with God, and even if He shouts with a voice from heaven, God no longer has the authority, but the rabbis do.
Here is how the Talmud puts it:
“Rabbi Joshua stood on his feet and said: “The Torah is not in heaven!”… We take no notice of heavenly voices, since God has already given the Torah, at Mt. Sinai.”
They have given themselves greater authority than God.
It is written in Tractate Sanhedrin of the Talmud that Adam and Eve were told about the glory of Rabbi Akiva, and that after the flood, Noah’s descendants studied the Sages’ interpretations. But as we all know, during that time, the Bible could barely contain the first ten chapters of Genesis. The future events were yet to occur: Father Abraham was not yet born; neither was Moses. This forced effort to include the later interpretations of the rabbis, the “Oral Law”, in the period of Genesis, is of course illogical and self-contradictory. But it most definitely serves its purpose very well; to draw Israel’s attention to the rabbis. Just add a little “Drash” to the recipe and you can cook whatever you want… Sounds illogical? Well, according to the rabbis, the lack of logic in the Talmud is THE “proof” that it came from God.
See Rabbi Gottlieb Fisher’s explanation:
“Human logic by itself could not have sentenced the death penalty or stoning on anyone who writes two letters on the Sabbath, or carries an object heavier than a feather over a distance more than four cubits in public. Without tradition inspired by God, human intelligence would have thought that only hard and tiring physical labor such as carrying rocks or chopping wood, or any other kind of hard labor, could be considered forbidden on Shabbat.”
Get it? According to rabbi Gottlieb, the lack of logic in the commandments of the Oral Law, “proves”, that it is from God.
In Isaiah 30:20, a promise is given to Israel that in the future, they will see God with their own eyes:
“But your eyes shall see your Teacher.”
Let’s look at the explanation given by the rabbis on safa-ivrit.org – they say,
“In the Orthodox community, the acceptable understanding of this verse, is that a man should physically see his teachers and his rabbis.”
Because of that, many display portraits of important rabbis in their homes with Isaiah 30:20 written on them, even though it says in the Ten Commandments “You shall not make for yourself an image”. The rabbis took a biblical verse out of its context, twisted its meaning and invented a new commandment… Yes – to make images… of themselves! But this was never the true meaning of the verse. This verse in Isaiah does not speak about many teachers, but about a single one. It does not speak about a teacher in the flesh, but about GOD.
The prophet says that in the future, God will no longer be hidden from mankind, but will be visible for all to see. Do you see what the verse is really saying? But this shows the power of the “Drash” to mislead and conceal – there is no need to know biblical Hebrew or to understand the intention of the writer… All you need to twist this verse is to have an agenda.
Does the Sages’ interpretation (Drash) of the Jewish Scriptures try to conceal Jesus from you?
Yes, it does!
Eitan's professional background is in "Multimedia Design and Visual Communications" working for various secular advertising agencies in Tel-Aviv.
Eitan is the producer of:
1) I MET MESSIAH (Jewish testimonials).
2) Answering Rabbinic Objections to Jesus.
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