Import jQuery

The Wise Reformer of Judaism

SamsonBlinded is a blog by an Israeli Jew, Ovadiah Shoher, whom many would call a Jewish extremist because of his policies for an undivided, Jewish Israel. Ovadiah writes about the problems in the Israeli government and humanistic secularism that is creeping over Israel. Moreover, he writes about the problems with modern Judaism in Israel and abroad. The man is not a Messianic Jew; indeed, in the past he has written essays against Y'shua as the Messiah.

Nonetheless, I've found his blog a thought-provoking read with shake-things-up kind of ideas.

In his latest post, From Orthodoxy to Fundamentalism, Ovadiah writes something quite profound through his frustration with modern Judaism, saying,

Religious Jews shamefully concentrate on technicalities, however important, rather than the big issues. I find it scandalous with religious parties in the Knesset scream over the court’s refusal to fine a handful of establishments which sold leavened bread on Pesach in Jerusalem, but stay in the government which admits to negotiating the giveaway of Jerusalem to Arabs and has actually abandoned the Temple Mount to Muslims.

In one reformer’s words, “Hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin [which the Torah does not require], but neglected the weightier matters of the law.” He saw it correctly that many religious Jews concentrate on the easy rites of superfluous observance instead of going through with the really hard issues of core Judaism. It is obscene for a religious Jew in Jerusalem to wrap his kitchen with foil on Pesach to avoid the microscopic crumbs of leavened bread, while his Knesset representatives do nothing about the daily shelling of Shderot.
I share Ovadiah's sentiment; how many religious Jews focus on the outward rituals but forget the great, deep mitvot of Torah, like mercy and justice. There is a great focus on minute technicalities in Judaism, which by itself is not evil, but at the neglect of the weightier matters of the Torah, is absolutely shameful.

The reformer mentioned by Ovadiah had it right on. Ah, how wise was that reformer!

1 comment:

  1. True, good post.
    While it is good to make everyday mundane activities a service to God, and recognize HaShem as the source of all blessings, it is not good to get caught up in the details and overlook the more weightier matters of the Torah.

    Both Rabbi Hillel and Rabbi Yeshua taught these teachings about the weightier matters of the Torah, using the "kal vachomer" argument of the light and the heavy.

    It is also interesting that this man quotes Yeshua near the beginning of his second paragraph, like you pointed out at the end of your post... very interesting indeed!



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