Friday, April 11, 2014

Parshat Metzora, (Leviticus 14:13-14:20), 3/31/14

Rabbi Baker suggested that sacrifices have to be obligations. Which makes me think about what I do because of choice and what I do because of obligation. When I had a regular job, I had a contract that told me what I should and shouldn't do. It was elaborated on by the board policy and procedures. So to keep my job, I was obliged to follow those rules.

How about me as a parent? What is my obligation, and what do I do from choice? Living in the USA we are obliged by law to protect our kids. But beyond that, my obligation seems to be determined by my decision to commit time and resources to their benefit.

Suppose that I had sinned and wanted to do a guilt offering as in Leviticus 14:13. Because I (hypothetically speaking) have a certain connection with G_d, I would follow her wishes as to the process for the offerings. Given my relationship to G_d, I did not have a choice to make this offering. I had hurt someone, and therefore, according to my contract with G_d, I need to make an offering to clean things up (like me).

Some Facebook comments on this post:

JA: Yes, if you want to listen to what it says and not looking for it to agree with personal want. One of best non-denominational teachers in America is John MacArthur Jr. His exposition is in context of Jewish life and times, yet allowing the scripture to say what it says. All of his work is available free on the site, Whether one agrees with him or not, his information, historical context, and understanding are worth considering.

Grace to You ( John MacArthur’s in-depth Bible teaching brings the life-transforming truth of God’s Word to millions of people every day.
10 hours ago · Like · Remove Preview

Kim Mosley: Thanks Jeff. Here's a quote from one of his sermons: “Rabbis would expound the Scripture and explain Scripture and quote other rabbis to validate their interpretation. But this kind of teaching was beyond anything anybody had ever heard. It was a level of wisdom, a level of knowledge, a level of understanding without equal. The people are dumbfounded. They are shocked. They are startled by this flawless, adept instruction, the likes of which they have never heard. He [Jesus] doesn’t quote rabbis. He doesn’t validate his teaching by any human source. He doesn’t necessarily connect with the tradition. But there's never been anything like it.’

I think, as Jesus got his teaching from G_d, we can respond to the Torah via our experience (not exclusively commentators). What you describe as "personal want" is, without the negative connotation, exactly what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to inform my experience. The commentators and the rabbis allow us to connect with a very cryptic and sometimes contradictory text.

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