Tikkun America RESTORE Magazine Cheshvan | October 2023 | Page 30


Most Messianic Jews and many Christians have heard that religious Jews read not just the Bible ( Tanakh / Old Testament ) but also the “ Talmud .” Some Christians have criticized the Talmud as a “ bunch of laws made up by the rabbis ,” created for the purpose of maintaining control over the Jewish people . As you will discover in this article , such a viewpoint is only partially so . See Lawrence Shiffman , From Text to Tradition , who does say that Rabbinic methods were for gaining control , but there is much more to it .
Jews divide the Tanakh as consisting of three parts : Torah , Writings , and the Prophets . The first of these , Torah , includes the books of Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy . The Torah contains “ The Law ”— or the commandments and statutes which God gave to define and limit the lives of Jews , as evidence of their acceptance of their covenant with God in their lives , and as a testimony to the nations . This , the Torah is Scripture , of course , but what is the “ Talmud ” and what is it all about ?
It actually forms the basis of many legal systems worldwide , and here as well .
In the U . S ., the legal system is in two main layers :
Layer 1 is The Law . It defines the basic
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