Wednesday, 3 March 2021
Approaching Rabbinic Tradition
Tikkun and its related ministries have an approach to the rabbinic heritage of our people that I believe is both helpful and important both from a theological perspective and a practical contribution to Israeli society.
The Bible exhorts us to give honor to whom honor is due (Romans 13:7). Those who have given us the post biblical Jewish heritage are to be honored for all that is good, true and beautiful in the legacy of our people. Most cultures have honorable traditions and practices due to the grace of God given to all people. For us as Jews, the Jewish heritage comes from our ancestral fathers and out of our covenantal relationship before God as His people. The wholesale rejection of that which is good and true in that heritage is tantamount to a rejection of our ancestors and the covenant. It violates the command to honor fathers and mothers; it denies God's faithfulness and His continued involvement with our people.
Sometimes those who are enamored of the rabbinic heritage end up defending the indefensible. It is part of the human tendency to worship self or one's own people; pride takes over. Our view of the rabbinic heritage is that we must be discerning - approving what is good and rejecting that which is not good or not in accord with the letter and the spirit of the Bible. In addition, our adoption of any tradition not commanded in the Bible, even if it is good, should only be embraced as we are so led by the Spirit; there is to be no rule beyond that.
Only a person who has a renewed mind (with their heart priorities in order) can correctly evaluate these matters, since evaluation is a function of the whole person. I have traveled to many countries and pleaded in my teaching that we must all understand the centrality of Yeshua and the power of the Spirit as primary. If this is not established, we will not be able to evaluate with mature judgment. Yeshua is to be explicitly central and pervasive in our preaching and our worship. In John 5, Yeshua declares that the Father desires that we honor the Son as we honor Him. Only then can we have God's powerful Presence among us. We must teach people to seek the presence of the Spirit and to appropriate His power, without which we cannot accomplish God's works of love and service.
This excerpt was taken from my article.