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Whose Torah is it Anyway?

by Rabbi Lazer Gurkow

  

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“Rabbi, the Torah was written so many years ago. Its laws were never intended for the modern age, for people of modern technology and enlightenment.” This pearl of wisdom was last dropped in my lap several weeks ago during a discussion about Torah and its laws.

I explained that the Jewish view of G-d transcends the constraints of time. This does not only mean that G-d would have considered our present age when he gave the Torah to our ancestors, but that G-d exists in a dimension that wraps the past, present and future into a single time warp that transcends its own limitations.

Confusing as it sounds, we believe that G-d was actually living in the future when he gave the Torah to our ancestors. The laws of Shabbat, Kosher and others were given by G-d to us in the present as much as they were given to our ancestors in the past. They were intended for all generations, including ours of modern technology and enlightenment.


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Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.