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Why are there many "Torah observant" Jews who break the law?


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Rabbi Shlomo: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...what's on your mind?

Thinker: if the Torah is a code of morals then why are there so many "torah observant" jews who break the law?

Rabbi Shlomo: The Torah is more than a code of morals... but what law breaking are you refearing to?

Thinker: cheating the govt. on taxes etc.

Thinker: mostly money scams

Thinker: is there an answer to this question?

Rabbi Shlomo: sure there is an answer. Observant jews are Humans - they are not Torah.

Thinker: but if thay are supposedly observant doesnt the torah say we have to follow civil law?

Rabbi Shlomo: Torah sets a high standard of life. Observant jews are just as human as the next guy. The only differennce is that they try to live by the standards set by Torah - but this doesn't mean they are angels, or perfect. It simply means that they are able to control their temptations many times in effort to live in accordance with Torah - but naturally there will be other times when they might not be able to do the right hting

Thinker: but some pple do it in purpose?

Rabbi Shlomo: again: People, regardless of how observant they are, are not the Torah.

Rabbi Shlomo: It is like asking the following question: If John is on the Atkins Diet and the Atkins diet says not to eat carbs, why is John eating Pasta?

Rabbi Shlomo: Because John is not THE atkins Diet... he is merely a human being like me and you, but he is TRYING to follow the atkins diet. Now just because most of the time he only eats according to the atkins diet, naturally that doesn't take away the possibility for him to eat carbs

Thinker: so basically you are saying that a jew who cheats the govt. is going against the torah and there is no excuse?

Rabbi Shlomo: it is possible.

Rabbi Shlomo: I don't know what case you are referring to. But hypothetically speaking it is possible.

Thinker: what do u mean by that?

Thinker: so not every time a person breaks civil law , is he in the wrong according to torah?

Rabbi Shlomo: not everytime YOU think he is breaking civil law is he actually breaking civil law

Thinker: well i am talking about someone who IS breaking civil law

Thinker: and they ar enot trying to follow the law they arejust trying not to get caught?

Rabbi Shlomo: Torah does not allow that

Thinker: but why do we hear about so many religious jews who do ?

Rabbi Shlomo: I don't know. I didn't hear about them.

Thinker: ok i think that since when a religious perosn is caught doing something wrong, it is made into such a big deal , so it seems as if religious pple do things like this all the time.

Rabbi Shlomo: that may be a more accurate statement

Thinker: ok thanks for your time,

Rabbi Shlomo: my pleasure

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.


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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.