Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Making mistakes in Torah observance

I wanted to talk about making mistakes in Torah observance. 

I've noticed that some people think that it is impossible to make mistakes when it comes to Torah or some people think that by making an honest mistake in Torah observance God would punish them severely.

Both of these cases are not true for a very simple reason: Written Torah tells us how to atone for mistakes (sins). So, I hope you would agree, had Torah not have these rituals, then we could claim that our observance must be flawless and perfect.

Let's take a look at the text:

First of all, we had at least monthly sin offerings (Numbers 28:15), which means that it is impossible for a human to live a month without sinning somehow. Which is why God created these sin-offerings.

Secondly, there is an explicit commandment to bring a sin-offering for unintentional sins.
YLT Lev 4:2 'Speak unto the sons of Israel, saying, When a person doth sin through ignorance against any of the commands of Jehovah regarding things which are not to be done, and hath done something against one of these-- 
YLT Lev 4:3  'If the priest who is anointed doth sin according to the guilt of the people, then he hath brought near for his sin which he hath sinned a bullock, a son of the herd, a perfect one, to Jehovah, for a sin-offering,
And last, but very important. Not only Torah assumes that mortals will sin, Torah also wisely warns against communal sin, when the whole community is mistaken. 
YLT Lev 4:13 'And if the whole company of Israel err ignorantly, and the thing hath been hidden from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done something against one of all the commands of Jehovah concerning things which are not to be done, and have been guilty; 
YLT Lev 4:14 when the sin which they have sinned concerning it hath been known, then have the assembly brought near a bullock, a son of the herd, for a sin-offering, and they have brought it in before the tent of meeting; 
YLT Lev 4:15 and the elders of the company have laid their hands on the head of the bullock, before Jehovah, and one hath slaughtered the bullock before Jehovah. 
YLT Lev 4:20  'And he hath done to the bullock as he hath done to the bullock of the sin-offering, so he doth to it; and the priest hath made atonement for them, and it hath been forgiven them;
YLT Lev 4:21 and he hath brought out the bullock unto the outside of the camp, and hath burned it as he hath burned the first bullock; it is a sin-offering of the assembly.
The communal sins DO happen and actually the one big one is happening right now in Jewish community. Namely, Jews have strayed away from the Written Torah. Which is why I am imploring the whole community to go back to God and the Written Torah. We do not have to wait for God or messiah. We have instructions for what to do in such situation. Let us atone for this sin and go back to God and our land!!! Am I the only one understanding this?

So the point of the story is this: do not be afraid to make mistakes in Torah observance, as long as you do it to improve your observance. Do not be afraid to experiment with commandments. God and Torah pay a lot of attention to INTENT, so if your intent is pure and to get closer to God, it will be forgiven you through the defined procedure and respective offering. But do not be ignorant like the rabbis, because that God will never forgive.

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