Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wisdom Wednesday #19 - Torah Study

This week during our Torah study, my husband, Rabbi Jem shared something that is extremely important:

The Torah is a spiritual fire that purges
impurity.  The person who studies Torah absorbs the potential for purity, but
the one who neglects it 
opens the door
to impurity.

I've been thinking about that teaching since then.  When I first began to learn about Judaism, I was astounded that the Torah was studied EVERY YEAR.  I thought it would get old or be boring to study the same five books over and over and over.  That has not been the case at all.  I am amazed how I continue to learn more each year.  

I've also found it to be true that it purges impurity.  I more aware of how Adonai views impurity of thought as well as action.

I have become more aware of others and of their needs.  I am more conscious of Adonai speaking to me and of Him working in my life, and I think it is because I have His mind.  The Torah is His great detail.  

Studying Torah, and then reading the New Testament through that lens makes many passages clear which formerly confused me.  I don't believe one can completely understand the New Testament without understanding Torah.  

The Torah, and the Old Testament as a whole, as well as the New Testament, are clear about impurity/sin.  Some newer translations, however, have created confusion about sin, which has led to outright denial of some actions as sin, i.e. homosexuality.  This watering down of Truth has led to a moral breakdown in our society.  

Here is an example of one passage that shows what I mean:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
Don’t you know that unrighteous people will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t delude yourselves — people who engage in sex before marriage, who worship idols, who engage in sex after marriage with someone other than their spouse, who engage in active or passive homosexuality, 10 who steal, who are greedy, who get drunk, who assail people with contemptuous language, who rob — none of them will share in the Kingdom of God.

I grew up with the King James Version, but will use the newer version to show you how clear this passage is:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

New King James Version (NKJV)
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 

Now, look at the same passage in the new and popular Message translation:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

The Message (MSG)
9-10Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. 

Can you see the difference?  Can you also see how ambiguous it is as compared to the NKJV and the CJB versions?  The Torah is very clear about homosexuality as sin, as are the first two translations of this New Testament passage. 

Can you imagine how impure a society can become without clear definitions of impurity/sin?  If you can't imagine it, then just turn on your television set and you will see it in living color.  

Our society has lost its way and a big part of it is that the church has lost its way by not studying Torah and, by that study, knowing the mind of G-d.  

The Torah has been carefully preserved by the Jews for thousands of years.  The New Testament, by contrast, has been rewritten to suit the translator; therefore, its' meaning has been diluted at the least, but most certainly misinterpreted by many translations.  Part of this is due to a lack of understanding of the Hebrew language, Judaism and, more importantly, of the Torah.

This is wisdom, dear Gail-Friends, and it is truth for such a time as this. 


I'm sharing this post at:

Spiritual Sunday

Modest Mom Monday Link-up 

A Wise Woman Builds
Whole Hearted Wednesday 
Wake Up Wednesday
Whimsical Wednesday

Hearts for Home
Favorite Things 


  1. Thank you for introducing me to the CJB version of the Bible. It is now my "go to" kindle Bible
    Gail F

  2. Thank you for sharing the CJB version. I am Japanese Christian.
    I want to link your blog to my blog. Is it OK?

  3. Yes, Grace, you have my permission. I pray for my writing to enlighten those who read it, and most of all that they will begin Torah study and observance.