A Lesson Learned in Talmud-Torah School

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    As a boy I was privileged to attend some classes in the local Talmud-Torah. They taught a simple illustration on how to avoid sin.

    SIN is like falling over a cliff. It leads to destruction.

    So God gave the TORAH (laws) like a fence at the top of the cliff. It kept us away from the danger of falling.

    But if we mess around and climb on/through the fence, we could still fall! So God gave us the TALMUD with rules about staying off the fence so we won't ever come near to falling off the cliff.

    Yet some still wandered near, looking longingly at the fence and wished they could climb it (and maybe fall over the cliff). So God gave the MISHNAH to warn us not to even look at the fence!

    Which is sin -
    Falling over the cliff?
    Climbing on the fence?
    Walking by the fence?
    Looking at the fence?

    My teacher said only the "over the cliff" actual breaking of God's Law is sin. The rest are good and practical teaching of man, but NOT sin.

    I've never forgotten that. So many "sins" we preach today are not in the Bible, not written to keep us from going "over the cliff". They are the rules and regs of men, with good hearts and who have seen folks go over the cliff. But they are not sin and we'd better all remember that.
     
  2. James_Newman

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    Examples?
     
  3. USN2Pulpit

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    Interesting post, Dr. Bob - may I plageurize?

    Here's a possible example - the local Church of Christ does not allow instruments or music specials. They are afraid that rather than lead worship, a special will become a performance for man instead of worship of God - so they disallow it altogether.

    Here's another: Modern music can be related to all kinds of sin, and CCM sounds somewhat like popular music, therefore CCM must be sin. (I actually heard this in the '70's - "Drums are used in Africa, and Africans worship idols, so drums are sinful.")
     
  4. James_Newman

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    What about despising the testimony of others who may be over you, and climbing on the fence against their recommendation (or to spite them). Is this not sinful itself?

    Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
     
  5. Charles Meadows

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    So where does the Tosefta come in?

    :D
     
  6. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    James, I guess you can only take an illustration so far!
     
  7. Aaron

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    Another rabbi I've read says that they are to "build a fence around the Torah." That's a very small view of the Law, and destructive in and of itself.

     
  8. HankD

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    I've heard another version: The Law is like a fence a farmer built around a cesspool to keep the hogs from wallowing in it and the sheep from falling in.

    HankD
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    Drunkeness is a sin. Absolutely condemned. You cross that fence and it's "over the cliff".

    So some will not drink at all, total abstinence so that they can never possibly get drunk and go over the cliff.

    And some will not go to a bowling alley, roller rink or restaurant where drinking is allowed so that they cannot be tempted to drink which may lead to drunkeness and "over the cliff."
     
  10. USN2Pulpit

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    good example...
     

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