Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Rejecting the Rabbis

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths


     There are many Jews who reject the teachings of the Rabbis. I am not referring to the irrational screamers who are so wrapped up in their own egos that they cannot see the wisdom of others. I am referring to a number of religious Jews who have become disheartened with their religious lives. They attribute their frustration to the rabbinical tradition that they have always followed. These Jews are not at all vocal opponents of the rabbis, actually they hide their objections because they do not want to upset their families or, even worse, make it more difficult to marry off their children. It is with these Jews in mind that I write this article.

     This subject could indeed take an entire volume to deal with, but most briefly:

     The argument goes, “G-d did not command us to do those things! It was the rabbis. I am not going to do their added commandments. I will only follow what is written in the Torah.”

     The standard answer is, “G-d commanded us to listen to the Judges in our day, and the rabbis fill that role for us today, so it is G-d Who has told us to listen to them.”

     This answer is not working for everyone, so here are some other points to think about:

Question: The rabbis taught us to say a blessing that G-d commanded us to light Shabbos candles, but lighting candles is merely a rabbinical law. So it is a “lie” to say that blessing.

Answer:  G-d commanded us to bring in the spiritual light of Shabbos. The rabbis have simply given us a beautiful tool to initiate the celebration. Although we make the blessing on the physical light of the candles we do so to usher in the spiritual light of the Holy day. So the blessing is quite appropriate.

Question: The rabbis have made so many fences that G-d did not tell us to obey. For instance, having money in your pocket on Shabbos is not forbidden by Hashem. It is merely one of those many rabbinical rules!

Answer: Hashem’s laws of Shabbos include not writing. The rabbis saw that handling money led to doing business, and doing business led to writing. So the rabbinical rule not to handle money is a fence that keeps us away from transgressing a Torah prohibition. If you feel frustration over this law you argue and fight with the rabbis but not Hashem and His Torah. If the fence were not there, when you were frustrated you could very easily complain against Hashem’s rule.

     Historically, Jews who have moved away from the rabbinical statutes keep on moving away until they move on to intermarriage. Today, there are “rabbis” who put on tefillin every day, yet they officiate at marriages between Jews and non-Jews, and even between men and men! Once you open the door and reject the ancient teachings of the sages you can go on and on until there will not even be a Written Torah.

     These arguments and explanations can go on for a long time, but here is my personal take on the problem. I have no source for what I am telling you other than my personal experience and observation.

     There is a teaching, “A Jerusalemite cannot be a Chassid.” A Chassid is a great person who has a Rebbe whom he loves and follows. But here in Jerusalem the Presence of Hashem is so strong that the knowing, religious Jews look straight up without even a holy Rebbe in between.

     I believe that Jews who live in even the most secular communities can also look straight up. If you will put G-d first in your life, and search for Him in you every deed then you will welcome the sages’ expert advice, but you will not put them between you and the Goal. This does not mean that we discard the rabbis, G-d forbid. It means that we seek their sage advice, but we follow Hashem directly.

     Torah learning and the performance of mitzvahs has for many become automatic, routine, even boring, or burdensome. Dear readers who are experiencing these problems, if you stop and think just what a mitzvah is when you do it you will never be burdened by it. A mitzvah is a spiritual opportunity that brings holiness into our lives. A mitzvah elevates the physical and reveals its spiritual nature.

     Paying attention when we say a blessing brings to mind that G-d is Most Holy. When we think about His holiness we take on some of that holiness ourselves. But sadly, Hashem and His holiness have been put to the side, and intellectual accomplishment has tried to replace Him.

     When we spend our time looking up, and we are thankful for the spiritual opportunities that being in this world gives us, we do not discard any wise teachings. We want any information or techniques that could help us to accomplish our spiritual desires. I would not put these wise men between myself and the Goal, but surely it is smart to ask the ones who have succeeded, “How did you do it?”


  1. Gutman, there is wisdom in many rabbi's and their teachings, but when they transgress the Torah we should listen to that of Moshe only. Just because some things they say are correct does not by any means suggest that everything they say and rule on is correct. There are MANY Jews who have rejected the rabbi's because they know all too well of transgressing that of Moshe and when they study the Tanach they quickly learn that the rabbi's have many misinterpretations. Gutman, it's all about control, nothing more.

    Gutman, tell the truth why the rabbi's instituted the shabbat candle ritual, it was simply against the Karaites. A tradition is fine Gutman, but saying God commanded it is against the Torah. So we can still maintain many traditions, but let's put it in the correct perspective and stop claiming God gave it to us which is simply not true.

    I know many Jews who don't intermarry but keep the tradition but ignore the ridiculous fences instituted by the rabbi's which is easy to say not to do something. God never intended it this way, but if you want to live a life as such, go for it, but because someone, or groups of Jews reject your teachings based on fact of the Tanach, why do you classify them as screamers wrapped up in their own ego. I am sure you would actually refer to Moshe when he was here as such, especially that of the Prophets. Maybe your gilgul is being repeated but no tikun has taken place.

  2. Your claim of following the rabbi's is based on what? Duet 17:8-13? It states simply if you have a matter at hand that you cannot decide you appear before the Levitical priests etc etc. In simple language it's a court system set up for disputes. The problem is that the actual ones to do this where historically the Levites and Cohanim who where primarly from the Sadducee movement. With the absense of prophets and a strong leader from the Davidic line the Pharisee movement gained control. How did this happen? The Pharisees developed a populist form of Torah (the Oral Law) which won over the hearts, even though many of it's inovations where a departure from the Torah, moreso even today, The Pharisees gave the Oral Law further credence by falsely claiming it hearkened back to Moshe and worst of all they enlisted the political and ultimately the military help of the Romans, finally inviting the Romans in to take control of the land of Israel, with the understanding that they would support the Phaisees in return. The romans did so in 63 BCE when Pompey captured Jerusalem, ushering in the Roman control over Israel.

    This is just the tip of the iceburg. They for example the ban saying the name of God. It's just one more thing preventing the geulah. It's preventing us to call upon Him. I wont go into details here but there are things that contradict the Tanach like this.

    You wonder why myself and many others are leaving the control of them for connecting to the Real Source? Because when you find out the lies and anti-Torah teachings why would you believe much of anything they rule on. We need the time of the prophets, the Mashiach etc and not to follow those who state that if a prophet where to come against the rabbi's he is to be killed. And this is from God. Wake up Israel, wake up.

  3. And such is the legacy of the Greeks.

    Tanach gives clear indications of the validity of this subject, as "agents of Hashem", etc.


  4. My Chabad Rabbi said people say we are a "cult". I can prove that is not true. In a cult everyone obeys the leader.

  5. To one of the frequent commenters here (the addressee will probably recognize himself):
    This is not the appropriate forum for posting deviant views derived from the original Torah but flawed in the basic logic, such as certain sects who reject the Oral Torah.
    This is not a politically correct free-speech place for everyone to post distorted views or what the Torah should be or should say, or propaganda of sects who mock and downplay our Sages.
    Respect this site, which is clearly self-defined as Orthodox.
    The transmission chain of Torah - all the way down from Moshe - is duly documented, and those who do not "believe" that Moshe also received the Oral Torah and taught it to the Sages at Sinai are to be classified not less than as heretics, simple like that.
    Whoever wants to establish a new cult based on the Written Torah only, is free to do it (btw it's already done - check the so-called karaites and other pseudo-Jewish groups) but please go anywhere else.
    Don't wast your time trying to undermine our acceptance and understanding of the Oral Laws and the authority of our Sages who brought all this knowledge to a level within our reach, and who explained in detail how to implement in practical life the mitzvot so briefly described in the Written Torah.
    Please create your own blog or website anywhere else and vent your rantings against our Sages far away from us, faithful Jews who try our best to follow the Written and Oral Torah - not that we do everything right, but at least we acknowledge the pure and holy goals to be achieved and don't try to create shortcuts to justify our own weaknesses.
    Leave us alone, we don't need your "interpretations" of the real Torah.


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