- Similar marital proceedings and laws against adultery
- The worship of one god named “Ya’ho’wah”
- Laws pertaining to ritual purity
- An East-facing temple that contained continually burning flame
- Similar holidays, such as a day for the atonement of wrong doing and a week-long festival celebrating the harvest
- A tradition of carrying a sacred ark into battle by a Cherokee holy man
There was a post on Facebook today being spread around by some friends that sparked a little bit of conservation between a fellow Karaite brother and myself. First off, here is the picture:
While I agree that getting a tattoo about the abominable nature of homosexual bedroom behavior is hilarious because tattoos themselves are forbidden by the same book of the Bible, the discussion that my dear Karaite brother brought up was of the issue of the complete prohibition of tattoos. Does the Torah ban all tattoos or markings on the flesh outright or are their certain scenarios when tattoos are permissible? Before I address this specific dilemma, let’s back up a bit and attempt to put things into context here a little bit. After all, context is everything; right?
The book of ויקרא (“va-yi-kraw”), or in English, Leviticus, is mainly known to be a book of specific instruction. Though the entire Torah can be called a book of instructions, some instructions from other books of the Torah are commands learned by studying the character traits of some of the main tzadikim (righteous ones) of the Torah. Leviticus, however, is very concise and to the point. There are a lot of “don’t do this”, “do do this” (yes, I wrote “do do”) and the like. Leviticus 19 pretty much reads like a grocery list.
- Obey your parents
- Keep the Sabbath
- Don’t make idols
- Offer sacrifices where they are accepted
- You may eat sacrifices, but leftovers to the third day are to be burned
- Leave the corners of your field for the poor
- Don’t steal from each other
- Don’t lie from each other
- Pay your workers aptly
- Treat the disabled nicely….
eir beards and displayed tribal affiliation with tattooed markings and designs shaved into the sides of their heads. Prostitution, “the world’s oldest profession”, was widely practiced and many men sold their daughters into the business. It was the natural thing. What was God getting at by making these commands?
Call me old fashioned, but one thing that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside is when I actually see people in restaurants stop and “say grace” before they eat. It means that these people actually make it a point to stop and thank God for the food they are about to eat no matter who might be watching. I used to work with a Jehovah’s Witness guy who would hardly so much as look at his food before saying a silent prayer. My wife and I try to do so; usually being more successful in our home than when we’re out, but it’s something I’d definitely like to work on. Some questions some might have about this practice are:
1. Is “saying grace” found in the Bible?
2. What exactly is taking place while doing this?
I’ll attempt to answer these questions in one explanation that might wind back and forth a little.
While saying grace before a meal is nowhere to be found in the Bible, the concept definitely in the Torah. The only thing different about it is the order in which most do it.
While I was in college, I held many part-time jobs that allowed me to come in contact with many people I normally would not have come in contact with. While I was working at a printer cartridge re-manufacturing store, around the same time I was really shifting away from Christian thought and more into a Hebraic perspective of the Scriptures, I was fortunate enough to have a conversation one day with a certain customer who really shined new light on eating kosher. Interestingly enough, this man was a Christian. By Christian, I mean he probably believed that his salvation came from Jesus, but other than that, I bet this guy had been kicked out of a couple churches just by the way he spoke.
- Mammals that don’t both have a cloven hoof AND chew their cud
- Fish that don’t have both scales and fins
- Birds of prey
- Winged insects that go on all four besides those that have jointed legs above the feet for hopping
- Any reptiles or amphibians
- Pretty much any animals that eat other animals
If you were to ask someone who doesn’t keep Shabbat when Shabbat starts, even if they were knowledgeable of other cultures, they’d probably tell you that it starts Friday night at sundown. While this seems fairly feasible, if you were to ask someone who keeps Shabbat when Shabbat starts for them, they’d probably tell you that it starts Friday afternoon, Friday morning, or even possibly Thursday or Wednesday. I know it sounds really odd, but Shabbat wouldn’t be Shabbat without being prepared. In order to properly prepare for Shabbat, the Torah commands preparedness:
Ok, this is my chance to be political and religious without being political or religious. I hope you enjoy.
To that, I only have this to say: WELCOME TO AMERICA!
Being a religious person who devoted to the Torah, many people expect that I will simply come down on the side of the religious wing nuts and scream against same-sex marriage; that homosexuality is what is killing this Christian nation.
Well, I got news for you; I ain’t no Christian.
The Torah was given as a guide to Israel on how to serve God and how to get along with your fellow man. I do not believe that the Bible was intended as a means of cramming the will of God down the throats of every person that crosses your path. It was given to those who are in covenant with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. If someone doesn’t want to be in covenant with that God, I have no problem with that. That is their path and I believe people should have the right to do whatever they feel as long as aren’t bringing harm to anyone else or bringing injustice into the world.
Why people have decided that a piece of government legislation that doesn’t even have anything to do with them is worth fighting against is beyond me. Two guys getting married or two women getting married is not going to change my relationship with the Creator. Why should people let it change their’s? Marriage has not always been a legal issue in the United States and I don’t think it should be any longer. I am a supporter of zero legally recognized marriages and anyone who wants to be legally bound to another for whatever reason should be able to be without the title of “married” on any government paper work. If you want to be married, that should be between you and God and not you and the government.
Now, I’m not wanting to bash Christians. I have many God-fearing Christian friends who feel the same way I do about the whole gay marriage topic. However, for those who feel the need to go out of their way to bark in everyone’s face about how homosexuality is an abomination, need I remind them that the same book of the Bible that says homosexuality is an abomination also says the same about eating shrimp and lobster. So, unless you’re eating kosher, please do us all a favor and shut up. To join this particular fight, check out www.godhatesshrimp.com for more info.
Do not be mistaken; I am not pro same-sex marriage and would not attend a gay wedding if I were invited because it goes my personal spiritual legislation – the Torah. However, I would not protest one if it were to take place.