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Switch to Forum Live View How are Jews forgiven sin?
7 years ago  ::  May 15, 2008 - 12:12AM #1
RyanP712
Posts: 5
I don't ask this to be insulting; this is true curiosity and I'm hoping someone can shed some light for me.

Blood must be shed to forgive sin. In the Old Testamant, this was done with animal sacrifices. In the New Testament, a one-time, perfect sacrifice was made that would provide eternal atonement.

But the thing I don't understand is, well, obviously no one does burnt offerings anymore so how can anyone who follows the Old Testament or, more importantly, the Torah justify their forgiveness?
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7 years ago  ::  May 16, 2008 - 10:56AM #2
Sholem
Posts: 344
God’s mercy is not dependent on any ritual nor can it be coerced. However, prayer/service, repentance, and acts of loving kindness take the place of the old system of temple sacrifice and can go a long way to maintaining one’s relationship with God. God forgives sins against God. Atonement for sins against others requires reconciliation and recompense.

And since this is the forum on texts, I would add that the Gates of Repentance: The New Union Prayerbook for the Days of Awe has some wonderful meditations on this subject.
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7 years ago  ::  May 17, 2008 - 11:51AM #3
RyanP712
Posts: 5
[QUOTE=Sholem;503393]

And since this is the forum on texts, I would add that the Gates of Repentance: The New Union Prayerbook for the Days of Awe has some wonderful meditations on this subject.[/QUOTE]

The only text I follow is the Word. Speaking of which, I found some interesting verses. First, the Jews' Sins Are Not Forgiven verse:

"For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life." --Leviticus 17:11

Which clearly says if you're not sacrificing, your sins are not atoned and you are not right with God. Now, for the Jews' (And Everyone's) Sins Are Covered by Penitence and Good Deeds:

"For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings." --Hosea 6:6

"You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise" --Psalm 51:16-17

It seems like a contradiction though. Any thoughts?
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7 years ago  ::  May 17, 2008 - 10:00PM #4
Sholem
Posts: 344
[QUOTE=RyanP712;505634]The only text I follow is the Word. [/QUOTE]

My mistake. I thought you wanted to discuss Jewish texts. I'm not interested in discussing Christian theology. You would probably have more luck on another board, but maybe someone will want to discuss this with you here. Good luck.
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7 years ago  ::  May 18, 2008 - 12:48AM #5
RyanP712
Posts: 5
[QUOTE=Sholem;506865]My mistake. I thought you wanted to discuss Jewish texts. I'm not interested in discussing Christian theology. You would probably have more luck on another board, but maybe someone will want to discuss this with you here. Good luck.[/QUOTE]

The Torah and the Old Testament are not Jewish texts? Wow... I'm starting to wonder but I'll just assume it's you and not an entire religion for their sake.
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7 years ago  ::  May 18, 2008 - 8:03AM #6
mlarue75
Posts: 1,199
[QUOTE=RyanP712;500475]I don't ask this to be insulting; this is true curiosity and I'm hoping someone can shed some light for me.


But the thing I don't understand is, well, obviously no one does burnt offerings anymore so how can anyone who follows the Old Testament or, more importantly, the Torah justify their forgiveness?[/QUOTE]
We had a great discussion about that some time ago on the Judaism boards but I cannot find it.  Some posts were deleted and unfortunately the best one on this topic may have been deleted with them.  I suggest you read the thread(s) on sacrifice which, though they speak of the possible restoration of the Temple, nevertheless will give you some idea of the complexity of Temple sacrifice.  However, it was made clear by the person posting, that the blood was not required for forgiveness (only restitution to the person injured could do that) but rather to purify the altar, which had been contaminated by the sin.  As you note, there are passages in Prophets which emphasize the justice aspect of repentance over the sacrificial aspect, and after the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, we have not done animal sacrifices.  Go to a Yom Kippur service - or read the liturgy - and you will see that repentance, charity and prayer are considered appropriate now (and for nearly 2000 years).  It is true that some Jews wish to restore the Temple and reinstate sacrifices, but I don't know of anyone who thinks our sins have remained unforgiven in the last 2000 years because we haven't had one!

I think Sholem may suspect, from prior experience, that you are heading for a Christian v. Jew argument here.  Your OT might be our Tanakh in most of its text, but our interpretations are vastly different.  So if that is your intent, please bow out now.

This particular area of the forum is sparsely attended.  I check if once a week or so. If you are sincerely looking for information and not ammunition, and want to ask more, go to the "Discuss Judaism" board, find a thread that discusses sacrifices, and bring it back.  (But first read around on the "Judaism" and "Discuss Judaism" because you may find what you want there.)
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7 years ago  ::  May 18, 2008 - 12:48PM #7
Sholem
Posts: 344
[QUOTE=RyanP712;507151]The Torah and the Old Testament are not Jewish texts? Wow... I'm starting to wonder but I'll just assume it's you and not an entire religion for their sake.[/QUOTE]

The Torah and the Tanakh are Jewish texts, but they are not the only Jewish texts. My problem with your response is that you asked about Judaism, but won't accept a reply from a Jewish perspective.  _Sola scriptura_ is a Protestant Christian idea. In Judaism, the commentary tradition is an essential aspect of Torah study. If your goal is to understand Judaism, you will never do so by restricting yourself to reading "the Old Testament" especially from the perspective of Christian theology.

If on the other hand, your goal is a Jewish - Christian debate, then I am not personally interested in participating, but others will probably be happy to join in. Go to the debate board and state your intention openly.
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7 years ago  ::  May 18, 2008 - 12:48PM #8
Sholem
Posts: 344
[QUOTE=RyanP712;507151]The Torah and the Old Testament are not Jewish texts? Wow... I'm starting to wonder but I'll just assume it's you and not an entire religion for their sake.[/QUOTE]

The Torah and the Tanakh are Jewish texts, but they are not the only Jewish texts. My problem with your response is that you asked about Judaism, but won't accept a reply from a Jewish perspective.  _Sola scriptura_ is a Protestant Christian idea. In Judaism, the commentary tradition is an essential aspect of Torah study. If your goal is to understand Judaism, you will never do so by restricting yourself to reading "the Old Testament" especially from the perspective of Christian theology.

If on the other hand, your goal is a Jewish - Christian debate, then I am not personally interested in participating, but others will probably be happy to join in. Go to the debate board and state your intention openly.
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7 years ago  ::  May 18, 2008 - 5:12PM #9
RyanP712
Posts: 5
[QUOTE=Sholem;507762]The Torah and the Tanakh are Jewish texts, but they are not the only Jewish texts. My problem with your response is that you asked about Judaism, but won't accept a reply from a Jewish perspective.  _Sola scriptura_ is a Protestant Christian idea. In Judaism, the commentary tradition is an essential aspect of Torah study. If your goal is to understand Judaism, you will never do so by restricting yourself to reading "the Old Testament" especially from the perspective of Christian theology..[/QUOTE]

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I'm really just interested in God's perspective and needing help interpreting His text. To my knowledge, God has only authored the Torah, not the Tanakh so I limited my discussion to that. Anyways, it's been a great debate and I'm sure I'll be back when I need to be inspired by more thought-provoking and verse-studying discussion.
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7 years ago  ::  May 18, 2008 - 5:16PM #10
RyanP712
Posts: 5
[QUOTE=Sholem;507762]If on the other hand, your goal is a Jewish - Christian debate, then I am not personally interested in participating, but others will probably be happy to join in. Go to the debate board and state your intention openly.[/QUOTE]

That isn't my intention at all. I just happened across Leviticus 17:11 and I thought, "well, that doesn't make sense" so I asked an honest question expecting a sincere answer but everytime I asked a Jew about this they never came back to me with Scripture and I'm thinking, "if you want to communicate with me, you have to tell me what God says, not what you think." I mean the entire question came about based on the Law so I just wanted to discuss it further.
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