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Thank you for reading my post, Thomas A., and for your kind response to its contents. As to the Jewish reaction to the "vessel scrupulosity", I was not referring to the current tradition, but to its origin in the Pharisee's need to show just how holy they were simply in terms of their exaggerated legality rather than in more central spiritual qualities.
Both Jesus and John the Baptist are portrayed in Christian scriptures as raising pretty vociferous objections to this kind of legalistic ostentation in the absence of more basic spiritual qualities. I personally think we don't have to merely rely on the accuracy of these scriptures, since Judaism itself admits that this extreme implementation of the Mosaic exhortation is just that and not indicated in the original law.
I think the nature of such extremism speaks for itself. The modern imitation of this extremism can be chalked up to mere tradition. Unfortunately, Jesus and John the Baptist failed to reform the official Judaism of their day and the immediate heirs to their message did as well, so they expanded their efforts to include gentiles, mostly as a result of Paul's perception of that as the only option remaining. It therefore fell to Christianity to give it a shot, but that has largely failed as well, since the original message has been pretty much lost in actual practice with a few notable exceptions. Such notable exceptions exist in Judaism as well, by the way.
Hello Thomas, great to hear from you! Thanks for your kind words, hope you had a wonderful Christmas!The same to you Thomas, all the best in 2011!!