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ב"ה

It's too legalistic

Friday, 12 February, 2021 - 4:22 pm

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It’s too legalistic! That’s the complaint lodged against Judaism for millennia; it’s not a recent thing. From the various denominations in the Jewish community to new age spiritual groups, they all have the same complaint. In fact the world’s largest faith, Christianity, began with the same complaint against Judaism - it’s too legalistic!

Truth is if you think about it, it does seem a little strange, doesn’t it? The Jewish people just encountered G-d in the single most profound spiritual experience ever. And now? Now they’re instructed regarding a litany of seemingly mundane laws.

Wouldn’t it have made more sense for them to strip themselves of their physical shell and meditate all day? Wouldn’t it have been more spiritual if they would have focused on the profundity and oneness of all existence rather than being confronted with their own physicality and fecklessness? 

The reality is that as spiritual as we may feel by undergoing whatever suggested form of meditation, or any other method of achieving spiritual advancement, it is all limited. The very most that we can accomplish by means of our own spiritual development is still entirely constrained by our limited self.

If it’s our meditation, or our work of any sort, it is always going to be limited to our personal capacity. And in relation to G-d, we are virtually nil. We cannot ever reach beyond ourselves - until, that is, we do so on G-d’s terms.

And that’s where the laws come into play. When we live our lives not as we please, but as G-d pleases - that is where the ultimate spirituality is found. That is where we discover the true Oneness. And it is specifically through the laws that we can grow beyond our limited physical existence and become truly one with G-d. 

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