[b-hebrew] Common Sense

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Mon Oct 23 22:15:12 EDT 2006

Yes 'chok' does refer to that word? which word?  All three?  You 
quoted three words.  What is your authority?

Nothing that I wrote is arbitrary, I am not citing my OPINION - 
unlike you. I am drawing from our Torah giants who knew/know Torah 
far better than either one of us.  Everything they wrote and taught 
they derived from the Torah.  They used particular, specific means of 
deriving information from Torah, that were not arbitrary, they were 
very very careful, and even though you don't know what they are, and 
don't understand them, this certainly does not make their teaching 

Which chukim can we understand?  Which of the 613 mitzvot are chukim 
and which are mishpatim?

Do you know what the 613 mitzvot are?  Do you have a list of them and 
where they are given in the written text, and an explanation of how 
they are to be observed?  Do all of them truly make sense to you?

You would have to have all this information in order to make the 
claims that you do.

I gave you two other examples of chukim, explain how they make sense 
- what is the sense behind not wearing wool and linen together?  What 
about cotton?  Meat and milk?  Don't give me a cop-out by saying that 
we 'forgot' the sense they make - you tell me, what sense do YOU make 
of it, since you are the one who denies that there are mitzvot which 
defy human reason.

The written law did not make a distinction between edot, chukim and 
mishpatim?  So you think the Torah is arbitrary in its language, if, 
in your world, there is no distinction, why did it use 3 different 
words?  Why did it call Parah Adumah a chok - twice?

I don't believe that you are equipped with the knowledge to teach me 
or anyone Judaism.

You didn't demonstrate, though you barely tried, that the mitzva of 
Parah Adumah can be understood by human intelligence because you 
didn't even RELATE correctly to the concept of Parah Aduma in the 
first place, even though I explained it.  It is not a SIN offering - 
it has nothing to do with G-d's grace to forgive sin - or even to 
give anyone life each instant.  It is a matter of spiritual 
DEFILEMENT.  Do you know what that meant in the Torah for purposes of 
living in Torah society?  To my religion in the times that we had a 
Beit HaMikdash?  Do you not UNDERSTAND the difference between someone 
having sinned and someone having become impure, defiled? Do you know 
what it means today?  Do you know the different grades of defilement, 
do you know what various agents caused them, do you know how they 
affected people?  Did you bother to read the text that  I referenced, 
did you see that nowhere does it mention Parah Adumah is used to help 
man get forgiven from SIN?

For some reason you would like to believe that we forgot our Torah 
and our commandments and how to perform them, but you are simply 
wrong, and you cannot prove otherwise.

YOUR entire point of view that you impose on Judaism, not our Torah 
giants' points of view, is arbitrary - we have a rock-solid 2,000+ 
year old tradition of observance that has been preserved that was NOT 
arbitrary, and that will continue to be observed as completely as 
possible until Redemption, no matter who likes it or not.

As for your last question, I will not bother to answer it, because I 
explained it very clearly already.

Maybe it would serve you, if you want to understand it, to re-read my 
previous post, carefully and slowly.


Shoshanna Walker wrote:
> No, chukim does not refer to the plural form of statutes, ordinances AND
> decrees.

HH: Yes, it does refer to that word, and your
definition below is only a later understanding of
the import of the word. You can't prove that the
meaning of these biblical details has not been
lost. This entire point of view is arbitrary.

> The Torah distinguishes between three types of Mitzvot (Deut. 4:45) - 1.
> Edot = testimonies, they are the mitzvot that testify to G-d's miracles,
> such as Shabbat, which testifies to Creation, or Matzah, which testifies
> to the Exodus.  2.  Mishpatim = ordinances, most of the mitzvot fall
> into this category.  They are laws that make sense, human intelligence
> even can know how necessary they are for the benefit of society; they
> represent laws that are valid even had they not been written in the
> Torah, such as the prohibitions against robbery, murder, and incest.
> Mishpatim are generally accepted laws which are found in the legal
> systems of most human cultures and civilizations.  3. Chukim = decrees,
> they are the mitzvot which cannot be understood by ordinary human
> intellect, such as not mixing milk and meat, not wearing wool and linen
> together, they are decrees of G-d, and it is not for anyone to question
> it, and they set Israel apart from the rest of the nations.

HH: The written law of Moses does not make this
distinction, and it is simply arbitrary to assign
such a meaning to the word. Many times the
"chukim" can be understood.

> The Red Heifer "purified the impure and made impure the pure." How does
> something that has the ability to purify one person cause impurity in
> another - this is not subject to human understanding.

HH: This is no more mysterious than animal
sacrifice itself. God condescends to credit people
with an atonement for sin that their actions can
in no way really earn. The blood of goats cannot
take away human sin. It was merely God's grace to
grant forgiveness on this basis.

> And no, we did not "forget" anything - thanks to the Oral Torah, and the
> mesorah which was accurately transmitted through people, all the names
> of whom we know, through the generations.  We "even" know that Parah
> Adumah is in response to the sin of the golden calf.

HH: This is more arbitrariness, the assumption
that you have not forgotten anything. The Jewish
people have doubtless forgotten plenty of things.

> This whole conversation is a result of someone saying that Judaism, or
> Torah, is simply a way of life that makes sense.  That is not at all
> true, that is just trivializing it, robbing it of its depth and
> complexities, and relationship with G-d.

HH: Are you complaining that someone says the way
of life in the Bible makes sense? Or are you
complaining because someone says it doesn't make
sense? And which are you? You seem to be the one
saying that it doesn't make sense. I don't see how
that gives more glory to God than saying it does
make sense but we have lost the details of some of
the meaning. And this assertion in no way removes
the mystery from the Bible or assumes that all
things are understandable without a divine

Harold Holmyard
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