Sheilot uTshuvot

(Questions and Answers)

Ask Torah Teacher Ariel

(Note: all quotations are taken from the Complete Jewish Bible, translation by David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc., unless otherwise noted)

QUESTION 8:

When reading Eph. 2:14,15 these verses seem to suggest that the Law of commandments contained in ordinances is the source of enmity between the Jew and Gentile. Could you please comment on this.

ANSWER:

The Torah is holy, and the commandment holy, just and good according to Rabbi Shaul (Romans 7:12, KJV). So why did he supposedly say that it the source of enmity in his letter to Ephesus? In and of itself, it doesnt cause the enmity spoken about in the verse in question. However, Torah, by its nature to reveal and condemn sin, occasions sin, by stimulating Jewish and Gentile sinful propensities. In at least four ways is does this:

1. Gentile envy over Israels being the "Chosen People".

2. Jewish pride at being chosen.

3. Gentile resentment of the above said pride (displayed by the Jewish People).

4. Mutual dislike due to differences in customs and cultures. In this case Jewish custom and culture are believed to originate with Torah, furthering the enmity.

(paraphrased from David Sterns Jewish New Testament Commentary)

The enmity is destroyed when we as believers, both Jew and non-Jew, realize that "the ground is level, that is, equal at the foot of the cross". In other words, both are equal when it comes to the need for HaShems loving grace! This type of loving grace, provided in full measure through Messiah Yeshua, melts away the envy, pride, resentment, and cultural differences that all of HaShems children have for each other. To be sure, the verse in John 13:34,35 is fulfilled when we (Jew and non-Jew) have true LOVE for one another!

Torah Teacher Ariel ben-Lyman HaNaviy