Nazarene Space

THE HALACHA OF YESHUA:
THE SHABBAT (Part 1)

OK let us begin by getting an understanding of the Shabbat Halacha of
the Essenes and the Pharisees.

The Essene Halacha concerning Shabbat was the strictest of any sect of
Judaism. Josephus writes of the Essenes:

"…they [Essenes] are stricter than any other of the Jews in resting
from their labors on the seventh day; for they not only get their food
ready the day before, that they not be obliged to kindle a fire on
that day, but they will not remove any vessel out of its place, nor go
to stool thereon."
(Wars 2:8:9)

There is a lengthy discussion of the Sabbath in the Damascus Document,
I will include here only some key points:

"No man shall eat on the Sabbath day aught save that which is prepared
or perishing (in the field). Nor shall one eat or drink unless in the
camp. (If he was) on the way and went down to wash he may drink where
he stands, but he shall not draw into any vessel. … No man shall walk
after the animal to pasture it outside his city more than two thousand
cubits. None shall lift his hand to smite it with (his) fist. If it
be stubborn he shall not remove it out of his house. No man shall
carry anything from the house to the outside or from the outside into
the house, and if he be in the vestibule he shall not carry anything
out of it or bring in anything into it. … Let not the nursing father
take the sucking child to go out or to come in on the Sabbath. … No
man shall help an animal in its delivery on the Sabbath day. And if
it falls into a pit or ditch, he shall not raise it on the Sabbath. …
And if any person falls into a place of water or into a place of… he
shall not bring him up by a ladder or a cord or instrument. No man
shall offer anything on the altar on the Sabbath, save the
burnt-offering of the Sabbath, for so it is written `Excepting your
Sabbaths'."
(Damascus Document 10:14-11:18)

Note that the Essene Halacha was so strict as to place Sabbath
observance above human life.

On the other hand, Pharisaic Halacha placed human life above the
Sabbath. As we read in the Mishna:

Rabbi Mattiah ben Harash said, "He who has a pain in his throat, they
drop medicine into his mouth on the Sabbath, because it is a matter of
doubt as to danger to life. Any matter of doubt as to danger to life
overrides the prohibitions of the Sabbath."
(m.Yoma 8:6)

In the Talmud, the Gemara to this passage elaborates on and explains
the reasoning behind this halacha:

BECAUSE IT IS A POSSIBILITY OF DANGER TO [HUMAN] LIFE. Why was it
necessary to add `AND WHEREVER THERE IS DANGER TO [HUMAN] LIFE, THE
LAWS OF THE SABBATH ARE SUSPENDED?-Rab Judah in the name of Rab said:
Not only in the case of a danger [to human life] on this Sabbath, but
even in the case of a danger on the following Sabbath. How that? If
e.g.. the [diagnosis] estimates an eight-day [crisis] the first day of
which falls on the Sabbath. You might have said, let them wait until
the evening, so that the Sabbaths may not be profaned because of him,
therefore he informs us [that we do not consider that]. Thus also was
it taught: One may warm water for a sick person on the Sabbath, both
for the purpose of giving him a drink or of refreshing him, and not
only for [this] one Sabbath did they rule thus, but also for the
following one. Nor do we say: Let us wait, because perchance he will
get well, but we warm the water for him immediately, because the
possibility of danger to human life renders inoperative the laws of
the Sabbath, not only in case of such possibility on this one Sabbath,
but also in case of such possibility on another Sabbath.
(b.Yoma 84b)

Our Rabbis taught: One must remove debris to save a life on the
Sabbath, and the more eager one is, the more praiseworthy is one; and
one need not obtain permission from the Beth din. How so? If one saw a
child falling into the sea, he spreads a net and brings it up — the
faster the better, and he need not obtain permission from the Beth din
though he thereby catches fish [in his net]. If he saw a child fall
into a pit, he breaks loose one segment [of the entrenchment] and
pulls it up — the faster the better; and he need not obtain permission
of the Beth din, even though he is thereby making a step [stairs]. If
he saw a door closing upon an infant, he may break it, so as to get
the child out — the faster the better; and he need not obtain
permission from the Beth din, though he thereby consciously makes
chips of wood. One may extinguish and isolate [the fire] in the case
of a conflagration — the sooner the better, and he need not obtain
permission from the Beth din, even though he subdues the flames. Now
all these cases must be mentioned separately. For if only the case of
the [infant falling into] the sea had been mentioned [one would have
said, it is permitted there] because meantime the child might be swept
away by the water, but that does not apply in the case [of its falling
into] the pit, because since it remains [stays] therein, one might
have thought, one may not [save it before obtaining permission],
therefore it is necessary to refer to that. And if the teaching had
confined itself to the case of the pit, [one would have thought, there
no permission is required] because the child is terrified but in the
case of a door closing upon it, one might sit outside and [amuse the
child] by making a noise with nuts, therefore it was necessary [to
include that too].
(b.Yoma 84b)

R. Ishmael, R. Akiba and R. Eleazar b. Azariah were once on a journey,
with Levi ha-Saddar and R. Ishmael son of R. Eleazar b. Azariah
following them. Then this question was asked of them: Whence do we
know that in the case of danger to human life the laws of the Sabbath
are suspended? — R. Ishmael answered and said: If a thief be found
breaking in. Now if in the case of this one it is doubtful whether he
has come to take money or life; and although the shedding of blood
pollutes the land, so that the Shechinah departs from Israel, yet it
is lawful to save oneself at the cost of his life — how much more may
one suspend the laws of the Sabbath to save human life! R. Akiba
answered and said: If a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour
etc. thou shalt take him from My altar, that he may die. I.e., only
off the altar, but not down from the altar. And in connection
therewith Rabbah b. Bar Hana said in the name of R. Johanan: That was
taught only when one's life is to be forfeited, but to save life one
may take one down even from the altar. Now if in the case of this one,
where it is doubtful whether there is any substance in his words or
not, yet [he interrupts] the service in the Temple [which is important
enough to] suspend the Sabbath, how much more should the saving of
human life suspend the Sabbath laws! R. Eleazar answered and said: If
circumcision, which attaches to one only of the two hundred and
forty-eight members of the human body, suspends the Sabbath, how much
more shall [the saving of] the whole body suspend the Sabbath! R. Jose
son of R. Judah said: Only ye shall keep My Sabbaths,' one might
assume under all circumstances, therefore the text reads: `Only' viz,
allowing for exceptions. R. Jonathan b. Joseph said: For it is holy
unto you; I.e., it [the Sabbath] is committed to your hands, not you
to its hands.
(b.Yoma 85a-b)


It is important to note that three reasons that are given in the
Gemara for relaxing the Sabbath in matters where human life are in
doubt are:

1) "… [he interrupts] the service in the Temple [which is important
enough to] suspend the Sabbath, how much more should the saving of
human life suspend the Sabbath laws!"
(b.Yoma 85b)

2) " If circumcision, which attaches to one only of the two hundred
and forty-eight members of the human body, suspends the Sabbath, how
much more shall [the saving of] the whole body suspend the Sabbath!"
(b.Yoma 85b; This halacha is dealt with in much greater detail in the
Mishna m.Shabbat 18:3-19:2 and in the Gemara of the Talmud in
b.Shabbat 128a)

3) " For it is holy unto you; I.e., it [the Sabbath] is committed to
your hands, not you to its hands."
(b.Yoma 85b)

(As we will see later, Yeshua uses these exact same three arguments to
argue for his own Sabbath Halacha).

However Pharisaic Halacha only permitted the Sabbath regulations to be
loosed when a life was in doubt, but not for healing where no life was
at stake, as the Mishna says:

They anoint and massage the stomach.
But they do not have it kneaded or scraped…
They do not induce vomiting.
And they do not straighten [the limb of] a child
or set a broken limb.
He whose hand or foot is dislocated
should not pour cold water over them.
But he washes in the usual way.
And if he is healed, he is healed.
(m.Shabbat 22:6 the Gemara is in b.Shabbat 147).

OK so lets review:

Essene Halacha was the strictest of any sect of Judaism and actually
maintained that the Sabbath held priority even over a human life.

Pharisaic Halacha differed in maintaining that the Sabbath was to be
loosed in matters where a life was in doubt, but did not loose the
Sabbath for any healing where a life was not at stake.

Now lets look at Yeshua's Sabbath Halacha….

(To be continued)

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THE HALACHA OF YESHUA:
THE SHABBAT (Part 2)
By James Scott Trimm

Plucking Grain on Shabbat
(Mt. 12:1-8 = Mk. 2:23-28 = Lk. 6:1-5)

…on the Shabbat… his talmidim… began to pluck the ears from the
stalks, and to eat - The activity described is clearly permitted by
the Torah in general, though not necessarily on the Shabbat (Duet.
23:26 (23:25 in non-Jewish editions)). According to Pharisaic halacha
threshing and reaping were forbidden (mShabbat 7:2f). This was also
forbidden by Qumran halacha which stated:

A man may not go about in the field to do his desired activity
on the Sabbath... A man may not eat anything on the Sabbath
except food already prepared.
(Damascus Document Col. 10; lines 20-22).

Now Yeshua gives the following arguments:

Yeshua cites the story of 1Sam. 21:1-6 (2-7 non-Jewish versions) where
David and his men ate the show bread which was only loosed to the
cohanim (Lev. 24:5-9). Yeshua argues that the priests do their work
on the Shabbat. circumcision (Jn. 7:21-24 & m.Shabbat 18:3-19:2) and
sacrifice.

Note the following from Qumran:

No one should offer any sacrifice on the Sabbath
except the Sabbath whole burnt offering,
for so it is written, "besides your Sabbaths" (Lev. 23:38)
(Damascus Document Col. 11 lines 17-18)

Yeshua cites Hosea 6:6 comparing priority of mercy and sacrifice.
The word for mercy here is "chesed."

That the Sabbath was created for man and not man for the Sabbath (Mk.
2:27-28) the Talmud makes a similar statement:

Rabbi Jonathan ben Joseph said:
"For it [Sabbath] is holy to you" (Ex. 31:14).
That is, it is committed into your hands, not you into its hands.
(b.Yoma 85b)

Therefore Yeshua argues, "The Son of Man is Adon of the Sabbath."
The HRV has the Son of Man as a reference to Yeshua rather than "a son
of man" as the common idiom for a human being for two reasons:

1. Context, (as shown here-in)

2. The DuTillet Hebrew texts distinguishes between the two
with "Ben HaAdam" for "the Son of Man" and simply "ben adam"
for "a son of man." Here DuTillet reads "Ben HaAdam."

Yeshua is not teaching that anyone may pluck and harvest anytime. By
comparison under normal circumstances the show bread may not be eaten
by a non-cohan. Yeshua's parallel in the argument seems to be that
both Yeshua and his students, and David and his mighty men, were on a
special mission that was of greater weight than the show bread
halacha. He also argues that priestly work, including sacrifice, is
loosed on the Sabbath. Again this falls into the same general
category, the priests are on a special mission. He argues from Hosea
6:6 that CHESED is of greater weight than the sacrifices. Since
CHESED out weighs sacrifice, and sacrifice out weighs Shabbat, then
CHESED out weighs Shabbat. Now Yeshua's mission as the Son of Man is
of at least as much weight of that of the Priests and King David,
because Yeshua is the Melchizadek figure of Ps. 110:1, 4 who combines
both. (note how often Yeshua combines the Son of Man passage of Dan.
7:13 with the Melchizadek passage of Ps. 110:1). So what do we learn?
Acts of at least as great a weight as reaping and harvesting,
consuming showbread and sacrificing may be performed if CHESED demands
it. This was true of King David's mission, the Priest's work, and
Yeshua's mission.


Healing the Withered Hand
(Mt. 12:9-13 = Mk. 3:1-6 = Lk. 6:6-11)

The fourth Century "Church Father" Jerome gives the following
additional information about this story taken from the Goodnews
according to the Hebrews:

In the Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use
which I have lately translated into Greek from the Hebrew
and which is called by many people the original of Matthew,
this man who has the withered hand is described as a mason,
who prays for help in such words as these: "I was a mason
seeking a livelihood with my hands: I pray you Yeshua,
to restore me my health, that I may not beg meanly for food."
(Jerome; On. Mt. 12:13)

Moreover an 8th to 9th century Commentary on Matthew gives further
information which it also cites from the Goodnews according to the
Hebrews:

"a man" by name Malchus [Melekh] and he was a mason.
(Commentary on Matthew 12:10; MS: Wurzburg, M.p.th. fol. 61,
8th-9th Century; cited by Bischoff in Sacris Erudiri VI, 1954, 252)

The account in the Goodnews according to the Hebrews adds the added
dimension that a mason is here praying on the Sabbath that his hand be
healed so that he may engage in work. So we also have here the issue
of a work related prayer on the Sabbath.

The man with the withered hand did not have his life in danger.
Neither did the lame man or blind man in John nor the woman with an
issue of blood or the man with epilepsy in Luke.

Yeshua argues in favor of his halacha in the following ways:

By kol V'khomer (light and heavy). Kol V'Khomer is the first rule of
Hillel. It is an argument based on weight. Some mitzvot are of
greater weight than others (Mt. 23:23). A Kol V'Khomer argument
argues based on weight. If x is true of y then x must even more so be
true of z.

Yeshua argues that since it is permitted to rescue an animal from a
pit. (Mt. 12:11 and Lk. 14:3-6) it must even more so be permitted to
heal a person on the Sabbath. This was in direct conflict with Qumran
Halachah:

…if it [an animal] falls into a well or a pit, he may not
lift it out on the Sabbath.
(Damascus Document Col. 11 lines13-14)

Yeshua also applies this whole concept to "good deeds" in general:

Mt. 12:12 And is not a man better (tov) than a sheep?
Therefore it is lawful to do well (tov) on the Shabbat.

There is an obvious connection between the Hebrew word TOV in each
phrase. The TOV that it is "lawful to do... on Shabbat" in line two
is connected to the TOV in the halachic comparison in line one. In
other words, the activities permitted in line two are limited by the
argument on line one. Unfortunately this very important detail of the
wording of this verse is lost in the Aramaic and Greek.

Healing a Crippled Woman
(Lk. 13:10-17)

Yeshua argues that if it is permitted to water an animal on Shabbat,
it must also be permitted to heal a person. (Lk. 13:14-17) Even the
Qumran Community allowed leading an animal to graze on the Shabbat so
long as the animal was not disciplined:

A man may walk behind an animal to graze it outside his city
up to two thousand cubits…. If it is uncooperative, he should
leave it inside.
(Damascus Document Col. 11 lines 5-7)



Healing a Man with Dropsy
(Lk. 14:1-6)

This passage was discussed above with Matt. 12:11.


Healing a Lame Man
(Jn. 5:1-18)

Jn. 5:10 … It is the Sabbath. It is not permitted to carry your
pallet. - Normally carrying an object would be a violation of
Shabbat (Jer. 17:21-22) however Yeshua's halacha on Shabbat based on
Hosea 6:6 permits acts of CHESED (loving kindness; mercy) on the
Shabbat (see comments to Mt. 12:7 for detailed explanation of this
halacha). Hosea 6:6 uses "knowledge of Elohim" in synonymous poetic
parallelism with CHESED (mercy; loving kindness). Thus if acts of
CHESED are permitted based on Hosea 6:6 (as explained in comments to
Mt. 12:7) then so are acts which express the "knowledge of Elohim.
Since the act of this man who had been lame for 38 years openly
carrying his pallet home declared the power of Elohim and expressed
the "knowledge of Elohim" to all who saw it, it was permitted by
Yeshua's Sabbath halacha.


Circumcision and the Sabbath
(Jn. 7:21-24)

7:23 If a man is circumcised on the day of the Sabbath that the Torah
of Moshe be not loosed, do you murmur against me because I have healed
a whole man on the Sabbath day? (referring back to John 5:1f?)

Similarly we read in the Talmud:

Rabbi Eleazar answered and said: If circumcision
which attaches to one only of the two hundred and
forty eight members of the human body, suspends
the Sabbath, how much more shall [the saving of]
the whole body suspend the Sabbath!
b.Yoma 85b

Yeshua here cites an Oral Law halachah of Pharisaic Judaism which
permits circumcision on the Shabbat. This halachah he is citing is
taught in the Mishna (m.Shabbat 18:3-19:2) and expounded in the Gemara
(b.Shabbat 128a).


Healing a Beggar Born Blind
(Jn. 9:1-41)

9:16 …and he formed clay – The phrase appears only in the Old Syriac
and adds depth of meaning to the Sabbath healing of John 9. In the
Aramaic of the Old Syriac the Pharisaic objection is not that Yeshua
healed the man on the Sabbath, but that he formed clay to do so.
Forming clay (kneading) is one of the categories of work normally
forbidden on the Sabbath (m.Shabbat 7:2).


Conclusion

Yeshua argues that healing on Shabbat must be permitted since the
following items of lesser weight are permitted:

1) The priests "profane" the Sabbath and are blameless. (Mt. 12: ),
that is, the Priests perform the offerings on the Sabbath, thus the
offerings outweigh the Sabbath.

2) "If a man is circumcised on the day of the Sabbath that the Torah
of Moshe be not loosed, do you murmur against me because I have healed
a whole man on the Sabbath day?" (Jn. 7:23)

3) The Sabbath was created for man and not man for the Sabbath (Mk.
2:27-28

4) It is permitted to water an animal. (Lk. 13:14-17) Even the
Qumran Community allowed leading an animal to graze on the Shabbat so
long as the animal was not disciplined:

A man may walk behind an animal to graze it outside his city
up to two thousand cubits…. If it is uncooperative, he should
leave it inside.
(Damascus Document Col. 11 lines 5-7)

5) It is permitted to rescue an animal from a pit. (Mt. 12:11 and Lk.
14:3-6)
This was in direct conflict with Qumran Halachah:

…if it [an animal] falls into a well or a pit, he may not
lift it out on the Sabbath.
(Damascus Document Col. 11 lines13-14)

What can we conclude as Nazarene Halacha regarding healing (and good
deeds) on the Shabbat?

Healing and good deeds are permitted on the Sabbath, if the matter is
of at least as great of halachic weight as: watering an animal;
rescuing an animal from a pit or circumcision. Illnesses Yeshua
specifically includes in that category are: withered hand; blindness;
lameness; issue of blood and dropsy. By making clay on the Sabbath
(Jn. 9) to heal the blind man Yeshua gave us Halachic information to
define the other side of the matter as well. Matters of at least as
low of a halachic weight as making clay, (building and kneading) may
be loosed to heal or for good deeds.
So it would appear to me that the reason for "making the clay", since it was not for YESHUA's personal benefit, it was not considered as a "mal'akhah". I have had those incidents where what I preferred not to do on Shabbat the SPIRIT seemed to allow in order to further study of the Torah, extending to the Tanakh and Writings of the Apostles. Does this sound right or make sense, James? The things allowed could have been used to take care of personal buisiness, but I refused to apply the "liberty" in that way. Thanks for your insights! Shalom, kenny cartwright
Sabbat

I. Establishment

A. Sabbath is "Saturday." - The Sabbath is as old as the creation of the world. Bereshiyt [Genesis] 2:2 establishes that the Sabbath as ordained by ELOHIM is on the seventh day of the week, the one which is called in the Gregorian (Roman) calendar "Saturday." (Gen. 2:2)

B. Sabbath is Holy.- Bereshiyt 2 Verse 3 Shows ELOHIM's attitude about the Sabbath -- He blessed it, and made it "holy" - va�y'qad�deish -- separated for Him. (Gen. 2:3)

C. Sabbath is one of ELOHIM's Moedim (appointed times/feats) (Lev. 23:1-3)

II. Requirements & Prohibitions (justice)

A. Sabbath is for rest.
(Lev. 23:3; Ex. 34:21; Ex. 16:21-30)

B. Remember the Sabbath and Keep it Holy
(Ex. 20:8)

1. A Sacred Assembly is Required. A sacred Assembly is defined as a coming together of people for sacred purposes - i.e., worship of G-d.(Lev. 23:3)

a. The Nazarenes fulfilled this mitzvot by meeting in synagogues and reading the Torah on Shabbat.
(Acts 15:21)

C. No work is to be done on the Sabbath. The word used here which is translated into English as "work" is the Hebrew word m'law�khaw meaning "all and any kind of creative 'generative' endeavor, changes to the environment or any object." (Lev. 23:3; Ex. 34:21; Ex. 16:21-30). How do we define "work"? ELOHIM rested from creative activity on Shabbat (Gen. 2:1-3). In Is. 58:13-14 "work" on the Sabbath seems to mean "doing your will" or "doing your own ways" or "wording words." Thus resting from "work" on the Shabbat means to rest from creative activities and to rest from inflicting our own will on the universe. The word m'law�khaw (work) appears in Ex. 31:3 referring to the work of the artizans in building the tabernacle. This section is immediately followed by a reminder of the Shabbat (Ex. 31:12-17). It seems then that m'lawkhaw in Ex. 31:12-17 must include the meaning of m'lawkhaw in Ex. 31:3. Thus the activities involved in making the Tabernacle are among those not normally permitted on Shabbat. These iclude:

1. Preparation and cooking of food prohibited.
(Lev. 23:3; Ex. 34:21; Ex. 16:21-30)

2. Kindling a fire on the Sabbath is not permitted.
(Ex. 35:3)

3. Carrying anything out of a "domain" is prohibited. "Domain" means your home/property, building/campus, etc. A walled city is considered a single domain.
(Jer. 17:21-22)

D. Do Not Make (or allow) Others Work. Besides your not being allowed to work, you are prohibited from doing anything that will make the following people work. You are not to allow any of these to work:

* Your children
* Any employee or person who would serve you
(this includes any stranger who would serve you)
* Any animal you own.
* Any non-Jewish person in your home.
(Ex. 20:8-10; 23:12; Dt. 5:12-15)

III. When May the Shabbat be Loosed?(mercy)

A. In Matters of KHESED the Shabbat is Loosed. - The sacrifices are of greater weight than Shabbat (Lev. 23:37-38; Mt. 12:5-6) and KHESED is of greater weight that sacrifice (Hosea 6:6; Mt. 12:7). Therefore KHESED is of greater weight than Shabbat. Activities such as making clay (Jn. 9) and reaping (Mt. 12:1-8) are permitted on Shabbat if a matter of KHESED is involved.

1. Good deeds - One is loosed to perform "good" on Shabbat.
(Mt. 12:11-12=Lk. 6:9=Mk. 2:28)

a. One may loose his ox or his ass from the stall and lead him away to watering.
(Lk. 13:15)

b. If a sheep falls into a pit on Shabbat one is loosed to lay hold on it, and lift it out.
(Mt. 12:11-12; Lk. 14:1-6)

c. On the Shabbat a man may be circumcised that the Torah not be broken.
(Jn. 7:21-24)

d. The priests are loosed to sacrifice on Shabbat.
(Lev. 23:37-38; Mt. 12:5-6)

e. Healing is permitted on Shabbat - Since healing is of greater weight than the above "good deeds" healing is also permitted.
(Mt. 12:11-12; Lk. 13:10-17; Lk. 14:1-6; Jn. 7:21-24; Jn. 5:1-17; Jn. 9)

B. Shabbat May be Loosed for matters concerning "the knowledge of ELOHIM" - "The knowledge of ELOHIM is of greater weight than burnt offerings (Hosea 6:6) and burnt offerings are of greater weight than Shabbat (Lev. 23:37-38; Mt. 12:5-6). Therefore "the knowledge of ELOHIM" is of greater weight than Shabbat. Activities such as carrying are therefore permitted on Shabbat in matters pertaining to "the knowledge of ELOHIM" (Jn. 5:1-15). This would include such activities as driving to Shabbat services.

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