In a recent blog I wrote about how Yeshua, the Talmud and the Ancient Nazarene Commentary on Isaiah all interpret Isaiah 29 as a prophecy of an apostasy of the house of Judah that would result in Judah producing errant halacha. As the Talmud says “They will not find a clear halachah...” (b.Shab. 138b)
In aanother recent blog I gave an example of this by comparing the Rabbinic halacha concerning Sabbath to the Nazarene halacha. The Rabbinic halacha allows the Sabbath to be loosed only if a human life is potentially in danger (m.Yoma 8:6). The Mishnah goes so far as to say that a broken bone or dislocated joint should not be reset on the Sabbath ((m.Shabbat 22:6). By contrast Nazarene halacah looses the Sabbath for any act of CHESED (mercy or loving kindness) even if no human life is in danger.
In this blog I want to show that when contrasted with Nazarene halacha, the Rabbinic halacha concerning divorce is unconscionable. Under Rabbinic Halacha, a man can divorce a woman for any reason or even for no reason at all. The Talmud specifically says that a man can divorce a woman because she spoiled his dinner or simply because he finds another woman more attractive. As we read in the Mishnah:
The House of Shamai say,
"A man should divorce his wife only because he has found grounds for it in unchastity, since it is said, "Because he has found in her an unclean matter in anything (Dt. 24:1)"
And the House of Hillel say,
"Even if she spoiled his dish, since it is said, "Because he has found in her an unclean matter in anything (Dt. 24:1)"
Rabbi Akiba says,
"Even if he found someone else prettier than she, since it is said, "And it shall be if she find no favor in his eyes (Dt. 24:1)"
The Rabbinic Halacha follows the House of Hillel and also the position of Rabbi Akiva. Moreover Rabbinic halacha requires divorce in some circumstances: when the wife commits a sexual transgression, a man must divorce her, even if he is inclined to forgive her. The Talmud says of the woman who has acted unchastely “Such a one it is a religious duty to divorce, as it says, because he hath found some unseemly thing in her.” (b.Gittin 90b)
The Pharisees were divided on the issue of divorce. The House of Shammai allowed divorce only in the case of an “unclean matter” while the House of Hillel allowed divorce even if the wife only spoiled a dish, and Akiva stretched this to allow a man to divorce his wife because he found a prettier one (m.Gittin 9:10)
The Essenes said the Pharisees had fallen into a trap of Belial saying:
They are caught in…Fornication, by taking two wives
in their lifetime although the Principle of Creation (Yesod HaBriah)
is “male and female He Created them” (Gen. 1:27) and those who
entered the ark “went into the ark two by two” (Gen. 7:9). Concerning
the Leaders it is written “he shall not multiply wives to himself” (Dt. 17:17)
(Damascus Document 4,20-5,2)
The Essenes were accusing the Pharisees of effectively practicing polygamy in allowing divorce so easily, and in doing so, violating the Yesod HaBriah.
No doubt Messiah is citing Yesod HaBriah (The Principle of Creation) when he has the following halachic debate with a group of Pharisees:
19:3 And the P’rushim approached him, and tempted him, saying, “Is it right for a man to put away his wife for every cause?”
19:4 And he answered and said to them: "Have you not read that he who made man the beginning, 'made them male and female' (Gen. 1:27)
19:5 And said, 'Wherefore shall a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh' (Gen. 2:24)
19:6 And now then, they are no more two but one flesh only. What therefore Elohim has joined together man cannot separate."
19:7 But they said, "And why then did Moshe then command to give a bill of divorcement, and to put her away
if she was not pleasing in his sight?” (Deut. 24:1, 3)
19:8 And he answered them and said, "Because Moshe on account of the hardness of your hearts, allowed you to put away your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
19:9 And I tell you, every man that has put away, or shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and takes another, commits adultery. And whoever takes the divorced also commits adultery.
Yeshua sides with the Essenes and with the House of Shammai Pharisees on this issue. A man may only divorce his wife for Z’NOT (wandering, fornication) in keeping with the understanding that “unclean matter” in Deut. 24 must refer to uncastity and not just any matter at all. Moreover Yeshua argues (in agreement with the Essenes) that divorce is not what YHWH desires, because it runs contrary to the principle that “male and female” are made one by YHWH through marriage.
The Rabbinic halacha that allows a man to divorce his wife for any trivial reason such as spoiling dinner, or even for any reason which is no fault of her own, such as he found a prettier girl, and also requires a man to divorce an wife who has made some sexual indiscretion, even if he is inclined to forgive her and remain married, is unconscionable. It is a perfect example of the words "They will not find a clear halachah..." (b.Shab. 138b) and of the apostasy of Judah prophesied of in Isaiah 29. The Nazarene halacha as taught by Yeshua is much superior.
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