MembersMy Yoke Is Easy

Christians who are not obligated to fulfill the commandments given to the people of Israel usually think that Jesus’ epithet “for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” means that sacrifice has been replaced with mercy.

 

By Tsvi Sadan |
THE TORAH IS THE WORD OF GOD but many rabbinical interpretations have become irrelevant Photo: Gershon Elinson/Flash90

For Jews, however, it means something entirely different. The notion of terminating any of the divine commandments is unthinkable. After all, King David said that the commandments are perceived not as a burden, but a delight (Psalm 119:35). So, what is left to consider as a burden are the rulings of the sages which have been accumulating through the ages.

 

These rulings, generally referred to as Halacha, are meant for good. One indispensable example regards the Sabbath which Jews would not know how to “keep” if it weren’t for the sages, who labored to determine what constitutes work and what “rest” really means. Over time, keeping of the Sabbath has evolved greatly. The prohibition against lighting a fire, for example, has evolved into the prohibition against using electricity on the Sabbath day.

 

With time, and for many good reasons, the Halacha itself has become non-negotiable, and thereby, in many instances, increasingly less relevant. Using...

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