Think for Yourself: Reform Judaism Uses JW Blood Issue For Shavuot

by David_Jay 87 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • David_Jay

    As the Jewish holy day of Shavuot (Pentecost) begins this weekend, the Reform Judaism site publishes an interesting article entitled "Judaism Teaches: Question Authority, Think for Yourself."

    The article employs a Jewish doctor's recollection of a JW patient who refused blood and died as an example of how both religious traditions greatly differ on how they see and apply God's law.

    Shavuot is the day Jews recall God's giving the Law to Israel. The article is significant in that it demonstrates how Jews see the giving of the Law as a call to questioning authority, including divine revelation itself whereas the death of the JW patient is contrasted as a slavish interpretation that misses the point behind Jewish Scripture.

    For more see the article at:

  • GrreatTeacher

    Interesting read. Thanks for posting it.

  • Londo111

    Awesome interpretation.

  • TD

    Interesting. Thanks David

    Even in mainstream Judaism, there is a huge difference of perception vis-à-vis the Law.

    In Pauline theology, the Law brings death and is ultimately condemnatory because no man could keep it.

    In Judaism, it is a priceless gift from a loving father and keeping it will make you happier, healthier and live longer.

    It is a disaster when a Christian religion which holds he former viewpoint attempts to interpret the Law because the trammel point (i.e. That death is never the natural result of keeping the Law) is absent.

  • Fisherman

    Isn't that something: Judaism purporting to show Jehovah's Witnesses how to correctly interpret the Bible!

  • GrreatTeacher

    Isn't that something: Jehovah's Witnesses purporting to tell Jews how to interpret Jewish law.

  • TD

    --Yes. Arrogant indeed for people who have lived the Law every waking moment of their lives to have the temerity to believe that they would know more about it than a Christian group that couldn't name the most basic of all mitzvot. What hubris!

    All humor aside, Fisherman, my point was only that the two approaches don't mix. Judaism and Christianity reach virtually identical moral conclusions, but they get there in very different ways.

    Those with an interest in the subject might find this article illuminating:

    Dental Emergencies on the Sabbath

    You will notice that the reasoning is virtually identical to that of Jesus of the Bible. --And exactly opposite of the faulty reasoning of JW's on blood.

  • ScenicViewer


    In Judaism, it [the Law] is a priceless gift from a loving father and keeping it will make you happier, healthier and live longer.

    ...the trammel point (i.e. That death is never the natural result of keeping the Law) is absent.

    What an incredibly simple yet profound point. The Law promoted life and happiness. Death only came from violating it. The Jehovah's Witness interpretation of the Law is just the opposite because it results in death often. That alone is a tremendous eye-opener to how wrong Watchtower's blood ban is.

  • Fisherman

    ....people who have lived the Law every waking moment of their lives.

    What you are describing are the Jews of the Bible that loved Jehovah's law-and not the Babylonians walking around today with "Shabbes keys" within their eruvs, mobbing, maiming, blinding, spitting at, and encroaching on the freedoms of Jehovah's Witnesses (missionaries).

    It is well established by Christian interpretation of the Bible that the law ends in Christ, the seed of Abraham ("to your seed I will give the land." -as explained in the "Epistles.") The "jews," that is to say, the natural descendants of Jacob(and Rahab, etc), play no other role than that- a maginificent one indeed- (write the Bible and mother the Messiah.) in God's books. Modern Halachic jews in-spite of their adherence to their version of the law of Moses (no to brother-in-law marriage- yes to pilegesh depending on the Rabbi. ) have no role in God's wok. It is purely academic how Judaism today interpret the Bible, they have no authority and no Holy Spirit. The JW proclaim both. Judaism's modern version of Israel is a Republic who's Shomer is nuclear weapons and UN-hamstrung horses (mute ones) -and not Jehovah of Armies.

    Anyway, that is my just view. We will see who's view prevails.

  • David_Jay
    A little note that will change things up a bit on what's recently been said here:

    This article appeared on the Reform Judaism site. Reform Jews are quite different from what TD and Fisherman have written about.

    For instance: The article on dental emergencies on Shabbat never come up in Reform Judaism, though they keep Sabbath with much celebration.

    The article is written from the standpoint of a very advanced and academically critical application of Torah. It is one that states that literal application of Biblical principles is tantamount to idol worship and ignorance.

    For those interested, the Reform Judaism approach to Torah is found in The Torah: A Modern Commentary, which includes a revised NJPS English translation side-by-side with the Hebrew text.

    As for Fisherman's comments, about the natural Jews playing no further part in the economy of salvation, that is now a limited view shared by JWs and a minority of Christian movements. For instance, in 2015 the Catholic Church has formally brought an end of supersessionist views and proselytizing of the Jews, declaring that they will remain God's covenant people for all time.

    They are not the only Christian denomination to come to this view, either.

    As for me and my family, we are Post-denominational Jews who share an approach almost identical to Reform Judaism.

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