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

by David_Jay 87 Replies latest watchtower beliefs


    From the JW website:

    14 "What if a doctor tells us that we will die if we do not have a blood transfusion? Each person must decide whether to obey God’s law on blood.

    Q:..In Watchtower World......."Who interprets Gods Law?"..



    In over 130 years..

    The WatchTower has "NEVER" gotten anything right..

    Only an Idiot..

    Would take anything the WBT$ says,Seriously..

  • David_Jay

    TD is, by the way, correct.

    I'm Jewish. We don't observe the Law because we believe it will grant us salvation or make us righteous. The Mosaic Law represents the opposite of slavery to the whims of humans, like the taskmasters of Egypt.

    To live under rules made by humans is slavery. To live by laws from God means freedom, at least as far as Jews are concerned when it comes to their practices.

    All branches of Judaism have adjusted the meaning of what observance to the Law requires over the ages. Much of the Law is inapplicable as it involves requisites for keeping crops and livestock, for example. All branches of Judaism agree that the basic meaning of keeping the Law is summed up in treating others as if they were ourselves.

    While the Orthodox may be very exact in trying to keep as much of the Law as possible, the idea is still the same: you must bend with the changing tides, you must adjust to the circumstance, you must let observance of the Law be illuminated with enlightenment.

    JWs apply parts of Scripture as if how they written years ago still apply for all times and as if they were all written at once (instead of the reality that the Torah contains redactions added over the various eras of Jewish history). The JWs read the prohibition on blood, a mere snapshot in time, as incapable of being reinterpreted as human minds become enlightened on medicine and science.

    Many Gentiles are obsessed with using the Law as if it was a taskmaster or so that they can be taskmasters over others, whipping people with its requirements, punishing them with its requisites, hurling its demands at people like judgmental stones. They dishonor the Sacred Text by making it a tool to hurt others, even take the lives of others as the lost life of the woman mentioned in the article.

    People like to do this, use God and Scripture as an excuse for their hatred. Too bad for them.

  • Xanthippe
    'While the Orthodox may be very exact in trying to keep as much of the Law as possible, the idea is still the same: you must bend with the changing tides, you must adjust to the circumstance, you must let observance of the Law be illuminated with enlightenment.'

    Surely we can adjust to circumstances, making enlightened and educated decisions without ancient texts David? To my mind this is how humans grow, by deciding on each situation as it comes along with intelligence and compassion and not by following rules made by those who are not in that situation ( or who've been dead for thousands of years).

  • TheWonderofYou

    When I was a witness I was happy to read that "true christians" are not under the ten commandments and the other "laws". I looked down on all the "imitating christians"," the christianity", the "alleged christians" and Jews who believe they have to follow the ten commandments and to the adventists who thought that the Sabbath has to be observed.

    How MODERN Jehovahs Witnessses teachings were in contrary! They did not hold to such old ideas, i thought, as yes, WE are only under the "law of christ".

    This is from the paradise book, "Are we under the ten commandments".

    And as for the Sabbath I liked how SPIRITUALLY we interpreted the law of the sabbath.

    ...and how oldfashioned the Adventits and Jews looked like. We as Jehovahs witnesses look behind the old Laws and adopt the spiritual sense, we were allowed to LEARN SOMETHING from the laws, i thought, to ask for the sense of the laws and to find the value for us.

    Whereas in the case of the central law about the sabbath we were allowed to learn something of the law because we were imitating Jesus and so happily must not stop working on sabbath, we funnilly enough were not allowed to LEARN SOMETHING from any other important laws, but should read them literally.

    But of course I ignored that in those other cases and liked to stay in the " How better we are than catolics and jews"-mode.


    Instead of asking for the meaning of the prohibition of blood when in the noachidic law eating of flesh was allowed, and to find out that it could be a ban on eating living (with blood in it) parts the animal and a warning against brutallity against animals, I accepted the misinterpretation that blood would be something "untouchable" per se. Later I found out that blood was only mentioned in the genesis because it was understood as seat of life back than. Through the whole jewish history the noachidic commandements, here the ban on "living parts of the animal" was seen as an ethical code for all mankind and for non-Jews seen as possibility to be part of the coming world. Blood by itself was not forbidden for non-Jews according to the noachidic commandments for Bnei Noach, the children of Noah only the eating of living parts of the animal.

    At shavuot Jews celecrate the Thora, the law, what means guidance, Jesus celecrated this festival too.

  • TheWonderofYou

    Modern was also the idea that we JW agreed to Jesus statement, that the whole law was summarized in 2 commandements, you know. These two commandements were the sense of the whole law. And what Jesus taught was nothing else than the common rabbinic interpretation of the law, they always looked for the sense. The man was the center of the law not blind obidience. So i thought that JW were modern but I ignored that they interpreted the prohibition on blood literally.

    But isnt blood the means of atonement? No blood itself is not the means of atonement.

  • TD


    14 "What if a doctor tells us that we will die if we do not have a blood transfusion? Each person must decide whether to obey God’s law on blood. Christians deeply respect God’s gift of life, and we will look for alternative treatments to keep living; but we will not accept a blood transfusion."

    From little things like going 5 miles over the speed limit to big things like robbing a bank everyone decides whether to obey the law or not. Laws don't take away our freewill, they hamper our ability to exercise it by attaching consequences to undesirable choices. Pointing out that Jehovah's Witnesses are no different than anybody else in this respect is a reiteration of the obvious.

    Your quote from the JW website is a good illustration of the mechanical application of law of which I spoke. Do you believe that Jesus of the Bible broke the Sabbath? Why or why not?

  • David_Jay


    Your question is exactly what the article I provided a link to was about and what I have been saying. Adherence to the Law or any ancient text is not all that is needed or the only way to live a successful life. Jews don't believe that.

    It's a bit of a cultural thing, and it took me a few years after leaving the JWs to get it to make sense to me, but the easiest way to make it make sense is to say it somewhat in reverse: Gentiles believe in being enlightened in order to know how to act. Jews search for enlightenment in the ways they act.

    As the article brought out, Jews don't believe in blindly submitting to any Law just because it came down the mountain with Moses. We must search through the Law and find God in it or in any law or philosophy we choose instead. Blind obedience to anything is a return to slavery, and that would be to spit in the face of the God who freed us from slavery. It isn't that one must adhere to old laws for God to come into the world as much as we are responsible for bringing God into the world by the rightly choosing of virtues that serve humanity best.

    In fact, and I say read the article again (or the first time if you haven't) but the breaking of the law tablets is interpreted as a symbol of the need to rewrite the laws that govern us as necessary. Note that Jews accepted as Law not what God wrote on the tablets but the tablets which Moses later inscribed on stone himself.

    Therefore to live a life according to the Law but to refuse to make adjustments and changes as needed, as time moves us forward, is considered by Jews as sinning against the Law. Again the article shows that Jews believe blind adherence to ancient laws is bad. Did you not get this from your reading of the article about what we Jews believe?

  • Doubtfully Yours
    Doubtfully Yours

    At the site TYT, under 'uploads', there is an interesting piece on why the gay men ban on blood donations.

    Read it and weep as I rejoice on what people who will not accept nor give blood will never have to worry about regarding blood testing to see if it is safe to be transfused.

    Not 100% bad, huh?!


  • David_Jay

    IN conclusion, as a Jew I try to appreciate the fact that I can't successfully follow the path set before me on my own, limited to my own convictions.

    I must be challenged to grow by those who see things differently, otherwise I won't progress.

    Honoring my people's history is not done by living in the past or hoping only in an unknown future, but by being in the here and now.

    I can't respect my culture's past by demanding that it's ancient ways must be kept to the letter or dismissed entirely. And I don't have any respect for what it means to be a Jew if I don't respect other cultures, views, and religions (or those paths which are not religious).

    And if there is an eternal tomorrow, I won't make it there by just listening to myself or thinking I or my people have the only truths that will get me there. If I believe I have been put here on this earth by a God, then I must also accept that he put me among others with differences for a reason.

    This is very different from what I was taught about what it meant to be a Jew or obey God's laws from the Watchtower. I already tried their way and have seen that people die, spiritually and physically, from following that way.

  • myelaine

    dear David_Jay...

    You said, "In fact, though it tells its readers that Christians have a greater tabernacle than the Jews ever had, it never mentions the Temple, the center of Jewish worship, never even using the word or describing the grand centerpiece of Judaism."...I'm sorry, you're right. I wasn't even thinking about the epistle to the Hebrews in my comment but, the ONE greater temple envisioned for BOTH jews and christians.


    "Even though he later made a mess of things when he attempted to leave off from eating kosher among Gentiles (Galatians 2.11-14)"...I don't think paul attempted to teach leaving off eating kosher. Peter did say that in all his letters paul teaches things hard to understand and that some twist his teachings to their own destruction. There is: Numbers 15:16


    this article may be of interest to you. It contrasts the burden and yoke of what was rabbinc judaism at the time of Christ and the yoke and burden that Christ asked man to take upon himself.

    love michelle

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