A Rabbi 's Main Duty Essay

794 Words 4 Pages
In Rabbinic Judaism, a rabbi’s main duty was to interpret religious text. Similar to how judges interpret the U.S. constitution today, a rabbi formulated his interpretations on texts directly derived from God and attempted to perceive how the text was applicable to a Jew’s daily life. Therefore, the claim, “Despite the theological claims of the Jewish tradition, it is actually not God who legislates Rabbinic Judaism, but the Rabbis,” is false because rabbis focused on making God a constant participant in the process of legislating and interpreting texts. In the procedure of interpreting a religious text, the rabbis always kept God as their central focus as they deciphered. To accomplish this, the rabbis essentially based their interpretations on the five scrolls of the law given by Moses from God, the prophetical books, and the sacred writings, which were all some form of direct literature from God. In time, the rabbis created the Midrash, which became a line-by-line interpretation of the religious texts from God. Through this line-by-line scrutiny, it allowed the rabbis to closely examine each word and as the rabbis begin to interpret, it would allow them to not sway much from God’s original meaning of the text. The rabbinic writers were clear that it was not their task to “write the Bible… [Rabbis] considered its text unalterable— but rather to understand the significance of what the text contained” (Jewish Traditions, 66). In other words, since the religious text was…

Related Documents