One of the unfair charges often leveled against Rabbinic Judaism is that they added to the Word of God by ‘fencing the commandments.’ And, while the charge may be true, it is generally leveled as if no one else is guilty of the same and the Jews have therefore committed some dastardly crime.
While reading a paper written by Messianic Jewish friend and midrash partner, Jonathan Krause, a section really caught my eye. He wrote,
When did sin occur on earth? Many scholars will say that it happened when Adam ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, in Deut. 4:2 G-D tells us not to add or take away from his word(s). Since words were added to what G-D said, it created a door to sin. But, Adam had the roots of sin in his heart when he added to the words of G-D. Perhaps he did not trust G-D in that he had to instruct Eve further by telling her she was not only not to eat of the fruit, but not to touch it.
I looked up from the paper and said, “Adam fenced the commandment!” Continue reading “Fencing the Commandments”