That seems to be an easy question to answer, doesn’t it? I would think we are all thinking the same thing: God gave the Torah to the Jews so they could know the difference between sin and righteous living.
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That’s true; in fact, according to Shaul, the Torah created sin (Romans 7) and without it, we wouldn’t know what was right or wrong.
Now, as true as the above statement is, I would call it a Christian view because many Christians believe the Torah is just for the Jews. Which is, of course, absolutely wrong.
A more Jewish view, if you will, is that God gave the Torah to the Jews, who he chose to teach it to the rest of the world. That is why God tells Moses in Exodus 19:6 that he is choosing the Jewish people to be his nation of priests to the world. That statement can only mean that the Torah is for everyone, not just for Jews.
It is the same thing as when someone learns all they can about mathematics and after becoming an expert in performing mathematical calculations and finding solutions, becomes a teacher of mathematics so that others can learn how to do it.
God chose the Jewish people, descendants of Abraham, to be trained in the way God wants us to worship him and treat each other so that we could then teach the world through example and education.
What went wrong was when men invented religion.
The Torah has always been referred to as the first 5 books of the Bible, and most often misinterpreted to mean “laws.” In truth, the word “Torah” means teaching. It is more than laws, it is a constitution, a marriage certificate (in Hebrew, called a Ketubah) and it is also a penal code establishing the rights, and legal remedies for the abrogation of those rights, of each citizen of the Torah-observant community.
The real answer to the question “Why did God give us the Torah” is so that we could live long, happy lives in the land we possess. This is told to us more than 4 times in the book of Deuteronomy, alone. When we follow the instructions God gave in the Torah, then we will live secure, happy, bountiful, blessed, long and protected lives in the land we possess. For modern people, that means where you live, now.
The next question is “What books make up the Torah, really?”, and that will be for my next message.
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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch Ha Shem!