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Bath, ME, United States

I believe that those who study God's Torah to discern how to properly apply it in life will be wise and flourish (Psalm 1). When man's teaching negates, contradicts, distorts, or blurs God's instruction, it would be idolatry to place man's thoughts above God's. We must obey God.

In matters of discrepancy, we must obey the legal authority God appointed: Exodus 18:20-22 "Men of substance, God fearers, men of truth, who hate monetary gain" were to be appointed as judges in the land. Moses was to teach the people the laws and teachings and ways of God. And these were to judge justly (Deut 1:16), righteously (Deut 16:18), and carefully (Deut 19:18). In controversy they shall stand as judges, and judge it according to My judgments. They shall keep My laws and My statutes in all My appointed meetings, and they shall hallow My Sabbaths (Ezekiel 44:24).

In matters of discrepancy concerning the law, the matter is to be brought before the priests, the Levites and the judge; they are to discern; and the people who brought the case are to submit to their judgement. To act contrary to their judgement is presumptuous and deserving of death.

I believe God enables the wise and learned men in each generation to make these kinds of judgements; He does so by His spirit that enables them to discern the truth and rightly apply God's instruction without bending it. I think we have, in Oral law, some traditions that very well may have originated at Sinai as the very first judges of Israel walked in their holy calling. We have also a collection of how the sages of the past have considered, and applied God's laws in their generation, in their circumstances, carefully and meticulously.

I see in Scripture, that the Jewish people are chosen by God to be a holy nation, a royal priesthood, holy unto God, not unto man.