|Understanding Torah Society - part 4 - Public Goods-public health
Vayyiqra (Leviticus) 13:2
"When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, or a scab, or a bright spot, and it becomes in the skin of his flesh the plague of leprosy, then he shall go in to Aharon the priest, or to one of his sons the priests:"
To refresh our memory the six public goods as commonly seen by government today are 1) order; 2) defense; 3) public health; 4) infrastructure; 5) education; and 6) social welfare. So far we have examined order and defense. This study will examine public health. The idea of public health is that it is the concern of government to keep everyone healthy, but is that something that Torah actually calls for? We have already examined in Scripture the idea that a true Torah society operates and exists without any human government (at least none that anyone has ever seen). Then how does the idea of public health fit into a Torah society? Let us begin with a closer examination of the above passage.
Many English translations of the above passage render the last part of the verse as the man with the spot in his skin "shall be brought" unto the priest. However, literally the Hebrew reads that "he shall go in" to the priest rather than being brought. What the verse is actually teaching is that each person has a personal responsibility for his own health and well-being.
The rest of this chapter is devoted to describing what such a man is supposed to do to take charge of his own health care. The priest is simply overseeing the process to make sure that all is done in an orderly fashion and in particular to confirm the healing which shall come from YHWH when the man obeys YHWH. The responsibility for an individual's health rests solely upon the individual.
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|Question and Answer
I have a clear peace in my heart about the division between the 10 commandments and the other parts of the law. We may not see eye to eye, but I have studied Scripture on this deeply and see there does appear to be a clear division that as of now my spirit is at peace with. I have often felt though that evangelicals are inconsistent with this as they appear to hold strongly to 9 of the original 10 commandments but are very casual on the 4th (the Sabbath). I understand their "reasoning" (I am saying "their" as though I am not an evangelical but I do stray from the mainstream on many points this being one of them), but I disagree with the casual nature with which "we" (evangelicals) seem to treat the Sabbath observance. Now I know Jesus gave an answer to the Pharisees with an example of where David clearly broke the Torah and took the grain of the temple to feed his soldiers and Jesus says "the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath". I don't agree with most evangelicals who say this proves Jesus was doing away with strict Sabbath observance, but it does raise an interesting question of why Jesus holds up a clear example of breaking the law when discussing the Sabbath. I am struggling to find the right balance between rigid, Pharisaical observance and the too-casual attitude of most evangelicals in regards to the Sabbath. I wanted to get your thoughts on what you felt Jesus was teaching there by holding up an example of breaking the law when discussing observing the Sabbath.
I find a similar "casual disregard" type of attitude with the Messianics I have dealt with in regards to some parts of the law. I mean while most are rigid observers of the dietary laws, Sabbath, etc, there are other parts which are undeniably there which are NOT kept. These include taking the life of those who break the Sabbath (Ex 31:15), destroying idols (Dt. 12:2), killing false prophets (Dt. 18:22), taking money from a guy who rapes one's daughter and then giving her to him in marriage (eek!)(Ex. 22:15-16, Dt. 22:29), etc. So if the belief is that ALL of Torah is the perfect will of God for how we are to live and it is ALL for today, why are these harsher parts of the law seemingly excluded from the observance of those who claim to keep all of Torah? Again this is not an accusation and please don't hear that in my tone, it is a sincere observation and question and I would love to hear your thoughts on this as the answer I believe will have bearing on my consideration of question 1 and how I reconcile the inconsistency in my own practice.
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