Rabbinical Authority (6 March, 2013, ADAR 24, 5773)
Rabbinical Consensus is a continuation of the authority given to the Sanhedrin by Moses.
At 07:00 PM 3/5/2013, AC wrote:
Re Brit-Am Now no. 2023 Ten Tribes Studies.
#3. Calendar Hoaxes
First, I would like to thank you for your studies.
Could you please clarify for me your comment about the Rabbis being given authority as seen in Deuteronomy 17. Which particular verse (s) are you speaking of?
Thanks for your help.
Hebrew Nations Reply:
First of all we are concerned with the Ten Tribes and the Three Rs: Research; Revelation (Recognition); Reconciliation. We are not out to spread our own religion. It happens however that since we are concerned with Biblical and related matters that religious points spring to the surface.
Joseph and Judah will be reconciled. Primary steps should be taken already.
It would help if it be realized from the start that the authority of Judah in large measure is that of the Rabbis and the Rabbis received it from Moses.
Concerning Rabbinical Authority we quoted from the following verses:
24 So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26 So they judged the people at all times; the hard cases they brought to Moses, but they judged every small case themselves.
The Sanhedrin: 70 Elders
16 So the LORD said to Moses: Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 Then I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone.
Contemporary On-Going Decision-Making Ability
8 If a matter arises which is too hard for you to judge, between degrees of guilt for bloodshed, between one judgment or another, or between one punishment or another, matters of controversy within your gates, then you shall arise and go up to the place which the LORD your God chooses. 9 And you shall come to the priests, the Levites, and to the judge there in those days, and inquire of them; they shall pronounce upon you the sentence of judgment. 10 You shall do according to the sentence which they pronounce upon you in that place which the LORD chooses. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they order you. 11 According to the sentence of the law in which they instruct you, according to the judgment which they tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left from the sentence which they pronounce upon you. 12 Now the man who acts presumptuously and will not heed the priest who stands to minister there before the LORD your God, or the judge, that man shall die. So you shall put away the evil from Israel. 13 And all the people shall hear and fear, and no longer act presumptuously.
We see from the above that the Bible enabled the delegation of authority. We see from Deuteronomy 17 that even if one thought the decisions of the religious authority were mistaken they still had to be obeyed.
"Collective Responsibility and Rabbinical Authority" by Yair Davidiy
People who believe in the Bible on the whole accept its authority. We had Moses, followed by the Prophets. In the time of Moses there were seventy elders who were later known as the Sanhedrin. This institution continued through the exile of the Ten Tribes and up until the exile of the Jews to Babylon. The Jews returned to Judah and were headed by Ezra and Nehemiah. A new central body was set up known as "HaKenesset HaGadolah" or Great Assembly. The present parliament of the State of Israel is named Ha-Knesset (The Knesset) in honor of the original body of returnees from Babylon. In English Translations the Great Assembly is sometimes called the Great Synagogue. The Great Assembly originally numbered 120 but as members died out or retired they were not replaced until the number had diminished to 70. The number was actually 71 when the President (Ha-Nasi i.e. The Prince) is included. This reflected the situation in the time of Moses when in addition to the 70 elders Moses would also participate bringing the number up to 71.
The Great Assembly included amongst its members the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
We thus have an overlap between the Sanhedrin and the Prophets.
The Romans destroyed Judah, the Jews were scattered, and the Sanhedrin came to an end.
Physical former members of the Sanhedrin remained. They taught, had students and followers, and carried on the tradition. These became the Rabbis. Throughout the centuries Jews all over the world referred religious questions to the Rabbis. The Sanhedrin may no longer exist but its direct successor and the next best thing is Rabbinical Consensus.
Rabbis discuss matters with each other, work within generally recognized hierarchies, decide matters through precedents, and through set laws of deduction based on Biblical Passages in the light of tradition.
Despite living over widely separate distances, having no coercive powers, and belonging to an intellectual, disputive, argumentative, and contrary nation, Rabbinical Law all over the world is surprisingly consistent.
This to my mind is evidence of Divine Providence.