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Patience, Internet Researcher
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Experience:  MA Clinical Psychology; BS Health Sciences
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In the JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions

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In the JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions, by Ronald L. Eisenberg, nothing is said about dividing the law into moral, civil, and ceremonial. He states 613 laws of Moses, but what categories do these fall into? Are they Moral? or Civil? or Ceremonial?


Addition to my question:
My question was a theological question. I need to know the official Jewish view on aspects of the law (Biblical, or Mosaic). Please let me know if my question is not appropriate for your service. I also need to know if I can use your answer as a reference on my website and a book I hope to publish soon.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

When looking over your categories for legal services, I may have misunderstood what you are doing. I don't think that a lawyer can answer the question. I think what I need is a well educated rabbi, one who has a theological background.


Present day views of the "Law of Moses" may be quite varied. What would be most helpful would be the views of people in the first century -- particularly before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.


Thanks. I can wait.


Your question is not in the legal category, but in the General category.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I found this information on this website:

This is from a Presbyterian Minister. He believes that Jewish law is divided into three distinct parts: Moral, Civil, and Ceremonial.


I hope to get an official Jewish statement on this same issue: especially a view of Jewish belief in the first century, before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.




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According to Rabbi Reuven Lauffer:

The body of the Commandments is split up into three different categories - Statutes, Judgments and Commandments. The Statutes are those Commandments that cannot be explained in simply logical terms. The classic example of a Statute is the Law of the Red Heifer as it defies human logic. Judgments are all the Laws of Torts and Damages, financial dealings and the like. Commandments are actually called Eduyot in the Torah and they are the Commandments that serve as witness to God's creation of the world. They include the Law to keep the Shabbat and Festivals.

According to Dr. Kerry M. Olitzky, the Executive Director of the
Jewish Outreach Institute, who is a more conservative:

The standard division is simply made into categories of negative and positive commandments. There is no consideration in the tradition for the other categories you mention. This is simply because the tradition considers God as the Source of the commandments so that they all have ethical qualities to them.

Jewish theology is obviously complex. Let me know if you need further information and I will try to put you in touch with the appropriate referrals. Please be sure to rate my response using the star system so that I can be credited for my time. After that, I will I will be happy continue our discussion with any additional information needed.

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Experience: MA Clinical Psychology; BS Health Sciences
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