How is the Law the knowledge of good and evil?.
Is the good and evil related to being in covenant relation with God?
So it is good by using it only if you are in an unbroken covenant?
Example: The Israelites broke the covenant (see prophet Jeremiah) [Sic. The Hebrews are described as breaking the rules of the covenant, but they did not reject the covenant as this implies.]. They await a new covenant not like the Law of Moses [New? or Renewed?]. If the Law is the old covenant, is it evil to keep the Law?
Is that what the knowledge of good and evil means?
Law used in covenant and used out of covenant results in good and evil?
All Blessings upon the Israel of God
The source of good and evil has been the subject of debate of theologians and philosophers for time immemorial. However, Judaism's position on this issue has been crystal clear, that it is G-d that is the source of all good and evil:
"I (G-d) form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I am the LORD, that doeth all these things" (Is. 45:7)
Furthermore, G-d makes it very clear that His commandments, what you refer to as the Law, are the objective expression of that good and evil (Dt. 30:8-20) and that the commandments, along with fear of G-d, are the sum composite of the value of human existence (Ec. 12:13-14). This position is very consistent with the philosophies of Nietzsche and Sartre who say explicitly that without the existence of G-d that there is no objective basis for morality.
The covenant that the Jews have with G-d is eternal and cannot be overturned. Each successive covenant, first Noah, then Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaakov. G-d says multiple times that the Commandments are binding throughout the generations. The commandment of the Sabbath is called an eternal covenant (Ex. 31:16-17) and the Torah says that the commandment of tzitzit (fringes) will be observed throughout the generations (Nm. 15:38). Other references to the eternity of the Jewish covenant can be found in Deuteronomy 29:28, Psalms 111:7-8, and elsewhere. Rabbi Tovia Singer has an excellent article debunking the idea that the New Covenant mentioned in Jeremiah 31:31-34 overturns or dismisses G-d's older Covenant that He established with the Jews at Mt. Sinai.
Beyond the idea that the Bible is clear that the covenant between G-d and Israel will never be overturned, the insight that the existentialist philosophers give us about the nature of right and wrong also make the idea that G-d would overturn his covenant with the Jews nonsensical. If we accept that an objective concept of good and evil can only exist if there is a G-d, as Isaiah states, it stands to reason that G-d would let the word know exactly what constitutes good and evil, especially if He plans on judging human behavior for the purposes of reward and punishment. The Revelation at Mt. Sinai completes the picture: a Creator, a created world, an objective morality, and a detailed breakdown of what exactly constitutes right and wrong. For G-d to overturn the Covenant and institute a whole new system, especially if not done in the same grand public fashion as the Revelation at Mt. Sinai (around two million people!), would make G-d a trickster god. If G-d is in fact a trickster god, who's to say that He hasn't changed the rules 1,000 times since the Torah was given? If G-d can promise an eternal covenant and then just change it, we are left with the same existential doubts as if G-d didn't exist at all.
I think it is safe to say that the Law as given to the Jews is perfectly fine to follow, which is why Jews have continued to follow it for the past 3,300 years.
When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, they became aware of themselves as human beings -- with the knowledge of both good and evil. On the one hand, they now knew that they needed clothing on their bodies, but at the same time, were punished by God because they had not followed God's commands by being exiled from the Garden of Eden. Rabbi Harold Kushner, in some of his books has indicated that the Garden of Eden story is really the actualization of the human potential. We are NOT like the animal kingdom, even if we may be classified as part of it scientifically. We are different precisely because we think, like God does and can choose between right and wrong, good and evil. The choice is ours.
The Torah is the covenant between God and the Jewish people, containing 613 specific laws governing all aspects of life. Granted, a number of these commandments, at the present time are "on hold" because most Jews don't live in the Land of Israel (for example, the Laws of the Shemitah/the Sabbatical year - don't apply to those of us living outside of the Land) and we don't have a Temple in order to offer sacrifices which were commanded to us primarily in the book of Leviticus. We read the Biblical verses as part of religious worship in order to remember these commandments which we cannot actually fulfill. Interestingly, the Torah's handles are called "The Atzei Hayyim - the Trees of Life" - the very thing that God didn't want Adam and Eve to have access to after eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Through the study and observance of Torah, we strive to attain eternal life of the spirit, since we know that all human beings ultimately expire and die.
The Torah can never be overturned or changed. This is a principle enunciated by Maimonides (1135-1204) and is recited every Friday evening (and by many Jews, every day) when reciting the Yigdal prayer which indicates "Our God will neither change nor modify His law; its place remains established for eternity" (translation from Sim Shalom Sabbath and Festival Prayer Book). The overturning of the laws of the Torah creates a different religion from that of Judaism. We believe in "a maximum of interpretation - but with a minimum of revelation." Hence, Judaism is the religion of the Torah (Five Books of Moses) as interpreted by the Rabbinic tradition.
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