It’s the middle of the night. I’m driving in the middle of nowhere – I mean nothing in sight. I come to an intersection with a red light. What should I do?
The difference between the spirit of the law and the letter of the law is like the difference between the two reasons I can have to follow the traditions of my elders. On the one hand, I can be traditional purely for tradition’ sake, on the other I can to be making my own choices per the situation in which I find myself. Not coincidentally, if those choices are rational, I would not be surprised to find them traditional.
I mean, there’s a reason for the tradition, right? By thinking upon it and knowing myself well, I can understand what that is.
I think we humans too often do things just because that’s the way they’ve always been done, instead of deciding and learning the “why” for ourselves, especially in how we are “religious.” Not all things are as simple as the choice to sit in the middle of nowhere at a red light, waiting for it to change.
Matthew 15:2 GWT
“Why do your disciples break the traditions of our ancestors? They do not wash their hands before they eat.”
Q: Why do we wash our hands?