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I have heard that when the mashiach comes, we won’t be obligated to keep the mitzvoth. If this is so, doesn't this go against the Torah?

The Torah says that we will always keep the mitzvoth forever. An idea stating we won't have to keep the mitzvoth when mashiach comes would seem to be in contrast to what the Torah says.

  • Related possible dupe: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/37379/8775. Also related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/55141/8775. – mevaqesh Dec 20 '17 at 1:30
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    The days of Moshiach vary over time. But like Rambam explains in chap. 11&12 of the laws of Kings & their wars, initially Moshiach will bring everyone, Jews and gentiles to serve G-d completely including in regard to mitzvah performance. – Yaacov Deane Dec 20 '17 at 1:46
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    I would suggest watching the following video from Rabbi Yossi Paltiel of the "Stump the Rabbi" series: youtube.com/watch?v=0v16uoXGzF4 – ezra Dec 20 '17 at 6:20
  • @ezra Watched the video. For a soundbite, it gets the message across. But it can't replace actually learning those 2 talks, and several Chassidic discourses that go with them. – Yaacov Deane Dec 20 '17 at 18:47
  • @YaacovDeane Of course not. But I can't summarize those maamarim in a comment, and it would take quite some time to summarize them into an answer. (Glad you liked the video. If you liked that one, then you might want to check out the other videos they've released. They're fantastic.) – ezra Dec 20 '17 at 18:57
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The Gemara (Nidda 61b) cites R' Yosef, that מצות בטילות לעתיד לבא.

ת"ר בגד שאבד בו כלאים הרי זה לא ימכרנו לעובד כוכבים ולא יעשנו מרדעת לחמור אבל עושה ממנו תכריכין למת. אמר רב יוסף זאת אומרת מצות בטלות לעתיד לבא

On the other hand, one of the 13 Principles of Faith proclaim our unwavering belief that 'זאת התורה, לא תהא נחלפת ולא תהא תורה אחרת' - The Torah in the form that we have it is complete, and will never be changed or replaced ever.

There are numerous methods in the Rishonim how to explain that statement of R' Yosef in Nidda - how literally to take it, and which period in the future it is discussing.

When

  1. Tosfos (Nidda 61b) - it is referring to the period of Techias Hameisim; אין בין .העולם הזה לימות המשיח אלא שעבוד מלכויות בלבד

  2. Rashba (ibid, Berachos 12a) - there will never be a period where the Torah is not exactly as we have it. The Gemara means that dead people are not obligated in mitzvos while in the grave. (This seems to be the opinion of the Rambam [Kilayim 10.25].)

  3. Ritva (explained in Kovetz Shiurim V2 §28(?)) - there is no specific period where the Torah will not be relevant; rather, death removes the obligation of mitzvos from a person, even if after Resurrection. (If one were to die now and be resurrected, the same law would apply)

  4. Maharitz Chiyas (Nidda 67b) - this is a temporary dispensation for the momentary event of Resurrection, but immediately thereafter the Mitzvos will return as we have them. (It will be a 'הוראת שעה')

    (5. Ramban (Devarim, 30:6) - it is referring to the Yemois Hamoshiach. The Ramban does not refer directly to our Gemara, although he discusses the idea of mitzvos and aveiros not existing after Yemois Hamoshiach, due to lack of yezter hara.)

Which mitzvos

  1. The Sdei Chemed (מערכת המ' כלל רי"ח) quotes Nachlas Binyamin and Noam Megadim that only negative commandments (מצוות לא תעשה) will become permitted, but positive obligations (מצוות עשה) will always continue.

  2. Others (בקונטרס דברי חכמים סימן נ"ג) say the oposite; negative commandments will stay, but the positive commandments will become obsolete. The Yaa

  3. Yaaros Devash (ח"ב דף נ"א) says that all mitzvos will remain, but in the form of אינו מצווה ועושה - voluntary commandments rather than obligatory.

  4. According to the opinions of the Rashba, Rambam, and Maharitz Chijas (cited earlier), no mitzvas will become obsolete.

Who

According to the Ritva, it will only be from those who had previously died and were Resurrected. According to the other opinions, even those still alive will be included in this halacha.

[There are numerous Gemaras which support that during the Days of Mashiach, the obligations will still be relevant. (See Beitza 5 - שמא יבנה המקדש מיד חיישינן. Talmudic sources also write that we will give Terumah to Ahron HaKohen after he is resurrected, alluding to the continuity of Mitzvos Teruma and Kehuna. See also Zevachim 45 הלכתא למשיחא, with Keren Orah.]

  • It could be that without a Yetzer Hora, all mitzvos are automatically considered eino metzuve v'oiseh, because the whole reason there is more schar for obligations is because there is more of an automatic resistance to obligations than to voluntary service. – chortkov2 May 20 at 16:33
  • This answer was from a halachic viewpoint. There is an entire world of machshavic and hashkafic references to this, based on the world of gilui and the abolishion of evil, and idea of tikkun in a world of sholem. – chortkov2 May 20 at 19:30
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The answer to 'זאת התורה לא תהא מוחלפת ולא תהא תורה אחרת' (see Rambam's commentary on Mishnah Sanhedrin 10:1 "היסוד התשיעי ") is thus:

Anything which is in the Torah will not be changed.

Some changes, however, can be found in the Torah. These changes are not contrary to the Torah-as-we-have-it, but are part and parcel of the Torah-as-we-have-it.

Like a man dying can permit his wife to the world/his brother, like shechita can permit an animal to be eaten, the Torah can allude to various situations under which prohibitions will no longer apply.

As long as there is a source in our Torah, it doesn't constitute a change or replacement of our Torah.

  • Do you have a source for this? This doesn’t sound like what the Gemara means at all (the one that you yourself cite in your other answer). – DonielF May 20 at 21:05
  • @DonielF: This answer does not attempt to explain the gemara, it explains why it does not circumvent one of 13 Principles of Faith - that the Torah won't every change. This answer explains that something which has a source in the Torah isn't a change; it is a kiyum of the Torah. – chortkov2 May 20 at 21:23
  • And where in the Torah does it say that Mitzvos will be abrogated in the times of Mashiach? – DonielF May 20 at 21:25
  • That depends on how you explain the halacha. According to the Ritva and Rashba, the source is מתים נעשים חפשי - כיון שמת נעשה חפשי מן המצוות - talking either to dead people or to people who have died, even if they are now resurrected... According to the Maharitz Chiyas, it will be a Horaas Shaah, not a change in Torah-as-we-know-it. – chortkov2 May 20 at 21:29
  • Then shouldn’t this be an addendum to your other answer, rather than a stand-alone answer? – DonielF May 20 at 21:30
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Here is an answer asserted by Rabbi Manis Friedman (YouTube link, 8m : 38s).
We will keep the mitzvos but in a totally different spectrum.

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Here's my personal understanding of this topic:

  1. The Messianic era mentioned everywhere spans a very long time, with numerous stages and transformations. It is not a single occasion of appearing of the Messiah (see Rambam Melachim-uMilchamot-Chapter-11). Therefore we don't talk about cancellation or abandoning of the Mitzvot but rather switching to a different reality.
  2. A possible explanation would be the lack of the evil inclination (Yetzer Harah), without which there's no meaning for commandments, as therefore no choice (similar to the YT video above). This is also called the clarity of the reality of Hashem.
  3. In addition, the Mitzvot are given in order to raise ourselves to a higher spiritual level (personally and globally), in Messianic times that level will be finally reached and the Mitzvos (as tools) will become unneeded.
  4. To some Poskim (Ramba"n?) the Messianic era eventually leads to a spiritual, non physical world, in which performing physical Mitzvot also does not make sense.
  5. Torah's understanding is subject to interpretations. The Messianic era is not mentioned or discussed in it, and it leads to different approaches to it.
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    What do you mean, the Messianic era isn’t discussed in the Torah? You mean specifically in the Chumash? Because it’s discussed plenty in Nach. – DonielF May 20 at 21:06
  • @DonielF "Discussed," you said? There are plenty of 'hard-to-decipher' metaphors we ['d like to] interpret as Messianic era. Keep in mind that the Rabbis themselves are not clear about many interpretations - some say this lifespan, some say afterlife, there's no agreement on just about anything as Rambam summarized it clearly in Melachim – Al Berko 2 days ago
  • You confuse the Messianic era with the era after the Resurrection (unless you’re intentionally going like the Ramban for some reason). We know a lot about the Messianic era from Pesukim in Nach, as well as Mesorah. It’s only after Techi’as HaMeisim where we’re stuck with obscure references in Nach. – DonielF 2 days ago
  • @DonielF I'm confused what we're talking about, please give me some examples of Psukim. – Al Berko 2 days ago

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