Moral and Ceremonial Law

Rabbi Yeshua distinguished between the Torah’s moral and ceremonial law.

Rabbi Yeshua taught us, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets” Mt 22:3740.

§ 890 “Christ endowed the Church’s shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals.” Faith is how we love God. Morals is how we love one another. The Ten Commandments cover both, and are natural law, so all Torah commands on morals continue to bind Catholics.

When the rich young man asked Rabbi Yeshua how he could enter into eternal life, Rabbi Yeshua told him to keep the commandments. When he asked which ones, Rabbi Yeshua replied, “You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” Mt 19:1819. All these belong to the Ten Commandments which are moral, and also natural law. When the rich young man asked how he could attain spiritual perfection, Rabbi Yeshua replied, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” Mt 19:21. Completely detach yourself from material possessions and attach yourself instead to Rabbi Yeshua.

However, the Torah’s kashrut (kosher) laws refer to how we loved God before Rabbi Yeshua. Therefore, Holy Mother Church does not bind Catholics to these laws, which are called ceremonial. Holy Mother Church teaches how we love God through the Ten Commandments, the New Testament, and the Sacred Tradition of Apostolic Teaching.

Orthodox Jews obey them because God said to obey them. However, Rabbi Yeshua fulfilled them. “Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him, since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?” (Thus he declared all foods clean) Mk 7:1819God also commanded that the Passover sacrifice, which after the Finding of Deuteronomy had to be celebrated at the Temple, be an ordinance forever, but then he allowed the Temple to be destroyed thereby stopping it, yet it remained an ordinance forever celebrated as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

St. Thomas Aquinas highlighted the distinction between the Torah’s moral and ceremonial precepts.