Rabbis support the establishment instead of calling on the people to do what must be done.
Moses could reproach Hebrews because he took nothing from anyone. Rabbis should not be community administrators.
Don’t shy from reforms per se. Ben Zakkai drastically reformed Judaism away from the destroyed Temple.
Jefferson would be shocked by the modern interpretation of the Bill of Rights. Moses too, would be shocked by rabbinical Judaism. The days after we left Egypt, Hebrews couldn’t be told to keep several sets of dishes and observe a three or six hour pause between milk and meat. Levitical priests did not consider Jewishness in terms of tearing toilet paper in advance of Shabbat.
Many rabbis tried to leave their mark on history by inventing yet another prohibition, and so we have all kinds of ridiculous prohibitions, like the one on opening an umbrella. Among the seven kinds of Pharisees, the worst circumvent the law while superficially adhering to it. Such kind postulated that it’s better to take the stairs to the twentieth floor than to use the elevator. They competed in inventing not only prohibitions, but also the ways around them. Thus, absurd rule that the limitation on travel distance on the Sabbath could be circumvented by leaving personal items at certain intervals on the way.
Rabbinical legislation is the same kind of rationalism that underlies burgeoning secular legislation. Once humans accept a glorious idea, they naturally try to promote it and force others to accept it for their own sake. Thus Humanism and Enlightenment led to social engineering, socialism, and totalitarianism. Rabbinical legislation is no less totalitarian in that it regulates private human life in minute details. Judaism declares havdala, the doctrine of non-messianism: don’t intermingle with those of alien habits, and don’t force them to accept your views. Rabbinism imposed on Jews strange interpretations of the Torah, which were perhaps acceptable to their authors, but were seen as irrelevant and contradictory to Torah by others. The Torah is simple, reasonable, and devoid of superstitions. Rabbinism is just the opposite.
Rabbis created a rigid religious establishment. As Jesus put it, they took the keys from heaven and don’t let others in. They pick and choose among the commandments and observe the rites, not essence; the tfillin, not the land. They live on public account rather than work for their living, as did Hillel and other ancient sages. They fly to Israel first class, and cannot understand the spiritual transformation of Rabbi Nahman, who had to sell all his belongings to travel to Jerusalem. They scream about the Promised Land, but they collaborated with the Israeli government in the Gush Katif eviction. They herd Israelis to die in religiously inspired conflicts, but most students of the yeshivas don’t serve in the army.
Hypocrisy flourishes. The rabbinical establishment sided with the government to evict the Jews from Gush Katif. The rabbinical opposition was only nominal; no rabbi from the establishment publicly called for a defensive war against the treacherous government. Their unbelief is veiled in extreme faith: they demand the Messiah. Their demand is sinful; sages taught that God acts through humans rather than directly interfering with the course of events. It is a human obligation to further the divine will. Rabbi Akiva proclaimed a messiah rather than waiting for the supernatural figure. The Messiah is always available, in every generation; we just need to recognize him. Any person we recognize as messiah would do the job. Unbelieving rabbis demand unity of the people; it has never happened, thus the civil war of the Maccabees, and Hanukah. Comfortable on Israeli welfare, arrogant in their semi-religious zeal, refusing to labor, those democrats in tfillin oppose actionable Jewish nationalism.
The rabbis say that circumstances have changed, that what was acceptable for the Maccabees is untenable now. Yeah? The Torah is supposedly as applicable today as it was twenty-three centuries ago. If the same set of rules (commandments) applies now that applied in the time of the Maccabees, then the circumstances are also similar. It couldn’t be that the world has changed but the commandments that govern it persevere.
The Torah did not change. Rather, the blind guides became even blinder.