Purpose of the Law.
Some of these are understood to be divine marks of distinction to separate Israel from the other nations—statutes ("ḥukkot") which are designated as unreasonable by the heathen world, such as laws concerning diet, dress, and the like (Sifra, Aḥare Mot, xiii.). Others are called "'eduyot" (testimony), in view of their having been given to make Israel testify to God's miraculous guidance, such as the festive seasons of the year; while still others are "signs" ("ot"), being tokens of the covenant between God and Israel, such as circumcision, the Sabbath (Gen. xvii. 11; Ex. xxxi. 13), the Passover (Ex. xii. 13, xiii. 9), and, according to the rabbinical interpretation, the tefillin (Deut. vi. 8, xi. 18).
Of sacraments, in the sense of mysterious rites by which a person is brought into a lifelong bodily relationship to God, Judaism has none. The Sabbath and circumcision have been erroneously called thus by Frankel (in his "Zeitschrift," 1844, p. 67): they are institutions of Judaism of an essential and, according to the generally accepted opinion, vital character; but they do not give any Jew the character of an adherent of the faith (see Ceremony; Commandments). At the same time the Sabbath and the festival seasons, with the ceremonies connected with them, have at all times been the most significant expressions of Jewish sentiment, and must be regarded as the most important factors of religious life both in the Synagogue and in the home (see Ab, Ninth of; Atonement, Day of; Ḥanukkah; New-Year; Passover; Purim; Sabbath; Shabuot; and Sukkot).
While the immutability of the Torah, that is, the law of Moses, both the written and the oral Law, is declared by Maimonides to be one of the cardinal doctrines of Judaism, there are views expressed in the Talmud that the commandments will be abrogated in the world to come (Nid. 61b). It is especially the dietary laws that will, it is said, be no longer in force in the Messianic time (Midr. Teh. on Ps. cxlvi. 4).
Dreidels - Dreidels - MileChai - Judaic