I’m not currently involved with a Jewish community with extensive textual knowledge. However, I’m very interested in biblical study (both secular and religious), and am reading various books/articles on the internet. Of course, with these things, when you know very little, it is easy to be mislead.
I recently came across the following citation in an article online:
11 “What need have I of all your sacrifices?” Says the LORD. “I am sated with burnt offerings of rams, And suet of fatlings, And blood of bulls; And I have no delight In lambs and he-goats. 12 That you come to appear before Me — Who asked that of you? Trample My courts 13 no more; Bringing oblations is futile, Incense is offensive to Me. New moon and sabbath, Proclaiming of solemnities, Assemblies with iniquity, I cannot abide. 14 Your new moons and fixed seasons Fill Me with loathing; They are become a burden to Me, I cannot endure them. 15 And when you lift up your hands, I will turn My eyes away from you; Though you pray at length, I will not listen. Your hands are stained with crime — 16 Wash yourselves clean; Put your evil doings Away from My sight. Cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do good. Devote yourselves to justice; Aid the wronged. Uphold the rights of the orphan; Defend the cause of the widow (Isaiah 1:11-17; JPS).
This seems seriously critical of many aspects of ritual judaism. In particular, it seems to place far more emphasis on social justice, charity, and doing good than religious observance, which is probably how Reform Judaism reads it. How does Orthodox Judaism view these and other passages?
More broadly, why is more emphasis placed on certain prophets and passages than others?
Please share your thoughts!