The Torah is a central issue in how we relate to God as Jews and how we live our lives. It is essential to know whether we should keep the commandments, as given in Torah, or not. First of all, I use the term “observe Torah” as an equivalent to “obey God”. Secondly, I am speaking stricly of the written Torah, and not rabbinic interpretations and halakhah, i.e. the oral Torah.
I believe the question of observing Torah is a simple matter.
The basis is that Torah is God’s commandments to Israel, and there is no indication that it is a temporary system. The burden of proof is on those who say Jews do not need to observe Torah.
Most all arguments against observing Torah come from Shaul’s letters. We can address his different statements in another place because it is not my intention to do that here. I merely note that I am aware of these arguments. One who takes this stance against Torah has to deal with Yeshua’s own words that he did not come to abolish the Torah (Matt. 5:17).
Putting Shaul’s points aside, which were written to Gentiles, not Jews, there is a very logical argument based on historical evidence.
The largest issue that arose when the message of Yeshua began to spread to the nations was whether Gentiles need to be circumcised and follow the Torah. The elders in Jerusalem decided that Gentiles were not required to observe all of Torah (Acts 15). The underlining assumption was that Jews still must follow God´s commandments as given in the Torah. Otherwise it never would have been an issue for the Gentiles! The question would have been asked if anyone needs to observe Torah. This question is not raised.
One response I have heard is that the elders had not quite understood what Yeshua had done and the consequences for us. As time passed more revelation was given and it was understood that none need to observe Torah. I find this argument speculative at best and at worst preposterous.
If anyone has a better explanation I am ready to listen. Otherwise I am going to follow the example of Yeshua´s own students, who knew him quite well, and observe Torah as an expression of my love for God.