Originally Posted by Quath
It appears to me that Judiasm seems to have moved past using the Old Testament (ok.. really the Tanakh) dogmatically. I know there are some Jews who do follow it to an extreme level (like refuse to turn on light switches on Sunday). But on the whole, the Jews I met have not been too dogmatic. Maybe that is a sign of age of a religion?
I'd like to respond to this. There are probably several factors. I have heard Orthodox ("Torah Observant") Jews express mild amusement that any Christians try to follow any of the laws of the Tanakh (besides the 7 I list below). They say their god established those laws/mitzvot (blessings) for Jews, and for no one else! There are a few laws just for goyim, the Noachide Laws.
# Idolatry is forbidden.
# Incestuous and adulterous relations are forbidden.
# Murder is forbidden.
# Cursing the name of G-d is forbidden.
# Theft is forbidden.
# Eating the flesh of a living animal is forbidden.
# Mankind is commanded to establish courts of justice and a just social order to enforce the first six laws and enact any other useful laws or customs.
That's it. Nothing about mixing fibres, eating pork, keeping the Sabbath or holy days, eating unleavened bread, circumcizing, etc etc.
It is actually forbidden by the Talmud for non-Jews to elevate their observance to the Torah's mitzvot as the Jews do.
There is controversy about when Judaism actually started. Did it start in the Gan Eden? When Abraham was given his marching orders? When Moses got the Laws on Mt Sinai (note that the Orthodox believe God gave Moses an oral law at this time as well)? When the prophets began questioning whether it was more pleasing to God to love each other than to make sacrifices at the Temple? When the Judaean elite came back from Babylon? When the Temple was destroyed and the rabbis began their commentary, the Talmud?
Jews have been so persecuted by the culture that stole their holy book and distorted its meaning for a new religion... of course they keep their heads low and usually don't openly presume to judge other religions or their adherents.
In Acts of the Apostles 15, it is shown that James had a big issue with "Judaizers" who claimed Christians had to follow all the Jewish mitzvot.
Verses 19, 20
Wherefore my judgment is that we trouble not them that from among the Gentiles turn to God; but that we write unto them that they abstain from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from what is strangled, and from blood.
Yet many Christians ignore this, and continue to emphasize following certain Jewish laws not meant for them. They just don't know their Bible well enough. Most Christians don't read the Bible.