There is a piece of liturgy that is recited every week in many assemblies, both Jewish and Messianic alike: Etz Chaim. Etz Chaim (Hebrew: עץ חיים) means "tree of life." Or perhaps more literally, "Tree of Lives" as chaim is plural. This liturgical prayer is said weekly in relation to the Torah. Yet there is a specific reason for this.
This writing will be brief (compared to some of my other writings). I simply want to use a few historical and Scriptural facts to make a few points, and primarily to address some false assumptions and false teachings that are going around. If you've been Torah Observant (and been on the Internet) for any length of time, you've no doubt encountered most if not all of these teachings. Sadly, many fall for them when they are new to this walk. The feeling that you've been lied to and betrayed by the Christian Church for so long has led many to reject any and all orthodoxy. I tend to say, "A little bit of orthodoxy can go a long way." And yet, not everything the Church does is wrong. Not everything they believe is a lie. And many things are merely misconceptions.
Many times over the last few years, I have heard the assertion that the Apostle Paul (Shaliach Sha'ul) was not a tent-maker, as most Bibles render it. Rather, he was a tallit-maker. This assertion is even popularized in some newer Bible versions and Messianic-flavored commentaries. Indeed, so common is the acceptance of this belief, that few even question it. But I would ask the question…why? Why does one need Paul to be a tallit-maker? Does it render him somehow more Jewish? Does it, in some way, make him any more of an Apostle? What do we gain by claiming this understanding? I'll let those questions hang there for a moment, while addressing the issue Scripturally.