Did Paul neglect the Torah?
The following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. After greeting them, he related one by one what Elohim did among the gentiles through his ministry. When they heard that he who formerly persecuted them now preaches the Faith he once tried to destroy (the Faith was a sect of Judaism that rejected the oral law. It was also known as the Way -- see the GUS confession in the Sidebar to the right), they glorified Elohim and said, "You see, brother, how many thousands of Judeans there are who have believed after hearing about Paul's ministry, and they are all zealous for the Torah. But they have also heard gossip about you (in the eyes of the gossipers, abandoning the Torah was a natural progression after abandoning the oral law), that you teach all the Judeans who are outside of Judea to abandon Moses, by telling them not to circumcise their 8-day old sons or to walk in those things prescribed in the Torah". (Act 21:18-21).
Question: If Paul remained observant to the Levitical Laws of the Old Testament why did he wait 14 years before going to Jerusalem (Gal 2:1)? Doesn’t the Law require a Jew to make three pilgrimages to Jerusalem, every year (Exo 23:14-17)?
Answer: He didn’t avoid the pilgrimages for 14 years; he only avoided fellowship with the other emissaries and the Judean congregations. The Greek text for Gal 1:21-2:2 says: “I went to the regions of Syria and the land of Celix. I remained anonymous to the Messianic congregations in Judea; they simply kept hearing: "he who formerly persecuted us now preaches the Faith he once tried to destroy." And they glorified Elohim because of me. Later, during the fourteen years, I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking with me also Titus; but I went up to them (vs. 9) because of a revelation and I presented the report which I announce among the gentiles, and privately, to the ostensible ones, lest I should be running or did run for nothing”.
Paul made his visits to Jerusalem incognito (Gal 1:22). Sometime during his 14 years of anonymity, Paul was compelled to debrief James, Kefa, and John.