I feel that most Believers have a very negative view of the Pharisees. During Jesus's time, there were several sects of Pharisism. The word Pharisee means 'set apart'. If you look through out all of Scripture GOD was continually and constantly saying I don't want your burnt bulls or rams what I desire is a changed heart hence why Jesus called some of them 'white washed tombs'.
Quoting KFC Kickin For Christ,
Christianity is a religion, a set of rules and rituals.
Actually it's not. In the OT there were rules and rituals associated with the Jewish Faith which I partly explained above. Then when Jesus came, he set us free from all that. That's why it's called a "New Covenant." It's consistent with the Old Covenant but NOT a continuation of it. He fulfilled it. All that was in the OT was a shadow of Christ. He is the body of that shadow.
In the NT it was so hard to get the Jews coming into the faith to understand this (read Galatians) because they wanted to hang onto the old. Jesus said, you don't put new wine in old wineskins.
The laws/rituals in the Old Covenant were a way of life (as I explained earlier) NOT a way to life. That's why Jesus said "I AM the way truth and life." The law and rituals were never a bais for going to heaven. If so, none would get there because every single one of us in one way or the other has broken the first commandment.
As you pointed out KFC it was a way of life and not a way to life. The word Torah is a word that means "teaching" or "instruction." It is often rendered as "law." But that is the least of its roles. It comes from a root word in Hebrew yarah which gives us the word picture of a man throwing a spear at a target. From this root, we see that Torah is instruction on how to hit the mark or target. More specifically how to accurately do those things which are pleasing to GOD. The Torah teaches us how to please the heart of GOD.
Romans 10:4 tells us that Messiah was the "end" (telos) of the Torah for righteousness for every one who believes. Now, I feel that the Greek word telos would be more accurately translated to goal here. Messiah was the goal of the Torah for righteousness (rightstanding) for those who believe. Telos is like the finish line in a race. If you look in Romans 9:30-10:4 in the Greek you'll see that goal makes more sense than end (for the words used here are very Olympic/athletic related). The goal of the runners is to cross the finish line not necessarily just to end the race. When we have received Yeshua (Jesus) as our savior, the goal of the Torah has been fulfilled.
Actually this goes nicely with what your next to the last post said. If you look at Romans 10:4 "For Messiah is the goal of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." Everything points in the direction of Messiah, if you look at Shabbat meal, for example. First there is the lighting of the two candles by the head women of the house (symbolizing that the woman would be the one who brings the light/Messiah in). Then the blessings of the Red Wine giving coming from the vines of the earth and the Bread that is from the grains from the earth. This is such a beautiful symbolism here. Me doing this here doesn't get me any brownie points with GOD or make HIM exalt me. It helps me to see the Messiah throughout all Scriptures and be focused on HIM for Jesus was the goal and the point in all of this.