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7 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2007 - 12:07PM #61
DietoWorms
Posts: 351
Yes, Dutch, Christ spoke in parables to illustrate real things.

He used the Mustard seed to illustrate properties of The Kingdom, yet few Christians argue there is no actual "Kingdom".
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2007 - 12:12PM #62
rmatth
Posts: 1,951
This is from Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's essay on The Soul.

For the first 12 months after death, until the body decomposes, the soul has no permanent resting place and thus experiences acute disorientation. It therefore hovers over the body. During this time, the soul is aware of and identifies with the decomposition of the body. The Talmud thus teaches us that "Worms are as painful to the dead as needles in the flesh of the living, as it is written (Job 14:22), 'His flesh grieves for him'." Most commentaries write that this refers to the psychological anguish of the soul in seeing its earthly habitation in a state of decay. The Kabbalists call this Chibut HaKever, "punishment of the grave."

We are taught that what happens to the body in the grave can be even more painful than Gehenom. This experience is not nearly as difficult for the righteous, however, since they never consider their worldly body overly important.


This is part of the judgment of the soul which occurs during the first year after death. Aside from this, the souls of the wicked are judged for 12 months after death, while others are judged for a lesser time.

It is for this reason that the Kaddish is said for the first 11 months in order not to depict him as an evildoer. For this same reason, when mentioning a parent's name during the first year after death, one should say, "May I be an atonement for his/her resting place" (Hareini Kapparat Mishkavo/a).


After death, the soul is cleansed in a spiritual fire. 

The main judgment after death is in Gehenom, where the soul is cleansed in a spiritual fire, and purified so that it can receive its eternal reward.

The souls of the righteous are able to progress higher and higher in the spiritual dimension. Regarding this, the prophet was told, "If you go in My ways... then I will give you a place to move among [the angels] standing here" (Zechariah 3:7). God was showing the prophet a vision of stationary angels, and telling him that he would be able to move among them. While angels are bound to their particular plane, man can move and progress from level to level. This is also alluded to in the verse, "The dust returns to the dust as it was, but the spirit returns to God who gave it" (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2007 - 12:24PM #63
DietoWorms
Posts: 351
Those are nice thoughts from Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan.

But Rabbi Jesus of Nazareth was asked by someone: "Lord, will those who are saved be few?"

Jesus answered: "Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, open to us,' then he will answer you, 'I do not know where you come from.'  Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.' But he will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!'

And then he says: "There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out."

To me, it does not sound like Jesus is a Universalist.  In fact, it seems pretty clear that there are those who will find themseleves outside of the kingdom.  Of course, it is not just my opinion, but Christian scholars and chruch teaching throughout the centuries says the same thing.  My "feelings" have nothing to do with it either.

Peace,

DoW
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2007 - 10:10AM #64
Dutch777
Posts: 9,116
When Jesus spoke of hell, He spoke of Ge-Hinnon i.e. Hinnom Valley.
This was a low lying trench outside Jerusalem wherein people threw their garbage.  It was continually smouldering and flies laid  eggs  in the unburnt garbage, so it was also characterized by its plentiful maggot population.   Hence the scriptural reference to the fire which never ceases the the worm which never dies.   Ge-Hinnom was used metaphorically by the Pharaseeic Rabbis to represent destruction.  There was w/i Pharaseeic 2nd. Temple Judaism variations on this theme; the Rabbis had lively debates on this subject viz.: Sheol; Ge-Hinnom; Teckhiat 'ha Metim (resurrection of the dead).   As a Maggid-Rabbi, Jesus was very much partook in  the debate.

It is shakey exegesis to literalize the metaphorical.   For greater insight into the Jewish concept of afterlife and possible post-mortem cleansing fire, pls. check out the Jewish Encyclopedia.   Neither Judaism (including its 2nd. Temple form) nor the Zoroastrian Religion (likely source of the Jewish belief on this subject) conceived of souls burning eternally in a post-mortem furnice.  This is largely the development of the medieval Roman Catholic Church;  threats and intimidations predicated on the aforementioned  are excellent instruments of domination and control.

Let's not make the mistake of plucking Jesus out of His time, place, culture and theological matrix.  For further reading on understanding Judaic Hermaneutics, pls. reference Maimonides classic compendium on this subject.

Check this out pls.:  flickr.com/photos/lucychrista/506024561/
The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2007 - 10:26AM #65
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
Dutch: Thanks for the information. Richard
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2007 - 10:57AM #66
Dutch777
Posts: 9,116
[QUOTE=rbchaddy2000;56336]Dutch: Thanks for the information. Richard[/QUOTE]

Richard:
'Tis ever a pleasure.

Etymologically, "hell" is related to the English word "hole", a reference in extension, to the paleo-Hebraic concept of "Sheol".   When spuds were first introduced into the UK in the early 17th. century, they were initially stored in holes dug into the ground.  This was called helling the potatoes.

The medieval RCC found hell most useful in keeping both crown and peasantry under the ecclesial thumb.  Dante's Inferno did much to spread the concept amongst the literati.   In the 19th. centure the artist Gustave Dore' added his excellent woodcuts to this hellish concept.   flickr.com/photos/italiangerry/379231929/.  Pls. check out Dore's woodcuts; they're viewable on-line.
The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2007 - 11:37AM #67
DietoWorms
Posts: 351
Dutch, yes, perhaps he was using the symbolism people could relate to - the hole.

But why would he talk about being there eternally because of one's wickedness?
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2007 - 11:43AM #68
DietoWorms
Posts: 351
[QUOTE=rbchaddy2000;56013]DietoWorms: It is a total turn-off for me to constantly here about an angry God of justice and retribution. We see the results of such thinking in the down side of Christianity and Islam. I am a universalist because I believe in justice. I respect your opinion, but I find "hell" to be more about hate of those who don't think like us than anything else. Richard[/QUOTE]

Richard....first of all, with due respect, your "feelings" on the subject are moot, as are my feelings.

Secondly, where is anyone "constantly" talking about a God of justice and retribution?  I would say mainstream Christianity, including large parts of the Evangelical world hardly talk about it at all.  I only mention it because the majority on this board reject the concept of there being a possiblity of any place called hell, despite obvious references to it in the Bible and in the writings of Christianity's thinkers throughout the centuries.

I think too often we discard parts of the Bible that "turn us off", rather than pray and deal wrestle them.

Peace,

DoW
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2007 - 11:57AM #69
Dutch777
Posts: 9,116
[QUOTE=DietoWorms;56519]Dutch, yes, perhaps he was using the symbolism people could relate to - the hole.

But why would he talk about being there eternally because of one's wickedness?[/QUOTE]

Hebrew grammarians advise me that the "eternal" reference relates to the continuous burning of the garbage, which was piled on daily,  so the flames appeared "eternal"; and to the seeming "eternal" generation of the worms / maggots (remembering, of course, that maggots were understood to be spontaneously generated within filth).   The key point in determining the trajectory of exegesis is that eternal, unending damnation is unknown to Judaism, including 2nd. Temple Judaism.   Judaism has historically exhibited a fine degree of compassion and justice and just-plain-good-sense that Christianity could well learn from.  (Mazel Tov to my Jewish ancestors :)).

As an aside, the reason Ge-Hinnom was used as the burning garbage dump is that it is outside the sacred precencts of Jerusalem, whose soil is sacred and may not be contaminated by any impurity.   For this same reason, gardens were outside the metes and bounds of Jerusalem since gardens require animal manure as fertilizer, and this too would contaminate sacred soil.
The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2007 - 12:07PM #70
DietoWorms
Posts: 351
Yes, Dutch, Christ spoke in parables to illustrate real things.

He used the Mustard seed to illustrate properties of The Kingdom, yet few Christians argue there is no actual "Kingdom".
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