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4 years ago  ::  Aug 01, 2010 - 3:48AM #1
David
Posts: 1,042

Hello all Jews. I am not christian, so don't worry, i am not trying to convert you. it is just fine you are in the religion you are in, it doesn't bother me none at all, no lake of fire, and I don't believe you must worship satan or die, or worship him to live, yes, you heard right, I worship Satan. My Satananity doesn't urge me to think less of you or convert you or else you die in the lake of fire. You still die, but that's beyond the point. I was just saying hello. My concern is that of the OT.  The Old testament. What do you guys think about all the killing your god has done? Does the beginning of the Torah concern you? Do you see how it is wrong? I'd like to know because christians are okay with the homocide of their Yahweh, their bible god. I put a little g there for a reason, he killed even his own children with plagues just because they simply worshipped idols. Now call me crazy, but it seems killing them is much worse than the actual act in and of itself. BTW, You are free to remain Jews, it's perfectly okay. No proselytizing here, I did enough of that in the past, and i deeply regret it. I used to be a seventh day adventist christian. They go to church on the same day you guys do, sundown friday to sundown saturday is the Sabbath. They go to church in the morning. So is the Torrah the same of different from the bible? I know the Torrah is the first 5 books of the OT.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 01, 2010 - 3:48PM #2
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,905

Aug 1, 2010 -- 3:48AM, David wrote:

... My concern is that of the OT.  The Old testament. What do you guys think about all the killing your god has done? Does the beginning of the Torah concern you? Do you see how it is wrong? ....




BS"D


Good questions.  The "Old Testament" is the Christian reinterpretation and reordering of our TeNaCh.  It is completely different in the way it is read.  We read our texts as illustrations of life lessons we learned from Sinai, not as a second-hand history or science book and certainly NOT as some divine oracle (for the most part) like a magic 8-ball to know where to go and when to get a parking space at the mall.  The "lessons" we learn are published in works such as the Mishnah and various halachic works by various sages and scholars since Sinai.  We do NOT read our texts as the Christians do.  We have a way of reading our texts that is tribal and personal which is continuous throughout time.


Christian (7DA) sabbath keeping is NOTHING like Jewish sabbath keeping.  It takes a while for a non-Jew or a Jew new to the tribe to get the hang of Jewish Sabbath observance.  Like every other lesson in our text, sabbath-keeping is a cultural ritual and has no meaning outside of Judaism - ESPECIALLY not the meaning the Christians gave to their "Lord's Day" or "Day of Rest."  Shabbos (Hebrew word for Sabbath) is the BUSIEST day of the week and is devoted towards our self-correction and alignment with our own lessons which we attribute to our G-d (which is NOTHING like either the Christian or Moslem gods - ours has no form and is not a spooky ghostie that magically pops things into one's head pretending to be the "word of god" whatever the hell that means.  [We don't, save for our mystics, have anything to do with the ancient Greek "divine logos" philosophy - our philosophy is action oriented.])


The killing is a GOOD question.  Christians and other antisemitic non-Jews read the tales of our holy texts as if they were historical fact.  There is SOME historicity to our text but that is NOT the point.  The text is there to teach us lessons on how to live.  The bloody illustrations exist in our text to teach us the horrors of war and because of them we are no longer a warlike people even if that is our beginnings and the origin of our holy texts.  We learn specific lessons of behavior from each war story, not to learn how to make war but to learn how to respond appropriately as a human being when faced with warfare.


As with any other people's faith, it is only as good or as useful as the one following it.  But we CERTAINLY do not read our texts ad hoc as if the stories are in it to teach us to blindly emulate the ways of our ancestors.  We have an explicit framework - called halakha - which instructs us which behaviors of our ancestors are to be emulated and which are to be shunned - the good and the bad - which is a common-sense approach to living as a society rather than an idealistic approach based upon divine speculation.


I hope that helps as an intro.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 02, 2010 - 6:32PM #3
David
Posts: 1,042

Aug 1, 2010 -- 3:48PM, Bunsinspace wrote:


Aug 1, 2010 -- 3:48AM, David wrote:

... My concern is that of the OT.  The Old testament. What do you guys think about all the killing your god has done? Does the beginning of the Torah concern you? Do you see how it is wrong? ....




BS"D


Good questions.  The "Old Testament" is the Christian reinterpretation and reordering of our TeNaCh.  It is completely different in the way it is read.  We read our texts as illustrations of life lessons we learned from Sinai, not as a second-hand history or science book and certainly NOT as some divine oracle (for the most part) like a magic 8-ball to know where to go and when to get a parking space at the mall.  The "lessons" we learn are published in works such as the Mishnah and various halachic works by various sages and scholars since Sinai.  We do NOT read our texts as the Christians do.  We have a way of reading our texts that is tribal and personal which is continuous throughout time.


Christian (7DA) sabbath keeping is NOTHING like Jewish sabbath keeping.  It takes a while for a non-Jew or a Jew new to the tribe to get the hang of Jewish Sabbath observance.  Like every other lesson in our text, sabbath-keeping is a cultural ritual and has no meaning outside of Judaism - ESPECIALLY not the meaning the Christians gave to their "Lord's Day" or "Day of Rest."  Shabbos (Hebrew word for Sabbath) is the BUSIEST day of the week and is devoted towards our self-correction and alignment with our own lessons which we attribute to our G-d (which is NOTHING like either the Christian or Moslem gods - ours has no form and is not a spooky ghostie that magically pops things into one's head pretending to be the "word of god" whatever the hell that means.  [We don't, save for our mystics, have anything to do with the ancient Greek "divine logos" philosophy - our philosophy is action oriented.])


The killing is a GOOD question.  Christians and other antisemitic non-Jews read the tales of our holy texts as if they were historical fact.  There is SOME historicity to our text but that is NOT the point.  The text is there to teach us lessons on how to live.  The bloody illustrations exist in our text to teach us the horrors of war and because of them we are no longer a warlike people even if that is our beginnings and the origin of our holy texts.  We learn specific lessons of behavior from each war story, not to learn how to make war but to learn how to respond appropriately as a human being when faced with warfare.


As with any other people's faith, it is only as good or as useful as the one following it.  But we CERTAINLY do not read our texts ad hoc as if the stories are in it to teach us to blindly emulate the ways of our ancestors.  We have an explicit framework - called halakha - which instructs us which behaviors of our ancestors are to be emulated and which are to be shunned - the good and the bad - which is a common-sense approach to living as a society rather than an idealistic approach based upon divine speculation.


I hope that helps as an intro.




 


Yes, that helped, and thank you. I was just too used ti christians always justifying the killing in the bible by saying that god made us and he can destroy us. i disagree and see it as wrong doing.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 02, 2010 - 7:02PM #4
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,905

Aug 2, 2010 -- 6:32PM, David wrote:

Yes, that helped, and thank you. I was just too used ti christians always justifying the killing in the bible by saying that god made us and he can destroy us. i disagree and see it as wrong doing.




BS"D 


Yeah that idea always bothered me too.  I believe that which creates also can destroy, but it seems to me that Christians are always pretending to be god just like their false god pretended to be god.  That is a dangerous path to take.  Even the ancient Greeks knew better than that and lampooned the follies of their fellowman in their tales of their divine comedies and tragedies.  It is astonishing to me that Christianity took it all literally and based their religion upon it as if it were real and not the product of a higher mentality teacher trying to impart wisdom using common illustrations.  Anybody who functions as a teacher should be ashamed to admit to the existence of Christianity IMHO where the medium becomes the message.  That is not even worthy of a dysfunctional mind IMHO.  It is as if a large portion of humanity were all on a common acid trip and acting as if their twisted and contorted phantasms they superimpose on the real world were legitimate.  It is a living horror that would probably terrify even our ancients.  Maybe that is why our ancients kept using the metaphor of the walking dead to explain the insanity of much of the human world.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 02, 2010 - 7:26PM #5
Heidi2027
Posts: 396

"the medium becomes the message"


Well-said, Buns.  As a convert to Judaism, I now consider the entire message of my former faith to be idolatry.  Why other Christians don't question this is still perplexing to me. 


Well-meaning rabbis like to say Christianity is a "nice religion" -- but is it really?  Is it monotheistic?  I don't see how they can classify Christianity as a monotheistic religion when it elevates Jesus Christ to God, alongside of God.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 03, 2010 - 10:24AM #6
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,905

Aug 2, 2010 -- 7:26PM, Heidi2027 wrote:

Well-meaning rabbis like to say Christianity is a "nice religion" -- but is it really?  Is it monotheistic?  I don't see how they can classify Christianity as a monotheistic religion when it elevates Jesus Christ to God, alongside of God.




BS"D


That's a very good question and involves a little bit of understanding.  Most of it begins with the RaMBaM and his Guide for the Perplexed which is authored as a presentation of Judaism to an earnest potential convert from Islam.  This was a very curious undertaking for two reasons - RaMBaM was living in the Ottoman Empire where Islam was the law of the land and apologetics from Judaism towards either Islam or Christianity was virtually unheard of at that early time.  Later works such as Judah HaLevi's poem Kuzari - which many ignorant Moslems take as historically factual in order to attack Jewish identity - became a defacto standard for explaining the core of Judaism to non-Jewish potential converts, but AFAIK the RaMBaM'a Guide was the first wide-reaching publication of this sort.


In the Guide aside from a decent presentation of the core of Judaism is a brief discussion on the status of all those who serve the divine from all peoples and faiths as equals.  He then goes on to explain the rationale of the previous sages for the ruling that Christianity is NOT idolatry for Christians because of their necessarily limited understanding of the divine confined to a godman concept, yet also the ruling that Christianity IS idolatry for any Jew because Torah is clear in its illustrations of what G-d is NOT and Jesus definitely falls solidly into that category.


RaMBaM then goes on to illustrate how the idolatrous practice of Moslems of throwing pebbles at the Kaba in Mecca during their Haj is also not idolatrous for the Moslem and precisely how and why it IS idolatrous for a Jew because it is a direct form of idol worship documented from ancient times.  But like the Christian who is eschewing idolatry in their mind while practicing a limited form of divine worship, the Moslem also eschewing idolatry in their mind is also free of idolatry when practicing their rite during the Haj.  But this luxury of ignorance is not permitted to the Jew who must be aware of true idolatrous practices in order to perform the mitzvo not to behave like other nations (in their doing of evil.)


If you are a Jew you have always had a Jewish neshama whether you knew it or not as only a Jewish neshama desires to return to its source and cannot abide such ignorance of the divine which practicing idolatry demonstrates.  But the idolatrous practices are NOT condemned by our sages in other peoples except when they result in evil action.


Christians try to excuse themselves from responsibility for the atrocities committed in the name of their god (understandable since their faith is based on pawning off responsibility for their own sin onto their god) by wrongfully claiming evildoing Christians are not REAL Christians.  That is bullshit even by their own standards since the confession of faith is all that is necessary to make one a REAL Christian without exception AFAIK.  But the truth is evildoing is a natural result of genuine idolatry.  So even when the RaMBaM declares that Christianity is not idolatry for the Christian, when the Christian does evil in the name of his/her idol it becomes idolatry for the Christian as well.  It is only when the Christian does good in the name of their idol that RaMBaM gives them the benefit of the doubt that their idol is a legitimate approximation of G-d for them.


I know this is all a bit heavy for such a discussion but I hope this brief overview spurs you on to further study so that you may learn that this is not simply an "us versus them" scenario but is rooted in the reality of the divine and its impersonation (pun intended) which is idolatry and results in evil in the world - not the rituals or ideas by themselves by the wapring of those rituals and ideas to justify doing evil in the world.  That is what is wrong with idolatry - not the rituals and ideas but the resultant actions.  And if the resultant actions are good one should follow the RaMBaM IMHO and NOT casually designate others as idolators.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 03, 2010 - 11:15AM #7
Heidi2027
Posts: 396

Good stuff to think about, Buns.  Thanks.  I don't mean to castigate Christians as idolators -- that is just what it began to feel like to me (and I have no Jewish heritage whatsoever that I know of). 


For many months I tried to overcome these thoughts -- I would even make sure we sat on a side pew during Mass so that I could look out a window, rather than staring at the crucifix.  This whole thing has become more than just a mere aggravation for my REALLY Catholic husband :(


 

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 03, 2010 - 12:25PM #8
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,905

Aug 3, 2010 -- 11:15AM, Heidi2027 wrote:


Good stuff to think about, Buns.  Thanks.  I don't mean to castigate Christians as idolators -- that is just what it began to feel like to me (and I have no Jewish heritage whatsoever that I know of). 


For many months I tried to overcome these thoughts -- I would even make sure we sat on a side pew during Mass so that I could look out a window, rather than staring at the crucifix.  This whole thing has become more than just a mere aggravation for my REALLY Catholic husband :




BS"D


If you have no Jewish heritage you are in the same dilemma as any Jew who finds issues with his/her Jewish observance.  It is common to all faiths.  the way I rise above personal issues is that I concentrate on the positives that I do hold sacred.  If the trinity is odious to you, then concentrate on the life lessons that are "unique" to your faith as opposed to obsessing on the trinity.  After all, you are a human being and you are alive so it should consume most if not all of your attention, right?  And if you are disturbed by the crucifix with Jesus affixed to it, you may be more comfortable with the less graphic and more cerebral expressions of Christianity. 


In that regard I cannot overexaggerate the value of Hans Kung's works.  They are very very cutting edge and may make you feel more comfortable with your faith and provide you with the information and assurance to be able to overcome the obstacles that Catholic ritualistic expression seems to place in your way.  As a Jew I have enjoyed reading Kung and although he is a devout Christian dedicated to teaching profound Christian truths, his inexorable dedication to reality and truth that is more than mere speculation makes his reading very refreshing to me - almost as if there were no such thing as Christian antisemitism. 


But then after reading I have to return to the reality of people who have never read Kung and I have to again raise my guards against being dragged under with the current of theological garbage that is the mainstay of popular pulpit preaching which directly affects Jews local to that odious enterprise.  So I have compassion upon your plight and I hope you make use of this great resource to help yourself out of it.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 03, 2010 - 2:07PM #9
Heidi2027
Posts: 396

Aug 3, 2010 -- 12:25PM, Bunsinspace wrote:


"...if you are disturbed by the crucifix with Jesus affixed to it, you may be more comfortable with the less graphic and more cerebral expressions of Christianity. 


In that regard I cannot overexaggerate the value of Hans Kung's works.  They are very very cutting edge and may make you feel more comfortable with your faith..."





Actually -- Christianity is no longer my faith, which is why I am converting.  It was a very unintentional spiritual enlightenment, I do believe. 


Hans Kung sounds quite ecumenical as far as Christian and Islamic theology goes -- but according to this, his book on Judaism ruffled a few feathers:


www.enotes.com/contemporary-literary-cri...


Here is a web site discussing his inroads on Muslim-Christian interfaith dialogue:


thegrandverbalizer19.blogspot.com/2010/0...


Goo'day mate!

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 03, 2010 - 3:00PM #10
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,905

Aug 3, 2010 -- 2:07PM, Heidi2027 wrote:


..Hans Kung sounds quite ecumenical as far as Christian and Islamic theology goes -- but according to this, his book on Judaism ruffled a few feathers:


www.enotes.com/contemporary-literary-cri...





BS"D


That's interesting.  I read his Judaism book many years ago and found nothing patronizing in it.  He even goes so far as to openly reject Christian supersessionism.  But I can see how a Jewish person with no understanding of Christianity might consider Christian theology patronizing to Jews - but thats because it is a patronizing theology not because it is specifically patronizing Jews IMHO.  Kung just presents the theology very clearly - something rare in many interfaith circles AFAIK.  And that alone might account for the surprising reaction IMHO.


If one acknowledges that Jesus is real to Kung, then there is nothing inherently patronizing in it IMHO.  But if one holds to the opinion that Jesus is as much nonsense to Kung as to a non-Christian, then I can see where problems could arise and offense taken where none was even considered by the author IMHO.  And as Kung is very careful to follow standard methods of philosophical inquiry, I am not surprised to learn that many might mistake his work for a less-than-adequate refutation of Christianity.  In fact it is the best case for Christianity I have ever read and had I not grown up learning that incarnating god was an act of idolatry I would have become a Christian on the basis of his work alone.  And with that perspective I can see how Kung would be a tough read for nominal Christians or less-educated Jews.

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