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Author Topic: went to the mikvah yesterday...  (Read 6966 times) Average Rating: 0
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Tallitot
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« on: December 22, 2009, 12:06:03 AM »

...to complete my conversion process! I'm a real Jew now!
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2009, 12:07:39 AM »

Mazel tov!
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2009, 12:52:03 AM »

Mazel Tov!
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2009, 02:31:41 AM »

So you denied Christ.
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2009, 02:35:26 AM »

So you denied Christ.
was that a question or an observation?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 02:40:12 AM by Tallitot » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2009, 02:51:52 AM »

more like a rhetorical question.
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2009, 02:59:37 AM »

Is apostasy a cause for celebration?  Or do you still somehow claim Christ in this "Jewish" setting?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 02:59:44 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2009, 03:04:22 AM »

Alveus and Augustin,
Even if you think someone has denied Christ, why would you force them to say it in public? 
Why wouldn't you try to avoid this at all cost?
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2009, 03:06:37 AM »

Is apostasy a cause for celebration?  Or do you still somehow claim Christ in this "Jewish" setting?
He got baptized to try to wash off his baptism.  Given the Jews' ideas about descent and religion  and all, I'm not sure what "real Jew" means.
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2009, 03:11:37 AM »

I feel we need to leave the OP alone in his decision.

Good night.
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2009, 03:21:04 AM »

Alveus and Augustin,
Even if you think someone has denied Christ, why would you force them to say it in public? 
Why wouldn't you try to avoid this at all cost?

Well, saying things out loud now is a good warm up for the Dread Judgment.  Facing reality could provide an impetus for repentance, if it is necessary.

Do you think that he will somehow be in better shape if he doesn't verbalize his denial of Christ?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 03:21:37 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2009, 03:23:00 AM »

Do you think that he will somehow be in better shape if he doesn't verbalize his denial of Christ?
Yes, as a matter of fact that is precisely what I am saying. But I wouldn't expect you to understand that.

« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 03:25:42 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2009, 06:08:08 AM »

Is this a prayer request? Lord have mercy!
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 06:14:02 AM by Ortho_cat » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2009, 07:05:34 AM »

Is this a prayer request?
No it isn't. And to use prayer to make some point is sacrilege.
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2009, 07:34:06 AM »

"I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them...This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

I'm not sure why else the OP would come onto a Christian forum and tell us this, if not to ask for our prayers.  Surely his intentions are not to seek acceptance or approval?

« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 07:40:34 AM by Ortho_cat » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2009, 07:48:13 AM »

Surely his intentions are not to seek acceptance or approval?
Tallitot has a long history on this forum. Longer than you. He is telling us the latest in his life. If you can't accept him that's your problem, but you don't speak for me as an Orthodox Christian nor as a member of this forum. And you certainly don't speak for Christ.

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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2009, 08:54:08 AM »

I think Christ speaks for Himself on the matter:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Jn. 14:6
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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2009, 09:05:03 AM »

So in fact you were using "prayer" to make a point. Thanks for clarifying.
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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2009, 10:33:12 AM »

I can accept this as an important milestone in Tallitot's life.  As such, I genuinely wish him well.  What is difficult to understand is why I should be excited about it?  By his decision, he has denied Christ.  True, this is done everyday all over the world, but what should I say about it when it's posted on a Christian forum?  I can only think to say, "Lord, have mercy." 
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2009, 10:34:37 AM »

I feel we need to leave the OP alone in his decision.



 Except when the OP shares it on a public forum... just sayin'.
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« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2009, 10:37:58 AM »

Congratulations, Tallitot Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2009, 01:27:00 PM »

[Removed my own post and am leaving the thread.]
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« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2009, 03:29:09 PM »

If you're happy, then God bless you.  If you're not happy, then God bless you.

It's not (from my POV) the best decision in the world to leave Christianity, but I pray that you still end up in God's Eternal Kingdom.  Happy Hanukkah.
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« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2009, 03:54:40 PM »

Mazel Tov!
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« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2009, 09:03:56 PM »

Why isn't there a jewish sub-forum .....Just asking .... Grin
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« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2009, 11:20:42 PM »

Why isn't there a jewish sub-forum .....Just asking .... Grin

Or maybe we could simply learn to accept our fellow human brethren for who they are...just asking Wink
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« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2009, 11:23:04 PM »

Why isn't there a jewish sub-forum .....Just asking .... Grin

The Jews control the world. But if they had a subforum on every site, people would start getting suspicious. So, they are playing it smart by keeping a low profile.

(For those who aren't sure, yes, I'm joking)
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« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2009, 11:33:13 PM »

Why isn't there a jewish sub-forum .....Just asking .... Grin

Or maybe we could simply learn to accept our fellow human brethren for who they are...just asking Wink

And you've shown such a wonderful example for us.... Just saying ...   Wink
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« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2009, 12:18:55 AM »

Why isn't there a jewish sub-forum .....Just asking .... Grin

Or maybe we could simply learn to accept our fellow human brethren for who they are...just asking Wink

And you've shown such a wonderful example for us.... Just saying ...   Wink

Considering the biggoted neo-nazi crap I've seen on this thread, It'll take that as a complement...just saying Smiley
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« Reply #29 on: December 25, 2009, 07:59:29 AM »

I'm not gonna comment on how denying Messiah fits into Tallilot's decision to convert to Rabbinical Judaism, that's for our Master to decide on Judgement Day. Though do keep in mind that neither we, nor Tallilot himself, know if he will indeed still be a Jew on his death bed. Today is not Judgement day and anything can happen, we don't know the future, including our own futures. I will instead wish Tallilot well, may he be healthy and blessed.
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« Reply #30 on: December 25, 2009, 04:06:35 PM »

Why isn't there a jewish sub-forum .....Just asking .... Grin

Or maybe we could simply learn to accept our fellow human brethren for who they are...just asking Wink

And you've shown such a wonderful example for us.... Just saying ...   Wink

Considering the biggoted neo-nazi crap I've seen on this thread, It'll take that as a complement...just saying Smiley
So because some folks express concern that a former Orthodox Christian has decided to become Jewish, you equate that with bigotry and neo-nazism?  That's quite an assertion, but since you continuously forget the purpose of this forum it makes sense why you would say something so goofy. 
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« Reply #31 on: December 25, 2009, 05:18:00 PM »

Why isn't there a jewish sub-forum .....Just asking .... Grin

Or maybe we could simply learn to accept our fellow human brethren for who they are...just asking Wink

Yes, we can all go live in Flat Land. All choices are equal, it's the fact that a choice has been made which is central. Keep everything grey. No right or wrong or anything in between. No Absolute Truth, just your own whims and feelings. Personal happiness is the ultimate goal so keeping everthing equal gives you a fair shot.

pass 
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« Reply #32 on: December 25, 2009, 05:19:51 PM »

So because some folks express concern
Stop worrying. It causes wrinkles and changes nothing. Its wasted energy.
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« Reply #33 on: December 25, 2009, 05:23:47 PM »

I dont know if you have explained your conversion before, but I would like to know your reasons. I am a Jew who converted to Christianity. My vote cancels yours Smiley
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« Reply #34 on: December 26, 2009, 12:24:28 AM »

So much that could be written about this from the Scriptures, the Fathers, and the Canons.  But, who wants to read the writings of Obersturmbahnfuhrer Paul, or Kreisleiter Ambrose, or for that matter, Reichsfuhrer Jesus, as quoted in the Gospel written by Gauleiter John.  Amazing that anyone who actually believes the teachings of the Orthodox Church is now a Nazi.  If only a dear departed Serbian Priest of mine would have known that when he was in Dachau with St. Nikolai (an Orthodox Saint who is considered to be "anti-Semitic" by many for his writings).   
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« Reply #35 on: December 26, 2009, 03:09:37 AM »

I dont know if you have explained your conversion before, but I would like to know your reasons. I am a Jew who converted to Christianity. My vote cancels yours Smiley

Cool. I would love to hear your story. I know of one other man who converted from Judaism to Eastern Orthodoxy.
He is married to a Syrian-American woman and attends a parish full of immigrants from Palestine and Israel.
The cultures actually mesh together quite nicely.
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« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2009, 03:12:17 AM »

I dont know if you have explained your conversion before, but I would like to know your reasons.

I'm curious about that also.  I haven't asked about that until now, only because I didn't want to be invasive.  However, I do think it would help us understand you if you explained why you left Christianity.  Specifically, I'm wondering if there was ever a time you believed in the divinity of Christ and whether something specific happened to make you abandon that belief. 

I don't mean to get too personal.  If this makes you uncomfortable, or if you just don't feel like answering, then you don't have to answer.  I just think it would help us understand where you are coming from.   Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2010, 10:23:16 PM »

This is interesting.  I hope that you find the peace that you are looking for in life and the spiritual font which offers wisdom.  Jews, while not Christian, have a lot of wisdom in their scriptures and teachings which is useful in navigating through everyday life.



« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 10:26:38 PM by Robb » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2010, 02:07:57 PM »

Cool. I would love to hear your story. I know of one other man who converted from Judaism to Eastern Orthodoxy.
He is married to a Syrian-American woman and attends a parish full of immigrants from Palestine and Israel.
The cultures actually mesh together quite nicely.

Tallitot,

I would very much like to hear your story, and how the conversion has been. Please don't worry about any negative comments.  I am sorry to hear that the Orthodox priest was mean to you.


One thing you can please help me with is whether there is prejudice in the moderate - orthodox Jewish religious Community against those who were not born ethnically Jewish. Is this real or not? Or is it just in the State of Israel?

Quote
I recall a Greek Orthodox woman who converted to Judaism. One day, she confided to me how difficult it had been. On the one hand, there were still Jews who questioned her "authenticity," though her family was active in their Reform synagogue and their children had all had a Jewish education. On the other hand, given the deep link among family, church, and identity in Greek culture, her relatives couldn't quite accept her decision, creating permanent tension with people she loved.

Or take the case of a young woman who was the daughter of a European foreign minister. She was always interested in Judaism growing up, she said, and took the leap when she met an Israeli man. She converted through the Conservative movement in the US, but it wasn't good enough for the Jewish community back home [in Israel]. The minister called and asked for our help. He was flabbergasted. He couldn't grasp why, after all the intense study his daughter had gone through, she was still kept at arm's length by local Jewish leaders [in Israel]. Eventually, things worked out, but not before some ill feelings were created.

David Harris, In the Trenches: A welcome or a wall? , Jerusalem Post
http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/harris/entry/a_welcome_or_a_wall

Shalom. Peace. Salaam.
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« Reply #39 on: July 19, 2010, 03:59:40 PM »

With all due respect to everyone posting in this thread, one this is evident; the category in which this thread was posted in. I believe debate is in fact what one is supposed to do, at the very least discuss the thread. Had it have been posted in a different section, certain comments here would be unacceptable, otherwise I think they are appropriate. What can I say, I am a constitutionalist Smiley

nonetheless, mazol tov!
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« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2010, 06:15:54 PM »

Talliot,
I'll echo what Fr. George said God Bless.
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« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2010, 06:29:29 PM »

Why not Orthodox Judaism?
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« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2010, 03:12:54 AM »

Quick question: do you have to get re-circumcised if you were already circumcised in a secular hospital?

Curiousity only
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« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2010, 03:23:45 AM »

Jewish Attitudes Toward Proselytes

At times, Jews have embraced large numbers of converts, but hostile relations with Gentile neighbors often led to suspicion of proselytes as well.?

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/beliefs/Issues/Jews_and_Non-Jews/Attitudes_Toward_Non-Jews/Converts.shtml

Biblical Times
Those Gentiles who were members of Israelite society were known as gerim (strangers or foreigners), and the Bible repeatedly emphasizes the obligation to welcome such people.

Jews in biblical times were open to prospective proselytes, but they did not see it as their mission to convert Gentiles. [Not sure the author is right.]

Rabbinic Times
The most famous negative statement in the Talmud about converts was made by Rabbi Helbo, who believed proselytes were "as troublesome as a sore." Most sages appear to have disagreed with Helbo, however, and tried to list specific historical circumstances which led him to this conclusion. Most prominent among these was the fact that the proselyte and his new Jewish community often suffered punishment from Christian leaders following a conversion.

The Middle Ages

...On the other hand, the Zohar (the classic work of kabbalah, medieval Jewish mysticism) strikes a different chord. The Zohar emphasizes the superior position of the born Jew in relation to the proselyte. [Huh?]This theme probably reflects the extent to which Jews felt persecuted and, consequently, entirely separate from the Gentile majority.

Today's "Jews by choice" are in large part accepted by American Jewry. Most Jews consider them a welcome addition to a community struggling to ensure its own survival in future generations. Yet even as they might fully accept proselytes as co-religionists, American Jews often feel that Jews-by-choice cannot fully share the bond of Jewish ethnicity, peoplehood, or history--at least not immediately. The contemporary situation is especially complex in Israel, where only conversions performed by Orthodox rabbis are regarded as legitimate.

============================================================

The author seems to say that in Old Testament times it wasn't this way.
So, is this looking down on non-ethnic Jews as spiritually inferior just something from Zohar and somehow a reaction to Christian persecution?

Regards.
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« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2010, 09:04:47 AM »

Quick question: do you have to get re-circumcised if you were already circumcised in a secular hospital?

Curiousity only

Yes, but it's not really a re-circumcision- the mohel would just ritually prick you with a needle.
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« Reply #45 on: July 23, 2010, 02:47:32 PM »

On purely rationalist grounds, I could be persuaded by Judaism. It is so fundamental to Monotheism, that I could be persuaded by it. I could say all these claims about Jesus Christ are so wild that I have to go back to prior teachings. I could justify irrational claims in the Old Testament, describing it as allegorical. Kind of like Protestants who go back to the early church. The big problem is that by conscience I can't accept the Old Testament rules about killing and cruelly punishing sinners. Human rights are an expression of God's law. If I accept Judaism, then I have to accept the Tanakh, with these rules.

The only way to get around it is reconstructionism- saying that the prophets were wrong about the rules, or that the Tanakh is wrong. People were living by these rules in Jesus' time, so even if the Jewish community changes its interpretation, the harsh rules are still there. And it's not just a few bad quotes like you find in the New Testament. The view of God in the Old Testament IS quite different. You can't just dismiss it as allegorical, because many of the allegories themselves (eg. bears eating kids for disrespect) focus on a vengeful view of God. So Reconstruction Judaism is not valid because it doesn't get around the problem of the central harsh views in a legitimate way.

The only way to get around these rules and the Old Testament, if one accepts the Tanakh's validity is for someone greater than the prophets to change it. You either need God to speak like he spoke to Moses, or you need Messiah to make the change.

Christianity is the only conscionable way to accept Judaism in our day. If we were living in Old Testament times, I wouldn't accept Old Testament Judaism either, because my mind has been opened up enough by Christ's ideas about compassion. And if I would come to a realization that Jesus wasn't Messiah, I wouldn't accept Judaism for the same reason.

     *     *      *

I am left with the problem of how God could have told people to live by the Old Testament before Christ, and the best way to rationalize it is to say it was appropriate for their socio-economic development, since it might have been more compassionate than other religions that corresponded to that same level of development. I am not sure that is satisfactory.

To sum up, I could accept Judaism on grounds of a rationalistic, amoral search for original teachings, but I can't accept its harsh perspective, and Christianity is a way to get around this.

I understand traditionally-interpreted Christianity has its own problems (Why should someone go to hell with "gnashing of teeth" for rejecting unusual claims about a person? To understand this, we would have to investigate what exactly He meant by this- was it rejection of Him, of His Covenant about love, or both?), but the perspective in the Old Testament is harsh enough for me to reject Rabbinical Judaism.

Regards.



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« Reply #46 on: July 23, 2010, 04:25:58 PM »

On purely rationalist grounds, I could be persuaded by Judaism. It is so fundamental to Monotheism, that I could be persuaded by it. I could say all these claims about Jesus Christ are so wild that I have to go back to prior teachings. I could justify irrational claims in the Old Testament, describing it as allegorical. Kind of like Protestants who go back to the early church. The big problem is that by conscience I can't accept the Old Testament rules about killing and cruelly punishing sinners. Human rights are an expression of God's law. If I accept Judaism, then I have to accept the Tanakh, with these rules.

Actually, if memory serves me correctly, many of the Rabbis throughout the centuries insisted that even though these "laws" existed in principle in the Tanakh, that they were never carried out in practice. Another view has taught that the carrying out of the death penalty while correct in principle, should require such a strict amount of evidence that it makes the actual act of carrying it out impossible.

Here's a brief quote from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment#Judaism


Quote


The official teachings of Judaism approve the death penalty in principle but the standard of proof required for application of death penalty is extremely stringent, and in practice, it has been abolished by various Talmudic decisions, making the situations in which a death sentence could be passed effectively impossible and hypothetical. A capital case could not be tried by a normal Beit Din of three but can only be adjudicated by a Sanhedrin of a minimum of twenty-three.[91] Forty years before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, i.e. in 30 CE, the Sanhedrin effectively abolished capital punishment, making it a hypothetical upper limit on the severity of punishment, fitting in finality for God alone to use, not fallible people.[92]

Most followers of Judaism[who?] either oppose the death penalty altogether or support it only in extreme cases with absolute proof, such as well-documented cases of genocide.[citation needed]

In law schools everywhere, students read the famous quotation from the 12th century legal scholar, Maimonides,

    "It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent one to death."[page needed]

Maimonides argued that executing a defendant on anything less than absolute certainty would lead to a slippery slope of decreasing burdens of proof, until we would be convicting merely "according to the judge's caprice". Maimonides was concerned about the need for the law to guard itself in public perceptions, to preserve its majesty and retain the people's respect.[93]


I also remember reading that some of the Rabbis took much of the Hebrew Scriptures as allegorical. The idea that people took the Bible absolutely literally in the ancient world is actually a modern construct of Fundamentalist Protestants, (and Fundie Atheists) and not the reality of the Church fathers or the Talmud.


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The only way to get around it is reconstructionism- saying that the prophets were wrong about the rules, or that the Tanakh is wrong. People were living by these rules in Jesus' time, so even if the Jewish community changes its interpretation, the harsh rules are still there.


No, they were not living by these rules at the time of Jesus. For starters, only Rome could carry out an execution. Now, certainly some Jews did believe the death penalty was correct for certain immoral behavior, however there are in fact Christians today who think such things. So that doesn't prove anything.

  Granted they are few and far between, but still.....

It's also important to realize that pre-Christian Judaism was never a monolithic block. Different interpretations of the Tanakh existed, as is obvious by the various sects at the time of Jesus, all with radically different interpretations of Israelite history and the Hebrew Scirptures.

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So And it's not just a few bad quotes like you find in the New Testament. The view of God in the Old Testament IS quite different. You can't just dismiss it as allegorical, because many of the allegories themselves (eg. bears eating kids for disrespect) focus on a vengeful view of God.

well the Old Testament view of God is not quite as monolithic as we read in our English Bibles. In fact it's quiet chaotic at times. One moment God is a loving father concerned about the poor, the widows, and helpless as in the Prophets, next moment is striking down people in rage. None of that makes any sense, that is until one begins to study the origins of the bible, biblical editors, and redactors and the fact that it didn't drop down from heaven alll bound in leather. With that said, generally speaking I cannot really disagree with you that the God as portrayed in the OT is very different at times, than the view of Him in the NT.

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The only way to get around these rules and the Old Testament, if one accepts the Tanakh's validity is for someone greater than the prophets to change it. You either need God to speak like he spoke to Moses, or you need Messiah to make the change.

But we as Christians still find our foundation within the Old Testament. I realize the OT has been ignored within Orthodoxy for quite a long time, and that many raised Orthodox can't even tell you who Samson was, or really any other story from the OT, but that doesn't mean we've tossed it away. We have almost the identical problem in "defending" the Old Testament that Judaism has. I mean without the Old Testament 'proofs' of Jesus Messiahship, we'd have no ground to stand on at all. The very concept of a Messiah comes right out of Judaism. Not to mention, parts of the New Testament, at least according to some people are in fact WORSE than the Old Testament. How so? Well, the OT has no concept of an eternal hell at all. It just isn't there. Once you die, you're dead! That's it! At best, one can find reference to hades, which is described as some sort of eternal drunken stuper.  Grin Yet the NT is full of references to people being tortured and burned for all of eternity simply because they don't ascribe to specific teachings about Jesus. Weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth because some is not sure Jesus is who He said He is! Most skeptics and atheists will take the OT "afterlife" over the NT afterlife any day.

Of course all that is assuming these texts were meant to be taken word for word literally in the first place. I tend to prefer Origen's opinion that God deliberately put some of these awful stories in the Bible (like Elijah sending two she bears to kill some children who were making fun of him) to make us look beyond the text, the historical and the literal lessons; to force us to look deeper at the true meaning and the inner depth of what the Scriptures are trying to convey. That is in fact what the NT writers did with the prophecies concerning Christ. As Marc mentioned I believe, if one reads those prophecies in their historical, literal and textual context, they don't say anything about Jesus or any coming Messiah at all. Yet the early Christians believed they did! Were they just grabbing at straws? Well if one is a literal Fundie of some sort, the answer is, yes. They were just making up stuff. However if one understands that people back then did not take all the Scriptures literally, (or only literally) and if one understands the tradition of Jewish Midrash, then not only does what the NT writers did begin to make sense, one can begin to "see" the prophecies where no such prophecies actually exist. Because we're looking deeper than the words on the page, we're looking within words, within ourselves, and within a more mystical understanding of the Bible. This is what Judaism does with those offensive texts, and what it has been doing for a very long time.



Quote
I am left with the problem of how God could have told people to live by the Old Testament before Christ, and the best way to rationalize it is to say it was appropriate for their socio-economic development, since it might have been more compassionate than other religions that corresponded to that same level of development. I am not sure that is satisfactory.

it actually wasn't more compassionate than other religions in fact. the Buddha figured this out 500 years before Christ. The founder of Jainism figured it out, and so did many of the Greek philosophers. (ie: they figured out killing people was wrong) But then of course, my view is that I see God speaking through Israel, through the prophets, and then these men wrote down, over many centuries what they perceived God was telling them. I don't hold a view of the Scriptures anything like "God wrote the Bible". Nor do I believe the Bible is without error. Perhaps it is like Origen suggested, that  God put those "errors" there to make us go deeper than we otherwise would. I don't know. But as an Orthodox Christian, it's just not a problem for me personally. God speaks through the Church, through Scripture, through saints, through men, women, Bishops, prophets etc. Just like He always did before Christ. If Church history tells us anything, it is that even when God is speaking through the Church, the Church is not free from error. (Iconoclasm for example) So it's just not a problem for me. I think that is how Judaism see things as well. Now granted there are Fundamentalists in all branches of religion, but we should base the teaching of a religion based on those people.

I completely sympathize with your post however. And can understand much of what you said. But I think it's important not to mischaracterize Judaism as the religion of a wrathful God, and Christianity as the religion of a loving God, because if you ask a Jew, even an Orthodox one, you'll find that they too believe and worship a loving God.

you raise some really interesting points though, and I hope we can keep this discussion free from zaniness. Smiley

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« Reply #47 on: July 23, 2010, 04:46:32 PM »

I think this is a vey interesting and worthwhile discussion; and I agree it is very important not to mischaracterize Judaism. I can't resist adding my two cents, but it would be too hard on this silly iPhone. Maybe later.  Smiley
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« Reply #48 on: July 23, 2010, 05:04:39 PM »

I also remember reading that some of the Rabbis took much of the Hebrew Scriptures as allegorical. The idea that people took the Bible absolutely literally in the ancient world is actually a modern construct of Fundamentalist Protestants, (and Fundie Atheists) and not the reality of the Church fathers or the Talmud.

And perhaps this understanding of the modern construct is likewise a construct of modern "Liberal" Biblical Textual Scholars. WEEEEE!
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« Reply #49 on: July 23, 2010, 05:33:18 PM »

I also remember reading that some of the Rabbis took much of the Hebrew Scriptures as allegorical. The idea that people took the Bible absolutely literally in the ancient world is actually a modern construct of Fundamentalist Protestants, (and Fundie Atheists) and not the reality of the Church fathers or the Talmud.

And perhaps this understanding of the modern construct is likewise a construct of modern "Liberal" Biblical Textual Scholars. WEEEEE!

The idea that the Old Testament is to be understood "allegorically" is primarily meant to express how we, as Christians, should apply the OT Scriptures to our lives. The Fathers often interpreted the Law and the Prophets allegorically, but to my knowledge they rarely if ever doubted that the OT was a true history. For example, their are spiritual lessons to be learned from the story of the flood, and from the wars against the Canaanites, but that doesn't mean God didn't actually destroy all mankind with a flood (save Noah), or that God didn't command Israel to kill all the Canaanites.

(Personally, I have no problem believing that a loving, merciful God did those things.)
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« Reply #50 on: July 23, 2010, 06:01:13 PM »

I also remember reading that some of the Rabbis took much of the Hebrew Scriptures as allegorical. The idea that people took the Bible absolutely literally in the ancient world is actually a modern construct of Fundamentalist Protestants, (and Fundie Atheists) and not the reality of the Church fathers or the Talmud.

And perhaps this understanding of the modern construct is likewise a construct of modern "Liberal" Biblical Textual Scholars. WEEEEE!

The idea that the Old Testament is to be understood "allegorically" is primarily meant to express how we, as Christians, should apply the OT Scriptures to our lives. The Fathers often interpreted the Law and the Prophets allegorically, but to my knowledge they rarely if ever doubted that the OT was a true history. For example, their are spiritual lessons to be learned from the story of the flood, and from the wars against the Canaanites, but that doesn't mean God didn't actually destroy all mankind with a flood (save Noah), or that God didn't command Israel to kill all the Canaanites.

(Personally, I have no problem believing that a loving, merciful God did those things.)

It should be noted that Orthodox Jews and those studying to be Clergy are trained in the yeshiva through the method of debating each other. They are not handed down some sort of final interpretation but are rather encouraged to come to realize the Truth by being challenged

It should also be noted that Jew's in America have traditionally sided with the poor and oppressed despite their affluence and Middle Class position. They supported, at some personal risk, the Civil Rights movement, Women's Rights, the Labor Movement and Antiwar movement long before other groups.

And finally, I once heard a Buddhist Monk ask an audience: "The Buddha was wrong when he mentioned the size of the World. He was off by many thousands of ( "cubits" or some such measure).  Does that upset you?'
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« Reply #51 on: July 23, 2010, 06:35:36 PM »

http://nyti.ms/9TmVSA

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But after objections from the ultra-Orthodox, the bill formally placed authority for conversion in the hands of the chief rabbinate and declared Orthodox Jewish law to be the basis of conversion, making Americans fear that their more lenient conversion processes would be invalidated.
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« Reply #52 on: July 23, 2010, 07:31:43 PM »

It should also be noted that Jew's in America have traditionally sided with the poor and oppressed despite their affluence and Middle Class position. They supported, at some personal risk, the Civil Rights movement, Women's Rights, the Labor Movement and Antiwar movement long before other groups.

That's a big reason why stereotypes about ethnic Jews don't work. In Russia, those who rebelled against rabbinical Judaism became as strong advocates of leftist movements as the Russian workers themselves, while the strongest adherents of rabbinical Judaism focused on Shtetl life and avoidance of gentiles. This is depicted in the movie Fiddler on the Roof, with Tevye's three son-in laws.

I think the same dynamic continues in America: those Jews who sided the most with labor, civil rights, and anti-Apartheid movements are the least religious.


One could extrapolate and say that those who are slandered as "self-hating Jews" show greater concern for all nationalities because they reject the insularity of conservative rabbinical Judaism.


Not only does Christianity offer a way to escape the vengeful approach of the Old Testament, but a way to escape a focus on the insularity of rabbinical Judaism.

I consider Christianity's desire to spread God's word of compassion among all the nations to be very important, if such a message is true.


I could say, well, the rabbis just aren't understanding things right, let's spread the correct Judaic teaching. But the old Testament itself is too oriented on righteous revenge, in contrast to Christianity's idea of compassion, which I can't reject once I know about it.
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« Reply #53 on: July 23, 2010, 08:37:41 PM »

It should also be noted that Jew's in America have traditionally sided with the poor and oppressed despite their affluence and Middle Class position. They supported, at some personal risk, the Civil Rights movement, Women's Rights, the Labor Movement and Antiwar movement long before other groups.

That's a big reason why stereotypes about ethnic Jews don't work. In Russia, those who rebelled against rabbinical Judaism became as strong advocates of leftist movements as the Russian workers themselves, while the strongest adherents of rabbinical Judaism focused on Shtetl life and avoidance of gentiles. This is depicted in the movie Fiddler on the Roof, with Tevye's three son-in laws.

I think the same dynamic continues in America: those Jews who sided the most with labor, civil rights, and anti-Apartheid movements are the least religious.


One could extrapolate and say that those who are slandered as "self-hating Jews" show greater concern for all nationalities because they reject the insularity of conservative rabbinical Judaism.


Not only does Christianity offer a way to escape the vengeful approach of the Old Testament, but a way to escape a focus on the insularity of rabbinical Judaism.

I consider Christianity's desire to spread God's word of compassion among all the nations to be very important, if such a message is true.


I could say, well, the rabbis just aren't understanding things right, let's spread the correct Judaic teaching. But the old Testament itself is too oriented on righteous revenge, in contrast to Christianity's idea of compassion, which I can't reject once I know about it.

There is a kernel of Truth to what you say but only a kernel. I think you have a personal political agenda and are backfilling with pet theories to prop up your foregone conclusions. 

Its outrageous to term Liberals who are Jewish as "Self hating".  The norm in Judaism is not the Ultradox. It's the Reform and Conservatives who would challenge the idea that they are not religious or that their understanding of Judaism is somehow less meaningful or less Jewish.

I went to the funeral of my dear cousin last November who died from cancer. The service was officiated by a Woman Rabbi who in her sermon interwove strong feminist themes. You really would not want to look her in the eye and call her a self hating Jew or tell her she is less religious than others.   

 
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« Reply #54 on: July 23, 2010, 08:48:18 PM »

Actually, if memory serves me correctly, many of the Rabbis throughout the centuries insisted that even though these "laws" existed in principle in the Tanakh, that they were never carried out in practice. Another view has taught that the carrying out of the death penalty while correct in principle, should require such a strict amount of evidence that it makes the actual act of carrying it out impossible.

I could see such an interpretation developing in the disapora, when the Judaic community lacked power to enforce OT laws, living in Christian kingdoms. I'm very glad they have this view, but I just don't think that's what it says. I mean, it talks about stoning kids for disrespecting parents. I disagree with the rule itself, whether or not it was commonly practiced. It's not something I can believe in. Maybe in that time it was ok, but not today, and rabbinical Judaism doesn't say then it was ok, now it isn't. That's why I like Christianity. It says we don't have to focus on stoning blasphemers and gross eye for eye eye-deas.

If I thought all this stuff was ok, I would be in favor. But I reject it. That's not what I believe in or want.

Quote
Forty years before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, i.e. in 30 CE, the Sanhedrin effectively abolished capital punishment, making it a hypothetical upper limit on the severity of punishment, fitting in finality for God alone to use, not fallible people.
OK, SO NOW WE HAVE EVIDENCE THAT STONING OF CHRIST'S FOLLOWERS BY PAUL AND OTHERS DID NOT HAPPEN??

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Most followers of Judaism[who?] either oppose the death penalty altogether or support it only in extreme cases with absolute proof, such as well-documented cases of genocide.
I guess former prosecutor & PA governor Rendell isn't very faithful.




Quote
I also remember reading that some of the Rabbis took much of the Hebrew Scriptures as allegorical. The idea that people took the Bible absolutely literally in the ancient world is actually a modern construct of Fundamentalist Protestants, (and Fundie Atheists) and not the reality of the Church fathers or the Talmud.
I think that alot of people in the ancient world took the story of the flood literally, but it sounds like others you are saying understood it allegorically. That's heartening.
I had a friend who went to an Orthodox Jewish school and they told him he HAD to take it literally.

My point in raising this was that describing the OT as allegorical would make it easier to convert to Judaism, since its clear that the unusual New Testament story about Jesus is meant to be taken literally.

But nevertheless, the OT is too vengeful, and I reject its approach once I know about the gospel.

Quote
The only way to get around it is reconstructionism- saying that the prophets were wrong about the rules, or that the Tanakh is wrong. People were living by these rules in Jesus' time, so even if the Jewish community changes its interpretation, the harsh rules are still there.
Quote
No, they were not living by these rules at the time of Jesus. For starters, only Rome could carry out an execution. Now, certainly some Jews did believe the death penalty was correct for certain immoral behavior, however there are in fact Christians today who think such things. So that doesn't prove anything.

OK, my idea was that Jesus took issue with observance of harsh rules and stopped a prostitute from being stoned, but you are saying people didn't live by them at that time?

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It's also important to realize that pre-Christian Judaism was never a monolithic block. Different interpretations of the Tanakh existed, as is obvious by the various sects at the time of Jesus, all with radically different interpretations of Israelite history and the Hebrew Scirptures.

OK.

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So And it's not just a few bad quotes like you find in the New Testament. The view of God in the Old Testament IS quite different. You can't just dismiss it as allegorical, because many of the allegories themselves (eg. bears eating kids for disrespect) focus on a vengeful view of God.

well the Old Testament view of God is not quite as monolithic as we read in our English Bibles. In fact it's quiet chaotic at times. One moment God is a loving father concerned about the poor, the widows, and helpless as in the Prophets, next moment is striking down people in rage. None of that makes any sense, that is until one begins to study the origins of the bible, biblical editors, and redactors and the fact that it didn't drop down from heaven alll bound in leather. With that said, generally speaking I cannot really disagree with you that the God as portrayed in the OT is very different at times, than the view of Him in the NT.

K.
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The only way to get around these rules and the Old Testament, if one accepts the Tanakh's validity is for someone greater than the prophets to change it. You either need God to speak like he spoke to Moses, or you need Messiah to make the change.

But we as Christians still find our foundation within the Old Testament. I realize the OT has been ignored within Orthodoxy for quite a long time, and that many raised Orthodox can't even tell you who Samson was, or really any other story from the OT, but that doesn't mean we've tossed it away. We have almost the identical problem in "defending" the Old Testament that Judaism has. I mean without the Old Testament 'proofs' of Jesus Messiahship, we'd have no ground to stand on at all.
Sure, it's a foundation, and the proofs are very important, but that doesn't make it ok in our time to follow these rules about killing people for failing to observe sabbath etc, and making a New Covenant was an important way to replace this outdated idea, which may have been ok in 2000 BC.


 
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The very concept of a Messiah comes right out of Judaism. Not to mention, parts of the New Testament, at least according to some people are in fact WORSE than the Old Testament. How so? Well, the OT has no concept of an eternal hell at all. It just isn't there. Once you die, you're dead! That's it! At best, one can find reference to hades, which is described as some sort of eternal drunken stuper.  Grin Yet the NT is full of references to people being tortured and burned for all of eternity simply because they don't ascribe to specific teachings about Jesus. Weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth because some is not sure Jesus is who He said He is! Most skeptics and atheists will take the OT "afterlife" over the NT afterlife any day.
I know dude. That's why I said Christianity has it's own problems, and I'm interested to see how you can explain them, but I still reject the vengeful orientation of the OT when I know that compassion and love can be new approach.


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Of course all that is assuming these texts were meant to be taken word for word literally in the first place. I tend to prefer Origen's opinion that God deliberately put some of these awful stories in the Bible (like Elijah sending two she bears to kill some children who were making fun of him) to make us look beyond the text, the historical and the literal lessons; to force us to look deeper at the true meaning and the inner depth of what the Scriptures are trying to convey.

 Roll Eyes

OK. OK.  Wink  Smiley . I hope you are right about the particular unreal incidents in the allegories.


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That is in fact what the NT writers did with the prophecies concerning Christ. As Marc mentioned I believe, if one reads those prophecies in their historical, literal and textual context, they don't say anything about Jesus or any coming Messiah at all.

WHAT?HuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuh
Daniel 9? There were no prophecies of the coming Messiah as understood in their correct historical context?


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Yet the early Christians believed they did! Were they just grabbing at straws? Well if one is a literal Fundie of some sort, the answer is, yes. They were just making up stuff.
OK, some things, like bowing down to Moses' snake in the desert on the stick=Jesus on a cross.

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However if one understands that people back then did not take all the Scriptures literally, (or only literally) and if one understands the tradition of Jewish Midrash, then not only does what the NT writers did begin to make sense, one can begin to "see" the prophecies where no such prophecies actually exist. Because we're looking deeper than the words on the page, we're looking within words, within ourselves, and within a more mystical understanding of the Bible. This is what Judaism does with those offensive texts, and what it has been doing for a very long time.

Yes, you can do this. Here, I'll give it a try: about stoning sinners- what it means is destroying them "as a sinner."
What we are really doing is morphing the meaning to fit a Christian view. Maybe this is ok once you've accepted Christianity. But the spirit and sense of the Old Testament doesn't do this. There's enough of a vengeful angel-forgiveness ratio in the Old Testament that it's not loyal to the spirit or meaning of the book by itself without taking it together with the New Testament.

Anyway, I am not really sure that twisting the meaning of the words to mean the seeming opposite is valid in the first place.

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I am left with the problem of how God could have told people to live by the Old Testament before Christ, and the best way to rationalize it is to say it was appropriate for their socio-economic development, since it might have been more compassionate than other religions that corresponded to that same level of development. I am not sure that is satisfactory.

it actually wasn't more compassionate than other religions in fact. the Buddha figured this out 500 years before Christ. The founder of Jainism figured it out, and so did many of the Greek philosophers. (ie: they figured out killing people was wrong) But then of course, my view is that I see God speaking through Israel, through the prophets, and then these men wrote down, over many centuries what they perceived God was telling them. I don't hold a view of the Scriptures anything like "God wrote the Bible". Nor do I believe the Bible is without error. Perhaps it is like Origen suggested, that  God put those "errors" there to make us go deeper than we otherwise would. I don't know. But as an Orthodox Christian, it's just not a problem for me personally. God speaks through the Church, through Scripture, through saints, through men, women, Bishops, prophets etc. Just like He always did before Christ. If Church history tells us anything, it is that even when God is speaking through the Church, the Church is not free from error. (Iconoclasm for example) So it's just not a problem for me.

OK


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I think that is how Judaism see things as well. Now granted there are Fundamentalists in all branches of religion, but we should base the teaching of a religion based on those people.

I completely sympathize with your post however. And can understand much of what you said. But I think it's important not to mischaracterize Judaism as the religion of a wrathful God, and Christianity as the religion of a loving God, because if you ask a Jew, even an Orthodox one, you'll find that they too believe and worship a loving God.
[I think your sentence construction suggests something you don't mean.]

Well, I have to explain why I am attracted to a Christian approach and why we say we read the scriptures with love, what is special to Christianity. And that's my reason.

OK, religious Jews and Muslims believe in a loving God, and that's what they find in their books. But there's enough of a wrathful view in the Old Testament[and Quran] that I reject the Old Testament as law if it is absent the compassionate view of Christianity.

I mean, the old Testament and Quran talk about flogging bad people. The New Testament doesn't say that. Now Jews and Muslims say I have it wrong, OK. But if you want to give a valid reading of their books, that's what it recommends to a big and clear enough extent that I say no, in today's day and age, I reject that. Maybe OT was inspired, but it's not my faith with our current level of socio-economic development  Tongue
Quote
you raise some really interesting points though, and I hope we can keep this discussion free from zaniness. Smiley

OK, well I explained to you what keeps me from converting to Judaism in the face of Christianity's unusual factual claims-- I reject OT rules and approaches in favor of Christian ones.

The proofs of these unusual fact claims are not strong enough, and Judaism offers an afterlife too. As Marc said:
Quote
Jews have not accepted Jesus as The Messiah. their case for not doing so is perfectly reasonable

Maybe you can say what your reasons are for not accepting Judaism. My reason is the OT focus on vengeance. It's reliable and exacting, but it's not how I want to live. I believe in something better than that.
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« Reply #55 on: July 23, 2010, 09:13:16 PM »

There is a kernel of Truth to what you say but only a kernel. I think you have a personal political agenda and are backfilling with pet theories to prop up your foregone conclusions.
 
You have a personal political agenda. There's a Communist-Christian-human-rights plot afoot. I am not sure what it is yet, but I'll get to the bottom of it.

Hehe.


Quote
Its outrageous to term Liberals who are Jewish as "Self hating".  The norm in Judaism is not the Ultradox. It's the Reform and Conservatives who would challenge the idea that they are not religious or that their understanding of Judaism is somehow less meaningful or less Jewish.

I went to the funeral of my dear cousin last November who died from cancer. The service was officiated by a Woman Rabbi who in her sermon interwove strong feminist themes. You really would not want to look her in the eye and call her a self hating Jew or tell her she is less religious than others.  

I am glad you feel this way. Recently, a female rabbi opened a Torah at the Wailing Wall. You might have read about this. There is a huge stigma in the Jewish establishment about attacking certain things. Haaretz reported about this in : "Who is the 'we' that the Jewish community stands for?". If you abandon a certain "identity," try to assimilate among the goyim and attack the secular rulers that claims to stands for you, the supporters give you this slanderous label.

It IS outrageous.

And another reason why I can't convert to Judaism. Why should I have to tie my identity to a secular institution and location? Since when did speaking out become a crime in the community?

Since the days of the prophets. The proof continues of the very attractive truth of what Jesus said, that His kingdom is not of this world.
  

I think that you are very brave, Marc, for coming to Christianity, and would like to hear your story sometime.

Many Blessings to You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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« Reply #56 on: July 24, 2010, 01:12:25 PM »

WHAT?HuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuh
Daniel 9? There were no prophecies of the coming Messiah as understood in their correct historical context?


That's not  what I said. I said the Jewish objection to Jesus as the Messiah is based on Scripture. He fulfilled some of the prophecies but not all of them.
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« Reply #57 on: July 24, 2010, 01:22:09 PM »

I am glad you feel this way. Recently, a female rabbi opened a Torah at the Wailing Wall. You might have read about this. There is a huge stigma in the Jewish establishment about attacking certain things. Haaretz reported about this in : "Who is the 'we' that the Jewish community stands for?". If you abandon a certain "identity," try to assimilate among the goyim and attack the secular rulers that claims to stands for you, the supporters give you this slanderous label.

It IS outrageous.


Sorry, your recounting of this story is garbled. Try to re-write this more clearly.

oh and did Haaretz really use the term Goyim? Or was that you inserting invective to make your point ( whatever your point was)
 

And another reason why I can't convert to Judaism. Why should I have to tie my identity to a secular institution and location? Since when did speaking out become a crime in the community?

LOL...Brother... I'm not sure they would take you.

 

I think that you are very brave, Marc, for coming to Christianity, and would like to hear your story sometime.


I think not. Your history of miss representing things I have said and fabricating all kinds of claims makes me think I shouldn't hand you more ammunition to use against me. I may be dumb but I'm not stupid... or something like that :0
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« Reply #58 on: July 24, 2010, 02:31:32 PM »

Its outrageous to term Liberals who are Jewish as "Self hating".  The norm in Judaism is not the Ultradox. It's the Reform and Conservatives who would challenge the idea that they are not religious or that their understanding of Judaism is somehow less meaningful or less Jewish.

I went to the funeral of my dear cousin last November who died from cancer. The service was officiated by a Woman Rabbi who in her sermon interwove strong feminist themes. You really would not want to look her in the eye and call her a self hating Jew or tell her she is less religious than others.  

I am glad you feel this way. Recently, a female rabbi opened a Torah at the Wailing Wall. You might have read about this. If you abandon a certain "identity," try to assimilate among the goyim and attack the secular rulers that claims to stands for you, the supporters give you this slanderous label.
It IS outrageous.


Sorry, your recounting of this story is garbled. Try to re-write this more clearly.

did Haaretz really use the term Goyim?

Marc, I'll cite Haaretz as you asked. Not only do you get called goyim, the High Court enforces it.


  • Haredim call women Western Wall worshippers 'Nazis'
    By Haaretz Service
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/haredim-dub-women-western-wall-worshippers-nazis-1.1831

    About 200 members of the "Women of the Wall" organization arrived at the Western Wall in order to take part in the monthly Rosh Hodesh prayer, and to protest the arrest of their fellow member at the site. Police officers separated the two sides after Haredi worshipers approached the women's group members and yelled out "not Jewish, send them to church," and "Nazis, blasphemy."

    Last month, police arrested Nofat Frankel who was praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, due to the fact that she was [a woman] wrapped in a prayer shawl (tallit). Police were called to the area after the group asked to read aloud from a Torah scroll. Police said they arrested the [200] women in the wake of a High Court ruling.


And another reason why I can't convert to Judaism. Why should I have to tie my identity to a secular institution and location? Since when did speaking out become a crime in the community?

LOL...Brother... I'm not sure they would take you.

That's what I am saying. Why should I join a religion whose community institutions fire you for openly criticizing a government? Why does criticism about human rights violations have to be whispered in Rabbinical Judaism? That's not the way of the prophets.

I could get around this and say they're violating the Tanakh. But I think the Old Testament has enough rules and scary prayers asking for righteous punishment, that once I know about Christianity, it's not a perspective I follow. And I think the OT goes over the top sometimes, even in terms of revenge, like stoning disrespectful kids.

Regards.
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« Reply #59 on: July 24, 2010, 03:27:33 PM »

Its outrageous to term Liberals who are Jewish as "Self hating".  The norm in Judaism is not the Ultradox. It's the Reform and Conservatives who would challenge the idea that they are not religious or that their understanding of Judaism is somehow less meaningful or less Jewish.

I went to the funeral of my dear cousin last November who died from cancer. The service was officiated by a Woman Rabbi who in her sermon interwove strong feminist themes. You really would not want to look her in the eye and call her a self hating Jew or tell her she is less religious than others.  

I am glad you feel this way. Recently, a female rabbi opened a Torah at the Wailing Wall. You might have read about this. If you abandon a certain "identity," try to assimilate among the goyim and attack the secular rulers that claims to stands for you, the supporters give you this slanderous label.
It IS outrageous.


Sorry, your recounting of this story is garbled. Try to re-write this more clearly.

did Haaretz really use the term Goyim?

Marc, I'll cite Haaretz as you asked. Not only do you get called goyim, the High Court enforces it.


  • Haredim call women Western Wall worshippers 'Nazis'
    By Haaretz Service
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/haredim-dub-women-western-wall-worshippers-nazis-1.1831

    About 200 members of the "Women of the Wall" organization arrived at the Western Wall in order to take part in the monthly Rosh Hodesh prayer, and to protest the arrest of their fellow member at the site. Police officers separated the two sides after Haredi worshipers approached the women's group members and yelled out "not Jewish, send them to church," and "Nazis, blasphemy."

    Last month, police arrested Nofat Frankel who was praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, due to the fact that she was [a woman] wrapped in a prayer shawl (tallit). Police were called to the area after the group asked to read aloud from a Torah scroll. Police said they arrested the [200] women in the wake of a High Court ruling.


And another reason why I can't convert to Judaism. Why should I have to tie my identity to a secular institution and location? Since when did speaking out become a crime in the community?

LOL...Brother... I'm not sure they would take you.

That's what I am saying. Why should I join a religion whose community institutions fire you for openly criticizing a government? Why does criticism about human rights violations have to be whispered in Rabbinical Judaism? That's not the way of the prophets.

I could get around this and say they're violating the Tanakh. But I think the Old Testament has enough rules and scary prayers asking for righteous punishment, that once I know about Christianity, it's not a perspective I follow. And I think the OT goes over the top sometimes, even in terms of revenge, like stoning disrespectful kids.

Regards.


Ummm...tapping foot.... The term "GOYIM" appears no where in the article that I could find. What are you smoking?

Maybe I missed it. Could you point it out. If not, than what I said seems to be true. You have added invective all on your own. You keep doing that.

That's what I am saying. Why should I join a religion whose community institutions fire you for openly criticizing a government? Why does criticism about human rights violations have to be whispered in Rabbinical Judaism? That's not the way of the prophets.

I could get around this and say they're violating the Tanakh. But I think the Old Testament has enough rules and scary prayers asking for righteous punishment, that once I know about Christianity, it's not a perspective I follow. And I think the OT goes over the top sometimes, even in terms of revenge, like stoning disrespectful kids.


 You really don't know what you are talking about.
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« Reply #60 on: July 24, 2010, 08:51:20 PM »

Its outrageous to term Liberals who are Jewish as "Self hating".  The norm in Judaism is not the Ultradox. It's the Reform and Conservatives who would challenge the idea that they are not religious or that their understanding of Judaism is somehow less meaningful or less Jewish.

I went to the funeral of my dear cousin last November who died from cancer. The service was officiated by a Woman Rabbi who in her sermon interwove strong feminist themes. You really would not want to look her in the eye and call her a self hating Jew or tell her she is less religious than others.  

I am glad you feel this way. Recently, a female rabbi opened a Torah at the Wailing Wall. You might have read about this. If you abandon a certain "identity," try to assimilate among the goyim and attack the secular rulers that claims to stands for you, the supporters give you this slanderous label.
It IS outrageous.


Sorry, your recounting of this story is garbled. Try to re-write this more clearly.

did Haaretz really use the term Goyim?

Marc, I'll cite Haaretz as you asked. Not only do you get called goyim, the High Court enforces it.


  • Haredim call women Western Wall worshippers 'Nazis'
    By Haaretz Service
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/haredim-dub-women-western-wall-worshippers-nazis-1.1831

    About 200 members of the "Women of the Wall" organization arrived at the Western Wall in order to take part in the monthly Rosh Hodesh prayer, and to protest the arrest of their fellow member at the site. Police officers separated the two sides after Haredi worshipers approached the women's group members and yelled out "not Jewish, send them to church," and "Nazis, blasphemy."

    Last month, police arrested Nofat Frankel who was praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, due to the fact that she was [a woman] wrapped in a prayer shawl (tallit). Police were called to the area after the group asked to read aloud from a Torah scroll. Police said they arrested the [200] women in the wake of a High Court ruling.




Ummm...tapping foot.... The term "GOYIM" appears no where in the article that I could find. What are you smoking?

Maybe I missed it. Could you point it out. If not, than what I said seems to be true.


I am sorry. The term from Haaretz is "not Jewish, send them to church" and "Nazis, blasphemy", and is properly spoken before the High Court convicts women of wearing shawls in religious places.

Nonetheless, I believe "goyim" is an appropriate term to describe how many rabbinical Jews look at us. We aren't exactly Kosher.  Roll Eyes

Oh... wait... I found it... it's in the comments section of the article:

Goyim - you are the natural heirs of the Jews who fought with themselves rather than with their Roman conquerors. Shame, shame. - Harmon Bond

That's what I am saying. Why should I join a religion whose community institutions fire you for openly criticizing a government? Why does criticism about human rights violations have to be whispered in Rabbinical Judaism? That's not the way of the prophets.

I could get around this and say they're violating the Tanakh. But I think the Old Testament has enough rules and scary prayers asking for righteous punishment, that once I know about Christianity, it's not a perspective I follow. And I think the OT goes over the top sometimes, even in terms of revenge, like stoning disrespectful kids.


 You really don't know what you are talking about.

Great. Maybe you can tell that to young members of the Jewish Anti-Zionist Network who refused to give their names for fear of retaliation at Jewish community organizations. Or maybe some of the people mentioned in the article
Who is the 'we' that the Jewish community stands for? - Haaretz
http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/who-is-the-we-that-the-jewish-community-stands-for-1.299631

As for my being wrong about the Old Testament's harsh views as a major reason for being Christian and accepting what we call the New Covenant, maybe you can explain clearly why I should convert to rabbinical Judaism. If so, I'll try to be open-minded and search for truth.

Regards.
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« Reply #61 on: July 26, 2010, 10:11:51 AM »

I also remember reading that some of the Rabbis took much of the Hebrew Scriptures as allegorical. The idea that people took the Bible absolutely literally in the ancient world is actually a modern construct of Fundamentalist Protestants, (and Fundie Atheists) and not the reality of the Church fathers or the Talmud.

And perhaps this understanding of the modern construct is likewise a construct of modern "Liberal" Biblical Textual Scholars. WEEEEE!


Well, don't take my word for it. Or any "modern" scholar for that matter. All one has to go do is actually go read stuff from the Rabbis and Mystics where they explicitly state things like "we don't take this literally and never did!" Cheesy

 The same goes with the Church fathers as well. The idea that everyone took everything literally in the ancient Church/Judaism is a modern construct, which is verifiable by simply reading the Church fathers, Rabbis and Mystics. Just go read Origen if you don't believe me. (yeah I know he's a "heretic", of course not deemed so until 300 years after his death) If one doesn't trust Origen to be a reliable source just check out Clement of Alexandria, Or St.. Dionysius the Areopagite, or Maimonides.

 The proof is in the in pudding, particularly with the OT, where a literally reading would in no way whatsoever lead a person to conclude Jesus was the long awaited Messiah. (assuming one isn't reading translations like the NIV which tend to make prophecies appear to point to Christ more than they actually do). Or take for example the "prophecy" about Mary being ever virgin, and the "gates of the sanctuary" remaining shut and all that. (I've forgotten the specific quote) I mean no rational person could read that and say, "yes, it's a literal prophecy about a woman being ever Virgin!" It's just not, and that's all there is too it. That's why Origen basically said people wrapped up in a literal reading of the Scriptures were missing the point entirely.  The Church fathers took it (that text) allegorically, not literally...that doesn't make it untrue, it just means trying to rationalize the Bible in a literal sense, as our post Enlightenment world insists, is simply not how the Church fathers, Rabbis, or Mystics always did things. For certain they DID do things that way often, but not across the board, and it is one of the reasons Judaism to this day feels as though Christianity is at fault because Christianity interpreted the OT and tended to allegorize it to such an extant as to make the original text meaningless, and in some cases (so the argument goes) completely changed the meaning to make Jesus fit into the text. That's not "my" argument, but that is the argument within Judaism, and it is completely valid if one tends to a more literalized reading of the OT. And yet even in Judaism, allegory is not alien at all. It has nothing to do with "liberal scholars" at all, but goes back to the first debate between Judaism and Christianity which asks how much should we use allegory and how often, and which parts do we use it?




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« Reply #62 on: July 26, 2010, 10:24:02 AM »



rakovsky, I'm sending you a PM in reply to your question!
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« Reply #63 on: July 26, 2010, 05:16:10 PM »

skip
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« Reply #64 on: July 26, 2010, 05:45:09 PM »

Its outrageous to term Liberals who are Jewish as "Self hating".  The norm in Judaism is not the Ultradox. It's the Reform and Conservatives who would challenge the idea that they are not religious or that their understanding of Judaism is somehow less meaningful or less Jewish.

I went to the funeral of my dear cousin last November who died from cancer. The service was officiated by a Woman Rabbi who in her sermon interwove strong feminist themes. You really would not want to look her in the eye and call her a self hating Jew or tell her she is less religious than others.  


I am glad you feel this way. Recently, a female rabbi opened a Torah at the Wailing Wall. You might have read about this. If you abandon a certain "identity," try to assimilate among the goyim and attack the secular rulers that claims to stands for you, the supporters give you this slanderous label.
It IS outrageous.


Sorry, your recounting of this story is garbled. Try to re-write this more clearly.

did Haaretz really use the term Goyim?

Marc, I'll cite Haaretz as you asked. Not only do you get called goyim, the High Court enforces it.


  • Haredim call women Western Wall worshippers 'Nazis'
    By Haaretz Service
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/haredim-dub-women-western-wall-worshippers-nazis-1.1831

    About 200 members of the "Women of the Wall" organization arrived at the Western Wall in order to take part in the monthly Rosh Hodesh prayer, and to protest the arrest of their fellow member at the site. Police officers separated the two sides after Haredi worshipers approached the women's group members and yelled out "not Jewish, send them to church," and "Nazis, blasphemy."

    Last month, police arrested Nofat Frankel who was praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, due to the fact that she was [a woman] wrapped in a prayer shawl (tallit). Police were called to the area after the group asked to read aloud from a Torah scroll. Police said they arrested the [200] women in the wake of a High Court ruling.




Ummm...tapping foot.... The term "GOYIM" appears no where in the article that I could find. What are you smoking?

Maybe I missed it. Could you point it out. If not, than what I said seems to be true.


I am sorry. The term from Haaretz is "not Jewish, send them to church" and "Nazis, blasphemy", and is properly spoken before the High Court convicts women of wearing shawls in religious places.

Nonetheless, I believe "goyim" is an appropriate term to describe how many rabbinical Jews look at us. We aren't exactly Kosher.  Roll Eyes

Oh... wait... I found it... it's in the comments section of the article:

Goyim - you are the natural heirs of the Jews who fought with themselves rather than with their Roman conquerors. Shame, shame. - Harmon Bond

That's what I am saying. Why should I join a religion whose community institutions fire you for openly criticizing a government? Why does criticism about human rights violations have to be whispered in Rabbinical Judaism? That's not the way of the prophets.

I could get around this and say they're violating the Tanakh. But I think the Old Testament has enough rules and scary prayers asking for righteous punishment, that once I know about Christianity, it's not a perspective I follow. And I think the OT goes over the top sometimes, even in terms of revenge, like stoning disrespectful kids.


 You really don't know what you are talking about.

Great. Maybe you can tell that to young members of the Jewish Anti-Zionist Network who refused to give their names for fear of retaliation at Jewish community organizations. Or maybe some of the people mentioned in the article
Who is the 'we' that the Jewish community stands for? - Haaretz
http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/who-is-the-we-that-the-jewish-community-stands-for-1.299631

As for my being wrong about the Old Testament's harsh views as a major reason for being Christian and accepting what we call the New Covenant, maybe you can explain clearly why I should convert to rabbinical Judaism. If so, I'll try to be open-minded and search for truth.

Regards.

I am sorry. The term from Haaretz is "not Jewish, send them to church" and "Nazis, blasphemy", and is properly spoken before the High Court convicts women of wearing shawls in religious places.

Nonetheless, I believe "goyim" is an appropriate term to describe how many rabbinical Jews look at us. We aren't exactly Kosher.  Roll Eyes

Oh... wait... I found it... it's in the comments section of the article:


Translation: You made it up. The term does not appear in the article.
 
If I understood the article, Liberal Jewish Women went to the wailing wall which is managed by very conservative Rabbi's and put on men's prayer shawls. They got yelled at.. Okay. Is that it?  Any women walk behind the alter at your Church lately?

Great. Maybe you can tell that to young members of the Jewish Anti-Zionist Network who refused to give their names for fear of retaliation at Jewish community organizations.

When I was active in the Anti-Vietnam War movement, we were constantly hounded, spied on and burglarized right here in the USA. The last time I checked, the FBI isn't being run by "Vengeful Jews". And the existence of United Sates wasn't even being threatened. Are you really so naive as to think that a country whose existence is in imminent jeopardy would not keep tabs on  dissidents? The United States did and does today.

Past that, you are being hypocritical. Where is the Peace movement in the Arab Countries? Anyone want to try to start a  Peace Movement in Gaza? I would suggest that far more than name taking would occur.  The very fact that Israel allows various Peace Factions to flourish testifies to their democratic nature and the fact that the Islamists have no such equivalent, says much about them

As for my being wrong about the Old Testament's harsh views as a major reason for being Christian and accepting what we call the New Covenant, maybe you can explain clearly why I should convert to rabbinical Judaism. If so, I'll try to be open-minded and search for truth.


Were you really thinking of converting ? At the risk of a terrible waste of bandwidth:

Judaism is not how you have depicted it, centered on a wrathful God. You have badly miss understood. Judaism has always had various schools  interpretations and practices.

 You, as a Christian are following one such philosophical faction, the school of Rabbi Hillel. Jesus was squarely within that schools philosophical mind set. Much of the charity and kindness you seem to like about Chrisitianity was not introduced by Jesus but had been part of Judaism for nearly 200 years before him. Loving neighbor as the way to Love God, the Golden Rule etc. were the teachings of the Hillel School.

They were a tendency within the Pharisees. A faction Jesus was clearly in sympathy with. They also emphasized freedom from the Physical Temple and taught practices that could be carried out in the home and Synagogue. All imported to Christianity.

So your formulation is patently Anti-Semetic. You see a rathful God producing a rathful people who are hell bent on taking revenge on enemies.
It is a distortion that is simply untrue and ignorant. Please go find another hobby.
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« Reply #65 on: July 26, 2010, 06:13:25 PM »

I also remember reading that some of the Rabbis took much of the Hebrew Scriptures as allegorical. The idea that people took the Bible absolutely literally in the ancient world is actually a modern construct of Fundamentalist Protestants, (and Fundie Atheists) and not the reality of the Church fathers or the Talmud.

And perhaps this understanding of the modern construct is likewise a construct of modern "Liberal" Biblical Textual Scholars. WEEEEE!


Well, don't take my word for it. Or any "modern" scholar for that matter. All one has to go do is actually go read stuff from the Rabbis and Mystics where they explicitly state things like "we don't take this literally and never did!" Cheesy

 The same goes with the Church fathers as well. The idea that everyone took everything literally in the ancient Church/Judaism is a modern construct, which is verifiable by simply reading the Church fathers, Rabbis and Mystics. Just go read Origen if you don't believe me. (yeah I know he's a "heretic", of course not deemed so until 300 years after his death) If one doesn't trust Origen to be a reliable source just check out Clement of Alexandria, Or St.. Dionysius the Areopagite, or Maimonides.
Origen is  a rather odd choice for an argument against literalism, given what he did to himself. Ouch!
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« Reply #66 on: July 26, 2010, 06:40:35 PM »


Origen is  a rather odd choice for an argument against literalism, given what he did to himself. Ouch!


LOL!

I wondered how long it would take someone to pick up on that point. Smiley

Frankly I'm not sure that it is actually true. It seems to me just one of those rumors that was used to make one's opponent seem worse than they really were. Considering Origen's history in how he interpreted scripture, it seems odd that he would choose that issue and take it literally. Not saying it isn't true, because Origen probably was a bit of an odd guy, but I don't recall him every giving a first hand account of it. But then again I'm not sure i want to know if he started singing with the women or not....ouch indeed! Cheesy



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« Reply #67 on: July 26, 2010, 06:45:51 PM »



Just a friendly reminder to everyone to please keep Politics out of this discussion. No one has really interjected Politics in this thread as of yet, (except for a brief mention of Zionism here and there) but I just want to remind everyone to try their best to keep this thread focused on the Religious side of things. If one wants to talk Zionism we have the politics forum for that. Thanks!

Northern Pines, Religious Topics Forum Moderator


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« Reply #68 on: July 26, 2010, 07:18:20 PM »

Great. Maybe you can tell that to young members of the Jewish Anti-Zionist Network who refused to give their names for fear of retaliation at Jewish community organizations.

When I was active in the Anti-Vietnam War movement, we were constantly hounded, spied on and burglarized right here in the USA. The last time I checked, the FBI isn't being run by "Vengeful Jews".
It's admirable that you were active in the Anti-War movement. In all countries that have occupations, peace movements are repressed. Good job for opposing it.


If we are dedicated to human rights and occupied peoples, why must we you approve the arrest of 200 women in Israel who commit civil disobedience. OK, maybe they were bad unfaithful women But there are some problems with faith in a secular state. Actually, I don't think Rabbinical Judaism demands this, but ok.

Quote
Past that, you are being hypocritical. Where is the Peace movement in the Arab Countries? Anyone want to try to start a  Peace Movement in Gaza? I would suggest that far more than name taking would occur.  The very fact that Israel allows various Peace Factions to flourish testifies to their democratic nature.

Whether or not Arab organizations support peace, the question on this thread is why I don't convert to Judaism. And in America people who work for Jewish community organizations say they are scared to speak out about some things. Why do I want to join that?

Quote
As for my being wrong about the Old Testament's harsh views as a major reason for being Christian and accepting what we call the New Covenant, maybe you can explain clearly why I should convert to rabbinical Judaism. If so, I'll try to be open-minded and search for truth.

Were you really thinking of converting ? At the risk of a terrible waste of bandwidth:

Judaism is not how you have depicted it, centered on a wrathful God. You have badly miss understood. Judaism has always had various schools  interpretations and practices.

 You, as a Christian are following one such philosophical faction, the school of Rabbi Hillel. Jesus was squarely within that schools philosophical mind set. Much of the charity and kindness you seem to like about Chrisitianity was not introduced by Jesus but had been part of Judaism for nearly 200 years before him. Loving neighbor as the way to Love God, the Golden Rule etc. were the teachings of the Hillel School.

They were a tendency within the Pharisees. A faction Jesus was clearly in sympathy with. They also emphasized freedom from the Physical Temple and taught practices that could be carried out in the home and Synagogue. All imported to Christianity.

So your formulation is patently Anti-Semetic. You see a rathful God producing a rathful people who are hell bent on taking revenge on enemies.
It is a distortion that is simply untrue and ignorant. Please go find another hobby.

Well, the last part of what you said is gross, but the rest of it sounded nice. Sure, Marc, if Rabbinical Judaism's teachings are correct, and I can join it without worshipping Israel's brutal measures against Jews who mistakenly converted to Christianity 2000 years ago, why shouldn't I?

I think a correct reading, Hillel notwithstanding, of the Old Testament is that it focuses alot on revenge, but that Jesus the Messiah and as such had the power to give us a New Covenant. That's hardly from antisemitism.

Semites were a people. Anti-semitism means opposition to an ethnicity. I must love and admire all nationalities equally and fully.

But I'm a Christian, so I reject the denomination designated as Rabbinical Judaism post-30 AD. If you can give me a better term than "Rabbinical Judaism" for the religion Tallitot converted to, please do so I can use it instead.

Hillel's school of thought sounds nice and I assume many pharisees felt this way in Jesus' day, it just doesn't seem to me like the emphasis of the Old Testament. And to overcome the old laws and teachings, I agree that it's important for one to come who is "Greater than Solomon" and give us a New Covenant, a New Commandment as Jesus said.

Further, I like the image of the Messiah or Israel in Isaiah 53. Jesus said his kingdom isn't of this world, but most of the militant Jews of his day, like the Zealots and Iscariots wanted to make a worldly Old Testament-law kingdom of conquest by force. I don't see God's main commandment to make a New Testament, compassion-bsed kingdom by force, but rather to have a kingdom within us.

But you gave a good explanation that there was and is a way of interpretation in Judaism that tried to deal with the old laws in a good way, although I still think they didn't overcome or transcend a central focus on revenge.

What is the problem with Rabbinical Judaism? Why should I not convert?
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« Reply #69 on: July 27, 2010, 10:14:43 PM »

if memory serves me correctly, many of the Rabbis throughout the centuries insisted that even though these "laws" existed in principle in the Tanakh, that they were never carried out in practice. Another view has taught that the carrying out of the death penalty while correct in principle, should require such a strict amount of evidence that it makes the actual act of carrying it out impossible.
Quote

The official teachings of Judaism approve the death penalty in principle but the standard of proof required for application of death penalty is extremely stringent, and in practice, it has been abolished by various Talmudic decisions, making the situations in which a death sentence could be passed effectively impossible and hypothetical. A capital case could not be tried by a normal Beit Din of three but can only be adjudicated by a Sanhedrin of a minimum of twenty-three.[91] Forty years before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, i.e. in 30 CE, the Sanhedrin effectively abolished capital punishment, making it a hypothetical upper limit on the severity of punishment, fitting in finality for God alone to use, not fallible people.

Most followers of Judaism[who?] either oppose the death penalty altogether or support it only in extreme cases with absolute proof, such as well-documented cases of genocide.

In law schools everywhere, students read the famous quotation from the 12th century legal scholar, Maimonides,

    "It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent one to death."

Maimonides argued that executing a defendant on anything less than absolute certainty would lead to a slippery slope of decreasing burdens of proof, until we would be convicting merely "according to the judge's caprice". Maimonides was concerned about the need for the law to guard itself in public perceptions, to preserve its majesty and retain the people's respect.

No, they were not living by these rules at the time of Jesus. For starters, only Rome could carry out an execution. Now, certainly some Jews did believe the death penalty was correct for certain immoral behavior,

can understand much of what you said. But I think it's important not to mischaracterize Judaism as the religion of a wrathful God, and Christianity as the religion of a loving God, because if you ask a Jew, even an Orthodox one, you'll find that they too believe and worship a loving God.

Wow. Rabbinical Judaism's basic interpretations sounds "worse" than the plain reading of the Old Testament:

Quote
   The relevant passages from the Talmud demonstrate that the rabbis sought — with the scientific knowledge and means available to them in their time — to formulate the quickest, least painful, and least disfiguring methods of execution that the technology of the day would allow within the framework of Biblical texts. — National Jewish COLPA and IAJL

In addition, the brief states that:
    * Capital punishment was rarely imposed because Talmudic justice comprises stringent rules regarding the admissibility and sufficiency of evidence:

Despite the representation in the brief, the statements of the Talmud Sages reveal that the Talmud executions were purposely cruel and humiliating. It is our opinion that the writers of the brief did not do justice to the Talmud's death penalty philosophy and doctrines.

— Stoning

John 8:59 and John 10:22-39 give accounts of attempts by the Pharisees to stone Jesus. There is no mention of a pit or a scaffold.
      59. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

— Stoned After Push Into Pit

The translator, Jacob Shachter, tells us in a footnote that this height would be "six cubits, the normal height to the shoulders being three cubits" (a cubit being 17 to 22 inches, Shachter estimates a height between 8.5 and 11 feet, or 259 and 335 cm., an estimate that should be modified in light of recent information about the smaller stature of men in those times).

Despite what the advocates say, the Talmud text reveals that in a significant number of cases the condemned man did not die from a fall "twice a man's height," since witnesses, and sometimes onlookers ("all Israel"), would have to stone him to death. A fall of 8.5 to 11 feet might often injure, but less often kill. However, the fall might be useful. Injuries sustained in the fall might immobilize the condemned man and make him an easier target for the stoners.

Quote
Pouring Molten Lead
 
One of the methods of capital punishment prescribed by the Talmud (Sanhedrin 52a) consists of immobilizing the condemned in a pit of dung, "forc[ing his mouth] open with pincers against his wish" and "throw[ing a wick] into his mouth, so that it descended into his body and burnt his bowels." The Soncino translators explain that the "wick" is molten lead. The brief, possibly to spare the court, describes it merely as "an extremely hot object … so as to cause instantaneous death."
http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/capunish_1.html

       9. And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. — Leviticus 21:9 (KJV)

But the Orthodox Judaic advocates make it clear that the Jewish religion not only rejects, but condemns that Old Testament model. The brief states: Sanhedrin 52a also described the procedure for "burning" and stated clearly that it did not involve actual resort to fire or flames.

    MISHNAH. THE MANNER IN WHICH BURNING IS EXECUTED IS AS FOLLOWS: HE WHO HAD BEEN THUS CONDEMNED WAS LOWERED INTO DUNG UP TO HIS ARMPITS, THEN A HARD CLOTH WAS PLACED WITHIN A SOFT ONE, WOUND ROUND HIS NECK, AND THE TWO LOOSE ENDS PULLED IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS, FORCING HIM TO OPEN HIS MOUTH. A WICK WAS THEN LIT …

 Strangled in a Pit of Dung


    MISHNAH. STRANGULATION WAS THUS PERFORMED: — THE CONDEMNED MAN WAS LOWERED INTO DUNG UP TO HIS ARMPITS, THEN A HARD CLOTH WAS PLACED WITHIN A SOFT ONE, WOUND ROUND HIS NECK, AND THE TWO ENDS PULLED IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS UNTIL HE WAS DEAD.  — Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 52b

 — Stomach Bursting

For a portrayal of this mode of execution, read Tractate Sanhedrin 81b, both Mishnah and Gemara. The condemned is fed the "bread of adversity and water of affliction" which shrinks and blocks his intestines. Then he is fed barley bread until his stomach bursts.

— Poisoning With "Bitter Water"

When a man suspects his wife of infidelity but has no definite evidence, he may request the priest put her through a trial by ordeal (prescribed by Numbers 5:12-31).

 21Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell;
 22And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. (Numbers 5:12-31)

 The suspected woman (the sotah) is brought to the temple where she is forced to drink "bitter water."
    MISHNAH. … SHE HAD SCARCELY FINISHED DRINKING WHEN HER FACE TURNS GREEN, HER EYES PROTRUDE AND HER VEINS SWELL; AND IT IS EXCLAIMED, 'REMOVE HER THAT THE TEMPLE-COURT BE NOT DEFILED.' —Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sotah 20a

It is significant that R. Judah (also known as Judah the Prince, Judah Ha-Nasi, or simply Rabbi) is the speaker in the above Mishnah (Sanhedrin 52a). R. Judah (Judah the Prince) was born in 132 A.D. (some say 135 A.D.), and he died in 219. He was a hereditary Chief Priest of the Sanhedrin (thus, "The Prince") and is one of the most revered rabbis in Judaism. Of Judah the Prince, Rabbi Dr. Hertz writes, "He was a descendant of Hillel in the seventh generation, and a man of uncommon ability, wide culture and lofty virtue."

According to the sources, R. Judah not only edited the Mishnah but also utilized it in practice in the course of his studies with his contemporaries. He sometimes changed his opinion on certain issues and consequently introduced amendments into the mishayot.
— Steinsaltz, Essential Talmud

We see here that this highly influential rabbi changed his opinion on some issues. Had he chosen, he could have replaced stoning, burning, strangling, decapitation, et al. Instead, R. Judah refined the regulations for molten lead, arguing that the condemned should not be allowed to die by strangulation before the molten lead was poured in his mouth. If the rabbis had wanted the most humane executions, they could have used hemlock, a local and well-known weed. True, poison hemlock is not prescribed by the Old Testament; but neither are pouring molten lead down the throat, or a number of other Talmudic execution methods. Neither humanitarianism nor Biblical exactness seems to be the prevailing concern.


http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/capunish_1.html

Carol A. Valentine mentions that Numbers 5:12-31 has this awful trial by ordeal, and her complaint is that the Talmud fails to ameliorate it. It seems to me that God would not order such a bad thing. Personally, I do not believe in trial by ordeal. IS IT MY LACK OF FAITH? But I think that trial by ordeal is not really a way to decide if someone is guilty or not.

I question whether the Old Testament is just something that the Messiah has overcome, or whether the all of the product was a "Holy Scripture" in the first place.

I mean, ok, we can interpret it as having a hidden spiritual meaning about something, and say that the ordeal wasn't really what God wanted. But the order here is so clear, that it's hard to say that the words themselves are "secretly" holy. It's like looking for a pile of gold in a trashcan. I mean, maybe it's there, but it does say trash on it.
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« Reply #70 on: July 27, 2010, 10:56:40 PM »

^ Please delete the above post. The website I cited seems to show excess prejudice against Judaism, and I would prefer just to quote the Talmud, without the author's biased commentary.

if memory serves me correctly, many of the Rabbis throughout the centuries insisted that even though these "laws" existed in principle in the Tanakh, that they were never carried out in practice. Another view has taught that the carrying out of the death penalty while correct in principle, should require such a strict amount of evidence that it makes the actual act of carrying it out impossible.

I don't know, maybe the Talmud uses some things worse than the Bible.

Quote
   The relevant passages from the Talmud demonstrate that the rabbis sought — with the scientific knowledge and means available to them in their time — to formulate the quickest, least painful, and least disfiguring methods of execution that the technology of the day would allow within the framework of Biblical texts. — National Jewish COLPA and IAJL

— Stoning

John 8:59 and John 10:22-39 attempts by the Pharisees to stone Jesus.
      59. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

— Stoned After Push Into Pit

The translator, Jacob Shachter, tells us in a footnote that this height would be "six cubits, the normal height to the shoulders being three cubits"
Talmud text reveals that in a significant number of cases the condemned man did not die from a fall "twice a man's height," since witnesses, would have to stone him to death. Injuries sustained in the fall might immobilize the condemned man and make him an easier target for the stoners.

Quote
Pouring Molten Lead

Talmud (Sanhedrin 52a) "forc[ing his mouth] open with pincers against his wish" and "throw[ing a wick] into his mouth, so that it descended into his body and burnt his bowels." The Soncino translators explain that the "wick" is molten lead. The brief, describes it merely as "an extremely hot object … so as to cause instantaneous death."
http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/capunish_1.html

       9. And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. — Leviticus 21:9 (KJV)

Sanhedrin 52a described the procedure for "burning" and stated clearly that it did not involve actual resort to fire or flames.

    MISHNAH. THE MANNER IN WHICH BURNING IS EXECUTED IS AS FOLLOWS: HE WHO HAD BEEN THUS CONDEMNED WAS LOWERED INTO DUNG UP TO HIS ARMPITS, THEN A HARD CLOTH WAS PLACED WITHIN A SOFT ONE, WOUND ROUND HIS NECK, AND THE TWO LOOSE ENDS PULLED IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS, FORCING HIM TO OPEN HIS MOUTH. A WICK WAS THEN LIT …


 Strangled in a Pit of Dung

    MISHNAH. STRANGULATION WAS THUS PERFORMED: — THE CONDEMNED MAN WAS LOWERED INTO DUNG UP TO HIS ARMPITS, THEN A HARD CLOTH WAS PLACED WITHIN A SOFT ONE, WOUND ROUND HIS NECK, AND THE TWO ENDS PULLED IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS UNTIL HE WAS DEAD.  — Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 52b

 — Stomach Bursting

Tractate Sanhedrin 81b - "bread of adversity and water of affliction"

— Poisoning With "Bitter Water"

When a man suspects his wife of infidelity but has no definite evidence, he may request the priest put her through a trial by ordeal (prescribed by Numbers 5:12-31).

 21Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell;
 22And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. (Numbers 5:12-31)
 
    MISHNAH. … SHE HAD SCARCELY FINISHED DRINKING WHEN HER FACE TURNS GREEN, HER EYES PROTRUDE AND HER VEINS SWELL; AND IT IS EXCLAIMED, 'REMOVE HER THAT THE TEMPLE-COURT BE NOT DEFILED.' —Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sotah 20a

R. Judah is the speaker in the above Mishnah (Sanhedrin 52a) was born in 132 A.D., died in 219.
Neither humanitarianism nor Biblical exactness seems to be the prevailing concern.

http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/capunish_1.html

That website has religious prejudice against rabbinical judaism. And I would prefer to dismiss it.

But there's another problem:

Numbers 5:12-31 in the Old Testament has this awful trial by ordeal, It seems to me that God would not order such a bad thing. Personally, I do not believe in trial by ordeal. IS IT MY LACK OF FAITH? But I think that trial by ordeal is not really a way to decide if someone is guilty or not.

I question whether the Old Testament is just something that the Messiah has overcome, or whether the all of the product was a "Holy Scripture" in the first place.

I mean, ok, we can interpret it as having a hidden spiritual meaning about something, and say that the ordeal wasn't really what God wanted. But the order here is so clear, that it's hard to say that the words themselves are "secretly" holy. It's like looking for a pile of gold in a trashcan. I mean, maybe it's there, but it does say trash on it.


On the upside:
Levitucus 24:17 requires that "he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death." Leviticus 24:21 repeats this requirement. See also Numbers 35:16 and Deuteronomy 17:6. The Hebrew word "ratsach" in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and the Greek word "phoneuo" in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) are generally mistranslated into the English word "kill." They actually mean "to murder with premeditation." http://www.religioustolerance.org/exe_bibl1.htm

Why the upside? Because under the felony murder rule in the US and Britain for centuries people could be executed even where there was no premeditation if they simply participated in a felony like robbery wherein as a category a murder was foreseeable, if in the natural chain of causation from the felony someone died even if not directly killed (eg. even if they just were scared and had heart attack).
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« Reply #71 on: July 27, 2010, 11:26:40 PM »

OK, so from what I see, the Talmud prescribes some gross ways, while the Old Testament's "Holy Scripture" limits it to two ways.

Quote
http://www.missiontoisrael.org/capital-punishment.php
Yahweh did not prescribe hangings, decapitations, firing squads, gassings, electrocutions or lethal injections as the methods of execution in capital cases. Instead, there are only two methods of execution authorized in the Scriptures. Stoning is called for most often, probably because it allows for the blood avenger or next-of-kin to be personally involved in the execution:

Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. (Deuteronomy 19:11-12)

The second method of execution imposed in the Bible is burning at the stake. It is prescribed for only the following two crimes:
        * Marriage to Both a Mother and Her Daughter - Leviticus 20:14
        * Whoredom by a Relative of a Priest - Leviticus 21:9

From a source not prejudiced against Judaism:

Quote
Why Jews Can't Believe in Jesus
From Bruce James (Baruch Gershom)

The story most central to the Christian Bible is the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. But the N.T.'s account of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus greatly conflicts with what the Torah and Talmud tell us about the Jewish system. In tractate Yevamos 120b there is discussion of crucifixion as a strictly Roman practice.

Execution was only permitted by four methods under Torah law: stoning, burning, beheading and strangulation. These are the words used in the translation, but the Talmud explains that "burning" required that the convicted felon drink a liquid metal that would kill him immediately. [The prejudiced website claims that the method was not such that would kill immediately].

The death penalty was carried out rarely in Israel. According to Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, if an execution occurred more than once in seventy years, that court would be considered "murderous tribunal." Mishna Makkos 1:10. [OK. I don't know, maybe the story about pharisees like Paul stoning Christians and the stoning of prostitutes are made up, but still, somehow I think that they killed as much as other kingdoms of the time, especially with all these gross rules. That's my suspicion, which I would prefer to be wrong. We remember that Herod killed John the Baptist, so maybe in Jesus' time they left it up to the secular authorities of the Vassal state to slaughter, and then the religious authorities at that time claimed their own hands were clean because they didn't constitute the "murder tribunal"? At that time they preferred the Vassal king and the lynch to do the killing?]
http://judaism.about.com/od/jewishviewofjesus/a/jesus_trial.htm

Weird.
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« Reply #72 on: July 27, 2010, 11:47:23 PM »

Rakovsky,

Could you sum up, in a short paragraph, what point it is you are trying to make?

Thanks.
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« Reply #73 on: July 28, 2010, 01:34:38 AM »

Shanghaiski,

I have a problem: I am most troubled by the Old Testament suggesting that God recommended ordeal by poison, and use of burning as execution method because it seems that in the cases prescribed by the Old Testament the punishment sometimes does not "fit" the crime.

Thanks.
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« Reply #74 on: July 28, 2010, 02:18:25 PM »

Shanghaiski,

I have a problem: I am most troubled by the Old Testament suggesting that God recommended ordeal by poison, and use of burning as execution method because it seems that in the cases prescribed by the Old Testament the punishment sometimes does not "fit" the crime.

Thanks.

Okay. Thank you for the summary. Did you quote passages from the Old Testament? I remember a thread on another forum regarding commandments to commit genocide. I seem to remember the Fathers passing over it or interpreting it spiritually. Another explanation is that the times were very different. Such things like harsh punishments were needed because of the milieu in which the Israelites lived. They had to learn, or re-learn, just who God is--His expectations, His power, etc.
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« Reply #75 on: July 29, 2010, 02:48:03 PM »

Shanghaiski,

I have a problem: I am most troubled by the Old Testament suggesting that God recommended ordeal by poison, and use of burning as execution method because it seems that in the cases prescribed by the Old Testament the punishment sometimes does not "fit" the crime.

Thanks.

Okay. Thank you for the summary. Did you quote passages from the Old Testament? I remember a thread on another forum regarding commandments to commit genocide. I seem to remember the Fathers passing over it or interpreting it spiritually. Another explanation is that the times were very different. Such things like harsh punishments were needed because of the milieu in which the Israelites lived. They had to learn, or re-learn, just who God is--His expectations, His power, etc.

Shanghaiski,

This is one of the best explanations I can think of- that people were living in primitive, brutal, ignorant times with threats.
You asked me about quotes:
Numbers 5:12-31 in the Old Testament has this awful trial by ordeal. How can this be ok even then, though, because it doesnt seem like acurate trial.
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« Reply #76 on: July 29, 2010, 03:00:52 PM »

Shanghaiski,

I have a problem: I am most troubled by the Old Testament suggesting that God recommended ordeal by poison, and use of burning as execution method because it seems that in the cases prescribed by the Old Testament the punishment sometimes does not "fit" the crime.

Thanks.

Okay. Thank you for the summary. Did you quote passages from the Old Testament? I remember a thread on another forum regarding commandments to commit genocide. I seem to remember the Fathers passing over it or interpreting it spiritually. Another explanation is that the times were very different. Such things like harsh punishments were needed because of the milieu in which the Israelites lived. They had to learn, or re-learn, just who God is--His expectations, His power, etc.

Shanghaiski,

This is one of the best explanations I can think of- that people were living in primitive, brutal, ignorant times with threats.
You asked me about quotes:
Numbers 5:12-31 in the Old Testament has this awful trial by ordeal. How can this be ok even then, though, because it doesnt seem like acurate trial.

Am I missing something here? Didn't Jesus and all the Apostles accept the Scriptures? Didnt Jesus constantly teach from the scriptures and make reference to them? I thought he said that he was not here to Abolish the Law. Did he reject some parts and accept other parts that I am unaware of?

 Perhaps you are over reaching. 
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« Reply #77 on: July 29, 2010, 09:58:45 PM »

Shanghaiski,

I have a problem: I am most troubled by the Old Testament suggesting that God recommended ordeal by poison, and use of burning as execution method because it seems that in the cases prescribed by the Old Testament the punishment sometimes does not "fit" the crime.

Thanks.

Okay. Thank you for the summary. Did you quote passages from the Old Testament? I remember a thread on another forum regarding commandments to commit genocide. I seem to remember the Fathers passing over it or interpreting it spiritually. Another explanation is that the times were very different. Such things like harsh punishments were needed because of the milieu in which the Israelites lived. They had to learn, or re-learn, just who God is--His expectations, His power, etc.

Shanghaiski,

This is one of the best explanations I can think of- that people were living in primitive, brutal, ignorant times with threats.
You asked me about quotes:
Numbers 5:12-31 in the Old Testament has this awful trial by ordeal. How can this be ok even then, though, because it doesnt seem like acurate trial.

Am I missing something here? Didn't Jesus and all the Apostles accept the Scriptures? Didnt Jesus constantly teach from the scriptures and make reference to them? I thought he said that he was not here to Abolish the Law. Did he reject some parts and accept other parts that I am unaware of?

 Perhaps you are over reaching.  

Marc,

What I am having most trouble with is not whether or not Jesus gave us a New Testament, but whether in the first place God actually told people in Old Testament times to use trial-ordeal by poison, execution by burning, and execution in general in instances where the punishment - death- does not seem to fit the crime - eg. disrespecting parents. (I think working on the sabbath was another).

The Old Testament idea of an eye for an eye seems "equitable" at least, but trial by ordeal, burning to death, and execution for some crimes seems so excessive or irrational, that it's hard for me to accept that God told people to do this even in the primitive era of the Old Testament. Trial by ordeal is not something I believe in.

It seems hard to accept that ALL the verses in the scriptures are God's word, although North Pines had a good idea that maybe it was only inspired in the sense that there is a secret holy meaning. eg. the literal meaning is bad, but the secret meaning- we are spiritually tested by fire or something- is holy.

I wish someone could give me a good explanation for this. It seems that the problem of how God could say this in the first place is equally difficult for Christians and for Reformed Jews, since they both take a humanitarian approach to the Old Testament.

The problem might be easier for those Christians and religious Jews who don't find trial by ordeal or unfair torture deaths wrong in the first place.

Please advise.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 10:01:12 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #78 on: July 30, 2010, 10:47:55 AM »

Shanghaiski,

I have a problem: I am most troubled by the Old Testament suggesting that God recommended ordeal by poison, and use of burning as execution method because it seems that in the cases prescribed by the Old Testament the punishment sometimes does not "fit" the crime.

Thanks.

Okay. Thank you for the summary. Did you quote passages from the Old Testament? I remember a thread on another forum regarding commandments to commit genocide. I seem to remember the Fathers passing over it or interpreting it spiritually. Another explanation is that the times were very different. Such things like harsh punishments were needed because of the milieu in which the Israelites lived. They had to learn, or re-learn, just who God is--His expectations, His power, etc.

Shanghaiski,

This is one of the best explanations I can think of- that people were living in primitive, brutal, ignorant times with threats.
You asked me about quotes:
Numbers 5:12-31 in the Old Testament has this awful trial by ordeal. How can this be ok even then, though, because it doesnt seem like acurate trial.

Am I missing something here? Didn't Jesus and all the Apostles accept the Scriptures? Didnt Jesus constantly teach from the scriptures and make reference to them? I thought he said that he was not here to Abolish the Law. Did he reject some parts and accept other parts that I am unaware of?

 Perhaps you are over reaching.  

Marc,

What I am having most trouble with is not whether or not Jesus gave us a New Testament, but whether in the first place God actually told people in Old Testament times to use trial-ordeal by poison, execution by burning, and execution in general in instances where the punishment - death- does not seem to fit the crime - eg. disrespecting parents. (I think working on the sabbath was another).

The Old Testament idea of an eye for an eye seems "equitable" at least, but trial by ordeal, burning to death, and execution for some crimes seems so excessive or irrational, that it's hard for me to accept that God told people to do this even in the primitive era of the Old Testament. Trial by ordeal is not something I believe in.

It seems hard to accept that ALL the verses in the scriptures are God's word, although North Pines had a good idea that maybe it was only inspired in the sense that there is a secret holy meaning. eg. the literal meaning is bad, but the secret meaning- we are spiritually tested by fire or something- is holy.

I wish someone could give me a good explanation for this. It seems that the problem of how God could say this in the first place is equally difficult for Christians and for Reformed Jews, since they both take a humanitarian approach to the Old Testament.

The problem might be easier for those Christians and religious Jews who don't find trial by ordeal or unfair torture deaths wrong in the first place.

Please advise.

Okay:

Some things in the OT were not meant for you. It is not your responsibility to "understand"  some things. Some things are True in a way beyond or different from your portion of God's revelation.

There are many "hard sayings" in Scripture. For example " Unless you eat my body and drink my blood there is no life in you"...  If you have no context and do not practice Liturgical Christianity, you will not "Understand" this saying and may find it abhorrent.

We do not practice our religion via literal understanding ( though some is of course very necessary). The primary way is by illumination and strengthening ourselves spiritually. Anything you don't understand will become clear to you by the Lord's grace and maybe not even until you get to Paradise. Then you may  say "OH. I understand that teaching now."

I find your line of reasoning to be disturbing. If I am hearing you right  it goes something like: The OT is filled with vengeful acts..which produces vengeful people ..who are the Jews...witness a vengeful State of  Israel.  That about right?

The Old Testament was good enough for Jesus Christ, God Incarnate......for crying out loud. It is not your lot to condemn something he clearly accepted. You just  should say "I don't get it" ..
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« Reply #79 on: July 30, 2010, 02:31:10 PM »

Shanghaiski,

I have a problem: I am most troubled by the Old Testament suggesting that God recommended ordeal by poison, and use of burning as execution method because it seems that in the cases prescribed by the Old Testament the punishment sometimes does not "fit" the crime.

Thanks.

Okay. Thank you for the summary. Did you quote passages from the Old Testament? I remember a thread on another forum regarding commandments to commit genocide. I seem to remember the Fathers passing over it or interpreting it spiritually. Another explanation is that the times were very different. Such things like harsh punishments were needed because of the milieu in which the Israelites lived. They had to learn, or re-learn, just who God is--His expectations, His power, etc.

Shanghaiski,

This is one of the best explanations I can think of- that people were living in primitive, brutal, ignorant times with threats.
You asked me about quotes:
Numbers 5:12-31 in the Old Testament has this awful trial by ordeal. How can this be ok even then, though, because it doesnt seem like acurate trial.

Am I missing something here? Didn't Jesus and all the Apostles accept the Scriptures? Didnt Jesus constantly teach from the scriptures and make reference to them? I thought he said that he was not here to Abolish the Law. Did he reject some parts and accept other parts that I am unaware of?

 Perhaps you are over reaching. 

Marc,

What I am having most trouble with is not whether or not Jesus gave us a New Testament, but whether in the first place God actually told people in Old Testament times to use trial-ordeal by poison, execution by burning, and execution in general in instances where the punishment - death- does not seem to fit the crime - eg. disrespecting parents. (I think working on the sabbath was another).

The Old Testament idea of an eye for an eye seems "equitable" at least, but trial by ordeal, burning to death, and execution for some crimes seems so excessive or irrational, that it's hard for me to accept that God told people to do this even in the primitive era of the Old Testament. Trial by ordeal is not something I believe in.

It seems hard to accept that ALL the verses in the scriptures are God's word, although North Pines had a good idea that maybe it was only inspired in the sense that there is a secret holy meaning. eg. the literal meaning is bad, but the secret meaning- we are spiritually tested by fire or something- is holy.

I wish someone could give me a good explanation for this. It seems that the problem of how God could say this in the first place is equally difficult for Christians and for Reformed Jews, since they both take a humanitarian approach to the Old Testament.

The problem might be easier for those Christians and religious Jews who don't find trial by ordeal or unfair torture deaths wrong in the first place.

Please advise.

Okay:

Some things in the OT were not meant for you. It is not your responsibility to "understand"  some things. Some things are True in a way beyond or different from your portion of God's revelation.

There are many "hard sayings" in Scripture. For example " Unless you eat my body and drink my blood there is no life in you"...  If you have no context and do not practice Liturgical Christianity, you will not "Understand" this saying and may find it abhorrent.

We do not practice our religion via literal understanding ( though some is of course very necessary). The primary way is by illumination and strengthening ourselves spiritually. Anything you don't understand will become clear to you by the Lord's grace and maybe not even until you get to Paradise. Then you may  say "OH. I understand that teaching now."

I find your line of reasoning to be disturbing. If I am hearing you right  it goes something like: The OT is filled with vengeful acts..which produces vengeful people ..who are the Jews...witness a vengeful State of  Israel.  That about right?

The Old Testament was good enough for Jesus Christ, God Incarnate......for crying out loud. It is not your lot to condemn something he clearly accepted. You just  should say "I don't get it" ..

I think that's a good answer, that there is alot we don't understand, and we can pray about how to understand it better.
I am not sure whether we have a responsibility to understand the scripture, but I think Christianity urges us to try.
Further, one of the benefits of the Old and New Testaments is that I do think it contains a moral code, and this moral code is very important from me. There's times when I have some uncertainty about whether something is right or wrong and the Old Testament and New Testament give me certainty of what the principle is.

For example, with revenge, the idea is to do back to the person what he did to you. If you do more, then it's excessive. This comes across in the words eye for an eye tooth for tooth, bruise for bruise, burn for burn.

Nowadays we don't have trial by ordeal anymore, but there are some things that people read in the Old Testament, like whipping children with rods that people read, and practice based on these verses. I tell them that Jesus gave us a New Covenant and taught us a way of compassion, that we should not offend children (Matthew 18:6) or provoke them to anger.

I still have trouble reconciling what I believe is a strong Divinely law that excessive revenge  is wrong, with instructions in the OT to use excessive revenge.

I appreciate the answers you gave for this, Marc and Shanghaiski.

Regards.
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« Reply #80 on: July 30, 2010, 03:30:34 PM »

Shanghaiski,

I have a problem: I am most troubled by the Old Testament suggesting that God recommended ordeal by poison, and use of burning as execution method because it seems that in the cases prescribed by the Old Testament the punishment sometimes does not "fit" the crime.

Thanks.

Okay. Thank you for the summary. Did you quote passages from the Old Testament? I remember a thread on another forum regarding commandments to commit genocide. I seem to remember the Fathers passing over it or interpreting it spiritually. Another explanation is that the times were very different. Such things like harsh punishments were needed because of the milieu in which the Israelites lived. They had to learn, or re-learn, just who God is--His expectations, His power, etc.

Shanghaiski,

This is one of the best explanations I can think of- that people were living in primitive, brutal, ignorant times with threats.
You asked me about quotes:
Numbers 5:12-31 in the Old Testament has this awful trial by ordeal. How can this be ok even then, though, because it doesnt seem like acurate trial.

Am I missing something here? Didn't Jesus and all the Apostles accept the Scriptures? Didnt Jesus constantly teach from the scriptures and make reference to them? I thought he said that he was not here to Abolish the Law. Did he reject some parts and accept other parts that I am unaware of?

 Perhaps you are over reaching. 

Marc,

What I am having most trouble with is not whether or not Jesus gave us a New Testament, but whether in the first place God actually told people in Old Testament times to use trial-ordeal by poison, execution by burning, and execution in general in instances where the punishment - death- does not seem to fit the crime - eg. disrespecting parents. (I think working on the sabbath was another).

The Old Testament idea of an eye for an eye seems "equitable" at least, but trial by ordeal, burning to death, and execution for some crimes seems so excessive or irrational, that it's hard for me to accept that God told people to do this even in the primitive era of the Old Testament. Trial by ordeal is not something I believe in.

It seems hard to accept that ALL the verses in the scriptures are God's word, although North Pines had a good idea that maybe it was only inspired in the sense that there is a secret holy meaning. eg. the literal meaning is bad, but the secret meaning- we are spiritually tested by fire or something- is holy.

I wish someone could give me a good explanation for this. It seems that the problem of how God could say this in the first place is equally difficult for Christians and for Reformed Jews, since they both take a humanitarian approach to the Old Testament.

The problem might be easier for those Christians and religious Jews who don't find trial by ordeal or unfair torture deaths wrong in the first place.

Please advise.

Okay:

Some things in the OT were not meant for you. It is not your responsibility to "understand"  some things. Some things are True in a way beyond or different from your portion of God's revelation.

There are many "hard sayings" in Scripture. For example " Unless you eat my body and drink my blood there is no life in you"...  If you have no context and do not practice Liturgical Christianity, you will not "Understand" this saying and may find it abhorrent.

We do not practice our religion via literal understanding ( though some is of course very necessary). The primary way is by illumination and strengthening ourselves spiritually. Anything you don't understand will become clear to you by the Lord's grace and maybe not even until you get to Paradise. Then you may  say "OH. I understand that teaching now."

I find your line of reasoning to be disturbing. If I am hearing you right  it goes something like: The OT is filled with vengeful acts..which produces vengeful people ..who are the Jews...witness a vengeful State of  Israel.  That about right?

The Old Testament was good enough for Jesus Christ, God Incarnate......for crying out loud. It is not your lot to condemn something he clearly accepted. You just  should say "I don't get it" ..

I think that's a good answer, that there is alot we don't understand, and we can pray about how to understand it better.
I am not sure whether we have a responsibility to understand the scripture, but I think Christianity urges us to try.
Further, one of the benefits of the Old and New Testaments is that I do think it contains a moral code, and this moral code is very important from me. There's times when I have some uncertainty about whether something is right or wrong and the Old Testament and New Testament give me certainty of what the principle is.

For example, with revenge, the idea is to do back to the person what he did to you. If you do more, then it's excessive. This comes across in the words eye for an eye tooth for tooth, bruise for bruise, burn for burn.

Nowadays we don't have trial by ordeal anymore, but there are some things that people read in the Old Testament, like whipping children with rods that people read, and practice based on these verses. I tell them that Jesus gave us a New Covenant and taught us a way of compassion, that we should not offend children (Matthew 18:6) or provoke them to anger.

I still have trouble reconciling what I believe is a strong Divinely law that excessive revenge  is wrong, with instructions in the OT to use excessive revenge.

I appreciate the answers you gave for this, Marc and Shanghaiski.

Regards.

You certainly should not walk away thinking that excessive revenge is not sinful. It is also not up to you to judge especially when you are not in possession of all the facts correctly or have a political bone to pick.

Jesus was preaching his message squarely within the Jewish tradition. He broke little new ground. He clearly echoed the Hillel School of Judaism and repeated that faction's idea's when he spoke. Those idea's predated Jesus by about 200 years and remain a major strain within Modern Judaism. At my Alma Mater, U of MD. the Jewish community center is called the Hillel House. I think such centers are called the same all over the country.
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