Interfaith Shoftim

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Dondi, I had considered the possibility that Adam might be a reference to Gan Eden but I didn't follow that thought fully. Well done.

I think now, as it is Thursday evening and some of you all may have specific things in the parsha you wanted to bring up -- questions to raise or points to make -- seems like a good time to declare free swim. *blows whistle.* So feel free to find whatever you'd like to bring to the table.

19. When you besiege a city for many days to wage war against it to capture it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them, for you may eat from them, but you shall not cut them down. Is the tree of the field a man, to go into the siege before you?
20. However, a tree you know is not a food tree, you may destroy and cut down, and you shall build bulwarks against the city that makes war with you, until its submission."

I actually want to respond to this one.. I dont know if I would call myself a hippie but I have a great love for Gods creation.. and find myself depressed if Im in a city too long. I agree with the interpretations that were made about this one but I would also like to add that God certainly does seem to take care of His people in every aspect and Im appreciating it more as we study it. Here He gave an instruction manuel or at times even a survival guide that is so very detailed that Im in awe. How very blessed to be one of the people that God calls His own..

I see the Father again.. teaching His son how to survive a war in the feilds. Interesting also is that He said until its submission.. not giving the option of failure.. see the faith He had in Israel?
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[/font]18:15 "The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,

Who do the Jews believe this refers to? Does this translate correctly? a Prophet like me from your midst? Is it referring to HaShem? am I spelling that correctly? If not I apologize.

[font=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica]18:18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. [/font][font=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica]18:19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. [/font][font=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica]18:20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.' [/font][font=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica]18:21 And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?'-- [/font]18:22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

This is a section of Deuteronomy I know well.. Its a test of a whether a prophet is from God and in this day and age I think I use it a lot.. lol.

20:4 for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.'

I love this promise.


Well, I'm a Jew and I reject prophecy. But it could refer to Joshua (who was a lot like Moses) or to any prophet that rises up at any given time to lead. The one correction I would make with your translation is that there are no capitals in Hebrew (although there are some final letters) so I wouldn't see anything to indicate that prophet should be capitalized. Muslims sometimes point to this passage as a reference to Muhammad, and I believe in Christianity it's used to indicate Jesus. So there's a lot of variation in interpretation of this one among different religions.

I like the last quote you posted too, especially as it refers to internal enemies, that God is always present to help with those internal struggles too. It's very true in my experience, although I know for some it's not the case, and I want to honor that experience as well.

Peace and blessings.

Thanks Dauer for the heads up on caps.. I didnt know that.

As for prophecy.. you will probably see me refer to what I believe is prophetic in these scriptures.. will make sure not to ask you what you believe the prophecy refers to.. :) I did know about Muhammed to Islam.. and I knew about Jesus I just wasnt sure who the Jews believe it referred to.. Joshua makes sense to me though. :)
dauer .... when you say that you reject 'prophecy', what do you mean by prophecy? i only ask because the whole concept of the 'regathering' i would call prophecy .... to prophecize is simply to predict or project .... so perhaps we have a different interpretation of the word 'prophecy' .... is it that you reject 'prophets' as opposed to 'prophecy' .... which makes me think what is the difference between a prophet and a mystic .... I suspect they are really the same, and in my view we are all prophets .... we are all mystics .... when we open our eyes and see with our souls ....

that is also interesting about capital letters because i have written this way for many years without capital letters .... but i do it as an exercise to diminish the natural ego tendencies .... for example i don't sign my name with a capital letter .... so are capitals not generally used in judaism or just in particular texts .... i've seen capitals used when vowels are not included ....

aloha nui, pohaikawahine

I reject the regathering. I reject the divine origin of the Torah. I don't believe the moshiach is coming (although I do have my own moshiachy beliefs about a utopian future, and certainly do flirt with the concept of some individual coming and saving something in some way, maybe like Gandhi did, in some part of the world, where I might happen to be, because it's satisfying on a subjective level. I don't believe Moses was necessarily a real person, although I believe it may be possible, though certainly not as described in the Torah. I reject prophecy but I don't reject prophets. Prophecy is related to the concept of the oracle, the seer, the definition of a prophet is highly debatable but I'm going to say a prophet is merely someone who is brave enough to speak up against some terrible human action or collective action, empowered by God or pride or whatever else. Of course, if we're speaking biblically, this only covers a certain genre of prophets, those crazy rabble-rousing ones. One other genre might have more to do with the mystic. Like the ones wandering around having ecstatic fits. I think we have the length of time taken to complete the writing and compilation of the Tanach to blame. If it had all happened overnight, navi could only mean one thing. Unless it happened in many places.

Hebrew doesn't have any capital letters at all. All English texts that are Jewish have capitals.


Edit: I'm open to the possibility that the Torah is divine if everything is divine, but that is merely my all or nothing approach to this issue. I don't believe that that everything is divine, nor do I disbelieve.

second edit: I'm closing this thread tomorrow. Please feel free to continue any discussion via PM or on the board where it belongs.
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not all of Israel believes that way about prophecy. that is just your personal belief. right dauer?
Correct. Judaism is not a religion of faith so much as it is a religion of action, so our beliefs tend to vary quite a bit.

This thread is being locked and freeze-dried for posterity. Please feel free to read or review it at your leisure. The parsha following this one is "Ki Seitzei."

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