Jew by birth or training?

iBrian

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What defines whether someone is Jewish?

I'm under the impression that descent is a general requirement, but that training ni Jewish beliefs is also necessary.

Do converts have a specific title that sets them apart in Judaism, and are only their children then classed as Jews? Or is this is a misinterpretation, being that to be Jewish requires descent from the "Twleve tribes" only?

If someone belongs to a Jewish bloodline from the Twelve Tribes, but has never received formal training in the ways of Judaism, then can that person be at all referred to as Jewish to any degree?

If such a person takes up trainin gin Jewish thought, would they be regarded simply as a convert - or one returned?

Curious on what defines a Jew.
 
in religious terms it's actually fairly simple. you're jewish if your mother's jewish or if you convert. if you're born jewish you are no 'more' or 'less' jewish according to the halacha - it is obviously possible to be both halachically jewish and completely ignorant of judaism.

although there are other ways of defining jewishness - ethnic descent, for example, they are somewhat problematic due to the fragmented nature of the jewish community. fundamentally, the only workable way of doing it is religious and this is one of the most controversial, divisive and high-octane debates in the jewish world. the strict side of the argument can be read here:

http://www.whoisajew.com

all converts are supposed to study. how much they need study is generally determined by the converting authority. generally, less knowledge is required by less traditional communities, but in some cases (at least in my opinion) this amounts to virtually nothing at all, whilst in others mainstream authorities waste enormous efforts in forcing converts to learn to a far more ultra-orthodox standard than that to which their community generally complies - british orthodoxy is a particular bugbear of mine in this respect.

Do converts have a specific title that sets them apart in Judaism, and are only their children then classed as Jews?
no. it is actually forbidden to discriminate against converts, but people still do, which is why so much effort goes into enabling them to blend in, so nobody will realise. according to the halacha, a 'kosher' convert can freely marry any jew and his/her children are likewise considered as jewish. i believe even a cohen (priest) can marry a convert, although not a widow or a divorcee. likewise, a mamser (child of a prohibited union, eg incestuous) can only marry another mamser or a convert - this is generally considered to imply something uncomplimentary, but this is really academic.

in tribal terms, there are only three "tribes" these days, cohens, levites and "israel" - everyone who isn't a cohen or a levi; see http://www.cohen-levi.org for more info. cohens and levis, incidentally, are patrilineal, so i suppose you could have a convert whose father was a cohen and in that case they might end up a cohen, but i'm not sure.

in answer to your question about descent and "retraining", such a person is generally known as a "ba'al teshuva", or "person who has repented/returned". these guys are our equivalent of "born agains", although there is no change in their actual halachic status; they're just keeping laws that they were always obliged to keep according to the halacha.

any more questions welcome.

b'shalom
 
Thank you, bananabrain!

You have answered many questions I have long held. I accept that as a Christian, there is a certain artificial tension that exists between our traditions, a tension I prefer to ignore. My Messiah is in my view a Jew, born a Jew, raised a Jew, who taught Jewish Law to Jewish followers. The Jews in my view are close kin.

I understand traditional Christian holidays to be in conflict with the Biblical Holy Days. Would you be kind enough to expand on the proper observance of the Holy Days? Especially the proper way for an individual to calculate the beginning of Passover by the Solar rather than Lunar calendar. Also, what is the proper way to calculate and observe Pentacost and the Feast of Weeks?

Any assistance is appreciated. As an independent, I struggle with these matters.

Do you have an opinion on the Messianic Jewish movement? I understand these people to observe Jewish custom while recognizing Messiah.

Thank you in advance. I appreciate your scholarship in such matters, and I have learned a great deal from your posts.
 
Thanks for the reply, bananabrain - much obliged. :)

I seem to have some form of "Mediterranean" genetic lineage on my dad's side of the family, but without a DNA test it would be impossible to tell of what sort. This has always been a curiosity.

Very recently I've found myself afflicted by what seems to "ulcerative colitis". Basically, my large intestine has ulcerated in response to the various intense pressure I've been building up in my life. What was really interesting, though, was when I was researching this topic on the internet, I found it being referred to as "common with Jewish ancestry".

So it got myself to wondering what my position would be if I actually did have some form of Jewish genetic heritage, and how I would be classed within Judaism - heretic or lost sheep, etc. :)

An idle but fun curiosity. :)

I actually thought the Cohen line was Levite, though?
 
Blood or clime

Many a Jew can't be otherwise than Jew because people keep remembering and going about telling them to be Jews. But genuinely civilized folks tend to transcend the Jewish blood of Jews, when such Jews themselves just want to be and do live like any a-religious humanists.

Being Jewish or not from blood is like the attitude of some backward nations and some ultra racist groups that insist on blood as the principal determinant of citizenship. And even make citizenship from blood a more privileged one than citizenship by non-biological processes of law. So only citizens by blood can be president and vice-president, senators and congressmen.

For me a man's action and word are the sole determinant of his distinction and worth; and such a principle should be adopted in the Gentiles' dealings with Jews and also vice-versa. And as a universal principle of demographics, politics, law, economics, commerce, arts.

Susma Rio Sep
 
I accept that as a Christian, there is a certain artificial tension that exists between our traditions, a tension I prefer to ignore.
it's not that artificial, really. you guys look at things very differently from us - the salvation/damnation dynamic is one that doesn't exist as far as we're concerned between jews and non-jews. for us, it's about how you behave, not what you believe. the difference can be most shown by our different attitudes to, say, indigenous tribes in the amazon jungle. this is not to say that we can't get on. of course we can. however, if you persist in believing that i (as a non-christian) am going to hell, then it's going to make it very difficult to talk theology, although we may be able to live together perfectly happily.

My Messiah is in my view a Jew, born a Jew, raised a Jew, who taught Jewish Law to Jewish followers.
i dare say he was. however, some of the things that he is reported to have done are hard to reconcile with the correct behaviour expected of an observant jew - and his followers eventually abandoned the Law, despite his having said that he "didn't come to change even a letter of it". this doesn't change the fact that in, say, the sermon on the mount, there is absolutely nothing in there that every traditional jew doesn't agree with.

I understand traditional Christian holidays to be in conflict with the Biblical Holy Days. Would you be kind enough to expand on the proper observance of the Holy Days? Especially the proper way for an individual to calculate the beginning of Passover by the Solar rather than Lunar calendar. Also, what is the proper way to calculate and observe Pentacost and the Feast of Weeks?
this is an entire library's worth of questions - the correct way to calculate the calendar takes up several volumes of Talmud and even more commentators! i suggest that you have a look at http://www.jewfaq.org which is fairly trustworthy as a source and open different threads for more specific questions you may have afterwards.

Do you have an opinion on the Messianic Jewish movement? I understand these people to observe Jewish custom while recognizing Messiah.
well, essentially they're the equivalents of the early church - however, it is not possible to consider jesus to have been the messiah and still remain within the boundaries of judaism. from our PoV, he wasn't, so it's fairly simple - those who are jewish according to jewish law are apostates and those who aren't are christians. the situation is unfortunately compounded by their receiving a large proportion of their funding from christian organisations dedicated to converting jews and, even worse, their underhand tactics and general theological and philosophical dishonesty. in the UK, they specialise in putting giant billboard adverts in the middle of jewish areas which utilise the slogan "think for yourself" - thus implying that traditional jews do not. i've actually just been to look at the site http://www.jewsforjesus.org and they have one section "for believers" and one "for seekers" - once you get into "for believers" it's pretty fecking obvious that they are christians dressed up as jews and it's this kind of dishonesty that i really object to. i yield to nobody in my openmindedness for most religious groups but these guys really get up my nose. a lot of them live near me and they drive round the neighbourhood in a big "jews for jesus" van where the O in "for" is a star of david. offensive simply isn't the word. give me honest christians any day, at least you know where you stand.

I seem to have some form of "Mediterranean" genetic lineage on my dad's side of the family
ah, yes, "mediterranean". that term's very popular these days. hah.

What was really interesting, though, was when I was researching this topic on the internet, I found it being referred to as "common with Jewish ancestry".
yeah, actually, i believe that is the case, particularly ashkenazic jews. crohn's disease is especially common too. must be all the chopped herring - lucky i'm not from that background. it might not be such a bad idea to be tested for tay-sachs while you're at it if you've really got jewish ancestors.

So it got myself to wondering what my position would be if I actually did have some form of Jewish genetic heritage, and how I would be classed within Judaism - heretic or lost sheep, etc.
genetic heritage is irrelevant (except in the case of your innards, of course) and religiously, the only thing that counts is if your mother is jewish. which she would only be if her mother was jewish and so on. it's quite hard to know usually - some heavy work in the register of births is called for, but it's not unheard of for people to be able to get re-validated by the beth din three or four generations later. if you turned out to be not religiously jewish, then you're just a regular normal gentile (horrible word!) but if your maternal line did come up lemons you'd be called a tinok she'nishba, a child brought up by non-jews, but we'd still want you back, so to speak. there's a whole bunch of halacha about it, because it has sadly been common for past twenty-odd centuries.

I actually thought the Cohen line was Levite, though?
sorry, should have been clear. the cohens are direct male-line descendants of the family of aaron, the first high priest, who was a member of the tribe of levi. so cohens *are* technically levites but they are a caste within a tribe.

Many a Jew can't be otherwise than Jew because people keep remembering and going about telling them to be Jews. But genuinely civilized folks tend to transcend the Jewish blood of Jews, when such Jews themselves just want to be and do live like any a-religious humanists.
susma, have you any idea how patronising and arrogant this statement is? where exactly do you get off assuming that we all want to assimilate but can't? this is so typical of "a-religious humanists" - perhaps i don't actually want to be so fecking smug and superior. "genuinely civilised", forsooth. 2000 years ago my ancestors were in babylon debating the ins and outs of jurispridence - what were yours up to? painting themselves with mud and burning each other in wicker baskets like the rest of the bloody europeans, i dare say.

Being Jewish or not from blood is like the attitude of some backward nations and some ultra racist groups that insist on blood as the principal determinant of citizenship.
and it's *not* blood alone that determines jewishness - conversion is also possible. so, according to you, we're "backward", uncivilised and ought to "transcend" our culture. why don't you naff off back to the 19th century and go and "discover" a country that has been inhabited for 3000 years by "natives" in skirts if that's how you feel?

For me a man's action and word are the sole determinant of his distinction and worth; and such a principle should be adopted in the Gentiles' dealings with Jews and also vice-versa.
funny - i thought that's exactly what judaism says. but then again, you obviously know far more about it than i do, being so genuinely civilised.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
Kindest Regards, Bananabrain! and thank you most sincerely for your response!

it's not that artificial, really.
I suspected I may have phrased my words incorrectly, my apologies.

you guys look at things very differently from us - the salvation/damnation dynamic is one that doesn't exist as far as we're concerned between jews and non-jews.
I believe I understand what it is you mean, but if I am correct in that understanding, you have me confused with some others. That is, I do not believe Jews are condemned. And I often use the example of David and Saul to demonstrate my position. Perhaps my position will be brought out in time. You are wary of Christians in general, and you have every right to be. Even though I am not one of "them", I see I must earn your trust in that regard. Even among Christians, my view is in the minority.

for us, it's about how you behave, not what you believe.
Would it shock you to find I am in total agreement? I made such a statement only a few days ago on another thread.

the difference can be most shown by our different attitudes to, say, indigenous tribes in the amazon jungle.
May I presume "our" is in the collective sense, not either of us specifically? Since I have indigenous heritage as well, I would be quite at odds with myself psychologically if I could find no way to reconcile. Are the sins of the parents visited upon their children? If so, to how many generations? And does whether or not we love the Almighty reckon into that accounting?

this is not to say that we can't get on. of course we can.
Which is my point.

however, if you persist in believing that i (as a non-christian) am going to hell, then it's going to make it very difficult to talk theology, although we may be able to live together perfectly happily.
Please be kind enough to show me just where it is I, specifically, made any such statement. Or any statement that could conceivably come close? I would be only too happy to retract it if I had indeed made such a blunder, it is entirely contrary to my personal understanding/faith/belief.

I am only too willing to accept you as a person, who only happens to be Jewish, and so able to present your understanding of Judaism. I could not, in my mind, gauge the whole of Judaism on behalf of your position only, nor could I gauge you as a person on my experiences alone, good or bad, with Judaism. That would be unfair and unwise. I hope you will be able to extend the same to me regarding Christianity.

some of the things that he is reported to have done are hard to reconcile with the correct behaviour expected of an observant jew - and his followers eventually abandoned the Law, despite his having said that he "didn't come to change even a letter of it". this doesn't change the fact that in, say, the sermon on the mount, there is absolutely nothing in there that every traditional jew doesn't agree with.
I believe I have heard some of the reports dealing with the questionable observance of Jewish law by Messiah, I also have to consider the source of those reports, and the motives behind them. As for followers abandoning the law, my understanding is that was not "so much" the case in Jerusalem proper, under the administration of Peter and, more importantly to me, James. Your point is very valid in the case of Paul's apostleship. I am unfamiliar with Jewish disagreement with the sermon on the mount, and I am intrigued. Would you be willing to explain?

this is an entire library's worth of questions - the correct way to calculate the calendar takes up several volumes of Talmud and even more commentators! i suggest that you have a look at http://www.jewfaq.org which is fairly trustworthy as a source and open different threads for more specific questions you may have afterwards.
I had not expected such a complex answer. Perhaps this explains some of my difficulties in attempting to reckon the matter on my own. Thank you most sincerely for the link, I will study it as soon as I can find time.

I had not intended to open a can of worms with the Messianic Jewish Movement question. Because it seems a sore spot, I will leave it alone. I most humbly apologize.

I greatly value your input, and hold it in high esteem. I look forward to your reply. Thank you.
 
if I am correct in that understanding, you have me confused with some others.
the attitude of christians to non-christians is generally hostage to this particular issue. i am, of course, aware that there are a *lot* of different takes on this particular bit of theology and my response to it is that it is an obstacle to dialogue if my interlocutor thinks i need "saving". i ought to have made it clear that i'm not assuming what your opinion is.

And I often use the example of David and Saul to demonstrate my position.
in what way? i mean, as far as we're concerned saul was kind of the "first person, but not the correct person for the job" so to speak. the idea that our Covenant is lapsed, superseded, no longer operative or that we have weaseled out of it is not a basis that we can work on. i am aware that there is a theological position known as the "parallel covenants" which is generally the basis for most christian-jewish theological dialogue nowadays, which invoves christians acknowledging that the purpose of the jewish people is ongoing and does not require a "new covenant" to affirm or validate it. to be precise; from our point of view, the Covenant is a standalone system to which christian theology is irrelevant - it existed before and would be the same now whether christianity had happened or not.

You are wary of Christians in general, and you have every right to be.
er, not really wary. i just like to know who i'm talking to and where they're coming from. the assumptions are by way of provoking clarifications.

Would it shock you to find I am in total agreement?
not a bit.

May I presume "our" is in the collective sense, not either of us specifically? Since I have indigenous heritage as well, I would be quite at odds with myself psychologically if I could find no way to reconcile. Are the sins of the parents visited upon their children? If so, to how many generations? And does whether or not we love the Almighty reckon into that accounting?
sorry, i'm not being clear. what i mean is, from an evangelist's PoV, (which it sounds like you don't share) tribespeople in the amazon have not heard the "good news" and he is obliged to "help save them" from damnation, whereas from ours, they are almost certainly conforming to what we consider to be the religious obligations of all humans, the noachide laws. as such they are perfectly OK and we should just leave them alone to live life in accordance with their own wishes. the point is that we impose great obligations upon ourselves and consider the outside world to be subject to much less stringent discipline - and good for them. we are precluded from making life more difficult for them by embarking on conversion activities.

Please be kind enough to show me just where it is I, specifically, made any such statement.
sorry, i don't mean "you" literally. i mean "a hypothetical christian" - my sloppy wording.

I am only too willing to accept you as a person, who only happens to be Jewish
um.. i don't actually want to be "accepted as a person". accepting me means accepting my religion as part of me, not, as some people seem to think, tolerating it despite its backwardness. i am not separable from my jewishness.

I could not, in my mind, gauge the whole of Judaism on behalf of your position only, nor could I gauge you as a person on my experiences alone, good or bad, with Judaism.
the real point to address is that adhering to a religion doesn't make you an arse. being an arse makes you an arse - and while religion ought to prevent this, this is unfortunately not the case for many supposedly religious arses. show me someone of any religion who is acting in a bum-brained fashion and i will show you how s/he is contravening the laws s/he claims to uphold.

I also have to consider the source of those reports, and the motives behind them.
i'm just talking about gospel accounts, actually. there's plenty of material there to be going on with.

I am unfamiliar with Jewish disagreement with the sermon on the mount, and I am intrigued. Would you be willing to explain?
i think my double negatives have you confused. i meant there's nothing in there that we DISagree with.

I had not intended to open a can of worms with the Messianic Jewish Movement question. Because it seems a sore spot, I will leave it alone.
it's not a sore spot, it's just a group that particularly gets up my nose - there's no possibility of dialogue with them.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
bananabrain said:
... it is an obstacle to dialogue if my interlocutor thinks i need "saving".

in what way? i mean, as far as we're concerned saul was kind of the "first person, but not the correct person for the job" so to speak.
Perhaps I can answer both with one reply. As I recall the story of David and Saul, David refused to kill Saul on the two (three?) occasions that he had opportunity, and indeed had the man executed that claimed he had killed Saul (thinking he was doing his king a service). David did so because Saul was annointed by God, that is (in my mind) "chosen". Having already stated the Jews are to me "kin", as well as annointed/chosen, they deserve a much greater deal of respect than is commonly taught from Christian pulpits.

the idea that our Covenant is lapsed, superseded, no longer operative or that we have weaseled out of it is not a basis that we can work on.
The only part of the Covenant I understand to be done away with, is the blood ordinance of sacrifice. To the Christians, this was nailed to the cross. To the Jews, this was 3?-40 years later of necessity with the destruction of the Temple by the Romans.

i am aware that there is a theological position known as the "parallel covenants" which is generally the basis for most christian-jewish theological dialogue nowadays, which invoves christians acknowledging that the purpose of the jewish people is ongoing and does not require a "new covenant" to affirm or validate it. to be precise; from our point of view, the Covenant is a standalone system to which christian theology is irrelevant - it existed before and would be the same now whether christianity had happened or not.
I am not familiar with this directly. This sounds to me essentially valid, but I would think the Covenant now includes "proper" Christians. Or at least those who make a conscious and sincere effort to commit themselves to it.

i just like to know who i'm talking to and where they're coming from. the assumptions are by way of provoking clarifications.
Very well, that is a fair and honest means of assessment.

they are almost certainly conforming to what we consider to be the religious obligations of all humans, the noachide laws. as such they are perfectly OK and we should just leave them alone to live life in accordance with their own wishes.
I arrived at a similar conclusion on my own, but it has been through a great deal of soul searching. The Noachide laws? I am not familiar with these.

the point is that we impose great obligations upon ourselves and consider the outside world to be subject to much less stringent discipline - and good for them. we are precluded from making life more difficult for them by embarking on conversion activities.
Yes, I can agree. Again I arrived at similar conclusion through prayer and deep thought in the matter. As for conversion, I don't feel it is proper to impose my belief on others, but I am willing and happy to share with those who come to me seeking.

um.. i don't actually want to be "accepted as a person". accepting me means accepting my religion as part of me, not, as some people seem to think, tolerating it despite its backwardness. i am not separable from my jewishness.
And here I believed I had stumbled upon profound belief, my mistake.:) By accepting you, I also accept your faith/belief/religion. That is, I reserve the right to disagree, but I still respect you and your faith. Does this make any better sense to you?

i'm just talking about gospel accounts, actually. there's plenty of material there to be going on with.
I suspect in would be in both of our interests to set this particular matter aside for the moment. I sincerely wish to get off to a good start. I am willing to consider this you speak of, but that form of respect required for such a conversation must work both ways. I too, am a little apprehensive, but I am willing to make steps towards understanding.

i think my double negatives have you confused. i meant there's nothing in there that we DISagree with.
Yes, apparently I did misunderstand. Thank you most sincerely for the clarification.:)

it's not a sore spot, it's just a group that particularly gets up my nose - there's no possibility of dialogue with them.
Semantics, not to be curt. That is pretty much what I meant by "sore spot." I can see I need to work on my vocabulary, there seems to be a little bit lost in translation.

I can promise you I am not out to convert you, or in any way try to convince you of any form of error. I wish only a peaceful and peaceable dialogue, for the purpose of learning and understanding. I am no authority on Kosher (Kashrat?), I know next to none of Hebrew and zero yiddish. But I have tried my best by my understanding to observe the dietary laws of Leviticus 11 for almost 20 years. I do not willingly seek out pork or shellfish. I cannot honestly tell you I have not eaten any, but it is typically under unusual circumstances, or it has "snuck" under my radar. The culture in which I live is not sensitive to these issues, so I have to make these concessions on my own in the best manner I can. I typically do not eat bovine flesh with cheese or milk, I either eat one or the other at the same meal. Linsey/woolsey is another issue altogether, I do not fully understand, so many garments today are made of synthetic fibres, and I have no idea how that applies.

I try my best to observe Passover rather than easter. I clean the house of all of the yeast and leaven I can find. I do not fully understand all of the symbology attached to some of the foods served, and I do modify it to Christianity. That is the time I take communion in recognition of Messiah. I realize this is no concern of yours, but I feel the clarification is necessary so that you better understand where I am coming from. I have asked many sources about the bitter herbs, and the only one offered to which all could begin to agree was horseradish. What are the other bitter herbs, and what do they represent? Some I see serve a boiled egg, but I do not understand the significance. I do serve matzo bread and kosher wine for the communion, and baked lamb. I also annoint my family, my house, and myself, with olive oil.

I am not certain why I am telling you these things, other than perhaps to help you understand I am attempting in my own way to observe the Holy Days as set forth in the Torah (Pentateuch). This is my humble way of showing my commitment to my faith and the tradition from which it comes. I am not at odds with Judaism, in many ways I feel I attempt to be somewhat Jewish, because it is to the Jews that the Covenant was given. And because the Jews have been properly observing these traditions for so long, and I am but a mere mortal struggling on my own, that I am turning to you for guidance. Most of the Jews I have known in my life were "only" nominal, and were not familiar with the proper observation of these traditions.

I will understand if you choose not to explain these things here in this forum. If you prefer to respond to me privately, that is acceptable to me. I only hope that you would be so kind as to assist me in my understanding. Thank you most sincerely.
 
the real point to address is that adhering to a religion doesn't make you an arse. being an arse makes you an arse - and while religion ought to prevent this, this is unfortunately not the case for many supposedly religious arses.
I neglected this from earlier. I do not believe you, nor anybody, is an arse for adhering to a religion. I agree, being an arse makes one an arse. I hope you do not think me an arse, merely persistent.

Kindest Regards!
 
Thanks for the clarification, bb - and darn that herring. :D
 
As I recall the story of David and Saul, David refused to kill Saul on the two (three?) occasions that he had opportunity, and indeed had the man executed that claimed he had killed Saul (thinking he was doing his king a service). David did so because Saul was annointed by God, that is (in my mind) "chosen".
oh, i see... actually that's rather clever, i rather like it. it still wouldn't cut much ice with traditionalists, due to the fact that the Messiah has to be of the davidic line, but i applaud the intent.

The only part of the Covenant I understand to be done away with, is the blood ordinance of sacrifice. To the Christians, this was nailed to the cross. To the Jews, this was 3?-40 years later of necessity with the destruction of the Temple by the Romans.
i see why you'd think that, but it is part of the Covenant itself that the Covenant cannot be unilaterally altered, even by G!D. although we cannot actually offer sacrifices at present, we are still obliged to sacrifice, which we do by proxy using the three daily prayers and a variety of other things (the menorah ceremony being fulfilled by reciting the psalm "lamnasseyah bin'ginoth", for example) on the principle "we will compensate for the bull-offerings with our lips", which i think is from hosea. the idea is that sacrifice will be restored when the Temple is rebuilt, so we continue to study the laws of it.

I am not familiar with this directly.
it's very popular in the C of E i believe.

but I would think the Covenant now includes "proper" Christians.
that would be altering the terms by including people in it who are not obliged to keep the 613 commandments. the Covenant applies to jews, not everyone; there's a reason for this, which is that by taking on the obligations we take on the penalties incurred by not fulfilling them correctly and, by this logic, it's not to be extended without conversion, which we're not encouraged to do unless the person really, really, really wants to.

The Noachide laws? I am not familiar with these.
when G!D showed noah the rainbow after the flood this was the "seal" on the noachide covenant, which we consider binding on all surviving humans. there are only seven commandments in it, which there is a good explanation of here: http://www.jewfaq.org/gentiles.htm

By accepting you, I also accept your faith/belief/religion. That is, I reserve the right to disagree, but I still respect you and your faith. Does this make any better sense to you?
it would be very nice if everyone was as courteous as you are!

I am willing to consider this you speak of, but that form of respect required for such a conversation must work both ways.
please assume the required respect! i just suggested the gospel account because it's always best IMHO to start with the text. they're not my sacred texts, but i'm not interested in debunking them.

That is pretty much what I meant by "sore spot." I can see I need to work on my vocabulary, there seems to be a little bit lost in translation.
put it this way - i don't have a problem with christians as long as they call themselves what they are. when they start trying to claim that they're "fulfilling" judaism, i reach for the custard pies.

I can promise you I am not out to convert you, or in any way try to convince you of any form of error.
*grins* i can tell! don't worry.

I know ...zero yiddish.
nor do i (apart from swearwords) - my family aren't from that part of the world.

But I have tried my best by my understanding to observe the dietary laws of Leviticus 11 for almost 20 years.
!! i know there are people who do that, but it always surprises me, when they don't have an obligation to.

I do not willingly seek out pork or shellfish. I cannot honestly tell you I have not eaten any, but it is typically under unusual circumstances, or it has "snuck" under my radar. The culture in which I live is not sensitive to these issues, so I have to make these concessions on my own in the best manner I can. I typically do not eat bovine flesh with cheese or milk, I either eat one or the other at the same meal.
from our PoV, it is pretty much impossible to keep kosher without a knowledge of the Oral Law. the base text of the Written Law (especially in translation) is kind of difficult to keep without an explanatory oral tradition - have you heard of the karaites? they tried to do this (there are still a couple of thousand of them left, living in jerusalem mostly) but ended up doing things like sitting in the dark inside their houses all day on the sabbath because they interpreted the text about not making a flame strictly and literally, prohibiting keeping one burning and therefore preventing themselves keeping the lights on. it doesn't sound like a lot of fun to me, frankly.

Linsey/woolsey is another issue altogether, I do not fully understand, so many garments today are made of synthetic fibres, and I have no idea how that applies.
well, we do that by having our clothes checked by a specialist "shaatnez-checking" service. it is a "because I Said So" law, if that helps.

I try my best to observe Passover rather than easter. I clean the house of all of the yeast and leaven I can find. I do not fully understand all of the symbology attached to some of the foods served, and I do modify it to Christianity. That is the time I take communion in recognition of Messiah.
the thing is, for jews passover is about reliving the experience that our ancestors went through in leaving egypt. if you are not doing it for that reason it seems to me a bit, well, peculiar, if you'll pardon my saying so.

I have asked many sources about the bitter herbs, and the only one offered to which all could begin to agree was horseradish. What are the other bitter herbs, and what do they represent?
horseradish is a tradition from eastern europe. in the iraqi tradition, where i'm coming from, you'd use lettuce or something. these kind of salad vegetables were hard to come by in, say, poland, hence the horseradish.

Some I see serve a boiled egg, but I do not understand the significance.
i'm not sure if it has much, but i'll try and find out.

I do serve matzo bread and kosher wine for the communion, and baked lamb. I also annoint my family, my house, and myself, with olive oil.
i don't know of anyone that does any anointing. also, we tend to steer clear of lamb on pesach, because of certain restrictions on its cooking, like it has to be roasted only and that's a bit problematic for other reasons.

I am not certain why I am telling you these things, other than perhaps to help you understand I am attempting in my own way to observe the Holy Days as set forth in the Torah (Pentateuch). This is my humble way of showing my commitment to my faith and the tradition from which it comes.
so if i understand you correctly, you try and observe the Torah because you consider yourself part of the Covenant that requires Torah observance? if that is the case then wow, that must be hard work without an oral tradition to work from.

Most of the Jews I have known in my life were "only" nominal, and were not familiar with the proper observation of these traditions.
well, it is a bit unusual for a non-jew to want to observe them, to put it mildly. most of the organisations that could explain it to you see jews, not non-jews as their responsibility, so they'd probably try and avoid the issue. i don't mind helping a bit but i don't mind telling you, without wishing to be rude, that although i think i understand your position it's not one that the system was really designed to cope with.

I will understand if you choose not to explain these things here in this forum.
well, it's not really something i'd normally get involved with. i work with people who are interested in dialogue and, occasionally, as a result of this, i come across people who are interested in conversion, but this is kind of in between, so i don't really know what the correct response is for someone in your position. i'll do my best to find out if i can.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
Kindest Regards, bananabrain! and thank you very, very much for your kind and thoughtful reply!

bananabrain said:
i see why you'd think that, but it is part of the Covenant itself that the Covenant cannot be unilaterally altered, even by G!D. although we cannot actually offer sacrifices at present, we are still obliged to sacrifice, which we do by proxy using the three daily prayers and a variety of other things (the menorah ceremony being fulfilled by reciting the psalm "lamnasseyah bin'ginoth", for example) on the principle "we will compensate for the bull-offerings with our lips", which i think is from hosea. the idea is that sacrifice will be restored when the Temple is rebuilt, so we continue to study the laws of it.
I have heard of such things, such as certain people making (or rediscovering how to make) various ritual implements, musical instruments, the discovery of the "ashes of the red heiffer", etc. I think a key between your view and mine is in the statement "we do by proxy", one could conceivably say that Yashua was the proxy sacrifice, at least to those who do view him as messiah.

it's very popular in the C of E i believe.
:confused:, I have absolutely no clue...

that would be altering the terms by including people in it who are not obliged to keep the 613 commandments. the Covenant applies to jews, not everyone; there's a reason for this, which is that by taking on the obligations we take on the penalties incurred by not fulfilling them correctly and, by this logic, it's not to be extended without conversion, which we're not encouraged to do unless the person really, really, really wants to.
Thank you again for the links, I just spent a couple of hours on them. I got a couple of questions answered, but I think I raised 20 more. I made the choices I did long ago as a conscious effort to show my sincerity to my Father. It is a personal thing, between He and I. I have not found a church that even begins to approach such matters. Other than, perhaps Judaism, which is precluded by my acceptance of messiah. In a way, I suppose I am between a rock and a hard place, of my own making. But for some reason, I am quite comfortable here.

when G!D showed noah the rainbow after the flood this was the "seal" on the noachide covenant, which we consider binding on all surviving humans. there are only seven commandments in it, which there is a good explanation of here: http://www.jewfaq.org/gentiles.htm
I did look at this. I had not heard of it before, but it kinda made sense. I did think it interesting that the conclusion was so similar to where I arrived by a completely different route, to be remarkable.

it would be very nice if everyone was as courteous as you are!
I'll pass the compliment on to my mom, she deserves the credit for a good upbringing.

please assume the required respect!
Very well, thank you. I have noticed you do not suffer fools lightly. I struggle when dealing with those myself, and I will try most diligently not to disappoint.

i just suggested the gospel account because it's always best IMHO to start with the text. they're not my sacred texts, but i'm not interested in debunking them.
May I assume the double negative is merely incidental in this instance? I agree about starting with text. I do have some reservations about commentaries and commentators. I profess an ignorance of the position these share in Judaism, but within Christianity commentators and commentaries tend to muddle and confuse issues. I prefer a "clean slate" approach, if you will. I have one contemporary Biblical scholar, a doctorate in linguistics, that I enjoy listening to, predominantly because what he teaches is in line with the conclusions I had come to on my own. In effect, he picks up where I left off, solidifying my understanding. I do not listen as often as I would like, but that is as close to commentary as I go.
With absolutely no offense intended, it seems to me commentators are in the business of "rewriting", or rewording, or reinterpreting, or otherwise reinventing. This, in my view, is not unlike how the Hindu and Buddhist "texts" continue to expand. As long as there is human interjection, there is potential for misunderstanding or misinterpretation. I want to believe the Jews have resolved this conflict, but I am not familiar enough with the process to accept that wholly. And I can see where a wealth of experience can be conveyed through "oral tradition."

put it this way - i don't have a problem with christians as long as they call themselves what they are. when they start trying to claim that they're "fulfilling" judaism, i reach for the custard pies.
Fair enough.

!! i know there are people who do that, but it always surprises me, when they don't have an obligation to.
Why should it surprise you, that I (or anyone) could be sincere about my faith, at least as much as you are with yours? I do not attend any church, yet I live my faith everyday. My faith is my life, and I live my life guided by my faith. There is wisdom in my faith, and a great deal of that wisdom is shared between our faiths. I am not speaking directly of esoteric wisdom (although that can play), but the simple day-to-day stuff that people tend to overlook until something slaps them upside the head.

from our PoV, it is pretty much impossible to keep kosher without a knowledge of the Oral Law. the base text of the Written Law (especially in translation) is kind of difficult to keep without an explanatory oral tradition
Very well, but it will not stop me from trying the best I understand how. I do try to look at the spirit in which a lesson is transmitted (The David and Saul example). For example, the meat and milk prohibition. I recall the passage paraphrases something like "thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk." While there is a definite dietary presciption there, there is an underlying theme that relates closely with the concept colloquially called "kicking a man when he's down." There are surface level teachings, and there are underlying teachings. Perhaps that is the purpose of your oral traditions, but I cannot say. I know that I look always for deeper meaning.

have you heard of the karaites?
Only in some of your other posts.

they tried to do this (there are still a couple of thousand of them left, living in jerusalem mostly) but ended up doing things like sitting in the dark inside their houses all day on the sabbath because they interpreted the text about not making a flame strictly and literally, prohibiting keeping one burning and therefore preventing themselves keeping the lights on. it doesn't sound like a lot of fun to me, frankly.
I'm not sure I follow your intent behind this. Is this to encourage, or discourage, or merely an offhand comment? The Essenes too, were given to their unique brand of tradition and ritual, and it served them no better than the parties then in power, at least by what we can see here in this existence. Can either of us say with certainty what purpose such a view might serve or gain them in the next existence? Maybe nothing, maybe everything...

well, we do that by having our clothes checked by a specialist "shaatnez-checking" service. it is a "because I Said So" law, if that helps.
"Because I said so law?" Um, no help. I was taught there are three (major) distinctions in law: THE Law (Ten Commandments), statutes and ordinances. I understand the sacrifice "rules", as we discussed earlier, to be among the ordinances. I can guess that "I said so" might be statute, but I am vague enough on the subject to not make that assumption wholly.

the thing is, for jews passover is about reliving the experience that our ancestors went through in leaving egypt. if you are not doing it for that reason it seems to me a bit, well, peculiar, if you'll pardon my saying so.
Yes, and that is included in my understanding and tradition. You are probably aware, but it bears repeating for my sake, that the Christian messiah "gave up the ghost" at the same hour the Paschal lambs were being slaughtered for the observance of Passover. There are volumes written on the legal manuevers that were employed to hurry along his execution. I did not bring that out for any reason but for the note of the fact.

horseradish is a tradition from eastern europe. in the iraqi tradition, where i'm coming from, you'd use lettuce or something. these kind of salad vegetables were hard to come by in, say, poland, hence the horseradish.
Well, romaine lettuce seems a little more palatable and likely to get finished afterwards. I'll try that this year. Thanks.

i don't know of anyone that does any anointing. also, we tend to steer clear of lamb on pesach, because of certain restrictions on its cooking, like it has to be roasted only and that's a bit problematic for other reasons.
Like, burning up the leftovers, funeral pyre style? That is why I find the smallest portion I can find. Perhaps not to the letter, by my sincere attempt at spirit.

so if i understand you correctly, you try and observe the Torah because you consider yourself part of the Covenant that requires Torah observance? if that is the case then wow, that must be hard work without an oral tradition to work from.
Again, I do the best I understand with the little I know. From my PoV, if my messiah taught Jewish Law and observed Jewish custom and tradition, then there must be something to it. I choose, consciously, to believe as closely as I can reckon to what he taught. I believe you used the term "early church." It amazes me how radically different the church became only 300 years later, and even then it was not truly interested in salvation of souls, it was interested in display of political power. I do have some difficulty with whether or not messiah was a manifestation of the Divine, and what hinges crucially in that reckoning is resurrection. Then again, Isaiah and Ezekiel do make mention of the "time", so are these OT expressions of resurrection?

well, it is a bit unusual for a non-jew to want to observe them, to put it mildly. most of the organisations that could explain it to you see jews, not non-jews as their responsibility, so they'd probably try and avoid the issue. i don't mind helping a bit but i don't mind telling you, without wishing to be rude, that although i think i understand your position it's not one that the system was really designed to cope with.
Ah, I thought the Jews unofficially enjoyed the unusual, and cheered the underdog...

but this is kind of in between, so i don't really know what the correct response is for someone in your position. i'll do my best to find out if i can.
Fair enough.

Shalom and peace to you. And I do pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
 
I stand corrected....

bananabrain said:
. . .

susma, have you any idea how patronising and arrogant this statement is? where exactly do you get off assuming that we all want to assimilate but can't? this is so typical of "a-religious humanists" - perhaps i don't actually want to be so fecking smug and superior. "genuinely civilised", forsooth. 2000 years ago my ancestors were in babylon debating the ins and outs of jurispridence - what were yours up to? painting themselves with mud and burning each other in wicker baskets like the rest of the bloody europeans, i dare say.


and it's *not* blood alone that determines jewishness - conversion is also possible. so, according to you, we're "backward", uncivilised and ought to "transcend" our culture. why don't you naff off back to the 19th century and go and "discover" a country that has been inhabited for 3000 years by "natives" in skirts if that's how you feel?


funny - i thought that's exactly what judaism says. but then again, you obviously know far more about it than i do, being so genuinely civilised.

b'shalom

bananabrain

Dear Banana,

I stand corrected and am utter confusion. But I am not consciously being patronizing. Some people would even think that I understand them perfectly; no, not Jews, but others who seem to be not able to escape their ethnic forebears.

If there is only one room left in the boarding house, I believe we can both occupy it together and get along most peaceably and mutually beneficially.

Best regards,

Susma Rio Sep
 
I think a key between your view and mine is in the statement "we do by proxy", one could conceivably say that Yashua was the proxy sacrifice, at least to those who do view him as messiah.
that is a common PoV, but it's not one that makes sense from a jewish standpoint. the move to proxy sacrifices is a temporary measure that will last until we have a Temple again, not something that alters the dynamic entirely. from our PoV, sacrifices are the "flowers and chocolate" of our relationship with G!D, not its inner essence.

I got a couple of questions answered, but I think I raised 20 more.
feel free to ask 'em!

Other than, perhaps Judaism, which is precluded by my acceptance of messiah. yes, In a way, I suppose I am between a rock and a hard place, of my own making. But for some reason, I am quite comfortable here.
i guess in a way you're what jews for jesus are pretending to be. i think the difference between you is that you're being honest and they're not - they're really out to convert us. i suppose your theology is kind of like "karaites for jesus" except including the dual covenant doctrine. oh, hang on - what am i thinking? i've suddenly realised i know where i've heard this stuff before - the seventh-day adventists. you should check them out. you're like a really biblical version of their PoV.

I do have some reservations about commentaries and commentators. I profess an ignorance of the position these share in Judaism, but within Christianity commentators and commentaries tend to muddle and confuse issues. I prefer a "clean slate" approach, if you will.
the thing with the traditional commentators is that they are approached in a structured way - everything from the Talmud on is commentary; we have our relationship with them very well defined and codified, so we know what we're expecting from them. rabbinic judaism has an excellent set of methods for dealing with complex opinions, so it may seem muddled and confused to an outsider, but works perfectly well for people who know the system. don't forget we have had some of the finest minds in human history looking at this system for at least 2500 years and we have managed this knowledge extremely well. every jew is expected to be a scholar and commentator - we don't leave things to theologians and other professional intermediaries. clean slate approaches are invariably far from it - where do you put it? the biblical text? the mishnah, the gemara? you inevitably end up needing more.

I have one contemporary Biblical scholar, a doctorate in linguistics, that I enjoy listening to, predominantly because what he teaches is in line with the conclusions I had come to on my own. In effect, he picks up where I left off, solidifying my understanding.
that's exactly what we do - it avoids reinventing the wheel by effective knowledge management techniques like codification and hermeneutics.

it seems to me commentators are in the business of "rewriting", or rewording, or reinterpreting, or otherwise reinventing. This, in my view, is not unlike how the Hindu and Buddhist "texts" continue to expand.
and ours, too - that's the beauty of it. it's a growing, dynamic relationship, not a static one.

As long as there is human interjection, there is potential for misunderstanding or misinterpretation.
the story of the "oven of achnai" (baba metzia 59b) is the way we resolve it. the Torah was given to humans, so that means humans have to be able to use it, which means they have to have authority to interpret it. have a look for the phrase "it is not in heaven" (deuteronomy 30:12) - it's all bound up with this passage.

Why should it surprise you, that I (or anyone) could be sincere about my faith
sorry! that's not what i'm saying - i'm just surprised that you are trying in your own way to observe mine, because it's such a hassle to do so!

"Because I said so law?" Um, no help. I was taught there are three (major) distinctions in law: THE Law (Ten Commandments), statutes and ordinances.
er, the ten commandments have no special significance in judaism, in fact. they are a pretty good summary of the 613, but the categories of law are all "Law". the laws i refer to are called "HoQ" - they are laws which cannot be rationalised and are there to teach us something other than "natural" law.
that the Christian messiah "gave up the ghost" at the same hour the Paschal lambs were being slaughtered for the observance of Passover.
well, yes, but the evidence for that comes from texts that have a vested interest in that being the case, if you don't mind me saying so. there's no way of establishing that to academic standards of evidence.

From my PoV, if my messiah taught Jewish Law and observed Jewish custom and tradition, then there must be something to it.
well, yes, but he was a jew, so it was binding on him. it doesn't necessarily follow that it's binding on *you*.

Then again, Isaiah and Ezekiel do make mention of the "time", so are these OT expressions of resurrection?
ezekiel definitely, don't know about isaiah. possibly.

Ah, I thought the Jews unofficially enjoyed the unusual, and cheered the underdog...
er.. i don't know about that. we *enjoy* the unusual and protect it, but the usual is actually to be practiced. as for the underdog, we support it when it's the right thing to do. underdogs are not praiseworthy simply by the fact of their being underdogs.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
Namatse all,

not to derail the thread...

however... i would like to echo Bananabrains comments concerning Hindu and Buddhist texts.

these are not static traditions with a set of dogma that must be adhered to.. there is no creed to defend and no one view that is correct. the Buddhist tradition in particular is designed to be continually invigorated. in fact, according to our belief, Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogal hid spiritual treasures in the natural world to be uncovered when the time was right. in one instance.. an accomplished nun was walking with a group of people and she was suddenly sure that the rock next to her contained a terma (spiritual treasure). they broke open the rock and found a scroll in the middle of it with teachings of Padmasambhava.

in any event... i think the point to keep in mind is that, unlike some traditions, the eastern traditions are living, breathing teachings. they should change as the needs of the people to whom they are addressed change. it keeps them relevant :)

back to your regularly scheduled broadcast.....
 
Kindest Regards, Vajradhara!
Vajradhara said:
Namatse all,

not to derail the thread...

however... i would like to echo Bananabrains comments concerning Hindu and Buddhist texts.

these are not static traditions with a set of dogma that must be adhered to.. there is no creed to defend and no one view that is correct. the Buddhist tradition in particular is designed to be continually invigorated. in fact, according to our belief, Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogal hid spiritual treasures in the natural world to be uncovered when the time was right. in one instance.. an accomplished nun was walking with a group of people and she was suddenly sure that the rock next to her contained a terma (spiritual treasure). they broke open the rock and found a scroll in the middle of it with teachings of Padmasambhava.

in any event... i think the point to keep in mind is that, unlike some traditions, the eastern traditions are living, breathing teachings. they should change as the needs of the people to whom they are addressed change. it keeps them relevant :)

back to your regularly scheduled broadcast.....
I sincerely hope my previous comment was not taken in any way as a slight. That was not the intent at all, merely an observation, and a cursory one at that. I accept that such a dynamic tradition is simply the way it is for Buddhism and others, and I do not ascribe that as being either good or bad.

The Bible, however, tends to be much more static. Again, it is simply the way it is, neither good nor bad.
 
Kindest Regards, bananabrain!
bananabrain said:
that is a common PoV, but it's not one that makes sense from a jewish standpoint. the move to proxy sacrifices is a temporary measure that will last until we have a Temple again, not something that alters the dynamic entirely. from our PoV, sacrifices are the "flowers and chocolate" of our relationship with G!D, not its inner essence.
*****
and ours, too - that's the beauty of it. it's a growing, dynamic relationship, not a static one.
*****
the story of the "oven of achnai" (baba metzia 59b) is the way we resolve it. the Torah was given to humans, so that means humans have to be able to use it, which means they have to have authority to interpret it. have a look for the phrase "it is not in heaven" (deuteronomy 30:12) - it's all bound up with this passage.
OK, now I'm confused. We had been discussing how things are not to change (except, possibly, of absolute necessity, such as the suspension of the sacrifice). Yet, if I read correctly, the purpose of the commentaries is dynamism? I wish in no way to seem argumentative, but would this view then justify Christianity as but a form of Jewish dynamism? Would not the New Testament then be qualified as an extended commentary on the Old Testament when using this frame of reference?

feel free to ask 'em!
I am still at a loss pertaining to the proper dating technique for Passover, from which it seems all other pertinent observances are gauged. I realize the traditional method now employed is based on lunar observances. My concern stems from the passage in the Torah (and I am being lazy at the moment, I haven't time to look it up) that bases the beginning of Passover on solar observations. If I were not in a hurry, I would look it up, but I seem to recall it was to commence on the 14th day after the sun rose directly east, that is, directly framed by the east entrance to the Temple. This, I presume, to be 14 days after the Vernal equinox. So, is this marked beginning to commence the evening following, or the evening before? Likewise, when does the counting of the 50 days to Pentacost begin? At the end of the eight days of Passover?
Thank you sincerely for the offer, I may yet find other questions given enough time.

i guess in a way you're what jews for jesus are pretending to be. i think the difference between you is that you're being honest and they're not - they're really out to convert us. i suppose your theology is kind of like "karaites for jesus" except including the dual covenant doctrine. oh, hang on - what am i thinking? i've suddenly realised i know where i've heard this stuff before - the seventh-day adventists. you should check them out. you're like a really biblical version of their PoV.
I will accept this as a form of compliment. One other person, long ago, suggested I had a lot in common with the Seventh Day Adventists. What I find with them is a lot of the other conflicts I have with so many denominations. In my experience, every denomination has some points of merit, and fall short elsewhere. Not that I personally have it right, but I have qualms I cannot reconcile without compromising my faith. For what it's worth, I took the survey offered on another thread about what would be the most suitable religion (I was on another computer that is not registered with CR, so I couldn't post). Orthodox Judaism came up 100%, the next closest were Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic (shudder) at 91% each, and Orthodox Quaker at 89%.

the thing with the traditional commentators is that they are approached in a structured way - everything from the Talmud on is commentary; we have our relationship with them very well defined and codified, so we know what we're expecting from them. rabbinic judaism has an excellent set of methods for dealing with complex opinions, so it may seem muddled and confused to an outsider, but works perfectly well for people who know the system. don't forget we have had some of the finest minds in human history looking at this system for at least 2500 years and we have managed this knowledge extremely well. every jew is expected to be a scholar and commentator - we don't leave things to theologians and other professional intermediaries. clean slate approaches are invariably far from it - where do you put it? the biblical text? the mishnah, the gemara? you inevitably end up needing more.

... it avoids reinventing the wheel by effective knowledge management techniques like codification and hermeneutics.
I respect Jewish scholarship, what little I am aware of. I have a cursory familiarity with some of the scribal techniques to maintain the texts, but my concerns lay in the "denominational" interpretations. I suppose similar could be said with Christian scholars, the likes of Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luthur, John Wesley, John Knox, etc. In that way, Christianity has demonstrated a form of dynamism, but often at the cost of human bloodshed. I might find gems of wisdom and truth within the writings of any of these commentators, but to hold their views in the same regard as the scriptures seems to me, well, wrong.

"Every jew is expected to be a scholar and commentator - we don't leave things to theologians and other professional intermediaries." I very much appreciate this sentiment, that is precisely the approach I am using on my own.

By the way, can you tell me anything of Gamaliel? My understanding is that he was a reknowned rabbinical scholar from the time of Christ, and that Paul studied under him.

sorry! that's not what i'm saying - i'm just surprised that you are trying in your own way to observe mine, because it's such a hassle to do so!
I suppose in the grand spirit of overachievement, I am attempting to do the best I can with what wisdom and knowledge I have been granted. To those that have been given, more is required.

er, the ten commandments have no special significance in judaism, in fact. they are a pretty good summary of the 613, but the categories of law are all "Law". the laws i refer to are called "HoQ" - they are laws which cannot be rationalised and are there to teach us something other than "natural" law.
Um, this confuses me too. No special significance? I am hoping I am misunderstanding, as I have long been led to believe this is the basis and foundation of both of our faiths. As to the rest, well, yes, I can understand "do as I say because I said so", but there is always a reason, even if we are not aware of it.

well, yes, but the evidence for that comes from texts that have a vested interest in that being the case, if you don't mind me saying so. there's no way of establishing that to academic standards of evidence.
I seem to recall, in brief, you arguing elsewhere that scholarship holds no authority over tenets set forth to establish truths? If either of us must resort to rational and academic sources to verify or confirm in absolute even the prime motivators of our respective faiths, we are both in for very long waits. I accept the Gospel accounts in this matter, you are welcome to choose not to.

well, yes, but he was a jew, so it was binding on him. it doesn't necessarily follow that it's binding on *you*.
This is a very good point, yet, does it not behoove me to imitate wisdom in order to gain fuller wisdom? Even the dogs glean the crumbs that fall from the Master's table.

ezekiel definitely, don't know about isaiah. possibly.
I was thinking Isaiah 2, where (paraphrased), the lion shall lie down with the lamb, and a little child shall lead them". The time of peace is promised, I am unsure as to whether in a physical body such as this, or an astral body, but the time will come. And I look forward to that time. So may I conclude that in some form Jews in general do hold to some form of resurrection?

er.. i don't know about that. we *enjoy* the unusual and protect it, but the usual is actually to be practiced. as for the underdog, we support it when it's the right thing to do. underdogs are not praiseworthy simply by the fact of their being underdogs.
I was speaking in generalities and unofficially. You are correct, of course.

Shalom, and thank you once again!
 
OK, now I'm confused.
well, don't be surprised. this is not a simple issue!

We had been discussing how things are not to change (except, possibly, of absolute necessity, such as the suspension of the sacrifice). Yet, if I read correctly, the purpose of the commentaries is dynamism?
the suspension of sacrifice is just that; a suspension, rather than a change. from our perspective, G!D does not change objectives. what was required by the Divine is still required now - we are just fulfilling this requirement in a different way, but still staying within the brief.

I wish in no way to seem argumentative, but would this view then justify Christianity as but a form of Jewish dynamism? Would not the New Testament then be qualified as an extended commentary on the Old Testament when using this frame of reference?
that's how it started, as a jewish sect. this is really a point about the *elasticity of labels*. how far can you stretch the label "judaism" until it is no longer recognisable? consensus within judaism varies - but all are agreed that recognising jesus as fulfilling messianic prophecies as well as dropping the observance of the Law puts you well outside the "fence", or snaps the elastic if you like. for some within orthodox judaism, changing one's attitude to the binding nature of halacha, or the dynamic of revelation, as the reform and conservative movements have done, does the same thing.

I am still at a loss pertaining to the proper dating technique for Passover, from which it seems all other pertinent observances are gauged.
i can't answer questions as technical as that. i use a jewish calendar. you'd have to consult a competent rabbi to understand the technique. sorry.

Likewise, when does the counting of the 50 days to Pentacost begin? At the end of the eight days of Passover?
ah, this one's easier. the omer (the name for this period) lasts 49 days, starting from the second "day" of Pesach, which is effectively the second night.

I suppose similar could be said with Christian scholars, the likes of Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Wesley, John Knox, etc. In that way, Christianity has demonstrated a form of dynamism, but often at the cost of human bloodshed. I might find gems of wisdom and truth within the writings of any of these commentators, but to hold their views in the same regard as the scriptures seems to me, well, wrong.
oh, i agree. there are a lot of commentators, but only the "big beasts" are held to be authoritative and, even then, they have to be seen in context. the rabbis of the Mishna and Gemara are not held to be on the same level as the prophets, who are not held to be on the same level as the Torah. likewise, the ga'onim "outrank" the rishonim, who outrank the akharonim, as it were, in more or less chronological fashion. the idea is that there is a consensus position about the authority of, say, RaSh"I, which is contextualised by the ba'alei tosafot like the RaShBa"M or the Tu"r. the thing is, we have a unified, integrated position (at least until the enlightenment) on the relationship of commentators to each other, which i don't believe is the case with christian commentators, as they are all coming from different theological positions. i'm sorry if this is complicated and confusing but you're kind of asking me to summarise 2500 years of our interpretative tradition!

By the way, can you tell me anything of Gamaliel? My understanding is that he was a reknowned rabbinical scholar from the time of Christ, and that Paul studied under him.
that's what it says in the NT, but obviously we don't actually know. there was a family of whom several "rabban gamaliels" are known, who were senior members of the sanhedrin, but which one paul is supposed to have been a disciple of is uncertain.

Um, this confuses me too. No special significance? I am hoping I am misunderstanding, as I have long been led to believe this is the basis and foundation of both of our faiths.
the 613 commandments can be deduced and expounded from the ten, but this means that they are a good summary rather than anything else. they are not "more important" because they need to be expanded before their detail can be understood. they were originally read out on Shabbat, but this practice was stopped precisely because of heretical sects (christians included) who tried to reduce the Law to a mere observance of the ten.

but there is always a reason, even if we are not aware of it.
oh, absolutely. this is precisely the purpose of a HoQ, to teach us our own limitations.

I seem to recall, in brief, you arguing elsewhere that scholarship holds no authority over tenets set forth to establish truths? If either of us must resort to rational and academic sources to verify or confirm in absolute even the prime motivators of our respective faiths, we are both in for very long waits. I accept the Gospel accounts in this matter, you are welcome to choose not to.
i guess what i'm saying is that i see the gospels as historical documents and thus they are qualitatively different from Torah. i have no problem with using christian perspectives on them to understand christianity, but my interest them is not to contextualise my own religious outlook.

yet, does it not behoove me to imitate wisdom in order to gain fuller wisdom? Even the dogs glean the crumbs that fall from the Master's table.
well, i dare say, but i don't need to spend 20 years in prison to learn from nelson mandela.

So may I conclude that in some form Jews in general do hold to some form of resurrection?
oh, absolutely. this is being discussed in another thread i think.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
juantoo3 said:
Kindest Regards, Vajradhara!

I sincerely hope my previous comment was not taken in any way as a slight. That was not the intent at all, merely an observation, and a cursory one at that. I accept that such a dynamic tradition is simply the way it is for Buddhism and others, and I do not ascribe that as being either good or bad.

The Bible, however, tends to be much more static. Again, it is simply the way it is, neither good nor bad.
Namastea juantoo,

thank you for the post.

no worries... i always presume that we are all here to learn and as such, i try to provide relevant, topical information when appropos :)

i, too, do not see it as "good" or "bad" rather, simply the way it is. some traditions are almost exlusively oral, others are almost exlusively textual.. whilst most have a healthy mix of the two.

in a simple way, i evaluate the seed by the fruit it produces.
 
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