Why don't you believe in the Bible

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Postby RoseMorninStar » Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:30 pm

Swordsman wrote:I prefer my gods to have wild tales that bring me back to my college days. Wild parties, drinking, and revelry. :P
Ah, Bacchus I presume? I'll drink to that. :drink: :D
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Postby vison » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:41 am

I am not about to enter this discussion except to say this:

Christopher Hitchens' book "God is Not Great" says everything that needs to be said about religion and scripture and anyone who might be interested in my views (not that I think anyone is THAT interested or interested at all :) ) should read it. I will add that Mr. Hitchens was kinder and more tolerant than I would be, should I write such a book.

Carry on.
GM is alive.

Osama bin Laden is dead.
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Postby RoseMorninStar » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:08 am

Sounds fascinating vison. I'll have to pick it up. :)
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Postby Chanukah » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:43 pm

There are a number of critical pieces of information that you are missing, and this is the reason for your false assertions.

Firstly, the Talmud brings two opinions on the manner of how the Torah was written down. The first opinion is that the Torah was written in sections, and the other one is that the it was given in its entirety. You assume that the great Rabbi that holds the opinion that the Torah was given in sections believes that the Torah was written down by humans, and therefore it is not divine. To even suggest this absurdity is an insult to the Great Rabbis who discussed things that are so deep and so intense, and so mind boggling, that even the greatest thinker of our day wouldn't be able to even come close to less then 1 percent of their wisdom and intellect. These are matters of astronomical magnitude and to derive such simplistic and dry conclusions such as "since its possible that humans wrote the Torah then therefore it must be not divine" don't help to understand things better.

Both of these great Scholars know that the Torah is God's wisdom and was created by God before he created anything else. The Talmud in fact lists several things that God created before he created the universe, the Torah is only one of them. Therefore the difference in opinion is on a different question :" What was the manner of transmission of God's Torah to humans"? Did God give it as a complete Book at one time, or it was given in parts as time progressed and as events unfolded. An Analogous to this discussion would be if Beethoven after he completed his Fifth Symphony, had decided to send the score to Mozart for review. Two composers had different accounts on how Beethoven sent his score. Brahms held that he sent each movement one at a time, while Chopin was of the position that he had sent the entire score at once. But both Brahms and Chopin knew that Beethoven had completed the symphony before he sent any part of it to Mozart.

Now that we are clear at the true nature of the difference in opinion, we can go and explain and prove that the Torah in its entirety is divine, and was created by god himself and non other.

There are different ways to prove this, science, history, prophecy, text, and logic.

Lets start with the Text.

How do we know that the Torah we have today is the same text given on Mount Sinai?
The Torah was originally dictated from God to Moses, letter for letter. From there, the Midrash (Devarim Rabba 9:4) tells us:
Before his death, Moses wrote 13 Torah Scrolls. Twelve of these were distributed to each of the 12 Tribes. The 13th was placed in the Ark of the Covenant (with the Tablets). If anyone would come and attempt to rewrite or falsify the Torah, the one in the Ark would “testify” against him. (Likewise, if he had access to the scroll in the Ark and tried to falsify it, the distributed copies would “testify” against him.)
How were the new scrolls verified? An authentic “proof text” was always kept in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, against which all other scrolls would be checked. Following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, the Sages would periodically perform global checks to weed out any scribal errors.

To eliminate any chance of human error, the Talmud enumerates more than 20 factors mandatory for a Torah scroll to be considered “kosher.” This is the Torah’s built-in security system. Should any one of these factors be lacking, it does not possess the sanctity of a Torah scroll, and is not to be used for a public Torah reading.
The meticulous process of hand-copying a scroll takes about 2,000 hours (a full-time job for one year). Throughout the centuries, Jewish scribes have adhered to the following guidelines:

• A Torah Scroll is disqualified if even a single letter is added.
• A Torah Scroll is disqualified if even a single letter is deleted.
• The scribe must be a learned, pious Jew, who has undergone special training and certification.
• All materials (parchment, ink, quill) must conform to strict specifications, and be prepared specifically for the purpose of writing a Torah Scroll.
• The scribe may not write even one letter into a Torah Scroll by heart. Rather, he must have a second, kosher scroll opened before him at all times.
• The scribe must pronounce every word out loud before copying it from the correct text.
• Every letter must have sufficient white space surrounding it. If one letter touched another in any spot, it invalidates the entire scroll.
• If a single letter was so marred that it cannot be read at all, or resembles another letter (whether the defect is in the writing, or is due to a hole, tear or smudge), this invalidates the entire scroll. Each letter must be sufficiently legible so that even an ordinary schoolchild could distinguish it from other, similar letters.
• The scribe must put precise space between words, so that one word will not look like two words, or two words look like one word.
• The scribe must not alter the design of the sections, and must conform to particular line-lengths and paragraph configurations.
• A Torah Scroll in which any mistake has been found cannot be used, and a decision regarding its restoration must be made within 30 days, or it must be buried.

Maintaining the accuracy of any document as ancient and as large as the Torah is very challenging even under the best of circumstances.
But consider that throughout history, Jewish communities were subject to widespread persecutions and exile. Over the last 2,000 years, Jews have been spread to the four corners of the world, from Yemen to Poland, from Australia to Alaska.
Other historical factors make the accurate transmission of the Torah all the more difficult. For example, the destruction of the Temple 1,900 years ago saw the dissolution of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish central authority which traditionally would unify the Jewish people in case of any disagreements.
Let’s investigate the facts as we have them today. If we collect the oldest Torah scrolls and compare them, we can see if any garbling exists, and if so, how much.
How many letters are there in the Torah? 304,805 letters (or approximately 79,000 words).
If you were to guess, how many letters of these 304,805 do you think are in question? (Most people guess anywhere from 25 to 1,000 letters.)
The fact is, that after all the trials and tribulations, communal dislocations and persecutions, only the Yemenite Torah scrolls contain any difference from the rest of world Jewry. For hundreds of years, the Yemenite community was not part of the global checking system, and a total of nine letter-differences are found in their scrolls.
These are all spelling differences. In no case do they change the meaning of the word. For example, how would you spell the word “color?” In America, it’s spelled C-O-L-O-R. But in England, it’s spelled with a “u,” C-O-L-O-U-R.
Such is the nature of the few spelling differences between Torah scrolls today. The results over thousands of years are remarkable!

But how impressive is this compared to other similar documents, such as the Christian Bible? (Both books contain approximately the same number of words.)
First of all, which would you expect to be more successful in preserving the accuracy of a text?
The Christian Bible. For several reasons.
First, the Christian Bible is about 1,700 years younger than the Torah. Second, the Christians haven’t gone through nearly as much exile and dislocation as the Jews. Third, Christianity has always had a central authority (the Vatican) to ensure the accuracy of their text.
What are the results? The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, a book written to prove the validity of the New Testament, says: ” A study of 150 Greek [manuscripts] of the Gospel of Luke has revealed more than 30,000 different readings… It is safe to say that there is not one sentence in the New Testament in which the [manuscript] is wholly uniform.”
Other scholars report there are some 200,000 variants in the existing manuscripts of the New Testament, representing about 400 variant readings which cause doubt about textual meaning; 50 of these are of great significance.
The Torah has nine spelling variants—with absolutely no effect on the meaning of the words. The Christian Bible has over 200,000 variants and in 400 instances the variants change the meaning of the text.
The point of course is not to denigrate Christianity. Rather, this comparison demonstrates the remarkable accuracy of the Jewish transmission of Torah.

There is a famous story in the Talmud (Eruvin 13a):
When Rabbi Meir came to Rabbi Yishmael to learn Torah, he was asked:
“What is your profession, my son?”
“I am a scribe,” was the reply.
He said to me: “My son, be careful with your work, for it is the work of Heaven. Should you perhaps omit one letter or add one letter—it could result that you destroy the entire world
Rebbe Meir remarked: “Needless to say, I do not err by omitting or adding (letters)... but I am even concerned for a fly—lest it come and alight upon the right-hand corner of a dalet and erase it, thereby rendering it a reish
The famed commentator Rashi (11th century France) offers examples of how the addition or deletion of a single letter can lead to a blasphemous or heretical reading of the Torah—i.e. a mistake that could destroy the entire world.
Maharsha (16th century Poland) explains there is a danger even if the error does not affect the meaning of the word. This is because of a Kabbalistic tradition that the letters of the Torah form the sacred Names of God written as “black fire upon white fire.” These letters were employed by God in creating the world, and it is through them that He sustains it. The deletion of even one letter of this sustaining force therefore threatens the existence of the world.
Carefully guarding the words of the Torah has been a Jewish priority throughout the centuries.

Will explain the other aspects as this discussion continues...

portia wrote:I have applied this criticism to Evangelical Christians who believe something very similar about various parts of the Bible.

If the Torah did not float down from Heaven, intact and already written out in its entirety, there is room to believe that it was written by human hands, out of human minds, for at least partially human purposes. People may believe the Rabbinic Tradition as to its origin, if they wish, but that is not, and certainly will not be, the last word on the subject.

It is circular to accept something as written by God, or even inspired by God, simply because the rabbis say so. They are human beings and, IMO, it is unsound simply to accept their word for the authority of books on which their authority is based.

There is a great deal to be learned from the Torah, the New Testament, the Koran, etc. but I do not believe it will be learned by trying to establish any of those books as literally, historically, true and inerrant.

If you want to conduct a yeshiva on this thread, have at it, but I will bow out, now.

(We haven't heard from Kushana in years. Too bad, she might have something enlightening to say about all this).
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Postby RoseMorninStar » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:33 pm

The title and subject of this thread is 'Why don't you believe in the Bible' not, 'Learn the Talmed '.
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Postby Chanukah » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:54 pm

RoseMorninStar wrote:The title and subject of this thread is 'Why don't you believe in the Bible' not, 'Learn the Talmed '.


It is wise to learn how to spell. Its not Talmed, but Talmud.

And trust me, this is not in anyway close to true Talmudic studies, in which case, you will need to learn the Aramaic language, and Hebrew, and go to Yeshiva for many years and have a Rabbi to teach you on a personal one on one basic. You will never learn Talmud through the internet, even if you'll live a million years. Its impossible.

Besides the fact that the learning of the Talmud is intellectually challenging, it is also monumentally large, containing many volumes and chapters, thousands of pages, with tens of thousands of commentaries. So all we are doing here is touching a number of statements from the talmud, but this is a very far call from actually 'learning' it.

Do you know how long it takes to learn and understand one single page from the Talmud?

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Postby Goldberry88 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:49 am

Ignoring the recent references to the Talmed, I personally do not believe the majority of what was in the Bible. My main reason for this is that much of the counsel is morally wrong and out-dated. Also, people who believe the Bible are so two-faced, only quoting and believing the parts of the Bible that speak to them, ignoring guidance in the Bible and not obeying it with no qualms.

I think there are some good stories and ideas in the Bible, but I could never believe in it as something to guide my life.
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Postby Chanukah » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:58 am

Goldberry,

It is always proper to give us examples of counsel that are 'morally wrong and outdated', after charging the Torah with such heavy accusations.

You are free not to believe or to believe in whatever you want, but broad brush accusation without examples is simply wrong.

I challenge you to give us one teaching from the torah, one counsel that you consider outdated and morally wrong, and we shall see to put things in their right context, perspective and place...
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Postby portia » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:06 am

I can give an example of "outdated." Morally wrong is often a matter of opinion.

The prohibition of pork may have made sense when pork was subject to trichinosis and ate largely spoiled or dirty food (although a large number of other cultures ate a lot of pork, raised in no better conditions, and managed to deal with it). Now, it survives mainly as a sign of obedience to God, as the health problems in Western countries and many others have been solved.

I have never figured out the reason for the prohibition of mixing fabrics. I suspect that, to the extent it survives, it is also a sign of obedience. The command not to round the corners of one's head is also obscure to me.

Now, understand me, I have no objection, and do not disapprove of anyone trying to follow what he/she feels are God's commandments. For him/her-self and family. I only object when there is an attempt to impose such behavior on others.

I believe that God gave us a brain and not only so that we could sit around and split hairs over Torah and Talmud. Laws are given for reasons, and there is a saying in the Anglo Saxon Common Law that when the reason for the law ceases, the law ceases. If a person wants to continue to obey a law after the reason ceases to exist, that is their choice. But they should understand that it is their choice.

Earlier discussion on this thread were mostly about the New Testament or Christian Bible, and one of the things I argued was that translation issues made a hash of trying to understand the precise meaning. This issue does not arise where the scholar or reader is working from the texts as they were first written down (although, they were solely oral for so long that one has to wonder how many errors and mis-transmissions there were between the time of Moses and the time of the Babylonian Exile, more or less).
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Postby Chanukah » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:35 am

Why Do We Observe the Laws of Kashrut?

Many people think that the laws of kashrut (kosher) are simply primitive health regulations that have become obsolete with modern methods of food preparation. There is no question that some of the dietary laws have some beneficial health effects. For example, the laws regarding kosher slaughter are so sanitary that kosher butchers and slaughterhouses have been exempted from many USDA regulations.

However, health is not the only reason for Jewish dietary laws. Many of the laws of kashrut have no known connection with health. To the best of our modern scientific knowledge, there is no reason why camel or rabbit meat (both treif) is any less healthy than cow or goat meat. In addition, some of the health benefits to be derived from kashrut were not made obsolete by the refrigerator. For example, there is some evidence that eating meat and dairy together interferes with digestion, and no modern food preparation technique reproduces the health benefit of the kosher law of eating them separately.

In recent years, several secular sources that have seriously looked into this matter have acknowledged that health does not explain these prohibitions. Some have suggested that the prohibitions are instead derived from environmental considerations. For example, a camel (which is not kosher) is more useful as a beast of burden than as a source of food. In the Middle Eastern climate, the pig consumes a quantity of food that is disproportional to its value as a food source. But again, these are not reasons that come from Jewish tradition.

The short answer to why Jews observe these laws is: because the Torah says so. The Torah does not specify any reason for these laws, and for a Torah-observant, traditional Jew, there is no need for any other reason. Some have suggested that the laws of kashrut fall into the category of "chukkim," laws for which there is no reason. We show our obedience to G-d by following these laws even though we do not know the reason. Others, however, have tried to ascertain G-d's reason for imposing these laws.

In his book "To Be a Jew" (an excellent resource on traditional Judaism), Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin suggests that the dietary laws are designed as a call to holiness. The ability to distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil, pure and defiled, the sacred and the profane, is very important in Judaism. Imposing rules on what you can and cannot eat ingrains that kind of self control, requiring us to learn to control even our most basic, primal instincts.

Donin also points out that the laws of kashrut elevate the simple act of eating into a religious ritual. The Jewish dinner table is often compared to the Temple altar in rabbinic literature. A Jew who observes the laws of kashrut cannot eat a meal without being reminded of the fact that he is a Jew.

The Torah does not explain the reason for shatnez, (mixing fabrics) and it is categorized as a chok -- a law whose logic is not evident. The Torah has many such laws; we do not know why pork is forbidden, for example. And the prohibition of shatnez is equally strong.

Why did God make a chok in the first place? What's the purpose of a commandment whose reason we have no inkling of?

The power of a chock is as follows: If the reasons for all the mitzvoth (Commandments) were as obvious as "don't murder" or "don't steal," then a person could go through life without developing a relationship with God. How so? Just as there are many fine, upstanding people who don't murder -- not because they believe in God, but simply because they understand that it's wrong -- we might likewise observe mitzvot simply because they "make sense."

Leaving God out of the picture would be missing the point entirely. That would be humanism, not Judaism.

Having said all this, God still wants us to use our intellect to understand the mitzvot to the best of our ability. Thus the commentators suggest different "explanations" for shantey.

One idea is that he mixing wool and linen upsets the environmental and/or metaphysical fabric of the universe. God created different species that work together in the symphony of creation. Our job is to respect and appreciate this diversity and help maintain this special orderliness.

The Midrash suggests that the reason stems from the story of Cain and Abel, as recorded in Genesis chapter 4. Cain brought God an offering of flax (the source of linen) and Abel brought a sheep (wool). The incident resulted in Cain killing Abel, and it was thus decreed that never again shall the two substances mix.

This is perhaps hinted to by the Torah juxtaposing the prohibition of shatnez with the imperative to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18-19). Each person must cherish his own uniqueness and not feel threatened by others. Cain did not understand that he and his brother had different tasks in life, different roles in creation.

Maimonides explains that it was customary for priests of religions which practiced Avodah Zara (idol worship) to wear special garments made out of wool & linen. He adds that even in his time the priests in Egypt wore this type of clothing.
The Rosh says that the Parochet - a separating curtain used in the Temple - was made from wool and linen, and the Torah did not want us to wear anything similar to the holy Parochet. This is similar to the prohibition against making an exact replication of the Ketoret (incense) not for the purpose of the Temple service.

He cites another interesting reason: Cain killed Abel as an outcome of these two species. Cain offered flax-linen and Abel brought an offering from his "woolly" sheep. We are therefore instructed not to join those two types of material as a constant reminder of this incident -- and will thereby take care not to cause separation and hate between people.

The Zohar (Kabbalistic work) teaches that the Biblical word for this combination, "Shatnez," can be separated into two words "Satan Az," meaning "the Satan is strong." The Zohar also states that when someone wears Shatnez an "evil spirit" lurks within him, just as in the time of Cain & Abel where the fusion of these two products brought tragedy and calamity.

Rabbi S. R. Hirsch explains that a person expresses his true personality via his clothing. So to speak "You are what you wear." Since the world was created in such a way that there are distinct species of plants, animals, materials, etc., and the Creator wants people to maintain this special orderliness, the Torah prohibited wearing a mixture of the most common fabrics.


The Prohibition Against Shaving the edges of One's Head


Leviticus 19:27 states: “Do not round off [the hair] at the edges of your heads.” Our Rabbis interpreted the term “edges” to refer to the hair between the ears and the hairless portion of the face. Maimonides writes:
Our Sages did not determine the amount of hair which must be left at the corners of our temples. We have heard, however, from our elders that one must leave at least forty hairs.

One may remove the [hairs from] the edges [of our heads] with scissors. The prohibition applies only to total removal with a razor.
In one of his responsa, Maimonides clarifies that the forbidden area is about the size of a thumb. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De’ah 181:1) explains that we are speaking about the area where the skull is joined to the jawbone. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 170:1 states that the area which is forbidden to be shaven extends until below the ear, the place from which the jaw protrudes.

Although the person who violates the prohibition is the one who actually shaves the hair off, if the person having his head shaved moves his head to assist the person doing the shaving, he also is considered as having transgressed. Even if a person does nothing at all, it is forbidden for him to allow the edges of his head to be shaven.
Maimonides considers this prohibition as one of the safeguards against idolatry. He explains that it was customary for pagan priests to shave the corners of their heads. Hence, the Torah commanded the Jewish people to shun this practice.

The Chasam Sofer explains this concept further: Since pagans could not have their idols grow hair, it was customary for them to shave their own hair, so that they would resemble the images they worshipped. Others offer different rationales for the practice.

The rationale, however, is not significant. The prohibition is one of the 613 mitzvos of the Torah,7incumbent on all Jewish males, at all times and in all places.
As mentioned above, the upsherinish is instituted to train the child to observe this prohibition. But the prohibition applies not only in childhood, but throughout our lives. And unfortunately, it is violated sometimes, unknowingly all too often. For when a barber shaves the hair at the side of the ears, a transgression, equal in severity to partaking of pork or shrimp, is committed.

In many communities, because the Torah singled out this portion of the hair for distinction, it is customary to allow the hair to grow long, thus creating the “earlocks” (peyos) that have become part of the stereotype image of the observant Jew. Significantly, this custom is practiced by Jews from such far-removed origins as Yemen, Morocco, and Eastern Europe.

The AriZal, however, would not grow his peyos below his ears. Instead, he would trim them with a scissors. The Lubavitch custom is to follow this example.








portia wrote:I can give an example of "outdated." Morally wrong is often a matter of opinion.

The prohibition of pork may have made sense when pork was subject to trichinosis and ate largely spoiled or dirty food (although a large number of other cultures ate a lot of pork, raised in no better conditions, and managed to deal with it). Now, it survives mainly as a sign of obedience to God, as the health problems in Western countries and many others have been solved.

I have never figured out the reason for the prohibition of mixing fabrics. I suspect that, to the extent it survives, it is also a sign of obedience. The command not to round the corners of one's head is also obscure to me.

Now, understand me, I have no objection, and do not disapprove of anyone trying to follow what he/she feels are God's commandments. For him/her-self and family. I only object when there is an attempt to impose such behavior on others.

I believe that God gave us a brain and not only so that we could sit around and split hairs over Torah and Talmud. Laws are given for reasons, and there is a saying in the Anglo Saxon Common Law that when the reason for the law ceases, the law ceases. If a person wants to continue to obey a law after the reason ceases to exist, that is their choice. But they should understand that it is their choice.

Earlier discussion on this thread were mostly about the New Testament or Christian Bible, and one of the things I argued was that translation issues made a hash of trying to understand the precise meaning. This issue does not arise where the scholar or reader is working from the texts as they were first written down (although, they were solely oral for so long that one has to wonder how many errors and mis-transmissions there were between the time of Moses and the time of the Babylonian Exile, more or less).
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Postby oldtoby » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:47 am

The short answer to why Jews observe these laws is: because the Torah says so. The Torah does not specify any reason for these laws, and for a Torah-observant, traditional Jew, there is no need for any other reason.


Blind obedience, its whats for dinner.
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Postby Chanukah » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:16 pm

God is King over the universe, and the nature of been a King is that you sometimes have to command without explaining why you want a certain thing to do, and the nature of been a servant is not always understanding why you have to do as the King Commands you.

But now lets talk about Tolkien, this whole discussion has rather gone too far.

Cheers,

Saul


oldtoby wrote:
The short answer to why Jews observe these laws is: because the Torah says so. The Torah does not specify any reason for these laws, and for a Torah-observant, traditional Jew, there is no need for any other reason.


Blind obedience, its whats for dinner.
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Postby portia » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:35 pm

It doesn't seem to be an unreasonable idea that a people will want to adopt rules that set them apart from those around them, regarding their customs in food, dress and appearance. To enforce those rules, a people might well adopt the belief that God wants them to do these things, as a token of obedience, or to distinguish themselves from other, idol worshiping or otherwise less godly, people.

It really does boil down to "we do (or don't do) these things because God said so."

If that is what they choose to believe, I don't feel it is my business to change their habits, but the insistence on the idea that this is the only way to worship, or this is the only right way to behave, is close to an attempt to make others live by a particular religion's rules. If there is some benefit for the whole society in the rule (e.g. "Thou shall not murder.") there is a good argument for imposing the rule on all. But if the rule was created in order to help a people maintain their identity as separate from their neighbors or from those who held them prisoner, the rule has no apparent benefit for the society as a whole and an attempt to impose it on others is offensive. Criticism of a person of a different religion (or no religion) for not following such rules is unjustified.
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Postby Chanukah » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:38 pm

No Portia,

These laws are only for Jews.
Non Jews have to perform only 7 laws, they are called the 7 laws of Noah.

Best Wishes,

Saul
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Postby Gilthoniel_Fanuilos » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:50 pm

I believe that God is perfect. The bible isn't perfect, and the god of the bible/torah is anything but perfect. Ordering the slaughter of the Canaanites. The Flood. Job. This god is a confused minor deity, and those who believe in his exceptionalism (and if believing they are chosen, their exceptionalism) are logically deficient.
There is a cry of anguish over just why the Jews have been victimised these last two millennia. There is no simple answer, except to note that those professing the exceptionalist superiority of a "chosen people" invite opposition. If Chanukah exemplifies a Jewish superiority complex, and it is a commonality, then there is little surprise that antagonism is invited.
Why is there so much hatred here? :?
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Postby portia » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:59 pm

Chanukah wrote:No Portia,

These laws are only for Jews.
Non Jews have to perform only 7 laws, they are called the 7 laws of Noah.

Best Wishes,

Saul


Non Jews don't have to perform ANY laws that are not adopted by the secular authorities.
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Postby oldtoby » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:08 pm

Chanukah wrote:No Portia,

These laws are only for Jews.
Non Jews have to perform only 7 laws, they are called the 7 laws of Noah.

Best Wishes,

Saul


So can you get me Ehud Barak's or maybe Bibi Netanyahu's address? I should probably turn myself in for punishment. :P Would friday be ok?
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Postby TheEllipticalDisillusion » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:55 pm

This thread is a great example in not reading what people write, then writing as if you are the king of the thread.

Lol cakes. They are what's for dinner.

I agree with portia. Non-Jews don't have to follow any laws of the talmud.
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Postby Chanukah » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:45 pm

portia wrote:
Chanukah wrote:No Portia,

These laws are only for Jews.
Non Jews have to perform only 7 laws, they are called the 7 laws of Noah.

Best Wishes,

Saul


Non Jews don't have to perform ANY laws that are not adopted by the secular authorities.


All Jews suppose to follow the Torah, but no one is suggesting to force anyone to do anything...and I dont recall that anyone suggested that at all.
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Postby TheEllipticalDisillusion » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:18 pm

Non Jews have to perform only 7 laws, they are called the 7 laws of Noah.


:?

I'm confused by this statement. Are you saying that non Jews get to choose from a smaller list of laws if they want to follow any at all, or that non Jews have to perform only seven as opposed to the crazy high number for Jews?
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Postby Chanukah » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:20 pm

If you're a Jew you have hundreds of commandments, some are active that you must perform and some are refraining to do and stay away from, they are positive and negative commandments, but there is no one person that is required to perform 613 commandments, because some belong only to women, to priests, levites, but both men and women are required to keep the negative commandments of' thou shall not'.

613 commandments, of which 248 are positive and 365 are negative, all together 613.
All these commandments correspond to the 248 limbs and the 365 tendons found in the human body.

The Seven Laws of Noah - The Laws that the Gentiles must perform, these laws are of course included in the 613 commandments for the Jews too.

It is well known that the Jewish faith does not seek to make converts, and so it is generally supposed that since the Jewish people do not want to make other people into Jews, they are happy just to be left alone. The world is often very surprised to discover that the Jewish faith includes a complete provision for all non-Jews, regardless of race, social class or national origin, perfectly attuned to their needs, and deriving from the same source in Divine revelation through the prophecy of Moses, without any intermediary whatsoever. Only the true universal faith of the Jews regularly offers something to those who are not its members, and this is its sign of authenticity.

This provision is known as the Noachide Laws. Though the first man and his wife, Adam and Eve, were commanded to observe them, they emerged fully only after Noah had survived the flood that wiped away violent sinners whose wrongdoings had engulfed the world in his time. The ancestors of the Jewish people were also commanded in them until they were given the whole Torah at Mount Sinai, and they were then reaffirmed through Moses for all the other nations.
The laws are all prohibitions, unlike those of the Jewish people who have affirmative commandments, but they are not intended to make life dull or restricted. They point out what the good and true path should be, and with this path all moral necessities for the non-Jews are established, without need for any other philosophy, scientific discovery or change in government. All relationships between Jews and non-Jews are likewise explained, both in Israel and in other countries.

Sexual transgression

All people originate from sexual relations, and so the laws which govern them are our most basic ‘constitution’, testifying to the Divine origin of humankind. Non-Jews are not commanded to marry, but they are encouraged to do so, and they are forbidden to have relations with the wife of another man. Male homosexuality, incest and bestial relations are also forbidden under the same heading, even though the desires for them are very different. Jews and non-Jews are forbidden to each other, because of the different origin of their respective commandments. When these laws are observed, then human relations of all kinds are enhanced by the Divine sanction, and love increases throughout the world.

Murder

Though the reasons for sexual prohibitions may be mysterious, most people if asked what laws they would make to govern the world would immediately say that on no account must illegal bloodshed be allowed to go unpunished. Human life is a sacred trust, and can only be taken with legal sanction. The murderer is executed by decapitation, at the sentence of the duly authorized sovereign court only. Protection is extended to the unborn, and the details of any abortion case must be closely studied according to the law. War action is subject to strict security standards, at the order of a lawful regime. It is rare for any person to take life in truly wanton circumstances, because of instinctive recognition of its value, and this recognition must be taken up to the level of reckoning which the spiritual law requires.

Theft

The first man and woman transgressed the Noachide prohibition of theft by eating the fruit which had been forbidden to them, and this is still a Divine provision for non-Jews regarding all property in the hands of others. Property ownership is underwritten by Divine law for all humanity, and is not just a matter for an aggrieved individual to settle for himself. Respect for property rights is the basis for generosity with possessions, and for business dealings that lead the world through its use and traffic of goods to its final destiny. This brings moral satisfaction in the workplace, and the fostering of ethics in this area is a prime need for our society.

Idolatry

If the worship of entities other than the Creator had not been forbidden by His express command, then people would be free to choose what to worship, just as they choose their own personal friends. However the whole area of relations between humanity and its Creator has been placed under specific requirements, namely that only His truth and unity should be the subject of belief, worship and philosophy. His revelation has two levels, the one in nature for ordinary reckoning, and the other through prophecy on Mount Sinai for the moral law. All non-Jews derive their true religious fulfillment from this latter source, and any reference to an intermediary causes error and loss of morality. There is no need for non-Jews to form associations for Noachide observance and prayer, but they may do so if they wish.

Cursing the Name

The power of speech distinguishes humanity from all other species, and this distinction leads to the specific human prohibition not to use speech for cursing the Creator, because it shows ingratitude for his kindness. This commandment pairs with the previous one, showing that the Divine rulership and the Divine love go together at all times and places, no matter how great the difficulties may seem. Jews and non-Jews are commanded in the same verse in this respect, showing how in the Messianic times all of humankind will join together in voicing praise for the Creator. All other misuses of speech, such as gossip, obscenity and lies, are indicated in this commandment as something to avoid, just as prayer and words of Torah are desirable so that speech will become truly Divine.

Eating the limb of a living animal

Though it may seem far-fetched to think of eating meat from a living creature, the intent behind this prohibition is to safeguard the human sexual integrity. The connection between eating and sexuality is well known, and it is the sexual drive for consumption of the ‘heat of life’ that leads to the kind of greed which damages reproduction. The Noachide Law teaches us that this is rectified by being careful to eat only meat from an animal that is fully dead, and this is by no means always the case in our factory society where slaughterhouses handle meat animals quickly and carelessly, sometimes only stunning them before cutting them up for sale. Care in this observance fosters all requirements for the love of nature and the preservation of the environment, and safeguards the passage of souls as manifested in the life and consumption of food animals until the ultimate destiny of the world.

System of justice

The non-Jewish nations of the world are commanded to avoid the state of anarchy by assuming and exercising the sovereign jurisdiction, to maintain courts that punish offenders by due process of law, and that provide civil redress in society. The Noachide Laws themselves form the basis of the criminal code, but each nation may make civil laws as it sees fit within the general guidelines. This provision does not apply within the Land of Israel, where the sovereign power is in the hands of the Jewish people, and they judge non-Jews of any nationality living or visiting there under these same Noachide Laws.

Corporations are held in being by the sovereign power through the enactment of corporate law, which is empowered by this commandment. The sovereign power is responsible for regulating these corporations in the public interest, and ensuring their conformity with all aspects of the law. Thus Communism and Fascism are in breach of the spiritual law because of their lack of this regulation. Non-Jews are obligated to seek reconciliation rather than take their disputes straight to court, and this in turn obligates them to give charitable donations to the needy so as to foster reconciliation in general.

The Rabbis of the Talmud say, ‘War comes to the world through the delay of justice, the perversion of justice, and the teaching of Torah out of accordance with its legal meaning.’ When all processes of law are rectified in this way, with good government applied to sustain them, functioning in Divine integrity, then grievances are properly handled and true peace emerges into the light of day. This is among the recognitions of the United States Congress in its Declaration endorsing the Noachide Laws (H.J. Res. 104, Public Law 102-14, March 1990 and subsequently), based on long historic understanding of the Jewish people and the Torah.





TheEllipticalDisillusion wrote:
Non Jews have to perform only 7 laws, they are called the 7 laws of Noah.


:?

I'm confused by this statement. Are you saying that non Jews get to choose from a smaller list of laws if they want to follow any at all, or that non Jews have to perform only seven as opposed to the crazy high number for Jews?
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Postby hamlet » Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:47 am

TheEllipticalDisillusion wrote:
Non Jews have to perform only 7 laws, they are called the 7 laws of Noah.


:?

I'm confused by this statement. Are you saying that non Jews get to choose from a smaller list of laws if they want to follow any at all, or that non Jews have to perform only seven as opposed to the crazy high number for Jews?


No, he's saying that those humans not inducted into the Jewish faith are only governed by the 7 (I would quibble with the number) universal human laws and not by the Torah's book of laws.

It's an arguable, but I would say, silly way to view things. Even Paul didn't say crud like that and spent a good amount of time ripping Peter for it.
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Postby SeverusSnape » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:00 am

If I could see a point in the current dialog in this thread I would keep it open. As was pointed out, the title is "Why Do You NOT Believe In The Bible", not why you should believe in something else.

For now and unless many requests are made to reopen, this is locked.

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Postby SeverusSnape » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:15 am

By popular demand, okay two requests - this thread is being unlocked. One thought it unfair to lock the thread on my opinion only, the other wants to get a reply to a question.

For the record, I do not close threads based on personal opinions. (though I think I certainly have them) There was little to no real real response for all the posting that was done. I could list the close to if not outright snark for replies.

If there was someone who said, "this is very interesting, please tell me more" that would be different.

In the sense of fairness, the thread is re-opened. Please keep the snark to a sane level and please keep the "sharing" to a sane level.

Thank you,
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Postby Minardil » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:28 am

Chanukah,

Are you Rabbi Bindman?

I ask because your last post was copied directly from this site:

http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/seven-laws-of-noah/

And nothing in your post indicated that you were quoting another writer. You are welcome to reference other works and even to quote from them or to post short excerpts, but when doing so you should be careful to indicate that you are doing so, and to give proper citation to the original. If the original is available online, you shoul also include a link to the site (as I did above).
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Postby Chanukah » Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:35 pm

Mindarill,

You're rite, shall do it this way later on...

Regards,

Saul
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Postby Minardil » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:38 am

The Rabbis of the Talmud say, ‘War comes to the world through the delay of justice, the perversion of justice, and the teaching of Torah out of accordance with its legal meaning.’ When all processes of law are rectified in this way, with good government applied to sustain them, functioning in Divine integrity, then grievances are properly handled and true peace emerges into the light of day. This is among the recognitions of the United States Congress in its Declaration endorsing the Noachide Laws (H.J. Res. 104, Public Law 102-14, March 1990 and subsequently), based on long historic understanding of the Jewish people and the Torah


Really, I wouldn't put any stock at all in that "Public Law 102-14". That was a Congressional Resolution, not a "Declaration", and it merely "recognizes" that these Noahide Laws have been important to many people etc, it does not ENDORSE them, which would be a violation of US Constitution. What is hilarious is the reactionary comments about this Resolution you find in the hysterical (as in "crazy', not "hilarious") Right Wing blogoshere, where HR 102-14 is touted as "proof" that The Government" has "outlawed Christianity" and even established "the death penalty" for Celebrating Christmas, which only proves that there are some people who are even more confused than Chanukah here.

Just so you know, despite the phrase "Public Law" in the title, House Resolutions have NO LEGAL STANDING whatsoever, and are routinely used to create trivial "celebrations" of all sorts of things. HR 102-14 established "National Education Day" (IIRC), but past Resolutions established "National Watermelon Month", or created "days" to raise awareness of Diabetes and the Plumbing industry, or to praise sports teams for winning championships, or to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of a park etc.

In other words, HR 102-14 is completely meaningless, and shows a pretty serious lack of scholarship that it was included in the Rabbi's article.
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Postby portia » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:35 am

I would like to wander back in the direction of the supposed topic of the thread by expanding on a thought I raised quickly, before: the unreliability of the oral tradition.

It is my understanding that the Hebrew Bible was entirely oral, or almost so, before the Babylonian Exile. At that time, written version(s) were created to help the Hebrews maintain their identity in exile. I have also read that there had been a rule against writing down the Bible, on the theory that writings could be misinterpreted. [IMO, this flies in the face of common sense and common experience, but I am just repeating the rationale that I've read about]. Several centuries of passing down an oral tradition are going to result in omissions, additions, glosses and flat out mistakes. It is inevitable.

Therefore, I cannot take seriously attempts to suggest that such a set of book is inerrant.

"But it comes from God, so it must be correct." is the usual response. I do not claim to know a great deal about Torah or Talmud, but I do know a great deal about evidence and its uses. Self-validating materials which are characterized by statements like "It is true because God said so to me" or "It is true because God wrote it and I know that He did so because chapter 3 says so" are the very weakest possible evidence for the truth of the document. Validation by clerics who depend for their position or authority on the divine nature of the document are also worthless as evidence of the validity of the document. Faith will convince people of the validity of such documents, but faith is Not. Ever. Evidence.

Recent archeology has discovered physical remains that are, at least, consistent with parts of the Biblical narrative. That, at least, is some evidence that events similar to those described took place. But that is a far cry from confirming the spiritual meaning of any such events.

So, what we are left with is faith, which is very subjective. If you believe; you believe. Faith should never be confused with evidence or proof.
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Postby Minardil » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:54 am

Faith should never be confused with evidence or proof.


Absolutely, "Faith" is what we have in the absense of "evidence" or "proof". That's why it's called "Faith". And those who try to use their "faith" as "evidence" that my "faith" is somehow wrong are wasting their time.
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Postby Chanukah » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:04 pm

I don't really get whats your problem with the Oral Torah?

It was given to Moses orally on Mount Sinai as the commentary and explanation of the Written Torah. Without this most pivotal source of explanation, the Torah can't be observed, and Judaism wouldn't be able to exist. In fact non of the 613 commandments can be observed without the direct explanation of God to Moses as to how to perform them, cause the written Torah is written very economically, and not even one of the commandments is explained how to be performed.

So if you don't believe in the authenticity of the Oral Torah, what you are left with is a divine book that can't be understood, observed, and followed.

So what are you suggesting then? get rid of the Oral Torah just because you don't know the manner of the transmission of it throughout the ages, and the Godly methods Jews have used to preserve it and pass it down the generations?

If you don't know these things, it is possible to ask, but I believe that to embrace a policy based on lack of information, makes no sense.








portia wrote:I would like to wander back in the direction of the supposed topic of the thread by expanding on a thought I raised quickly, before: the unreliability of the oral tradition.

It is my understanding that the Hebrew Bible was entirely oral, or almost so, before the Babylonian Exile. At that time, written version(s) were created to help the Hebrews maintain their identity in exile. I have also read that there had been a rule against writing down the Bible, on the theory that writings could be misinterpreted. [IMO, this flies in the face of common sense and common experience, but I am just repeating the rationale that I've read about]. Several centuries of passing down an oral tradition are going to result in omissions, additions, glosses and flat out mistakes. It is inevitable.

Therefore, I cannot take seriously attempts to suggest that such a set of book is inerrant.

"But it comes from God, so it must be correct." is the usual response. I do not claim to know a great deal about Torah or Talmud, but I do know a great deal about evidence and its uses. Self-validating materials which are characterized by statements like "It is true because God said so to me" or "It is true because God wrote it and I know that He did so because chapter 3 says so" are the very weakest possible evidence for the truth of the document. Validation by clerics who depend for their position or authority on the divine nature of the document are also worthless as evidence of the validity of the document. Faith will convince people of the validity of such documents, but faith is Not. Ever. Evidence.

Recent archeology has discovered physical remains that are, at least, consistent with parts of the Biblical narrative. That, at least, is some evidence that events similar to those described took place. But that is a far cry from confirming the spiritual meaning of any such events.

So, what we are left with is faith, which is very subjective. If you believe; you believe. Faith should never be confused with evidence or proof.
Last edited by Chanukah on Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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