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  • #61
    Originally posted by Open Heart View Post

    IN the course of just a couple posts from you you have moved from making the spurious accusation that Halakah is "hairsplitting," a claim you can't defend, to something you simply feel more comfortable with -- your evangelization script to Jews. And btw, hostile scripts just push people away. You won't be bringing anyone to christ by coming out swinging.
    And speaking of "Hostile Scripts" - there's Peter: telling the crowd gathered: Acts 2:22-24.

    I won't be bringing ANYBODY to Christ, and neither will you - that's the Holy Spirit's job.

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by Open Heart View Post

      Let me say up front that I agree with you 100% -- it could have waited. Similarly with the picking of grain due hunger on the sabbath -- the disciples COULD have picked it the day before. Yet if the halakha is not yet set, we cannot say that it is broken.
      If the Halacha wasn't yet set. I certainly couldn't tell you for sure - but it might have been. If we'll put aside the healing issue for now - I believe the disciples broke 3 Shabbat rules that are of the 39 that are derived from the building of the tabernacle - way back when Israel were walking in the desert - harvesting, splitting the grain from its shells, and doing all of this outside of the eiruv (the city limits).

      Originally posted by Open Heart View Post
      The most conventional answer that I have found is that the standard "You can break the sabbath in order to save a life" rule was finally worked out several hundred years later.
      However, I would even say that it is not yet worked out today. I do not buy into the Orthodox claim that Halakhah is now carved into stone and will remain forever more unchangable. Judaism's understandings are dependent on the rulings of the sages, including those of our own modern era. As conservative Judaism notes, Judaism has NEVER stood still. It has always added and dropped things from halakha as needed and understood. There are many prominant Rabbinical Scholars who argue that non-life threatening healing is to be allowed on Shabbat as well. Thus, even thday, the matter is not yet settled. [/QUOTE]
      The rabbis do know what's set in stone and what isn't. I don't know if there's an English translation of the aforementioned Maimonides's Introduction etc, but I highly recommend it to gain a basic understanding of how the Oral Torah was passed through the generations. He also touches upon what's set in stone and what isn't.

      Originally posted by Open Heart View Post
      2. He argued with rabbis and they argued with him. Big whoop dee do. That's simply how things were in that era, where the different schools debated one another. Could you please share the story of the oven of achnai? I have read so little of the Talmud, I gobble up these stories.

      3. Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: ALL therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do. Matthew 23:1-3

      4. I agree with you that we cannot trust the gospels to accurately record the sayings of Jesus, given that they are memories recorded decades after the events. Indeed these "memories" can be more of things desired to have been said than of things actually said. But for the sake of argument, lets assume momentarily that the gospel records of Jesus' sayings are accurate. I can see no where that he says, "I am God." He makes claim to be the Messiah, and to have special status as some kind of messenger/prophet, etc. For example, he says, "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing." John 5:19 "For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me." John 6:38 The gospels,including John who clearly has the most exalted Jesus, clearly teach that Jesus is subordinate to the Father.
      2. Seems to me that Jesus was doing it wrong. Like in official debates there are rules, right? Same here. There was a way to do things. I don't know enough of the NT to say what exactly was wrong with what he did, though.
      3. Except, that's not exactly what he did, now is it? (the grain thing...)
      Moreover, fine, say some halachic stuff wasn't agreed upon yet. But did Jesus even have the authority to instruct his disciples his halachic opinion? Was he actually an ordained rabbi? You see in the talmud that sometimes different rabbis instruct differently - but these were all ordained rabbis. What was Jesus's authority?
      4. Very well, he never called himself god. Even post-resurrection?

      Originally posted by Open Heart View Post
      Could you please share the story of the oven of achnai? I have read so little of the Talmud, I gobble up these stories.
      From Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Oven_of_Akhnai)

      A new type of oven is brought before the Sanhedrin, consisting of tiles separated from one another by sand, but externally plastered over with cement. The rabbis debate whether or not this oven is susceptible to ritual impurity. Rabbi Eli argues that the oven is ritually pure while the other rabbis, including the nasi Rabban Gamaliel, argue that the oven is impure. When none of Rabbi Eliezer's arguments convince his colleagues, he cries out, "If the halakha is in accordance with my opinion, this carob tree will prove it." At this point, the carob tree leaps from the ground and moves far away. The other rabbis explain that a carob tree offers no proof in a debate over law. Rabbi Eliezer cries out, "If the halakha is in accordance with my opinion, the stream will prove it." The stream begins to flow backwards, but again the other rabbis point out that one does not cite a stream as proof in matters of law. Rabbi Eliezer cries out, "If the halakha is in accordance with my opinion, the walls of the study hall will prove it." The walls of the study hall begin to fall, but are then scolded by Rabbi Joshua ben Hananiah who reprimands the walls for interfering in a debate among scholars. Out of respect for Rabbi Joshua, they do not continue to fall, but out of respect for Rabbi Eliezer, they do not return to their original places.

      In frustration, Rabbi Eliezer finally cries out, "If the halakha is in accordance with my opinion, Heaven will prove it." From Heaven a voice is heard, saying, "Why are you differing with Rabbi Eliezer, as the halakha is in accordance with his opinion in every place that he expresses an opinion?" Rabbi Joshua responds, "It [the Torah] is not in heaven" (Deuteronomy 30:12). He responds in this way because the Torah, which was given by God to mankind at Sinai, specifically instructs those who follow it that they are to look to the received Torah as their source and guide. The Torah says, "It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?' Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?' No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe" (Deuteronomy 30:12-14).

      Rabbi Joshua's response then expresses the view that the work of law is a work of human activity, and that the Torah itself supports this legal theory. The Torah is not a document of mystery which must have its innate meaning revealed by a minority, but it is instead a document from which law must be created through the human activity of debate and consensus. Rabbinic literature was capable of recognizing differing opinions as having a degree of legitimacy (Yer. Ber. 3b), yet the community remains united and the ruling which is ultimately followed comes through proper jurisprudence. As such, Rabbi Eliezer's miraculous appeals represent a differing legal theory and were outside of proper jurisprudence which meant that they would not be followed. Instead the Jewish community followed the ruling of the majority in this issue and in others. The Talmud asks how God responded to this incident. We are told that upon hearing Rabbi Joshua's response, God smiled and stated, "My children have triumphed over Me; My children have triumphed over Me."

      After this incident, the rabbis under Rabban Gamaliel choose to ostracize Rabbi Eliezer from their community. Etc.


      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Bob Carabbio View Post

        And speaking of "Hostile Scripts" - there's Peter: telling the crowd gathered: Acts 2:22-24.

        I won't be bringing ANYBODY to Christ, and neither will you - that's the Holy Spirit's job.


        "And if thou say in thy heart: 'How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?'
        When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken; the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously, thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Deuteronomy 18: 21-22)

        The only God-given way to prove someone is a true prophet of God. Not miracles or wonders.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by Harel13 View Post



          "And if thou say in thy heart: 'How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?'
          When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken; the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously, thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Deuteronomy 18: 21-22)

          The only God-given way to prove someone is a true prophet of God. Not miracles or wonders.
          Yup, that's what the Bible says, and that settles it.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by Bob Carabbio View Post

            And speaking of "Hostile Scripts" - there's Peter: telling the crowd gathered: Acts 2:22-24.

            I won't be bringing ANYBODY to Christ, and neither will you - that's the Holy Spirit's job.
            Would you admit that you either cooperate or not?
            Open Heart, who loves the Lord.

            "Torah is not education, it's transformation." – Rebbitzen Dena Weinberg

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Open Heart View Post
              Would you admit that you either cooperate or not?
              Of Course. The decision is YOURS. I "Didn't Cooperate" several times - until the last time. I considered "Not Cooperating" that time too.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by Harel13 View Post
                2. Seems to me that Jesus was doing it wrong. Like in official debates there are rules, right? Same here. There was a way to do things. I don't know enough of the NT to say what exactly was wrong with what he did, though.
                Could you please articulate in what way you believe Jesus engaged in these arguments the wrong way?

                3. Except, that's not exactly what he did, now is it? (the grain thing...)
                Moreover, fine, say some halachic stuff wasn't agreed upon yet. But did Jesus even have the authority to instruct his disciples his halachic opinion? Was he actually an ordained rabbi? You see in the talmud that sometimes different rabbis instruct differently - but these were all ordained rabbis. What was Jesus's authority?
                1. We don't really know if Jesus had smikha or not. If you believe the gospel accounts, he was called rabbi.

                2. Let's assume that he wasn't a rabbi. Why shouldn't he be able to discuss Torah with his disciples? And he certainly would have had an opinion on matters that weren't decided yet.

                4. Very well, he never called himself god. Even post-resurrection?
                There's a post resurrection time?

                In frustration, Rabbi Eliezer finally cries out, "If the halakha is in accordance with my opinion, Heaven will prove it." From Heaven a voice is heard, saying, "Why are you differing with Rabbi Eliezer, as the halakha is in accordance with his opinion in every place that he expresses an opinion?" Rabbi Joshua responds, "It [the Torah] is not in heaven" (Deuteronomy 30:12).
                Ahhh, yes. I recognize this story. I just had not committed the beginning of the story to memory. I have it stored in my mind as the "bat kol story." Thank you, my friend, for reminding me of the entire story.
                Open Heart, who loves the Lord.

                "Torah is not education, it's transformation." – Rebbitzen Dena Weinberg

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by Open Heart View Post
                  Could you please articulate in what way you believe Jesus engaged in these arguments the wrong way?
                  Not from memory, no. Though deciding what to rule is one problematic point (see below). Again, I don't have enough knowledge of the NT to properly define Jesus's argumentative style. Maybe one day I'll look into that. Stories that vaguely come into mind are him bursting into the temple and upsetting everything there - overturning tables and the like. You got a problem with the temple? Fine, voice out your opinion. Don't go in there causing chaos. Whether you like it or not, the priests had their daily duties (there are quite a few) that had to be done.

                  Originally posted by Open Heart View Post
                  1. We don't really know if Jesus had smikha or not. If you believe the gospel accounts, he was called rabbi.
                  Considering the gospels have a number of misquotes in regards to the Tanach, I don't know how much a person could trust the gospel's definition of "rabbi". Besides, it makes sense that his students would want to give him a prestigious title.

                  Originally posted by Open Heart View Post
                  2. Let's assume that he wasn't a rabbi. Why shouldn't he be able to discuss Torah with his disciples? And he certainly would have had an opinion on matters that weren't decided yet.
                  Absolutely positively nothing wrong with that. But, it didn't end there. He also, as they say in Yiddish, paskened, he also ruled. He can't rule if he doesn't have smicha. In terms of the ability to pass Torah law, there's no difference between non-rabbi Jesus, a harvard professor and a 13-year old kid, for example. If the man doesn't have smicha, if he wasn't ordained through the continued chain of ordinance all the way back to Moshe, he can't do it, period. It doesn't matter that the matter wasn't decided. He could give his opinion on the matter, certainly. But it wasn't his place to decide what should be done in practice. When push comes to shove, not all opinions are okay. A nice way to express this is through the saying that "70 panim la'Torah" - there are 70 facets to the Torah. Most people would say - oh, you could define Torah any way you want. Well, no. There are 70 facets - and not 71 facets. The Torah has many facets, but there are also limits, in particular when it comes to practical halachic rulings.

                  Originally posted by Open Heart View Post
                  There's a post resurrection time?
                  His supposed resurrection. Whatever happened there, was that the moment that led Christians to believe him god? Did he say supposedly say anything that made them think this?

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Harel13 View Post
                    Not from memory, no. Though deciding what to rule is one problematic point (see below). Again, I don't have enough knowledge of the NT to properly define Jesus's argumentative style. Maybe one day I'll look into that. Stories that vaguely come into mind are him bursting into the temple and upsetting everything there - overturning tables and the like. You got a problem with the temple? Fine, voice out your opinion. Don't go in there causing chaos. Whether you like it or not, the priests had their daily duties (there are quite a few) that had to be done.
                    Well, don't worry too much about it. The only reason I'm familiar like this with Christianity is my Christian past.

                    I also have problems with what I consider the immature behavior, such as the overturning of the tables, and the abject name calling. However, I think I have to remember that it was another time when such things were more accepted. Our standards are simply much higher today -- we have a much larger category of what we call "bad behavior." Consider Pinchas, for example, and how he is considered wonderful in the Torah. Today actions like his would be considered dreadful.


                    Considering the gospels have a number of misquotes in regards to the Tanach, I don't know how much a person could trust the gospel's definition of "rabbi". Besides, it makes sense that his students would want to give him a prestigious title.
                    Exactly. That's why I said IF you believe the gospel accounts.


                    Absolutely positively nothing wrong with that. But, it didn't end there. He also, as they say in Yiddish, paskened, he also ruled. He can't rule if he doesn't have smicha. In terms of the ability to pass Torah law, there's no difference between non-rabbi Jesus, a harvard professor and a 13-year old kid, for example. If the man doesn't have smicha, if he wasn't ordained through the continued chain of ordinance all the way back to Moshe, he can't do it, period. It doesn't matter that the matter wasn't decided. He could give his opinion on the matter, certainly. But it wasn't his place to decide what should be done in practice. When push comes to shove, not all opinions are okay. A nice way to express this is through the saying that "70 panim la'Torah" - there are 70 facets to the Torah. Most people would say - oh, you could define Torah any way you want. Well, no. There are 70 facets - and not 71 facets. The Torah has many facets, but there are also limits, in particular when it comes to practical halachic rulings.
                    You make a very good point, and I have to think about it. In Jesus favor, this was never brought up by the Pharisees with whom he debated. They never once said to him that he lacked the authority to rule.



                    Open Heart, who loves the Lord.

                    "Torah is not education, it's transformation." – Rebbitzen Dena Weinberg

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Harel13 View Post
                      His supposed resurrection. Whatever happened there, was that the moment that led Christians to believe him god? Did he say supposedly say anything that made them think this?
                      Just a bit of Church history on this, and this is something I've spent quite a bit of time learning about, so it's an educated opinion. Know that of course it is not a standard Christian opinion. I gained a lot from reading the book, "When Jesus Became God," by the Jewish Scholar Richard E. Rubenstein, but he is not the only scholar with this view.

                      The apostles and first Jewish believers did not believe that Jesus was God. They believed he was the Messiah, and the son of man, that was predicted in the Tanakh according to their reading of it. These were the believers that existed in the first century. They didn't have the gospels or the book of Revelation. They had the oral teachings of the apostles and later, the writings of Peter and Paul with their somewhat divergent views. In terms of Paul, remember that the ones they had were only the seven authentic epistles that Paul actually wrote, NOT the pseudepigraphic ones that were written later in history.

                      Towards the end of the first century, there was the introduction of the gospels, including that of John, with its clearly exalted view of Jesus as Logos (the pre-existent Word who became man). In the Gospels, Jesus never says outright "I am God." Rather, he says that he is a messenger of God, the son of man, the son of God, that he can do nothing except what the father does, etc.

                      Enter the majority Gentile church of the second century. These were strongly influenced by Hellensisic religion, and definitely did believe that Jesus was God. The question is, if Jesus is God and the Father is God, what is the relationship of Jesus to the Father? Is he a second God? Do we see an emerging pantheon? Remember that the Tanakh is the scriptures of the new church, and it clearly teaches that there is One God, so there can't be two. The most common resolution in the first century was something called Modalism -- the belief that Jesus was the Father, but that the two were different modes of the same one God. Just as you can be a son and a student and a brother and a friend and still be one person, so God can be both the Father and the Son and still be the same person.

                      There are obvious problems with Modalism. For example, Jesus prays to the Father. How in heaven's name can a person pray to themselves? And clearly the gospels present a Jesus who is subordinate to the Father, who cannot do anything except what the father does. "For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me." John 6:38 Thus Modalism had its adversaries; Tertullian, for example, argued furiously against it.

                      The third century was a mess, with many different beliefs going around, from Modalism to pre-Arianism (Jesus was a lesser exalted being) to a kind of primitive fetal Trinitarianism.

                      In the fourth century things reached a crisis, when the church came near to splitting. A bishop named Arius was still teaching the belief of the end of the first century that Jesus was a lesser exalted being. He taught that he was the first created being, the Word, the greatest of all of God's creations, but not the Father, indeed not God or a god in any way. Contrast this with the other camp who still firmly believed that Jesus was God, and was developing an idea of sharing the same substance but somehow a different person.

                      Constantine was seeking to unite the empire. He saw that the dominant religion was Christianity and that from a political point of view he needed to keep it unified. He was NOT a converted Christian, although he had a sort of affinity for it an his own sympathies were towards Arianism. He certainly was NOT a bishop and had no authority in the Christian church. He was able to call together an ecumenical council of the bishops of the church in Nicea to make an authoritative ruling on the issue of the status of Jesus.

                      In the end, even though there were more Arian bishops, Arianism lost. And Constantine may have been sympathetic towards Arianism, but like I said, his real agenda was the unification of the empire, and that's what he achieved.

                      What was worked out was that God was One. Jesus was God the Son, and he and God the Father shared the same essence, but were two different persons. This three in one formulation was counter-intuitive, but it managed to remain shi-tuf monotheism while preserving the distinction between Jesus and the Father--the problem Modalism had failed at. The Nicene Creed was written and is still recited in churches today. It is the standard by which churches are determined to be Christian or heretical.

                      At any rate, this belief that Jesus is God is a belief that God the Son has ALWAYS been eternal. He supposedly became incarnate when Jesus was born. Jesus did not become God in the resurrection. True that there are a few people who believe this, but Christianity considers them heretics.
                      Open Heart, who loves the Lord.

                      "Torah is not education, it's transformation." – Rebbitzen Dena Weinberg

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Open Heart View Post
                        You make a very good point, and I have to think about it. In Jesus favor, this was never brought up by the Pharisees with whom he debated. They never once said to him that he lacked the authority to rule.
                        That is a fair point, I suppose. But at this point I'm wondering what can be trusted about the gospel's account of anything?

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Open Heart View Post
                          Elohim can be singular OR plural depending on the context. Kind of like sheep or deer. Everyone understands that when it says Elohim created the heavens and the earth, it is singular.
                          Elohim is a plural masculine noun.
                          A singular form exists (Eloah) and is used occasionally, but not consistently.
                          Elohim can and sometimes is clarified with singular verbs, but there are numerous examples of plural verbs used.

                          Genesis 20:13 - literally "They cause me to wander"
                          Genesis 35:7 - literally "They appeared to him"
                          2 Samuel 7:23 - literally "They went"
                          Psalm 58 - literally "They judge"

                          Plural descriptions of the Godhead are numerous.
                          (Gen. 1:26, Gen.3:22, Gen. 11:7, Isaiah 6:8, Ecclesiastes 12:1, Psalm 149:2, Joshua 24:19, Isaiah 54:5, Psalm 45:6-7, Hosea 1:7

                          1 God being 3 doesn't seem foreign to all Judaism.


                          "Come and see the mystery of the word [Adonai]: there are three steps, each existing by itself: nevertheless they are One, and so united that one cannot be separated from the other.
                          The Ancient Holy One is revealed with three heads,
                          which are united into one
                          , and that head is three exalted.
                          The Ancient One is described as being three
                          : because the other lights emanating from him are included in the three.
                          But how can three names be one? Are they really one because we call them one? How three can be one can only be known through the revelation of the Holy Spirit
                          ." (Zohar, Vol III, 288; Vol II, 43, Hebrew editions)
                          Hear, O Israel, Adonai Eloheinu Adonai is one. These three are one. How can the three Names be one? Only through the perception of faith: in the vision of the Holy Spirit, in the beholding of the hidden eye alone!
                          The mystery of the audible voice is similar to this, for though it is one yet it consists of three elements-fire, air and water, which have, however, become one in the mystery of the voice.
                          Even so it is with the mystery of the threefold Divine manifestations designated by Adonai Eloheinu Adonai - three modes which yet form one unity.
                          This is the significance of the voice which man produces in the act of unification, when his intent is to unify all, from the Infinite (Ein Sof) to the end of creation. This is the daily unification, the secret of which has been revealed in the Holy Spirit." (Zohar II, 53b, as excerpted from Studies in Zohar by Yehuda Liebes)

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Harel13 View Post
                            That is a fair point, I suppose. But at this point I'm wondering what can be trusted about the gospel's account of anything?
                            Well, everything written in the gospels is debatable, but certain things make much more sense than others. Did he probably say that one could gain eternal life by keeping the commandments? I think so. Most Jews would have said the same in those days. Did he say that he, as the Son of Man from Daniel's vision, would sit at the Mighty One's right hand and come on the clouds of heaven? Probably not. It's ridiculously grandiose. But these are just educated, intelligent guesses based on common sense. They will never change the mind of a Christian who takes the gospels as the inspired inerrant word of God.
                            Open Heart, who loves the Lord.

                            "Torah is not education, it's transformation." – Rebbitzen Dena Weinberg

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by American Gothic View Post

                              Elohim is a plural masculine noun.
                              Not all the time, as I have said.
                              Open Heart, who loves the Lord.

                              "Torah is not education, it's transformation." – Rebbitzen Dena Weinberg

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Open Heart View Post
                                as I have said.
                                Rabbi Samuel Bar Hanman in the name of Rabbi Jonathan said, that at the time when Moses wrote the Torah, writing a portion of it daily, when he came to the verse which says,
                                "And Elohim said, let us make man in our image after our likeness," Moses said, "Master of the universe, why do You give here with an excuse to the sectarians (who believe in the Tri-unity of God)" God answered Moses, "You write and whoever wants to err, let him err." (Midrash Rabbah on Genesis 1:26 [New York NOP Press, N.D.])

                                Some of Judaism ignoring what the Scriptures actually say for certain Tradition is nothing new, and they don't seem to really read the Scriptures with the intent of actually getting to know the Who behind the words - just for the sake of study itself.
                                It is obvious that the Midrash Rabbah is simply trying to get around the problem and fails to answer adequately why throughout the Hebrew Bible the God of Israel refers to Himself in the plural.
                                Last edited by American Gothic; 11-12-19, 03:34 PM.

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