The New covenant

Nick_A

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The New Testament uses both the words "Neos" meaning new as opposed to old and "Kainos" as unique. Hebrews 12: 24 identifying Jesus Christ as the mediator of the new covenant is the only passage where neos is used. Every other passage uses kainos suggesting "unique." Why is the new covenant unique?



Hebrews 8:
1The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.
3Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."[a] 6But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.

7For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8But God found fault with the people and said:
"The time is coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.
9It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
10This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,'
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
12For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."[c]

13By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

The new covenant is unique because it internalizes the law of God. the Ten Commandments suggest what to do. This is external reaction We've become too hardened so is no longer effective. The new covenant opens the heart to receive help from the Holy Spirit. This is unique.

Israel didn't have the heart or nature to obey God (Deuteronomy 5:29). The old covenant contained no provision for internal motivation to obey God (Hebrews 8:7-8, Romans 8:3). In the new covenant God promises to put His laws into the mind and write them on the heart (Hebrews 8:10). What does this mean?

It is no longer normal from becoming hardened to delight in God's will. Psalm 40:8. It is not what we do: Romans 8:7. The new covenant promises the power to obey God through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit which is a unique feature of the new covenant.. In short, the Holy spirit allows us to change what we ARE. Where the old is concerned with what we DO, the new is concerned with what we ARE, the change in our nature possible through the help of the Spirit.:

The new covenant renders the old "obsolete" It allows us to transcend our inner condition.that makes the law impossible and become our spiritual potential.

The new covenant suggests the forgiveness of sins through this inner change and eternal inheritance. But without agreeing on the essence of the new covenant and its concern for what we ARE as more important than what we DO, it seems senseless to proceed further So, do we agree as to the necessary distinction between what we ARE and what we DO because of the inner hypocrisy of the "wretched man" and what it denies us?

I've found during my Internet experiences how repulsive this is to the Interfaith mindset because it asserts there is something not right about what we ARE. Recognition of this fact is seen as elitist, condescending, and violence provking and lord knows wh else. Yet to deny it only serves to avoid the human condition and perpetuate the results it will always lead to regardless of platitudes.

So, believing that the New Covenant has value both for individuality and its beneficial effects within society, regardless of the growls, I believe it is worthwhile posting it for anyone to ponder.
 
Nick_A said:
The new covenant renders the old "obsolete" It allows us to transcend our inner condition.that makes the law impossible and become our spiritual potential.
That is the premise of Christianity.
Nick_A said:
Why is the new covenant unique?
A few comments from a discouraged fundamentalist follow this quotation. Read at your own risk:
Hebrews says "Yet once more," indicates the removal of what is shaken, as of what has been made, in order that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. Let brotherly love continue."(Heb 12:27-Heb 13:1)
The above quote is, if possible, a sort of summation of Hebrews. (In the above quote, please ignore the unfortunate chapter break between ch. 12 and 13, verses 27 of ch.12 through verse 1 of ch.13). These verses equate brotherly love with the Burning Bush that called out to Moses: which burned but was not consumed.(Exodus 3:2) Hebrews says Brotherly love (the bush) continues unconsumed, a work of the Holy Spirit of God in humankind; but that every work of mankind, including Law observance and priestly functions, burn up as mere works of humankind. In other words, they are mere teaching tools and of no true power. It insists that the only work of any lasting value is God's. However, the writer of Hebrews upholds the importance of Moses Law and of Circumcision as valid teachers and examples (schoolmasters). From a fundamentalist (non RC) perspective circumcision (+keeping all of Mosaic Law) is still a requirement for the keepers of the 'Oracles of God'.(Romans 3:2) What?!? Hebrews suggests the Law is unnecessary for everyone in the world universally to follow, but still important. The challenging premise of Hebrews is whether they truly are shadows of the true Sabbath rest, which it says has now come! Has it really come already?

What was intended as an apologetic to teach widespread dispersal of the Holy Spirit is sometimes being used to say that there is an 'Old' or 'Obsolete' covenant. Don't let people tell you that garbage, Nick. In the first place, I'm not entirely certain that the true Sabbath rest has really come; and secondly I think Jesus calls the Law of Moses 'Treasure' -- never 'Old' or 'Obsolete'.(Mat 13:52) Whatever the case the gospel of universal access to God has already been circulated worldwide -- the very essence of the Gospel is already believed! What I've not found is universal peace, freedom, stability, or fairness in the world. Why are we not seeing headlines like "People no longer stealing!", "Death abolished", or "War? What's that?" Whatever the case, don't accept the words old or obsolete when it comes to covenants. That is impossible, Jesus or no Jesus. We should all regret such a horrible naming convention as "Old Testament" Its a grief. "New Testament" is OK.

Frustrating. :confused:
 
That is the premise of Christianity.
A few comments from a discouraged fundamentalist follow this quotation. Read at your own risk:
The above quote is, if possible, a sort of summation of Hebrews. (In the above quote, please ignore the unfortunate chapter break between ch. 12 and 13, verses 27 of ch.12 through verse 1 of ch.13). These verses equate brotherly love with the Burning Bush that called out to Moses: which burned but was not consumed.(Exodus 3:2) Hebrews says Brotherly love (the bush) continues unconsumed, a work of the Holy Spirit of God in humankind; but that every work of mankind, including Law observance and priestly functions, burn up as mere works of humankind. In other words, they are mere teaching tools and of no true power. It insists that the only work of any lasting value is God's. However, the writer of Hebrews upholds the importance of Moses Law and of Circumcision as valid teachers and examples (schoolmasters). From a fundamentalist (non RC) perspective circumcision (+keeping all of Mosaic Law) is still a requirement for the keepers of the 'Oracles of God'.(Romans 3:2) What?!? Hebrews suggests the Law is unnecessary for everyone in the world universally to follow, but still important. The challenging premise of Hebrews is whether they truly are shadows of the true Sabbath rest, which it says has now come! Has it really come already?

What was intended as an apologetic to teach widespread dispersal of the Holy Spirit is sometimes being used to say that there is an 'Old' or 'Obsolete' covenant. Don't let people tell you that garbage, Nick. In the first place, I'm not entirely certain that the true Sabbath rest has really come; and secondly I think Jesus calls the Law of Moses 'Treasure' -- never 'Old' or 'Obsolete'.(Mat 13:52) Whatever the case the gospel of universal access to God has already been circulated worldwide -- the very essence of the Gospel is already believed! What I've not found is universal peace, freedom, stability, or fairness in the world. Why are we not seeing headlines like "People no longer stealing!", "Death abolished", or "War? What's that?" Whatever the case, don't accept the words old or obsolete when it comes to covenants. That is impossible, Jesus or no Jesus. We should all regret such a horrible naming convention as "Old Testament" Its a grief. "New Testament" is OK.

Frustrating. :confused:

What makes you think that Christianity could ever be a world religion? Only its devolution into Christendom could ever be accepted by a majority. Jesus said that the world must hate the message. The new covenant can only exist for a minority that can be free of the world's psychological dominance.

The purpose of the law is to lead to the good psychologically. The purpose of grace is also to lead to our evolution into the good and what the heart is drawn to. Christianity is not about abandoning the law but to give us the emotional ability through the Spirit to put it into perspective. The spirit enables Man to retain consciousness by enabling the heart to help to feel its value.

As we've progressed, we've further lost the ability to respect the law and be open to the spirit so we end up with secular Judaism and Christendom. Yet I do believe there are some that can profit from opening themselves to a Christian influence rather than argue over attributes of different forms of Christendom. Since Hebrews gives a good description of the essential difference between the old and new covenants, I thought it worthwhile to post it.
 
I didn't say anything like that.

I musunderstood the intent of what you said:

What was intended as an apologetic to teach widespread dispersal of the Holy Spirit is sometimes being used to say that there is an 'Old' or 'Obsolete' covenant.

I undestood it to mean widespread expansion into the world. Sorry.
 
Also, correcting something I said, the author of Hebrews does suggest a covenant had been made old in 8:13, based upon Jer 31:29, however not because it had grown old and dusty. The two arguments given were that men broke the first covenant and also that the new was better.
 
the new covenant took place at the birth of the new nation, spiritual Israel, at Pentecost 33 C.E.—Hebrews 7:12; 8:1, 2.
 
7For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.
you see, this is where i quibble, right at the get-go with the source. from our point of view, there was nothing wrong with the *covenant*. there was something wrong with *us*. you're talking about the people who built the golden calf at the foot of mt sinai. the people who saw the red sea split accusing moses of bringing them into the desert to die. that's how obtuse we can be. the trouble is, it is a complete misreading of jeremiah. what he saying was *not* "get rid of the Torah". it was "don't just do the outward observance - *mean* it as well. internalise its intentions, not just its rituals. it is absolutely no good making sacrifices if the poor are oppressed and injustice is done in the law courts. now, that was very much the issue in the time of the major prophets, before the first Temple was destroyed as a warning and a punishment. we learned much of the lesson - but not all, clearly. nonetheless, it is a point of considerable contention between jews and christians that "he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear." clearly, what is "obsolete and aging" has *not* disappeared, so if any prophecy, prediction or interpretation is at fault here, it's paul - not for the first time!

Nick A said:
The new covenant is unique because it internalizes the law of God.
so does the old if you carry it out properly, which is jeremiah's original point. as a critique of injustice in society paul is spot on. as a basis of understanding for a plan of action he is making a fatal error of judgement, which we see here:

The new covenant opens the heart to receive help from the Holy Spirit.
the point is that we already know what we need to do. we don't need a Voice coming out of the clouds. we need the moral courage to do what G!D Requires of us, as micah says: "what does HaShem your G!D Demand of you? only to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with G!D".

the Ten Commandments suggest what to do.
but omit virtually all detail. we do not consider it appropriate to await Divine Inspiration when Commanded to, say, not kill when there is perfectly good logic and common sense and experience available. clearly this is a different mindset to that displayed by the sages over the "oven of achnai" incident (BT baba metzia 59b)

This is unique
it's not at all unique. many groups claim to receive guidance direct from the "holy spirit" or some version thereof - and they're all equally opaque, including our own mystics. and it is astonishing how the holy spirit can want so many mutually contradictory things all at once, it's almost as if vested interests were in some way involved...

Israel didn't have the heart or nature to obey God (Deuteronomy 5:29).
in the context, this refers to the generation of the golden calf.

The old covenant contained no provision for internal motivation to obey God (Hebrews 8:7-8, Romans 8:3).
"and you shall love HaShem your G!D with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength" (deut. 6:5) - also the first of the ten commandments: "I Am HaShem your G!D Who Brought you out of egypt" (ex. 20:2) i would have thought those were plenty to be going on with, both love and gratitude?

The new covenant suggests the forgiveness of sins through this inner change and eternal inheritance
the existing covenant requires retributive action in order for sins to be forgiven; no "get out of jail for free" card; a change of heart cannot be determined without a change in behaviour and action.

But without agreeing on the essence of the new covenant and its concern for what we ARE as more important than what we DO
ah, you see this is where judaism is fundamentally in disagreement. we may be "lower than the angels" and we may be sinful, but the glory of humanity is surely in our ability to grow, learn, change and redeem ourselves through morality and doing the Divine Will. the idea that some sort of "grace" exists which is dependent upon the right "magic" formula ("i accept jesus as my personal saviour", for example?) without reference to what one deserves, thus a murderer can have his sins "wiped clean" on his deathbed through absolution or some such, is abhorrent to us. we do not believe in intermediaries; only G!D Is the Judge and only we can do what is required for us to not be found wanting when weighed in the balance.

I've found during my Internet experiences how repulsive this is to the Interfaith mindset because it asserts there is something not right about what we ARE.
judaism believes in the inherent *improveability* of humanity (that is what circumcision is about) but this is in terms of the comparison of a heap of wheat to a loaf of bread. the first is the product of nature alone, whereas the second is the result of human action. however, to assert that because wheat is indigestible, we should therefore all eat it raw and get stomach-ache is patently ridiculous.

Dream said:
I'm not entirely certain that the true Sabbath rest has really come
on the contrary, it is available weekly to those who open themselves to the possibility of accessing it. on the other hand, you could be referring to the "world to come" which is described in our sources as "a time when everything is Shabbat".

Nick A said:
The purpose of the law is to lead to the good psychologically.
the purpose of the Law is to lead to the good by a variety of means, amongst which is correct action and moral behaviour.

As we've progressed, we've further lost the ability to respect the law and be open to the spirit so we end up with secular Judaism and Christendom.
i've explained elsewhere why this is based upon a fundamental ignorance about judaism which you are not interested in rectifying. or, if you prefer, this statement is just bollocks.

Yet I do believe there are some that can profit from opening themselves to a Christian influence rather than argue over attributes of different forms of Christendom.
careful, nick, this is coming rather close to proselytising, ain't it?

Dream said:
The two arguments given were that men broke the first covenant and also that the new was better.
the first bit being beside the point as far as the Divine Will is concerned - are we seriously suggesting G!D's ignorance here? the second bit, of course, can be more or less easily debunked by a comparison of the live action "thunderbirds" film with the original puppet series.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
you see, this is where i quibble, right at the get-go with the source. from our point of view, there was nothing wrong with the *covenant*. there was something wrong with *us*. you're talking about the people who built the golden calf at the foot of mt sinai. the people who saw the red sea split accusing moses of bringing them into the desert to die. that's how obtuse we can be. the trouble is, it is a complete misreading of jeremiah. what he saying was *not* "get rid of the Torah". it was "don't just do the outward observance - *mean* it as well. internalise its intentions, not just its rituals. it is absolutely no good making sacrifices if the poor are oppressed and injustice is done in the law courts. now, that was very much the issue in the time of the major prophets, before the first Temple was destroyed as a warning and a punishment. we learned much of the lesson - but not all, clearly. nonetheless, it is a point of considerable contention between jews and christians that "he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear." clearly, what is "obsolete and aging" has *not* disappeared, so if any prophecy, prediction or interpretation is at fault here, it's paul - not for the first time!


so does the old if you carry it out properly, which is jeremiah's original point. as a critique of injustice in society paul is spot on. as a basis of understanding for a plan of action he is making a fatal error of judgement, which we see here:


the point is that we already know what we need to do. we don't need a Voice coming out of the clouds. we need the moral courage to do what G!D Requires of us, as micah says: "what does HaShem your G!D Demand of you? only to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with G!D".


but omit virtually all detail. we do not consider it appropriate to await Divine Inspiration when Commanded to, say, not kill when there is perfectly good logic and common sense and experience available. clearly this is a different mindset to that displayed by the sages over the "oven of achnai" incident (BT baba metzia 59b)


it's not at all unique. many groups claim to receive guidance direct from the "holy spirit" or some version thereof - and they're all equally opaque, including our own mystics. and it is astonishing how the holy spirit can want so many mutually contradictory things all at once, it's almost as if vested interests were in some way involved...


in the context, this refers to the generation of the golden calf.


"and you shall love HaShem your G!D with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength" (deut. 6:5) - also the first of the ten commandments: "I Am HaShem your G!D Who Brought you out of egypt" (ex. 20:2) i would have thought those were plenty to be going on with, both love and gratitude?


the existing covenant requires retributive action in order for sins to be forgiven; no "get out of jail for free" card; a change of heart cannot be determined without a change in behaviour and action.


ah, you see this is where judaism is fundamentally in disagreement. we may be "lower than the angels" and we may be sinful, but the glory of humanity is surely in our ability to grow, learn, change and redeem ourselves through morality and doing the Divine Will. the idea that some sort of "grace" exists which is dependent upon the right "magic" formula ("i accept jesus as my personal saviour", for example?) without reference to what one deserves, thus a murderer can have his sins "wiped clean" on his deathbed through absolution or some such, is abhorrent to us. we do not believe in intermediaries; only G!D Is the Judge and only we can do what is required for us to not be found wanting when weighed in the balance.


judaism believes in the inherent *improveability* of humanity (that is what circumcision is about) but this is in terms of the comparison of a heap of wheat to a loaf of bread. the first is the product of nature alone, whereas the second is the result of human action. however, to assert that because wheat is indigestible, we should therefore all eat it raw and get stomach-ache is patently ridiculous.


on the contrary, it is available weekly to those who open themselves to the possibility of accessing it. on the other hand, you could be referring to the "world to come" which is described in our sources as "a time when everything is Shabbat".


the purpose of the Law is to lead to the good by a variety of means, amongst which is correct action and moral behaviour.


i've explained elsewhere why this is based upon a fundamental ignorance about judaism which you are not interested in rectifying. or, if you prefer, this statement is just bollocks.


careful, nick, this is coming rather close to proselytising, ain't it?


the first bit being beside the point as far as the Divine Will is concerned - are we seriously suggesting G!D's ignorance here? the second bit, of course, can be more or less easily debunked by a comparison of the live action "thunderbirds" film with the original puppet series.

b'shalom

bananabrain
I am impressed.
 
BB

we learned much of the lesson - but not all, clearly. nonetheless, it is a point of considerable contention between jews and christians that "he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear." clearly, what is "obsolete and aging" has *not* disappeared, so if any prophecy, prediction or interpretation is at fault here, it's paul - not for the first time!
Don't forget that the writer is speaking to Christians who are not attached to the world. So the old covenant is obsolete only for those that have experienced the help of the Holy spirit. Most people are primarily concerned with life in the World which is all well and good and actually necessary as well. So the New covenant replaces the old only for those that have experienced the essence of Christianity. As I quoted before, Dr Leroy Finch describes well the essential difference between Christianity and Judaism in his book: "Simone Weil and the intellect of Grace."
In chapter 12: Time and Timelessness, he makes the following comparison between Judaism and Christianity:

The law has a timeless character just because it is laid down once and for all as part of the timeless myth or timeless history of the people. Even when it is practiced by only a handful of people, it remains alive and authoritative. These Orthodox people are a demonstration of the original character of Judaism which did not distinguish the sacred from the secular and united the cultural, the biological, and the religious in one timeless system.

I turn to the Christian experience of time and timelessness. This is as much a closed book to Jews as the Jewish point of view is to Christians. But as the Jews have their treasure which is the treasure of the Law preserved in the torah, Christians too have their treasure, which is the spirit of Christ preserved in the Gospels.

If we study the Gospels we will find that it is life in the present - not in the timeless present of past and future, but in the (timeful) present of the NOW - that is the true essence of Christianity The secret of the teaching of Christ is that all true life is life in the present, as distinct from the past and the future. This is where reality is. If there is no experience of the present, as the now, then there is no real life at all.
The New Covenant concerns itself with the quality of "NOW" in relation to the division between God and the World.

so does the old if you carry it out properly, which is jeremiah's original point. as a critique of injustice in society paul is spot on. as a basis of understanding for a plan of action he is making a fatal error of judgement, which we see here:

True, but we've lost the ability. Those that admit it can be helped from above.

the point is that we already know what we need to do. we don't need a Voice coming out of the clouds. we need the moral courage to do what G!D Requires of us, as micah says: "what does HaShem your G!D Demand of you? only to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with G!D".

We know what we need to do but lack the quality of the moment within which to do it. this is the essence of the problem.

but omit virtually all detail. we do not consider it appropriate to await Divine Inspiration when Commanded to, say, not kill when there is perfectly good logic and common sense and experience available. clearly this is a different mindset to that displayed by the sages over the "oven of achnai" incident (BT baba metzia 59b)

The problem isn't logic for hypocrisy, the problem is what has become of the human heart that allows us to act as we do regardless of platitudes.

it's not at all unique. many groups claim to receive guidance direct from the "holy spirit" or some version thereof - and they're all equally opaque, including our own mystics. and it is astonishing how the holy spirit can want so many mutually contradictory things all at once, it's almost as if vested interests were in some way involved...

The Spirit doesn't tell anyone what to do but provides the emotional wholeness that our hearts need to heal. It allows us to experience inner morality revealing what to do. This is what is meant by Israel didn't have the heart or nature to obey God (Deuteronomy 5:29) and The old covenant contained no provision for internal motivation to obey God (Hebrews 8:7-8, Romans 8:3).

the existing covenant requires retributive action in order for sins to be forgiven; no "get out of jail for free" card; a change of heart cannot be determined without a change in behaviour and action.
You are referring to sin in the secular sense as a crime against society. Sin in the Christian sense is what keeps the budding soul earthbound and unable to grow into the "New Man." A change of heart by definition will result in a change of heart felt actions. Forgiveness of sin is freedom from illusion in the quest to be the new man.

thus a murderer can have his sins "wiped clean" on his deathbed through absolution or some such, is abhorrent to us. we do not believe in intermediaries; only G!D Is the Judge and only we can do what is required for us to not be found wanting when weighed in the balance.
You are concerned with societal justice and Christianity is concerned with psychological awakening revealing human meaning and purpose. If sin is what denies a person to psychologically grow to experience reality and the spirit for whatever reason is allowed to awaken a person sin is no longer dominant so is forgiven.

judaism believes in the inherent *improveability* of humanity (that is what circumcision is about) but this is in terms of the comparison of a heap of wheat to a loaf of bread. the first is the product of nature alone, whereas the second is the result of human action. however, to assert that because wheat is indigestible, we should therefore all eat it raw and get stomach-ache is patently ridiculous.

I don't deny the potential but just assert that especially in modern life conditions are such to prevent this potential. What we do over time is a reflection of our being and since Man's being is fallen or "scattered," what you see is what you get.

careful, nick, this is coming rather close to proselytizing, ain't it?

We've sunk so low that few are even able to distinguish between the unique nature of Christian love which is awakening another to the essence of the teaching and proselytizing. Christianity initiates from above and Christendom is man made Christianity. The day comes when I deny this obvious distinction is the day to hang it up.
 
Nick A said:
Don't forget that the writer is speaking to Christians who are not attached to the world. So the old covenant is obsolete only for those that have experienced the help of the Holy spirit.
the few contemporary who have, in our opinion, reached the lower levels of prophecy which implies opening to the holy spirit (in our terminology, who have attained ruah ha-qodesh) have not seen fit to come to this conclusion. i personally received a blessing a few weeks ago from a prominent sephardi mequbal and he seemed pretty committed to the old covenant to me, although it wasn't exactly like he was wearing a "need the help of the holy spirit? talk to me" t-shirt. he certainly had an electric presence though.

As I quoted before, Dr Leroy Finch describes well the essential difference between Christianity and Judaism in his book: "Simone Weil and the intellect of Grace."
he doesn't do it at all well if you ask me, based on our previous discussion. in fact, much like yourself and indeed the omniscient simone weil, he seems to make fairly fundamental
errors about the basics of judaism.

These Orthodox people are a demonstration of the original character of Judaism which did not distinguish the sacred from the secular and united the cultural, the biological, and the religious in one timeless system.
i don't know which orthodox people he's talking about here, but i have a feeling dauer and indeed myself would have a fairly large objection to your characterising the non-orthodox denominations as unconcerned with the timeless values of judaism such as morality, ethics and rectification of the world. indeed, that is precisely how they define themselves, as distinguishing between the timeless values such as "love your neighbour as yourself" and the things they consider to be products of historical experience, such as the laws of taharah or kashrut.

I turn to the Christian experience of time and timelessness. This is as much a closed book to Jews as the Jewish point of view is to Christians.
hur, hur, hur - judaism seems to be a closed book to you, however. for your information, though (not that you seem to be interested in what judaism actually believes as to what would be convenient for you in your little cave of specious dichotomies) the jewish calendar is precisely organised around the nexus between time and timelessness. i recommend that anyone who wants to understand this should read a.j. heschel's book "the sabbath", which describes precisely the techniques and philosophy of how timelessness can be experienced.

If we study the Gospels we will find that it is life in the present - not in the timeless present of past and future, but in the (timeful) present of the NOW - that is the true essence of Christianity The secret of the teaching of Christ is that all true life is life in the present, as distinct from the past and the future. This is where reality is. If there is no experience of the present, as the now, then there is no real life at all.
and, indeed, from G!D's Point of View, that is true. however, we are human beings. we can appreciate this mathematically, but only advanced practitioners of mystical techniques are equipped to experience this in any way.

True, but we've lost the ability. Those that admit it can be helped from above.
we would assert that this would require our action, rather than a passive, morally absent form of treading water whilst waiting for someone to throw us a rubber ring, philosophically speaking.

We know what we need to do but lack the quality of the moment within which to do it. this is the essence of the problem.
what rubbish. the quality of the moment is available within anything from prayer to eating. you yourself admit this elsewhere when you bring up thich nat hanh and mindfulness. if the quality is absent, that is because we are not making it possible through our active engagement.

The problem isn't logic for hypocrisy, the problem is what has become of the human heart that allows us to act as we do regardless of platitudes.
you keep going on about platitudes but i have yet to see any in these conversations that aren't coming from you.

The Spirit doesn't tell anyone what to do but provides the emotional wholeness that our hearts need to heal.
how convenient for your argument that it should be so intangible and vague.

It allows us to experience inner morality revealing what to do.
but if only a select few can experience it, how are the rest of us meant to know what to do? aren't we going to be spinning our wheels, spiritually? i cannot accept such a apathetic, dependent, wholly negative picture of human nature. if that is the true essence of christianity, i want no part of it.

This is what is meant by Israel didn't have the heart or nature to obey God (Deuteronomy 5:29) and The old covenant contained no provision for internal motivation to obey God (Hebrews 8:7-8, Romans 8:3).
only if you entirely ignore what i just said earlier, which demonstrates precisely why this isn't right.

You are referring to sin in the secular sense as a crime against society.
says who? at what point exactly do *you* get to define what *i* mean? i wish you'd stop shoehorning everything into this crass, inaccurate and procrustean set of dichotomies. sins between human and human are still sins. moreover, we have many different words to describe different concepts of sin - pesh'a, 'avon, het, pogem, 'averah, issur and so on. there is no "secular sense" in what i am saying. a sin is something which tarnishes your soul in some way. even a sin committed in secret is a sin. a sin which does not involve society (and there are many) are also sins. you don't half talk bollocks, you know.

Sin in the Christian sense is what keeps the budding soul earthbound and unable to grow into the "New Man."
that isn't that different from the idea of a "pogem" or "blemish".

A change of heart by definition will result in a change of heart felt actions.
that is precisely what our concept of teshuvah is about, with its connotation of "return".

Forgiveness of sin is freedom from illusion in the quest to be the new man.
and freedom from the illusion that your actions are without consequences, or victimless - you are your own victim.

You are concerned with societal justice and Christianity is concerned with psychological awakening revealing human meaning and purpose.
and, obviously, the two are not connected, in your opinion. we are concerned with both - and their dynamic relationship. yet again we run into your ignorance of judaism and your wholly unwarranted assumption that it is a sort of worldly foil to christianity.

I don't deny the potential but just assert that especially in modern life conditions are such to prevent this potential.
so you think that we should just give up and sit and wait for grace? i don't know how you get out of bed in the morning.

What we do over time is a reflection of our being and since Man's being is fallen or "scattered,"
we maintain that our mission in the world is to rectify this situation. that is what the word "tiqqun" means.

what you see is what you get.
gosh, are you channeling anton lavey now? your worldview sounds astonishingly similar, albeit if he's right about it, he'd rather just party. you and simone weil, on the other hand, seem about as fun as a wet fish down the trousers.

We've sunk so low that few are even able to distinguish between the unique nature of Christian love which is awakening another to the essence of the teaching and proselytizing. Christianity initiates from above and Christendom is man made Christianity. The day comes when I deny this obvious distinction is the day to hang it up.
well, i don't see the difference between you and mee in this, although at least he has the advantage of being succinct about his cookie-cutter solution.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
You don't want to accept that there is the good of Judaism and secular Judaism. I know that here is Christianity and degrees of Christendom which makes it easier for me to separate the value of a tradition from the normal human BS. Jesus forever argues with the Pharisees about this very same thing. The problem wasn't the tradition but what secularism was doing to it. Secularism stresses the importance of appearance. This is why secularists are forever concerned with "inspiration." rather than admit the human condition. They worry about what kind of example is being se for the young but fail to see that the young are being guided by what the adults ARE and see the con job of appearance coming a mile away.

Matthew 23

1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. 3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'
8"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ.[b] 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
13"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.[c]
15"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.
16"Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.' 19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it.
23"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
29"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!
33"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation. 37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'[d]"



Jesus isn't condemning a teaching but how it has been secularized into expressions of appearance and societal manipulation. I agree with the good that exist within Judaism but also am well aware of the hypocrisy existing within it normal for becoming secular Judaism that is governed by appearance. As psychologically disappointing as my experience with Jewish reaction to recognition of the Armenian genocide has been, it has helped prove to me what I already knew which is the amount of hypocrisy that exists within any secularized tradition.

I believe Paul's expression of self knowledge as true since I've witnessed it in myself. It is the quality of NOW Dr. Finch is referring to. Christianity is concerned with this quality and knows that as we've become, the great majority need the help of the Spirit and it is the Christian effort to be open to it:

Romans 7:

14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

but if only a select few can experience it, how are the rest of us meant to know what to do? aren't we going to be spinning our wheels, spiritually? i cannot accept such a apathetic, dependent, wholly negative picture of human nature. if that is the true essence of Christianity, i want no part of it.

Nice job of passing the buck. What good is worrying about what others can do if we are in slavery? Our initial concern is for awakening and then its results can be shared but as we are, we are one person exchanging defense mechanisms with another in the sleeping slavery of Plato's cave.
Buddha said that life is suffering. The purpose of Christianity isn't avoiding the lawful state of the universe but rather to provide a means that we can psychologically profit from it not is a societal sense but in the quality of our own being.

"The tremendous greatness of Christianity", writes Simone Weil, "comes from the fact that it does not seek a supernatural remedy against suffering but a supernatural use of suffering."

From the societal egotistic point of view this is absurd. But Christianity is the psychology of "being" within which transient societal and egoistic goals are secondary to the pearl of great price the tradition offers.

well, i don't see the difference between you and mee in this, although at least he has the advantage of being succinct about his cookie-cutter solution.

As a secularist, this is normal.
 
thus a murderer can have his sins "wiped clean" on his deathbed through absolution or some such, is abhorrent to us. we do not believe in intermediaries; only G!D Is the Judge and only we can do what is required for us to not be found wanting when weighed in the balance.
Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."

Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.

"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"

Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
 
Nick A said:
You don't want to accept that there is the good of Judaism and secular Judaism
whatever that means, i don't accept your definitions.

[it is] easier for me to separate the value of a tradition from the normal human BS
well, aren't *you* simply fabulous! what enables most people to make this kind of evaluation is their knowledge of the content and process involved, as well as their aptitude for critical analysis. i am delighted to hear you are so talented in this department and await your insight. with baited breath, in fact.

The problem wasn't the tradition but what secularism was doing to it. Secularism stresses the importance of appearance.
no. *hypocrisy* stresses the importance of appearance. are you not familiar with the word? when your qawwanah (mindfulness, intention) is consistent with your actions, that cannot be hypocrisy. and hypocrisy can be either religious, or non-religious. your conflation of it with "secularism" is both clumsy and misleading. when your external appearance is also consistent, that is called "kiddush haShem", or "sanctification of G!D's Name" when it is for a religious purpose, or simply "inspirational" if it is not.

This is why secularists are forever concerned with "inspiration." rather than admit the human condition
a hypocrite will pay lip service to aspiring to meet the standards that inspiration (or indeed Revelation) demands, whilst finding reasons to excuse themselves from trying to act in a manner consistent with their stated aspirations.

"But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach."
here, jesus is very much speaking from the heart of the rabbinic tradition: in the Mishnah, r. hillel the elder says: "what is painful to you, do not do unto others" (BT, shabbat 31a; midrash 'aboth de-rabbi nathan), to which r. aqiba adds: "whatever you hate to have done to you, do not do to your neighbor; so do not hurt him; do not speak ill of him; do not reveal his secrets to others and let his honour and his property be as dear to you as your own" (midrash 'aboth de-rabbi nathan). similarly, "ben 'azzai says: 'the Torah...laid down the great rule for the application of the Law: love your fellow as yourself'." (leviticus 19:18; midrash genesis rabbah 24) furthermore, r. simlai taught that the 613 commandments given to moses were reduced to just one: "the just person lives by his consistency." (habaqquq 2:4). the problem is, as jesus correctly points out, when people are HYPOCRITICAL.

As psychologically disappointing as my experience with Jewish reaction to recognition of the Armenian genocide has been, it has helped prove to me what I already knew which is the amount of hypocrisy that exists within any secularized tradition.
as i already explained to you, being jewish does not prevent people from acting like feckin' feathered eejits, particularly in the case of criticising turkey, which is one of the only muslim countries which gets on with israel. this is, as i already said, completely hypocritical and, moreover, inconsistent with supporting another potential ally of israel in the middle east, an independent kurdistan - which i, too, support.

Nice job of passing the buck. What good is worrying about what others can do if we are in slavery?
to accept slavery as one's lot in life is simply defeatist. did we accept this in egypt? or did we take the opportunity to leave at the first opportunity, putting the boot in while we were at it? if anyone is passing the buck, nick, it is you, expecting G!D to sort everything out for you while you sit on your behind whinging about how rubbish humanity is.

we are one person exchanging defense mechanisms with another in the sleeping slavery of Plato's cave.
you can enslave yourself to a metaphor if you wish. personally, i'm going for a nice long walk.

Buddha said that life is suffering.
i'm not sure you entirely understood what he meant by that. the buddhists i know certainly aren't a morally apathetic lot.

From the societal egotistic point of view this is absurd.
er... have you read the bit in genesis where abraham nearly sacrifices isaac? do you understand the significance of this? from any point of view apart from someone who thinks the sun shines out of simone weil's bottom it is absurd *to apply it as a general principle*, rather than as a supremely activist piece of mystical theurgy.

blaznfattyz: i completely disagree with jesus that the "faith" of the woman with the alabaster jar saved her. if she was indeed a sinner, she would have trouble repenting in my view without first going and making amends to the people against whom she had sinned. we are not told who these people are. no amount of sucking up to G!D excuses you from making right what is in your power to make right with humans. this episode i find incomprehensible in the light of jesus' previous criticism of the pharisees as hypocritical. or perhaps there's something about this text i'm missing, because it seems vastly inconsistent to me.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
BB

Secularism is an expression of what we ARE collectively. Since a primary feature of our being is hypocrisy, it is reasonable to say that secularism functions by hypocrisy.

preach." here, jesus is very much speaking from the heart of the rabbinic tradition: in the Mishnah, r. hillel the elder says: "what is painful to you, do not do unto others" (BT, shabbat 31a; midrash 'aboth de-rabbi nathan), to which r. aqiba adds: "whatever you hate to have done to you, do not do to your neighbor; so do not hurt him; do not speak ill of him; do not reveal his secrets to others and let his honour and his property be as dear to you as your own" (midrash 'aboth de-rabbi nathan). similarly, "ben 'azzai says: 'the Torah...laid down the great rule for the application of the Law: love your fellow as yourself'." (leviticus 19:18; midrash genesis rabbah 24) furthermore, r. simlai taught that the 613 commandments given to moses were reduced to just one: "the just person lives by his consistency." (habaqquq 2:4). the problem is, as jesus correctly points out, when people are HYPOCRITICAL.

You've completely ignored the inner meaning.

to accept slavery as one's lot in life is simply defeatist. did we accept this in egypt? or did we take the opportunity to leave at the first opportunity, putting the boot in while we were at it? if anyone is passing the buck, nick, it is you, expecting G!D to sort everything out for you while you sit on your behind whinging about how rubbish humanity is.
You are defining slavery and freedom by where one is in Plato's cave. I'm referring to inner slavery which is to cave life itself regardless of where we function within it.
er... have you read the bit in genesis where abraham nearly sacrifices isaac? do you understand the significance of this? from any point of view apart from someone who thinks the sun shines out of simone weil's bottom it is absurd *to apply it as a general principle*, rather than as a supremely activist piece of mystical theurgy.


Grumble if you like but to understand what Simone means in that quote is to understand the meaning of the Crucifixion which though having meaning for me as a pre-Christian, is meaningless for you..
 
Bananabrain said:
on the contrary, it is available weekly to those who open themselves to the possibility of accessing it. on the other hand, you could be referring to the "world to come" which is described in our sources as "a time when everything is Shabbat".
I have never before heard the phrase 'a time when everything is Shabbat'. I think John teaches that Jesus baptism is the beginning of rest, since he says the spirit descends 'as a dove and remains' upon Jesus at his baptism. There is too strong a similarity to the dove which found rest after Noah sent it out of the ark to dismiss it as being unrelated. Perhaps the spirit dove upon Jesus is a time (in Christology) where 'Everything is Shabbat', but not exactly. It depends on what you call 'Everything', however it makes the weekly 7th day celebration a rest represented by when the dove plucked the olive leaf and returned or perhaps when the dove couldn't find anything at all.

After looking at them closely, John and Hebrews do teach there is available a more permanent rest to the one on 7th days. Rounding out the Christology of it, Hebrews 4:8-10 argues that Joshua did not 'Give rest' to the generation that survived the wilderness. On the other hand, Hebrews says to his readers they still must strive to enter into rest themselves, so whatever rest came with Jesus doesn't sound like one where 'Everything is Shabbat', at least not without any effort. It could be he's saying the rest is still to come, however I think early Christianity is all about a new spiritual creation. Going by James and John creation is individually joined, having nothing to do with physical ancestry or the physical world. Every Christian (born of the spirit or word) strives to 'enter that rest' which Joshua did not give (I do not know what Joshua would say). Everyone not born of the spirit does not strive, thus proving they are not part of creation.

What world is it that God loves in John 3:16? In what creation has the gospel been preached everywhere in Colossians 1:23? -- the Christian newly created spiritual world is probably what is being referred to. It is a world that is made up of individuals who strive to enter rest, who through trials and suffering have Christ formed in them, who are born not of the will of any man but of God. Compare this to the famous 'God so loved the world' verse in John that actually condemns and saves, and you'll see a similar concept of inclusion & exclusion. God so loved the world...perish..etc. In that case, whoever is born into the new creation is thought to be part of a world where everything is Shabbat; but the birthing is a long arduous process.

So has the Sabbath finally come in the Christian sense? Examining my life I cannot say that it has, however that doesn't mean someone else hasn't attained it. This would not be a good time to ask me that question actually. (and I also do not really know much about 7th day Sabbaths, so technically I don't know what those Sabbaths are like).
 
I have never before heard the phrase 'a time when everything is Shabbat'. I think John teaches that Jesus baptism is the beginning of rest, since he says the spirit descends 'as a dove and remains' upon Jesus at his baptism. There is too strong a similarity to the dove which found rest after Noah sent it out of the ark to dismiss it as being unrelated. Perhaps the spirit dove upon Jesus is a time (in Christology) where 'Everything is Shabbat', but not exactly. It depends on what you call 'Everything', however it makes the weekly 7th day celebration a rest represented by when the dove plucked the olive leaf and returned or perhaps when the dove couldn't find anything at all.

After looking at them closely, John and Hebrews do teach there is available a more permanent rest to the one on 7th days. Rounding out the Christology of it, Hebrews 4:8-10 argues that Joshua did not 'Give rest' to the generation that survived the wilderness. On the other hand, Hebrews says to his readers they still must strive to enter into rest themselves, so whatever rest came with Jesus doesn't sound like one where 'Everything is Shabbat', at least not without any effort. It could be he's saying the rest is still to come, however I think early Christianity is all about a new spiritual creation. Going by James and John creation is individually joined, having nothing to do with physical ancestry or the physical world. Every Christian (born of the spirit or word) strives to 'enter that rest' which Joshua did not give (I do not know what Joshua would say). Everyone not born of the spirit does not strive, thus proving they are not part of creation.

What world is it that God loves in John 3:16? In what creation has the gospel been preached everywhere in Colossians 1:23? -- the Christian newly created spiritual world is probably what is being referred to. It is a world that is made up of individuals who strive to enter rest, who through trials and suffering have Christ formed in them, who are born not of the will of any man but of God. Compare this to the famous 'God so loved the world' verse in John that actually condemns and saves, and you'll see a similar concept of inclusion & exclusion. God so loved the world...perish..etc. In that case, whoever is born into the new creation is thought to be part of a world where everything is Shabbat; but the birthing is a long arduous process.

So has the Sabbath finally come in the Christian sense? Examining my life I cannot say that it has, however that doesn't mean someone else hasn't attained it. This would not be a good time to ask me that question actually. (and I also do not really know much about 7th day Sabbaths, so technically I don't know what those Sabbaths are like).
What an awesome post!
 
Thanks, Qahom1, but it is personally a disaster. I should have had this information as a youngster, because its actually basic info. Many, many times I have read or heard "For God so loved the world" without understanding, so where went the tradition that supposedly held this information for me? I guess somebody thought it wasn't important, so that it wasn't until December 12, 2008 that I found out about it.
 
Thanks, Qahom1, but it is personally a disaster. I should have had this information as a youngster, because its actually basic info. Many, many times I have read or heard "For God so loved the world" without understanding, so where went the tradition that supposedly held this information for me? I guess somebody thought it wasn't important, so that it wasn't until December 12, 2008 that I found out about it.
Better late than never Dream...and with God, it is never too late.
 
in a nutshell, that is one of the main reasons why we think that jesus wasn't Moshiah, because we can't really see what the big difference is in a tangible sense of peace and harmony, although obviously nobody would suggest that christianity has been a great facilitator of a) monotheism and b) fraternity between christians; these avowedly universalist features of messiahship are missing, as are the particularist features which we've noted elsewhere.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
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