Let's clear the air...

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by wil, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    "Let's clear the board"

    Prologue: We gave my nieces a game my sister and brother in law hated. It was a Sesame Street alphabet, word, number learning game where they had to put a number of letters, specific letters, specific colors or whatever onto the board as directed by Big Bird. And when it was time for another try Big Bird would say "Let's clear the board!"

    So that is where this is headed...let's clear the board, discuss what we've done how we've done it and how best to move on.

    Let's discuss!!

    I've got a question to open with. Where were Jews at this time? I mean today we go from Ortho-Consv-Ref-Reconst-Renewal... With the gnostics, essenes, sicarious, zealots, etc. were there all sorts of levels of belief amongst jews of the day? Was Jesus so far out there? Some Jewish friends of mine say...Well there were a lot of prophets running around at the time...he was one of them...just not one we followed.

    I mean, my contention is that Moses and Abraham et al were enough for Jews, they connected with G!d thru that, weren't as wrapped up in salvation, orginal sin, afterlife questions as they were about living. Now 613 laws...a little over the top for me, but whatever floats your boat.

    Me, I like it how Jesus narrowed it down to the top 2 for us, this is the rabbi that was able to provide us with an understanding that we could use.
     
  2. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    Probably not what you are looking for Wil, but here is a shot in the dark.....
    Some of them were busy building a political kingdom that the romans tolerated for their own gain.

    They brought that war and destruction on themselves. All things on earth are temporary and will end. Persecution to one group is no different than any other group in persecution, especially when the persecuted return with persecution to others.

    Considering he was viewed as a threat to the political kingdoms of his day I would say, yes. He put himself into that position creating a catch 22 for everyone involved. He could have escaped and stayed away from them. In fact that is what he did for most of his life, until going into the natural Jeruselem. Even though he had no interest in their temporary kingdoms that would see destruction, they got what they feared the most anyway. Ha! ...and they could no longer blame it, or their fear, on the Christ:)

    I have serious doubts that is going to change anything.

    The story has them constantly grumbling, accusing and complaining, making wars and rarely happy, so I would guess Moses was not good enough.

    and the pharisees and the sadducees. Plenty of them running around so do beware.

    It is a nice thought but it only works on Sesame Street. It does not work in religulous arenas. It appears to make things a never ending icksolution.

    Agreed.
    Though we will always have some christians, jews and muslims whose only interest is to exault themsleves to 'special & chosen' and called by their gods to rule the world any way they can using their religion to achieve it.

    Man, this easter ham is awesome!:) Can't wait to use the bone for split pea soup next week.
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Namaste Bandit,

    Have I expressed how good it is to see you round the boards?

    Have ya ever been around a Jewish table for dinner or an evening or planning for a blessed event like a barmitzvah? I don't think happy and grumbling, accusing, complaining are mutually exclusive.

    If making wars is a determination I don't know if we've found a happy people yet.

    What I actually opened the thread for was to let Avi air some issues that he indicated he hasn't found a venue for.
     
  4. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    Well, thank you.

    No. But I have been to a barmitzvah and it was kind of gay and dainty. Something I would expect more for a girl. Though I have worked pretty close to a few to know they are not happy about much of anything and insulting with complaining is a way of life. I don't believe I would be happy either, around that.

    Far a few in between but there are some who try to make peace, just not enough.

    Ok.
     
  5. Will be

    Will be New Member

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    The less you say, or write the clear it becomes until, one just steps through the veil of being into all beings.
     
  6. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Hi Wil, I do not claim to represent any large group of Jewish thought. I would describe my beliefs as somewhere between Reform Jewish and agnostic / atheist. I was born a Conservative Jew but as I learned to be a scientist / engineer my belief system became very practical and skeptical of authority.

    So to your question, I believe that at the time of the Second Temple, all of the above beliefs were represented. Although it is true in the present day, Judaism is divided between the groups that you mention, but the nature of Jewish education and culture has always been very independent in nature. Recall the divide between Judah and Israel occured well before the fall of the First Temple and shortly after the time of King Solomon.

    I have tried to read about different religions. I have read the New Testament, the Koran and as much as I could about other religions. I have become more interested in Eastern religions (or philosophies) recently and I believe there is a lot of truth to be learned by comparing these various religions. Perhaps there are universal truths which overarch the religions ?

    As far as my view of Jesus, I would not describe him as you did above. I think that description is understated. It is clear that Jesus' impact on western culture has been monumental.


    You are right, Moses and Abraham were the great prophets of the Jews. But I would not say they were enough. There were other prophets of note: Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many others. The early patriarchs, Issac, Jacob, Joseph were remarkable as well.

    The notion of salvation is different in Judaism. It relates more to the salvation of Israel.

    As a Reform Jew I do not observe the 613 commandments. Because of the principle of "free will" I follow the commandments which make sense to me. For example I drive my car on Saturdays.

    However, I do not reject the Oral Law (or Oral Torah). In fact I study the Talmud (which is the Oral Torah) on a weekly basis at my Temple. Some of my Orthodox friends have asked if I reject the Oral Torah. I think some Orthodox consider this a litmus test for Jews. If I reject the Oral Torah they would consider me a Christian (even if I consider myself Jewish).

    I believe that a central theme of interfaith dialogue is to learn what is valuable about different faiths. I hope that I will learn a lot about all the religions represented in this forum. I also hope I can explain a little about Judaism from my own perspective.
     
  7. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Oops, I was edged out by the 20 minute rule.

    One last thought.



    I do believe this is a difficult topic to discuss. I mentioned persecution above. There are actually many topics that are difficult to discuss. Another relates to issues about the State of Israel. This is being discussed on several parallel threads in this forum.

    I am not a zealous Zionist. I am willing to admit that Israel has made mistakes in its 60 year history. But I also think it will take new ideas, paradigm shifts, to reach peace in the Middle East. We cannot just stick to same old positions of the last 3,000 years. It will take creative ideas about how to live with ancient enemies and with limited resources. I hope that interfaith dialogue is one path toward these new ideas. I believe there are religious leaders of all faiths who believe this and are willing to set examples by their practice. These are the religious leaders that I would like to learn from.
     
  8. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Hi Bandit, when you say "they brought that war and destruction on themselves", do you realized that it is believed that over 1 million Jews were killed after the fall of the Second Temple ? Of course most of them were civilians and not in any military opposition to the Romans.

    Would you say the same of the Vietnamese civilians during the Vietnam War ?
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I personally can't get to excited about something that happenned 2,000 years ago to a people and hold grudges today.

    We obviously have to work from the now and work forward.

    That being said, I also have issues with the concept of the creation of the state of Israel. I can't fathom other countries going over and carving up land and saying...here this is now X everyone move out, this was their land hundreds of years ago (whose land...surely not anyone that is still alive or generations later) I wonder the impetus of this and the arguments of East Germany, Iraq, any country which expelled people in the past and rights to return after the power shift... If that were extrapolated to Australia and the US we'd have some pretty major changes going on.

    Anywho...in reality that to is in the past. Again we need to decide to move forward.
     
  10. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    I do not agree with your characterization of situation in Israel.

    So lets discuss Zionism. It's history is very intersting and worthy of further consideration. From the time of the fall of the Second Temple, after the Jews were expelled and lived in exile. This continued until the late 1800's. The roots of Zionism started during the European Enlightement, interestingly in Germany. In the 1890's Theodore Herzyl (who was an Austro-Hungarian) efforts led to the creation of the World Zionist Organization, whose goal it was to re-create a Jewish state.
     
  11. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    It was under the rule of Rome. There are three sides to every story. There is no difference between Russia & georgia, China and Tibbet or Rome and Jeruselum and to a degree, the USA and the american indians. When big government says you will be silent or be scattered, then you will be silent or be scattered and the jews tried to oppose the romans, that was one of my pointless points.

    One of my other pointless points for saying that, is they rejected messiah and also tried to blame the man they rejected for their own fears of losing government power. All carnal powers, carnal type of laws, carnal everything that the man had no interest in anyway. Ok fine. They got their way with that. After they got rid of him, they still ended up losing the very thing they feared losing, thus they could no longer blame the man they killed for losing it and could only blame themselves for what happened next.

    It does not matter if most of them were civilians and no opposition when it comes time for war or removal. Are you familiar with the Trail of Tears? Do you view that the same way? Or does there have to be a population percentage to make it worse? Do you think religious government cares if women and children are put to death? There is nothing special about jews in this area & it is very old that some people think they are the special chosen ones. That really turns me off and makes for a nice way for me to slam my front door on someones fingers. Just saying.

    I honestly do not know if I view it the same way as you do. What I do know is, Christians, Jews, Muslims and Communists have a long track record of shooting off their mouths, a very clear history of starting wars & persecuting others including their very own people. They are extremely violent religions. If you want to pick a fight with someone or thing bigger than you, then any wise man would know that you do not do it on your own property unless you plan on losing it.

    As a native american indian I can tell you that I know what it is like to have a heritage taken from me to a bunch of white supremist christian bigots but I do not view it the exact same way as Rome in Jeruselum, or, other than genocide for land. Most of the native indians have moved on with life. I would never expect the few american indians left to have complete rights to the land they once owned. We got tiny trailor parks and shacks with a job at the steel mill. I appreciate what I have because I have done very well on my own. What I consider above average and should retire quite nicely.

    That is good.

    60 years in history of mistakes? Is that all? That is like saying catholics only made 30 years of historical mistakes.

    I would not count on that anytime soon, not as long as you have jews, christians & muslims all making bombs and threatening each other daily with war. I think these religions are bogus religions anyway and have agendas that have nothing to do with making things better or wanting true peace. I have no choice to not deny old history and recent history.

    Some things never change & that is just the way it is. That is great you would like it to be better & so would I. Reality of that is another thing. This is one of those things that I do not expect to get any better in my lifetime. I think that would be deceiving myself with false hope. Maybe for my great grandchild and maybe not. Either way, it will be what it is supposed to be.

    I also do not believe that people just 'talk' and -poof-, like magic everything gets better nor do I believe that everything is resolved through dialogue, like political peace talks. I do not believe interfaith is going to change it either. That to me would be like joining another religion and my view of religion is quite negative.

    At the same time, I feel that all we need sometimes is to talk to someone who will listen, respectfully listen. We don't always need an answer, just someone to listen.

    Avi1223, You come across as a nice level headed person with sincerity and someone I might enjoy this with. Kind of like NewAgeNerd, but he did not stay long. Not to ignore you, truly, but religion 24/7 does not set well with me and my time expired a day ago. So maybe we can hook up again at a later date? I am sure this topic will pass thru the revolving religion door 100 more times in the next month anyway.

    Cool:)
     
  12. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Oops, cut off again by the 20 minute timer, more on Zionism shortly......

    Also, I just noticed some of my earlier comments got entangled with Wil's above, my error.......ouch....
     
  13. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Bandit, I will respond to your comments individually because I think they are very interesting.

    But since you are in a rush, I will first tell you a short story which was very interesting to me.

    A co-worker of mine for many years, actually he was my boss, but we worked closely and I considered him a friend, one day told me he had to take something back which he had given me.

    Having grown up in the Northeast I proceeded to use an expression which was very common there, and had no negative connotation when I was growing up. I asked him if he was an "Indian Giver" ?

    He told me that he was of Native American Indian descent and that was a distasteful phrase to him.

    At that time I understood that it was possible to be insensitive unknowingly. It is a lesson that had a strong impact on me and I remember it clearly to this day. I was very embarressed and felt terrible that I had said that.

    You seem to think that your experiences as a Native American Indian are more different than similar to mine as a Jew. I think it might be interesting to compare, when you return.
     
  14. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Please allow me to dis-entangle my words from Wil's above:



    I do not agree with your characterization of situation in Israel.

    So lets discuss Zionism. It's history is very intersting and worthy of further consideration. From the time of the fall of the Second Temple, after the Jews were expelled they lived in exile. This continued until the late 1800's. The roots of Zionism started during the European Enlightement, interestingly in Germany. In the 1890's Theodore Herzyl (who was an Austro-Hungarian) efforts led to the creation of the World Zionist Organization, whose goal it was to re-create a Jewish state.
    Chaim Weizman's (a Russian emigrant) efforts led to the Balfour Declaration in 1917. This endorsed the creation of a Jewish homeland. In 1933 Hitler came to power and persecution of German Jews followed. The British White Paper of 1939 attempted to end emigration by 1944, by severly limiting Jewish emigration.

    More details shortly.......
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I'd like to address this. I've many a native friend and discussed this. What is the origin and meaning of Indian Giver?

    My understanding. Many (most?) tribes were quite communal and didn't believe in personal property. So when a white man traded for a horse, the Indian in question would have no problem trading with him for whatever bobbles, guns, food, pelts etc that were offfered. I don't think it was disengenous, it was just differing thoughts. And then when an Indian needed a horse he would simply take it from whoever conveniently corralled it for him, so nice of them. So horses would be traded for and then taken back, or given and then taken back.

    And today it means the same thing. Someone gave one something as in your description and then reversed the deal that you perceived was permanent. Now my discussions in the past on this subject have been met with interest and way layed the negative concept of Indian Giver as being objectionable or derogatory toward Indians but simply a misinterpretation. And yes some folks will and have used it derogatarily...but that can happen to anyone...education is what its about.

    I've had a similar Indian issue with using the term sacred cow (different Indian obviously). To me it means something you can't touch. In Christianity it may be Jesus is Son of God, or the Trinity. It is our sacred cow, it is referring with the same reverence as the indian feels the cow.

    With your people many have issues because someone refers to bargaining as 'Jewing someone down' or when someone is thrifty they are acting like a Jew. And some (many?) Jews get upset with that. But I surely don't know why as as a group you are a people that take pride in getting a good deal, in negotiation abilities and in thriftiness. I think it common sense and admirable so why not accept it as a compliment? Just as Indian Giver should be a compliment of days gone by when a society was not so materialistic as today and one could take it as an honor and a privilige that someone ask to use or have something that you currently possess? After all their view was that it was all property of the Great Spirit not ours...and don't we believe the same? That all comes from G!d?
     
  16. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Of course, this sounds reasonable to me, but I would like to hear a Native American Indians view of this. There is another issue which I will discuss next .....


    I have a concern with the way you are interpreting these issues. Because what you are really doing is stereotyping groups of people. You describe it in a very respectful and positive way, but there is an underlying issue. Remember how Shakespeare catgorized the money lender, Shylock in Macbeth ? He was a Jew and not a nice one. So that is why people do not like to be lumped together as a group and thought of as acting as a monolith. Anyway, a lot of interfaith dialogue is how it is discussed. When you describe something in respectful terms the analysis can be carried to a much deeper level.
     
  17. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Yeah, and the clown in the King novel was evil and the black guy in Law and Order was a criminal and the Scot was a drunk and the Swede was slow and the ...and the...and the...

    So what.

    You are going to carry what Shakespeare wrote or didn't write for how long? My understanding is the reason Jews got into lending in the first place is because Christians and Muslims were not allowed to charge interest....well who the hell is going to lend money if you can't charge interest? It is common sense, so the Jews filled the void.

    Don't worry about the implication, work on education of the masses and change the perception. There is nothing dishonorable about being frugal, about teaching your children money management, about getting the best deal you can, about striving for higher ideals. Why do people put Jews down in this way? Because they are jealous of their success in this manner.

    The more a group of people complains about a stereotype that is generally accurate and puts their tails between their legs and shrugs no that is evil to say that...you can't deny the obvious.

    (just now I almost changed the above because I remember there was a derogatory thing about Jews having tails....well I didn't because they don't and it is just as stupid imo to worry about things that are said that are patently untrue as it is to worry about the things that are based on a truth as well)
     
  18. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    Wil,

    It seems like you make the implicit assumption that negative stereotypes can be trusted if we put a positive spin on them.

    You seem to reach that point by trusting that, the observations of individuals are founded in some truth. But I don't think you have any clear methodology for getting at what that truth might be. e.g. It may be that the stereotypes about Jews were based solely on them being moneylenders, not connected to attributes perpetuated by the Jewish community (frugality, money management, etc.)

    It also discounts the possibility of other reasonable defeaters e.g. that, if we go along with the assumption that Jews do maintain said values, it may be because, like other immigrant communities, modern Jews have certain success or survivability values instilled by recent generations who struggled to make it in a new country in order that their children need not struggle. If then those assumptions do exist but are justified by the reason I have given (rather than that these values can be traced back to the origins of the stereotype) then your own connection of the stereotype to those traits isn't valid. The stereotype is addressing something else.
     
  19. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    In the case of the Irish drunk or the Black criminal...I don't believe I do. Those are in point negative stereotypes.

    In the case of a frugal or shrewd or negotiating Jew...without any spin I do not see that as a negative stereotype. If someone were to say cheap or coniving I'd say that is a derogatory remark, a negative attitude regarding the stereotype.
     
  20. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    And that is the original context. You're putting a positive spin on it.
     

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