Parables

Discussion in 'Judaism' started by Ahanu, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    What is a parable?

    When did parables emerge in Judaism?

    Finally, are parables popular in Jewish culture today?

    Thanks!
     
  2. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    I do not know if they are popular in jewish culture.

    A parable is a story to convey some spiritual truth and or moral lesson.
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    If one believes the book....Jesus was Jew....and told many a parable.

    Then we have folks fighting with themselves and getting touched in the thigh bone...the apple story, creation, floods, but that might be the difference between metaphor and parable?
     
  4. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    Actually it wasnt an apple, it was a pomegranate. Parables are ways to communicate with a story spiritual truths or lessons
     
  5. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    "Actually" it was an un-named fruit, most commonly depicted as a fig in the Middle East, or an apple in Europe. I hope by "actually" you aren't meaning that you think the story is history rather than parable.
     
  6. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    Do I think it was a literal fruit? No. I do think the fruit refers to knowledge that lead to actions.
     
  7. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    what bob said wrt the actual fruit. the parable, or "MaShaL", has been a jewish learning / teaching technique since pretty far back. the word is used in psalms, for example to mean, more or less, "allegory". it is widely used in talmudic contexts as a metaphorical method for explaining a particular intangible or "as it were" esoteric concept which cannot be explained in literal language, such as explanations of anthropomorphisms in the Torah. the "mashal" form is also widely used in mystical texts such as the bahir and zohar.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  8. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I cannot help but wonder if parables can be called oral poetry? Since the story of the Garden of Eden is a parable, then perhaps the story was remembered through oral poetry, because the poetic form is easier to remember? Then passed on from poet to poet? Generation to generation? Perhaps Hebrew is more poetic? Afterall, most people in ancient periods could not read, so scripture was more often heard than read during their time period.
     
  9. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    not really - poetry implies more importance should be placed on the literary qualities and the point of a mashal is its use as a teaching aid - they are more comparable to koans in zen; mashals tend (in biblical style) to be terse, concentrated, short and to the point, with no 100% set rules, although there is a recognisable format.

    no, it isn't. it's a) far too long b) different in format with none of the key indicators and framing language and c) not nearly stripped-down enough; the recondite nature of the insights available are far more complex than that of a mashal.

    well, this is more to the point, although i will confine myself to saying that firstly, TaNaKh is certainly meant to be memorised and repeated, which is why it has cantillation, so it can be sung - if you're unaware of how this works, go and have a look at Introduction and menu and listen to how it works. you will find that there is remarkable fidelity and lack of variation considering the age of the texts (although bob will give you a far more accurate picture of the scholarly thinking on that than i will). secondly, the written texts are less than the complete picture, as you are ignoring the Oral Torah that was not written down until the talmudic period, which was also intended to be orally recorded and preserved. thirdly, literacy was far more widespread in judaism than in most ancient cultures - there's a reason we were the original "people of the book".

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  10. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    A flood can mean the cleansing of the earth with the soul essence. It doesnt mean god sent water and killed all life. The bible is a DIVINE language but people use their carnal minds to intepret it. You get a wrong view on GOD and how he thinks. Fire is the holy spirit, it doesnt harm life. So these parables are stories used to teach a moral lesson or some spiritual truth. Its not the fruit but what does that fruit represent? When you find out what the symbol means then you have correct interpretation. This DIVINE mind and as you know JESUS had it, is the song of moses. The song is correct interpretation. The moses movies are incorrect if you look at them as literal events because the truth is that in the holy texts the words and actions were holy.
     
  11. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    it may mean both and more. are you familiar with the PaRDe"S methodology used to interpret Torah in four different ways?

    what else are we supposed to use? our noses, perhaps? look, i would start by learing the human language it's written in, as we say: "the Torah uses human language".

    i suppose that would depend. i personally wouldn't make categorical statements like that, as you (donnann) are not, as far as i know, in a position to know how i think, or as to whether anyone can truly know how G!D Thinks - if we are to use the word "thinks" to describe it.

    which means what, exactly? what sort of fire? which "holy spirit" are you referring to?

    oh, really? so why did the angel have a "flaming sword which turned every way" to bar the way to the tree of life? and what price deuteronomy 4:24, or 9:3? tell it to the canaanites, as they say, or they would do if the canaanites hadn't been on the receiving end.

    well, in part. remember that metaphor and allegory are only two types of looking at Torah and, as we say, "Torah has 70 faces".

    yes, but the trouble with this point of view is that you are still stuck with a bunch of people who are descended from the people that this stuff, whatever it was, happened to, whatever it was that actually happened. to put it more succinctly, we are still here and israel is still israel and jerusalem is still jerusalem. metaphor and interpretation and non-literalism be damned - this is our sacred history and we still commemorate its events, as we remember the exodus from egypt, the destruction of the Temple, the giving of the Torah and indeed the seventh day of Creation, just as we said we would all those thousands of years ago. you can't ignore the people in favour of a part of the message - here we are, stiff-necked, warts and all.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  12. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    The holy spirit is consciousness literally. The sign of the dove I like to call a piece of GODS mind. GODS fire which is holy spirit consumes evil fire. Love consumes hate for example and when its a literal energy it actually does consume it.


    The sword is a holy flame that defends against the opposing sword that someone may use to enter. The sword is truth and all the good energy. a good light.

    Yes but all 70 of those faces are good faces because there is no evil in god.


    I am not saying that the bad events didnt happen. Look around its a reality bad things happen. However when it comes to YHVH and his actions they are all holy. So moses for example , when told I am who I am, god was saying he was working through moses. Do you really think the plagues from GOD harmed life? The practices that pharoeh used were dark evil practices and moses actions combated them but were opposite becauses they were done through moses by GOD. The pillar of Fire was a holy fire. Thats the difference between evil and good. I know the truth. Even though men like moses suffered from human imperfection during these events they were perfect and miracles came from them. What is your concept on say moses for example really being an incarnated being that came into the human community sent by god from the heavenly kingdom? Just curious.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2011
  13. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    donnann -- can you repost this? I really cannot make sense of what (if anything) you are replying.

    Peace, radarmark
     
  14. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    Sorry I was replying to someone post to me and it wasnt working correctly.
     
  15. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    but where's that based on in the Text? it sounds like you're just speculating.

    again, where are you getting this stuff from?

    if you're saying "literal energy", you're going to have to give me a literal energy example, because it isn't at all obvious what you mean.

    yes, but this is *your* interpretation, not founded in the language used. how do you connect the sword to truth, or even good?

    to be precise - Torah may have 70 faces, but G!D cannot be so described - Torah is not G!D. i will also disagree with you on the second part, because if G!D Is All, then All must include evil. ultimately, we do not admit that evil has any true reality, as it consists of a absence of or action against good, but as a concept, it is very much part of G!D - look in isaiah, 45:7:

    now we can argue with pretty much anything, but we don't argue with that.

    i see what you're saying, but however things look to G!D and Torah we cannot, as humans, experience all of them in those terms. i suppose what i am saying is that you are making it sound unnecessarily simplistic and ignoring the practical consequences.

    that's not how we understand that bit at all.

    yes, i do. the locusts harmed the crops, the wild animals and animal diseases harmed domestic animals and humans and of course there's the killing of the first born, which we still fast and redeem own our first born to atone for its Divine necessity. did those egyptian first borns and animals all deserve to die? no, they didn't. however, we must accept that, at that time, in that place, G!D Felt it necessary.

    how do you "know" the "truth"?

    moses wasn't perfect by a long way - he says it himself, he had a stutter and he acknowledged always that he was but the channel through which G!D Worked - except for the one time when, in anger, he claimed power he did not have and was punished by not being able to enter the promised land. he was also somewhat tardy in circumcising his son and was punished for that too.

    we say there's no reason to say anything of the sort. we don't believe in "incarnated beings". human beings are amazing enough.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  16. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    Look I am sorry I got upset with my last post to you. I didnt mean to attack you. There is a carnal mind and a divine mind even if your human. Try using your divine human mind to reason moses actions against pharoehs evil subhuman mind. When GOD helped the jews or helps anyone else with miracles its a hint about what HE is. It also reveals what we truely are and the good aspects of ourselves. Love , compassion , kindness. I know even sometimes when people do things that are wrong there may be a righteous reason behind it. I call this a gray area. However we must never confuse evil things with GOD. GOD is not some being that is evil and good. He is not subject to this condition. People are.
     
  17. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    i'm not sure i noticed, but it's nice of you to say. likewise, i'm not meaning to attack you, only to analyse what you are saying in the light of my own knowledge and experience of the areas concerned. unfortunately, what you say seems mostly based on either truisms or assertion and, similarly, i'm not exactly sure you're in a position to take such a didactic tone.

    hmm. the trouble is, you don't even need a "divine human mind for this". look at the text - pharaoh has, at all times, retained his FREE WILL. it is his own decision not to let the people go and, despite all the warnings and all the destruction and harm that is being visited on his subjects, he is still hanging on with all the ferocity of stubborn pride and arrogance - he even says "why should i recognise this G!D of yours - i never heard the Name before"! this is not the mind of a subhuman, but of a flawed human. our sages say that G!D Had compassion on the drowning egyptians when the jews sang by the reed sea.

    ok, but not only those aspects are "kind", nor are they always "kind". G!D Is also described as "TzeBhaOTh", "G!D of hosts" and "ISh MiLHaMaH" - a "man-o'war" as well as many other things - G!D Has attributes of stern judgement as well as those of compassion; and there are times when those have to be used.

    i understand what you're saying - of course i am not saying that G!D Is subject to this - it is G!D that Makes the concepts of good and evil have meaning in the first place, but it is only *real* to us, not to G!D. the trouble is that there's a theological short-circuit here; if you try and only restrict yourself to the nice, pink, fluffy and p.c. bits of G!D you are ignoring much of the reality of the universe. this is a classic christian and gnostic theological error, in our view, which bolsters a view that life is somehow bad and that you (G!D Forbid) need an "evil counterpart" of G!D like a "devil", which is not how we see things at all. it is in *our* power to do good or evil just like G!D - and it is up to us to use that power wisely.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  18. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    Some years back I was given a book called signs and symbols of the holy bible. This book showed that say frogs for example didnt actually mean frogs but was used to symbolically represent bringers of prosperity or bringers of doom. Dont you think that something evil like pharoeh using jews as slaves that holy actions by god bringing down his kingdom and freeing the jews is the real story? Miracles. Pharoeh was worshipping false gods using black magic and through moses gods power defeated it. Good verses evil. Thats what freed the jews.
     
  19. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    One more point are you aware that Hitler and the nazi party were trying to do the same thing. You do not see that in history books but do some research. They were very much into the occult and I do not want to talk about what they did to jews behind the scenes in their rituals but they were trying to do what pharoeh did back in egypt. Food for thought.
     
  20. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    hmm. you are aware, of course, that there are multiple interpretative schema that can be used? frogs don't mean frogs, eh? how about jews, does that still mean us, or is someone else the jews nowadays? that's usually how it ends up with christian symbolism.
    the real story, for me, is about how we learned what freedom was by experiencing slavery and then having to learn what freedom meant. what it meant to truly take responsibility for your own actions and lives. what it meant to choose freely to worship G!D and accept and keep the Torah. the amazing thing is the promise that we have kept for 3,000 years now.

    that's a detail. pharaoh could have freed us at any time. he chose not to, though he was free to do so. instead, he wished to maintain his own illusions and wickedness. when he finally caved, out we walked. G!D's Power, directly Revealed, enabled us to leave egypt and become who we were destined to become.

    what a simplistic view of it.

    yes, i think that's very much the point. i very much wish that they had stuck to all that occultist stuff, rather than actually trying to physically kill people. my father-in-law's family were mostly murdered in auschwitz; they weren't killed by rituals, but by more prosaically physical methods. consequently, our attitude is pretty much "sticks and stones may break our bones but names will never hurt us" when it comes to this stuff. i am pretty confident that my spiritual protection against occult harm is effective, but when it comes to nazis, i'd prefer to rely on a big fecking knife than a well-checked mezuzah. muhammad had a great saying for this type of occasion:

    "trust in G!D - but remember to tie up your camel!"

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     

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