sorry, i've been too busy to respond to this, but:
Ben Masada said:
See verse 16. "The Lord will save me from the power of sheol," which means death. Therefore, what I said stands.
no. no, i don't see that at all. you are taking a very narrow interpretation ("temporary escape from death") which is not at all warranted by psalms 49:15, nor can i agree that this backs up your argument about sheol='olam ha-ba, which i find strains credulity.
I don't know wherefrom you got "and afterwards among the dead."
seems to me that this is the significance of the hebrew "WeAH
Only Christian sages disagree with me. I don't find disagreement in our sages. Unless you take them literally for what they say.
why should you imagine that they do not believe literally in 'olam ha-ba, when this belief has continued to this day unchallenged by the rishonim or aharonim? i am astonished that you think this is the position of the sages.
Are you suggesting that I should not listen to the Scriptures but to the midrashim of the sages? That's a no no.
i'm not suggesting that. i'm suggesting that the scriptures do not support your point of view and i'm suggesting that the sages also disagree with it; my point of view is in accord with theirs.
And I do agree with the sage's midrashim but not on a literal basis.
well that is what midrash is for, but it doesn't get past the fact that she'ol does not mean 'olam ha-ba and never has done according to any source i have seen to date.
The term "neshamah" for the breath of life which returns to God Who gave it is nothing more than an embellishment.
dude, *everything* to do with souls is speculative, which means that one is entitled to take any reasonable view. i'm simply pointing out one view of this which i find to be both logical and compelling.
Neshamah here means breath of life and nothing else.
again, you're being categorical when you have absolutely no reason to suppose this is possible.
And the idea to return for another gilgul is absolutely inappropriate. Even if you believe in the Christian resurrection of the dead you will be in trouble to explain it vis-a-vis gilgul.
who's talking about the christian resurrection of the dead? and how exactly is this "inappropriate"? are you an expert in soul transmigration theory? i don't claim that for myself, but i am certainly familiar with a number of possibilities.
Here you should wait till the fat lady sings before shouting vitory if you haven't yet read the Rambam's "Guide for the Perplexed". Good luck!
hah! i don't think *anyone* should claim victory based on the guide. i'm not unfamiliar with it, but you should hardly rush to it as a statement of normative jewish thought, even if you understand it extraordinarily well. it is a highly ambiguous text. if you want to bring me some sources from it, we can discuss it, but i think, once again, you are being awfully quick to dismiss any other possibility but your own point of view.
The most hurtful thing about all of this is that the Aryans (Irano-Afghans) were the first monotheists and they saved the Jews, and the were at war with the Romans, and thousands of years later both the Jews and the Romans in so many words stole their religion, and blah blah blah blah
aside from the fact that this is utter nonsense, do you have any other point, ever, to make, in any discussion? suppose for the sake of argument we all say, yes, mojobadshah, you're right, we all stole everything we know from the "aryans", do you have anything, at all, else to add? because you have flogged this idea to death and it's getting really, really boring, quite apart from the fact that i don't think anyone is convinced.
The question Freud tried to answer, even if not to everybody’s satisfaction, was why Moses had instituted an Egyptian practice of male circumcision among the Israelites. Being, as he was, a rationalist, I think the fact that the practice predated the Exodus was convincing enough to him that it did not originate with the Israelites.
but unfortunately, this is the same sort of approach that ends up concluding that because the mayans also had pyramids, they must have known the egyptians. convergent evolution, i think, explains it rather better. do the egyptians ever say *why* they circumcise? because we certainly do, although i think it's much later on.
Anyway, all of that for the moment aside, the reason I brought Freud into this discussion was in response to Ben’s contention; I claim that what can be said of Christianity and Islam -that they draw from (or, less charitably, even despoil) Judaism can be and has been said of Judaism (vis-a-vis other religions) as well. It seems to me that most religions, when traced, are to some extent syncretic, Judaism not excepted.
and, if you ask me, i don't think that's horribly controversial, except until one starts to be categorical about a) what definitely happened and b) what the significance of it is. for example, we are not especially disturbed by the idea that we picked various bits of stuff around concepts and practice up in egypt, mesopotamia, persia etc, but more by the implications of what we might conclude as a result. examples of the sort of things that are both unwarranted and over-the-top might include:
1. the jews nicked everything from the zoroastrians
2. the jews nicked everything from the egyptians
3. the jews nicked everything from the mesopotamians
4. the jews nicked everything from the local canaanites
we believe the real story is rather more complex and subtle, but attempts to shoehorn it into the above straitjackets are both unhelpful and untenable.
If one is reluctant to accept Freud’s controversial theses, and this I understand, please consider that Maimonides, in his Guide, says something similar, but in this case about animal sacrifice rather than male circumcision.
yes, i'm aware of that, that's one of the reasons i don't reject the idea of borrowing, but there's a big difference between mirroring behaviours for, say, reasons of market norms ("how's it proper religion if there aren't any sacrifices???" - see my conversation between a hypothetical mayan and an egyptian here: http://www.interfaith.org/forum/a-new-member-has-some-14096-3.html#post248572
) and wholesale plundering with consequent "theft of IP" and misrepresentation.
As I read him, he argues that the practice of ritual, blood sacrifice was “borrowed” from pagan, or neighboring, sources and that the God of Israel, not wanting to wean the Israelites too radically of their preferences, permitted the practice, modified it, and allowed it to continue until such time as a purer form of worship could be realized.
but, as you are aware, circumcision has not gone down the same route...
(I am not quite sure when that is supposed to be, given that, according to many ultra-Orthodox, the Messiah of Judaism is going to reinstitute the practice once the Temple is rebuilt.)
not just "many ultra-orthodox". we're not entirely sure what form the rebuilt Temple is likely to be, but the literalists certainly expect animal sacrifice to resume.
Allow me, then, to rephrase the question. From Heinrich Graetz and backwards, I have not known Jewish historians recording Jewish history to rely upon Christians (or anybody else) for the record of events as they transpired. Therefore, given that Maimonides, a by definition reflective historian according to Hegel, says, in his Epistle, that Jewish sages first tried and then convicted Jesus (op cit), is it safe to conclude that, in writing this, he drew upon Jewish rather than Christian sources for his knowledge of the events?
i don't believe so, because there are no jewish sources that i am aware of that deal with these events. i think he's being anecdotal. i don't know what a hegelian "reflective historian" is, but i've never thought of maimonides as any kind of historian - that's just not his bag, baby. his comments on jesus, in the context, are simply, to me, an aside illustrating the ludicrousness from his PoV of the claim (of huge contemporary significance) that jesus qualified as a bona fide messiah.
“My yoke is easy and my burden is light,” Jesus is said to have said, and, in contrast, I have an image of Spinoza, like Prometheus, being bound, but this time by phylacteries and the full weight of the Law –by the "small print," as it were.
hah. we do have a phrase, "the yoke of the commandments", which jesus may be alluding to here, but it's typically used with significant irony; obviously we wouldn't consider it unpleasant!