Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Ben Masada, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Hey Servetus, we also have our "demons." When Jeremiah referred to Israel as a People to remain before the Lord forever, according to Jeremiah 31:35-37, that word "before" means conditional promise. As long we make good on our part as the Covenant with God is concerned. The bottom line though is that it does not matter if some fruits get spoiled in the basket, the cleasing will be done through suffering in exiles and we, as a People, are taken back. That's how it is with us. Of the other nations, according to Jeremiah 46:28, God will eventually make an end of them; but of Israel He will only chastise us as we deserve.
    Ben
     
  2. Servetus

    Servetus New Member

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    I know, Ben, but you also have some fine men (such as yourself) and superlative violinists, such as Itzhak Perlman.

    Even though, as you have expressly wished, I spar with you sometimes, I wish you all the best. If the means be just, and if you Jews as a nation and people have some as yet largely unfulfilled destiny to be a light unto (and not white phosphorous dropping upon) the rest of us, my Anglo-Saxon self included, then I think that is fine. I am ready and will try to encourage you.

    I don’t see how either Bernie Madoff or Semion Mogilevich has exactly suffered in exile, but, as the adolescents who sometimes surround me say, whatever.

    Sorry. Could you please explain that last sentence? One might reasonably infer that you are operating under what impresses me as the delusion that some sweet day only Jews and the Jewish nation will inherit the Earth. If so, that, I must say, is a grotesque parody of the beatitude.


    Serv
     
  3. showme

    showme New Member

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    I think your paraphrasing of Jeremiah 46:28 comes up a little short.
    Jeremiah 46:28, "For I shall make a full end of all the nations where I have driven you. Yet I shall not make a full end of you;"

    And what nations are located where I have driven you, and what are the parameters for answering this question? And what would a partial end of "you" entail? I understand a parallel to Jer 46:28 existed for Joshua, whereas all the nations of the land they were given were destroyed, but it seems a stretch to exterminate all nations, especially when jewish definition of being a jew, could be argued among reasoned men. It seems most of the bible family lines are defined by male parentage, but the jewish version is female orientated. I think there is a little of the traditions of men being inserted into your thought process. I think that by abiding by Dt 19:15, you might get a more coherent interpretation of various prophecies. They need to fit together. How will the Lord smite the nations who do not keep the "feast of booths", if they are all eliminated? (Ze 14:18)
     
  4. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    so, by this light, pretty much any statement made by any christian anywhere is unacceptable to you. i am bound to ask, where do you actually get off? if all you are here to do on an interfaith dialogue site is bitch at christians, what the arse is the point? go read the code of conduct, dude, i am getting a bit fed up with your attitude. you are entirely too dogmatic and could do with a bit of empathy. i suggest you have a think, or prepare to be moderated more aggressively.

    umph... i think that deserves its own thread; it sounds a little simplistic to me.

    i don't think i'd use the word "absolute" given the importance of aristotle and other greek philosophy during the gaonic period and the sephardic golden age. certainly another important moses was in breach of this principle!

    i'd just say "insularity". national self-determination is not something that i object to, but the excesses of nationalism are. endogamy also need not be insular and, historically, can be clearly shown to have been a minor consideration:

    Jewish ethnic divisions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    in short, we seem to have been pretty exogamous for people who are supposed not to be, which either indicates a lot of conversion, a lot of cossack rapists or a more relaxed attitude. whilst i myself would not look out of place walking down the street in baghdad, karachi or indeed madrid, the redoutable mrs bananabrain (and indeed the mini-bananas) would be unlikely to raise eyebrows in kiev, odessa or indeed vienna. that is not to say that there aren't pools of endogamy, which are more prevalent in the ultra-orthodox world, with a consequent rise in congenital conditions such as tay-sachs. as in most things, a happy medium is no doubt advisable.

    spinoza and mendelssohn may have broken out of that mould, but it did not result in a sustainable jewish culture, despite their undoubted use to wider culture. of course, it was this tendency that then drove the "scientific" jew-hatred of the post-enlightenment period; we could no longer be discriminated against on solely religious grounds, so it was necessary to invent spurious racial grounds on which to do so.

    i hope it was meant endearingly; i struggle to identify a context in which such an unpleasant epithet can be used accordingly, but little surprises me these days.

    i don't really see a good reason for you to keep referring to this, as if there wasn't more and worse being widely practised; i'm not debating the rights and wrongs of it, nor am i arguing for special treatment, but i am sure you wouldn't constantly refer to, say, the sinking of the general belgrano if talking to a falkland islander, as it might be thought tasteless.

    would you not say that both have become somewhat impoverished spiritually?

    it is quite a stretch to say the least. i would not understand this passage in that way at all, but ben's interpretations seem to be a law unto themselves.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  5. Servetus

    Servetus New Member

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    We can have a go in another thread, if you wish. Walt & Mearsheimer, as I understand, are considered "Realists." They (and their school) are having a monumental tug with neo-Conservatives. I see it as yet another in a series of conflicts between McDonalds and Burger King, Coke and Pepsi: in any case, at the end of the day, one gets a burger and soda whichever of the two wins.

    Right. Absolute was too strong a term. What would you say was the objection to Spinoza's venturing out and learning modern languages?

    There is, in my opinion, such a thing as too much insularity (e.g., and in general, the British National Party). For now, I will continue to use the word.

    With "excesses" in this case being a matter of interpretation, naturally. One person's excess is another person's right to self-determination and one person's terrorist is another's freedom fighter.

    Good point.

    Spot on.

    Is sustainable Jewish culture necessarily defined by its separation and exclusiveness?

    The Germans enacted endogamy with a vengeance.

    Maybe, now that you mention it, Esther was calling me a pickannini. But I love her anyway and still remember her blintzes.

    Because I am still sparring with Ben Masada, who seems to expect capitulation rather than dialog from Christians, and who, when he didn't deny that it happened, justified the use of collective punishment against those whom he called Children of Darkness, the Palestinians. He told Andrew that he was here to be a "light unto the Gentiles," and I wonder what he meant by it, exactly. "Light" can sometimes burn.

    Neither Ben nor I is (I think it's singular) running for Mr. Congeniality and neither, for that matter, do I wish to seem boorish. I might be more vocal about the General Belgrano if I, as an American tax-payer, had been made to finance and support the operation. At any rate, the question remains: does "fighting the battles of the Lord," (Maimonides' expression concerning the Messiah) include such things as dropping white phosphorus upon Palestinians in the Gaza Strip? Is this what is meant, for instance, by the verse (somewhere in scripture), "not by might, not by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord." I see Ehud Barak is attempting to revive the policy of collective punishment which, in one of its phases and forms, gave rise to Operation Cast Lead. The saga continues.

    Yes, but I wouldn't attribute the impoverishment to exile, except in a spiritual sense of ego separation from Deity. I don't see how being separated from the nation-state of Israel, for instance, was the source of their impoverishment.

    Sorry if things get a bit prickly, sometimes, but these are often sensitive issues and I know of no other way to address them.

    Best regards,


    Serv
     
  6. Servetus

    Servetus New Member

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    Perhaps, more accurately, I should simply note that both Spinoza and Moses Mendelssohn broke with their religious tradition and learned Latin and thus entered the world of European philosophy.
     
  7. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    start it up then - "politics and society" is the place to put it. my take on this is that you're thinking along the wrong axes of differentiation. if there is a "realist" vs "neo-con" worldview divide (i have more than once been accused of being a "neo-con", which i find laughably absurd) it is simply a symptom of a clash of values within the same value system, whereas there is a far larger divide between *value systems themselves*. for me, this can be best explained by "spiral dynamics", the fancy name for gravesian theory; both are "individualist-rationalist-scientistic" views in mutual conflict, but both defined against the earlier-order "communalist-absolutist-mythic" value system they believe they have transcended.

    i can't believe there was any objection to modern languages per se, even latin - jews have never had the option to live without a lingua-franca (hence the historic lack of traction for absolute insularity) only to what he said in it; basically, he was coming up with radical theological statements in a conservative communalist environment - in fact, it's exactly the gravesian transition that i've just mentioned in the previous paragraph, only in direct conflict with the previous value system that he was transitioning out of.

    precisely my point. the bnp are the reductio ad absurdum of the unexceptionable, though limited concept of the nation-state and national self-determination, based on a mistaken concept of congruence between one set of ethnicities and nationhood.

    yes and no. for example, i cannot consider it justified to support the right of jews, having decided that they constitute a nation, to national self-determination and yet deny the same right to palestinians. however, one cannot reduce all distinctions to interpretative semantics, in my view. i tend to appeal in such cases to the "fair and reasonable" test, as a reasonable individual, although there are other ways of making this decision. there is difference between whether one considers a given action "reasonable", "justified" or "productive". it really depends on what one's purpose is. for me, genocidal intent is never any of these, whereas strategic or tactical intent can be "productive" without being "justified" and may be "reasonable" within a given set of circumstances. as you can see, this can hardly be translated into absolute principles about particular types of actions, or, to be more succinct - it depends.

    no; although some element of separation and exclusiveness is necessary to some extent there are circumstances when both their importance and the degree to which they are defining characteristics are neither reasonable, justified or productive; the haredi sector in israel being a case in point; in this case the size of the sector makes this strategy counterproductive and unreasonable, whereas in, say, gateshead, it might be reasonable, or in the soviet union, justified or, in C19th lithuania, productive. however, for me, if you're looking at a sustainable culture, i don't believe that sub-segments can be sustainable in their own right. i believe in a portfolio approach; we need nutty-beards for certain things just as we need deli-nebbishes and beach-commandos for others. i just don't put nutty-beards in charge of the treasury, deli-nebbishes in charge of foreign policy and beach-commandos in charge of learning culture.

    and in a way that was neither reasonable nor justified, although it might well have been "productive".

    in which i have warned him that he is in breach of this site's code of conduct.

    a statement which he considers reasonable, justified and productive and which i am somewhat less sanguine about to say the least. that doesn't mean i'm inclined to bend over for hamas.

    it's a well-known phrase but i think you are right to pick it up in this way.

    president reagan was certainly supportive of mrs thatcher at the time. however conveniently controversial the attack is depicted as being by the argentinians, its introduction into casual conversation with a falklander would be construed as an attempt to divert the discussion into emotive territory rather than deal with the plain facts of the matter, namely that the sinking of the belgrano was done in the defence of the islands against a dictatorship bent on depriving citizens of another country of their right to democractic self-determination. similarly, if i were talking (as i often do) to an argentinian, i would be unlikely to introduce this into the conversation if i wanted it to remain civil.

    that would depend on whether such an action would be considered justifiable as part of a "milhemet mitzvah", which i would be unlikely.

    well, clearly not, which is pretty much why ben and i are in fundamental disagreement on how this is to be interpreted.

    i guess that's the point i'm making. such people are in double exile from what is known in the mystical tradition as "keneseth yisrael", the "community of israel". exile is a quite powerful anagogical device to us.

    no, neither would i; it is not the nation-state that is the source of spiritual uplift, vital though this status is at this point in time for temporary, pragmatic convenience, but the deeper connection to the Land that flows from the Torah; if you not connected to the latter by virtue of failing to observe its precepts, you are unconnected from the Source of blessing and cannot, as we say, "inherit the Land". bear in mind that this is a space which is highly intolerant of the spiritually corrupt, something which those who inhabit it at present, jewish or otherwise, would do well to remember.

    your sensitivity is appreciated.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  8. Servetus

    Servetus New Member

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    Done. Please find it here.
     
  9. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Usually, after a generation of about 40 years of exile, the only thing we suffer is nostalgia for the Land of Israel. In a letter to the exiles in Babylon Jeremiah instructed them "To promote the welfare of the city, for upon its welfare depends your own." (Jer. 29:7) It means that Jews usually make of the place wherever they are richer and rich themselves in the process.

    An evidence of the fact is what happened to Egypt during the time of Joseph haTzadik.

    Regarding that sentence in Jeremiah 46:28, which says that of the other nations, Adonai will, eventually, make an end of them, but of Israel, He will only chastise us as we deserve, speaks by itself of what Mark Twain understood about the Jewish People in his Essay about the Jews.

    THE ESSAY OF MARK TWAIN ABOUT THE JEWS

    "If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way.

    Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

    His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.

    He has made a marvellous fight in the world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.

    The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed suit, and made a vast noise, and they are gone. Other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it has burned out, and they sit either in twilight now, or have vanished.

    The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?

    Mark Twain
     
  10. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Is there any place on earth where Jews are not represented somehow? In "eventually God will make an end of the nations" where they are, is cutely understood in the "Essay of Mark Twain about the Jews." Have you ever read it? And in "of Israel I will only chastise them as they deserve" means only suffering and not rejection as what happened to the Ten Tribes, according to Psalm 78:67-69. Then, Jeremiah did declare that Israel would remain as a People before the Lord forever. (Jer. 31:35-37) It means that an end of Israel was not in the agenda.

    And for Zechariah 14:18, that, IMO, was a reference to the Jews who fled to Egypt after the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians, considering that the commandment to keep the Feast of Booth was for the Jews only and not for the Gentiles, it applied to those Jews.
    Ben
     
  11. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    What, for heaven's sake, do you want from me, to change my mind and become a Christian? Are we all here with the mind to proselytize each other? Aren't we here with the intent to discuss each other's ways of loonking at life's perspectives? Why on the world to you keep threatening me with aggressinve behavior? What about if I have my mind made up to remain as a Jew? Am I supposed to be banned because I am Jewish? I am sorry, but if Christian posters don't have what it takes to persuade me into becoming a Christian, it is only obvious that I should continue unmovable in my mental orientation as a Jew. Is it a sin bordering on being banned?
    Ben
     
  12. BrotherMichaelSky

    BrotherMichaelSky New Member

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    I don't care who ya are - That right there was funny.....
    :)

    Personally, I have been searching for a talkative Jew....
    But I'm betting Ima get booted before you...
    maybe you should, like, i don't know.... give me your pager number or something..... :)
     
  13. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    clearly not. i am jewish myself and intend to remain so. i don't know how you get that from what i have said; all i have asked is that you be civil and less accusatory.

    again, clearly not, but you often seem to be labouring under the impression that this is an appropriate place for you to spend your time lecturing christians about their sins over the centuries and, frankly, in major guilt-tripping. that is *not* dialogue. why not actually *ask* people what they think rather than always coming at it as "when did you quit beating your wife?"

    well, yours seems to be "everyone's out to get me and to convert me to christianity and all christianity is basically anti-jewish polemic and I WON'T STAND FOR IT I WON'T I WON'T" - it comes across as somewhat hysterical.

    because you keep indulging in it?

    clearly there's no issue with that. don't be silly.

    er... what? i have been moderating on this board for nigh-on ten years and that is simply mad. it is not being jewish that will get you censured, but insisting that you know better than someone else what *they* are thinking. nobody is attacking you, but you are spending an awful lot of time attacking christianity, as if that's any way to create dialogue.

    is that what you think their job is here? you are misinformed. nobody is trying to "persuade you" to become a christian - point it to me and i'll censure them as well. just calm the feck down. you are great at starting discussions and we value that, but you need to do so in a less accusatory, self-righteous fashion.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Ben the issue folks have is not trying to convert you, it
    s your trying to convert them. As a jew, why do you spend so much time researching Christianity and trying to tell Christians what to think? You seem to live in the New Testament and wish to tell everyone what these books say.

    The majority of my Jewish friends I'll admit are social jews, they go for the pomp and circumstance and the high holy days, enjoy the meals and do what is required for family... The orthodox ones and more serious ones find plenty in life and Judaism to keep them busy.... they don't enfuse themselves in things they don't believe in.
     
  15. Servetus

    Servetus New Member

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    Hi Ben,

    You quoted Mark Twain as saying:

    Mr. Twain has in this case apparently allowed his hyperbole to obscure the facts. The Hindus, after these many centuries, are still chanting Sanskrit and singing the Rig-Veda; the Persians have morphed into Iranians; the Egyptians are converted, for the most part, to Islam; the Greeks have gone modern and are rebelling against the German-dominated Euro and some Romans sit in the Vatican while others are in "New Rome," i.e., Washington, D.C.

    It seems to me that, if, as you (continue to) seem to suggest, your deity is the great cleanser of all ethnicities except one, the Jewish, there is still a whole lot of ethnic cleansing yet to be done.

    Serv
     
  16. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Sorry Brother, those words of mine above were not addressed to you. But that's okay if you are not to take them personally.
    Ben
     
  17. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    This is just to tell you that your message got through me. Thanks.
    Ben
     
  18. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    My mission is simply to stand for Judaism when I see the Pauline policy of Replacement Theology being promoted. That's what originally led me into the research of the NT. Then, I have been at it to the day.
    Ben
     
  19. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Yes, there is indeed some hyperbolic exaggeration in the language of Mark Twain. But the main point is to bring to mind that those who worked to erase Israel from the map of the world have rather erased themselves than Israel. As a good evidence of the fact, were the Nazis. Where are they now? On the other hand, "Am Israel chai" alive and kicking. Now, metaphorically, the Prophets tried to remind us of Divine ethnicity cleasing. Literally, I am mute to assert because it would be an anthropomorphic idea of God. Somehow, reality finds its way through.
    Ben
     
  20. BrotherMichaelSky

    BrotherMichaelSky New Member

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    Oh no- i did not take them personally.
    But what i did do, was empathize with the sentiment...

    and it IS funny that we each feel at times, the NEED to defend our personal view..... when we know that deep down inside - NONE OF US KNOWS enough of the Truth to pass judgement on the beliefs of others...
    It means so much to us that we understand, but each and every one of us are the ones standing in the way of that enlightenment...

    and we simply cannot help ourselves....

    My amusement was a general thing - pointed at all of us - myself included...

    and if i DO take your words personally - i can only thank you for the wake up call....

    's'all good my friend - but relax a little... your words are NOT REALLY for those who disagree.. they are for us all....
    edit: as one with rather unusual concepts to share - I have much familiarity with your frustration - perhaps even more so that those with more, shall we say, Orthodox views.......
     

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