Discussion in 'Ancient History and Mythology' started by iBrian, Sep 7, 2003.
i may do, but i think your point nonetheless escapes me.
Sardonic humor, anyone?
...in the prayer liturgy, the Divine is addressed in both masculine and feminine language-forms, depending on what is being said, which is generally enough to keep one on one's toes.
You see, for me humor can also consist in the clash between the solemn and the earthy.
The prayer liturgy is solemn, switching back and forth from masculine to feminine in addressing the sublime is awkward; and you thus observe in some kind of conclusion that the exercise is generally enough to keep one on one's toes: the mental incompatibility you discern and represent with the physical discomfort of standing on one's toes.
For me, your conclusion indicates sardonic humor on your part in rounding up the clash between the solemnity of prayer liturgy and the awkward character of the sublime being addressed both alternately in the masculine and in the feminine language-forms.
I guess others will not see any sardonic humor there; and you might not be aware of how your words might appear to people like me.
Susma Rio Sep
susma, i'm not aware of feeling any awkwardness when i use the liturgical forms. i think you're drawing conclusions based on bunch of *your* assumptions - *again* rather than my inner experience of the text and language, which - unless i miss my guess - you're not actually familiar with.
My point was merely to indicate that Judaism is perhaps a little more diverse than the far-right picture that Susma appeared to be painting in his earlier post.
if you think fat arik is far-right you should see some of the maniacs they have in the knesset. and far-left, too - not that either of these words have any meaning in the israeli political context.
All kinds of Jews
There must be corresponding kinds of Jews to kinds of Christians.
Christians are divided into various segments on the basis of strength and depth of commitment: from very liberal to very fundamentalist.
Then among Christians there are those who are like me, still retaining the habits of Christianity but not a measure of commitment that should earn them a choice place in the Kingdom.
There are even atheist Christians, meaning they don't believe in God, but they celebrate Christmas, St. Valentine's Day, go for church wedding and reigious burial.
In that range from liberal to fundamentalism and even atheism at one end to fanaticism at the opposite end, among Jews, where would you put yourself?
More specifically, do you believe that the Jews are the chosen people of God, and that you being one is chosen by God, and therefore heir to His promises?
Susma Rio Sep
there are indeed many kinds of jews, but they do not necessarily correspond to different types of christian, because we have a different history, a different set of paradigms and have developed in different ways because of this. perhaps a decent method of classification/typology would be along the following dimensions:
1. acceptance of the "13 principles" of maimonides (in some form, maybe not his exact wording etc)
2. acceptance of the binding nature of halacha and the halachic process
3. synagogue membership
5. degree of religious observance
6. ethnic background
7. national acculturation
8. attitude to "Torah min ha-shamayim" (or "Torah from heaven")
9. attitude to ritual
10. attitude to zionism and the state of israel
11. aspirations for the future of the israel/palestine problem
12. attitude to the esoteric/mystical tradition
in these terms, i could categorise myself as:
1. accepting of the traditional principles (although not necessarily as worded by maimonides)
2. accepting the binding nature of halacha and its process, although not necessarily agreeing with the opinions held by the power-players in this world at the present time
3. belonging to a "masorti" UK synagogue for various 'political' reasons to do with my family and the UK community
4. "post-denominational"/klal yisrael albeit with a reasoned traditionalist bias
5. on a scale of 0 (doesn't know the names of festivals) to 10 (black-hat ultra-orthodox) about 6.5
7. ethno-british education in mainstream society, floating voter, active citizen
8. that's the most convincing explanation i have yet heard
10. good zionist education via youth movements, educated criticism
11. two-state with religious coexistence, mutual respect, security, trade, cooperation, probably not likely for at least another couple of decades
12. deep commitment
clear as mud?
But there are atheist Jews, i.e., who don't believe in any God, and don't believe in and don't observe the Sabbath; and they don't believe that Jews are the chosen people of God or Jaweh, meaning they don't believe in any kind of chosen people of any God.
You are not one of them. You believe in Jaweh, you believe in the Jews or your people being the chosen people of God, you believe in observing the Sabbath. You are different from the Jews described above.
Now, the atheist Jews, they might be ethnocentric but purely on their identity as a people, not on the religion of their fellow "ethno-pat"
Jews who are faithful to Jaweh and keep their religious observances faithfully.
Susma Rio Sep
indeed susma, but these atheist jews, from the traditionalist end of the religious dimensions described above, would not be considered any less jewish, although perhaps they would be considered heretics, apostates, self-haters, assimilationists or whatever. where one stands on the various dimensions determines one's attitudes. however, i think i am not following your point again.
Here's my point.
Here is my point, Banana:
Jews who are atheists are described above in somewhat negative labels -- of course according to the peculiar attitudes of theistic Jews.
Will you one day become one, an atheistic or just an agnostic Jew, after you see the light which they have seen, and then not describe them and then yourself by that time in the somewhat negative labels used in the citation above -- of couse I am not saying that you do, just that if you in fact do have the kind of attitude toward them that inclines you to use those labels?
A personal question, if I may, wouldn't you be more free if you should be liberated from your present religious convictions?
Susma Rio Sep
well, yes, but you have to understand that these are the more extreme terms. for example, i could myself be described by them by the sort of people who are accustomed to viewing diversity as threatening. one of the things about halacha is that it has been codified into 613 commandments, 248 positive ("thou shalt") and 365 negative ("thou shalt not") and whether one fulfils them or not can easily be used as a yardstick by simplistic thinkers. the point is that only G!D can tell whether a given action or forbearance is *ultimately and objectively* "right" or "wrong". all we can ever do is make an educated guess. it is also undeniable that being rude or prejudiced about people who may not deserve it is a sin in itself.
you see, the way you put that assumes that they are right to be atheistic/agnostic and i am wrong not to be. it's these kind of remarks which get up religious people's noses, that we're basically benighted, deluded, backwards barbarians or something. look, i don't misunderstand what they believe, you know; i've come from a non-traditional background and i'm perfectly familiar with a wide range of attitudes, some of which i used to share. i just think that the traditional way makes more sense and addresses the questions better and have therefore chosen to try and live my life in accordance with this. however, it is not consequently for me to go and make miserable the lives of those who disagree with me; i can respect their qualities and aspirations without respecting their conclusions - nor am i obliged to admit that they are correct, even if i think it is wrong to describe them in offensive and counterproductive terms. it is possible to respectfully disagree.
again, you're phrasing it in terms of "what if you quit beating your wife?" - freedom *from* is different from freedom *to*. in common with many non-religious (and religious) jews, i don't think you understand the point of religious judaism. in contrast to what you may believe, my beliefs and practices liberate me. do you have to go into the office on saturdays? i don't. can you guarantee absolutely, 100% of the time, what time you will be home on friday night? i can. for 25 hours a week and various other days during the year, i am completely liberated from work. can you say the same?
Susma Rio Sep, it should not be acceptable to question another's belief here on comparative-religion.com, excepting where it may lead to illuminating discussion to the benefit of both parties.
In this instance, it looks as if it leads to derogatory judgement, which could be perceived as injurous to one.
I would ask you courteously to think carefully about your posting, and ensure that where you question beliefs, you do so with the sensitives of those you offer questions to in mind. That is what this site is for.
Thanks, Brian, I will be guided accordingly.
And you are doing a good job.
Susma Rio Sep
The standard explanation of the goddess comes from the miracle of child birth. Women gave birth to children and so a goddess worship was initiated. When it was discovered the male was involved, they made her a consort who was also her father or creator. The breaking of water was associated with child birth so many times these goddesses were associated with the sea.
Another explanation is that all those statues of nude pregnant women is nothing more than ancient pornography.
In the Caananite religion Ashera was the consort of Jehovah. She received some honorable mentions in the Old Testament, but never made it to the goddess level.
From my own research the goddess would have to center around the constellation Virgo, although not limit exclusively to Virgo. Virgo is placed at the time of harvest. Ceres, from which we get the word Cereal is a classic example. This goddess would become the consort of the solar god located in Leo, where the summer solstice existed in ancient times. They are joined at the star Sarcam, the tail of Leo and head of Virgo. In Babylon she would be the consort of gods and a virgin of mortal men. She was both a Holy Whore and a Virgin, a dualism which eventually translate into two separte people by the time of the New Testament (Mary and Mary).
The consort of Adam, taken from his rib in the OT was originally nameless in my research. Adam or man was kicked out of the Eden and he took a separate wife. The woman was never kicked out, although it is cleared the text was later doctored to indicate it was.
Under the influence of Babylon, Adam's consort was named Lilith. The word is derived from the Babylonian-Assyrian word "lilitu" meaning a "female demon or wind spirit." She appears on as early as 2000 BC in Sumeria as "Lillake." She was never formally added to OT texts and only survived as a legend into Hebrew midrashes.
Eve was added to the OT under the influence of the Hittites. She was based on their goddess Heba, who is typically depicted as riding on a lion (Leo/Adam). She was equated to Anath and Ishtar both and worshipped in Jerusalem in the 14th century BCE.
More on ancient pornography, please.
Thanks for your very informative post above. Most posts on this topic of ancient goddesses and artifacts about them are rather very abstrusely composed -- my experience in trying to make sense of them, owing to my limited intelligence, most probably. You have written with customary acquaintance and even authority from personal investigation, research, consideration. And you have expounded so as to be understandable to common folks like the undersigned. Thanks.
I have the suspicion that a lot of figurines about goddesses in the ancient Middle East are actually naughty representations of pornographic prurience: like those big fat women with very small little men clinging like mites to them.
Tell me more about ancient pornography which might not be as damnable as today in our puritanized civilization, though everyday getting to be more and more de-prudish-ised.
Susma Rio Sep
I am not sure where to start. The question might be asked to define pornography. Perhaps ancient erotica might be a better title.
Religion and sex were very much combined. Are the Songs of Solomon erotic? The Babylonian religious texts tended to be erotic:
‘As for me, Inanna,
Who will plow my vulva!
Who will plow my high field!
Who will plow my wet ground!
‘As for me, the young woman,
Who will plow my vulva!
Who will station the ox there!
Who will plow my vulva!’
‘Great Lady, the king will plow your vulva.
I, Dumuzi the King, will plow your vulva.”
‘Then plow my vulva, man of my heart!
Plow my vulva!’
‘He shaped my loins with his fair hands,
The shepherd Dumuzi filled my lap with cream and milk,
He stroked my pubic hair, He watered my womb.
He laid his hands on my holy vulva,
He smoothed my black boat with cream,
He quickened my narrow boat with milk,
He caressed me on the bed.
‘Now I will caress my high priest on the bed,
I will caress the faithful shepherd Dumuzi,
I will caress his loins, the shepherdship of the land,
I will decree a sweet fate for him.’”
These were brother and sister. Dumuzi was the autumn sacrifice. From my own personal research -Astroloically he would be the same as Uriah in the star Antares, and Inanna would be Bethsheba a star in Sagittarius located at the top of the bow.
I am not sure of the need for graphic pornography. Nudity would be common. Families lived in single room dwellings and parents had many children- you do the math.
Prostitution was very common. Women worked as prostitutes to serve their god/goddess and collect money for the temple. Some cultures required this such as the Amorites. Tamar was of that culture.
The Egyptian celebration of Bast was erotic. From Herodutus:
When the people are on their way to Bubastis, they go by river, a great number in every boat, men and women together. Some of the women make a noise with rattles, others play flutes all the way, while the rest of the women, and the men, sing and clap their hands. As they travel by river to Bubastis, whenever they come near any other town they bring their boat near the bank; then some of the women do as I have said, while some shout mockery of the women of the town; others dance, and others stand up and lift their skirts. They do this whenever they come alongside any riverside town. But when they have reached Bubastis, they make a festival with great sacrifices, and more wine is drunk at this feast than in the whole year besides. It is customary for men and women (but not children) to assemble there to the number of seven hundred thousand, as the people of the place say.
The passion play evolved from the rites of Osirus (sorry Mel- you are not the first) and so did the rites of Dionysis according to Aristotle. He also claimed this was were Greek plays originated.
I have done research on their origins which seem to pop up around 1900 BCE. My speculationis that after the Great Famine of 2350-2200 people had the idea to eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die culture or attitude. This idea would culminate into a big orgy which was held away from town out in the woods. Those who did not particiapate liked to watch and they would follow the performers into the woods and watch the "play."
When we start to discuss phallic symbols the discussion is endless, likewise with the Yoni.
Interesting topic. Why wouldn't there exist a matriarchal society in ancient times? After all, isn't it the female who not only births, but is the one whose genetic characteristics are most passed onto their descendents?
It was perhaps the advent of industrialization that gave way to a patriarchal society. Men...the builders and creators. Perhaps even the "Creator" himself?
It is said that in this world females bleed and contend and subsiquently are weaker in some ways. However, in a paradisical world (Heaven), they do not bleed and contend and are in fact equal in strengths...even perhaps a bit stronger.
No wonder more women are into Religion and more men are somewhat "bah-humbug" about it.
It's not so much a contention of "if" as to "how much". I'm sure I've read of a handful of small aboriginal matriarchal societies making their way into the 20th century.
However, the idea that humanity at some time (the Mesolithic at least, though preferably the Neolithic period) was in majority matriarchial, simply doesn't argue very well.
Yes, I can see evidence of some matriarchial organisation, and there are even hints in legends of this.
However, there remains the very real danger of some people seeing nothing more than a heavily romantised Golden Age of motherly Peace and womanly Prosperity.
leaving aside nogodnomasters' thing about everything being astrological, (which isn't going to help here as we disagree strongly) he makes a lot of observations which illustrate the things that underpin the general OT attitude to "idolatry", "heathens" or however you translate the hebrew terms that refer to the traditions and groups concerned.
men were required to do this too in some cults. this custom (and that of human, especially child sacrifice) is particularly offensive to judaism (and, i would have thought, moderns; we're in no sense talking some kind of hippy free love here) - i would hope it is obvious why. it was the tendency of the biblical israelites, led by their kings, to indulge in just these kinds of disgusting acts that incurred the wrath of G!D via the prophets on many occasions. it's not by any means about non-jews per se, it's about people who do stuff that we really, really disapprove of. the seven nations of canaan and so on were the prime offenders in this respect.
i'd be interested to know where this is from. is this about who her grandfather talmai of geshur was? was geshur an amorite city? however, the episode of amnon and tamar makes no reference that i can see to this kind of behaviour.
hmmm. i don't think industrialisation has anything to do with it. agricultural societies could be just as patriarchal.
this doesn't make sense if so much of religion is so patriarchal!
hence my comment above about the BBITS and the BTITE. an adult conception of the spiritual does not require this immature dualism.
Tamar means "palm tree" which was sacred to the love and birth goddess Isis or Ishtar among the Arabs. Arabians worshipped the great palm of Nejran by draping it with woman's clothes and ornaments. In the original story, it is suggested by Graves Tamar would have been a sacred prostitute unrelated to Judah. She is linked to Rahab by mention of the scarlet thread. Was she a definite Amorite? No, but most likely. I don't need a smoking gun to figure out the killer.
Tamar is said to have the gift of prophecy and knew her seed would be the future messiah. There is a story which claims Potiphar's wife wanted to have twins via Joseph as did Tamar.
Astrologically this story takes place in the Northern Crown which was known as the constellation of the second coming. This accounts for the red thread scene of the odd birth of the twins where the second one is born first. I seriously doubt if one child could stick its hand out, pull it back in and then have the other child pop out first. The womb is not a sack of marbles. I have never seen a discussion on the possibility anywhere.
The crown of the constellation is a symbol for wealth (Shuah). In mythology this constellation belonged to Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, whose ball of thread helped Theseus to defeat the Minotaur and escape from the labyrinth and later went with him to Naxos where he deserted her. Dionysus then meets her and takes her as his wife. He places their wedding crown in heaven. This exquisite circlet of stars looks very much like a crown. One star in this group outshines all the others; situated about halfway along the curve, this star is alpha - Coronae Borealis, Gemma or the Gem Star, also called Alphecca, “the Bright Dish” in ancient Arabia. Arabs and other Eastern people also called this constellation the “Beggar's Bowl” or the “Broken Ring.” The dish or bowl is a symbol of the womb. This would represent Tamar. Her encounter as a street prostitute with Judah would fit the “beggars bowl” aspect.
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