Interfaith Vayeilech

Discussion in 'Interfaith Parsha Project' started by dauer, Oct 2, 2005.

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  1. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    Oh yeah! Vayeilech! I'm going to be busy with Rosh Hashaning for a couple days this week so don't worry about waiting for me to dialogue with one another. You never have to worry about that anyway. This is really just an excuse for me to encourage interaction that's not only with me.

    Relevant link:

    http://www.hebcal.com/sedrot/vayeilech.html

    This guy's a little short. But don't laugh at him. He's not as short as he looks. 31:1 - 31:30

    I'm introducing this text, but feel free to bring forward anything you find that concerns you in the text if you'd like this week.

    "1. And Moses went, and he spoke the following words to all Israel. 2. He said to them, "Today I am one hundred and twenty years old. I can no longer go or come, and the Lord said to me, "You shall not cross this Jordan. 3. The Lord, your God He will cross before you; He will destroy these nations from before you so that you will possess them. Joshua he will cross before you, as the Lord has spoken."

    Why can't Moses cross over? Why can Joshua cross over? Is there anything important about the age 120? What reading can you take from this?

    Dauer
     
  2. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    i never fully understood why moses could not cross except for a penalty for smiting the rock & God had some other plan in mind.

    we have peak experiences, transition times, times of fear with potential hazards, then we have crossover times that we have never experienced which could promote a new leader.

    i see the red sea crossing as a passing of escape & liberation. the passing of Jordan is a passing of peace & rest.

    just some starter thoughts.:)
     
  3. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    Maybe not being able to go in isn't a punishment. Maybe it's a gift. Moshe's being told that his work is done. He can go join God now. Joshua will take his place and God will take care of everything for him. He's 120 after all. That's a full life. And he can no longer go or come.

    Dauer
     
  4. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    yah i think his joy was fulifilled in just seeing it & knowing he had led & did all that God had asked of Him.
    His son Gershon did not inherit the leadership. I think Aron did not enter either.
    I had always thought Moses was angry, but it appears he had unbelief & did not sanctify God at the rock.
    i always thought it was kind of a sad story right there.

    Did you ever see the old movie the devil at 4 O'Clock? the priest in that movie reminds me of Moses the way He had so much faith & helped all the children with leprosy. all the people & children made it out of the volcanoe, but he ended up not making it out.:(

    What are your opinions on these passages Dauer?



     
  5. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    I knew about the Jewish tradition that this was the reason he didn't enter the land, but I didn't know that it was based on the text itself. I would say that the plain reading in the context of the rest of the Torah is that he did not enter the land because of what happened with the rock, but I don't think that negates the reading I gave for that particular passage.

    Dauer
     
  6. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    dauer, I like your take on it that Moses was being brought back in rest, sort of a well-done good and faithful servant. But the theory about the loss of faith or transgression or whatever it might be called at the rock is what I traditionally learned.

    However, it occurs to me that this could be kind of like Jesus taking the sins of the people upon Himself at His sacrifice. I admit I do not dwell very much on this aspect of Christ's work, but it is part of my beliefs. Kind of a scape goat thing? I hope these free-wheeling thoughts are not offensive to anyone here. But, perhaps Moses' transgression (whatever it was, didn't he also murder an Egyption earlier in his life) was a symbolic act taking the burden and sins of his stiff-necked people upon himself. None of that generation made it into the promised land, and Moses was part of his generation.

    lunamoth
     
  7. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    Luna, you make a good point. And please don't worry about your associations offending anyone. This whole project purposely wants diversity, which can only happen if those involved are willing to stick their necks out a little. I think the only thing that makes the scapegoat parallel difficult is that the entire generation is also being punished, as you noted. But it's a good point you raise that Moses was a part of his generation.

    Maybe, to use your analogy a little differently, his acting up at meribah and the punishment were themselves analogous to what happened to the people, that moses was the people.

    And if you look at the life of moses, he comes from a family that has nothing. Then he is raised to the status like a prince in Egypt. That parallels the Joseph story. Then he strikes one of pharoah's men beating on a Jew and flees, which is like the ten plagues and fleeing egypt. Then he is in the wilderness with Jethro. Then he has his revelation. So maybe he is an example of the Jewish people in a way, and his acting up is reflective of their acting up, a symbol, and the same too for his being kept out.

    But how is his acting at meribah similar to the Israelites complaining? Well, it seems to me that he was indeed complaining. Both situations are of a person/group complaining about the situation.

    It might be true also, that he is suffering the same fate as them in order to show that this saga is over. The Torah had to end. Joshua had to begin. Maybe it was just in the heavens that he would die, and in this way co-create the Torah, or, from a perspective a little bit more honest to myself, maybe it's simply a marker, not that there is a Moses, but that the Mosaic period pre-Israel is over. And now the time of conquest and invasion can begin with a new figure. Simply a literary it's late and I can't remember words...

    Dauer
     
  8. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Yes, Dauer, you got what I was saying and put it even better than I did. You know what? I at first wrote "Moses was part of his people" but then edited it to say he was part of his generation. But the way you put it, Moses was the people, is what I was thinking. Cool. :cool:

    lunamoth
     
  9. pohaikawahine

    pohaikawahine Elder Member

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    I'm going to try and respond outside of my usual context .... but it is very difficult because of how I see the symbols .... I am always drawn back to them .... however here is a reference to the number 120 which may be of interest ...


    "one hundred and twenty years old .... this is the typological number for the extreme limit of human life (see Genesis 6.3, which first sets this limit), based on the Mesopotamian sexagesimal numerical system. Several eminent rabbinic sages are given biographies that divide their lives into three large periods of forty (another formulaic number), and some commentators have suggested that such a division may also be implied in the life of Moses: forty years in Egypt, forty years in Midian until his return to Egypt, forty years as leader of Israel in the wilderness." (Robert Alter)

    In the Hawaiian chant of creation there is a section that speaks to the birth of the stars .... it ends with the "forty souls of young gods that were breathed into being as the stars were being born, and they were to become the planetary lords of the stars after whom they were named .... the forty planetary lords made their entrance into the blue bowl of Po" (the reference to 'po' is the night sky and 'po' for the time of darkness is the opposite of 'ao' the time of light) .... "they were the descendants of the flame of creation .... they are called the divine forty and are probably the nine planets mercury,venus, earth, mars, jupiter,saturn, uranus, neptune, pluto and their thirty-one satellites ...." forty is an important number of the ancient knowledge of hawaii ....

    aloha nui, poh
     
  10. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    yah. that is kind of what i was thinking on the 40s. he must have been really tired & was probably glad to not have to walk any farther up & down mountains & through the desert.:)
     
  11. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    does anyone think it is possible that moses may have been getting a little haughty & kind of exalting himself when he hit the rock?
    kind of like "look at me & see what i can do"
    & neglected to give the glory back to God.
    that just hit me tonight.

    i know later it says Moses was faithful in all his house & there was reference to Jesus being faithful to God also as the builder of the house.
    "but he that built the house is given more honor"
    or something like that.
     
  12. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    Bandit,

    I get the feeling that at the rock it's a sign of Moses being human. All of the important people in the tanach make mistakes, and moses is included in this, although he is punished heavily for this (and some have said this is because he was the leader, therefore had more responsibility and should have been a better example to the rest.) So stress was building, the people kept complaining, and finally he gets fed up.

    The only reason I don't personally see it as him exalting himself is because, well, a story:

    Fred and Wilma are driving their two kids, Pebbles and Fred Jr., on a long trip to see their grandfather on the other side of the Ancient Valley. The children keep complaining. Pebbles says, "Are we there yet?"

    Fred says, "I'm hungry!" And each time Fred and Wilma calmy quiet down the children and they continue on their way. But there's a lot of traffic, and the kids are whining quite often. Finally, Fred turns around and snaps:

    "You kids want your food? I'll give you your food!" And out of anger he tosses two sandwiches to the back seat. The two kids stop in a quiet awe, stunned for a moment at their father. Then they continue on as normal. Wilma chides Fred when they get to grandfather's, and tells him he can't watch the football game.

    So I think it was something a little like that. Moses is only human, even if he is a very elevated human being. In the case of Jesus, you have someone who isn't supposed to actually be human in the same way so it's a different situation. As I understand it there's no issue of this happening.

    Oh, I missed what you were saying at one poinnt. I do definitely think it's in part about him not giving the credit back to God. I agree with you completely. He took credit for himself. I just think it was more of a stupid mistake that he should have known better about because he's a leader, and leaders are to be held to a higher standard.
     
  13. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    yah. the "are we there yet complaining". it just seems it was a bit much for moses & there is something there that God insisted he not cross over/lead the people over & moses kind of kept it to himself & just accepted that he would die this side of Jordan, giving the leadership to Joshua.
    like there is more to the story than what meets the eye.

    Jesus ministry & leadership actually started at the river Jordan, similiar to where Joshua did.
    very interesting & i enjoyed this study.:)
     
  14. pohaikawahine

    pohaikawahine Elder Member

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    bandit .... i had to smile with your response thinking about how tired he must have been, that was cute .... and dauer I like your parallels and how you are looking at 'moses' as a symbol of the people as well as a possible marker .... perhaps the time of conquest and invasion is related to a time in which we begin to conquer our ego associated with the material world and begin to ascent into the spiritual realm .... to die and to be reborn in heaven, in my mind, is associated with the idea that we "die" to an old way of living, and are "reborn" to a new (a more spiritual life) .... it is not necessarily a physical death and rebirth .... it is a marker on our journey along the ancient path ....

    and dauer .... I really love your closing about 'noah' .... the 'watery world' is part of what we would call the 'ancient ocean' which is internal .... the 'flood' is, in this same view, the rising of the internal energy toward the center of the brain .... all in the symbols (and I was going to try and stay away from the symbols) .... this parsha is a wonderful ritual to take us step by step through the process of seeing into the essence of the torah and to follow the "path" or the "way" .... I have never looked at it in this light before, but now I will start from the beginning (and simultaneously follow the marker on the path that we are currently on) .... the torah has taken on a whole new life and I can see that it would take a lifetime to understand her .... maybe 120 years, so I am only half way there (I'll be 60 years old in a few weeks) .... me ke aloha pumehana, poh
     
  15. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    Bandit, I'm glad you're enjoying this thread. If there's something that happened this week that you'd like to see more of, you can always contribute to the thread I created for helping to improve the project. That thread is always open to anyone for any type of feedback at all, as long as it's nothing nasty.

    Poh,

    I'm glad you're getting so much out of this study. I find that Torah is very rich, and when I find I can't see anything more, I simply read a commentator and I'm down the rabbit hole again.

    My signature, actually, uses the flood as a reference to all of existence which is in actuality one, that sometimes everything is shifting, like in a flood, when the waters are not still, and everything changes and is no longer what it was. And to learn to face that. While it does have a mystical sentiment, it's addressing fundamentalists who stick to their guns even as times change, using the metaphor of a world that is sustained, then shifting, then sustained, then shifting. I took it from a much larger lecture, in which this was only a small piece. He went on for a long time about the ails of fundamentalism according to him. I think he may have also meant these liquid times as referring to paradigm shifts, but I'm not sure. That's a big thing for him.

    I'm going to leave this thread open until sometime tomorrow, but I'm going to de-anchor her and put up next week's.

    Dauer

    edit: On second thought, it might not mean all of existence. Rather, all of an individual's reality. That fits better in the context.
     
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