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newnature
07-03-2011, 06:59 PM
Hi everyone, just trying to reason out that life Yahweh has within himself, which is the same life the tree of life produces, thanks for any insight.
If one really thinks about it, having that good and bad knowledge is no guarantee that one will choose or incline towards the good. After all, that’s what the serpent omitted in his speech, before Eve ate off the tree of knowledge of good and bad. The serpent said, “You are not going to die, but Yahweh knows that as soon as you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like divine beings, who know good and bad.” It’s true in one sense, but false in another; the serpent sort of omitted to point out, that its the power of moral choice alone, that is Yahweh like. The very action that brought Adam and Eve a Yahweh like awareness of their mortal autonomy, was an action that was taken in opposition to Yahweh. Yahweh knows that, that human beings will become like Yahweh, knowing good and bad; it’s one of the things about Yahweh, he knows good and bad, and has chosen the good. For Adam and Eve to have true freedom of will, Adam and Eve have to have the freedom to rebel. This is why this tree is in the garden, next to the tree of life; instead, evil will come about as a result of the clash of the will of Yahweh, and the will of humans, who happen to have the freedom to rebel. Human beings, and only human beings are the potential source of evil, responsibility for evil will lie in the hands of human beings. Yet, evil is represented not as a physical reality, it’s not built into the structure of Eden, evil is a condition of human existence, and to assert that evil stems from human behavior. The drama of Adam and Eve’s life should revolve not around the search for eternal life, nor preoccupation with immortality; it was not in Yahweh’s design for this kind of drama. It was Yahweh’s design for the tree of life to have been eaten of, there was no danger to Adam and Eve going on eternally, being immortal. The eating off the tree of knowledge of good and bad, has caused a moral conflict and tension between Yahweh’s good design for creation, and the free will of human beings that can corrupt that good design. Evil is a product of human behavior, not a principal inherent in the cosmos. Man’s disobedience is the cause of the human predicament. Human freedom can be at one and the same time an omen of disaster, and a challenge, and opportunity.

So despite Adam and Eve’s newfound mortality, humans are going to be a force to be reckoned with. They’re unpredictable to the very Yahweh who created them. Yahweh has to modify his plan, by barring access to the tree of life; that was not something presumably Yahweh planned to do. Adam and Eve had access to this tree up to that point, as long as their will conformed to the will of Yahweh, there was no danger to their going on eternally, being immortal. Once they discovered their moral freedom, once they discovered that they could thwart Yahweh and work evil in the world, and abuse and corrupt all that Yahweh had created, then Yahweh could not afford to allow them access to the tree of life. That would be tantamount to creating divine enemies, immortal enemies. So Yahweh must maintain the upper hand in his struggle with these humans who have learned to defy him. And Yahweh maintains the upper hand in this, the fact that humans eventually must die. Yahweh stations the cherubim and the fiery ever-turning sword to guard the way back to the tree of life, once Adam and Eve were banished from the garden. The tree of life is now inaccessible; no humans have access to immortality, and the pursuit of immortality is futile. So it might be then that Yahweh really spoke the truth after all, the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and bad did bring death to humankind.
Hi everyone, I invite one and all to reason out this life Yahweh has within himself, which is the same life, that tree of life produced, which is the same life Yeshua got when Yahweh raised him from among the dead, which is the same life we are going to get at the gathering together.

RabbiO
07-03-2011, 09:30 PM
Hi everyone, I invite one and all to reason out this life Yahweh has within himself, which is the same life, that tree of life produced, which is the same life Yeshua got when Yahweh raised him from among the dead, which is the same life we are going to get at the gathering together.

Welcome to the forums, Newnature, but with an ending like this I'm not sure why you thought the Judaism sub-forum was the place to post your query.

B'shalom,

Peter

newnature
07-03-2011, 09:39 PM
Post 2
Patriarchical Covenant

Yahweh learned immediately after creating this unique being, that he will exercise his free will against Yahweh. Yahweh saw that he had to limit the life span of humans, or risk creating an enemy that was nearly equal to him. So he casts the humans out of the garden of Eden, and blocks access to the tree of life. Yet, humans continue their violent and evil ways, and in desperation, Yahweh wipes them out and starts again. After the flood, humans prove to be not much better. They forget Yahweh, they turn to idolatry. Yet, the Noahide covenant, which is universal in scope, it encompasses all life on earth. It stresses the sanctity of life, and in this covenant, Yahweh has promised not to destroy all humankind again. So Yahweh experiments with a single individual of believing; Abraham’s believing withstands many a trial. Yahweh is the owner of the land, Abraham was called to. Yahweh is empowered to set conditions or residency requirements for those who would reside in it, like a landlord. Yahweh is seeking replacement tenants who are going to follow the moral rules of residence that Yahweh has established for his land. Yahweh’s promise to Abraham is formalized in a ritual ceremony called a suzerainty covenant. The patriarchical covenant, which is a covenant in which a superior party, a suzerain dictates the terms of a political treaty usually, and an inferior party obeys them. The arrangement primarily serves the interest of the suzerain, and not the vassal or the subject. So Yahweh is making a land grant to a favored subject, and there’s an ancient ritual that ratifies the oath. In this kind of covenant, the parties to the oath would pass between the split carcass of a sacrificial animal, as if to say, that they agree they will suffer the same fate as this animal, if they violate the covenant. Abraham cuts sacrificial animals in two, and Yahweh, but only Yahweh, passes between the two halves. Only Yahweh seems to be obligated by the covenant, obligated to fulfill the promise that he’s made. Abraham doesn’t appear to have any obligation in return. In this case, it is the subject, Abraham, and not the suzerain, Yahweh, who is benefited by this covenant, and that’s a complete reversal of this ritual ceremony. Their is a moral justification for the grant of land to Abraham, the current inhabitants of the land are polluting it, filling it with bloodshed and idolatry. And when the land becomes so polluted, completely polluted, it will spew out its inhabitants. That process, Yahweh says, isn't complete; so Abraham's offspring through Isaac, they are going to have to wait, the lease isn’t up yet.

Abraham is obedient to Yahweh in a way that no one has been up to this point, but ultimately, the model of blind obedience is rejected, too. When Abraham prepares to slaughter his own son, Yahweh sees that blind believing can be as destructive and evil as disobedience, so Yahweh relinquishes his demand for blind obedience. The only relationship that will work with humans is one in which there is a balance between unchecked independence and blind obedience, and Yahweh seems to finally have found the working relationship with humans that he has been seeking since their creation, with a man named Jacob. When Jacob undergoes a change in name, Israel, meaning one who wrestles, who struggles with Yahweh; Yahweh and humans lock in an eternal struggle, neither prevailing, yet both forever changed by their encounter with one another.

RabbiO
08-03-2011, 01:09 AM
When Jacob undergoes a change in name, Israel, meaning one who wrestles, who struggles with Yahweh......

Not quite.

B'shalom,

Peter

newnature
08-03-2011, 01:11 AM
Post 3
The Noahide Covenant

Cain is culpable, and for someone to be culpable of something, we have to assume some principle that they have violated. There seems to be in existence from the beginning of creation this universal moral law, and that is: Yahweh-endowed sanctity of human life. The fact that Yahweh has created humans in his own image, but Yahweh-endowed sanctity of human life is an assumption, and it’s the violation of the assumption which makes Cain culpable. Despite Yahweh’s warning to Cain, that it’s possible to master the urge to violence by an act of will. Yahweh says, “Sin couches at the door; its urge is toward you, yet you can be its master.” The tension between settled areas, and the unsettled desert areas and desert life of the nomads. Abel is a keeper of sheep. He represents the nomadic pastoralist, unlike Cain who is the tiller of soil, so he represents more settled urban life. Yet Cain’s fatal and culpable refusal to reconcile himself to what Yahweh told him; Yahweh prefers the offering of Abel, and as a result Cain’s distressed and jealous to the point of murder. Yahweh’s reference of the offering of Abel valorized the free life of the nomadic pastoralist over urban existence. After the murder, Cain responds to a question Yahweh asked him, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” We are all of us our brothers’ keepers, and the strong implication that all homicide is in fact fratricide. Yahweh yields to Cain’s plea and protects him from the fate he inflicted on Abel. The man who could not tolerate Yahweh’s inscrutable grace, now benefits from it. Yet, the murderous first-born son of Adam, his offspring will not survive the flood.

The world dissolves, corruption, and injustice, and lawlessness, and violence inevitably bring about destruction. When humans destroy the moral basis of society, when they are violent or cruel or unkind, they endanger the very existence of that society. These humans were not being punished for religious sins, for idolatry, for worshipping the wrong god, or anything of that nature. By virtue of having been created by Yahweh in the image of Yahweh-they are bound to a basic moral law that precludes, murder and other forms of oppression and violence. Inhumanity and violence undermine the very foundations of society, Yahweh provides a moral rationale for his actions. The earth is destroyed because of the violence, bloodshed, but also all kinds of injustice and oppression. Noah is saved specifically for his righteousness, he was righteous in his generation. Noah was chosen therefore for moral reasons. Yahweh is not acting capriciously, but according to certain clear standards of justice. This was deserved punishment and the person who was saved was righteous. Yahweh makes the decision to punish humans because the world has corrupted itself through bloodshed and violence. Yahweh selects Noah due to his righteousness and Yahweh issues a direct command to build an ark.

Yahweh realized that he’s going to have to make some concession. Yahweh’s going to have to make a concession to human weakness and the human desire to kill. And Yahweh’s going to have to rectify the circumstances that made his destruction of the earth necessary in the first place. So Yahweh establishes a covenant with Noah, and humankind receives its first set of explicit laws. The Noahide covenant, they apply to all humanity; this covenant explicitly prohibits murder. The spilling of human blood, blood is the symbol of life; life is in the blood. So blood is the biblical symbol of life, but Yahweh is going to make a concession to the human appetite for power and violence. Before the flood humans were to be vegetarian, the portrait was one in which humans and animals did not compete for food, or consume one another. Humans were vegetarian. Now Yahweh is saying humans may kill animals to eat them. But even so, Yahweh says, the animal’s life is to be treated with reverence, and the blood which is the life essence must be poured out on the ground, returned to Yahweh, not consumed. So the animal may be eaten to satisfy the human hunger for flesh, but the life essence itself belongs to Yahweh. It must not be taken, even if it’s for the purposes of nourishment. Genesis 9:4-6, “You must not however, eat flesh with its life-blood in it; but for your own life-blood I will require a reckoning. I will require it of every beast; of man, too, will I require a reckoning for human life, of every man for that of his fellow man! Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in Yahweh’s image did Yahweh make man.” So if you are killed by a beast or a human, there will have to be a reckoning, an accounting. Whoever sheds the blood of a person, in exchange for the person shall his blood be shed, all life, human and animal, is sacred to Yahweh. The Noahide covenant also entails Yahweh’s promise to restore the rhythm of life and nature, and never again to destroy the earth. The rainbow is set up as a symbol of the eternal covenant, a token of the eternal reconciliation between the divine and human realms.

newnature
08-03-2011, 03:05 AM
Post 4
Mosaic Covenant

Yahweh’s salvation of his people from Egypt, not the Christian sense of personal salvation from sin; that’s anachronistically read back into the Hebrew Bible. It’s not there. Salvation in the Hebrew Bible does not refer to an individual's deliverance from a sinful nature. This is not a concept that is found in the Hebrew Bible. Salvation refers instead, to the concrete, collective, communal salvation from national suffering and oppression, particularly in the form of foreign rule of enslavement. Remember Jacob’s sons; Joseph’s betrayal by his brothers, his decent into Egypt, set the stage, not only for the reformation of his brothers’ characters, but for the descent of all of the Israelites into Egypt, so as to survive widespread famine; threat of famine is overcome by the relocation to Egypt. Yahweh says to Jacob, “I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I myself will also bring you back.” So in short, there seems to be a plan afoot. Israel’s descent to Egypt sets the stage for the rise of a pharaoh who, didn’t know Joseph, and all that he had done for Egypt. And this new pharaoh will enslave the Israelites, and so embitter their lives, that their cry will rise up to heaven. Yahweh as Israel’s redeemer and savior, is Yahweh’s physical deliverance of the nation from the hands of her foes. But the physical redemption of the Israelites is going to reach its climax in the covenant that will be concluded at Sinai.

Yahweh’s redemption of the Israelites, is a redemption for a purpose, for at Sinai, the Israelites will become Yahweh’s people, bound by a covenant. The covenant concluded at Sinai is referred to as the Mosaic covenant. The Mosaic covenant differs radically from the Noahide and the patriarchal covenants, because here Yahweh makes no promises beyond being the patron or protector of Israel; and also, in this covenant, he set terms that require obedience to a variety of laws and commandments. The Mosaic covenant is neither unilateral, it’s a bilateral covenant, involving mutual, reciprocal obligations, nor is it unconditional like the other two. It is conditional; the first bilateral, conditional covenant. If Israel doesn’t fulfill her oblations by obeying Yahweh’s torah, his instructions, and living in accordance with his will, as expressed in the laws and instruction, then Yahweh will not fulfill his obligation of protection and blessing towards Israel. So the Mosaic covenant, understanding of the relationship between Yahweh and Israel; the history of Israel will be governed by this one outstanding reality of covenant. Israel’s fortunes will be seen to ride on the degree of its faithfulness to this covenant. The nature of the biblical text, it reflects a range of perceptions about Yahweh and his relation to creation and to Israel. Understanding the making sense of the historical odyssey of the nation of Israel in covenant with Yahweh-that is its concern. Understanding Israel’s relationship with Yahweh, the vehicle of the suzerainty treaty. The use of a suzerainty treaty as a model for Israel’s relationship to Yahweh, expresses several key ideas. Suzerainty treaties are between a suzerain, who has a position obviously of power and authority, and a vassal. The historical prologue that’s so central to the suzerainty treaty grounds the obligations of Israel to Yahweh in the history of his acts on her behalf. Also the historical prologue bridges the gap between generations. Israel’s past and present and future generations form a collective entity, Israel, that collectively assents to the covenant. Even today, at Passover ceremonies everywhere, Israelites are reminded to see themselves, they’re reminded of the obligation to see themselves as if they personally came out of Egypt, and personally covenanted with Yahweh. The historical prologue explains why Israel accepts her place in the suzerain-vassal relationship. Israel’s acceptance of a relationship with Yahweh doesn’t stem from mystical introspection, or philosophical speculation. Instead the Israelites are affirming their identity and their relationship with Yahweh by telling a story, a story whose moral can only be that Yahweh is reliable. Israel can rely on Yahweh, just as a vassal can rely on his suzerain. Israel as a vassal, treat their fellow vassals well. Israel as a vassal, can’t serve two suzerains.

Shim
08-03-2011, 03:55 AM
Hi everyone, just trying to reason out that life Yahweh has within himself, which is the same life the tree of life produces, thanks for any insight.
If one really thinks about it, having that good and bad knowledge is no guarantee that one will choose or incline towards the good. After all, that’s what the serpent omitted in his speech, before Eve ate off the tree of knowledge of good and bad. The serpent said, “You are not going to die, but Yahweh knows that as soon as you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like divine beings, who know good and bad.” It’s true in one sense, but false in another; the serpent sort of omitted to point out, that its the power of moral choice alone, that is Yahweh like. The very action that brought Adam and Eve a Yahweh like awareness of their mortal autonomy, was an action that was taken in opposition to Yahweh. Yahweh knows that, that human beings will become like Yahweh, knowing good and bad; it’s one of the things about Yahweh, he knows good and bad, and has chosen the good. For Adam and Eve to have true freedom of will, Adam and Eve have to have the freedom to rebel. This is why this tree is in the garden, next to the tree of life; instead, evil will come about as a result of the clash of the will of Yahweh, and the will of humans, who happen to have the freedom to rebel. Human beings, and only human beings are the potential source of evil, responsibility for evil will lie in the hands of human beings. Yet, evil is represented not as a physical reality, it’s not built into the structure of Eden, evil is a condition of human existence, and to assert that evil stems from human behavior. The drama of Adam and Eve’s life should revolve not around the search for eternal life, nor preoccupation with immortality; it was not in Yahweh’s design for this kind of drama. It was Yahweh’s design for the tree of life to have been eaten of, there was no danger to Adam and Eve going on eternally, being immortal. The eating off the tree of knowledge of good and bad, has caused a moral conflict and tension between Yahweh’s good design for creation, and the free will of human beings that can corrupt that good design. Evil is a product of human behavior, not a principal inherent in the cosmos. Man’s disobedience is the cause of the human predicament. Human freedom can be at one and the same time an omen of disaster, and a challenge, and opportunity.

So despite Adam and Eve’s newfound mortality, humans are going to be a force to be reckoned with. They’re unpredictable to the very Yahweh who created them. Yahweh has to modify his plan, by barring access to the tree of life; that was not something presumably Yahweh planned to do. Adam and Eve had access to this tree up to that point, as long as their will conformed to the will of Yahweh, there was no danger to their going on eternally, being immortal. Once they discovered their moral freedom, once they discovered that they could thwart Yahweh and work evil in the world, and abuse and corrupt all that Yahweh had created, then Yahweh could not afford to allow them access to the tree of life. That would be tantamount to creating divine enemies, immortal enemies. So Yahweh must maintain the upper hand in his struggle with these humans who have learned to defy him. And Yahweh maintains the upper hand in this, the fact that humans eventually must die. Yahweh stations the cherubim and the fiery ever-turning sword to guard the way back to the tree of life, once Adam and Eve were banished from the garden. The tree of life is now inaccessible; no humans have access to immortality, and the pursuit of immortality is futile. So it might be then that Yahweh really spoke the truth after all, the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and bad did bring death to humankind.
Hi everyone, I invite one and all to reason out this life Yahweh has within himself, which is the same life, that tree of life produced, which is the same life Yeshua got when Yahweh raised him from among the dead, which is the same life we are going to get at the gathering together.

Just curious, care to share your idea about the kind of fruit? That is, artist typically make it an apple. I realize that it may not be mentioned because it is not the point, but nevertheless it might be amusing to hear what people think and why.

newnature
08-03-2011, 04:19 AM
I thought I heard that apple was started from some kind of Latin word that sounded like apple or something like that?

Shim
08-03-2011, 04:41 AM
Well I refuse to show anybody the apple of my eye! I've heard that it is figs and also the pomegranate, although I have always considered the pomegranate the fruit of royalty.

Saladkiller
08-03-2011, 05:04 AM
Rabio, since you asked lol.. I believe the fruit is a metaphor, not a real object that one could touch or taste.

RabbiO
08-03-2011, 02:40 PM
Rabio, since you asked lol.. I believe the fruit is a metaphor, not a real object that one could touch or taste.

Salad,

I didn't say anything regarding the tree. The only two points I brought up were the appropriateness of the OP posting this thread on the Judaism sub-forum and the fact that the meaning of the name "Israel" is not quite what the post says it is.

B'shalom,

Peter

7luminaries
08-03-2011, 04:35 PM
Well I refuse to show anybody the apple of my eye! I've heard that it is figs and also the pomegranate, although I have always considered the pomegranate the fruit of royalty.
Shim, Figs I think get many votes...since fig leaves were said to be used for cover...
Also grapes...implying knowledge of winemaking and "sinning" from imbibing wine without covenental restraints or similar context of holiness...
Some say wheat...symbolic of "wisdom"...and perhaps as being foundational to the agrarian age and the spread of ppls...but I don't like wheat so I personally don't like that one, LOL...
or etrog (citron), whose Hebrew root can be related to the word "desire".

-------------------------------------
newnature...I have to say that the tone is a little strange, even apart from mentioning Yeshua.

For one, Jews don't say the Name (tetragrammaton)..we say God or G*d or any of a number of other names...and so it is offensive to many to see it, just in case you didn't know.

Also, God never feared we would approach Him as a result of eating of the tree. This is not a Jewish interpretation. Rather, there was an internalisation of doubt and of the evil inclination that resulted with the eating of the fruit (mixing of good and evil...into the nature of men). We "know" good AND evil in the way that men and women "know" one another...i.e., we became intimate with the desire to do both good and evil...instead of only good.

And the relationship between Jacob/Israel and God is also not quite as you described...as RabbiO said. I can post some etymology I ran across once with thought was pretty good, & which may clarify it if you read through to the end.

Just a question...what is the question or purpose of the posts? Would you like the Jewish response or reaction to these? Or do you have some specific questions?

L'shalom,
7L

7luminaries
08-03-2011, 05:05 PM
Jacob/Israel

http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Israel.html

I think for me the key aspect of the meaning of the name implies ongoing interaction or engagement, an ongoing active relationship between humans and God. And that to break that connection goes "against the very nature of God".

Although this may not be a Jewish source, I thought it was a pretty good discussion of the meaning of the name. The key thing here is that struggle is not negative...it has to do with internal spiritual work that is necessary in our relationship with God.

L'Shalom,
7L

newnature
08-03-2011, 10:03 PM
Thanks everyone for the insights, the different names for Yahweh I agree, but it seems to me those names had to do with Yahweh's land? Different days and times back in them days, it appears people living on Yahweh's land went and put a statue of some kind of god in the sanctuary; their was no statue of anything in Yahweh's sanctuary, theirs more to this land before it was promised to Abraham.

Perspective
15-03-2011, 01:33 AM
Hi NewNature,
This topic caught my attention, since I've been thinking & reading about symbolism of trees...The Tree of Life is a universal symbol found in many spiritual traditions. It symbolizes many things, including wisdom, protection, strength, bounty, beauty, and redemption. This tree is symbolic of the Creator as it sustains creation with its abundant fruit, protection and regeneration. The Tree also represents humans as we too develop roots, strengthen our trunk and branch out to a wider vision of life as we grow. - Sondra Crane I also appreciate how, like the tree, we have both ancestral & spiritual roots.
To have a healthy fruit-bearing tree, proper soil, sunlight, water & care needs to be given it.
Similarly, we need to care for ourselves, physically, mentally & spiritually to live productively.

"By their fruits, ye shall know them."

sbjazzman
21-03-2012, 04:31 PM
See the Coincidence of Opposites in the forum at oracle of the phoenix dotcom.