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Honza
14-09-2011, 04:20 PM
Is it reunion with God? Complete merger with God? Or what?

There are a lot of aims to religion in general, but which is closest to Judaic teaching and practice?

Animus27
14-09-2011, 10:09 PM
To live up to God's will and commandments that were given to his chosen people; and follow them through love and obedience to Him.

Lol, I hope I've gotten it right. As I said on the other thread, I only have a basic knowledge of Judaism. I'm sure Yamah or RabbiO can give better answers. :D

Yamah
15-09-2011, 04:43 AM
That's actually a very complicated question, Honza, and one that cannot be easily answered. If all you're looking for is the big picture then Animus' concise answer is sufficient... but if you will indulge a few details then please read on.

To start with we must first ask 'what is Judaism?' to understand that we must ask 'what is an -ism?' and 'what is a Jew?'

An -'ism' is a set of dogmatic beliefs organized into a practical structure which can be applied in an individual in order to make that individual part of a collective. It can be a religion (ie. Christianism), a philosophy (ie. Taoism) or an economic paradigm (ie. Communism). 'Judaism' is actually a misnomer as it was not naturally structured as a belief system. It only became so after the second temple's destruction and the Jewish people were exiled.

The word 'Jew' is a short form of 'Judah'. Judah was the name of one of the tribes of Israel which was the ruling presence in Israel. Judah (and the tribe of Benjamin) split of from the rest of the tribes of Israel in a large conflict and eventually the rest of the tribes were overrun by romans and killed or scattered, leaving Judah as the only remaining presence of Israelites. Eventually, Judah was also conquered, enslaved and exiled - but the Jews remained a single people (mostly) and adapted their practices for the exile in order to remember them.

Thus 'Judaism' can be explained as 'the practices of the people of Judah after the exile in order to keep alive the tradition which existed before the exile'. Judaism is thus all about learning and remembering, following tradition, putting into practice whatever we can and basically trying to keep a dying flame from blowing out.

We should then ask: What came before Judaism, and what will come after?

The answer to both is: The Kingdom of Israel. If you read through the Torah you will see that there are many laws which don't make sense for a religion. For example, 'when you plow your fields, leave the corners of the fields so that poor people and passerby's may eat of them'. This is not a religious law, it is the law of a nation. 'your king shall not have too many wives or horses'. What religion has a king?

The Torah was meant to be a constitution for a kingdom. Specifically, a divine constitutional monarchy. All the laws were meant to be national laws.

So now, what is the purpose of the nation of Israel?

It is twofold: (1) to bear witness to God's existance and (2) be a light unto the nations. These are both achieved by our very existence. The fact that the Jewish people exist at all, despite everything that has happened to us, is in and of itself proof of a divine hand at work. By acknowledging God's existence and witnessing His Majesty we are his heralds in this world. The latter is also passive... it isn't that we should go out and prostelytize, but that we should live our lives righteously and 'lead by example' so to speak. By living righteous lives in the love of God the other nations will come to us and ask 'how are you so rich, how are you so powerful, how are you so... happy'. And we will answer 'we serve God'. Of course, for that to happen we need to become the rich, powerful, moral and happy nation in service of God that we were meant to become. And this goal hinges on us living in Israel and become a 100% righteous and 'religious' nation here, with a third holy temple and a 'religious' king/president, with the Torah as the basis for our constitution.

After all that happens (please God in our lifetimes), then the world will be on its way to an age of peace and prosperity when the lion lays with the lambs and swords will be molten down into plowshares and all that good stuff.

Developing a personal connection to God is also important, but this 'selfish' goal is not seen as the ultimate or even the penultimate. I am only one person and my achieving of enlightenment will only benefit myself. I must learn in order to teach and show others what it means to learn to be righteous.

"Rabbi Yishmael...used to say: He who learns in order to teach will be enabled both to learn and to teach. But he who learns in order to practice will be enabled to learn, to teach, to observe, and to practice." (Pirkei Avot 4:6)

So to recap: the goal of Judaism is to reach a state of World Peace and Global Enlightenment by "liv[ing] up to God's will and commandments that were given to his chosen people; and follow[ing] them through love and obedience to Him. "

psychoslice
15-09-2011, 05:06 AM
His chosen people, mmmm, what about other religions, are they god's chosen people also ?.

Honza
15-09-2011, 06:14 AM
Thanks Yamah.

What about heaven? What about the afterlife? What about at the end of creation?

How does it all end? What happens to all the Jewish SOULS?

Yamah
15-09-2011, 07:49 AM
Judaism places significantly less emphasis on the afterlife than Christianity or Islam do. If you will notice, it isn't mentioned anywhere in the Original Testament.

We believe that when you die you are sent to the 'Resevoir of Souls'. From there a soul can choose to (1) remain at the level it has achieved through its previous incarnation, (2) choose to reincarnate to achieve a higher state, or (3) go through 'Gehenom' (commonly translated as 'hell', though it is more like 'purgatory') where the soul can be purified through suffering to achieve a higher state.

After this world has reached a state of ultimate perfection, which is well beyond our years, the universe will exist in an altered state of supreme goodness and wonder and all the souls will be reborn into an eternal paradise. The extent of joy you receive in The Next World will be proportional to the spiritual station you have reached through This World.

Regarding the details of The Next World it is impossible to know... for it is like blind men speaking about colour.

Jews and Non-Jews will all be reincarnated in The Next World, but since the reward is proportional to the responsibilities and the Jewish people have more responsibilities, the potential reward in The Next World for a Jew is greater.

psychoslice
15-09-2011, 07:56 AM
Yamah: Jews and Non-Jews will all be reincarnated in The Next World, but since the reward is proportional to the responsibilities and the Jewish people have more responsibilities, the potential reward in The Next World for a Jew is greater.

Why do the Jews have more responsibilities, it just doesn't make sense to me, with all due respect, I think that statement sounds very arrogant.

Yamah
15-09-2011, 08:22 AM
A lot of people view that statement as being arrogant but it isn't said with any arrogance whatsoever.

There are two responsibilities in this world: (1) Don't destroy the world, (2) Attempt to elevate the world.

Everyone is responsible for the first. Only Jews are responsible for the second. Non-Jews can, of course, contribute to global elevation, and they will be rewarded accordingly should they choose to do so, but they are not RESPONSIBLE for it.

If you want to get into specifics, as a Jew I must: (1) spending at least 2 hours each day in prayer, (2) spend 1 to 14 additional hours each day studying the Torah, (3) devote one full day every week to God, (4) devote an additional 16 days every year to God, (5) spend at least 79 days every year in a solemn state, (6) spend an additional 5+ days every year fasting and mourning, (7) spend the remaining 0-13 waking hours of the remaining ~200 days every year upholding a strict code of righteousness which restricts what I can eat, what i can learn, who I can talk to, etc... all while still performing the basic requirements of life such as eating, sleeping and working. Furthermore, the whole while I must be aware that 2 billion christians and 1.6 billion muslims would all love to see me dead and the majority of the remaining 3 billion people don't care for me all that much either... and somehow understand that all the responsibilities I have undertaken in this life is to help all of them. Furthermore I must do all of these things out of genuine joy and love for God, otherwise they don't count and I'm just wasting my time.

mattie
15-09-2011, 08:35 AM
...
There are two responsibilities in this world: (1) Don't destroy the world, (2) Attempt to elevate the world.

Everyone is responsible for the first. Only Jews are responsible for the second. Non-Jews can, of course, contribute to global elevation, and they will be rewarded accordingly should they choose to do so, but they are not RESPONSIBLE for it.
...

Very narrow view of who is responsible.

psychoslice
15-09-2011, 08:58 AM
A lot of people view that statement as being arrogant but it isn't said with any arrogance whatsoever.

There are two responsibilities in this world: (1) Don't destroy the world, (2) Attempt to elevate the world.

Everyone is responsible for the first. Only Jews are responsible for the second. Non-Jews can, of course, contribute to global elevation, and they will be rewarded accordingly should they choose to do so, but they are not RESPONSIBLE for it.

If you want to get into specifics, as a Jew I must: (1) spending at least 2 hours each day in prayer, (2) spend 1 to 14 additional hours each day studying the Torah, (3) devote one full day every week to God, (4) devote an additional 16 days every year to God, (5) spend at least 79 days every year in a solemn state, (6) spend an additional 5+ days every year fasting and mourning, (7) spend the remaining 0-13 waking hours of the remaining ~200 days every year upholding a strict code of righteousness which restricts what I can eat, what i can learn, who I can talk to, etc... all while still performing the basic requirements of life such as eating, sleeping and working. Furthermore, the whole while I must be aware that 2 billion christians and 1.6 billion muslims would all love to see me dead and the majority of the remaining 3 billion people don't care for me all that much either... and somehow understand that all the responsibilities I have undertaken in this life is to help all of them. Furthermore I must do all of these things out of genuine joy and love for God, otherwise they don't count and I'm just wasting my time.
Sorry but it all sounds pointless to me, it doesn't sound like a very loving religion to me, but if your happy that's what counts, but never put yourself above others because of your belief system, you may be surprised one day who truly belongs to god.

RabbiO
15-09-2011, 02:55 PM
Sorry but it all sounds pointless to me, it doesn't sound like a very loving religion to me, but if your happy that's what counts, but never put yourself above others because of your belief system, you may be surprised one day who truly belongs to god.

A couple of things need to be understood.

First, the tapestry that is Judaism is not all of one weave - despite what some might think, including some within the Jewish community, Judaism is not monolithic and never really was. With that in mind, and alluding to the old joke that when three Jews get together you get five opinions, I will not comment directly on Yamah's post. I will simply state that he posits A valid Jewish position, but it is not necessarily THE Jewish position.

Judaism is, in fact, both a religion of love and a religion of joy, but trying to capture that essence in a few short paragraphs is really impossible. Try painting a word picture of the Grand Canyon that does it justice in the same amount of space.

As the Baal Shem Tov pointed out, to a person standing outside a house, looking through a closed window and not hearing music, the people dancing inside look like they are crazy.

B'shalom,

Peter

Yamah
15-09-2011, 05:37 PM
psycho: I'm just wondering if you realize that every single post you have ever made in response to any of my posts since first I remember interacting with you has, in some way, been derogatory. Meanwhile I have never responded in kind, no matter how much I have wanted to. Perhaps YOU should stop putting YOUR self above others and start opening your mind to other possibilities.

Honza
15-09-2011, 09:13 PM
psycho: I'm just wondering if you realize that every single post you have ever made in response to any of my posts since first I remember interacting with you has, in some way, been derogatory. Meanwhile I have never responded in kind, no matter how much I have wanted to. Perhaps YOU should stop putting YOUR self above others and start opening your mind to other possibilities.

I agree Yamah, psycho does that to me too.

psychoslice
15-09-2011, 10:23 PM
psycho: I'm just wondering if you realize that every single post you have ever made in response to any of my posts since first I remember interacting with you has, in some way, been derogatory. Meanwhile I have never responded in kind, no matter how much I have wanted to. Perhaps YOU should stop putting YOUR self above others and start opening your mind to other possibilities.
But that is what I was saying from the beginning, you sound like you are putting yourself as a Jew above others, or other religions and this is what I will always defend, arrogance in in any form, no matter what religion, I say the same thing on any thread, such as the Christians, Judaism is not better than any one else, others are not dogs.

psychoslice
15-09-2011, 10:29 PM
I agree Yamah, psycho does that to me too.
Please don't be childish, if you want to say something to me then say it, its funny how Psycho always gets in trouble by those who just simply don't understand, they are so blind to the truth that is right in front of them, but they can't see it because of all the dogma and fundamentalism. Just for once, listen to what I am saying and question yourself to what I have said, thank you.

psychoslice
15-09-2011, 10:41 PM
Only the open mind can be ready to listen to something that goes against it. The closed mind can listen only to that which supports it. The closed mind has only one dimension open, that is: everything that supports it is allowed in, welcomed in. All other dimensions are kept closed because there is fear. Things may enter you which may shake up your belief system, disturb your so-called peace of mind; they may sabotage your faith. No person who is a believer can afford to be open.

Psychoslice has said what he needs to say on this thread, I will now leave you to your precious beliefs, thank you again.:hug3:

A Glass named Esther
20-09-2011, 02:01 AM
I would simply say: to reveal heaven on Earth

Or rather, G-dliness in the physical realm

Honza
22-09-2011, 08:41 AM
I would simply say: to reveal heaven on Earth

Or rather, G-dliness in the physical realm

That is a goal that I can totally embrace in my heart. I like that one.

Time
22-09-2011, 01:39 PM
A mini history if judeism (cut and dry for less typing)

Some mixing of old jewish peoples came to the land of cannon, and either fought and took over the land, and or amalgamated.

They have a general pagan tradition, very similar to the canninites (El, Baal, and a few others in that area)

Feeling oppressed with the world around them, they decided to rid themselves of the polytheistic route, and go for one god (or man and woman god being the same thing)

The jews are taken over by the babylonians, and multitudes of them are taken to babylon. The jews feeling more persicuted, want to go "eff you" to the rest of the world they know, and start circumsiscion. Feeling that god is punishing them for being "one god", yet worshiping 2, they dump the female side, and end up using "god" as a male/female combination.

Comming back to isreal (remember the story of jacob comming to isreal from babylon?) They had an almost complete text, which is the original jewish book of worship. Any traditions in judeism are based off of that.

Basically, they wanted to be different from everyone else around them. They were so oppressed, they wrote stories on how they are the "choosen" people, for a moral booster while in babylon. The same way Captain America was made as a moral booster and propaganda for the states in WWII.

The OT of the bible, is based off of those texts.

So IMO the ultimate aim, back then was to be different. Now adays, they are gods "choosen" people, and are decendants of jacob, and are bound to his deals with god. I guess now they think they are the chosen ones because according to history, they are the "true" decendants from adom and eve/jacobs bloodline.

And in reality, it was the basis for christianity. No matter how much people want to deny it, judeism paved the way for christianity/islam. They are anything but the same belief, but christianity wouldnt exsist without it.

RabbiO
22-09-2011, 04:54 PM
A mini history if judeism (cut and dry for less typing)

Some mixing of old jewish peoples came to the land of cannon, and either fought and took over the land, and or amalgamated.

They have a general pagan tradition, very similar to the canninites (El, Baal, and a few others in that area)

Feeling oppressed with the world around them, they decided to rid themselves of the polytheistic route, and go for one god (or man and woman god being the same thing)

The jews are taken over by the babylonians, and multitudes of them are taken to babylon. The jews feeling more persicuted, want to go "eff you" to the rest of the world they know, and start circumsiscion. Feeling that god is punishing them for being "one god", yet worshiping 2, they dump the female side, and end up using "god" as a male/female combination.

Comming back to isreal (remember the story of jacob comming to isreal from babylon?) They had an almost complete text, which is the original jewish book of worship. Any traditions in judeism are based off of that.

Basically, they wanted to be different from everyone else around them. They were so oppressed, they wrote stories on how they are the "choosen" people, for a moral booster while in babylon. The same way Captain America was made as a moral booster and propaganda for the states in WWII.

The OT of the bible, is based off of those texts.

So IMO the ultimate aim, back then was to be different. Now adays, they are gods "choosen" people, and are decendants of jacob, and are bound to his deals with god. I guess now they think they are the chosen ones because according to history, they are the "true" decendants from adom and eve/jacobs bloodline.

And in reality, it was the basis for christianity. No matter how much people want to deny it, judeism paved the way for christianity/islam. They are anything but the same belief, but christianity wouldnt exsist without it.

A bit harsh on my part, I know, but learn to spell - or use a spell checker. A grammar checker would not be a bad idea either. It is a real chore trying to decipher what you post.

Understand, I am not a biblical literalist. I do not believe in - תורה מסיני - Torah from Sinai. I do believe in -תורה מן השמים - Torah from heaven, which has a different connotation, although some take it to mean the same thing. I know where the seams are. I know the limitations of using the Tanakh as history.

Having said that, however, the truth is that what you have posted betrays both your lack of knowledge regarding Judaism, the Jewish people and the history of both. Except for the fact that someone who knows even less than you do about Judaism might actually think you know what you are talking about, no reply would have been posted by me. I am mindful of the no win situation spelled out in Proverbs in answering such as this:
אל־תען כסיל כאולתו פן־תשוה־לו גם־אתה
ענה כסיל כאולתו פן־יהיה חכם בעיניו

B'shalom,

Peter

Time
22-09-2011, 05:59 PM
A bit harsh on my part, I know, but learn to spell - or use a spell checker. A grammar checker would not be a bad idea either. It is a real chore trying to decipher what you post.

Understand, I am not a biblical literalist. I do not believe in - תורה מסיני - Torah from Sinai. I do believe in -תורה מן השמים - Torah from heaven, which has a different connotation, although some take it to mean the same thing. I know where the seams are. I know the limitations of using the Tanakh as history.

Having said that, however, the truth is that what you have posted betrays both your lack of knowledge regarding Judaism, the Jewish people and the history of both. Except for the fact that someone who knows even less than you do about Judaism might actually think you know what you are talking about, no reply would have been posted by me. I am mindful of the no win situation spelled out in Proverbs in answering such as this:
אל־תען כסיל כאולתו פן־תשוה־לו גם־אתה
ענה כסיל כאולתו פן־יהיה חכם בעיניו

B'shalom,

Peter

IM dislyxic, thanks for noticing!

Im sorry, like I SAID its really cut and dry, but thats is essentially, the history of judeism as most scholars see it proven with archeology. Theres proof of everything I said. Just because your a rabbi doesnt mean you know the entire archeological history of your people. To be fair that doesnt mean I know everything, but I know what many, many people who DO know say.

RabbiO
22-09-2011, 07:08 PM
IM dislyxic, thanks for noticing!

Im sorry, like I SAID its really cut and dry, but thats is essentially, the history of judeism as most scholars see it proven with archeology. Theres proof of everything I said. Just because your a rabbi doesnt mean you know the entire archeological history of your people. To be fair that doesnt mean I know everything, but I know what many, many people who DO know say.

Just as I am aware of the limitations of relying on scripture alone, I am also aware of the limitations of current scholarship.

If you really read the literature you would realize how vast it is and yet just how little we know about certain things with any certainty and just how much disagreement there is within the academic community. Furthermore, you might be surprised at the ferocity of the debates between well respected, knowledgeable and experienced scholars in their fields. This is true whether the topic is the general history of the Jewish people, the development of its scripture or the development of the religion of Judaism.

B'shalom,

Peter

Time
22-09-2011, 07:26 PM
I never said it was stricly scholars did I? I never claimed the whole history, just the bits we know

The original jews came and amalgamated with the cannanites. And practiced paganism

The jews were down trodden - so they got rid of polytheism

The jews were down trodden by the Babylonians- so they got rid of the woman, and did almost everything opposite of the current pagan traditions of the area (with hints from other traditions, like the story of moses, and noahs flood (both from Babylonian texts), like have one god represent everything.

The jews were down trodden by rome - so they take more civs beliefs (not on purpose), add it to their own, and you get early very early christianity. No matter what, no old school rivalry or religious bias cant disprove pure fact.

RabbiO
22-09-2011, 09:43 PM
I never said it was stricly scholars did I? I never claimed the whole history, just the bits we know

The original jews came and amalgamated with the cannanites. And practiced paganism

The jews were down trodden - so they got rid of polytheism

The jews were down trodden by the Babylonians- so they got rid of the woman, and did almost everything opposite of the current pagan traditions of the area (with hints from other traditions, like the story of moses, and noahs flood (both from Babylonian texts), like have one god represent everything.

The jews were down trodden by rome - so they take more civs beliefs (not on purpose), add it to their own, and you get early very early christianity. No matter what, no old school rivalry or religious bias cant disprove pure fact.

All right then, I would appreciate it if you would provide me with a list of the texts that you have read, be they books or scholarly publications, and the authors of those texts.

B'shalom,

Peter

Yamah
23-09-2011, 05:22 AM
What can archaology prove? They can prove what existed. That is all. They can then speculate on what happened and theorize on why it happened, but they cannot prove it.

Say they find and arrowhead next to a skeleton. They can prove that an arrowhead was next to a skeleton. They can speculate that the arrowhead killed the person. They can theorize that there was a conflict in the area, perhaps a large battle, and the only surviving evidence was this one skeleton - the rest being washed away by time. They would be wrong, because this person was a fletcher and he had a heart attack while at work.

What you have paraphrased are bits and pieces of archaological evidence (which matches up with biblical accounts) that have surrounding them lots of speculation and theorization.

Time
23-09-2011, 12:17 PM
Peter - I think you will actually enjoy this video. Its probably the BEST history ive found, without it being a 12 hour university course.

http://video.pbs.org/video/1051895565

Yamah - Archeology can prove many things, yet open up a plethora of other questions. Lets use your example of the arrowhead (good common example)

The first thing they would do is try to identify the age. This can be done a few ways. Carbon dating, in combination of how deep he was buried, what he was buried with, and pottery shards.

The second thing to do, is to determine the cause of death. IF there is no trauma, then they have to say that the arrowhead was something they added to the burial (like we put flowers ont he grave today)

They can see if there was any warefare, due to the skeletons lack of/apperance of trama, as well as other archeological evidence in the surounding area. IF there isnt other tools of war around in the same strata, then theyd have to assume he died of a natural death or even possibly poisoning (they can still tell that through chemestry)

They can aslo tell how old the skelleton was, and if it was male of female.

Now that you have the age and the area, you can find out exactly what civ its from. From there you can look up texts from that area, and others who have had contact with them, to see if there actually was a battle, see if there was sacrifices being practiced.

You have to remember, medical texts from the ancient world surivive, so we can use those to prove how he died.

BTW, everything is theory, even religions, because alot of the pagan traditions they are based off of, used a sort of scientific method, told by using alligories. Some are just more proven and accepted then others.

ANd once again, I paraphrased so i dont write a gigantic wall of text so its easier for people to read. All I said isnt as much speculation , as it is corrobarated with archeological evidence...

And yes, lots of that evidence proves some of the events in religios tecxts, because they were written during real events and times in real places by real people.

Yamah
23-09-2011, 12:35 PM
To test your first point... In all of what you said, where is there proof that the Jewish people who entered canaan believed in polytheism? How do you find archaological PROOF for what an individual, or even a nation, believed?

Time
23-09-2011, 12:45 PM
because every single civilization at that time only practiced polytheism according to quite a few texts from varied places.

And its quite "easy". Once again dating things found in the same layer of ground as the people/person, carbon dating it, and comparing evidence to known evidence.

For instance, they can tell celts practiced pagan beliefs, because of written history by the romans, andarcheological finds that are similar to other polytheistic civs. Observation helps here. Of course some are more speculitive then others, but if theres one type pf archeology that has been heavily practiced, its biblical archeology.

It also helps to have an understanding of the differences betwen monotheism and polytheism. Looking beyond your personal comfert zone and knowledge is the best way forward in ihistory

RabbiO
25-09-2011, 03:29 PM
Peter - I think you will actually enjoy this video. Its probably the BEST history ive found, without it being a 12 hour university course.

http://video.pbs.org/video/1051895565 (http://www.spiritualforums.com/vb/redir.php?link=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiritualforums.co m%2Fvb%2Fredir.php%3Flink%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fvid eo.pbs.org%252Fvideo%252F1051895565)
Time,

With all due respect a two hour video - one which I saw way back when - even with the supplementary material provided on the website, is not the same thing as reading the literature and does not substitute for studying the competing points of view and the ongoing debates.

Just one example. You put forth the claim that it was in Babylonia that Jews began to circumcise. While scholars conjecture that perhaps circumcision, as well as Shabbat observance, became more strictly followed as the community sought to maintain its separate identity, the separate texts that became the Torah and which contain the requirement to circumcise are commonly believed by scholars - with the exception of some in that small group sometimes referred to as the Copenhagen school - to all have been written prior to the Babylonian exile.

B'shalom,

Peter

Yamah
05-10-2011, 10:02 AM
"Of course some are more speculitive then others"
I am glad that you admit it.

7luminaries
01-11-2011, 03:40 PM
In short form, I think the philosophy and words of Hillel say it best for me.

Looking to Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), Hillel's section opens with his reference to Aaron the High Priest as the model for all Jews to follow.

Hillel says we should be like followers of Aaron in his love of peace, in his love of man, and in his leading mankind to a knowledge of the Law -- which itself means, the Way (Pirkei Avoth 1:12).

Oral tradition attributes these virtues to Moses' brother Aaron, but Hillel is also reaffirming virtues that he himself embodied. Hillel considered "love of man" to be the heart of Jewish teaching, or you could say, to be woven into the tapestry of the Way.

Having said that, I personally believe that until we can embody that love and respect for one another regardless of level of observance etc, and overcome internal divisions...then we have fallen short of fulfilling our purpose as Jews and as humans. Without embodying this core principle toward one another, there is a foundational gap for which no level of observance can compensate. That is the challenge of truly following the Way in love and in discipline, in compassion and in awe. Under this paradigm, an open heart requires an open mind, and vice versa.

We have to get beyond judgment of level of observance as a litmus test of worth. There are many ways to strive for spiritual growth and commitment and they may not all have to do with level of observance or any particular interpretation of what that means. Not everyone comes from the same place and not everyone has the same opportunities and gifts.

For me, as the chasids would say, it's about the kavanah we bring to the moment. We are only human but there is still have work to do. Striving to know God is beautiful, whatever your sincerely chosen path. But we must all release the expectation that simply because we are on a particular path, that we have the right to judge others who may be on a different path (i.e. less orthodox or whatever the difference may be, etc).

peace & blessings,
7L

------------------------------------------------------
Sayings of Hillel....

"Be amongst the students of Aaron: Love peace and pursue peace. Love people and bring them close to Torah."
(Pirkei Avot 1:12 (Foundations...or, Ethics, of the Fathers) )

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am [only] for myself, [then] what am 'I'? And if not now, when?"
(Pirkei Avot 1:14)

The expression of the ethic of reciprocity (http://www.spiritualforums.com/vb/redir.php?link=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiritualforums.co m%2Fvb%2Fredir.php%3Flink%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fen. wikipedia.org%252Fwiki%252FEthic_of_reciprocity), or "Golden Rule":
"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah (http://www.spiritualforums.com/vb/redir.php?link=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiritualforums.co m%2Fvb%2Fredir.php%3Flink%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fen. wikipedia.org%252Fwiki%252FTorah); the rest is the explanation; go and learn."
(Babylonian Talmud (http://www.spiritualforums.com/vb/redir.php?link=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiritualforums.co m%2Fvb%2Fredir.php%3Flink%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fen. wikipedia.org%252Fwiki%252FTalmud), tractate Shabbat 31a)

"[As Hillel the Elder had stated]
whosoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world.
And whosoever that saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world."
(Jerusalem Talmud Sanhedrin 4:1 (22a) )

tone0728
06-11-2011, 03:28 AM
To Love God, Yourself, and your neighbor. Live by the Golden Rule, and to accept and appreciate your blessings. Ultimately these are the things which make us truly happy. So IMO, the ultimate aim of Judaism is the same aim as every other genuine effort toward spiritualty...shalom!!

Timbrel
07-11-2011, 02:30 AM
The ultimate aim of Judaism is for every Jew to be a light unto the world. It's not complicated, it's simple. We live our whole lives as a process of becoming a light in our own way, in everything we do, everyday. It's not about what comes next, it's about now. Our job as human beings is to infuse holiness into the mundane world. That's it. Ask a Jew how she has infused holiness into the world on any particular day, and she will know. She might answer, "Oh, I really didn't do any of that today..." but she will know. That's what sets Jews apart, we just know our obligation, regardless of how we might feel about it or what we do or don't do about it.

RabbiO
07-11-2011, 06:01 PM
The ultimate aim of Judaism is for every Jew to be a light unto the world. It's not complicated, it's simple. We live our whole lives as a process of becoming a light in our own way, in everything we do, everyday. It's not about what comes next, it's about now. Our job as human beings is to infuse holiness into the mundane world. That's it. Ask a Jew how she has infused holiness into the world on any particular day, and she will know. She might answer, "Oh, I really didn't do any of that today..." but she will know. That's what sets Jews apart, we just know our obligation, regardless of how we might feel about it or what we do or don't do about it.

Welcome to the forum.

נעים מאוד

B'shalom,

Peter

sbjazzman
21-03-2012, 04:24 AM
A Kabbalist would tell you that the aim is to restore the wholeness that existed before the "Breaking of the Vessels" which occurred when we could not contain the light we were originally one with prior to becoming seemingly separate from it. Search on Kabbalah, Luria, Tzimtzum to get more info on this as well as Tikkun Olam.