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A Glass named Esther
04-11-2010, 11:58 PM
I'm going to make an educated guess that of the three Patriarchs it is more common to concentrate on either Abraham or Jacob (Israel) instead of Isaac.

With that said, I'd like to open up a discussion about the first man who was born as a Jew.

Who wants to start digging?

Shim
05-11-2010, 12:06 AM
I am unfamiliar with Judaism, A Glass named Esther. Digs this post though, can you define a Jew for me? Another words one who is born of racial descent, or one who keeps the precepts of the Torah? What I have found is that Abraham is recognized as the first Jew and was referred to as "Hebrew." And anyone who descended from him and or followed his teaching. A "Jew" is also from Judah, the twelve sons of Jacob, the twelve tribes of Israel.

Why is Adam considered to be part of the chosen people? The answer, because he had the qualities of being chosen, but because of his sin the Jews hadn't come through until later generations.

7luminaries
05-11-2010, 05:44 PM
I like the mystical interpretation of Isaac's character..it connects the qualities he represents with that of his father and of his son...

Just briefly...Isaac symbolises gevurah...divine might or judgment. He embodies the quality of receiving chesed [i.e. on the altar]...or, being tempered by it, as judgment is tempered by compassion.

Abraham symbolises chesed (compassion or lovingkindness), and embodies the quality of giving this.

Jacob is the balance...tiferet...beauty, wisdom, and mercy...the culmination of gevurah and chesed.

7luminaries
05-11-2010, 05:52 PM
I am unfamiliar with Judaism, A Glass named Esther. Digs this post though, can you define a Jew for me? Another words one who is born of racial descent, or one who keeps the precepts of the Torah? What I have found is that Abraham is recognized as the first Jew and was referred to as "Hebrew." And anyone who descended from him and or followed his teaching. A "Jew" is also from Judah, the twelve sons of Jacob, the twelve tribes of Israel.

Why is Adam considered to be part of the chosen people? The answer, because he had the qualities of being chosen, but because of his sin the Jews hadn't come through until later generations.

As to the first Jew...here is a much cooler answer than one I could give, & which is far more accurate in its completeness....
Peace :)
7L

http://www.asknoah.org/forums/showthread.php?tid=37&pid=1382#pid1382


Avrahom, Sarah, Rivka (Rebecca), Rachel and Leah, and Bilha and Zilpa (who were half-sisters of Rachel and Leah), all belonged to the same extended family, and they were all spiritually Jewish as a result of the souls they were individually granted by G-d. But since the Covenant at Mount Sinai had not yet taken place, there was not yet a Jewish People, and they were still bound by Noahide Law.

These six women had the power to pass on their spiritual Jewishness to their children, through gestation in the womb, but Avrahom as the father did not, so Ishmael was not spiritually Jewish. Thus Sarah's only child, Yitzchak, was spiritually Jewish, as were Rivka's two children Ya'akov (Israel) and Esav (Esau).

All of Ya'akov's children (the Israelite family) from Rachel, Leah, Bilha and Zilpa were spiritually Jewish. Esav married out of this special group, and did not have any spiritually Jewish children.

All of these persons mentioned were granted souls of great spiritual, and thus historical, significance.

At Mount Sinai, the approximately 3 million assembled Israelites entered into a Divine Covenant with G-d and became the Jewish People, and they received the Torah Law from G-d through Moses. From that point on, anyone born to a Jewish mother is a Jew, and is obligated in the Jewish commandments of the Torah. Likewise anyone born to a Gentile mother is a Gentile (one of the Children of Noah), and is obligated in the Noahide commandments of the Torah.

A Glass named Esther
16-11-2010, 05:56 PM
7L, I'm really happy you brought up Gevurah :smile:

When it comes to the binding of Issac, I've read lots of questions on the place of Abraham (Chesed) and less on the place of Issac (Gevurah). I suppose it makes sense. Who wants to be in the place of Judgement?

It's interesting because I've heard that understanding(the binding of) Issac is closely linked to redemption.

So here's my stab at it:

Abraham is in the place of the Giver. To us, G-d is The Giver.
Issac is the Receiver.

We can put ourselves in the place of Issac by being a willing sacrifice (as carried out by "our Father"). There is a good possibility that we (our animal self, ie. our heart) might struggle and blemish the sacrifice. So, we have to bind our animal self/heart. This can be accomplished through prayer (service of the heart).

To pray is "to judge oneself" but it is also "to come close to G-d". So, in prayer, we can offer our self to be judged. We are ready to receive our judgment. Like Issac, we experience great fear/awe and revelation.

But here's the good part: The Giver is in the place of Chesed. The result is mercy/compassion.

7luminaries
20-01-2011, 08:25 PM
Esther...I liked your response and not certain why I never followed up...
I have some really interesting stuff on this from a recent conference. Really even more in the mystical vein, aside from the kabbalistic ideas we've put up.

I'll post more shortly...
:)

Marah-Rut
21-01-2011, 02:54 AM
I think there's a little confusion here and mixing of "labels"...
Abraham was not a Jew. Abraham was Ivrit, which translates to Hebrew, which means "of the other side" (I'm unsure of the etymology of the word Hebrew possibly Greek or Aramaic). He was a missionary of sorts and convinced others of the Oneness of G-D, and these "converts" became Hebrews, also. Some scholars believe that Hebrew is a reference to the fact that he was originally from Ur, left there and settled on the other side of the river... and then there are some scholars that believe it refers to the fact that all those around him were polytheists and Abraham believed in the One G-D - a spiritual distinction, if you will... and then there are those that believe it is a combination of both. Abrahams wives were also monotheists aka Hebrew, as were his children.
His son Isaac was also a Hebrew. As was Isaacs son Jacob. Jacob continued to believe in the One G-D and passed that belief onto his children. Jacob wrestles with an Angel throughout the night before he is to see his twin brother Esau and is renamed Israel meaning "One who wrestles with G-D" - and while his name seems to be interchangable throughout the Tanakh some scholars hold that when Jacob is referred to as Israel, it is reference to spiritual being .
Jacob/Israel has 12 sons whose descendants become known as B'nai Yisrael or the Children of Israel. The sons of Jacob/Israel have children and it is by their names that the Tribes of Israel are qualified: Asher, Benjamin, Dan, Gad, Issachar, Joseph (Ephraim & Menasheh), Judah, Levi, Naphtali, Rueven, Simeon, and Zebulon. However, the descendants of Jacobs sons aren't referred to as Israelites until around the time of the Exodus from Egypt- pre Exodus actually. The Israelites are monotheists and believe in the One G-D of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
It isn't until after King Solomon when there is a political break between the northern tribes and southern tribes that the labelidentification begins to change. The northern tribes, comprised of Asher, Dan, Gad, Issachar,Joseph [Ephraim and Menasheh], Naphtali, Rueven, Zebulon and the Levites living in the priestly territories in the north, are referred to as Israel and the southern tribes - comprised of Judah, Benjamin, Simeon and the Levites whose priestly cities are located within the southern territories. The southern tribes merge into one under the tribal name of Judah. Judah, being the largest of the Southern tribes, they form a single territorial and political entity which becomes known as "Judea".
After the Babylonian exile the northern tribes disappear thusly and become known as the 10 lost tribes of Israel. Judea returns and eventually the Judeans become known as ... you got it, Jews -
As for "who is a Jew?" Anyone born of a Jewish mother is considered a Jew, period. Tribal affiliation is through the father, spiritual affiliation is through the mother.
As for "What about Isaac" Information on him is thin... He was borne to Abraham and Sarah when they were quite old and there are some scholars that believe he had Down Syndrome - but of course that is speculative. Biblical scholars put his age somewhere between 36/37-42 when the Akedah, the binding of Isaac occurs. We know he never sees his parents alive after this event. His mother, Sarah (also a Hebrew), passes away when she learns the details of Abrahams journey to Moriah. And while Abraham arranges a marriage for Isaac. He, Abraham does not attend the festivities. When Abraham dies Isaac and Ishmael come together, unite as brothers, to bury their father.
Isaac and Rebecca go on to have twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Isaac favors Esau and Rebecca favors Jacob. Isaac, in his old age, goes blind. While lying on his deathbed he calls for Esau and asks him to make a favored meal. Rebecca overhears, makes the meal and convinces Jacob to disguise himself as Esau and receives the blessing of the firstborn - a holy oath that cannot be revoked once spoken. Upon Esau's return with the favored meal Esau learns that the Blessing of the Firstborn has been given to Jacob and he begs his father to bless him also. Rebecca fearing for Jacobs safety urges him to leave and go to her ancestral home.
Now some biblical scholars say that Isaac knew it was Jacob disquised as Esau and blessed him accordingly anyway, which begs more questions... but generally speaking that's the long and short of Isaac.

Marah-Rut
21-01-2011, 03:27 AM
With all due respect, I think there's a little confusion here and mixing of "labels"...
Abraham was not a Jew. Abraham was Ivrit, which translates to Hebrew, which means "of the other side" (there is some speculation on the etymology of the word Hebrew, possibly Greek or Aramaic). He was a missionary of sorts and convinced others of the Oneness of G-D, and these "converts" became monotheists, aka Hebrews, also.
Some scholars believe that Hebrew is a reference to the fact that he was originally from Ur, left there and settled on the other side of the river... and then there are some scholars that believe it refers to the fact that all those around him were polytheists and Abraham believed in the One G-D - a spiritual distinction, if you will... and then there are those that believe it is a combination of both. Abrahams wives were also monotheists aka Hebrew, as were his children.
His son, Isaac, was also a Hebrew, as was Isaacs’s son, Jacob. Jacob and his wives, Rachel and Leah and their handmaids continued to believe in the One G-D and passed that belief onto his children. Jacob wrestles with an Angel throughout the night before he is to see his twin brother Esau for the first time since receiving the blessing from their father and is renamed Israel meaning "One who wrestles with G-D" - and while his name seems to be interchangeable throughout the Tanakh some scholars hold that when Jacob is referred to as Israel, it is reference to his spiritual being .
Jacob/Israel has 12 sons whose descendants become known as B'nai Yisrael or the Children of Israel. The sons of Jacob/Israel have children and it is by these sons names that the Tribes of Israel are identified: Asher, Benjamin, Dan, Gad, Issachar, Joseph (Ephraim & Manasseh), Judah, Levi, Naphtali, Rueven, Simeon, and Zebulon. However, the descendants of Jacobs sons aren't referred to as Israelites until about the time just before the Exodus from Egypt. The Israelites are monotheists and believe in the One G-D of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.
It isn't until after King Solomon, when there is a political break between the northern tribes and southern tribes that the [I]label[I] identification begins to change. The northern tribes, comprised of Asher, Dan, Gad, Issachar,Joseph [Ephraim and Manasseh], Naphtali, Rueven, Zebulon and the Levites living in the priestly territories in the north, are referred to as [I]Israel [I]and the southern tribes - comprised of Judah, Benjamin, Simeon and the Levites whose priestly cities are located within the southern territories.
The southern tribes merge into one and are known by the largest of the these, Judah. The territory that Judah occupies becomes known as "Judea".
After the Babylonian exile the northern tribes disappear thusly and become known as the 10 lost tribes of Israel. Judea returns and eventually the Judeans become known as ... you got it, Jews -
As for "who is a Jew?" Anyone born of a Jewish mother is considered a Jew, period. Tribal affiliation is through the father, spiritual affiliation is through the mother.
~~~~~~~~~~

As for Isaac, information on him is thin. He was borne to Abraham and Sarah when they were quite old and there are some scholars that believe he had Downs Syndrome - but of course that is speculative. Biblical scholars put his age somewhere between 36/37-42 when the Akedah, the binding of Isaac takes place. We know he never sees his parents alive after this event. His mother, Sarah (also a Hebrew), passes away when she learns the details of Abrahams journey to Moriah. And while Abraham arranges a marriage for Isaac, he, Abraham, does not attend the festivities. When Abraham dies Isaac and Ishmael come together, unite as brothers, to bury their father.
Isaac and Rebecca go on to have twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Isaac favors Esau and Rebecca favors Jacob. Isaac, in his old age, goes blind. While lying on his deathbed he calls for Esau and asks him to make a favored meal. Rebecca overhears, makes the meal and convinces Jacob to disguise himself as Esau and receives the blessing of the firstborn - a holy oath that cannot be revoked once spoken. Upon Esau's return with the favored meal Esau learns that the Blessing of the Firstborn has been given to Jacob and he begs his father to bless him also. Rebecca fearing for Jacobs’s safety urges him to leave and go to her ancestral home. Then Isaac dies.

Now some biblical scholars say that Isaac knew it was Jacob disguised as Esau and blessed him accordingly anyway, which begs more questions... but generally speaking that's the long and short of Isaac.

Unless you want to get into the spirituality of the binding of Isaac...

7luminaries
21-01-2011, 09:29 PM
Hmm....I don't think there's much confusion :smile: We all know the recorded history, more or less (LOL). I think Shim essentially put forth a much more concise version of that.

Hopefully someone else will weigh in, but I always understood the giving of the Torah @Sinai and the covenant @Sinai to be the moment at which we become spiritually Jewish, although the patriarchs, matriarchs, etc, were already considered spiritually Jewish and came foward to Sinai, just as we go back to Sinai, all whilst living in our own "time", in order to all be present there. Yes, that is a "spiritual" or "mystical" interpretation. :D

And yes, we definitely intended to get into the spirituality of Isaac...or perhaps we might prefer to say the mysticism or the metaphysics of Isaac and the akedah...just wait...it gets better...

Peace,
7L

A Glass named Esther
17-02-2011, 03:11 AM
Still patiently waiting...:smile:

-esther

7luminaries
02-03-2011, 05:24 PM
LOL...my friend has not got her notes together...I will review the talk and try to just put some things out there fairly soon & give the credit to her & the presenter...

Cheers!