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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Judaism

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  #1  
Old 04-08-2016, 03:29 PM
Honza Honza is offline
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How do you feel about Judaism?

Do you feel Judaism is archaic? That it is out of date?

Personally I find it quite homely. There is something reassuring about the Old Testament. I see it as a book full of symbols about God and life.
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2016, 03:49 PM
knightofalbion knightofalbion is offline
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Nothing but respect. That Jews retain their faith, and have done so through the centuries, despite the gross ignorance, bigotry and persecution that they face ...
There is Faith.
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All this talk of religion, but it's how you live your life that is the all-important thing.
If you set out each day to do all the goodness and kindness that you can, and to do no harm to man or beast, then you are walking the highest path.
And when your time is up, if you can leave the earth a better place than you found it, then yours will have been a life well lived.

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  #3  
Old 04-08-2016, 09:28 PM
Clear Blue Sky Clear Blue Sky is offline
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I feel it has adapted over the years and actively engages in meeting ancient traditions/views and modern knowledge/outlook together. I respect how different schools of thought are laid out and tolerated, that interpretation is understood as interpretation and there is (that I know of anyway) not much reports of factional jew-vs-jew escalations or violence regarding interpretation of doctrine.

Judaism differs fundamentally from most other 'main' religions in that it is intrinsically a religion that also encompasses a tribe, culture, people not just a bunch of doctrine or belief system. It walks through time, but is not an it, the people of community have walked through time and have a long-history perspective. I am not jewish but I have found knowing of their long-term perspective helpful and uplifting in my own struggle with modern corruption and oppression.

That being said, the guy who shot up the muslims who were worshipping in the tomb of the patriarchs was wrong. But I know a lot of jewish adherents stress peace and compassion as the highest aspirations of God and have done much over the years to advance human rights.
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  #4  
Old 05-08-2016, 05:59 PM
7luminaries 7luminaries is offline
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I feel Judaism has a richer communal worship, contemplative/mystical tradition, and individual learning path than nearly anything else that exists. Extended into practical energy work, it also contains a direct path or link either to what we know as Taoist traditional medicine and energy work or to what we know Ayurvedic traditional medicine and energy work. Yoga (tai chi) is a particularly strong contribution of one, and Qi Gong (pranic healing) of the other.

Having said that, I feel mainstream Judaism in the West of whatever degree of observance has more or less the same drawbacks that all other traditions in the West do...it suffers from schisms, denial, and entrenched patriarchy/bro code regarding the core imbalances in all relationships in our society between the two fundamental units of humanity, men and women. Because most ppl in our society have no clear guidance on specifics from any branch of Judaism aside from the orthodox branches, which respect a woman's virginity in the same way as most any other orthodox religion, as a critical aspect of a woman's value as a potential wife etc.

The extreme orthodox impose severe gender inequities codified into every aspect of daily behavior and more or less fear or disdain everyone else as impure or not kosher. So for them women must be delivered to a man untainted and mikvah-compliant, and that's why the observant who are flawed and in need will often go to a prostitute rather than have any other sex outside of marriage. Because they feel it's more honest and respectful to have a business arrangement with a prostitute, rather than using any other single woman who is looking for something real. So if they have sex without love or commitment, they are owning it for what it is, just sex. And there actually I would tend to agree that it is more honest and more real, and that they are at least owning their straightforward intentions and actions.

Nearly everyone else who does not consider themselves observant in the orthodox sense seems to ascribe to the same severely utilitarian, exploitative, and rather amoral behavior in relationships that mainstream society puts forth and actively underwrites as "the norm". Particularly relationships other than marriage (some of which surely does have some measure of love and good intention regarding the other at least some of the time, even if not all the time and even if not always with an authentic love which actively desires and seeks the highest good of one another).

Lacking specific guidance and in-depth community reflection and discussion on morality and ethics pertaining to modern relationships from their traditions and from non-orthodox rabbis unwilling or unable to take a stand...largely for fear of offending PC sensibilities of congregants which above all cannot tread on bro code and the insatiable modern plagues of porn and sex addictions...most modern men are led by mainstream social propaganda and not by a deeper authentic love and respect for their fellow human beings. Particularly if they must make insatiable, unrelenting demands on 50% of them for uncommitted sex on demand in even the most casual, uncommitted, unloving, and superficial of relationships.

Modern norms and the amorality of the modern utilitarian ethos will not guide anyone on their path in ways that align with Spirit. But because the non-Orthodox branches largely feel they cannot frame or initiate the discussion with presence and clarity, what happens is there is essentially no real non-orthodox guidance at all from Western religion traditions for the application of authentic love in relationship to the opposite sex or toward potential life partners for those who are single for perhaps the better part of their adult life.

In this, nearly all non-orthodox spiritual traditions in the West have failed the vast majority of those in their societies (i.e., those who don't align with orthodoxy), particularly those who still very much wish to live a life that is right-aligned with Spirit, self, and others. Including Judaism, which could make the argument right now persistently, thoroughly, and with great love...were the congregants not so thoroughly vested in the modern lazy amorality, bro code, and unfettered sexual exploitation (errr, I mean, a "mutual use", supposedly...) that they simply could hardly tolerate a mention of it. Much less a more thoroughly honest, direct, sensitive, and truly loving discussion that involves all parties involved (that is, all humanity, men and women).

I suppose what I'm saying is that, like all non-orthodox traditions in the West, Judaism has failed to thus far successfully, freely, and thoroughly engage with the most fundamental societal imbalances of the two most fundamental units of humanity, men and women. And yet like all other spiritual traditions worldwide, it assumes that addressing the mutual sustainability of interaction between these fundamental units of humanity can be ignored or relegated to a status (if married then do otherwise according to orthodox rule....else no guidance other than get married). As if we self-reproduced and therefore there truly were only 2 levels or units...individual and various communities of self-reproducing individuals.

But WAIT...how is it you go about even that bit, the bit about marriage? Do you get to know and love someone first? Or do you demand sex and have sex with whomever without love and then maybe marry one of them in your lifetime if you do care at some point and/or if it suits you? What are the deeper implications? Why would this matter and who cares if we're mutually using each other for sex or boosting or comfort? Well, Judaism says all is sacred, body and soul...and likewise sex is a mutual joining of body and soul, not a singular bodily function like defecation or urination or eating or sleeping. And most traditions would find a self-serving use or exploitation of others as misaligned, even if it's "mutual". This is EXACTLY where specific, concrete, day-to-day guidance and commentary comes in -- bringing much needed clarity, awareness, reflection, ownership, and food for thought.

I think that we need commentary based on authentic love with very clear application and guidance in the West, in modern societies, dealing with relationships and interaction between men and women as equals in Spirit. Rather than simply considering the issue of relationships as it relates to the states of betrothal or marriage, else not at all. From the perspective of authentic love, which seeks the highest good of the other equally to the self, and which always seeks to align intent, word, and deed with Spirit, then it becomes much easier to discuss generally what we feel is good (or right-aligned with Spirit) in our tradition, versus what misses the mark, or is less well-aligned with Spirit. And in the penetrating way of Judaism, this clearly also means deeply engaged, detailed discussions with a number of very clear case examples, different perspectives per usual, minority opinions to preserve diversity on principle, and so forth.

Real, concrete discussion, questioning, reflection, and yes guidance for modern, non-orthodox humanity's day-to-day interactions and relationships -- particularly all relationships between men and women -- based on authentic love and clearly delineated at every step as such. This is so very deeply needed to counter the modern amoral utilitarianism in relationship, particularly those between men and women where the vast imbalances that currently exist between are always the axis upon which all else turns. It's a start, it's that slight turning in the right direction (toward Spirit), and it's long overdue for the modern era. I saw a few pages in 1 chapter with some very general guidance in a recent compendium on Conservative Judaism from the US -- among the first ever of this sort of guidance, really. Inadequate but underscoring the rarity of this topic in majority non-orthodox circles in the West.

Peace & blessings
7L
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Bound by conventions, people tend to reach for what is easy.

Here we must be unafraid of what is difficult.

For all living beings in nature must unfold in their particular way

and become themselves despite all opposition.

-- Rainer Maria Rilke

Last edited by 7luminaries : 05-08-2016 at 07:06 PM.
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  #5  
Old 05-08-2016, 07:45 PM
Clear Blue Sky Clear Blue Sky is offline
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7luminaries, I think you hit on a main stumbling block for all religions who attempt to 'walk the earth'

As soon as religion creates creeds or commandments on daily living and earth-concern cirumstances --- marriage, division of property, work norms, politics -- this opens the door to doctrinal robotics and distraction from 'spirit focus'.

I would point out though for the most orthodox and sincere of Jews, they do not see such a dichotomy between right living and spiritiual perspectives. The true sainted are those who can walk the earth in the spiritual light. But as the main religions want to bring along the whole populace (whose spiritual light will vary) things get codified and lose their flexible life. Or in the vernacular, "where the rubber meets the road it gets messy"

A religion like Buddhism, or the more 'draw away and meditate' have less of this stumbling block, because they do not place continuous demands for the average adherent.... just maybe that hour or so when they 'leave it all behidn' a brief moment to go meditate or something.

the notion that 'spiritual' and 'day to day' are separate ways of living is a relatively modern mental construct, and I don't know that Judaism adheres to that construct as their religion has also always been tied to ethnic identity, raising of generations and walking the earth.
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  #6  
Old 05-08-2016, 08:05 PM
7luminaries 7luminaries is offline
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The non-orthodox are stumbling just as all other Western traditions are stumbling...and for the same reasons...lack of discussion of spirit-informed ethics centred in authentic love. And lack of some clear, concrete commentary and situational examples to provide some guidance and a deeper practical understanding of what this all means day-to-day in how we treat one another.

LOL @Buddhism...I think that's a Westerner's understanding based in a Western context. Certainly in traditional centres of Buddhist practice, there certainly is a lot of practical and concrete commentary and guidance on what is generally and specifically considered to be right-aligned. But in the West, it's much the same everywhere for the non-orthodox practitioners, or even for the orthodox ones, hahaha...again, wherever this concrete, practical guidance is lacking.

Again, though, I think you may be falling into the either/or thinking that modern society tends to encourage. I don't think there is one right way (orthodoxy), but I do think there are ways that are more right-aligned and ways that miss the mark or are less right-aligned. With Spirit, self, and others. In any particular time and place, it is incumbent upon humanity to decide for themselves what is good, or right-aligned and what is not or what misses the mark. The orthodox don't have the only way, but it is incumbent upon us all to take universal laws and interpret them in our own time and place. Interpretation of universal laws is fluid, not fixed. It requires engagement and ownership by all humanity for all humanity, starting with oneself.

And I believe that the primary reason for any spiritual tradition is to guide us in right-alignment with Spirit, self, and others, from within a context of authentic love. Concrete examples and discussion for living in right alignment, for purposes of guidance and understanding, are critical for most if not all. I personally see very little need for spiritual traditions of any kind if not for this richly engaged, communal interpretation of universal law. We can discover meditation and freeform or wordless prayer on our own and largely always have done.

There is always a range of perspectives regarding commentary and guidance in Judaism (and in Buddhism, BTW), and that's desirable else you fall back into orthodoxy -- but if you fail to have the discussion then you stumble. I am not orthodox BTW, and currently I am barely observant at all in the usual sense -- though I have my moments. Frankly I find it difficult to support traditions that lack the courage to speak up in the name of love, and I'm deeply disappointed in non-orthodox Judaism, with its longstanding ethical tradition. There has always been a spectrum of observance and differences in interpretations amongst Jews. We are here to stay, that's for sure. But Judaism is already long overdue in the modern era to take on this challenge in the non-orthodox realm. I see that all but the most extreme our Western spiritual traditions have been rendered mute or inert -- largely due to the same hubris, hypocrisy, addictions, and amorality of their congregants, whom the rabbis cannot guide in truth without running smack up against their congregants' hubris, their addictions, and their amorality. And the same is true of every other Western spiritual tradition. Freed of these shackles, there is much they could say or do.

We stumble not because it's either (orthodox living) or (amorality), but simply because we fail to engage in constructing a life to be lived and shared in alignment with Spirit. Not because it's somehow not possible to live in alignment with Spirit without any particular strict, orthodox rules interpreted as of some time and place...no, that's not the reason we stumble. Because, of course, under whatever tradition, ALL universal laws will need particular interpretation for EVERY particular time and place. Orthodox followers of any tradition have their particular answer for their particular needs, but it's not the universal answer for everyone. Their way is not the only WAY, even if they don't seem to stumble and the rest of us do.

We stumble NOT because our way is inherently misaligned but only because it not consciously ALIGNED. We stumble simply because 1) we fail to even try to imagine or strive for a live in alignment with Spirit. We fail to even have the discussion, because we cannot bear to admit that we still are in need of growth, maturity, change, and a fuller and more generous heart and more authentically loving, kind, and respectful ways toward self and others. And 2) we stumble when we do realise our need for alignment but then repeatedly ignore, reject or undermine our own progress on our own path -- or that of others. Because we lack discipline, we sell our integrity, we are in service to self, and because we are addicted to whatever it is that we demand and must have up front in our relationships, all else be damned. Only with humility, honesty, acceptance, and authentic love can we admit who and where we are in this moment, so that we may re-orient ourselves toward Spirit in all other moments.

Peace & blessings
7L
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Bound by conventions, people tend to reach for what is easy.

Here we must be unafraid of what is difficult.

For all living beings in nature must unfold in their particular way

and become themselves despite all opposition.

-- Rainer Maria Rilke
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  #7  
Old 20-08-2017, 04:44 AM
neemish neemish is offline
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Its the knowledge of the Jews that is important to all seeking spiritual development and understanding...Without this knowledge we would be in really bad shape here in the end times...because of it we have a second way to enter back into the spirit world at the front gate as we are designed to do as beings here almost 6000 years later.. Because of this knowledge we have the ability to receive the key of david to open what no one can close and close what no one can open...the doorway back in to the spirit world for those who understand and do what the big guy upstairs asked us to do...here in the end times...and not be hurt by the second death...just like he promised... neemish
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  #8  
Old 31-10-2017, 07:07 PM
dream jo dream jo is offline
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dnt no i dnt
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2017, 02:25 AM
Nephele Nephele is offline
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"Do you feel Judaism is archaic? That it is out of date?"

Judaism can be a mixed bag -- with practices ranging from what some might consider archaic, to those that reflect modern-day values of equality and inclusion.

"There is something reassuring about the Old Testament."

As a child, I loved the drama of the story of Passover and the escape from Egypt (Prince of Egypt is one of my favorite animated movies). But when I grew older and read a few other things in the Bible, I wasn't so enamored of it anymore. :(

For reassurance, I'd much rather read a short story by Sholem Aleichem, or Isaac Bashevis Singer. :)
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