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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Judaism

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  #11  
Old 11-07-2011, 06:11 PM
7luminaries 7luminaries is offline
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On Rashi and Beresh*t (Genesis)...re: avenger, it's a good starting place...thanks for that...

My post is just background...I leave the big questions raised in the OP to the Rabbi...or to another time at least....

Here are a few things that point to Rashi's overall perspective, which is that the Torah's raison d'etre is [forgive my generalisation] to deal with humanity's raison d'etre, which is to know God and ourselves and to realise our potential in various ways, through our awareness and our actions, etc. (study, prayer, mitzvot etc).


http://www.myjewishlearning.com/hist...om/Rashi.shtml
Quote:

Rashi’s method is to state what he considers to be the plain meaning (peshat) of the text and also homiletical comments (derash) culled from the Midrash. For instance, in Rashi’s comment on the first word of Genesis, bere****, “In the beginning,” he notes that on the plain meaning this word, in the construct state (Rashi was a gifted grammarian), should be rendered as “in the beginning of,” that is, the word is connected with what follows in the verse: “In the beginning of God’s creation of the heaven and the earth, the earth was…”

But he also quotes a Midrashic comment according to which bere**** means “because of the beginning,” both the Torah and Israel being referred to in Scripture as “The beginning,” so that the verse states, homiletically, that “God has created the world because of the Torah and because of Israel;” in other words, God’s ultimate purpose in creation was for Israel to receive the Torah.

And here is a Masorti commentary...on what Rashi notes the Torah does not focus on...
http://www.byfi.org/news/?q=node/73
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Here we have an 11th century Rabbi clearly telling us NOT to look in the Torah for a precise, scientific, blow-by-blow description of the creation of the universe - "the Biblical text teaches us absolutely nothing of the order of what was created before what". The Torah, according to Rashi, is NOT a scientific text but, rather, is silent, has gaps, about some very basic elements of the creation story. One can not learn from it the details of the creation of the universe.

and another very nice one on the nature of humankind...which I think also relates to the purpose of the Torah for Jews...or, you could say, the original purpose of the Torah, which Jews

http://www.ou.org/torah/ti/5766/bere****66.htm
Quote:

At the moment of his creation, the human being is reminded of his mortality, but simultaneously he is assured that he will live again (techiyat ha’meitim). Because he is endowed, at the moment of creation, with free will, a person is capable of sin, and so Hashem graciously affords him the opportunity for forgiveness and redemption.

The human being is compounded from the dust and imbued with “breath” from G-d. Unlike every other created entity, he straddles two realms. The human being is a merging of the earthly and the Divine, the animal and the angelic, the base and the ideal, giving him the potential either to sink or to soar.

It is crucial to humanity’s fulfilling its potential that it knows what kind of potential it possesses. As Rabbi Akiva teaches in Pirkei Avot (3:18): Beloved is Man, for he was created in the Image (of G-d). It is by an additional love that he was informed that he was created in the Image (of G-d).


Man’s uniqueness stems from his having been created in the Image of G-d, but the fact that humanity has been granted access to an “Image-of-G-d-awareness” is an extra measure of human uniqueness. Does every person know this fundamental Torah concept? If not, then it is the duty of the Jewish people, who have been given the Torah, to teach and to exemplify it.

l'shalom (toward peace...)
7L

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  #12  
Old 11-07-2011, 06:55 PM
seahorse
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I'd like to offer a different perspective..why must we accept the Bible, the Torah, any ancient text and not Gnostic texts such as the Gospel of Judas? The fact that many people believe (or forced to believe in Christianity) doesn't guarantee it's correct. I look at God's creation, Nature and see Logic everywhere except humans. Bible says God created us in his own image. The God is not perfect. And if he is allmighty indeed, why didn't He make us perfect in the first place ? Why did He created Satan (a name nowhere to be found in the BIble) didn't He know he would betray Him ? It doesn't make sense, and the Church could never provide a satisfactory answer except "God works in mysterious ways". I can think of an alternative theory : There was indeed a battle in Heaven. Good versus Evil. And you know? God lost. What we experience is a universe made by the Deceiver, giving us false hope because he get his kicks watching us struggle in vain all our lives believing in false salvation, stumble and fall, get up again believing in his lies. He even sends his demons disguised as angels to give us courage so we don't give up and spoil his party....a theory but we can't prove it's wrong....right ?
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2011, 07:46 PM
Time
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Sory this mustve gotten buried for me....

I was speaking in terms of the original books being written tos et the jewish people apart from their occupiers, ie babylonians and assyrians. Every major civilization at that time had a polytheistic tradiction, that being more then one god. The jewish people wanted to be seperate. Circumscision to regonize the follwers of the faith, one god, them being chosen to get to the "promised land", it all fits with a civ trying to break apart form the typical society.

The books werent written by anyone else, besides jewish people. The greeks copied those texts, they werent written by them.

FYI the satan isnt the devil. Satan was gods helper to test the peoples faith in god. A story which is mirrored when jesus was tested by satan, just mis interpreted as the devil. Satan was doing work, FOR god well after this battle between heaven and hell happened. IF your refering to revalations, the odds are it was refering to ROMANS, not the world, because at the time the stories of the NT were written, The middle east was occupied by rome. Once again, a jewish theme.

All of the people int he bible are jewish. The word messiah, or as we now say it Messiah, is jewish, circumscision is jewish, so is honoring the sabbath of sunday. They are jewish rules. It was never intended with a world veiw in mind. All religions are, are old interpretations on how they veiwed, and observed life to work. Each culture is different, so each culture had different interpretations, but its still trying to interepet the same earth, the same sky, the same starts, water,people and the like.

Even someone who was an early christian, liek paul the martyr, said to a roman court " we think of jesus, as you think of the sons of jupiter (loose)", it isnt even an "original" faith.
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  #14  
Old 11-07-2011, 07:58 PM
seahorse
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"trying to interepet the same earth, the same sky, the same starts, water,people and the like" Jesus said "You are Gods" what did he mean by that i wonder....maybe what Ghandhi said about all living things being a part of what we call God, little drops of water forming an ocean, or individual cells that form an organism greater than any of its parts although the cells are never aware of it ? I don't claim to be wise or anything, far from it, just wondering, sorry if i'm off topic !
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  #15  
Old 11-07-2011, 10:46 PM
RabbiO RabbiO is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 377
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by seahorse
I'd like to offer a different perspective..why must we accept the Bible, the Torah, any ancient text and not Gnostic texts such as the Gospel of Judas? The fact that many people believe (or forced to believe in Christianity) doesn't guarantee it's correct. I look at God's creation, Nature and see Logic everywhere except humans. Bible says God created us in his own image. The God is not perfect. And if he is allmighty indeed, why didn't He make us perfect in the first place ? Why did He created Satan (a name nowhere to be found in the BIble) didn't He know he would betray Him ? It doesn't make sense, and the Church could never provide a satisfactory answer except "God works in mysterious ways". I can think of an alternative theory : There was indeed a battle in Heaven. Good versus Evil. And you know? God lost. What we experience is a universe made by the Deceiver, giving us false hope because he get his kicks watching us struggle in vain all our lives believing in false salvation, stumble and fall, get up again believing in his lies. He even sends his demons disguised as angels to give us courage so we don't give up and spoil his party....a theory but we can't prove it's wrong....right ?

Sea,

I appreciate your jumping in to comment, but I think your comments might best be posted on a different sub-forum. Not that the Judaism sub-forum is limited only to Jews, but you raise questions that have no meaning in Judaism. The Gnostic gospels, as well as other Gnostic writings, are a Christian concern. Jews have no horse in the race, so to speak, in regard to what writings were made part of the Christian canon.
There is no concept of a demiurge in Judaism.

Although the idea of fallen angels gained some currency in Judaism during the second Temple period, witness for example the Book of Enoch, that idea was more a part of folk religion than an accepted part of mainstream Judaism. In other words, Satan is the job title of an angel whose responsibility is, as some put it, to act as the heavenly prosecutor. It is not that G-d did not know that the Satan would betray Him. There was no betrayal.

You also posit that G-d is not perfect since Torah says we are made in the image and likeness of G-d and we are not perfect. You also ask if G-d is almighty how come He did not make us perfect. First you are making a presumption that being made in the image and likeness of G-d means that we are in every respect like G-d. Second, you are presuming that G-d meant to create us as perfect, but somehow blew it. I don't why you are presuming either.

B'shalom,

Peter
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