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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

5772nd verse, same as the first

The Jews never seem to learn from their own history:
Circumcision is one of Judaism's most important laws and for generations of faithful it has symbolized a Biblical covenant with God. But in Israel, more and more Jewish parents are saying no to the blade. "It's such a taboo in Israel and in Judaism," said Gali, nursing her six-week-old son, about the decision not to have him circumcised.
When I was a kid reading the Bible, I always found it to be inexplicable how the Jews would no sooner be saved by God than they would do something bound to piss Him off and land them in some nasty soup.  Now that I am older and a bit more versed in the perversity of human nature, I merely wonder what the inevitable consequence of their willful disobedience is going to be.

And yet some say religion doesn't provide any predictive models....

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168 Comments:

Anonymous Unwrapped November 28, 2012 11:54 AM  

Unfortunately for the Jews, if they're trying to 'keep the Law' they don't get to pick and choose. They have to keep the whole Law. Entirely. Perfectly.

Only been done Once.

Blogger Tim November 28, 2012 11:56 AM  

I too always wondered why people would deify God when they know He can destroy them.

Anonymous Stilicho November 28, 2012 11:58 AM  

Tim, I can see what you meant to write, but that was hilarious nonetheless.

Anonymous Starbuck November 28, 2012 12:03 PM  

The Bible - Old and New Testament are more then just a religion. It is History, good and bad examples, God revealing himself to us through the written word, Laws, Judgement, Acceptance, Prophecy, Hope, Insperation, etc, etc,.

When an atheist just comes along and dismisses it out of hand as being written by "goat herders", they are actually showing their ignorance. These days, ignorance abounds!

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 12:13 PM  

Non-story -- it's a fringe minority, so small there aren't even any concrete numbers given. Two things about journalism (my old profession):

1. If you can find three people who are now doing something, it must be a "trend" for a "trend piece" -- never mind that those three might be the only ones doing it

2. If a dog bites a man, it's not news; if a man bites a dog, it's news. The article is about a practice that is just as rare.

/ American Israeli in Tel Aviv

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 12:15 PM  

Unwrapped,

Unfortunately for the Jews, if they're trying to 'keep the Law' they don't get to pick and choose. They have to keep the whole Law. Entirely. Perfectly.

Depends on who you ask. That's largely the Orthodox mindset. Other types of Judaism believe differently.

But even Orthodox Judaism recognizes that it's impossible to keep all the laws perfectly. We're fallible and human. And we atone for those mistakes (particularly on Yom Kippur).

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 12:20 PM  

Vox,

When I was a kid reading the Bible, I always found it to be inexplicable how the Jews would no sooner be saved by God than they would do something bound to piss Him off and land them in some nasty soup.

That's the point of many of the authors of the books of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). If your goal, as a religious authority, is to get people to follow the Torah, then your writings will communicate the point that bad stuff will happen if you don't.

However, there's also the half-full/half-empty choice in how one views it. One can look at it in one of two ways:

Atone--> Mess Up --> Atone --> Mess Up
Mess Up --> Atone --> Mess Up --> Atone

The first is pessimistic: We always mess up in the end!
The second is optimistic: We always atone in the end!

And both are correct. :)

Anonymous Chelm Wiseman November 28, 2012 12:21 PM  

Vox, I finally agree with something you wrote about Jew/Judaism! I am so happy.

Although it remains to be seen if we learn from our mistakes. Scripture tells us we will eventually., but it wont be a painless process.

Blogger IM2L844 November 28, 2012 12:23 PM  

Now that I am older and a bit more versed in the perversity of human nature, I merely wonder what the inevitable consequence of their willful disobedience is going to be.

What? I'm wearing my shocked face. Isn't this just the consequence of human nature having evolved?

*ducks and runs for cover*

Tim, I can see what you meant to write, but that was hilarious nonetheless.

I let out a hearty guffaw at that as well.

Anonymous Tad November 28, 2012 12:34 PM  

Funny thing is, there is no evidence that anything humans do or have done has ever pissed off a god. So, those that fear this, well, they might as well fear infuriating the fairy in the way they place that tooth under the pillow.

Anonymous Mike M. November 28, 2012 12:37 PM  

Never underestimate the power of Pride and Willful Stupidity.

Anonymous Clay November 28, 2012 12:37 PM  

The Jews just invented circumcision to make a few extra bucks.

I want a refund.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 November 28, 2012 12:49 PM  

I want a refund.

Then get some weights you baby.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 28, 2012 1:11 PM  

Funny thing is, there is no evidence that anything humans do or have done has ever pissed off a god. So, those that fear this, well, they might as well fear infuriating the fairy in the way they place that tooth under the pillow.

Good, good. Now say something about guns and compensation, or perhaps threaten not to copulate with the commentors.

You will never be half the troll I am, but you're shaping up nicely for a mortal.

Anonymous Josh November 28, 2012 1:20 PM  

Funny thing is, there is no evidence that anything humans do or have done has ever pissed off a god. So, those that fear this, well, they might as well fear infuriating the fairy in the way they place that tooth under the pillow.

And yet there isn't a horde of mentally disturbed, socially autistic folks who use every opportunity to loudly clamor for the nonexistence of the tooth fairy.

Anonymous Daniel November 28, 2012 1:29 PM  

Tad,

I've got a photograph of God's DNA taken psychically out of your head. It looks pretty angry to me.

I can only imagine what you were doing to get that sort of reaction from the entity that lives in your bicameral mind.

Blogger Spacebunny November 28, 2012 1:30 PM  

There goes Tad again, using that word he doesn't understand. Could someone please get him a dictionary.

Blogger Brad Andrews November 28, 2012 1:34 PM  

I have some understanding of human nature due to age, but the continual rejection of the Jewish people of their God is quite amazing.

Though also amazing is the fact that their God never just drop kicked them, even after they rejected their Messiah.

Both factors are important considerations, especially for those who elevate the Church (body of earthly believers) too high. Even born again man has major issues to deal with.

Anonymous Daniel November 28, 2012 1:35 PM  

Josh, there's evidence for the tooth fairy. After all, kids put teeth under pillows, and get money in exchange.

The problem atheists have with God is that, unlike the tooth fairy, for such a laughably fake sham legend, they still haven't figured out how He pulls the trick of raising the dead, saving nations, prophesying and transforming men.

I mean, it isn't like mommy is sneaking into Atheist Jr.'s bedroom at night and slipping the Resurrection under a pillow.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 28, 2012 1:36 PM  

Could someone please get him a dictionary.

But first send him a photograph of it, else he will deny its existence when it arrives.

Anonymous Heh November 28, 2012 1:50 PM  

their God never just drop kicked them, even after they rejected their Messiah

Oh, I dunno, they have experienced a certain amount of tribulation since then, which you can attribute to the Will of God if you wish...

Anonymous Josh November 28, 2012 1:55 PM  

But first send him a photograph of it, else he will deny its existence when it arrives.

No, it has to be a hologram, because photographs can totally be faked, dude...

OpenID newrebeluniv November 28, 2012 1:56 PM  

I've been saying for a long time that this Israel is not necessarily the Israel of the Old testiment or even the Israel of Revelations. Knee jerk support of it by Christians on a religious basis is misguided.

Professor Hale

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 28, 2012 2:03 PM  

No, it has to be a hologram, because photographs can totally be faked, dude...

Right, holograms are always precisely what they appear. Always.

Would I lie about that?

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 2:16 PM  

newrebeluniv, November 28, 2012 1:56 PM

I've been saying for a long time that this Israel is not necessarily the Israel of the Old testiment

Yes, it is. All Jews alive today are descendents of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, or Levi. (Converts are a separate, complicated story.) Though there is some evidence that the Jews of India, Ethiopia, and elsewhere may be descended from some of the lost tribes -- but the jury's still out.

Anonymous Daniel November 28, 2012 2:23 PM  

I saw 2Pac with Snoop Dog at Coachella. Evidence of the Resurrection, by Tad's standard.

Blogger Random November 28, 2012 2:39 PM  

"Yes, it is. All Jews alive today are descendents [sic] of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, or Levi."

Descendants != inheritors of the promises of God to the people of Israel.

New Covenant, and all that.

Anonymous MikeH November 28, 2012 2:44 PM  


Like a dog which returneth to his vomit,

Is a fool who cometh again with his folly.


Proverbs 26:11

Anonymous Porko November 28, 2012 2:47 PM  

I've been saying for a long time that this Israel is not necessarily the Israel of the Old testiment or even the Israel of Revelations. Knee jerk support of it by Christians on a religious basis is misguided.

Professor Hale


What is meant then by the Peace of Jerusalem?

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 2:48 PM  

Random November 28, 2012 2:39 PM

Descendants != inheritors of the promises of God to the people of Israel.

New Covenant, and all that.


And that's where we'll just have to agree to disagree since I do not accept your premise. :)

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 2:48 PM  

Descendants != inheritors of the promises of God to the people of Israel.

If so, then what is this verse talking about?

Rom 11:28 As regards the gospel they are enemies of God, for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.

Is the spiritual israel an enemy of God? And if this is natural Israel, then note how they are beloved "as regards election"?

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 2:58 PM  

Note that I'm not trying to sell Dispensationalism; Israel and Christianity are quite plainly said to be enemies in the current state of affairs. And as I have been reading the Ante-Nicene Fathers for that other thread lately, I can't help but notice how extremely harshly the first and second century Church fathers spoke of Jews. I'd expect even Martin Luther to wince at it.

Blogger Random November 28, 2012 3:13 PM  

"If so, then what is this verse talking about?"

He is saying that the fact that many (most) jews rejected the Messiah doesn't mean they can't be saved (if) they embrace the new covenant.

Protestants in particular fall prey to proof-texting like this (using one marginally-related verse to prove a whole aspect of their theology, see "rapture"), since they've divorced themselves from the Church's theological Traditions.

Rather than question the possible meanings of one verse, I'll focus on the consistent teaching of the Church in this regard.

Anonymous bw November 28, 2012 3:17 PM  

W W G S D?

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 3:17 PM  

It's not an "if", it's a "when". Look at the preceding verses. And of course most of the teaching concerns them being enemies, since we live in the current state of affairs.

Rom 11:25 Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brethren: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in,

26 and so all Israel will be saved; as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob";

Blogger Random November 28, 2012 3:22 PM  

2 Peter 3:16 "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction."

Stop treating Sacred Scripture as if it were a complete guide to the ins and outs of the Faith.

The Scriptures (especially St Paul's letters) were written for particular reasons, to solve problems specific to the groups he wrote to--they aren't and never were to be the ONLY guide for the Christian.

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 3:23 PM  

Stop treating Sacred Scripture as if it were a complete guide to the ins and outs of the Faith.

Stop looking the other way and shouting LALALALA, CAN'T HEAR YOU! to verses that don't fit your theology.

Or, if you have some apparently conflicting verses, then we can look at them and see if there is genuine conflict.

Blogger Random November 28, 2012 3:26 PM  

No one is shouting anything, and the verse doesn't conflict with my theology at all--since I'm not limited to only defining my theology from verses cherry-picked out of someone else's mail.

Blogger Random November 28, 2012 3:35 PM  

But since you asked:

Romans 11:23, "And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again."

Israel "after the flesh" (unbelieving jews) may be grafted in again, the same way Gentiles are grafted in to the Spiritual Israel, repentance, faith, and baptism.

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 3:37 PM  

since I'm not limited to only defining my theology from verses cherry-picked out of someone else's mail.

Yet you seem oddly hesitant to demonstrate how I'm cherry-picking the passage, or "wresting" Paul's words.

As for someone else's mail, that argument is only applicable when there is something in the text that the sender and the recipient know about the recipient's circumstances, but the third party reader doesn't. This is not the case here. The verses are not talking about the recipient, but about natural Israel. The words are therefore equally true for us as they were for the Roman congregation.

Anonymous BAJ November 28, 2012 3:38 PM  

Converts to Judaism will still have to undergo either a ceremonial or actual circumcision depending upon whether they have or have not been previously circumcised, respectively.

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 3:40 PM  

Romans 11:23, "And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again."

This verse tells us THAT they can be grafted in. Rom 11:25, only two verses further, tells us WHEN they will be grafted in: [after] "until the full number of the Gentiles come in".

Blogger Random November 28, 2012 3:41 PM  

"As for someone else's mail, that argument is only applicable when there is something in the text that the sender and the recipient know about the recipient's circumstances, but the third party reader doesn't."

I wasn't there when he wrote it, so I don't know what he was thinking or why he chose the words he did, and what those circumstances are.

That the words are true isn't in question--that they mean what you (or I, or anyone) think they mean is the issue.

Anonymous Josh November 28, 2012 3:42 PM  

Oh, a catholic and a calvinist arguing scripture with each other!

*popcorn*

Blogger Random November 28, 2012 3:47 PM  

I think you mean "arguing scripture past each other"

:>

I KNOW I don't know what he meant, and I KNOW that two prayerful believers can look at the same verse and "feel the impulse of the spirit" move them to totally different interpretations.

It's a book. It can't authenticate, validate, or interpret itself, even if God inspired the words.

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 3:51 PM  

That the words are true isn't in question--that they mean what you (or I, or anyone) think they mean is the issue.

That question we resolve just like in any text whatsoever. We follow the train of thought.

"a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in, and so all Israel will be saved"

Ok, now we have a question to resolve. Which Israel is it that will be saved? We know that two different entities are called Israel: Natural Israel and spiritual Israel. So, we read further to see if there are clues.

"As regards the gospel they are enemies of God, for your sake"

Aha, now we know. Members of spiritual Israel are not enemies of God. So, we are only left with one option, natural Israel. Since there is no evidence in the text that the subject matter has changed in these few sentences, we conclude that Paul is saying that natural Israel will be saved.

Blogger Random November 28, 2012 3:59 PM  

"we conclude that Paul is saying that natural Israel will be saved."

IF they abide not in unbelief.
Galatians 3:26-27, 29:
"[26] For you are all the children of God by faith, in Christ Jesus. [27] For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ."
"[29] And if you be Christ's, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise."

Those are "ifs". Conditionals. Possessing a particular genetic background isn't sufficient.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 28, 2012 4:05 PM  

*popcorn*

You brought some for me, yes?

Anonymous Daniel November 28, 2012 4:11 PM  

Oh, a catholic and a calvinist arguing scripture with each other!

It's a race to see who gets to light Michael Servetus's birthday candles.

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 4:11 PM  

Of course it isn't sufficient. As I already said, "Note that I'm not trying to sell Dispensationalism". Anyone who believes in Judaism is unequivocally sentenced to Hell according to the Bible.

Those verses in Galatians are addressing people in the present. Romans 11 is talking about the future. And it connects this future event with promises made to the Patriarchs: "for the sake of their forefathers". Therefore some of those promises still apply.

Anonymous Stilicho November 28, 2012 4:17 PM  

*popcorn*

You brought some for me, yes?


Scoot over and pass the salt.

Blogger Random November 28, 2012 4:19 PM  

"It's a race to see who gets to light Michael Servetus's birthday candles."

Ha!

Historical note! The governing council of Geneva (I assume they were Calvinists) condemned him to be burned at the stake.

Not that we Catholics WOULDN'T have, but as it stands, you mean nasty Protestants killed him, not us.

:P

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 4:21 PM  

The governing council of Geneva (I assume they were Calvinists) condemned him to be burned at the stake.

Which Calvin opposed. He wanted him killed, yes, but petitioned the council that it would be done in a more humane way.

Blogger Random November 28, 2012 4:21 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 4:24 PM  

Really? Because it sure looks like they were addressed specifically to the Church in what is now Turkey.

It should be obvious that I meant present as in, when it was written. The "if" always applies. It's just that there is a group, Jews of a specific time in the future, than a "when" is also told in Romans 11.

Blogger Random November 28, 2012 4:26 PM  

Retracted my previously for being unhelpful and obvious.

Anonymous LES November 28, 2012 4:30 PM  

Part of the problem is that the modern, secular state of Israel was not established by God, but
by the United Nations. Would that the natural descendants of Abraham would excommunicate the converts.

So Isaac was talking to God, "Let me get this right. Ishmael's descendants get all the oil and my descendants have to cut off the end of our WHAT?"

Anonymous Philalethes November 28, 2012 4:31 PM  

It is good to hear that some Jews (and I know some personally) are questioning this atavistic, Bronze-age barbarism. May their "tribe" increase -- and perhaps eventually give up on their superiority complex and rejoin the human race.

Judaism is not one single, simple thing. It is a congeries of many disparate ingredients from unrelated sources, pasted together by various tribal groups beginning in pre-history. Genital mutilation does seem to have been thought up first among the Semitic peoples, but probably long before Abraham's little tribe singled itself out (in its own mind at least) as the number one kid on the block. As for his being "told by G-d" to do this, any number of people have been "told by God" to do any number of things, all this conversation, conveniently, going on in their own heads, so there's no way for anyone else to tell just who was talking, after all.

Given what the Jews (nearly all of them, anyway, including even the least "observant") stubbornly insist on doing to their own children (but only their male children, be it noted -- as Rich Zubaty, who like me was married to a Jewish woman, points out in What Men Know That Women Don't, despite what you may hear, Judaism is decidedly a Matriarchal religion/culture) it is perhaps not so surprising what they have suffered as a group. And they criticize other ancient tribes for their practices of child sacrifice…

It's a blood ritual for a primitive tribal god who loves blood -- human blood, and pain. This "god" is still around, in various guises. As ye sow….

Why do Jews circumcise their babies?
Ignorance is bliss?

Blogger ray November 28, 2012 4:31 PM  

I've been saying for a long time that this Israel is not necessarily the Israel of the Old testiment or even the Israel of Revelations. Knee jerk support of it by Christians on a religious basis is misguided.

Professor Hale


given that the State of Israel is largely a clone of progressive/feminist america, knee-jerk support is ridiculous

we are not biblically instructed to support iniquity and matriarchy in any nation

both the OT and NT make clear that God wants us "circumcised in our hearts" and the overt signs/rites are of far less import, that was Jesus' main point

circumcision was introduced to the tribes for specific (and varied) reasons, for a specific period and place, largely as token of separation from surrounding peoples (whose "religion," like today, consisted largely of sexual cultism)

the issue is complex, but hebrews should not be disallowed from performing circumcision -- in other areas, however, the procedure is not administered to respect our God, but to subjugate boys, enrich doctors and hospitals, and provide skin-lotion to empowered, entitled western monstresses, like Oprah, who sells circ fibroblasts to her jezebel followers

God does not approve of, nor want, such procedures when carried out for evil human purpose, not to honor him

when the bible talks about "israel" or "zion" or "jerusalem" it sometimes means the ancient tribes (physical/historical israel) and sometimes means "spiritual israel" or what the NT calls the (inner) Church . . . obviously, consisting of more than State of Israel residents

how do you know the difference? if he's in your heart, you'll know, otherwise you'll flounder around

Blogger Doom November 28, 2012 4:33 PM  

Aw come on, Vox. Cut it off. :p

Then again, it's not like Christians are doing any better, slaughtering our own babies on the alter for riches, or "freedom", or some crazy shit. Yeah, I'll crawl back into my hole and quiet my pie hole. It's a gas, funny as hell, right until it isn't.

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 4:35 PM  

I'm just waiting for the debate on this verse:

Deuteronomy 4:2: "Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you."

Isn't adding a whole "new testament" doing exactly that?

And what do Christians think about the fact that the Torah was given to a specific people and not anyone else? When God is using the second person, he is not talking to non-Jews today. Yet Christians interpret it as though he is speaking to them.

/popcorn in hand

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 4:37 PM  

ray November 28, 2012 4:31 PM

given that the State of Israel is largely a clone of progressive/feminist america

HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA

Sorry. Someone doesn't know the first thing about Israel and Israelis.

Blogger JohnG November 28, 2012 4:39 PM  

That "its not the real Israel" stuff kills me. Its the right people on the right piece of real estate. Look into how many "good" people could have saved Soddom. There's enough good Jews to count... Having said that, looking at Revelations tied into Zecharia, two thirds of them are going to get cooked. In the mean time don't screw around with Jerusalem (which we're doing, and probably shouldn't).

Anonymous Stilicho November 28, 2012 4:43 PM  

Sorry. Someone doesn't know the first thing about Israel and Israelis.

Sure looks like a modern, feminized socialist state from the glass house I'm standing in.

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 4:51 PM  

Stilicho,

Benjamin Netanyahu's stint as prime minister and finance minister the first time around eliminated, for the most part, the socialist history of Israel. Now it's very capitalist and globalized to the extent that Tel Aviv is known as the Silicon Valley of the Middle East. And personally, I like the laws that mandate company pensions for all employees and social safety nets. So-called "socialism" is not always bad. It's a good combination of capitalism and socialism here.

And as far as feminism: Tell that to an old, secular boss of mine who told me to disregard all female applicants for a secretary position because they "get sick and have babies." Tell that to ultra-Orthodox women who are often, but not always, seen merely as baby-makers and upon whom it is bad even to look upon while they pass by on the street. Tell that to the "arsim" (the Israeli version of "Jersey Shore") who treat women like crap because they think that's what "real men" do.

I could go on and on. Israeli is a very complicated, though tiny, country. It is impossible to generalize it in any way -- from any side of the political or religious spectrum. The longer you live here, the more confusing it gets.

Anonymous Edjamacator November 28, 2012 4:56 PM  

Personally, I don't find the whole "UN created Israel" thing to matter one whit. If God knew enough about the future to decide what happens/know what happens, then He would know how "future" Israel came to be and either decided it didn't matter or it worked out the way He wanted it to. I doubt He'd even care to explain it when giving out prophesies.

"Hey, listen, John. When I talk about Israel as in the future, jot down something about how the U.N. actually 'created' it to distinguish it from current Israel."

"What's a 'U.N.,' Lord?"

"Long story. Look, nevermind...just put 'Israel,' ok?"

Anonymous Freddy November 28, 2012 4:57 PM  

The new covenant Jew who has the faith of Abraham is under no law to circumcise. It's just another good work leading further from the grace of Christ.

Anonymous Freddy November 28, 2012 4:58 PM  

The new covenant Jew who has the faith of Abraham is under no law to circumcise. It's just another good work leading further from the grace of Christ.

Anonymous TLM November 28, 2012 4:59 PM  

Whether or not modern "Jews" are truly descendents of Biblical Jews, I'll leave for others to discuss. But what's always perplexed me is the idea that modern Jews are from the same stock of men like David & Josiah. This is especially true of the whiny little pesky pain-in-the-ass East Coast Jews in the US.

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 5:04 PM  

TLM November 28, 2012 4:59 PM

But what's always perplexed me is the idea that modern Jews are from the same stock of men like David & Josiah. This is especially true of the whiny little pesky pain-in-the-ass East Coast Jews in the US.

Fair point. I'd recommend contrasting native, born-and-raised Israelis with Ashkenazi Jews in the United States. Israelis Jews do not take sh-t and are blunt and aggressive. For Ashkenazi Jews in the US -- take David and Josiah and put them through 2,000 years of persecution in Europe and Russia. You'd end up with a bunch of insecure, fearful, anxious Woody Allens.

And, personally, I hate that mentality. You insult an Israeli, he'll attack you. You insult Woody Allen, he'll make a timid joke and walk away so you don't attach him further.

Anonymous Clay November 28, 2012 5:06 PM  

Sam Scott November 28, 2012 4:51 PM Now it's very capitalist and globalized to the extent that Tel Aviv is known as the Silicon Valley of the Middle East. And personally, I like the laws that mandate company pensions for all employees and social safety nets. So-called "socialism" is not always bad. It's a good combination of capitalism and socialism here.

I could go on and on. Israeli is a very complicated, though tiny, country. It is impossible to generalize it in any way -- from any side of the political or religious spectrum.


Sam, in your opinion, would Israel be able to provide all that comfy socialism, and be able to survive, without the influx of aid from the U.S.?

Anonymous Krul November 28, 2012 5:08 PM  

Sam, it's the Jews who added to God's commands with their so-called "Oral Torah".

You might say that it was God, not men, who did the adding, which is exactly what I would say of the New Testament.

Blogger Brad Andrews November 28, 2012 5:08 PM  

Heh, God didn't permanently abandon them, that is the point. They have had consequences for their sin and rejection, but He still waits for their repentance and return.

Markku, very accurate. God is not done with the Jewish people, whatever some claim. You have to take the entirety of the Scriptures to build a case, not just the ones that make the case you want.

I am not at all surprised that the early Church fathers were anti-Jewish at some point. It is sad, since they reject the Scriptures, but it is not surprising. The Jewish leaders were very hostile to the early Church, leading to a negative alternate response. That varied from Jesus command, but human nature is still human nature.

I have listened through the book of Acts several times and each time I am amazed at the hostility the Christians faced from the Jewish leaders. This was often triggered out of jealousy as well. Quite human, but sad nonetheless.

Anonymous Daniel November 28, 2012 5:14 PM  

Which Calvin opposed. He wanted him killed, yes, but petitioned the council that it would be done in a more humane way.

He vowed to ensnare him and not let him leave Geneva alive.

Quibbling over whether it was to be by fire or beheading (or whatever "humane" method he advocated - I honestly don't remember) wasn't much different than casting lots for the clothes of a condemned man. Someone other than the owner was going home in new duds.

Servetus wouldn't have been in front of the Council had Calvin not set the man in his sights long before.

Calvin killed Servetus as much as Caiaphas killed Jesus.

Now, whether or not Calvin was justified in his ambition or not is a different question.

Anonymous Stilicho November 28, 2012 5:15 PM  

Thanks Sam.

Blogger vandelay November 28, 2012 5:18 PM  

Are Jews still expected to be circumcised despite the new covenant? Forgive my ignorance, I try to avoid looking to deeply into anything to do with foreskin.

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 5:19 PM  

Krul,

Sam, it's the Jews who added to God's commands with their so-called "Oral Torah".

You might say that it was God, not men, who did the adding, which is exactly what I would say of the New Testament.


It's a complex issue; I'll try to summarize. I have my own thoughts about the Talmud, but first I'll give the Orthodox Jewish opinion:

First, God gave both the Written and Oral Law to Moses at Sinai. Moses passed the Oral Law to the priests, who passed it to the prophets, who passed it to the rabbis, who pass it along in unbroken tradition to everyone today.

Second, the Talmud's not viewed as "adding" to the Torah; it's viewed as "interpreting" the Law to new contexts. One example: The Torah prohibits lighting a fire on Shabbat. When electricity was invented, the rabbis had to decide whether flipping a light switch was like lighting a fire. They said yes, and so that was added to the Talmud.

Personally, I think the Talmud comes from Man and not God. There are so many reasons (that I won't elucidate here) that do not pass the "smell test." (Like God told Moses what to do about electricity thousands of years later?) But my opinion is not the "official" opinion of Orthodox Judaism.

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 5:20 PM  

Quibbling over whether it was to be by fire or beheading (or whatever "humane" method he advocated - I honestly don't remember) wasn't much different than casting lots for the clothes of a condemned man

Then why not make the correct accusation of Calvin wanting Servetus killed? Why always "burned at the stake", if even you know it isn't true?

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 5:22 PM  

Clay,

Sam, in your opinion, would Israel be able to provide all that comfy socialism, and be able to survive, without the influx of aid from the U.S.?

First, it's important to recognize that most money from the U.S. is loans, not grants. People forget that.

Second, I would answer, "yes." I don't have budget figures in front of me, but imagine this:

Israeli Government Budget
- U.S. Loans
--------------------------
Net Israeli Budget

Whatever that figure would be, the government could adjust. Raising taxes there, cutting spending here, and so on. There are Israeli arguments in favor of refusing foreign aid, and I'm personally torn on that issue.

Anonymous Clay November 28, 2012 5:26 PM  

Loans? You mean someone out there actually repays the U.S.?

Anonymous zen0 November 28, 2012 5:26 PM  

Deuteronomy 4:2: "Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you."

Isn't adding a whole "new testament" doing exactly that?

And what do Christians think about the fact that the Torah was given to a specific people and not anyone else? When God is using the second person, he is not talking to non-Jews today. Yet Christians interpret it as though he is speaking to them.
Sam Scott

Have you read the Gospels? The "New Testament" is not an addition to the Torah, it is a demonstration of the fulfillment of the redemption promises in the Torah. Christians know who the Torah was given to and have no qualms about it.

What do Jews think about the fact that when the Law Tablets, written by God, were brought down from the mountain, Moses smashed them to bits?

My Jewish study Bible says of that: Smashing them was not simple anger, but a legal ceremony to confirm breach of treaty

God was angry enough to destroy all the people and choose another group. Moses interceded, another set of tablets was created, and put in the ark that Moses made.

Where did you guys put that thing, anyway?



Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 5:29 PM  

Personally, I think the Talmud comes from Man and not God

If you think this disctinction is important, then you should notice that your challenge was begging the question: It assumes that New Testament comes from man. But if it does, it is already refuted at that point. No need to appeal to Deuteronomy.

Anonymous Daniel November 28, 2012 5:46 PM  

Then why not make the correct accusation of Calvin wanting Servetus killed? Why always "burned at the stake", if even you know it isn't true?

I never made such an accusation. I never wrote that Calvin wanted Servetus "burned at the stake."

I said Calvinists did.

The fact that Calvin incited the execution and then (quite late) complained about the method after sentencing is notable, and I don't deny it. In fact, I only did exactly what you request: offer that "Calvin wanted Servetus killed."

Anonymous Josh November 28, 2012 5:49 PM  

To get the thread back on topic:

Which celebrity has the best rack?

Anonymous Krul November 28, 2012 5:54 PM  

Sam, the lightswitch thing looks like a perfect example of "adding to what God has commanded."

You can say it's not "adding", it's "interpreting" if you like, and I can say the NT isn't "adding", it's "fulfilling".

Come to think of it, I would expect the charge of "subtracting" rather than "adding" to be levelled at the NT, since Christians don't keep kosher and all.

Anonymous Freddy November 28, 2012 5:54 PM  

Paul tells us in Romans 4 that circumcision of the heart is what matters...not foreskin.

Anonymous Daniel November 28, 2012 5:58 PM  

Josh

To get the thread back on topic:

Which celebrity has the best rack?


The Duke of Exeter's Daughter

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 6:07 PM  

Krul November 28, 2012 5:54 PM

Sam, the lightswitch thing looks like a perfect example of "adding to what God has commanded."

My mistake -- I was not clear. Let me rephrase.

In Orthodox Jewish thought, Moses received "the Torah." And "the Torah" was (and is) comprised of two parts: the Written Law and the Oral Law.

The Written Law: It is forbidden to light a fire on Shabbat. This is in the text.

The Oral Law: God essentially told Moses that when electricity is invented in 5,000 years, it will be forbidden to flip a light-switch on Shabbat. This was passed down to the rabbis of today as I described above.

So, in Orthodox thought, the rabbis are not adding to the Law when they say that flipping the switch is forbidden. They are just repeating the instructions that Moses had received.

Again, this is not what I personally believe. I'm just stating what Orthodox Judaism teaches. Hope that clarifies the issue!

Anonymous Cheddarman November 28, 2012 6:10 PM  

The Jews never seem to learn from their own history - Vox Day

It is too bad that we don't have a modern day Daniel or Joseph as principled and gifted administrators running the U.S. from behind the throne.

Instead, we have the esteemed Ben Bernanke, Timmy Geithner Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, etc. driving the bus towards the cliff, and that wont help the Jews in the aftermath of America.

sincerely

Cheddarman

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 6:10 PM  

Krul November 28, 2012 5:54 PM

Come to think of it, I would expect the charge of "subtracting" rather than "adding" to be levelled at the NT, since Christians don't keep kosher and all.

Yeah, that was my main point. I just laugh when Christians cite a verse from the Hebrew Bible to say that people should do something when they ignore other verses there that say they shouldn't eat bacon. Intellectual consistency, anyone? :) It's instructions for we Jews, not you. LOL.

Anonymous Vampire Bat November 28, 2012 6:14 PM  

Timmy Geithner isn't Jewish.

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 6:15 PM  

I never made such an accusation. I never wrote that Calvin wanted Servetus "burned at the stake."

I said Calvinists did.


Yes, so it turned out. Usually it doesn't, though.

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 6:15 PM  

Vox and everyone,

By the way: I've been commenting here for years (as a fan of Vox's work) and just had a question:

Are people interested when I clarify issues from an Israeli and/or Jewish point of view? I just don't want to waste everyone's time if I'm boring people. :)

Anonymous Soga November 28, 2012 6:16 PM  

Sam Scott wrote:
"I'm just waiting for the debate on this verse:

Deuteronomy 4:2: 'Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.'

Isn't adding a whole 'new testament' doing exactly that?"


Strictly speaking, Christians believe that it was not mere man that added to or subtracted from what God said. Which is why we take canons very seriously (you as a Jew should be familiar with this strict care for ensuring that canon = either God-inspired or literally spoken from the mouth of God). We Christians believe that the New Testament was written by men moved by the Holy Spirit (or the "Spirit of God" in Jew-speak :P).

Granted, we do not make a spiritual distinction between Torah and non-Torah Scripture, but then again, having a Messiah that fulfilled the Law on your behalf helps you not worry so much about Law vs non-Law theology.

Sam Scott wrote:
"And what do Christians think about the fact that the Torah was given to a specific people and not anyone else? When God is using the second person, he is not talking to non-Jews today. Yet Christians interpret it as though he is speaking to them."

In the light of the NT, it is often considered that prophecies and messages in the OT often had multiple (usually double) overlapping scopes. One scope would deal with people of the time in which the message was directly addressed, and the other scope would refer to a broader or more contemporary audience. Some classic examples include the prophecies that some of the apostles treated as referring to both David and Jesus Christ simultaneously (i.e. "the scepter will not depart from Judah").

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 6:20 PM  

Yeah, that was my main point. I just laugh when Christians cite a verse from the Hebrew Bible to say that people should do something when they ignore other verses there that say they shouldn't eat bacon. Intellectual consistency, anyone? :) It's instructions for we Jews, not you. LOL.

On occasion it is indeed inconsistent. Like condemning homosexual acts because of the Old Testament, when that case should be made by referring to Paul's condemnation of it if you are a Christian. Otherwise it could have applied only to the Jews, like the dietary laws.

However, at other times the Old Testament text is speaking simply about, say, what God hates, with no reference to Israel at all. Then it is consistent to apply it to everyone.

Anonymous long time lurker November 28, 2012 6:21 PM  

Sam,
I've been reading here for years and, yes, I appreciate your thoughts. I am always very curious as to how modern Israelis and Jews think.

Anonymous Soga November 28, 2012 6:22 PM  

Sam Scott wrote:
"Are people interested when I clarify issues from an Israeli and/or Jewish point of view? I just don't want to waste everyone's time if I'm boring people. :)"

It's definitely interesting. I am of Jewish lineage, so I'm fascinated by matters relating to my heritage, although I disagree with the religious aspect of it. That said, I do still find Judaism to provide the occasional gem of wisdom (thanks Rabbis) which assist me in my own theological understanding (e.g. my views on the spiritual significance of sex as it relates to marriage has been inspired by Jewish thought - well, I should say by Scripture, but reinforced by Rabbinical writings).

Anonymous Elmer Fudge (friend of Sexual Chocolate) November 28, 2012 6:23 PM  

When Jesus speaks of "the days of Noah," guess who will probably be the first targets of the reconstituted Amorites... (in advanced body armor and weaponry)

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 6:28 PM  

long time lurker November 28, 2012 6:21 PM

Thanks! :)

Soga,

That said, I do still find Judaism to provide the occasional gem of wisdom (thanks Rabbis) which assist me in my own theological understanding (e.g. my views on the spiritual significance of sex as it relates to marriage has been inspired by Jewish thought

I'd highly recommend you read the new English translation of the Zohar by Daniel Matt. (The source text for the Kabbalah minus the Madonna crap.) Very trippy stuff -- God as both male and female and how the male/female union in marriage emulates that fact and how Israel is the feminine that unites with God as masculine as well.

Sounds like you might like it. :) Link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0804747474/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0804747474&linkCode=as2&tag=consideration-20

Anonymous Krul November 28, 2012 6:30 PM  

Hold on, Sam. I thought the Talmud had been written down for over a thousand years. If there's a copy from before Thomas Edison's birth that talks about lightswitches I'll go out and buy a yamulke right now.

Otherwise, I'm forced to conclude the Orthodox rabbis have been lying to the Jews by putting their own commands in God's mouth all this time, which is definitely "adding to God's commands."

Anonymous T14 November 28, 2012 6:30 PM  

So what's going to happen

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 6:30 PM  

To put it another way, "we have to consider the possibility that this passage applied only to Jews" is ALWAYS a fair challenge when another Christian is arguing based on the Old Testament.

But then you have to, in fact, go ahead and consider it based on the context. You don't just throw it away because of the possibility.

Sadly, that is seldom how it actually goes.

Anonymous Soga November 28, 2012 6:36 PM  

Thanks Sam, I'll see about checking that out when I have the time. :)

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 6:37 PM  

Krul November 28, 2012 6:30 PM

Hold on, Sam. I thought the Talmud had been written down for over a thousand years. If there's a copy from before Thomas Edison's birth that talks about lightswitches I'll go out and buy a yamulke right now.

Again, fair point. Let me clarify:

The printed text that is known as the Talmud (in book form) was what was codified in the first couple of centuries CE. It includes rabbinical debates and rulings up until that time. If you buy the "Talmud" volumes today, that is what you will get.

However, there have been additional rulings ever since up until the present day (like about light-switches). They are codified in other, newer texts like the Shulchan Aruch and whatnot. Give it another 2,000 years, and that'll be codified in some official Talmudic compendium as well. The Talmud is ever-changing, evolving, and growing. It's not some static text like the Hebrew or Christian Bibles.

Nutshell: There are new "rulings" every year, and they'll be collected in a single collection some day.

Now, where's your yamulke (kippah in Hebrew)? :)

Anonymous JI November 28, 2012 6:50 PM  

No shit, Vox, that is so true about the Jews not learning. If I had a pillar of fire leading me across the desert, and sending me manna when I get hungry, well, I don't care how bad things got, I wouldn't EVER pull out that golden calf again!

Anonymous Krul November 28, 2012 6:52 PM  

Thanks Sam, but I'm still confused.

How can there be debates and rulings if there's already a command straight from Moses? And if there is no such command, why say there is?

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 6:55 PM  

Krul November 28, 2012 6:52 PM

Thanks Sam, but I'm still confused.

How can there be debates and rulings if there's already a command straight from Moses? And if there is no such command, why say there is?


Exactly! And that's why I don't agree with the party line of Orthodox Judaism personally. It just doesn't make sense to me logically. I can only tell you what Orthodox Judaism says. I cannot argue in favor of it when I don't believe it myself. :) So, I guess I don't have an answer to you're question.

Anonymous Sam Scott November 28, 2012 7:01 PM  

Krul,

Just to clarify based on one thing I remember.

When there are rabbinical debates, they said (and say) that whatever is the majority opinion is what comes from Moses. If 51% of the rabbis say that flipping a light-switch is wrong and 48% say it's OK, then the majority rule and that is deemed as coming from Moses, Sinai, and God.

You can probably guess my reaction to that rationale.

Anonymous Krul November 28, 2012 7:12 PM  

It's starting to sound as though the rabbis "inherited" the authority of Moses, rather the way the pope is supposed to have "inherited" the authority of Peter.

Blogger Chelm Wiseman November 28, 2012 7:33 PM  

Sam Scott - You are doing a great job.

Krul - The Majority rule thing with the Rabbis is a little weird to me as well. There is a story in the Talmud where God actually intervenes through miracles to bolster the case of the minority Rabbi and the group still went with the majority. The point was that God handed us a law and a process to interpret it. We have to adhere to the process, even if it is wrong. I am not saying that I agree with this, but that is the Orthodox opinion.

Chedderman - It is too bad that we don't have a modern day Daniel or Joseph as principled and gifted administrators running the U.S. from behind the throne.

Have you read the story of Joseph in Genesis? Really, go and read it. I am not so sure you will think that Joseph was a fair and wise leader. He basically used the famine crisis to relegate all of the Egyptian people to serfdom. Daniel, I would take however.

JI - If I had a pillar of fire leading me across the desert, and sending me manna when I get hungry, well, I don't care how bad things got, I wouldn't EVER pull out that golden calf again!

Don't be so sure how you would have reacted. Clearly the Hebrews were not convinced. Even though God could perform miracles, he might still abandon them. I think the only rational explanation is that they thought they were doing the right thing.... not that they were rebelling. It is a scary thought. None of us really believe we are rebelling... generally we all think we are doing the right thing. I am always wary of anyone who is sure they are a good person.

Anonymous Pissed off Jew November 28, 2012 7:53 PM  

Sam Scott, you are dangerously close to being branded a heretic for your assertion that the oral law is man made.

For example, you assert that the majority opinion always wins. That isn't true because sometimes a voice of God intervenes to give overwhelming credibility to the minority opinion. This contradicts your rationale for a man made oral law.

Anonymous Kyle In Japan November 28, 2012 8:10 PM  

"On occasion it is indeed inconsistent. Like condemning homosexual acts because of the Old Testament, when that case should be made by referring to Paul's condemnation of it if you are a Christian. Otherwise it could have applied only to the Jews, like the dietary laws."

While I agree that sometimes Christians pick and choose, I don't think this is a good example. All of the moral commands in the OT law that weren't elaborated upon by Jesus or the other NT writers are still valid - God's moral standard about things like adultery, murder, idol worship, and so on haven't changed a bit (if anything, as the Sermon On The Mount suggests, Jesus holds people to a higher moral standard!) Homosexuality is encompassed here.

Ritual purity codes like not eating certain types of food, cutting your beard, and not making clothes from two types of fabric are not commands about what God finds right and wrong, but related to Israel's obedience in temple/tabernacle worship that quite obviously don't apply to Christians.

Anonymous Beau November 28, 2012 8:20 PM  

He basically used the famine crisis to relegate all of the Egyptian people to serfdom.

*bingo*

But I wonder if Joseph could've yielded a freer outcome for the benefit of both the Egyptians and his own family?

OpenID sandalwould November 28, 2012 8:47 PM  

...mom barred me from the covenant!...

What's the therapy bill for something like that?

Anonymous zen0 November 28, 2012 8:48 PM  

So let me rephrase the question. Where did the ark with the tablets go?

The ark in the temple was necessary for the presence of God to dwell. Now there is no temple or ark. Where does the presence of God manifest?

Blogger Taqiyyotomist November 28, 2012 9:25 PM  

Damn. The Torah, and the KJV, are nothing BUT "predictive models".

Whole collections of them. One Type after another. One fulfilled prophecy after another.

Oh... you were being sarcastic. Never mind.

Anonymous zen0 November 28, 2012 9:31 PM  

Oh... you were being sarcastic. Never mind.


Maybe you just can't read the signs.

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 9:33 PM  

All of the moral commands in the OT law that weren't elaborated upon by Jesus or the other NT writers are still valid

You don't find this distinction in the text. It is just a name that we have given to those commands that we think are valid. If Paul hadn't actually said that homosexual acts are still forbidden, I think it would be extremely difficult to make the case that it isn't just about ritual purity.

Blogger Taqiyyotomist November 28, 2012 9:48 PM  

What an enjoyable thread. By the way.

I read this site, as Low-IQ as I am (I think... never tested.... I don't care..... I have God's discernment all up in me...... for the same reason I would rather play chess with a grandmaster than someone at my level of skill.)

I LOL'ed many times. Who needs TV? I've got the Peanut Galleries at VD, Althouse, Volokh, and, at the same time, other sites which make ME feel like I'm intelligent.

Anonymous Stilicho November 28, 2012 9:49 PM  

You can probably guess my reaction to that rationale.

So you're a....protestant (of sorts)? Markku will probably be willing to supply the parchment, hammer, and nails if you have a few complaints that you'd like to nail to the door of your local synagogue...

At any rate, keep the comments coming. It is an interesting perspective that adds to the discussions here.

However, I have to join Zen0 in asking, what DID you do with the Ark?

Blogger Taqiyyotomist November 28, 2012 9:51 PM  

"Where does the presence of God manifest."

Manifest? Not anywhere GPS could find.

In the hearts (souls, evidenced in the lives and shown by the hands) of His People.

But that's a temporary thing. He will appear. And GPS won't be needed.

Trumpets. Lights. All that, and more.

Blogger Taqiyyotomist November 28, 2012 9:53 PM  

That I can even follow most threads at VD gives me "hope" that I have a higher-than-average I.Q..

My hope has nothing to do with I.Q., and that's why the scare quotes.

Christ is coming soon. With a sword. And that should cause us all to tremble.

Anonymous zen0 November 28, 2012 10:09 PM  

Christ is coming soon. With a sword. And that should cause us all to tremble. Taqiyotomist

One should rejoice at the unsheathing of the Sword of Truth, not tremble in fear.

Blogger Taqiyyotomist November 28, 2012 10:23 PM  

zen0

I do rejoice, but at the same time...

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Blogger Taqiyyotomist November 28, 2012 10:26 PM  

And one of my favorite hymns has always been this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu_GW2osRVA

Blogger Taqiyyotomist November 28, 2012 10:32 PM  

Who isn't a sinner?

Who doesn't tremble at the thought of all that has been forgiven?

We all will be, on That Great Day, trembling in fear of God.

Anonymous zen0 November 28, 2012 10:37 PM  

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Psalms 111:10-11 The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord; all who practice it gain sound understanding.
Praise of him is everlasting.

Anonymous Jason November 28, 2012 10:44 PM  

Vox, I'm confused here. Didn't you recently defend the right of Germany to deny the ability of Jews to circumcise their new-born infants?

Blogger Taqiyyotomist November 28, 2012 10:51 PM  

zen0

Amen.

Another amazing version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-b18DzXH-U

Anonymous zen0 November 28, 2012 10:54 PM  

June 27, 2012

http://voxday.blogspot.ca/search?q=circumcision+%2B+germany

Blogger Taqiyyotomist November 28, 2012 10:56 PM  

Willie mangles the fourth verse, saying "...when they rolled away the stone." (AFAIK)

It should be, again, as far as I know, "...when he rose up from the dead."

Words matter. The World would rather we did not know that He really did that.

A stone being rolled away is one thing, and hey, cool, it's all good.

Rising from the dead (and being taken back into God's presence, after a somewhat lengthy and amazing time as an again-living Christ) is quite another thing entirely... to the World.

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 28, 2012 10:58 PM  

"God was angry enough to destroy all the people and choose another group."

Do you suppose it's possible that this actually happened a couple of times to a few other unlucky groups, before God finally settled on the Israelites? We'd never hear about it, because they'd all be glass, or salt or something.

Anonymous E. PERLINE November 28, 2012 11:06 PM  

Since the twice-a-day shower seems to be a popular pastime, why is circumcision necessary? Since food inspection is the law of most civilized lands, why is it necessary to be kosher? Sheesh, so many of us are such slow learners.

What bothers me now is the popularity of tattoos. Don't people realize that clear skin indicates sexual desirability? Beauty marks or patches were worn in the old days to point up surrounding clear skin. But at least the patches could be changed. Is it a smart idea to be stuck with one tattoo forever?

Anonymous Freddy November 28, 2012 11:13 PM  

Tagiy...your IQ doesn't save you

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 11:27 PM  

Since the twice-a-day shower seems to be a popular pastime, why is circumcision necessary?

As far as Jews are concerned:

Gen 17:11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.

Primarily it is a symbol of the covenant, which is why it would be inconsistent to claim to believe in Judaism, and not get circumcised.

Blogger Good Will November 28, 2012 11:29 PM  

Tad: Funny thing is, there is no evidence that anything humans do or have done has ever pissed off a god.

Some would say that God was none too pleased with the American Indians. Or the South (during the Civil War). It didn't work out too well for them, did it?

Blogger Markku November 28, 2012 11:33 PM  

And a few verses further:

Gen 17:14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."

According to Gesenius's Lexicon, "cut off from his people" used in this way means "executed", although there is a verse where the same word means exiled (Zec. 14:2).

Anonymous paradox November 28, 2012 11:40 PM  

The nation state that calls itself, "Israel" is not God's Israel. The church is Israel.

Blogger Taqiyyotomist November 28, 2012 11:57 PM  

Freddy

...your IQ doesn't save you.

Oh, I know. And, thank God for that!

I'm just a freakin' dishwasher. A Career Dishwasher. Executive Dishwasher. I just tried to tune my guitar, so I could play Were You There, which I linked above. Brand new strings. Just re-stringed it Monday. Got pissed because it kept going out of tune and tried snapping the strings like Flea on Crack. Broke one. Nearly threw my guitar spear-style at the wall. Then listened to, at 50/50 volume, in this order: AP2 Heroin Hate, Eric B. & Rakim Follow the Leader, and then capped my disturbing-of-the-neighborhood off with all three movements of Rachmaninoff's P.C. #2

I am thankful that I.Q. isn't a prerequisite for salvation. More than you can imagine.

Blogger Taqiyyotomist November 28, 2012 11:58 PM  

I can't even tune a damned guitar after 20 years of playing and perfect pitch.

Then again, maybe the strings or the guitar are union-made.

Blogger Taqiyyotomist November 29, 2012 12:02 AM  

paradox

And all the prophecies regarding Jerusalem in the end? The splitting of Mount Olivet in two? (which has yet to happen, but who knows what an Iranian nuke could do...or God with quakes, for that matter...)

Israel, specifically Jerusalem, seems to be the center, even now.

"There seems no plan, because it's all plan. There seems no center, because it's all center." - C.S. Lewis

Blogger Taqiyyotomist November 29, 2012 12:04 AM  

And all the nations are focused thereupon. As we were told they would.

Russian missile cruisers "for possible evacuation purposes" off the coast of Gaza.

Missile cruisers. For evacuations? Heh.

We are living in the end.

Anonymous paradox November 29, 2012 12:29 AM  

Taqiyyotomist November 29, 2012 12:02 AM

And all the prophecies regarding Jerusalem in the end? The splitting of Mount Olivet in two? (which has yet to happen, but who knows what an Iranian nuke could do...or God with quakes, for that matter...)


Maybe... if you subscribe to dispensationalism, to which I do not. This chart, from my Lutheran Study Bible, explains Revelation from my perspective.

Anonymous Outlaw X November 29, 2012 2:24 AM  

Don't worry, you are going to die one way or another, the rapture is the cheap way out, it is bullshit because every one you will die before the so called non existent rapture. They died right here and you will too.

Ever been to a funeral? I have many times with many family and many friends and have carried five People to the grave from my father and grandparents to my best friend. Soon I will be carried. Stop the nonsense, Christians are getting as bad as the Mayan believers. Death is certain and you will not fly away from it.

Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box November 29, 2012 2:34 AM  

Since most of them are RUSSIANS, not Hebrews, what's your point?

Religion HAS provided a predictive model - best described as OLIGARCHIAL COLLECTIVISM (Communism)...Where do you think the atheists got the idea?

Anonymous Outlaw X November 29, 2012 2:39 AM  

People are so afraid of dying they make stuff up. I am sick of it I have buried too many people. Go on and believe that Jesus is on the door step and going to fly you away, fools, the second resurrection happens at the grave. Read Isiah 14.

Anonymous Krul November 29, 2012 2:44 AM  

Sam:
When there are rabbinical debates, they said (and say) that whatever is the majority opinion is what comes from Moses. If 51% of the rabbis say that flipping a light-switch is wrong and 48% say it's OK, then the majority rule and that is deemed as coming from Moses, Sinai, and God.

Chelm:
The Majority rule thing with the Rabbis is a little weird to me as well. There is a story in the Talmud where God actually intervenes through miracles to bolster the case of the minority Rabbi and the group still went with the majority. The point was that God handed us a law and a process to interpret it. We have to adhere to the process, even if it is wrong. I am not saying that I agree with this, but that is the Orthodox opinion.

POJ:
For example, you assert that the majority opinion always wins. That isn't true because sometimes a voice of God intervenes to give overwhelming credibility to the minority opinion. This contradicts your rationale for a man made oral law.

Interesting - there seems to be a disagreement on rabbinic practice. In the case were God is on the side of the minority, Chelm claim the rabbis would still go with the majority, while POJ claims the rabbis would go with the voice of God and the minority.

It's an interesting distinction. If Chelm is right, then the rabbis' authority exceeds God's authority regarding law. But this doesn't seem to make sense - if the rabbis' authority came from God in the first place (Moses, Sinai) then how can it possibly supersede God's authority?

If POJ is correct, then the rabbis' role is not to create, but to convey God's laws to the Jewish people. In this case, the authority of the rabbis is the result of their special relationship with God, in that they are able to perceive His will concerning things that are absent from the written Torah.

Who is correct? We need another Jew to weigh in. We'll go with the majority opinion, I think.

Anonymous Krul November 29, 2012 2:57 AM  

Chelm:
Have you read the story of Joseph in Genesis? Really, go and read it. I am not so sure you will think that Joseph was a fair and wise leader. He basically used the famine crisis to relegate all of the Egyptian people to serfdom.

Yes, I had noticed this before. I wonder if this is the reason for the Hebrews' later subjugation by the Egyptians recorded in the book of Exodus.

Anonymous zen0 November 29, 2012 4:43 AM  

paradox November 28, 2012 11:40 PM

The nation state that calls itself, "Israel" is not God's Israel. The church is Israel.


Its not that simple.

http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?b=45&c=11&com=mhc

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

Chapter Contents

The rejection of the Jews is not universal. (1-10) God overruled their unbelief for making the Gentiles partakers of gospel privileges. (11-21) The Gentiles cautioned against pride and unbelief, The Jews shall be called as a nation, and brought into God's visible covenant again. (22-32) A solemn adoring of the wisdom, goodness, and justice of God. (33-36)

Paul says in Romans 11:

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches ; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.

Anonymous zen0 November 29, 2012 4:53 AM  

Yes, I had noticed this before. I wonder if this is the reason for the Hebrews' later subjugation by the Egyptians recorded in the book of Exodus. krul

I guess he would have been less tyrannical to let them all starve to death.

Exodus 1 states right off the bat the reasons for the subjugation of the Hebrews. It starts with a Pharaoh in power who "did not know Joseph".

Its not productive use of one's time to speculate about something when it is plainly covered already.

Blogger Rantor November 29, 2012 6:03 AM  

@Taqqiyotomist

And to all people who see unpleasant news and cry End Times. Imagine being in Northern France in WWI, a Jew being dragged from Holland to a German camp in WWII, seeing the butchery of Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot.

Now are you still going to tell me that the crap we're going through is an indication of the end times? We haven't seen nothing.



Blogger LP 999/Eliza November 29, 2012 7:14 AM  

Humanity forever tries to understand but never learns or obeys...

Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box November 29, 2012 8:03 AM  

It is foolish to continue conflating the Khazakhs squatting in Palestine with the Hebrews of the Old Testament, which is a political subterfuge that has little to nothing to do with Biblical, spiritual matters.
If you can't figure this out from the blatant atheism, spiritualism & leftism of the banKhazars running America into the ground, I can't do your thinking for you:
At some point, you have to start doing Biblical research and rejecting the idolatrous heresies of Vaticanism, or follow the rest of the lemmings over the cliff.

Anonymous E. PERLINE November 29, 2012 8:27 AM  

So circumcision is a "symbol of the covenenent." And making food safer to eat is based on some ancient, less scientific ideas from came from people in the past. (The only direct orders that are said to come from God are the Ten Commandments.)

It seems to me that technological progress keeps accelerating while old-time religion becomes less relevant. And that includes all religions!

Anonymous Athor Pel November 29, 2012 9:05 AM  

"Krul November 29, 2012 2:57 AM

Chelm:
Have you read the story of Joseph in Genesis? Really, go and read it. I am not so sure you will think that Joseph was a fair and wise leader. He basically used the famine crisis to relegate all of the Egyptian people to serfdom.

Yes, I had noticed this before. I wonder if this is the reason for the Hebrews' later subjugation by the Egyptians recorded in the book of Exodus."




I just finished reading it this morning. The way the story comes across to me is that the famine was so bad that events had to play out as they did in order to preserve as many lives as possible. There literally wasn't an alternative.

Also, it wasn't serfdom but outright slavery. The Egyptians were happy to ultimately sell themselves into slavery in order to live another day just as they were compelled by hunger to give all their money, sell their livestock and sell their land. That Pharaoh didn't set them free at some point in the future wasn't Joseph's fault. Joseph was doing exactly what God told him to do.

One of the things that stood out to me was how much Pharaoh charged the people to live on his newly purchased land. It was one fifth of their harvest, or 20%. When the 12 tribes received the law and statutes the amount asked by God for the maintenance of the priests and Levites was one tenth, or 10%, half of what Pharaoh required.



Blogger Markku November 29, 2012 9:09 AM  

how much Pharaoh charged the people ... 20%

Obvious rejoinder is obvious...

Anonymous Camel Spit November 29, 2012 9:34 AM  

The Talmud is ever-changing, evolving, and growing.

***

When there are rabbinical debates, they said (and say) that whatever is the majority opinion is what comes from Moses. If 51% of the rabbis say that flipping a light-switch is wrong and 48% say it's OK, then the majority rule and that is deemed as coming from Moses, Sinai, and God.


Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Blogger Chelm Wiseman November 29, 2012 9:36 AM  

Beau - But I wonder if Joseph could've yielded a freer outcome for the benefit of both the Egyptians and his own family?

It was the ancient (pre classical) world so probably not. Deeper explanation below.

Krul Yes, I had noticed this before. I wonder if this is the reason for the Hebrews' later subjugation by the Egyptians recorded in the book of Exodus.

Yes, I think you are right. But not the only reason (Pharaoh gives his reason straight out)

Also, this is one of those cases where the original Hebrew text is way more illustrative than the translations. I am not an expert in Hebrew, but I know the basics. I may be getting this wrong (someone with more Hebrew knowledge may have a better answer) but the same Hebrew word (Eved) is sometimes translated as "servant" and sometimes as "slave". In a society based on the concept of fealty there isn't really much of a distinction.

When the egyptians become "eved" to Pharaoh, it is usually translated as servant. When the Hebrews become "eved" to Pharaoh it is translated as slave. The Hebrews were exempt from the original arrangement because they had Joseph to feed them. It is also true that the terms of their slavery was way more harsh than that of the Egyptians. So there is some distinction there, but I always found it interesting that it was the same word but translated very differently.

I think that embedded in the story is a warning of the unchecked power of kings, which gets lost in translation. This is not inconsistent with the Biblical outlook on kingship as expressed in later books.

E. PERLINE - So circumcision is a "symbol of the covenenent." And making food safer to eat is based on some ancient, less scientific ideas from came from people in the past. (The only direct orders that are said to come from God are the Ten Commandments.)

It seems to me that technological progress keeps accelerating while old-time religion becomes less relevant. And that includes all religions!


The idea that there is a rational basis for God's commandments is a middle ages one. Prior to that understanding of why the commandments were given was never considered a prerequisite for following them. Many are indeed arbitrary not rationally justifiable, such as the commandment to separate wool and linen. Modern orthodoxy sees no distinction between commandments we understand the purpose of and those we don't.

Anonymous LES November 29, 2012 10:27 AM  

Romans 11:25-27

25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.

As the church is people not a place, so, too, Israel is a people not a georaphical piece of land. God’s promise of land to Abraham (Genesis 15:18) “from the river in Egypt to the Euphrates river” was conditional on Israel’s obedience to the covenant. God said that land was His and the Hebrews could live there if they obeyed.

That said, I do not understand Paul’s writing above. By ‘all Israel’ does he mean every Jew who ever lived from Jesus’ time unto the end of the world?

Anonymous zen0 November 29, 2012 10:47 AM  

Don't stop at 27. Keep reading.

All are locked in desobedience so they may receive mercy. If they could be obedient, they would not need it.

Anonymous cherub's revenge November 29, 2012 10:50 AM  

Timmy Geithner isn't Jewish.

I wouldn't believe that he isn't ethnically Jewish on his father's side in a million years.

Just happens to be from Brooklyn, Germanic name, that rodent face, his politics, mannerisms, and a banker. And if his family tree indicates otherwise, there's a cuckold in the woodpile.

He may not know it, but his genetic lineage has forcefully asserted itself. Nature trumping nurture in that guy.

Anonymous Papapete November 29, 2012 11:02 AM  

"When I was a kid reading the Bible, I always found it to be inexplicable how the Jews would no sooner be saved by God than they would do something bound to piss Him off and land them in some nasty soup. Now that I am older and a bit more versed in the perversity of human nature, I merely wonder what the inevitable consequence of their willful disobedience is going to be."

I've been reading Judges and it's worth noting the pattern of Israel falling into sin, God punishing them by allowing their neighbors to conquer and oppress them, the Israelites repenting and calling out to God, God appointing a judge to rescue them, Israel returning to God only for the generation that experienced God's rescue, their children then falling away. Look up how many accounts of the judges that end with a variation of "and the land had rest for 40 years". Then the story of the next judge begins with a variation of "the Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God and worshiped the Baals and the Asherahs".

.

Anonymous HH November 29, 2012 11:58 AM  

"inevitable consequence of their willful disobedience"

Kind of reminds me of discussions of sin and knowledge.. forgivable sin vs unforgivable sin and imperfect vs perfect knowledge and free will.

When a angel sinned, he was banished to hell (Lucifer) because angels have perfect knowledge and thus knew fully of Gods greatness, his love, his commands and the consequences of breaking his commands. When man sins, forgiveness is always possible because man has imperfect knowledge of God (yes .. even VD).

Several days ago (maybe more .. it hard to keep tract of time in the asylum) there were discussion as to why God chose to reveal himself in such vague manner -- why does't Jesus come now, perform some miracles on TV in HD in from of the whole world .. da da da... Well to avoid the trap of perfect knowledge and to preserve free will there is always an element of faith .... or else hell would be filled with people guilty of willful disobedience with no chance of forgiveness.

Anonymous TLM November 29, 2012 3:29 PM  

@ Sam Scott

.....I'd recommend contrasting native, born-and-raised Israelis with Ashkenazi Jews in the United States. Israelis Jews do not take sh-t and are blunt and aggressive.......

Had a great time about a decade ago having dinner with 2 native born Israeli biotech entrepreneurs, 2 Iranian-born shite-muslim surgeons(both practicing in the US), a Catholic, and 2 Protestant distributors. All of us getting along while dining at a Persian restaurant. I spent most of the night discussing krav maga and why the Jews never took Arafat out with one of the Israeli`s. A fun guy to BS with. He didn't come across as one those pissy American Jews. However, by his own admission, he had absolutely no interest in his own country's religious faith or history. I found that very strange at the time. And going against the widely believed stereotype of Jews being penny-pinching misers, the Israelis picked up the tab for dinner.

Blogger Brad Andrews November 29, 2012 7:20 PM  

They probably wanted to sell you something.... That is typical sales practice.

Blogger By The Sword November 30, 2012 11:18 AM  

You are talking about lopping the ends off of a baby boy's penis. You can't actually be in favor of this barbaric practice can you?

Anonymous Anonymous November 30, 2012 9:22 PM  

Israeli basketball player longs for Matzahs with Christian blood.

http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?fromval=3&cid=25&frid=23&seccatid=18&eid=52149

Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box December 02, 2012 12:25 PM  

Marvel at the stupidity and hypocrisy of a nation that flushes billion down the toilet to arm Israel to the teeth, then demands they make territorial concessions in the name of "the peace process" every time they are attacked!

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