Saturday, June 03, 2006

Orangeducks asks MZ about Judaism

Orangeducks asked some very good questions on my Shavuos post. I've decided to answer them here in a full posting, not just a comment, as this is a topic I feel many people have an interest in.

OD: What is the difference between the Jewish Torah and the Christian Old Testament from the Bible? My understanding is that Jews believe in the Old Testament, so if the Torah is a separate book, how was it derived?

MZ: The 24 codified books of the written Jewish bible (or Tanach in Hebrew) are essentially accepted by Christianity, with a few differences in the translation.

Torah is somewhat complicated. Torah is written as the 5 books of Moses, which are called such because Moses received the words directly from God at Sinai and wrote them verbatim. However, Jews do not accept the written Torah by itself to be the complete Torah. Jews have the Oral Torah, or divine oral tradition, which is the only way the written Torah's true meaning can be understood.

Jews received the Torah from God at Sinai, both written word and oral explanation. That Oral explanation is the Jewish law that has been practiced by Jews for the past 3,300 years.

OD: What is the Jewish take on Christ?

MZ: Jesus does not have any religious significance to Judaism. Individual Jews have different opinions of who and what Jesus may have been, but religiously there is nothing.

OD: What the hell is the deal with all the anti-Semitism? I get the Arabs being pissed off - because they are obnoxious and violent pricks...But what about everyone else - Europeans, mainly? What is everyone's problem, really?

MZ: Well, there are several sources of anti-Semitism. Christian anti-Semitism is usually derived from those who believe that God sent Jesus into the world to replace the Jews, because He declared the Jews evil and severed his covenant with them. Others say that Jesus was killed by the Jews and, therefore, the Jews must be eternally punished for this crime. Fundamentalist/ Evangelical Christians tend to reject these views as heresy.

Moslems are so vile we'll just skip to the next group.

Western Humanism. Humanists worship humanity, and are usually atheist or agnostic. They see the Jews separatism to be deplorable to their egalitarian, assimilationist mission, and, thus, tend to hate religiously observant Jews - but like, or at least tolerate, self-loathing liberal Jews. The Humanitarians just hate religion in general, but hate observant Judaism more because these Jews are educated and still reject their cause, as compared to the illiterate, ignorant moslem vermin, whom they view as ripe for indoctrination once exposed to their "progressive" secular superiority.

These are very brief answers to complex questions, I realize, and I am not a Rabbi, but I hope they were helpful answers for you, nonetheless.

31 comments:

  1. MZ: I don't really understand why you have a problem with Muslims per sey. I'd understand it if you loathed Israeli Arabs or Arabs in general but why Muslims?

    Also I don't appreciate the comment you made on my blog.I assure you I'm innocent of any wrongdoing; in fact I've told my wife about Saba and her story and am sorry for you if you got the wrong picture. Like I said I'm dedicated to the Zionist cause and am staying in Israel as long as we have a country.

    בתקווה,Greg

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  2. the merry widow6/04/2006 7:02 AM

    Greg- Go read the quran, the hadith's and the sunna's. Then you will understand that mohammadens have hated Jews from the time mohammad sent his tribe to wipe out the Jewish farmers in Arabia because they rejected his "revelations"! Sorry, but the mohammadens started it and they will reap the whirlwind because they have gone up against G*D's people! Bad move!
    Good morning and G*D bless!

    tmw

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  3. tmw: I've just been holding an ungoing conversation about the problematics of the conflict not giving in to any propaganda or falsifications of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict with Saba.

    I've never read the Quran and maybe you're right but I'll need to read it first before I come to any conclusions.

    בוקר אור,Greg.

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  4. the merry widow6/04/2006 8:26 AM

    Greg- Out of curiousity I read it many long years ago, I won't comment, let you come to your own conclusions. Another blog site to us as reference is, JihadWatch/DhimmiWatch, very good at digging through the literature and actual history that those writtings produced. Take nothing for granted, research, research, then do some more! Takes time I know, but the perspective you gain is invaluable. I don't know how old you are, but time does also help put things into the bigger picture! Good luck on your search for truth, it produces it's own reward!

    tmw

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  5. the merry widow6/04/2006 8:27 AM

    Oooppss! use not us!

    tmw

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  6. tmw: I'm 25 with a B.A. in English Lit. and Gen. Studies, married and living in Israel since 5 years ago. I assume you live here, too by your "good morning" remark. Feel free to comment on my blog, whether you agree or disagree. I'd like to get yours, and MZ's opinions on my latest post.

    Be'tikva, Greg.

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  7. p.s. can you supply me with the exact URL of that site?

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  8. Greg, the only problem I have with Arabs is that they are moslem. I only hate ideology, not biology. To hate based solely on genetics is racist, and that's exactly what you are advocating.

    You are young and naive, my friend. If you are still foolish enough to believe the "islam is a religion of peace" crap than you and I have nothing to discuss.

    Want a dose of reality, Greg? Go to Faithfreedom.com - it's one of the links I have under "Kosher Blogs". Jihad Watch is also a must read, and the link is also on my page...

    Greg, you are going to seriously endanger yourself and your family if you mistakenly believe the moslems are your friends. I stongly suggest keeping maximum distance for your own family's safety, no matter how nice they may superficially seem to be.

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  9. Greg

    I do not fault you for your views which are different then the sedition of Dana. MZ is correct as he misses the broader scope.

    I am friendly with Egyptian Copts, Assyrians, Maronites, Timorese, Hindus and all say the same thing read the Koran.

    Islam and vestigial Marxism are the most vile forces on the planet.
    I encourage you to speak to as many of these groups. Even in peacefull places like Guyana there is some tension between Muslims and the rest of the country.

    Thge problem is that Islam is not a religion as we define it. They seek global domination and utopia on earth. Islam has more in common with Communism then Judaism.

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  10. the merry widow6/04/2006 4:18 PM

    Greg- MadZ's right, the link to JihadWatch is to the right. As for being in Israel, I WISH! I have been whining at G*D because I want to go so badly! I don't think HE likes whining any more than I do! You are blessed to be there! I am instead in sunny Florida, which is clouding up right now and getting ready to pour! Praise G*D we need it so badly, may put out the fires we have been experiencing due to drought. As for even a trip to the Holy Land, I am a widow with not 1 but 2 teenagers. Funds are tight, hey I don't have cable, internet is my main entertainment, so to speak. Conversing with people around the country and world is better than 99.999% of what's on the idiot box!
    Please do be careful over there! It isn't the safest place and I look forward to communicating with you more in the future! Say hello to your wife and take care!

    tmw

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  11. Zionist,

    Nice bit of xenophobia with your attack on Muslims. What fake religiousity. There's no religion in which the venomous filth you spew brings you closer to God.

    I responded to another of your silly little ahistorical, xenophobic diatribes on my blog and figured I'd check out what wretched bile you were spewing over here.

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  12. Beak,

    How is it to live in a fantasyland predicated on ignorance, myth, and sophistry?

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  13. Hope you liked my bile, Mr. Brown.
    I assure you there is more to follow.

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  14. Hey MZ, is this the same John Brown-ass of "head coffin" fame, who trolls all the other conservative blogs "till" he gets 86-ed?

    If so, he just got himself aborted on Warrens/Nancs' site yesterday!

    What a jerk-off!

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  15. And hey MZ., that was a good discussion you had with OD.

    I don't know much about Jewish religion, but it's nice to learn more about it, and I think it is very similar to Christianity.

    Islam is NOT a religion in my opine,....it's nothing more than communist/Marxist BS!

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  16. So Greg might be a self-loather?
    That's incredibly sad.

    MZ: Nice take on Humanism. Talk about the worst enemy on the home-front we have. Humanists have always considered practicing Jews and Christians as the enemy since we both are held to a higher level of authority (one they don't believe in).

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  17. MZ - Great post here. If anyone is interested in further reading on the same topics, a website called Aish.com has some great articles on it.

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  18. Hold on Florian, Greg is not a self-loather. He merely believes that he should act more honorably than the terrorists he hates.

    That may be seen as naive if you disagree, but self-loathing is a completely different story.

    Self-loathing is someone like Dana who hates the Jews and denounces them at every step, while reserving her praises only for terrorists and those who support them.

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  19. Florian is right in saying Greg isn't a self-loather. Unfortunately, he is a naive utopian dreamer, who somehow believes that hugs and outreach to the terrorist vermin will make them like us better. It's nice to be a blue sky optimist on paper, but in reality it just gets innocent civilians, in this case Jewish ones, killed.

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  20. Thanks, Taz. I hope the interview was informative and intersting to others, too.

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  21. Well I agree that Greg is not a self loather, but disagree that he belongs in the utopian crowd.

    Peace could work with the Palestinians if we defeat their Leftwing supporters.

    MZ is right that there is no negotiating with these blood thirsty murderers, but they can be forced to the peace table and forced to cooperate.

    If we destroy the credibility of their leftwing enablers and win the propaganda war, the Palestinian campaign to force concessions from violence would be defeated.

    The Palestinians are already dependent on foreign aid for their survival. This is a key weakness that could play a major part.

    They have enjoyed almost complete support from the UN, but the election of Hamas has been a huge obstacle for their cause. Now they are beginning to lose support. Some western countries are finally coming to the realization that the Palestinians have never been serious about pursuing peace.

    I am not saying that the prospect to defeat the Left on this issue is promising, but with hard work it could happen and it is worth the effort.

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  22. The greatest enemy is islam. The left enables islam by pacifying and appeasing their monstrous, criminal behavior. The left must be removed so that islam can be crushed. The word "Palestinian" is meaningless. We are talking about islam and the liberals who appease them as the great enemy, and both must go.

    But never forget, the great beast that must be our focus of destruction is islam.

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  23. But the liberals will always ally themselves to Islamic terrorists as long as it suits their needs.

    Divide and Conquer is a great strategy. Root out their support in the liberal community and the Islamists will fall.

    Why? Because Islamists think they can win as long as they have support in the West. Without that support they will look like a losing horse.

    Anyways, what does it hurt? The defeat of liberalism (leftwing activism) will only help Israel and the US.

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  24. We are splitting hairs of consensus, FN. Suffice to say, we are on the same basic page.

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  25. We have the same goal, but I tend to view Leftists as the weak link.

    Islamist propaganda is desiminated throughout the Muslim world in their media and schools.

    Here Leftists are trying the same thing, but are receiving effective resistance from a number of sources.

    Islamist propaganda and anti-semitism is firmly entrenched in the Muslim world, but here in the west we can fight it.

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  26. Florian: I'm a self-loather. You couldn't be farther from the truth. In my years at Tel-Aviv U., the center for left-wing maggots, I would speak out on behalf of Jewish values and my belief that only a strong and large Israel could withstand the Arab threat.

    I have many crudentials I could provide which speak for themselves if I'm to defend myself from your insitive comment but won't provide them here. You see, I've been held accountable by the Shabak for some of my actions just like my dad was by the KGB for learning Hebrew in the USSR. You, a proud Zionist, should know better.

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  27. MZ,

    Thanks much for the response - most enlightening. Sorry I didn't respond sooner - been up to my ears.

    Your anwers got me on a roll, so I ran a search and found a great website:

    www.jewfaq.org

    It's really good - written by an American Jewish lawyer chick. Not a lot of info on political hot buttons like antisemitism and Arab-Israel issues, just a lot of info on the religion, perspectives, history, etc., of Judaism. Great for a gentile like me who already knows what side he's on concerning anitsemitism and Israel (no-brainer!), but is curious about Judaism itself.

    Your response about anitsemitism is interesting - either based on Jews "supposed" to have been transformed by Christ, or the Jews having "killed" Christ.

    It seems that human beings tend to get into the most trouble when they take it upon themselves to interpret and execute "G-d's Will" to the extent of doing evil.

    The extent of my impressions concerning the 3 majors is based on pretty simple observation.

    I've never heard of Jews actively trying to convert people to Judaism. There are plenty of Christian Bible thumpers trying to get people to convert, but generally only to the point of annoyance at worst. Then you have the Islamic "submit or die" approach.

    So much for religious moral equivalence.

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  28. Clarification:

    "It seems that human beings tend to get into the most trouble when they take it upon themselves to interpret and execute "G-d's Will" to the extent of doing evil."

    This was directed at Christians (or others) who have engaged in antisemitism because they believe they are carrying out some form of "justice" in G-d's name against Jews. It is NOT directed against Jews for the "allegations" noted above.

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  29. OD,


    Thanks, and glad you found my answers helpful. BTW, Jews do not actively seek converts. To the contrary. Jewish tradition teaches that to become Jewish one must show such determination to accept Torah that one will be willing to endure being rejected by Rabbis 3 times before being welcomed to begin the lengthy conversion process.

    The reason for this is that observing Judaism is a very, very, involved life process. To be willing to make such a decision should not be taken lightly. Dietary laws are complex and restrictive. The Hebrew language is not easy. The 613 laws of Torah are a huge commitment to accept, and Jewish tradition does not want people to come in on a whim, fail to stick it out, and leave angry about the experience.

    However, once one does make the commitment, they achieve 100% equal status as a Jew to the Rabbi himself who converts them. No distinction is made from convert to birth Jew.

    Hope that was helpful for you, OD.

    -MZ

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  30. Shalom MZ,

    (excuse the spelling below)

    Here is a correction (in a good way). Regarding a convert, it was written:

    "However, once one does make the commitment, they achieve 100% equal status as a Jew to the Rabbi himself who converts them. No distinction is made from convert to birth Jew."

    To clarify, the Rambam (and others who disagree on exact exact number) record at least three negative, Biblical commandments, where we are warned not to vex the convert (see hilchot Makhira 14: verse 13 in Euro manuscripts or verse 15 in Yemenite MSS). The basis for this is taken from Exodus 22:20, Leviticus 25:14, Leviticus 25:17, Leviticus 19:32-33, and Leviticus 19:13-14. These are related to fraud/money, words, pressure and other matters.

    And then there are at least three (I think four in total) other commandments that cover a requirement to to "love them". Two examples are Deuteronomy 10:19 and Lev 19 33:34. While some may cover all Jews (in general), most are are unique to converts, above and beyond being Jewish.

    Now, some have said that these actually refer to resident aliens (the ger toshav) and not full fledged, converted Jews. But by and large, these arguments are defeated through a historical analysis of how these terms have changed. In Biblical times, there was a conversion tract whereby resident aliens did become Jews, if they so chose to. And if you still want to be a die-hard, and say these verses only refer to gentiles (which they really do not), then for sure we must love them as Jews.

    Anyway, I just wanted to point this out. Too many times, this goes unmentioned and totally unpracticed. Sometimes, the not-so-religious can be rude to the newly inducted. There is only PRIDE in being a convert.

    Talmud: "And the ger you shall not deride nor oppress."

    "And the Rabbis state: '...He who derides the ger' violates three negative commandments;"

    "R. Eliezer the Great numbers thirty-six distinct places -and according to one opinion, forty-six - where the Torah forewarns us to respect the ger."

    I once attended a Yemenite Synagogue, where the members purposefully sought out the blessings of the local converts, who were held in such high esteem. They were even given preferential treatment (at times).

    Shabboth Shalom
    Al

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  31. Freedom Now,

    the jihad of islam began long, long before leftism was spawned. Muslims exploit leftism. They do NOT depend on it.

    You are operating from a false premise.

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Thank you for commenting. Respectful debate and dissent are welcomed. MZ reserves the right to censor for any reason without explanation.