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Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by Nile577, Jan 25, 2008.
Hey, I'm a Jew. Any questions?
1) Are you a real Jew, or are you an atheist Jew who just calls himself a Jew?
2)Do you respect the beliefs of Christians? And how far do you personally think they deviate from standard Jewish belief?
1. I got circumcised, went to hebrew school, got bar mitzvah'ed, the whole deal. I'm a member of a conservative synagogue (sort of the compromise between orthodox and reformed). I'm not an atheist, but I consider myself more secular than religious. I believe in a unifying force that is an ultimate power, but I am critical of a deity in his/her/its/their (the Torah varies many times in gender-specification and singularity/plurality when referring to God) traditional representation. And even if I was completely secular or an atheist, I would still identify myself as a Jew. Judaism is a religion, but just as much an ethnicity and culture.
2. I respect their beliefs entirely. I have a problem if they impose on mine. That is to say, I'm not too fond of missionaries. Food, clothing and shelter (and the means to get them) should be a priority over the spreading of any religion. Some missionary groups do that, and that's great, but there's something unsettling to me about being able to look at a starving man and prioritize "saving his soul" - based on faith - over saving his corporeal human person.
To a Christian, Christianity is the standard belief and Jews got left behind on their own accord, so there's not really any "standard" religion anymore. There are many ways that Judaism and Christianity differ, obviously, but in my mind there are three main deviations.
The first is the source material. The Torah (the hebrew bible, basically the old testament) hasn't changed much over the years. The earliest parts of it were probably written in Sumerian, but the story stays the same. And with tribes getting split up and meeting later, but everyone still agreeing on the same holy script, I believe it was standardized thousands of years ago. The Christian old testament is different in many subtle but important ways. For example, regarding the prophecy of the messiah (promised savior of the Jewish nation), the Torah in its hebrew version claims that the he will be born to a young woman - in the King James bible, that word is mistranslated to "virgin". The new testament, to which Jews have no equivalent, has been rewritten so often, with chunks taken out (look up the Council of Nicaea) and chucks put back in, that if the bible was ever truly the literal "unfettered word of God" as born-again Christians will tell you, that word was lost long ago.
The second is more of a culture thing. Abraham left Sumer because he got sick of idolatry. There's so much of a culture in Christianity, mainly Catholicism, about the cross and the saints (kneel to the cross, pray to your saints, so on) that many who "accept" Jesus have very little practical difference between idolatry and their use of the cross and saints.
Thirdly, back to missionaries. Christianity has the whole thing about believing in Jesus as the messiah or getting sent to hell for eternity, which has over history evolved into a necessity to "save" people. So much of Christianity has been changed to help conversion (originally for pagans) be an easier process (again, Nicaea). I've never heard of a missionary Jew. The first Christians had almost everything in common with Jews, and save for the believing Jesus to be the messiah part, I might've been one of them. I agree with many of Jesus' revolutionary teachings. But Christianity has changed and factionalized and transformed itself substantially over the years to the point that Jesus' biggest message - love - is largely forgotten. I believe Judaism has, in contrast, remained more or less the same.
EDIT: Shit, sorry for the novel.
In a current article from an Israeli newspaper, which was written by a Jew the following appears: "speaking about the U.S., with its Jewish and Christian lobbies".
This article explains how western national leaders fawn over Israel yet are not representative of their populations who are angry with Israel. Interesting phenomenon. Why might that be? Why are the democratically elected leaders behaving in a way that is not democratically sanctioned?
Wikipedia was suggesting it was "antisemitic" to talk of the existence of a "Jewish lobby"! " the term is used as part of antisemitic discourse to describe or allege conspiratorial claims of Jewish control in these same area".
Illdian, surely Judaism has an ethos completely at odds with that of Christianity in many major aspects. For example, while Xtianity says that we must give away our possessions, not love money and not plan for the future - Judaism sensibly advocates that it is a good thing to plan and build up power and wealth. In fact the more Christians can be encouraged in their giving away, the more Jews may benefit from the taking. As I understand it if a gentile slaps the face of a Jew, he slaps the face of God, and there is certainly no turning of the other cheek. Instead there is a policy of inherited guilt for a large number of generations - and reperations will be sought. (Which is why Germans will never be forgiven and Israel must rejoice in this triumph:
Thanks Illdian for your post. By the way, just to follow up on the idolatry part, in Judaism do you only pray directly to God? Or do you have intercessors equivalent to my Catholic saints, that act as intermediaries to God.
Ever seen Hostel? It starts off kind of like a porno, so you might be even a little intrigued by it. But the beginning gives you a totally false impression. The flick takes a sharp right turn and suddenly (and with no connection to the porno), you're ambushed with a in-your face gore exhibition. That's kind of like your post. Good movie - still, I'm glad it's just fiction.
I'm not sure where the Torah encourages Jews to actively seize possessions Christians give away. Christians weren't around when it was written. And if Christianity tells its followers to give away their possessions and not plan for the future, people in general haven't been doing a very good job of it. Everyone I've met (Christian or other) is encouraged to plan for the future - by schools, by the government, by their peers. You can nitpick at what the source texts for these religions say, but the bottom line is in the interpretation of said texts. The old testament calls for Jewish children to be stoned to death if they misbehave to their parents. This law has never been exercised, although what child has never misbehaved at least once? Any Rabbi will tell you that the Torah, the Talmud, and Jewish law in general is inherently contradictory if taken completely at face value. Religions are faith-based, not logic-based, kind of like your assumptions that Germans are in any way being victimized by Jews in large. When were we ever talking about that?
If a gentile slaps a Jew, he slaps the face of God. If a Jew slaps a gentile, he slaps the face of God. Judaism teaches that we are all brothers and sisters, that humans were created in God's image. And it taught this thousands of years before Jesus. As for your sentiments about the Germans. I didn't live through the Holocaust. Nobody owes me anything. There is no forgiveness to be given to Germans living today - because they are guilty of absolutely nothing. I don't know what the sentiment is in the grand scheme, but that's because I don't know the majority of Jews in the world. Neither do you. But in the face of very factual, logical responses by almost everyone else in this thread, you keep dancing around a point that lingers at the heart of your arguments which you fear to openly admit. In your discussion, there's a special interest in the crimes of the Jews. Let's say your assumptions are correct - that Jews want reparations, that they actively seize the wealth given up freely by Christians, etc., etc., etc. We'd still be less guilty of these wants than almost every other type of people that have ever lived. Except lepers. Even Jews sent lepers away. But why us? What did we do to you?
EDIT: I thought the Muslim quote was part of your signature. Girl, are you for real? Jews are neither happy nor unhappy that Muslims are large in population. Why do you care? What's wrong with being born to someone who calls God "Allah"? We are all one species, and your insinuations that one ethnicity or group is superior in any way to another is totally Volkish, and unrelated to anything I was talking about. That's like...
You know, Scandinavians must be pretty happy that French has had such a big influence on the English language. Vikings raped and pillaged, and they changed English a lot too. You must be very happy about the prominence of the French language.
MetalBooger: There are no intermediaries in Judaism. Even Rabbis have very little power in the Jewish community. One only prays to God in God's entirety.
I know you were not aiming this question at me but I figured Id throw in my 2 cents on this
1. I am an agnostic from a Jewish family who was raised & educated to Jewish custom
2. I fully respect the beliefs of Christians. While they do deviate from what Jews believe, I don't believe either religion is better or worse than the other. I believe people are entitled to their own belief systems & as long as they don't use use it to hurt people or force it on others, there is nothing wrong with it.
Looks like this is just one big monotheistic family then. I too dont really notice any factual evidence in the real world of tensions between the majority of Christians and Jews, I personally know several priests that go out of their way to invite rabbis and and imams to our Catholic church in a cause to create a more ecumenical environment.
Sometimes i think suggesting that there is a Jewish conspiracy is just creating a mountain out of a mole hill for the sake of creating bitterness.
Ahaaaa! Most Christian priests are really Jews! Conversos.
Why wouldn't there be a Jewish conspiracy? All it means is that a lot of Jews stick together and want their group to prosper. If they didn't think this way there would be something wrong with them! It's healthy ethnic nepotism. BUT what I object to is the fact that the way they go about it is destroying the planet and causing vast amounts of death and ugliness for everyone else. My own aim is to try to protect my own group's interests while at the same time promoting a beautiful planet and happy people living in their own ethnic regions. (See http://www.pan-nationalism.org/ ) That is a nice conspiracy. Why can't the Jews be like that?
So your definition of conspiracy isnt just conspiracy of a nefarious act, but more of an organizational sense? And i do agree if any conspiracy is out to cause harm, we and they should seriously be talked into some sense! How would you suggest we, in a very kind way that doesnt involve encroachment on their human rights, go about solving some of the current problems that they possibly pose?
What positive solutions can you suggest that can solve the problems you have with certain Jewish institutions, probably the best way to go about this is identify the most evident problems and see what they are doing wrong, and right, the goal being global peace and happiness. And of course asking them just to abandon religion isnt probably a practical or correct answer, since we know there are many respected opinions on this matter.
Tell that to my girlfriend. She has the stigma of being half German, I know one guy who frequently equated her to Hitler and said she was a dirty Jew killer. I don't think she should be paying for the crimes of some idiot who even threw her great uncle in prison for being a communist. If this should be the case, she should receive reparations because her grandfather was taken as a prisoner of war by the Russians, but by some twist of fate ended up with the Americans who wanted to put him in near slave-labour conditions because he was a German conscript. Children should not pay for the crimes of their parents, and the demonisation of the Germans is one thing that I believe falls into this category.
On the issue of Israel: shouldn't have been created in the first place. It was created in what should be an illegal move. They took land away from an existing nation, which technically wasn't really theirs to give, and expected them to play nice. Well, I don't blame palestine for hating the Israeli state. Sovereignty should not be infinged upon. Two wrongs do not make a right
Oh really? An existing nation that we took away lands from? First, there was no nation in the first place. Just small farming communities that were processing lands owned by other people, that were under the rule of the Otoman empire which no longer exists. Second, we didn't take lands from anyone. We legitimately bought them.
It's also a lot more than that. The Jewish people have a historical right to this land. We lived in Israel and were banished, and for 2000 years yearned for nothing more than to one day return here. I'm not saying that Israel should belong to us alone, but we, like the Palestinians, also have a right to this land. The difference is that most of us admit to the fact that we should share this land, and many Palestinians refuse to...
Can you elaborate? I dont think i was arguing that she should pay for her grandfather's crimes. Perhaps you misread my post? Unless your GF is walking around being a bitch about the Holocaust i see know reason how she , being part German could be even distantly related to Nazism. I know hundreds of people of German descent and they are never treated in this manner. And anyone who goes about in such an intolerant manner with no justification treating people with such disrespect, such as the fool who called your GF names, has no legitimate cause, and therefore why should you care? Unless he is actually harming her.
She still gets upset about it, whether that's just her or whether it's happened before I met her I don't know. She doesn't really remotely care about the holocast and hated having to be told she was evil simply because she was German, all this in the actual German school system. It's just completely wrong that it still happens even now.
Well, my family had land confiscated by the British Government because my great-great-great-grandfather ran off to Australia with his mistress. I honestly don't care. It's time out of mind for me. I would figure in this day and age everyone would feel part of a more global society, but there idiots on all sides of the fence that insist that they have their own countries. We don't need borderlines to stay sovereign and free, just no assholes thinking something they legitamately lost was still theirs. Why did the Jews need their own state when they already lived in the area, coexisting with the natives? Some asshole thought it was a good idea. Creating borders only creates rifts in a community. I welcome people to my home, and allow them to do things their own way, but the minute they start demanding I do things their way is when I insist they leave. I honestly cannot blame anyone that was already living in Palestine to be upset when they were told they were no longer allowed in the new Jewish state.
There's a difference between one man having his land confiscated and a whole people being driven out of their country and forced to live in exile. Nowadays nationality is less of an important factor for people living in foreign countries, but the Jews were always persectued when living in exile.
You ask why we needed our own state rather than just living here? Simply because coexistance with a people that sees you as an intruder when you know that you have a right to the land is simply impossible. If we didn't have a sovereign state than there would be no one to protect us from those that wish us harm, and at the time we were completely surrounded by them.
And no one said he wasn't allowed. There are many arab citizens in the state of Israel that have a much better life than they did one or two hundred years ago. Israel is a democratic country that looks after the rights of its citizens, including the many Israeli-arab citizens, which is something you can't say about Muslim countries...
There is already a confusion of race and linguistics, the Slavs and Germans were either Nordic or some form European racial variation. The cultural tension between the Slavic and Germanic peoples was nothing novel during the times of the Third Reich, the Nazis certainly didn’t introduce it either. This problem can observed in historical literature going back to Charlemagne during the 800’s.
As far a Nazi master plan to exterminate an entire race of people…complete nonsense. Lets pretend for a monument that there was a plan for mass extermination, then the Holocaust survivors, including the world renown “Elie Wiesel” have some serious explaining to do. Many of the Jews in Auschwitz for example had a chance to either be liberated by the approaching Red Army, or leave with the Nazis. Many of them left with the Nazis on foot in the freezing cold rather then be “liberated” by the Soviets! They could of informed the world in a few days about the Nazi “gassings”, but they stayed with the Nazis instead! This is Auschwitz ladies and gentlemen, where “millions” of Jews were allegedly gassed to death, but the Jews went with their genocidal murderers. What is this, Stockholm syndrome on steroids?
E. Wiesel, Night, Bantam paperback edition, 1960, p. 78.
Historians seem to forget about the rigorous delousing of clothing for Jews and non-Jews in the concentration camps. Why would they bother to delouse their clothing, if they were just going to be gassed right off the bat? The dead at Bergen-Belsen dies from disease, such as typhus. The allies are to blame for that, the British Royal Air force and the American bombers. There is a lot more actually, but before I go on, I have a question for all of you…have you ever seen a picture or video of any Nazi gassings?
There are many books that explain how Jewish clothing was sent back to the father land as another ploy of extracting every last bit of wealth from the Jews. Ya know, the economic motives alone, backed up by accounting papers and letters of Nazi bureaucrats and businessmen, coupled with the extreme violence of Nazi fascism seems provide substantial evidence that there was a great deal of incentive to exterminate the Jews.
If there wasn't video proof of 'Nazi gassing', would their proven, documented crimes against humanity, and their hate towards minorities be absolved?
I was just struck by the similarities between "intelligent design" proponents in biology, and "holocaust revisionists" in history. "Oh there are holes in the theory! The mainstream academy has a dogmatic creed they have to hold to and are bent on obscuring the truth!" In both cases you're only seeing what you want to see because of latent extreme-right tendencies.
I don't think that holocaust denial should be criminal, that's laughable. But whether historians should waste time proving the existence of one of the more well-documented atrocities of human history to the satisfaction of a few fringe types is another question altogether. It's the same with intelligent design, let them have their mousetraps and dice, there's actual work to be done.
If you think its laughable to criminalize holocaust denial, how do you address the possible negative results that stated earlier in this thread may arise from its tolerance, such as legitimizing notions of the Jewish Conspiracy and what not.
Creationist doctrine tends to have the underlying theme of peace and harmony associated with religion, facism and racism on the other hand can be associated in their dogmatic principles to violence.
Not saying that religion doesnt have radicals that wish to impose on others, but their core theology does not cause such things as genocide...