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Jews should be shown their laws

 
Jeff M
 
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Jeff M
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11 February 2013 23:39
 

How many times did they mention “We are God’s chosen people”?

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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12 February 2013 00:54
 
Jeff M - 11 February 2013 10:39 PM

How many times did they mention “We are God’s chosen people”?

There are 2 interpretations of that phrase. 

One is shallow, as in “Jews are better than everyone else.”  That is not what the rabbis teach.

The second is that the Jews were chosen because they are not better than anyone else, so they represent humanity with all its flaws.  The Jewish people are exhorted to learn to “be a light unto other nations,” showing loving kindness and “repairing the world.”

While some Jews may feel privileged to be the chosen people, the Book of Amos even goes so far as to say: “You alone have I singled out of all the families of the earth. That is why I call you to account for all your iniquities” (Amos 3:2).

Of course many Jews fall short of this mission, just as Christians fall short of displaying the fruits of the spirit.  That is humanity.

 
Jeff M
 
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12 February 2013 01:11
 
Hannah2 - 11 February 2013 11:54 PM
Jeff M - 11 February 2013 10:39 PM

How many times did they mention “We are God’s chosen people”?

There are 2 interpretations of that phrase. 

One is shallow, as in “Jews are better than everyone else.”  That is not what the rabbis teach.

The second is that the Jews were chosen because they are not better than anyone else, so they represent humanity with all its flaws.  The Jewish people are exhorted to learn to “be a light unto other nations,” showing loving kindness and “repairing the world.”

While some Jews may feel privileged to be the chosen people, the Book of Amos even goes so far as to say: “You alone have I singled out of all the families of the earth. That is why I call you to account for all your iniquities” (Amos 3:2).

Of course many Jews fall short of this mission, just as Christians fall short of displaying the fruits of the spirit.  That is humanity.

Personally I would prefer an interpretation like:  Now we realize there was no creator God and the people of Israel must have made this up, just like other people that made gods up.

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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12 February 2013 01:26
 

Don’t hold your breath.

 
Jeff M
 
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12 February 2013 01:28
 
Hannah2 - 12 February 2013 12:26 AM

Don’t hold your breath.

Heh, okay.

 
Egross
 
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12 February 2013 08:37
 
Hannah2 - 11 February 2013 09:38 PM

But no one is going to be killed for breaking Sabbath rules in the meantime.

You only need to visit Ramat Beit Shmesh and see what happens when dogma takes precedence over human life. If a woman goes into labor over Shabbat, she is in fear of her life, because to drive to get to the hospital, one must also contend with the rock throwers - chareidim who put rocks aside for the purpose of throwing them at such a person. It would get worse if the driver is a woman (“a woman driver? get her!”) And there is now a trend to wear burkas and cloaks to completely hide the female form and face.

In other words, the more extreme followers of religion get, the more violent their tendencies. It’s just as bad in NYC, where the American chareidim go into a store and say “Your daughter is not suitably dressed. It would be a shame if your windows got smashed because of her. You better teach her right.”

Extremism is the goal of zealotry. All religions have it and their leaders encourage it, or, at the least, they do not denounce it.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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12 February 2013 11:03
 
Egross - 12 February 2013 07:37 AM
Hannah2 - 11 February 2013 09:38 PM

But no one is going to be killed for breaking Sabbath rules in the meantime.

You only need to visit Ramat Beit Shmesh and see what happens when dogma takes precedence over human life. If a woman goes into labor over Shabbat, she is in fear of her life, because to drive to get to the hospital, one must also contend with the rock throwers - chareidim who put rocks aside for the purpose of throwing them at such a person. It would get worse if the driver is a woman (“a woman driver? get her!”) And there is now a trend to wear burkas and cloaks to completely hide the female form and face.

In other words, the more extreme followers of religion get, the more violent their tendencies. It’s just as bad in NYC, where the American chareidim go into a store and say “Your daughter is not suitably dressed. It would be a shame if your windows got smashed because of her. You better teach her right.”

Extremism is the goal of zealotry. All religions have it and their leaders encourage it, or, at the least, they do not denounce it.

Well, I think we both overstated.

I meant that the vast majority of Jews will not throw rocks at someone for breaking the Sabbath.  You have found some isolated unfortunate exceptions, true.  (Just like I said, Jews are like the rest of humanity, warts and all.)

But when you say that the leaders encourage this, it only applies to the leaders of these small radical factions, not all Jews.  The incidents you mention were roundly criticized.

 
Egross
 
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12 February 2013 11:19
 

Agreed. When someone does something bad, and the leadership remains silent, it reflects badly on the whole. In the cases in RBSh, while their leadership supports such actions, the “outsiders” condemn it loudly, as they should.

 
 
saralynn
 
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12 February 2013 12:48
 

I was a Jew for about a year.  (This REALLY irritates me Jewish friends when I say this)  Anyway, I immersed myself in Judaism, in a literary sense.  I was depressed at the time, which might explain my passion for Jewish writers.  Considering their shared history, the Jews have spent a great deal of time pondering pain, which is very comforting when you are feeling miserable. 

Anyway, I did learn that people who convert to Judaism don’t have to follow all 600 mitzvots. I forget the number, but it is less than 50. Their expectations are lower for gentiles.

According to an old story, the famous rabbi and scholar, Hillel, was asked by a non-Jew to explain the Jewish religion while standing on one leg, Hillel replied, “What is hateful to you, do not unto your fellow man: this is the whole Law; the rest is mere commentary.”

 
saralynn
 
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12 February 2013 13:01
 

Not to get off topic, but I have two students, one a Muslim, the other a Jew.  They live in the same affluent town and both have educated, but pious parents.  This month, the Jew said to me in regard to Israel, “We are such a tiny country.  Why can’t they just let us be?’ The Muslim, also talking about Isreal, said, “They are such a tiny country, yet they cause so much trouble!”

I have this fantasy about inviting them both to dinner and serving pork chops.  They might see what they have in common because they’d have a mutual enemy….ME!

 
Egross
 
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12 February 2013 14:15
 

Actually, that who numbering (613) is impossible for any one person to follow. Some are for women only, some for men, some for children, etc. A great deal have to do with sacrifices and Temple activities and punishments by the high courts. So the result is you have a much smaller number. As for converts, they cannot be priests (which applies to most non-converts) but that is the sole limiatation other than some really weird traditions, like priests not marrying a convert.

As far as Israeli/Arab stuff, I live in a town that has several Arab towns around it. And we all use the same common supermarkets, and so forth. It’s when the extreme radicals on either side decide to use religion that things go south. One village that borders us, we had a common Emergency center that we put up against a common fence for everyone to use. One of ther reletives from Ramallah came to visit and decided to blow himself up, so we shut it down and now they have to enter through checkpoints.

For the sake of a faith (and some financial incentives) some jerk-off ruins it for everyone.

But we can get along. If you get the religious nuts from but side out of the way. And example, we continously hire some of the Arab families from another nearby town to build. They are very good at it and they are all related. When the USA demanded a building freeze by the Jews, the Arabs were badly affected due to lack of work. Nobody talked about that. Now they are gladly building and getting some decent coin.

And then you have some radical places, like Hebron where Jews spraypoint “the Arabs must die” and in Ramallah where they name steets and honor the suicide bombers.

Dogma sucks!

 
 
Egross
 
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12 February 2013 14:16
 
Hannah2 - 12 February 2013 12:26 AM

Don’t hold your breath.

LOL! Best post in the thread!

 
 
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