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#1 rose2012

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 01:22 PM

Hello,

I am a muslim and new to the forum, thought id join as i always seem to have questions about judaism but as i know no jews i have nobody to answer them for me, so i thought id join here with the hope i could ask here and find a few friendly people who are happy to answer.

My main questions for now are about the talmud.

1) Do they contain any statements actually from Moses (pbuh), like "moses said so and so" or is it all statements of law from rabbis?

2) How do you know it is accurate and what safeguards were put in place to ensure its all accurate? I understand that the oral law remained oral for 1500 years or so before it was actually written down. How do you know little changes werent made during those years?

3) Do you have chains of narration for what is written in the talmud?

I apologise in advance if my questions seem odd, but as i come from a muslim background my questions inevitibly are from a comparative viewpoint where i am comparing judaism to islam. In Islam we have the hadith, many of which are verbatim statements of muhammad (pbuh) so it will say "the prophet said so and so". And the hadith were systematically recorded very soon after muhammads dead, then the science of hadith criticism evolved so as to weed out fabricated statements from authentic ones. With hadiths they have to have an isnad (chain of narration going back to the prophet)...now from my perspective knowing that hadiths were fabricated after muhammads death and the complexity of hadith criticism, i am very skeptical that the oral law in judaism could remain in tact for 1000 odd years.

Thanks in advance

#2 33948

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:17 AM

The non-Jew will answer:

Some can say that Hashem is the Jewish people. It would be followed because it is tradition.

The Talmud seems to be primarily laws and "words of the ancestors".

Now someone can answer me and say this is not correct. Many Jews are atheist.

#3 Bezalel

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:26 PM

Hello,

I am a muslim and new to the forum, thought id join as i always seem to have questions about judaism but as i know no jews i have nobody to answer them for me, so i thought id join here with the hope i could ask here and find a few friendly people who are happy to answer.


Welcome. There aren't many people left here, but hopefully there are a few friendly ones.

My main questions for now are about the talmud.

1) Do they contain any statements actually from Moses (pbuh), like "moses said so and so" or is it all statements of law from rabbis?


I don't know offhand if there are any quotations from Moses given in the Talmud. However, there is a concept that the oral law (which became the Talmud) was a compendium to the written law (the Torah), and that it was passed down from Moses, to Joshua, etc. As the Rambam explains, some of the legal opinions given in the Talmud can be learned from logic or from expounding verses of the Torah, but there are other categories that cannot be learned in this way, and they are called "halachot l'moshe misinai" (laws of Moses from Sinai), with the implication being that Moses knew the subject and transmitted it to Joshua and then down to us. One example, and a classic support for the concept of an accompanying oral tradition, is the verse in Deuteronomy 12:21, "…you may slaughter from your cattle and from your flocks… as I have commanded you…" But the Torah does not contain such details. Nonetheless, we have an oral tradition that kosher animals are to be slaughtered ritually, the blood drained, etc. Another example is the design of teffilin (phylacteries), as the Torah requires that they be worn, but does not describe how to make them.

2) How do you know it is accurate and what safeguards were put in place to ensure its all accurate? I understand that the oral law remained oral for 1500 years or so before it was actually written down. How do you know little changes werent made during those years?

3) Do you have chains of narration for what is written in the talmud?


We have no guarantee of accuracy. With regard to the Torah itself, care was taken and authoritative texts were sought before making copies. Still, a number of differences occured with time, including different spellings and some differences in wording, and the Masoretic text wasn't really finalized until the 7th-11th centuries. http://en.wikipedia..../Masoretic_text
Similar difficulties are expected with the Talmud. In fact, the Talmud itself frequently has debates that last a number of pages, quoting Rabbi A said such-and-such, Rabbi B said something different, Rabbi C said a third thing, and then trying to resolve the differences or figure out who was correct. I don't know why an editor didn't just take the final decision of who was correct and edit out the rest, but going through the back-and-forth debate is supposed to help a bright-minded student to develop.

If I understand Islam correctly, you view the Torah with some respect, but you believe it to be inaccurate and think that the Jews have edited it to make Jacob look better than Ishmael, to make Judaism look better than other faiths, etc. If that is the case, then surely Islam will not consider the Talmud to be in any way authoritative.

I do not know what you mean by question 3, but perhaps I have answered it by addressing questions 1 and 2.

#4 Sweet

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:41 PM

Hello,

I am a muslim and new to the forum, thought id join as i always seem to have questions about judaism but as i know no jews i have nobody to answer them for me, so i thought id join here with the hope i could ask here and find a few friendly people who are happy to answer.

My main questions for now are about the talmud.

The Talmud is made up largely of discussions conducted among Rabbis theoretically over a period of 1500 or so years, but actually, closer to the 600 years from about 150 BC to about 450 AD. It was written in two parts - the earlier part, the Mishna, was written down about 150 AD. It was brief discussion, sometimes a question and answer, sometimes a statement and disagreement, sometimes just a series of statements. Later, the Talmud part was added, which is the bulk of today's Talmud. It is theoretically discussion prompted by the Mishna, and is framed on the Mishna. Each section of Talmud is "prompted" by anything from a line to a chapter of Mishna, but the discussions often range off-topic.

1) Do they contain any statements actually from Moses (pbuh), like "moses said so and so" or is it all statements of law from rabbis?
As I explained above, the Talmud is mainly discussion of earlier discussions, which themselves are based on the Bible. Moses lives in the Bible, so while the Talmud cites him, obviously, and adds legend to the Biblical accounts, most of what Jews believe about Moses is at least rooted in the Bible.



2) How do you know it is accurate and what safeguards were put in place to ensure its all accurate? I understand that the oral law remained oral for 1500 years or so before it was actually written down. How do you know little changes werent made during those years? The oral law didn't "remain" oral for 1500 years. It was created over those 1500 years as practice and worship gave shape to the words in the Bible. It is true that it is distinctly slanted in the direction of the later beliefs and practices, and arguably is completely inaccurate when it discusses certain aspects of Jewish belief that preceded it.

3) Do you have chains of narration for what is written in the talmud?
If by chains of narration you mean a series of people who received and transmitted the teachings, then yes. In the Mishna, the redactor attempts to source things earlier by tracing the transmission from Moses to the beginning of the series of Rabbis memorialized in the Mishna. From that point on, there is not much clearly written, but you can pretty much see from the discussions who hung out with whom, and what the basic schools and associations were. That follows through the major characters in the later, larger Talmud as well.

I apologise in advance if my questions seem odd, but as i come from a muslim background my questions inevitibly are from a comparative viewpoint where i am comparing judaism to islam. In Islam we have the hadith, many of which are verbatim statements of muhammad (pbuh) so it will say "the prophet said so and so". And the hadith were systematically recorded very soon after muhammads dead, then the science of hadith criticism evolved so as to weed out fabricated statements from authentic ones. With hadiths they have to have an isnad (chain of narration going back to the prophet)...now from my perspective knowing that hadiths were fabricated after muhammads death and the complexity of hadith criticism, i am very skeptical that the oral law in judaism could remain in tact for 1000 odd years.
While evangelical "outreach" type Jews will claim that Jewish practice and tradition has remained unchanged over all those years, it is patently ridiculous. Jewish law developed as Jewish practice evolved. The Synagogue, for example, which is the central focus of Jewish worship today, is not in the Bible, and was not much of anything until after the Temple was destroyed. The calendar, which is a major part of Judaism today, was not finalized among all Jews. The point that I'm making, though, is not that Judaism is fake or contrived. I'm just saying that it's not static, nor does it need to be. The things that Moses is reputed to have said are not important because he factually said them, in the sense that if you had a time machine, you could hear him. They are important because they represent the belief of the Jews who preceded us in building Judaism, as to what he said.

Thanks in advance


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#5 ijs

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 01:08 AM

I am newly-returned to Judaism (by which I mean to say I am the first in many generations to begin becoming observant), so my knowledge is almost certainly lacking. That said, I can offer the perspective of one who has started learning from scratch well into my adult years, though I cannot answer everything.

Do[es the Talmud] contain any statements actually from Moses (pbuh), like "moses said so and so" or is it all statements of law from rabbis?


Quite probably, in a manner of speaking. Moses's words are pretty well represented in the Torah, so the only statements would really be citations to Torah.

Note, though, that the term "Talmud" can have multiple usages. Going all the way back to start, there were actually two Torahs given at Sinai: the written law, which we call Torah; and the oral law (referenced, if somewhat subtly, in the written Torah), which was to be unwritten, but which was eventually compiled around the year 3960 (on the Hebrew calendar) by Judah HaNasi, in order to prevent it from being forgotten after multiple exiles of the Jewish people. This writing of the oral law is called "Mishnah." Much analysis and commentary of the law took place over the centuries seeking further understanding of the written and oral law; these discussions – including minority opinions, by the way – were written down in a compilation called "Gemara." (Interestingly, they are written in such a way as to give the appearance that certain sages were arguing with each other, though many never even heard of – much less met – each other.)

There are actually two works called Gemara; one compiled in Jerusalem between 4110-4160, called Talmud Yerushalmi, and discusses the laws particular to the Land of Israel; and one compiled in Babylonia by 4260, called Talmud Bavli, discussing the law as applied outside Eretz Yisroel.

Thus, Mishnah is a statement of the oral law. Gemara is analysis and commentary of the law – somewhat analogous, if not quite the same thing, as judicial opinions in U.S. law.

I apologise in advance if my questions seem odd, but as i come from a muslim background my questions inevitibly are from a comparative viewpoint where i am comparing judaism to islam.


Comparisons like this can often be difficult to do accurately, because religions are different. Apples and oranges – they're both fruit, yet completely different kinds (pomaceous and citrus, respectively) and not really comparable beyond being both fruit.
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#6 33948

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:24 AM

Excellent answers. Who wins the $200 worth of yamakas?

#7 rose2012

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 01:55 PM

Thank you to those of you who have taken time to respond.

If I understand Islam correctly, you view the Torah with some respect, but you believe it to be inaccurate and think that the Jews have edited it to make Jacob look better than Ishmael, to make Judaism look better than other faiths, etc. If that is the case, then surely Islam will not consider the Talmud to be in any way authoritative.

We believe that God did send Moses as a prophet and revealed laws for us to live by, so whatever Moses (pbuh) was given from God we believe. However, we believe over the centuries some things have changed both in the beliefs and practices Moses taught. We cant look at the Torah and Mishna/Gamera and pinpoint exactly what is and what is not from God, we can only say in general terms that we affirm whatever is from God and reject what is not from God. Because some of moses teachings changed/got lost we believe that God sent prophets after moses, the main ones being jesus and Muhammad (pbut). Jesus’s teachings also got corrupted (primarily as they worship jesus as God and part of a trinity), but muhammads teachings remain in tact. I don’t believe God would leave us without guidance and so any errors that slipt in by the people have to be corrected by God, otherwise how do we know how to live our lives?

In reply to Sweet when you said..
“If by chains of narration you mean a series of people who received and transmitted the teachings, then yes. In the Mishna, the redactor attempts to source things earlier by tracing the transmission from Moses to the beginning of the series of Rabbis memorialized in the Mishna. From that point on, there is not much clearly written, but you can pretty much see from the discussions who hung out with whom, and what the basic schools and associations were. That follows through the major characters in the later, larger Talmud as well.
So everything said in the mishna has a chain of narration from Moses (pbuh) all the way to the individuals writing the mishna? Can you link me up to any of this so I can see it? Also is there any science which documents the biographies of each of these individuals in the chain and can prove that they were all righteous and actually studied under each other? I ask, as in islam each hadith narrator has their life documented and we ensure they were trustworthy and religious and never lied, and we also esure there are no breaks in the chain of narration, so it has to be proved each individual was alive and met/studied under the individual they were narrating from. You also check if others who studied under that teacher are narrating the same thing from them, as obviously if more than one person is narrating the same thing from a named teacher then its more likely to be correct.


Thanks ijs for your reply.

Comparisons like this can often be difficult to do accurately, because religions are different. Apples and oranges – they're both fruit, yet completely different kinds (pomaceous and citrus, respectively) and not really comparable beyond being both fruit.


I understand what you are saying, but in my view its more about comparing the sources for each religion and seeing which are most accurate and closest to what the founder actually taught. At the end of the day I see each Abrahamic religion as hinging upon its sources…if you cant trust the sources then how can you trust the religion, let along believe in it and follow it? This is personally my benchmark for choosing the religion I want to follow.

I had some further questions which in a way are linked to the mishna/gamera but in a way not. I understand that jews believe if individuals are to be punished in hell, they would only remain there for 12 months? Is that correct, if so where in the Talmud is this written?
I read the torah in full and was quite shocked that there is absolutely no reference to what happens after death, doesn’t that come across as slightly strange? I mean I know jews focus on this world and living righteously…but surely God would explain what happens after death to those who obey and those who don’t obey him?

Thanks again

#8 ijs

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:55 AM

Excellent answers. Who wins the $200 worth of yamakas?


Woo Hoo! I'll go for that! (I'm still working with the free one I got from someone's bar mitzvah at a Reform synagogue.)

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We believe that God did send Moses as a prophet and revealed laws for us to live by, so whatever Moses (pbuh) was given from God we believe.


The Jewish memory is that we were all present at Sinai when HaShem spoke to the entire nation, though after the first couple things everyone asked that Moshe Rabeinu take the rest & get back to us, because the voice of G-d was just to strong to take.

However, we believe over the centuries some things have changed both in the beliefs and practices Moses taught. We cant look at the Torah and Mishna/Gamera and pinpoint exactly what is and what is not from God, we can only say in general terms that we affirm whatever is from God and reject what is not from God.


This is where we differ, as Torah and Mishnah were directly from HaShem; Gemara was the analysis and commentary. The written Torah was directly from HaShem, and in the Hebrew language, and has been continually reproduced unchanged since then. Mishnah was compiled and redacted as best as possible, but still working on an oral tradition that had been passed down precisely for the prior 1000 years. Certainly, I agree with your general affirmation/rejection, but to Jews Torah (written and oral) is from HaShem, and so cannot be rejected. In fact, every word, letter, grammatical construction, and the like have at least one specific purpose, and sometimes several. (I've heard that every thing in Torah has at least 70 different interpretations, all of them correct.) Oftentimes we do not know what something means, or find something that is apparently contradictory, which is when we turn to Gemara.

Because some of moses teachings changed/got lost we believe that God sent prophets after moses, the main ones being jesus and Muhammad (pbut).


Again, we differ. We find none of Moshe's teachings to be lost or changed. Certainly, HaShem sent other prophets (while Jews still primarily resided in Eretz Yisroel), but it was not because any teachings had gotten lost; rather, it was because the Jewish people were stopping obeying them, which is an entirely different matter.

The Xians' Jesus is not a prophet in Judaism at all, because he never fit the criteria for being a prophet; while his ethical teachings primarily originated from Judaism, the stuff about him being the son of G-d and all that simply doesn't work.

And Muhammad cannot be a prophet in Judaism (though as far as I know we don't have a problem with him being a Muslim prophet), because he was not Jewish. Of course, given the descent of the Jews and the Arabs, the two groups are essentially cousins to each other, but that is not the same as either being the other.

I understand that jews believe if individuals are to be punished in hell, they would only remain there for 12 months? Is that correct, if so where in the Talmud is this written?


Well, it's not called "Hell," because it is utterly unrelated to the Xian Hell. And twelve months is the maximum, not a given in all cases.

I read the torah in full and was quite shocked that there is absolutely no reference to what happens after death, doesn’t that come across as slightly strange? I mean I know jews focus on this world and living righteously…but surely God would explain what happens after death to those who obey and those who don’t obey him?


It's not a strange as you might think. It's not merely a matter of what "Jews focus on," but on what we've been commanded to do. Now, I'm going to seemingly digress for a moment. There are 3 kinds of mitzvot (commandments): chukim, which are laws for which no reason is given, and which we must do simply because that's what G-d wants; mishpatim, which are laws for which a reason is given; and a type of mishpat which are things humans would do even if not commanded to. As far as I know, the reason for no mitzvah has anything to do with being punished in an afterlife. An example is this classic, from Shemot (Exodus) 20:12: "Honor your father and your mother, in order that your days be lengthened on the land that the Lord, your God, is giving you." The reason for doing it is that it will result in something good. There is some concept of punishment after death for disobedience, especially of a couple of limited things, but by and large this is not what life is about. In my own opinion (I've not heard this anywhere else), the idea of trying to get someone to convert to a religion based on threat of eternal damnation (or anything like that) is spiritual terrorism, and Judaism doesn't do that.
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#9 Bezalel

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:39 AM

We believe that God did send Moses as a prophet and revealed laws for us to live by, so whatever Moses (pbuh) was given from God we believe. However, we believe over the centuries some things have changed both in the beliefs and practices Moses taught. We cant look at the Torah and Mishna/Gamera and pinpoint exactly what is and what is not from God, we can only say in general terms that we affirm whatever is from God and reject what is not from God. Because some of moses teachings changed/got lost we believe that God sent prophets after moses, the main ones being jesus and Muhammad (pbut). Jesus’s teachings also got corrupted (primarily as they worship jesus as God and part of a trinity), but muhammads teachings remain in tact.


Assuming that there is a risk of accidental (or intentional) changes being introduced in each generation, then certainly a true prophecy that is nearer in time would be more authoritative than one more distant in time. The problem is how to know that a particular claimed prophecy is true, as there is no end to people holding themselves out as prophets. People can either choose to follow the faith of their parents, or they can be swayed by someone else, or they can conduct an investigation and select a faith most pleasing to them.

I don’t believe God would leave us without guidance and so any errors that slipt in by the people have to be corrected by God, otherwise how do we know how to live our lives?


That is an interesting thought. I do wish that we had some ongoing revelation. Some say we can't have a constant revelation, or even a regularly scheduled one, because then we would know that God exists rather than having faith that God exists. I don't know why that is an important distinction, but many feel that it is. [Some would say that would rob us of free will, though I don't know if that is true, as people would still rationalize their behavior, "Oh, God won't really care about that if I only do it once, considering that I'm good 99% of the time. . ."] But it's hard to only have guidance from a Book that is continually assaulted by atheists/agnostics, that the Christians say has been supplanted, that the Muslims say has been changed, etc.

On the other hand, as I noted above, one can't just accept every "prophecy" as true, or else the world would have converted to Mormonism, and then to a more recent claimed prophecy such as Heaven's Gate (the Hale-Bopp suicide cult), etc.

We also have the Torah telling us that as we have now been given the law, we don't need someone to ascend to heaven to tell us what the law is. That led to a story in the Talmud of a debate between sages on a point of law, with the majority ruling one way and an individual ruling another way. The individual called for miraculous signs to support his view, and they appeared, but the majority still rejected his opinion and said that the Torah gave us the authority to decide the law and that we don't need prophecy any more. A good article on this is at: http://torahideals.c...arshas-nitzavim ; see also http://en.wikipedia....i/Not_in_Heaven

#10 ijs

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 12:45 PM

Assuming that there is a risk of accidental (or intentional) changes being introduced in each generation, then certainly a true prophecy that is nearer in time would be more authoritative than one more distant in time.


I believe Judaism actually goes the other direction – the closer to Sinai, the more likely it is accurate, precisely because of the potential to get something wrong later.

Some say we can't have a constant revelation, or even a regularly scheduled one, because then we would know that God exists rather than having faith that God exists.


To me, this is an absurdity. It requires people to basically guess correctly. But the revelation at Sinai was a mass revelation, so that parents could tell their children through the generations what they actually saw. Knowledge is better than faith, and it appears to me that the requirement that we simply "have faith" logically leads to Pascal's Wager, which is a self-centered philosophy rather than a HaShem-centered philosophy.
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#11 33948

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 03:12 PM

What I always hear from non-Orthodox Jews is that even if you don't believe in G-d the entire religion makes sense anyway. So it becomes a moot point.

For example don't kill your neighbor. It stands on its own. Learn about your ancestors etc. it can all stand as logical without the need for faith, but also can be practiced out of faith. In regards to aspects of Judaism which doesn't seem to be logical well then the faith is "progressive" and can be adapted as necessary.

So a liberal Jew doesn't need to believe in the accuracy of the book being passed down. He only needs to know that the book makes sense, his community reveres it and he has decided to embrace it.

There is some faith in this view point because you must have humility and not believe that you can know everything about the world. So you must have some aspect of faith in life. Also usually you can't critically analyze every aspect of the religion yourself so you approach it in general good faith. But it is not blind faith- you reject that which is blatantly false or useless.

I believe Mormonism and some other groups take a similar stance. Such as pray and ask God directly if this is the right path or meditate and decide on your own if this is the correct interpretation etc.

#12 ijs

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:00 PM

What I always hear from non-Orthodox Jews is that even if you don't believe in G-d the entire religion makes sense anyway.


I'm not sure this makes sense. Judaism is based on obeying Hashem's laws, whether they make sense or not, whether they are given reasons or not.

For example don't kill your neighbor. It stands on its own.


That is simply one of the three types of laws. There are chukim, for which no reason is given and which do not appear to make sense in themselves (e.g., laws of kashrut). There are mishpatim, for which reasons are given (e.g., honoring one's parents, wearing tzitzit). And there are those laws the reason for which is self-evident (e.g., no murder, no perjury) and therefore is not given. This is to say that not all laws stand on their own; some are propped up with a reason, and some are not, but they are binding either way.

So a liberal Jew doesn't need to believe in the accuracy of the book being passed down. He only needs to know that the book makes sense, his community reveres it and he has decided to embrace it.


But those positions are contradictory, because a liberal Jew does not find the text to be binding, because so much of it (to him) doesn't make sense. His reverence for it is limited, because generally speaking he reveres the text while not feeling bound to it, meaning he hasn't truly embraced it.

There is some faith in this view point because you must have humility and not believe that you can know everything about the world.


An orthodox Jew does not claim it is possible to know everything about the world, and in fact is fully aware the opposite is true. That humility is necessary as well, but there remains little issues of faith without knowledge.

{U}sually you can't critically analyze every aspect of the religion yourself so you approach it in general good faith. But it is not blind faith- you reject that which is blatantly false or useless.


Orthodox Jews do not engage in blind faith. And Jewish law has been quite critically analyzed, in all its aspects, with those analyses having been written down, such that the only bar to doing this oneself is sufficient time. Rabbis do not merely study what's already been written, for that would be blind faith by rote.
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#13 paganyid

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:14 PM

I ask, as in islam each hadith narrator has their life documented and we ensure they were trustworthy and religious and never lied, and we also esure there are no breaks in the chain of narration, so it has to be proved each individual was alive and met/studied under the individual they were narrating from. You also check if others who studied under that teacher are narrating the same thing from them, as obviously if more than one person is narrating the same thing from a named teacher then its more likely to be correct.


Rose, bubeleh, I can't imagine what you have said here is so simple... especially the part about "never lied". It must be much more complicated.
Thank you

#14 33948

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:53 AM

If you follow something that doesn't make any sense to you, then it must be blind faith. Yes of course the typical atheist/agnostic Jew is not bound by the text at all. It is a starting point. We will do it this way by default unless we come up with a good reason to modify this particular practice/belief etc. In this way it becomes adaptable and evolving.

#15 rose2012

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 03:00 PM

Hello everyone,

Sorry i never really replied...ive not really had much free time to myself recently!

This is where we differ, as Torah and Mishnah were directly from HaShem; Gemara was the analysis and commentary. The written Torah was directly from HaShem, and in the Hebrew language, and has been continually reproduced unchanged since then. Mishnah was compiled and redacted as best as possible, but still working on an oral tradition that had been passed down precisely for the prior 1000 years. Certainly, I agree with your general affirmation/rejection, but to Jews Torah (written and oral) is from HaShem, and so cannot be rejected. In fact, every word, letter, grammatical construction, and the like have at least one specific purpose, and sometimes several. (I've heard that every thing in Torah has at least 70 different interpretations, all of them correct.) Oftentimes we do not know what something means, or find something that is apparently contradictory, which is when we turn to Gemara.

If the oral Torah came down from God to Moses (pbuh)...surely it should be alot older than 1000 years? If Moses was alive around 1500BCE then the oral law should be 3500 years old?



Again, we differ. We find none of Moshe's teachings to be lost or changed. Certainly, HaShem sent other prophets (while Jews still primarily resided in Eretz Yisroel), but it was not because any teachings had gotten lost; rather, it was because the Jewish people were stopping obeying them, which is an entirely different matter.

I would say the fact that the Jewish people stopped obeying the laws led to them being lost and changed...once people stop obeying Gods laws it goes without saying they will have nothing in their conscience to stop them from changing God's words as revealed through his prophet(s). If theyre happy to disobey God then whats to stop them from changing the laws? I see them as 2 linked things rather than separate, i hope that makes sense.

The Xians' Jesus is not a prophet in Judaism at all, because he never fit the criteria for being a prophet; while his ethical teachings primarily originated from Judaism, the stuff about him being the son of G-d and all that simply doesn't work.

I totally agree the stuff about son of God etc is nonsense, and i believe he never taught that in the first place. I understand the jewish position that the reason they dont believe in Jesus as a prophet is because he didnt fit the "criteria." In my eyes the criteria comes from the Torah and oral law...if these sources proved to be in someway unreliable i have to reject those criteria as a basis for establishing whether or not jesus (pbuh) was a prophet.

This leads me to a related question...i am assuming most orthodox jews would reject the modern biblical criticism and study which point to editing or multiple authors for the hebrew bible (and christian new testament) and also the dates of composition are seen to be later than Moses's (pbuh) time.

And Muhammad cannot be a prophet in Judaism (though as far as I know we don't have a problem with him being a Muslim prophet), because he was not Jewish. Of course, given the descent of the Jews and the Arabs, the two groups are essentially cousins to each other, but that is not the same as either being the other.



Well, it's not called "Hell," because it is utterly unrelated to the Xian Hell. And twelve months is the maximum, not a given in all cases.

Oh right i see, would you be able to provide me with a reference of for this aspect of jewish belief, either from the torah or mishna/gamera?


It's not a strange as you might think. It's not merely a matter of what "Jews focus on," but on what we've been commanded to do. Now, I'm going to seemingly digress for a moment. There are 3 kinds of mitzvot (commandments): chukim, which are laws for which no reason is given, and which we must do simply because that's what G-d wants; mishpatim, which are laws for which a reason is given; and a type of mishpat which are things humans would do even if not commanded to. As far as I know, the reason for no mitzvah has anything to do with being punished in an afterlife. An example is this classic, from Shemot (Exodus) 20:12: "Honor your father and your mother, in order that your days be lengthened on the land that the Lord, your God, is giving you." The reason for doing it is that it will result in something good. There is some concept of punishment after death for disobedience, especially of a couple of limited things, but by and large this is not what life is about. In my own opinion (I've not heard this anywhere else), the idea of trying to get someone to convert to a religion based on threat of eternal damnation (or anything like that) is spiritual terrorism, and Judaism doesn't do that.

I completely respect your opinion, i guess it just doesnt make sense to me that God wouldnt make any reference to what happens after death and the fact judaism seems a bit vague about this 12 months maximum punishment after death. I think choosing a religion should be based on the reliability of the sources rather than coercion or fear.



#16 rose2012

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 03:10 PM

Rose, bubeleh, I can't imagine what you have said here is so simple... especially the part about "never lied". It must be much more complicated.
Thank you


Of course its impossible for me to summarise hadith sciences in one paragraph :) hence i dumbed it down (ALOT!) Its a huge huge science amongst muslim scholars, and im probably not allowed to link you to books or sites on this topic as its a jewish forum so i respect that...but you can easily research it yourself. Suffice it to say...all sayings of the prophet (hadith) are rigerously authenicated through many channels..like i mentioned looking at the chain of narration, looking to see if many individuals from different countries are narrating the same thing, ensuring theres no break in the chain of narration etc, ensuring each narrator is known and their character, record of lying in the past or weak memory which may mean what their narrating is unreliable etc.. I cant help feel like nothing like this exists for the mishna/gamera which is why i wouldnt accept it as authentic.

Although someone mentioned something similar existing earlier..i would really appreciate being linked up to this.

Is this an accurate translation of the talmud...and exactly how much is left out cos i know its an abridgement?

http://www.sacred-te.../talmud.htm#t01

#17 ijs

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 07:38 PM

If the oral Torah came down from God to Moses (pbuh)...surely it should be alot older than 1000 years? If Moses was alive around 1500BCE then the oral law should be 3500 years old?


It’s a lot older now. I didn’t say the oral Torah is 1000 years old; I said it was 1000 years old at the time it was written down.

I would say the fact that the Jewish people stopped obeying the laws led to them being lost and changed.


Though the Jewish people as a single unit have stopped obeying the law (or some of it), this does not apply to all Jews individually. You are engaging in the logical fallacy of division – applying what is true of the whole to all of the individual parts. Another example of this would be asserting that your car is heavy, and therefore each individual part must be heavy.

I understand the jewish position that the reason they dont believe in Jesus as a prophet is because he didnt fit the "criteria."


Actually, my assertion is that he did not fit the criteria for being the Jewish Messiah. But it is also true that he does not fit the criteria for being a prophet, either.

This leads me to a related question...i am assuming most orthodox jews would reject the modern biblical criticism and study which point to editing or multiple authors for the hebrew bible (and christian new testament) and also the dates of composition are seen to be later than Moses's (pbuh) time.


You are correct that Biblical criticism and the documentary hypothesis are rejected by most of Orthodox Judaism. Or such is my understanding, at least. I, for one, do not dispute scientific evidence as a rule, but I also find no contradiction between science and Torah. Any seeming contradiction is due either to a misunderstanding of science, misunderstanding of Torah, or both.

Oh right i see, would you be able to provide me with a reference of for this aspect of jewish belief, either from the torah or mishna/gamera?


Unfortunately, I do not have a reference myself, as this is beyond my education. I believe such references are scant in any case, because the focus of the Torah and of a Jew’s life is in life, not death.

it just doesnt make sense to me that God wouldnt make any reference to what happens after death.


Why? How does that affect how you live – unless it is to frighten one into compliance?
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#18 Pinchas

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:39 AM

rose - nobody here really cares about your opinion. You want to ask questions fine, but if you want to start proselytizing there are better forums for you to do that!

Pinchas is right - micha

 

For the record, IRL he is a really nice guy! - HappyDuck, Z"L


#19 paganyid

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 11:58 AM

I like Rose's opinion. There is zero chance of my becoming Muslim but I like to learn about Islam because it is an important religion in the world. I think Judaism's main argument against Muslim is that it is a derivation of Judiasm, many of its ideas are direct descendants of Christianity and Judaism, and of course many of Christianity's ideas are also direct descendants of Judaism.

That's not to say that Judaism is wholly original. Many of its ideas are descendants of other pervasive cultural ideas. But for instance the Koran's retelling of the Flood. Jews assume that this retelling was not prophetic so much as a re-interpretation of the Old Testament. Also, there is justification in the Old Testamant that Arabs descended from Ishmael but the "original" Ishmael comes from the Old Testament, almost 1500 years before the Koran. Many Jews believe the Koran borrowed these powerful ideas from the Torah.

I hope you do not feel my comment is disrespectful. It is merely how many Jews feel.

#20 Alexander

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:23 PM

rose - nobody here really cares about your opinion. You want to ask questions fine, but if you want to start proselytizing there are better forums for you to do that!

That seems weirdly confrontational and to have come out of nowhere...I didn't get that impression at all. Are you really this touchy about having your faith questioned?




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