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Funny, I've Always Believed Most Of What You Do...


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Let me first preface by saying I'm Jewish and if pressed would be considered an agnostic, . My best friend is an atheist (ex-Catholic) and our discussions can get quite interesting, yet humorous. I've never liked Christmas (or the wannabe holiday - Hanukkah). I think they be named Retail Holiday #1 $$$ & Retail Holiday #2 $$$ respectively. To me - it always seems like a party I am never invited to but get to watch from outside the window. I have been told by three different Christians this past Christmas that I was going to hell because I don't accept Jesus as my savior - so not only am I not invited, I am going to hell too. Personally I think the religion should be called Paul-ism and Paul should be displayed in front of all churches. I have read Dawkins (a bit too radical for me), Asimov ( A Guide to the Bible), & Lawrence Keleman (Permission to Believe) As far as my personal beliefs go, I firmly believe that unless you have died and returned to tell about it, you can't really know one way or the other. (And as far as I'm concerned - this hasn't happened yet - even Jesus hasn't returned). The thing I do like best about Judaism is that we don't try to convert you based on fear (as missionaries do) - in fact - just the opposite. When one wants to convert to Judaism, we try to convince you not to so that you are 100% sure this is something you want to do. We don't knock on your doors and try to engage you in theological discussions to gain more members. We have never send out a suicide bomber to kill non-believers. Basically we keep to ourselves and want to be left alone. And we give everyone a chance, hence the Laws of Noah. The New Testament makes absolutely no sense to me and unless one can show me proof through archeological finding that the Old Testament has a truth basis, I tend to question the validity of that too. (I have shared this with my Rabbi and the response I have gotten was "Good Luck!") My question is - will you revert to your Christian roots when you post a response and "un-invite" me to your party or will I be accepted to share in your discussions as someone who has beliefs similar to yours?

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Good introduction, Skeptical Believer. I feel confident in saying that you will be overwhelmingly accepted into the Ex-C community (even though you were technically never a Christian) for many reasons, not the least of which being the fact that you didn't come in here passing judgment, correcting claims and laying blame. Whatever your beliefs or lack thereof, most are welcome here if they handle themselves appropriately and, based on your introduction, I think you're off to a great start.

 

I must go futher to mention that some of this message board may not be to your taste or liking (depending on where you stand in your God-belief) but if you go to the posting rules section and read the description of each forum, you will get a better feel for where your attention would be best focused. Welcome to Ex-C. I hope I see more of you.

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- will you revert to your Christian roots when you post a response and "un-invite" me to your party or will I be accepted to share in your discussions as someone who has beliefs similar to yours?

 

 

Everyone is welcome to Ex-C even Christians. Most don't stay long as it's hard for them to promote their dogma. I for one welcome you here and look forward to your insight. :woohoo:

 

Just as an aside, I owe a huge gratitude and thanks the Judaism as it helped clear the clouds and fear of Christianity for me, I believe there are a few here who can say the same.

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Depending on the person, you might well get a 'bad' response or a 'good' response...

 

What I mean is that some people find it hard to separate what you get in the Torah from what you get in the Bible OT. By that, I mean that most of the nasty stuff that some here are angry about in the OT is also in the Torah. Given that, some people will respond the same kind of way they respond to Christians.

 

On the other hand, most of the nasty stuff in the OT is made that way by the two-faced crap in the NT... when the OT is taken by itself, it's not as bad as it seems.

 

 

The point is, you have been tainted by Christians... so the kind of response you get is going to be, in a large part, down to what they've done. (and challenging us to be better than them is very much the kind of thing they do, so that might get a few hackles raised... :scratch: )

 

 

With that said, you're not here condemning us to Hell... you're not trying to convert us... you're not crowing about how much better you are...

 

All in all, very little of your post is Christian-like, so you're not likely to get a FOAD response.

 

 

 

So, with that out of the way... Welcome to the site/forums. Hopefully you'll stay around a while and give us an insight into Christians from the Judaic Point of View. (something I want to know more of)

 

Sit down, have a coffee, take a couple of biscuits, the bathroom's over there, kitchen's through there and down there's the Lion's Den. Excuse me while I remove that leg... guess the cleaning staff missed it. :HaHa:

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Thanks for those of you who have responded. I wasn't sure what kind of response I'd get and I have hesitated for quite some time before getting the courage to post. But I have searched the site and read some of the posts. I'd love to share with you my Jewish perspective (at a later date when I have more time). Of course I won't condemn others for their beliefs or non-beliefs just as I would expect you to respect mine. I'm off remedy the evils of our society by discussing topics while hiking with my atheist friend. At least in our own minds. Thanks for making me feel "invited"

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As far as the Judaic point of view, I can't speak for everyone but here's mine. I, personally, would feel more comfortable in a room full of atheists than a room full of Christians. But I would still be wary and I will try to explain why. The whole basis for Christianity is the belief in Jesus - the more you believe, the better Christian you are. And so you are forced to accept all the inconsistencies, mistranslations and "fitted" prophecies and if you dare to question, you are labeled as one who questions your faith hence, not a good Christian. I have questioned evangelical co-workers about how the Holy Trinity could be one deity (and other inconsistencies in the New Testament that just don't make sense to me), and have been told "you just don't get it because you don't believe." Based on reading your forums, some atheists have come to their beliefs because of events or losses in their lives. And there are those that decided that they just couldn't accept what was being preached. But I wonder how much of you would revert back to your core beliefs as a comfort level if things went horribly wrong. I was reading the forum post about the "mark of the beast" and I thought it interesting that the revelation prophecies would scare an ex-believer. For me, the scary part about Revelation is the 144,000 - which some people actually believe that Christ can't return until everyone is converted to Christianity. And that people have to die to fulfill that prophecy. (See the Jesus Camp documentary post on this website). Before you attack me for some of my Old Testament beliefs, please note, I have problems with some of that too. Like why there are no archeological findings of the Jews when they traveled for 40 years in the desert. Or the fact that it should be a commitment to one faith for males to accept circumcision as the norm. And believe me, it is through atheist websites that have provided some of the answers. But as far as my belief in G-D goes, maybe it is the eternal optimis t inside me that would rather believe in a "world to come" than there being absolutely nothing. I was listening to Jackie Mason on a Howard Stern interview and even though he has relatives that are Rabbi's, he's not very religious. But he did say, just in case there is a G-d, he doesn't want to piss him off. And that's pretty much how I feel too.

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But he did say, just in case there is a G-d.

 

Welcome Skeptic! Just a question...since God is a plural noun taking the place of a proper noun... why do Jews leave the "o" out? Don't you think that Y-hweh/Y-WH knows what the - represents? :grin:

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Q. Why do some Jews spell God, "G-d"?

From Rabbi Jeffrey Wolfson Goldwasser

 

A. God's name is treated with unusual care in Jewish tradition. The divine name, YHWH (spelled with the Hebrew letters yud, hey, vav, hey) is never pronounced. Traditionally, Jews read the word "Adonai" (often translated as "the Lord") whenever reading God's holiest name in Torah or in prayer. However, "Adonai" is not God's name.

 

In recent years, some Jews have carried the practice even further by abstaining from writing the English word "God" and substituting the spelling, "G-d" or "Gd." However, there is no prohibition in Jewish law from writing "God" in any language other than Hebrew.

 

In fact, there is an often repeated story about Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, z"l, one of the foremost authorities of Modern Orthodoxy, who intentionally would write and erase the word "God" (in English) on the blackboard in front of his students at Yeshiva University in order to emphasize the fact this is not prohibited by Jewish law.

 

Some Reform Jews observe the custom of spelling God as "G-d." Most do not. In any case, it would be inappropriate and opposed to Jewish values to correct or shame a person for keeping this practice if it is done out of respect and reverence for God.

 

As for me - old habits die hard.

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". I, personally, would feel more comfortable in a room full of atheists than a room full of Christians."

 

Wise... very wise. The line from bunch of friendly Christians to a lynch mob isn't very far. In a room of Atheists you'd have to be giving a lecture on why the Man-Boy Love movement is a good thing to get anything like the pack of wolves the friends of Jesus can be...

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Welcome to the forums, a skeptical believer.

 

In a few days I'll be twenty years married to a Sabbath observant Jew (observance adjusted by him for his particular convictions and circumstances -- like, he never goes to synagogue). He and I haven't ever had an argument on religion. He thinks he would be unable to be married to a Christian, but a sardonic atheist causes him no problem.

 

I think this marriage works because we share identical views on what constitutes ethical human behavior, which, after all, is the realm in which living humans actually operate. The differing paths by which we arrived at our conclusions matters not a whit to either of us.

 

With only a couple of exceptions I've felt embraced by Jews all my life, with my atheism being a total non-issue.

 

So... I'm really glad you're here. :clap:

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I've vaguely looked into Judaism before and I've been impressed by their far more rational approach. Your post once again convinces me that Judaism is the most rational of the monotheist faiths.

 

When I talk negatively of the 'Abrahamic faiths' I am primarily thinking of christianity and islam. I may try to choose my words more carefully in future because my opinion of Judaism places it alongside Hinduism, paganism, New Age etc as a fairly harmless form of theism. I may not agree with it 100% but it doesn't try to convert people with fear and it respects individuals' need to search for their own truth - and that's good enough for me to declare it a religion I can feel comfortable co-existing with.

 

I know that Judaism encourages discussion and debate around what is in the scriptures and I have read that you are supposed to struggle with the concept of God and reach your own conclusions. This is all very healthy and places the faith far above christianity and Islam in my estimations.

 

So I guess i'm saying welcome :HaHa:

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"I know that Judaism encourages discussion and debate around what is in the scriptures and I have read that you are supposed to struggle with the concept of God and reach your own conclusions."

 

So God is pick and mix in that faith... I can see that creating God in one's own image would make it hard for the religion to fail... until you get Pharisees who tell you 'THIS is the only way to see God...'

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Judaism does have the idea of wiping out every mother fucker in the way... The role of Messiah is that one from the House of David will wipe out their 'enemies' (everyone who isn't Jewish) and one from the house of Aaron will lead them back to the 'True' Faith... It's not hard to see where Islam and Christianity got it's blood thirstiness from... If you actually believe what is in the Torah, then God is a violent, capricious, bully who plays favourites...

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Judaism does have the idea of wiping out every mother fucker in the way... The role of Messiah is that one from the House of David will wipe out their 'enemies' (everyone who isn't Jewish) and one from the house of Aaron will lead them back to the 'True' Faith... It's not hard to see where Islam and Christianity got it's blood thirstiness from... If you actually believe what is in the Torah, then God is a violent, capricious, bully who plays favourites...

 

Judaism does have the idea of wiping out every mother fucker in the way... The role of Messiah is that one from the House of David will wipe out their 'enemies' (everyone who isn't Jewish) and one from the house of Aaron will lead them back to the 'True' Faith... It's not hard to see where Islam and Christianity got it's blood thirstiness from... If you actually believe what is in the Torah, then God is a violent, capricious, bully who plays favourites...

 

Unfortunately a lot of people who have not taken the time to learn about Judaism perpetuate these misconceptions and hence become ignorant preachers of anti-semitic pablum. Hopefully, Grandpa Harley, you are not one of them. If you will allow me to clear up your confusion, you might see things a little differently.

 

1. The role of Messiah is that one from the House of David will wipe out their 'enemies' (everyone who isn't Jewish)

 

The following is taken from Wikepedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Messiah

 

Textual requirements

 

Most of the textual requirements concerning the messiah, what he will do, and what will be done during his reign are located within the Book of Isaiah, although requirements are mentioned in other prophets as well.

 

 

The Sanhedrin will be re-established (Isaiah 1:26)

Once he is King, leaders of other nations will look to him for guidance. (Isaiah 2:4)

The whole world will worship the One God of Israel (Isaiah 2:17)

He will be descended from King David (Isaiah 11:1) via King Solomon (1 Chron. 22:8-10)

The Moshiach will be a man of this world, an observant Jew with "fear of God" (Isaiah 11:2)

Evil and tyranny will not be able to stand before his leadership (Isaiah 11:4)

Knowledge of God will fill the world (Isaiah 11:9)

He will include and attract people from all cultures and nations (Isaiah 11:10)

All Israelites will be returned to their homeland (Isaiah 11:12)

Death will be swallowed up forever (Isaiah 25:8)

There will be no more hunger or illness, and death will cease (Isaiah 25:8)

All of the dead will rise again (Isaiah 26:19)

The Jewish people will experience eternal joy and gladness (Isaiah 51:11)

He will be a messenger of peace (Isaiah 52:7)

Nations will end up recognizing the wrongs they did to Israel (Isaiah 52:13-53:5)

The peoples of the world will turn to the Jews for spiritual guidance (Zechariah 8:23)

The ruined cities of Israel will be restored (Ezekiel 16:55)

Weapons of war will be destroyed (Ezekiel 39:9)

The Temple will be rebuilt (Ezekiel 40) resuming many of the suspended mitzvot

He will then perfect the entire world to serve God together (Zephaniah 3:9)

Jews will know the Torah without Study (Jeremiah 31:33)

He will give you all the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4)

He will take the barren land and make it abundant and fruitful (Isaiah 51:3, Amos 9:13-15, Ezekiel 36:29-30, Isaiah 11:6-9)

 

No where does it say that the Jews will kill all the non-Jews. The "enemies" of the Jews refer to the "enemies of Israel"

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I'm not sure how the 'enemies of Israel' can be accounted as anything but non-beleivers based up on the treatment meted out by the tribes of Israel on everyone they met, 'kill all that breathes' when taking 'the promised land', or wiping out the Canaanites, the Midianites et al, bodes well for anyone no clipped in the requisite way... Judaism is as bloody handed in 'histories' as the Roman Church... based on track record of your own holy book, I don't see much civilising, or civilised, about it... It reads like the same lame apologetics one gets from liberal Christians...

 

But welcome aboard...

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I'm not sure how the 'enemies of Israel' can be accounted as anything but non-beleivers based up on the treatment meted out by the tribes of Israel on everyone they met, 'kill all that breathes' when taking 'the promised land', or wiping out the Canaanites, the Midianites et al, bodes well for anyone no clipped in the requisite way... Judaism is as bloody handed in 'histories' as the Roman Church... based on track record of your own holy book, I don't see much civilising, or civilised, about it... It reads like the same lame apologetics one gets from liberal Christians...

 

But welcome aboard...

 

I agree with some of the points you make with one difference - As I said in my original post - We don't try and convert you to save you and we don't blow you up in the name of Judaism. (and don't forget the Amalekites).

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I'm not sure how the 'enemies of Israel' can be accounted as anything but non-beleivers based up on the treatment meted out by the tribes of Israel on everyone they met, 'kill all that breathes' when taking 'the promised land', or wiping out the Canaanites, the Midianites et al, bodes well for anyone no clipped in the requisite way... Judaism is as bloody handed in 'histories' as the Roman Church... based on track record of your own holy book, I don't see much civilising, or civilised, about it... It reads like the same lame apologetics one gets from liberal Christians...

 

But welcome aboard...

 

I agree with some of the points you make with one difference - As I said in my original post - We don't try and convert you to save you and we don't blow you up in the name of Judaism. (and don't forget the Amalekites).

 

No, but a good number of my father's friends were shot at or blown up in the name of Israel... and it's not really that separate :) Like most religions it's a political entity with a few mystic trappings... Moshe Dayan was all but a swear word in my house, but my late father's real distaste being reserved for Marshall Tito, and the Bosnians... for unrelated issues that involved him being shot at and blown up...:)

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No, but a good number of my father's friends were shot at or blown up in the name of Israel... and it's not really that separate :) Like most religions it's a political entity with a few mystic trappings... Moshe Dayan was all but a swear word in my house, but my late father's real distaste being reserved for Marshall Tito, and the Bosnians... for unrelated issues that involved him being shot at and blown up...:)

 

I'm sorry about the loss of your father. One thing I admired after reading Flags of our Fathers was that the author's father kept reiterating that he wasn't a hero, it was the men who never returned from Iwo Jima that were hero's.

 

Do you share your fathers views based on his experiences or have you formed your own opinions? Sometimes that''s even harder to separate.

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So God is pick and mix in that faith... I can see that creating God in one's own image would make it hard for the religion to fail.

 

You betcha! Long live the Energizer Bunny Religion!

 

And, Gramps, I prefer a Religite who freely admits to cherry-picking his ancient text of life-guidance... just as the U. S. Constitution has been oft amended in its less-than-300-years of existence.

 

Since "Israel" is roughly translated as "struggles with God" it's almost a commandment for Jews not to blindly accept, but to challenge, debate, think, and use their individual mortal experience to shape their individual moral center.

 

There are fundie thinkers in every stripe of religious and non-religious belief, but painting all with that brush does disservice to those being painted and to him who holds the brush, don't you think?

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In a few days I'll be twenty years married to a Sabbath observant Jew

 

Happy anniversery Pitchu!

 

Why, thank-you, Vigile. :thanks:

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Welcome aboard, SB.

 

Like Gramps, I have my own beefs with the rather less egalitarian parts of Judaic scripture (though my ignorance thereof is vast nearly beyond imagining), but I prefer not to let those get in the way of making the acquaintance of the good folks who may happen to believe that way; and you seem like decent people. :)

 

So long as you don't pull a SpaceFalcon on us, I can't see any good* reason to open the shed and dust off the torches and pitchforks. :HaHa:

 

*Okay, so there is a good reason in that it's just so much fun to do the unruly mob bit, but given the circumstances I'll go ahead and omit that one.

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Welcome aboard, SB.

 

Like Gramps, I have my own beefs with the rather less egalitarian parts of Judaic scripture (though my ignorance thereof is vast nearly beyond imagining), but I prefer not to let those get in the way of making the acquaintance of the good folks who may happen to believe that way; and you seem like decent people. :)

 

So long as you don't pull a SpaceFalcon on us, I can't see any good* reason to open the shed and dust off the torches and pitchforks. :HaHa:

 

*Okay, so there is a good reason in that it's just so much fun to do the unruly mob bit, but given the circumstances I'll go ahead and omit that one.

If you would kindly define "SpaceFalcon", I will reseed the the dead grass left by the burned cross so you will have a nice clean area to lay your torch and pitchfork (should you change your mind). And please feel free to ask any questions so that there may be a reduction in your vast ignorance concerning my egalitarian religion.

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I'm sorry about the loss of your father. One thing I admired after reading Flags of our Fathers was that the author's father kept reiterating that he wasn't a hero, it was the men who never returned from Iwo Jima that were hero's.

 

Do you share your fathers views based on his experiences or have you formed your own opinions? Sometimes that''s even harder to separate.

 

My father* and I agreed on very little, so, I've pretty well formed my own opinions about the religious agenda... It's like knowing a junkie... there are good people and bad, but they still have a monkey on their back, such that, when the time is 'right' ('wrong'?) the addiction means they'll leave you in the street to die... or inthe case of religionists, quite happly participate in the lynch mob. Just because some one is hooked on Meth rather than Heroin doens't mean that one is not under the control of an addiction, and the word of the Pusher carries more weight than anything else. So, your addiction is Judaic. Cool. It's like Gang colours... There is an element of Power and Politics to the things taught (along with a good solid slab of racism in certain sects of Judaism)... So why should I cut slack? You're polite and you're not trying to convert any here. However, I still regard the religous impulse as memetic version of a tape worm... just with less pure motives than one can ascribe to that animal...

 

* - About the only thing we did fully see eye to eye on was the criteron for no longer living... It fell to me to sign the DNR papers and authorise withdrawal of feeding and life support... hard end for a hard man... I can only hope for as steady a hand on the knife when my time comes...

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So God is pick and mix in that faith... I can see that creating God in one's own image would make it hard for the religion to fail.

 

You betcha! Long live the Energizer Bunny Religion!

 

And, Gramps, I prefer a Religite who freely admits to cherry-picking his ancient text of life-guidance... just as the U. S. Constitution has been oft amended in its less-than-300-years of existence.

 

Since "Israel" is roughly translated as "struggles with God" it's almost a commandment for Jews not to blindly accept, but to challenge, debate, think, and use their individual mortal experience to shape their individual moral center.

 

There are fundie thinkers in every stripe of religious and non-religious belief, but painting all with that brush does disservice to those being painted and to him who holds the brush, don't you think?

 

See my post about religionists and their essential similarity to active junkies...

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