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A serious question
#11
(05-08-2019, 05:35 PM)WisdomSeeker wrote: I agree.  I think there came a time when science held great promise. But perhaps people are circling back now and realizing that not everything can be explained through human capacity. Sometimes I think we're like people in a book, thinking that somehow we are bright enough to see the author of the book.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and G-d Bless you!

C

Glad to be able to offer my thoughts!

I'm sure there may be others who may chime in on this as well.

Thanks for asking questions!
Reply
#12
(05-08-2019, 02:25 AM)WisdomSeeker wrote: Hi members:

I have thought long and hard how to ask the questions I would like to ask, while being careful to be very respectful of everyone's beliefs. 

I am a Christian, something that I believe I was always be. I also have a very keen interest in Jewish beliefs especially since Christianity has a Jewish foundation although I respect the fact that Jewish beliefs do not allow Jesus as the messiah. And I am sorry if at any time I do not use the right wording- as I may not be acquainted with specific terminology used here. 

As part of my beliefs, I have been re-reading the Hebrew Bible which we, as you probably know, we refer to as The Old Testament. I'm not saying this for any other purpose than to just state a fact.

What struck me as I made my way through Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus is the abundance of animal sacrifice and burnt offerings. With all due respect (and please understand that what I am about to ask, also causes an issue for Christianity as well), these practices struck me more as a man made thing than  of a God directed set of instructions/directions.

I know that may sound terrible to some,. and it sounds terrible to me as well, but this has troubled me.

I am wondering if anyone can explain how we can think of this issue. Do we just accept it as recounted. Is it wrong to wonder what that is all about and how a burnt offering aroma can be pleasing to the Lord?

Please understand, I am not raising this issue in any adverse form whatsoever. My beliefs are taking a bit of a hit, and I am just reaching out for wisdom or opinions. This is the first time I have had he courage to ask this and I ask it in all sincerity. .

Thank-you for your time, understanding and expertise.

WS

Hello Charles.

Good questions! What I have to offer is opinion, not expertise,  with a little personal experience. Clearly, the way Christianity and Judaism think on this issue are not the same, as you already know.

I've always thought that within most of Christianity the animal sacrifices of the Torah were believed to be G-d given.  From the biblical approach of dispensationalism, the promises were given to Abraham followed by the Law for Moses, which would lead to the era of grace when the final blood sacrifice would be of a man dieing on the cross.

Several New Testament verses speak  specifically about the Law and sacrifices no longer being necessary, but they served a purpose.  Hebrews 10:4 - It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins, and, the book of Galatians is about living in faith while the Law was given by G-d to act as a schoolmaster or guardian.

I only bring this up because the sacrifice of Jesus, according to Christianity, would not make sense without the history and instruction of animal sacrifices first. It would seem the animal sacrifices of the "OT" then would make for an essential part of the Christian story.
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#13
(05-08-2019, 02:58 PM)WisdomSeeker wrote: Chavak:.......


P.S. Are you a Rabbi?
No, Chavak has many fine qualities, but she is not a rabbi.

On the other hand, I am.

Let me share with you what one of the greatest Jewish philosophers, Rabbi Moses ben Maimon a/k/a Maimonides a/k/a the Rambam, wrote in his Guide for the Perplexed 

"It is impossible to go from one extreme to the other suddenly. Therefore man - according to his nature - is not capable of suddenly abandoning that to which he was deeply accustomed... As it was then the deeply ingrained and universal practice with which people were brought up to conduct religious worship with animal sacrifices... G-d in His wisdom did not see fit to command us to to completely reject all these practices - something that man could not conceive of accepting, according to human nature which inclines to habit.... "
בקש שלום ורדפהו
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#14
Hello all:

I'd like to add that it is clear to me in the Torah that G_d is the one doing the commanding--not Moses or any other human.
Knowledge not increased is knowledge decreased.
                                                        Hillel
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#15
Hello Uncanni and welcome to the forum!

Just to let you know, the first 3 posts are moderated to keep out spam and bots.

Thanks for joining us and looking forward to seeing more of your posts!

An introduction would be nice as well!

Thank you.
Reply
#16
(05-09-2019, 12:56 PM)Dana wrote:
(05-08-2019, 02:25 AM)WisdomSeeker wrote: To all my friends here, I want to apologize for not responding sooner. When I registered, I registered using an email address that I don't monitor very frequently, and did not realize untill now, that there had been responses to my post. Thank-you. i will reply to everyone's comments individually.

Hi Dana:

Thank-you for your reply and I understand the linkage between animal a sacrifice and Jesus's sacrifice as in the New Testament. But this criticality is one of the things that prompted me to confront this question that i was reluctant to. That ans rthe fact that a lot of the Hewbrew Bible, and I conceded aspsects of the NT, seem to be so man made. Like the concept of G_d taking sides. Like the animal sacrifices. Thetre is one of many pieces in the HB (OT), that really sound like that. I can't recall exactly where but in the book of Leviticus, there is a section where man in insrtucted to cut off a woman's hand (or perhaps finger), if she were to try to cause damage to a man's testicles. I may have not been entirely accurate in my description, but close.

How are we to explain this? I find it hard to explain it to myself, and I want to believe all of it. 

Please understand, i am far from being combative. i am just bewildered, and I worry that if we cannot explain it to ourselves, how can we defend the faith?Especially in the onslaught of new atheists who have become celebrities of sorts (Dawkins, Harris the late Hitchens) , making money by ridiculing believers and gaining popularity by it. I know it does not make it right, but we can't ignore this either.

Still searching but very open to dialogue.....









Hi members:

I have thought long and hard how to ask the questions I would like to ask, while being careful to be very respectful of everyone's beliefs. 

I am a Christian, something that I believe I was always be. I also have a very keen interest in Jewish beliefs especially since Christianity has a Jewish foundation although I respect the fact that Jewish beliefs do not allow Jesus as the messiah. And I am sorry if at any time I do not use the right wording- as I may not be acquainted with specific terminology used here. 

As part of my beliefs, I have been re-reading the Hebrew Bible which we, as you probably know, we refer to as The Old Testament. I'm not saying this for any other purpose than to just state a fact.

What struck me as I made my way through Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus is the abundance of animal sacrifice and burnt offerings. With all due respect (and please understand that what I am about to ask, also causes an issue for Christianity as well), these practices struck me more as a man made thing than  of a God directed set of instructions/directions.

I know that may sound terrible to some,. and it sounds terrible to me as well, but this has troubled me.

I am wondering if anyone can explain how we can think of this issue. Do we just accept it as recounted. Is it wrong to wonder what that is all about and how a burnt offering aroma can be pleasing to the Lord?

Please understand, I am not raising this issue in any adverse form whatsoever. My beliefs are taking a bit of a hit, and I am just reaching out for wisdom or opinions. This is the first time I have had he courage to ask this and I ask it in all sincerity. .

Thank-you for your time, understanding and expertise.

WS

Hello Charles.

Good questions! What I have to offer is opinion, not expertise,  with a little personal experience. Clearly, the way Christianity and Judaism think on this issue are not the same, as you already know.

I've always thought that within most of Christianity the animal sacrifices of the Torah were believed to be G-d given.  From the biblical approach of dispensationalism, the promises were given to Abraham followed by the Law for Moses, which would lead to the era of grace when the final blood sacrifice would be of a man dieing on the cross.

Several New Testament verses speak  specifically about the Law and sacrifices no longer being necessary, but they served a purpose.  Hebrews 10:4 - It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins, and, the book of Galatians is about living in faith while the Law was given by G-d to act as a schoolmaster or guardian.

I only bring this up because the sacrifice of Jesus, according to Christianity, would not make sense without the history and instruction of animal sacrifices first. It would seem the animal sacrifices of the "OT" then would make for an essential part of the Christian story.
Reply
#17
(05-10-2019, 05:35 PM)RabbiO wrote:
(05-08-2019, 02:58 PM)WisdomSeeker wrote: Chavak:.......


P.S. Are you a Rabbi?

To all my friends here, I want to apologize for not responding sooner. When I registered, I registered using an email address that I don't monitor very frequently, and did not realize untill now, that there had been responses to my post. Thank-you. i will reply to everyone's comments individually.

Rabbi0

Thank-you for your reply.  The answer you cited resonated with me to a large extent. One of the things that went through my mind was that G_d would probably want to work within the context of the times by which He intervened. 

If He intervened in the modern era, for example, He would probably need to acknowledge the presence of an internet that people use to convey ideas. He might work with that, and other modern day things.

So, in that sense, it makes sense to me.

However, what is left over is things like the taking of sides between one set of people against another; up to and including the killing of men, women  and children. How do we explain that even to ourselves? Do you beleive that G_d would have such a  vested interest in conflicts and wars and would take a side and enable them to wipe out others? Was thta necessary if He is all powerful. Why could He not have willed peace? 

I know it is not for us to question G_d. However, I am trying to parse out whether some of the HB(OT) and NT was man made. It begins to make more sense if it were.

Agnostic to all of this, I will always remain a Christian and always give deference to both the HB(OT) and NT, because of two experiences I had. Both of which are not appropriate for me to discuss as they happened in a context in my life, and it would be improper to share. Besides, I am not here to try to compel anyone of anything. 

However because our commonality is that we share belief in the HB(OT), I beleive there is an onus to understand it and defend it where appropriate. 















No, Chavak has many fine qualities, but she is not a rabbi.

On the other hand, I am.

Let me share with you what one of the greatest Jewish philosophers, Rabbi Moses ben Maimon a/k/a Maimonides a/k/a the Rambam, wrote in his Guide for the Perplexed 

"It is impossible to go from one extreme to the other suddenly. Therefore man - according to his nature - is not capable of suddenly abandoning that to which he was deeply accustomed... As it was then the deeply ingrained and universal practice with which people were brought up to conduct religious worship with animal sacrifices... G-d in His wisdom did not see fit to command us to to completely reject all these practices - something that man could not conceive of accepting, according to human nature which inclines to habit.... "
Reply
#18
(06-27-2019, 03:10 PM)WisdomSeeker wrote: [quote pid='1477' dateline='1557406607']
Thetre is one of many pieces in the HB (OT), that really sound like that. I can't recall exactly where but in the book of Leviticus, there is a section where man in insrtucted to cut off a woman's hand (or perhaps finger), if she were to try to cause damage to a man's testicles. I may have not been entirely accurate in my description, but close.

How are we to explain this? I find it hard to explain it to myself, and I want to believe all of it. 





Please understand, i am far from being combative. i am just bewildered, and I worry that if we cannot explain it to ourselves, how can we defend the faith?Especially in the onslaught of new atheists who have become celebrities of sorts (Dawkins, Harris the late Hitchens) , making money by ridiculing believers and gaining popularity by it. I know it does not make it right, but we can't ignore this either.

Still searching but very open to dialogue.....

[/quote]
Well, I suppose it has more to do with how you define the need to believe.  I think it is more reasonable to think this would come from the minds of men.  As it  is a man's world and it is men that make war and do terrible things during times of war.  Would a Creator, knowing many women's hands would be lopped off from religious fanatics, down throughout the ages, who either understood the verse perfectly or even misunderstood, regardless, author this kind of thinking?  Or, can you imagine a woman writing this??

I've read some books from each one of these authors and doubt they write for the sole benefit of making money.  Each of them differ in style, Dawkins and the late Hitchens have a flair for humor, while addressing the history and current behavior of religious fundamentalism. Atheists have been known to do some pretty awful things too, so where is the balance?  

I prefer to read from modern scholars that would give us fresh insight and perspective into the scriptures.
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#19
Thank-you. I agree with what you said. That particular verse sounds man made and I cannot imagine G*d endorsing any of the brutal parts of the HB (OT) , but maybe I'm over reaching in that regard.

In terms of the new atheists, I am sure they come at it genuinely enough, and I am equally as sure that it pays well to take the stage and debate. I think they are interesting debates, so i seen their value. But it calls upon the faithful to know why they believe what they believe and to what extent.
Reply
#20
(05-08-2019, 02:25 AM)WisdomSeeker wrote: Hi members:

I have thought long and hard how to ask the questions I would like to ask, while being careful to be very respectful of everyone's beliefs. 

I am a Christian, something that I believe I was always be. I also have a very keen interest in Jewish beliefs especially since Christianity has a Jewish foundation although I respect the fact that Jewish beliefs do not allow Jesus as the messiah. And I am sorry if at any time I do not use the right wording- as I may not be acquainted with specific terminology used here. 

As part of my beliefs, I have been re-reading the Hebrew Bible which we, as you probably know, we refer to as The Old Testament. I'm not saying this for any other purpose than to just state a fact.

What struck me as I made my way through Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus is the abundance of animal sacrifice and burnt offerings. With all due respect (and please understand that what I am about to ask, also causes an issue for Christianity as well), these practices struck me more as a man made thing than  of a God directed set of instructions/directions.

I know that may sound terrible to some,. and it sounds terrible to me as well, but this has troubled me.

I am wondering if anyone can explain how we can think of this issue. Do we just accept it as recounted. Is it wrong to wonder what that is all about and how a burnt offering aroma can be pleasing to the Lord?

Please understand, I am not raising this issue in any adverse form whatsoever. My beliefs are taking a bit of a hit, and I am just reaching out for wisdom or opinions. This is the first time I have had he courage to ask this and I ask it in all sincerity. .

Thank-you for your time, understanding and expertise.

WS
Jesus the Jew knew he was not the messiah because he never raised all the dead from their graves  and he never brought peace.  Barry Small
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