If you have questions about Judaism

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by rosends, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. rosends
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    rosends VIP Member

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    Newbie starting a thread so be gentle.

    If you have any questions about Judaism, feel free to ask. It is sort of a hobby of mine.
     
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  2. The Irish Ram
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    The Irish Ram LITTLE GIRL / Ram Tough

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    Past or future Judaism? Or both? And why did you pick Judaism for a hobby instead of needlepoint?
     
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  3. rosends
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    rosends VIP Member

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    Past, present and future Judaism. And the hobby line was just a glib statement. I'm actually an ordained Orthodox Rabbi.
     
  4. Saigon
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    Saigon Gold Member

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    Ok, so you are actually Jewish, then?

    From your original post I thought maybe you were a Goyim who was just interested in Judaism!

    Ok, I'll start things off:

    There have been several incidents in Jerusalem where people have thrown stones at ambulances on Friday night, because they do not believe vehicles should be driven on Shabbat.

    Do you think Judaism should 'update' some of the very outdated beliefs some Jews still cling to, or simply allow people to interpret the Talmud as they wish?
     
  5. rosends
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    rosends VIP Member

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    Nope, I am Jewish. Your question calls up many separate issues, so I'll try to address and clear them up one at a time.

    1. While there have been cases of people throwing stones at cars, I have never heard of anyone throwing stones at ambulances. Under Jewish law, saving lives outweighs sabbath observance.

    2. Stones are thrown by a very small and particular part of the population which lives in a particular area. Those areas used to block the streets so no cars can go through. The one time I saw anyone throw a stone, it was at a car which had driven around a saw horse. I'm not saying that throwing the stone was therefore acceptable but it didn't occur in a vacuum. The point is that most Jews, even observant ones don't throw stones. Over time, fewer and fewer streets in Jerusalem have been cordoned off -- the city is becoming less religious, not more.

    3. Throwing stones is not actually a particular belief of Judaism. Asking about updating it then makes no sense.

    4. People do not interpret the talmud as they wish. The talmud is, among other things, a law book. Laws are codified and normative practices are established. Questions about application or understanding are decided by competent and informed authorities. The individual does not interpret the talmud in a random way. He studies it and understands what has been said about it in the past. He then goes and lives his life following laws that go well beyond talmudic text.

    5. I think claiming that some of Judaism's tenets are outdated is a loaded statement. I happen not to think that things are outdated.

    also, "goyim" is plural. The singular "goy" strictly speaking means "nation" . The word has developed and has other dimensions of meaning now, but goy is still the singular.
     
  6. Saigon
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    Saigon Gold Member

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    Rosends -

    Thanks for your excellent answers!

    I definitely agree that the stone throwing is limited to a very small number of people with very extreme views. No one I know throws stones!!

    But in areas like Mea Sherim and Beit Shemesh there is a sinzeable hardcore of people with such extreme views towards not only driving on Shabbat but also towards women, that I feel Jewish leaders need to do more to contain them.

    While they may only represent 1% of Jews, the attitudes are - to my mind - repugnant and very definitely outdated.

    I feel religious authorities need to be clear about interpretations of the Talmud and ensure that actions such as throwing rocks at vehicles are discouraged.
     
  7. rosends
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    rosends VIP Member

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    Just one comment -- personally, I think that the behaviors towards women in those areas is not a proper expression of the religion I subscribe to. I think that much of the behavior is a remnant from other sociological forces, times and places, and not called for (to that degree) by the code of Jewish law. I also think that some of the leaders of these communities have developed localized practices which, though they are locally established norms, are frowned upon by more mainstream and authoritative voices.
     
  8. Saigon
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    Saigon Gold Member

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    Rosends -

    I totally agree with you.

    And extremism is hardly a Jewish problem - it is something we see within every major religion. In each case I think other forces are often the key drivers - poverty, cultish adherence to a particular leader, paranoia or religious bigotry.

    I believe people should be able to practice Judaism as they wish, but I'm becoming uncomfortable with stories from places like Beit Shemesh about violence, and feel Israeli and Jewish leaders need to speak out more.
     
  9. rosends
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    rosends VIP Member

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    take a quick look at this response Excellent Article in Tablet About Modesty and Contemporary Orthodox Judaism and to the article which it is responding to
    How Much Modesty Will Ever Be Enough for Orthodox Girls? – Tablet Magazine
     
  10. BreezeWood
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    BreezeWood VIP Member Supporting Member

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    is there a distinction for Mankind in the Garden ?
     

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