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Why is the Torah so special to Jews?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by arcanum, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. technomage

    technomage Finding my own way

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    I have to admit, I do tend to get lost in the detail sometimes. :)
     
  2. arcanum

    arcanum Active Member

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    Well perhaps here is what I'm getting at, the heart of the matter. Growing up as a fundamentalist christian we were taught that the bible was god's very words and infallible. It's quite easy to accept those ideas while in a self imposed religious vacuum, but then when you get exposed to other ideas outside of ones own faith system, you may be in for a shock, but only if you have an open mind. Frankly, and I'm sure you've heard it said before, some of the stories in the Torah are kind of deplorable, from a modern perspective. So The Torah, from an outsiders perspective, and who the hell am I? Nobody. The Torah is a codified system of laws, do this don't do that and you'll live a prosperous life. There is no promise of an afterlife, this is all there is, believe, obey, try and live a life according to the commandments and you'll live a good life and get buried with your fathers, what more could one ask for?:shrug:;)
     
  3. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist

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    Ah yes. Well can't help you with that, because I rarely read any text in such a simplistic/selective way.
     
  4. Flankerl

    Flankerl Well-Known Member

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    Okay. So?

    I dont find anything special in the Quran or so called New Testament. So what? I dont see the problem.


    Apparently you dont find the Torah interesting. So what? I seriously dont see the problem with this.
     
  5. arcanum

    arcanum Active Member

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    I know Flankerl, and we could easily end it on that peaceful shrug and go on our own peaceful and merry way. But consider if you will, if god really did reveal himself to man in those documents, wouldn't everybody who read them come to the same conclusion and have the same feeling about them? Think outside the box for second, humor me if you would. If it really did come from god, than the feeling and understanding, and Gnosis would be universal for all who read the Torah, I would think. But who am I?
     
  6. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist

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    Are you sure you read it?
    Judaism doesn't imply that the Torah or Hebraic law is meant for all of humanity.
     
  7. Flankerl

    Flankerl Well-Known Member

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    No not really. Every human is able to make his or hew own choice.
     
  8. arcanum

    arcanum Active Member

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    I know you are absolutely correct, forgive me for thinking that god's reality and will could be apprehended, and grasped, as something universal, to all people and not just to Jews alone. What was I thinking?:shrug:
     
  9. AmbiguousGuy

    AmbiguousGuy Well-Known Member

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    Grinding water?

    I've never heard it. If it's an idiom, can you tell me where and how it's used?
     
  10. CMike

    CMike Well-Known Member

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    1) There is an afterlife in judaism

    2) The stories are not deplorable. Have you considered that you may not understand them?
     
  11. CMike

    CMike Well-Known Member

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    Other than the 7 laws given to Noach.
     
  12. CMike

    CMike Well-Known Member

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    The issue is that you have to actually understand what you are reading in context.
     
  13. arcanum

    arcanum Active Member

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    But is there an afterlife in the Torah? If so, please show me where. As for Sam 15:3 and killing every last one of them women and children and donkeys...eh, big deal deal no big sh-peel, just the way god works is all, right?
     
  14. technomage

    technomage Finding my own way

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    Horrific by our modern standards, true ... but we live in a different culture.

    In Hebrew culture, the Amalekites were not just an enemy people, they were a people that were completely dedicated to the destruction of the Hebrews. They had repeatedly attacked the weak, slaughtered women and children, stole what they could, and destroyed what they could not steal. They are evil incarnate, so G_d orders the Amalekites destroyed utterly. Today, of course, we would call the assessment of an entire people based solely on their ethnicity as "evil incarnate" as racism ... but back then, the concept did not exist.

    To read a text from another culture without some understanding of that culture is a sure-fire recipe for failure to understand the text.
     
  15. AmbiguousGuy

    AmbiguousGuy Well-Known Member

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    Who told you all of that about the Amalekites? Where did you get that information about them?
     
  16. technomage

    technomage Finding my own way

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    From the Tanakh and various post-Biblical Jewish writings. Which is about the only thing you can find out about them, as there is no solid info that they ever existed in actual history.

    My best hypothesis is that the Amalekites are an etiological myth--an "enemy people" that fulfilled a specific thematic role in the narrative.
     
  17. AmbiguousGuy

    AmbiguousGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I just get skeptical when victors go to hating on the peoples they've destroyed. Especially when those people are so destroyed that they can't refute the hating.
     
  18. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist

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    Nice way to troll your own thread. Like I asked earlier are you sure you read the Jewish scripture? And are you sure you honesty whish to discuss it other than complaining about your self induced ignorance about the text?
    Are you completely foreign to the phenomenon of a people and a culture having their own traditions? I personally find it positive that they have no dogma to submit others to their traditions and ethos. Sounds healthy to me. In this day and age, almost like a fantasy of the good kind.
     
  19. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist

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    Are you confusing universal moral codes with the laws of the People of Israel? The laws of Noah are meant for people from whichever culture they may be. Not eating shrimp, or plowing your field during Sabbath are part of the codes distinct to the Israelites.
     
  20. technomage

    technomage Finding my own way

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    I believe (and CMike, please correct me if I am wrong) that the reference to the Noachide laws is an acknowledgement that these are also found in the Torah, by example if not explicitly.
     
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