Short Briefing and ideas concerning Judaism



- A jew in the desert builds two synagogues says a popular joke

-Free hatred was the reason given by the Talmud to explain the temple’s destruction and the subsequent exiles of the jewish people.

-this hatred is nevertheless not proportional to what we know today as hatred – It wasn’t connected to crimes, since the jewish people was faithful to the temple’s services. The main sins were of not giving the due respect to their fellowmen opinions, while they were all well-instructed Torah scholars – In contrast of nowadays religious arguments that are mostly based on philosophies or way of thinking that are foreign to the ambit of jewish scholastic circles  (such as Torah ó science or theory of evolution ó Torah). In more drastic examples of why the temple was destructed are the tales of Kamtza and Bar-Kamtza, who slander the jewish people to the roman ruling power and  sins that were committed under the auspices of the law (example – Apprentice that married his employer’s divorced wife after buying his atelier, following his employer’s social and economic collapse – and had his ancient employer serving him and his newly married divorced wife in his dinners)

-Taking the facts in their contexts helps us understanding jewish inner antagonisms under the light of it’s own religion/culture – since only in the last 200 years jewish culture was disconnected from religion -, which is precisely built on arguments, both of them right under certain aspects, but still antagonistic and from which sages had to choose a way, a behavior. (“elu veelu divrei elokim haim”) This is exactly what the oral law is all about, as written, “there is no written Torah without oral Tradition”. The written law never changes, while the oral law adapts new situations, difficulties, defies or even inventions to the written law, and teaches the jew how to relate to it.

-Each sentence in torah can be read in 70 different ways according to the nikud, ponctuation (“70 pnei ha torá” à pan=faces or pnimà inner meaning, since the face shows a manifest of what’s inside a person). All those 70 different ways of reading the written torah are true according to the religion, even if they sometimes seem antagonistic, they are true in they contexts.

-Furthermore, Torah can be interpreted in five levels- (PARDES –

1 Pshat à simple reading Rashi is the most important exponent, since simply reading without adding is much harder than what is seems, such as avoiding including our feelings and life context in the text)

2 à Remez – letters correspondences, such as A-V-G  T-SH-R that gives birth of a text inside the text, Acrostics (rqashei teivot), Diluguei otiot, stepping letters in a regular cadence, that show real texts inside the texts, encryptions that bring a new inner dimension to the Pshat. (Baal ha turim/Talmud…) The jewish letters correspond to numbers: Guematria, whose numerical equivalences hint a philosophical issue: (Elokim=hateva one of god’s names have the numerical value of “the nature” hinting that nature is one of godly manifests on our level, every food consumed traditionally  in Shabbat, the seventh day of the week, make 7 = (DAG – Bassar – Marak – Iain – Halla…) – Dvash (honey)=Isha -woman

3 à Drosh- (RaMbaN – Rabbi Moshe Bar Nachman) secret information hidden in crowns and Thorns drawn in Original Torah scrools, and re-lecture of torah ignoring the spaces between the letters – (ex. Bereshit bara elokim et ha olam ó Be rosh itbara el….) Midrashim are storys and historical facts related in the Talmud, a manifest of torah inner dimension

4àSod – Secrets, such as Kabbalá – (Rabbi Shimon Bar iochai (Rashbar) - Moshe luzzato (Ari zal) – Spiritual dimensions of torah, reincarnation, godly and earthly domains, (i.e. Terah, avraham’s father reincarnated in Job.) Study of the universes and creation.

-There are thus an infinite number of ways to interpret and understand the written law, and thousands of masterpieces to make the studies available to all. Just step into a synagogue to witness the multitude of books that concern orthodox jewery publications.  It is one of the rabbi’s tasks to identify his pupils in this system and guide him during his studies (further than all his expected tasks, as personal guidance, social functions, ensuring tsedaka to the needy of his community….)

- The jewish people itself is born out of a philosophical contrast. A short tale concerning the jewish people, the first so-called jew was Avraham, who distinguish himself from his surrounding à His father terah used to provide idols for worship, in one episode, Avraham broke all the idols despite his very young age, placed a rod on the biggest idol’s hand, and told his father the bigger idol broke all the smaller. His father said it was impossible, and thus he proved his father the statues had no power of themselves.

- Avraham children are all born with opponents à Isaac/ Ishmael, Jacob/Esau except for jacob’s sons who are twelve, where the first were the emanation of spiritual tendencies, and the latter of materialistic ones (Ishmael = Pere Adam – wild, but nevertheless a “man”  and Esau = Edom à Adam, a man à Red/silence à bloodshed potential. In the following, Esau marries one of Ishmael daughters whose names – such as all biblical characters – are denotative of their way of life/personality – Ohali bama (“my tent/canopy is a scene” à exposure of sexual connotation ) One set of characters equally descending from avraham, that are building the basis of what would be the materialistic ways of nowadays society/philosophies in contrast to what would be the spiritual edifice of jewish philosophy.

- The twelve children of Jacob differed from one another. Each possessed his personal characteristics, and the tribes are represented by a symbol, (i.e. Zebulon are experimented sailors, Reuven are “dudaim” flowers he used to offer his mother daily, Naftali, swift as a deer, ….) and received flagged camps while journeying in the desert.

- They had differences to solve: Joseph was envied by his brothers and provoked their anger, after rebuking them for eating food he thought wasn’t permissible. At first cast into  a pit, he was than sold as a slave to Egypt were his saga as pharaoh’s viceroy begins. In the end of Jacob’s life, the tribes reconciliate in a very comoting episode.

- After the kingdom of Jeroboam the 10 tribes of Israel’s kingdom were exiled by Assyrian king Sanheriv, while the kingdom of yehuda, inhabited mainly by Benjamin, yehuda and levy tribes subsisted for a few hundreds of years. Nowadays we don’t know who comes from which tribe.

-The spiritual tendencies of those tribes are nevertheless present in the jewish people, and manifests through all different jewish currents (says the kabala) – Sefaradic, Litai, Habad, Breslov, Teimani, Bokhari, Zionim…..

-Each one of them follows one ore some of the currents, and, while respecting all rabbis and techings  in general, give special reverence to certain rabbis and certain currents of study

litaim à Gaon mi vilna, Hafetz haim, shmirat ha lashon, studying intensely

Habad à Hassidut, Admour hazaken, happiness

Breslov à Rabbi nachman – Shmirat ha brit, hitbodedut

Zionim à Rav Kook à torah and avodah, the building of the nation/country

Irak à Ben ich hai à Kabala….

Sfaradim à Rambam, Ramban, Shearei a tshuvá...

And so on.

-Judaism prescribes that a son should follow his father’s tradition, since his spiritual nature is connected to his father tradition, meaning he should stay within his tribe, while feeling connected to all tribes. (twelve gates of torah). The ones that don’t know to what tribe they belong, would use the so-called “thirteenth gate” (Arizal), until their instinct (god) leads them to their rightful place.

-Tradition in Judaism is written M-i-n-ha-g , same letters as G-h-i-n-m , hell. Meaning that it is a type of a punishment related to the exile of the tribes, that jews feel antagonism to their fellowmen, and might be a hell if not thoroughly understood. Tradition is than beautiful when it expresses different spiritual realms, but a hell when used as a way of discord and damage.

-Diégo Martinez, French army colonel in Algeria in the 50ies was born to a jewish mother and gentile father. He used to say “If a cow grows in a hen house, will it lay eggs?”

 

- So in this case, the nations of the world have their own characteristics, with no possible comparison between them, in the way it’s impossible to determine that a doctor is “better” than an engineer. Both have their tasks, functions, reason to be.

 

- Used dangerously by different people during history to qualify people as “better” or “worse” “superior” or “inferior”, or even as an excuse to enslave or annihilate other ones, lead to a second extreme, the humanistic philosophy that men are all the same. These thoughts ignore the innate differences that exist in between man, under the risk of getting to the first extreme None of them are justified according to judaism.

 

-Torah recognizes differences between peoples, such as characteristics, intellectual, potentials, physical and superficial differences (such as hair color or  thickness, skin melanin amounts and acidity of sweat… call nowadays “ethnics”) as spiritual differences (70 nations of the world) but never as “races” or “inferior”.

 

- The rightful way of a person to complete his potential, is to be and develop the one he is, under the auspices of ethics and mutual respect.

 

-Saying we are all the same according to Judaism is the worse type of racism, since it corresponds to assert we should all live the same way, under the same rules. Or even treating equally different people, is an act of injustice. Law should punish in proportion to the people involved, as much as the situation involved. This is called “racism of assimilation”, a generally accepted principle of 20th century western cultures when attempting to shape what would be the “global island” under the auspices of free market economy. The result is ethnics rebellion all around the world, or simply the expression of ethnics characteristics by the means of arts and music à Example of the first, the Basque, the Corse,  seeking independence while Europe is struggling to unite, as much as systematic illegal foreign deportation and recrudesce of neo-Nazi parties all around Europe. à example of the latter , success of ethnic music and movies.

 

-The word employed by Judaism to relate to other nations is “Goi”, which means “people”. Israel itself is frequently related to as “goi” (goi raba – goi mevorach). It’s translated to “gentile” in the singular. The nation of Israel is nevertheless most of the time related to as “Am”, which is also translated to “people”. The difference between the first and the latter is the first is connected to it’s place: such as to say a “Frenchman” is a Frenchman because he is born and grew up in France, as a French. If the same person would be borned in Russia, he would be a Russian. Thus, the differences between “goi” to another “goi” are cultural/ethnical, never race/superior. “Am” is the people that is not connected to the land. A jew will be ethnically and culturally a jew anywhere he is born, and this is what makes the jewish people “Am”. Other like those are related in the bible “Amalek” is an example, in different proportions though.

 

-The jewish people is still connected to it’s land. Divided by centuries of exile and 60 years of gathering of the exiles, the twelve tribes are now reuniting.

 

- The Talmud states a very old argument between early rabbis concerning the resurrection of the dead. They ask one another “will the dead return to life with the disease that killed them, and than god will perform a miracle to heal them, or the dead will come back healthier than ever?” and so they answer: “they will come back with the disease that killed them”. This argument seems irrelevant, comments Alain Muati, from Tunisia, since it sounds idyllical and miraculous enough that the dead would come back to the living. So what’s the need to long for a further miracle, if at all? He explains the jewish state was “murdered” in the time of the second temple’s destruction and the diaspora represents the jewish people’s corpse, decaying. At first in large pieces, in Jerusalem and Babylon, and, with the time smaller and dispersed pieces, in different continents. And the corpse of the jewish state decayed and was pulverized, scattered around the world amongst other nations. Now, the jewish state was resurrected, and to this relates the Talmud: the dead will come back to life with the disease that killed him. The jewish people were scattered amongst the nations because of free hatred (sinat hinam – as we saw in the beginning of the book) and now came back to life in 1948 of common era. With the disease that killed it. Now, we long for the miracle that will heal us, from G-H-I-N-M to M-I-N-HA-G. 

 

-Inside of Judaism, there are 12 tribes. Each one of them possesses its characteristics and ways of being.  

 

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