kschwiebert wrote: Are you suggesting then that Jews do not suffer from the same
delusion, or that only some, less studious Jews are prone to it?
I am saying that individual people are either more or less prone to delusion in these regards, and that, in some religions such as Judaism (as well as some Oriental forms), there is a reduced tendency for delusion and more of a tendency toward rational examination.
Other religions are not Christianity minus Christ... they are totally other religions.
kschwiebert wrote: How do you explain the many passages in The Torah where God is described as having human characteristics, such as emotion? Would Rabbinical
scholars say that this is all allegory?
We often give storms and other natural events anthropomorphic qualities when describing them. Does that make the storm any less a storm? We attribute anthropomorphic emotional and motivational qualities to the other living creatures around us. Is a cat any less a cat because we label her behaviors based on our own emotions and motivations?
We use what we know as a base to describe what we do not know. Metaphor and simile are foundations for the learning of all abstract concepts.
Jews recognize that G-d is not definable... yet even saying that G-d is not definable, defines G-d in some way, and therefore is also inaccurate. There is no truly accurate language one can use when discussing G-d, because G-d is beyond the limits of our language.
For the purposes of understanding the relationship between the forms and events that are Created, their possible purposes, and our interactions with them, we anthropomorphize the whole thing. It gives us language with which to discuss, learn, and grow.
Therefore, you will hear Jews talk Torah in terms of the language being absolutely accurate... but it is within the context of how things relate to what we, as humans, need in order to live our lives as positively and constructively as possible.
kschwiebert wrote: My problem with Judaism is two-fold. One, it is based on a
bloodline and is not welcoming to non-Semitic people. True, you can
convert to it, but those who do are still not fully accepted.
The bloodline aspect has to do with how it all started, and because becoming Jewish is more than taking on a religion. Those who are not bloodline, who convert fully, are indeed welcomed. It is those seeking conversion, and who are recently converted, who are put through a wringer. And there is the Levitical line, required by Law to remain as pure as possible due to hereditary duties.
The key to understanding this whole thing is the story of Ruth, grandmother of David.
This apparent initial "hostility" to new converts is because any Gentile can be Noahide, regardless of their background and additional religious beliefs, and be righteous. Jews do not believe that one must be Jewish to be connected to the Divine. So why convert?
Becoming Jewish means taking on a heck of a lot more than some prayers and a point of view regarding the nature of the Divine. If someone wants it, they better want it really, really intensely.
kschwiebert wrote: Two, it has been conflated with politics, using unproven Biblical narratives to lay claim to lands which do not legally belong to them.
LMAO!!!!! Well, now, that depends on who is telling the story, now, isn't it?
The difference being, that those seeking to contest Jewish claims of Jerusalem as home, are doing so with stuff that is heavily fictitionalized... then they project their own motivations and leaning toward fiction, on those they are are seeking to destroy.
The difference being, Jews have documentation and a continuum of family history, both from us and from those non-Jews who lived at those times, showing our ancestors were pervasive and ongoing in that land. Genetics studies, linguistic studies, and so on, all show the commonality of Jewish ancestry and a strong tie to the area around Jerusalem. There are Jewish communities in Israel who never were forced into Diaspora in Roman times, too, that quietly welcomed their bretheren home with open arms starting in the 1800's when people started a steady, small stream of returning. The cohesiveness of the tales from around the world, by peoples separated by millenia of time, is pretty conclusive.
Anti-semites make up all sorts of stuff, in order to justify hating Jews. I would hope you are more intelligent than that.
kschwiebert wrote: Not all Jews are Zionists, but this global flashpoint may consume all of us before it is resolved and frankly, I am a little tired of seeing my tax dollars going to blow small children to bits and keep Palestinians in what amounts to concentration camps.
How sad that you fall so easily for propaganda from anti-Semites.
Modern Jews that are not "Zionists" tend to live in areas where they have lived safe, comfortable lives with few encounters with anti-Semitism... often acculturated to their local communities (e.g. American first, Jewish second)... and therefore do not see a need for a homeland since the community they live in is currently their home, safe and secure.
All it takes is a good dose of direct anti-Semitic real-life experience to change their minds, quickly now since those who turned a blind, disbelieving eye to the situation when it crops up, don't survive long.
And in the land itself...
Paelestians chose their situation... they started out with just about the same as the Jews in the 1940's and 1950's, and have spent their time whining and blowing things up, rather than building. It is the other Moslem nations, egging them on, funding their extremists, and refusing to accept Jews as legitimate neighbors or even as people with the right to exist, that are causing the problems.
I'd suggest you actually check your facts somewhere other than Fox news and the BBC.
"...Well, now that we have seen each other," said the Unicorn, "If you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."
-- Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
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