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Re: Re: "Was Tolkien a Manichean?"

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  • Jan Theodore Galkowski
    On Thu, 13 Jun 2002 at 16:29:05 -0400 ... [snip] ... I found a reference to the eternality of the Torah. I was wrong. You don t need to delve in Jewish
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 14, 2002
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      On Thu, 13 Jun 2002 at 16:29:05 -0400
      "Christine Howlett" <chowlett@...> wrote in part:

      >There is a great deal about the Jewish mystic
      >tradition that captures my imagination - in a very
      >healthy way, I think - and the tikkun olam is
      >certainly an aspect of that.

      [snip]

      >Yes, I did say *Talmud*, but equally cannot handle
      >the Torah as co-eternal, unless this is supposed
      >to be a (limited? restricted?) manifestation of
      >the Sophia of God. I don't quite like the thought
      >of the third person of God as so much paper and
      >ink, good and bad poetry, so much butchery, envy,
      >malice mixed with so much love and
      >self-recognition.

      I found a reference to the eternality of the
      Torah. I was wrong. You don't need to delve in
      Jewish mysticism or in the Talmud to encounter the
      eternality of the Torah. The Torah's eternality
      and its, therefore, coeternality with God, is the
      ninth of Maimonides' 13 principles of the Jewish
      faith, recorded as well in the ninth stanza of the
      poem and song Yigdal, e.g.,

      http://www.torah.org/qanda/seequanda.php?id=413

      The hermeneutical argument
      is captured at

      http://members.aol.com/eylevine/vezoshaberachah.htm

      It's interesting that some Islamic scholars
      believe the Qur'an is coeternal with God, e.g.,
      see


      http://www.namb.net/root/resources/beliefbulletins/religions/islam.asp

      in the section about the Qur'an.

      I want to make a clarification, one that may not
      really be necessary, but important for the record.

      In discussions like this, I think it's important
      to keep separated the things which a tradition,
      like Judaism, says are normative, tied up with its
      point of view, and the things which scholars and
      other students of these matters, present company
      included, might know and believe from other
      sources. The former are things like Maimonedes 13
      principles of faith. The latter come from
      science, other cultures and traditions, and
      individual insight.

      While I try to be familiar with what Jewish
      tradition says and believes, I very much feel what
      we call Torah or the Pentateuch was written by
      scribes and others during the time of Josiah --
      credited even in the tradition for "finding" the
      book we call Devarim or Deuteronomy -- or at least
      redacted from existing sources in such a major way
      that it constitutes a different book with a
      different outlook. That is, I agree with the
      FinkelStein and Silberman view described at


      http://www.bibleinterp.com/commentary/Finkelstein_Silberman022001.htm

      This doesn't diminish the wonder of the book, or
      its tradition, any more than embellishments in the
      Illiad or the Odyssey detract from the grandeur of
      those texts. The Torah is how Jews of all ages,
      and Christians, in part, think of themselves. But
      to take any part of the Pentateuch literally is a
      huge mistake, at least in my opinion. Others may
      feel it is self-contained, e.g., "the fact that
      the seed of all future Torah interpretation lies
      within the Torah itself", from

      http://www.ohrtorahstone.org.il/parsha/5762/terumah62.htm

      but, to me, this is a kind of unhealthy
      self-centerness.

      -- Jan



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    • Stolzi@aol.com
      In a message dated 6/14/02 8:45:12 AM Central Daylight Time, ... One might point out that Christians see Christ as The Word of God, coeternal with the Father
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 14, 2002
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        In a message dated 6/14/02 8:45:12 AM Central Daylight Time,
        disneylogic@... writes:


        > The Torah's eternality
        > and its, therefore, coeternality with God


        One might point out that Christians see Christ as "The Word of God, coeternal
        with the Father and the Spirit" (cf. Gospel of John, Ch. 1).

        Like the Torah, Christ represents "what God has to tell us."


        Diamond Proudbrook



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