Thursday, March 09, 2006

Rabbi Dan Puts the Smack Down

Wow! I just woke up to find the most interesting comments from my brother-in-law, soon to be Rabbi Dan. Be sure to check out his "Mini sermon" in regard to my "I am What I am" post. He always has a way of making me understand Judaism or at least understand more and then I call him and leave stupid messages on his cell phone with more questions and then I fight him.

Actually, since I've got the floor.... Rabbi Daniel is really hot and he's nice and most of all, he is a really good person. Girl's, he'd never play games with you , he works hard and has really good earning potential. So if you want me to set you up, seriously, just send me an e-mail.


Kendra Lynn said...

Hmmm..rabbi Dan sure can preach! :)
I am a little bit confused about the part of not believing that a loving God would send people to hell for not believing in His Son.
Do Jews (most of them) NOT believe in Satan and Hell?
I think I need a better understanding of Judaism.
I know some...but apparently not much. LOL

Lauren said...

Hi! Hmm...well, it is my understanding that most jews do not believe in Satan and hell. We don't really talk about sin,evil forces and things like that. I've never heard talki of "evil" in temple. I might be wrong though. Maybe Rabbi Daniel can fill us in.

What I thought he meant was that God is very understanding and accepting and whether or not Jesus is his son or him, whether or not we chose to believe that, he will still love us, whatever way we worship him.

Judy said...

Okay, I'm going to feed off of Kendra's post - people of Jewish faith do not believe that Jesus was God's son, so of course they/you don't think you will go to Hell for this, correct? That would kind of be contradictory, I think. In the Jewish faith, isn't Jesus a prophet? Right? Jewish people believe that God's son has yet to come to Earth, which is why the Torah (Old Testament) is their Bible, whereas Christian faiths have the New Testament, since it contains the teachings of Jesus.

Am I off base? Set me straight if I am!

Lauren said...

Hey, good question!Judy I wish I had the answer for you, but I guess we will have to ask Rabbi Daniel. Jon might know though.

Hey, Jesus was born Jewish. That's so funny sounding to me. Ha! Why is that funny?

Kendra Lynn said...

I truly believe that God loves everyone. Its their sin that He doesn't love.
And I don't believe that GOD sends us to Hell. I believe that the choices WE make in life...determine where we shall spend eternity.
maybe Rabbi Dan has some insight on all this. :)

Daniel said...

A disclaimer. Before I begin. I go to the Jewish Theological Seminary, which is the second oldest rabbinical seminary in america. It believes is a scientific approach to religion, if such a thing is possible. So, for instance, we learn about source criticism in biblical scholarship. That means that we opperate from the assumption the the bible is a Godly document written by people. That contradicts traditional (read: orthodox) Judaism. It probably also contradicts some of your beliefs. So you can take what I have to say at face value, and even discrad it out of hand, if you'd like. On the other hand, I spend every day reading the bible in the original Hebrew, and my aramaic isn't so bad either...
So, to respond.

Jews don't believe in Jesus. At all. Even a little. If some of us say that he is a prophet, we are only saying it to make our christian friends feel better, or because we are a little nervous about your goals to convert us. We also don't believe that the messiah is the literal son of God. In fact, their are many divergent traditions as to who the messiah will be. Most Jewish students of the bible will tell you that the way Christians interpret the later prophets (Especially Isaiah) as well as Daniel and Ezekiel is contradictory to the way Jews understand them. Also, there are many things that the Jewish tradition assumes the messiah will do that Jesus simply did not do. The messiah will ressurect the dead. He will gather the exiles. He will bring in a global age of peace. Also, our messiah must be from the line of David. If you read the genealogies of Jesus in the Gospels, he is from the line of David, but through Jesse's side. Well,anyone can tell you that Jesse isn't Jesus' father...The point is, the Nazerene ain't our messiah. And, if pushed, I would also say that the Talmudic tradition has less than nice things to say about him.

II. We believe in sin and personal responsibility. And we believe in atonement for sin. Since the destruction of our Temple in Jerusalem, that atonement comes in the form of prayer. Our daily prayers, our sabbath prayers, and the prayers for atonement at the New Year have replaced animal sacrafice in our system. We believe God forgives, but that we must also gain human forgiveness for our sins. And yes, virginia, there is a hell. But, unless you are super (like Hitler) bad, it is only a year. It is a time for the sould to be purified so that it can be close to God in the world to come. In fact, the reason that Jews say kaddish for 11 months after a person dies is to help the soul reach heaven more quickly (we do it for 11 months and not a year, because we assume that noone could be bad enough to get the whole year sentance).

Judaism is both a religion of belief and of practice--the belief motivates the practice, but it is by what we do and not how we think that we are judged/

Finally, no satan, at least not in the Christian sence. We believe in a prosocutorial angel, like in the book of Job, but not a fallen lucifer type angel who is the minister of hell. Those are children's stories to scare people in to observance. Not a great way to get people to love God, in my opion. We believe that every person is born with an evil inclination, and part of our challenge is to overcome that inclination so that our soul can cleave to God.

So, there you go. No Jesus. No devil. Sort of Hell. And everyone--jews, hindus, that seik around the corner--can go to heaven if they live a lifestyle filled with holy deeds and actions. But that whole "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me." thing just doesn't fly with us...

Hope this helps, and doesn't rock your faith too much. I really believe that the world needs diversity in religion. I just wish others felt the same way...

Kendra Lynn said...

Hmmm...I guess I didn't know that some Jews are so dogmatic about their faith...but that's fine.
I'm not easily swayed in what I believe, either. :)
My beliefs are VERY ingrained in me...from the time I was an infant, I have been taught from the Bible...and I have, as an adult, searched the Scriptures for myself.
I believe what I believe because, to ME, they are truth.

Thanks, Rabbi Daniel, for explaining a bit of the Jewish faith to me.
I really appreciate your time and effort to enlighten me. :)

Hope to meet you someday. :)

Kendra Lynn