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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:00 pm
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Messiah in the Talmud

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The Talmud says the Hebrew Bible depicts Messiah appearing in two different ways:

Alexandri said: R. Joshua opposed two verses: it is written, And behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven34 whilst [elsewhere] it is written, [behold, thy king cometh unto thee … ] lowly, and riding upon an ass!35 — if they are meritorious, [he will come] with the clouds of heaven;36 if not, lowly and riding upon an ass.

Rabbi Joshua quoted Daniel 7:13, where the Messiah receives a Kingdom from God.

Rabbi Joshua also quoted Zechariah 9:9, where Messiah comes to His people in humility.

According to Rabbi Joshua, the manner in which the Messiah appears depends on the conduct of the Jewish people.

Is there anything in the Hebrew Bible that indicates the manner of Messiahs coming has anything to do with Israel's behavior?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:34 pm
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Re: Messiah in the Talmud

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Thruit wrote:

The Talmud says the Hebrew Bible depicts Messiah appearing in two different ways:

Alexandri said: R. Joshua opposed two verses: it is written, And behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven34 whilst [elsewhere] it is written, [behold, thy king cometh unto thee … ] lowly, and riding upon an ass!35 — if they are meritorious, [he will come] with the clouds of heaven;36 if not, lowly and riding upon an ass.

Rabbi Joshua quoted Daniel 7:13, where the Messiah receives a Kingdom from God.

Rabbi Joshua also quoted Zechariah 9:9, where Messiah comes to His people in humility.

According to Rabbi Joshua, the manner in which the Messiah appears depends on the conduct of the Jewish people.

Is there anything in the Hebrew Bible that indicates the manner of Messiahs coming has anything to do with Israel's behavior?



Israel is a secular state, even though the ultra orthodox have a huge influence.

You have to remember what the Talmud is. The Talmud is basically a discussion between a group of rabbi's that look at 'how is the torah implemented in the modern (for them) time frame'. It is the ancient equivalent of the 'internet cafe' for Rabbi's so to speak.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:30 pm
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Goat posted,
Israel is a secular state, even though the ultra orthodox have a huge influence.
You have to remember what the Talmud is. The Talmud is basically a discussion between a group of rabbi's that look at 'how is the torah implemented in the modern (for them) time frame'. It is the ancient equivalent of the 'internet cafe' for Rabbi's so to speak.

Is there any reason from the Hebrew Bible to think Jewish behavior has bearing on how Messiah will present Himself to the people?

Call me crazy, but with respect to the two prophecies cited by Rabbi Joshua, I think it's possible Messiah might come in both humility and Majesty. What do you think?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:26 pm
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Thruit wrote:

Quote:
Goat posted,
Israel is a secular state, even though the ultra orthodox have a huge influence.
You have to remember what the Talmud is. The Talmud is basically a discussion between a group of rabbi's that look at 'how is the torah implemented in the modern (for them) time frame'. It is the ancient equivalent of the 'internet cafe' for Rabbi's so to speak.

Is there any reason from the Hebrew Bible to think Jewish behavior has bearing on how Messiah will present Himself to the people?

Call me crazy, but with respect to the two prophecies cited by Rabbi Joshua, I think it's possible Messiah might come in both humility and Majesty. What do you think?



I follow the Reform tradition, and I don't see a 'Messiah' coming at all. I see the ideal of the 'Messianic age' that all people should strive for, but probably will never be achieved.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:31 pm
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Thruit wrote:

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Goat posted,
Israel is a secular state, even though the ultra orthodox have a huge influence.
You have to remember what the Talmud is. The Talmud is basically a discussion between a group of rabbi's that look at 'how is the torah implemented in the modern (for them) time frame'. It is the ancient equivalent of the 'internet cafe' for Rabbi's so to speak.

Is there any reason from the Hebrew Bible to think Jewish behavior has bearing on how Messiah will present Himself to the people?

Call me crazy, but with respect to the two prophecies cited by Rabbi Joshua, I think it's possible Messiah might come in both humility and Majesty. What do you think?


Two things to bear in mind:

One cannot determine or discern the beliefs or teachings of the Jewish religion by a mere surface reading of the Hebrew Bible.

The Messiah is no longer of much importance in modern Jewish thinking or belief.

As I've said many times: pick up a good book on basic Judaism and learn more about it. Websites and Internet blogs won't do.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:13 am
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Goat posted,
I follow the Reform tradition, and I don't see a 'Messiah' coming at all. I see the ideal of the 'Messianic age' that all people should strive for, but probably will never be achieved.
A Messianic age without a Messiah? What is your ideal of the "Messianic age" and where does your idea of it originate from?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:14 am
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cnorman18 posted,
Two things to bear in mind:
One cannot determine or discern the beliefs or teachings of the Jewish religion by a mere surface reading of the Hebrew Bible.

Isn't that why the Rabbis expounded on it in the Talmud?

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The Messiah is no longer of much importance in modern Jewish thinking or belief.

I think you mentioned one reason for this is that the Jewish people have been waiting so long for Messiah to appear, they've kind of given up on Him. Is that the case?

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As I've said many times: pick up a good book on basic Judaism and learn more about it. Websites and Internet blogs won't do.

I've found with respect to Christianity, the farther removed from the beginning of the faith, the more error crept in. Do you think this is possible of Judaism as well?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:41 pm
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Thruit wrote:

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cnorman18 posted,
Two things to bear in mind:
One cannot determine or discern the beliefs or teachings of the Jewish religion by a mere surface reading of the Hebrew Bible.

Isn't that why the Rabbis expounded on it in the Talmud?

Of course, and before and after the discussions in the Talmud as well; not only on the Messiah, but on the whole Tanakh. But you have to understand, once again, that the Tanakh does not have the same place in the Jewish religion as the Bible does for Christians.

It is not the sole and final authority all by itself; in fact, in Jewish teaching, the Bible is unintelligible without the guidance of the tradition. We are expected to use our brains when reading it.

For instance: "An eye for an eye." The lex talons was never, in Jewish teachings, meant to be taken literally. So a guy puts your eye out, and the court puts out HIS eye? How does that help YOU? Give you revenge, surely, but then j"Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord." We interpret Scripture using the principles of Scripture itself, as WE judge their importance and relevance. Therefore, it was taught, and very early, that the law meant "the value of an eye for an eye." You put a man's eye out; you pay him what that eye was worth, in his making a living and in his quality of life. That is actually helpful; that is actual justice, which is a greater and more important concept than mere revenge.

It is also incumbent upon us to revise the interpretation -- the MEANING -- of Scripture when our human intelligence and moral sense deem it necessary. That is not a violation of Divine command; it is a fulfillment of it. The repetition in the well-known dictate of the Lord -- "Justice, justice shall you pursue" -- has long been interpreted to mean we are to take that concept seriously and think as hard as we can, as opposed to shrugging off our own moral sense and intelligence in favor of mindless, lockstep dogmatism. It's not only that one quote; there are many such, beginning with humans being created "in God's image." Since God has no physical form, our sages reasoned, that must mean that we share with God a capacity for rational thought and a moral consciousness.

Other religions may discard their own rationality and look to an ancient book to determine all their decisions and judgments for them in the modern world. That bit of abdication of human responsibility is forbidden to us.
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The Messiah is no longer of much importance in modern Jewish thinking or belief.

I think you mentioned one reason for this is that the Jewish people have been waiting so long for Messiah to appear, they've kind of given up on Him. Is that the case?

Well, that and being burned by false Messiahs so many times -- Sabbatai Zevi, Simon bar Kokhba, and many others. There are other reasons as well.

The personal figure of the Messiah was never the point, you see; the Messianic Age is, and was. It has never been clear whether the Messiah will bring that age about, or if WE are to do it in order to prepare the world for him; but it is a good thing to work toward an age of perfect justice, perfect peace, and perfect faith, either way. We were NEVER to just passively wait for the Messiah to solve all our problems.

From that perspective, whether or how the Messiah comes is of little practical importance. That is, like the afterlife, God's business, and speculation on all that is mere -- speculation. Our business is tikkun Olam -- the "repair of the world," making the world a better place -- whatever God or the messiah may do.
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As I've said many times: pick up a good book on basic Judaism and learn more about it. Websites and Internet blogs won't do.

I've found with respect to Christianity, the farther removed from the beginning of the faith, the more error crept in. Do you think this is possible of Judaism as well?

Theoretically, yes; but in fact, no. Once again, bear in mind that Judaism is not, like most other faiths, an eternal and unchangeable list of "doctrines" or "beliefs" which are never to be questioned or altered. The Jewish religion was never SUPPOSED to remain as it was "at the beginning of the faith." It was SUPPOSED to grow and change, just as the world does, as society does, as people do. That is not a weakness of Judaism. That is its greatest strength, and perhaps the primary reason that we are still here while the societies, empires and governments that have tried over the centuries to destroy us and wipe our people and religion off the map and out of history are, for the most part, no longer here.

Once again, I advise you to pick up a good introduction to Judaism. Milton Steinberg's Basic Judaism is among the best; so is [i]Judaism for Dummies[/i[. There are many more, but look carefully at the authors and publishers. Some are extremist ultra-Orthodox publications but do not openly say so, just as many Internet sites are. Probably the best websites, if that is the limit of your interests, are the Jewish Virtual Library and Judaism101.

Talking with strangers on the internet -- including me -- is not a reliable way to learn about our religion.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:34 pm
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cnorman18 posted,
Of course, and before and after the discussions in the Talmud as well; not only on the Messiah, but on the whole Tanakh. But you have to understand, once again, that the Tanakh does not have the same place in the Jewish religion as the Bible does for Christians.
It is not the sole and final authority all by itself; in fact, in Jewish teaching, the Bible is unintelligible without the guidance of the tradition. We are expected to use our brains when reading it.

It sounds like what you're describing as "final authority" is interpretation and this is no different in Christianity which has many denominations, but all using the Bible as the final authority. Rabbis expounding on the Tanakh were simply saying, "This is what the Bible says", therefore, the Rabbis were saying the Bible is the final authority, exactly the way priests, pastors, etc. do with Christianity.

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For instance: "An eye for an eye." The lex talons was never, in Jewish teachings, meant to be taken literally. So a guy puts your eye out, and the court puts out HIS eye? How does that help YOU? Give you revenge, surely, but then j"Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord." We interpret Scripture using the principles of Scripture itself, as WE judge their importance and relevance. Therefore, it was taught, and very early, that the law meant "the value of an eye for an eye." You put a man's eye out; you pay him what that eye was worth, in his making a living and in his quality of life. That is actually helpful; that is actual justice, which is a greater and more important concept than mere revenge.

To "interpret scripture using the principles of scripture itself" is using scripture as the final authority.

Quote:
It is also incumbent upon us to revise the interpretation -- the MEANING -- of Scripture when our human intelligence and moral sense deem it necessary. That is not a oviolation of Divine command; it is a fulfillment of it. The repetition in the well-known dictate of the Lord -- "Justice, justice shall you pursue" -- has long been interpreted to mean we are to take that concept seriously and think as hard as we can, as opposed to shrugging off our own moral sense and intelligence in favor of mindless, lockstep dogmatism. It's not only that one quote; there are many such, beginning with humans being created "in God's image." Since God has no physical form, our sages reasoned, that must mean that we share with God a capacity for rational thought and a moral consciousness.

I don't disagree with anything you're saying here, as long as our human intelligence is seeking the moral consciousness of God.


Quote:
Other religions may discard their own rationality and look to an ancient book to determine all their decisions and judgments for them in the modern world. That bit of abdication of human responsibility is forbidden to us.

Where decisions and judgements are concerned, it seems God wanted the Jews to follow an ancient book:

And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day. Deut 11:32

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Well, that and being burned by false Messiahs so many times -- Sabbatai Zevi, Simon bar Kokhba, and many others. There are other reasons as well.
I think the fact that there have been false messiahs is a poor reason for diminishing the true Messiahs importance. Secondly, Torah clearly shows that Gods promises are sometimes not realized until many years have passed...Abraham waiting for a son and Israel waiting for deliverance from Egypt, just to mention two.

Quote:
The personal figure of the Messiah was never the point, you see; the Messianic Age is, and was. It has never been clear whether the Messiah will bring that age about, or if WE are to do it in order to prepare the world for him...

Firstly, without a Messiah, the idea of a "messianic age" wouldn't even exist. Secondly, never being clear on whether Messiah ushers in a golden age of peace shows at least some doubt that "Messiah was never the point."

Quote:
...but it is a good thing to work toward an age of perfect justice, perfect peace, and perfect faith, either way. We were NEVER to just passively wait for the Messiah to solve all our problems.
I fully agree with you on this point.

Quote:
From that perspective, whether or how the Messiah comes is of little practical importance....

But your perspective is a reformed view of Judaism. The fact that Talmudic Rabbis questioned the manner in which Messiah would appear is evidence that it was of importance to them and since they were the teachers of the people, what concerned them concerned the people as well.

So, the Rabbis were aware of how the Messiah comes either on a donkey, or with the clouds of Heaven. I don't think they considered how Messiah might first come on a donkey and later with the clouds of Heaven.

Quote:
Theoretically, yes; but in fact, no. Once again, bear in mind that Judaism is not, like most other faiths, an eternal and unchangeable list of "doctrines" or "beliefs" which are never to be questioned or altered. The Jewish religion was never SUPPOSED to remain as it was "at the beginning of the faith." It was SUPPOSED to grow and change, just as the world does, as society does, as people do. That is not a weakness of Judaism. That is its greatest strength, and perhaps the primary reason that we are still here while the societies, empires and governments that have tried over the centuries to destroy us and wipe our people and religion off the map and out of history are, for the most part, no longer here.

I think the sole reason the Jews are still around after having suffered the horrendous persecution they have is because God wills it to be so.

I'm not sure how to put this to you, because I don't want to come off as being caustic, but your position that Judaism isn't a rigid faith of "unchangeable doctrines and beliefs" doesn't seem to apply to certain matters. For instance, when asked why Jews don't consider Jesus as the Messiah, the reasons you offer are that Jesus didn't fulfill Messianic expectations and that Jesus is said to be God in the flesh. What you mean is that your beliefs of who Messiah must be and what Messiah must do are unchangeable. Yes?

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Talking with strangers on the internet -- including me -- is not a reliable way to learn about our religion.

By itself, I agree, but I have learned to question long held beliefs about my faith form others on the web. In fact, an atheist once challenged me on the doctrine of eternal torment and after much discussion and study, I agreed with the atheist that God would not create a place of unending torture.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 10: Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:54 pm
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[Replying to post 9 by Thruit]

Throughout this conversation, you have returned again and again to expressing your agreement or disagreement with the things I have told you. If your intention was to learn about Judaism, that is not really necessary. I haven't remarked on it before now, but whether or not you agree with the teachings of Judaism interests me not at all. I'm not here to debate them.

You have now begun arguing for the truth of Christianity and the error of Jewish teachings -- and on the Judaism forum. That is not appropriate, and we are done. Be well.

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