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Everything posted by Abigail

  1. You are correct, WD - I by no means know or understand ALL of Jesus' teachings, nor have I studied anything close to ALL of the Midrash (that would take at least a lifetime). I do see many, many similarities however. Indeed, I sometimes think that if a new religion had not been born out of the teachings of Jesus, (a new "label" assigned to a group of people) that his teachings would have become a part of the Midrash or a part of the books of the prophets. Maybe not . . .
  2. Okay, I've never studied Muhammad or Islam overly much, so for the sake of argument I will accept your premise as true. That still does not mean all of today's Moslem's are terrorists, nor does it mean that was the intent of Geisha's post. Moslems today are as diverse as Jews and Christians - there are many factions/sects with a variety of beliefs and interpretations. Those of us who do not believe in the trinty tend to see the worship of the trinity as polytheistic, but it would appear that those who worship the trinity do NOT see it as polytheistic. It might be interesting to learn why that is - why they consider themselves monotheistic, no?
  3. WhiteDove, if you study the Midrash you will find that what Jesus was teaching HAD been taught before, it just wasn't being practiced much in his day and time. There were differing sects within Judaism, just as there are today, just as there are among Christians. Jesus didn't really teach a message of change, he taught a message of return.
  4. Rhino, Jesus was not a Christian, either, he was Jewish. His followers became Christians - called themselves Christian and many of them did rule and convert by the sword, also.
  5. If you study the O.T., you will find the one act that abhorred God above all others was human sacrifice. Israel often disobeyed God in allowing those of other nations within their midst. In fact, God even set up parameters for when and how to do so, and Moses himself was married to someone of another nation. God even set up paramenters for animal sacrafice (to meet the human need to worship via sacrafice and not God's need for a sacrafice). But when God got really ticked off, it was when Israel began following after those who practiced human sacrifice. So, I find the notion that God practiced human sacrifice a bit difficult to believe.
  6. Abigail


    We all know the childhood saying about sticks and stones and names will never hurt me. At least some of us know that isn't true. We know very well that words can hurt us. For the past couple of weeks, this place has been full of hurtful and hateful words. I don't really care how one justifies it. "He started it first," etc. That's kindergarten justification. I don't even except that excuse from my children. I have watched people be labelled, I have watched their words get twisted into things they have never said, hell, I watched one man basically have his identity outed (though maybe most of you already knew who he was - I certainly did not) in the name of DEFENDING him. Yet, I would imagine if he wanted his identity revealed he would have posted under his real name. A list of who should be "banned" was put together. I could go on and on, but why bother. It is like a sickness. Maybe some of us had it before TWI. TWI certainly encouraged it. This notion of "reproof" and "confrontation." And it is till alive and well here at the cafe. The legacy of TWI certainly lives on and on and on. Personally, I feel like I have had the .... kicked out of me. I feel physically bruised and battered, and it was all done with words and in the name of some "greater good." I am certainly not sure what that greater good is anymore, and I certainly am at a loss to understand what I did to deserve it. 5 threads all hurling accusations and cruelty and people. Calling people out for battle. Not one thread pulled down, most (though thankfully not all) of those posts still stand. I started one thread, asking for an honest discussion about what does and does not constitute a personal attack. It appears few really want to discuss that issue. Perhaps because it would cause them to look too closely at their own behavior, I don't know. What I do know is a Moderator spoke up on the one thread where it was politely asked that no labels and name calling be used, and esentially said there was no point to discussing the issue, no point in having started the thread. Yet the moderators have been by and large silent regarding most of the cruelty and calling out that has gone on through 5 threads now. I don't envy Paw and the moderators. At this point, if this were my board I would probably close it down. That Paw has not causes me to have great admiration for him. I realize too, that there is no way in hell the moderators can read every post and remove every personal attack. They volunteer their time here, they have jobs and families at home that need them. Rabbi Jospeh Telushkin wrote that one of the worst "sins" (sins isn't his word it is mine, because at the moment I cannot come up with a more apt one) is to be indifferent to someone else's suffering. There is a lot of that going on around here. Worst of all, that indifferece is upheld and defended in the name of one person's suffering and at the expense of anothers. This is no longer a community I care to participate in. I cannot, for the life of me see how all of this bashing each others brains in with words is helpful to anyone. Indeed, not only does it probably chase off many people who come here looking for answers and looking for help, but it hurts the participants as well. Paw, you put forth a valiant effor with this place. Do not misinterpret what I have said as an accusation against you. There simply isn't a way to moderate this place effectively if the participants will not use compassion and self control to moderate themselves. I'm done. Flame away.
  7. Yeah, I have no doubt Paw and you moderators have more than your hands full with this place. As I have said to a couple of people lately - my guess has been that unless someone complains about a specific post, it probably gets left up because no one has the time to read every post here. I guess I thought it might help if there was some kind of understanding of what constitutes a personal attack. Guess I was wrong. :(
  8. In light of what has taken place here over the last couple of weeks, and the discussion about the need to modify the rules, I thought an honest discussion about what exactly is and is not a personal attack might be useful. I would really like to see this thread stay on topic and not become about any individual poster or even about a specific group of posters. I'd like to stay away from labels like "apologist" or those in some "inner circle" or "MOGs" and really keep this on track. As I understand it, the "main" rule right now is that personal attacks are not allowed. But it seems to me that we may all have a somewhat different interpretation of what constitutes a personal attack. I think most of us would agree that name calling is a personal attack, but someone calling someone a "troll" seems to be exempted from that. Should calling someone a troll be considered a personal attack? What about labelling someone as a "victim" a "whiner" an "apologist", "mentally ill"? Do those things constitute personal attacks? What about assigning motives and intent to someone who has not acknowledged a motive or intent? Or assigning a motive and intent different than what the poster stated was his/her motive and intent? Does that constitute a personal attack? It may be useful (and it may not be - but I thought it was worth a shot) to Paw and the moderators, if we as a community could express what we think does and does not fall within the category of personal attacks.
  9. WhiteDove, please check your Private Messages
  10. Well said, Lifted. And I will take it a step further. Shame, yes, is a big part of it. But for a little kid - especially a little kid who has been abused and neglected (and preditors are soooo very good at picking out the kids who have been abused and neglected) it is more than just shame. Mixed with that shame - causing that shame to be even greater, is the thrill that someone has finally noticed you exist. So yeah, there is a feeling that what is going on is wrong and that causes shame. There is also a feeling of being happy that someone knows you exist and on some level that happy feeling over something you know is wrong makes the shame oh so very much worse.
  11. Todd, I think you may very well be right about the significance of rituals. First, though, the rituals must have meaning to the individual. I think, the Chabad website where I had been studying has a lot of very wonderful information. But some of it is just too literal for me - I can't buy in. I have found a book, however, written by a Conservative Rabbi, that explains the rituals in a way that has more meaning to me. Perhaps some day I will get there yet. :)
  12. Beautifully said, Sunesis. I am not as convinced as you are, regarding those things that will be, but they are beautiful nonetheless. If it turns out in the end you are correct, you won't hear me complaining. :D
  13. Amen to that!!! And yes, I remember our discussions on the tree of life. It is probably still down here somewhere burried in the pages. :)
  14. I like that, on a couple of different levels. But I think the thing it makes me think of the most is how connected all of us really are, even if we don't realize it.
  15. I think this book gives a tremendous amount of insight into the thought processes of someone who had been abused. It is something that would be difficult to understand if you haven't walked in those shoes, but Kristen has done an excellent job of telling it!!! I kinda of wanted to move into that topic as the next part of the book discussion, where she talks a bit about being molested and her early experimentation with sexuality. I'm just not sure how to proceed with it, how to do it justice.
  16. It is so incredibly liberating to undo the teachings of TWI!!! I ceased believing in many of them a long time ago, but I had no new understanding to replace many of them with, so I've been sort of stuck in limbo. Now, I am finding the replacement understandings and it feels GREAT. In TWI we were taught that we need not and really should not give to charities, because Jesus said, "the poor you will always have with you." Here's another take on that statement . . . Judaism teaches that we give to the poor, not because we feel like doing it, but because it is the right thing to do. In fact, the Hebrew word that is often translated into charity doesn't really mean charity as we understand it today, it really means something closer to "doing the right thing." It is, in a sense, an obligation. With that backdrop on the Jewish attitude towards "charity" and keeping in mind Jesus was Jewish . . . A woman pours expensive oil on Jesus' head and the disciples reprove her, because she could have sold the oil and given the money to the poor. Jesus responds by saying "the poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me." The 'poor you will always have with you' is a paraphrasing from Deuteronomy. "For the poor shall never cease out of the land; therefore I command you to open your hand to your poor and needy brother." In other words, Jesus would have known that this woman would fulfill her duty to assist her poor and needy brother. And, because there will always be poor people on earth, she would not be lacking in opportunities to do so. But Jesus would only live on this early for a limited time period. This woman wanted to honor him and do him a kindness and this may have been her only opportunity to do so. Black and white thinking again. TWI took this verse and turned it into and either or. Either you honor Jesus and cease giving to the poor or you dishonor Jesus and give to the poor. They never stated it in those terms, to be sure. But they made it clear all of our giving should be to TWI and none to charity.
  17. Right, Eyes. In fact, the "healing of the world" is what many Jewish people believe we were chosen to do. It isn't because Jewish people are somehow special, either. Nor is it that non-Jewish people cannot heal the world - in fact, to heal the world requires all parties to participate. The idea is that for whatever reason, God chose Abraham. Perhaps God saw Abraham as the man who would teach his children. Or perhaps as Harold Kushner points out and as the Bible even says, God stuck it out with the decendents of Abraham because of the love God had for Abraham. Not entirely different from how we might favor the children and grandchildren of an especially close friend. In other words, there isn't anything particularly special about Jewish people, we had no say in our lineage. Eventually God "codified" the laws via Moses, but most of those laws already existed prior to Moses. Perhaps they were codified the way they were at Mt. Sinai because the Jewish people had been salves in Egypt for so long that they no longer remembered/knew the laws, or at least all of them. But in any event, the point of the laws were to teach us how to live as a community. The Jewish people were then to set an example for how to live as a community so that other people would also eventually come to live in communities (as in, in communion with one another, taking care not only of themselves, but their neighbors as well. This would be in oppisition to living in anarchy and chaos, sacrificing children, etc. etc.) Eventually, the world would be healed and the Kingdom of Heaven will come to pass on earth. And I agree, both Jesus and Paul would have understood these concepts.
  18. Interesting take, Cman and I agree. I think this entire life is the process of being and becoming holy. :)
  19. Exactly, WaterGarden. Here's a quote from Harold Kushner that I also find very interesting, in light of what we were taught in TWI "The goal of Judaism is not to each us how to escape from the profane world to the cleansing presence of God {Rember in the world but not of it? In TWI we were to separate ourselves from "worldly things"?}, but to teach us how to bring God into the world, how to take the ordinary and make it holy."
  20. I mentioned in another thread that I am reading a book by Harold Kushner called "To Life". In it, he briefly touches on the practice of shunning (which is very rarely ever seen in the Jewish sects anymore, except rarely among some of the ultra-orthodox communities). He uses the Roman Catholic Church as an example, but it fits with what TWI taught perhaps even better. In the Christian groups that practice shunning, it is often applied to a person because he or she has a theological difference (i.e. are the dead alive now, is Jesus Christ God). In TWI one wasn't just cut off from the community, but we were taught that we were cut off from God as well. (greasespot by midnight, anyone?) However, he asks, how can anyone cut someone else off from God???? In Judaism, when excommunication occured, it was a cutting off from the community, and it was never understood to be a cutting off from communion with God. AND shunning didn't occur over theological differences, shunning occured when a person was not acting as a member of the community - in the best interest of the community. Now, if Paul, as a Jew, understood the concept of "mark and avoid" in this light - his writings on the topic make much more sense!!! You don't mark and avoid someone because they have a different belief, you mark and avoid them because they are harming the community (such as someone who manipulates and/or forces a woman to have sex with him - hmmmmmm).
  21. Its great to see you Sir! :) Some great thoughts in your post. To become holy is to become whole. But it isn't simply about the individual becoming whole (or as we were taught in TWI - body, soul, and then spirit makes us whole) it is about the COMMUNITY becoming whole. That is the glue that holds Judaism together - not doctrine or theology. Ask any two Jews a theological or doctrinal question and you will probably get at least 3 answers. :). I have started reading a second book called "To Life" by Harold Kushner. He made an interesting point, in that before Judaism was a religion, it was a people, a community - the ritual and religion came later. Much later, really. The laws weren't written so we could show our blind allegiance and obedience to a power tripping God, they were written so we could successfully live together as a community. God would rather we show our love to each other than to Him. Hence, there are exceptions to the laws and examples of when someone was right and justified in breaking them. It isn't supposed to be black and white - it can't be, because we are not. And yes, I guess the rituals are important, I just haven't yet learned enough about them for all of them to have significance to me. :) I think another part of the idea behind the rituals is to live life in its fullest. To not just be happy but to be full of joy - to celebrate. To not just mourn, but to really deeply grieve - to cry, scream. To experience every part of it! Anyway, I am still going to work my way through this book, and I may still post things on this thread as I am moved to do so. But in all honesty, I am find this book to be a bit of a sleeper - sort of elementary with very few "ah ha!" moments. The introduction was great and really hooked me, but now I sort of feel like I am sitting in a Sunday School classroom with a group of children. In fact, this book would probably be an excellant read for the kids if it were pared down a bit. Still, I think there will be some good stuff in there, but my mind needs something a bit more than I am finding in it, so I will read a few pages a day here and there and work my way through the book (mentioned earlier in this post) that Sushi brought home from the library. I will say this though - one of the reasons why I wanted to read this book was because I do want to teach my kids - another reason why I will stick with it, too. But as I was reading the other book, I realized something . . . In Judaism, the kids go to Hebrew school from a young age, but most of what they learn is not so different than what I already try to teach them at home and in many respects not so different than what any kid in any Sunday School setting would learn. Then the kid goes through the Bar or Bat Mitzvah and the school ends. This is truly sad, because the reality is that they aren't really even mature enough to learn what it truly means to be/ live as a Jew (and probably this would be true in Christianity or any other religion) until they have reached that age of Bar or Bat Mitzvah. So, I will continue to do what I've been doing. I may add some things here and there, but I think until they reach an age where they can really comprehend and question and put together some of this stuff, I don't need to worry about it too much. And by that age they will be mature enough to sit through Shabbat services, to ask questions about them, etc. . . .
  22. Abigail

    Song of the moment

    Warning - adult language. The singer/guitar player and the guy on keys used to practice in my basement in a land far far away from here in another lifetime that pre-dates TWI
  23. My ex's grandmother had a parakeet that could make a sailor blush. Wonder where it learned such language
  24. One thing that I find kind of amusing is the time-period and description of mayhem and disarray among those early NY "believers". I'm sure not all of you will be amused but . . . . During the time period that the book is written about, I wasn't even in high school yet and had never heard of TWI. By the time I did get involved with TWI, everything was whitewashed and pristine. Way posters framed and hung on walls, homes polished to a shine most "worldly" mothers could only dream of achieving. Children sitting quietly, entertaining themselves (or at least too afraid to voice an objection) while the adults held fellowship. It was definitely "Stepfordville" by the time I got involved. Of course, I am not sure if I would have stuck around if things had been as they were "back in the day." I was already living in chaos and clutter and was desperately searching for structure and order. Well, they do say, sometimes when you are trying to find balance, you end up first going to the opposite extreme
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