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Everything posted by Abigail

  1. It sounds like we should be praying for you! :)
  2. I wonder, do either of you see the irony of this argument. You are both so very concerned that the other may be worshipping the wrong god. God is so much bigger than any defition either of you can come up with. Bigger than any definition I can come up with, or Cman, or Sir. Neither of you have it completely right. Neither of you have it completely wrong. And in the end, you both have far more in common than you realize.
  3. Mark, from my understanding I would say Shekhina is very very similar to the concept of "holy spirit" as taught within TWI. No, Jewish people wouldn't say it was "Christ in you the hope of glory" but many could understand it as the aspect of God that dwells within. Also, please keep in mind, when studying Judaism (especially the more mystical, non-legalistic aspects) we are often cautioned to remember that at best all we can come up with is bits and pieces/aspects of God. So, for instance, when referring to Shekhina as the female aspect there needs to be emphasis on aspect. It is but one part of a much much much larger whole. The same would be said of referring to God as a father. It is an aspect, a part, it is not the whole. They are descriptive words we use because we need descriptive words to communicate ideas. I haven't studied ruach. I will try to find some time to do so. But here are a couple of my thoughts from your posts so far. I would agree with this. But I would take it a step further, because I do believe that spirit of God does also dwell in each of us. Therefore, though we may appear to be physically separated, we are also connected (despite our numerous and differing beliefs). This is one of the reasons I love comparative religion studies. It reminds me of just how connected we truly are. It also saddens me at times, to realize that we often try to separate ourselves over differences that are really unimportant to the bigger picture. IMO, of course. This is a very Jewish concept, Mark! In fact, Lashan Hora (evil speech) is often cautioned against for this very reason!! Words can be very powerful!! Finally, I thought you might find it interesting to know that in Hebrew "Ruach Hakodesh" is the term for divine inspiration. And now it is time for me to enjoy the sabbath candles and spend time with my family. I'll be back over the weekend though. :)
  4. To just breath and be quiet, a very difficult thing in our culture! Funny, when a woman lights the sabbath candles, before she says the blessing she uses her hands to draw the light to herself and takes a deep breath.
  5. P-Mosh, I'm still looking for the reference to God having a wife. From what I have found so far, I'd say that Asherah was believed by many of the Israelites to be the wife of God. Whether this was a part of Judaism from day one or incorporated from other religions is impossible to say. However, even a reading of the OT will make it clear that Israel did worship Asherah, though such worship was also spoken against. If my understanding is correct, at some point in time over the course of history, some groups modified Asherah into Shekinah (the female aspect of god). I guess it goes back to my earlier chicken and egg question, we may never know which came first. HERE IS an article you may find interesting.
  6. Mark, I will have to re-read your posts there to answer the first part of your question. With respect to the latter, I have not specifically studied the various Jewish sects that existed during Jesus' time. But I suppose you make a point about my use of the word "all." As with Christianity, or any other religion for that matter, there will never be an "all". :D So I wouldn't doubt that there are those who only follow the Torah and there are probably those who only follow the oral traditions (in fact, I think the gnostics came from that group??? I could be mistaken). But in GENERAL, most Jewish sects see both the Torah and the Talmud as a vital part of study and practice. This would include ultra-orthodox, orthodox, conservative, reform, and reconstruction. Okay, I'll be back. Kids are home and playing guitar hero, so my focus is a bit off. It is really hard to think deep thoughts when you are listening to "Slow Ride" for the 100,000th time. :blink:
  7. SLIGHTLY Have you heard of the term "split apart?" in reference to soul mates? I first heard it during a movie I was watching many many years ago. That concept actually comes from a Jewish oral tradition. The story is that when Adam was first created, he was created as both male and female in one. God then split him apart when he made Eve. So the Chassidics and some other sects teach that we too were once one with a soul mate and we were split apart before birth. Thus, somewhere out there is one perfect soul mate for us. I think this story sort of fits with the male/female aspects of God and the idea of man being made in "our image"
  8. The weekend is here!!!! Okay, I'm going to add a bit more on the Shekhinah topic, while the kids are out sledding. The LINK HERE that Sir posted in the other thread actually has some very good information. So I'm cheating a bit and will cut and paste a few pieces from it. Then I will go look for more. :) Mark, this part is especially for you, because you seem to like word studies. The word is contained within the OT. However, I suspect if you were to limit your interest to only that which is within the OT, you will end up with a rather one-dimensional view of the word. and It is this line of thought that causes me to connect the concept of Shekhinah with the Christian concept of "holy spirit." The Talmud contains the rabbinical arguments about the meanings of verses, how the laws are to be applied, etc. It's writings are central to ALL Jewish belief, regardless of sect. The first part of the Talmud also contains the Mishna, which are the oral laws.
  9. HA! RR. Fear not, I can tell a good polish joke and lots of good Jewish jokes. I see the humor for what it is intended to be - funny. :)
  10. Mark, it isn't simply that there are "other groups of Jews who have different beliefs." Judaism as whole does not limit itself to only that which is contained in the OT. The Midrash is a vital part of Judaism, regardless of what branch/sect you are in. The Midrash is not something that is only used by "fringe" groups within Judaism. It is a vital part of all branches of Judaism. In addition, debating the scriptures is a vital part of Judaism. It is an important part of study. So, while there are differences among the various branches and sects, you will find that they all rely upon the same basic books (Torah, Midrash, etc.). However, you may find that one group believes "Rabbi A" made a more sound and logical argument regarding a matter and another group may believe "Rabbi B" made a more sound and logical argument regarding a matter. But the arguments from both Rabbis are contained within the Midrash. Or one group may view a particular oral tradition as an old wives tale meant to impart a particular moral, while another group interprets it more literally.
  11. Out of respect for Mark's purpose in started this thread, I am wondering of SirG, Cman, and Mr. P-Mosh would have any objection to me cutting and pasting the posts on the female aspects of God and moving them to SirG's resurrected thread on body, soul, and spirit??
  12. Actually, you are mistaken, Mark. Although in Judaism it is not referred to as triune, it is there. Man has body and soul. Then there is Shekina, which Sir mentioned in your other thread. Shekina is "in dwelling" or "dwelling within" and it is there, in the OT. It is also in the Midrash (which is where you will find many of the oral traditions and rabbinical arguments). I don't have a lot of time to "play" during the week, but I will try to get back to this over the weekend. I know I've covered a lot of this in threads that are long burried now.
  13. hehhe, I was looking for it as you posted. It may be the weekend before I have the time to find it again. It's been a while since I've looked at this topic.
  14. Consider this, Mark . . . IF, as some of the Jewish oral traditions suggest, God had a wife and IF (as the Bible says, when a man and woman marry the two shall become as one) then God and his wife would have become as one. If, we are now the bride, then we too shall become one . . .
  15. Well you are pretty right on the money with that one, P-Mosh. There were, at least during various times, Israelites that believed God had a wife and she was also worshipped. The stories are contained within the oral traditions and can be hard to find. Generally one has to be a Yeshiva student to learn them, but the Chassidics are not so stingy about sharing the oral traditions. I have come across bits and pieces of the stories before. I'll have to see if I can dig some of it up again.
  16. Thanks, Sir! That was the word I was looking for, but my brain just couldn't find it. I know I did some posts on this subject some time ago. She is the femine aspect of God, thought to dwell within and it is the Shekinah that is welcomed in for the sabbath. Maybe over the weekend I can post more, depending on where this thread goes. Cman, you added some great stuff as well. Reading it makes me think of the Roman Catholics .In their own way, they do give recognition to the feminine through Mary.
  17. That is an interesting and valid point, PMosh. Within Judaism, even today, there is recognition given to a female aspect to God, which some see as simply that - an aspect. Others see this female aspect as a separate diety. Still others worship this female aspect, without relealizing they are even doing it. Part of the weekly sabbath service is to welcome in this "sabbath diety" that is understood in the feminine. Some Rabbi's have speculated that this is a carry over from pagan cultures. Others speculate that this femine spirit/diety/aspect has been a part of Judaism since the beginning. Interestingly, little is taught or spoken of it outside of the more ultra-orthodox sects, though I have heard bits and pieces of it among the reconstructionist sect as well. So which came first, the chicken or the egg? Was this feminine aspect/diety borrowed from pagan religions or was it there since "in the beginning" and passed along to the pagan cultures?
  18. Geisha, I hope your response to Cman was not an indication that you are ready to walk away from this thread altogether. I have been enjoying our conversation. I only wish we lived closer together and could sit down over coffee with a couple of Bibles. I miss those early days in TWI when I got together with a couple of friends and searched the scripture - back before it was required that we become locked in with head quarters and could only speak of those things that came out of hq and had to agree on top of everything else! Okay, I'm going to try to respond within your post. I'll go with purple this time, because I am trying to leave the context intact. :)
  19. Geisha, I have been reading Hebrews this morning and started to put together a response to this. Unfortunately, I am not sure how to do it without it becoming unwieldy and extremely lengthy. I will continue to think on it and see if I can come up with a way to share my thoughts in a shorter, more cohesive post than the one I started to write. :)
  20. Indeed, Cman. :) And what, exactly, is sin?
  21. Geisha, I would opine that most (if not all) of us who spent time in TWI were genuinely asking, genuinely seeking. Yet, look where that got us? Judas didn't betray because he had a passion for God and believed Jesus to be false. Judas betrayed out of greed. Not so very different, perhaps, than VPW or LCM? On the other hand, many here are where they are today (at least in part) because of what they experienced while in TWI. So to say to George, or Oakspear, or Bramble, or Garth, "you are going to spend eternity in an everlasting hell because you turned your back on God and/or Jesus" . . . . Well I'm sorry, but I just can't take to that type of doctrine. I would bet money that George, Oakspear, Bramble, Garth . . . they have all at some point or another genuinely sought out God and God's answer appears to to have been TWI??? I believe Oakspear and Bramble have found God. They call Him by names different than I. They worship Him in ways different than I. But I believe it is the same God. That they called and God answered in a way that fit their relationships with him. Garth, George, they too searched and God answered in a way that fit for them. A way that allows them to be good, decent human beings and function within our society - even if they now call upon the God who is "no god." I also believe that if, as you would propose, Jesus is the only way - then it will be God's job to show me that. To show Bramble that. To show Garth that. etc. And in the long run, I believe telling people "if you don't believe my way you will go to everlasting hell" doesn't help God to show us anything. I believe it would probably make God's job that much harder to reach people. It sure doesn't turn me on to the notion of Christianity! But then, I don't believe God will send me or anyone else to an everlasting hell, simply because we found a path to him that differs from yours, or RG, or each other's. I believe hell is reserved for those who are truly hateful and harmful to mankind. And maybe even that isn't the case. Maybe those who are truly hateful and harmful to makind are that way for reasons you and I can never understand, but that God can. Perhaps, God will simply heal them? I don't know. When it comes to those types of Judgments, I can only speculate, I suppose.
  22. I get the basic concept of sacrifice. I think we all make sacrifices, for our children, our family, our community and country, etc. Many men and women have sacrificed their lives for our country, for instance. Most parents would sacrifice their own life to save the life of their child, I imagine. I can get behind the notion that Jesus sacrificed his own life. It is the idea that God set in motion a specific plan that required Him to commit a human sacrifice of his own (and allegedly only begotten) son, as the only way for man to be redeemed that I have trouble comprehending. Especially if this God who set in motion this plan, is supposed to be the same God of the OT who so hated human sacrifice. Over and over we read in the OT how the Jewish people angered God for worshipping idols. But if you look closely at those scriptures, it isn't just that they were worshipping idols, it was that they were sacrificing human beings. There are many instances where Jewish people broke the laws and things worked out well, even though they broke the laws. But, whenever they started performing human sacrifices, that was when God really seemed to get ticked off. So how, then, could HE have possibly set in motion this plan whereby the only way for man to be redeemed was by doing the very thing he seemed to hate? That was one of the things TWI taught, that I always sort of struggled with. It seems to be taught in other sects of Christianity as well.
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