Judaism and origins ~ spinoff thread - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-12-2006, 02:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DaryLLL View Post
I did not say in either of those posts that CE Judaism is not monotheistic.
We are not talking about "CE judaism". We are talking about both CE and BCE judaism.
Judaism is and was monotheistic. Yes, you are apparently denying that in your above statement.

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Old 10-12-2006, 03:28 PM
 
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Soviet history from soviet sources is fairly interesting, but probably not the best parallel.
Why not?
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Old 10-12-2006, 04:35 PM
 
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1) I think it was said to be rude.

2) It brings into play what the Soviets did to Jews which obfuscates your point.

3) We're talking about religion not government. Does this imply that we should only talk about C'ian history in terms of Judaism or Islam? C'ians don't get to claim their own history from their POV?
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:25 PM
 
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A good reference for this would be the first chapter of the Patai book The Hebrew Goddess which is concerned with Asherah worship in Israel and Judah.
Thanks. (PSA: I know you know this Daryl, but for clarity I will state that Judaism does not believe in a masculine G-d. G-d is genderless/sexless, and has both masculine and feminine names.)

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In the English translation of Tanakh, 1Kings 11 says Solomon built altars to/offered sacrifices to, Milcom, Chemosh, Molech and the goddess of the Sidonians, ie: Asherah (there was confusion between Asherah and Astarte/Ashtoreth). His first wife was Egyptian and he finished her house before the house of the Lord. The storyteller blames his love for his wives for his "abominable" practices. The storyteller also tells us Solomon married these wives when he was old, but knowlege of politics tells us it would've been politically expedient to create foreign alliances early in his political career when he was building his power and needing their armies to protect the borders of his empire. But as the story (written down centuries later) goes, YHWH had warned all the Hebrews not to marry foreign wives for this very reason, and now tells Solomon he will tear the kingdom out of the hand of his son as punishment for it.

Later, it is written the prophet Ahijah did a symbolic act with the cloak of Jereboam, tearing it into 12 pieces and saying YHWH will tear away 10 of them (tribes) from Solomon b/c he worshipped Ashtoreth, Chemosh and Milcom.
I remember most of this from my own reading of Tanach, although it has been a while, I admit. I wonder why you point out that Shlomo HaMelech (King Solomon) built his wife a house before completing the house of the Lord. I don't see anything in the text that indicates that this is a bad thing, although I have not had time to scour the whole book, nor have I checked with Chazal (the sages). In addition, I believe that Solomon married these wives in his old age if that is what the Tanach states, despite what we may think we know about political expediency well over 2000 years ago.

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Apparently one of Solomon's wives, Maacah, introduced an image of Asherah into the Temple around 900 BCE. Her son Asa removed it. 1Kings 15:9-15.
As far as I can tell without spending way more time that I have right now on Erev Yom Tov (the day before a holiday), this text does not say anything about A' being in the Temple. It says that Maacha had an A' tree, nothing about the Temple.

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Much later, in Ezekiel 8, we are told, Ezekiel is brought to the Temple in a vision by God. He sees "the Image of Jealousy" (generally understood to be Asherah). He sees women mourning the god Tammuz, he sees reliefs of "beasts and creeping things" being offered incense by 70 elders, he sees 25 men prostrating themselves to the east and the sun with their backs to the altar of YHWH. This was in the latter days of Solomon's temple, after Josiah's Yahwistic reformation/revolution.
I have not had time to examine this one, but this is a vision and it is not clear on it's own. I would not take this a proof of anything; although it is obvious there were abominable practices in the Temple that Yehezkil (Ezekiel) is preaching against (in line with the practices of Judaism as we know it today).

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The conclusion is Asherah was worshiped in Israel and Judah for 600 yrs, from 1200 BCE until the time of the Babylonian exile. The final paragraph of section 6 of the Asherah chapter of The Hebrew Goddess shows the math, year by year, king by king. Asherah stood in the Temple for 236 of its 360 years, or approx for 2/3 of the time.
All this seems to be based on creative textual analysis. In order to "find" these "facts", one must start out with the theory that something is being covered up (the feminine divine in Judaism) and work from there. As far as I know, not all biblical scholars agree that this extensive editing occurred; although the Documentary Hypothesis is quite popular, not all agree on even that (the number of authors, etc.). Textual analysis is not scientific in the stricter sense of the word. Although it may be possible to learn useful things or construct theories through it's use, it is not possible to prove anything using it alone. We do not have much if any (that I know of) physical evidence of the first Temple, it is impossible to state the number of years that an image of A' stood in the Temple with any certainty, outside of faith, whether that be in religion or be it in one or another "scientific" theory.

And that was my point in my earlier post.
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:28 PM
 
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Or Soviet history from Soviet sources...
I don't know if it's a good comparison, but I hardly regard The Hebrew Goddess as without agenda or unbiased.
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:27 PM
 
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I don't know if it's a good comparison, but I hardly regard The Hebrew Goddess as without agenda or unbiased.
I regard nothing as without agenda or unbiased, so at least we agree on _The Hebrew Goddess_.

Also,

It was not said to be rude; it was said to make a point.

Since when do Jews not have a political history?

How exactly does the comparison bring in to play what the Soviets did to the Jews? Seems to me it brings more into play what the Soviets did to the Soviets, which is also not reflected in their history books.
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:49 PM
 
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I regard nothing as without agenda or unbiased, so at least we agree on _The Hebrew Goddess_.

Also,

It was not said to be rude; it was said to make a point.

Since when do Jews not have a political history?

How exactly does the comparison bring in to play what the Soviets did to the Jews? Seems to me it brings more into play what the Soviets did to the Soviets, which is also not reflected in their history books.
Yes, we do agree. I did not think you were being rude! I am not the one who brought up what the Soviets did to Jews. It seems irrelevant to me. I thought that you were just picking out a nation/culture infamous for their propaganda and comparing. I'm not sure it's the best comparison, but I suppose that is impossible to know since people don't agree on the historical fact here.
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:54 PM
 
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A good historical or textual conclusion is not necessarily true, but it is good mental exercise. Truth cannot be found in argument.
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:56 PM
 
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Heck, the term "historical fact" may be an oxymoron! I have faith that all of these things will be cleared up for us in the future, G-d willing in the near future.
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Old 10-13-2006, 12:19 AM
 
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Clearly it was to make a point. But I found the point to be rude.

Rude in that you are comparing the Soviets keeping of their history (incomplete, deluded, missing all sorts of abuses) to the Jews keeping of their own history?

I'm glad you didn't intend it to be rude, but be that as it may, I still found it to be rude.

I don't believe I claimed that the Jews don't have a political history. I'm sorry that I'm too : to understand that we are talking about political history here.

What the Soviets did to the Jews was also not recorded in their history books. Or recorded proudly and horribly.

I wish I had more patience to explain any of what I mean....but I just don't. Not any more.
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:20 AM
 
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Clearly it was to make a point. But I found the point to be rude.
I'm sorry you found it to be so.

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Rude in that you are comparing the Soviets keeping of their history (incomplete, deluded, missing all sorts of abuses) to the Jews keeping of their own history?
Jews don't traditionally "keep" their own history. Jews have not traditionally recorded history for its own sake. There were very, very few Jews who prior to the 19th centruy who can be called historicans, I'm not even talking aobut drawing distinctions between so-called scientific history and older forms of history like chronicles. I'm talking recordation and publication of narratives of past events. There just isn't a lot recorded. Jews use historical events in ahistorical ways--in forming laws and legal traditions, in liturgies, but not in narratives.

Soviets used history in ahistorical ways--in creating propoganda.

Or is this merely another veiled accusation of anti-semitism because I've had the temerity to use a comparison you didn't like?

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I'm glad you didn't intend it to be rude, but be that as it may, I still found it to be rude.
I'm sorry you found my valid point offensive.

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What the Soviets did to the Jews was also not recorded in their history books. Or recorded proudly and horribly.
Yes. And?
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BinahYeteirah View Post
Heck, the term "historical fact" may be an oxymoron! I have faith that all of these things will be cleared up for us in the future, G-d willing in the near future.
Well, I think many historical facts can be considered true. It's the conclusions one reaches and the facts one chooses to emphasize and ultimately the language used to express them that make the difference,

For example, one otherwise decent history survey text I've read, in it's section on WWII betrays its Western orientation and the subtle disregard in which the author holds the people of the "Eastern Bloc" when he states that Hitler murdered six million Jews. A few paragraphs later he states that under Stalin ten million "souls perished." Active voice turns to passive, murder turns to perish. Just less impact on the reader.

I haven't read this Goddess book but it seems that it is using as you (or someone?) said comparitive religion combined with a bit of scripture to draw conclusions about idolatry in the temple. To you or I it seems obvious that this was a private error that never reached the public eye.

So I guess the historical fact is "a wife of Solomon was in possession of idolatrous materials.

Too bad there is no interesting information there at one. You place a message of mussar onto it, a caution of things to be wary of--a traditionally Jewish approach. DaryLLL approaches it from a more scientific POV. (Please note that by "scientific" I don't mean truer. I mean different.. Better for some things, worse for others.)
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Old 10-13-2006, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are not talking about "CE judaism". We are talking about both CE and BCE judaism.
Judaism is and was monotheistic. Yes, you are apparently denying that in your above statement.
Ah, I think I see the disconnect. I was talking about pre-BCE "Judaism." You, singular (not "we"), are talking about both BCE and CE, a history spanning approx 3600 years.

I for one, see no evidence, despite the writings eventually collected and made into canon (that the huge majority of the population of course, had no access to, nor literacy skills to read), that the pre-BCE religions of Palestine were in any way monolithic (note this is a different word than monotheistic). I see some evidence the pre-BCE "Judaism" was Yahwistic in Judah. Particularly in Jerusalem, particularly during the time of Josiah and afterwards. Yet, throughout the region, including Samaria and Israel, Yahweh was worshipped as a consort of Asherah, as one of all the "host" of heaven. No matter how the prophets warned and preached, no matter how this or that king would attempt to consolidate for political reasons, or to have pilgrims send all their first fruits down south to the elite Levites, the population as a whole stuck tenaciously to their Asherah and other household gods (see Rachael and Laban http://www.wwnorton.com/college/engl...ar/02essay.htm , also see Michal's casual use of a teraphim to protect King David).

Just as the official history of Christianity is told by Catholic doctrine, so is the official story of "Judaism" being told. The Cath. doctrine goes that Jesus established Catholicism, while archeological evidence now tells us there were many Christianities that were very diverse in the first 4 CE centuries, and the "winners" got to eventually declare what was true C'ianity and what was heresy. Similarly, archeological and extra-Biblical literary evidence (documents, cunieforms and stele of neighboring cultures, or of Hebrews in Egypt, etc) clearly shows that the "Judaisms" of the BCE period were quite different than what was and is practiced later.

Even the word "Judaism" is misleading. It of course, refers to the religion of the Judahites. Much of the canon was collected by the Jerusalem elite while in exile in Babylon, as I understand it, and the documents that were used reflect this bias.

If priests, kings, elders and women were honoring Asherah, Tammuz, the Sun and all the Host of Heaven in the Temple in Ezekiel's time, where was Judaism? Who was strictly monotheistic and where did they worship "properly?"
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Old 10-15-2006, 09:01 AM
 
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Too bad. you just don't get it. And here you go again contardicting jewish women on their own religion.
Jews and Judaism are two different things. Just because jews worship something other than Hashem (No Yaweh here!) does not mean that is not what Judaism is. Jews direguard laws all the time- jews are buddist, jews are christians (as evidenced on this thread), jews are pagans, that doesn't make those things judaism.

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Old 10-16-2006, 12:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tie-dyed View Post
Jews don't traditionally "keep" their own history. Jews have not traditionally recorded history for its own sake. There were very, very few Jews who prior to the 19th centruy who can be called historicans, I'm not even talking aobut drawing distinctions between so-called scientific history and older forms of history like chronicles. I'm talking recordation and publication of narratives of past events. There just isn't a lot recorded.
I disagree. I think all peoples keep their own history. Anyone who can put pen to paper has kept in some senses a history. Personal journals, business logs, inscriptions in holy books, one's own library with books marked in is a piece of history.

I also disagree that there isn't a lot recorded. I think more likely, there isn't a lot that wasn't destroyed.

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Jews use historical events in ahistorical ways--in forming laws and legal traditions, in liturgies, but not in narratives.

Soviets used history in ahistorical ways--in creating propoganda.
The part that I found to be rude, was that I felt you were in fact connecting the two: Jews use history as Soviets used history: in creating propoganda.

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Or is this merely another veiled accusation of anti-semitism because I've had the temerity to use a comparison you didn't like?
I don't make veiled accusations about anti-Semitism. If I felt you were being anti-Semitic, I would have either reported you, or said so straight out.

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I'm sorry you found my valid point offensive.
See, I didn't find you to be making a valid point. I found you to be making a snide remark. You have many valid points you could make, but the statement: "Or Soviet history from Soviet sources..." is not one of them.
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