What is the Jewish understanding of Salvation? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 12:02 PM
 
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Nickarolaberry and LookMommy!
That was awesome, thank you so much for your explanation. Makes me understand more about Judaism thinking of afterlife and this life!

More questions!
Is there an overall view/belief about what happens to this world from Judaism POV? Is there a view about end of times, or what happens after Messiah comes?

(FYI: I promise, I will NOT bring up my own views of Messiah or the end of times).
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#32 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 12:47 PM
 
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Christianmomof3, I hope you are not mad that I completely budged in with all my questions, but the truth is the topic of salvation/heaven/afterlife from Judaism POV was always interesting to me, so your thread was a good place for me to ask.
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#33 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 02:34 PM
 
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Jane, sorry my answer was short I was trying to get off the computer.

And your first question (the one I responded right after) was so filled with questions about the chance to go to heaven, something we just don't dwell and focus on (at least none of the various denominations in my family and community). Thus my quick blurb.

I am happy the more articulate and knowledgeable women were able to make it more clear. I do want to apologize for being so short though.
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#34 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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Jane, sorry my answer was short I was trying to get off the computer.

And your first question (the one I responded right after) was so filled with questions about the chance to go to heaven, something we just don't dwell and focus on (at least none of the various denominations in my family and community). Thus my quick blurb.

I am happy the more articulate and knowledgeable women were able to make it more clear. I do want to apologize for being so short though.
No worries! Your response actually made me ask more questions that otherwise I might have not thought to ask.
I guess I do think a lot about heaven and hell, I think partially because the closest people in my life: my mother and my grandmother are both dead now. I think about how they (both Jewish) lived in USSR and how they had no chance to follow religion especially Judaism. I guess, I'm worried about what awaited them in another life and I guess I'm a little too fixated on afterlife then I should be.
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#35 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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I can understand. I am perhaps overly fixated on it as well. I have lost most of my family now and I don't believe in an afterlife, as much as I wish I did I can't force myself to believe in one. So I tend to fixate on it too
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#36 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 03:18 PM
 
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No worries! Your response actually made me ask more questions that otherwise I might have not thought to ask.
I guess I do think a lot about heaven and hell, I think partially because the closest people in my life: my mother and my grandmother are both dead now. I think about how they (both Jewish) lived in USSR and how they had no chance to follow religion especially Judaism. I guess, I'm worried about what awaited them in another life and I guess I'm a little too fixated on afterlife then I should be.
I really don't think I'm the best one to answer this question but let me at least attempt, and hope I can in some way add something. I think the situation is considered different in the example you gave (that of your grandmother and mother). The expectations, opportunities and knowledge are hard to compare between one person/situation and the next. That is one reason why we feel only Hashem can judge where someone belongs on the "ladder". I know of people in the USSR who risked their lives to do a "simple" mitzvah. How can I say that their "simple" mitzvah is greater than more of mine? (Note: We also don't know which mitzvah is "greater"). I also may not be the best one to ask as my DH was born and raised in the USSR.
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#37 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 03:19 PM
 
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More questions!
Is there an overall view/belief about what happens to this world from Judaism POV? Is there a view about end of times, or what happens after Messiah comes?

(FYI: I promise, I will NOT bring up my own views of Messiah or the end of times).

Well, the Rambam (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon -- popularly known as Maimonides) writes extensively about Moshiach (Messiah), and techiyas hameisim (re-awakening of the dead) but it is extremely esoteric and difficult to understand without a thorough Torah background. He focuses on this in Moreh Nevuchim (Guide to the Perplexed) as well as Perek Helek (where he writes the 13 Attributes of Faith) but it is not for those ignorant of serious Torah learning (I include myself in that by the way).

I will try and find something succinct -- it may take me some time.

 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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#38 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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Well, the Rambam (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon -- popularly known as Maimonides) writes extensively about Moshiach (Messiah), and techiyas hameisim (re-awakening of the dead) but it is extremely esoteric and difficult to understand without a thorough Torah background. He focuses on this in Moreh Nevuchim (Guide to the Perplexed) as well as Perek Helek (where he writes the 13 Attributes of Faith) but it is not for those ignorant of serious Torah learning (I include myself in that by the way).

I will try and find something succinct -- it may take me some time.

So it will probably be a foreign language for me?
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#39 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 03:58 PM
 
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I really don't think I'm the best one to answer this question but let me at least attempt, and hope I can in some way add something. I think the situation is considered different in the example you gave (that of your grandmother and mother). The expectations, opportunities and knowledge are hard to compare between one person/situation and the next. That is one reason why we feel only Hashem can judge where someone belongs on the "ladder". I know of people in the USSR who risked their lives to do a "simple" mitzvah. How can I say that their "simple" mitzvah is greater than more of mine? (Note: We also don't know which mitzvah is "greater"). I also may not be the best one to ask as my DH was born and raised in the USSR.
That brings me to a question: What exactly is the meaning of "mitzvah"? Does it just mean "good deed" or is it the specific deed that is in the Torah, such as a certain commandment?

Can I bring up an example and you can let me know if it's considered "mitzvah"? When we came to USA, my sister was working as a housekeeper in an Observant Jewish home. The owner of the house was the sweetest woman and she offered to throw my sister (who got married in USSR) a proper Jewish wedding. My sister agreed and she had a proper Jewish wedding with Rabbi and men were separate from women. But not only that, my sister was required to clean herself in the water, (not sure how this proceedure is called) to clean off her sins. Curiously, my sister got pregnant right after the wedding after 3 year of trying. Did this woman perform "mitzvah"?
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#40 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 04:10 PM
 
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By giving your sister a wedding you mean?

Is your sister Jewish?

I'm just trying to tease out the different points.



Sara, good answer!
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#41 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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http://www.aish.com/literacy/concept...he_Messiah.asp

http://www.aish.com/literacy/concept...ish_Belief.asp

http://www.aish.com/literacy/concept...unishment_.asp

http://www.aish.com/literacy/concepts/The_Soul.asp

http://www.aish.com/spirituality/phi...ove_Part_1.asp


These are all links to articles by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan of Blessed Memory. He was a genius who died very young and dedicated his life to educating jews about Judaism. His articles are easy to understand and very in depth. I have not read all of these articles but the one about the soul is amazing and among other things, discusses what will happen when you die (insert evil laughter here j.k.).

I also grew up Reform Jewish and was taught that nothing happens when you die, but given any beleif in the soul or the spirit, that is not so logical.

I strongly encourage you to read the article about the soul. i read it 3 years ago and it really affected me and stuck with me. (and it is in english)






Re: salvation, I am contantly praying to G*D for salvation, salvation from issues with my husband, from health issues, from laundry and dishes, from terrorism, from my less good character traits. etc...

Salvation in Judaism is not connected to life after death.

Also Yeshayahu (Isaiah) was prophesizing before the destruction of the Temple, so he was discussing the possibility of "salvation" from that eventuality.

Also if you can get a jewish edition of a TaNaCh from a synagogue to borrow with a commentary that might be helpful.



Oh yeah, i forgot something: about the purpose of this life, the whole reason why we are here is to fix/ perfect our souls. The soul needs to undergo tests, and to grow stronger by enduring hardships, and being subjected to the physical world. By being far from G-d we are forced to yearn for him and to try to come closer to him. We do this by emulating him. How do we know what to do? Read the book dude. 613 mitsvot for Jewish souls and 7 for non Jewish souls. Prayer and acts of kindness are equally important but they are included in the mitzvot. does that make sense?
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#42 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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Thanks Gilamama! I will take me some time to read these articles, but I do find this extremely interesting and very rich. Thank you very much for your post.
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#43 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 04:49 PM
 
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By giving your sister a wedding you mean?

Is your sister Jewish?

I'm just trying to tease out the different points.



Sara, good answer!
Yes, my sister is Jewish (born of a Jewish mother), but religiously she is far from being Jewish, she is agnostic.
Yes, I'm trying to understand what exactly is meant by "mitzvah". It's obviously a very broad description so I wanted to bring a specific example.
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#44 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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No, that's cool. I understand. I was just trying to understand why she would want a Jewish wedding. So that's the only reason I asked. As well as why the woman tried to give her one. So that all makes sense now, I wasn't sure if she was Jewish or not, as I don't remember it being mentioned.
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#45 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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a mitzvah means a commandment. like thou shalt not kill, do not light a fire on the sabbath day. redeem the first born, be fruitful and multiply, walk humbly with G-d, a man shall not wear a woman's garment. it is colloquially used to mean a good deed sometimes.

i thought i read this whole thread but somehow i missed the part about a sister and a jewish wedding, sorry is my answer is off or something.
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#46 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 06:43 PM
 
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Ok, so what the cup of salvation mean in this verse?
Ps 116:13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

And in this verse, what is Hannah referring to?

1 Sam 2:1 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.


I looked up salvation and it is mentioned a whole lot in the Psalms.
Sometimes it refers to salvation from something specific, but often times it does not seem to. Here are a few of the verses:


Ps 119:166 LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments.

Ps 119:174 I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight.

and I also found salvation mentioned here:

Is 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Is 12:3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

(I checked those against my Jewish bible then I found one online.)
So, there is also these verses:

Is. 45:21 Let them stand and present their case! Indeed, let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, announced it in times gone by? Wasn't it I, ADONAI? There is no other God besides me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides me. 22 Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God; there is no other.

Is 52:17 But Isra'el, saved by ADONAI with an everlasting salvation, you will never, ever, be ashamed or disgraced.

21 Let them stand and present their case! Indeed, let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, announced it in times gone by? Wasn't it I, ADONAI? There is no other God besides me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides me. 22 Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God; there is no other.



What is being referred to here as an "everlasting salvation"?
Writing from work, no time to look a/t up...

I don't remember all those verses in Hebrew, but most of them I do, and all the references to "salvation" that I do recognize are all from the root "yeshua." Isaiah is extremely complex (curiously enough, "Isaiah" is also from the same root), and I can't begin to comment on what any one verse means without studying the whole chapter intensely in Hebrew, but Merpk's explanation that salvation is meant in the simple concrete way works for all the other verses you cited.
"Cup of salvation" -- don't we talk about "cup of joy" and "cup of tears"? David had triumphed, and as he drank from the "cup of salvation," he invoked G-d's name in thanks.
Channah was explained already.
Hoping for salvation/doing commandments are logically related in a world where G-d rewards good behavior in a concrete way -- if physical salvation is necessary, invoking one's history of commandment-observance makes sense.
Ps. 119:174 I'd have to read again in Hebrew, because the verse escapes me at the moment, but I'd be fairly certain it can also be explained in a concrete way.

The idea that maybe there was a concept of "salvation" in Judaism that was somehow blocked out once Christianity appropriated the concept seems extraordinarily unlikely to me, as an Orthodox Jew, and part of a community that spends quite a bit of time studying ancient texts. In fact, a chronological review of Jewish literature reveals that almost all the metaphysical discussion of the soul and afterlife post-dates Christianity; while it's derived from earlier works, metaphysics had very little place in early Judaism. I'd want you to show me something besides the bare verses, which can be read multiple ways, to indicate that such an understanding did exist. Especially since there is concrete evidence that the word "salvation" did have a simple straightforward meaning; it's used in the plural in the context of "miracles and salvations" and so on.
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#47 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 08:17 PM
 
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My understanding of the word mitzvah comes from a shiur (talk?) I heard by Rabbi Akiva Tatz from simpletoremember.com

He says that mitzvah does have a sense of the word commandment, but that it means more deeply and more closely the word connection. That we use the mitzvot (and these are specific "commandments" given by G-d) to make a connection b/w our soul and our bodies. To produce change in the world, spiritual change in the physical world.

It was a very interesting discussion. If you want me to link lemme know.

Also, the 10 Commandments are considered, my understanding is, to be categories of commandments. A way of briefly grouping the 613.

I believe that this is fairly accurate: http://www.jewfaq.org/10.htm

Here is a discussion (very basic, though it says advanced) of the 613.

This quote: "Be as meticulous in performing a 'minor' mitzvah as you are with a 'major' one, because you don't know what kind of reward you'll get for various mitzvot." reminded me of something someone said above, but I forget what. :


Also, in regards to Jews born in the USSR etc. I heard another lecture recently about lost children. Lost children are those who would be lost from their families and raised by wolves. Many people in our generation are considered lost children. My understanding was that in Judaism lost children are not considered responsible for the mitvot. If they have not learned how can they do?

Finally, I think what the woman did for your sister JanesLovesMax was a great chesed (kindess).

Oh, and the mikvah does not wash away our sins. It transfers us from a state of spiritual impurity or separation to a state of spiritual purity or togetherness. (This is a very difficult concept, I think, to explain. For instance, a person could/should (?) go to the mikvah after caring for a dead body..in which certainly the live person has done nothing wrong.)

As someone said above "sin" is more like missed the mark.

Gen'l ramblings as usual.
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#48 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 09:48 PM
 
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My understanding of the word mitzvah comes from a shiur (talk?) I heard by Rabbi Akiva Tatz from simpletoremember.com

He says that mitzvah does have a sense of the word commandment, but that it means more deeply and more closely the word connection. That we use the mitzvot (and these are specific "commandments" given by G-d) to make a connection b/w our soul and our bodies. To produce change in the world, spiritual change in the physical world.

It was a very interesting discussion. If you want me to link lemme know.
I do want the link so I can understand better.

Quote:
Also, the 10 Commandments are considered, my understanding is, to be categories of commandments. A way of briefly grouping the 613.

I believe that this is fairly accurate: http://www.jewfaq.org/10.htm

Here is a discussion (very basic, though it says advanced) of the 613.

This quote: "Be as meticulous in performing a 'minor' mitzvah as you are with a 'major' one, because you don't know what kind of reward you'll get for various mitzvot." reminded me of something someone said above, but I forget what.
Thank you! I will check out the link.

Quote:
Also, in regards to Jews born in the USSR etc. I heard another lecture recently about lost children. Lost children are those who would be lost from their families and raised by wolves. Many people in our generation are considered lost children. My understanding was that in Judaism lost children are not considered responsible for the mitvot. If they have not learned how can they do?
But there is an opportunity for us Jews to learn about God here in America, now we have that chance, thank God.
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Finally, I think what the woman did for your sister JanesLovesMax was a great chesed (kindess).
I thought so too even as a young girl.

Quote:
Oh, and the mikvah does not wash away our sins. It transfers us from a state of spiritual impurity or separation to a state of spiritual purity or togetherness. (This is a very difficult concept, I think, to explain. For instance, a person could/should (?) go to the mikvah after caring for a dead body..in which certainly the live person has done nothing wrong.)

As someone said above "sin" is more like missed the mark.
Oh, ok, I totally didn't understand the mikvah then.
Quote:
Gen'l ramblings as usual.
Thank you Mamaverdi for taking the time to explain.
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#49 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 09:57 PM
 
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You asked some good questions. Again, I may not be the best one to answer you but I'll give it a try (especially since I didn't see the other responses first).
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That brings me to a question: What exactly is the meaning of "mitzvah"? Does it just mean "good deed" or is it the specific deed that is in the Torah, such as a certain commandment?
A mitzva refers to a commandment from Hashem. "Good deed" is often how it is translated but it is rather inaccurate. To give an example, how does one determine what is a "good" deed as opposed to a "bad" deed. The ultimate good is defined by Hashem so leaving "good" and "bad" up to the individual or society means the term changes as society/people change. I hope that makes sense.

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Can I bring up an example and you can let me know if it's considered "mitzvah"? When we came to USA, my sister was working as a housekeeper in an Observant Jewish home. The owner of the house was the sweetest woman and she offered to throw my sister (who got married in USSR) a proper Jewish wedding. My sister agreed and she had a proper Jewish wedding with Rabbi and men were separate from women.
Helping out another person is a mitzvah. Not only that, she enabled your sister to perform a mitzvah by having a proper Jewish wedding and doing the many mitzvos involved in the ceremony, etc... . Your sister did the mitzvah of being married according to Jewish law and doing the many mitzvos involved in the different aspects.

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But not only that, my sister was required to clean herself in the water, (not sure how this proceedure is called) to clean off her sins. Curiously, my sister got pregnant right after the wedding after 3 year of trying. Did this woman perform "mitzvah"?
I'm assuming you are refering to the waters of the mikva. Your sister did a tremendous mitzvah by going into the mikva waters. This woman did perform a mitvah by enabling your sister to perform her mitzvah. She also did many other mitzvos but I'm trying to keep it brief.

I do want to clarify a point. There seems to be some confusion. Your sister did not go into the mikva to clean off her sins. There is no such concept in Judaism. A woman who has mensturated (as well as other uterine bleeding) has entered the state of "tumah", specifically "tumas nidda". Until she (and all Jewish women) had immersed in a mikva, (after following the proper procedure) she was unable to be physically intimate with her husband. By going into the mikva (or as we call it "toiveling") she has removed the status of tumas nidda and entered the state we would call "tahara". I am purposely using the hebrew terms for tumah and tahara as there is truly no English equivalent.

Interestingly enough, she is not the first woman with fertility issues to conceive after their first dunk in the mikva. This is not to say that the mikva ends infertility, there are a number of Jewish women who follow the laws of mikva and still have trouble becoming pregnant. But, it is still an intersting point to note.

I hope this didn't confuse you more or offend someone.
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#50 of 54 Old 01-08-2008, 10:42 PM
 
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You asked some good questions. Again, I may not be the best one to answer you but I'll give it a try (especially since I didn't see the other responses first).


A mitzva refers to a commandment from Hashem. "Good deed" is often how it is translated but it is rather inaccurate. To give an example, how does one determine what is a "good" deed as opposed to a "bad" deed. The ultimate good is defined by Hashem so leaving "good" and "bad" up to the individual or society means the term changes as society/people change. I hope that makes sense.



Helping out another person is a mitzvah. Not only that, she enabled your sister to perform a mitzvah by having a proper Jewish wedding and doing the many mitzvos involved in the ceremony, etc... . Your sister did the mitzvah of being married according to Jewish law and doing the many mitzvos involved in the different aspects.


I'm assuming you are refering to the waters of the mikva. Your sister did a tremendous mitzvah by going into the mikva waters. This woman did perform a mitvah by enabling your sister to perform her mitzvah. She also did many other mitzvos but I'm trying to keep it brief.

I do want to clarify a point. There seems to be some confusion. Your sister did not go into the mikva to clean off her sins. There is no such concept in Judaism. A woman who has mensturated (as well as other uterine bleeding) has entered the state of "tumah", specifically "tumas nidda". Until she (and all Jewish women) had immersed in a mikva, (after following the proper procedure) she was unable to be physically intimate with her husband. By going into the mikva (or as we call it "toiveling") she has removed the status of tumas nidda and entered the state we would call "tahara". I am purposely using the hebrew terms for tumah and tahara as there is truly no English equivalent.

Interestingly enough, she is not the first woman with fertility issues to conceive after their first dunk in the mikva. This is not to say that the mikva ends infertility, there are a number of Jewish women who follow the laws of mikva and still have trouble becoming pregnant. But, it is still an intersting point to note.

I hope this didn't confuse you more or offend someone.

I really appreciate all the responses, really and truly! I feel like now i understand what "mitzva" means. I remember my grandmother used to say: "and this will be a mitzva", even though she wasn't free to practice her religion as she pleased, she knew of mitzva .I kinda sorta thought I knew what it means, so it's good to know that now I am clearer.
I was confused about mikva. I knew it was a cleansing process, but I guess my assumption was that it was a cleaning of sins process. Thanks for clarifying for me.
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#51 of 54 Old 01-16-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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Back to "salvation" -- I was talking to my husband about this thread, and he pointed out that his first response would have been to say that there is no Jewish concept of "salvation," and that because of the strong Christian connotations that the English word "salvation" has, he would simply insist on discussing the Hebrew word "yeshua" in Hebrew. In other words, the word cannot be translated as "salvation" because "salvation" is too heavily invested with Christian meaning. In a similar vein, he would never translate the word "malakh" as "angel" because the English word "angel" means something entirely different than the Jewish concept.
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#52 of 54 Old 01-17-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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#53 of 54 Old 01-19-2008, 02:13 AM
 
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Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#54 of 54 Old 01-19-2008, 05:17 PM
 
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Short and incomplete as this will be, I think it is important to point out that Jews do talk about the "GEULAH" this is the redemption. Meaning the coming of the Moshiach - lit. annointed one - meaning he will be a King. There are different schools of thought as to what things will be like and what will happen and even what order the generally agreed upon things will occur in. Some things are that there will be a Moshiach, there will be a Beit HaMikdash (Holy Temple), there will be World Peace stemming from the fact that now G-d's existance and the righteousness of the Torah are obvious and of course resurection of the dead (something that no one is quite sure what it will be like. ) THis is a real historical period that we are praying for, working on ourselves in preparation for etc...
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