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What Judaism means to me

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by Segep, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Segep

    Segep Member

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    I have studied world religions for some time now, and in particular Judaism. Granted, the Rabbi I studied under is by no means conventional, but I respect him all the more for that. I am still a die-hard (militant?) agnostic, and that is perhaps the only thing that kept me from officially converting. I admit I don't really know if God exists or not, so I am reluctant to give Him my word that I will follow His laws and become one of His people (and wtf is that about anyway?)

    Here's what made me fall in love with Judaism.



    Y'Israel.




    Translation: Wrestles with God.




    You see, there is a story in the Bible about a man named Jacob who wrestled with an angel for an entire night (I don't know the particulars, so don't bug me about it) and when the sun rose the next day, the Angel gave Jacob the name of Y'Israel, which means "Wrestles with God". For me that is what it is all about.


    God may (or may not) be the Creator of the Universe, but that doesn't necessarily mean He is perfect. He is like a Cosmic Child with vast powers at His disposal, but without the ethical and moral development to use those powers wisely. Maybe He's like Q of Star Trek TNG fame. This of course could be a metaphor for the human race itself. After all, we are told that we were created in His image.



    Take, for instance, the story of Noah. What kind of ****ed up individual agrees to the prospect of drowning every person on Earth but himself and his family without at least trying to talk God out of His psychotic plan?


    Anyway, it's the only Abrahamic religion I've found so far that admits the possibility that humans have the power to influence and possibly even teach God a thing or two.


    What it means to me is that I choose my own moral code based on what feels right in my heart of hearts, and all religious texts and opinions of my ancestors and contemporaries be damned.


    Since I am agnostic and somewhat uncomfortable with all the Abrahamic traditions, I have chosen instead to follow a more animistic and polytheistic path. Hence the username 'segep', a local indigenous term for Coyote, the Trickster. It gives me great satisfaction to know that I am tweaking the nose of God and Coyote at the same time. Hubris? Maybe. But damn, I'm having fun and I promise you that at the end of my life if I have any regrets, it won't be that I spent too much time in church. :D




    So anyway, I will always have a special and unapologetic affinity for Jews and Judaism, and I will defend them with great vehemence against anyone who maligns them or their religion out of lazy or willful ignorance.
     
  2. heyjude

    heyjude New Member

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    I also have a lot of respect for Judaism. I like what one rabbi said: God has grown since he gave Moses the law. He wouldn't have said a lot of those things were wrong today. What an amazing concept. That God and Man are growing together.

    I once read a book written by a rabbi who was an atheist. Judaism is a way of life, not a faith. At least that is what he said. I am an atheist too. But I have my own way of life. Another one would not be natural to me.
     
  3. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    I always found it interesting that Judaism has a practical and even argumentative relationship with God...very one on one. No need for any prophets to translate it.
     
  4. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Plus, you have to give props to a people who've been **** on so often throughout history. I don't think there's a single minority group out there who has a longer and/or more storied history of being discriminated against than the Jews have. And they're still going strong.
     
  5. Segep

    Segep Member

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    That's the part about it I like the most. To me it tips the scales in the argument over free will vs. determinism. If I had to believe in a Western religion, this one seems to give the most free will (and responsibility) to the practitioner.
     
  6. Horizon

    Horizon Member

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    how can a rabbi be atheist. all rabbis are jewish. otherwise they wouldn't be called rabbi.
     
  7. Horizon

    Horizon Member

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    is Prophet Moses not their prophets who brought them the torah and initially tought and preached them?
     
  8. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    What I meant was that Jews have the direct ear of God. They don't need an intermediary (like Christ) to act on their behalf.
     
  9. Horizon

    Horizon Member

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    Muslims don't need any intermediary for their worship to God as well.
     
  10. Segep

    Segep Member

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    Good point.
     
  11. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    What I love best about Judaism I learned from a great Jewish friend. He said in the Jewish culture when you have done wrong to someone, you dont ask God to forgive you. You go to the person you wronged and ask them to forgive you. AND you make up for what you have done ten fold. If other religons applied this concept, the world could be a much nicer place. I have no problems asking the Devine Creator to forgive you or the Savior, but it really is all meaningless unless you ask it of the person you wronged and YOU FIX IT, make up for it. mend it :)
     
  12. Segep

    Segep Member

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    Which is why I like it so much. It emphasizes personal responsibility, instead of dumping that responsibility on God or Jesus.
     
  13. dowant67

    dowant67 New Member

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    Thank you, Obamanation and Segep, you both have hit the nail on the head. The act of personal responsibility, to those we have wronged. As well as, we all have the right to go straight to God. Jesus was supposed to have died for our sins, so that we may have eternal life...I'm not sure I get that yet, as old as I am.

    Everyone has the right to worship their way. What I don't like, is someone trying to change my mind. I listen, research, and make up my own mind. I say, 'live and let live'..to find their freedom and happiness as well as, "do unto others as you would have others do unto you". If I want forgivness, I must forgive. If I want respect, then I must give respect. These are the rules I have set for my life, they have worked rather well too.

    To change the subject just a wee bit. Science is now able to trace our ancestry thru our DNA. I probably will never see the day, but someday, it will be known factually, what region humans first started to appear. I wonder where the final DNA will point, both regionally and animally. After all, humans are of the animal kingdom. We're not vegetable, mineral, metal.

    These are just some of my thoughts.
     
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