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Old 08-03-2001, 12:29 PM   #1
Rich
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Post To Apikorus- Jewish sacrifice

Continued from the thread Witness to Jesus' miracles... or not

My premise:
The Jews rely more on the 10 commandments than other parts of the law.
Quote:
This is a nice explanation as to why Jews don't sacrifice animals but quite contradictory from what I heard from another rabbi. Plus this fails to explain the fact that there are many commandments that they are not following (I could list dozens- killing witches, killing rapists, etc.)
to which Apikorus said:
Quote:
Rich, what books on the decalogue are you referring to? Dr. Laura?! There are hundreds of books on kashrut, incidentally.
The reason why Jews do not sacrifice animals is exactly as I said - there is no Temple. If you thought you heard otherwise from a rabbi, then either you or the rabbi was mistaken. Are you sure this was a legitimate rabbi you asked? No legitimate rabbi would say what you claimed.
Please comment on the following:

Here is one site that does claim the decalogue as source Decalogue

So my original premise hardly seems without merit.

from jewish.com/askarabbi:
Quote:
Q: In the Torah...Moses told the Israelites "suffer not a witch (sorceress) to live". Does this still apply today?

A: The Torah condemns to death many categories of people: male homosexuals, people who violate the Sabbath, stubborn and rebellious children, adulterers, and so on. Rather than giving the answer from my own perspective, about the development of our understanding that we can't just kill anyone we disagree with, I will try to answer with how I believe Jewish law would answer you. Technically, of course, all the laws in the Torah do still apply. But the Talmud develops the ways in which the Torah should be carried out, and in the Talmud we learn that we cannot put anyone to death without a proper procedure -- and the rabbis of the Talmud then made the procedure SO complex as to open the question of whether they really didn't believe in capital punishment at all, and were just eliminating it through layers of laws and regulations about its implementation. In practice, then, even in traditional Judaism: no, it does not still apply. In theory, for a very traditional Jew, it might -- but in her heart of hearts that traditional Jew might be very glad for the layers of laws that make such commandments impossible to carry out.
This seems to support selective interpretation of the law.

also from the same site
Quote:
When the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, and sacrifices to God were no longer feasible, the rabbis of the time had been developing a worship service that used prayers to accomplish the same goal as the animal sacrifices. Perhaps this is why the rabbis claim that our words are a far superior form of offering than animals offered on high places.
Quote:
Q: I was recently involved in a discussion concerning the Third Temple should or shouldn't be rebuilt. What is your opinion on this subject? Does this mean that animal sacrifices will return as well?


A: Great question. First of all with respect to the rebuilding of the Temple. You might be surpised in knowing that this is really a classical argument between the Rambam and Rashi -- both, I might add, lived during the peak of the Crusades.

This question, I might add has great implications for us today.

Rashi, probably the greatest representative of the Ashkenazi community, makes a distinction between the first temples, that were built by human hands, and the future Temple, which he believed is to be built by God - a temple destined to "descend from Heaven," whole and intact.

Rashi does not elaborate on this wondrous claim, but he does provide a supporting verse: "The sanctuary, my Lord, that your hands established" (Ex. 15:17 cited in Succa 41a). This concept of a heavenly Temple reappears in Rashi in Tractate Rosh Hashana 30a, as well as in the Tosafot in Shevi'it 15b.

Maimonides, however, in his Book of Commandments, as well as in Mishne Tora, calls the building of the Temple a positive commandment. In other words, it's up to us to act. Maimonides cites the verse: "And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them" (Ex. 25:8).

For the greater part of Jewish history over the past two millennium, the Halacha has followed Rashi, but with the return to our Holy Land, this issue does pose an interesting question: Should we or should we not rebuild the Temple?

One cannot divorce from the question the religious as well as political implications for the modern State of Israel. Christian and Muslim diehards who have traditionally argued that Israel as a political as well as religious entity has fallen for good to be supplanted by her daughter religions Christianity and Islam, certainly do not want to see a Temple rebuilt for fear it will falsify their theology and religion.

The issue from a Jewish perspective is equally daunting. In a time of religious friction, is it wise to rebuild the Temple that will certainly exacerbate already serious differences between the Diaspora Jewish community and Israel? Any rebuilding of the Temple certainly means that the laws of Tumah and Taharah will be reinstated, but given the religious laxness of Jews in general, is it ethically wise to place new prohibitions and obligations that will make it even more difficult for Jews to practice as Jews ? This is no less a problem for the Orthodox, than it is the Reform, for the Judaism we observe today is radically different than the cultic Judaism that was observed during the Temple days, as any neophyte knows.

Aside from this we have the ethical and religious question regarding sacrifices. Contra some opinions, the matter is far from an open-and-shut-book case. By the way, it may interest you know that one of the great Orthodox rabbanim of Eretz Yisrael during the early 20th century, Rav Hayim Hirschensohn was a pioneer of Modern Orthodoxy (1857--1935) and wrote regarding the reinstitution of animal sacrifices: For knowledge and cognition cannot move backward and will not regress to consider something uncultured as being cultured" (Malki baKodesh, 6). This particular work, was written on which should govern a Jewish state according to the Torah.

Maimonides' own view and approach on this subject is well-known. He writes that sacrifices once were a necessary concession to the idolatrous cults that were in circulation during the days of Moses. Maimonides argues that had Moses tried to eradicate the Israelite's desire to offer sacrifices as a way of worship, he would have met stiff resistance. Maimonides writes: ".it would in those days have made the same impression as a prophet would make at present if he called us to service of God and told us in His name that we should not pray to Him, nor fast, nor seek His help in time of trouble.Your worship should consist solely in meditation without any works at all. (Guide III Chapter 32) Incidentally, Maimonides regarded prayerful meditation and contemplative silence to be superior to petitionary prayer!

Rav Kook, arguably the most original and creative Jewish mystic of our century, has written that violence against animals is essentially wrong, and was not and is not, the ideal goal and purpose of creation: Rav Kook saw eating meat as something essentially wrong. Even though it is the natural inclination of man to eat meat and the Torah never tries to completely eliminate the instincts of man, it does limit his appetites:

And the time of this conquest (conquering the instinct to eat meat) has not yet come... (therefore) sometimes meat will be used as food as the price of passage into a brighter era... This is the essence of morality when it is joined to its Divine Source, that it recognizes that there is a time for everything and sometimes it closes off its wellspring in order to gather strength for times to come ... thus the commandments concerning the eating of meat appeared in stages which lead to the highest goal ... The covering of the blood of beasts or fowl ... is the recognition of shame which is the beginning of moral healing "that you may remember and feel ashamed ... when I have forgiven you" (Ezekiel 16:63): Cover the blood, hide your shame! These deeds will bear their fruit, as time goes on the generations will be educated. The silent protest will, when its time comes, turn into roaring voice with a great magnificent sound and its way will succeed. (Talalei Orot, Hashkaphah al Ta'amei Hasmitzvot, Jerusalem, 1973, pp. 12-13)

Rav Kook sees in the prohibition against eating blood and the commandment to spill and cover it first steps toward the full realization of the ideal--complete vegetarianism, as it was in the world before the sin which brought on the flood. This is the goal of creation -- and some day we will return to that point of innocence and peace.

Rav Kook has repeatedly argued that in the future era, "the knowledge of the Lord will will extend to animals as well, as it is written in the Book of Isaiah, "They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea" (Isa 11:9) at which time the vegetarian sacrifice (mincha) will be pleasant to the LORD, as in the days of old and as in former years -Olat Ray'ya [pg. 242]

In terms of resolving the debate between Maimonides and Rashi, we must remember (for to forget would be most tragic)that the Temple was suppose to bring brotherhood and love, peace and friendship to the Jewish people. It seems logical to me, that if the rebuilding of the Temple is going to bring friction, hatred, and the like we would be wise and prudent for us to wait for the Temple to miraculously appear out of the air in accordance with the view of Rashi.

Rabbi Dr. Michael Samuel
Your expertise on Judaism seems in conflict with at least 3 views espoused here as far as animal sacrifice goes.
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Old 08-03-2001, 04:06 PM   #2
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Not at all Rich; you're just not reading your sources very carefully.

Regarding the decalogue, yes of course it is true that it has great symbolic significance, but as one of your sources itself said, the decalogue can be regarded as a summary. To observant Jews, kashrut, (men) putting on tefillin, observing pesah, shavuot, sukkot, yom kippur, rosh hashanah, etc. - none of which are mentioned explicitly in the decalogue - are of immense importance. Practically speaking, observant Jews spend far more time checking the hekhshers on their food (i.e. making sure it is kosher) than they do worrying about whether or not they should kill someone.

Regarding the implementation of certain mitzvot, as I explained to you there are reasons given in the Talmud which discuss how the various Torahitic commandments are to be understood and implemented.

The web site you quoted said, as I did, that the sacrificial cultus was abandoned due to the destruction of the Temple. It is the majority opinion among orthodox rabbonim that sacrifice would resume when the Third Temple is built. Rav Kook's opinions on the matter are well-known (he was a vegetarian and, as the rabbi told you, thought eating meat was wrong), but again this is a minority view. At any rate, it is unequivocally true that sacrifices were abandoned as a result of the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.
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Old 08-03-2001, 04:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Apikorus:
<STRONG>
Practically speaking, observant Jews spend far more time checking the hekhshers on their food (i.e. making sure it is kosher) than they do worrying about whether or not they should kill someone.
</STRONG>

Ahahah, Apikorus, you don't say! I know this from first-hand: the local Holyland rabbis don't care much for the downtrodden and oppressed, but they do care for the correct observation of the Sabbath and for banning all "dover okher" (=pork) shops.

Have you read Seffi Rachlevsky's Messiah's Donkey? Very interesting read, and little has changed since its publication. No rabbi so far has publicly condemned Yigal Amir's murder of Rabin, let alone instituted a day of fast for it. What with Islam raising its ugly head over Al-Aqsa mosque, the Holyland is in a real big jam (see this article of mine here).
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Old 08-03-2001, 09:35 PM   #4
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Od apikorus! Tov meod! Shalom chaver.
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Old 08-04-2001, 12:16 AM   #5
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I wish to note that Yitzhak Rabin had joined the distinguished company of Anwar Sadat and Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi, peacemakers who were murdered as sellouts by extremists on their sides, as it were.

Mohandas Gandhi -- murdered by a Hindu who thought that he was too sympathetic to Muslims.

Anwar Sadat -- murdered for having made peace with Israel.

Yitzhak Rabin -- murdered for making a peace deal with the PLO.

I predict that the next member of this exclusive club will likely be Yasir Arafat, murdered for being willing to deal with Israel
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Old 08-04-2001, 04:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Apikorus:
<STRONG>Od apikorus! Tov meod! Shalom chaver.</STRONG>
Shalom gam lekha. Brakhot lekhol hakofrim v'haminim (v'lamalshinim al t'hi...) ba'aretz uvagola. Hakol Mikreh, En Shum Davar Me'et HaShem.

(ignore this, all ye goyim - this is for Jooz only ).

[ August 04, 2001: Message edited by: devnet ]
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Old 08-04-2001, 05:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rich:
<STRONG>Continued from the thread Witness to Jesus' miracles... or not

My premise:
The Jews rely more on the 10 commandments than other parts of the law.


Your expertise on Judaism seems in conflict with at least 3 views espoused here as far as animal sacrifice goes.</STRONG>
I think that too many Christians fail to see
Judaism as not only a "religion", but a culture, a way of life that has been cultivated for many hundreds of years.

As was mentioned here before, orthodox Rabbis
are quick to point out that the "Torah" cannot be correctly interpreted, without the
key of the Rabbinic oral teachings, in the Talmud.

If I decided to become a Catholic, I could walk into any Catholic church and say Father
I want to be a catholic, and zip-zop...
I am Catholic.

In contrast however, If I were to talk to a Rabbi and say I want to convert to Judaism,
in all probability, I would be told to study
and pray for a year or so, and if I felt the same way after study, he would consider the conversion process.

Why study? Because Judaism is a whole way of life, a culture in and of itself, and the conversion process allows for the study
and interaction of the individual with Jewish
history and culture.

Even though Moses recieved (supposedly) the Ten Commandments from God, and they are certainly a useful guide, they dont really contain the specific information as to what is "Law" and the actions needed to conform to those laws.

The oral tradition of the Jews, is extremely
important because they explain laws and concepts and a cultural education, gained and preserved by the Rabbis of history.

When Jesus commented (allegedly) that not one word of the law will ever change, he was
upholding the word of God and the Rabbis.
Because the Talmud STRICTLY forbids the changing of even one single word.

I also think it is important that Hebrew law
is very specific when it says that the "Messianic" conditions admonish that if a person claiming to be the messiah does not fulfill every single condition, and dies before completion of those conditions, that
man is not the "Messiah".

The "Messiah" will not be killed, if he dies
he is not the "Man".
There are extremeist in every "faith" and evidence of this in the Jews is exposed by the destruction of the Buddhists statues by
Talmud fundamentalists.

But most of the Rabbis will explain the laws of idolatry and how they effect other faiths
with the qualification of a doctrine of Tolerance.

The main point to me is that the law is very explicit on the recognition of the messiah.
And the person Jesus did not in any way fill
these conditions.

Again as for "miracles" the Jews were taught
to be wary of imposters and false messiahs.
Miracles would have very little effect
on a Jewish audience.
Wolf
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Old 08-04-2001, 07:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by sighhswolf:
<STRONG>I think that too many Christians fail to see Judaism as not only a "religion", but a culture, a way of life that has been cultivated for many hundreds of years.</STRONG>
I don't think many Christians understand Judaism as it is today. This probably stems from the belief that the Jews went astray upon rejecting Jesus as their awaited Messiah.

Quote:
<STRONG>As was mentioned here before, orthodox Rabbis are quick to point out that the "Torah" cannot be correctly interpreted, without the key of the Rabbinic oral teachings, in the Talmud.</STRONG>
Correct, this is what they say. However, these "oral teachings" are alleged to have been passed down from Moses. Well, were they? Or were they expansions of the Law that were proposed by humans along the way? Jesus challenged these "oral teachings" during his life.

Quote:
<STRONG>Even though Moses recieved (supposedly) the Ten Commandments from God, and they are certainly a useful guide, they dont really contain the specific information as to what is "Law" and the actions needed to conform to those laws.</STRONG>
I think that this allowed a certain freedom, the freedom talked about within the New Testament.

Quote:
<STRONG>When Jesus commented (allegedly) that not one word of the law will ever change, he was
upholding the word of God and the Rabbis.
Because the Talmud STRICTLY forbids the changing of even one single word.</STRONG>
This is again incorrect. I thought perhaps you read my response to a similar post in another thread. Jesus was not upholding the law of "the Rabbis", he was challenging the oral traditions and their claim to authority. The Torah, Prophets (Neviim), and possibly the Writings (Ketuvim) were what Jesus had in mind in the passage to which you refer.

Finally, to mention it again, only the oral law was in existence during Jesus time. The Mishnah had yet to be compiled (ca. 200 AD) and both Yerushalmi and Bavli Talmuds came much later (~ 400 - 600 AD). Were these oral traditions remembered exactly as they were in 1st Century Palestine? Perhaps... Perhaps not... Scholars do not seem to agree.

Quote:
<STRONG>I also think it is important that Hebrew law is very specific when it says that the "Messianic" conditions admonish that if a person claiming to be the messiah does not fulfill every single condition, and dies before completion of those conditions, that
man is not the "Messiah".</STRONG>
Where do you get this? The Mishnah or Talmud? Can you point to anything from Jesus time or before? Also, keep in mind how many times prophets were sent and ignored or killed by the Jews to their detriment...

Quote:
<STRONG>The "Messiah" will not be killed, if he dies he is not the "Man". There are extremeist in every "faith" and evidence of this in the Jews is exposed by the destruction of the Buddhists statues by
Talmud fundamentalists.</STRONG>
What?! You mean Islamic fundamentalists, right? I don't think Jews were involved in the destruction of the Buddhist statues in an Islamic country... I don't believe the Jews would destroy valuable archaeological sites intentionally anyway.

Sighhswolf, this is not the first time I've noticed that you seem to be presenting very biased and incorrect information. Please be more careful. You do want to combat religions by being accurate, right?

Ish

[ August 04, 2001: Message edited by: Ish ]
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Old 08-04-2001, 02:42 PM   #9
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From my post above:
Quote:
Perhaps this is why the rabbis claim that our words are a far superior form of offering than animals offered on high places.
If this is true why would they go back to animal sacrifices if their words are superior?
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Old 08-04-2001, 09:09 PM   #10
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Rich, a bit more critical thinking and I bet you could figure this out yourself.

devnet, indeed there is a brotherhood of apikorsim. I haven't read Messiah's Donkey but I'll check it out on your recommendation. Shavua tov!

[ August 04, 2001: Message edited by: Apikorus ]
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