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Old 06-28-2013, 01:31 PM   #21
Toto
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Thanks Horatio and Toto. I'd like to clarify my thought regarding persecution as a reinforcement of chosen status. The persecution of the Jews would encourage two things.

1. a gathering together of the persecuted. People with things in common come together when threatened

2. the need to find purpose in their suffering. "We can't be wrong or all of this suffering would be in vain." We MUST be the chosen ones.
This is way outside the topic area of this forum and has little to do with the origins of Judaism.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:37 PM   #22
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Thanks Horatio and Toto. I'd like to clarify my thought regarding persecution as a reinforcement of chosen status. The persecution of the Jews would encourage two things.

1. a gathering together of the persecuted. People with things in common come together when threatened

2. the need to find purpose in their suffering. "We can't be wrong or all of this suffering would be in vain." We MUST be the chosen ones.
This is way outside the topic area of this forum and has little to do with the origins of Judaism.
Ok, but surely you agree that there is no separating the religion with the their belief that they were chosen, and have the writings to 'prove' it. That is a cornerstone of their entire religion. Take that away and their religion disappears. It is relevant to the continuation of their religion.

Going back to the historical roots, to be more on-topic, how many other countries developed a book analogous to the Torah, claiming God is speaking to his chosen people over and over? And how many of those countries still exist and still believe it? I'm not on an apologetic quest here. I'm reviewing my own beliefs regarding Christianity and this is one of the issues I think is relevant, so am trying to put their 'chosen status' into perspective.
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:11 PM   #23
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This is way outside the topic area of this forum and has little to do with the origins of Judaism.
Ok, but surely you agree that there is no separating the religion with the their belief that they were chosen, and have the writings to 'prove' it. That is a cornerstone of their entire religion. Take that away and their religion disappears. It is relevant to the continuation of their religion.
No, I don't agree. Religion is much more complex, and Judaism is some combination of ethnicity, religion, culture, and secular type values.

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Going back to the historical roots, to be more on-topic, how many other countries developed a book analogous to the Torah, claiming God is speaking to his chosen people over and over?
You mean besides the Qur'an or the Bible?

Why is this a defining characteristic?

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And how many of those countries still exist and still believe it? I'm not on an apologetic quest here. I'm reviewing my own beliefs regarding Christianity and this is one of the issues I think is relevant, so am trying to put their 'chosen status' into perspective.
Have you looked at Serbian nationalism? The Serbs are convinced that they sacrificed themselves at Battle of Kosovo on Saint Vitus Day in 1389 between Serbia and the encroaching Ottoman Empire, and that while they lost this battle, they did stop the Ottoman Turks from invading western Europe and thus saved Christendom. They don't have anything exactly analogous to the Torah other than the Christian Bible, but there is a similar feeling of being picked for some higher purpose and getting meaning out of suffering.

You could pick about any other two bit country in Europe and find something analogous - either exceptionalism or finding meaning from suffering - especially in the wake of the world wars of the 20th century.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:32 PM   #24
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This is way outside the topic area of this forum and has little to do with the origins of Judaism.
Ok, but surely you agree that there is no separating the religion with the their belief that they were chosen, and have the writings to 'prove' it. That is a cornerstone of their entire religion. Take that away and their religion disappears. It is relevant to the continuation of their religion.
No, I don't agree. Religion is much more complex, and Judaism is some combination of ethnicity, religion, culture, and secular type values.
Then we will not agree.



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Going back to the historical roots, to be more on-topic, how many other countries developed a book analogous to the Torah, claiming God is speaking to his chosen people over and over?
You mean besides the Qur'an or the Bible?

Why is this a defining characteristic?

The Jews IMO are (and especially were years ago) Jews because they believe that when their scriptures proclaim in thousands of places "The Lord God says", those aren't stories, and they aren't philosophies. The words are literally from God and are spoken directly to, for, and about them, His chosen people.

The Torah was first. The Qu'ran, the NT, the Mormon Bible all are derivatives/extensions/corrections of the OT scriptures. IF there are other examples that exist or existed of a chosen people that God spoke to over and over, that are/were NOT derived from the OT scriptures, have nothing to do with that God, then I think that would be an indication that the Jews were/are not unique.

Maybe some people who grew up in the Jewish faith can chime in here. Going to bed..
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:31 AM   #25
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Since the vast majority of the Jews in the world today are secular, claims that the religion is inseparable from Jewishness are clearly incorrect. In fact, the history of persecution of the Jews in Europe makes it clear that it is not the religion which is targeted, but the people. Jews who converted to Christianity were still persecuted along with their former co-religionists. Atheist Jews were despised as well. This holds true for the Inquisition, the Pogroms, and the Holocaust.

As for the claim that the Jews are somehow unique in holding on to a traditional 'tribal' identity, I can think of a number of other stateless groups, most prominently the Romani or "gypsy" people in Europe, but also the Kurds, the Catalan, any number of Native American tribes, and so on. It's an old story.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:00 AM   #26
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I do not know of any national or ethnic group that has not had some sort of myth about being chosen by god or the fates.
There is no idea of having been chosen in any of the four Indian religions, hinduism, jainism, buddhism, or sikhism.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:07 AM   #27
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One day, just before staging a raid on neighboring sheep-herders, and at some bearded leader's suggestion, they made sacrifices to one of the more imaginary features of that universe. It so happens, they won the battle, killed most of the males who hadn't run away, got lots of young girls and sheep to rape and ended with a big celebration and more sacrifices to that mythical being.
Are you talking about jews or muslims?
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:31 AM   #28
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Since the vast majority of the Jews in the world today are secular, claims that the religion is inseparable from Jewishness are clearly incorrect.
I didn't know this. Thanks. I don't see how anyone would identify with being Jewish and not still feel like they are special because of the history of having once believed they were chosen by God.


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In fact, the history of persecution of the Jews in Europe makes it clear that it is not the religion which is targeted, but the people. Jews who converted to Christianity were still persecuted along with their former co-religionists. Atheist Jews were despised as well. This holds true for the Inquisition, the Pogroms, and the Holocaust.
I don't think I said they were targeted because of their religion. Just that their identity of being 'chosen by God' is so deep, that that would be a big part of the ultimate reason in the Jewish mind. (theory..)


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As for the claim that the Jews are somehow unique in holding on to a traditional 'tribal' identity, I can think of a number of other stateless groups, most prominently the Romani or "gypsy" people in Europe, but also the Kurds, the Catalan, any number of Native American tribes, and so on. It's an old story.
Ok. I still think the identity is for religious reasons primarily - being the chosen people of God. How could that NOT be a major reason, for a group that believed it for at least 500 years?

I'm also still hoping someone can provide evidence of other cultures that believed they were uniquely chosen by God and had (or still have) scriptures with hundreds if not thousands of claims from God Himself about their nation.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:35 AM   #29
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I do not know of any national or ethnic group that has not had some sort of myth about being chosen by god or the fates.
There is no idea of having been chosen in any of the four Indian religions, hinduism, jainism, buddhism, or sikhism.
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One of the strongest points for a common Brahmin-Jewish origin is the fact that in both communities have been endogamous priests from the earliest times of their recorded history: "Chosen People of God: It may also be observed in this respect that the Hebrews, as well as their Indian counterparts, Brahmins, consider themselves as the "Chosen People of God".
http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/connect...c-Brahmins.php


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The word Brahmins incorporates all the upper-caste Hindus of India. They claim that, because they were made from God Brahma's head, they are the chosen people of God. Worshipping a Barahmin is akin to worship God incarnate. Serving a Brahmin and offering him alms is like serving God himself. These are the beliefs that are inculated in the minds of all other people, especially, in the low caste Hindus. As a result, five percent of the Indian population have psychologically enslaved the other 95 percent.
http://www.skidmail.com/hindu/wbrahmins-2.htm
...
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:13 AM   #30
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Newsflash: there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who identify as Jews and atheists. CLEARLY it is not only about religion or this would not be the case. I think it is also safe to say they don't believe in the "chosen people" concept.

Also, most Jews in Israel identify themselves as "secular" (although not necessarily atheist/agnostic) while keeping many of the Jewish rites like circumcision, going to synagogue on the High Holy Days, will fast on Yom Kippur, hold a Passover Seder, etc. Many if not most of them also reject the "chosen people" concept.

The "chosen people" concept is also misrepresented. It is a belief that Jews are obligated to keep the Torah, while the rest of the world is obligated to keep the Seven Noahide Laws It has nothing to do with the Jews being "superior", racially or otherwise.
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