Starting Points – by Concerned Reader

4 Reasons Christians come to accept Jesus so emphatically, can’t understand why others don’t, AND WHY ITS A PROBLEM.

1. Christians often have a “conversion experience.” Dr. Michael Brown is a perfect example. He says he was an addict and an agnostic, though he attended synagogue sporadically as a child on high holidays. After an experience of Jesus, he purportedly became devoutly religious. Christians ask themselves, “how can a seemingly godly outcome come from something thats not of G-d?”

2. Christians presently percieve that they live in a “monotheistic” culture that used to be profoundly polytheistic. Nobody worships Zeus, thor, Hercules, etc. anymore. The change from western polytheism to monotheism purportedly came about with Christianity’s ascendance, Christians see “fulfillment” of passages to their mind, like Isaiah 42:4.

3. Before Christian theology becomes a meaningful factor for new converts, Christians (as Neophytes) are exposed first to the ethics of Jesus, ie the golden rule, love, the rules found in Acts 15, and Jesus’ rules for ethical living found throughout the gospels. They appear to most people to be Torah based ethics, based off of the ethics for G-d fearers, even according to scholars.

4. When Christians approach the question of theology, for validation and checking of their ideas and beliefs, they often examine the mytho-poetical aspects of Jewish traditions (midrash and mysticism) of the past to see if they can find some paralells that would possibly account for a Christian-like theology in Judaism of the past. They ask, “can I find Jews in the past who accepted ideas like mine while remaining religious Jews?”
-philo’s Logos
-Rambam’s active intellect, and his descriptions of Moses as having a unique prophetic connection.
-traditions of Ascent of the righteous to heaven (enoch and Elijah) and their angelic transformations.
-Saadiah Gaon’s Kavod Nivra as vehicle and expression of Prophetic inspiration.
– Traditions of a possible dying, (or suffering) messianic figure.
-an examination of the history of messianism

When all these ideas appear to be found in Judaism in some form, Christians feel that their faith and experiences can be reconciled with the Hebrew Bible even if they can’t work out all the details, they feel vindicated. IT IS USUALLY TRUE THAT EVERYONE IS LIKELY TO BELIEVE THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES OVER THE WORDS OF OTHERS.

ANY astute reader of the above information should recognize the problem of method. Take a very careful note of the central factor that is MISSING in the Christian’s methodology for determining the truth of his faith claims, and answering this central question. HE DOES NOT EVER CONSULT HALACHA OR THE TERMS AND STIPULATIONS FOUND IN G-D’s COVENANT WITH ISRAEL! His faith is based on his perceived personal experiences of Jesus, some parallels that he sees in Jewish philosophy, mysticism, and history, and on the message received from his culture. HE LACKS the insider covenant perspective of the Jewish people who are born into an observant culture, with responsibilities to G-d’s Torah. He does not ask, “how does Christianity’s claim fit with the duty of the Jewish people to maintain scrupulous observance of all the commandments in Moses’ Torah forever?” Because the Christian is not asking the questions and seeking answers from the standpoint of Israel’s unique covenant obligations, he cannot really see why his faith doesn’t fit the Torah. In fact, to the Christians, their experience of Jesus seems to retroactively validate things in the Jewish Bible that they find too fantastic to be possible. They were brought in without consulting Torah, so they miss a crucial element in answering the question and getting the right answer.

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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110 Responses to Starting Points – by Concerned Reader

  1. Concerned Reader says:

    Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers
    Numbers 21:9 (9) And Moses made a serpent of brass.—The old serpent was the cause of death, temporal and spiritual. Christ Jesus, “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3), was made sin for us (2Corinthians 5:21), and thus fulfilled, as He Himself explained to Nicodemus, the type of the brazen serpent (John 3:14-15). The meaning of this type, or “sign of salvation,” is explained in the Book of Wisdom in these words, “He that turned himself toward it was not saved by the thing that he saw, but by Thee, that art the Saviour of all” (Numbers 16:7). This serpent was preserved by the Israelites, and taken into Canaan, and was ultimately destroyed by King Hezekiah, after it had become an object of idolatrous worship (2Kings 18:4).

    Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
    7-9. the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned—The severity of the scourge and the appalling extent of mortality brought them to a sense of sin, and through the intercessions of Moses, which they implored, they were miraculously healed. He was directed to make the figure of a serpent in brass, to be elevated on a pole or standard, that it might be seen at the extremities of the camp and that every bitten Israelite who looked to it might be healed. This peculiar method of cure was designed, in the first instance, to show that it was the efficacy of God’s power and grace, not the effect of nature or art, and also that it might be a type of the power of faith in Christ to heal all who look to Him because of their sins (Joh 3:14, 15; see also on [86]2Ki 18:4).

    In the serpent of brass many Christians and their commentaries see a “type” of Jesus of Nazareth, and I must say, I see a likeness also, but not a good one. I see a 1st century teacher who once said, “my father is greater than I” becoming a god in human flesh whose followers declare that he alone is the only way, and that he is greatest. They build statues in his likeness, venerate his mother, celebrate his birth, and carry the device of his death as a badge.) They say they “love his father,” but they tread the law of Moses given by the father under foot as ineffective, insufficient, and burdensome. A message that once taught submission to the Torah, “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” now says to place hope in himself and his life as the bread of life.

    There can be no doubt that Christians see G-d’s spirit manifesting in the brass serpent, and that role being fulfilled in Jesus.

    Even though G-d’s spirit rested on the serpent of Brass, it was a sin for Israel to worship and serve it. (2 kings 18:4 and Deuteronomy 4.) Judaism makes the case that the same sin (serpent of brass into Nehushtan) is occurring with (Jesus 1st century rabbi to god the son.)

    Christians point to the angel that said, “I am the G-d of Bethel” Genesis 31:13, and the captain of G-d’s host from Joshua 5, and lay the charge that “Judaism has changed and now blocks G-d from entering his own creation like the Muslim’s do.”

    Nobody is saying that G-d cannot enter his creation providentially. What we are saying is that whatever manifestation may come, if it appears to us as a part of the natural order (heavenly or earthly,) it is not to be worshiped or served alongside the father. Deuteronomy 4 explicitly says do not worship “the whole HOST of heaven.” The “HOST” includes the Captain of the lords “host.” The same word for host is used both in Genesis and Joshua 5.

    Christians place their eternal hope in the times and shed blood of one person’s life. Heed the warnings of the Torah that says

    “It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it? (Resurrection) ” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it? (walk on water)” “No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.”

    THE WORD CAN BE OBEYED! NOBODY HAS TO ASCEND TO HEAVEN TO GET IT FOR YOU!

  2. Pingback: Why I Left Jesus – by Concerned Reader | 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources

  3. KAVI says:

    CR,
    I am certain you have researched these matters, however I am not quite certain we can conclusively say these four (4) reasons are entirely complete or entirely true.

    As to the brass serpent, it is a credit that you use of christian sources, but I think these sources miss the point– namely, deliverance via “FAITH”.

    Yeshua pointed to ‘Faith’ because He said, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.” [John 3:14-15]

    My thoughts are:
    [] Israel had no possibility to ‘heal’ themselves of the worldly consequences of their sin other than to look up at the brass serpent in ‘Faith’;
    [] Similarly, mankind has no possibility to ‘heal’ themselves of their sinfulness other than to look up in ‘Faith’ to the atoning death of Yeshua for forgiveness of sins.

  4. remi4321 says:

    Hi Kavi, Israel should trust in YHVH, not Yeshua. When they looked at the serpent, the did not expect the serpent to heal them, but G-d. You may read the Tanakh as fact or you may believe the lie.

    David said concerning the L-rd:

    Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good.

    Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

    To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy

    For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.

    “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God?

    For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.

    The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

    “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient.

    It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

    Psalm 103, Ezekiel 18

    What get’s me is that you insist G-d wont forgive. You are actually saying that G-d is NOT merciful, that He is a cruel master that will throw you in hell forever and ever for one sin. This G-d that you worship has nothing to do with the G-d of the Bible. What you do is you take all those Bible verses that show how Great and Merciful is G-d and you say “No NO!, all those Bible verses are about Jesus!”.

    We show you several times that G-d in the Tanakh is merciful. He is merciful with Daniel who did not have any Temple and even called him Righteous. Job also was righteous, but you say “he was righteous because he believe in the coming of the god/messiah”

    You are like those fools that have faith in idols that are nothings. You have faith in a man that died 2000 years and you say that G-d won’t save us. As for me, I chose G-d, not a dead man. G-d is merciful, your Jesus is not. And by the way, we can see that in many new testament passages.

  5. KAVI says:

    Remi,
    Yes, a brass serpent on a pole means nothing just as much as a dead body on an execution stake means nothing.

    G-d used Moses’ brass serpent on a pole as a means of physical healing due to a sin just as much as G-d used Yeshua’s physical body on an execution stake for spiritual healing due to our sinful souls— in both, obedient FAITH to G-d’s word is mandatory to be ‘saved’ from His wrath.

    So where is G-d’s Mercy from His Wrath? It’s through ‘Faith’ in G-d Who proclaims eternal, atoning forgiveness through His Anointed Redeemer, L-rd Yeshua.

  6. remi4321 says:

    G-d never mandate to trust a dead body. So your obedience is in nowhere found in the Tanakh. You are not listening to G-d, because he warned against “new arrivals” (Deut 32) like Jesus. The Disciples’ fathers did not worship Jesus and Jesus’ disciples were enticed to worship an other god (Jesus). Deuteronomy 13:6

    If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known…

    Simple. But you won’t listen aren’t you?

  7. KAVI says:

    Remi,
    Yes, as we spoke about, I and the other Mashiachim do not trust in a dead body—instead, we trust in the Living Son of G-d who temporarily tabernacled within a body of flesh.

    Exodus 6:3 says that G-d was made ‘visible’ to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai, but I did not reveal my name, the LORD, to them.”

    Since mankind cannot see the face of the Ancient of Days and live, it follows that the Fathers met directly with The Visible Temunah of G-d [known as The Word, The Son of G-d, The G-d of Israel].

    Besides the multiple accounts in Scripture that mention direct encounters with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we also know that Moses, Aaron, and the elders ate and drank directly in plain sight of the G-d of Israel.

    And, just like a friend, Moses spoke ‘face to face’ with the LORD [that is, the Son of G-d] and not directly to the Ancient of Days Himself– for Scripture says that Moses was only allowed to see the back of the Ancient of Days and not His face.

    Based on Scripture, I think we have been given solid evidence that the Fathers knew the Echad Elohim Who exists as the Ancient of Days, the Visible Temunah of God, and the Ruach HaKodesh.

  8. remi4321 says:

    Jesus was not born in Abraham’s time Kavi. Or maybe, it was not the first time he had a virgin birth? Kavi, how can an unchangeable G-d decide to come in a human form and change from infinite to finite, immortal to mortal.

    And again, why are you choosing Jesus. God showed himself in Genesis 18. Let just say that there are no other interpretation, then why you say he was Jesus and not Antiochus Epiphanes? He also claimed to be god you know. Those passages have nothing to do with Jesus!

    Let just make it also clear, If the ancient of day is the father, the word is the son and he is not the ancient of day, and we also have the mysterious ruach haKodesh who is not the son and not the father, then you worship 3 gods. They cannot be one, because they are not the same person and sometimes do not agree with each other. You can blaspheme the father and the son but not the mysterious ruach haKodesh. Only the father knows the time and hours. For there is one God and one mediator Kavi. So the mediator is not the same as the one G-d as per the Greek Testament. So, they are not the same, so you worship 3 gods; the son, the father and the HS.

    Keep on closing your eyes as Psalm 115 say:

    They have eyes, but do not see (he is dead), and you have become like your idol, but not Israel, Israel trusts in the L-rd

  9. remi4321 says:

    And Kavi, as per the writer of Hebrew, Abraham showed hospitality to messengers “angels”, not to Jesus. Unless you want to say that the writer of Hebrew did not know what he was talking about?

  10. KAVI says:

    Remi,
    We need to fix a couple misconceptions:
    [] The Book of Hebrews says nothing direct about Abraham showing hospitality to angels.

    [] G-d is eternally complex in His Unity [“Echad”]. Elohim Himself defines the concept of “Echad” by declaring Adam and Chava “Echad”. Elohim then takes the concept to higher level in describing Himself as “Echad” in the Shema.
    _______________________

    Moses wrote of his own experience of Elohim’s Echad, complex unity:
    [] Moses was hidden in the cleft of the rock and not allowed to see the face of the Ancient of Days YET,
    [] Moses spoke ‘face to face’ with the Temunah of G-d [Who is L-rd Yeshua, the G-d of Israel].

    Also, the Father’s experiences described in Exodus 6:3 are most reasonably explained when we understand Elohim’s existence in eternal, complex unity.

    So, three gods? No, only One, “Echad” G-d who eternally exists in Tri-unity— the Ancient of Days, the Temunah of G-d, and the Ruach HaKodesh.

  11. Concerned Reader says:

    Kavi, the problem with your explanations is clearly explained in Deuteronomy 4. I know the trinity sounds like it makes sense in your line of reasoning, but scripture says YOU SAW NO FORM. NO FORM means NO FORM. Simple. It says “no man can see me and live.” Simple. Also, G-d says “do not worship the WHOLE HOST” The implications of those statements are clear, very clear.

    Christians point to the various appearances of an angel of the lord, of G-d’s back, G-d’s glory/presence/spirit, etc. and then try to insist there is a tri-unity that is worshiped, but the book explicitly declares that Israel needs to have a one on one relationship with the father, and not with his host. If there somehow were really a plurality in G-d’s essence, it would be irrelevant to Israel’s relationship with G-d because the covenant explicitly states that Israel has to have a relationship with the father alone, and not with the WHOLE HOST OF HEAVEN. As i’ve said before, if G-d can take on one form, any people can and have claimed he has taken on any form.
    Look at the list of claimed “second comings” to see the clear problems with this doctrine.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_claimed_to_be_Jesus (If there was ever a true incarnation of G-d, it would be irrelevant to G-d’s purpose because of how easy it is for men to say, “AHA! Here’s another incarnation, and another, and another, and another. The flood gates open to polythesim if a person can believe G-d takes on flesh. didn’t G-d incarnate in a bush? A serpent of brass? A cloud? Fire? Why not likewise worship these manifestations?

    It says that G-d has given the host to the other nations, not to Israel. Israel is not supposed to worship G-d in ANY FORM. Its so clear.

  12. KAVI says:

    Does Deuteronomy 4 really contradict the plain text of Exodus 6:3?

    Of course not—

    At Mt. Sinai all Israel, just like Moses, was not allowed to directly see the Ancient of Days— YET, we find that, just like a friend, Moses spoke ‘face to face’ with the LORD [who is LORD Yeshua, the Son of G-d].

    What is the reasonable explanation? — Moses wrote of Elohim’s “Echad”, complex unity:
    [] The Invisible G-d [ Deuteronomy 4 ]
    [] El Shaddai – The Visible G-d [ Exodus 6 ]
    [] The Ruach HaKodesh [ Genesis 1 ]

    Elohim is eternally ECHAD and mankind might indeed not comprehend Him— but why should our understanding limit Elohim to being less than “I AM THAT I AM”?

    • Oh Kavi is stinking up this forum now? Guess I’ll have to repeat this again to him.

      Deuteronomy 4:9-19 tells us not to worship G-d in ANY FORM. Your arguments are derived from your eisegesis of passages that you are misunderstanding, or at worst, contextually abusing. To show you an example of your misunderstanding, (or contextual abuse,) I will focus attention on your reference of Exodus 24:9-10. But first, I want to review what is spoken of concerning Moses as a UNIQUE PROPHET in Numbers 12:6-8

      G-d speaks to Aaron and Miriam in Numbers 12:6-8 concerning what makes Moses different from all other prophets, **INCLUDING AARON** (This is the key) The context of Numbers 12 involves G-d speaking to Aaron and Miriam. Lets start at verse 5:

      Numbers 12:5 The Lord descended in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tent. He called to Aaron and Miriam, and they both went out.

      Numbers 12:6. He said, “Please listen to My words. If there be prophets among you, [I] the Lord will make Myself known to him in a vision; I will speak to him in a dream.

      Numbers 12:7. Not so is My servant Moses; he is faithful throughout My house.

      Numbers 12:8. With him I speak mouth to mouth; in a vision and not in riddles, and he beholds the image of the Lord. So why were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses ?

      Moses is a UNIQUE prophet in that he is the ONLY PROPHET who “beholds the image of the Lord.” We can debate on what that means, but one thing is clear: MOSES IS THE ONLY PROPHET CAPABLE OF THIS ABILITY!
      Aaron is not! With this fact in mind, lets read Exodus 24:9-10

      Exodus 24:9 Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel,

      Exodus 24:10 and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.

      So this verse says that Aaron “saw” the G-d of Israel…BUT WAIT! What did G-d tell Aaron in Numbers 12:6-8? ONLY MOSES CAN BEHOLD THE IMAGE OF G-D! And what’s more, the word “temunah” (image) is NOT used to in Exodus 24:10, concerning Aaron and his sons “seeing” G-d. Clearly, they did NOT literally perceive a “form” of G-d. G-d is clearly not to be worshiped by Israel IN ANY FORM! This can also be applied to your eisegetical understanding of Exodus 6:3. And now we come full circle to
      Deuteronomy 4:9-19

      So Kavi, you have two choices: You can either acknowledge G-d’s explicit command to Israel not to worship Him in ANY FORM, or you can continue to wallow in your stubborn ignorance and insist that your jeezer is the “sole exception” to this prohibition, based off of absolutely nothing but your contextual abuse of the Tanach using verses that mention NOTHING of your jeezer.

      So your entire argument is based upon eisegesis and your own personal bias of your heart. My argument is based upon G-d explicit commands to Israel in the Torah itself.
      For you, Kavi, this scripture was written with you in mind. Let me direct your attention to
      Deuteronomy 29:17-19

      Deuteronomy 29:17 Perhaps there is among you a man, woman, family, or tribe, whose heart strays this day from the Lord, our God, to go and worship the deities of those nations. Perhaps there is among you a root that produces hemlock and wormwood.

      Deuteronomy 29:18 And it will be, when he [such a person] hears the words of this oath, that he will bless himself in his heart, saying, “I will have peace, even if I follow my heart’s desires,” in order to add the [punishment for the] unintentional sins [of this man] to that of [his] intentional sins.

      Deuteronomy 29:19 The Lord will not be willing to forgive him; rather, then, the Lord’s fury and His zeal will fume against that man, and the entire curse written in this book will rest upon him, and the Lord will obliterate his name from beneath the heavens.
      This is you, Kavi. You are following and worshipping the deity of other nations. Your jeezer is not G-d. Your jeezer was not present at Sinai when G-d spoke to Israel. And most importantly, your jeezer did not create the universe.

      There’s a VERY GOOD reason why the vast majority of Jews today reject your jeezer and have rejected him for over two millennia. You want to turn this into a “who is the most despised contest” by quoting a vague scripture concerning the rejection of the corner stone…A common asinine tactic used by christians, such as yourself and the writers at the Rosh Pina blog.

      So I will give you a challenge, Kavi…One which I gave you before and you have since failed to deliver on:

      Kavi, can you show me anywhere in the Tanach where Israel is commanded to acknowledge “yeshua” as a deity?

      Can you show me where Moses tells us to acknowledge “yeshua” as a deity?

      Can you show me in the prophets where it tells us to acknowledge “yeshua” as a diety?

      No?

      That’s what I thought…

      So perhaps it is your “mashiachim” religion that was a new invention, contrary to the will of Hashem according to His Tanach…

      It’s clear to everyone else that this is the case. Hashem NEVER tells us to acknowledge “yeshua” as a deity in the Tanach anywhere!

      Thank you for showing us the falsehood of your “mashiachim” religion. Your jesus is not a deity according to the Tanach.

      Shalom

      • Jim says:

        Yehuda,

        I appreciate the work you have done countering the erroneous teachings of the Church. It is important that falsity be corrected by truth. However, I also believe the manner we go about things is important. I empathize with the frustration you must feel in having these repetitive conversations and with watching the holy words of Torah and the prophets be misrepresented. I have felt such frustration quite keenly myself. Nevertheless, it is unkind and unnecessary to say that someone is “stinking up this forum”. I think you will find, if you review your comment, that it carries an air of personal insult. Of course this is not my blog, and you may freely ignore me, but I believe we must address our opponents with more respect than that.

        I do applaud your defense of the truth.

        Jim

        • It comes to a certain point with individuals like Kavi that calculated reason clearly isn’t going to get his attention. A few months ago, I had this exact same conversation with Kavi on Gene Shlomovich’s blog. Kavi clearly does not listen to anything we say, yet he clearly has the capacity to understand. He understand’s scripture and I’m pretty sure he understands the flaws in his theology. It feels to me that he is simply in denial. About a year ago, I used the same approach to Concerned Reader’s repetitive replies…I would mock his answers and occasionally show a tinge of disrespect towards his position. This was intentional, as I felt that Concerned Reader wasn’t having intellectual issues with what was being discussed…Rather, Concerned Reader was having emotional issues and chose to ignore what I was telling him and instead parroted what he had already said…

          But as you already know, Concerned Reader has had a breakthrough perspective since about a year ago…I am proud to have been a part of that breakthrough:

          Gene Shlomovich PERMALINK*
          February 24, 2015 7:35 pm
          CR, you are not Eastern Orthodox anymore? Since when? (I will post some links to biblical evidence later).

          Concerned Reader PERMALINK
          February 24, 2015 9:41 pm
          Since that discussion with Yehuda. I also realized that even if you could prove every christian doctrine, the commandments still matter more.

          “That conversation with Yehuda” that Concerned Reader is referring to is on this blog post on Gene’s blog:

          http://dailyminyan.com/2015/01/21/christian-if-new-testament-is-false-why-not-hebrew-bible-too/

          If you read the post, you will see that my attitude towards Concerned Reader’s position was along the same lines as the attitude that I use towards Kavi. There is a method to my madness, rest assured. I know it appears to be simply an abrasive personal attack, but there is a deeper context to it…We can agree to disagree on that, but I have seen results in the past!

          Shalom

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Its not your abrasiveness that produces results Yehuda, its the scriptural points you make that has an impact.

          • Yehuda, Jim and Concerned Reader
            I would suspect that the more we limit ourselves to focusing only on the truth as a “weapon” and nothing else (i.e. abrasiveness) the more our words will be heard – This is not an easy path to follow but I feel that its worth trying for
            – just my two cents

    • larryb says:

      This is a little off topic but I thought some might like to read this if they haven’t already.

      http://www.jpost.com/Christian-News/Catholics-should-not-try-to-convert-Jews-Vatican-says-in-landmark-document-436915

  13. Concerned Reader says:

    You are eisogeting kavi. There is nothing at all about Jesus in those verses. What prophets may or may not have “seen” is not explained. But…Deuteronomy 4:15 tells us what Israel DID NOT SEE. YOU SAW NO FORM OF ANY KIND ON THE DAY THE LORD SPOKE TO YOU AT HOREB

  14. Conerned Reader says:

    I would suspect that the more we limit ourselves to focusing only on the truth as a “weapon” and nothing else (i.e. abrasiveness) the more our words will be heard.

    Your words may be heard Rabbi, but you wont have widespread impact that way, and your words wont truly sink in. Abrasiveness can often close people’s willingness to listen, and more often than not only gives people grounds to dismiss your views, especially when their opinions are already so negatively colored as you have observed.

    Abrasiveness is often misconstrued as a form of smug superiority complex. People need to remember that the other nations of the world don’t necessarily grant Judaism’s certain core premises, or understand your people’s unique perspectives on the Bible. Not only do you need to explain that, you have to explain why that view is the most proper.

    You have to explain to people why your view of the truth is the correct view to hold in a respectful way, especially because the people whom you may be dealing with come from all different walks of life and different circumstances. There are Christians out there who have never heard of rabbinic Judaism, because they came from polytheism directly into Christianity.

    As I said in my article Starting points, many Christians come to their Christianity exclusively through a cultural or life experience first, and then only later try to reconcile that life experience with what they read in the Bible.

    Christians don’t start by assuming the correctness of the statement, “Jews are G-d’s people and he led them out of Egypt, and they are special.”

    Torah is old to many Christians. To many nations theTorah is viewed mainly as a history of one nation, viewed by these nations the way other histories are viewed.

    Remember that to the rest of the world, the Torah is just a book of history and faith. Many gentiles have never even met a Jewish person in their life, much less have any clue as to how Jews view the text, or the significance Judaism imparts to its interpretation. Christians don’t even see the remnants of Judaism in their own text. It just doesn’t occur to them, they don’t know what to look for. In many ways as I’ve said, “the Christian retroactively accepts the Torah’s stories as true and valid in light of some vague Christian experiences.” The first time I heard the Kuzari for example, I thought it was crazy. How does a national revelation claim (that took place in history) that I can’t crosscheck with Archaeology make any sense? Acceptance of a claim (for most people) is experiential. You don’t just accept what people say (or a book says) on faith. There have to be reasons/experiences behind it.

    Speaking for myself, I was born and raised as a Christian, who knew that my culture was monotheistic. My exposure to the idea of G-d was totally Christian. I didn’t know any other definition of G-d other than the Christian one. I knew there were Jewish people, but it didn’t occur to me to ask “hey, how do Jews view the Bible?” As far as I knew, I didn’t need to be taught how to be a monotheist, I just was one, because my culture was Christian. We don’t worship Thor or Zeus. We had the Bible, and we learned that from this Christian religion. Judaism didn’t enter into the equation beyond a cursory acknowledgement, and a sense of respect. Whatever may have motivated Jesus’ first followers to view him as messiah, that original motivator is not a factor anymore. Christianity is now its own entity, with a tradition, with a history. When Jews say “we wrote the bible, so what we say about it is all that’s true,” many interpret that as a sense of superiority. For many Christians the Bible does not start as the cohesive whole that it does for Judaism. Initially, it starts as a book we’ve heard of that we are curious about. We don’t have your unique goggles or insight when asking the questions.

    • larryb says:

      CR
      “Your words may be heard Rabbi, but you wont have widespread impact that way, and your words wont truly sink in. Abrasiveness can often close people’s willingness to listen, and more often than not only gives people grounds to dismiss your views, especially when their opinions are already so negatively colored as you have observed.”
      ..I thought he meant to focus on the truth “and nothing else” that would have the greatest impact?

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Yeah, I saw what he meant. Truth is a great thing to discuss, but the way we discuss it is what matters. Yehuda uses lots of verses, but sometimes the way he comes across is too strong.

    • Concerned reader Sorry for not being clear – my point was that we should NOT use abrasiveness but rather only use truth – truth is potent enough and when we throw other things into the mix – such as abrasiveness – it mitigates the power of the truth. Of-course it takes a lot of time and patience to figure out what it is that the other person doesn’t understand or see – but that should be the focus of our efforts and abrasiveness clouds the discussion – not that it is easy to hold back from expressing frustration – but who said good things are easy

  15. Fred says:

    What is ironic is that while Christianity flies directly in the face of the Tanakh, the Tanakh is responsible for one of the main doctrines of Christianity- the deity of Jesus. In Tanakh,G-d says, “I, even I am the Lord and besides me there is no savior” Isaiah 43:11. This text alone necessitated a divine Jesus, and Christianity wasted little time in presenting one. It HAD to be Jesus that made that remark, or Jesus could not be “the only savior”, “the only name by which one must be saved”. Christian teachers are well aware of this text and know full well that it either requires Jesus to be G-d or it eliminates Jesus as savior.

    Quoting Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible commentary on this verse-

    “I, even I, am the Lord,…. Jehovah, the self-existing, eternal, and immutable Being; this is doubled for the confirmation of it, and to exclude all others:

    and besides me there is no Saviour; either in a temporal or spiritual sense; the gods of the Heathens could not save them out of their present troubles, and much less save them with an everlasting salvation; none but God can do this, and this is a proof that Christ is God, since none but God can be a Saviour.”

    I believe much of Christian christology was developed to respond to try to fit Jesus into Tanakh.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Not only that Fred, but in a gentile setting, a Jewish teaching like the doctrine of a shaliach (a mortal agent who bears G-d’s name and acts in his authority even though he is understood by everyone to be just a special mortal, as the ebionites viewed Jesus) would have been seen as no different than common Roman worship or understanding, or pagan heroes. (Acts 14:12) All those gentiles knew full well that Paul was just a human, but they thought he had Zeus consciousness or possesion, like one of the oracles they would often go to.

      Ancient polytheists believe in gods with a lowercase g, not G-d with a big G in the biblical sense. To Christians, (and the Church fathers) If Jesus wasn’t viewed as G-d himself, he would just be seen by others as another superman figure like Caesar, or one of the Greek heroes.

      In fact, You see this hellenic hero phenomenon and narrative (concerning Jesus) manifested throughout all of the Gnostic literature. In those sources Jesus is depicted not as G-d, but as a human being with a special pre-existing soul that emanated from some unknown monad, or existed as some divine emanation from an unknown realm.

      Christians couldn’t have that. Identifying Jesus as a hypostatsis of the one G-d however, (that was viewed as the father’s “image”) was the surest way to differentiate themselves from both the pagan cultures, and from Judaism.

      Yes, pagans called the Caesars god, but what that term god meant to them was nothing like what the concept of hashem means in Judaism or Christianity. G-d has a very distinctive set of attributes and characteristics in biblical monotheisms, that polytheistic cultures just disagreed with as being impossible or implausible (as their polemics illustrate.)

      Even in a culture like that of the Greeks where Plato and Aristotle both taught a “first cause,” this first cause was not viewed as an omnipotent, omniscient, creator agent, but was viewed as an undifferentiated single material substance, or some unknown reality.

      It wasn’t the G-d with a plan. In fact, in Greece, mindless fate had more power than any proclaimed gods. Plato and Aristotle actually saw religion as a crutch for the masses, and as a tool for the politicians. It wasn’t until Philo, and later in Christianity, and later the early rationalist rabbis that Plato and Aristotle, (and philosophers like them,) started to be read and discussed by very religious monotheists. Their ideologies had to completely reinterpreted within a biblical framework to purge them of a percieved amoral relativistic polytheism.

  16. Dina says:

    Just following. I missed this whole conversation because I wasn’t subscribed to this post.

  17. KAVI says:

    As to the “uniqueness” of Moses, The Ancient of Days plainly answers, “NO MAN CAN SEE MY FACE AND LIVE”. [Exodus 33:20]— and that statement includes Moses.

    Doesn’t G-d’s stand true to His own Word by hiding Moses in the cleft of the rock?
    ______________________________

    So, Scripture unequivocally states that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob SAW G-d. [Exodus 6:3 and elsewhere]

    Orthodox Rabbinic Judaism has no answer to this problem because it rejects an “Echad” Elohim and substitutes a “yachid” one.

    Instead, Elohim Himself gives mankind a true testimony of His complex tri-unity and provided a tiny glimpse of that concept by pronouncing husband and wife as “echad”.

    And if mankind cannot sufficiently explain such a small “echad” mystery as husband and wife, how can we explain a greater “Echad” mystery of the Great “I AM THAT I AM”?
    ______________________________

    • kavi Can you translate the two words – “echad” and “yachid” with any precision? And also – who told you that Orthodox Rabbinic Judaism made this “substitute”? What is your evidence for this ridiculous claim?

    • Jim says:

      Kavi,

      I see you trying to draw a distinction between “echad” and “yachid,” the latter which does not appear in the Shema, with the implication that the rabbis have altered the meaning of the text. I would like to show that the Church is guilty of altering the meaning of “echad,” not the Jewish people.

      First we must note that the word “trinity” or your variant, “tri-unity,” does not appear anywhere in Torah, certainly not in the Shema. “Echad,” even when referring to a compound unity never means “a thing comprised of three parts”. It requires an unjustified jump to go from a compound unity to a thing specifically comprised of three things. And if you are going to protest the employment of the word “yachid” by Moshe ben Maimon, then you must similarly, even more stridently, protest the use of the word “trinity” by the Church. Tri-unity is more foreign concept to “echad” than “yachid” as I am certain you recognize.

      In fact, your appeal to Adam and Eve underlines this fact. In this passage we have two that are one, but not three. To call upon this passage, which is not teaching about God but about Man, is to take things out-of-context. However, if you will use it as your support, then you must recognize that Jesus cannot be part of God unless he is really a woman-deity (as if there is a man-deity, God forbid!) He must not be the son but the wife of a god, but certainly not the God of Torah. But then I must ask, are you really going to compare God to His creation?

      Surely you know that words often have different meanings. When one speaks of a “match made in heaven,” he does not mean that angels sit in a factory coating little pieces of wood with chemicals to help them ignite. Similarly, the meaning of “one” is different in different contexts. “One” can signify that these belong together as one set or one body. Or “one” can signify a solitary condition. Or it can signify that something is unique. These are all homonyms.

      So the question before us is, how will we know what “echad”/ “one” means in the Shema. Let us rule out quickly the idea that it refers to a tri-unity, only because nothing in the context of the Shema leads us to a three-in-one. This would be an awfully strange place to inject this teaching. It does not fit the context. Similarly, nothing in the passage leads us to believe it is emphasizing divine complexity in general.

      On the contrary, Deuteronomy 4, two chapters before the Shema emphasizes that God is alone: “To you it was shown so that you would acknowledge that the Lord is God; there is not other besides Him” and “So acknowledge today and take to heart that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other” (vv. 35 and 39). Moses is not teaching about the compound unity of God, rather the opposite. He is teaching that God is alone. So, when we get to the Shema it is not teaching multiple persons in one godhood. It is teaching that there is but One Master, One King, One Creator: One God. He is alone.

      Moreover, Deuteronomy 4 and the Church teach opposing messages regarding divine corporeality. Moses tells the people that God specifically does not want them to associate Him with any form. He draws on their direct experience at Sinai where they heard a voice but did not see a form. On the other hand, the Church takes mystical, private experiences and uses them to do what the people are warned specifically not to do. They associate God with a form. To whom shall I incline my ear, the Torah or the Church, to Moses or Augustine?

      It seems obvious that we must listen to the Jewish people on this. After all, they are the Servant of God, His witnesses. God showed them these things so that they could teach us about the non-corporeality of God. Israel is to teach the world about the incorporeal God. The Church does not understand the Torah. It rewrites it to fit their preconceptions about God. This regrettable fact has led them astray. It is time for them to abandon the teachings of those to whom the Torah was not entrusted and study at the feet of those to whom It was given.

      Jim

      • Dina says:

        Kavi, to Jim’s excellent argument I would add just one question:

        Does “echad” mean “compound unity” every time it is used in the Torah, or just in this one instance?

        If it means compound unity, then I challenge you to find each instance of “echad” in theTorah like “ayil echad” (one ram) and explain how it is a compound unity.

        If it means compound unity only in this instance, then please explain how you can possibly know that.

        I don’t expect you to take me up on my challenge, but I’ll have you know this: if you were a fluent Hebrew speaker you would never be convinced of this argument. First learn Hebrew and study the Bible in its original language, and then we’ll have something to talk about.

  18. Concerned Reader says:

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c1.htm

    Excerpt from the Catechism, READ CAREFULLY (the rabbis’ reading about incorporeality and simplicity is not wrong Kavi.)

    How We Can Speak About G-d

    41 All creatures bear a certain resemblance to God, most especially man, created in the image and likeness of God. The manifold perfections of creatures – their truth, their goodness, their beauty all reflect the infinite perfection of God. Consequently we can name God by taking his creatures” perfections as our starting point, “for from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding PERCEPTION of their Creator”.15

    42 GOD TRANSCENDS ALL CREATURES. We must therefore CONTINUALLY PURIFY OUR LANGUAGE OF EVERYTHING IN IT THAT IS LIMITED, IMAGE-BOUND OR IMPERFECT, if we are NOT TO CONFUSE our image of God–“the inexpressible, the incomprehensible, the INVISIBLE, the UNGRASPABLE”–with our human representations.16 Our human words ALWAYS FALL SHORT of the mystery of God.

    43 Admittedly, in speaking about God like this, our language is using human modes of expression; nevertheless it really does attain to God himself, though unable to express him in his infinite simplicity. Likewise, we must recall that “between Creator and creature NO SIMILITUDE can be expressed without implying an even greater dissimilitude”;17 and that “concerning God, we cannot grasp what he is, but only WHAT HE IS NOT, and how other beings stand in relation to him.”

    Kavi, “seeing G-D” Never means physical sight of a human body or entity, even according to Christianity. Keep learning. Sight is only ever a metaphor for prophetic perception. Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t born until 2,000 years ago. G-d has no similitude of any kind as per Deuteronomy 4, so in whatever sense the scripture says people “saw” G-d, it is definitely not the way you understand it.

  19. KAVI says:

    Someone stated here that in Deuteronomy 4, “Moses tells the people that God specifically does not want them to associate Him with any form.”

    However, the Ancient of Days clearly has no problem giving mankind a “picture” of Himself in visions to Ezekiel and Daniel. [see Ezekiel 1 and Daniel 7]

    [] So, if G-d is “incorporeal” — then explain why G-d gives fairly descriptive visions of Himself to the prophets?

    [] And, why can Moses speak to the LORD ‘face to face’ as a friend YET Moses must be hidden in the cleft to prevent him seeing the face of G-d?

    • Dina says:

      Kavi, it doesn’t matter if God appeared in physical form a million times in Scripture (he didn’t; you misunderstand Scripture–but let us just say for argument’s sake). It wouldn’t have mattered if the whole planet beheld a physical form of God in Scripture. Deuteronomy 4 teaches us that we must not worship Him that way. Whenever Scripture presents a teaching on whom and how to worship we are taught to worship God and God alone and no one else on earth or in the whole host of heaven.

    • Jim says:

      Kavi,

      You have made several errors based upon the preconception that Jesus is divine. This has given you a bad starting point and led you both to incorrect questions and wrong answers.

      By incorrect questions I do not mean that your questions ought not be asked. They do not transgress a boundary over which things are “off limits”. I mean that they are mistakenly asked, relying on bad assumptions. You have erred in your “starting points”. However, you are very close to asking the right question.

      Let us turn the question just a little, and we will have more properly accounted for the teaching of Torah. You ask if God is incorporeal, why he has no problem showing himself in a in visions, and why Moses can speak to God face to face. Unfortunately, these questions are improperly formed, rhetorical questions meant to imply that God is clearly meant to be understood as corporeal.

      Before I introduce the correct question, the one that leads us to understanding and is not intended for rhetorical purposes, let me point out some contradictions in your argument. These will show that the basis for your argument is unsound. Once these are shown to be unsound, then hopefully we will be able to establish the right foundation upon which to build, the correct starting points.

      First, you should know that in order to justify worshipping a man, you have put yourself in a great contradiction. Your argument rests on the idea that there is an invisible person in the godhead and a visible person in the godhead, the two of which are one with the spirit. You justify this belief by acknowledging that God cannot be seen, relating this to the invisible person. But when Moses speaks “face to face” with God, then he is speaking to the visible person. Now then consider, which is the Ancient of Days? The invisible or the visible person? He is not the visible person, because that is supposed to be the “one like a son of man,” who is granted rulership by the Ancient of Days. In fact, I think if you ask any Christian they will say that the Ancient of Days is the one they call “God the Father,” that is the invisible person. But this undermines your whole argument! You now have the part of the godhead that cannot be seen being seen, which means that your argument regarding two persons being presented to Moses, the invisible on the mountain and the visible in the tent of meeting, is entirely specious.

      Moreover, you have inadvertently undermined one of the common arguments Christians bring when arguing the deity of Jesus. Honestly, it’s not an argument but an implied argument found in a rhetorical question: “Are you saying that God cannot become a man? Are you implying that God cannot do anything?” The Christian would like us to believe that we have placed limitations upon the power of God. But that is just what you have done. You have said that this one invisible part cannot take a visible form while some other part can. You have placed a limitation on the invisible person in your attempt to justify the worship of a man.

      Further, you have created two deities. You have given the different persons different attributes and/or different powers. This can only mean that they are not one God, but two gods. In fact, since their powers will be able to theoretically be enumerated, you have made neither of them omnipotent, but have made them both quite limited beings in your conception. Your visible and invisible persons are finite.

      And it should be noted, that you have assumed without justification that there is only one visible person. But it could be that many persons of the godhead are visible, and that there are more than three persons. One might appear as a man to Abraham, another as a burning bush to Moses, another as an “Angel of the Lord” to Joshua, and yet another as a “son of man” in Daniel. These could be four different persons, and there could be more besides. Nothing in Tanach would tell you any differently, for Tanach never speaks of a tri-unity. This is an assumption based upon your prior faith in Jesus. You have then read him into all these passages, but that reading is neither demanded nor justified by any of these passages. Nor is it supported by any teaching in Torah.

      And then you have another problem, besides all of these. Assuming these to be manifestations of the visible person, you would not know that any of them were Jesus. You have no corresponding description of either. Let us assume that Moses met with the visible person in the tent of meeting. (This is a bad reading, but never mind that for now.) No one else saw the visible person in the tent of meeting. Moses dies leaving no description, statue, or drawing of the visible person. Over one thousand years later, Jesus is born. At this point, there is no living person who has ever seen the visible person. So, who will pick him out of a line-up? Who will say, “I recognize that man as the visible person of deity!”? No one. The Christian presumes that Jesus is the visible person, but he bears no proof.

      And yet God could have given proof. If it had been his intention that people worship a man, he could have appeared as the visible person to the congregation. He could have instructed them personally instead of allowing Moses to do it. In Deuteronomy 4, he could have instructed the people to build a statue of the visible person, so that they would know whom to worship.

      Of course, you might say that people are not to worship statues. But here you have put yourself in another contradiction. People are not to worship any created thing. You have attempted to find a way around this, however, by saying that people do not worship the flesh of Jesus but the deity. However, this was ever the way of idolatry. People did not worship statues qua statue. They worshipped the spirits they associated with the statue. The physical object was never the focus of the worship, but a spirit beyond it.

      If God wanted us to worship the deity of Jesus but not his flesh, then a statue would have been equally as acceptable. He could have told people not to worship the stone of the statue but that which the stone represents, the deity behind it. This is anathema to Torah, however. And it does not matter if the object of devotion is stone or flesh; it is prohibited to worship physical objects.

      And so we come to the proper question. We need a proper foundation. I note that Torah does not tell us much about God. It tells us how to relate to Him and what He expects of us. But it does not discuss His nature. Torah is not a treatise on the nature of God. Christians get weighted down with such questions, because they have accepted a false notion that a man is divine, and they must go through contortions to justify this belief. They must determine if Jesus was a separate person from the invisible person, or if the same person taking on a different form. They must determine if he proceeded from the invisible or not. These are not questions produced from the Torah.

      When the Church reads Torah, it makes a grave error, because it begins with a bad assumption. Moreover, when a Christian reads the text, they improperly identify the subject (as Dina pointed out). The “face to face” passage, for example, is about the difference in Moses’ prophecy from even Aaron and Miriam. It is not about the nature of God. Nor are any of the supposed theophanies about how we are to understand or worship God. Nor is the creation of Adam and Eve about the nature of God.

      However, there are certain passages that tell us how to relate to and understand God. Deuteronomy 4 tells us not to associate God with any physical form and that God is alone. This passage is about how to understand God. It emphasizes that the Jewish people saw no form at Sinai and it tells them what to make of this. On the other hand, they are not told to relate to a visible person who talks to Moses in the tent of meeting. Similarly, we are told that God is alone, and there is none beside Him. And, among the ten statements is the prohibition to worship any god along with God.

      These passages actually address how we are to relate to God. They are our “starting points”. So, your question should not seek to redefine these clear passages in light of those that do not address the nature of God or how we are to relate to Him. Rather, they should be understood in light of these passages. The question seeking understanding should be something like: “If God is not to be understood through any physical means, what does the vision of the Ancient of Days mean?” (Note that the answer cannot be that God is to be related to through this image, for the belies the premise.) And: “If God cannot be seen by any man and live, what does it mean that Moses spoke to Him “face to face”?” (Again, the answer cannot be that God can be seen, because that belies the premise. And the passage about Moses speaking to God “face to face” is not teaching about God but Moses’ prophecy.)

      Once you redefine your questions so that they rely upon what is clearly and openly taught about God, you will have a chance to understand the more difficult ‘appearances’ of God. You will not redefine the commandment to suit the confused notions of the Church.

      Jim

    • Kavi, lets go through this for the umpteenth time…

      Daniel 7:1-14 describes Daniel’s DREAM/VISION. Do you know what a DREAM/VISION is Kavi? A DREAM/VISION is not to be taken literally and utilizes vivid imagery to represent various ideas and concepts. The beginning of Daniel chapter 7 begins like this:
      Daniel 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar, the king of Babylon, **DANIEL SAW A DREAM,** and the visions of his mind [while asleep] on his bed; then he wrote the dream and said the beginnings of the matters.
      Daniel 7:2 Daniel raised his voice and said: I saw in my vision during the night, and behold the four winds of the heavens were stirring up the Great Sea.
      Daniel 7:3 And four huge beasts were coming up out of the sea, each one different from the other.
      Daniel 7:4 The first one was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle, until its wings were plucked and it was taken from the earth, and it stood on feet like a man, and the heart of a mortal was given it.
      Daniel 7:5 And behold another second beast, resembling a bear, and it stood to one side, and there were three ribs in its mouth between its teeth, and so did they say to it, ‘Get up, eat much meat.’
      Daniel 7:6 After this, I saw, and behold another one, like a leopard, and it had four wings of a bird on its back, and the beast had four heads, and dominion was given it.
      Daniel 7:7 After this, I saw in the visions of the night, and behold a fourth beast, awesome and dreadful and exceedingly strong, and it had huge iron teeth. It ate and crushed, and trampled the rest with its feet, and it was different from all the beasts that were before me, and it had ten horns.
      Now Kavi, I want to interrupt here to ask you a question. Given the description of these beasts,” do you believe that we are to take this literally? Must we assume that there will be four beasts, one of them having “iron teeth” and “ten horns” that will come in the future or who have already came? Is this what you believe?
      Anyway, moving on…
      Daniel 7:8 I looked at these horns and behold another small horn came up among them, and three of the first horns were plucked out before it, and behold eyes like human eyes were on this horn, and a mouth speaking arrogantly.
      Daniel 7:9 I was looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days sat; His raiment was as white as snow, and the hair of His head was like clean wool; His throne was sparks of fire, its wheels were a burning fire.
      Daniel 7:10 A river of fire was flowing and emerging from before Him; a thousand thousands served Him, and ten thousand ten thousands arose before Him. Justice was established, and the books were opened.
      Daniel 7:11 I saw then from the sound of the arrogant words that the horn spoke, I looked until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to a flame of fire.
      Daniel 7:12 But as for the other beasts, their dominion was removed, and they were given an extension of life until a set time.
      Now here come your favorite verses, Kavi. **Keep in mind that they are still within the context of Daniel’s DREAM…**
      Daniel 7:13 I saw in the visions of the night, and behold with the clouds of the heaven, one like a man was coming, and he came up to the Ancient of Days and was brought before Him.
      Daniel 7:14 And He gave him dominion and glory and a kingdom, and all peoples, nations, and tongues shall serve him; his dominion is an eternal dominion, which will not be removed, and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.
      Now Kavi, have you ever read the next verse? Daniel 7:15-28 is CRUCIAL to understanding what was meant in Daniel 7:1-14. Lets read on:
      Daniel 7:15 My spirit-I, Daniel-became troubled within its sheath, and the visions of my mind terrified me.
      Daniel 7:16 I drew near to one of those standing [there], **AND I ASKED HIM THE TRUTH OF ALL THIS, AND HE TOLD IT TO ME, AND HE LET ME KNOW THE INTERPRETATION OF THE MATTERS.**
      Kavi, here we see that Daniel was confused about the vision. Daniel did not understand what the vision meant on his own. He needed the assistance of an angel to gain true understanding of the dream/vision. Thus, the next few verses will explain to us what Daniel’s dream actually represents. Moving on…
      Daniel 7:17 [He said] “These huge beasts, which are four, are four kingdoms, which will arise from the earth
      Daniel 7:18 And **THE HIGH HOLY ONES WILL RECEIVE THE KINGDOM,** and THEY will inherit the kingdom forever and to all eternity.”
      Kavi, compare Daniel 7:18 to Daniel 7:13-14. The HIGH HOLY **ONES** (plural!) WILL RECEIVE THE KINGDOM FOR ETERNITY! The “son of man” description is not exclusive to
      one person according to Daniel 7:18! Please keep this in mind as we read on…
      Daniel 7:19 Then I wished to determine the truth of the fourth beast, which was different from all of them- excessively dreadful; its teeth were of iron and its nails of copper; it ate and crushed to powder, and the rest it trampled with its feet.
      Daniel 7:20 And concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other one that came up and [the] three [that] fell before it, and the horn that was like this and that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogantly, and its appearance was greater than [that of] its companions.
      Daniel 7:21 I looked and the horn that was like this waged war with the holy ones and overwhelmed them.
      Daniel 7:22 Until the Ancient of Days came and gave revenge to the high holy ones, and the time arrived that the holy ones inherited the kingdom.
      Daniel 7:23 So he said, “The fourth beast [represents] a fourth kingdom [that] will be on the earth, which will be different from all the kingdoms, and it will devour the whole land and trample it and crush it.
      Daniel 7:24 And the ten horns that [sprout] from that kingdom [represent] ten kings [that] will rise, and the last one will rise after them, and he will be different from the first, and he will humble three kings.
      Daniel 7:25 And he will speak words against the Most High, and he will oppress the high holy ones, and he will think to change the times and the law, and they will be delivered into his hand until a time, two times, and half a time.
      Daniel 7:26 And the judgment shall be established, and they will remove his dominion to be destroyed and annihilated until the end.
      Daniel 7:27 And the KINGDOM and the DOMINION and the greatness of the kingdoms under all the heavens **WILL BE GIVEN TO THE PEOPLE OF THE HIGH HOLY ONES;** its kingdom is a perpetual kingdom, and all dominions will serve and obey [it].”
      As you can see Kavi, the kingdom mentioned that was given to the “son of man” in Daniel’s DREAM was interpreted as being the kingdom that was given to the PEOPLE OF THE HIGH HOLY ONES. This is PLURAL. It does not refer to one individual.
      And for completion’s sake:
      Daniel 7:28 Until here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts terrified me greatly, and my colors changed upon me, and I kept the matter in my heart.
      As you can see, Kavi, if we look at the CONTEXT of Daniel 7:1-14, we can see that what the text literally says is quite different from the INTERPRETATION OF THE DREAM given in
      Daniel 7:15-28. Knowing this, lets review something you said a while back when I showed you Deuteronomy 4:9-19 in order to show you how worshipping G-d in any form is considered idolatry. Here was your strawman response:
      “[**] Deuteronomy 4 is irrelevant in the case of the “Son of Man” for at least a couple reasons:
      –G-d indeed has a form as the Ancient of Days [Daniel 7]
      –The Son of Man is neither some created image of man NOR did the Most High create Him [Deuteronomy 4 and Daniel 7]”
      Kavi, I see no mention of the supposed “form of the Ancient of Days” in the interpretation given to Daniel of his dream given in Daniel 7:15-28. I also see no mention of “the son of man” in the interpretation of Daniel’s dream in Daniel 7:15-28. Are you really so arrogant and blind sided that you will put your interpretation of Daniel’s dream over the interpretation given in the Tanach to Daniel by the angel?! It appears that you really don’t care about the interpretation that the angel gave to Daniel, and you would rather make up your own interpretation of who the “son of man” represents, even though the angel clearly tells us that it represents the **PEOPLE OF THE MOST HOLY ONES.** This is not simply one person.
      Also, Kavi, concerning your “יִפְלְח֑וּן” argument and how you interpret it to mean “worship,” we have already proven that “יִפְלְח֑וּן” here does not mean worship, as same word is used in verse 27 with regards to the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL/THE PEOPLE OF THE MOST HOLY ONES. In this context, the word “יִפְלְח֑וּן” means “serve.” It does not mean to be worshipped as a god! (Chas v’shalom!)
      So unless you want to tell me that the children of Israel are to be worshipped as gods along with your jeezer, I wouldn’t keep pushing for that if I were you… 😉
      So you want to talk about context, Kavi? You want to know about what Daniel’s dream represents?
      Then read Daniel 7:15-28. Stop making up your own interpretations and isolating two verses of a dream and then saying “LOOK! JEEZER SAID HE WAS THE SON OF MAN! THIS MAKES HIM THE FULFILLMENT OF THIS PROPHESY THAT WAS NOT FULFILLED YET BECAUSE I JUST KNOW!”
      Literally, this is your argument, Kavi. Your jeezer did not fulfill Daniel 7:13-14 and you know it. This is one of the christian “second coming” arguments that even the most kooky of christians would have to admit was not fulfilled by jesus during his time on earth. You’ve been obsessing on this “son of man” for nearly a month now. And now that the falsehood of your position has been exposed, you now claim that you care about “context.”
      Well there’s your context, Kavi.
      Kavi, the Messiah is a part of Israel. Rashi explains this clearly. Rashi’s interpretation is consistent with the angel’s interpretation in Daniel 7:15-28. I never said the passage didn’t apply to the Messiah and neither does Rashi.
      But you error when you assume that the “son of man” who receives the kingdom and dominion refers ONLY to the Messiah. The text doesn’t say that and Rashi doesn’t say that either.
      So please Kavi, you have already contextually abused scripture enough in order to falsely champion your jeezer as the subject of this passage. Please do not abuse the context of Rashi. I know you’re sore about your loss in this argument, but its time you come to terms with the fact that Daniel 7:13-14 does not refer to ONLY the Messiah receiving a kingdom and it also does not refer to the worship of the Messiah either. Rashi understood this. Daniel understood this. The angel who told Daniel the interpretation of his dream understood this.
      Do you understand this?
      It isn’t rocket science…
      Here is the Rashi on Daniel 7:14 for Kavi to read.
      Daniel 7:13 I saw in the visions of the night, and behold with the clouds of the heaven, one like a man was coming, and he came up to the Ancient of Days and was brought before Him.
      And here is the Rashi on Daniel 7:13…:
      one like a man was coming: That is the King Messiah.
      and… up to the Ancient of Days: Who was sitting in judgment and judging the nations.
      came: arrived, reached.
      Knowing Kavi, he will contextually abuse this Rashi and say that Rashi identified the “son of man” EXCLUSIVELY with the Messiah. But we know better…Lets read the text verse and the
      Rashi accompanying it.
      Daniel 7:14 And He gave him dominion and glory and a kingdom, and all peoples, nations, and tongues shall serve him; his dominion is an eternal dominion, which will not be removed, and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.
      And here is the Rashi on Daniel 7:14…:
      And He gave him dominion: And to that man He gave dominion over the nations, for the heathens he likens to beasts, **AND ISRAEL HE LIKENS TO A MAN BECAUSE THEY ARE HUMBLE AND INNOCENT.**
      Get it Kavi? The Messiah isn’t the only one receiving the kingdom in Daniel 7:13-14. Rashi makes it clear that ISRAEL IS LIKENED TO A MAN. The Messiah is a part of Israel, and yes, the Messiah is included as a “Holy one of the Most High.” Your problem is that there is more than one person who receives the kingdom, just as Daniel 7:18 and 7:27 explicitly state.
      So you will find no solace in Rashi for your erroneous interpretation of Daniel 7:13-14. The verses do not refer exclusively to the Messiah and the Messiah is not to be worshipped as a god.
      So now that you know this, Kavi, isn’t it time you cut out the jesus foolishness? You know that your jeezer failed to fulfill this prophesy on all counts. Now that you know the true meaning of this prophesy, why would you continue to worship jesus?
      I suggest you stop worshipping jesus as this passage does not endorse such. Your jesus is not the Messiah as he failed to fulfill the Messianic prophesies. Moreover, this passage does not endorse the worshipping of the Messiah, and nor does any other passage in the Tanach.
      Shalom

  20. Concerned Reader says:

    Kavi, Ezekiel and Daniel had mystical visions, (like if someone was seeing pictures in the clouds, and was receiving a teaching from it, making poetry, etc.) BUT…If you later created a statue of that human like figure sitting on a throne, or tried to pray to a living king or someone important who sat on the throne, you would be violating the commandment because doing so makes men corrupt.

    The prince of Tyre in Ezekiel 28 (who provided the Cedars for the temple’s construction,) thought that because he did that mitzvah for hashem, he deserved divine honor for the work. A servant of G-d is not and can’t be treated as G-d, even if he is the captain of his host. The covenant says Israel’s allegiance is to the father alone. Its so clear.

    A person can be worshiping the true G-d, but in an idolatrous manner. Take the Samaritans. If a Samaritan elevates Mt. Gerizim over the mount of G-d’s choosing, they are serving G-d in a way that he did not ask. They sin by associating his dwelling with one location over another. Gerizim is the place where the blessings of the Torah were recited, why would it be idolatrous to put a temple there? Because G-d did not command it to be done.

    The puzzling thing Kavi is that your own books tell you why believing G-d became man is untrustworthy. If G-d could be made flesh, then he could do it again and again, (or at least people could claim he has.) Jim Jones? Nero? Augustus? The dictator in North Korea? All fancy themselves divine, mouthpieces of the divine, etc. Even if G-d could become a human, the directives he gives in Torah don’t allow him to be served that way, because (among other things) the abuses that humans can perpetuate with such an idea. Look at all the harm done in Jesus’ name throughout the Church’s history?

  21. Concerned Reader says:

    http://narnia.wikia.com/wiki/False_Aslan_Affair

    Kavi, I don’t know if you have read the Narnia books, but maybe this link above will help you understand part of the problem with hashem taking flesh. Let’s say (for the sake of argument) that G-d could indeed take on a human nature. So, this human/G-d came 2000 years ago, walked around, TAUGHT HUMANS THAT THE COMMANDMENTS SHOULD BE FOLLOWED, and then left again for heaven when he was done.

    Since that time has passed when G-d visited us once as a human, a whole slew of other people have come out of the woodwork saying, “here I am again! Worship me as G-d!” Even the followers of this once renowned Man-G-d walk around today and say, “I am his representative, if you want eternal life you have to listen to me.” As you are aware such a doctrine perpetuates evil actions, because many men and their sects feel that G-d is there best friend who only cares for them and nobody else. The Torah prohibits this because it is dangerous and ripe for abuse.

  22. KAVI says:

    CR and Dina,
    It seems we may partly agree–

    Moses could worship the G-d who spoke from the burning bush without worshipping the burning bush itself.

    Moses could speak ‘face to face’ with G-d without worshipping the form he looked upon.

    Moses could worship the G-d who prepared the pillars of cloud and fire without worshipping either the physical pillar of cloud or physical pillar of fire.

    Similarly, Moses could worship the G-d who could come from heaven to briefly tabernacle within a body without worshipping the physical body itself.

    • Dina says:

      Kavi, you almost got it. In all the examples you cited, the message and not the messenger was important. No one prays to God in the name of the bush, for example. The problem with throwing Jesus in among those examples is that Jesus is worshipped alongside God. This is idolatry, the greatest crime a man can commit against God.

  23. Fred says:

    The problem with that, Kavi, is that one cannot separate “Jesus the infinite god” from “Jesus the finite man” and still call himself a Christian. If you want to say that HaShem, God the Father, “borrowed a body” and His presence dwelt within that body and using it as a vessel from which to speak human language, that is one theory, but that is NOT Christianity. Christianity teaches that Jesus HIMSELF, AS A WHOLE was “100% god and 100% man”. That is a logical and practical impossibility. Its like saying something is “100% black and 100% white”; that a person, or thing, can at the same time be “100% deity and 100% not deity” or that a thing is “100% infinite and 100% finite”. HaShem is 100% deity. Jesus was not, by his own words.

    I still find it interesting that the “Christians” who post on here only use heretical, cultic and non-Christian arguments to defend the Christian religion.

    I have invited several of my ( former?) Christian friends to post the arguments for their faith on this site, and they have not taken up the offer.

  24. KAVI says:

    Jim,
    Yes, your questions are well presented– but will modern Orthodox Judaism ever provide a clear, reasoned answer?

    To be honest, after two-millennia, it just hasn’t happened.
    __________________

    So, perhaps I can repeat your questions verbatim along with very brief responses:

    [Question#1] “If God is not to be understood through any physical means, what does the vision of the Ancient of Days mean?”

    [Answer#1] G-d is indeed a Spirit, but indeed has a form– we see this fact clearly displayed when Moses VISIBLY SAW G-d’s ‘Back’ and ‘Hand’. Therefore, when saying the Ancient of Days is ‘invisible’ or ‘not seen’– it simply means that mankind has at no time visibly seen His ‘Face’.

    Instead, G-d gave Ezekiel and Daniel ‘visions’ to prevent their instantaneous deaths while, at the same time, providing mankind with a written glimpse of His Divine Form.
    _________________

    [Question#2] “If God cannot be seen by any man and live, what does it mean that Moses spoke to Him “face to face”?”

    [Answer#2] Moses spoke with LORD Yeshua– the ‘Chief Cornerstone’ and ‘Stumbling Block’ of Israel and Judah [as well as the ‘foolishness’ of the nations].
    __________________

    The Tanakh’s “impossible” contradictions are only resolved by ONE, Echad Elohim who exists in complex tri-unity:
    [] G-d– the Spirit with whom Moses only visibly saw His Back and His Hand, and NOT His Face [the Ancient of Days]
    [] G-d– the Spirit with whom Moses could speak ‘face to face’ [El Shaddai, LORD Yeshua]
    [] G-d– the Spirit whom Moses saw as a Being likened to a ‘fluttering’ of a dove [Ruach HaKodesh]

    • Jim says:

      Kavi,

      Torah says not to understand God through a form. Because that is the starting point, your conclusions are untenable. Torah says not to understand God through a form. Resolving what you call contradictions, you ascribe a form to God. However, this is exactly what one is not supposed to do. Ergo, your solution is false.

      You say that Judaism has not resolved these contradictions in 2,000 years. Interesting, the Torah is much older than that. These are passages seized upon by the Church where they found an opportunity to push in their worship of a man. They were not the object of honest study and reflection.

      I can see that you do not understand the illogic of your position so I am going to write the question and your answer so that they can be understood as incompatible:

      Q: Given that God is not to be understood through a form, what do we make of a passage that seems to imply that God has a form?

      A: God has a form.

      The answer contradicts the premise.

      If you study the works of R’ Blumenthal, I think you will begin to understand your error. Please continue to read his work. The tabs at the top of the page will be of great service to you.

      My daughter is ill, but if I can find the time today, I will address Adam and Eve more fully and show how the Church uses a question as an opportunity, not to learn, but to justify their anti-Torah theology.

      Jim

  25. Concerned Reader says:

    Kavi, you said this: “Moses could worship the G-d who spoke from the burning bush without worshipping the burning bush itself.”

    Right! Very different from the way Christians view Jesus. Moses never prays to the bush. He does not place his trust in the sap of this bush for his atonement, as you do with jesus’ blood. He doesn’t mandate that people act with divine service toward the bush.

    Christians have confused G-d with the object or vessel that G-d allegedly spoke through. That’s the whole problem with the theology. Its the exact same sin as when Israel worshiped the serpent of brass.

    Jesus is seen as a divine personality in his own right although his will is allegedly said to be one with the father’s will. Jesus is not treated as a manifestation in the way Moses would have treated the bush (ie it was just a bush.)

    As to your questions about resolving the contradictions you see, the Torah gives an answer, and tells Jews that it is not their responsibility to know the inner workings of G-d’s nature, ie the secret things. Deuteronomy 29:29 says explicitly that “the words of this law” are what concerns the Jewish people. Israel’s responsibility to the mitzvot outweigh any secret theological notions.

    Even your NT highlights the danger of serving someone who claims to be divine, who forces people to acknowledge his deity. I’m sure you would not worship Shabbatai Zevi? You would not worship the rebbe? Why? BECAUSE HUMANS (EVEN ALLEGED VESSELS) ARE NOT G-D!

  26. Jim says:

    Kavi,

    On the surface of it, what I am about to write will seem to have little relation to the current discussion regarding whether or not God is a tri-unity or not. However, you introduced into the conversation the fact that Adam and Eve are “echad” and I thought to explain just how this shows the way the Church has misrepresented Torah to you and has misled you.

    You are not the first person here to draw a parallel between the creation of humanity and God. The first time I read this parallel, I must admit I was rather stunned. The appeal of the Church to the oneness of Adam and Eve to support their tri-unity is rather a bizarre one. After all, the passage is not even talking about the nature of God. It is talking about the nature of Man.

    But I have come to realize that this error is made because the Church is not attempting to understand the text of the Torah. It is attempting to read its own theology into the text. Therefore, they seize upon the use of the word “echad” in the passage, not because it relates to God or because there is a great difficulty with the use of the word in the passage, but they need some way to discredit the Shema. This word “discredit” might sound unjust, but take a moment to reflect what the Church has done. The Shema declares God to be One in a book that has already emphasized that God is alone. The Church has to take that One and make it a multiplicity, because they understand a man to be divine, as well as a third being, a holy spirit. So they take that One and make it three. This creates a conflict in with the Shema. To resolve this conflict with their own theology they have to avoid the context of Deuteronomy, wherein the Shema lies and find a new context. They must undermine that One of the Shema and make it a three-in-one. Because this is not an act of interpretation and is an alteration of the meaning of the text, I cannot call this anything but an act of discrediting the Shema. Employing their own Orwellian-style doublespeak, the Church teaches that one means three.

    We can see from the appeal to the “one flesh” passage that this was never an act of interpretation going on. Let us assume for a moment that one had a question, “What kind of ‘echad’ is it in the Shema?” As I already indicated, the best place to find understanding of this word would be in the immediate context, studying the rest of Deuteronomy. But let us for a moment assume that someone wished to take a second approach, studying the word “echad” as it is first used in Torah.

    (This is a flawed method, obviously, because a word may be used homonymously. It is not guaranteed that the first use of a word is similar to a later use of the word. This is obviously true, because if it were otherwise, homonyms would not exist. Each word would have but one definition applicable to every instance of its appearing. This is not so.)

    If one is to employ this flawed approach, he comes upon Genesis 1:5 where he sees that evening and morning is one (“echad”) day. Then he comes upon the one flesh passage, and he sees that “echad” refers to a man and a woman. In both instances he sees that one is a unity of two things. His method is bad, but if he follows the logic, he does not come up with a tri-unity. He comes upon a notion of two complementary thing that together comprise a complete unit. If he is honest as an interpreter, then, he will say that God is comprised of two, not three things.

    But this is not what happens, and why not? It does not happen, because the confusion over the One of the Shema exists only because of Christian theology. The word “echad” is not intrinsically confusion. The reason certain persons of the Church refer back to the one flesh passage is to find an instance of complex unity to justify their theology. They settle for the one flesh passage, which does not show three as one, because the Church only needs to introduce an ambiguity not existing in the Shema itself.

    This is also why they have attempted to make the one flesh passage appear mysterious. If the passage is clearly understood it will no longer be useful as a means of discrediting the Shema. But if they can call the one flesh passage a “mystery” then the tri-unity can also be a mystery. If one cannot understand the first, he should not expect to understand the second. In fact, certain members of the Church use “mystery” as a stick with which to bully people. “If you cannot expect to understand God perfectly,” they imply, “then you cannot deny any statement we make about God; and if you do contradict our theology, this only shows that you are arrogant and rather far from God.”

    But let us examine this terrific mystery. Whatever can it mean that Adam and Eve are one when clearly they are two?

    In Genesis 2:18, God observes that it is not good for man to be alone. Obviously he knew that when he made Adam. He had already made all the other animals, in pairs, ready to mate. What does God mean that it is “not good”?

    In Genesis 1, once God creates a thing, He calls it “good”. This means that it is in accord with His intention. It is complete. However, Adam by himself is not complete. God does not expect Adam to live alone. Man without woman is “not good”. He is not complete. He does not yet exist in the way God intends.

    So, God makes Eve, and Adam is complete. Man and woman complement each other. We are intended for one another. We are made differently yet are equal. Without the other we cannot propagate the species. And without the other we are not completely human. We lack those elements that comprise the opposite sex.

    Of course, none of this relates to God. The Christian who attempts to teach about God through the one flesh passage is making a serious mistake. It is teaching about humanity. It denies the denigration of woman that happens in so many cultures, and it denies the doctrine of some that people are better unmarried, devoted solely to God in an ascetic life, rather than joined to the opposite sex. Torah says that the ascetic is missing an essential part of his humanity. He is not complete.

    It is imperative that when one reads Torah—or any text for that matter—he must understand the topic under discussion. If he has not properly identified that, he is likely to go astray. He will be certain that he knows to what a passage is referring, but he will be certainly wrong.

    The topic of Genesis 2 is not the nature of God. The Church, seeking to introduce a teaching into the Shema, has ignored the topic of Genesis 2. (In fact, the topic is not even “oneness”.) The passage is emphasizing the need that man has for woman, a thing many cultures have tried to deny. If we attempt to redefine the passage, we will misunderstand it and do great violence to Torah. We will have it saying those things which it emphatically denies, as the Church has done with the Shema.

    The Church’s appeal to the “echad” of Genesis 2 is self-serving and intellectually dishonest. They did not appeal to the context of Deuteronomy to find the meaning of “echad” in the Shema. They appealed to an earlier and unrelated use of the word. Then they ignored the duality of that “echad” and created a tri-unity out of their imaginations. In other words, they cheated. In fact, the only reason they find a question to be resolved regarding the “echad” of the Shema is because they have to justify their own theology, which contradicts the Shema. The question does not arise naturally in the mind of the reader of Deuteronomy: “How many persons are in the godhead—one or more?” The question did not arise in the witness nation appointed by God to teach the world about Him and His Torah. They have faithfully maintained that God is alone, that there is none beside Him, and that He is One not three. And when the bluster of the Church attempted to extinguish the light of Torah, the Jewish people faithfully maintained it so that we would not be left in darkness.

    Jim

    • Dina says:

      I challenged Kavi to find every instance of “echad” in the Torah and show us how it fits his definition. Unsurprisingly, he has not responded.

  27. KAVI says:

    Jim,
    Yes, I agree that the word “echad” has been translated as “alone”, “one”, “united”, etc depending on the flavor of the theology one holds.

    [] However, in the Shema, Elohim taught Moses the concept of complex “echad” unity through example even in His Name: ELOHEINU [plural, “Our Elohim”]

    [] Elohim likewise teaches, “Let US make man in OUR image according to OUR likeness.”
    * We know that G-d did not ask for help in creation– and No one was His counselor– so we find that Moses wrote of an “Echad” Elohim speaking amongst themselves.
    * Remember the Ruach HaKodesh at creation? He is described as an essential Being with a difficult to describe, but very real ‘Form’
    * Remember our CREATORS? [plural, Ecclesiastes 12, Job 35, etc]

    [] Moses taught that husband and wife DO reflect something of Elohim’s Form because we are made according to “Their Image.”

    [] Moses wrote only of Three Beings existing in One, complex tri-unity– no more, no less.

    So, why should anyone bypass Moses and the prophets to follow the false assertions of Maimonides and/or other modern rabbinical teachers who are far, far from being “echad” on this matter?

    • Dina says:

      Hey, Kavi, take a look at Exodus 4:16. God tells Moses he will be an E-lohim to Aaron. So tell me, please, how many persons were in Moses’s humanhead?

      Forgive my bluntness, but you are proposing ridiculous arguments due to your ignorance of Hebrew. I never fail to be amazed by the arrogance of Christians with no Hebrew training who think they can argue the language with fluent Hebrew speakers who can read the Bible in its original language. They make themselves look like fools. Do yourself a favor, learn Hebrew, then come back here so we can argue on an equal footing.

      In the meantime, there is plenty of meat to sink your teeth into without arguing about the Hebrew language. That is where I suggest you focus.

      Good luck!

      And may God Who is the Father of us all lead us in the light of His truth.

      Peace and blessings,
      Dina

      P.S. Still waiting for your response to my “echad” challenge.

    • Dina says:

      Kavi, you made some outrageous statements for which I would like to see you cite Scriptural support. I will list those statements for you:

      1. “Remember the Ruach HaKodesh at creation? He is described as an essential Being with a difficult to describe, but very real ‘Form.'” Specifically, I would like you to prove that this ruach is a separate person in the godhead.

      2. “Moses wrote only of Three Beings existing in One, complex tri-unity– no more, no less.” Really? Where did he write this?

      3. “Moses taught that husband and wife DO reflect something of Elohim’s Form because we are made according to “Their Image.” Again, can you show me where Moses says this?

  28. KAVI says:

    Dina,
    I am sorry, but I did not forget you– your point regarding “intermediation” is important.

    Moses taught:
    [] G-d purposely hid himself at Mt. Sinai so that Israel would be forced to rely on Moses as an intermediary to Himself [Exodus 19:9]
    [] At Mt. Sinai, all Israel begged Moses to be their intermediary to G-d [Exodus 20:18-19]
    [] Moses interceded for Israel’s sins on multiple occasions [Exodus 32:30, etc]

    We also see in the Torah that:
    [] Moses needed an intermediary to G-d the Father for he was not allowed to see G-d’s Face.
    [] Instead, Moses spoke ‘face to face’ with an Intermediary– El Shaddai [who is LORD Yeshua]
    [] Likewise, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ‘VISIBLY SAW’ El Shaddai– that is, ‘”The Intermediary” to the G-d whose face they were not allowed to see. [Exodus 6:3]

    • KAVI You are trying to get into a discussion about the nature of God in the same way that a biology teacher would dissect a frog to get into a discussion about the nature of the frog. This discussion is useless – nowhere does the Bible teach that we need to know the nature of God, or that it is a service of God to try to dissect him. he only reason you are trying to “study” God’s nature is because you want to justify a specific devotion – the one that you harbor in your heart toward a man that walked this earth under these heavens. But instead of talking about worship you talk about God’s nature – Why? I’ll answer that question for you. Because if you would ask yourself – what does the Bible teach about worship you would realize that your devotion is idolatry. You need to find verses that you could interpret as teachings on the nature of God in order to defend your worship.

      KAVI Just look at what the Bible says about worship and get back to us

    • Dina says:

      Kavi, I am tempted to point out the errors in your comment, but I will zero in on one point. Moses may have interceded on behalf of the Children of Israel, but they never worshipped him as God. Why not? Would it be idolatrous? Would it be idolatrous to worship any of the manifestations like the burning bush? They could argue that they are worshiping God’s spirit within Moses and/or the bush, not Moses the fleshly being and not the actual chlorophyll of the bush. So why not?

      By the way, Moses never demanded that the people believe in him. In fact he expected them not to believe him at all. God also did not expect the Jewish people to take Moses’s word for it–and that is the meaning of Exodus 19:9. Read that verse again. It doesn’t remotely suggest that God purposely hid Himself so that Israel would be forced to turn to Moses for mediation–you read that into the text. Instead, the verse plainly says that God will speak to Moses in front of the whole nation so that the people will believe him.

    • You wanna keep ignoring me Kavi?

      Deuteronomy 4:9-19 tells us not to worship G-d in ANY FORM. Your arguments are derived from your eisegesis of passages that you are misunderstanding, or at worst, contextually abusing. To show you an example of your misunderstanding, (or contextual abuse,) I will focus attention on your reference of Exodus 24:9-10. But first, I want to review what is spoken of concerning Moses as a UNIQUE PROPHET in Numbers 12:6-8

      G-d speaks to Aaron and Miriam in Numbers 12:6-8 concerning what makes Moses different from all other prophets, **INCLUDING AARON** (This is the key) The context of Numbers 12 involves G-d speaking to Aaron and Miriam. Lets start at verse 5:

      Numbers 12:5 The Lord descended in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tent. He called to Aaron and Miriam, and they both went out.

      Numbers 12:6. He said, “Please listen to My words. If there be prophets among you, [I] the Lord will make Myself known to him in a vision; I will speak to him in a dream.

      Numbers 12:7. Not so is My servant Moses; he is faithful throughout My house.

      Numbers 12:8. With him I speak mouth to mouth; in a vision and not in riddles, and he beholds the image of the Lord. So why were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses ?

      Moses is a UNIQUE prophet in that he is the ONLY PROPHET who “beholds the image of the Lord.” We can debate on what that means, but one thing is clear: MOSES IS THE ONLY PROPHET CAPABLE OF THIS ABILITY!
      Aaron is not! With this fact in mind, lets read Exodus 24:9-10

      Exodus 24:9 Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel,

      Exodus 24:10 and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.

      So this verse says that Aaron “saw” the G-d of Israel…BUT WAIT! What did G-d tell Aaron in Numbers 12:6-8? ONLY MOSES CAN BEHOLD THE IMAGE OF G-D! And what’s more, the word “temunah” (image) is NOT used to in Exodus 24:10, concerning Aaron and his sons “seeing” G-d. Clearly, they did NOT literally perceive a “form” of G-d. G-d is clearly not to be worshiped by Israel IN ANY FORM! This can also be applied to your eisegetical understanding of Exodus 6:3. And now we come full circle to
      Deuteronomy 4:9-19

      So Kavi, you have two choices: You can either acknowledge G-d’s explicit command to Israel not to worship Him in ANY FORM, or you can continue to wallow in your stubborn ignorance and insist that your jeezer is the “sole exception” to this prohibition, based off of absolutely nothing but your contextual abuse of the Tanach using verses that mention NOTHING of your jeezer.

      So your entire argument is based upon eisegesis and your own personal bias of your heart. My argument is based upon G-d explicit commands to Israel in the Torah itself.
      For you, Kavi, this scripture was written with you in mind. Let me direct your attention to
      Deuteronomy 29:17-19

      Deuteronomy 29:17 Perhaps there is among you a man, woman, family, or tribe, whose heart strays this day from the Lord, our God, to go and worship the deities of those nations. Perhaps there is among you a root that produces hemlock and wormwood.

      Deuteronomy 29:18 And it will be, when he [such a person] hears the words of this oath, that he will bless himself in his heart, saying, “I will have peace, even if I follow my heart’s desires,” in order to add the [punishment for the] unintentional sins [of this man] to that of [his] intentional sins.

      Deuteronomy 29:19 The Lord will not be willing to forgive him; rather, then, the Lord’s fury and His zeal will fume against that man, and the entire curse written in this book will rest upon him, and the Lord will obliterate his name from beneath the heavens.
      This is you, Kavi. You are following and worshipping the deity of other nations. Your jeezer is not G-d. Your jeezer was not present at Sinai when G-d spoke to Israel. And most importantly, your jeezer did not create the universe.

      There’s a VERY GOOD reason why the vast majority of Jews today reject your jeezer and have rejected him for over two millennia. You want to turn this into a “who is the most despised contest” by quoting a vague scripture concerning the rejection of the corner stone…A common asinine tactic used by christians, such as yourself and the writers at the Rosh Pina blog.

      So I will give you a challenge, Kavi…One which I gave you before and you have since failed to deliver on:

      Kavi, can you show me anywhere in the Tanach where Israel is commanded to acknowledge “yeshua” as a deity?

      Can you show me where Moses tells us to acknowledge “yeshua” as a deity?

      Can you show me in the prophets where it tells us to acknowledge “yeshua” as a diety?

      No?

      That’s what I thought…

      So perhaps it is your “mashiachim” religion that was a new invention, contrary to the will of Hashem according to His Tanach…

      It’s clear to everyone else that this is the case. Hashem NEVER tells us to acknowledge “yeshua” as a deity in the Tanach anywhere!

      Thank you for showing us the falsehood of your “mashiachim” religion. Your jesus is not a deity according to the Tanach.

      You can run, but you can’t hide, Kavi…

      Shalom

  29. Jim says:

    Kavi,

    I am quite ill right now, so I will keep my remarks brief.

    Elokim is not plural when it refers to God. You may check the very first verse of the Torah to verify this: “B’reishit bara Elokim”. The verb, bara, is not in the plural but the singular.

    When you say that Moses taught a plural Elokim in the Shema, this is an error on your part, brought about by the teaching of the Church. Nothing in the Shema demands a complex echad. While you write about multiplicty in the godhead, you continue to ignore the context of the Shema in Deuteronomy. As I have written a couple times already, Deuteronomy 4 makes clear that God is alone. There is none beside Him. To read a multiplicity of persons into the Shema is not only not demanded by the text, it is a violation of the text.

    I am sorry that the Church has so misled you. But, when I say that the Church came to the text with an agenda, I prove it. It is founded on argument. For you to say that we all come with pre-conceived notions does not justify the ill-usage of scripture by the Church.

    You are not the first Christian to come here and imply that Maimonides imposed a new understanding of the Shema on the Jewish people. Attempting to discredit Maimonides will not alter the facts. Before Maimonides, the Jewish people did not hold to a multiplicity of the godhead. He did not alter the Jewish religion in this great untraceable way that you and others have attempted to imply. This tactic taken by so many missionaries is quite distasteful for its dishonesty. You should know that in your attempt to discredit Maimonides, you discredit yourself.

    I see no plural “creators” in Ecclesiastes 12 but the singular. Nor do I see a plural in Job 35 but a singular. Perhaps Dina or R’ Blumenthal could look into this.

    I will make a separate post for “our image.” I need to lie back down soon. But I will say this, quickly, before doing so:

    It is curious how firm a hold with which the Church grasps “our image”. You are not the first to come here to teach us that God is a plural and that the Shema does not mean what it says. And just like others, you grasp onto a verse here or there to prop up the notion of a trinity. And yet you, and all the other missionaries that come here, somehow ignore the vast testimony of Torah that God is singular. The verbs associated with His actions are singular. Moreover you ignore that God speaks of Himself usually in the first-person singular: “I am the God who took you out, etc.” It does not say “We are the god.” It is unsound to make of the anomalies a teaching that contradicts the bulk of Torah.

    Jim

  30. KAVI says:

    Dina,
    You are mistaken when saying,
    [] Exodus 4:16. “God tells Moses he will be an E-lohim to Aaron. So tell me, please, how many persons were in Moses’s humanhead?”

    *** Actually, G-d tells Moses he would be Elohim to PHAROAH and Aaron would be the PROPHET to Moses.

    Obviously G-d is drawing a parallel between Israel and Egypt– there is nothing in the text that says Moses is actually an Elohim nor that Aaron is actually the prophet of Moses.

    • KAVI The text explicitly says that Moses is Pharaoh’s “elohim” and that Aaron is his (Moses’) prophet – so answer the question – was Moses a trinity?

      • Dina says:

        Rabbi, maybe I missed something, but reading the verse yet again, it appears that Hashem is telling Moshe that Aaron will be his mouth and he will be Aaron’s leader. Pharaoh is not mentioned in the whole passage. Is that right?

    • Dina says:

      Kavi, do you know how to read a verse in context? Do you know how to understand the plain meaning of the text? I can’t debate with you if you brazenly make stuff up. Shame on you, sir!

      Please answer my points honestly if you can and if you dare. Otherwise, this discussion is pointless.

      • KAVI says:

        Oops! For some reason I wrote down Exodus 7:1 as well.

        Sorry!
        _____________

        As to Exodus 4:15-16, the text says Moses would be “as Elohim” to Aaron– which is simply a parallel expression that is far, far from saying that Moses is actually “Elohim”.

        The same parallelism is found in Exodus 7:1 where the comparison is drawn between Israel and Egypt.

        • Fred says:

          Exactly correct, Kavi. So if you are smart enough to get this, why are you not able to correctly interpret, and accept, plain scripture where your “man god”, or lack thereof, is concerned? Is it possible that the “blindness” Christians have projected upon the Jews has instead been visited upon themselves?

        • KAVI
          the Hebrew does not have the word “as” in there – so your point does not stand

          • Fred says:

            I was going to mention that, rabbi. 🙂

          • KAVI says:

            Well, yes and no.

            One could choose to translate parallelism of the text with “as Elohim” or choose the JPS 1917 translation “and thou shalt be to him in God’s stead.”

            Though different, neither translation suggests that Moses is actually Elohim.

          • Dina says:

            Or…one could choose to learn Hebrew and stop making a fool of himself arguing about a language he does not speak.

            As anyone who speaks more than one language knows, it’s impossible to translate exactly from one language to another and nuances often get lost in translation. When a theological argument hinges on nuances, it’s essential to understand the language.

          • KAVI says:

            Dina,
            Again, it’s not my translation– but if you wish to argue with the JPS [Jewish Publication Society] 1917 translation, you are free to do so.

          • KAVI
            As a representative of falsehood you can continue to wallow in your ignorance. the JPS is not “translating” in this instance but putting their own theological spin on this verse. You can choose to study the Hebrew and see that your position is ridiculous or you can close your ears and eyes and stick to the story that the masters of persuasion sold you – that the Jews are blind – your choice

  31. KAVI says:

    As to the plurality and singularity of Elohim– it is not me who instructs, but Rabbi Tovia Singer:

    To quote from his website:
    “The word Elohim possesses a plural intensive syntax and is singular in meaning. In Hebrew, the suffix ים (im), mainly indicates a masculine plural. However with Elohim the construction is grammatically singular, (i.e. it governs a singular verb or adjective) when referring to the God of Israel, but grammatically plural elohim (i.e. taking a plural verb or adjective) when used of pagan divinities (Psalms 96:5; 97:7).”

    “Finally, it is important that we explore the crucial message which the name Elohim conveys to the Children of Israel. To be sure, two questions must be answered. 1) Why does the Torah employ this intensive plural name for the Almighty throughout the Torah? 2) Why is this name predominant throughout the creation narrative in the beginning of Genesis?”

    To summarize:
    [] R.Singer recognizes that Elohim is “intensive” plural with singular meaning [which does not at all disprove that Elohim exists in complex, “Echad” tri-unity]
    [] R.Singer recognizes the problem of the ‘plurality’ of Elohim by posing two questions along his own “interpretations” [which you can read at your own leisure].

    Are you saying R.Singer doesn’t understand Hebrew?

    Are you deferring to modern rabbinical teaching and scrapping what Moses taught us by his own personal example?

    • Dina says:

      Kavi, you wrote: “Are you deferring to modern rabbinical teaching and scrapping what Moses taught us by his own personal example?”

      What did Moses teach by his personal example that we as Jews do not follow today? He worshiped Jesus? Are you kidding?

  32. Fred says:

    >>>> R.Singer recognizes that Elohim is “intensive” plural with singular meaning [which does not at all disprove that Elohim exists in complex, “Echad” tri-unity]<<<<

    Um, you think "plural intensive with a singular meaning" does not disprove an "echad triunity"? You apparently do not understand English any better than you understand Hebrew. Plural intensive means the fullness of God's power. It has nothing to do an implied complex plurality of being. Smith's Bible dictionary, a Christian book, even stated that the idea of elohim suggesting a plurality of persons hardly finds a supporter among modern Christian linguists and scholars. There are almost no professional Christian apologists any more that argue for the trinity being implied in the Tanakh. They know very well that strict monotheism is the theme of Tanakh and of pre-Christian Judaism. You are several decades behind the curve, even for a Christian. 🙂

  33. Jim says:

    Kavi,

    Regarding your post here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/starting-points-by-concerned-reader/#comment-25145 .

    It is rather strange that you would quote from R’ Singer in an attempt to bolster your theology, particularly when he argues so eloquently against it. It is clear to the reader of your comments that you have performed a selective reading of the work, focusing on the word “plural”. Even though you have quoted a couple paragraphs of his work, you have read in a knee-jerk fashion, looking only for a justification to consider God a plural entity. This is shown by the way you sum up that his teaching does not disprove the trinity, which, by the way, was not the point of his article.

    But here we have two understandings of the word “Elokim,” as applied to God, R’ Singer’s and yours. How shall we sort through the two and determine whose approach is more reasonable?

    We will note first that yours is precluded by scripture. Torah tells us that God is alone and that there is none beside Him. If there is a godhead consisting of three persons, then they are not alone. You testify to this yourself by claiming that being made in the image of God means being made male and female, being in communion with someone else. This argument of yours is entirely at odds with open teaching about God.

    On the other hand, R’ Singer affirms scripture. He denies that there are multiple persons in the godhead and teaches unequivocally that God is alone. Between the two of you then, to whom shall I listen? To the one who teaches against scripture or to the one who aligns himself with scripture?

    Similarly, you claim that there are multiple persons in the godhead, as proven by the phrase “our image”. This “our” is in the first-person plural. This would seem to indicate that God is comprise of multiple persons?

    This can only be done by ignoring the vast majority of times God speaks. Normally, He speaks in the first-person singular. “I am the God who led you out, etc.” “I will bless you and make you, etc.” It becomes apparent that R’ Singer’s denial of the trinity is well-supported by the pronouns employed by Torah when God speaks. What to make of “our image”? I still plan a separate post for that, but I will state that this is an anomaly that demands our attention. But we must not hastily jump to conclusions that clearly contradict the teaching of Torah.

    We can look to another proof, that of the verbs associated with God. As I already mentioned, the very first verb associated with Elokim is a singular verb, not plural. But if Elokim is a trinity, three persons, then the verb should be plural. In English, this is the difference between “he runs” and “they run”. Or in this case “God (singular) creates” and “God[s] (plural) create.” The subject and verb must agree. You cannot have “He create” and “They creates”. The verb, being singular, tells us that Elokim is singular. It has become apparent that R’ Singer’s arguments are well-founded while yours rely upon nothing but assertion.

    It is also apparent that you have confused a word with the thing-itself. When I teach my daughters about nouns, I am careful to tell define “noun” as “a word that names a person, place, or thing.” It is an error to just say that a noun “is a person, place, or thing.” To illustrate the difference, I point to a desk or book and ask if it is a noun. The correct answer is “no”. The object is not a word at all. Nouns are parts of speech, not existing objects. The words “desk” and “book” are nouns, not the things themselves.

    R’ Singer has made this distinction plain. The word “Elokim” takes on a plural ending. But it refers, when speaking of God, to a single personality, which is shown by the pronouns associated with it and the conjugations of the verbs associated with it. The God referred to—the actual Being-itself—under discussion is not plural. A word that names Him has a plural ending.

    So, why? In English, I cannot think of a similar usage. I may just be overlooking something. We would say something like “All-powerful” or the “Power over all powers”. “Power over all powers” is somewhat reflective of what happens in the Hebrew, as the word “power” is repeated. Succinctly said, the intensive plural in Hebrew shows a superlative while not indicating multiplicity in the thing-itself.

    In any case, when comparing your approach to R’ Singer’s it is quite clear that his is the more reasonable. His is consonant with the teaching of scripture. It accounts for the whole of the language and not just the one anomaly. He accounts for verbs and pronouns associated with the word, evidence that you have ignored in your desire to uphold Church doctrine. Your conclusion is just not sound.

    Jim

    P.S. Do you acknowledge an error when quoting Ecclesiastes 12 and Job 35 as indicating “creators”?

  34. KAVI says:

    Moses wrote of his personal experience of the Echad ‘Tetragrammaton Plurality’ by writing of the LORD who he “could not see” and the LORD who he “could see.”

    [] Adonai, The LORD – who NO man can see [Exodus 33]
    [] Adonai, The LORD – who Moses could NOT SEE His Face, but did SEE His Back and His Hand [Exodus 33]
    [] Adonai, The LORD – who Moses SAW and spoke with ‘Face to Face’ [Exodus 33]

    Moses wrote frankly and honestly— so why should I abandon his writings?

    • Jim says:

      Kavi,

      I am sure you will notice, as I have, that you have not answered the arguments I presented that refute your claims regarding the plural nature of “Elokim”. This may not trouble you, but it should. If your position was as clear as you assert it to be, you should have been able to show why my arguments are unsound.

      If we are honest, I think we will agree that you have an impossible task. The first of the ten statements begins: “I am HaShem, your God, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, etc.” What do we notice? The singular pronoun, “anochi” in Hebrew, “I” in English. And this “I” is employed in relation to the word “Elokim,” which the Church has taught you is a plural person. Clearly this is not so, or else the word would be “we,” “anachnu”. The verse would read “We are the god who, etc.” Moreover, my understanding of the verb is that it is in the singular, as well. If Dina would be so kind to aid me again by verifying or correcting this point, I would consider it a kindness.

      So, we have an essential verse from the Torah that not only indicates that Elokim refers to a single person, it also teaches that the Jews are indebted to one entity and have had direct experience with that same entity. Also essential, they are taught not to worship any other entity. This being the case, your defense of a triune Elokim is nigh unto impossible. And I can see why you did not even attempt to answer these arguments.

      But let us consider your point that Moses wrote “frankly and honestly” in writing about a member of the godhead he could see and one he could not. By “frankly and honestly,” I can only assume you mean clearly. Neither of us holds that he wrote “dishonestly” so there is no point of contention there. We only disagree about the interpretation of certain passages that the Church uses to assert a trinity. So we are looking for open, clear teachings on these multiple persons.

      I believe you have greatly overstated your case. I suggest that a teaching is clear when it is stated outright. For example: “You have been shown in order to know that HaShem, He is the God! There is none beside Him!” (Deut. 4:35). This states clearly that God is alone with no one else. (Note also the singular pronouns related to God, “he” and “him,” not just singular in the translation but in the Hebrew.) This verse requires no ‘heavy lifting’ on the part of the reader to understand its meaning. In the context of the passage, moreover, it emphasizes that this is how the Jewish people are to understand God, that another understanding is corrupt, and that this is their testimony and the purpose for which God revealed Himself to them. All of this is stated directly in the text.

      Now, let us turn our attention to Exodus 33, a pet chapter of the Church. This chapter, if I understand you correctly, is supposed to clearly indicate one member of the godhead that can be seen and another that cannot. (By your three points, do I understand that you believe that all three members of the trinity are to be understood in this verse?) The first objection I will have is that certain words do not appear that one would expect if we are to call this a clear teaching of the trinity. The first of those words is “trinity”. Reading between the lines is not a mark of clear teaching.

      Other terms that would bring a level of clarity are “Son of God” or “Son of Man”. If you take the third member to be mentioned here, then one might expect also “Holy Spirit”. None of these words tied up with Church doctrine appears in this chapter that is supposed to be clearly telling us about the trinity.

      Nor does a clear passing of the torch from one member of the trinity to another. As Moses speaks with each member, he does not differentiate between them. The chapter refers to them all by one name, the holy name. Clarity demands that each be referred to by a separate name, which of course the Church practices. For example the Church refers to them as father, son, and holy spirit. No such differentiation for clarity happens in Exodus 33. This cannot be considered clear, or if you prefer, “frank”.

      Other notions that you take for granted are not clearly spelled out in the chapter. You take it that Moses saw God’s face. This is not said. This is your interpretation of the phrase “face to face”. This is unsound. This is informing the reader that Moses had a clear communication with HaShem. It is a metaphor. We know what it means, because it is immediately explained that HaShem spoke to Moses “as a man would speak with his fellow”. We know from Numbers that other prophets did not perceive God like this. They understood things through visions and dreams. HaShem’s communication with Moses was more clear and direct. It does not mean that God has a face or that Moses saw it. Certainly, it does not make it clear.

      What also refutes the notion that this is clear is that the topic is nothing to do with the nature of God. Note in the verse I quoted, the subject was about how to think about God. The chapter you quote is not about God’s nature or how he is to be understood. The following chapter is about how to understand God, and you will note that it is not through a physical being. It is through his actions: “HaShem, HaShem, God, Compassionate and Gracious, Slow to Anger, and Abundant in Kindness in Truth; Preserver of Kindness for thousands of generations, Forgiver of Iniquity, Willful Sin, and Error, and Who Cleanses—but does not cleanse completely, recalling the iniquity of parents upon children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generations” (Ex. 34:6-7). Now, as HaShem informs us about Himself, it is not a reference to a body (which he did not want us to understand him as having. See Deut. 4.) He wishes us to understand Him through these actions.

      Once again, we have a contrast. We have clear statements that there is none beside God. It is stated outright. On the other hand, the Church says we have a clear teaching to the opposite. They ignore the clear teaching and read into a passage that has some obscurity in it. Then they plug in their theology into the areas of obscurity. But their teaching, while clearly contradicted by Torah is not clearly taught. None of the terms one would expect appear in this passage supposed to teach about the trinity.

      Kavi, I hope you begin to see that it is not the Jewish people, or b’nei Noach like myself, who urge you to abandon Torah. The Church has alienated you from Torah, distorting its teachings, even promoting a form of worship foreign to the Torah. The Church has replaced the teaching of Torah with doctrines of men. I would not have you abandon Torah but rather cling to it. The Torah is life and light, but the worship of a man is vanity.

      Jim

  35. Fred says:

    You shouldn’t abandon them. You just do not understand them because you are reading with a preconceived commitment to a mangod. You are emotionally invested in Christianity, and that can lead to cognitive dissonance. There is no indication in the text that God “switched persons” from one god-being that was invisible to another god-being that was visible. God said, “Nobody can see me and live” and “as my GLORY passes by”. So because Moses saw his “back parts” ( which were already contextually defined as “God’s glory”), you believe God “switched persons” in mid-sentence, and that it was God the Father who said “Nobody can see me and live” and then Jesus snuck into the conversation and said “I will cover you with my hand ( big hand!) and let you see my back parts”, without Moses ever mentioning that he was speaking to two different persons at once? Were that the case, Moses would no doubt have mentioned it. You need to understand the different between an anthropomorphism and a literal comment. The Bible also speaks of trees clapping their hands. Do believe in trees with hands as well?

  36. Jim says:

    Kavi,

    In answer to your comments, here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/starting-points-by-concerned-reader/#comment-25132 .

    I have already shown that the word “Elokim” does not indicate a plural entity, so I will not repeat myself here on that point, except where it is relevant to the text immediately in question which is Genesis 1:26-27. In that vein, allow me to bring your attention to an error you have made. In your zeal, you wrote: “Moses taught that husband and wife DO reflect something of Elohim’s Form because we are made according to ‘Their Image.’” Those quotes around “Their Image” are an incredible error, which leads to an accidental but unfortunate misrepresentation of Torah. The Torah does not say that God created humanity in “Their Image” but “His image” (Gen. 1:27). “His image,” singular. Keep this in mind for later.

    Let us begin at the beginning. You may have noticed that I have mentioned several times the topic of a passage. The passages the Church employs to teach a trinity seem never to be about the nature of God. The topics of the passages always seem to be about something else. And when we turn to this passage, we will find ourselves in a similar predicament. When you look at this chapter or even these verses, you do not find that they are about God’s nature. The chapter as a whole is about the creation of the universe, and the verses in question are about the creation of humanity.

    In fact, Torah jumps right into the middle of things. It does not introduce us to God at all. It does not begin by telling us just what sort of God this is. It does not even tell us why He decided to create the universe. This being the case, we have to ask what v. 26 is doing here altogether. He has created light, stars, oceans, trees, life, all manner of things but one, and then He interrupts the creation to draw our attention to the creation of humanity.

    Suddenly, God contemplates an act of creation (so to speak.) He makes a proclamation. Something different is happening. But this proclamation is not about Himself. It is about humanity. God has made all these other things, but humanity will be different: “Let us make Man in Our image, after our likeness, that they shall rule over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over the animal, over the whole earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” This is not a statement about God’s being. It is drawing our attention to something significant and different in the creation process. Once again, the Church looks for the nature of God in a passage not addressing that concern.

    And the Church fails to note an important point. The act of creating humanity is not in the plural. It is not a ‘they’ who creates humanity, but one being. We know this from the verb again, “bara”. It is not a plural verb form; it is in the singular. And then, as I’ve already mentioned, they are created in His image, not ‘their image’.

    (Kavi, I ask you to consider the possibility that the Church has ignored or overlooked the details that do not support their interpretation, that it has seized upon a word or phrase here, some anomaly, and not used the text to find an interpretation, understanding of what HaShem would teach us, but instead jumped to conclusions. Please consider the possibility that they have used these anomalies to push their own doctrines into the text.)

    These things being said, we have good reason to consider this a proclamation in the royal “we”. Something different is happening in the act of creation than was being done before. And none of the plural in the declamation are carried on outside the declamation. The “our” reverts to “his”. The verb is singular.

    Now let us turn our attention to whether or not husband and wife reflect the image of God. When you write this, you do not really mean it. You do not mean that the father and the son of the Christian godhead are also husband and wife. (I assume.) The Church has badly abused this text. It is obvious that being male and female is not what it means to be made in God’s image for a few reasons. First, the Church does not hold that God is male and female. They are using the verse dishonestly, ignoring all other considerations to find a multiplicity that is one. Second, most animal species are male and female. This definition makes them all made in the image of God, at least those that reproduce sexually. By the definition put forward by the Church here, the existence of any species with multiple members is made in the image of God.

    Also, if you say that humanity is made in God’s image only when they are wed, or at least sexually intimate, then you must say that until a human performs that necessary act, he is not made in the image of God. A betulah—a virgin—would not yet be in the image of God, according to you. But now, let us turn our attention to Gen. 9:6: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God He made man.” By this definition, a man who murders a betulah is not subject to this verse, because his victim is not yet in the image of God. Only married victims of murder, or at least sexually active, will provoke the death penalty.

    (A further complication, which you may have noted in the previous paragraph, is that if you say sexual congress makes one “one flesh” with another and so puts one in the image of God, then a sinful act, such as adultery, would make one in the image of God. This surely cannot be correct!)

    If we turn our attention back to the original declaration, we see that God links being made in His image to giving humanity dominion over the world. What links these two ideas? Surely not that humanity comes in pairs! No, it is that human beings will not be ruled by their instincts but by their intellects. It is apparent that this is what distinguishes humans from other animals. He has instincts, but he has also a mind. He is a thinker. This is what it means to be made in the image of God.

    We see, in fact, that even before Eve had been made, Adam had dominion over the animals. In Gen. 2, he names all of the animals. This is an intellectual act, identifying the properties of the animals and naming them accordingly. It is an act of knowledge and understanding. From this we see that dominion over the animal world, which was linked to making humanity in God’s image, was practiced before there were multiple human persons. This shows us that multiple-personhood is not what it means to be made in the image of God.

    We must conclude that the Church has badly erred in its interpretation of “Our Image”. They missed clues in the text, such as the singular pronoun used in the act of creation, “His image,” and the singular verb. They failed to identify the topic of the passage. Their conclusions do not fit in well with the rest of the text. Worst, their conclusion flies in the face of open scripture that declares that there is none beside God. Their interpretation is one flatly denied by the text.

    Jim

    P.S. Glancing back over your comment, I am reminded it was here that you referenced “creators” in Job and Ecclesiastes. I remind you that these passages do not put use the plural of “creator”. Do you retract this error?

    • Dina says:

      Kavi also has not answered my challenges. Moses is called E-lohim in Exodus 4; is he a trinity? Can Kavi explain how every instance of “echad” in Tanach is a complex unity?

  37. KAVI says:

    Jim,
    I cannot retract that the plural Hebrew words for “Creators” and “Makers” exist in a number of places in the Tanakh because they do indeed exist in the plural.

    [a] CREATORS – Ecclesiastes 12:1

    [b] MAKERS – Job 35:10, Psalm 149:2, Isaiah 54:5

    There should be no ‘shock’ factor because this information is not new— perhaps it has been ‘hidden’ away as an inconvenience to the theology of some [whether Jew or Gentile], but it is not new.

    BTW> On a related note, R.Singer is incorrect. The word ‘Elohim’ exists with plural verbs when referring to ADONAI— see Genesis 20:13, Genesis. 35:7, 2 Samuel 7:23, and Psalm 58:11[12]

    Note: All Scripture references listed above along with ensuing discussion can be found on the Judaism Stackexchange website.

    • Dina says:

      Kavi, let’s look at those references:

      Ecclesiastes 12:1: “And remember your Creator.” Kavi, if this word is plural, then what is the singular form?

      The following words are “in the days of your youth,” which according to your logic, would have to be translated as “your [singular] youths.”

      If you can answer this question, then maybe we’ll have something to talk about.

      As for the remaining references, here’s a challenge:

      Count up the number of times that “Maker” appears in plural form versus singular form and give us the ratio. Also count up the number of times “E-lohim” appears with a plural verb versus a singular verb and give us the ratio.

      After you crunch the numbers I think we’ll have more to discuss.

      I’m not holding my breath. You still haven’t answered my challenge on finding all the times the word “echad” appears in the Torah and explaining how it means complex unity in each instance.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Kavi, if G-d can tabernacle in the form of a man, can he not also logically tabernacle to become a woman? A bush? Fire? a Cloud? Judaism focuses on how G-d commanded that he ought to be worshiped by Israel, ideally he does not leave the details open to these kind of hypothetical scenarios.

        Once you teach a “complex unity” G-d could well be 3 in 1 or he could be 10 in 1 or 26,000,000 in 1 based on the ambiguous verses you are employing. Even if we were to say that theoretically G-d could have a complex unity, or that he could take on flesh, even your NT acknowledges that this notion sets a dangerous precedent for future deceptions, a la the Christian anti-Christ tradition. For every true “incarnation” of G-d there could be literally thousands of false claims to incarnation, and your own book acknowledges this as something that can happen. That’s why the Torah says “guard yourselves very carefully lest you become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol THE IMAGE OF ANY SHAPE.” It further says not to worship the whole host of heaven. Israel heard the sound of words from the midst of fire, but that doesn’t mean to worship fire, right?

        The same verses you are using to justify a trinity of persons many others have used to justify a greater and lesser god, (gnosticism) or innumerable attributes of an unknown G-d, and various other things.

        This is why Deuteronomy 4:32-35 teaches that Israel has to filter claims about G-d through the Sinai experience.

    • Jim says:

      Kavi,

      I find it strange that you now need to go to Gen. 20:13 and the other few verses cited to find verbs with plural construction related to God. I am thankful, of course, that you have recognized the problem with your original comment. You have quietly acknowledged that a god with multiple personalities requires plural verbs. Thank you for your honesty.

      However, then you have side-stepped the issue quietly. You indicated that the creation of man, when God employs the majestic plural indicated his plurality. It is there that we should find then plural verb, not just anywhere. And yet, when we look in this passage, one of the Church’s primary texts for the trinity, we find the plural constructed in the singular. What do they do then? They send you to a random text, not at all connected to this primary passage and find one seemingly plural-constructed verb. Yet, it is not just anywhere that we should be looking for the plural verb but in the passage the Church designated as indicating the multiplicity of the godhead. They have us looking in the wrong place.

      When the Church seizes upon an oddity in a word here or there, they do not seek understanding. They seek an opportunity to put their doctrine into the Torah. In your new support verses, the verbs may be plural, I do not know. But I could not read from these anomalies a multiplicity in the godhead. First, I would have to ignore the vast majority of singular verbs. Second, I would have to question their placement. The context of Gen. 20 for example has no reason to associate God with a multiplicity. God is not even the topic of the verse. The Church has obviously seized upon a weak support because it has no better. Do not let them trouble you with such silliness.

      Jim

  38. KAVI says:

    Dina,
    As you know, in Exodus 4:14-16, we find HaShem none too pleased with Moses’ lack of obedience to Him.

    However, HaShem did find a way to use Aaron as an intermediary.

    [] The JPS Tanakh 1917 has Exodus 4:16
    “And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people; and it shall come to pass, that he shall be to thee a mouth, and thou shalt be to him in God’s stead.”

    [] Using a more literal translation, we have Exodus 4:16
    “and he, he hath spoken for thee unto the people, and it hath come to pass, he — he is to thee for a mouth, and thou — thou art to him for God;”

    It would be a mistake to say Moses was literal ‘elohim’ just as much as a mistake to say that Aaron was a literal ‘mouth’.

    Naturally, I understand that some may disagree— that’s ok. However, my opinion is shared by the JPS translators who, one would think, are not biased toward interpreting Elohim’s existence in complex unity.

    • Dina says:

      Kavi, I fail to see the relevance of any of these points to my previous comments. In fact, I fail to see how they are relevant at all. I would be grateful for a direct response to my challenges. Thank you and good luck!

    • Jim says:

      Kavi,

      You are missing the point. The Church taught you that the word ‘Elokim’ means a plurality (and ‘derived’ from the word that God is a plurality). Since the word ‘Elokim’ is applied to Moses (with the yud mem ending and everything!) the same logic would dictate that Moses was comprised of multiple personalities–the Mosehead. The word “Elokim” no matter how translated is still, according to the Church, a word that indicates by its very construction plurality. By acknowledging that Moses was not comprised of three persons, you acknowledge that ‘Elokim’ does not mean that God is comprised of three persons. This is not what Elokim indicates.

      Jim

  39. remi4321 says:

    Hi Jim, I am other gods in the singular are refer as elohim…

    For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess (elohim) of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

    Would that mean that a pagan god can be a trinity?

  40. Alan says:

    Concerned Reader,
    These phrases are from your article-
    “conversion experience.”
    “perceived personal experiences of Jesus”
    ” their experience of Jesus”

    I have never had an experience of anybody who has passed away. I know some Chabad Chassidim who have related their “rebbe experiences” with me. But I was never “blessed” to have such an experience. My great-uncle was an avid Jew for J and he told me about all of his crazy experiences of him having conversations with Jesus (not in a dream!). I wasn’t very close to this uncle and only met him later in my life a couple of years after I had become a “Beit Hillel Pharisee”. So I didn’t ask him any questions about his experiences, I just thought he was brainwashed and hallucinating. The person who was the impetus for me coming to this blog is an evangelical Christian who also shared his Jesus experiences with me and after about 6 months of bombarding me with Christian theology and telling me how much he loves Jews and Israel, when he finally saw that I rejected all of his beliefs in Jesus, he turned on me and instead of sending me articles from Christians who love Jews and Israel he started sending me information about how evil the Jews are, how G-d hates us, how the Christians are the true Israel and he even sent me a 2 hour video on how evil Israelis are (I only watched the first 5 minutes). It will take me a long time to get over how he turned from being a good friend to a vicious enemy.

    Could you please explain to me what a Jesus experience is and what % of Christians do you estimate have these experiences?

    • RT says:

      I won’t answer for CR, but as for me, I never experience that “conversion”. I saw people crying like crazy or feeling something in their heart. Some even speak in tongue. I do believe that some people feel in their heart something. The NT clearly say that the Holy Spirit will come to you. I wouldn’t be surprise if most people forced themselves to feel it (like a placebo effect). Some Pentecostal go to a such an extreme, even most Christians believe it is not from G-d. When I was a Christian, I had that frustration that I did not feel that the Holy Spirit was in me (it’s written in the NT that a conversion is supposed to happen). Most would say that they feel it, but to what extent is it true? Some say they have dreams, vision, prophecies, etc. I always doubt the validity of those claims. I think they are borderline non-sense, especially now that I believe that Jesus / trinity is not the truth.

    • Alan says:

      This evangelical Christian was a person I knew personally and we had a working relationship. We became friends when he realized I was a bible believing Jew – the first one he ever had a close relationship with. For a whole year it seemed we had a lot in common in terms of our devotion to God, our trying to be better people, working on our character, battling the yetzer hara, and other things in common. And we would have very nice conversations about these things we had in common. But after we stopped working together, he asked me if he could ask me some questions about the Jewish perspective on Jesus and Christianity. I took the bait. He wasn’t interested in listening to me, he wasn’t interested in the Jewish perspective, he wasnonly interested in a Jew – me. He wanted to see if he could convert me or get me to at least validate his beliefs. When he saw he completely failed, then the mask came off. He is no longer in touch with me and never apologized for sending me anti-semitic Christian material and an anti-Israel video.

  41. CP says:

    Alan,
    I’ve had the conversion experience and even more, although not to the extreme as your uncle relates, but I know what is real and what isn’t. My experiences where not sought after as experiences they just happened. Who shouldn’t seek after experiences with God? It is when people seek experiences for the sake of having an experience that things go astray.

    I apologize on behalf of your “Christian” friend. Please realize he is just frail human prone to emotions, mistakes and poor judgement like everyone else. You don’t have any of these in your camp?

    Times are changing and people like you will be used by Hashem to straighten that which is crooked. Straightening takes time and often more than one person. Trying to straighten quickly by oneself is to risk breaking rather than straightening. However breaking is sometimes required just as the stick(s) of Judah and Israel, but breaking is usually Hashem’s work, not ours.

  42. Concerned Reader says:

    Alan, I very much apologize that you had this person treat you so horribly like that. I guess I just grew up in a different kind of Christian home.

    I was raised as a non denominational protestant, but I also have Catholic family too, so I guess I just had exposure to different Christian views early, so I wasnt raised as dogmatically. I got chastized in Sunday school for asking too many questions. (I guess they must have been hard ball questions )

    My family believed Jesus was the son of G-d, not G-d, but I learned about the trinity too, (especially in college getting a degree in history and comparitive religion.)

    I was baptized at seven years old, and was told “G-d loves you, and everyone, so he sent his son to die for you etc ”

    The only “religious” experience I ever had was right after my baptism, feeling cleaner than clean, and just in general exuding positive feelings.”

    My understanding of Chriatianity was that since Jesus died for you, you couldnt earn G-d’s favor, because everything you had (including salvation,) was a freely given, free to take away gift.

    If you couldnt earn G-d’s praise or favor, how much more should you refrain from judging or persecuting someone different who didnt recieve that free gift.

    I never had an experience that lead me to feel any animosity towards Jews. I have a disability called CP, and the doctor who gave me the ability to walk for the 1st time was Jewish. (Not that this is impirtant, but I have a life because of him.)

    I also had very good friends in school who are Jewish. I only asked one of my friends once, “why dont Jews believe in Jesus,” out of a child’s mere curiosity. My friend said, “we dont need that man, and never will we have the Torah.” I figured that was fair enough.

    One of the things that made me agree with Christianity (at the time) was that if salvation is a free gift, it is supposed to take away the impetus to fight. It is supposed to de fang Jealousy, ambition, one upmanship, and just let you live peacefully. At that point, you follow commandments because they define the good, not because of rewards.

    As we both know, this never actually works. When you have billions of people following a religion, you will definitely run into some bad apples like your “friend.” Again, I’m so sorry to hear that someone abused your friendship like that.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Jesus never appeared to me, but I always enjoyed his sayings. He rebuked his own students as much as he did the leaders, so I never saw myself as somehow off the hook of personal responsibility, or special if I sinned.

      I also didnt see Jesus acting like the founders of other religions.

      He did say to follow him at all costs, and that he had all authority from the father,

      but he also said, “do not follow me if I do not do the work of my father.”

      He also (in the wilderness temptation) said

      “get away from me Satan for the .lord is G-d, and him only shall you serve.”

      I have never seen a religious figure that tells you “only follow me if I do x.” I had only seen Jesus do that. (Moses too )

      The NT also says Jesus’ job is to hand the kingdom over to G-d, so to me at least it meant that serving G-d was about serving the father, and Jesus was just the means to an end.

      Most religious teachers would say “i have authority to tell you x, so do it.”

      • RT says:

        Doesn’t that contradict the NT…

        because he (Jesus) taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

        It has been said, “Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.”[f] 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

        ‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.”[e] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

      • Alan says:

        “I have never seen a religious figure that tells you “only follow me if I do x.” I had only seen Jesus do that. (Moses too )”

        Moses didn’t actually need to say this and he didn’t say this as far as I know. The Jews followed Moses only because they saw and heard Hashem speaking to Moses. The Jews were all witnesses to the same event – that Hashem spoke to them and that He speaks to Moses – and this is the reason they can “believe” in Moses, “believe” in the sense that the words Moses gave over in Hashem’s name were reliable. So I don’t think Moses ever said anything like “only follow me if I do x”. I don’t think he ever demanded the people follow him. He only demanded the people follow Hashem and Hashem’s words which Moses gave over to them.

    • Alan says:

      “Alan, I very much apologize that you had this person treat you so horribly like that. I guess I just grew up in a different kind of Christian home.”

      There’s no reason for you to apologize for him. He’s not part of your people that you should feel embarrassed by him. He was raised Catholic and loved to tell me over and over again how he despises Catholicism, how it’s not even Christianity and how it’s idolatry as opposed to Christian and Jewish monotheism (notwithstanding he believes in a triune god). I never asked him what sect of Christianity he belongs to. I just assumed it was the evangelical type because he believes every word of the NT is from heaven, that there are no true contradictions or errors in it and he loves Jews and is very pro-Israel. But now that I see he hates Jews and Israel, maybe he’s not a pure evangelical.

      How common is it for born-agains and messianics to have visions of Jesus and other spiritual experiences of Jesus? The only two born-agains I have been friends with (one of them my great-uncle the Jew for J) both had intense experiences, my uncle had many of them.

      Most orthodox Jews don’t experience these things but we do perceive Hashem’s hand in our lives every day throughout the day, sometimes it’s more open than at other times. At special times such as during prayer and on the sabbath and holidays we can feel it even more intensely. But we don’t seem to have many visions.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        I never saw the risen Jesus as a believer. Many people claim that, but I don’t give thought to it. I always remembered that Jesus said “an adulterous generation seeks after a sign,” so I never put much stalk in people who claimed mystical experiences, or encounters with Jesus when I was a Christian. To me, the book says “nobody knows the day or hour,” and warns you against false visions and fables.

        Though the New Testament claims that Jesus is divine as per the gospel of John, (however a person interprets that,) the New Testament has several warnings in it against following miracles, wonder workers, and people who claim things like divinity who are not Jesus, or represent a false view of Jesus.

        In all orthodox Christian tradition, although Jesus is called G-d, he is always described as functionally subordinate, IE Jesus is supposed to be of one will with G-d the father, and always seeking the father’s glory, not his own.

        (My article “What does the Resurrection prove” is a good read for my views about that.Check it out.)

        Christianity has a tradition about a figure that Christians call the “anti Christ.” The New Testament describes anti Christs as those who denied that Jesus literally physically lived (Gnostics,) against people who wanted divine honors (like the Roman emperor Nero or the Prince of Tyre in Tanakh,) and the books warned sternly against simply accepting miracles or visions. The only way to know truth from falsehood according to the Christian Bible is the faith of Jesus and commandments IE his ethical standards and behavior.

        • Alan says:

          CR,

          Thank you very much! I thought about this some more over shabbat and remembered the following teaching in the Talmud (tractate Maakot 10b) that can explain why born-agains and messianics can have “Jesus experiences” (just like other people from other religions report that they experience their gods, spirits and prophets) –

          R. Huna reporting R. Eleazar said: From the Pentateuch, the Prophets and the Writings (i,e, all 3 parts of Tanach) it may be shown that one is allowed to follow the road he wishes to pursue. From the Pentateuch, as it is written, And God said to Balaam, “Thou shalt not go with them” and then it is written, “[If the men came to call thee] rise up and go with them.” From the Prophets, as it is written, “l am the Lord thy God who teacheth thee for thy profit, who leadeth thee by the way that thou will go.” From the Hagiographa, as it is written, “If he is of the scorners, he will [be allowed to] speak scorn and [if] of the meek, he will show forth grace.”

          • Alan says:

            Correction/clarification to the English translation of that piece from Tractate Makkos 10b. The actual translation is not exactly “one is allowed to follow the road he wishes to pursue”. The exact translation is “in the way a person wants to go, they lead him”. Who or what are the “they”? This was explained to me to mean that Hashem will command all the forces of the natural and spiritual worlds to help this person along the path he wants to go down. Hashem will cause doors to open for this person to make it easier for him to do what he wants to do and find what he wants to find. So if he’s set on finding for Jesus, Hashem might show him what he’s looking for. If he’s looking to purify himself, Hashem will help him along this path. If he’s set on defiling himself, Hashem might not stop him, but might actually open the doors for him.

            When RT said that he never had a “Jesus experience” I said baruch Hashem because it must be a tremendous test for a person to escape from these powerful experiences and to realize that he was just being tested.

            Deuteronomy 13 –

            If there arise in the midst of thee a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams–and he give thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke unto thee–saying: ‘Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them’; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or unto that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God putteth you to proof, to know whether ye do love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 5 After the LORD your God shall ye walk, and Him shall ye fear, and His commandments shall ye keep, and unto His voice shall ye hearken, and Him shall ye serve, and unto Him shall ye cleave.

            I think this passage can apply to a regular person who has these visions, dreams or experiences and not just to a false prophet who is trying to sway others. I believe a person can be a false prophet to himself. He experienced things that are very real to him. It must be very hard for him to realize he is facing an extremely difficult test and that Hashem wants him to make the right choice. I have no idea how difficult this test must be since I’ve never been tested this way myself.

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