Riding the Light – Excerpt from Seventh Response to D.L.

1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources

The greatest light is God’s truth. The greatest happiness of humanity is to receive that light – and God promised that humanity will one day merit to receive that light (Isaiah 60:3). At the time of creation, God planted certain basic truths into the hearts of human beings. This is our ability to sense right from wrong, to enjoy truth and to be repulsed by falsehood. God also chose a nation for Himself, and He planted certain truths into the heart of this nation (Deuteronomy 4:35). For many centuries the Jewish people walked with this truth, but their Gentile neighbors did not appreciate it. The miracles that God performed for Hezekiah represented a turning point in history. From that point on, the Gentile nations began to seek the God of Israel (Isaiah 19:18). The phenomena of Gentiles seeking the God of Israel continued to grow – until the time of…

View original post 1,120 more words

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Riding the Light – Excerpt from Seventh Response to D.L.

  1. Rabbi you are right to say that “Christians taught the world that the Jewish people are ‘false witnesses.'”
    I think one of the reasons is that there are several accounts in the N.T. that do influence with this wrong image of the Jewish people.

    Take the persecution of Stephen for example in Acts 6:13 -14 “they set false witnesses, saying this man keep speaking words against this holy place and the Law. Indeed we have heard him saying that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us”
    This gave many Christians the impression that Jewish people were false witnesses. However, is that what the author is trying to say? No! I believe it is trying to say that a true Christian like Stephen does NOT speak against the temple and the Mosaic Law and customs!!

    Those who heard the long sermon of Stephen and saw his angelic face tried to kill him. Were they called “false witnesses?” No. Acts 7:58 says “the WITNESSES laid aside their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.” As the prophet Elijah threw the garment onto Elisha to transfer (?) the prophetic ministry symbolically, the persecutors laid their garments onto Saul so that Saul persecute the church in order for the church to scatter throughout Judea and Samaria and preach the Gospel. The prophecy of gospel witnessing beyond Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria, spoken by Yeshua (Acts 1:8) has been fulfilled due to their persecution.

    The Jewish persecutors and the Pharisee Saul were all witnesses of God’ s work providentially.

    SAUL did not start the gospel ministry after the Damascus conversion, he already started when the persecutors’ garments were put on his feet.

    Without SAUL’ s persecution on David, David would not have become the king as God designed him to be. Without SAUL’ s persecution on church, church would not have become the light to the nations as God purposed her to be.

    • Gean Guk Jeon yes or no? Is it true testimony or false testimony when the Jewish people tell the world that the heart of every human being belongs to the God who created that hearty and to Him alone? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • True Testimony!! The heart of every human being bears the mark of God’s image and the HIS law, Paul calls it conscience.
        Jewish people, whether they reject the Gospel or not, their existence and their fearless devotion to God have made the history HIS story!

        • Alan says:

          Gean,
          Yes or no – is it true testimony when the Jewish people tell the world that the heart of every human being belongs only to God and not to God together with a being who is either 100% man or 100% man and 100% god?

  2. Yes!
    True testimony!
    As far as i understand Tanakh and N.T.,
    the most influential proponent of that testimony is Yeshua who showed the fellow human how to faithfully Serve HIM Only and obey the heart of God the Creator.
    “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the MAN Christ Jesus.” 1Timothy 2:5

    • LarryB says:

      Gean
      Are you saying serve Jesus only, and obey God?

      • My question is this: is it ok to praise and obey the Word of God like David did in Psalm 119? To Serve or to worship is עובד right?
        In Tanakh the wordעובד is used not only to Hashem but also between the men of God. How should we understand this?

        • Alan says:

          Gean,
          I’m sorry but I don’t understand what your are asking about the word “oved”. It means to work or to serve. The God of Israel doesn’t want us to serve words, not even his words. He doesn’t want us to serve the Torah or His commandments. He only wants us to serve Him. He has let us know how to serve Him through written and spoken words. So I’m not sure what you’re asking.

          • How do we serve God? Without His words and commands and Torah, how do we know Him, His will, and His desire for us to serve? How do we obey Him without hearing His words? Isnt it legitimate to say we serve and obey and work for His Words ?

          • Alan says:

            Gean,

            It is completely wrong to say we serve or work for God’s words. God’s words are not Him. They are the medium He uses to communicate with people. If we follow His words we are doing it to follow Him. It is pure idolatry to make His words into the boss.

          • Ok make sense and very clear brother.
            Let me ask you.
            The creator God is only one who stands FOREVER and all other creatures are not eternal. It is right or wrong?

          • Alan says:

            Gean,
            Only the Father is intrinsically eternal. He can share his enternity with people but our enternity is dependent on His independent eternity.

          • Amen.
            Also the word of our God is eternal too in Isaiah 40:8?

          • Alan says:

            “The word of our God will endure forever”.

            Gean, do you think the Tanakh is saying that God’s words are also gods to be worshiped. Is this what you think this verse means? Do you think it’s possible to understand this verse in a way that doesn’t make a god out of words?

          • Alan says:

            Gean,
            Using your logic that anything that is called eternal is God, from the following two verses you can make for yourself a few gods. You can make the seed of David god and also the sun and the moon god!

            Psalms 89: 37-38 –
            His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before Me.
            It shall be established for ever as the moon; and be steadfast as the witness in sky.’ Selah

            The sun, moon and seed of David are eternal, so let’s worship them too! Gean, could this possibly be what the Tanakh meant?

            And while were at it, let’s make some more gods.

            Psalms 100:5 –
            “For the LORD is good; His kindness endureth for ever” – let’s worship God’s kindness.

            Daniel 12:3 –
            And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn the many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. – let’s worship people who influence many to keep the commandments, after all, these people will shine eternally. They must be god too. See what you can do with the Tanakh if you make it your plaything?

          • I like it too Alan.
            Your argument is so strong.
            Let me ask you another one.
            The word of God is creature
            Like sun, moon, seed of David?
            I mean the word of God is something God creates from nothing?

          • Alan says:

            Gean,
            Yes, the word of God is a creation from nothing. It’s what He created to communicate with His creatures that have intelligence. Words and thoughts are also creations of His but they are less physical than the sun and the moon.

          • Thanks for the reply. Then why Torah does not say “in the beginning God created word” first before creating the world through the word?

          • Alan says:

            Gean,

            Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

            Which beginning did Hashem pick to start the Torah with? Hashem could have started the Torah from a different starting point, but He chose to begin the Torah with the creation of the heaven and the earth, not with creations that proceeded the heaven and earth. Hashem felt it wasn’t necessary for the text to let us know what came before the creation of heaven and earth. But we see that by Hashem’s speech – His words – He brought things into being –

            And God said: ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light.
            And God said: ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.’
            And God said: ‘Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so.
            And God said: ‘Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth.’ And it was so.
            and on and on…..

            God created with His words. The Torah just could have said “And God made light”, “And God made the firmament”, “And God made the earth put forth grass”. Instead the Torah let us know that God used speech to create everything.

            Also Psalms 33:6 tells us the same: “By the word of Hashem were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.”

            But your answer is in Proverbs chapter 8 which is all about the Torah – God’s words – before he created heaven and earth –

            22 The LORD made me as the beginning of His way, the first of His works of old.
            23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
            24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
            25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth;
            26 While as yet He had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the beginning of the dust of the world.
            27 When He established the heavens, I was there; when He set a circle upon the face of the deep,
            28 When He made firm the skies above, when the fountains of the deep showed their might,
            29 When He gave to the sea His decree, that the waters should not transgress His commandment, when He appointed the foundations of the earth;
            30 Then I was by Him, as a nursling; and I was daily all delight, playing always before Him,
            31 Playing in His habitable earth, and my delights are with the sons of men. {P}

          • Alan says:

            Gean,
            If you read the entire chapter 8 of Proverbs you will that the subject is speaking in the first person and that subject is Wisdom – God’s words – and you will see that it was brought into being from nothing before the heaven and earth were created. Also, if you still want to say that God and His words are one and the same, then you have to also say that everything in heaven and earth is also God because as we see in Genesis 1, everything in creation came into existence from His words – His words are the life of everything. Everything is His words. So you will also be forced into pantheism – that everything is identical with God.

          • Brother Alan.
            If God’s wisdom was created,
            Then God was not wise before he created it and had it? There was a time when God was not wise, thinking and acting unwisely?

          • Alan says:

            Gean,

            God had wisdom before He started making anything spiritual or physical. Just like we can’t know the true nature of God, we can’t know the true nature of His wisdom and knowledge. His wisdom and knowledge are not like our wisdom and knowledge. Before He could bring finite things into existence He needed to do something with His infinity so it wouldn’t drown out His creations. He had to do something with his infinite wisdom so that His creations could receive it and process it. So He made finite vessels called words that would conceal His infinite wisdom from His creations and that would also reveal as much of it that His creation could handle. Proverbs 8 is speaking about this vessel He made in order to share His infinite wisdom with His finite creations. The vessel is called the Torah and it is composed of other vessels called words.
            Only Hashem is infinite. Words are vessels – a finite creation.

          • LarryB says:

            Alan
            That’s really good!

          • Alan says:

            I’m glad you liked it my precious brother.

          • hello alan, in judaism do you have a belief in which Gods knowledge is part of him and is an essential attribute of God, but God speaking/communicating his knowledge is not essential attribute because God can CHOOSE WHEN to speak, but God CANNOT choose NOT to know because His knowledge is always part of him?

          • Alan says:

            MHC,
            Yes indeed.
            Just to expand on what you wrote – God’s infinity is beyond our understanding. We can’t really define or know what His wisdom and knowledge are. They are not separate attributes or parts of Him. He is one and we can’t understand what kind of oneness this is. We only use the words wisdom and knowledge about God metaphorically. There are no pieces or parts or attributes within Him that are “really one” like the trinity.

          • “He is one and we can’t understand what kind of oneness this is”

            yes, i agree. but we all know that 3 things are not 1 thing. and 3 in 1 is not one. we all know this.

          • Alan says:

            MHC,
            But Christians convince themselves that 3 in 1 is 1.
            “One” according to Judaism and Islam is that there are no distinctions or delineations in God and we can’t give a name to anything that He is – except that he IS. That’s really all we can say about what He is – that he exists. This explains why the main name for Hashem is the tetragramaton – the four letter name which is composed of the words haya (he was), hoveh (he is) and yiyeh (he will be) – He exists and gives existence. That’s really all we can say about WHAT He is. Everything else that He does is just an expression of what He values and wants. As soon as one gives a name to something and says that that something is Him, you have made an idol. Even the names of God are not Him; they are vessels and signs made for the sake of people to facilitate having a relationship with Him.

    • Alan says:

      Gean,
      So if you were in a difficult situation, God forbid, and you saw no way out, you would never call out to Yeshua, “Yeshua help me!” because you believe that the only one who runs the world and can save is the Father? And you believe that Yeshua was 100% man and 0% God?

      • Is it wrong to cry out to God that Gr8 may send His WORDS or Angel?
        And is it sin to ask for help God’s anointed king or prophet or angel? If i call “Yeshua help me,” i call him as a mediator between God and men, not as God himself. By the way, i think all the Jews and Christians are called to be the helping hands of God to one another.
        Yeshua was 100% man and all men has divine image and some divinity in them. Yeshua has full divinity, not in ontological term but in theological term. The NT teaches that The logos of God= word, wisdom, image, power, glory, son OF God.

        • Alan says:

          Gean,

          If you think the Father can’t save you without this other thing (Jesus) or you put your trust in this other thing to save you, it’s a big no-no. This violates “You shall serve no other powers” and “You shall have no other powers before Me.” This means not to put your trust in any forms for running the world or running your life.

          I don’t understand what you wrote:
          “Yeshua has full divinity, not in ontological term but in theological term.”

          • How did God save Adam, Cain, Noah, Abraham, His descendants, Ninevites, Jews in Babylonian Exile and all the nations? Through His Words!! God reveal His salavtion and His power through His Word. I trust 100% in God only. Psalm 119:42 ” … I trust in your Word..”

          • Alan says:

            Gean,
            We don’t worship His words. We try our best to fulfill His words in order to serve Him. We serve the Boss, not his ink, not his books, not his prophets.

          • Amen bro. We serve the Boss by obeying His words and work for His decree and commands and His heart revealed in His words, not by obeying ink and books.

          • Alan says:

            Gean,
            We don’t worship His words or His prophets.

          • What do you mean “worship” in this sentence?
            Bow down?
            Praise and sing?
            Work for?
            Trust?

          • Alan says:

            Gean,
            By “worship” I mean to recognize in your mind and to feel in your heart that everything you have is a pure gift of love from your Father. Everything good and not so good comes from His love for you and you want to thank Him by giving back to Him, by thanking Him in words, by thanking him by doing what He has asked us to do, by honoring Him and revering Him. To express your recognition and feeling that He is the source of life, He is with you always and He leads you on every step of your life. And you want to thank Him for his words and for the people that He has sent to help you in your life. We are obligated to thank others for the good they have done for us, but we cannot worship them for the good they have done for us. Do you get what I’m trying to say? If it’s not clear please ask further.

          • Alan says:

            Gean,
            I don’t understand what you wrote:
            “Yeshua has full divinity, not in ontological term but in theological term.”

  3. No! Brother Larry!
    Serve HaShem Only ! Yeshua said.
    Obey the heart of God the creator!
    He showed the example.
    You know how the N.T. teaches!

  4. Alan says:

    Gean,

    Could you please explain what you meant by:
    “Yeshua has full divinity, not in ontological term but in theological term.”

  5. Alan says:

    Gean,

    Could you please explain what you mean by:
    “Yeshua has full divinity, not in ontological term but in theological term.”

    • Im so sorry late. This one did not appear to my app but found out on the entire page. N.T. never says “Yeshua is God, nor God became flesh.” It says ” The word became flesh.” Theologically speaking, Yeshua as the Word- incarnated has full divinity as one who has full divine attributes. However, ontologically, if Yeshua IS God, it means God died on the cross or God resided only in Israel in around C.E. 30. This is not biblical nor logical.

      • Alan says:

        “The word became flesh.” Theologically speaking, Yeshua as the Word- incarnated has full divinity as one who has full divine attributes. ”

        After our discussion about God’s Word, do you still believe His Word is Him? If you do, then you have to go to the beach and worship the ocean and then worship the sun, and the seagulls and worship everything.

  6. Concerned Reader says:

    “Everything is His words. So you will also be forced into pantheism – that everything is identical with God.”

    Or into panentheism (where things exist within G-d sustained by godliness) Which many kabbalists actually teach is the case, (some teach this is true metaphorically, others teach it is true literally, hence the problem I have with the entire debate.)

    The way kabbalah has it is, If hashem were the sun, (Ein Sof) the cosmos would be like a messy mirror with bits of the diffuse light of the infinite shining through. (The “light” in the mirror is when we see evidence of providence in nature and providence through the acts of the Tzaddikim.)

    Moshiach (in this context) is described (even in Torah literature) as the panultimate righteous person second only to Moses.

    If providential acts of tzaddikim are like light shining through a dirty mirror, then acts of moshiach will be seen as the light or ” the words” through a polished mirror.

    And here is the problem I have. G-d’s words as you stated Alan are the “medium through which G-d works.” IE his puppet strings.

    So, while its true that you wouldn’t pray to the moshiach (the vessel through whom G-d will speak,) you would be compelled by scripture to obey that person, or cleave to that person and his example the way one cleaves to Tzaddikim, except that moshiach is the panultimate tzaddik.

    This is why Shabbatai Tzvi, Jacob Frank, Eva Frank, Rebbe Nachman, and the Rebbe of Lubavitch all got trapped in a situation where people idolize them, even when these people know the proper definitions of worship.

    The meaning of all these metaphors in simple terms is that Moshiach will be the best sock puppet who wont mess up like others have done.

    If the “words” existed before creation, and are the medium through which G-d acts, etc. Then the messiah claimant becomes the panultimate sock puppet of hashem through which the words work.

    He has titles like gate, door, word, second Adam, the name of hashem, etc. Attached as a metaphor that gets literalized by people, because metaphor or not, the messiah is described as that ideal agent.

    Look at Muhammad in Islam. The Muslims dont pray to him, dont consider him divine at all, profess the unity of G-d, abhor Shituf, but then they treat Muhammad as the ideal sock puppet to the extent that to question him is a worse heresy than questioning G-d. Islam becomes Idolatry without being formulated or framed as worship of another entity.

    In not praying to Muhammad, but viewing his words as panultimate, the Muslim idolizes him without knowledge or intention.

    The same happened to all the would be messiahs I listed above.

    • Alan says:

      CR,
      I am saying that His words are not Him. According to Genesis His words became everything. But His words are not Him. In Judaism, Moshiach is not perfect just like Moses was not perfect. If Moshiach can’t change the Torah. He can’t even belong to the Sanhedrin where the laws are debated and voted on. So the there is no comparison between the straight Torah and any other warped version of Torah. Do you get what I’m saying? If not please keep asking.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        I get what you are saying. What I’m saying is that what you mentioned has never prevented anyone (including Moses) from being idolized.

        You dont have to pray to something or consider it literally divine to idolize it.

        The folden calf was an attempt at creating a conduit to replace who? Moshe Rabbeinu.

        You are right that Moses wasnt perfect, neither were other Tzaddikim, that doesnt stop men from downplaying or white washing their faults and elevating them to the point of blurring lines.

        Everything I said above (about descriptions of moshiach) are metaphors that are found in second temple texts, midrashim, etc.

        • Alan says:

          CR,
          Your concerns are valid and based in reality. What would you do, if you could, so that people would never have the urge to idolize a kosher tzadik prophet like Moses, Moshiach, or any other kosher prophet? I guess your concern is only with a prophet not with a tzadik who is not a prophet?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            As I see it, I dont know the proper response, because even when these prophets and would be messiahs make it abundantly plain that they are not the focus, people make them the focus anyway.

            Jesus himself said, “why callest though me good, none is good but G-d.”

            Jesus himself told his disciples (after the alleged ressurection,) “do not hold on to me, for I have not ascended to my father.”

            Jesus himself said, “the father is greater than I.”

            In Therevada Buddhism, the Buddha tells his students”I am not divine do not worship me.” And yet, what heppens? Bhuddists make statues of him and meditate around Stupas that hold his remains.

            Jews know that they should not venerate the rabbis, and yet all the big guys have tombs that peole regularly visit, (but you cant fault them because its a biblical practice to visit tombs of the righteous.)

            One of the things that amazed me when I first started studying Judaism was how old the tradition of venerating the pious was.

            I was raised protestant, and we always thought Catholics were playing with idolatry when they would venerate pious saints.

            Imagine my surprise when I discovered that venerating pious people was the easiest and clearest link to draw between Judaism and Christianity. Both traditions do it without batting an eye lash.

            Its an issue I dont think there is a fix for. Scripture and tradition are full of metaphors that make the pious into near divine sock puppets. We just follow along without realizing it.

            The thing that stuns me the most is how the Christian Bible claims Jesus as the unique son of G-d, but then has the “anti Christ” tradition where they say

            “if anyone claims for their guy the things we say about Jesus, they are decieved heretics.”

            Thats why I dont think people’s claims of cognitive dissonance on the part of the students of Jesus hold any water.

            The students of Jesus themselves freely admitted and clearly undrrstood that “if anyone else claimed what Jesus claimed, it would be idolatry.” They knew that if Jesus was just some guy, they would be guilty.

          • Alan says:

            CR,
            You brought verses to show that Jesus didn’t want to be the focus. But what do you make of all the verses in which he does the opposite?

            Responsible Jewish leaders, teachers, prophets have to make it a very big priority not to make themselves the focus. And if they notice some of their students doing it anyway, they and the other students are responsible to help the misguided students get back on the right path. Jews have a very good track record of not making their leaders into idols. Hashem put in a lot of built-in checks and balances in the system that works pretty well but is not fool-proof (there will still be foolish people who will do what they want no matter what anybody says – and Hashem doesn’t take away their freewill to do so).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s