Answers from an Orthodox Jew


#1

Not having visited the site since before Passover, I see many questions and comments directed toward me in the now-closed thread Ask me anything (almost) about Judaism
Therefore, I am just making known that I plan to address these questions in brief in this space, either later tonight or tomorrow. Thank you all for your interest. :slight_smile:


#2

Happy cake day, Moses!


#3

Happy Cake Day Moses!
I hope you had a blessed Passover!


#4

Thanks Irishmom2 and Kathleen18. I’m not exactly sure what Cake Day is but I did have some delicious pita bread today! Yesterday was the first day we were allowed non-matzo products.


#5

OH LOL I just saw the cake icon by my name :slight_smile: How many years has it been?


#6

It’s either your anniversary of joining, or your birthday!


#7

Were the pitas homemade/bakery or store bought? I like them, but forget about them. :blush:


#8

Hi Moses, my question is, what kind of Messiah are the Orthodox Jews expecting? A military or political figure, or both?


#9

Continuing the discussion from Ask me anything (almost) about Judaism:

Well, as meltzerboy indicated, we don’t necessarily believe anything has “changed”. Jewish/Israelite tribal affiliation has always followed the father. Therefore, someone whose father was a Levite and whose mother was a Benjaminite, will be considered a Levite. However. The status of being a member of the Jewish people at all is and has always been determined by only one criterion: Were you born to a Jewish mother? All the sages of the Talmud agree that a child born of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother is not Jewish. Any stories you see in the Bible where this appears to have occurred actually involved the mother accepting Torah observance. For example, King Solomon married foreign wives. They moved to Jerusalem and lived in the palace. They “converted” to Judaism, but in Biblical times this was not a term that was used. The practice of Torah Judaism was so intertwined with the peoplehood of the Israelites and their residence in the Land of Israel that it was simply understood that when a foreign woman moved in and married a local man, she accepted all beliefs and practices of his nation.
Much later in history, at the end of the book of Nehemiah, you see a very different case. The remnant of the Jewish people in Israel had taken foreign wives and their children were being brought up with idolatrous language and culture. In that case, the wives had not converted and started observing Jewish law and belief. So Nehemiah commanded the Jews to cast out their foreign wives! The children were not considered Jewish.
The only dispute in the Talmud is whether a child born of a non-Jewish father and a Jewish mother is perhaps not Jewish either, or perhaps considered to be of impaired pedigree. But the final decision of the Talmud and of Jewish Law - unanimously - since the time of the Talmud almost 2,000 years ago, is that those children are considered to be fully Jewish in all respects.


#10

They were store-bought, but baked fresh after Passover.

@Gab123, good question, but I’m retiring for the night. More tomorrow!


#11

:expressionless::neutral_face::woman_facepalming: seriously!!


#12

Kathleen18, please, no scrambling for the panic button :scream: as it only ends up shutting down interesting threads. Even Moses 613 thinks it’s an interesting question, so please stop projecting whatever is in your mind and presuming it onto others; sometimes it’s best to just be silent :shushing_face::zipper_mouth_face: :wink: A little more reflection and respect is in order, and a little less presumption please. We’re all friends here, and Moses613 is kind enough to answer our questions.


#13

I am watching to see whether or not things remain on target. And not becoming a promotion or unappropriate evangelization.


#15

Do Jews believe that Elijah was merely taken up into the sky and taken somewhere else on earth, or do they believe he was taken to wherever people go when they die?


#16

It is a public forum. :woman_shrugging:


#17

This is best summed up by Maimonides in his work Mishneh Torah, Book of Judges, section “Kings and Wars” Chapter 11:

The King Messiah will arise and re-establish the monarchy of David as it was in former times. He will build the Sanctuary and gather in the dispersed of Israel. All the earlier statutes will be restored as they once were. Sacrifices will be offered, the Sabbatical and Jubilee years will be observed, as commanded in the Torah. Anyone who does not believe in him or one who does not anticipate his coming not only denies the Prophets, but also the Torah and Moses our Teacher. For the Torah has given testimony about him saying, “And the Lord your G-d will turn your captivity and have compassion with you. He will return and gather you from all the peoples…If any of you should be dispersed at the ends of Heaven, from there G-d will gather you, from there He will fetch you. And the Lord, your G-d will bring you…” (Deut. 30:3-4). These matters are explicit in the Torah and include everything said by all the Prophets. It is even written in the Chapter of Balaam who prophesized about both the Messiahs. The first Messiah was David who saved Israel from her adversities. The final Messiah will be from his sons and will deliver Israel from the hands of the descendants of Esau. There it says, “I shall see him, but not now” (Numbers 24:17) - this refers to David; “I behold him, and not soon” (ibid.) - this is the King Messiah; “A star from Jacob shall step forth” (ibid.) - this is David; “and a scepter shall arise out of Israel” (ibid.) - this the King Messiah; “and shall smite through the corners of Moab” - this is David; and so it says, “And he smote Moab and measured them with a rope” (II Samuel 8:2); “and break down all the sons of Seth” (Numbers 24:17) - this is King Messiah of whom it says, “and his dominion shall be from sea to sea” (Zechariah 9:10); “and Edom shall be a possession” (Numbers 24:18) - this is David, as it says, “And Edom shall become slaves to David” (see II Samuel 8:6 and II Samuel 8:14); “Seir also, even his enemies, shall be a possession” (Numbers 24:18) - this is King Messiah, as it says, “And the saviors shall come upon Mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau…” (Obadiah 1:21).

It should not occur to you that the King Messiah must bring wondrous signs or perform marvels or invent new things or revive the dead or anything like what the fools say. It is not so. For Rabbi Akiva, one of the wisest of the Sages of the Mishna, was King Ben Coziba’s arms-bearer (i.e. staunch supporter) and said that he was the King Messiah. He and all the Sages of his generation thought that he was the King Messiah, until he was killed because of his sins. Since he was killed, they then understood that he was not the one. The Sages never asked of him neither a sign nor a wonder. So, the essence of the matter is like this: The Laws and the Statutes of the Torah never change. We may not add to them nor detract from them. Anyone who adds to or subtracts from them or reveals some new dimension to the Torah or understands the Commandments differently than their plain meaning is, for sure, an evil person and an Apikoris.
(cont’d in next msg)


#18

Now, if a king should arise from the House of David who is versed in Torah and engages in Commandments, as did David his forefather, in accordance with both the Written and the Oral Torahs, and he enjoins all of Israel to follow in its ways and encourages them to repair its breaches, and he fights the Wars of G-d (i.e. defends Israel), then he may be presumed to be the Messiah. If he succeeds in his efforts and defeats the enemies around and builds the Sanctuary in its proper place and gathers the dispersed of Israel, he is definitely the Messiah.
But, if he does not succeed in these matters or is killed, we will know that he was not the one Torah has promised. He is (merely to be considered) like all the (other) exemplary and qualified kings of the House of David who have died. G-d set him up only to try the masses, as it says, “And some of the wise will stumble, to refine among them and to purify and to make white, even to the time of the end, for it is yet for the time appointed” (Daniel 11:35).


#19

Elijah entered the non-physical spiritual world but since he never died, he can move back and forth between the physical and spiritual worlds.


#20

Thank you for taking your time to answer our questions. It helps me understand Judaism better. :hugs:


#21

I’m not sure how the forum etiquette works, if I should keep adding answers in “reply” to my original post or something else. In any case:

Continuing the discussion from Ask me anything (almost) about Judaism:

This fellow seems like he was definitely acting inappropriately. The only possible explanation I can think of is that 1) he was from Israel and it was the second day of Pesach, so he was not obligated to keep the second day, which explains why he was shopping and trying to buy something with a credit card 2) he didn’t want to sign his name because there are certain rules about what we may not do on the Intermediate Days of Passover (Chol HaMoed) and one of them is not writing. However, there are exceptions when the writing is important or necessary for something that day. So I really think he could have signed his name. In any case, a strange story.


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