Answers from an Orthodox Jew


#93

We know that an angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush, and God spoke to Moses through the Burning Bush. In Gen. 18 The Lord spoke through the 3 men who appeared to Abraham that Gen. 19 describes as angels . God speaks to His creatures through His creatures. After all, the word “angel” means messenger.

Not if one understands the language of theology. In Genesis we see how God speaks His creation into existence: “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

In theological language, God is The “Eternal Thought” who begets His “Eternal Word” and acts through the “Spirit of God”. As described in the Creation passages.

Man is made in the Image and Likeness of God; this means that Man has an intellect and a will, and the power to produce ideas. God is infinite, whereas Man is a tiny and limited creature, yet we reflect the Image and Likeness of God.

Theology describes the Trinity in human terms for us to grasp the unfolding Mystery of God. For example, in human nature the principle of generation is Fatherhood.

Thus instead of calling God “The Eternal Thought” we call Him “The Father”. The “Eternal Word” of God is called “The Son”. The Father eternally begets The Son.

In Catholicism, Jesus the historical man who split history in two, is the Word of God who became man. This is known as the Incarnation. This event in history ties in with all the messianic prophecies, which includes a suffering messiah.

The Mystery of God becoming Man in order to to suffer on behalf of Man to save us from sin is known as the Hypostatic Union which describes the divine and human nature in the one person of Christ.

God is a Mystery. We can only know as much about Him as we can deduce from nature and study what He has revealed about Himself. For Man to know the infinite God, it is God who has to reveal Himself to Man. We see this revelation with Abraham; by the time Moses comes along God reveals His Name I AM Who AM.

In the messianic prophecy the messiah is described:
“He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”. -Is.9:6

in Is. 43 God calls Himself Israel’s King, the Holy One, the only Redeemer.

In Catholicism, God’s unfolding revelation is about His relationship with Man, from Creator to Redeemer, Sanctifier and King; making us adopted children of The Father.

The idea of a military messiah who will use modern military weapons to crush enemies and create a worldly empire in the Middle East is incompatible with Catholic theology.

The redeemer conquers death itself so that all can have a share in God’s Eternal Kingdom as adopted members of His Family.


#94

This is probably a silly question…If I wanted to find out about eating/preparing a modern Kosher meal. What resource would you suggest?


#97

Catholicism is the fulfillment of Judaism, Christianity came out of Judaism. If you want to learn about Judaism, read the New Testament, a small collection of works written almost entirely by Jews.


#101

(post withdrawn by author, will be automatically deleted in 24 hours unless flagged)


#105

(post withdrawn by author, will be automatically deleted in 24 hours unless flagged)


#113

Listen, I did not intend to hurt your feelings. If I have, then I sincerely apologize. I’m just expressing my own feelings here on this thread which doesn’t seem off-topic. Again, if I have hurt you, then I apologize. Please accept this.


#114

We are brother? And sister in Christ. I will delete my posts to you. I apologize for my presumptive and impulsive flags. Please forgive me.


#115

I will delete my posts as well.


#116

Peace be with you.


#117

And also with you.


#118

Amen. :smile::dove::pray::church:


#119

Thank you @Moses613 for answering my question concerning Hasidic Judaism. I would have one more question regarding this. Would Orthodox Judaism also believe that when God Spoke and created the world, that he used the power of the alef-bet to do this? And would it be believed that mankind can also, to a certain extent, use this same power in some fashion? ( I don’t personally meditate on the alefbet, but I find this interesting.)

And would Orthodox Judaism also see symbols and meaning in each Hebrew letter? (I’m only familiar with Hasidic commentary in this area)

I guess that’s 3 questions :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you for taking the time to answer all of our questions.


#121

The Internet! :wink:


#122

God doesn’t act “through” any medium; you are still dividing God into parts. The Godly spirit mentioned in Creation is not a part or aspect of God and is not characterized as creating anything. The spirit (or literally, wind) is a created, cosmic force that executes the will of God. The spirit of God is “of God” in the sense that it only carries out God’s will and nothing contrary to His will, just like the “ark of God” (Sam. I ch.4) is named so because it contains the Torah, which is knowledge of God, and the “man of God” (I Kings ch.12&13) is a man who is singularly devoted to the will of God. In Judaism we distinguish between beri’ah, which is creatio ex nihilo and only accomplished by God’s unmediated will, and yetzirah, which is formation of previously created matter and energy into new forms. Spirit, angels and other forces including humans can be agents of yetzirah, but they are not any kind of aspect of God.

Whereas Man has intellect, will and power, and these are all separate facets of Man, they are a limited reflection of God, for whom intellect, will and power are all one. Your “thought” “word” and “spirit” are three gods.

We find in Maimonides’ Foundations of the Torah:

This God is One God; He is neither two nor more than two but One to whose Unity there is no comparison among the individual units in the universe; not like the unit of a genus which embraces many individual units, nor like the unit of a body which is divisible into parts and particles, but a Unit to Whose Unity no other unit in the universe is like…

The Holy One, blessed is He! recognizes His Own Truth and knows it as it really is; and He does not know with an intelligence which is apart from Himself, as we know, for, we and our intelligence are not one, but the Creator, may He be blessed! and His Intelligence and His Life are One from every lateral, angle and manner of Unity. Since but for this, He would live a life and understand with an intelligence apart from Himself, then there would be many gods, He, His life and His Intelligence; and it is not so, for He is One from every lateral, angle and manner of Unity. Consequently you must say that, what He knows, and that by which He is known, and the Intelligence itself are all One. But this matter the mouth has no power to express, nor the ear to perceive, neither is it within the heart of man to see it clearly. Therefore, it is spoken of, “the life of Pharoh” (Gen. 42,5) and “the life of thy soul” (Sam. 1.26), and it is not spoken of “the life of God,” but “the living God,” (Judg. 8.19) because the Creator and His life are not two, as are the lives of living bodies, or as the lives of angels. Wherefore, He does not recognize the creatures nor knows them because they are creatures as we know them, but by reason of knowing His Own Self does He know them. Therefore, because He knows His Own Self, He knows all; for, all depend upon Him in being.


#123

What you are actually saying, stripped of elegant verbiage, is that God has parts and that one of those parts became a physical body. A physical body is per se finite, which concept divides and limits God. This is idolatry.

We can know nothing positively about God’s essential nature, we can only deny Him imperfection. Therefore, we can only with certitude deny His finiteness, but we cannot describe or understand His infiniteness. We can deny multiplicity in Him, but we cannot understand His oneness. Since God has revealed His oneness to Man, we can immediately dismiss any idea that qualifies or limits that unity.

Well, yeah, because you believe in a god-man, and we believe in a God who is God, and a messiah who is a man, and those two beliefs are mutually exclusive. The messiah will bring about the final redemption, as an agent of God. The same way if someone saves my life, I will say that God saved me, but that man is not God. He is an agent of God.


#124

You’re welcome. There are so many great traditions, it’s hard to pick one. We just had the Passover Seder, which is really a big highlight of the year. It represents the fulfillment of several different Biblical commandments at once, strengthens the foundations of our faith and is one of the most powerful ways of transmitting that faith to the next generation.


#125

Lol I don’t know who “Ms. Sarah” is but I’m happy she seems to “heart” everything I write!


#126
  1. Well, this is getting into Kabbalah, and it all depends on what you mean by “used the power of”. God created the aleph-bet, in which the Torah is written and kabbalistic sources say that the Torah is a blueprint for Creation, made up of different permutations of these letters. Obviously, this is meant in some kind of metaphysical sense that I simply cannot explain to you.
  2. Some people believe that there is something called “Practical Kabbalah” whereby humans can manipulate spiritual forces to create supernatural results, if they know exactly how. Some people don’t believe in it. It’s not a fundamental part of the religion. There is a story in the Talmud that tells of a rabbi who created something by uttering a divine name, but this could be interpreted allegorically.
  3. Each letter has a significance and symbolism, especially in the context of the Torah.

#127

Ouch! The apologetics is becoming less user-friendly here.


#128

I didn’t come on here to argue about the trinity, in fact I’d rather not because I have no particular interest in trying to offend any Catholics. But I felt compelled to answer because I dislike the attitude of, “well, if you just understood our sophisticated theological ideas, you would get it.” I wanted to show that we understand and reject it and there is a fundamental divide here, and that we have our own answer. But I don’t think I should continue in this vein much longer, if at all.

Thanks.


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