Answers from an Orthodox Jew


#129

I was privileged to go to Prague and spent a full day in the Jewish Quarter visiting the museums and various Synagogues. I learned all about the ''Prague Golem" which was ‘created’ in this fashion by the great Rabbi Loew during a time of great persecution. The Golem’s body is supposed to be in the attic of the Old-New Synagogue in Prague. All of Prague is just gorgeous.

Thank you for this thread. HaShem is the Great G-d and thank you for sharing His attributes with us as revealed in Holy Scripture. We may have vast theological differences, but there is great learning to be derived from studying from a Jewish perspective. It is very appreciated by most here.


#130

This is a great story, but most orthodox Jews who are “in the know” say this story is a myth, even if they believe in the concept of golem generally.

Thanks for your kind words.


#131

In Catholic theology, God is a spirit, thus He has no parts. God does not occupy a place, doesn’t have a size, doesn’t weigh anything, has no color, etc. God is outside of time and matter itself. Since God is Eternal and One without any parts, God is Unchangeable, He is Infinite, Eternal, Omnipotent, Omnipresent. God knows all things, not because He is vey smart, but because God IS Truth itself. God IS Goodness itself; God is Love itself.

Thus for God to create Man in His Image and Likeness, means that Man has an intellect and a will for a specific purpose: God. The purpose of our intellect is Truth (GOD). The purpose of our will is Goodness and Love (GOD). Thus we must love and serve God with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our strength, and with all our soul, because we are made for Truth; we are made for Love; We are made for God. We must also love neighbor as we love ourselves, because we are all made in the image and likeness of God.

Therefore, the divine Mystery of the Holy Trinity is the Oneness of God in whom there are three “Persons”: “Father”, “Son”, and “Holy Spirit” . As described earlier, the Eternal Thought Eternal Word and Eternal Spirit of God. Not three things, not three beings, but three relations that God Has within Himself.


#132

With mere human reason it is impossible. But with God’s revelation of Himself we can know things. For example, Man could have never known God’s name without Him revealing it to Man. So it’s a question of God’s self-revelation. We know about the Trinity because of what God has revealed about Himself.

The three divine Persons are only one God because they equally possesses the fullness of the one and indivisible divine nature. Thus theTorah begins with referring to God in the plural Elohim, not because God is many parts or many Gods, but because of the true nature of God, namely the Mystery of the Holy Trinity. They are distinct from each other by reason of the relations which place them in correspondence to each other:

The Father generates the Son; the Son is generated by the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.

We know this through God’s revelation of Himself. Christ fulfilled all the prophecies, performed countless miracles and showed authority over nature and life itself, thus the unfolding revelation of God to Man culminated with Jesus Christ.

The Eternal Word (the Son of God) became flesh and assumed a true humanity. Thus Christ’s physical body was finite; at the same time, in the body of Jesus we see God made visible. No longer do we relate to God as an abstraction but as someone who proved His love for us, someone who makes us inheritors of His Eternal Kingdom, someone whom we can know and love with our human affections and have a share in His Eternal Life.

The Eternal Word of God assumed a human nature in order to accomplish our salvation. As God and author of creation itself, the unique event of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word does not mean that Jesus Christ is part God and part man, nor does it mean that he is the result of a mix of the divine and the human.

The Eternal Word became truly man while remaining truly God. Thus Jesus Christ is true God and true man, thus to worship the Eternal Word of God is to worship God Himself.

Thus Jesus said “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” . . “I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me” . . “If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.”

God’s unfolding revelation of Himself culminated with Himself taking a human nature not only to dwell among us and teach us the Truth about Himself, but to take on a human nature in order to suffer for our sins on the cross as The True Lamb of God.


#133

The Tora states:
“I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” Isa. 43:3
" I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior." Isa. 43:11
“This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel” isa. 43:14

The list goes on. Then there are the prophecies of the suffering messiah which are overwhelming. It is God Himself who became Man the messiah. It may sound like a contradiction to you, but realize that God’s ways are not Man’s ways. All the first Christians were Jews who understood this after the resurrection of Christ. Catholicism itself is the flowering of Judaism. We are rooted in the Old Testament. I would recommend reading the New Testament not in the spirit of refuting, but in the spirit of discovering. God’s revelation continued in the New Testament.


#134

Can this thread stick to just what we want to know about the Jews and their beliefs. I do not want to read about the Catholic or Christian beliefs.


#135

How Orthodox Jews have come to read the prophecies of the Old Testament does ultimately boil down to the spirit of refutation since Rabbinic Judaism grew up in a world where Christianity came to be its main rival theologically (all the way up until Nicaea) where Christianity and Judaism were still fighting for the soul of the Abrahamic tradition in which, as historian Daniel Boyarin puts it,

“for at least the first three centuries of their common lives, Judaism in all of its forms and Christianity in all of its forms were part of one complex religious family, twins in a womb, contending with each other for identity and precedence, but sharing with each other the same spiritual food” - Dying for God: Martyrdom and the Making of Christianity and Judaism, p. 15.

But you see, what Rabbinic Jews miss, and fundamentally anyone who doesn’t understand the meaning of the resurrection (Muslims included), is that the resurrection of Christ is a world shattering event by which everything is flipped on its head. The resurrection of Christ is cosmic, and through it the Holy Spirit has been poured out into the world, and so now it is as St. Paul says, “…the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” Even Christ himself said, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.”

Because Rabbinic Judaism doesn’t have this lens to look through, but rather other glasses through which it sees Christianity as its main rival, much of how prophecies have come to be interpreted are specifically to be in contrast with the Christian interpretation.


#136

This is the prototypical Christian worldview, in which everything exists only as either in consonance with or opposed to Christianity. Rabbinic Judaism is self-sufficient and does not exist in opposition to Christianity, but rather ignores it. That world-view is why historically Christians often portrayed Jews as subverters of their religion, when really we just wished they would just leave us alone…

How utterly condescending.


#137

Christianity is self sufficient through the resurrection of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit, the foundation of our faith, just as Judaism is sufficient through the law given on Sinai to Moses. After the Temple destruction, Christianity and Judaism became the dominate competitors of the Abrahamic tradition. As it is seen in the 2nd and 3rd century writings of the Church Fathers, and how Rabbinic tradition came to developed, Rabbinic Judaism in its interpretation (I’m not speaking of the law or other traditions) developed specifically to be in contrast to Christianity.


#140

I do have another question. What do Orthodox Jews believe about being the Chosen People? What exactly were they chosen for? And what happens to all the non-chosen people? What is the general view on this?
Thanks.


#143

I want to learn about their beliefs and I have been doing well. Before the threads about Jewish life, all I knew was that in San Antonio, Texas the Jewish community had a bookstore and food store. The public school thought that the dreidel was used for gambling purposes. There were a number of Jewish people. I do not ask questions until I have enough knowledge to ask them. Obviously I do not know much and want to learn. Post your beliefs somewhere else so this thread can get back to the original purpose.


#145

Where would be a good place to start if I wanted to find out about my potential Jewish Ancestry?


#146

Based on many of the answers there seems to be a basic lack of understanding on Christology, which is quite understandable. someone who is not Catholic often only has a kindergarten-level understanding of many of the concepts central to Catholicism. For example, God the Father in Christianity is not an old man with a long white beard; yet this is the understanding of many people looking in from the outside. So this is a good website to exchange understandings in a spirit of discussion and respect. The basic difference between Judaism and Catholicism from a Catholic point of view is that God’s revelation of Himself did not stop with Moses. It continued through the New Testament and fulfilled in Christ. it’s all about the truth, and God wanting not just some people but all people to have a share in His Eternal Life.


#147

Have you had your DNA tested through Ancestry? That’s a good place to start. They give percentages as well as where your ancestors came from. I had it done. Very interesting.


#148

I did and it came back negative for that. I suspect based on my research that it is possible my Father may have had Jewish Ancestors. But did not inherit the gene. Thank you for your advice though.


#150

This topic is temporarily closed for 4 hours due to a large number of community flags.


#151

This topic was automatically opened after 4 hours.


#152

Eh, that’s alwaya made me uncomfortable…

Giving over your whole genetic code to a for-profit institution? Not my cup of tea.


#153

In Ex. 19:6 God says, “And you will be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Israel was chosen to accept the yoke of the 613 commandments and function as the priesthood of humanity, teaching them to serve God and live ethically by setting the highest example.

God welcomes the service of all nations, as the verse says, Is. 56:7 “for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations.”

All humans who are not Jewish are obligated in 7 “commandments” which are really categories of law: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Laws_of_Noah

A non-Jew may serve God as he is, and is under no obligation to convert to Judaism. When he lives righteously according to the 7 laws, he is given a place of reward in the afterlife.

Chosenness is not in essence denied to anyone. Non-Jews are also able to convert and become part of the chosen nation (I Chron. 16:13 “the sons of Jacob, His chosen ones”). A Gentile who converts to Judaism is as Jewish as a born Jew in every respect.


#154

This is interesting, thanks for the reply. It has to be pointed out that the function of a priest is to offer sacrifice, and Judaism no longer has the priesthood. In the context of Catholicism, the Catholic Church has had the three levels of priesthood for the past 2,000 years that we see described in the Torah; namely the High Priest; the Ministerial Priesthood; and the Priesthood of the common people. Since the role of a priest is to offer God sacrifice, the High Priest in Catholicism is Jesus Christ who offers Himslef as the spotless Lamb of God, offering His body and Blood on the altar of the cross in reparation for the sins of the world. -Isa. 53:4-6

The _Ministerial Priesthood is made up of the popes, bishops and priests, all of whom offer the Sacrifice of the Mass every day everywhere in the world and minister to the people (the sacrifice of the mass is a participation in the One eternal sacrifice offered by Jesus Christ on the cross to His Father (recall the definition of the Trinity).

Jesus the Lamb of God described Himself as the Bread of Life the bread which came down from heaven, thus the Holy Eucharist is reserved in the tabernacle inside a Catholic church, the Eucharist is spiritual food that nourishes us on our spiritual pilgrimage from the slavery of the world through the desert of being transformed as we go to the promised land of heaven. The food empowers and strengthens us to unmask, uproot and remove everything in our heart that separates us from God (our personal sins and worldly attachments separates us from God).

The third level of priesthood is the Common Priesthood of the people, which is made up of the laity; we offer to God our daily actions, our thoughts, words and every action, uniting all our sufferings to the sufferings of Christ; the one and eternal sacrifice made on the altar of the cross almost 2,000 years ago…


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