Thread: Judaism
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:22 AM
Quath Quath is offline
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Originally Posted by Athena View Post
Christians frequently lay claim to Jesus telling all that they may not change one jot or tittle of the law, yet apparently have excused themselves of at least attempting to carry out much of it (when it comes to the laws of purity such as kosher etc.)
I have asked a few Christians about this. Answers vary a lot. One person said that you are suppose to try to follow the old laws, but there is no more punishment behind them. Another said that Christians were excused from the old laws because they have new ones. So Jews still have to follow the old laws. Another said that Jesus summarized all the old laws into the laws of love. They claim that all the old laws are just expressions of love (though I see that as a far stretch).

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(and in Jewish thought the sins you carry out against God through lack of purity are between you and God are between you and God and asking God to forgive you and then make an honest attempt to carry out those laws that you can does get you forgiveness), while sins against human beings who are frail and easily harmed must be forgiven by the person you have sinned against after you have made an honest attempt at making amends and righting the wrong done as best you can, before they can be forgiven by God. Thus the Christians who truly practice the teachings as they know them, are at least avoiding the more grevious class of sin - that against humans.
The idea that it is morally good for an innocent to be punished for the sins of others appears to be a very fundamental part of Christianity. I don't think that is a good lesson, but it does have a few roots in the Old Testament. For example, when the theif at Jerico is caught, he is killed along with his children before God will bless his people again. God kills children in the flood, even though the evilness was done by others. God punishes all people for the sins of Adam and Eve. God kills Egyptian children as a plague even though he forced the Pharoah to keep the Israelites as slaves.

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The only other known case of a Jewish court carrying out a death penalty was against Eichmann and there were hundreds plus of witnesses against him and his crimes were among the most heinous type known to humanity (genocide). (And this is not saying he and Hitler carried out the only genocide, the Pol Pot regime carried out genocide, the Turks killed one million Armenians, look at Sudan, Congo, the European conquest of the Americas etc.)
The tough issue in this is the Joshua campaign in the Old Testament in which God commanded Joshua to commit genocide against many cities. This gave credit for the idea that God can command genocide. Some of the Nazi propaganda used this idea along with the "blood debt" in the New testament to justify some of the stuff they did.

It appears to me that Judiasm seems to have moved past using the Old Testament (ok.. really the Tanakh) dogmatically. I know there are some Jews who do follow it to an extreme level (like refuse to turn on light switches on Sunday). But on the whole, the Jews I met have not been too dogmatic. Maybe that is a sign of age of a religion?
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