Tag Archives: ben zoma

Torah Explained for Atheists part 3. Rabbi Ba’al Shivah

4 rabbi

I am going to open this piece with an exposition of the 4 rabbi’s that went into Paradise or PaRDeS and the exegesis of the story.  Later, I will return to the intro to the The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, translated with commentary by Daniel C. Matt.  Those portions that are not sourced come from the Zohar.  Let’s begin. 

The version in the Babylonian Talmud, which is the best-known, may be translated:

The Rabbis taught: Four entered the Pardes. They were Ben Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher and Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Akiva said to them, “When you come to the place of pure marble stones, do not say, ‘Water! Water!’ for it is said, ‘He who speaks untruths shall not stand before My eyes’ (Psalms 101:7)”. Ben Azzai gazed and died. Regarding him the verse states, ‘Precious in the eyes of G-d is the death of His pious ones’ (Psalms 116:15). Ben Zoma gazed and was harmed. Regarding him the verse states, ‘Did you find honey? Eat as only much as you need, lest you be overfilled and vomit it’ (Proverbs 25:16). Acher cut down the plantings. Rabbi Akiva entered in peace and left in peace.[3]

In the commentary printed beside the Talmud text, Rashi says that Ben Azzai died from looking at the Divine Presence. Ben Zoma‘s harm was in losing his sanity. Acher‘s “cutting down the plantings” in the orchard refers to becoming a heretic from the experience. Acher means “the other one”, and is the Talmudic term for thesageElisha ben Avuya. Rabbi Akiva, in contrast to the other three, became the leading Rabbinic figure of the era.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pardes_(legend)#Exposition

“Again and again Rabbi Shim’on waxes eloquent in the praise of those who study Torah, especially those who do so after midnight.  They indeed take the place of the priests and Levites of old, ‘who stand in the house of the Lord by night.’  Those who awaken nightly to study the secrets of Torah become the earthly attendants of the divine bride, ushering Her into the chamber where She will unite at dawn with Her heavenly spouse.”

This is interesting to me for a few reasons, the reference to studying Torah at midnight is interesting because it is after midnight that one practices black magick in Voodoo, modern Voodoo is based on the 6th and 7th books of Moses.  Voodoo is something you use when you have no resources and you are fighting an enemy with all the resources.  This passage portrays the Levites as a kind of Guardian, hyper vigilant to an attack from the enemy, standing in a heightened state of suspicious awareness while everybody else slumbers.

“Torah, in the Zohar is not conceived as a text, as an object, or as material, but as a living divine presence, engaged in a mutual relationship with the person who studies her.  More than that, in the zoharic consciousness Torah is compared to a beloved who carries on with her lovers a mutual dynamic courtship.”

Remember if you will my theory that the cult of the Augures who created the philosophy of law, science, and religion in the West were associated with India and the Hebrews.  The High Priest of the cult of the Augures meditated on the divine law that infused the universe, he didn’t create the law and he was subject to it.  Even the separation of powers of the president is modeled after the Philosophy of the Augure cult.  Think of Torah as the divine law that governs events in the universe.

“The beloved in the nexus of this rrelationship is entirely active.  She sends signals of her interest to her lover, she intensifies his passionate desire for her by games of revealing and hiding.  She discloses secrets that stir his curiosity.  She desires to be loved.  The beloved is is closed in an erotic progression before her lover out of a desire to reveal secrets that have been forever hidden within her.

…the day when God gave Torah to Israel and proclaimed His love for her in the song of songs.”

a rhetorical tautology of God giving man a soul by giving him philosophy…

bywax

“In the Zohar, the true subject matter that the kabbalist finds in every verse is the hieros gamos itself, the mystical union of the divine male and female – the eros that underlies and transforms Torah, making it into a symbolic textbook on the inner erocit life of God.”

I am going to paraphrase a bit, many of the texts that make the Zohar are of the stories of the rabbis under the tutelage of Rabbi Shim’on.  They like the apostles of Jesus wander and teach others, in that journey, as they are having this mystical conversation on the nature of reality and remembering their experiences and what they learn, they often encounter people and beings that have more awareness of certain principles that govern the universe and human behavior than they do.  This knowledge also enters into their canon.

“The world as first created was a true Garden of Eden because the blessed Holy One and the Sheckinah were fact to face, joined in constant embrace like that of the upper sefirot Hokhmah and Binah.  Divine blessing thus coursed through the system without interruption…”

At this point in time the Jewish people didn’t believe in making visual artistic depictions of men or animals because they feared it would lead to idolatry, but here I can trace the rhetorical tautologies and movement of ideas in this fashion.  

shiva_jehovah

According to the Dalai Lama, Samantabhadra is the highest form of Buddha.  I think he meant this because this form of the Buddha represents God as the Creator in his male and female aspect, if you ponder you realize that in order to create you have to include feminine and masculine.  It might interest you to know that Heinrich Zimmer whose work was published and edited posthumously by Joseph Campbell had determined in his investigations that Buddhism was an offshoot of Hinduism as the Buddhas came from India and Nepal.  

Here the author makes mention of the myth of Plato which I will expound on for those of you who are not aware of it, and he connects it with the early Jewish myth, which is not only interesting in its implications it is also appropriate in light of my theories.

The Symposium Quotes
 “According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.”
“…and when one of them meets the other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will not be out of the other’s sight, as I may say, even for a moment…”
aristotle
When he said this he was using the word Philia, or Brotherly love, or fraternal love, making a reference to a philosophical family, notice the word philosophy has the words philia and sophia in it.  The single soul would be Sophia, or Psyche, or Torah.  This also has to do with the Philosophy of Greek Astrology if that is interesting, you can read this piece that I wrote.  https://thoughtuncommon.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/philosophy-of-astrology/
hermaphrodite (n.) Look up hermaphrodite at Dictionary.comlate 14c. (harmofroditus), from Latin hermaphroditus, from Greek Hermaphroditos (Latin Hermaphroditus), son of Hermes and Aphrodite, who, in Ovid, was loved by the nymph Salmacis so ardently that she prayed for complete union with him and as a result they were united bodily, combining male and female characteristics. Also used figuratively in Middle English of “one who improperly occupies two offices.” As a name for the condition, Middle English had hermofrodito (late 14c.), hermofrodisia(early 15c.). As an adjective, from c.1600.  http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=hermaphrodite
“Adam and eve according to the aggadah, were siamese twins, conjoined back to back.  This single being is that described in Genesis 1:27:  “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”  …in the following chapter is the separation of this pair, in which they are first turned to face-to-face to one another, …  They had to be “sawed apart” so they might be properly united.”
janus

If we wanted to get really esoteric I could trace this idea all the way back to India for you.  Do you double dog dare me?

Om_Symbol

I entered in piece and left in piece so I will leave it to the rest of you to figure out who burns the plants, who drops dead, and who goes insane.

giphy

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The Bible Deconstructed for Atheists.

Biblical-prophecy

It is not my intention to bore you.  I wanted to explain some things to you about the bible.  The people that wrote the bible didn’t take it literally because it was written in PaRDeS, the word PaRDeS phonetically mimics the word Paradise.  

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pardes_(Jewish_exegesis) )

Pardes (Hebrew: פרדסorchard) is the subject of a Jewishaggadah (“legend”) about four rabbis of the Mishnaic period (1st century CE) who visited the Orchard (that is, Paradise):

Four men entered pardesBen Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher (Elisha ben Abuyah),[1] and Akiba. Ben Azzai looked and died; Ben Zoma looked and went mad; Acher destroyed the plants; Akiba entered in peace and departed in peace.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pardes_(legend)

Rashi explains that they ascended to Heaven by utilizing the Divine Name, which might be understood as achieving a spiritual elevation through Jewish meditationpractices.  PaRDeS-exegesis is an acronym for the 4 traditional methods of exegesis in Judaism. In this sense, they were the four to understand the whole Torah[citation needed].  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pardes_(legend)#Exposition

leaders28t

This is a pretty good commentary on the exegesis of this legend metaphor:  

pardes

http://books.google.com/books?id=_L9LWGw90RMC&pg=PA158&lpg=PA158&dq=pardes+legend+meaning&source=bl&ots=g6XzwGUCgi&sig=XT4-n5kPVlM1b1cJax0tMG1kXEs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=7p8IVO2MLYf7oQTimYDABg&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=pardes%20legend%20meaning&f=false

It might interest you to know that Muslims assume that the Jews altered the bible because while it foretells the coming of the messiah, it doesn’t foretell the coming of Mohammed.  

hashem3

The reason the name of god is ineffable is that it isn’t spoken with words, it is spoken with your thoughts, your words, your emotions, and your actions.  When the Jews Helenized the absorbed the Greek Philosophy.  YHWH is a metaphor for praxis. Praxis could be simplified into the concept of living your philosophy which is rational and by which one can be falsified.  A psychopathic philosophy for example (Islam) cannot be used to falsify the individual Muslim or Muslims collectively because it can only be used for proving them correct. . .

Praxis is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, embodied, or realised. “Praxis” may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas. This has been a recurrent topic in the field of philosophy, discussed in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Marx, Martin Heidegger,Hannah Arendt, Paulo Freire, Ludwig von Mises, and many others. It has meaning in the political, educational, and spiritual realms.

torah1

The first five books of the bible are known as the torah or the Pentateuch, which is the extended version of god’s name. Curiously it was written without vowels.  I think the significance of this is that each character of the Pentateuch represents a human being, the vowels weren’t added because they represented the feminine or the way in which all of the characters were connected to everything else.  Which is to say the way you pronounce god’s name on a global scale is through the correct relationship between everybody.  This also allowed different interpretations of Jewish faith to be codified in a way since that interpretation couldn’t be disproved which created a similar pattern to the Sanatana Dharma in India.  

Rabbis have a linguistic fetish and they play word games to look for hidden messages and to see things differently.  It is a source of inspiration.  If you consider my theory that Neural Myelination is passed on through cellular memory ask yourselves why are their so many Jewish comedians, lawyers, surgeons, philosophers, actors, and psychologists?  It was because of meditating on the Torah.  The laws of the Torah cement a democratic society that is cohesive, and it protects itself from psychological factors or economic factors that could tear the community apart.  

The Bible Code is just such a meditation that the Rabbis meditate on.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_code

This is probably a little less credible but still fun, in the english version of the bible code one of my Nom de plumes has a bible code matrix, let’s see how accurate it is.  

aw

http://www.biblecodewisdom.com/code/adam-wolfe

The first two chapters of the bible are Genisis (going in) and Exodus (going out).  What is the first thing you do when you are born?   What is the last thing you do when you die?  First you inspire and then you expire.  

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.  genesis 2:7

 

inspire (v.)Look up inspire at Dictionary.commid-14c., enspiren, “to fill (the mind, heart, etc., with grace, etc.);” also “to prompt or induce (someone to do something),” from Old French enspirer (13c.), from Latininspirare “inflame; blow into” (see inspiration), a loan-translation of Greek pnein in the Bible. General sense of “influence or animate with an idea or purpose” is from late 14c. Also sometimes used in literal sense in Middle English. Related: Inspired; inspires; inspiring.   http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=inspire

 

Of further interest is that Rabbi Maimon said that the account of Moses was written in the present tense, which means get away from the Mizraim right now.  The Mizraim are the nations, specifically Babylon and Egypt.  Remember that Babylon (ancient Persia) was constantly trying to expand in increase it’s authority and that threat went all the way to Greece during the battle of Thermopylae.   The Bible was written by a people trying to maintain their identity and separate themselves from the ancient Persio/Babylonian mentality.  

As a god worshipped by the Phoenicians and Canaanites, Moloch had associations with a particular kind of propitiatorychild sacrifice by parents. Moloch figures in the Book of Deuteronomy and in the Book of Leviticus as a form of idolatry(Leviticus 18:21: “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch”). In the Old Testament,Gehenna was a valley by Jerusalem, where apostate Israelites and followers of various Baalim and Caananite gods, including Moloch, sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chr. 28:3, 33:6; Jer. 7:31, 19:2–6).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloch

Moloch_the_god