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Rabbi Ba’al Shiva connects the dots from the Battle of Thermopylae to Gideon.

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Is the bible true?  Yes, but not literally.  From my perspective it is a mythological allegory for real historical events.  Not only did the people writing the bible not take it literally, they weren’t the same people.  Some of the Books of the Bible have Persian words, Israel was continually being reconquered by Persia and then re educated and then escaping yet again.  The Bible tells a story of a struggle to once and for all be free of the corrupt relationship with this tyrannical eastern force.  Often times these people had to tell their stories in a concealed metaphorical way so that other parties would not be directly offended, but at the same time the truth of the matter could be ferreted out with study and meditation.

Pardes (Jewish exegesis)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Pardes refers to (types of) approaches to biblical exegesis in rabbinic Judaism (or – simpler – interpretation of text inTorah study). The term, sometimes also spelled PaRDeS, is an acronym formed from the name initials of the following four approaches:

  • Peshat (פְּשָׁט) — “plain” (“simple”) or the direct meaning.[1]
  • Remez (רֶמֶז) — “hints” or the deep (allegoric: hidden or symbolic) meaning beyond just the literal sense.
  • Derash (דְּרַשׁ) — from Hebrew darash: “inquire” (“seek”) — the comparative (midrashic) meaning, as given through similar occurrences.
  • Sod (סוֹד) (pronounced with a long O as in ‘bone’) — “secret” (“mystery”) or the esoteric/mystical meaning, as given through inspiration or revelation.

We know that the Jews Hellenized and absorbed the Greek Culture and philosophy.

Hellenistic Judaism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hellenistic Judaism was a form of Judaism in the ancient world that combined Jewish religious tradition with elements of Greek culture. Until the fall of the Roman Empire and the Muslim conquests of the Eastern Mediterranean, the main centers of Hellenistic Judaism were Alexandria (Egypt) and Antioch (Northern Syria—now Turkey), the two main Greek urban settlements of the Middle East and North Africa area, both founded at the end of the 4th century BCE in the wake of the conquests of Alexander the Great. Hellenistic Judaism also existed in Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period, where there was conflict between Hellenizers and traditionalists (sometimes called Judaizers).

The major literary product of the contact of Second Temple Judaism and Hellenistic culture is the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible from Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic to Koiné Greek, specifically, Jewish Koiné Greek.

The decline of Hellenistic Judaism started in the 2nd century CE, and its causes are still not fully understood. It may be that it was eventually marginalized by, partially absorbed into or became progressively the Koiné-speaking core of “Early Christianity” centered around Antioch and its “universalist” tradition — see most notably Paul of Tarsus and Judaismand the Abrogation of Old Covenant laws.

I am going to tell you an interesting little story, and point out some similarities that you might not have noticed before.

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Battle of Thermopylae

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Battle of Thermopylae (/θərˈmɒpɨl/ thər-mop-i-leeGreekΜάχη τῶν ΘερμοπυλῶνMachē tōn Thermopylōn) was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, led by King Leonidas of Sparta, and thePersian Empire of Xerxes I over the course of three days, during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place simultaneously with the naval battle at Artemisium, in August or September 480 BC, at the narrow coastal pass of Thermopylae (‘The Hot Gates’). The Persian invasion was a delayed response to the defeat of the first Persian invasion of Greece, which had been ended by the Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. Xerxes had amassed a huge army and navy, and set out to conquer all of Greece. The Athenian generalThemistocles had proposed that the allied Greeks block the advance of the Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae, and simultaneously block the Persian navy at the Straits of Artemisium.

The Battle of Thermopylae was a real event.  it is taught in Millitary History.

Military history

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, and its impact on the societies, their cultures, economies and changing intra and international relationships.

Professional historians normally focus on military affairs that had a major impact on the societies involved as well as the aftermath of conflicts, while amateur historians and hobbyists often take a larger interest in the details of battles, equipment and uniforms in use.

The essential subjects of military history study are the causes of war, the social and cultural foundations, military doctrine on each side, the logistics, leadership, technology, strategy, and tactics used, and how these changed over time. On the other hand, Just War Theory explores the moral dimensions of warfare, and to better limit the destructive reality caused by war, seeks to establish a doctrine of military ethics.

Now it appears that the book of Judges was written before the battle of Thermopylae, if sources can be trusted.  So the Question arises was the book of Judges the inspiration for the battle of Thermopylae?

Judges 7:

The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.

And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.” And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.”So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men. And the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.


 

Midian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Midian (Hebrewמִדְיָן‎), Madyan (Arabicمدين‎), or Madiam (GreekΜαδιάμ, Μαδιανίτης for a Midianite) is a geographical place and a people mentioned in the Bible and in the Qur’anWilliam G. Dever suggests it was located in the “northwest Arabian Peninsula, on the east shore of the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea (the “Hejaz”). “[1]

Hadad the Edomite is specifically stated in 1 Kg 11:17-18 to have passed through Midian and Paran while fleeing from Edomto Egypt. Even so, some scholars have claimed Midian was not a geographical area but a league of tribes.[2]

The Midianites were the descendants of Midian, who was a son of Abraham through his wife Keturah: “. . . again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.”

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What is the significance of the Number 300?  Well, stick with me for a moment and I will try to explain it to you.

Shin (letter)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shin (also spelled Šin (šīn) or Sheen) literally means “teeth”, “press”, and “sharp”; It is the twenty-first letter in manySemitic abjadsincluding Phoenician 𐤔Aramaic/Hebrew ש, and Arabic ش‎ (in abjadi order, 13th in modern order). Its sound value is a voiceless sibilant[ʃ] or [s].

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Significance[edit]

In gematria, Shin represents the number 300.

According to Judges 12:6, the tribe of Ephraim could not differentiate between Shin and Samekh; when the Gileadites were at war with the Ephraimites, they would ask suspected Ephraimites to say the word shibolet; an Ephraimite would say sibolet and thus be exposed. From this episode we get the English word Shibboleth.

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

shibboleth (/ˈʃɪbəlɛθ/[1] or /ˈʃɪbələθ/[2]) is a word or custom whose variations in pronunciation or style can be used to differentiate members of ingroups from those of outgroups. Within the mindset of the ingroup, a connotation or value judgment of correct/incorrect or superior/inferior can be ascribed to the two variants.

Origin[edit]

The term originates from the Hebrew word shibbólet (שִׁבֹּלֶת), which literally means the part of a plant containing grains, such as an ear of corn or a stalk of grain[3]or, in different contexts, “stream, torrent”.[4][5] The modern usage derives from an account in the Hebrew Bible, in which pronunciation of this word was used to distinguish Ephraimites, whose dialect lacked a /ʃ/ phoneme (as in shoe), from Gileadites whose dialect did include such a phoneme.

Recorded in the Book of Judges, chapter 12, after the inhabitants of Gilead inflicted a military defeat upon the tribe of Ephraim (around 1370–1070 BC), the surviving Ephraimites tried to cross the Jordan River back into their home territory and the Gileadites secured the river’s fords to stop them. In order to identify and kill these refugees, the Gileadites put each refugee to a simple test:

Gilead then cut Ephraim off from the fords of the Jordan, and whenever Ephraimite fugitives said, ‘Let me cross,’ the men of Gilead would ask, ‘Are you an Ephraimite?’ If he said, ‘No,’ they then said, ‘Very well, say “Shibboleth” (שבלת).’ If anyone said, “Sibboleth” (סבלת), because he could not pronounce it, then they would seize him and kill him by the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites fell on this occasion.

Judges 12:5–6, NJB

In Judaism[edit]

Shin also stands for the word Shaddai, a name for God. Because of this, a kohen (priest) forms the letter Shin with his hands as he recites the Priestly Blessing. In the mid 1960s, actor Leonard Nimoy used a single-handed version of this gesture to create the Vulcan hand salute for his character, Mr. Spock, on Star Trek.[2]

 

The Shema Yisrael prayer also commands the Israelites to write God’s commandments on their hearts (Deut. 6:6); the shape of the letter Shin mimics the structure of the human heart: the lower, larger left ventricle (which supplies the full body) and the smaller right ventricle (which supplies the lungs) are positioned like the lines of the letter Shin.

I can’t find a good source on this but Shin also represents fire and spirit. 

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Expressions of Contempt

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I am trying to explain to people what I do and how I make predictions based on my psychological models.  Because people are acquisitively mimetic, they copy behaviors that they see being rewarded.  People copy whatever behavior they think of as winning behavior when they want to win.  So when one person succeeds in a certain behavior people emulate that behavior and that creates social patterns.  When society rewards these patterns it increases the frequency in which we see the pattern repeated and it also increases the intensity of that pattern.

The Psychologists Nalini Ambady and Robert Rosenthal developed this concept of thin slicing in their treatment of married couples.  What they found as they interviewed couples and then went back over the tape is that there were two expressions that repeatedly signaled the near demise of the relationship, disgust and contempt.  Depending on the frequency and intensity of these expressions the relationship could be determined to be very close to ending.

So I observe in conversation, on the media, in human behavior these patterns and I make predictions based on them.  So what does this mean for the near future?  Society is about to get a divorce?  No, much much worse.  The first thing I noticed when I saw Richard Dawkins for the first time was the frequency with which he would flash this feral micro expression of disgust.  And then I observed the Fundamentalist Drift of Science as the Dawkinites conflated themselves with science, I call them the cheerleaders of science.  And then I noticed the increased hostility of the conversations in the narrative and dialogue on the internet.  If you observe the body of evidence I have put together on this blog (http://atheistfallacies.wordpress.com/) you can see that I am not making these claims lightly.  I have spent a long time doing social experiments on these people to find out exactly where their heads are at.

Most people aren’t smart enough to detect Richard Dawkins subtle subterfuges in his rhetoric.  What he propounds as a philosophy is not a philosophy at all and he is not a philosopher, he is a revolutionary propagandist.  He has conflated the hatred of God (misotheism) with atheism and atheism with science.  What he is trying to do and succeeding at is making science into a machine to attack religion.  He is creating an environment where children can be exposed to the casual ridicule and hatred of religiosity, so that they start to think not only is it normal it is also good.  And then he wants to build a bridge for them into the scientific fields and into upper academia, where they will put their prejudices to work, harassing religious people and preventing them from going into certain fields.  What he is doing is so dangerous and insidious and deliberate.

This conceit that Atheists have that atheism is new, no it isn’t.  Socrates was accused of being an atheist.  So ask yourself why have you never heard of that one Atheist culture that was so successful?  Because Atheism is unviable as a form of government.  There are certain things science can’t do, and when you try to change what science can do you change what science is.  Dawkins is building a testament to his own ego.  He wants to be worshiped.  He sees himself as a kind of Moses of Science taking his people out of a heathen land.

When Karl Marx wrote his theories on Communism, he thought it was science, they even called it that.

“Scientific socialism is the term used by Friedrich Engels[1] to describe the social-political-economic theory first pioneered byKarl Marx. The purported reason why this socialism is “scientific socialism” (as opposed to “utopian socialism“) is because its theories are held to an empirical standard, observations are essential to its development, and these can result in changes and/or falsification of elements of the theory.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_socialism

And when the Germany adopted it, and Stalin adopted it, and Lenin adopted it, they all thought they were doing science and they couldn’t fail.  Pure atheist societies are arrogant, heartless, and violent.  You can’t use atheism or science or evolution for making an assertion that man should have inalienable rights.  They are amoral systems.  Dawkins puts religion on trial for all of the crimes that have been committed in the name of religion for thousands of years, Dawkinites assume that atheism is something new.  What they are forgetting or ignoring is that while religion has created horrors and atrocities, IT HAS BEEN AROUND AND SUCCESSFUL MORE OR LESS FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, while atheism has never been successful, ever, for any prolonged period of time.

Atheism is moral and philosophical anarchy, it isn’t a belief system, it is the absence of the presence of the belief that god exists.  It isn’t big enough of an idea to make any assertion, you can’t build a law code on it, or a government on it.  Atheists might be found that have morality but atheism itself is amoral, and atheists don’t have to come to any agreement on what behavior is and is not acceptable, after all, it is survival of the fittest right?  If you survive or succeed you are the fittest.  Evolution works!

But yeah, things are bad and they are going to get worse… this I promise.

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Ahimsa, So ham, Aham Brahmasmi,

Ahimsa, So ham, Aham Brahmasmi,

Baba muktananda used to tell a story about an ecstatic, Muslim mystic that went to prayer, while praying he became overwhelmed with the spirit and started shouting, I AM GOD, I AM GOD, I AM GOD over and over again. The other Muslims dragged him out into the street and counseled him never to let it happen again for it was blasphemous and heretical to say that oneself is god. He apologized and said that he would make a concerted effort to make sure it never happened again. But it did in spite of him. He was drug out in the street and attacked. The man that hit his legs with a stick had his own legs broken, the man that struck his arms had his own arms broken, and the man that struck him in the head developed a concussion. Because when you are in a state of being one with god, all of your enemies blows land on themselves…

The four principal Mahavakyas[edit]

Though there are many Mahavakyas, four of them, one from each of the four Vedas, are often mentioned as “the Mahavakyas”.[1] According to the Vedanta-tradition, the subject matter and the essence of all Upanishads is the same, and all the Upanishadic Mahavakyas express this one universal message in the form of terse and concise statements.[citation needed] In later Sanskrit usage, the term mahāvākya came to mean “discourse”, and specifically, discourse on a philosophically lofty topic.[web 1]
According to the Advaita Vedanta tradition the four Upanishadic statements indicate the ultimate unity of the individual (Atman) with Supreme (Brahman).[citation needed]
The Mahavakyas are:
prajñānam brahma – “Prajña[note 1] is Brahman”[note 2], or “Brahman is Prajña”[web 3] (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)
ayam ātmā brahma – “I am this Self (Atman) that is is Brahman” (Mandukya Upanishad 1.2 of the Atharva Veda)
tat tvam asi – “Thou art That” (Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 of the Sama Veda)
aham brahmāsmi – “I am Brahman”, or “I am Divine”[5] (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 of the Yajur Veda)
~wikipedia