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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Meme - gacked from browngirl

List 5 things which are basic common knowledge in your culture, which people outside are unfamiliar with. This is not about obscurity, but something everyday to you, that others go "bzuh?" at.

Some of this is Orthodox, some is culturally Jewish.

1. Even if you don't keep kosher, drinking milk with a meat dinner is slightly gross.
2. Shrimp are NOT kosher. Neither are Reuben sandwiches.
3. Single people do not bring dates to weddings. If they do (after asking if they can), everyone will assume there will be another wedding in the near future. Consequently, you don't see "and guest" on invitations.
4. "The Holidays" happen in the early fall.
5. Your mother makes the best chicken soup ever.

Comments

As an analogy, if we were to find Moses' holograph Torah scroll, and there were textual differences between that and our scrolls, we would not be obligated to revise our texts, because God willed that the Torah be written as we have it today.

I agree that we would not be obligated to revise our texts, but I differ with you on the reasons. לא בשמים היא is the text that comes to mind. Torah is in our hands, and scribal errors, whatever when may think of the divine hand in them, become part of our tradition.


History happened, and God directs history, at least for the Jews, because of our special relationship with Him.

I'm frightened to ask what this means to you post-Holocaust. If I see God's hand in that, or in Rwanda, or in Darfur then the Angry Atheism of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens has the potential to look good. But thankfully no, I see a God who, like a parent who knows that the children must be allowed to learn from their mistakes, does not direct history, but rather who looks on in frustration wishing he could intervene, but knowing that his doing so would do nothing to foster our maturation is a people or as a species.

Lo bashamayim hee, exactly. History happens. Sinai was a long time ago, but we have to do the best we can with what remains of the authentic Revelation.

As for God after the Holocaust, yes, I know there are those who claim that the Holocaust was caused by Reform. I abhor that, not least because it leads to a contradiction of the fundamental life-choice of those who make such claims.

That is, if the Holocaust is some kind of revelation of God's will for the relative goodness of various ways of Jewish life, then clearly Reform and Modern Orthodoxy are the way to go, because the US was completely spared, German Jews had six years to get away, but Poland, Russia, Austria-Hungary, etc. had nowhere to go, and all died. God saved the Reform and the liberal German Orthodox, and destroyed the Orthodox and Chasidic strongholds in Poland and Ukraine and Hungary.

So it's a claim that destroys itself.

If I see the Hand of God in the Holocaust at all, it would be in Hitler opening up a third front, and stepping up the Final Solution, and thus overextending himself, so that there would be a saving remnant. He did not allow Hilter to win, and thus kill all the Jews in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The prophecies say there will always be a saving remnant, and that's the extent to which God intervened. A small change, just to make Hilter burn himself out before everything was lost.

As for Rwanda or Darfur, that too draws me towards the limited view of Divine Providence proffered by Maimonides. The Chasidim and Kabbalists talk about angels guiding every blade of grass, but Maimonides talks about individual Divine Providence extending only to Jews, and even then perhaps only to the righteous. Otherwise, He only uses General Providence for the human species, as he would for any other species - spotted owls or blue whales. What one population does to another, as long as it doesn't involve the Jews, is really their own doing.

And as most of the world only understands military might as the true power, is it any wonder the Messiah is supposed to be a military leader? so that the world will come to recognize God in that era? that My House be called a House of Prayer for all the nations?