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16.1.17

Old Testament

My feeling is if the Old Testament occupies a central place in national life, then God, home, school and government are kept together, everything else good and right will happen. Remove the Bible, and civilization topples and crumbles into dust.

Brett Stevens: The question then becomes whether the Bible is the cause of that unity, or merely a common conduit that unites the other necessary parts.

Avraham Rosenblum says:
  1. I would have to go with the former option based on the little I know about European and Roman History. I know this can be argued both ways, but it is simply my impression. Personally, I just can not see Western Civilization without the Bible [and Plato and Aristotle] as the foundation stone.

Early America felt also the Bible to be the main thing.  Americans up until 1920 saw the USA as Bible territory and wanted to defend it in that way. 


The trouble is with people that want to wipe out God and the Bible from the Earth.



[Just for the record, I am not against the New Testament. I think rather that Christians have misinterpreted Jesus. That is they go with Paul instead of with Peter and James as you can see in the Recognitions of Clement, the first pope of Rome. Furthermore, I see Jesus in a positive sense. This positive sense is not hard to define for myself because I learned the books of Reb Nachman from Uman, so I have a idea of what a "tzadik" (Jewish saint) means. But that concept can be hard to explain without that background.  In short, let me try to explain. It means a person that is in connection with some Divine trait in the world of Emanation. Thus, that person brings a certain kind of light or revelation into the world. Thus, I see Jesus as being a kind of Jewish Tzadik along the lines of Shimon Ben Yochai, Chanina Ben Dosa, or the Gra.
This idea I base mainly on a mystic Avraham Abulafia. [The favorite subject of Professor Moshe Idel at Hebrew University.] It has been awhile since around 1992 the first night of Hanuka that I was going through the micro films that had the writings of Avraham  Abulafia, and I came across this opinion of Rav Abulafia. I was so shocked that I could not move out of my seat, even though I had to go and light the Hanuka lights. [I was aware that Rav Abulafia himself was subject to debate. Still the opinion of Reb Chaim Vital (who quotes the books of Rav Abulafia at length) weighs a lot with me. And besides all that,-- I was aware of the opinion of Rav Yaakov Emden in his famous essay on this subject. Another important consideration is: acta non verba, deeds not words count. That is to say,-- that if I had not gone through a whole set of difficulties before that time, I would probably not have been open to the ideas of Rav Abulafia. I had to have seen where  deeds  did not correspond to words, and then seen where deeds corresponded to words. After seeing that clearly on a statistical significant basis, not a random basis, then I was much more open to accepting the words of Rav Avraham Abulafia.


Appendix: (1) I am aware that the Recognitions of Clement has a good deal of debate on it. But I am basing my opinions about this on much more. In my opinion you can see this in the NT itself.

(2) You can nowadays check up the opinion of Rav Abulafia since in the meantime someone made a printed edition of all of his works. You could also simply get the first book of Professor Moshe Idel at Hebrew University which  was in fact his Ph.D thesis. 

(3) The literal meaning of verses of the Old Testament is important. אין מקרא יוצא ידי פשוטו. Still sometimes its meaning is not literal. Like when Kind David said in Psalms "I am a worm and not a man."

(4) For what I mean by Emanation: the idea is based on the Ari Isaac Luria, but it is rather simple. It means a higher world (or pipeline) of God's holiness. One should not worship any tzadik, however belief in a tzadik brings a kind of blessing or flux into oneself. It is the same kind of thing that we believe in the prophecy of Moses or Samuel, but we do not worship them.

Some people are not very happy about Jesus because of the massacres of Jews during the Middle Ages,[e.g. 1240-1246 in Germany until stopped by Innocent IV on July 5, 1247 by letters he wrote to all German and French bishops demanding a stop to the persecution and redress of the wrongs..] There were a lot and they were horrific. Still abusus non tollit usum. If not then little could be justified.