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Non-rabbinic intellectual understanding of the importance of God


The concept of Supreme Power over us the humans called God is vital for our human wellbeing. It is vital even for those who call themselves atheists. It is vital mainly not for the purpose of praying to God and asking for guidance and favors but most importantly for accepting God as the unchallenged source of our moral rules, which cannot be changed by us the humans.

That is why it is difficult for me to understand the reason for an orthodox rabbi Donniel Hartman to dethrone God from the first to the second place in Judaism.

From the news media:

Donniel Hartman, the head of an orthodox educational powerhouse, Shalom Hartman Institute, argues that the great monotheistic religions are fatally flawed — by an obsessive focus on God that overwhelms what should be our prime imperative, to live decent, moral lives.

Donniel Hartman insists his resonant call to put God second is not some superficial provocation. Rather, it is issued out of a conviction that “the more we put ethics first, the more I am a religious person” and the less that God is “a destructive force in our lives.”

The rabbi Hartman’s innovations are what indeed we need in Judaism and in other religions, for Jews and Gentiles, namely – to teach how to live decent, moral lives and how and why to put the ethics first. That is indeed necessary and long overdue – to bring back the true meaning of the duties of the Chosen, which are to build a better world for everybody with everybody – the world where the complete majority can live decent, moral lives along the lines of Torah/Bible guidance. However, to do all that we need to have God at the first place in our lives.

In order to decide whether we live decent, moral lives we have to define common basic characteristics of decency and morality. Those characteristics have to be alike for Jews and Christians of different spiritual streams from the ultra-Orthodox to the ultra-Atheists. In the Judeo-Christian world, without One God at the first place with His Torah/Bible-codified rules for decent, moral behavior, it is impossible to have decent, moral lives. The current rules for “decent, moral behavior” are different for many Jewish communities as well as for many Christian communities.

Here are just a few examples. Some believe in the decency of socialism-inspired redistribution of wealth with the “helping hand” of the government while the others support free-market capitalist system with the mitzvah/charity helping hands. Some believe in the absolute morality of “do not do to the others what I do not want to be done to me” while the others consider to be just the severe punishment of devilish people. Some believe that only a family of man-woman-children is decent and moral while the others do not see anything wrong with a gay family. Some believe the decency demands considering a person to be Jewish if he himself believe so while the others trust in a rabbi’s decision on the Jewishness.

Thus, what principles are decent and moral enough to be used for building a better world for everybody, even for everybody inside the Jewish nation? I do not see any other approach but – in the course of competitive spiritual and peaceful discussions – to find it in the guidance of God at the first place.

The history tried to do it without God as was done for example in Stalin’s Russia, in Hitler’s Germany and in Mao’s China and the result was millions and millions of murdered people.

From the news media:

An Israeli rabbinical court did not accept a conversion by an Orthodox rabbi who also helped Ivanka Trump become Jewish.

In the latest case exemplifying the tension between Israel’s rabbinate and Orthodox groups in the Diaspora, a religious court prevented the marriage of an Israeli man and an American woman, who converted under a well-respected New York rabbi, Haskel Lookstein.

And in an unusual twist, which has brought the case into the limelight, Lookstein is also the rabbi who converted Ivanka Trump and officiated at her wedding to Jewish real-estate scion Jared Kushner, an advisor for presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

That is one more example of bad moral rabbinical prescripts as the result of removing God from finding proper Torah/Bible-guided decisions.

At Mount Sinai, some human tribe had become Jewish since it decided to follow the God’s prescriptions on “decent, moral lives”. If somebody decides now to follow these prescriptions, this person is Jewish by God’s definition, and no human rabbinical court can change it.

Radicalized? Not at all – European Muslims live normal “radical” Quran-guided life


From the UK news media:

Police said that a Scottish Muslim shopkeeper was murdered by a fellow Muslim hours after he posted a message on Facebook professing love for Christians and for Jesus and wishing them a happy Easter.

From the Canadian news media:

What do Algeria, America, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Britain, Burkina Faso, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chad, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Niger, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen have in common? Oh, and Canada, of course. All have been attacked by Islamist terrorists since 2010. Forty-six nations in barely five years and I’ve not even included the obvious trio of horrors, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. All of the terrorist acts were aimed to demonstrate the victory of Islam over the faiths of infidels among whom are even Muslims with not strict adherence to the “true” Quran and Sharia.

From the battle cries of Muslim terrorists:

“Allahu Akbar” that is “God (meaning Allah) is Great” that is the Allah’s order in the Quran to transform the entire world to the Sharia moral values.   

From the political slogans of our political establishment:

  • Ø Islam is a religion of peace and has nothing to do with the terrorism performed by some Muslims  
  • Ø The terrorists are the radicalized Muslims who are acting against moral principles of their religion
  • Ø Or, the terrorists are the ideologues and their ideology has nothing to do with their religion.

To find out who is wrong and who is right, the following questions have to be answered:

  • Who are the killers – radicalized Muslims who has acted against the moral prescripts of their own religion of Islam, or they are normal Quran-guided Muslims?
  • What is the moving spiritual force behind the killings – the religion of the killers or some their ideology that has nothing to do with their religion?
  • Do the killers act in good faith as their religion or ideology demands it, or they represent a small devilish minority that always exists in any religion and ideology?

What I have studied and experienced all my life, together with many other Jews and Christians of various spiritual streams – from orthodoxy to atheism, let me answer these questions in the following way.

Who are the killers – radicalized Muslims who has acted against the moral prescripts of their own religion of Islam, or they are normal Quran-guided Muslims?

The killers are not radicalized Muslims – they are normal Quran-guided Muslims.

Here is how Quran guides the Muslims:

Allah is an enemy to unbelievers. – Sura 2:98

On unbelievers is the curse of Allah. – Sura 2:161

Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. – Sura 2:191

Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. – Sura 2:216

What is the moving spiritual force behind the killings – the religion of the killers or some their ideology that has nothing to do with their religion?

The moving spiritual force is religion, not ideology. The Merriam-Webster defines ideology as a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture and a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture.

What is the source of the “systematic body of concepts about human life”? It is the religion, and it is religion everywhere – in Judaism, in Christianity and in Islam. For the last thirteen centuries the religion of Islam had created its own “systematic body of concepts about human life” quoted in the above from Quran.

Do the killers act as their religion or ideology demands it or they represent a small devilish minority that always exists in any religion and ideology?

Every religion has good and bad disciples and the entire religion – be it Islam, Christianity or Judaism – can be judged by assessing how the true spiritual leaders of a religion respond to actions of its bad (devilish) disciples.

While the Jewish and Christian leaders condemn any acts of violence committed by their bad disciples against the Muslims, no one – literally no one – of the leading Islamic authorities condemn any acts of Islamic terrorism. If it is so, the answer is clear – the Islamic terrorist acts are committed since their religion/ideology demands it.

Vatican and Jerusalem are not silent – they condemn any acts of Jewish and Christian acts of violence. Mecca is silent on Islamic terrorism and silent approvingly.

A street photo:

Eating bacon eliminate suicide bombers

 

 

Priests recognized spiritual unity with Jews – the time for Rabbis to follow


In early December 2015, the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with Jews issued a document that strengthens the spiritual unity between the Jews and the Christians. This very important document drew the Church further away from the strained relations of the past with the Synagogue. This document reinforces a Judeo-Christian spiritual unity in the Western Civilization – unfortunately, the Orthodox Church of the East remains essentially anti-Jewish and sometimes even anti-Semitic.

Here is what the Vatican’s authoritative Priests say and how Rabbis may respond

–The priests say:

Catholics should not try to convert Jews and should work with them to fight anti-Semitism. The Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews.

The rabbis may respond in the following way:

Thank you for recognizing that the movement “Jews for Jesus” was hurting the relationships between the Jews and the Christians. The Jew have religion of Judaism and the Christians have religion of Christianity. What unites the Jews and the Christians is not a common religion but the Torah/Bible-based mutual Judeo-Christian spiritual principles on how to build a better world for everybody. Religions Judaism and Christianity provide for Jews and Christians different communication tools for getting in touch with One God and receiving His guidance.

–The priests say:

Christianity and Judaism are intertwined and God never annulled his covenant with the Jewish people.

The rabbis may respond in the following way:

Yes, that is true, and we are ready to discuss with you the essence of our mission of the Covenant People (the Chosen) as God instructed us, which is to build a better world for everybody together with everybody. And we are ready to begin working with you on creating the Judeo-Christian social and political characteristics of this world and implementing them through the democratically elected governments.

–The priests say:

The Church is obliged to view evangelization to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner from that to people of other religions and world views.

The rabbis may respond in the following way:

That is necessary indeed, and we are ready to work together with you on defining the “other religions and world views” which are spiritually friendly and willing to work together on building a better world for everybody such as Buddhists, or antagonistic and working to destroy us such as Nazis or ISIS.

–The priests say:

Catholics should be particularly sensitive to the significance to Jews of the Shoah, the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, and pledged to do all that is possible with our Jewish friends to repel anti-Semitic tendencies. A Christian can never be an anti-Semite, especially because of the Jewish roots of Christianity.

The rabbis may respond in the following way:

Thank you – we are proud that our rabbi Joshua, who after his death became Jesus Christ, initiated the creation of Christianity as a Torah-based religion for the non-Jews. Please help us fight anti-Semitism everywhere, in particular in the EU governing organizations and in Islamic world, first the anti-Semitism directed against Israel and masked as a fight against “Israel’s occupation of Arab lands”.

–The priests say:

Catholics should bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews but that they should do so in a humble and sensitive manner, acknowledging that Jews are bearers of God’s word.

The rabbis may respond in the following way:

We are happy to see that while you are receiving the God’s guidance through Jesus Christ, you are acknowledging our God-given ability to receive the God’s guidance directly from Him.

The anti-Judeo-Christian ideas govern Judeo-Christian America


This blog is exploring the Torah-guided Judeo-Christian world where the Jews may live in spiritual harmony with the Christians both building a better world for everybody. You may find in the blog much more on this topic in addition to this post such as for example “Judeo-Christian and anti-Judeo-Christian communities of Western Civilization”, “To the dismay of some, here what we have to do to restore our Judeo-Christian spirituality”, “The only way to win the war against Islamists in Paris and elsewhere is to strengthen our Judeo-Christian spirituality, “The origin of Judeo-Christian spirituality and why some hate it”.

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This post: The anti-Judeo-Christian ideas govern Judeo-Christian America

Americans on Christianity

The large majority of Americans — 77% of the adult population — identify with a Christian religion; another 18% of Americans do not have an explicit religious identity and 5% identify with a non-Christian religion.

American government on Christianity

President Barak Obama: “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation;” “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.”

The Supreme Court: “Companies cannot discriminate against prospective employees for religious reasons” that means that a company cannot do anything that would show preferential respect for Judeo-Christian values over Islamic or any other non-Judeo-Christian values.

Thus, in the USA, there are the Judeo-Christian majority, which is guided by Biblical moral values, and the Government, which does not believe that its duty is to defend the nation’s Judeo-Christian moral values against the intrusion of moral values of its spiritual adversaries.

The anti-Judeo-Christian minority led by an army of all-mighty lawyers is using, skillfully but deceitfully, the US Constitution as the tool for removing the Judeo-Christian morality from the government legislative work. This powerful Judeo-Christian minority succeeds since the authoritative priests and rabbis have removed themselves from guiding the government legislative work and have secluded themselves to their churched and synagogues. The Judeo-Christian religious authorities withdrew themselves from guiding the government legislative work and let the anti-Judeo-Christian lawyers rule. Now the anti-Judeo-Christian lawyers-politicians are guiding the government – not the Judeo-Christian authorities – on what is “GOOD” and what is “BAD” and therefore should be declared legal or illegal.

The all-mighty anti-Judeo-Christian lawyers-politicians have replaced the Judeo-Christian Bible-based values by the newly coined politically correct, PC, values, and priests and rabbis have been silent.

The PC, anti-Judeo-Christian rulers proclaim, “freedom of religion is a fundamental constitutional principle.” However, when somebody begins to practice the “proclaimed freedom of religion” and demands the government not to replace the Biblical, Judeo-Christian definitions of marriage, family, equality, morality, and so on, the PC rulers-keepers are proclaiming that the US Constitution forbids such expressions of “freedom of religion”. However, the US Constitution does not forbids the Judeo-Christian moral values – the Constitution itself is based on these values. What the US Constitution forbids is a supreme power of a selected one religious denomination since this would mean the suppression of religious freedom of other religious denominations.

Here are just a few examples.

The priests and rabbis were silent when the PC keepers decreed the man-woman equality to be judged by the equal pay instead of the Bible-guided equal respect for well-done work in the family and at any work-place position from a clerk to a CEO.

They were silent when the PC keepers decreed the legal family to be defined as a join living of almost anything and everything instead of a Bible-defined family as a male-female union created for procreation.

They were silent when the PC keepers decreed the equality of moral values of all religions instead of emphasizing the superiority of Judeo-Christian Biblical values, at least for our Bible-guided Western civilization.

They were silent when the PC keepers decreed the Blacks were in need of the government help through the Affirmative Action Act instead of proposing to treat everybody equally and to assist all the disadvantaged through the Charity/Mitzvah actions as the Bible guides us.

They were silent when the PC keepers decreed Israel is a part of the Middle-Eastern problems instead of declaring that Israel is defending the Western Judeo-Christian world in the Middle East.

The priests and rabbis have to get together, create a Judeo-Christian union in defense of the true freedom of religion, and put together a sort of “true religious freedom restoration act” that would guide the government on how to restore the mutual Judeo-Christian values in the government legislative work. Otherwise, we will continue marching to abyss.  

The origin of Judeo-Christian spirituality, and why some hate it


The origin of Judeo-Christian spirituality can be described in the following spiritually Jewish way.

  1. The great majority of Jews support the Rambam’s 13 principles of faith with the statement that the Torah is immutable and of divine origin.
  2. The Torah states that God created the humans in His image and likeness – all of them, Jews and non-Jews.
  3. The Torah defines the image of God as the Creator. If it is so, all the humans have to be creators in their individual (and collective) spheres of human endeavor.
  4. The Torah defines the way of God’s, and therefore humans, creative work – evaluating the results of a creation: if it is GOOD, it remains alive and continue developing; if it is BAD, it is demolished and replaced by something else.
  5. The Torah provides the Rules (spirituality, morality, rituals …) for defining GOOD and BAD to be tailored and applied to individual life circumstances.
  6. The Torah defines one group of the humans, the Jews, as the Chosen to be a sort of testing ground for the Rules and a helper to the others in learning and applying the Rules to their God-guided creative efforts.
  7. After receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, the Jews – for over a millennium – had accumulated enough experience in applying the Rules in their own realm, and had begun – about two millenniums ago – helping the non-Jews in changing their heathen rules to the Rules of One God.
  8. At that time, there were no religions of Judaism or Christianity – just the Rules of One God for all the humans created by God in His own image and likeness.
  9. After the God’s Torah-based Rules began to be followed by all Jews and many non-Jews, some of them began to play the role of interpreters and enforcers of the Rules in their own interpretation with the goal of becoming a sort of human gods for their own peoples – that is the beginning of religions Judaism and Christianity.
  10. Judeo-Christian spirituality that we are discussing these days is the all-human spirituality based on the Rules of One God specified in the Torah without distortions introduced by some power-grabbing human leaders (in both Christianity and Judaism) without neglecting the unique role of the Jews as the Chosen.

Now, why some people may hate the concept of Judeo-Christian spirituality if, as is seen from the above description, this concept

  • has nothing to do with the unique role of the Jews as the Chosen,
  • has nothing to do with the unique distinguishing characteristics of Judaism and Christianity as different religions made for two different peoples – Jews and non-Jews,
  • makes everybody spiritually equal in their individual pursue of happiness through creative work under one set of guiding rules for all, and
  • what most important, spiritually arms us for defending our Judeo-Christian world from its chief spiritual enemy, the militarist Islam, bent on eliminating the Judeo-Christian world?

It looks like the answer is obvious. The haters of the concept of Judeo-Christian spirituality do not appreciate our great civilization, with two spiritual hubs in USA and Israel, and want to change it for something else. They do not understand the mission of the Jews as the Chosen and want do denigrate this mission. The Jewish haters do not believe in the Jewish spiritual strength and therefore think the concept of Judeo-Christian spirituality may encourage the Jews to leaving their faith. All of them are wrong!

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