Sunday, January 21, 2007

Contradictions within the Torah




Exodus 12:40 states “The habitation of the Children of Israel during which they dwelled in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.” [This verse will be publicly read in Orthodox synagogues this coming Saturday morning.]

This verse clearly contradicts Exodus 6:18-20 which states that Kohath lived 133 years and Amram lived 137 years. Kohath came to Egypt with Jacob (Genesis 46:11). Moses, the son of Amram, died at the age of 120 (Deut. 34:7), which was 40 years after the Exodus, making Moses 80 years old at the time of Exodus. Therefore the Egyptian exile could not have lasted more than 350 years. (In fact, according to the Talmudic tradition, it lasted only 210 years.)

This contradiction has been addressed by many Biblical commentaries, from the twelfth century to the present. Personally, I have not yet found an explanation which I feel is very plausible. Needless to say, critics of Judaism have used this verse as proof that the Torah was not written by God, since obviously God would not have made a mistake and the number 430 is clearly a mistake.

I believe, however, such a conclusion is unwarranted.

The evidence in favor of the divine origin of the Torah is overwhelming. Exodus 12:40 is a single verse which I don’t understand. In my opinion, this does not outweigh the evidence in favor Judaism.

This same type of logic is commonly applied in any other area of research.

Take for example the discovery of DNA in dinosaur bones. This would seem to contradict the well established fact that dinosaurs lived tens of millions of years ago, because soft tissues can never survive that long. However rather than contradict the massive evidence of the age of dinosaurs, scientists must simply accept the fact that somehow in this case soft tissue did survive 70 million years, although we don’t understand how.

Only when the preponderance of evidence would favor a much younger age for dinosaurs, something almost inconceivable, would that conclusion be accepted. By the same token, in regarding Judaism, only when the preponderance of evidence would shift to a human authorship of the Torah, something almost inconceivable, could that conclusion be accepted.

In other words, as the old Yiddish saying goes, “Fun a kasha shtorbt man nischt”. “You don’t die from a contradiction.”

107 comments:

Baal Habos said...

>In other words, as the old Yiddish saying goes, “Fun a kasha shtorbt man nischt”. “You don’t die from a contradiction.”

True.

But how about 100 pages of kashias? I.E. Letter to my Rabbi.

jewish philosopher said...

99% of that letter is nitpicking nonsense and the rest I think I have already dealt with.

But if you have any questions, by all means. Nu, az frag mir a kasha!

joshua said...

I happen to be a yeshivish guy with some knowledge about these topics. Your proof isn't a proof at all and it bothers me you're posting this on a blog pruportedly to help explain contradictions to Jews. Our entire Torah Sheh Bal Peh is based on resolving contradictions in the Written Law, which there are numerous. To frum jews this isn't a problem because we received the Oral Law at har sinai, but if one doesn't accept this prescence which there is no solid proof for other than faith then you are left with just that, numerous if not hundreds of contradictions. Notice how sefer devarim never mentions kohanim only levim and aaron is only mentioned once, different rules for priests in nevim than in chumash, chronoligies being vastly different in nevim than in chumash and even different chronoloigies given within chumash! Now I happen to be frum and accept what I know is a leap of faith, that being torah she bal peh, but to post this like it's some proof just doesn't cut it. Have you even read the numerous kefira books on Bible criticism? Trust me my good friend, I wish the problem could be as simple as you make it out to be and that we could all then have 100% undeniable proof that the Torah is min ha shamayim, but the fact is we don't and probably for the best so that we can all have bechira hafshi to believe or not. Right now the "preponderance of evidence" points to human scholarship al pi derech ha tevah.

jewish philosopher said...

Other apparent contradictions between one verse and another, between one statement of the Sages and another or between Torah and science I have found always have plausable explanations. If you have any problems, please let me know. Some of my posts deal with this.

Regarding Ex. 12:40, I haven't got one, yet.

joebaum said...

Joshua-if you dom't base your beliefe on your mind, on what based it on then.

joshua said...

I think it's intellectually dishonest to say you can base your faith in Judaism on the "truth" of the Torah. There's no way you can ever prove it's divine. I base my faith on just a feeling I have. Does that make me intellectually dishonest also? Perhaps. But my faith comes from the feeling I have when I daven, when I learn, when I learn about jewish history, the existance of the Jewish people unto this day, the beauty of the jewish home ect. But I don't think it's possible for it to come from any scientific proofs and surely not from this article saying that a couple problems isn't really a problem ect. And it might be for the best that way because it enables bechira to exist. As far as the problems that the mod is talking about, for starters (I've read the actual book so don't think my knowledge about it is based on this, but this is a good start) check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Documentary_hypothesis

joebaum said...

What do you "feel" about judaism?

joebaum said...

This question is serious, what is the feeling that you have about judaism that makes you beleive in it?

SearchingForMeaning said...

More nonesense. ou chose a few very easily resolved little issues and made a nice little answer for each, while ignoring the anachronisms, ocntradictions, and problems that the REAL scholars take issue with. Par for the course.

jewish philosopher said...

Joshua, the Documentary Hypothesis doesn't prove that the Torah was written by humans. People who believe in DH assume that men wrote the Torah and then just try to guess who they were.

Searching, why don't you enlighten us?

joshua said...

I'm not sure if you're seeing my point. For you and me we both believe in Torah min ha shamayim, but if I was to approach the Torah from a neutral position and look it at as a book and then decide whether to accept what it says as factual or not the burden of proof lies on the book to prove it's point not to the reader to prove it wrong. My point is from that standpoint it's impossible for us to prove it and the evidence from such a standpoint more strongly points to the DH. Occam's Razor basically.

As far as belief in light of this fact much archaeology backs up many of the stories of tanach. It's very , very hard to defend a mininamlist posititon now adays. No not everything will ever be dug up and some stories are out of line by a hundred years here and there but I find that only to be a problem when you take the most extreme seder olam approach, one that doesn't even have it's roots in the gemmara. Basically I think many of the problems people have with faith today are offshoots of the all or nothing radical approach we have to Torah over the last hundred years. Remember the geonim were still debating over whether or not G-d was even corperal or not. While many of the chumras and things we've accepted today I believe are for the best as they help most to preserve jewish life against secular life, I find many of them to be somewhat intellectually dishonest.

Henry said...

JP, you are putting forward much the same argument as fundamentalist Moslems and Christians. How do you think that the holy scriptures actually came about and were put into written form? Divine e-mail? Embedded in a meteorite that fell out of the sky?

Of course not, they were written down by holy people who were attempting to discern the mind of God to the best of their ability. So, yes, the scriptures are the word of God, but they are not to be taken in their entirety as literal truth. Which means that occasional inconsistencies are non-problems.

jewish philosopher said...

Orthodox Jews believe that God at Mount Sinai dictated the Pentateuch word for word to Moses.

Henry said...

That sounds like the Karaite position to me. I have no problem with the scriptures being a divine revelation, but dictated word for word... ? In Hebrew? And the meaning of the words hasn't changed since? And what about the oral law without which the written law cannot be interpreted?

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Anyone who uses this contradiction to prove the Torah wasn’t written by God is ridiculous. Think about it for a second, and if written by man, it does make sense?! No man would make such an obvious mistake either. Obviously there exists some resolution and therefore there exists no proof whatsoever.

Joebaum said...

Well sayd.

jewish philosopher said...

Henry, Hebrew has not been used as conversational language since Biblical times, so the vocabular hasn't changed.

The detailed meaning of each commandment was taught by God to Moses when He was dictating the Torah to Moses. This is the Oral Law, which was finally written in the Talmud.

Joebaum said...

nice new pic!, Why dosn't your child wear a yarmilka?

jewish philosopher said...

Since he is handicapped, he attendeds public school and isn't so used to wearing it. We try to remind him.

Joebaum said...

Move to kiryos joel ny, there thay have a kosher public school spacial for children with that kind of needs.

jewish philosopher said...

I know about it, but he is now going to school in a children's hospital in Westchester. They have the best therapy for him. I hope to send him a regular yeshiva before he's seven.

Joebaum said...

a "refuah shlaimo" soon!

Henry said...

JP, that still gives you 1000 to 1600 years from the time of Moses to the time Hebrew ceased to be a conversational language ie equal to from the invasion of England by the Saxons to now. Every generation takes from scripture that which is of importance to it. Which is part of its value. Just mind how you interpret the text; I am with Joshua on this.

BTW I hope you are now fully recovered.

jewish philosopher said...

Some languages are more conservative than others. For example, I believe a modern Greek can, with difficulty, read Plato, written 2400 years ago.

Thank God, I'm fully recovered from surgery. I started jogging and weight lifting again today.

realityinquirer said...

Dear Jacob Stein AKA "Jewish Philosopher"

Is it possible to be an orthadox jew and at the same time deny the literal account of the Noach Story and Babel story (that humanity started afresh some 4000 years ago post world destruction by mabul and spread across the world forming different languages and nations ????

Or can these stories be takes as figurative narative BUT true in the sense of the moral teachings and still be "ORTHADOX Torah min Hashamaim accepted"

reply to andiedavid@hotmail.com if you can help with this question.

(I am an orthadox jew grappeling with this problem)

lysis22 said...

B"H

Raised as a Jewish man with traditional orthodoxy have learned to believe in the second Oral Torah as the emes. After many years of study with Talmud scholars, many questions have arisen which no one can give any reasonable response.

If Hashem gave the Torah Shel ba-peh to Moses on Har Sinai then why did men write it down in volumes?
Why did the Talmudim place themselves above Hashem in Talmud?

Moed: Erubin 21b
"….And furthermore, my son, be admonished of making many books. My son be more careful in the observance of the words of the Scribes than in the words of the Torah, for in the laws of the Torah there are positive and negative precepts, but, as to the laws of the Scribes whoever transgresses any of the enactments of the Scribes incurs the penalty of death."

Moed: Erubin 21b
"….And furthermore, my son, be admonished of making many books. My son be more careful in the observance of the words of the Scribes than in the words of the Torah, for in the laws of the Torah there are positive and negative precepts, but, as to the laws of the Scribes whoever transgresses any of the enactments of the Scribes incurs the penalty of death."


The scribes repeated this in other parts of Talmud as well. It seems that Hashem had warned of the coming of these sages eons before they wrote their books in direct opposition to G-d's instruction to not add or diminish from His laws.

In Neviim the Creator of the universe wrote:

"Isaiah 29:13-15

And the L-rd said: Forasmuch as this people draw near, and with their mouth and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear of Me is a commandment of men learned by rote;

Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the prudence of their prudent men shall be hid.

Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the
L-RD, and their works are in the dark, and they say: 'Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?'

----------------------------------------------------------------------

KOHELETH 12:11-14

The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails well fastened are those that are composed in collections; they are given from one shepherd.

And furthermore, My son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

The end of the matter, all having been heard: fear G-d, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole man.

For G-d shall bring every work into the judgment concerning every hidden thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.


The Rabbanim's additions and substractions in their unending disputations of the meanings are supposed to come from Hashem through Moshe and then to the generatrions of men.

Example: Hashem ordered that men should wear fringes (tzizit) on the corners of their garments with one fringe of 'blue.' This color is mentioned 71 times in the Torah alone and their is no mention of using the blood of a traifa snail or other animal to fulfill the Mitzvah.

The Rabbi's now have a tradition where only white fringes are worn on our talits.

Who is one to follow? The finite mind of men or the infinite wisdom of the Creator?

jewish philosopher said...

I personally find arguments in favor of the Oral Law very compelling.

lysis22 said...

It is nice that you find the Oral Second Torah Laws so compelling. The problem arises as to the age old question of why is there anti-semitism. Why have the Jews been singled out among the nations for hate, degradation and the murder of the Hebrew people. Islam is only one that has an irrational desire to destroy the entire Jewish people from the face of the earth.

It now seems apparent that the root cause of anti-semitism is the Talmud itself. The pilpul, twisting and contortion of meanings of parts of Talmud are meaningless to those who find the Talmud to be full of hate of the other peoples of the earth, pedophilia and so many others that prove the Jews are to eliminated from the earth. Do you think that Hashem actually told moses things like it's perfectly okay for men to have sex with little girls up to 3 years and one day. Or killing of Jews is worthy of the death penalty but killing of gentiles is okay. The Talmud of men is full of these statements. Take for an example the following site that I have begun to study the effects of these wise men scribes:

http://sadducees.homestead.com/TalmudStatements.html

jewish philosopher said...

What percentage of convicted murderers, rapists, muggers and burglars are Orthodox Jews? I think you'll find it's disproportionately very small. So what exactly is bothering you?

Apparently either you don't understand the Talmud or we aren't listening to it.

lysis22 said...

You ask what percentage of 'TRADITIONAL ORTHODOX JEWS" are murderers, rapists, muggers or burglars.

Of course there are a fewer percentage to the general population but they do occur. I can tell you from first hand experience of Talmudic Orthodox Hassidic Jews in Meir Sharim who tried to cheat me when they saw a greenhorn Jew from the US.

I wanted to buy a kosher Torah and they tried to sell me Torahs from the trunk of their car in an alley in this orthodox enclave.

I asked them if they would make a berocha in the morning on these Torahs and they knew they had been exposed. With their beards, capotas, streimals, these Talmud believing Jews committed an avera.

But that has nothing to do with the Talmud or if it actually was given in either edition to Moshe on Har Sinai for klal Yisroel.

The goyim also can read and they see outrageous statements supposedly from Hashem to Moshe to Joshua and to the elders, etc.

These anti-semities don't look for nuances or pilpul but simply for proof that the 'Jew Bible' is like the Qur'an. FULL OF HATE......

Show me just one place in Hashem's Tanach that Hashem mentioned this work of the hands of men that would make His laws, commandments and edicts understandable. Did Hashem forget or was He senile.

Hashem makes no mistakes and He gave evidence that these men and their works would cause Him to turn His face away from Israel.

Apparently this is exactly what happened and to this very day, the orthodox people believe in the works of man's hands rather than in the infinite blueprint of creation.

That is what upsets me....

But this Talmud is there to make a living for the Rabbanim and those that make their own laws.

I choose Hashem and not the wise men sages of this new Torah of men.

jewish philosopher said...

Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were not too honest either. Which type of Jews were they?

What makes you think the Talmud is bogus and why did most Jews accept it if it is?

lysis22 said...

Who am I but an but a simple am ha-aretz that questions the many wise men like Gamliel, Hillel, Shammi, Rashi, Rav Maimon and others who studied their whole lives and used their wisdom to interpret the Torah and write a second unauthorized Oral Shel ba-peh Law for the orthodox tradtional Jews multitude of today? I am no Jonah giving warning for I am considered a heretic and sent to Cherem.

I do not understand your reference to goyim like Presidents Nixon and Clinton for they too were anti-Semites. While for reasons unknown, the Jew hater Richard Nixon sent abundant military arms to the besieged Israel just in time to reverse the Arab armies arrayed against them. WHY?

Bill Clinton tried to make peace between Israel and the Arabs but was destined to fail miserably as George Bush does now. WHY do these anti-Semites go against their evil inclinations for a small insignificant country with no oil or wealth?

These goyim are not knowledgeable about the importance of not stealing or cheating their fellow men like the Yeshiva Chasidim tried with me. Why do you ask me as to what type of Jews these two US presidents are in comparison to Talmudic traditional Jews?

You ask why I think the Talmud is the work of men and not of Hashem. That is a fair question and deserves an answer. It is not I who thinks the Talmud is both false and evil but Hashem.

You ask a very insightful question of why “most Jews” have followed this almost 2000 year old ‘traditional orthodoxy of men.’ The answer goes back to the time of the second temple in Yerushalayim. The Sadducees were mostly Kohanim and followed only the Torah of Hashem. The larger group of Pharisees used their influence with their Roman overseers to remove these Jews who followed the traditions of Moshe, Joshua, the Prophets, the Kings and the Judges before them. The Pharisees like the gospel writers felt they needed to interpret the Torah Har Sinai for who else could explain what appeared to be unclear and confusing for the ordinary man to understand. Remember that Hashem never mentioned in His Torah about any Oral Torah that would explain the nuances in the perfect Torah. So for two centuries the Oral Torah became the orthodox tradition that iyr ancestors studied in detail these volumes of contradictory arguments as halacha.

Therefore most Jews except for a remnant believed in the edicts of men that totally reversed Hashem and Torah.

But Hashem said in Exodus 23:2

"Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou bear witness in a cause to turn aside after a multitude to pervert justice."

I choose to not follow the multitude of traditional orthodoxy in their unknowingly perverting justice and causing 2000 + years of evil to befall the nation of Hashem. For surely Hashem has turned His face away from the descendents of His chosen people.

You are a ger who has turned away from paganism and back to the faith of your forefathers. As such, you are much like Abraham who also heard the divine call from Hashem and rejected idol worship for the unseen and unknowable Creator.

I feel my purpose is not to convert orthodox Judaism from its ways but more to give warning before Hashem’s promise to destroy most of the Jewish people in a great war waged against them from the nations that will come to the mountains of Israel and leave only a remnant of Jews to repopulate in that future time of Moschiach. Do you really think that traditional orthodox Talmudic Jews are the ones mentioned:

Ezekiel 33:31

31 and come unto thee as the people cometh, and sit before thee as My people, and hear thy words, but do them not--for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness;

2 Kings 19:30-31

30 And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.

31 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of mount Zion they that shall escape; the zeal of the L-RD of hosts shall perform this.

I always remember Isaiah 29:13-15

”And the L-rd said: Forasmuch as this people draw near, and with their mouth and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear of Me is a commandment of men learned by rote;



Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the prudence of their prudent men shall be hid.



Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the L-RD, and their works are in the dark, and they say: 'Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?'”

Warmly,

Arnie Wolf

jewish philosopher said...

Speaking of the Moshiach, Deuteronomy 23:3 states "An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation shall none belonging to them enter into the assembly of the LORD for ever."

The Book of Ruth states that David, king of Israel and ancestor of the future Moshiach, was descended from Ruth, a Moabite woman.

I wonder how one would interpret that without the Talmudic explanation, that Deuteronomy refers only to male Moabites, not females?

lysis22 said...

You have posed an interesting question concerning David Melech and his great grandmother Ruth, the Moabite.

The Torah does not distinguish between men and women Moabites and any additions to Torah are forbidden. The scribes would then have added to the words of Torah for a theory based on men’s opinions.

The answer to this puzzle seems pretty clear in the words of Devarim 23.

The words of the chapter clearly states that no Moabite, Hebrew child born out of wedlock, Hebrew person with crushed genitals or any Hebrew man who has nocturnal emissions is allowed to be in the assembly or camp where the L-rd exists.

The fact that the Moabite woman Ruth voluntarily chose to convert to Judaism and because of her kindness was no longer a Moabite but a Jewish woman who happened to be born by accident of conception into a Moabite family and was therefore not precluded from being the progenitor of David Melech.

Devarim 23 simply states no Moabites to be allowed into the camp of the L-rd G-d. But no exclusions were made for Jewish converts.

Warmly,

Arnie Wolf

jewish philosopher said...

But an unconverted Babylonian or Assyrian may "enter into the assembly of the LORD"?

Deut. 23:3 is referring only to converts. An unconverted gentile is obviously not permitted to intermarry with Jews.

lysis22 said...

I am not certain of your question concerning any unconverted goyim being able to enter the camp of the L-rd. The problem with Hebrew translations into English are based on the clear use in context or its exegesis throughout the Torah. The קְהַל is not an necessarily an assembly but can be a house, camp or the presence of Hashem.

Avram Avenu was accidentally born into a family of idol worshipers and idol makers. Apparently Hashem picked out this goy to bring Him to the world of humanity.

Did Avram marry a Jew or a convert to the faith of the Creator of the universe?

Like Ruth, Avram was taken from the ranks of gentile humans to become special characters in His blueprint of creation.

jewish philosopher said...

Based upon the context, it would seem that a Moabite should have the same status as the bastard in the previous verse - all his or her descendents forever will be prohibited from entering the community of the Lord. Surely David should therefore should have been disqualified from being king. The Talmud explains why this was not the case. While a bastard is male or female, the Moabite is referring only to the males.

lysis22 said...

B”H

You say: "Based upon the context, it would seem that a Moabite should have the same status as the bastard in the previous verse - all his or her descendents forever will be prohibited from entering the community of the L-rd. Surely David should therefore should have been disqualified from being king. The Talmud explains why this was not the case. While a bastard is male or female, the Moabite is referring only to the males."

It is true that Moabites like the bastard can be either male or female but the bastard is only prohibited from entering the בִּקְהַל יְהוָה only to the tenth generation or is that statement partially in error?

“Devarim 23:3 A bastard shall not enter into the assembly of the L-RD; even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the assembly of the L-RD.”

The main difference is that a bastard cannot become a convert to Judaism and the Moabite woman Ruth took on the mantle of Judaism of her own free will and by her goodness merited her in a special status as a Jewish woman. The Talmud shows disdain for women while the Torah has made them both prophet and leader of the nation of Israel. The Talmud places them in the role of a subservient Jew who must hide behind curtains and wear wigs, hair coverings and modest long dresses much like the Muslims. It is probable that Mohammed got the idea of the Burka from the Talmud. Is not the Neshuma of women the equal of men and deserves a place in the ten souls that comprise the Talmudic created daily and Shabbat minyan?

As the book of Ruth was added to the Ketubim and therefore part of the Tanach, Hashem has given this Moabite convert to Israel a special place as the progenitor of David Melech. Let’s take a closer look at Devarim 23: 4…

לֹא-יָבֹא עַמּוֹנִי וּמוֹאָבִי, בִּקְהַל יְהוָה: גַּם דּוֹר עֲשִׂירִי, לֹא-יָבֹא לָהֶם בִּקְהַל יְהוָה עַד-עוֹלָם

Can you show me where gender of Amonites and Moabites are found in the plain meaning of this Torah verse?

Could the Talmud scribes have been in error or might Hashem have been mistaken?

Point made….

May I now ask you a question? The word ‘blue’ is mentioned over 200 times in the Torah Har Sinai. Could you show me in this verse where it says that the ‘blood of a traifa snail; long forgotten in the Talmud need be used to make the Talit holy unto the L-rd G-d? Is there any reference to a Traifa animals blood necessary to dye anything in those 200 + references to the color spectrum we see as blue?

Numbers 15:38
דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם, וְעָשׂוּ לָהֶם צִיצִת עַל-כַּנְפֵי בִגְדֵיהֶם, לְדֹרֹתָם; וְנָתְנוּ עַל-צִיצִת הַכָּנָף, פְּתִיל תְּכֵלֶת.

Who gave the Talmudic Rabbanim and scribes the authority to change the words of Hashem?

Devarim 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the L-RD your G-d which I command you.

In order to make the point that the Talmud is and has caused Hashem to turn His face from His people because of this travesty one must also look at Joshua

Joshua 8:30-34

"Then Joshua built an altar unto the L-RD, the G-d of Israel, in mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the L-RD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of unhewn stones, upon which no man had lifted up any iron; and they offered thereon burnt-offerings unto the L-RD, and sacrificed peace-offerings. And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote before the children of Israel. And all Israel, and their elders and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, that bore the ark of the covenant of the L-RD, as well the stranger as the home-born; half of them in front of mount Gerizim and half of them in front of mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the L-RD had commanded at the first, that they should bless the people of Israel. And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the law."

Also in Joshua 23:6, when Joshua is old and near his death, he cautioned the people:

"Therefore be ye very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left."
Joshua makes no mention of the oral laws he supposedly received, nor is any attempt shown on his part to pass it along to others who would follow.

I must compliment you most highly. You are the only knowledgeable person who has been willing to discuss these subjects with me. The Rabbis apparently are aware of this concept of the Talmud being the creation of men but there very livelihoods relies on the Talmud as a second Torah. Every ‘orthodox traditional Rabbi or scholar has no answers to my heretical statements. For the knowledge of Torah is perfect and its plain meaning [Omek Pheshuto] has no need for ‘wise men’s’ own interpretations which changes the very meaning of G-d’s handiwork.

Warmly

Anie Wolf

jewish philosopher said...

The word “techelis” appears 48 times in the Bible and it means a specific type of blue dye.

By the way, how do you understand the holiday of Purim? Deuteronomy 4:2 states “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” However Esther 9:23 states “the Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to the writing thereof, and according to the appointed time thereof, every year”.

Apparently, your understanding of the Torah is not the same as that of Biblical era Jews.

lysis22 said...

Thanks for the correction of 48 times the word techeles (blue) is mentioned in the Torah. But without any mention in any 'blue' verse of a specific blue dye.

I find your specific type of blue dye link very interesting. In part it says:

"Throughout the period extending from the Exodus from Egypt until the destruction of the Holy Second Temple in the first century of the common era, the production of Techelet was in the hands of one family in Israel."

It must have been difficult for that one family to control the sea snail or sea mollusk while wondering 40 years in the Sinai desert for the Talmudic singled out color of blue. It seems the Rabbis related that the exact traifa sea animal had been forgotten in the pre-Talmudic written versions of the 'Oral Law.'

I wonder what else was forgotten before the Talmud was written down in the Talmud Yerushalami and Bavel versions? Could they have forgotten which type of Tefillin Moshe, Joshua and the people of Israel wore after Har Sinai. Do you think that the pre-Talmidic fathers wore Rav Tom or Rashi type tefillin?

On to Esther and 9:23 where it was stated that "they could keep the two days according to the writing thereof, and according to the appointed time thereof, every year."

I'll wager that this verse is referring to Esther 9:20 and the letters Mordechai sent out to the Jewish cities about the potential destruction of the Hebrews by Haman.

Esther 9:20

"And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,"

Could it be that Mordechai was writing the Mishna of the Bavli Talmud?

You are correct in that my understanding of the Torah is not the same as the biblical era Jews but more correctly the pre-Talmudic biblical times that Moshe, Joshua, the prophets, the kings of Israel, the Judges lived by from Har Sinai and Hashem.

Like the Christian gospel song goes, "Give me that ole time religion, its good enough for me.'

But in all seriousness, it now appears that the Talmud has not been what has kept the Jewish people together over the centuries but instead it has been Hashem keeping His covenant with the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Warm regards,

Arnie Wolf

lysis22 said...

Dear Jacob,

Another riddle (Omek Peshuto)

Genesis 1:5 states (vayahe erev, vayahe boker, yom echad) for each day of creation. There was evening and there was (boker) morning but the general Talmudic interpretation of a day is from sunset to twilight.

Hashem seems to be saying that a day is from evening to morning or about 12 current hours. Could you give a source from Tanach (not Talmudic or Tosafot interpretations) of the 'evening to twilight day' that Jews have been taught as valid for more than two centuries.

Genesis 1:16,19

16 And G-d made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars.

17 And G-d set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and G-d saw that it was good.[divide the dawn to night is one day and night to dawn a second day]

19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

Could a 'day' Hashem referenced in Torah be the answer as to why so many people like Moshe lived 120 years and others lived hundreds of years as by the clear (Omek Peshuto) meaning one earth day is actually 2 Torah days. If Hashem says one day is 'evening to morning', then could it be that each day is 36 hours, i.e., evening to twilight and twilight to morning?


A reply would be appreciated.

Warmly,


Arnold Wolf

jewish philosopher said...

The day is the nighttime and the following daytime in Judaism.

lysis22 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lysis22 said...

Dear Jacob:

Your Talmudic Judaism statement says: "the day is the nighttime and the following daytime...."

For your 'Judaism' statement to be valid, Hashem would have had to state clear words like..

"And there was evening through the daytime to the next "twilight, a fourth day.


Instead Hashem said in the original clear unmistakable biblical Hebrew:

Genesis 1:9

"And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day."

וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם רְבִיעִי.

Moshe lived 120 years or the equivalent 60 years in our current 24 hour days.

Could have Hashem been in error?

Arnie Wolf

jewish philosopher said...

Apparently, everyone understood it to mean that.

messenger1 said...

Dear Jacob, not sure if you still check these comments. going back to the original article about 430 years being the number of years of exile. Did you take into account that Joseph had lived in egypt too before kehoth, jacob and the rest of them joined him in Egypt? That should add a few years to your equation!
Love,
Messenger

jewish philosopher said...

Joseph wasn't there that much before Jacob came.

Hadi said...

how do you know that?

Hadi said...

it's strange, I guess it's using my gmail account, but Hadi is the same person as messenger, in case there is any confusion.

Hadi said...

ok here is what Rashi says, be the judge of that!
How many years did the Jews spend in Egypt? 210 years.When G-d and Abraham sealed the "Covenant Between the Parts," G-d told Abraham, "You shall surely know that your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will enslave them and oppress them, for four hundred years" (Genesis 15:13). However, the entire four hundred years were not spent in Egypt. Rather, they started with the birth of Isaac thirty years later.* G-d told Abraham that his "seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs," and beginning with the birth of Issac, Abraham's seed dwelt in a land that was not yet their own.Isaac was 60 when Jacob was born (Genesis 25:27) and Jacob was 130 years old when he arrived in Egypt (Genesis 47:9). Add to that the 210 years the Jews actually spent in Egypt, and you have 400 years.[Rashi on Exodus 12:40 explains why it is mathematically impossible to say that the Jews actually spent 400 years in Egypt.]The actual back-breaking slavery started approximately 86 years before the Exodus.* The 430 years referenced in Exodus 12:30 started with the actual "Covenant Between the Parts."
-Adi

jewish philosopher said...

Genesis 37:1 says Joseph was 17 when he was sold. Genesis 41:43 says he was 30 when he became prime minister. Genesis 41:53 says seven years of plenty followed before the famine began. Therefore Joseph preceded his brothers to Egypt by 20 years. This means that even including Joseph's years, the exile could not have been longer than 370 years.

In my ignorance, I have not been able to understand this comment, which is quoting from a midrash, because the verse says explicitly "dwelled in Egypt".

Hadi said...

Here is what the Samaritan Torah says for Ex. 12:40 since I know you are also familiar with that:
here is what my Samaritan friend from Israel emailed me:
In Ex. 12:40 the Israelite Samaritan version is
written: and the time that the Sons of Yishraael AND
THEIR FOREFATHERS dwelt IN THE LAND OF KAANAHN AND IN
THE LAND OF Misrem[=Egypt] was four hundreds and
thirty years.
He also sent that specific page of Exodus via email that if you like I will share with you via email.

jewish philosopher said...

Jews only accept the Masoretic text as being valid.

Hadi said...

yeah, we should first consider where the word Jew came from and what caused the division and separation between Judeah and Samaria, between Judah and Israel. I am a scholar and I have found Samaritans to be authentic, and if there is discrepencies between masoretic and Samaritan Pentateuch as well as oral law, the Samaritan version always wins. We are talking about a people who survived thousands of years of slaughter and exile by Greecs, Turks, Arabs, etc., and forced conversion to Christianity and Islam. They have consistently observed the Torah generation to generation; They have never been exiled, their pentateuch is in Ancient Hebrew script not like the masoretic in Aramaic (I am sure most Jews would disagree with that as well), and much more. So just because a book of prophets namely 2kings talks about some assyrians who were moved to Samaria, and refers to them as Samaritans, I am not going to ignore the overwhelming evidence that they are indeed the True keepers of the Law. Assuming that Assyrians did locate non-Israelites in Samaria, who is to say these Samaritans are the same people talked about in the book.

Hadi said...

Dear Jacob, I was just reading your story as I am sitting in class at a small medical school not listening to the lecture. I have not finished reading it, but my eyes were filled with tear as I could relate to much of what you have there. When I see people like you, my faith only becomes stronger. I was raised by secular parents and all I was told was we used to be Jewish, whatever that meant. I went through hell trying to find my Jewish heritage in a small town in Iran and even so I could only find my dad's side with undeniable proof. My mom's side being Jewish was just a matter of deductive logic. No documents, gravestones nothing to this day, but it's insignificant because I know deep in my soul that I am in fact an Israelite (Jewish) because there is just no other way. I too became a vegeterian for two years so I could observe laws of Kosher. I finally broke it to my family and thank God they were very open and welcoming, saying we used to be Jewish anyways! even my atheist father. I had studied both Islam and Christianity, and it was the time for orthodox Judaism. I was convinced it was the closest to the truth, but I often disagreed with "the sages." I finally came across Samaritans and within three months by pure chance I met one of the 700 Samaritans. I was for the first time in my life convinced it was it. I was certain and calm, I was simply content as I have been for the past year. Now a 25 year old medical student soon to be 26 in 2 weeks, I am only strngthening my knowledge and the scope of my practice.

jewish philosopher said...

I find the rabbinical tradition very convincing.

Where are you these days? Still Iran?

Hadi said...

Whatever works,
I am in Nevada, USA.

Hadi said...

Another evidence for samaritans' authenticity is laws of Sabbath, they don't do anything that would make them contaminated on shabbat. As the Torah says in leviticus 15: 16 and 18, if a man becomes impre, he will need to immerse and become pure after the sunset. I imagine the biblical times when "Jews" or Torah observers rather, used to go to the temple on shabbat. It says in the Torah, not to enter the camp of God when you have your contamination on you. Going to the temple was of the purest most holy things to do, so what justifies a comment in shulchan aruch that it is a "double mitzvah" to have marital relations on shabbat. Could they still go to the temple with their impurity on them since by the time they were purified it was the end of shabbat? Also isnt it creating on the day on which we are specifically commanded to not create. What about the sacrfices on shabbat? doesn't leviticus 7:20 state that it is a sin to eat the sacrifices in a state of uncleanliness, so what about the sacrifices offered on shabbat?
Another problem I have is the difference between the laws of Niddah between orthodox Jews and Samaritans. the Torah says very clearly that you count 7 days from the beginning of the bleeding. At the end of the seventh day, you immerse and will be purified after the sunset (leviticus 15:19); unless the menstruatal bleeding lasts more than 7 days, in which case you will count seven "clean" days after bleeding stops until you immerse and be purified. The rabbis say it is very difficult to determine if bleeding has stopped as there might still be a drop of blood in the uterus. I am sure God was well aware of that and took it into account. I guess as long as we make up for it on shabbat!
yet Another example is wearing the Tffilin. I can't imagine putting a physical object on my head and arm with straps all day long while performing my daily activities, which rabbis say was required at some point. It says don them as a sign on your head and a symbol on your arm. It means that all the commandments, decrees, and ordinances should be followed not only in action, but also in thought, e.g., if adultery is wrong, thinking about it is also wrong as it is a step away from action.
Am I diverging from the original article. Sorry. I guess I find it relevent in the sense that their Torah in ancient Hebrew doesn't have the inconsistency regarding the 430 years.

jewish philosopher said...

Is there any Samaritan school educating their children in Samaritanism? If not, then how many practicing, traditional Samaritans are left who are not elderly? Any? Also, I don't think they would consider you to be a Jew or accept you as a convert.

Hadi said...

I spent the last 20 min answering your question, but I guess a force was telling me to summarize and be to the point, so I lost the text.. Yes, they have one hour of formal training after school during which they study the Torah. The majority are younger people. There are over 700 people living on mount Gerizim in the west bank and Holon Israel.
Also they do accept conversion. It is misunderstood that they do not. In fact, I met one of them in the U.S. when a few of them came for a Samaritan choir in ancient Hebrew, and since he has been answering my religious questions. I will post a not on their music in case any one is interested.

Hadi said...

THE ISRAELITE
SAMARITAN MUSIC

Samaritan music is a vocal music, unaccompanied by
instruments, handed down over the one hundred and
thirty generations of the ancient Israelite-Samaritan
people in the land of Israel . It has been passed on
in two ways:

1. through formal study, with every Samaritan boy or
girl - studying for about an hour a day with Samaritan
teachers at the Community Center when they come home
from their regular school. They learn reading, liturgy
and poetry in ancient Hebrew and in the Aramaic
dialect still used today by the Samaritans;
2. by participation in prayer services at the
Samaritan synagogue every Sabbath and festival. Thus
the musical tradition is preserved, with its thousands
of different songs and melodies, some of which are
sung in prayer services and secular ceremonies, on
Sabbath and festivals and on joyous as well as
sorrowful occasions. Some of the songs are handed down
directly, a clear echo of ancient Israelite song; some
were written by Samaritan composers in the latter half
of the first millennium and some in the first half of
the second millennium of the modern era.

jewish philosopher said...

Do Samaritans stone adulterers and Sabbath violators? That's in the Torah.

Hadi said...

Adulterers and sabbath violators will lose their status as being a shomer ha-Emeth, and are expelled from the community.

Hadi said...

I emailed my Samaritan friend about what the basis is for not doing that and ignoring the Torah in that regard as to expel them from the community whenever the punishment for their transgression is death.

Hadi said...

Dear Jewish Philosopher,
The Torah is not the law of the land anywhere in the world. When there is a discrepency between what the Torah says and the law of the land, we should follow the law of the land. Sorry it took a while and let me say again, that your story alone for me is a sound proof of God's existence. The rest we can only try to be good and do what we think is right.

jewish philosopher said...

"When there is a discrepency between what the Torah says and the law of the land, we should follow the law of the land."

OK, but without the oral law, how would we know that?

Hadi said...

without the oral law, we would be lost like sheep with no shepherds. I am with you 100% as far as the need for The oral law. without the oral law how would we know what a tzitzit was or how to make one? Without the oral law, how would we know what it means by not cooking a kid in its mother's milk? without the oral law how would we know when to start counting the omer (today is day 10 for us not 16). The question is not whether we need The oral law or not. It is one of the content, of who kept it. The answer lies in the Torah that "You will be few in number." that you will be exiled "after" you abandon the commandments after you lose touch with God. Only then the curse will come upon you.
The oral law was never meant to be written down, otherwise God would have included it in the Torah. It was meant to be the understanding of the wisdom and interpretation of the Torah. It was like defining a taste, like sour. You could write books about it and explain it, but without the actual word being associated with the tase, it would be like defining light to someone who was born blind. It was meant to be preserved by passing it down to our children.
The truth also lies in our heart; as it says it is near, in your heart, not the other side of the ocean. The truth is appealing to the heart. Once one sees the truth with one's heart, one will never go back. One's heart will be circumcised as it says. I don't presume to know all that much of the Torah at all. however, I will spend all of my life exploring the answers. I only have a believing heart at the moment, a heart that found its Truth. I am sure you can relate to that as I am sure much of my journey you have been through. I am sure there was a time when you were certain that the Torah was the Truth after years of searching and thinking, but you were not sure about the details yet. You asked perhaps whether the orthodox was right or some oher sect. Your faith told you the truth existed, and out of all the options you found orthodox to be the most original. That is when your journey only began. Now it was time to learn, to discover the details, the never-ending journey.
I am only at that point, that I found the original. My heart is like an empty ocean, but I have streams coming from all sides, and never ending rain to fill it up. If you are interested in my Truth, I would only trust this website. http://mystae.com/reflections/messiah/samaritans.html

jewish philosopher said...

How many Samaritans are there under age 60 who actually observe the Sabbath in the Samaritan way?

Hadi said...

I know at least 70% of them are under 60, so over 500. And there is no such a thing as a non-observing Samaritan. Every body is observant, otherwise they cannot continue to live in the community.
Even for Yom kippur only nursing mothers and nursing babies do not fast for 24 hours (no food or water).
For a more accurate number, I emailed my Samaritan friend, Benny, whom I observed the sabbath with during his brief visit to the U.S. He is also the conductor of Samaritan choir, ancient hebrew music, which goes around the world and performs every so many years. I will forward some information on that to your email address.

jewish philosopher said...

There are about 1.5 million observant rabbinical Jews worldwide, compared to about 700 Samaritans. How can it be that 99.95% of the total Torah observant community is misinterpreting the Torah? It seems unlikely.

Hadi said...

"There are about 1.5 million observant rabbinical Jews worldwide, compared to about 700 Samaritans. How can it be that 99.95% of the total Torah observant community is misinterpreting the Torah? It seems unlikely."

There are also over one billion observant muslims worldwide.
The Torah says not to be a follower of the majority for wrong.
(Ex 23:2)
It would have been so easy for me to stay on my rather short orthodox
path, which I found to be the most original out of all, i.e. Karaite, reform, reconstructionist, and conservative, before I discovered the Samaritans. For one thing, there would be hundreds of thousands of girls to pick from for marriage, not a mere hope of finding some one who will be appealed to the Samaritan tradition and decide to follow it. I would have a community to be a part of. I would not be looked at as the other guy, not really belonging anywhere, the maverick. But I believe I am faced with these challenges for a reason.
Aren't there disagreements in the observant orthodox community as far as some practices go? I remember reading various interpretation from Rashi and Rambam that did not always agree with one another. How does one know which one to accept, and how can one be sure that what they DO agree on is the correct interpretation? I believe in the philosophy that if one letter of the Torah was changed, you cannot believe any of it. That contradiction does not exist in the Samaritan Torah, which has been practiced under the supervision of a kohen gadol for 3646 years continuously.

jewish philosopher said...

Rabbinical Jews also claim to have a direct tradition from Sinai. Why should the Samaritan tradition be more accurate? It seems more likely that if 500 people interpret a book one way and 1 interprets it differently, that the 500 are correct.

Hadi said...

Is the following from the talmud why you insist the majority vote must win no matter how wrong that majority may be? Or is the idea of democracy?
If majority must be right, then it will definitely not be the Jews let alone the orthodox, as the Christians and Muslims outnumber the Jews by billions. So should we practice one of those religions?
"The Gemara relates that generations later Rabbi Natan met the Prophet Elijah. (Several of the Talmudic Sages had visions of Elijah the Prophet, and discussed Halakhic questions with him.) Rabbi Natan asked Elijah about the debate between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua. He said to him: "What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do at that time when Rabbi Yehoshua refused to heed the heavenly voice?" In reply, Elijah said to Rabbi Natan: "God smiled and said: 'My sons have defeated Me, My sons have defeated Me!" God's sons "defeated Him" with their arguments. Rabbi Yehoshua was correct in his contention that a view confirmed by majority vote must be accepted, even where God Himself holds the opposite view."

When we have to groups of people both claiming to be right, it will only be a matter of getting a sword and cutting the baby in half before we know the truth. By that I mean our own judgement on a case by case basis. I'd like to start a debate regarding the differences between Samaritan and Jewish beliefs. And in time, let our hearts decide which one is more appealing and original. I will start in the next posting.

Hadi said...

I will start by making a refernce to the original subject of this blog, "the contradictions within the Torah." Exodus 12:40 reads: and the time that the Sons of Yishraael AND
THEIR FOREFATHERS dwelt IN THE LAND OF KAANAHN AND IN
THE LAND OF Misrem[=Egypt] was four hundreds and
thirty years.
This agrees with the other numbers given in the Samaritan Torah that add up to 430 (215 in egypt, 215 in Kaanahn).
Shulchan Aruch calls having sexual intercourse on shabbat a double mitzvah. With all due respect, I personally think Rabbi Yosef Karo was out of his mind when he wrote that. Based on Leviticus 15:16 & 18a man and his wife are considered contaminated after sexual intercourse, and they must immerse and "remain" contaminated until sunset. In other verses it says any one with his contamination still on him may not eat from the holies, and they cannot enter the sanctuary, also a holy place. So my question is would going to the temple be ok with his contamination still on him? (we are talking biblical times regardless of the holy place i.e. Jerusalem or mount gerizim).
2) How did Rabbi Yosef's wirting in 1600's become Godly inspired? How did he become so unique? Was it because he inheritted the high priesthood from his father, or was it because he was a confirmed prophet that his teachings in shulchan aruch become a part of the Jewish law? What if I or you or a rabbi write a book and introduce many things that no one else has written on and call it adendum to the Torah? i am sure you agree it won't be acceptable. What/who gave him authority?

jewish philosopher said...

The children of Israel were not in the land of Canaan 215 years. According to rabbinical tradition, Reuben, the first child of Israel, was born 2193 after creation. The exodus was in 2448, about 255 years later. That is far short of 430 years for the children of Israel to live anywhere.

The most reasonable interpretation of the verse is seemingly as follows “The habitation of the Children of Israel during which they dwelled in Egypt ended four hundred and thirty years after Abraham left his home in Ur.”

The priests who were on duty in the Temple on that Sabbath would not have sex on Friday night. For other Jews, being contaminated by semen is irrelevent.

Rabbi Karo wrote his book based on the Talmud. The Talmud is based on our tradition from Moses.

Hadi said...

In response to the number of Samaritans.

"DEAR ADI,
The total number of the Israelite Samaritans today[May
1, 2008] are 710 individuals, 332 in Kiriat Luza,
Mount Gerizim - Among them 58 individuals over the age
60[18%], 378 in Holon, Israel - among them 55
individuals over the age 60[14.5%].

In total among the 710 individuals there are 113 over
the age 60[16%].

In other words the number of individuals of the age
age 60 and below is in Kiriat Luza 274 - 82% and in
Holon 323 - 85.5%. In total - 597 - 84%."

Hadi said...

I didn't see the email about your post. I thought you gave up talking about this any further.
I was lucky to have access to an English translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch (which has not been published yet) when my friend, Benny was in the country. Their oral tradition, which they are following as an integral part of the Torah is nothing more than the interpretation of the Torah. For example, they do not say garlic is good for you if garlic is not mentioned in the Torah. If it says don't cook a kid in its mother's milk, then that requires an interpretation, and what they follow from the time of moses is to wait six hours after eating meat, and three hours after eating dairy to eat the other (dairy or meat respectively).
The Samaritan Torah has many differences with the masoretic text, and what I noticed when I spent almost half of a shabbat going over it, was that most of the differences were with ages and numbers. That is also why according to the samaritan Torah, it is year 6446 since adam and eve, and it is year 3646 since the entry of the children of Israel to their promise land (and no they don't believe the messiah has to come by the year 6000).
Again, I had a hard time accepting the rabbinic traditions since the orthodox oral law was put into a written form by the exiled men not to mention that some of its content was just not satisfying to my heart.
I think all we can do at this point is to try to be good and ask the almighty to help us see the truth as it says in the torah when we ask sincerely, he will come back to us and end our exiles. We have to stay together against the enemies of God as they have been trying to destroy us for well over 3000 years and they will not stop.
I like to get more involved in your blog after I take my boards of medical licensing in late June.
I was not happy with the orthodox view as it was put together after the exile. I asked if they were so righteous to know the interpretation of the Torah, why were they exiled (Deuteronomy 29& 30 and leviticus 26). When I came across the Samaritans, after 25 years of my life, for the first time I was sure I had the truth in its entirety. I had never felt that way, and I know it will never change. So all we can do is to try to do what "we" as individuals think is best. I don't believe all Jews at this time should become observant, only to walk in the path of becoming observant.
I think the Jewish community needs only to spend more time reading the Torah. Most of us only read the Torah on shabbat only and many can only understand it in English so when the parshat is read, they don't even understand it. So they never learn the Torah. When I get married and have kids, I will teach them the Torah before they are born. I will talk about the Torah to them before they are born. I thought I was crazy at times and told Benny. He said as long as you are following the Torah, you are not crazy. I hope to have access to the Samaritan Torah soon. Then we can discuss all issues further.

jewish philosopher said...

The reason for the exile of the Jews is given in the Book of Kings.

Anonymous said...

There is a good article explaining the main problem with the Samaritan torah.
http://www.aishdas.org/toratemet/en_text.html

Samaritan torah was edited by Samaritan priests at one point "to make more sense." The fact that Mesoretic version has some apparent "contradictions" only shows that the Jews did not temper with it, to make it look better. Every apparent "contradiction" has something to teach us. The Samaritan Torah has quiet a few words that are not even in Hebrew, but Aramaic. Also, the Ktav Ivri script is not an original script in which the Torah was given. It was used for everyday writings, just like we have a non-square Hebrew script today (e.g. samech = O). Gmarah says that Samech and Mem were miraculously held on the Stone Tables, so it had to be written in the Ktav Ashuri, since Samech in Ktav Ivri is not completely closed.. Also the Gmara says that the reason it is called "Ashuri" is because it is enriched (beutifull) scrip, from the word "Ashir", not because it is Aramaic. In fact Ktav Ashuri was not known by any of the goyim, at least until Daniel un-coded the "Mysterious writings" on the wall. Another interesting fact is that Gmarah in Mesechet Megillah says that when Jewish sages translated the Septuagint, they made a few mistranslation on purposes so as not to misguide the Goyim. It gives an example of Genesis 2:2; instead of the “Seventh Day” they translated as “Sixth Day”. Interestingly the Septuagint today still has this mistranslation, and so does the Samaritan Torah which was probably synchronized with the Septuagint as it was edited. Anyways I probably will not check this forum again, if anyone has questions or comments please email me at aniyahudi@yahoo.com.

Adi said...

A good article huh? Well, I am one of the few who has a copy of the Samaritan Torah translation to English. In fact my friend translated it and sent me a copy before it was even published. It is very easy to make up a story, and write "good" articles on it, but it's more difficult to back it up with evidence. In fact orthodox rabbis are known for writing good articles. They have over 2000 years of explaining the talmud to people. We need to see where the author of the article comes from. First of all his sources are the book of prophets, which only some Jews and partially some Christians believe in, the talmud, and the Jewish masoretic text (MT) with the presumption that it is the authentic one. He reads the SP and sees that in all the places that the MT has a contradiction, the SP got it right, so his conclusion is that since the SP doesn't have a contradiction (namely Gen 2:2 like you mentioned, exodus 12:40, etc.) it MUST have been tampered with; where the better conclusion would be that we are closer to the truth now.
In fact some of the mistranslations in Jewish text changed the course of history in the last couple of millenia. In lev 18:18, the Torah orders not to marry a woman over another to make them rivals against each other. The MT in the same verse says not to marry a woman and her sister in her life time to make them rivals, hence changing the important commandment of monogomy, which later manifested itself in Jewish communities as well as muslims marrying more than one wife. Yes, for those who didn't know, indeed the SP is monogomous. Also the example of moses is intriguing. The almighty charges him with the greatest mission in human history, to take the Israelites out of Missrem (Egypt) to their promise land, and to finally give them the light of the Torah so they won't stumble in the dark. The next day he seeksto kill him on his way to his mission. Why? The jewish sages and talmud explain that Moses didn't circumcise his son on the eighth day because he didn't want to be late for his mission. The almighty gets angry and decides to kill him. Zipporah (moses' wife) grabs a sharp, cuts his foreskin and thorws it at his feet, hence the almighty returns from his anger. So let's examine the facts. There is more problems with that explanation than one. first the almighty says in the Torah that he is not man to change his mind (If he has already decided to do it, he WILL do it no matter what). So if "he sought to kill Moses" he would have done it. Let's assume there was hope for the mistake to be fixed by reversing it (namely by circumcising his son). Now we are talking about the prophet that the almighty talks to face to face, not a dreamer nor one with a vision. Since they communicate so well together (the almighty and Moses), and the the sin (not circumcising his son) was apparently reversible (since he was forgiven after zipporah cut it off), why didn't the almighty tell moses "listen! I know this mission is very important to you (It is my (the amighty's mission after all), but you still got to do the right thing (circumcision) on time." He would have done it in an instant if he knew it was the right thing to do at the time anyways. But no, the almighty who is slow to anger according to the Torah does not even give him a warning. He seeks to kill him on spot. If I thought the almighty acted like that, I would live all of my life in paranoia that he will kill me for any small mistake that I make (and by mistake I mean real legitimate mistakes, when we don't know something is wrong or are not sure).
I am preoccupied with my medical boards licensing exam that I had to postponed until October, but after I am done with that, I will compare all the other issues/elaborate on the previous ones. It is a matter of common sense and consistency more than anything else. The time will come that not only the Israelite Jews, but also the non-Israelite nations will realize that the Torah is for their own good and accept it. But we have no pressure. Freedom comes first in the Torah, as through freedom the truth will be revealed by itself, slowly but surely.
Any questions please email me at hadis_2001@yahoo.com
Thanks,
Adi

Anonymous said...

Oh please. The text of the Samaritan Torah is available online. I've looked through it. Wikipedia has a link to it. The verses of the Mesoretic text that you are referring to, are all explained. The lack of Talmudic knowledge and or Hebrew, causes you to see a contradiction within these verses. If a 10 year old opens up a calculus textbook, he/she will see a lot of contradictions within the formulas. One thing is certain, if men did temper with the torah, it would have less apparent "contradictions" because men would have removed them. The Ktav Ivri (non square script) was used for everyday writing, lesser in holiness. This is apparent from the Dead Sea scrolls, which were already written in the Ktav Ashuri for most part, except when it comes to the name of G-d, which is writen in the Ktav Ivri. Just like I do not spell out the name of G-d, the ancient Jews didn’t write His name (with the Holy Script) in the everyday writings. The Ktav Ashuri is the script, in which the Holy writings were written, and not the "textbooks" or commentaries of the Holy writings. Why do you think the Assyrian script found in archeological excavations, are not the Ktav Ashuri Jews use today? It is because this script is the holy script in which Moses wrote the Torah, and was known by the Jews ONLY. Talmud says Ktav Ashuri means “Rich script” (Ashir = Rich). The Ktav Ivri, in which the Samaritan Torah is written, was used by MANY nations, including Phoenicians, Kutim, Moabites. etc. Look at the archeological findings prior to 500BC. Anyways, if any questions my email is aniyahudi@yahoo.com

Adi said...

Dear Yehudi, you said, "One thing is certain, if men did temper with the torah, it would have less apparent "contradictions" because men would have removed them." I am not sure if that means, you think the almighty is the one who makes the contradictions and not man or what? Please elaborate.
A child who opens a calculus book will only not understand it. He will not find contradictions in it. Anyways, the story of the talmud and the child we will leave for another day! Does it take a rocket scientist to tell you it is just wrong under any circumstances to have intercourse with a three year old girl? No it takes a medical intern (me) to say it's impossible for a three year old to be sexually mature. Try to imagine a three year old girl with breast and hips of an adult. Looks ridiculous, doesn't it? Do I claim that I understand all of the Torah? Of course not! But what I don't understand, I have faith will apear to me. There is a link to the English translation of the Samaritan Torah on wikipedia? Can you post it?
I am glad you mentioned the dead sea scrolls. Not only a lot of the scrolls were written in the Samaritan scripts (Ancient Hebrew) and matched the Samaritan texts as well as the Jewish text in other instances, but also they found some (in cave # 4) that were written in Jewish script (Aramaic alphabet), which used the old ancient Hebrew alphabet to write the name of the almighty being the most holy (YHVH). By the way, I talk not only as an Israelite Samaritan, but also as a scholar. If you have any doubt that the Samaritan Torah alphabet (ancient Hebrew) is the most ancient one, please do some reading on it from both religious and secular scholars. The point here is not who is better who is not. My family, just like yours at some point abandoned the Torah. In fact, I was only told we "used to be" Jewish growing up. I tried to start practicing Judaism only to realize I couldn't believe everything that the talmud said was from the almighty. However, I did have faith there was going to be a sect, which preserved the oral law by practicing it and passing down from generation to generation. It IS called the oral law (Torah by heart) after all. If the almighty meant to preserve it in writing, it would have been included in the written Torah. My light was the Torah itself, yes even the Massoretic text. I knew we were exiled because we sinned. Don't you pray three times, "ki foshonu, ki chotonu?" I concluded with my childly instincts that there must be a people who never abandoned the Torah hence stayed in the land forever, still practicing the Torah only. I was in search of them when I finally came across them. It was like finding something I already had (as the Torah says it is very near in your mouth and in your heart). If you search for it in sincerity, you will find it, and there you go. I will put the curse on your enemies he says (Devarim 29/30). So I am not trying to instill my ideas on anyone. All the facts are there. If you are a believer in the almighty and moses to begin with, you will find your way back if you look. Now if you don't even believe in the almighty to begin with, then it will be harder to convince you. Actually off-topic, a great neuroscientist, my teacher at UCSD, Dr. Ramachandran has done a lot of research and found a center in the parietal lobe of the brain that if activated people will experience the divine. Could it be an schizzophrenic experience? well, maybe. But could it also be an antenna that the almighty put there for us to communicate with him? Just like if you activate the vision centers in the brain you will see light, or the auditory system, you will hear? If his existence is accepted, then the Samaritan way will automatically be next to come by all who think and do calculus (or at least have the potential to do so);-) Just out of curiosity are you in you freshman year of college? I mean no offense. Just based on the fact that you mentioned calculus and the child..

Anonymous said...

Let me clarify what I meant about the "apparent" contradictions. They are NOT contradictions; they just appear to you as contradictions, because of your lack of G-dly knowledge, that was given verbally to Moshe Rabeinu. Without Verbal Torah, we would not even know how to make circumcision. Torah says to "circumcise" but what to circumcise Torah never mentions. Maybe we are suppose to cut of a piece of ear? No? Through out history we’ve seen people rejecting the divinity of Oral Torah. Tsdukim, Baitusim, Karaites, Samaritans. Since it is absolutely impossible to observe anything without Oral Tradition, these groups eventually made up their own Oral Torah, and rejected the one we’ve received on Mt. Sinai. The fact that you were born Jewish and became Samaritan, proves absolutely nothing. There are many Jews who became Christian, Christians that became Jews. There are Muslims that became Jews, and vice versa. I’m sure if we’ll look, we can find Samaritans that converted out of their fate too. Anyways, here is the link that you asked for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaritan_Pentateuch.
On the bottom there, is a link to the Samaritan Pentateuch in Hebrew (I assume you read and understand Hebrew as a “scholar”). I disagree that the Samaritan Torah is the oldest torah.

Since Jews use a Torah scroll a few times a week, it deteriorates very fast and we end up burring it into the Gnizah. Samaritans use their torah ones a year (or so), and it lasts for many centuries, so what? Just because today we do not have a very ancient copy of the Jewish Torah, that doesn’t mean that it is younger than the Samaritan Torah. There is a Septuagint version from the 3rd century, does that mean its older than our Hebrew version? Absolutely, not. Our laws about copying Torah are so strict that it would be impossible to replace a single word, not to mention a whole sentence. I mean a Jewish scribe copying the torah, even copies the size of the letters exactly, if it appear smaller than the rest of the line.

Your comment about the 3 year old girl is way off. Here is a good example of someone who knows nothing about the Talmud, but yet likes to attack it with the ammunition Christians have been using for centuries.
This same Talmud, (written 1,500 years ago) mentions the exact fraction of a second when a new moon appears.
This same Talmud, tells the number of stars that are in the universe.
This same Talmud says what type of fish, or animals will never be found on earth.
Our book of Zohar tells us the number continents that planet earth has, long before America, Australia, Antarctica were discovered. Talmud has withstood so many scientific discoveries, and you mention the 3 year old girl?
aniyahdui@yahoo.com

Adi said...

You misread what I said. I said I have the first copy of the English translation of the Samaritan Torah not the Hebrew, Arabic, or Aramaic ones that have been around for a while now.
Again, you are making a statement based on no evidence. You are implying that the Samaritan Torah by heart is what they made up. How do you know Jews didn't make up the Talmud and Samaritans made up theirs? Yes, we have an oral law. We too use tzitzit, and we too circumcise our 8-day old sons etc.
As far as using the Torah, Samaritans use their Abisha scroll (Some 3634 years old) a few times a year for the most sacred holidays mentioned in the torah, and the rest of the year, we use our ordinary copies of the Same Torah (for example to read the portion of the week). The talmud knows the number of stars in the universe? I won't even elaborate on that. Don't forget I didn't say the Talmud is ALL made up. I said it is not perfect if for no other reason, for being written down and for the fact that it was not contiuously present/practiced in all generations. Show me one family that can trace their practice of the talmud back to the time of Moses or better yet entry into the holy land. When you stop practicing something, when you write it down after its practice has been interrupted (namely the destruction of the second temple), it loses it's authenticity. For example, I am sure you are familiar with the concepts of Nidah and Zavah. Show me one rabbi that can tell you the difference between the two based on the Talmud or the Torah. There doesn't exist one. It means the talmud does not have a clear explanation that every body (or in some cases anybody) can understand of every aspect of the Torah.

Anonymous said...

I happened to come across your blog titled "Contradictions within the Torah" (January 21, 2007)--nearly two years after it was posted. I found your comments very interesting as I had never found reason to question the "430 years in Egypt" previously; nor was I familiar with the controversy surrounding its validity.

So...I spent about 30 minutes revisiting the various Genesis and Exodus passages and "crunching the numbers". Incredibly, without much effort, I easily arrived at 431 years thusly:

Joseph (who was a child of Yisrael--Yaachov was 17 years old when he entered Egypt and 110 when he died. Therefore, he was in Egypt for 93 years.

We cannot determine how old Kohath was when he entered Egypt, so I just right-off-the-bat assigned him the (conservative) age of 12. Since he was 133 years old when he died, he was in Egypt for 121 years.

If Amran was born and died in Egypt, then he was there for 137 years.

Moshe led Yisrael out of Egypt when he was 80 years old.

93+121+137+80= 431.

Four Hundred and thirty years is surely enough time for the rapidly multiplying-despite-the-heavier-burdens-
placed-on-them-by-the-Egyptians Yisraelites to grow to a population of in-excess-of 600,000.

Anonymous said...

B”H

I’m not sure what you mean by “trace their practice of the talmud back to the time of Moses.” All of Biblical Jewish practices (excluding rabbinic decrees) date back to the time of the giving of the Torah. If you are asking if any Jews can trace their lineage to ancient times, the answer is yes.

Many Jews trace their lineages to David, Aaron, etc. I can give you one example. Rav Benzion Zilber (Son of Rav Itshak Zilber ztsl), residing in Jerusalem, Sanhedria Morchevet, has a family tree going all the way to King David. My son’s pedion haBen (redemption of firstborn) was done by a known Kohen (Priest) family, that can trace their lineage to Aaron the High Priest.

When I said that the Talmud knows the number of stars in the universe this was just an example of the wisdom that is in the Talmud. I’ll give a few examples.
The Talmud in Brachot 32b, states that there are (slightly larger than) 10 to the 18th power of stars in the universe. Amazingly, after the launch of Hubble telescope, Talmud’s statement became very close to the modern estimates. I quote the ASU Physics and Astronomy “Universe is LARGE, probably larger than 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 18th power). Source http://eagle.la.asu.edu/openhouse/faq.html)

Another example
In Tractate Rosh HaSHana page 25a it says that the new moon appears exactly when 29.530590 days have passed. If you convert the decimal to seconds, the exactness is about to a fraction of a second. Modern science (Carl Sagan, and Nasa to be exact) gives the interval of 29.530588. Nasa almost got it right.

Another example.
Talmud says that there no fish in the sea that have fins but no scales. New species of fish are being discovered on a daily bases, and yet not one fish has been found that has scales and no fins. Also, is says that there is no such animal, other than the pig, which has split hooves and doesn’t chew its cud. Guess what? No such animal has ever been found.

Another example.
Talmud says. Brachot page 25, says that the Pliadis constellation has roughly 100 (middle sized) stars. Looking at this constellation with a naked eye, one can only see 7 (8 at most) stars. At one time the Greek philosophers laughed at Jews for making such a bold statement. After the launch of the Hubble telescope, the constellation has been discovered to contain more than a 100 stars. (email me for a source, I’ll have to look it up).

I could go on for weeks. Talmud’s knowledge of astronomy, biology, etc. is just amazing. Layers of the sun, ice comets, the number of continents on earth, etc…. Who could have known these things 1500 years ago, without divine intervention? None (and I mean NONE) other religion can offer something like this. Before I became a religious Jew, I’ve learned a lot about other religions. I’ve debated many hours. The closest text that ever came a little closer (compared to other religious texts) is the Quaran which talks about the development of a fetus. Well guess what, that they just got from the Talmud, because the Talmud says the same thing.

I’m not saying that Talmud has EVERYTHING. In fact there are many volumes of the Talmud (and other oral Torah) that has been lost and burned by our enemies. But this is the BEST that the world has to offer.

As far as the Samarites go, our position is not what is commonly assumed. We do NOT agree that Ktav IVRI is more ancient to Ktav Ashuri (Square). Ritva (or Raavad – don’t remember), says that ktav Ivri was just a writing script. It is actually a little similar to our writing script today. However, our holy Torah that was kept in the Arc was always written in Ktav Ashuri. Ktav Ivri was just used for everyday writing and “textbook” versions of the torah (sometimes with commentary.) The Samaritans basically have a scroll that was used as a textbook, not as a Torah with which Jews could fulfill the mitzvah of public Torah reading. If one was to examine to strictness in Jewish law, when it comes to copying a Torah scroll, he/she would be convinced that its impossible to change even a single letter. To be pure, the Jewish scribes go to Mikvah on a daily bases. Some even go to the mikvah, every time they are about to write G-d name on the scroll,

As far as mount Gerizim goes, the answer is simple. When Ezra refused to allow the Kuttim (Samaritans) to participate in building of the second temple, what do you think they did? What would anybody do? They’ve build their “own” temple. What a better place than the mount Gerizim where Jews received their blessings (Deuteronomy)? No wonder, why the Samaritan priests decided to add such a radical 11th commandment. How else would anyone take Mt Gerizim seriously?

Besides, everything is contained (one way or another) in the holy Torah. Jerusalem is not mentioned explicitly but there is a major hint. Would G-d choose an ordinary place for the holy service? Of coarse not, He chose a place where something sacred already did happen. First we find a “priest” of G-d by the name of Malchitsedek (Genesis). He blessed Abraham, while Abraham gave him tithes. It says that this priest was a king of “Salem.” Later when Abraham was about to bring Yitzhak for a sacrifice, it says that Abraham named that place “HaShem Ire” (G-d will see = Ire). What is Jerusalem? It is basically, the combination of the two names given by two great men, Malchitsedek and Abraham. IreSalem = Jerusalem. Two great events happened in that place, and G-d chose this place for His temple.

Another point I want to make is this. We as Jews love ALL of nation of Israel. If there are some Jews intermixed with the Kutim (Samarites), we love them too. We say this at least 10 times a day (Kaddish, Birkat HaMazon, and Amida) in our prayers. “He who makes peace in Heaven, he shall make peace for us, and to ALL of ISRAEL, and we’ll say Amen.” Notice we don’t say and to all of “Judah”, we say all of “Israel”.

Our attitude towards the Samaritan was a little tense due to their betrayal. First, they’ve reported to our enemies that we are building a second temple (Book of Ezra), and the construction was halted. Second, during the Bar Kokhba uprising, the Samaritans made a treaty with us, and eventually sold us out to the Romans. Of coarse I don’t blame any Samaritans alive today. I’m sure they are nice people. In fact we would probably even call them “Tsadikim me Amot Olam” (Rightous of the world), since they observe at least 7 commandments that the non Jews are required to observe.

Anyway, that link that I gave you earlier with a Hebrew version of Samaritan Scroll, doesn’t seem to work anymore. Could you send it to me (English or Hebrew). I want to check a few things, to make my point stronger.

If anyone has any questions, or would like me to elaborate on something, please email me and I’ll elaborate and give more sources. aniyahudi@yahoo.com

Thanks

Adi said...

I hope you are not going into math :-). I will let you think some more about your calculations. (hint: my father is 76; I am 26. Can I say it has been 102 years since my father was born?)
As far as your next comment goes, I will have to get back to you after my test around late October. If it's important, it can wait... Only the link to the Samaritan Torah, like I said, the English translation is not published yet. I have a hard copy because the person who translated it is my best friend, and he sent me a draft before it is published. It will be published and accessible online (if you pay of course) and in hard copy in the coming months. He is working on the final draft right now. There is however modern Hebrew translations I believe that you can search online and buy.
Take care and keep up the good work with an open mind. Sometimes we miss the obvious stuff, but so is human mind. I pray daily for his salvation and perfection of the world and global peace for all on this planet. There will ultimately be one truth, and that truth will be revealed in time as the good book says. That's when we will gather back in the good land, with the right laws and the other nations will follow when they too realize that the Torah is the only way that works. But again, the Torah is not dictatorship. It says only practice when you find it to be the true religion. That's why you will never find Jews or Samaritans forcing people to convert. We don;t seek them. If they seek us, we will help them learn and practice. How beautiful it is. Also if you will be getting married one day, the Samaritan Torah by heart says, men have to carry out the responsibilities of their wives during the seven-day period of seperation. How fair and just is that? It will be a semi-sabbath for your wife. You will be taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning, or whatever it is that's your wife's share of housework. How beautiful is that? I long for salvation (not particularly to do my future wife's responsibilities, but because I like the whole package) ;-)
Good luck

umer islam said...

salam u alaikum (may peace be upon you).
brother as we know that Quran is in its original form and no one has able to point out a single contradiction in Quran but there are many contradiction in books of moses and whole jewish scriptures like the creation of the universe.i dont know enought about jewish books but i have seen the debate "Quran and bible in the light of science"where i saw that Quran has no contradiction but ur scriptures have alot.wat will u say about this? i know bible is christians book but it also contains ur scriptures.

umer islam said...

salam u alaikum (may peace be upon you)
sir i am not only talking about contradictions but scientific and grammatical mistakes and sir as for my logic should we not follow a book which has no contradiction or error at all rather than follow a book which has not 100 but even few mistakes or contradictions.100% is better than 90% and we should remember that GOD is perfect.we cant think even for a one mistake from GOD.
have a peaceful life.

jewish philosopher said...

The problem is not that the Torah is imperfect, but rather that our understanding is.

Adi said...

Aleikom a-salam,
you argued, "sir i am not only talking about contradictions but scientific and grammatical mistakes and sir as for my logic should we not follow a book which has no contradiction or error at all rather than follow a book which has not 100 but even few mistakes or contradictions?"
I like to start out by demonstrating why your argument is a fallacy. If I gave you a book in perfect English or any other language, with no contradictions or grammatical errors, and that has hundreds of laws, would you accept it as the word of the almighty only based on the fact that it is grammatically perfect with no contradictions? I do not think so.
In order for us as humans to accept laws or guidelines for life, these guidelines must meet certain criteria: 1) They have to make life better, 2) they must be consistent, with no contradictions from within or with our own common sense, 3) if they come from God as a creator, they must be the same throughout generations for human nature is always the same.
There are two major Islamic beliefs regarding why there are
"multiple holy books."
One popular belief says that the Torah was changed and that is why the gospels were sent, they were changed too, and that is why the Quran was sent.
The second argument states that the Torah and the gospels were predecessors to prepare the path for the final revelation of the ultimate truth, i.e., the Quran.
We will examine each of these arguments briefly.
First, if the Torah was already changed, why does the Quran say that you should believe in the Torah and the gospels, as well as the Quran in order to be Muslims? (Surah Al-Baghara, aya 136).
How do you believe in something that was changed and therefore does not exist anymore?
So if the Torah was already changed, it would make sense for the Quran to say, "since the Torah and the gospels are changed, I will teach them to you again. But the Koran instead says it is going to ban somethings that the Torah allowed previously, and allow you other things that you were banned previously (aal 3omran 51).
This will lead us to the second argument, which states that the Torah and the gospels served as grade school and college, respectively, and the Quran is PhD.
So far we can conclude that from a Quran perspective, it claims to be the more modern version of the law, a modified Torah and gospels.
Now if there are things that were banned previously by the Torah and Quran is permitting them, why does the verse in Sura Fosselat, Aya 43 say that nothing has been revealed to Muhammad in excess of what has been revealed to the prophets before him?
There are hundreds of thousands of religions out there, and obviously they each claim to be the best way of life, the original if you will. Would we accept them all because they claimed it? No, for obvious reasons. So how should we go about finding out which one (if any) is the truth. We study them by themselves, and use the process of elimination. For example, if a religion claims to be manmade, automatically it is refuted, because we are all intelligent beings and we do not need another man to tell us what is right and what is not when the matter at hand is subjective. Therefore, we would accept the parts that we found to be logical, and refuse to accept that which does not agree with our own common sense and logic. Now those that worship idols and sun and moon etc. are denied again based on common sense and logic. It takes only a five year old to tell us that those "objects" have no ultimate power in creation and existence. So we get to the concept of a supreme being, the almighty God. If we accept that he does indeed exist, we are faced with the challenge of what his ways are. What does that supreme being that created us expect from us? Thre are five main religions that claim to believe in that sort of supreme being, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Samaritanism.
One must study each and every one of them at least briefly in order to arrive at his own conclusion about the originality, centrality and validity of each claim.

Aron said...

The problem with Quaran is this. While we as Jews have only ONE Torah that we accept as legitimate. Muslims have 7 different versions of Quaran. And these versions contain different number of verses, different names of people, and different spellings of words. And its not just the "Alifs", there are cases where the egyptian quaran has a different meaning in certain verses when compared to Saudi Quaran. I can even point out to exact verses if you'd like. One of Muhamads students even wrote the Quaran with additional two chapters, which was then rejected by most muslims. With questions please email me to aniyahudi@hotmail.com

Adi said...

There are various versions of the Torah, 1) The Masoretic text accepted by mainstream judaism; 2) The Samaritan text, followed by the Samaritans; 3) The Dead sea scrolls, etc.
The dead sea scrolls are about a couple of thousand years old. The verses differ with the masoretic text in some instances and agree with the Samaritan text, and in some other instances they differ from the Samaritan text and agree with the Masoretic text. In the dead sea scrolls, there are texts where the name of the almighty, YHWH is written in Samaritan hebrew script, where the rest of the text is in Jewish Hebrew script. So the claim that there are different versions of a text does not exclude the possibility that one of them is legitimate, and I mean for both the Torah and the Quran.

aron said...

Well thats why I said that there is only one Torah that Jews accept as Legitimate. We consider the samaritans, and authors of the dead sea scrolls are the sects that broke of from the mainstream Judaism. One one religious Jew is giong to say that Samaritan torah or the dead sea scroll is more correct that our Messorah. It doesnt matter whether this Jew would come from Yemen, Europe, India, etc. However, with Quaran its different. the Muslimsm dont ALL agree that there is a certain Quaran that is the legitimate Quaran. Each Muslim sect studies it's Quaran. The quaran of Abe- Mosa Al-Asharee had two extra chapters. And he was suppose to have received the quaran directely from Muhamad. If there was a doubt about Quaran being legitimate during the life of Muhamad, certainly even more so now. 1500 years have passed after all.

Adi said...

You implied that one can't find a jew that says the Samaritan text is the legitimate one, not the masoretic text. Well, you also cannot find a Samaritan that accepts the masoretic text as the legitimate one. Higher number does not make one right like the Torah says not to follow the majority to do evil (Exodus 23:2).
Same thing with the Quran, Some "sects," like you said believe in one version, and some others believe in another (I am quoting you here). I bet every sect believes his version is the legitimate one. I am trying to argue that your statement that "the problem with the Quran is that there are many versions" is not really a problem with the Quran. One can argue that the "mainstream" Muslims all believe in the same version of the Quran and view the other versions as the offshoot as you argued about the Torah, so again, having different versions of the Quran, does not mean one of them cannot be right. If you like to argue something about the content of the Quran or the Torah, please do and I will do my best to defend them for the sake of argument until the truth is revealed if he wills. If you think of any contradictions in the Quran or the Samaritan Torah (which I suspect you have not studied), share and I will try and defend them.

Aron said...

My friend, you are misunderstanding me. I'm not talking about sects. Muslims (non-secterian) have different quarans. I'm not even talking about Shiahs (sect), i'm talking only about Sunnis. Sunnis have different Quarans. They are not sects, they just have different quaran. Now about the samaritans, we as Jews do not consider samaritans as Jews in the first place, therefore the fact that they have a wrong torah does not bother us. Just like Christians corrupted the text of the Torah, so did as the Samaritans. They samaritans are the Kutim whom nebukadnezzer braught from babylon, why in the world would we even take their text into consideration? There is only one book we as Jews call the "Torah." The muslims call many different versions of the Quaran as the "Quaran." Thats all.

aron said...

What I'm saying is that even if the quaran would be the world of G-d, we wouldnt know which Quaran is the word of G-d and which is not, because there are just too many versions. As far as samaritanism, its a whole different arguement, through which we've been through.

Aron said...

Also Muslim causin, are you really serious about the quran not having contradictions? LOL.
Just one example.
Sura 41:9-12 says that the world was created in EIGHT days, while Sura 7:54 says the world was created in TWO days.
If that is not a contradiction, i dont know what is. No where in the Torah will you find a contradiction like that. The world was created in Seven days.

Adi said...

First off, I never said I was a Muslim. I said if you think you know of any contradictions in the Quran, tell me and for the sake of argument I will try to find an explanation for it.
Socondly, you said, "Sura 41:9-12 says that the world was created in EIGHT days, while Sura 7:54 says the world was created in TWO days." Not only you got that backwards, you also got it wrong. In 41:9 & 12 it says, he created the earth and heavens in two days and in 41:10, it says he created everything that's in them in 4 days, meaning "4+2=6." And as for 7:54, it says He created the world in 6 days. So I have no idea where you got TWO and Eight from.
Here is a more thorough explanation for you on youtube if Jacob allows it to be published: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HJzrMzVAkI
Now as for the other issue, didnt you say that you were a Yemeni Jew? Did you not know that the Jews from Yemen were Ishmaelite Arabs who converted to Judaism in 500's B.C.? Ask your elders, they will tell you all about it. It is both in your own oral history, as well as genetic research. Genetic research has also shown that most Palestinian Muslims are remains of the northern tribes of Israel from the children of Jacob not Ishmael. Science is the door to a future Israel filled with peace and holiness under the Torah like it was meant to be with the twelve divisions like the good ol' days.
say Amen

Adi said...

Oh and just one more thing. At the end of your last comment you said
the world was created in seven days. My Ishmaelite friend, the world was created in six days. On the seventh day the almighty rested, which is why the seventh day ai the day of rest. Have you heard of Sabbath?

Aron said...

When i said "muslim cousin" i wasnt talkign to you, i was talking to the other person who was talking about the quaran. I think its because we are looking at have different versions of quaran, thats why yours says 4 and 6. Also, i never heard that yemenite jews were converts from ishmaelite? lol. where did you get that? what history? What oral tradition? There was a princess who converted if thats what you mean. Thats not a problem though, to us the converts are on the same level as regular Jews. You are trying to offend me by saying that Yemenite Jews (Even thaugh im not Yemenite) are not really Jews, because i said that Samaritans are the Kutim who were imported from babylon by nebukadnezzer. While you are making stuff up, i'm not, thats what our bible says, in the book of Ezra. In either case, I'm not offended when non-Jews convert to Judaism. In fact we have a special mitzvah Deoraita to Love converts. About genetic testing i'm not even going to go there. First of all i have never heard of such a thing where they trace a gene all the way to Itshak and Ishmael. And if you want to beleive everything you hear about genetic testing, then you probably believe that we came from apes, since our genes are very similar.

Aron said...

I've finally setup a website that lists the different proofs that the Torah is from heaven. Includes Torah and Science, Prophecy, etc.
http:\\www.torahfromheaven.comoj.com

Adi said...

From the Tanach (2 chronicles 30:1-31:6) we see that Assyrians did not exile all of the northern kingdom of Israel. Also the Assyrian documents recorded that tens of thousands of people were removed from the land, and they were very proud of their action so they would not minimize their work by under-exaggerating. Also in the book "brother shall not lift sword against brother," Tsvi Misnai illustrates that even the majority of palestinian people (over 90% in Gaza strip) are from the northern kingdom of Israel and not Arabs. whether or not this people called Cuthim were relocated to northern Israel or not according to 2 kings 17 is insignificant because we see that some of the people of Israel always did remain in the land. The evidence for that is overwhelming. Now, I am not denying that a group of Assyrians named Kuthim did live in Samaria. I am saying that the term Samaritan was used for them as well for geographical purposes, not religious or racial.
The Torah and science part of your website is rather impressive, aval the prophecy could definitely be improved. It is not difficult to go back and search out patterns in letters and find the names such as Jesus or Muhammad after they have already come. But if you show me a book written on a false prophet named Jesus or Muhammad in the Torah before 2000 and 1400 years respectively, then I will be much more impressed. I will send a few personal miracles to your website, which you can publilsh if you like

Anonymous said...

You are right that there were always Jews in the Land of Israel. In fact, I've read that somewhere (can't remember where). I do not deny that some of the Jews, may have mixed with the Cuthians. Infact, the book of Kings II clearly states that a Jewish Kohen showed the Kuthites the way of Judaism. This only shows that Samaritanism, is a mix of Judaism and Kuthaism (Whatever it was). As far as Torah Code, it would be impossible to find muhammad, jesus, etc. before they came to be known. What would you search for? The way Torah codes work is... You do not know what will happen, but when it happens you'll know it was there all along. I'm not a big fan of Torah Codes (when it is stretched to fit anything), but the fact that four false prophets appear in a handfull of verses, and that the skip is the exact number of generations (passed from giving of the Torah), raised my eyebrow.
Aron
www.evidencefortorah.comxa.com

Anonymous said...

To Joshua:
To prove that Torah is of G-d is to look for divine information within that only the creator of the world could have known.
This isn't divine information, however if you notice the Torah starts out telling the people about their past. No other religion on earth has ever first told them of the past that they had already lived within the text. All it would have taken is a few people to say- Hey Moses! that is not how it happened and we weren't in Egypt and we have no idea of what Manna is! Moses would have been seen as a fraud and the Torah would have been destroyed and no one would have known about it today. However, being that 2 million Jews made a total lifestyle change to 613 Misvot all at once tells you that what was written was accepted by the people and that they really did hear G-d speaking to Moses or they wouldn't have gone for it.
That being said, The Torah was given as we all know in the written and the oral law, many non-Jews seem to think that the written law is divine and don't accept the oral law but nothing could be farther from the truth. Upon the study of Gemara there are pages upon pages of information that was given that only a divine creator could have known, for instance: The number of stars in the sky when telescopes did not exist, The min. re-newal of the moon to the 6th decimal before calculators and electronic measuring devices, the existence of 7 continents, The earth being round with people living on the top and bottom and not falling off (gravity) way prior to Columbus and his ideas, The fact that ALL fish with scales will also have fins, and that no one shall ever find a fish that breaks that rule.
It all comes down to the fact that Torah is divine!, any apparent contradiction in the written Torah can be explained with the study of the oral Torah. The oral Torah explains itself divine from the divine information contained within.
To know a creator is to see his handiwork, If you see a chair, the builder of that chair is smart however the designer of a smart phone would be much smarter. Now look at the human body, just in our brains we have electronics working without wires and firing hundreds and thousands more times that the most intricate devices on the planet. One must assume that the creator of such a device is greater than any of us can even imagine. Judaism is not based of Faith, Christianity is but not Judaism. Judaism is based on knowing! We are required to study Torah, to know that Hashem is the Lord our G-d that took us out of Egypt. By seeing the divine information within the text we can know that our Torah is divine and also know that any contradictions that we think we see can be explained out with further study of the written Torah and oral Law combined. Never concentrate on contradictions as they are not what is important, however the contradictions will work themselves out by themselves upon further study.

Anonymous said...

You would be right if we assume that Moses wrote the Torah, but how do you know that someone hundreds of years after Moses did not write the Torah and give it to the people of Israel and claim it was given to their ancestors and had been lost up to that time? For example Ezra or someone who never became famous,

jewish philosopher said...

I don't think Ezra works, as I explain.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2011/01/does-ezra-jesus.html