|Volume 14 Number 29||Mon Dec 27 23:50:01 2004|
From: Yitzhak@att.net Date: Sun, 26 Dec 2004 16:52:10 +0000 Subject: Finding Our Place in the World Dear Friends, here's an offering from Yitzhak Buxbaum. A Place in the World The Breslover hasid, Rabbi Levi Yitzhak Bender, used to say: The Rabbis say that God is called "The Place of the world" (HaMakom). So the closer a person gets to God, the more he is included in the Name "Place." Then he has a place in the world and he is a person living in his own place. Contrarily, the farther one is from God, one loses one's place and is cast from struggle to struggle, from trouble to trouble, from place to place. He becomes like the restless spirits (shedim) that flit about in the air and have no peace and no place. So too with him, he is confused; he never has a settled mind; he never has a place in which to stand and rest and rejoice. That is why Rabbi Nachman of Breslov gave the essential advice: for a person to daily seclude himself and reflect on all his ways and deeds; then he will finally have a place in the world. I add: May we all find our Place in the world. For other teachings and tales visit my website "The Jewish Spirit Online" at www.jewishspirit.com
From: Eth-el Jean (Kowan) Saltz <email@example.com> Date: Sat, 25 Dec 2004 08:40:16 -0600 Subject: Isn't there a difference between the words "jesus" and "christianity"? Watching CNN's great discussion of what we know about Jesus and showing strong Jewish content, one could say that all Christians are Jews For Jesus. So I've been bothered this a.m. about this. Something is missing. Now I realize what's missing. CNN needs to have a documentary "Why are you Christian?". Then Paul and Constantine and the Crusades and Luther and the whole history comes up, to this very day. Then have a follow-up documentary "Why are you Jewish?" and another one "Why are you Muslim?". I think every Rabbi on Earth can answer these questions ;} In fact I think all Israel can. I'm not sure about some of Israel's politicians. Eth-el Jean (Kowan) Saltz, Be-emet oo-ve-shalom oo-ve-ahavah Abrahamic Faith HB, A, NT, K 600-600 MMMMMR
From: Eth-el Jean (Kowan) Saltz <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 08:54:33 -0600 Subject: Outreach: Difference between Presbyterians and Jews ;) Presbyterians are so proud of their form of Abrahamic Faith, they want the whole world to pray like they do. Jews are so proud of their form of Abrahamic Faith they don't want the whole world to pray as they do. My proof, a perpetual image. A TV interview of Sammy Davis, Jr. When asked would he encourage other blacks to convert to Judaism, he replied: "Welllll, let them find out for themselves." That convinced me that Sammy had Judaism in his soul ;) Eth-el Jean (Kowan) Saltz, Be-emet oo-ve-shalom oo-ve-ahavah Abrahamic Faith HB, A, NT, K 600-600 MMMMMR
From: Gerardo-Mario Laksman <email@example.com> Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 15:08:54 -0500 Subject: Re: Spinoza, Kaplan Wrote Bernard, "I would like to pose a question to my good friend Gerardo, . . . " Isn't it nice to be the receptor of such tender and compassionate message coming from Bernard? He is one of the few that could easily understand that "Friendship is a Dynamic Process, not a Static Destination but an Emotional Expedition through Life." I met Bernard on this list some many years ago, in the 90s, probably in '96 or '97, while discussing the same subject than today! We continued chatting by email and from him I learned (by comparison) how easy was the life of many of us when Hitler and his acolytes were moving against Civilization in general and Jews in particular, when Bernard was living in France. No, he never told me about his personal experience as being exceptional, but it is easy to understand that his life wasn't easy. I once called him 'a partisan' recalling his adolescent experience in occupied France. He plainly rejected my qualification because, he told me, that what he did wasn't too difficult for being don . . . but Bernard's modesty shows easily, a modesty that seems to be a virtue of the past, when people talked more about other people's actions, and reduced the impact of their own beautiful and excellent qualifications. Some people today love to talk about themselves, as in that 'je-me-moi' cited elsewhere Certainly 'l'homme contemporain est obs d par sa propre personne.' [Montr al L'Actualit (15 Novembre 1999)] (see tag signature). Other people vibrate in a different wavelength and look for a spiritual refuge behind their shyness, their ways of thinking and feeling, the ways in which they face and live life and Life: we record an infinite series of picture of ourselves while living, while Living, but many times we choose to ignore the film. Perhaps Bernard belongs to the kind of people who knew when to take the train. Or the plane or the bull by its horns. Other people have reached the train station long after the train has left. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ A philologist may help us to understand better how the terms 'excommunication' and 'ostracism' might be used or understood in the field we are touching right now. Perhaps there is no difference or it may be that the word excommunication has evolved by finally incorporating other meanings to its original one. The first dictionary I grabbed from my shelves describes 'excommunication' as "an ecclesiastic censure whereby one is, for the time, cast out of the communion of the church." It is what Bernard told us. Casting out . . . Words make up language, which is in a constant state of flux; words evolve and expand their individual meanings. Werblowsky and Wigoder's "The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion' brings this: "(excommunication is) 'the exclusion of a person from membership in the COMMUNITY and from its rights and privileges. (Excommunication) is employed either as a punishment for transgressions or as a sanction to ensure obedience to COMMUNAL enactments. The regulations governing 'excommunication' are carefully detailed in the Talmud (. . . )" This is not exactly the same that it is said in my dictionary. Perhaps all what is needed is an actualization taking into account new uses for a word originally meant to mean something related but still different. This dictionary of mine brings the following for the entry 'ostracism': 1. A method of TEMPORARY BANISHMENT by popular vote (with ballots of potsherds or tiles, and without a trial or special accusation). 2. EXCLUSION by general consent from common privileges, favor, etc.,as 'social ostracism.' Is somebody able or fit for deciding on Bernard's reasonable proposition? Perhaps, as in the case of Spinoza, Kaplan, Hasidim and Mitnagdim excommunicating each other, Uriel Acosta, del Prado, rabbis excommunicating members of sects that went astray from what was then considered the normative . . . perhaps one interesting and simpler thing to do is to consider the description offered in Werblowsky and Wigoder's book, and instead of using 'excommunication' or 'ostracism' in such general way, to refer to the specific kind of given 'punishment or sanction' as "carefully detailed in the Talmud." But then, what about the moral or ethics involved in such processes, without taken into account a value of truth to be assigned to them? Instead of 'excommunication' or 'ostracism' the following could be used: 'REBUKING' [a rebuked man (neziphah) gets the softer punishment according to a subjective scale]; 'BANISHING', (the punishment is treated according to 'niddui,' (or banishnment), which represents a more severe punishment than rebuking); and 'HEREMIZING' (used in cases more _graves_ that those resolved applying neziphah and niddui) : it is "the extreme form of excommunication --the herem (ban), (which) was imposed with solemn ceremonial." But then, is there, in our days, a person that is actually rebuked or banished, according to the Talmud? Perhaps trying to make things easier they got too complicated, but I have seen the word 'heremized' as being used for referring to Spinoza and Kaplan, that were . . well, they were heremized. . . Gerardo [St. Clement: "God hates those who praise themselves."]
From: Yitzhak@att.net Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 15:48:32 +0000 Subject: Tu BeShvat Inclusivity Friends, Tu BeShvat is coming at the end of January and I want to offer a suggestion: that people make their seders inclusive and invite their non-Jewish friends too. The seder can be adapted to their presence. Tu BeShvat is by its essence universal and we can make it a holiday on which the Jewish people hosts the world. The following sentences express the idea: The Passover Seder celebrates the past redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt and anticipates our future redemption and return to the Land of Israel. The Tu BeShvat Seder anticipates the redemption of all humanity and our return to the Garden of Eden, when we will eat-- this time-- fruit from the Tree of Life. Tu BeShvat Seder is about the redemption not only of the Jewish people but of all humanity. Textual support for the universal aspect of the holiday can be found in my book A Person is Like a Tree: A Sourcebook for Tu BeShvat. Yitzhak Buxbaum
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