In other words he is charlatan.Originally Posted by Womble
thank you womble and Hug Sookot Same-ach
In other words he is charlatan.Originally Posted by Womble
thank you womble and Hug Sookot Same-ach
I wouldn't call him that. Smarter people fell for weaker logic at times, after all. Besides, keep in mind that I was merely giving my first impression, I did not have the time nor the will to read through that stuff.Originally Posted by ygalg1
â€œThis is a reality but I wonâ€™t deal with it in terms of recognizing or admitting it.â€
Khaled Mashaal, Hamas leader
Originally Posted by WombleI think you gave fair enough pointsâ€¦ of valuationâ€¦ to his refutation
It is not unusual method he usesâ€¦
Attribute by History
Last edited by ygalg1; 10-16-2005 at 03:17 PM.
You are probably right in matters concerning halacha, but there is so much more to the text and the aggadah in our talmud and in the tales of the hasidic masters and so many other texts...that are there just for you to personalize and to share with the rest of us so that we can be inspired to create. The French are so serious about their cultural heritage that they have their own Ministry of Culture. The United States doesn't have a ministry like that. People who are not themselves winemakers know all about the wine making process. The culture cultivates an appreciation for their national treasures (wine, cheese, good food, and french aesthetics) from a very young age. When you have a society that astute, that discerning...it is hard to sell people bad wine. When I was in Israel I saw a lot of bad Judaism.Originally Posted by Womble
If you contributed nothing more than what you already have, you would have done enough, more than many anyway. I don't know what your area of study is/was, but I know that you served as a soldier in the army, you provide security to people who want to take their families shopping and you live in the one and only Jewish country in the world. You have provided our people with enough mitzvot to counterbalance the deeds of at least one other Jew in the world who has done far less.But I would prefer to contribute my part to defining the future of the Jewish people in the field in which I feel sufficiently knowledgeable and skillful.
That's very true about our Sages being familiar with other works. Several of them were diplomats to the Greeks and Romans, and so they were well versed in their cultures. In fact, hellenization was such a major influence in Jewish society that it was considered perhaps the greatest danger of its time. In the Talmud, it seems as though whenever you read about a Jewish heretic, Greek pilosophy books are falling out of their laps. And yet...our Sages studied their works, and there are even legends from the Talmud that bare a striking resemblance to the works of the Greeks with a Jewish spin on them. Every culture that the Jewish people have come in contact with has left its imprint on us, but what we have done with it is uniquely Jewish.Alright, let's try, for all it's worth.
Perhaps so- but this is not sufficient to suggest that it is forbidden to borrow foreign concepts. After all, many of the sages believed that all popular religions and ideologies out there are popular precisely BECAUSE they have a spark of Truth buried somewhere inside them, and the people feel it and are attracted to it. Didn't RAMBAM and Yehuda ha-Nassi find the Greek philosophy helpful in explaining the Torah? Didn't rabbi Shammai's strict and systematic manner of interpreting the Torah reflect his profession of an engineer, and didn't the intuitive approach of rabbi Hillel reflect his mind as a woodcutter, a man of nature? Is it accidental that almost all sages felt the need to learn something BEYOND Judaism- whether it was science, or philosophy, or medicine?
Even the First Temple was built by the foreigners- the Phoenician stonecutters and engineers hired by king Solomon.
Your logic is correct. It could not have been condemned simply for being foreign. It had to contradict the torah itself. It seems like a harsh decree. The text doesn't come out and say idolotry though. In fact, rather than worshiping another deity or object, the text says that they offered this foreign fire to G-d. Whatever this foreign fire was, it was meant to be used in service to G-d. So much for good intentions, right? This foreign fire destroyed them. So perhaps it was something more nuanced, some step along the path to idolotry?
Whatever the "false fire" was, it wasn't condemned for simply being "foreign", it had to be contrary to the Torah law- and back then, idolatry was the most likely cause.
Let's see what the experts say...
Parashat Bamidbar contains a brief reference to the death of Aharon's two eldest sons, Nadav and Avihu: "Nadav and Avihu died before the Lord when they offered alien fire before the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no sons" (3:4). This verse informs us of the transgression for which Nadav and Avihu met an early death â€“ their offering of an "eish zara" (foreign fire) â€“ and that they had no children. From the juxtaposition of these two pieces of information, the Midrash (Tanchuma Yashan, Acharei Mot 7) concludes that Nadav and Avihu were punished, among other reasons, for refusing to marry and beget children. For this reason, the Torah associates their death with the fact that they left no progeny.
On the basis of this Midrash, the Ketav Sofer suggests a homiletic reading of this verse, one which sheds light on the nature of the sin committed by Nadav and Avihu and its underlying significance (a topic discussed several times already in our "S.A.L.T." series). The Ketav Sofer writes that we may read the verse as follows: "Nadav and Avihu diedâ€¦ when they offered an alien fireâ€¦ - namely, that they had no sons." Meaning, their decision to refrain from marital life itself constituted a "foreign fire." Nadav and Avihu not only brought a physical offering for which they were punished, but they brought a figurative offering, as well, namely, a willed decision to never have a family.
What does this figurative offering mean? How was their refusal to marry an "offering" to God?
The Ketav Sofer explains that Nadav and Avihu decided not to marry in order to more fully serve their Creator. The burden of responsibility brought on by family life, they figured, would prevent them from reaching their fullest spiritual potential. Their decision was thus driven by the sincerest of motives, the desire for closeneswith God and a life of spirituality unencumbered by the pressures of family life.
This, the Ketav Sofer writes, constitutes a "foreign fire," an unlawful offering to God. One may not attempt to achieve closeness with the Creator by sidestepping His own rules, by seeking holiness in ways that contradict divine law. Nadav and Avihu brought their offering as a sincere expression of love and desire for closeness with God, but it violated a law that God Himself legislated. A violation of God's law cannot possibly enhance the relationship between Him and the violator, no matter how sincere the motives. Similarly, Nadav and Avihu decided not to marry despite the mitzva to reproduce. Once again, they made a misguided attempt at holiness through foreign means, in a manner that God Himself never sanctioned, let alone prescribe.
We might add that significantly, the Torah never alludes to this wrongdoing of Nadav and Avihu â€“ their decision not to marry â€“ earlier, in Sefer Vayikra. Whereas there the Torah speaks exclusively about the unlawful offering they brought, here, in Sefer Bamidbar, the Torah for the first time makes a subtle reference to their having intentionally remained unmarried. The explanation seems to lie in the different points of focus in Vayikra and Bamidbar. In the first half of Vayikra, where we first read of the death of Nadav and Avihu (10:1-2, 16:1), the Torah deals almost exclusively with issues related to the Mishkan, sacrifices, and so on. Naturally, then, the violation of Nadav and Avihu is described as an infringement on the sanctity of the Mishkan. Here, however, in Parashat Bamidbar, amidst the Torah's discussion of the census and arrangement of the Israelite camp, the sages find a reference to a different misdeed of Nadav and Avihu â€“ their infringement upon the camp, upon the nation. If the "foreign fire" constituted a sin against God and His Sanctuary, their refusal to marry was a sin against Am Yisrael and their camp. Nadav and Avihu saw their place in the Mishkan alone; they closed themselves off from the camp at large. They were not prepared to leave the holiness of God's service for "normal" family life, for the building of a home among Benei Yisrael. The lesson conveyed in the Chumash is that even within the sacred grounds of the Mishkan, one mustn't neglect his responsibilities towards the "machaneh," towards the nation as a whole.
Shemini - Fire from Heaven
By Rabbi Aron Tendler
The story of the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, the two oldest sons of Aharon and Elisheva, is the subject of considerable discussion in this week's Parsha. The Parsha begins on the first day of Nissan, 2449, the first day that the Mishkan was fully assembled and functioning. The previous week had been devoted to the inauguration of Aharon as Kohain Gadol and his four sons, Nadav, Avihu, Elazar, and Isamar as regular Kohanim. For an entire week Aharon and his sons had been secluded within the Mishkan. Under Moshe's direction they prepared their bodies and souls in anticipation of the momentous occasion of assuming their duties in the Mishkan.
It was to be a day of miracles. Hashem would express His pleasure in the intentions of the Mishkan's construction by sending a bolt of fire from heaven to light the Mizbeach and inaugurate the daily service. This heavenly fire would remain burning on the Mizbeach as an Aish Tamid (continuous and constant flame) for 889 years, until the destruction of the first Bais Hamikdash. However, it would also prove to be a day of tragedy and sacrifice.
Something went terribly wrong. Nadav and Avihu, the two eldest sons, overcome with religious fervor and inspiration, offered an Aish Zarah (a foreign fire) that had not been commanded by Hashem. Consequently, the very same fire which remained burning on the Mizbeach for 889 years would also take the lives of Nadav and Avihu, marring what otherwise should have been the happiest of all days.
What went wrong? How could Nadav and Avihu make such a terrible mistake? Who were Nadav and Avihu that the Gemara evaluated them as being potentially greater than Moshe and Aharon? What was so wrong with their personal fervor and inspiration that they had to die? Why did this have to occur on the first day of the Mizbeach's inauguration?
In many ways, the story of Nadav and Avihu teaches us the essence of what a relationship with Hashem is supposed to be. Aharon, the brother of Moshe, was chosen by Hashem to be the father of the Kohanim. He was selected to be the preeminent role model of the true Eved Hashem - servant of G-d. More so than his brother Moshe, Aharon represents the individual who totally accepts his station and circumstance in life. When Moshe argued with G-d over his selection as the "Redeemer" and suggested Aharon as a better choice. G-d told Moshe that he is to go to Egypt where he will meet Aharon who will "see him and rejoice in his heart". Rather than jealousy or even rational questioning, Aharon rejoicingly accepted Moshe's appointment and destiny.
In the aftermath of the Golden Calf, Moshe accused Aharon of leading the people astray and bringing G-d's wrath down upon them. Aharon accepted full responsibility without any attempt at defense or argument.
In this week's Parsha, when his two oldest sons died at the crowning moment of their appointment to the priesthood, the Torah describes Aharon's response as, "And Aharon was silent!" Aharon's silence expressed the emotional devastation of a father but the dignified acquiescence of the Kohain Gadol....
...According to most of the commentaries, the sin of Nadav and Avihu involved personal innovations and changes born of their fervent devotion that transcended the dictates of G-d's wishes. Some suggest that it was their innovation of a personal Psak Halacha - halachik ruling that circumvented the authority of their two teachers, Moshe and Aharon. Others say that in brnging the fire offering they neglected a number of general laws regarding the preparations of any offering. These included the use of personal utensils, ingredients and coals in the making of the offering that ignored the laws governing the service in the Mishkan. It was not within Nadav and Avihu's purview "to do as they wished" - regardless of their intentions. The fact that the Talmud relates that they were "greater than Moshe and Aharon" highlights this very point. Only the brightest and most creative feel that they sometimes "know better" than the older generation. It was Nadav and Avihu's brilliance and insight which led them astray! Rather than embrace the total acceptance that the Priesthood represented, they thought to show initiative and personal expression through the Aish Zara - foreign fire that in the end negated the purity of their mission bringing disaster and tragedy.
"The purpose of his offering is to make him subservient to the fulfillment of G-d's will. Hence all offerings in Judaism represent statements of G-d's demands; he who makes the offering symbolically demonstrates that he has adopted these demands as the standards for his own future conduct. Hence, offerings of one's own devising would be a subversion of that very truth that is to attain dominion over man precisely by means of the offering he makes; it would be tantamount to erecting a pedestal of glory to personal caprice where obedience should be enthroned to the exclusion of all else. Now we understand the reason for the death of the two priestly youths. Their deaths at the moment when G-d's own sanctuary was consecrated is a most solemn warning for all future priests who will serve in that sanctuary. It bars every trace of personal choice and caprice from the precincts of G-d's sanctuary, which is to be nothing else but the sanctuary of His law. In Judaism the priest must demonstrate his efficacy not by inventing novelties for the Divine service but by carrying out what G-d Himself has commanded. (R.S.R. Hirsch - Vayikra, 10:1)
So...even the experts don't agree, even they have their own interpretations, although their interpretations are based on a tremendous amount of education and sources, and they always consider these sources as well as the thoughts of other respected scholars. Still, their interpretations reflect something of themselves. BTW, Medio, you and I have a similar take and I think it is somewhat in line with the second rabbi's statements. The point is to be careful of what we borrow or what we create to place into service to sanctify the name of G-d. One day we drag in a pipe organ and the next day we drag in a...
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