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rusmeister
03-02-2013, 16:23
If you think this is some kind of attack, surprise!!!

An honest interview where Kevin Allen, an Orthodox commentator, asks questions of a friend who is a conservative Jewish rabbi.

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/kevin_speaks_with_the_rabbi_about_judaism_and_christianity

I think this is a model example of asking honest questions without prejudice or an agenda to twist words or produce a predetermined result that folk here at expat.ru could benefit from (as well as get some fair and interesting insight on a religion that is not mine.

It might surprise those who think I am out to debunk. (And you MIGHT like Kevin Allen enough to listen to other podcasts of his on topics of interest to you. His own background is Eastern religions, not Protestantism, and I imagine you'll find his tone to be far different from what you imagine mine to be.)

And I'll wish that y'all were as fair with my religion...

RichardB
03-02-2013, 16:50
And I'll wish that y'all were as fair with my religion...

I can't speak for anyone else here but I'd be more than happy to be fair to your religion if you didn't constantly push it towards us.

I'm trying to remember the last post I read of yours that wasn't faith / religious / belief -based. :p

I still respect you for the strength of your faith though :)

rubyrussia
03-02-2013, 16:52
I'll put it on my phone and listen to it in the metro. ;)
Rus, why do you use y'all? Where are you from?

rubyrussia
03-02-2013, 16:53
I can't speak for anyone else here but I'd be more than happy to be fair to your religion if you didn't constantly push it towards us.

I'm trying to remember the last post I read of yours that wasn't faith / religious / belief -based. :p

I still respect you for the strength of your faith though :)

Everyone pushes their agenda subconsciously or consciously whether it's a friend that invites you out to drink, a colleague telling you you're doing it wrong, or a Mormon knocking on your door. Shoot, we're even doing it right now. ;)

rusmeister
03-02-2013, 17:01
Everyone pushes their agenda subconsciously or consciously whether it's a friend that invites you out to drink, a colleague telling you you're doing it wrong, or a Mormon knocking on your door. Shoot, we're even doing it right now. ;)

Well, I think the fairest thing to say is that people reasonably insist that what they think true IS true (even if they are so self-contradictory as to insist there is no truth.)

The thing in my "agenda" that I would advance is the idea of giving a view not my own a fair shake, and not just deride it and put it down, but to REALLY listen to it.

rusmeister
03-02-2013, 17:04
I can't speak for anyone else here but I'd be more than happy to be fair to your religion if you didn't constantly push it towards us.

I'm trying to remember the last post I read of yours that wasn't faith / religious / belief -based. :p

I still respect you for the strength of your faith though :)

Thanks, Richard,
You should know by now that what you call "faith-based" I see as truth-based, and asking someone to stop speaking the truth is not going to get enthusiastic support from anyone who thinks a certain view of the world to be actually TRUE.

RichardB
03-02-2013, 17:10
Thanks, Richard,
You should know by now that what you call "faith-based" I see as truth-based, and asking someone to stop speaking the truth is not going to get enthusiastic support from anyone who thinks a certain view of the world to be actually TRUE.

I'm not asking you to stop speaking your truth. just let it rest occasionally and enjoy this forum for what it is - a place for expats to get together and have a good blether with each other.

expat.ru = the white picket fence that we all gossip over.

rubyrussia
03-02-2013, 17:15
In hindsight, I should also say that "agenda" may not be the right word. Perhaps a better word would have been worldview or values.

Benedikt
03-02-2013, 18:36
I can't speak for anyone else here but I'd be more than happy to be fair to your religion if you didn't constantly push it towards us.

I'm trying to remember the last post I read of yours that wasn't faith / religious / belief -based. :p

I still respect you for the strength of your faith though :)



we all know what Rusmeister believes in and he has a right to do so. but we have a choice NOT to open his posts and NOT to read.he is not forcing his believes down our throats.
don't like what he is posting, don't open and don't read, as simple as that.
i was listening to the broadcast and it was actually quite interesting. but that still will not make me change my mind about MY religion, the way i was brought up.
though i am wondering, the more i listen or read about things how much is a mistake ( by translation = jesus was born by a -young woman- and not a -virgin-) how much is man made to suit purposes of man, after all EVERY religious -founder- was a man, wonder why?
and if the jews believe they are the chosen one, as the good rabbi explained and the rest of us be all condemned, well, so let it be. we were told in religious education, even if we never went to church or confession, if/when on our death bed we repent, get the holy sacrament, we also will go to heaven and live there happily ever after. everyone to his own.
so makes it actually easy for us christians, we can have wine,woman and song all our live long, than the last minute repent, and still be resurrected. so,live and let live.

rusmeister
03-02-2013, 18:43
I'm not asking you to stop speaking your truth. just let it rest occasionally and enjoy this forum for what it is - a place for expats to get together and have a good blether with each other.

expat.ru = the white picket fence that we all gossip over.
When the talk is small talk, sure. But I'm not really interested in small talk and gossip. That's why you don't see me in most of those threads.

When it's about vital ideas, ones that really matter - like whether divorce is a form of freedom or merely destruction, or whatever, then you can expect me to drag in what I really think to be the true nature of those things.

And you'll note that I don't go quoting the Bible, or tell you to simply "have faith". I stick to common secular understandings and try to show the fallacy of the wrong understandings, not on religious, but on secular grounds. I try to show that my faith is true, not because you must believe blindly, but because of what we can see with our own eyes and think with our own minds.

Anyway, rather than hijacking the thread to talk about Rusmeister, I'd rather hear your opinions on the podcast. I'm not terribly interested in me. I think the ideas much more interesting and important. What do you think about Kevin Allen's tone and examination of the outline of Judaism? I think even Yak would have a hard time complaining. I was hoping more for appreciation than criticism here.

yakspeare
03-02-2013, 19:04
we all know what Rusmeister believes in and he has a right to do so. but we have a choice NOT to open his posts and NOT to read.he is not forcing his believes down our throats.
don't like what he is posting, don't open and don't read, as simple as that.
i was listening to the broadcast and it was actually quite interesting. but that still will not make me change my mind about MY religion, the way i was brought up.
though i am wondering, the more i listen or read about things how much is a mistake ( by translation = jesus was born by a -young woman- and not a -virgin-) how much is man made to suit purposes of man, after all EVERY religious -founder- was a man, wonder why?
and if the jews believe they are the chosen one, as the good rabbi explained and the rest of us be all condemned, well, so let it be. we were told in religious education, even if we never went to church or confession, if/when on our death bed we repent, get the holy sacrament, we also will go to heaven and live there happily ever after. everyone to his own.
so makes it actually easy for us christians, we can have wine,woman and song all our live long, than the last minute repent, and still be resurrected. so,live and let live.

Jews don't believe "they are the chosen ones and all the rest are condemned " at all. Quite the opposite in fact, that anyone who follows the 7 Noahide commandments has the same reward as a Jew. you don't need to be Jewish or follow Judaism for that. By default a muslim or a christian (as well as many undefined deists) follow these basic rules quite naturally. Thus no one needs to be converted.

MickeyTong
03-02-2013, 19:07
Jews don't believe "they are the chosen ones and all the rest are condemned " at all. Quite the opposite in fact, that anyone who follows the 7 Noahide commandments has the same reward as a Jew. you don't need to be Jewish or follow Judaism for that. By default a muslim or a christian (as well as many undefined deists) follow these basic rules quite naturally. Thus no one needs to be converted.


So......why convert?

yakspeare
03-02-2013, 19:20
So......why convert?

conversion isn't easyuraged. By converting you accept the responsibility and burden of being Jewish-not just for youbut for generations to come. But there is blessing in it too. You are adopted into a people with a rich history and I am truly happy in my choice. Before I converted I visited the Shoah(Holocaust) museum in Vilnuis. That really affected me. I can't really explain but I am where I feel I belong and where I should be. That everything was leading up to this. Jewish tradition says that the Jewish soul is eternal but may tkae many forms( a bit like reincarnation) and no one who earnestly seeks out to be a Jew is really a convert but has always been Jewsih and is just coming back home.

rusmeister
03-02-2013, 20:53
we all know what Rusmeister believes in and he has a right to do so. but we have a choice NOT to open his posts and NOT to read.he is not forcing his believes down our throats.
don't like what he is posting, don't open and don't read, as simple as that.
i was listening to the broadcast and it was actually quite interesting. but that still will not make me change my mind about MY religion, the way i was brought up.
though i am wondering, the more i listen or read about things how much is a mistake ( by translation = jesus was born by a -young woman- and not a -virgin-) how much is man made to suit purposes of man, after all EVERY religious -founder- was a man, wonder why?
and if the jews believe they are the chosen one, as the good rabbi explained and the rest of us be all condemned, well, so let it be. we were told in religious education, even if we never went to church or confession, if/when on our death bed we repent, get the holy sacrament, we also will go to heaven and live there happily ever after. everyone to his own.
so makes it actually easy for us christians, we can have wine,woman and song all our live long, than the last minute repent, and still be resurrected. so,live and let live.

Hey, Benedikt!
My thanks for being the first (only?) person to actually listen to the offering.

I do think a central problem for many is wanting to have an opinion uninformed by the actual representatives of the worldview in question. To already know all the answers without having to ask or think. (Obviously we have our responses to the claims the rabbi makes of mistranslation, etc, but the important thing here is that we - Kevin, you and I actually listened to the rabbi and thought about what he said.)

It's an aside here, but your idea that one can live badly and then repent on their death bed misses the whole point of repentance, which means not merely to "promise not to do it again", when you obviously can't, but to actually and truly regret and hate your bad choices; to truly wish you had not done those things.

Also, I agree with Yak here and don't think the issue of being chosen means condemation for the rest.

robertmf
03-02-2013, 21:04
Jews don't believe "they are the chosen ones and all the rest are condemned " at all. Quite the opposite in fact, that anyone who follows the 7 Noahide commandments has the same reward as a Jew. you don't need to be Jewish or follow Judaism for that. By default a muslim or a christian (as well as many undefined deists) follow these basic rules quite naturally. Thus no one needs to be converted.

The gentile loophole is actually easier to follow than the faith laws of Jewish persuasion.
Noahide laws - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

yakspeare
04-02-2013, 01:16
The gentile loophole is actually easier to follow than the faith laws of Jewish persuasion.
Noahide laws - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noahide_laws)



yep 7 laws instead of 613. Actually all those laws are found in the New Testament from the book of Acts onwards(which people incorrectly attribute to the 10 commandments which only Jews should follow as part of the 613).

Jews actively discourage conversion for this reason-it just isn't needed and the bar one has to climb (for our equilavent of salvation) is much lower than islam or christianity. Hence if you believe in God(one God-our God) and do nothing else but lead an ordinary life, then you get the same reward as a Jew does. No striving to get rid of every sin, no need to attend a church or synagogue, no need , no need to adhere to the Sabaath etc. A pretty sweet deal-which is why Jews argue Christ's sacrifice on the cross was not needed and totally irrelevant-the deal for mankind had been in place for thousands of years before that.

rusmeister
04-02-2013, 03:55
Hey, Yak,
Not the least comment on the interview?
I'd like to know if you appreciate the interview or not. If you see the approach to be fair.
Not that anyone is expecting Kevin Allen to convert to Judaism, but I think people imagine us Orthodox to be strident and shrill, like the fake "Orthodox activists" foisted in the media from time to time, and I think the tone will surprise many who have that impression.

Jack17
04-02-2013, 05:10
yep 7 laws instead of 613. Actually all those laws are found in the New Testament from the book of Acts onwards(which people incorrectly attribute to the 10 commandments which only Jews should follow as part of the 613).

Jews actively discourage conversion for this reason-it just isn't needed and the bar one has to climb (for our equilavent of salvation) is much lower than islam or christianity. Hence if you believe in God(one God-our God) and do nothing else but lead an ordinary life, then you get the same reward as a Jew does. No striving to get rid of every sin, no need to attend a church or synagogue, no need , no need to adhere to the Sabaath etc. A pretty sweet deal-which is why Jews argue Christ's sacrifice on the cross was not needed and totally irrelevant-the deal for mankind had been in place for thousands of years before that.
I have just one question about conversion to Judaism. Haven't you gotten tired of all the anti-semitic jokes yet?

You know, like: "What's the world's shortest book?" Ans: "The book of Jewish business ethics."

yakspeare
04-02-2013, 05:25
I have just one question about conversion to Judaism. Haven't you gotten tired of all the anti-semitic jokes yet?

You know, like: "What's the world's shortest book?" Ans: "The book of Jewish business ethics."

Something quite magical and special happens when you get converted-you obtain the Jewish sense of humour. That aside I am always a bit wary what starts with jokes can become outright mockery, outright mockery can become scorn and resentment, and eventually things far worse.

Still, the Rabbi was impressed with my family's gold holdings (thanks to us being Scots) and I am sure it made it all so much easier. He even knew a Jeweler..

What I can't fathom is my family asking me for money all of a sudden..

yakspeare
04-02-2013, 05:37
Hey, Yak,
Not the least comment on the interview?
I'd like to know if you appreciate the interview or not. If you see the approach to be fair.
Not that anyone is expecting Kevin Allen to convert to Judaism, but I think people imagine us Orthodox to be strident and shrill, like the fake "Orthodox activists" foisted in the media from time to time, and I think the tone will surprise many who have that impression.

The interviewer was quite fair, and you could take a lesson out of his book, tobe honest. He didn't argue that his way was true but asked questions to learn and inform his listeners.

A few things the Rabbi said I take some exception to-basically because he was asked to explain Orthodox belief when he isn't Orthodox himself. So I found some of the answers on the thin side. Commenting on conservatives in Israel , he neglected to mention that they make up a tiny portion of the Jews there-as is also the case in cities like Moscow where Orthodox and Chabad(some view as ultra-orthodox) are disproportionately larger. Conservative and reform Judaism are pretty much exclusive to the US, with only a small presence elsewhere. Mind you, American Jews do make up a significant portion of the world Jewry. The Rabbi talked about the similarities between Orthodox and Conservative Judaism but really conservative is a misnomer. They are quire liberal in comparison. The interviewer tried to get some leeway with the icons as not being graven images but the Rabbi correctly pointed out they are, in both relief and in human form. That was an interesting part of the discussion.

rusmeister
04-02-2013, 06:15
The interviewer was quite fair, and you could take a lesson out of his book, tobe honest. He didn't argue that his way was true but asked questions to learn and inform his listeners.

A few things the Rabbi said I take some exception to-basically because he was asked to explain Orthodox belief when he isn't Orthodox himself. So I found some of the answers on the thin side. Commenting on conservatives in Israel , he neglected to mention that they make up a tiny portion of the Jews there-as is also the case in cities like Moscow where Orthodox and Chabad(some view as ultra-orthodox) are disproportionately larger. Conservative and reform Judaism are pretty much exclusive to the US, with only a small presence elsewhere. Mind you, American Jews do make up a significant portion of the world Jewry. The Rabbi talked about the similarities between Orthodox and Conservative Judaism but really conservative is a misnomer. They are quire liberal in comparison. The interviewer tried to get some leeway with the icons as not being graven images but the Rabbi correctly pointed out they are, in both relief and in human form. That was an interesting part of the discussion.
Thanks!
As far as lessons from books, my goals are different. That podcast was meant to be genuine information primarily for Orthodox listeners, and so had that format. Apologetics for a faith is a different thing - it seeks to demonstrate the compatibility of a faith and reason and why a person can reasonably see his views as actually true, not "just for him", but objectively true for everyone.

An intelligent world view tries to understand the best of what it rejects, and to consider it fairly, rather than simply construct straw men. This interview shows that we really try to do that, and frankly, I see no analogous efforts on the other side. Hitchens came the closest I have ever seen to fairness, as an atheist dealing with Chesterton, though his understanding and familiarity with his extraordinarily deep subject matter was rather shallow. And here I certainly never see any such attempts to honestly understand Orthodoxy, only derision and poorly informed criticism. I think even your brief experience to be very poorly and narrowly informed.

I have my own thoughts and criticisms about the rabbi's presentation, but the aim of my thread is not to criticize Judaism. If anything, it's to try to inform myself as best I can, something I think we all should do and don't actually do. We tend to want to have opinions without that bother, as if our sketchy schooling and the occasional media report have already done that work for us.

quincy
16-02-2013, 22:52
Something quite magical and special happens when you get converted.

everyone who converts to another religion, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Christianity (or Judaism) , speaks of similar experiences.

You can be spiritual without joining any established religion. Joining a religious organization seems to be handing over some of the decision making in their lives to a hierarchy, who are not necessarily be any better informed than the rest of us...

rubyrussia
16-02-2013, 22:54
I listened to it btw, Rus. I sent it to my parents to listen to as well. ;)

yakspeare
17-02-2013, 00:17
everyone who converts to another religion, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Christianity (or Judaism) , speaks of similar experiences.

You can be spiritual without joining any established religion. Joining a religious organization seems to be handing over some of the decision making in their lives to a hierarchy, who are not necessarily be any better informed than the rest of us...

er that clearly went over your head. Conversion in Judaism is a misnomer-it is merely recognition that you were already a Jew, always were and will be. Becoming Jewish is much more than just a religion. you can follow and believe in Judaism and observe every law but it doesn't make you a Jew, to become Jewish you have to be accepted into tribe of Jews and it is a one way ticket, regardless if you adopt a religion later on, you will be Jewish and so will your children and children's children.

robertmf
17-02-2013, 00:20
er that clearly went over your head. Conversion in Judaism is a misnomer-it is merely recognition that you were already a Jew, always were and will be. Becoming Jewish is much more than just a religion. you can follow and believe in Judaism and observe every law but it doesn't make you a Jew, to become Jewish you have to be accepted into tribe of Jews and it is a one way ticket, regardless if you adopt a religion later on, you will be Jewish and so will your children and children's children.

I thought to be "Jewish" one had to be born to a Jewish mother :question:

How does this mesh with the idea of a converted Jew :question: ..umm.. especially like Sammy Davis, Jr.

quincy
17-02-2013, 00:38
you can follow and believe in Judaism and observe every law but it doesn't make you a Jew, to become Jewish you have to be accepted into tribe of Jews and it is a one way ticket, regardless if you adopt a religion later on, you will be Jewish and so will your children and children's children.

rules and obligations created by men from an ancient hierarchical system (probably speaking in the name of God)...

yakspeare
17-02-2013, 01:21
I thought to be "Jewish" one had to be born to a Jewish mother :question:

How does this mesh with the idea of a converted Jew :question: ..umm.. especially like Sammy Davis, Jr.



there is no conflict. the rules are thousands of years old. it wasnt always from the mother's line either. but Ruth in the bible was a convert and King David etc were descended from her.