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HolyGround >> Semantical difference between Judaism & Christian


3/11/10 11:13 AM
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770mdm
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Christianity seeks Salvation while Judaism seeks redemption.  Redemption comes from the inside while salvation arrives always from the outside and often, if not most times, unexpectedly, unplanned and illogically.  Thus salvation can occur immediately and suprisingly.  Not so redemption, which requires planning, forethought, training and education.   


3/11/10 10:07 PM
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RoninBT
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Is anybody seeking restoration?

Is it possible that the concept of salvation encompasses the 3 Rs?
Repentance – Redemption – Restoration

In the end the key ingredient is a matter of the heart.
All the “planning, forethought, training and education” in the world are no replacement for the right motivation.
3/12/10 9:46 AM
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770mdm
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I'd certainly agree it is a matter of the heart. 

I'm trying to find a Jewish counterpart to your three R's

Repentance - Redemtion - Restoration

There is one place in our sevices that voices a three word declairation, at the end of the Yom Kippur service, the very last thing said is

Repentance  - Prayer - Charity

Which are horrible translations  
“Repentance” in Hebrew is not teshuvah but charatah. Not only are these two terms not synonymous. They are opposites.

Charatah implies remorse or a feeling of guilt about the past and an intention to behave in a completely new way in the future. The person decides to become “a new man.” But teshuvah means “returning” to the old, to one’s original nature. Underlying the concept of teshuvah is the fact that the Jew is, in essence, good. Desires or temptations may deflect him temporarily from being himself, being true to his essence. But the bad that he does is not part of, nor does it affect, his real nature. Teshuvah is a return to the self. While repentance involves dismissing the past and starting anew, teshuvah means going back to one’s roots in G-d and exposing them as one’s true character.

For this reason, while the righteous have no need to repent, and the wicked may be unable to, both may do teshuvah.  The righteous, though they have never sinned, have constantly to strive to return to their innermost. And the wicked, however distant they are from G-d, can always return, for teshuvah does not involve creating anything new, only rediscovering the good that was always within them.

3. Tefillah and Prayer

“Prayer” in Hebrew is not tefillah but bakashah. And again these terms are opposites. Bakashah means to pray, request, beseech. But tefillah means, to attach oneself.

In bakashah the person asks G-d to provide him, from above, with what he lacks. Therefore when he is not in need of anything, or feels no desire for a gift from above, bakashah becomes redundant.

But in tefillah the person seeks to attach himself to G-d. It is a movement from below, from man, reaching towards G-d. And this is something appropriate to everyone and at every time.

The Jewish soul has a bond with G-d. But it also inhabits a body, whose preoccupation with the material world may attenuate that bond. So it has constantly to be strengthened and renewed. This is the function of tefillah. And it is necessary for every Jew. For while there may be those who do not lack anything and thus have nothing to request of G-d, there is no-one who does not need to attach himself to the source of all life.

4. Tzedakah and Charity

The Hebrew for “charity” is not tzedakah but chessed. And again these two words have opposite meanings.

Chessed, charity, implies that the recipient has no right to the gift and that the donor is under no obligation to give it. He gives it gratuitously, from the goodness of his heart. His act is a virtue rather than a duty.

On the other hand tzedakah means righteousness or justice. The implication is that the donor gives because it is his duty. For, firstly, everything in the world belongs ultimately to G-d. A man’s possessions are not his by right. Rather, they are entrusted to him by G-d, and one of the conditions of that trust is that he should give to those who are in need. Secondly, a man has a duty to act towards others as he asks G-d to act towards him. And as we ask G-d for His blessings though He owes us nothing and is under no obligation, so we are bound in justice to give to those who ask us, even though we are in no way in their debt. In this way we are rewarded: Measure for measure. Because we give freely, G-d gives freely to us.

This applies in particular to the tzedakah which is given to support the institutions of Torah learning. For everyone who is educated in these institutions is a future foundation of a house in Israel, and a future guide to the coming generation. This will be the product of his tzedakah—and his act is the measure of his reward.

5. Three Paths

These are the three paths which lead to a year “written and sealed” for good.

By returning to one’s innermost self (teshuvah), by attaching oneself to G-d (tefillah) and by distributing one’s possessions with righteousness (tzedakah), one turns the promise of Rosh Hashanah into the abundant fulfillment of Yom Kippur: A year of sweetness and plenty.

3/12/10 3:03 PM
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RoninBT
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I think you will find all 3 in the Amidah as well. Repentance and Redemption are addressed specifically while Restoration is laced throughout the prayers.
3/15/10 10:42 AM
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770mdm
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Funny, the Hassidic and Orthodox communities and I think conservative retain the stanza's about the restoration of the Temple in the Amida but if you check out the Reform and other less observant renditions of the Amiday you'll find it omitted. 
I do find it odd that reform women are doing these crazy things at the Kotel in Jerusaem..  (the wailing wall).  They are doning Tallis and Teffilin and reading from the Torah.  Totally bizzar because they're trying to breach the contrasts between men and women's roles in Judaism by doing these things in the face of the Orthodox.  Some women have even been arrested.  (Not to digress into another discussion but..)  The fact they omit the rebuilding of the Temple then disregard established practice at the wall of the Temple, I find that odd. 

3/15/10 2:46 PM
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RoninBT
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Feel free to disagree but the Amida blessing that screams restoration to me never actually uses the word. "Ingathering of the Exiles". I can't read it without thinking of Yoseph and his brothers coming back together in Gen 45. Only when all the brothers were together was the true identity of Yoseph reveled and the House of Yakkov restored.

770:
The fact they omit the rebuilding of the Temple then disregard established practice at the wall of the Temple, I find that odd.
Me:
I agree. But I do find it interesting that people from all walks of life are drawn to the Temple Mount.
3/15/10 5:00 PM
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770mdm
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While Yosef was not a patriarch like his brothers, there is no Yosef tribe, but the last 2 tribes were Menashe and Ephriam.  His sons made it in.  While Yosef may have been the favorite son he, in one sense, got too far lost in Egyptian culture.  True he remembered the G-d of Israel before he died but the fact he got skipped over when Tribes were formed...  Yehuda had a dribe, Dan had a tribe, they had sons too but their sons were in the tribe of Yehuda and/or the tribe of Dan.  Menashe and Ephfriam were'nt in the Yosef tribe. 

Maybe it took all of Yosef's brothers to be present in front of Yaakov for Yosef to peel back his Egyptian identity and reveal his Israelite one. 

3/15/10 9:53 PM
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RoninBT
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Interesting perspective on Yoseph.
What evidence is there that he became too far lost in Egyptian culture to be named as a tribe other than there is no tribe baring his name?
Another perspective is that Yoseph received a double blessing for saving the family in a time of need. While not being named as a tribe himself he fathered 2 tribes who collectively were referred to as the House of Yoseph as early as Jos 17:17. Eventually the entire northern kingdom (¾ of the tribes) would be referred to as the House of Yoseph (Zec 10:6).
Maybe I am too soft on Yoseph but I think he did rather well with the hand he was dealt.

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