Monday, April 23, 2007

Some Insight from Benedict XVI's Elder Brother in the Faith, Rabbi Jacob Neusner

Following up on the previous blog entry I offer insight into Judaism from Rabbi Jacob Neusner whom Benedict XVI holds in such high regard.

Rabbi Neusner frankly states that Judaism traces it's roots to the Pharisees:

"The Pharisees are important for two reasons. First, the Gospels portray them as one of the principle opposition groups to Jesus. Second, Judaism as we know it generally traces its roots back to the Pharisees." (Jacob Neusner, Judaism in the Beginning of Christianity [Philadelphia: Fortress Press 1984], p.45)

Rabbi Neusner offers a clear insight into one of the myriad of reasons why I must state that JPII and Benedict XVI do not speak for me when they call the rabbis "our elder brothers in the faith":

The [Pharisaic-Rabbinic] schools believed that in heaven God and the angels studied Torah [ie. Talmud/Kabbalah] just as the rabbis did on earth. God donned phylacteries like a rabbi. He prayed in rabbinic mode ... He guided the affairs of the world according to the rules of the Torah, like the rabbi in his court. One exegesis of the Creation-legend taught that God had looked into the Torah and therefrom had created the world. Moreover, heaven was aware above of what the rabbis in particular thought, said, and did below. The myth of the Torah was multi-dimensional. It included the striking detail that whenever the most recent rabbi was destined to discover through proper exegesis of the tradition was as much of a part of the way revealed to Moses as was a sentence of Scripture itself. It was therefore possible to participate in the giving of the law, as it were, by appropriate, logical inquiry into the law. God himself, studying and living by Torah, was believed to subject himself to these same rules of logical inquiry, so if an earthly court overruled the testimony, delivered through some natural miracles, of the heavenly one, God would rejoice, crying out, "My sons have conquered me! My sons have conquered me!"

... The rabbi constituted the projection of the divine on earth. Honor was due him more than to the scroll of the Torah, for through his learning and logic he might alter the very content of Mosaic revelation. He was Torah, not merely because he lived by it, but because at his best he constituted as compelling an embodiment of the heavenly model as did a Torah scroll itself. (Jacob Neusner "The Phenomenon of the Rabbi in Late Antiquity: II The Ritual of 'Being a Rabbi' in Later Sasanian Babylonia," Numen, Vol.17, Fasc. 1. [Feb., 1970], pp.3-4)

Keep in mind that Neusner speaks here as a scholar, but he is also himself a Rabbi of Orthodox Judaism--the so-called "religion" which teaches this extreme foolishness--precisely what Christ referred to when He stated that the Pharisaic tradition "makes God's Word of no effect."

And lest someone dismiss this as the theory of some wacky rabbi, the Talmud in Bava Metzia 59b states that a majority vote of the rabbis must be accepted, even when God Himself holds the opposite view. This is the Gemara which Neusner references above:

"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. (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Bava Metzia 59b, Steinsaltz Edition [NY: Random House 1990], Vol. III p.237)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Talmud is psychopathy codified.