OPINION

Ruminations on the Destiny of the People of Israel

January 18, 2007
Ruvy

Writing on this subject is very tricky. "Destiny" implies something far more than a mere political analysis. The truth is, the more I think about it, it is the destiny of the people of Israel that I am meant to pay attention to.

But before I go further, I need to set down some definitions, so that you, the reader, know exactly what I'm talking about. Otherwise the semantic confusion can prevent you from understanding either the meaning or the import of this article. In addition, I would like to express my thanks to Rabbi Yehoshua Friedman for fine-tuning certain points of Jewish law.

So, here we go.

I. Laying out the terms

  1. Zionist movement: a largely secular movement to bring Jews home to the Land of Israel.
  2. State of Israel: the political expression of the Zionist movement.
  3. Children of Israel: the descendants of Jacob (Israel), son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of TeraH, a high priest in Sumer, in the city of Ur, who left for the city of Paran when the king he served died. After a period of time, Abraham, commanded by G-d, continued westwards to the Land of Canaan.
  4. People of Israel (Hebrews): the descendants of the sons of Israel, who were divided into a number of tribes.
  5. Land of Israel: territory designated by the Torah [BaMidbár/Numbers 34:1-15] or the Tana"kh [Ezekiel 47:3-23, 48:1-35] as the territory that G-d has given the People of Israel.
  6. Kingdom of Israel: This has three definitions.
  7. a) the Kingdom of Sha'úl (Saul), David and Shlómo (Solomon) which extended as far as the Euphrates River at the height of its power;

    b) the secessionist kingdom of ten tribes that separated from the tribes of Yehudá (Judah) and Shim'ón after the death of Shlómo (Solomon) and accession to the throne of his son ReHavám. With time, this kingdom weakened and the territory of the tribe of Benyamín became part of the southern kingdom of Yehudá (Judah);

    c) in messianic times, the Kingdom of Israel will be the entity that succeeds the State of Israel and any other entity that rules here.

  8. Jews: Originally, the descendants (tribe) of Yehudá, one of the sons of Israel. With time, the tribe of Shim'on merged into the tribe of Yehudá, and with time, the tribe of Benyamín merged as well [Scroll of Esther 2: 5-6]. At the time of its fall, the Kingdom of Yehudá represented the tribes of Yehudá, Shim'on, Benyamin and those people of the tribe of Leví who lived within the borders of the kingdom. The descendants of these people are the Jews mentioned in definition #1.
  9. a) According to Halakhá (normative Jewish law), a Jew is the child of a Jewish mother, or a convert to the religion who accepts the entire corpus of 613 commandments of the Torah. If male, the convert needs to be circumcised. All converts are required to immerse in flowing water or a mikvá (ritual bath). According to the rules of the Rabbinate, the official Jewish religious body in Israel, the forgoing definition is the only definition of who is a Jew.

    b) According to the ministries of interior and of absorption of the State of Israel, the forgoing definition is the primary definition of who is a Jew. But these ministries will accept other individuals who have Jewish grandparents as Jews. It should be noted that the Israel High Court of Justice has ruled that non-normative (i.e. non-"Orthodox") conversions from overseas will be accepted as well. But at the same time, the ministry of the interior has refused to accept some converts, even "Orthodox" ones, for automatic citizenship, requiring a rather arbitrary waiting period and naturalization process.

  10. Israeli: This has two definitions.
  11. a) one who lives within the State of Israel, or who has Israeli citizenship and who is subject to its jurisdiction;

    b) an artificial cultural construct, a creation of the Zionist movement, an attempt to create a new Jew, one uninfluenced by the rabbis and the decadent Jewish culture of Eastern Europe.

  12. Palestine: This has three definitions.
  13. a) The territory of the Land of Israel under the name given it by the Romans in 100 CE or so, Syria Palestina. This name was given the territory to insult the Jewish (Judean) inhabitants of the country, as the name Palestine recalls the name Philistine, an Aegean people that fled to this country, settling in the vicinity of what are now the cities of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Gath, and who were traditional enemies and persecutors of the Children of Israel;

    b) the territory covering both sides of the Jordan River granted to the Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland by the League of Nations as a "Mandate", with the stated purpose of creating within it a "Jewish national homeland." The British separated most of this territory from its direct rule and administered it as the Emirate of Transjordan with the son of Feisal, Sherif of Mecca and Medina, Abdallah, as Emir. Under international law, the Palestine Mandate was the successor state to the Ottoman Empire where it had jurisdiction. The successor states to the Palestine Mandate are the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan;

    c) the political construct of Arab terrorist organizations who wish to end the State of Israel, and to end the Jewish presence in this region.

  14. Palestinian: This has two definitions.

    a) A resident of the territory of Mandate Palestine, an individual under its legal jurisdiction. It should be noted here that for the entire period of British rule, the Arabs resident in Mandate Palestine did not self identify as "Palestinians," but as members of the Arab "Umma;"

    b) an artificial cultural construct of the terrorist movements representing the Arab refugees who left the Palestine Mandate during the war that broke out in 1947-49. A great deal of "academic" work was done by the Husseini family to construct a history for this non-existent nationality. Additional work was done by discredited scholars such as Edward Saïd, who was shown by Justus Weiner to have lied about basic facts about his own life. Only after the founding of the Palestine Liberation organization, did the Arabs claim to be "Palestinian."

Now to clarify my own biases.

I am a Jew. I am a citizen of the State of Israel, and therefore an Israeli under definition "8a" above. But when I express my own opinions, I am not talking as an Israeli, under the artificial construct of "8b" above. I speak as a Jew, and as a member of one of the tribes of Israel.

As for me, I believe that the State of Israel is collapsing of its own corruption and lack of purpose, as it has already served its purpose. But it will be replaced, not by a "Palestine," but by a Jewish entity far different from what we have seen, and one that is able to cope with the coming reunification of Yehudá (the Jews) with the brother tribes that appeared lost to history. Nothing is lost under the sight of G-d. I refer you all to the Book of Ezekiel [Ezekiel 36:6-38, 37:1-28].

There is one further thing I must make absolutely clear here. In writing this, I'm not dealing with the "Arab-Israeli crisis," the "Middle East crisis" or any other of the cataracts that stand in the way of free flow of thought, ideas, people and commerce in this part of the world. I'm not writing about peace, I'm not writing about war. I'm not writing about making peace or making war. Those issues are not for this article. I'm writing solely about the destiny of my people, the People of Israel.

II. Where do I come in?

I believed, when I pressured my wife to move to this country, that the reason for the move was to protect my children from the corrosive influence of American culture, and to prevent them from assimilating into it, marrying non-Jews, and likely losing their Jewish heritage in the process. So, I listened very carefully when a thirty year old Israeli, the fellow on the other side of the counter of Pizza Maestro, which used to serve excellent pizza in the East Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem, explained to me that my sons would assimilate into Israeli culture. I had already figured out that what passed for Israeli culture was a very pale imitation of the corrosive culture I had thought I had left behind in America.

After having a good think, I turned on the laptop we had brought with us to the absorption center and started re-reading the essays that Barry Chamish wrote about the political establishment in Israel. I started re-reading the nightmare complaints of other recent and not so recent immigrants to this country. I started to compare my own experiences to the ones I read about, and carefully compare what I really wanted to do with what I was doing as a new immigrant.

I realized that I had been duped. My goal - getting away from American culture and assimilation into it - had been a mere carrot. There was something further behind this immediate goal that I did not really understand - something that has only become clear in the last couple of weeks.

Did G-d come to me in the fireplace, like one of those wizards in the Harry Potter books, to tell me my destiny and that I had been duped? No. We don't have a fireplace, to start with. We have a small (too small) electric heater to keep our house warm. And G-d didn't show up in the heater either, as an Entity that didn't become consumed.

This was a slow realization, one that has come to me with the people that I "chanced" to meet, and in the events that have "chanced" to occur in my life.

For example, was it chance that an agnostic who identified himself culturally as a Jew but who did not really observe any of its laws, met a woman who knew nothing about Judaism, but who knew more about faith in G-d than a deck of theologians? Was it chance that I, the agnostic who challenged even the purpose of his bar mitzvah from the bimá in the synagogue (after doing a workman-like job of chanting the verses required of me) was now forced to teach this woman the Judaism he had run away from? Was it chance that I had always talked about the perfect number of children being four, (and hoping in his heart that he would have four boys) that I fathered four sons - one aborted by the mother, one who died after sixteen weeks in the womb, and two that lived?

Was it chance that after applying my wife's basic formula of "G-d will provide" after walking out of a night auditor's job in disgust with absolutely no idea of where the next paycheck would come from found, by "chance", that he could return to the management job he had left at Burger King four years earlier? Was it chance that we were able to buy a house in Saint Paul in 1993, at the lowest interest rate in forty years, and realize a gain of over 100% in its sale eight years later in one of the hottest real estate markets our neighborhood in Saint Paul had seen in decades? Was it chance that the commander of my volunteer police unit insisted that I be assigned to Tuesday night duty instead of the Friday morning assignment I preferred? Was it chance that I met Aryeh Gallin on the first night I was doing patrol, and discovered how much we had in common in our outlooks in political affairs?

Was it chance that after meeting Aryeh Gallin and becoming associated with the Root & Branch Association that he runs, I was able to meet people like Barry Chamish, Dr. Gerald Schroeder, Vendyl Jones, Dr. Paul Eidelberg, Moshe Feiglin, and a whole slew of other people who represent the bubbling pot of intellectual ideas in Jerusalem and the rest of the country?

Was this all chance?

No. I don't think so. I don't really believe in chance. I used to. Now, I don't. Not anymore. In my life, I have been pushed, indirectly sometimes, sometimes in a most rude way, to understand that a G-d runs the universe and that my survival depends on trust in that G-d.

There are no links to check all this out. My life is not a URL on the internet. But now, based on all this, when I see works that doubt "mere chance" being the ruling force of the universe, I'm not too hard to convince.

III. A picture of the future

In early December, Aryeh Gallin sent me e-mails about a post-doctoral student from India. There is nothing special about that. Israel has world class universities, like the Technion in Haifa and the Weitzmann Institute near Rishon l' Tzion, and India sends thousands of young men and women to study science here. But Dr. Aafreedi, the young man whom Aryeh wanted to invite to speak at the Israel Center in a Root & Branch presentation, is not a scientist. He is a historian. In addition, he was studying Jewish history with the intent of linking it to the history of his own people, the Pakhtun who live in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, to our own.

The Pakhtun claim to be descendants of the tribes that were expelled from our country when the Assyrians conquered the northern Kingdom of Israel (see definition 6b) 2,700 years ago. They are not clear which particular tribe, but a Jewish woman I chanced to meet on the bus a couple of days ago said that the Pakhtun are descendants of the tribe of Ephraim. Dr. Aafreedi apparently believes the same thing, particularly about the "khel" or "tribe" of Afridi, his own. Jewish history, and the history of the People of Israel generally, appears fraught with delicious ironies and the Child of Israel who lacks a sense of humor lacks sense altogether.

A large number of the Pakhtun comprise the Taliban.

Dr. Aafreedi spoke on 20 December 2006, but due to changes in the Egged bus routing, I was unable to get to town to be master of ceremonies that night. I only got to meet Dr. Aafreedi in Jerusalem last Thursday (11 January). Put simply, he is the best news our people have seen in 2,700 years, since the Assyrians destroyed the northern Kingdom of Israel. He is a fellow Israelite. He is one of over 40 million fellow Israelites, including, yes including the Taliban. G-d, indeed, has a sense of humor, a sense of humor sharper than the sharpest of needles.

It's enough to make a guy laugh till the tears come out of his eyes in pain, and cry until the tears come out of his eyes in joy.

For over two millennia, Jews have more or less considered themselves the only remaining Children of Israel, figuring that the other tribes had been lost to history. We have taken a term from the Bible "shearít" - remnant - and applied it to ourselves. Thus, you see the name of many synagogues in the Western world - "Shearít Yisraél" - Remnant of Israel. Apparently, this may be a misperception.

In addition to all the forced converts away from the religion who are now coming back to the faith, like the descendents of the Spanish and Portuguese "anusim," we Jews now have to come to grips with the fact that we are only a small portion of a larger people. According to Rabbi Dr.Yehuda Bohrer, one group of Israelites from the general area of Bokhara claim to be descended from the tribe of Reuvén. They never lost their laws or traditions and have retained the links with Jews and are now considered as Jews.

Unlike the members of the tribe of Reuvén, the Pakhtun appear to have lost much of the ties to our people. Nevertheless, they have been claiming to be Children of Israel for over a thousand years; they claim that the original king Afghana, the first king of the royal line of Afghanistan, was a descendant of Sha'úl, of the tribe of Benyamín. Jewish merchants who lived in Kabul always could travel without fear to the Pakhtun lands, where they were recognized by the Pakhtuns as fellow Children of Israel. Today, the Pakhtun, who live in places that have media hostile to the State of Israel, like India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, look upon us Jews as brothers from the wrong side of the tracks. If there is the possibility that Dr. Aafreedi can prove the claims of his people using methods that go beyond mere references in Persian or Jewish writings, then we Jews have the interesting task of "recognizing Joseph" (Ephraim was a son of Joseph). And the Pakhtun are going to have to get to know their brothers, the Jews.

Oy vey!!

Ruvy, born in New York, moved to Minnesota where he managed a Burger King and wrote stories. In addition to writing for Blogcritics Magazine, he is editor for the Root & Branch Information Service. Formerly living in Jerusalem, he lives with his family in Ma'alé Levoná where he is a freelance editor and writer.
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Ruminations on the Destiny of the People of Israel

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#1
URL
January 18, 2007
08:14 AM

Good Article
Shalom.

#2
Sujai
URL
January 18, 2007
08:48 AM

Ruvy in Jerusalem:
Thanks for the article. I was curious about these terms. I saw them being used by you and other people that I come across in my life. I have couple of questions.

You write:
Zionist movement: a largely secular movement...

Most of us coming from different kinds of nations use the word 'secular' quite differently. When we say 'secular' it is usually devoid of 'religion'. How does Zionist movement that is based on religious theme be considered 'secular'?

Why do you write G-d for God?

How are "Children of Israel" different from "People of Israel"? I read your note but couldn't figure it out.

You say people of Aegean (who fled to your lands) are "traditional enemies and persecutors of Children of Israel". Is it written in your holy book? Who else is in that list? Are the present-day Palestinians the descendants of those Aegean people?

If Palestinians did not use the word 'Palestinian' to refer to themselves till recently, do they not make up a nation? [That way, we never referred to ourselves as Indians till recently].

Do you have a map of the "Land of Israel" that God has given the "People of Israel"? Is it something available on the web? I would like to know what lands it comprises. Do all the Jews (who abide by Torah) believe in this map?

Thank you.

#3
Anamika
URL
January 18, 2007
02:52 PM

Kind of sad that delusions keep growing. Finding "links" or "common" roots does not mean bringing back to the "fold", Ruvy.

India has links dating back to 3000 year with Egypt, Mesopotamia, Levant and Palestine! Yes, the Buddhist conclaves in Sri Lanka from 2nd century BC have records showing representations from Buddhist monasteries in Samaria, Galilee etc. Tracing those links does not mean finding "Jews" today who are descended from those Buddhists! Indian links have been found in archeological links in Russia with massive temple statues. Do we now "try" bringing the Russians back to the "Hindu" fold?

I am not doubting Dr. Afreedi's research. I am just not convinced that your political agenda would be acceptable to him, or indeed other Pashtuns.

Sujai, am curious to know if your question is sincere. I would be happy to send you some readings by REAL historians, Jewish theologians and political thinkers regarding your question.

As demonstrated elsewhere, Ruvy's answers tend to more rooted in a fanatic Israeli settler movement which draws more from the American evangelical neo-conservative movement with its vile nexus of apocalyptic thinking, neo-con racist social ideas and rabid evangelism than from Judaism.

Most self-respecting Jews would be horrified to hear Ruvy's version of Judaism! And yes, most of them would be dismissed as "secular" or "orthodox" and "having sold their souls to America and Europe" by Ruvy. He has the same thinking as the Taliban - only his brand of Judaism is the "right" one!

Aaaah, fanaticism!


#4
temporal
URL
January 18, 2007
03:12 PM

ana

if we were playing scarbble what word would you make out of

ACKQU?

#5
Anamika
URL
January 18, 2007
03:51 PM

Temporal - something to do with ducks? :-)

#6
temporal
URL
January 18, 2007
04:00 PM

will take this off the glare

pls. write temporal3 at good old gmail pls.

#7
temporal
URL
January 18, 2007
06:49 PM

ruvy:

pushtuns aside

god does have a sense of humour;)

we're all her children!

#8
Anamika
URL
January 18, 2007
08:11 PM

Yes, we are but some obviously are MORE her children than others. In which case who are the sitting ducks?

#9
Ruvy in Jerusalem
January 18, 2007
08:47 PM

Sujai,

Thank you for at least positing questions instead of judgments and noises made by aquatic birds.

I'll number your questions so that I myself do not get lost...

1. How does Zionist movement that is based on religious theme be considered 'secular'?

When we use the term secular, we also mean devoid of religion. The Zionist movement was largely a movement designed to liberate Jews from persecution of non-Jews, usually Christians, but also Moslems as well.

While the original Zionist theorists were rabbis, and they specified re-settling in this country, as opposed to say, setting up a Jewish colony in French Guiana, (an attempt at setting up a Jewish colony of settlement in Argentina was tried and failed) eventually non-religious Jews spearheaded the movement, and generally wanted as little to do with rabbis as possible, viewing them as the allies of an exploitative and viciously repressive Jewish business class in Eastern Europe.

So the movement took them to the Turkish provinces that comprised this country then. But the movers, while Jewish, wanted no tie with the religion itself. They preferred any other tie BUT religion. So various feasts in the Bible were invested with agricultural values, and Hanukkah with nationalistic values, but the religious significance of both were downplayed, if not ignored. This was part of constructing the "new Jewish man," a concept modelled after the "new Soviet man" of Lenin and Stalin. The close relationship was not coincidental.

2. Why do you write G-d for God?

It is a sign of respect not to write out any "Name" of G-d. In Hebrew, a letter will be substituted to make sure the Name is not written.

3. How are "Children of Israel" different from "People of Israel"? I read your note but couldn't figure it out.

I could have been clearer. In Hebrew, one uses the term "Children of Someone" to refer both to immediate descendants, the actual children, and to the more remote descendants. B'nei Adám, for example refers to the "sons of Adam" meaning both Kayin (Cain) and Hevel (Abel) and to mankind generally. Similarly, the term B'nei Yisraél refers to the immediate 12 sons of Israel, and to their descendants as well - people like me or Dr. Aafreedi. The confusion comes because of the way Bibles are translated. The term Children of Israel will be used when "people" would be more appropriate because the translator was trying to translate as closely as possible to the text.

In essence, the term "People of Israel" means the remote descendants of Jacob (Israel). The term "Children of Israel" is better used to the less remote descendants, people who lived 3,500 years ago.

4. You say people of Aegean (who fled to your lands) are "traditional enemies and persecutors of Children of Israel". Is it written in your holy book? Who else is in that list? Are the present-day Palestinians the descendants of those Aegean people?

The Philistines were related to Greeks or pre-Grecian cultures of Greece, Crete and the Aegean Islands. Compared to the local Canaanites, as well as the Israelite tribes who settled here, they had a relatively advanced technology in terms of weaponry. In the Torah, they are originally referred to as Kaftorím, from the land of Kaftór. In later books of the Tana"kh, they are referred to as Plishtím. Some scholars believe that they are from an island that blew up that provided the basis for the story of "Atlantis."

"Palestinians" have nothing to do with these people. A fellow brought into a field hospital in 1941 after being wounded severely had "Palestinian" on his dog tag. His name was Moshe Dayan and he had taken a bullet in the eye while observing Syrian (Vichy French) lines.

5. If Palestinians did not use the word 'Palestinian' to refer to themselves till recently, do they not make up a nation? [That way, we never referred to ourselves as Indians till recently].

If you wish to believe the bullshit passed off as research by the Husseinis and others of their ilk, you will believe the Arabs who live here are "Palestinians" with a long and glorious history. There is no such animal. The truth of the matter is that until the 1920's about two or three clans comprised the vast majority of the Arabs who now call themselves "Palestinians." As Jews came and brought more and more work (and workers of their own), more and more Arabs flocked here from Iraq and Syria. But they self-identified as Arabs, and rejected the term "Palestinian," except when forced to say so on identity papers.

The Arab "Palestinian" nation is one of the great con jobs of history.

While I really do not know Indian history that well (and I expect someone to jump in here to excoriate me for my ignorance), it appears that the folks who live on the Indian sub-continent now have lived there for at least several centuries, and while they might have identified themselves as Bengali or members of some other state, a common identity seemed to be developing for quite some time, built in part around the Hindu religion, and in part around use of Hindi as a common language. As I understand it, Urdu is basically Hindi with a large number of Moslem terms to cover Moslem concepts of philosophy or religion, and that it uses the Arabic alphabet instead of the alphabet commonly used to write Hindi or its related languages.

6. Do you have a map of the "Land of Israel" that God has given the "People of Israel"? Is it something available on the web? I would like to know what lands it comprises. Do all the Jews (who abide by Torah) believe in this map?

This map is as tricky business, as not all scholars agree on the locations of the place names mentioned in the Bible. Even the map I have in the book of Numbers show two distinct borders based on the differing versions of different scholars. But while i do not have a map based on the Book of Ezekiel, it seems from its description to be larger in area than the original Grant in the Book of Numbers. As to believing in the map, it is not a matter of saying this or that map is the truth. If you honestly believe in the Torah and in the Tana"kh, you will believe in its contents.

It would be interesting to google up maps of these kinds, but given that it is 03:45, and I'm exhausted, it will have to wait a bit.

Shabbat Shalom,
Reuven

#10
Ruvy in Jerusalem
January 19, 2007
03:56 AM

"India has links dating back to 3000 year with Egypt, Mesopotamia, Levant and Palestine! Yes, the Buddhist conclaves in Sri Lanka from 2nd century BC have records showing representations from Buddhist monasteries in Samaria, Galilee etc. Tracing those links does not mean finding 'Jews' today who are descended from those Buddhists! Indian links have been found in archaeological links in Russia with massive temple statues. Do we now 'try' bringing the Russians back to the 'Hindu' fold?

"Most self-respecting Jews would be horrified to hear Ruvy's version of Judaism! And yes, most of them would be dismissed as 'secular' or 'orthodox' and 'having sold their souls to America and Europe' by Ruvy. He has the same thinking as the Taliban - only his brand of Judaism is the 'right' one!"


-------------------------------------------------
Shmuel Agnon, at the conclusion of his acceptance speech for the Nobel prize, offered the following prayer: "May a redeemer come to Zion, may the earth be filled with knowledge and eternal joy for all who dwell therein, and may they enjoy much peace. May all this be God's will. Amen". This statement was inspired by various messianic prophecies which indicate that our physical and spiritual renewal in Zion is destined to benefit the entire world. For example, after our renewal in Zion, "the earth will be filled with knowledge of the Compassionate One [Yeshayahu/Isaiah 11:9], and "nation shall not lift up sword against nation" [Yeshayahu/Isaiah 2:4].


In the following prophecy of Isaiah, the Compassionate One comforts Zion, who is mourning for her (Zion's) lost children, and He promises her (Zion) that there will come the day when the nations of the world will help her children to return home: "Behold I will raise My hand toward nations, and I will hoist my banner towards peoples, and they will bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders" [Yeshayahu/Isaiah 49:22].
-------------------------------------------------

My ruminations concerning the destiny of my people are based on the concepts above. No rabid frothing at the mouth neo-con Protestant waving a bible wrote these ideas. These are not the words of a fanatic. They are the words of the prophet Yeshayá/Isaiah.

My faith, religion and destiny all include bringing home everybody in the fold. Ze'ev Herzl attempted this 110 years ago and killed himself in the process, but he understood a part of Jewish destiny. His efforts, laughed at and dismissed with the precise same kind of contempt that sluice your own words, resulted in the flawed state that has fulfilled its destiny and is now on its way out.

Because I was privileged to meet Dr. Aafreedi, I began to comprehend that what Herzl viewed as 'Jewish destiny" is really the destiny of the entire People of Israel. And, yes it does mean that one day those who are now in the Taliban will call the mountains of Samaria home, just like I do. But you see above the base for my ideas, and the ideas of those who think in lines similar to me.

So, Anamika, considering your kind comments extracted above, perhaps you could educate this ignorant westerner about your own traditions. Do the various Hindu traditions have a concept of bringing its children home to India (or some other nation) at the End of Days? I do not mean reunification with the G-dhead at the end of a series of lives in which one attempts to master various ethical concepts - I mean a reunification on a piece of very real territory. If they do, is it pursued? Or are its adherents laughed at the way you laugh at me?

#11
Anamika
URL
January 19, 2007
06:55 AM

Ruvy - your question can be summed up with a simple line from the Bhagvad Gita: "The truth is one but the paths are many" or "sarvadharmasambhava" - For Hindus, all paths are equally valid - of the faithful, of ANY faith, and of the faithless.

We don't convert people to Hinduism, nor is there any need to "bring anyone home." That means all paths - Islam, Christianity, Judaism, along with all streams of Indian thoughts - are equally valid and important to those who follow them. So what difference does it make if you live a righteous life as a Muslim, Hindu or Christian.

While Hinduism - along with Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism - was born in India, there is no need to "reunify" anyone on a piece of territory. Unlike the Torah, Indian philosophies are not concerned with questions of real estate.

Indian philosophy also places far greater emphasis on the individual's ability to decide - and experience the consequences that result from the decisions. No god keeping track, no angels and no devil. Its all within you and you must choose for yourself.

This also means no human being can dare to know what is "right" because we are limited by our insignificance in the scheme of things. So each of us follows our own path and doesn't try to "raise god's vengeance," claim to be "god's people" or believe in "god's promise" and covenants. Frankly as human beings, we have NO idea what "god" would think or want. This is assuming that there is a "god" because at its core, Hindu/Buddhist/Jain/Sikh philosophy would be classified as "atheist" in Western terms because of a lack of a "deity".

So of course most Hindus would find the idea of real estate promised by any deity to any people laughable. Not only such an idea the height of human conceit, but it also assumes that the universe has nothing better to do than operate some tinpot real estate agency...

#12
Ruvy in Jerusalem
January 19, 2007
08:17 AM

Thank you for an almost civil answer to an almost civil question.

Given your view of things as a Hindu, I can see the source of much of your hostility to my ideas. But you might want to explain the sources of your viewpoint before tossing the rocks of contempt. Please try to remember that I do not know your traditions that well, just as you do not really know mine. For the most part, I view myself as a student here, not as an "instructor."

Perhaps we can proceed with a bit of civility between us in future?

Shabbat Shalom,
Reuven

#13
Chaimss
URL
January 26, 2007
01:16 AM

Very interesting Ruvy.

While I did know most of that, the bit I didn't was a real eye opener. As I'm sure you know, one of the promises of the prophets is that when the End of Days arrive, bimheira b'yomeinu (speedily in our days), all of those lost tribes will be gathered together. Looks like that's already happening. Great article. Thanks for putting it together.

---
-Just take the Pill.

#14
Ruvy in Jerusalem
January 26, 2007
06:38 AM

Thanks for the kind words, Chaim.

I take too many pills as it is.

Shabbat Shalom,
Reuven

#15
Anamika
URL
January 26, 2007
10:07 AM

Ruvy, you ask -"Perhaps we can proceed with a bit of civility between us in future?"

My answer - yes, with the same level of civility that would be offered to any fanatic threatening genocide. I will deal with you with requisite politeness as long as you do not advocate genocide, ethnic cleansing or other expressions of your fanaticism.

And despite the politeness, I shall remain ready and prepared to counter any aggression resulting from your fanaticism.

And Chaim, as you say, "As I'm sure you know, one of the promises of the prophets is that when the End of Days arrive, bimheira b'yomeinu (speedily in our days),"

So not only fanatic but a messianic, apocalyptic one? Great!

What was the old proverb - hum to doobenge sanam, tumko bhi le doobenge...never thought it would quite so apt.


#16
temporal
URL
January 26, 2007
11:07 AM

ana:

me thinks the problem is god

poor girl is fishing or golfing in another galaxy and is utterly uncommunicative

after sending down 124,000 messengers and many books for poor us she thinks she has done her job (little does she know;)

and perhaps has washed her hands off us

so now this world is left to the book-thumpers and those who hear voices out of thin air

(poets excepted)

so the occupiers gang up on us ...er...pardon me...one person's occupier is another's settler

meanwhile the whole world remains hand and tongue tied at the atrocities inflicted by god's children to god's children

toldya she is golfin'

#17
Ruvy in Jerusalem
January 27, 2007
02:07 PM

"What was the old proverb - hum to doobenge sanam, tumko bhi le doobenge...never thought it would quite so apt.

Some of us do not speak either Hindi or Urdu, Anamika. If you do not have the common courtesy to translate your comments to English, then you will see plenty of comments directed to YOU in Hebrew - without translation. Israelis do come to this site - and they DO understand...

Shavua Tov - Have a good week...

#18
temporal
URL
January 27, 2007
02:47 PM

you will see plenty of comments directed to YOU in Hebrew - without translation. Israelis do come to this site - and they DO understand...

please feel free to communicate in any language;)


talk-talk is better then dhazoom-dhazoom!

as for what she wrote here is a loose translation

"if i am married why should my friend be single"

of it could be the other way round

"if i am single why should my friend be marrried"

salam/namashkar/sat sri akal/aadaab

#19
Ruvy
April 21, 2008
11:41 AM

Gill:

CS (common sense is not an appropriate name for this anonymous poster) quoting Gill at comment #391 on the comment thread of Dr. Dasgupta's article on Islamophobia"This is a new one.. Jews are on conversion mission in India. !!!!!!"

Not if you have followed Ruvy's writings for a while. Among other things, he claims (as do a lot of fringe Jewish fundamentalist groups) that the Pathans of South Asia are actually some lost Jewish tribes who will sooner or later come back to the fold. He has some articles on this issue, replete with appropriate quotes from the Torah of course, on Blog Critics (BC).


Arrogance ill befits ignorance. The Pakhtun themselves claim to be descended from the Tribes of Israel. Investigation into their own customs proves them out. However, they do not claim to be Jews, and neither do I claim them to be. Jews are only a portion of the tribes of Israel.

Obviously, you do not have neither the sophistication nor the intelligence to understand this article. A course in reading comprehension is advisable, CS. Knowing and even being able to teach physics does not give you automatic comprehension of English. Given that you are such a nice guy, I'll give you the bargain rate of NIS 100 (approximately $28.90) an hour if you contact me for assistance.

#20
Ruvy
April 21, 2008
11:45 AM

Obviously, you do not have neither the sophistication nor the intelligence to understand this article. Ought to have read:
Obviously, you have neither the sophistication nor the intelligence to understand this article.

#21
Ruvy
April 21, 2008
11:49 AM

I really must be tired....

These comments are not really addressed to Gill, who appears to understand English rather well, but to CS, whose pretensions to understand this article are sluiced in ignorance born of contempt for what he refuses to comprehend.

My apologies, Gill.

#22
commonsense
April 21, 2008
12:36 PM

Ruvvy:

""Obviously, you do not have neither the sophistication nor the intelligence to understand this article. A course in reading comprehension is advisable, CS. Knowing and even being able to teach physics does not give you automatic comprehension of English. Given that you are such a nice guy, I'll give you the bargain rate of NIS 100 (approximately $28.90) an hour if you contact me for assistance.""

Obviously! I will take up your generous offer of English lessons. However, you did say once that everytime you meet a non-Jew, you "are prepared to kill". Since G-D does not watch over me, your mindset makes me a tad nervous. But I will work on it and contact you later...(3 dots right?)

#23
commonsense
April 21, 2008
12:44 PM

Ruvvy,

Will you teach me English only or are lessons in "intelligence" and "sophistication" a part of your generous package? I'm hoping your lessons will not be restricted to English...(3 dots, right?)

#24
commonsense
January 30, 2009
09:18 PM

Dearest Ruvy,

What Do You Think of Dingoes? Know Anyone with a Pet One? They arrived around 11,000 years ago - and they'll probably outlast us. One thing they won't do is replace the dog in your backyard. That's because dingoes make terrible pets. They're independent, solitary creatures with such a strong prey drive they'd rather jump a two-metre fence and chase a fleeing chook than eat a platter of steak.

Unfortunately they are still being hunted and killed and of course there are now very few that are thorough bred dingoes, so many of them mating with wild dogs, a great shame, hopefully the ones on Frazer Island may save the pure breed, that is if they are not killed because some stupid human has tried to feed them and been bitten!!! Know the ones who should be punished and it is not the dingo!!!!




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