A Pagan Resurrection

I take issue with the "fact" that the pyramids were built 10,500 years before Christ. Modern scholarship puts the pyramid age at 4,600 years old. About 2,600 BC. And I'm not convinced of all the parallels in the video. But there are far too many for there to not have been borrowings. In fact borrowings were common in Egypt.

As the Egyptians conquered tribes they incorporated the tribal gods of the conquered tribes into their gods. So you didn't have to give up the worship you were comfortable with to become an Egyptian. Sound familiar? Well Christianity (a Jewish sect) conquered Rome. What would you expect? Passover? (A celebration of God leading the Jews from political persecution - I doubt if the Roman Government would have been happy with that) became the Resurrection. A myth more suitable to pagans. And the governance of Rome.

The Jews do have resurrection of course. But only in the very end times when God rules the world. And it was not just for one. It was for all. But the Jews were borrowers too. When they were in Babylonian captivity they adopted the Zoroastrian idea of Satan. Which is a pretty good pre-psychology representation of the reptile brain. I once went hungry for about a month and my reptile brain took over for the most part. It was rather ugly. There was nothing I wouldn't do to survive. Lie, cheat, steal, murder even. Fortunately I had enough self control to prevail to some extent over my reptile brain and I never got to the murder stage. Thank the Maker.

But I think it does point out how fragile civilization really is. Cut the rations enough and almost all of us will return to barbarism. It is built in. The idea of fasting for 40 days to face the Devil is more than myth. But the Devil is not some creature outside you. He is built in. We can all be devils without any effort at all if we get hungry enough.

But I digress. The Jews have very strict laws about human and animal representations. Now those rules are mostly limited to the design and decoration of synagogues these days. But the rules are there for a good reason. Once you start down the path of representation you start getting mixed up with the pagans. The golden calf story is emblematic of that path. In that respect the Jews are more like the Taoists. God is formless in the Jewish religion.

Which brings to another point. A significant number of early Christians did not believe Jesus was God. More like a prophet. And a "mere" prophet is nothing to sneeze at. They bring reformation. Which is a good thing.

Once the Church became the official Church of Rome it didn't have to merely shun those with alternate beliefs (Jesus was not God, but a creation of God). It got the power to persecute them.

During those first three centuries, Christianity was effectively outlawed by requirements to venerate the Roman emperor and Roman gods. Consequently, when the Church labeled its enemies as heretics and cast them out of its congregations or severed ties with dissident churches, it remained without the power to persecute them.

Before 313 AD, the "heretical" nature of some beliefs was a matter of much debate within the churches, and there was no true mechanism in place to resolve the various differences of beliefs. It was only after the legalisation of Christianity, which began under Constantine I in 313 AD that the various beliefs of the Church began to be made uniform and formulated as dogma through the canons promulgated by the General Councils. Each phrase in the Nicene Creed, which was hammered out at the Council of Nicaea, addresses some aspect that had been under passionate discussion prior to Constantine I, and closes the books on the argument, with the weight of the agreement of the over 300 bishops, as well as Constantine I in attendance. [Constantine had invited all 1800 bishops of the Christian church (about 1000 in the east and 800 in the west). The number of participating bishops cannot be accurately stated; Socrates Scholasticus and Epiphanius of Salamis counted 318; Eusebius of Caesarea, only 250.] In spite of the agreement reached at the council of 325, the Arians, who had been defeated, dominated most of the church for the greater part of the fourth century, often with the aid of Roman emperors who favored them.

Instead of the believers getting to decide which beliefs are true the Church decided. And often the decision against a particular belief was a murder sentence for those believers. Unless of course they recanted and adhered to the "true" belief. Once you have the power why not use it? "Love thy neighbor..." be damned.

Well enough of that. I want to look in more detail at the Resurrection Myth of Osiris.

The resurrection of the god symbolized the rebirth of the grain." (Larson 17) The annual festival involved the construction of "Osiris Beds" formed in shape of Osiris, filled with soil and sown with seed.[20] The germinating seed symbolized Osiris rising from the dead. An almost pristine example was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter.[21] Osiris "The God Of The Resurrection", rising from his beir.[22]

The first phase of the festival was a public drama depicting the murder and dismemberment of Osiris, the search of his body by Isis, his triumphal return as the resurrected god, and the battle in which Horus defeated Set. This was all presented by skilled actors as a literary history, and was the main method of recruiting cult membership. According to Julius Firmicus Maternus of the fourth century, this play was re-enacted each year by worshippers who "beat their breasts and gashed their shoulders.... When they pretend that the mutilated remains of the god have been found and rejoined...they turn from mourning to rejoicing." (De Errore Profanorum).

The passion of Osiris is reflected in his name 'Wenennefer" ("the one who continues to be perfect"), which also alludes to his post mortem power.[13]

Parts of this Osirian mythology have prompted comparisons with later Christian beliefs and practices.

They certainly aren't Jewish practices - for sure. We often speak of the Judeo Christian culture of the West. The truth is more like Judeo Christian Pagan culture. With the worst excesses of pagan culture like ritual sacrifice (unless it is a competing sect) eradicated. Mostly. Humans are still human.
Egyptologist Erik Hornung observes that Egyptian Christians continued to mummify corpses (an integral part of the Osirian beliefs) until it finally came to an end with the arrival of Islam and argues for an association between the passion of Jesus and Osirian traditions, particularly in the apocryphal gospel of Nicodemus and Christ's descent into Hades. He concludes that whilst Christianity rejected anything "pagan" it did so only at a superficial level and that early Christianity was "deeply indebted" to Ancient Egypt."[25]
I'm inclined to agree.

So what is the moral of this story? I thought you would never ask. I'm pretty much against blind obedience to revealed doctrine. It is a doctrine of modern Judaism that Jews are not bound by any of the revealed laws. Oh we are bound by law all right. Lots of them. But we can reinterpret the laws based on our own understanding. Mostly we leave the interpretation to the Rabbis. Guys who spend their life studying law. But that is not an absolute rule. What is the absolute rule? Let your conscience be your guide. Which is how we end up with a Jewish atheist like Maimonidies. You see Jews are not required to believe in doctrine, miracles, or even God. The only fundamental requirement is to Love thy neighbor as thyself. A motto on the front of Temple Beth Israel in Omaha when it was at 52nd and Charles St. when I was growing up.

I believe that makes for a much sounder "faith" than a slavish adherence to any revealed doctrine. You see I don't have to persecute gays or anyone else just because it is written in some old book. I can love all my neighbors as long as they are at peace with me. Which makes libertarianism the perfect politics for me. Not the wimpy kind of libertarianism espoused by the Libertarian Party but the more muscular kind of the libertarian Republicans.

Don't Tread On Me

Cross Posted at Power and Control

Update: This book might be of interest if you want to further explore the subject:

Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices

UPDATE: Using my editorial prerogative, I have bumped this post to put it at the top of the blog, because I think it is so good that I want to maximize its exposure.

- Eric

posted by Simon on 11.12.10 at 11:59 PM










Comments

A shame there are only threee of us, M. Four, if we count Eric's mutt.

dr kill   ·  November 11, 2010 7:39 AM

Maimonides was not an atheist--on the contrary, he was deeply religious. I think you are thinking of Spinoza, but he wasn't an atheist either, in my opinion.

Eric Olm   ·  November 11, 2010 10:16 AM

Christian hierarchy was often quick to adapt and modify popular traditions to help secure converts.

"Oh we are bound by law all right. Lots of them."
It is what? 3400 years since Moses and the written law, with little to no proselytizing. It is truly miraculous that those laws and traditions could hold a people together through all that has passed since.

Will   ·  November 11, 2010 10:26 AM

Arghhhhh. The number of errors in this post, just about Egyptian mythology and religion, are immense, and the errors excruciating. A classic case of "don't believe everything you read", and you've walked right into it!

The book you're citing is basically rewarming the usual anti-Catholic non-factual factoids, except that it's focusing them against Christianity. Rewarmed Golden Bough, rewarmed Lorraine Boettner -- except that Frazer had to back off a lot of his bogus scholarly conclusions, and Boettner later disavowed his own work (though too late to stop the memes he started). You also get misinformation from would-be pagans who don't actually understand their own attempted traditions.

Roger Pearse's blog has an interesting series of posts, detailing his search through primary sources on Mithras and comparing them against all the Mithras factoids and bad quotes.

I think you'll find that very similar misuse is made of Osiris, Adonis, Attis (that's a really creepy disgusting legend in the primary sources!), and so forth.

There's a really good book on why Christianity did save so many pagan myths and authors as pagan myths and authors, without covering them up in any way. Euhemerism, the absorption of philosophy into creating theology, the idea of "spoiling the Egyptians, the idea of some myths and poets and philosophers being inspired as the Holy Spirit's preparation for the Gospel, Christians joining the game of making Virgilian centos, etc. is a fascinating area to look at. It also has the advantage of being true history, and not pulled out of somebody's butt. :)

Maureen   ·  November 11, 2010 10:37 AM

Eric Olm,

Read the link Jewish Athiest

====

Will,

Most Christians are totally unaware of Jewish Oral law and how it has modified the laws of Moses. The Jewish religion is a living tradition modified for the age and the culture.

Read Maimonides.

For instance - through interpretation and "enabling laws" there is no longer a Jewish Death penalty. The last such sentence handed down by a Jewish Court was the Adolph Eichmann case.

Thus the anti-gay laws are no longer enforced as written.

The actual reformation of Jesus has been more effectively incorporated by Jews than by many Christians. Biblical literalism hasn't been practiced by Jews for at least several millenia (aproximately).

Look at the case objectively. Jesus was killed because he was a political revolutionary. The Romans didn't care much about religion. There were many in the Empire. What concerned was threats to Roman authority.

The fact that Jesus died on Passover is a BIG clue. Celebrating the Death and Resurrection was a way for Rome to cover up the essence of the message.

You want to observe the Death of Jesus properly? Ask your Jewish friends how to conduct a Seder. IMO.

M. Simon   ·  November 11, 2010 10:42 AM

You know who got it right for a while?

Negro Slaves who prayed for and sang about deliverance and the Jubilee Year. The Jubilee Year was part of the Jewish practice of slavery. Read up on it some time. The laws and the thinking behind them are a fascinating subject. I studied that under one of the finest scholars of Jewish law and a member of the Chicago Bet Din Rabbi Groner. He was my Rabbi when I was growing up.

Jewish slavery was not about caste (hereditary). It was a temporary condition.

M. Simon   ·  November 11, 2010 10:50 AM

Maureen,

I was a Pagan (in the modern sense) for about a decade. I studied it deep (like everything I do). What I wrote came out of that study not just the links I provided. I'm familiar with the Golden Bough. But I also cross checked with other sources. The above corresponds to the totality of what I learned when I was a practicing Pagan.

It is possible that I'm mistaken. It is also possible that I'm not. I'll look into your link.

M. Simon   ·  November 11, 2010 10:57 AM

And there are modern resurrection myths. Such desires are part of the human condition.

Here is one about a Jewish Rabbi.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menachem_Mendel_Schneerson

Some viewed his focus on messianism as controversial. During his lifetime many of his followers have considered him to be the Jewish Messiah, and even after his death, many await his return as the Messiah.

M. Simon   ·  November 11, 2010 11:03 AM

BTW I never studied Mithras. My focus was on the Egyptian Gods and culture. So I am unable to address your point at all. Not my area of study.

M. Simon   ·  November 11, 2010 11:05 AM

Re: "death sentence for believers"

You do realize that the way "believers decided" back then (particularly in Alexandria) was to form a mob and run around rampaging? That's how a lot of Byzantine politics worked, too.

You didn't get executed for heresy in Byzantium, either. You might lose your ecclesiastical post (though it was much more common to lose it for political reasons, since the Court kept trying to make ecclesiastical posts part of imperial bureaucracy) or you might get exiled (though again, this was hugely more likely to happen for the openly stated reason of politics). Lots of people had both of these happen to them repeatedly, and lived to ripe old ages. It was the mob that killed people.

Read primary sources. It's a lot of fun.

Maureen   ·  November 11, 2010 11:11 AM

Oh, and you do realize that Arianism was largely kept going by the court elite and catchy songs, yes? If you put Jesus in the position of Mary or Mohammed (just a very perfect created thing), you didn't have to believe in the equality and dignity of all human beings, and that man really was created in God's image. Same thing with the Islamified heresy of iconoclasm, which also was largely supported by the elites of the court. So was Gnosticism mostly for the elite; Donatism was for the ultra-pure and rigid. Marcionites were all about the anti-Semitism.

Monophysitism and other heresies were a different kettle of fish, though, which is why they ding-donged back and forth for so long before people worked out what was the right doctrine.

Anonymous   ·  November 11, 2010 11:19 AM

How I approach religion: by their fruits ye shall know them.

The Holocaust was not a 12 year event. There was several thousand years of practice that lead up to it. Pogroms aimed at Jews - were regular European events.

Not exactly "Love thy neighbor" events. Which says that the essence was lost - and I do believe that it is being refound.

The most profound Christians I ever met celebrated Passover. I worked with a father and son over 30 years ago. Both were electronic engineers.

Maureen,

This is interesting from the link you provided:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6MXPEMbpjoAC

M. Simon   ·  November 11, 2010 11:20 AM

BTW Maureen,

The link I got from the site you suggested bolsters my thesis. i.e. Christmas is an accretion not an original practice. As is much of what is thought to be "real" Christianity.

BTW I have no beef with anyone's religion - until it gets political.

M. Simon   ·  November 11, 2010 11:23 AM

Simon,
Thanks, I was aware of the depth of the Talmud, and I have tried to study, but it is tough for a gentile hermit to find a good Rabbi.

Will   ·  November 11, 2010 11:23 AM

Btw, I don't know much about Jew vs. Jew religious mobs in Byzantine times, but I know they had them, very enthusiastically. (Especially if you claimed to be the Messiah, of which there were plenty in Byzantine times.) There was a lot of Jews doing Jewish outreach and proselytizing back then, also.

Becoming a mob was one of the primary sports in Alexandria, I think, and Constantinople loved it too. :)

Maureen   ·  November 11, 2010 11:24 AM

That's one hell of a post. In the finest traditions of this blog. I wish I had written it. Thank you!

Eric Scheie   ·  November 11, 2010 11:32 AM

Anon,

I have not studied the details of Ecclesiastical Christianity. What I know is the effect on culture.

And the dignity of all men is coming back in vogue. It was not always paramount. Thus religious wars, pogroms, burning witches, torture by the Inquisition (small numbers to be sure - but significant because of what it said about teachings that would allow such practices). And we are not entirely out of those woods.

As a minority culture Jews have had to believe in and promote the dignity of all men. Out of self preservation. It is one reason that Jews have been in the lead in breaking down institutional racism in America. Gone too far re: law. Yes. None the less at one time something HAD to be done. Jim Crow was an abomination. And you well know that Jim Crow was supported by some churches.

Currently the Reform Jewish movement supports equal rights for gays and is against making war on the users of some drugs - the dignity of all men. We understand the difference between vice and crime. Vice requires individual interventions - crimes can be handled by law. Mixing up the two creates political persecution for personal habits. It is unwise number one. And it doesn't work number two.

M. Simon   ·  November 11, 2010 11:38 AM

I find it difficult to understand what you mean by accretion. People continued to pick away at figuring out what divine revelation meant, and what reason could do to supplement that. People continued to find interesting ways to express Christianity (and some very very creative interpretations of Biblical passages!).

But if you look at Acts and the Didache and Justin Martyr, you find a description of Christian beliefs and activities that is entirely recognizable and understandable. A first century Christian magically gifted with English would be able to attend Mass in my parish, no problem. He'd sit in a pew instead of on the floor, and the deacons wouldn't chase out all the non-baptized before the Creed, sure. But the basic functions of every part of the Mass and the interpretations of Scripture in the homily would be alike enough for him to snooze through it. The only thing that might weird him out is that we don't tend to sing everything.

The difficulty comes when people assume there isn't any Biblical reason for doing stuff, and then automatically assume it must be something pagan or secular or what have you. People used to assume that the convent of St. Brigid had an eternal fire because of pagan Irish fire worship. Then scholars found out it was actually the last remnant of a pan-European fad for eternal flames that started in Merovingen France and Germany, as a pretty boringly standard Christian devotion. Good luck stopping the factoids, though.

Maureen   ·  November 11, 2010 11:39 AM

Simon,
Like most hermits my budget is a bit tight so if you have any recommendations from Project Gutenberg they would be appreciated.

Will   ·  November 11, 2010 11:42 AM

Maureen,

Lots of Jewish claimants to the Messiah title. It seemed very popular in Poland/Eastern Europe from about 1500 to 1800. So I'm somewhat familiar with that era.

Current consensus: they were all frauds.

People under political stress are always looking for deliverance. Some one will rise to the occasion. When they don't deliver things often get ugly.

Internecine religious warfare is rather common in history. Hence our First Amendment. The memory was fresh in the late 1700s. Not so fresh today.

The error that allows such events is we forget the dignity of man. Or as in the original: Love thy neighbor.....

M. Simon   ·  November 11, 2010 11:47 AM

If we're talking about state and religion, and whether or not the imperial government should have stuck its red boots into the church door, that's a whole different subject. That's where you actually do see a lot of pagan influence, because Roman law predicated that the king was also the chief priest, and therefore religion was very much the Senate's and Emperor's business if the city was to be protected from the wrath of the gods.

And of course, Christian emperors could seize on David and Abraham and Jesus and so forth as examples of being both king and religious authority.

Nothing like a long distance game of emperor vs pope, or a short distance emperor vs patriarch of Constantinople or Alexandria. And it didn't all get worked out in Byzantium, either. That's a good chunk of European and world history, right up to today, as civil authorities strive to tell religions what to teach or whom to appoint as leaders.

Of course, a lot of what we regard as easy to assume rights were only "discovered" through this very process. You could teach courses for decades without exhausting the material on this sort of thing.

Sorry not to be terribly coherent. I probably need to stop posting and take a break! :) Tons of interesting topics here, but I shouldn't ramble on and on in your combox.

Maureen   ·  November 11, 2010 11:56 AM

But we can reinterpret the laws based on our own understanding.

That view, and the others you stated in your summary, are quite similar to the Second Great Awakening in this country by the Stone/Campbell movement. That was the formation of the Disciples of Christ & The Christian Churches. The movie Places In The Heart with Sally Field ends with a scene inside one of these churches. In fact, the whole movie is an illustration of their beliefs. (A little sappy, but what do expect from The Flying Nun.)

Frank   ·  November 11, 2010 12:54 PM

Regarding that article on Maimonides--I have studied Maimonides, attended classes by the foremost scholars of him, read books, and have been in a weekly class of his writings and thought at my synagogue for five years, and have never heard it even postulated that he didn't believe in G-d. His entire being was steeped in his faith. I am not an expert, but the idea that he was an atheist is absurd. The author may believe it, but that doesn't make it so...

Eric Olm   ·  November 11, 2010 1:51 PM

Regarding that article on Maimonides--I have studied Maimonides, attended classes by the foremost scholars of him, read books, and have been in a weekly class of his writings and thought at my synagogue for five years, and have never heard it even postulated that he didn't believe in G-d. His entire being was steeped in his faith. I am not an expert, but the idea that he was an atheist is absurd. The author may believe it, but that doesn't make it so...

Eric Olm   ·  November 11, 2010 1:52 PM

Maureen,

Accretion: Saturnalia becomes Christmas.

M. Simon   ·  November 11, 2010 2:53 PM

Eric,

OK I'll take Spinoza as an alternate.

Maureen. Ramble on.

M. Simon   ·  November 11, 2010 2:57 PM

From an article critical of Disciples of Christ:

The Campbellite concept of Christianity is largely the form of religion found in the Synoptic Gospels and the transitional period of the early chapters of the Acts before the displacement of Peter and his message of the Kingdom. However, unlike the early Apostles, they reject the sovereignty of God in favor of the so-called free-will of man -- theistic humanism

And:

...none are completely free of first century Judaism, and thus they struggle with various forms of legalism.

In my area these churches were the main ones who helped gays with AIDS during the plague years. Many also embrace gay marriage.
They don't have a central authority, with each "church" being independent.

Campbellites strongly reject the term "denomination", since their churches operate with a large degree of local independence. Some prefer to refer to themselves as a "fellowship" of churches, some absolutely independent.

A lot of similarities here, Simon.

Frank   ·  November 11, 2010 7:57 PM

Frank,

I was waiting for you to chime in. Thanks!

Here is a review of Pagan Christian that fits this outsider's view.

Pagan Christian? - review.

M. Simon   ·  November 11, 2010 11:40 PM

An older book that covers much of the same material, is Man And His Gods. It caused me problems in History of Religion in 12th grade. Bro. Timothy didn't think it was funny when I brought it to class for discussion. My mother was an atheist who married a Catholic, went along with my father by sending me to church schools after 2nd grade, and then undercut it by giving me books like that to read. You could call her a monkey-wrencher. A review of that book is here:
http://www.amazon.com/Man-his-gods-Universal-library/dp/B0007GR34I/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1289538680&sr=1-1

BTW, this is definitely one of your best posts.

Frankf   ·  November 12, 2010 12:25 AM

Thanks!

M. Simon   ·  November 12, 2010 8:05 PM

From Man And His Gods, page 181:

Almost from the moment of its inception the Christian movement began to break up into sects over circumcision, marriage, taboos and contentious items in the creed, and with each schism it tended to lose its Jewish character by taking to itself pagan practices and beliefs....It grew by absorbing competing theological ideas.

In the millennium before Christ:

Toynbee lists eighty-seven correspondences between the story of Jesus' life and the stories of certain Hellenic "saviors," using this term in the human rather than the god-incarnate sense...In all cases the pagan stories are older...
Notable among ancient tales as supplying the stuff for hero legends is that of Herakles, the peasant demigod who attained in late Hellenic time an idealized form and heroic stature. Herakles had a royal lineage, but a flaw in his genealogy; he miraculously escaped from a mortal danger in infancy; he was tempted in the wilderness; his career was an ordeal; his work obtained extraordinary publicity; he was commissioned by God to exercise a beneficent royal authority over all mankind; he suffered spiritual agony in the face of supreme challenge; he resigned himself to the will of his heavenly father and was sacrificed; after his death he came to receive religious worship; his mortal remains miraculously disappeared; he descended into hell; he appeared to the women of the entourage; and finally he ascended to heaven in a cloud.
It was at Tarsus, the boyhood home of Paul, that Herakles-Sandan died a cruel death in an annual festival in order to enjoy a glorious resurrection.

I know, just coincidence.

Frank   ·  November 12, 2010 11:46 PM

More from Man And His Gods by Homer W. Smith: (page 201)

As with most deities in the Northern Hemisphere, the death and resurrection of Jesus was placed as near as possible to the spring equinox, while in accordance with Babylonian-Mithraic custom it was put after the full moon. (The name Easter comes from Eostre an Anglo-Saxon goddess of the spring, and was not used until the Middle Ages.) The Christians at first observed the Jewish Sabbath as a holy day, but they later changed their weekly meeting to Sunday to spite the Jews and to please the Mithraists, the first day of the week having been the sun god's day in both Egyptian and Mithraic lore. About the year 354, the birthday of Jesus was set at the winter solstice, the time at which all the sun gods from Osiris to Jupiter and Mithra had celebrated theirs, the celebration being adorned with the pine tree of Adonis, the holly of Saturn, and mistletoe, the yellow leaves of which gave the name to Frazer's classic, The Golden Bough, which describes the cult of Diana-Artemis at Aricia.

Frank   ·  November 13, 2010 12:06 AM

From the Forward to Man And His Gods

"The work is a broadly conceived attempt to portray man's fear-induced animistic and mythic ideas with all their far-flung transformations and interrelations...This is a biologist speaking, whose scientific training has disciplined him in a grim objectivity rarely found in the pure historian. This objecftivity has not, however, hindered him from emphasizing the boundless suffering which, in its end results, this mythic thought has brought upon man."
Albert Einstein

Frank   ·  November 13, 2010 12:18 AM

M. Simon you say: "I'm pretty much against blind obedience to revealed doctrine. "

You're in good company: "My mind is my own church." Thomas Paine

Frank   ·  November 13, 2010 6:30 AM

"Humans are still human."

That is the bottom line. When it comes to the 'fuzzy stuff', including methods of governance, there really is 'nothing new under the sun'.

Will   ·  November 13, 2010 9:02 AM

Simon

I still tend to feel the Ultra Orthodox have been the anchor that has helped preserve the Jewish identity over the millenias; more so than the Reform or Modern movements. Of course I am an outsider and my perspective is suspect even to myself.

Will   ·  November 14, 2010 4:21 AM

Will,

You are correct. In part. But in fact all the Jewish sects these days are moving in the Orthodox direction to a greater or lesser extent. But all Jews have benefited from Jews who are less than traditional. Einstein comes to mind in the modern age.

But even for the Orthodox there are lots of opinions to choose from. A study of the Talmud would reveal that.

Jews who are not being persecuted have a hard time sticking with the faith. My insistence that my mate convert before I would marry her is somewhat out of the norm. Especially since I wasn't a practicing Orthodox Jew - although I was raised in the tradition.

And my point about miracles etc. is part of the Orthodox teaching. I took them up on the offer.

M. Simon   ·  November 14, 2010 5:25 AM

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