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The question:

. . . . its very interesting to note that Judism and Islam are very similar. you have two systems biblical Judaism and rabbinical Judaism. we muslims have alhe sunat and ahl hadees. two sect one follows the Quran and the hadees while the other follows the Quran only. grin emoticon grin emoticon

Torah is the word of GOD. and Talmud is the commentry by the Rabbis. true?


Poor man — he could not have seen the loooooong answer coming, and neither could I who wrote it:

The books left to me by my synagogue’s former rabbi are The Torah — the Five Books of Moses — and the Nevi’im or “The Prophets”, which Wikipedia refers to as “the second main division of the Hebrew Bible”. It begins, “After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ attendant: / “My servant Moses is dead. Prepare to cross the Jordan, together with all this people, into the land which I am giving to the Israelites. Every spot on which your foot treats I give to you, as I promised Moses . . . .”

It looks like a sequel to me 🙂 , but for a language culture embedding and transmitting its codes and history in next generations, it’s powerful stuff.

It informs belief, and that’s enough, apparently, to provide culture its interior sense of mission.

With language art created and supplied, perhaps mysteriously so — there’s a subject for long discussion (first question: from whence comes the breath of inspiration? — artifact in text becomes available to interpretation: now the critics, the moral entrepreneurs, and the wise get to do their thing in the spirit of the work obtained.

This model of communications I think inescapable. We want meaning. We want to be more certain about something about which there can be no human certainty. And there you have it: volumes upon volumes of addendums, commentaries, and associated inspirational works — at least out of enthused or exuberant language cultures.

From Wikipedia on the Talmud:

The Talmud has two components. The first part is the Mishnah (Hebrew: משנה, c. 200 CE), the written compendium of Rabbinic Judaism’s Oral Torah (Torah meaning “Instruction”, “Teaching” in Hebrew). The second part is the Gemara (c. 500 CE), an elucidation of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Hebrew Bible. The term Talmud can be used to mean either the Gemara alone, or the Mishnah and Gemara as printed together.

The whole Talmud consists of 63 tractates, and in standard print is over 6,200 pages long. It is written in Tannaitic Hebrew and Aramaic. The Talmud contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects, including Halakha (law), Jewish ethics, philosophy, customs, history, lore and many other topics. The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law and is much quoted in rabbinic literature.

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When it comes to being Jewish, I’m not that Jewish: I have to look up everything, and I’m still ambivalent about re-reading The Torah, reading the Nevi’im; for scholarship, add: re-reading the Qur’an, and reading the Hadith (“Riyad-us-Saliheen” says the cover of my two-volume set).

It may be noted here that while Israel supports a Jewish-majority state, the state itself does not follow “Jewish law” but works off of a secular legal system while supporting the prerogatives of Jewish custom, e.g., Saturday as the day of rest (the U.S. does the same with its Christian majority: without the imprimatur of the law itself, Sunday is nonetheless recognized as the nation’s predominant day of rest, but it’s odd too within the folds of capitalism: the church goers go to church; the weekday nine-to-five workers have the day off; the printing presses continue publishing a thick newspaper for the day: however, many basic consumer businesses, starting with the grocery stores, remain open).

I suppose if the Torah, Nevi’im, and Talmud defined my existence in language, I would be quite a different person moving through the atmosphere created and bounded by those works.

The similarities sustained as time moves through Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are there because the initial Jewish program — what Moses did not only with Jews but a “mixed multitude” (! — all who wished to leave Pharaoh and take their chances with the Jews) has proven attractive and robust. The Hebrews, being an ethnic cohort demarcated by language, could not share out the “Hebrewness” of the way in a universal manner (it could take in conversions, much as any may learn Arabic or Latin and become today scholarly and mysteriously authentic in identification with Islam or Catholicism). The opportunity to borrow ideas — and with Hillel the Elder modernizing Jewish thought about Judaism and making the same more accessible to converts — simply came along, imho, and here we are.

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I / you / we and billions of others should not wish to (as Daesh may wish as indicated by its example) destroy worlds.

We need our inventory in language for its own sake.

We just don’t unnaturally build human languages. Esperanto did not make it. smile emoticon

However, we appear to need a supra-common ethical and moral platform from which to derive a few rules of universal good conduct.

We have elements in place like the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, but in our souls we cling to that which has been most familiar to us, i.e., our legacy in language as affected by the history and politics of our regions.

You asked a simple question. 🙂

And offered a sensible observation.

Oh what a little bit of stimulus can do!

What are your thoughts on culture and language, cultural updating, and and a religious progressivism?


Advice from a life-long heavy reader, the little boy always with a book: even given a lifetime of time in a library, we may read only so much, but as little as may cover individually, we may choose the breadth of our literary experience and, related to it, the expanse of our spiritual existence.

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