on the jewish condition...
In the Exodus account, Israel suffered without apparent sin. It prays (cries) for help, and God hears and sends a redeemer [Moses]. In prophetic accounts of the First Destruction, Israel suffers for its sins, but also suffers beyond measure. As very briefly sampled here, late rabbinic accounts of the Second Destruction both imitate features of the prophetic accounts of Israel's sins and also add a new voice: Israel seems fated to its suffering as if there were no apparent reason for it. The Second Destruction appears to challenge Israel's relation with God in unforeseen ways.Lesson 8: As witness to its terrible destructions, Israel's scriptural readings therefore appear to mark the termini of identifiable epochs in Israel's relation with God as that relation is embodied in all of its theo-political, theo-societal and theological institutions.
We thereby arrive at what might appear to us as an awe-ful response to our prayerful inquiry into the meaning of this past century of destruction. While this is apparently our worst experience of suffering, periods of destruction like this are not unprecedented in Israel's salvation history, and there is - God help us! - no scriptural warrant for our assuming this sad cycle of history has ended.
There is scriptural warrant, however, for our reading the epoch of Shoah as the terminus of a particular epoch of Judaism - what we might call the epoch of modern Judaism. In the third part, I will consider the implications of this possibility.
Peter Ochs is Edgar M. Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies at the University of Virginia. He is the author of The Return to Scripture in Judaism and Christianity: Essays in Postcritical Scriptural Interpretation and Another Reformation: Postliberal Christianity and the Jews.
Then Moses was savaged by "his own" people":
"This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, 'Who made you ruler and judge?' He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush.
…34'I HAVE CERTAINLY SEEN THE OPPRESSION OF MY PEOPLE IN EGYPT AND HAVE HEARD THEIR GROANS, AND I HAVE COME DOWN TO RESCUE THEM; COME NOW, AND I WILL SEND YOU TO EGYPT.' 35"This Moses whom they disowned, saying, 'WHO MADE YOU A RULER AND A JUDGE?' is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. 36"This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years.…
more than humpteen translations are available of the same thing...
Here, one has to "believe" in god in order to feel the "Jewish pain". The concept of sin — whatever that is, singularly and collectively — is also high on the agenda of beliefs... But all in all, the interpretation of biblical events whether they happened or not, show a strong fatalism that is conducive to a permanent feeling of martyrdom...
This of course is in line with natural consciousness: we know we live (I hope we do!), we know people die, we thus know we die. It's not a sophism it's a truism, though we hope we don't die, because we have invented eternity. In reality, there is no escape: thus from the day we are born we are doomed. We interpret this annoying factor of life with various fantasies. We invent ways to explain our relationship with the unexplainable. We invent rituals, some of which go astray and become sinful golden calves worship, according to the old songbook... We are the people of god. The Jews are the chosen people of god, or did the Jews choose god? Or does god exist?
And this is fair enough. Consciousness is a hard mistress to deal with. Thus the biggest sin would be to abandon one's belief in god... Gus: guilty as charged. The existence of god doesn't make any sense at all once you look at reality and the small print...
So what am I doing here, rabbitting on about something that has nothing to do with me and/or do not understand?... Well it's my own migration, physical and mental, that always attracts me to study what other people believe, without any proofs of any sorts. They rely with vigour on a fanciful record (a bit like relying on the merde-och press for proper "news" information) with varied interpretations and a godly stamp of approved sacredness, in order to reinforce the faith with stainless steel devotion. A lot of written words in the bible is fiction written to suit an outcome.
Most of what we believeth is fiction. It's fiction that suits a moment but does not survive scrutiny of evolving dynamics, sciences, nor a simple change of weather. We sometimes have to adapt away from fairy tales.
So one can believe that events happened. But the interpretations leave a lot to be desired. And god speaketh or saideth to the Jewish people has not happened for a long time as far as I can tell, unless, Judaism has had it's own secret prophets since the Jews and the Romans put Christ to death.
Should I believe that according to a "new" hidden Talmud, the decimation of the Jews by Hitler would have been prophetized? Even Edgar M. Bronfman does not believe so....
Should I believe that, ipso facto, Hitler's decimation of the Jews only happened because the Jews had badly sinned?. So what was the sin of the Jews in early 1900 century in Europe? Was it their relationship with cash and capitalism? Or their discreet attachment to gold? Was it because they lived in their ghettos, independently of the gentiles?
I have no proper idea and nothing makes sense. But I can imagine the next wave of such Ghettos is through the invasion of Europe and the West by Muslims.
Despite having a certain relationship with cash, the Muslims do not have the same financial power as the Jews ever had or still have... But the Muslims have another discreet weapon: population. Population growth is essential for capitalism to survive through consumerism. Thus there is a subconscious conflict in the mind of the rabid money-men. Yes, when this population reaches critical growth, the neo-fascists of capitalism will have to either capitulate to sharia law and convert, or will have to fight. Time will tell.
Meanwhile the Jews are fighting the Muslims in Palestine, flaunting every human rights in the book. And the neo-fascists secretly approve, while officially demanding restraint.
Thus, what's what of the Jewish condition? The Jews have their promise land and for most it's not paradise until all of it is theirs to have. There is no room for the Palestinians. What's next?
Oppression or being oppressed is the long history of Israel. For me, most of the interpretation of this history is made to provide a great excuse to being Jewish and eat bagels. Thus I will be awaiting with impatience the next instalment, part three of this discourse by Edgar M. Bronfman.
Your local Jew...