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visits member for 2 years, 7 months
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I am a non-practicing Jew, and the inability of Jews to admit that Leviticus is not very good writing nor very good law, and at times outright shameful and evil, is the non-starter for me regarding Jewish theology.


Aug
5
accepted Is it appropriately Jewish to use Psalms as a form of talisman?
Jul
31
comment Is it appropriately Jewish to use Psalms as a form of talisman?
@sam: That's what I thought too. Unfortunately,this is not what I hear from the religious folks here.
Jul
30
comment Is it appropriately Jewish to use Psalms as a form of talisman?
I wouldn't call it magic either, if the prayers were not offered as a quid-pro-quo. I mean, certain prayers are appropriate to certain situations. But here it seemed to claim to be a recipe for direct supernatural protection of soldiers in a secular conflict, not as a way of getting guidance, or making right-action in the world.
Jul
30
asked Is it appropriately Jewish to use Psalms as a form of talisman?
Dec
24
comment Should anyone be burned to death?
@avi: Excuse me, but since the Rabbinical code rejects the death penalty for these things, you are including modern Judaism as part of the insanity. I didn't say you want to condone all behavior, but terrorizing people with a barbaric death penalty for these sorts of crimes is just monstrous, and it's not something that later thinking condones. Perhaps one should not be so fast to criticize a priest's daughter who has resorted to prostitution until you have walked a mile in her shoes, especially since the law doesn't seem to care about the daughter of a non-priest at all.
Dec
23
comment Should anyone be burned to death?
@avi: Whatever the exact method used, it is insanity.
Dec
20
comment Should anyone be burned to death?
@avi: I feel the need to point out that originally it clearly was.
Dec
20
comment Should anyone be burned to death?
@ray: If "God" disagrees with me regarding capital punishment for minor sexual transgressions, then that "God" can go to hell. The Bible is an approximate document, it captures the spirit of the idea of God without the details, and it is a historical document full of cruft. It is incumbant on a believer of reason to accept the historical contingencies in the text, and be honest in appraising them, and making progress without the accursed assuredness of the fundamentalist. If you are so "kind" as to kindly impose a death penalty for a victimless crime, spare your kindness. Introspect instead.
Dec
18
awarded  Commentator
Dec
18
comment Should anyone be burned to death?
I am saying that burning a fellow for sleeping with such and so is morally contemptible, and is the behavior of animals. Not even. Worse than animals. The question is whether one is capable of denouncing this barbarity, not just sidestepping it with legalisms, denouncing it, while keeping the good moral fabric intact.
Dec
12
comment Should anyone be burned to death?
Your interpretation is complete nonsense. The proper interpretation is that "someone deserving of stoning, [God will arrange it providentially that] they will fall off a roof, or a beast will trample him. Someone deserving of burning will [be providentially found to] fall into a fire, or be bitten by a snake, someone deserving of the sword will be killed by the secular authorities or be stabbed by robbers,...", all by divine providence, not Rabbinical punishment. This moots the death penalty by legalisms, replaces it with providential punishment, and makes the law tolerable, but still unjust.
Oct
21
comment Should anyone be burned to death?
@HodofHod: Yes, exactly, and so must you. It is a sin to do otherwise. Regarding this question, I wonder if violating the biblical injunction is the source of the inexplicable popularity of "The Graduate"?
Mar
27
comment Should anyone be burned to death?
@Will: The text is advocating death by burning for 1. a man who sleeps with a woman and her daughter 2. a Priest's daughter who whores herself. Neither crime seems to me to be particularly egregious. The only reason for such torture-punishments is terrorizing people into compliance, and terror of this sort is evil of the worst kind. I know Judaism doesn't do this, but it is not enough to stop doing it, one must honestly confront the cause of this law, and excise this evil influence from one's culture. It is not enough to wriggle out of it by clever lawyering.
Mar
8
accepted Should anyone be burned to death?
Mar
8
comment Should anyone be burned to death?
@HodofHod: I agree about this--- right and wrong are concepts that have meaning because God gives them meaning. But it's not through the worst horrors of Leviticus that God does so. I believe in God, not in Leviticus. It seems that there is no Jewish sect that is willing to reject this stuff, and nobody who will say it is wrong. That's the answer.
Mar
8
comment Should anyone be burned to death?
@HodofHod: I believe that God determines those ethics, and that those ethics do not include stoning or burning. That implies that those abhorrent parts of Leviticus, sorry to inform you, are just not the word of God.
Feb
25
comment Should anyone be burned to death?
@YDK: I don't believe in relative ethics, but in absolute ethics. Isn't that the whole point of monotheism? Barbaric practices such as this have only one goal--- terrorizing people into submission to religious authority, and it is a damnable practice. The holy people are those rabbis that put a stop to this nonsense.
Feb
25
comment Should anyone be burned to death?
@Will: I would commit such a crime in front of whatever witnesses are required in order to protest the inhuman totalitarianism such a law imposes. It must be denounced, and I guess none of the Jewish denominations have the courage to denounce it. Pity.
Feb
22
awarded  Scholar
Feb
19
comment Should anyone be burned to death?
+1: This does add something for me. I think then that the answer for condemnation is "no". It seems then that Jewish tradition doesn't find it easy to retract past positions, as for example, the Catholics did regarding Galileo.