Abramide / Abrahamide / Abramite / Abrahamite / Abrahamic
Faith – Covenant – Religion
The Karaite Abrahamide Community
An Assembly of Faith (AOF) of the Advancing Noah Movement (ANM)
The particular Covenantal Religion of the Patriarch Abraham
(Post Noahide & Post Hebrew Religion – Pre Israelide Religion)
Karaite Reubenism (Click Me)
Karaite Simeonism (Click Me)
Karaite Zebulunism (Click Me)
Karaite Judahism (Click Me)
In the world today, in terms of religions of the Jewish Bible (aka the Tanakh or the Old Testament), we mainly have Judaism (Karaism for Bible-only), Samaritanism (Written Torah only) and Noahide Faith (7DF).
Jews have the covenant of Mt Sinai, the sign being the blood of bulls (Exodus 24).
Noahides have the covenant of Mt Ararat, the sign being the Rainbow (Genesis 9).
Yet, the men of Shechem were offered conversion, via circumcision, to become part of Jacob’s household. Jacob was under Abraham’s covenant at this time. And all of Abraham’s household were circumcised when God entered into the covenant with him (Genesis 17).
Essentially, a Noahide may consider converting to Karaism or Judaism, but in the world today there is now another option.
ADOPTING KARAITE ABRAHAMIC FAITH.
Haven Noahide Fellowship promotes the Rainbow Bible (Genesis 1 – 11:9) for ALL mankind.
Yet a convert to Abraham’s covenant, in truth, has the spirituality of ALL of Genesis to inculcate into their lives. While the covenant of Israel through Moses is not ratified until Exodus 24, Exodus primarily pertains to Israelite faith as from Exodus One it is all leading up to the Covenant.
But Abraham’s domain is ALL of Genesis.
Do you feel inspired to read GENESIS AND NOTHING BUT GENESIS.
Are you friendly with Israel, but don’t want to go all the way to Sabbath keeping and kosher and so on.
Try conversion to Abraham’s covenant. After Hebrew faith, which is between Noah’s covenant and Abraham’s covenant, which has no official conversion process, it is the next major religion of the world, and it does not really have a modern day parallel. Yet Abraham, in heaven, is of this faith. His children are of this faith. Ishmaelites, while many are currently Muslims, really could adopt this faith, as could the other children of Abraham through his other wife Keturah (Genesis 25).
If ABRAHAMISM is your passion, get circumcised if you are male, start a website, make yourself known to Israel and the Noahides, and enjoy the blessings of a lifelong devotion to the Book of Genesis.
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
The Founder of the 7 Divine Fellowships of Karaite Adamide-Noahide faith
ADOPTION INTO THE KARAITE ABRAHAMIDE COMMUNITY
Adoption. It's a legal process, where a child becomes the child of new parents, which are not their biological parents. It's done, often because the child is an orphan, or because one of the parents has died and other reasons. But it is legal. Heavenly citizens born on earth have the right to grant their offspring in heaven the rights of copies of goods owned during their earthly sojourn which they earned as their heavenly reward. What you acquire in life on earth you acquire in life for eternity. I, Daniel, the founder of the Karaite Abrahamism Community, have acquired a large number of earthly possessions for eternity. Now, the Abrahamism Community exists in heaven, but for members of the Community to acquire rights on ownership of my belongings for their own copies, they would have to be eternal members of the Abrahamism Community AND also be adopted members of the founder of the Abrahamism Community, myself. Thus, a particular legal form needs to be produced which is for 'Abrahamism Community' which makes them adopted spiritual members of myself, and thus entitled to my rights of owning things. This is a legal enough process, and the way heavenly members of the Abrahamism Community can obtain copies of my possessions.
A DEEPER MEANING IN GOD ASKING ABRAHAM TO SACRIFICE HIS SON
Here is the 'TESTING' of Abraham from Scripture
Genesis 22 (New International Version)
1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied. 2 Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you."
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?"
"Yes, my son?" Abraham replied.
"The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
8 Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.
12 "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram [a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."
15 The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring [b] all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."
19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
In the immediate sense, God was testing Abraham's loyalty. But there is a far more significant basis behind this - something very fundamental.
I have, in the past, thought Abraham was gutless for not standing up to God when God asked him to kill his son. I felt to myself if it was my son I would have told God to go to hell. And, in a sense, that is why God asked Abraham to kill his son. For a man of the ancient world like Abraham, and still to a degree today, the son represented the 'SEED' of the man or 'HIS LEGACY'. When Abraham complained to God before this that he had no seed and a servant in his household would be his heir it reflected how important the legacy of children was to them.
But what a legacy of descendants can turn into, if we are proud, is a sense of our own greatness and the pride which accompanies it. And more than that - in our seed we seek to dominate other seeds and rule mankind. It is the nature of the competitive spirit which all to easily overcomes ambitious men, and even women too.
Going back in time to the early centuries AD, this is the time when many of the famous surnames and clan names came into being. What you could perhaps surmise is that the progenitors of these clans all gained a sense of pride at their great accomplishment. You see, having children can lead to a great sense of pride as if we have accomplished something great.
But God does not like pride in men. Because in pride we have hatred, conflict and war. We have tribal divisions and wars between them and have for a long time suffered racial hatreds and divisions because of the jealousies and prides
held in one clan hierarchy against another.
When God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac he was cutting right to the core of Abraham's dreams of Glory. Abraham had ambitions for his children, to see them in Glory one day, as God had indeed promised him, but God needed to test Abraham. He needed, in that testing, to destroy the pride which had built up in Abraham because of the promises of God and by asking Abraham to kill Isaac, he broke Abraham's pride. And then God did not have a barbaric son in the people of Israel, but a people of law, justice and peace.
God asked Abraham to kill his pride. To kill his glory. And the real step all of us need to take in our lives is to leave behind us the sense of accomplishment and pride we achieve in our children's lives and realize that it is the purpose
of men to glorify the creator God who gave us our abilities in the first place.
Children are meant for joy, not pride, as if we are something special.
THE SINS OF SODOM
It is clear enough that Abraham interceded for the people of Sodom and Gomorroah. And it is also clear enough that God destroyed the cities because sufficient righteous were not found there. When he was known as Abram God made the land covenant, the land from the river Egypt to the river Euhprates, Abram's land and inheritance. And Israel received a portion of this land as its blessing also for their covenant. In the Torah of Israel it clear in Leviticus 18 & 20 that male to male sexual behaviour is a transgression of the law. Abraham's land covenant contained Sodom and Gomorrah within its boundaries and was destroyed. The man of Sodom tried to rape the angels who went to redeem Lot and his family and any righteous found there. They were crude enough to rape males. Sodomite behaviour is defined by faggotry, amongst other potential aspects, and Ezekiel says they were generally haughty and merciles sort of people who committed abomination. That abomination seemed to be the sexual misbehaviours. Thus it becomes clear that Abrahamic level of faith views and understand gay and faggoty behaviour to be a sin, and worthy of the wrath of God. A death penalty is not inappropriate. God said to Israel at the end of Leviticus 18 & 20 to not practice like Egypt and to Canaan were they were commiting abomination sexually. But he only judged Canaan and destroyed them for this behaviour. It specifies that he destroyed the Egptions for their oppresion on Israel – the cruel slavery. It does not state he destroyed Egypt for their sexual misdeeds, or apparent sexual misdeeds. Thus beyond the borders of the Abrahamic land covenant God has not stipulated, as at all witnessed in the Rainbow Torah (Genesis 1:1 – 11:9) any requirement to abstain from abomination sexually. It is clear that 'Chamas' like behaviour is forbiddent to a Noahide, but that Abomination sexually - 'Toebah' – has not been specified as forbidden in the Rainbow Torah. But for the Abrahamic land covenant 'Toebah' does appear to be forbidden behaviour to a certain extent. Abram married his half sister – this was acceptable. But Israel do not have that permision, so have a stricter level of behaviour required. Thus we can see that God expects a basic code of observance from Noahide, a stricter one from Abrahamide and stricter still from Israelide. Therefore the sins of Somdom should not be practiced by Abrahmides, for this judgement was made before Israel advented, and within the Abrahamically judged covenant. A final technical point is that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are indeed located within the Abrahamic land but also within the Israelite covenant land, whereas Israel did not receive the entirety of the blessings of Abrams land covenant, evidenced by the fact they were not granted the land from the river of Egypt all the way to the river of the Euphrates. In this sense there may be a slight differentiation of requirement for an Abrahamide resident in Israel compared to an Abrahamide resident in the remainder of Abram's land covenant blessing.
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
Copyright 6178 SC
What is the 'Historical Torah'? Simply answered, it is that component of the written Torah, whatever that component may be, which is 100% genuinely historical in the detail it provides and the factuality and the truthfulness of the claims it makes.
Why the question? Simply put, this is a question from a soul (myself) and an organisation (The Historical Torah Society) who need greater understanding and clarity on this issue, ultimately, for the purposes of spiritual truth: for the gaining of wisdom and knowledge from that truth and for the application of any of God's divine principles of that truth which remain true at the end of our study. It is a real question to provide a real answer – what, in the Torah, are we supposed to observe.
What is the basis for this question? Simply put, the age old tradition of Moses as the author of the 5 books of the Written Torah was sufficiently debunked many years ago. The gradual development of the documentary hypothesis, which divides the authorship of the Torah into several strands, challenges the notion that all the Torah must be blindly obeyed and sworn allegiance to, simply because there are now reasonable questions as to the legitimacy of the information and how much is genuinely divinely inspired. Especially in the 19th Century, but particularly in the 20th, Biblical Criticism has developed to such a degree that the fundamentalist claims of an absolute literally divinely inspired Word of God in every detail have genuinely been shown to be false claims. What this implies for our purposes is that applying the legislation and principles of the Written Torah to ones life in every detail and attempting to teach that to others may 1) Not be necessary and 2) In fact be harmful for the often annoyance gained by those who dislike religion because of practices within that religion they find distasteful and reject.
Only the truth of God's faith can stand – if it is a system of knowledge defined by man which is shown, in time, to be corrupt, such a system must be ignored and replaced with the correct moral teachings. The Torah is so well entrenched in our society that many have taken for granted its acceptance regardless. But as we leave the 20th century, whose latter half saw a great increase in political correctness and biblical rejection, and we enter the 21st century, those of biblical faith are under greater attack than ever, and the bible more derided than any other time in its history.
The facts needed to be presented – clearly – not for the faith to 'Progress' but for the faith to be more firmly 'Established'. Only on the 'Truth' of scripture and the 'Truth' of divine revelation, can the faith hope to survive this century in any decent shape, and that of the generations to come.
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
Founder of the Historical Torah Society
Thursday 6th of February, 6178 SC
Macarthur, ACT, Australia
'Before we even Begin - Why the Torah is True Regardless'
“In the Beginning God Created Mankind. And then God created Reason. And with Reason mankind walked away from fables of snakes and floods and arks and commands, and realised nature was the answer, and that religion was a fowl invention of man.”
While that fabulous quote is of my own invention, the rise of deism in America, belief in God without religion, is one the reasons our quest to find the genuine historical Torah is of importance. Deism does not so much deny the facts of scripture, as ridicule them as unworthy of any serious study simply because they appear to lack god given 'Reason'. The Miracles of scripture 'Defy Reason' and 'Logic' in the eyes of a deist, and God could in no way at all be the author of such confusion, which he obviously was, should he have authored such foolery.
Deism – belief in God without religion, based on one's own reason – is perhaps one of the greatest opportunities for evil there ever will be. For in the 'God of Nature alone' who will we be to one day ultimately judge what is 'Natural' and what is 'Unnatural'. For, as a Lion kills to eat, one day the deists might argue, as their morality crashes to even greater lows, that murder is a natural function of human society, and why on earth should we bother legislating against this fact? Simply let nature run its own course will be the accepted moral truth 'BASED ON REASON' that this movement will valiantly uphold.
Or they would.
If they ever got the power to do so.
They won't, though. The truth of El Shaddai will never allow such abominations.
You see, even the sinner kids next door, who see their dad boozing and hitting their mother can tell you murder is wrong, and even a sin. They see and know it every time he hits their mother. They see and know it every time he hits THEM. It is the cold hard fact of EVIL and in the end it is not the natural man which chooses this behaviour, but the man who has rejected knowledge of God and lawfulness, which has always been available from the creator, denies this very living God who rebukes him, and chooses to act, not in any form of reason of nature, but on the wicked choosings of the evil of his own heart and mind – HIS OWN CHOICES – and does evil.
And the conscience perpetually witnesses to this truth.
So, before we even really begin our study, in all my knowledge and revelation on life, I can already tell you this. You won't really throw out the Torah – or to be more accurate – the general message of the Torah, when all is said and done. Yahweh El Shaddai will triumph in the end, not even based on the Torah, for if you simply take it is as the writings of old Israel in a catalogue of a mishmash of historical legends, you can still understand, in the end, through reading its message, that whatever did go on historically in the end – whatever the truthfulness which IS in there about history – that the big guy presented within – GOD – really is the Creator God and that the morals he portrays, portrayed at a basic level, such as in the 10 commandments, really are true in the end anyway.
You don't need to know, ultimately, whether or not the bible is factual in every detail in the end, to not know in your heart, after an encounter with the text, that the creator of the universe is the one who is obviously being described in and that, whatever parts are legendary and whatever parts are true, they are still pointing to the creator of the universe and giving the essential message of the kinds of moral this creator emphasises and teaches for his human offspring.
Our own SELF-WILL and our own pigheadedness can interfere with this process. In our pride, which is the essential problem of deism and all false religions, we think we know better than God and can choose our own destiny. It is simply to choose freedom to do what we want, to have no superiors watching over us and lecturing us and, often, simply to bloody sin, that we are like this. We deny the God of lawfulness, because we don't want to be lawful. We want to do our own thing and have our own freedoms. We call the religious hypocrites because they don't justify all the lifestyle choices we want to make in our own lives. We say 'Live your own life' and 'Make your own choices' to justify this truth for our own belief in our own sovereign rights.
We all want to be our own God.
Yet, the morality which ultimately comes across from the Torah portrays a God who judges and makes rules, and this is the fundamental problem that deists and other objectors to the God of scripture and any moral truths being associated with scripture, have. They want their own freedoms and their own moral platitudes, often to play God themselves. Often to live the lifestyle choices they want to make, and there is nothing at all easier in simply finding a few biblical contradictions and off they go claiming the bible is all man-made and the religious are all hypocrites and you never have to worry about that old thing ever again.
And you know what?
That is probably the way God likes it.
Why? Because he is after the faithful and the servants. The moral and the truthful. Not ones who simply want to live as they please, and who will end up finding any old excuse anyway, regardless of how infallible or not the scriptures be, to justify their own choices.
And those choices usually end up being sin.
So, before we even begin, you will already find the Torah the truth, if you know the God of the Torah in your heart or have met him personally, and this study of ours will not convince you he isn't God, whatever the result. Yet, conversely, it may draw you a little closer, should you feel the bible is a pile of nothing more than vain traditions, when you understand a little more clearly how it came about and what portions are perhaps genuinely historical – or what ideas within those sources are genuinely historical in a divine sense as they claim – and in this understanding you might see a little more clearly the logic and truly rationale basis for believing in the God of scripture and why Jehovah has been part of mankind's history for so long now anyway.
'The Canon is formed – the Tradition Begins'
The Council of Jamnia is a commonly held date for the timing of the canonisation of the Hebrew Tanakh. The idea of this council as an historical account was proposed by Heinrich Graetz in 1871. Before the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70 with the sacking of Jerusalem by the invading Roman Armies, in Jamnia there had been a school of developed phariseeism, founded by Yohanan ben Zakkai. Yohanan had gained permission from the Roman Authorities to form a school of Halakah (Jewish Law) in Jamnia and the school was formed, as well as the Sanhedrin being relocated there. Later on at the end of the second century CE with the formation of the Mishnah (which Orthodoxy terms the 'Oral Law', believing it an orally passed on set of extra legal rulings originating in the time of Moses which, until being written down in the Mishnah, were only passed on Orally), the Mishnah records the discussion of the validity of certain texts of the Kethuvim as scripture. Graetz taught on these passages and other references, that the canonisation of the Tanakh as a whole, through primarily the Kethuvim being sanctioned as the third book of the Canon in the Jamnian period, supposedly took place in the period of AD 70 to AD 90 approximately.
In New Testament writings, the event chronicled as the 'Transfiguration' was supposedly Jesus justification before God upon the 'Law' and the 'Prophets'. Yet the Law and the Prophets are the 'Torah' and the 'Neviim'. NOT the writings, or the 'Kethuvim'.
Did the Kethuvim exist separately as its own book in the time of Jesus? Were the books of the Kethuvim part of the Prophets? For example, Jesus quotes the book of Daniel and claims Daniel as a prophet, yet the book of Daniel features only in the Kethvim in today's writings. Was Daniel part of the Neviim, though, in some traditions in the time of Jesus? Yet what of the Psalms? The New Testament quotes them constantly? Were they canon yet? Were they in the process of becoming canonised?
The information we have dates the origin of all the books of the Tanakh well before the time of Jesus of Nazareth, yet the New Testament writings shed no clear data on there being 3 parts of the Tanakh, nor do the early writings in the Mishnah show clearly their canonisation origin.
It is a matter of speculation, as more recent commentators since Graetz have objected to the Council of Jamnia being the time for the canonisation of the Tanakh as a whole. For example, Jack P Lewis wrote a critique, which was published in the April 1964 edition of 'Journal of Bible and Religion', in which he challenges what had become a consensus amongst many that Graetz hypothesis was practically proven.
According to Lewis:
The concept of the Council of Jamnia is an hypothesis to explain the canonisation of the Writings (the third division of the Hebrew Bible) resulting in the closing of the Hebrew canon. ... These ongoing debates suggest the paucity of evidence on which the hypothesis of the Council of Jamnia rests and raise the question whether it has not served its usefulness and should be relegated to the limbo of unestablished hypotheses. It should not be allowed to be considered a consensus established by mere repetition of assertion.
It is clear, though, that in the early centuries of the Common Era, a consensus of what the scriptures of the Tanakh WERE did become established so that by the time the Mishnah and the Babylonian and Palestinian Gemaras are complete (The Twin Talmud’s from each of the schools rabbinic thought and discussions) the Hebrew Bible was officially canonised and accepted.
This was the view of Orthodoxy and Pharisaical Judaism. Karaite Judaism emerged later on in the first millennium CE under the initial impulses of Anan Ben David, which rejected the Talmudic literature as man-made, but did not disagree with the Talmudics on what constituted sacred scripture, the same 39 titled volumes of the Tanakh as we have them today, which are classified as 24 books.
The formation of the Tanakh seems to have progressed from first acceptance of the Torah, second, acceptance of the Torah and the Neviim, and third, acceptance of the Torah, Neviim and finally the Kethuvim also. It is hard to be completely precise with the data we have historically, for the canonisation or acceptance of various parts of the Hebrew Bible may have been done by this or that spiritual leader amongst the people and in Karaite tradition, the Sadducee’s may or may not have accepted just the written Torah, meaning there was debate all along as to what was accepted as scripture and what was not. Thus to precisely date a time for the accepted canonisation of the official canon at an early date is not really available on current data, yet, we do know that by the time of the completion of the Talmud and with the origin of Karaism, the idea of the Tanakh as it stands today had been accepted as canon.
It was always accepted and believed that the Torah section of the Tanakh was written first, and that it dated back to Moses, the believed author. This is clearly the idea of the Pharisees and the Rabbis and the Karaite community upheld this also. To this day Orthodox Judaism, the inheritors of the Pharisaical rabbinic assemblies, and Karaite Judaism, uphold the general tradition of the written Torah originating in the time of Moses.
There are likely many opinions as to the final dating for the formation of the Torah, which is part of our job in this study, yet what we can know is this: When the canon ultimately did become formed, and by the time Karaite Judaism emerged, it was believed, and still is, that the written Torah was the work of the prophet Moses himself, that it represented the embodiment of the divine will of God, that it was flawless, without error, the perfect guide from God for man, and that it was, in all ways, the truth, and the answer to the meaning of life, and, in essence, the word of God.
Nothing less than that.
And this tradition lasted, and has lasted, and became law and became fact and became the book of the judgement of Israel and the book of the Judgement of the Kingdom of God.
And then a voice cried out.
And the cracks started to appear.
'Rise of the Heretics – the First Biblical Critics'
The 17th century of the Christian era was an era which was highlighted by the continued dominance of the established Christian Church in Europe and the emerging new spiritual energy of the Protestant reformation. Yet equal to the zeal for biblical tradition, was an emerging zeal for biblical historical fact. Thus, while Martin Luther on the 31st of October 1517 sent his 'Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences' to Bishop Albert of Mainz, which came to be known as the 95 theses, probably only in legend nailed to the door of a catholic church, only 133 years later, Thomas Hobbes, in his work 'Leviathan', cited several passages of the holy writ of the Lawgiver Moses to demonstrate, in the pure historical simplicity of the scripture meaning what it says, that when Deuteronomy 34:6 teaches, of Moses, that 'No Man Knoweth of his Sepulchre to this Day' and Numbers 21:14 says 'Therefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of the Lord what he did in the Red Sea and in the brooks of Arnon' and Genesis 12:16 'And the Canaanite was then in the land', it becomes clear through observation of the historical context from which the subjects of each scripture are viewed from that it is a much latter date, well after the time of Moses.
The essential crux of Hobbes point is that Mosaic authorship of the entire Torah is obviously historically untrue. How could Moses write 'No man knoweth of his sepulchre to this day' in reference to his own grave, if he is still alive? And 'To this day' strongly suggests a fair passage of time has occurred. In a similar way 'It is said in the Book of the Wars of the Lord what he did in the Red Sea' appears to quite obviously be referring to a book known to the readers of the passage, about Moses, written at a latter time period. And, when it says 'And the Canaanite was then in the land' it becomes so obvious that it is set in a post conquest of Israel time period, after the sacking of the promised land under the warmanship of Joshua. The logical conclusion of Thomas Hobbes was that none of these passages were written by Moses.
Baruch Spinoza, born on the 24th of November 1632 and died on the 21st of February 1677, was a Dutch philosopher who has come to be considered by many as one of the great rationalists of 17th century philosophy. He was a figure instrumental in laying the groundwork for the Enlightenment of the 18th century, and for our purposes, one of the early leading voices in biblical criticism.
Baruch was a Jew. Yet he was also a critic, and he viewed the scriptures as true and factual and the word of Hashem or, what he gradually found out with his studies, fallible and, the religion he was living by, ignoring the plain facts of biblical and other passages to justify their tradition. In July 1656 the Talmud Torah congregation of Amsterdam issued a writ of excommunication against Baruch, which was not an uncommon practice of Jewry of the period. The essential claims of the Congregation were that Baruch was a heretic, taught abominations and committed monstrous deeds which had been clearly demonstrated. This translation of the official record of the censure illustrates the congregations concerns regarding the person of Baruch Spinoza.
The Lords of the ma'amad, having long known of the evil opinions and acts of Baruch de Espinoza, have endeavord by various means and promises, to turn him from his evil ways. But having failed to make him mend his wicked ways, and, on the contrary, daily receiving more and more serious information about the abominable heresies which he practiced and taught and about his monstrous deeds, and having for this numerous trustworthy witnesses who have deposed and born witness to this effect in the presence of the said Espinoza, they became convinced of the truth of the matter; and after all of this has been investigated in the presence of the honorable chachamin, they have decided, with their consent, that the said Espinoza should be excommunicated and expelled from the people of Israel. By the decree of the angels, and by the command of the holy men, we excommunicate, expel, curse and damn Baruch de Espinoza, with the consent of God, Blessed be He, and with the consent of all the Holy Congregation, in front of these holy Scrolls with the six-hundred-and-thirteen precepts which are written therein, with the excommunication with which Joshua banned Jericho, with the curse with which Elisha cursed the boys, and with all the curses which are written in the Book of the Law. Cursed be he by day and cursed be he by night; cursed be he when he lies down, and cursed be he when he rises up; cursed be he when he goes out, and cursed be he when he comes in. The Lord will not spare him; the anger and wrath of the Lord will rage against this man, and bring upon him all the curses which are written in this book, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven, and the Lord will separate him to his injury from all the tribes of Israel with all the curses of the covenant, which are written in the Book of the Law. But you who cleave unto the Lord God are all alive this day. We order that no one should communicate with him orally or in writing, or show him any favor, or stay with him under the same roof, or within four ells of him, or read anything composed or written by him.
The exact reasons for the issuance of the censure appear to be: he was teaching radical theological views, that the Amsterdam Jewish community was uncomfortable with such viewpoints which could affect their relationship with the Christian community of Amsterdam, and lack of contribution to the life of the Amsterdam community as he had already withdrawn himself and was no longer financially contributing. One would hope that a firm conviction on the authority of scripture were the main issues of concern for the community and that Baruch's outspoken views on the issue were the primary reason for the censure, yet I wonder how much the latter possibilities are closer to home.
Later, Spinoza addressed the congregation in an apology written in Spanish, to the elders of the Synagogue, were he quoted the medieval biblical commentator ibn Ezra regarding the passage Genesis 12:16, which ibn Ezra had called a 'mystery' and exhorted those who understand to keep it silent' amongst various other biblical passages, and made the claim, as had Hobbes, that Mosaic authorship of the written Torah as a whole was patently untrue.
He was excommunicated at 23, died at 44, yet his legacy remained an enduring one.
Others of the early 'Heretics' included Isaac de la Peyrere, Richard Simon and John Hampden, who came to similar conclusions, yet their works were condemned and several of them were imprisoned and forced to recant.
These were the biblical critics – the heretics – the forerunners of enlightenment, who knew the cry of today's politically correct that the bible was full of bongers, and that the religious hierarchy maintained their order through holy censure and holy writ, and that while you may 'Rage Against the Machine', in the end 'The bastards would have their way' because 'The majority would have its say'.
The biblical critics started the cracks.
But the faith remained, withstanding these early shots.
Big things started happening the following century as enlightenment dawned.
'Elohim and Yahweh – the Beginning of Documentarianism'
In the 18th Century, Jean Astruc (1684 - 1766) was responding to the criticisms of the 17th Century Biblical Critics in his work 'Conjectures sur les mémoires originaux, dont il paraît que Moïse s'est servi pour composer le livre de la Genèse ("Conjectures on the original accounts of which it appears Moses availed himself in composing the Book of Genesis"), believing they had gone too far in their analysis of the authorship of the written Torah in denying Mosaic Authorship, which he called a 'sickness of the last century'. By applying techniques of literary analysis, which scholars of his day used an sifting variant traditions in such works as the 'Iliad', to arrive at the most authentic original text, he examined the Torah, and applied the passages to two columns. One column was those passages which used 'YHWH' as the name of God, the other column was that which used 'Elohim' as the name of God. When this process is done, and anybody can do it, it provides the result of two separate – yet somewhat self-consistent – accounts in which, when one account is compared to the other, interesting factors become apparent.
The most notable idea that was developed was that it seemed to be obvious, from a critical perspective, that the two differing sources contained similar stories. Certain narratives – separated by the divine names – seemed to be telling a story which was quite similar to a story already told in another passage under the other divine name. These similar passages were identified by the title 'Doublet'. The idea of the doublet, as it came to be accepted, was that one strand of authorship told a set of legends from one perspective in the history of Moses record keeping, and the other told a differing perspective in the recordings of Moses on the history of the people. For example, there are two accounts of Sarah and a foreign king, each account using a differing divine name, with slightly differing historical tales told, yet mostly core similar ideas expressed (Genesis 12 & Genesis 20). Another example was the two apparently differing creation accounts taught in Genesis 1 & 2. Astruc taught that these were separate accounts recorded by Moses, each meant to be taught separately. One could conjecture that Astruc may have felt Moses composed them in differing times of his life, when he understood things from a different perspective, and perhaps had different information. Who really knows. Yet, so Astruc believed, a later editor had come upon the two strands and combined them into one overall single narrative, producing the entire Torah as we have it today.
When we separate the passages based on either the divine name of YHWH or the divine name of Elohim, we are left with a set of two biblical histories. One portion of the Torah, separated from another portion of the Torah. Taking this Torah literally as a continuous history of mankind, we should naturally note certain aspects of things of a repetitive nature about the two accounts, as history often has similar occurrences in the forms of traditions and rituals and ways of life, but, for the most part, each account should be of differing historical tales and stories, each usually unique in its own right, like history generally is. Yet, when comparing one history with the other history of each strand, it became apparent to Astruc, and generally is, that quite a number of the differing historical tales bear such a striking resemblance to the other tales in the alternative passage, that something more than coincidence is at work. These similarities have come to be called doublets. Because these doublets tell very similar stories, yet, with the use of differing divine names and, because there is a large number of them between the two documents, each separated by the alternative divine names of YHWH and Elohim, it becomes an idea that there is actually but one original origin of the tale taught by the two stories, but that there were two accounts of this original tale ultimately produced, told separately in the two resulting documents, each separated by a divine name, yet only being a re-telling the same original idea or story. The view is that the similarities between the stories in each opposing document are of such great similitude that they are not, in origin, each an original historical event of their own merit, but a reflection of the other like tale, and that there is but one original historical event, or one original strand of common tradition, shared by these separate tales. This they called a doublet. In other words, the Yahwistic history, as Astruc saw it, told a history, and the Elohist history told a history again. Yet these accounts were combined into one full document later, by an editor. Going further, this editor did NOT unify the doublets, as one might assume he might, but kept them separate as teaching two separate accounts in the overall combined history of the full Torah. Thus, in Astruc's understanding, Moses had produced two different strands, perhaps compiled at two different occasions in life, which were the best of his own thinkings on the issue when each had been produced: Yet, a later editor compiled them together to produce the complete Torah. To be precise, Astruc's work was limited to the book of Genesis only, and in saying the Torah above, for Astruc's research it just relates to the book of Genesis.
Astruc defended, ultimately, the Mosaic authorship of the Torah. He was the first documentarian (those who teach differing sources in the composition of the Torah, known as the 'Documentary Hypothesis'), yet both his sources were simply Moses, likely at differing times of his life. This was, in some ways, a progressive fundamentalist type of thinking, one which acknowledged that the Torah was composed by a process of ongoing composition with differing aspects associated with it, yet still, in his opinion, the work of the Lawgiver Moses and, likely in his understanding, still the Word of God and the divine teaching of the Most High. Still traditional scripture. He was still a biblical believer – a follower of the faith – and defended the scriptures as a man of God ought.
Yet what followed soon after in the wake of his work, was not such an easy profession of faith in Moses as the author of the sources of Torah, yet a far more critical and determined inquiry into just how the Pentateuch was formed and who, exactly, wrote it. And as the 18th century progressed, further inquiry came forth and another giant arose, whose 'Prolegomena' is still somewhat a revered text with biblical critics to this day.
'J, E, P & D – The Documentary Hypothesis'
Astruc had done something with his two column approach of Genesis. He had developed 'Source Criticism'. The critical study to identify the source from which a document arose. Yet, while he concluded it all originated with Moses, those who followed were not so generous in their assumptions. Around 1780 and afterwards, Johann Gottfred Eichorn built upon the studies of Astruc to develop his own thoughts on the sources ideas, yet went further than Genesis and applied his research to the entire Torah. Ultimately, antagonistically to Astruc's faith, he concluded that Moses had no part in the writing of any of the written Torah. A far cry from tradition. In the early 19th Century, Wilhelm de Wette proposed that the fifth book of the Torah, Deuteronomy, was not even part of the two strand theory that Astruc had argued at all, but that it was a third source, completely unique, separate from the Yahwist source and the Elohist source. Mid 19th Century, Hermann Hupfeld taught that the Elohist section was not even one pure source at all – that there were two aspects related to it and, in splitting it into two separate document, he identified one as the Elohist source, yet the new document as a source relating to a priestly code. This became the Priestly source. Hupfeld was also a strong advocate of the work of the Redactor – the final editor – in the ultimate production of the unification of the four sources as the completed Torah. Yet, even then, complete agreement had not been reached on these 4 sources alone, but smaller sections and passages were identified and separated, a primary example of this being Leviticus Chapters 17 to 26, which came to be known as the Holiness code.
The scholars did not limit themselves to simply dividing the sources up – they also attempted to date them, and the biggest question of all – to try and understand who may have ultimately produced each of the differing sections of the Torah.
However, for the main part, the four sources became the identifiable titles for the tradition of critical studies which had developed as Source Criticism, and these separate 4 sources earned a Capital letter to identify each. The Yahwist section was called 'J', the Elohist section was called 'E', the Priestly section was called 'P' and the Deuteronomist section was called 'D'.
The debate had begun – the study was in earnest.
Professor W. Robertson Smith, in his latter additional preface to 'Prolegomena to the History of Israel' by Julius Wellhausen, had this to say about Wellhausen's work.
The process of disentangling the twisted skein of tradition is necessarily a very delicate and complicated one, and involves certain operations for which special scholarship is indispensable. Historical criticism is a comparatively modern science, and in its application to this, as to other histories, it has made many false and uncertain steps. But in this, as in other sciences, when the truth has been reached it can generally be presented in a comparatively simple form, and the main positions can be justified even to the general reader by methods much less complicated, and much more lucid, than those originally followed by the investigators themselves. The modern view as to the age of the Pentateuchal law, which is the key to the right understanding of the History of Israel, has been reached by a mass of investigations and discussions of which no satisfactory general account has ever been laid before the English reader. Indeed, even on the Continent, where the subject has been much more studied than among us, Professor Wellhausen's book was the first complete and sustained argument which took up the question in all its historical bearings.
The Prolegomena was a work which, to this day, still carries weight in the history of the study of Source Criticism. Julius went further than those before him by clarifying and producing a more definitive formulation of the Documentary Hypothesis than those who had been before him. He argued that the Torah had its origin in a redaction of four original independent texts, each dating several centuries after the time of Moses. In the three parts of the Prolegomena, those being A) History of Worship, B) History of Tradition and C) Israel and Judaism, Wellhausen went on to argue his rationales based on such subjects as the place of worship, sacrifice, the sacred feasts, the priests and the levites and the endowment of the clergy, as well as investing books beyond the Torah, in his Hexateuch theory, including studies on Judges, Samuel and Chronicles, and also focusing on the Oral Law of Judaism as well. The strength, depth and critical appeal of Wellhausen's work was of such a quality that it endured, and remained the dominant mode of thought on the discipline of source studies until the last quarter of the 20th century. By then it was attracting criticisms for those who felt the sources could be divided yet further still, but by then his legacy had become undoubtable.
Perhaps it was the work of Wellhausen, and his influence, which led Pope Pius XII to recant on the condemnation against such studies voiced by Pope Leo XIII in the 19th century, for in his encylcical 'Divine Afflante Spiritu' (1943), the Pope wrote, 'Textual criticism …. (is) quit rightly employed in the case of the sacred books.... Let the interpreter then, with all care and without neglecting any light derived from recent research, endeavor to determine the peculiar character and circumstances of the sacred writer, the age in which he lived, the sources written or oral to which he had recourse and the forms of expression he employed.'
And now, today, the 21st Century, 2014, where are we? We have no consensus. Not completely. Richard Elliott Friedman, in his popular work 'Who Wrote the Bible' defends, in general, the standard documentary hypothesis ideas, with his own understandings of the sources, the work 'The Bible with Sources Revealed' illustrating this. Yet, while his work is latter 20th century and a defense of the essential traditional view of Wellhausen, more critical voices are shredding the Torah right down into a multiplicity of sources.
What will the end result be?
My ultimate conclusion, at this point in our discussion, is that they shall reach no consensus. It won't happen. The debate on who wrote this passage, or which section does this belong to, and how many authors or sources are we dealing with, or how do you date this or how do you date that, will go on, quite potentially, into perpetuity. It will not be easily resolved.
My argument would be that the documentary hypothesis of Fridemans, as an examples, establishes well enough the ideas of a variety of sources for the written Torah and that, how many parts or how much this may ultimatley divide up into, we essentially get the point. It is not, in a complete sense, the work of Moses. In the various ideas of dating the sources by various of the critics, and how a passage is often related to other periods of Israel's history, and have been written with a bias of that history, thus questioning legitimate historical factualness for this passage, we are presented with our primary problem. How, can we know with certainty, if an idea of scripture originates as the will of God Almighty, or that it is not the invention of zealous Israelite priests, or various other Israelite scholarly or prophetic figures?
And the answer is?
We don't have, and never really will have, sufficient enough historical information to demonstrate much at all to everyone's satisfaction to form a complete, united consensus. It just won't happen.
And that is why, around the time of Wellhausen and afterwards, society had greatly concluded that the work of the Bible was no longer the work of God – but the work of man.
And being the work of man – were was God in this picture at all? What biblical truth stilll, yet reamined?
Was there any point, any more, in studying the word of God?
And that is the question we will answer next.
'Creation Science – Why Foundations are True'
Creation Science. Its that false science, isn't it? Everyone knows the universe started with a big bang, and we evolved from monkeys. Right? It's just that, no, not all of us accept that idea. Some of us interpret the data differently, and see a Grand Design at play, rather than the ministrations of the desires of random chemical energy bursts.
Creation Science has developed, and continues to do so, teaching that the foundation of Scripture – that in the Beginning God created the heaven and the earth – is true. There is a lot we can say about this issue, and I will give a few arguments now, but for proper in depth research, the only one who can demonstrate the ultimate truthfulness of the idea is your own honesty, and any research into the creation science literature that you undertake. Websites abound on the subject. Type 'Creation Science' into a search engine and you will see what I mean.
For my part, I will present this basic argument. The historical argument.
Consider yourself. Look at your body, your hands and feet, your skin. Look at yourself in the mirror. What are you? Human right. All the data in those textbooks on science about the human body sound right, don't they? Now what about dad. Does he follow the same pattern? Sure, he has a different DNA, and you inherited a lot of that, but he has the same type of human body, right? Same with mum? Right?
The population of the world today? Approximately 7 Billion plus. I saw that on the news recently.
Now, go back to 1900. The beginning of the 20th Century. Grandparents or great-grandparents or so on were back there, weren't they? You might have photos. Right? Look the same, though. Don't they? Same human body, right? Same design, right?
The population estimate for 1900? Various records quite likely, yet approximately 1.65 Billion is one of them.
Now go back to 1350 at the end of the black death. Your ancestors are back there...
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Radical Judaism functions as a sect of Karaite Abrahamism
About Radical Judaism
The word 'Radical' means pertaining to roots. Essentially it relates to the fundamental foundational ideas pertaining to a situation. Politically it is also on the far-left of the spectrum. Thus, Radical Judaism could be understood as the 'roots' of Jewish thinking, from a far-left or ultra-liberalist perspective.
Radical Judaism is the idea of Gentile Daniel Daly. It is his response to the Jewish faith and God's calling to link to the Jewish people. In his search for a Jewish movement to call home, Daniel first
considered the Orthodox Noahide movement, followed by the Karaite movement. Dissatisfied with their ideologies, he turned to Reform/Progressive Judaism to find meaning and potential conversion to the faith. However, within this fold, certain fundamentals were also upheld which seemed, to him, to be at odds with the original revelation of the Jewish/Hebrew Faith.
Radical Judaism relies heavily on higher criticism of the Torah (Pentateuch). Its fundamental quest is to look into the Torah from a Radical perspective to find the 'original faith' of ancient Israel
and apply this, in the most appropriate manner, to religious practice today.
The net result of its inquiry is that adherence to the 'Whole Torah' list of laws is challenged.
The Documentary Hypothesis and its implications for observance.
Essentially, we make extensive use of higher criticism of the Hebrew Torah, basing our understanding of the original laws of God on what is known as the Documentary Hypothesis. Essentially this hypothesis teaches that the Torah is not all Mosaic in origin, but rather the product of 4 distinct strands of authorship.
These strands of authorship are known as J, E, D & P, with a redactor, R, Assembling the work. The earliest strands of Torahic authorship are J and E. J stands for Yahweh, being the strand associated with those portions of the Torah that mostly use the term Yahweh to identify God. This strand of authorship is believed to have arisen in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, after the Kingdom was divided, somewhere between the years 848 & 722 BCE. E stands for Elohim, being the strand associated with those portions of the Torah that mostly use the term Elohim to identity God.
This strand of authorship is believed to have arisen in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, again after the Kingdom was divided, somewhere between the years 922 & 722 BCE.
The next level of development of the Torah was the D strand, known as the Deuteronomic strand. This strand of authorship is believed to have arisen via the priesthood of Shiloh in Israel, quite probably by the prophet Jeremiah, through his scribe Baruch. This strand of authorship comprises the book of Deuteronomy (as well as the following 6 books in the Tanakh, Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings).
The next level of development of the Torah was the P strand, known as the Priestly strand. This strand of authorship is believed to have arisen via the post-exillic priesthood with the building of the second temple. It deals with matters that relate to the temple and a centralized system of worship, unlike the earlier E strand which teaches worship at multiple places. Nearly the whole book of Leviticus is from P.
The documentary hypothesis is, in general, accepted by the large majority of biblical scholars today. Of the branches of Judaism, it is only within the minority Orthodox and Karaite movements that you would find challenges to the hypothesis.
What are the original laws?
Questions arise. With levels of development are there scribal additions to the original revelation of God's holy law? In other words, is the original law of God found in the early sections only, or
is it found within all the sections of the Torah? Do the later strands have material original to their period, and not emanating from the Sinai experience? If they do, what are we to make of them? Are they in some way inspired or totally manmade?
A thorough investigation into the development of law through the strands can answer these questions. Let us look at an example - the purity laws of clean and unclean animals.
The first mention of clean and unclean animals within the Torah is found in the J section of the Torah. Genesis 7:2 speaks of 7 pairs of clean animals being preserved on the ark while 1 pair of unclean
animals are preserved on the ark. As this is in the J section of the Torah, it readily demonstrates the idea that clean and unclean animals - and thus likely food and sacrifice laws based upon them - were
part of the Kingdom of Judahs religious functioning (Judah being were the J section arose) from the earliest days of the Kingdom. Does this then point to such laws as originating in Sinai, as the J section along with the E section, are in fact the oldest sections of the Torah? The answer to this is possibly, but not necessarily definitely.
Of course the concept of clean and unclean animals is found later in the D strand of Torah authorship as well as later still in the P strand of Torah authorship. So by those times it was a completely accepted idea within the Israelite community.
However, Before D came along (D being written later from the time from which many Israelites, after the sacking of Israel by the Assyrians in 722 BCE, drifted south to the Kingdom of Judah) the Northern Kingdom of Israel perhaps knew nothing of such cleanliness laws. Although impossible to know for sure (as the scriptures are silent on the issue), the E section of the Torah, which was the domain of Northern Israel prior to D, contains no examples or even hints of clean and unclean animal laws. A question you may ask is should it? Or does that matter? Maybe it was simply left out? While these are possible answers, they are not that satisfactory.
This is demonstrated in the fact that the E covenant code, found in Exodus 20:21-24:15 & Exodus 32-33 is a fairly comprehensive legal code, being, we assume, the Northern Kingdom of Israel's understanding of the laws of God as he required of them. The fact that this list, in the mind of the author at least, appears to be complete is suggested by Exodus 32:15-16 which speaks of the tablets of God, upon which the laws of the holy covenant were written. If you look at the whole passage from Exodus 20 through to 34 it would be understood that the tablets contained the 10 Commandments of Exodus 34. However, when reading the E script, separated from the J passage, it becomes abundantly clear that the author of the E passage meant that the laws of the covenant code of Exodus 20:21-24:15 were intended, NOT the 10 commandments. In other words, the Northern Kingdom of Israel's understanding of what was written on the tablets of God was the whole law, being the many laws of the covenant code from Exodus 20:21-24:15 - far more than just the 10 commandments.
So, from the Northern Kingdom of Israel's perspective, the whole law of God was contained within the covenant code of Exodus 20:21-24:15. The thing is, though, this code makes absolutely NO mention of any food laws or clean and unclean animals.
The fundamental point is this. If the laws of clean and unclean animals go back to Sinai (and presumably before then), then why does the E covenant code not in fact mention them. If E contains the laws of Northern Israel, why does not this law make reference also to the clean and unclean animal laws? The reality is that, as such laws are currently fundamental to most observant Jews, they, if they are in fact authentic, probably should have been mentioned in the Northern Kingdom of Israel's legal code. The fact that the E covenant code, and all of the E strand, makes no mention of such laws, when it probably should, leads to one obvious conclusion. The notion of clean and unclean animals is an invention of the southern Kingdom of Judah. It does not go back to Sinai or beforehand and is most probably not an authentic law or set of laws, that are divine in origin.
Let us look at one more example - the feast laws. Modern day Israel celebrates 9 feasts. 7 of these are mentioned in the Torah, with the addition of Purim, which is based on Esther, and Hannukah, which is not found in the Tenakh, but the origins of which are mentioned in the apocrypha.
However, Israel in the time of Moses only celebrated 5 of the feasts - not the 7 which the book of Leviticus mentions. E mentions the 4 main feasts in Exodus 23:14-17 (while only 3 gatherings are stated, the Passover is included with the feast of unleavened bread) with the fifth feast (the Sabbath) previously mentioned in the E covenant code. J, which, in terms of law, only mentions the 10 Commandments of Exodus 34:14-28, also includes these 5 feasts. Thus we can see unity of practice amongst BOTH of the early kingdoms around the notion of feasts. This is in fact good evidence that the feasts tradition do in fact go back to the time of Moses.
D also mentions the 5 feasts, as shown in Deuteronomy 16:1-17. However, when we come to the latter traditions from the P strand for the feasts, the priests who composed P quite probably added 2
additional feasts - the feast of trumpets (found in Leviticus 23:23-25) and the day of atonement (found in Leviticus 23:26-32).
Let us look at Exodus 23:14. It states quite clearly that Israel shall celebrate 3 (three) and only 3 holy assemblies each year. It does not allude to any more than 3. However, with the additional feasts
mentioned in Leviticus - those being Trumpets and the Day of atonement - 2 (two) additional assemblies are called for (ie required). This takes the number of assemblies that are required of
Israel from 3 to 5.
Thus, quite clearly, the scribes of Israel who composed P added 2 additional feasts. These feasts were NOT part of the original feastsystem. They were not inaugurated by God from Mt Sinai. Thus the
divine nature of these feasts can be seriously questioned.
Separating God's law from the rest.
Thus we see something of the complex and compelling problem of identifying the Original faith of the people of Israel. Radical Judaism, in attempting to arrive at a reasonable solution to
the question of observance - ie what do we obey within the scriptures - proposes the following. The legal codes of J and E (found in the book of Exodus) are the earliest recollection of Israelite law. The J legal code only contains the alternative 10 commandments, all of which are found in the E covenant code. Thus, within reason, we suggest that such laws can reasonably be observed. They are the closest to the Mt Sinai experience and are the basis upon which the Israelite religious faith is observed. We find that the D code of Deuteronomy marks the beginning of manmade (non-Sinaitic) legislation. Because of this we teach for our assembly that such material is non-binding upon those who observe Israelite faith.
And the P code, scattered throughout the Torah, and epitomized legally in Leviticus, appears to be totally manmade with definite additions to the original Sinai revelation. As such we would view it as non-binding upon the children of Israel.
Other areas of Jewish life
Judaism, as a religion, is not solely defined by the Torah, although it is central. History, language, music, poetry, wisdom literature etc are other areas integral to Judaism today. To say Judaism is simply defined by a set of laws and rules is insufficient. Radical Judaism, although primarily concerned with identifying authentic, authoritative Jewish faith, also respects and adheres to all avenues of authentic Jewish experience.
Key principles of Radical Judaism
The following beliefs and principles essentially define Radical
· Belief in Almighty God
· Belief in practicing spiritual morality or holiness
· Belief in creation as opposed to Evolution
· Each individual should practice a critical investigation into the origins of Jewish faith in an attempt to discern the original Jewish faith and apply, in a way consistent with their own understanding of what God requires of them, such teaching to their lives. This is the heart of the Radical 'Roots investigation' process - the heart of Radical Judaism.
· The sharing of each individual investigation to a community of likeminded searchers after truth.
· A prayer life of devotion to Almighty God. Ritualistic prayer is disdained. Rather prayer emanating from the heart and thoughts of eachindividual is encouraged.
· Belief that the Documentary Hypothesis best explains Torahic Authorship, thus rejecting the notion that Moses wrote the entire Torah.
· Rejection of the notion of Circumcision as a sign of the covenant. Historical investigation into the origins of circumcision reveal that it arose amongst the people of ancient Egypt, which is undoubtedly were the Israelites picked up the tradition. It is highly improbable that God gave the circumcision covenant to Abraham.
· Rejection of the notion of the 'Chosen' status of the Jews as a holy nation. Rather, God's calling is viewed to be to all mankind with those who listen to such a call to adhere to the principles of
righteousness and holiness that Judaism expresses. We do not believe that the Jews alone are meant to live by God's highest standards. This principle is also expressed by the Reconstructionist Judaism movement.
· Rejection of the notion of Conversion to Judaism. Rather, upon coming into Jewish faith, we teach that the individual must simply search out what is applicable to them and apply it to their lives. The end result is that non-Jews who come into Jewish faith simply observe the original faith of Israel, without the manmade additions, of which circumcision is undoubtedly an addition.
· Rejection of the Aaronic Priesthood. The idea of a Priesthood is probably not part of the original Jewish faith, but was added to the Israelite people AFTER the original Sinai revelation. Instead of an intercessor for sacrifice, Radical Judaism teaches that each person of faith stands before God alone, accountable to him for their own faith practices. Progressive Judaism likewise rejects the 'Priesthood' notion.
· The Rabbinic system is also rejected. Instead we encourage a 'Communal' approach to the Torah, with an eldership system encouraged. In essence experienced elders within the community are encouraged to lead the way in discussing the direction of the community, rather than a specific rabbinic figure. Such a system is also practiced by the Christian 'Jehovah's witnesses' movement.
· Rejection of the food laws. Such laws were undoubtedly the invention of the Deuteronomic school of thought, originally arising from the southern kingdom of Judah. They do not go back to the original Sinai revelation or beforehand.
· Acceptance of Homosexual, Bisexual, transsexual and transgendered individuals within the community, deserving equal opportunity and rights, without any form of discrimination.
· As well as an adherence to God's laws, Radical Judaism favours the notion of upholding the laws of the society in which you live, were and when these laws do not contradict God's laws.
· An abiding respect and love for all the people of mankind, with the express hope that all people come to a knowledge of Almighty God and his will for their lives.
· Promotion or evangelism of Radical Judaism in a sensible, humble, non-confrontational manner. In essence we would like other people to be aware of our beliefs, however without forcing them to abide by them or judging them for not following them.