Think for Yourself: Reform Judaism Uses JW Blood Issue For Shavuot

by David_Jay 87 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • David_Jay

    Before I forget...

    Fisherman: No disrespect to your conclusions or beliefs. As you said, you are merely presenting your view and I am not one to judge it, you, or claim it is not true or impossible to be the one that prevails. I was merely adding additional information that others might be unaware of,

    As a Jew, the act of having a certain "belief" or not and judging someone for this is contrary to the way we try to live. People should not be judged because they have a conviction or lack of a creed. Humans have a value that goes beyond their interpretation of Scripture or what deities they embrace or reject, at least in my book. Regardless of what you believe, you are important. The world would not be the same without you or the unique things you bring to it.

  • TD

    This article appeared on the Reform Judaism site.

    Understood. That's why I prefaced my comment with the qualifier, "Even in mainstream Judaism."

    When it comes to interpreting the Law, Jehovah's Witnesses have taken the moral anchor that even much maligned Pharisees recognized and thrown it overboard.

  • Vidiot

    I kinda view reform Judaism as what happens when scriptures are based on religion, as opposed to when religion is based on scriptures.

  • David_Jay

    That's exactly how Jews and even Orthodox and Catholics view their religions. Their belief systems came first and they produced lots of written materials. Only those materials which had value to them and coincided with what they already believed became canonized by their leaders.

    These religions were founded and operated before there was any Scipture. The religions themselves are viewed by the adherents as inspired of God. The Scriptures are thus based on the inspired religions that produced them, not vice versa.

    With Judaism it was the Theophany at Sinai (which is being celebrated today as Shavuot) and with Christians it was the Ephiphany of the life and passion of Jesus the Nazarene. These events were the basis for their religions. Their Scripture collections generally came afterwards.

    JWs, by contrast, had no such events from the heavens to base their religion upon. Claiming that the canons set by Jewish and Catholic authority are from God (but not the religions that wrote or canonized them, oddly enough) they base their religion only on what appears in these books. As they were never meant to be used outside of their religious context, one can read much into them and get odd results because they, JWs, reject the practical tradition of the original religious systems that offered a context.

  • TerryWalstrom


    The Jews had just escaped from slavery in Egypt. Moses went up on Sinai and came down with the Laws of God. He found the people celebrating their newfound FREEDOM which consisted of worshipping a golden calf! Instead of calling down the remarkable destructive doom of Jehovah upon them--Moses--instead, breaks the stone tablets!

    "What we have here is not a story of revelation, but a story of the dangers of revelation. Moses understood that the weakness we have for dogmatic thinking and the longing for safe truths – the same flaws that had led the Israelites to the Golden Calf – would always hinder the flourishing of a moral society. What was needed was not to exchange the slavery of the body for the slavery of the mind, but instead to create a tradition alive with questions and debate and glorious differences of opinion."

    Religious teaching is to ennoble the human being and enlighten the life to be lived--NOT to enslave the person or create a martyr to belief itself. Life is more precious than mere thoughts about things.

  • Vidiot

    David Jay - "...Claiming that the canons set by Jewish and Catholic authority are from God (but not the religions that wrote or canonized them, oddly enough)..."

    Brilliantly put.

    Now, there's a "WTF's-wrong-with-this-picture" moment if I ever saw one... :smirk:

  • TD

    Yes. Well said, David.

  • Fisherman

    JWs, by contrast, had no such events from the heavens to base their religion upon. Claiming...

    And you can believe your UN-prevailing view if you like just the same as all Gents have their views too equal to Judaism- but without Jehovah it is moot.


    Interestingly corresponds with God's Holy Spirit operative upon non-Jews (Pentecost 33CE as proclaimed by JW: "The kingdom of God will be taken away from you (Jews) and given to a nation producing its fruits.")

    (Exodus 23:16, 17) . . .Also, the festival of harvest of the first ripe fruits of your labors, of what you sow in the field; and the festival of ingathering at the outgoing of the year, when you gather in your labors from the field. 17 On three occasions in the year every male of yours will appear before the face of the [true] Lord, Jehovah.and Deut 16:16

    It appears to be a historical fact that the siege on Jerusalem that resulted in the destruction of "the Temple #2" began on Passover 70. According to Josephus, Jerusalem was filled to the brim with observant Jews, keepers of the above mentioned mitzvah. Seems that Jehovah wanted to kill as many as possible by unleashing the Roman army at the right time, only after the city was filled, using the law of Moses as a trap to catch as many as possible. Even Titus the heathen Gentile attributed his conquest to God who abandoned the Jews to him What seems to have prevailed at that time was not the law of Moses (see arch of Titus in Rome) but the command of Jesus. Josephus also points out that along with Christians, secular Jews also headed for the hills and the DEcapolis not trusting that Jehovah would save them in his Holy City from the Romans.

    According to Josephus, the first siege in Jerusalem in 66 resulted in the defeat of the Romans, the rebels pursuing the Romans up to the same place where Joshua had commanded in the ancient past; "Sun, Moon, stand still!" But ironically, the sun was turned into darkness and the moon did not give its light because the Jewish zealots defeat of the Roman army was not complete, the Romans came back.

  • myelaine

    dear TD...

    you said, "In Pauline theology, the Law brings death and is ultimately condemnatory because no man could keep it."...

    paul's theology incorporated the legalities of the law and he indicates that ALL sin and fall short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death. So the law is ultimately condemnatory of both jew and gentile. The jew because the law was a perfect "body" of guidelines and if a jew let one law fall then it was a trespass against the entire body of law. The grace afforded them was the sacrificial system. Paul was teaching gentiles this legal perspective in his gospel of Christ. Jesus was the perfect living word/torah who was propitiation if one let a law fall (by omission or commission) for BOTH jew and gentile alike. interestingly, Jesus states that He was sent first to the lost (off the path) sheep of the house of israel...and by 70AD with the destruction of the temple any who hadn't accepted Him as Messiah were forced by circumstance to let the sacrificial law fall.

    love michelle

  • myelaine

    dear Fisherman...

    you said, "Seems that Jehovah wanted to kill as many as possible by unleashing the Roman army at the right time, only after the city was filled, using the law of Moses as a trap to catch as many as possible"...

    First of all...the bible teaches explicity that the jews are God's chosen people, the apple of His eye and the bible teaches that they have a huge part in God's endtime purpose for the nations. The bible teaches that you shouldn't boast against the jews because if some of the natural branches weren't spared the wild ones wont be either.

    secondly, Jesus was in conflict with the leaders of the temple, not the "laity". God would not ordain sacred assemblies for all His people and use that occasion to murder them. To suggest such a thing is slanderous and I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you that you will be held accountable for every-word-you-speak at the judgement seat.

    p.s. "Shavouth

    Interestingly corresponds with God's Holy Spirit operative upon non-Jews"...

    Shavout is the commemoration of the giving of the gift of the torah...God's means of teaching His people to walk in His way. The gift of the Holy Spirit was for the same reason. It was poured out primarily on jews in jerusalem at pentecost not non-jews. Jesus told the visiting jews to TARRY in jerusalem until it was poured out.

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