Now, that’s Jewish(?)

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  • #1819215
    rightwriter
    Participant

    What symbol/icon in Judaism symbolizes/represents Judaism the most? What customs in our religion have any skeptical/unclear origins? Are there any customs which Judaism adopted from other religions or are they undoubtedly Jewish origins(red string,blue eye etc.)? Did all religions originate from or originally based on Judaism? Is there any wisdom in other religions that may have been forgotten in Judaism such as the “matanos” that were given to Hagar on her departure? Why isn’t Judaism the most ancient of all religions if it is the correct one or is it the most ancient just wasn’t officially considered a religion? What’s with Sefer raziel hamalach? Any thoughts?

    #1819378

    What symbol/icon in Judaism symbolizes/represents Judaism the most? Bris Milah

    Whatโ€™s with Sefer raziel hamalach? Owned by but not studied by many.

    #1819447
    rightwriter
    Participant

    Loweryourtuition, I didn’t ask about custom. Symbol/icon such as Menorah, Magen David, which btw we aren’t sure of the origins of the star symbol as it is. And the icon anyone here chooses please explain why you think it represents Judaism most.

    Sefer Raziel Hamalach, the one you own is not likely the real one. Many Tzaddikim wrote about the authenticity of it. And if the one we know of isn’t the original or authentic one why is it still being printed/available?

    #1819464
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Sefer Raziel Hamalach suppose to protect against fire. The Seder Hadoros says that Adam Harishon got the sefer from him.

    #1819479

    Bris Milah is not a custom. Your question was “What symbol/icon in Judaism symbolizes/represents Judaism the most” . What greater symbol is a mitzvah done to your body?

    #1819524
    rightwriter
    Participant

    Lowertution- I meant towards the world not your personal self.

    #1819544
    rightwriter
    Participant

    (external)

    #1819649
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Other religions believe in multiple deities. We believe in one G-d Almighty who needs no help from anyone else.
    We believe in everything in the Torah even though it is unclear to us, because the lack of understanding is a deficiency in us. Kosher is healthier than non-kosher. Something we do without understanding is not wearing shatnez.

    #1819646
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    What makes us special is that we have our own customs and we are forbidden to follow customs of other religions.

    #1819643
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Abraham came to realize G-d on his own as his father was an idol worshipper. The stoty goes that he broke all idols to pieces except the largest one. He put a hammer in its hand and said to his father that it became angry on the others and broke them to pieces. Judaism only started from Mount Sinai where the Torah was given. After Adam sinned by eating the forbidden fruit he was banished from Paradise and they had to discover G-d on their own.

    #1819682
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    We say ื”ืœื™ื›ื•ืช ืขื•ืœื ืœื•, ืืœ ืชืงืจื ื”ืœื™ื›ื•ืช ืืœื ื”ืœื›ื•ืช, we don’t need to wear a symbol to show we are Jewish. Our behaviour outside should show we follow halachas and we are Jewish. Wearing tefilin shows that we are tied to Hashem and we believe in Him.

    #1819694
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The women show their Jewishness through their modesty without a wearing a veil or a burka.

    #1819729
    rightwriter
    Participant

    Reb eliezer, are you sure about that last comment?

    #1819730
    rightwriter
    Participant

    How did the Magen David become a symbol of Judaism if we are not even sure about the original ties to it? Anyone answering about sefer Raziel Hamalach? Red string, blue eye, etc are any of these adopted traditions or did it originate in Yiddishkeit? What about the far East world’s knowledge of healing or spirituality did these originate from the matanos that Avraham Avinu gave to Hagar?

    #1820081
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    I heard that it comprises two greek deltas signifying the army of David. There is a big difference between a tzelem and magen david. A tzelem only has extremes. The catholics only go by extremes like celibacy. Therefore, goyim can only bring an aloh which is burned completely whereas we bring a shelamim where we make peace with Hashem by eating it lashem shomayim. A magen david contains no extremes but midpoints.

    #1820307
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    rightwriter, I answered you in reply #1819464

    #1820319

    RW: you keep mentionng “red string” and “blue eye”. What are you referring to?

    #1820858
    rightwriter
    Participant

    The red string people have on wrist, the eye is like an amulette against evil eye. Apparently most other religions have that as well. So wondering of the origins

    #1820876
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    I did not see any reason for the red string. I can give you a reason on my own. Young children get punished because of the parents sins. So we making a proclamation by placing the red string (which symbolizes sin) on our children indicating that we deserve to be punished, so have mercy on our children. This is based on the pasuk ืื ื™ื”ื™-ื” ื—ื˜ืื™ื›ื ื›ืฉื ื™ื ื›ืฉืœื’ ื™ืœื‘ื™ื ื• if you see your sins red ike red strings, they will turn white like snow.

    #1820871
    Joseph
    Participant

    Many things originally from Yidden were stolen by foreign religions, mistakenly leading some to think that Yidden took it from the goyim.

    #1820908
    catch yourself
    Participant

    There is no credible source for the red string in Judaism. Rav Yaakov Hillel in his Sefer Tamim Tihyeh writes as much, and that the practice is forbidden as superstition. It is unfortunate that this practice has become so common, when it is antithetical to our way of life.

    #1820944
    rightwriter
    Participant

    Catch yourself”There is no credible source for the red string in Judaism. Rav Yaakov Hillel in his Sefer Tamim Tihyeh writes as much, and that the practice is forbidden as superstition. It is unfortunate that this practice has become so common, when it is antithetical to our way of life.”

    – oh wow. So there is no Jewish origin to it at all? Why wouldn’t Rabbanim decry this custom then since in Israel it is common to see these being sold at holy sites. Are you saying we adopted this from other religions? Does this also go for the evil eye amullete? What about the chamsa which moslims follow as well?

    #1820968
    catch yourself
    Participant

    I don’t know anything about the eye and the chamsa.
    As I mentioned, Rav Yaakov Hillel does in fact decry this practice. I have heard other Rabbanim do so as well.

    I also wonder why the Rabbanim do not take a more public stand about certain prohibited practices which have become unfortunately not uncommon. One example is that in the past ten years or so, I have seen an increasing number of otherwise frum men who shave their heads completely, or who trim their hair so short that it is under the minimum length of ืคืืช ื”ืจืืฉ.

    #1820985
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    I found the source for the red string. For Yehuda’s sons, to know who came out first, the midwife tied a red string on him.

    ืกืคืจ ื‘ืจืืฉื™ืช ืคืจืง ืœื— ื›ื—
    ื•ึทื™ึฐื”ึดื™ ื‘ึฐืœึดื“ึฐืชึผึธื”ึผ ื•ึทื™ึผึดืชึผึถืŸ ื™ึธื“ ื•ึทืชึผึดืงึผึทื— ื”ึทืžึฐื™ึทืœึผึถื“ึถืช ื•ึทืชึผึดืงึฐืฉืึนืจ ืขึทืœ ื™ึธื“ื•ึน ืฉืึธื ึดื™ ืœึตืืžึนืจ ื–ึถื” ื™ึธืฆึธื
    ืจึดืืฉืึนื ึธื”

    When she gave birth and one stretched his hand out, the midwife took his hand and tied a red string on him to know who came out first.

    #1821021
    rightwriter
    Participant

    Reb eliezer “When she gave birth and one stretched his hand out, the midwife took his hand and tied a red string on him to know who came out first.”

    Yes but that still doesn’t explain why people wear it I think as a protection from ayin Hara possibly? That red color supposedly repels it? Also that still doesn’t credit us with the origin aren’t there religions that predate us who have this custom?

    Again is it possible that these and many other mystical customs came from Jewish origins but forgotten over the years and have been picked up by other religions or possibly kept for all the years since the matanos were given over to Hagar and the Eastern world?

    And regarding Magen David do we have any Jewish source for this symbol?

    #1821106
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The symbol Magen David is kabalistic depicting the seven sefiros where Malchus or David is in the middle. and the others are on the six edges. It was used in 1354 where Karl IV commanded the Jews of Prage to have a red flag with a magen david on it. The Igros Moshe (O’CH 3,15) questions whether you should remove it from the curtain on the aron hakadesh that was placed there some time ago? He rules we don’t have to as there is no basis for it, but there is a benefit to show Hashem rules over the whole universe in all six directions. The Otzar Yisroel says that the symbol can be found in the Sefer Raziel Hamalach. There is a small book called the Cosmic Bagel by Yitzchak Shimon Hurwitz describes the kabalistic aspect of it in great detail.

    #1821119
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    rightwriter, on the red strings, I gave you some explanation above.

    #1821123
    rightwriter
    Participant

    “The Otzar Yisroel says that the symbol can be found in the Sefer Raziel Hamalach.”

    -again we don’t even know what that sefer is since many have said the one we know of is not the original and not even known who wrote this one

    #1821187
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Otzae Yisroel quotes the targum on Koheles (10,20) Then person should be careful what he says because Raziell Hamalach spreads his words on Har Sinai and Eliyohu flies on wings and tells what is being said secretly to the residents of the world so his nsme is secrets of G-d. (no one knows but G-d).

    #1821195
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The above is on the passage ืขื•ืฃ ื”ืฉืžื™ื ื™ื™ืœื™ืš ืืช ื”ืงื•ืœ the birds of the heavens carry the sound.

    #1821197
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    rightwriter, didn’t you see what I said above from the historian Seder Hadaros that Raziel Hamalach handed down his sefer to Adam Harishon?

    #1821206
    rightwriter
    Participant

    Reb eliezer many Tzaddikim have said that the version of the book that we know of is not the original that was handed down. Look it up

    #1821257
    catch yourself
    Participant

    If anything, the case of the midwife tying the red string on Zerach’s hand proves that there is no general custom to wear such a thing. She tied it there because there were twins and it was important to know which was born first. The younger brother obviously would not wear it, and presumably neither would the older brother, once each could be identified without external help.
    In any case, as mentioned, that red string was for a simple, pragmatic purpose: to identify the firstborn. The red string worn by many people today, as rightwriter pointed out, is for a superstition. As I mentioned earlier, this is Assur.

    #1821264
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    When saying or looking with jealousy on the good fortune of someone can awaken the accusers above (kitrug) to check his books whether he is worthy of it. As mentioned above, the red stting acknowledges his guilt, thereby quieting the kitrug, giving him foregiveness and protecting the child by showing mercy. Maybe the first born has the might and is in a bigger danger to be punished in
    the sins of the parents.

    #1821265
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Why did not the parent tie the red string? Maybe the custom was that the midwife would do the will of the parent when the child was born and the red string served two functions, one for recognizing the first born, second against ayin hara.

    #1821279
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Another idea similar but different.. People who are jealous say, I am just as good as you are , so the seeing the red string reminds him of his sins which might bring above to check the books for him to see whether he is worthy of it and thereby he might be punished. This will take away his jealousy and repent so he can see white. Yermiah 2 warns that people who say, I did not sin, might get punished. The Binah Leitim explains the expression ืื ื›ื™ ื ืฉืคื˜ ืืŸืชืš ืขืœ ืืžืจืš ืœื ื—ื˜ืืชื™, it should have said ืฉื•ืคื˜ ืื•ืชืš? He explains that when we say, I did not sin, we are making Hashem our adversary in judgement, who says you did sin and therefore, there will not be a forgiveness, but if he admits his sin, he will be forgiven.

    #1821483
    huju
    Participant

    The chapter and verse numbering in the Pentateuch was established by the Greeks before the time of Hillel. What particularly puzzles me is that we Jews have our own chapterization of the Pentateuch – the parshas. And if we wanted further numbering, why did we not create our own?

    #1821535
    Milhouse
    Participant

    The chapter and verse numbering in the Pentateuch was established by the Greeks before the time of Hillel.

    No, it was not. The division of the Bible into chapters was created by Stephen Langton in the early 13th century, and only really caught on among Jews when printing came along, and chumashim were published using this system.

    #1821549
    catch yourself
    Participant

    The midwife is the logical one to tie the string, not the parent (she tied it even before he came out). Peretz clearly did not get a red string, or it wouldn’t have had any value ืœืืžืจ ื–ื” ื™ืฆื ืจืืฉื•ื ื”. There is no reason to impose any sort of foreign idea on the string, when 1)the Pasuk clearly tells us why she tied it on, and 2)the foreign idea is against the Torah.
    I can easily cook up some flimsy basis in the Torah for any practice that may somehow insert itself into our culture, including wearing a “shesi v’eirev”. This doesn’t mean any of it is true (obviously), it just shows that “boich svaros” can be very dangerous, and we can only rely on the actual Halacha and true Mesorah.

    #1821576
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    catch yourself, why tie a red string which has a connotation of sin?

    #1821642
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    In the miskan curtains where made with red thread which was used for heauty sake among other colors, but by the metzorah it designates his sin of the mouth. So he has to go towards one extreme or towards the other either towards humility or towards haughtiness. Sometimes a person sins because of humility, depression and he doesn’t care what he does.

    #1821563
    catch yourself
    Participant

    “When saying or looking with jealousy on the good fortune of someone can awaken the accusers above (kitrug) to check his books whether he is worthy of it. As mentioned above, the red stting (sic) acknowledges his guilt, thereby quieting the kitrug, giving him foregiveness (sic) and protecting the child by showing mercy.”

    Rav Dessler (and others) say the idea of Ayin Hara is a kitrug only if the person is somehow responsible for the jealousy of the other. Acting in a way which invokes jealousy in others is a failure which exposes one to prosecution.
    When I gave the example (in my previous post) of “wearing a shesi v’eirev”, I didn’t realize how well it fit the conversation, because I had missed the post quoted here. The idea that a newborn child is somehow guilty and in need of forgiveness is one of the most fundamental mistakes of Christianity, and undermines the entire basis of Torah and Mitzvos, as explained at great length by Rav Hirsch in Parashas Bereishis and many other places (and, I’m sure, many other Gedolei Hadoros as well).

    #1821687

    CY, how do you explain kapparos for children and even for an unborn child?

    #1821689
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    rightwriter,

    “What symbol/icon in Judaism symbolizes/represents Judaism the most?”

    This is a subjective question. I think most people today would most associate the 6-sided “magen David” star with Judaism, though on the scale of Jewish history, it’s a fairly recent association. The seven branched menorah from the beis hamikdash probably represents Judaism the most.

    “What customs in our religion have any skeptical/unclear origins? Are there any customs which Judaism adopted from other religions or are they undoubtedly Jewish origins(red string,blue eye etc.)?”

    That depends on how you define “our religion” and “Judaism.” Also, I am an Orthodox Jew and interact with many other Orthodox Jews, and the “red string” and “blue eye” are not things that I encounter or think about.

    “Did all religions originate from or originally based on Judaism? Is there any wisdom in other religions that may have been forgotten in Judaism such as the โ€œmatanosโ€ that were given to Hagar on her departure?”

    No. Idolatrous religions were all made up by people. Christianity and Islam did derive some of their ideas from Judaism. As far as wisdom in other religions, Jews are strictly forbidden from investigating other religions and their practices.

    “Why isnโ€™t Judaism the most ancient of all religions if it is the correct one or is it the most ancient just wasnโ€™t officially considered a religion?”

    Judaism was designed for Jews, the nation of descendants of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov who were slaves in Egypt and taken out of there by Hashem, and righteous converts who join that nation. The building blocks of Judaism (e.g., Torah) were in the world since it was created.

    “Whatโ€™s with Sefer raziel hamalach? Any thoughts?”

    None from me.

    #1821811
    rightwriter
    Participant

    Avram md-so are you saying before magen david the menorah mostly symbolized the Jewish religion? It is very iconic till this day as well.

    “No. Idolatrous religions were all made up by people. Christianity and Islam did derive some of their ideas from Judaism. As far as wisdom in other religions, Jews are strictly forbidden from investigating other religions and their practices.”

    -Why did it take so many years from creation for Judaism to develop as well as other monotheistic religions? How come idolatrous religions are still alive and strong even in this age of understanding? Most of the eastern part of the world for example still follow those religions.
    Yes not allowed to learn from other religions but are there any practices or knowledge which came from us even before Judaism was official which have been lost or forgotten on our end but kept by these other nations? Such as eastern medicine, mind and body healing, meditations or any other general secrets/wisdom. Obviously there are many instances where modern medicine is not fit to cure and more homeopathic and herbal remedies are necessary and can fix. Wouldn’t it be strange if Judaism doesn’t have those essential secrets but having to rely on other religious wisdom?

    #1821884
    rightwriter
    Participant

    So just to be clear, red string, blue eye, chamsa and magen david do not have clear Jewish origings and are possibly adopted from other religions?

    I even heard an opinion that dressing up costumes on Purim was also a custom taken from the non Jewish holiday. Any truth to that?

    #1821901
    huju
    Participant

    I never thought I would say this, but … milhouse is right, and I am wrong. There were numberings and chapters before the guys milhouse mentioned.

    #1822009
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    It says in Eicha ื›ื™ ืจืืชื” ื’ื•ื™ืก ื‘ืื• ืžืงื“ืฉื” she saw that goyim came to her mikdash. Says the Alshich Hakadash the ending letters add up to Hashem which is separated by the goyim. If you look where the second chapter is in the Torah, it separates the name of Hashem in the beginning letters.

    #1822320
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    rightwriter,

    “Why did it take so many years from creation for Judaism to develop as well as other monotheistic religions? How come idolatrous religions are still alive and strong even in this age of understanding?”

    I am not privy to Hashem’s reasons for the timing of when He gave the Torah, though there are various factors that are discussed. And who says that this is an age of (religious) understanding?

    “Obviously there are many instances where modern medicine is not fit to cure and more homeopathic and herbal remedies are necessary and can fix. Wouldnโ€™t it be strange if Judaism doesnโ€™t have those essential secrets but having to rely on other religious wisdom?”

    Who says all wisdom is religious wisdom? We are allowed to utilize non-religious wisdom that comes from the nations around us, such as technology or medicinal cures.

    #1822524
    rightwriter
    Participant

    “Who says all wisdom is religious wisdom? We are allowed to utilize non-religious wisdom that comes from the nations around us, such as technology or medicinal cures.”

    -problem is a lot of times it’s intertwined and difficult to separate the wisdom from the religion aspect

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