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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Prophetic Spirit.

The Prophetic Spirit.

It was the prophetic spirit of the Jewish nation embodied in Abraham (not the Midianite, as Budde thinks, nor some Babylonian tribe, as the Assyriologists would have it) which transformed Yhwh, an original tribal deity localized on Sinai and connected with the celestial phenomena of nature, into the God of holiness, "a power not ourselves that maketh for righteousness," the moral governor of the world. Yet this spirit works throughout the Biblical time only in and through a few individuals in each age; again and again the people lapse into idolatry from lack of power to soar to the heights of prophetic vision. Only in the small Judean kingdom with the help of the Deuteronomic Book of the Law the beginning is made, and finally through Ezra the foundation is laid for the realization of the plan of "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."

But while thus the people were won, and the former propensity to idolatry, the "yeẓer ha-ra'," was banished forever by the power of the men of the Great Synagogue (Yoma 69b), the light of prophetic universalism became dim. Still it found its utterance in the Synagogue with its liturgy, in the Psalms, in the Books of Jonah and Job, in the Books of Wisdom, and most singularly in the hafṭarah read on Sabbath and holy days often to voice the prophetic view concerning sacrifice and ritual in direct antagonism to the Mosaic precepts. Here, too, "the Holy Spirit" was at work (see Inspiration; Synagogue). It created Pharisaism in opposition to Sadducean insistence upon the letter of the Law; and the day when the injunction "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" was abrogated, and the rationalistic interpretation of the Scribes was substituted therefor, was celebrated as a triumph of reason (Megillat Ta'an. iv. 1). While the legalists beheld God's majesty confined to "the four ells of the Halakah" (Ber. 8a), the Haggadah unfolded the spirit of freedom and progress; and when mysticism in the East threatened to benumb the spirit, philosophy under Arabian influence succeeded in enlarging the mental horizon of Judaism anew.

Thus Judaism presents two streams or currents of thought ever running parallel to each other: the one conservative, the other progressive and liberal; the one accentuating the national and ritualistic, the other the cosmopolitan and spiritual, elements; mysticism here and rationalism there, these together forming the centripetal and centrifugal forces of Judaism to keep it in continuous progress upon its God-appointed track.

Judaism, parent of both Christianity and Islam, holds forth the pledge and promise of the unity of the two ("Yad," Melakim, xi. 4; "Cuzari," iv. 23; see Jew. Encyc. iv. 56, s.v. Christianity), as it often stood as mediator between Church and Mosque during the Middle Ages (see Disputations and Judah ha-Levi). In order to be able to "unite all mankind into one bond" (New-Year's liturgy and Gen. R. lxxx viii.), it must form "one bond" (Lev. R. xxx.). It must, to use Isaiah's words, constitute a tree ever pruned while "the holy seed is the substance thereof" (Isa. vi. 13); its watchword being: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts" (Zech. iv. 6).

1 comment:

larry said...

THE JUDAS OF ISLAM
There’s always a Jew around to screw up the works!
In the Gospels it’s Judas of Iscariot and later the Pharisee Saul of Tarsus preaches a False Christ and a False gospel. In Islam we find the “Judas” is the man known to us as Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, but who was in fact:
[A JEWISH RABBI]

Rabbi Shallum, son of the then Resh Gelutha, in Babel, perceiving this dreadful predicament, went to Mahomed, and offering him his submission, friendship, and services, endeavoured to enter with him into a friendly compact. Mahomed accepted his proposition with pleasure, conceived a great affection for him, and took his daughter, a handsome young girl, for wife; he made him also a general in his army, and gave him the name of Abu Bachr al Chaliva al Zadik, literally:

The father of the maiden, the descendant of the righteous; this means, that of all his wives, who were either widows or divorced women, this one was the only one who had never been married before, and then she was the granddaughter of the celebrated chief of the captivity; therefore, the descendant of the righteous. This occurrence induced Mahomed to give up his terrible intention to destroy the Jews in his country, and thus did Rabbi Shallum save his people.

THE BETRAYAL

[Why Muhammad hated alcohol]

Abu Bachr and Aliman now resolved among themselves to remove the dangerous enemy of the Jews, Bucheran. One evening Mahomed, Bucheran, Aliman, and Abu Bachr, were drinking together; the latter two soon saw that Mahomed and the astrologer were strongly intoxicated, and lay stretched out in a deep and profound sleep. Abu Bachr thereupon drew the sword of Mahomed from its scabbard, cut off therewith Bucharan's head, and put the bloody sword back into its receptacle, and both then lay themselves down quietly near Mahomed to sleep. When Mahomed awoke and saw his friend lying decapitated near him, he cried out in a fury: "This terrible deed has been done by one of us three in our drunkenness!" Abu Bachr thereupon said quite unconcernedly: "Let each one draw his sword, and he whose weapon is stained with blood, must needs be the murderer!" They all drew their swords, and that of Mahomed was completely dyed with fresh blood, which proved thus clearly to his satisfaction that he had murdered his friend. He was greatly grieved at this discovery; cursed and condemned the wine which was the cause of this murder, and swore that he never would drink any more, and that also no one should do so who wishes to enter heaven. This is the cause why wine is prohibited to the Mahomedans.

At a later period, Mahomed learned the whole transaction, and that his father-in-law was the perpetrator of the bloody deed; wherefore, he lost his favour, and he would not permit him to come before him. Abu Bachr went thereupon and conquered sixty places, which had not yet submitted to Mahomed, and presented them to him, through which means he became again reconciled to him, was received in favour, and remained thereafter at court.

HISTORY OF PALESTINE
614-1096 C.E.
From the Accession of the Mahomedans to that of the Europeans.

By Rabbi Joseph Schwarz, 1850