Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Havdala on Wednesday

a guest post by the Bray of Fundie

Frequent readers here know that I obsess over Havdala consciousness. I ‘d like to present passages from one of Judaism’s preeminent ethicists and Qabbalists the Ramkha'l in his sefer The Way of God as translated by Rav Aryeh Kaplan. Be forewarned, this is NOT politically correct.

II.4.[1](page 133)
One of the deepest concepts of G-d’s Providence involves Israel and the Nations. With regard to their basic human characteristics, the two appear exactly alike. From the Torah’s viewpoint, however, the two are completely different and are treated as if they belonged to completely different species.

Ibid[2](page 135)
…Man could thus anticipate only a very much lower level, and it was in this state that children were born into this degraded state.

…G-d gave Adam’s descendants a free choice at that time to strengthen themselves and strive to elevate themselves from this lower state to a higher level.

II.4.[3](page 137)
The period of time when this was possible extended..until the Generation of Separation.

II.4.[3](page 139)
… according to the Highest Judgment, it turned out that none of them deserved to rise above this degraded level to which Adam and his children had fallen as a result of their sin…there was however, one exception, and that was Avraham. He had succeeded in elevating himself and as a result of his deeds was chosen by G-d. Avraham was therefore permanently made into a superior excellent Tree, conforming to man’s highest level. It was further provided that he would be able to produce branches [and father a nation] possessing his characteristics… All of them (the other 70 nations)however remained on the level of man in his fallen state, while only Israel was in an elevated state.

Obviously these truncated passages do not paint a fair picture of the Ramkhal’s full thesis. Fair minded bloggers are encouraged to borrow or buy the book and study it, or at least the relevant section, in it’s entirety. Beautiful points are made there about the early narratives in Genesis, conversion to Judaism and the revelation at Sinai.

In the meantime consider: Is this rank racism? Master Race ideology? Or what we intuitively mean when we talk about Jews as the Chosen People? Discuss amongst yourselves.

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