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  1. Jewish > American > Etc Many Jews have loved, fought for, etc. their nation only for their nation to turn around and scapegoat them in one way or another. While I don't necessarily see something like that happening in America (at least in my lifetime), if I were ever put in a position to choose between being Jewish and being American there would be no question that first and foremost I am a Jew.
  2. My point was that his assertion was misleading. Of course Christian bibles can have different meanings, because few people read the Christian "NT" in its original Greek, and very few Christians can read the Hebrew Bible in Hebrew. Their entire understanding is based on whoever translated it for them. However, the "Hebrew Bible" is written and read in its original language Hebrew with a little Aramaic, thus there is no translating, and no different versions (although there are Jewish translations for those who can only read english, however observant Jews read it in Hebrew).
  3. That's not true. There is one and only one Hebrew Bible. It consists of three sections, and 24 books, or scrolls. Below I will list their true Hebrew name/transliteration and in parenthesis I will put the name they are known as in English. Torah 1. B'reishit (Genesis) 2. Sh'mot (Exodus) 3. VaYiqra (Leviticus) 4. B'midbar (Numbers) 5. D'varim (Deuteronomy) Nevi'im (Prophets) 6. Y'hoshu'a (Joshua) 7. Shoftim (Judges) 8. Sh'muel (Samuel) 9. Melachim (Kings) 10. Y'sha'yahu (Isaiah) 11. Yirm'yahu (Jeremiah) 12. Y'hezqel (Ezekiel) 13. Trei Asar (the Twelve) - Hoshe'a (Hosea) - Yoel (Joel) - 'Amos (Amos) - Ovad'yah (Obadiah) - Yonah (Jonah) - Michah (Micah) - Nahum (Nahum) - Havaquq (Habakkuk) - Tz'fan'yah (Zephaniah) - Haggai (Haggai) - Z'char'yah (Zechariah) - Malachi (Malachi) K'tuvim (Writings) 14. T'hillim (Psalms) 15. Mishlei (Proverbs) 16. Iyov (Job) 17. Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) 18. Rut (Ruth) 19. Eichah (Lamentations) 20. Qohelet (Ecclisiastes) 21. Ester (Esther) 22. Daniyyel (Daniel) 23. 'Ezra/N'hem'yah (Ezra/Nehemiah) 24. Divrei HaMayim (Chronicles) This is the entirety of the Hebrew Bible, which is called the Tanach (an acronym for Torah, Nevi'im, and K'tuvim). Nothing more and nothing less. It is written entirely in Hebrew with some Aramaic (particularly in Daniyyel and Ezra), in their original languages. The Christian bible has at different points consisted of different books as illustrated by the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, and even in modern bibles between different sects. Their "OTs" in particular are translations from other languages, and thus are translated in a number of different ways in a number of different bibles. Some are translated from King James English, translated from Latin, translated from Greek, etc. It is worth noting that the original Septuagint (translation by 70 Jewish scholars for Ptolemy of Torah from Hebrew into Greek) was only a translation of the five books of Moses (Torah), and not of the remaining 19 books (prophets or writings).
  4. The plural word goyim simply means "nations", the singular goy means "nation".
  5. This is no support for the notion that the Jews changed Ishmael into Isaac. It is a claim with no support in the text or in any tradition. Such a claim only comes in the commentary on the Quran long after the fact, after the Torah, not to mention after Muhammad himself (who never makes such a claim). I wasn't asking what an exegetic interpolation is, I was asking for some support for such a claim. Again, there is no support for this claim. It is just an attempt to retro-fit a 8th or 9th century CE belief to a BCE text. The phrase is not confusing, but when translating a word which has particular meanings into a word in another language which comes with its own meanings and baggage causes people to misinterpret what is being said. The text is internally consistent through and through, and the phrase is not ambiguous. The previous "chapter" establishes the birth of Isaac and sending away of Ishmael, the chapters before that speak of the coming brith of Isaac to take on the covenant and the blessings, etc. and the narrative of chapter 22 speaks of Isaac a number of times never mentioning Ishmael. In fact, Ishmael is not mentioned again until Avraham dies - 38 years after the incidents in chapter 22 - as recorded in chapter 25. It's not a contradiction. The word used is perfectly acceptable to convey the situation of one son living with his father while the other son has been sent off and is not with them. Saying your son your lone one who you love Isaac is a specification. Muslims have to jump through hoops and come up with a convoluted mess of conspiracies to come up with any attempt to discredit the text as it is written. The Hebrew is clear, there is no contradiction in it. There is no such problem in this text. Again, not even the Koran says that Ishmael was the son involved in this story, rather a later commentary says so. Meanwhile, the Torah is clear on who it was, it is written clearly, it is all internally consistent, and no amount of retro-fitting or revisionism can change that. No, it hinges on a mistaken assumption in the first place, compounded by the mistake of interpreting into the meaning of the english word which is commonly used in Christian bibles, rather than the meaning of the Hebrew word used. There is no inconsistency. It's not a problem with the Hebrew text that is a problem, but of a theology not found until the Muslim commentaries on the Koran which misinterprets the Torah to create room for apologetics.
  6. The oldest scrolls are obviously those which were found at Qumran (most of which date from between the 5th century BCE to the 1st century BCE), which were not subject to the burnings, persecutions, etc. which those in Jewish communities were from the Babylonians down thru to recently. There are some more recent manuscripts written by the masoretes which incorporate the trop and vowel points which date to the 10th or 11th century CE. TBH, the "chosen people" thing is completely misinterpreted more often than not. Unfortunately, some Jews who are not all that familiar with Judaism and Jewishness who aren't completely put off by it may be likely to mis-state what it actually means. In truth, "choseness" was for the purpose of bringing knowledge of ethical monotheism to the world. Not by trying to convert them to all to Jews (although we welcome all sincere converts, and at one point Judaism was extremelty popular in the Roman Empire during the first century), but to serve as an example. Israel was situated at the crossroads between Africa, Europe, and Asia, and so every large empire inevitably came into contact with us and our peculiar God and laws. Jews were never meant to be isolated from interaction with other peoples, but just to isolate ourselves ritually. Not to worship the gods of other nations, not to intermingle with their religions and customs which went against our Torah, and to be respectful of their laws when under them, but to also keep our laws when in the exile and not in our own land. So choseness does not mean we think we are better, or more human, or this or that. We were chosen for these laws which no other nation did or has ever accepted upon themselves, and this is our obligation. But there have been great and righteous non-Jews through all ages, and we recognize that. You are speaking of the scroll found in the Temple during the time of Josiah. According to Jewish tradition he didn't find a missing scroll in the sense that the contents of the scroll they found was unknown to them, but rather they found the original scroll of Deuteronomy written by Moshe. Because it was the one particularly written by Moshe, and because it was turned to a specific part of the scroll which spoke of the curses for not following the scroll (which Josiah's forefather Amon, and his father Menashe for the first part of his life had not followed as kings). Of course, as Jew I regard the oral Torah and tradition as recorded in the Mishnah and G'marah as important. Of course as an observant Jew I follow the tradition that the Torah was written and completed by Moshe and was in use from that point forward. The prophecies of the prophets were spoken and recorded at various points depending on the prophet and the time. The writings (Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ruth, Ester, Chronicles, etc) were finalized by the Men of Great Assembly in the 6th or 5th century, though made up of writings which had already existed for different amounts of time (Job written by Moses, Ruth written by Samuel, Chronicles written by Ezra and Nechemiah, etc.) Of course anyone can argue that it is not the case, and there is no physical way to prove or disprove it. We have our scrolls, we have our manuscripts, we have our traditions, and archaeology supports the time lines even if it can't support the every day happenings and supernatural claims of the Tanach.
  7. My point was that even most minimalists regard the Torah as a compilation of much much older documents, and not something suddenly recorded for posterity during/after the Babylonian exile. Torah scrolls the world over are and have been exactly the same. The biggest variation between Torahs is probably with the Yemini Torah which has something like 7-9 variations, none of which change the word or meaning of the word (for instance, a word ending with an alef rather than a heh, etc). It's easy to make accusations against something based on the possibility that such and such could or may have been capable of happening, but there's no support for it, no proof. How so?
  8. Even some of the most minimalist historians believe that the Torah was compiled from a couple already long-existing texts. However, these theories show a complete lack of understanding of the Hebrew, and stem largely from extremely anti-Jewish periods in Germany. They are mostly attempts to resurrect the already long-ago defeated Wellhausen theory of various sources. Needless to say observant Jews reject these theories. Yes, and when Moshe is recording the earliest stories in Bereshit (Genesis) he is recording it as G-d is telling him at Sinai. Not to mention the fact that the stories of the patriarchs are still recent at that point. However, he is not taking them from already existing books and doing so thousands of years after the fact. You are trying to distinguish between Muhammad receiving a relelation and Moshe receiving a revelation as well as having the oral tradition already. If I say that I received a revelation about Muhammad from Gavriel where I record a bunch of information that is already recorded the world over for 1,400 years with some slight tweaks here and there, I can't wish away the fact that this stuff is already well known and recorded.
  9. I understand what you are saying, but the logic doesn't work. By "chapter 22" Isaac had already been born. Either way it can't mean what Islam interprets it to mean, which is that Avraham only had one son at that time. You mentioned earlier that you believed Isaac was just a baby. Yet Ishmael is born at the end of one chapter (Abraham is 86) and is 13 (Abraham is 99) the next chapter. The next five "chapters" cover mostly the span of one year. Sarah gives birth to Isaac at 90. The next chapter is the binding of Isaac. Then the beginning of the very next chapter right after the binding of Isaac it records that Sarah died at 127 years. That means there are 37 years between chapter 21 when Isaac is born and 23 when Sarah dies. The fact is that at that point Ishmael and Hagar had been sent away. Abraham had only one son with him. There is no textual of linguistic or internal problem here whatsoever. Fair enough. I am not interested in converting you or anything like that, that is not what Jews are about. But I had to chime in on what I see as misrepresentations of what the Torah says and means. The Torah and Tanach, Jews, and Judaism have our own traditions and beliefs regarding how they were recorded. The entirety of the Torah was dictated to Moshe by G-d and committed to writing by Moshe save perhaps the last few lines which would've been recorded by Y'hoshua. The rest of the books have various authors between Y'hoshua and Ezra and Nechemiyah. As for Muhammad being recorded by his followers, that's nice. Like I said, I have no interest in making you believe something other than Islam. But don't you think this point is a little ridiculous in light of the criticisms launched against the Hebrew Bible? With the exception of the parts of the Koran which speak of Muhammad's life and surroundings he is re-telling stories about the Jewish patriarchs, prophets, etc. which precede him by thousands of years. He is speaking about things which have been in writings for 2,000 years by that point. How is that not recording "after the events"? Because he had a revelation? Whether by oral tradition or revelation there are centuries and millenium more time between Muhammad and the ancient stories he is re-telling than between the events in the Hebrew Bible and their recording.
  10. I don't think you understand the Torah (or Bible as you call it) nor what adultery is in the biblical context. Adultery refers to a married woman, which Hagar certainly was not, and thus neither Avraham nor Hagar were guilty of any such thing. After the giving of the Torah when the Miqdash (whether tabernacle or later the Temple) stood and the Sanhedrin was in effect, it would be a capital crime for a man to get with a married woman/married woman to get with any other man than her husband (the circumstances under which it could be enforced are extensive, and I won't get into them). However, there was not a K'tubah (marriage document) in the time of Avraham. Basically, if the two parties confirm it and the man takes the unmarried woman to his tent they are for all intents and purposes married (it is and has been much more complicated for many millenium since). Thus, Sarah gave Hagar to Avraham for a concubine, and they sealed the deal, and Ishmael was a result of that encounter. Nothing illegal about it. As I said before, the biblical ideal is one man and one woman, but there are nonetheless cases of a man having a number of wives and concubines, and this is not illegal. Again, this has nothing to do with the discussion about Isaac and Ishmael. Both of them were conceived and born legitimately.
  11. There is no inconsistency within the text, though. The claim is bogus. It has no support linguistically or in any other manner. Yitzhaq (yud-tzadi-het-qof) and Yishmael (yud-shin-mem-alef-lamed) are not similar whatsoever in spelling or meaning. The respective stories behind the names are consistent within the stories, whereas the notion that one name was replaced with the other would take a huge conspiracy that has no historical backing. The Muslim tradition of Ishmael being the son in question does not come from the Koran but from later commentators, and from what I read Muslims were not unanimous in this interpretation in the first place until later. The Jews started Medina, as certain groups of Jews had fled to the coasts of the Arabian peninsula following the destruction of Jerusalem. The pagan Arabs of the Arabian peninsula interacted with and came into contact with Jewish textual and oral tradition for six centuries before Islam came about (and Islam incorperated many Jewish oral traditions into the Koran and their beliefs). It's not like there were two concurrent traditions going back three millenia between Arabs and Jews, this is a fallacious representation of the facts. There is absolutely no internal inconsistency in the text. Tatar's claim is unsupported by the text itself, not to mention the oral tradition. It would be like me saying the Koran is mistaken when it claims Muhammad is descent from Ishmael, and that he is actually descent from Lot and is a Moabite. It's baseless revisionism of a long established text with a long established history.
  12. Agreed. Iraq has never in history been one entity. Even in the ancient days there was Assyria in the north and Babylonia in the south. The only time they were one entity was when one was imposing themself on the other, or when an entirely foreign power (such as Persia or Greece) was imposing themself on both. The Kurds got the shaft when the British and French were handing over large pieces of land of the Arabs - who largely had no part whatsoever in bringing down the Ottomans. The fact is the Kurds represent pretty much everything American wishes they could get out of the Arabs. They have basically been running and administering over themselves for the past decade and a half, and function much more smoothly than the Arabs section of Iraq.
  13. It is not a discrepency. Yishmael was sent away to live in Paran while only Yitzchaq remained with Avraham and his mother Sarah. Chapter twenty two (again there are actually no chapter, this is all one narrative in a scroll) takes place after the birth of Yitzhaq and after Yishmael has been sent away to Paran, so there is no possible way that this sentence implies that Avraham only has one living son. Muslims choose to ignore the entirety of the sentence "your son your only son who you love Isaac" and make excuses for why it says what it says, but they cannot retroactively change what it says. And again, there is no support in even the Koran for trying to discredit how it is recorded in the Torah as the Koran does not name the son whatsoever. The interpretation that the Koran refers to Ishmael is just that, an interpretation. Meanwhile, the Torah spells out clearly who it was nearly three thousand years before these Islamic interpretations. This claim has no legs to stand on. It is apologetics for the fact that certain interpretors of the Koran settled on Ishmael and thus find themselves at odds with and in need of an excuse in the face of the account of the Torah, not based on what the Koran actually says. There was nothing illegal about what went down between Avraham and Hagar. Again, I don't see what any of this has to do with Isaac and Ishmael. Sarah was obviously Avraham's wife, and she gave Hagar to Avraham as a concubine to conceive a child.
  14. There are various archaeological and DNA support for the ancient Jews. There is a Kohen (the Kohanim were the priests descent from Aharon) gene which dates back to the second millenium BCE. Pretty much every city in Israel has under it or in its vicinity a city from the time of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. There is the Hezekiah inscription, the large gates at Megiddo, Gezer, and Hatzor dating to 10th century, palaces dating to the time of Humri and Ahav, the wall from the time of Nechemiyah after the return from Bavel, etc. Of coure archaeology can absolutely never prove or disprove supernatural claims or events. The fact that the kings of Israel and Judah have archaeological support, that Assyrian, Moabite, and Aramean kings have steles mentioning the House of David, Humri, Ahav, and various kings doesn't mean that they can prove that a plague struck down Assyrian invaders to Y'rushalayim, or this miracle or another. It is no matter to me whether anyone else accepts these things or not. Jews are not a proselytizing bunch in general. We don't go door to door trying to convince people to be Jews, because we don't hold that gentiles NEED to be Jews. The Tanach has numerous examples of righteous and important gentiles such as Noach, Job, the daughter of Pharaoh who saved Moshe, Rut the ancestress of David and all future kings of Judah, and so on.
  15. וַיֹּאמֶר קַח-נָא אֶת-בִּנְךָ אֶת-יְחִידְךָ אֲשֶׁר-אָהַבְתָּ אֶת-יִצְחָק וְלֶךְ-לְךָ אֶל-אֶרֶץ הַמֹּרִיָּה Vayomer qah-na et-bin'cha et-y'hid'cha asher ahav'ta et-Yitzhaq v'lech l'cha el Eretz ha'Moriyyah And He said, "Take now your son, your lone son, who you love, Isaac, and go forth to the land of Moriyyah..." Of what matter is it that Yishmael is still alive? Yitzhaq is alive too at this time - according to Jewish tradition in his late 30s - so any attempt to interpret this as speaking of only one son being alive is incorrect from the get-go. By this point Yishmael and Hagar had gone into the Wilderness of Be'er Sheva, finally settling far south of Be'er Sheva, as well as Hevron and Moriyyah, in the Wilderness of Paran, which is in the Sinai. Thus, the only son living with Avraham was his son Yitzhaq, whom G-d had promised to Avraham and Sarah, as well as the covenant, etc. This claim has no support whatsoever. The entirety of Avraham's narrative to that point leads up to the importance of his son Yitzhaq as it regards G-d's promises to Avraham. Genesis 12:7 7. And the Lord appeared to Abram, and He said, "To your seed I will give this land," and there he built an altar to the Lord, Who had appeared to him. Genesis 13:14-17 14. And the Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, "Please raise your eyes and see, from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward. 15. For all the land that you see I will give to you and to your seed to eternity. 16. And I will make your seed like the dust of the earth, so that if a man will be able to count the dust of the earth, so will your seed be counted. 17. Rise, walk in the land, to its length and to its breadth, for I will give it to you." Genesis 15:1-18 1. After these incidents, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Fear not, Abram; I am your Shield; your reward is exceedingly great." 2. And Abram said, "0 Lord God, what will You give me, since I am going childless, and the steward of my household is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3. And Abram said, "Behold, You have given me no seed, and behold, one of my household will inherit me." 4. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "This one will not inherit you, but the one who will spring from your innards-he will inherit you." 5. And He took him outside, and He said, "Please look heavenward and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So will be your seed." 6. And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him as righteousness. 7. And He said to him, "I am the Lord, Who brought you forth from Ur Kasdim, to give you this land to inherit it." 8. And he said, "0 Lord God, how will I know that I will inherit it?" 9. And He said to him, "Take for Me three heifers and three goats and three rams, and a turtle dove and a young bird." 10. And he took for Him all these, and he divided them in the middle, and he placed each part opposite its mate, but he did not divide the birds. 11. And the birds of prey descended upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away. 12. Now the sun was ready to set, and a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and behold, a fright, a great darkness was falling upon him. 13. And He said to Abram, "You shall surely know that your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will enslave them and oppress them, for four hundred years. 14. And also the nation that they will serve will I judge, and afterwards they will go forth with great possessions. 15. But you will come to your forefathers in peace; you will be buried in a good old age. 16. And the fourth generation will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites will not be complete until then." 17. Now it came to pass that the sun had set, and it was dark, and behold, a smoking furnace and a fire brand, which passed between these parts. 18. On that day, the Lord formed a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your seed I have given this land, from the river of Egypt until the great river, the Euphrates river. Genesis 17:18-21 18. And Abraham said to God, "If only Ishmael will live before You!" 19. And God said, "Indeed, your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac, and I will establish My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his seed after him. 20. And regarding Ishmael, I have heard you; behold I have blessed him, and I will make him fruitful, and I will multiply him exceedingly; he will beget twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. 21. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year." Genesis 21:12-13 12. And God said to Abraham, "Be not displeased concerning the lad and concerning your handmaid; whatever Sarah tells you, hearken to her voice, for in Isaac will be called your seed. 13. But also the son of the handmaid I will make into a nation, because he is your seed." The Torah does not write off anyone. Yishmael is blessed and he would become a great nation, as would Esav and his descendants, but the purpose of the covenant which passed from Avraham to his son Isaac and to his soon Ya'aqov and to his sons and so on was from a specific purpose, to bring knowledge of ethical monotheism to the world. The fact is that the Torah clearly explains how this responsibility was passed to Yitzhaq and Ya'aqov and so on. Furthermore, the Quran absolutely does not name Yishmael as the son to be brought up by Avraham. So the notion that the Jews corrupted the Torah to counter the claims of Muslim commentators almost 3,000 years later is absurd. The entirety of the Hebrew Bible - despite being only 24 books - covers over 1,000 years of time. There are innumerable years and stories which are not recorded in the written text (many are in the oral Torah and tradition, many others are not recorded in either). Avraham was 86 when Hagar bore Yishmael, recorded at the end of chapter 16. Then chapter 17 begins with Avraham being 99. So there we have 13 years passing between one sentence and another (which in a Torah scroll there are no chapters, chapters are a medieval Christian invention). So this objection to the time between Genesis 21 and 22 has no merit. Hagar was given to Avraham as a concubine. I am not sure what this argument is meant to imply, but Sarah is Avraham's first wife, so using the logic you present the relationship with Hagar and the son coming from that relationship would both be illegitimate. Of course, the Torah nor Jewish tradition hold that to be true. In fact, when Avraham's beloved wife Sarah died Avraham married a woman named Qeturah (bearing him Zimran, Yoqshan, M'dan, Midiyan, Yishbaq, and Shuach). And Jewish tradition holds that Qeturah was in fact Hagar. The ideal is for a man to have one wife, but there are some instances where that was not the case. Those aren't necessarily condemned, but they are not the ideal.
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