[b-hebrew] Torah

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Fri Aug 13 22:57:46 EDT 2004

On Friday 13 August 2004 19:31, MarianneLuban at aol.com wrote:
> In a message dated 8/13/2004 4:39:12 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> rosewalk at concentric.net writes:
> > Who's confused?  Not I.
> >
> > It's those who cannot bring themselves to believe in the Divine
> > Origin of Torah, who are confused.
> >
> > Shabbat Shalom - lighting candles (in NY) right now!
> Nothing wrong with lighting Shabbat candles.  That is a lovely custom.  But
> this is a list for scholarly discourse--not fundamentalist insistences that
> all who do not believe "as we do" must be confused.   

The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive as you imply.

> The Torah was written 
> by humans.  Like every other ANE text.  Just because it contains great
> wisdom doesn't make it anything more than a product of a certain time--and
> a superstitious time at that.  

Puh-leeze.  Superstition is in the eye of the beholder.  The fact that they 
believed in something beyond what we can see and touch does not make them 
"superstitious" unless one arrogantly chooses to exclude such an idea a 
priori and then proclaim that assumption "scholarly."  As C.S. Lewis said, no 
study of probabilities within a given framework will ever be able to tell us 
whether the framework itself can be violated.  You don't know whether there 
was a "higher" being behind the creation of the Torah any more than anyone 
else does, and "science" as currently defined can't say one way or the other.  
In such a situation, it's best to avoid inflammatory terms such as 
"superstitious" and "fundamentalist."

> The Torah is a tribute to a very long memory 
> and a need to preserve it--a remarkable achievement of a people and quite
> unprecedented in its thoroughness.  Divine inspiration?  Well--whatever it
> is that inspires any great work.  When I listen to Puccini, I don't think
> of God.  I think of the capability for genius in the human race, a thing
> that is almost denegrated by attributing it to an ephemeral "higher power".
> Please, fundamentalists--go in peace.  But do not try to divide this forum
> into "believers" and "unenlightened".

Um, you're the one doing that.  Shoshanna has been on this list for many years 
now and has always treated other views with great respect, even while 
disagreeing with them.  She has earned at least the same level of deference 
and respect for her views.  There's no need for her or anyone else to "go" 
anywhere, in peace or otherwise. 

Dave Washburn
"No good.  Hit on head."   -Gronk

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