[b-hebrew] Fwd: Re: YHWH

Jim West jwest at highland.net
Tue Jul 26 21:12:29 EDT 2005

Shoshanna Walker wrote:

> Not argumentative or unpleasant but arrogant!

Not at all.

> And completely ignorant of Judaism, and the Oral Torah, without which 
> YOU are the one who can not understand the Torah

Actually if you are interpreting texts through the lens of tradition you 
are practicing eisegesis- reading INTO texts.  That is quite a different 
thing than exegesis. Which is, I might remind you, the purpose of this list.

> I have been reading the Torah - what you call the "Hebrew Bible" - and 
> learning spoken Hebrew as a language - since first grade!

Okie dokie.  But clearly you have not done a very good job of it.  Doing 
something wrong a long time is of no advantage.

> YOU are the one who is completely unfamiliar with MY history!

Well that's certainly true.  I don't know a single thing about you.  But 
I have not addressed YOUR history- I have addressed your 
misinterpretation of texts.

> How DARE you tell that my JEWISH religious education has been FLAWED, 
> and that we Jews do not understand our history and our heritage and 
> OUR Torah, it would be like me "correcting" the knowledge that a Hindu 
> has of his religion or scripture

I didn't say anything of the sort.  I said your reading of the texts was 
sub standard.

> Genesis 31:30  This is not G-d recognizing other gods, this  is LAVAN 
> speaking about HIS "gods", did  you not  notice that when Lavan 
> referred to Jacob's G-d (verse 29) it was SINGULAR - ONE G-d????
> Genesis 35:2  There is a word in this verse which describes "gods" - 
> the word is "Neichor"   Elohei Neichor = ALIEN GODS!  Again it is not 
> G-d talking, it is Jacob telling his household to REMOVE the alien 
> gods in their midst.  In your mind, that means that G-d recognizes 
> other "gods"??
> Exodus 12:12  G-d is going to punish the gods of Egypt - they are NOT 
> G-d - they are gods in the imagination of those who worship them, they 
> are idols, G-d does NOT recognize them. G-d HIMSELF will destroy them, 
> ie; their idols.  Rashi says of this verse - the  wooden idols rotted 
> and the metal ones melted.  Then the commentary goes on: "Angels, too, 
> are referred to as Elohim; hence this term can be taken as a reference 
> to them.  Ramban explains: The heavenly forces that guide and protect 
> the destiny of Egypt were struck in this plague, so that Egypt would 
> be completely defenseless

I dont care what Rashi says.  Interesting thought it might be it has no 
bearing whatsoever on interpreting the text itself.  What you clearly 
are not comprehending, and indeed appear unable to comprehend, is the 
fact that these verse, and many many many others support the fact that 
in ancient Israel a plethora of gods were recognized as existing.  That 
their existence was later called into question is patently clear.  But 
that the mere mention of "foreign" or "strange" or "alien" gods in 
hebrew texts shows that in some circles there were other gods perceived 
as existing.  This is, I think, the very central point that you have 
missed altogether.


D. Jim West

Biblical Studies Resources -  http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
Biblical Theology Weblog -  http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com

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