Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Rabbi Speaketh

So, I met with the good rabbi's group to study the Zohar in a more or less traditional manner. I have learned a few things.

First of all, I will not use the term Judeo-Christian again. My friend Lavanah told me to avoid it as it was generally offensive. I didn't understand. I'm sure I still don't but I understand a little more now. I did hear the terms 'we' and 'us' referring to events from near pre-history. The Jewish people are a tribe.  My first visit to the temple, seeing a more pagan-like celebration than I expected and feeling the power radiating from the holy place, was precursor to this understanding.

This brings new meaning to the term tribal god for me.

I gave rabbi my super secret humility test. When I see someone that radiates spiritual understanding and I can offer what are sincere well wishes and compliments, I do so. The rabbi is one of the few people I've ever met that closed his aura instantly, turned away and would not hear compliments. I'm sure you can practice that. I am sure he didn't. He passed.

There was teaching of the Zohar but more importantly teachings of the spirit and it was awesome. I took things home that I will share with those that seek my guidance. The group was very surprised to hear me say that there was nothing said there that I had not been exposed to in my Golden Dawn training. Nothing. There were of course nuances, subtleties and perspectives of language that were new but they were more in the way of intellectual spice.

As For My Part

I was asked to speak on the Golden Dawn and provide my lineage. I began by sharing the different spelling of Kaballah, Cabala and Qabala and their meanings. This was new to them but as I got to the q spelling someone wasn't fond of it blurted out, "Stay away from that," as she surmised what must have been coming. The rabbi would have none of it. Another such comment was made by the same person. Again, the rabbi intervened. He invited me back at that moment to emphasize his point.

I've never been asked to provide lineage before. The question taught me something. First of all, I have never thought of it because I don't care who my initiator's initiator's initiator's initiator was. Whatever impact that person had has been concealed by time. I've always known it is my teacher that matters and perhaps his. I provided those names too and added the commentary that since they didn't know the names, that didn't matter either.

I then added this thought that very much surprised the rabbi. I do not know if he never thought of it or didn't expect to hear it or thought I was full of beans. It has been my experience that students believe they are being taught by the master, which is amazing, considering it is really the other way around. So, perhaps the question shouldn't be, who are your teachers but who are your students. What have they done?

By that measure, a fellow by the name of Alfred Sepulvada, Jr., whose motto was I Shall Lead the Way, did a fine job indeed.

As for Me and the Rabbi

I don't know where it is going but he indicated he wanted me to come back and indicated he had some things to share with me next time. I am looking forward to that day.


Anonymous said...

There are several reasons that the group may have disliked the term "Judeo-Christian Tradition." Thousands of years of attacks on Jews by both official Christian Church organizations and individual Christians is certainly a part of it. Continued attempts to destroy Judaism by saying it is "completed" in Christianity is another. Attempts to destroy Judaism from within with the "Jews for Jesus" and similar "Messianic Jews" organizations is another reason. Total misinterpretation of the Jewish Bible to imply that it refers to Jesus when it does not is a reason. The attempt to replace the Jewish bible (it's "old") with the Christian bible (it's new) is another. The fact that virtually every theological concept of Christianity is contrary to those of Judaism is yet another as is the outright anti-semitism and misrepresentation of facts found in the Christian "new" testament.

The term "Judeo-Christian" is only a couple of hundred years old. It developed because Christian scholars came to understand that Christianity was something entirely new and different from Judaism (even though Jews comprised its early membership) and desperately wanted to have some form of antiquity associated with their religion. See the book The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity by Hyam MacCoby for more details on the real sources of Christianity. Many Jews accepted the term in an attempt to get out from under the attacks of Christian terrorist oppression throughout Europe: "We're just like you, only earlier."

For more information on the subject, see The Myth of the Judeo-Christian Tradition, and Other Dissenting Essays by Arthur Allen Cohen.

Robert said...

Just to be clear, I didn't use that term with them. Lavanah warned me ahead of time. However, my observation of the differences between what I have witnessed led me to confirm the idea that the term Judeo-Christian is bogus.

Anonymous said...

You may also find this article by the late Professor Gershom Scholem interesting:

Unknown said...

Huh, I'd never thought of psychic humility testing before. Do you think his reaction was more indicative of simply ignoring the compliments, or actively rejecting them?

Robert said...

I never do that as a planned test. It just sort of happens every time I meet someone that appears to have understanding. The reaction tells me the extent of that understanding.

It seemed more than active rejection, nearly instinctual but I could be wrong.