Rav Kook, or Why Some Jews Don't Hate Us As Much
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07-04-2016, 02:12 PM
RE: Rav Kook, or Why Some Jews Don't Hate Us As Much
Atheism brings us one step closer to true monotheism? Seriously?

That is seriously convoluted reasoning. Facepalm

Only someone truly mired in delusion would come up with that. Or a comedian.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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07-04-2016, 03:29 PM
RE: Rav Kook, or Why Some Jews Don't Hate Us As Much
(06-04-2016 05:15 PM)Clockwork Wrote:  Long ago, when I was a kabbalist, I ran across the name of Abraham Isaac Kook, an Ashkenazi Orthodox rabbi. Didn't pay him much mind at the time. From time to time, I do a bit of research since I have (in my opinion) a better perspective. I found some very old papers I wrote, and one had some writings about Kook.*

I found it was something from Wikipedia that I had copied down. It reads:
Wikipedia Wrote:Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, first Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community in Palestine, held that atheists were not actually denying God: rather, they were denying one of man's many images of God. Since any man-made image of God can be considered an idol, Kook held that, in practice, one could consider atheists as helping true religion burn away false images of God, thus in the end serving the purpose of true monotheism.
(The page for Atheism and religion

I remember reading a few things, specifically a lecture by Rav Hillel Rachmani in which he explains this. The idea is that we atheists don't actually disbelieve in God, it's just that we have destroyed an image of God. (Kabbalists have lots of references to images of Ayn Sof.) Further, we're doing the world more positive than negative. If we continue to find faults with their gods, we "[force] the religious man to find a more complex and deeper perception of God." (Rachmani)

This is in line with kabbalah teachings. It teaches when someone has an idea or perception of God, that person has limited God and has therefore limited/redefined God. With that in mind, that person is not following the actual God, just that image.

Obviously, I no longer believe in any of that, nor do I think we're furthering the cause of monotheism. I'd like people to discuss this idea that we're actually doing the world more good. We probably won't agree with Rav Kook's reasoning. But is there even a tiny chance we are helping them?

*Yes, I think it's funny his name is Kook!

WOW! I just Googled Rav Kook. Clockwork, you neglected to mention that he lived from 1865 to 1935.

To my mind, that's some seriously forward thinking for someone in that era.
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07-04-2016, 11:09 PM
RE: Rav Kook, or Why Some Jews Don't Hate Us As Much
(07-04-2016 05:42 AM)julep Wrote:  Well, I'm annoyed by Kook's condescension towards atheists. I am never in the mood for a theist to pat me on the head and assure me that I'm valuable because I'm doing god's work. Let their god do its own work.

I'd like to say I'm astounded by the arrogance of the claim that his god concept will be the last one standing, but that is also typical of theists.

I think that it is useful to poke holes in god concepts, yes. Disagree vehemently that after all the holes are poked there will be a viable god concept left.
I agree completely. I don't like the idea that he or anyone felt the need to justify us. I don't agree with the idea that we're doing anyone a favor helping their religious cause.


(07-04-2016 12:54 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(06-04-2016 11:00 PM)Clockwork Wrote:  I'll type more tomorrow when I'm on my laptop. First of all, ignore anything from Rav Berg. That's a Hollywood version to take money. They wear red bracelets; kabbalists don't wear or have symbols. (Maybe that's from Judaism. Can you help, Aliza?)
Oh, no, actually, we do wear red bracelets. Usually they're just red strings tied around the wrist. I have a few. They're not like rosaries, in that they don't serve a religious function. It's like wearing a cross on a necklace. It doesn't do anything, but it makes the wearer feel more connected to the community.
I apologize for misunderstanding, then. It's just odd to me that a kabbalist would wear one. That was always part of what I was taught. So maybe Rav Berg isn't as crazy as I thought. Smile (Although many kabbalah scholars and teachers poked holes in a lot of what he said.)

(07-04-2016 12:54 PM)Aliza Wrote:  I guess Kaballah can be viewed as unconventional, but I think of it more as being a valid aspect of Judaism that is only studied by top notch Jewish scholars and therefore gets less attention from plebeians such as myself.

*** Yes, Christian evangelicals who are stalking this forum and reading these posts. I am allowed to learn Kaballah. ***
I was trying to find a better word than "unconventional." I guess... not ordinary? I didn't know anyone viewed it as for top notch Jewish scholars. As far as I know, I don't have any Jewish heritage. Jigsaw (my brother) says there's a part of our family that was, but that was in the triple-digit year range.

(07-04-2016 12:54 PM)Aliza Wrote:  You can and should be quoted. About 500 years ago, a Kabbalist calculated the age of the universe as being some 14.8 billion years old. He wasn't so much commenting on the method in which the universe was created as much as he was acknowledging the time that has elapsed since the universe was created. He also went so far as to provide a time when the universe would expire. I don't think he was the first to acknowledge that the universe is very, very old, either.
OK, I'm a bit fuzzy right now. (Dealing with 24/7 migraines lately.) There was something I think I remember about the idea that the universe was once the size of a mustard seed. They didn't mean in a physical sense the actual size, but it was more of an analogy. But... it's been a while since I studied and the migraines.

(07-04-2016 12:54 PM)Aliza Wrote:  That's a great example of how Kabbalists process information. It's more than just the physical words of the Torah, but how words are presented, the order of the words, and their numeral counts. Another Kabbalistic view is that the letter beit at the beginning of the Torah is shaped in such a way as to promise man that everything after the instant of creation can be known, but anything before that instant of creation is forever hidden from us.
Exactly! Back then, I wanted to find a sofer for my own scroll. I wanted to see if I could see anything, or at least correlate with what I was learning. And, yeah, I did forget to mention Rav Kook died in 1935. Oops!

I think that's what attracted me to kabbalah. I love to research and study, so it really held a lot of interest for me. My memories of all my learning is starting to fade, but that's probably my mind trying to erase it. I had a strange trip from religion to atheism. Smile The funny thing is, a Jewish friend of mine even asked me about the tree of life. I didn't feel overly confident, so I reminded him to do his own research afterwards, or at least ask around for a kabbalist at temple.
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08-04-2016, 12:18 PM
RE: Rav Kook, or Why Some Jews Don't Hate Us As Much
(07-04-2016 11:09 PM)Clockwork Wrote:  
(07-04-2016 12:54 PM)Aliza Wrote:  Oh, no, actually, we do wear red bracelets. Usually they're just red strings tied around the wrist. I have a few. They're not like rosaries, in that they don't serve a religious function. It's like wearing a cross on a necklace. It doesn't do anything, but it makes the wearer feel more connected to the community.

I apologize for misunderstanding, then. It's just odd to me that a kabbalist would wear one. That was always part of what I was taught. So maybe Rav Berg isn't as crazy as I thought. Smile (Although many kabbalah scholars and teachers poked holes in a lot of what he said.)

Oh, no worries! I think what Rav Berg was trying to do was admirable, but his movement is a bit nutty. They're basically giving people an overview of a very complex topic. It's like inviting a bunch of marketing and advertising professionals in for a lecture on cosmology. As intelligent and successful as these people may be, they're going to need some very complex concepts broken down to digestible pieces and they're just not going to grasp the nuances and the details without a comprehensive education on the subject.

(07-04-2016 11:09 PM)Clockwork Wrote:  
(07-04-2016 12:54 PM)Aliza Wrote:  You can and should be quoted. About 500 years ago, a Kabbalist calculated the age of the universe as being some 14.8 billion years old. He wasn't so much commenting on the method in which the universe was created as much as he was acknowledging the time that has elapsed since the universe was created. He also went so far as to provide a time when the universe would expire. I don't think he was the first to acknowledge that the universe is very, very old, either.
OK, I'm a bit fuzzy right now. (Dealing with 24/7 migraines lately.) There was something I think I remember about the idea that the universe was once the size of a mustard seed. They didn't mean in a physical sense the actual size, but it was more of an analogy. But... it's been a while since I studied and the migraines.

Turns out you're right on the money about that.

"The Jewish philosopher Nahmanides mentions the universe expanded from the time of its creation, in which it was the size of a mustard seed."

He said that in the 1200's. Very interesting!

(07-04-2016 11:09 PM)Clockwork Wrote:  
(07-04-2016 12:54 PM)Aliza Wrote:  That's a great example of how Kabbalists process information. It's more than just the physical words of the Torah, but how words are presented, the order of the words, and their numeral counts. Another Kabbalistic view is that the letter beit at the beginning of the Torah is shaped in such a way as to promise man that everything after the instant of creation can be known, but anything before that instant of creation is forever hidden from us.

Exactly! Back then, I wanted to find a sofer for my own scroll. I wanted to see if I could see anything, or at least correlate with what I was learning. And, yeah, I did forget to mention Rav Kook died in 1935. Oops!

You can buy a Torah Scroll! They're sold on Ebay. A good one will run you $45,000 USD, but you can get a decent one for as low as $20,000. Big Grin

(07-04-2016 11:09 PM)Clockwork Wrote:  I think that's what attracted me to kabbalah. I love to research and study, so it really held a lot of interest for me. My memories of all my learning is starting to fade, but that's probably my mind trying to erase it. I had a strange trip from religion to atheism. Smile The funny thing is, a Jewish friend of mine even asked me about the tree of life. I didn't feel overly confident, so I reminded him to do his own research afterwards, or at least ask around for a kabbalist at temple.

What I personally find so interesting about Kabbalah is what these guys were saying +1,000 years ago.
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08-04-2016, 03:25 PM
RE: Rav Kook, or Why Some Jews Don't Hate Us As Much
(06-04-2016 05:15 PM)Clockwork Wrote:  Long ago, when I was a kabbalist, I ran across the name of Abraham Isaac Kook, an Ashkenazi Orthodox rabbi. Didn't pay him much mind at the time. From time to time, I do a bit of research since I have (in my opinion) a better perspective. I found some very old papers I wrote, and one had some writings about Kook.*

I found it was something from Wikipedia that I had copied down. It reads:
Wikipedia Wrote:Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, first Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community in Palestine, held that atheists were not actually denying God: rather, they were denying one of man's many images of God. Since any man-made image of God can be considered an idol, Kook held that, in practice, one could consider atheists as helping true religion burn away false images of God, thus in the end serving the purpose of true monotheism.
(The page for Atheism and religion

I remember reading a few things, specifically a lecture by Rav Hillel Rachmani in which he explains this. The idea is that we atheists don't actually disbelieve in God, it's just that we have destroyed an image of God. (Kabbalists have lots of references to images of Ayn Sof.) Further, we're doing the world more positive than negative. If we continue to find faults with their gods, we "[force] the religious man to find a more complex and deeper perception of God." (Rachmani)

This is in line with kabbalah teachings. It teaches when someone has an idea or perception of God, that person has limited God and has therefore limited/redefined God. With that in mind, that person is not following the actual God, just that image.

Obviously, I no longer believe in any of that, nor do I think we're furthering the cause of monotheism. I'd like people to discuss this idea that we're actually doing the world more good. We probably won't agree with Rav Kook's reasoning. But is there even a tiny chance we are helping them?

*Yes, I think it's funny his name is Kook!

Don't be fooled by this sly arsehole. He is actually having a go at both atheists and xians.

Read this, then get back to me.

Iconoclasm still exists. Ask any muslim. "What happened to the temple of Palmyra?"

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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08-04-2016, 03:34 PM
RE: Rav Kook, or Why Some Jews Don't Hate Us As Much
(08-04-2016 03:25 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Don't be fooled by this sly arsehole. He is actually having a go at both atheists and xians.

Read this, then get back to me.

Iconoclasm still exists. Ask any muslim. "What happened to the temple of Palmyra?"
Yeah, I remember reading some of that history of iconoclasm. Like I said, I don't believe in any of my old religions, whether Catholic, other Christian, kabbalah, or other. I think it's condescending to say atheists actually serve a higher religious purpose. There are imams who say there are no atheists, just people who worship Nature in place of Allah.

I just wanted to share that with my fellow atheists. Nowadays I just look on those views as death throes or someone who refuses to take time to listen to atheists. I actually wanted to study under Ehrman back then, before I knew that much about him. Religions are just things to study, much like anthropology and archeology.
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08-04-2016, 03:36 PM
RE: Rav Kook, or Why Some Jews Don't Hate Us As Much
(08-04-2016 12:18 PM)Aliza Wrote:  You can buy a Torah Scroll! They're sold on Ebay. A good one will run you $45,000 USD, but you can get a decent one for as low as $20,000. Big Grin
Wow, is that all??

If I had that much I could get a college degree. Smile
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08-04-2016, 03:37 PM
RE: Rav Kook, or Why Some Jews Don't Hate Us As Much
(08-04-2016 03:34 PM)Clockwork Wrote:  
(08-04-2016 03:25 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Don't be fooled by this sly arsehole. He is actually having a go at both atheists and xians.

Read this, then get back to me.

Iconoclasm still exists. Ask any muslim. "What happened to the temple of Palmyra?"
Yeah, I remember reading some of that history of iconoclasm. Like I said, I don't believe in any of my old religions, whether Catholic, other Christian, kabbalah, or other. I think it's condescending to say atheists actually serve a higher religious purpose. There are imams who say there are no atheists, just people who worship Nature in place of Allah.

I just wanted to share that with my fellow atheists. Nowadays I just look on those views as death throes or someone who refuses to take time to listen to atheists. I actually wanted to study under Ehrman back then, before I knew that much about him. Religions are just things to study, much like anthropology and archeology.

Of course. I understand.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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08-04-2016, 03:41 PM
RE: Rav Kook, or Why Some Jews Don't Hate Us As Much
(08-04-2016 03:34 PM)Clockwork Wrote:  
(08-04-2016 03:25 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Don't be fooled by this sly arsehole. He is actually having a go at both atheists and xians.

Read this, then get back to me.

Iconoclasm still exists. Ask any muslim. "What happened to the temple of Palmyra?"
Yeah, I remember reading some of that history of iconoclasm. Like I said, I don't believe in any of my old religions, whether Catholic, other Christian, kabbalah, or other. I think it's condescending to say atheists actually serve a higher religious purpose. There are imams who say there are no atheists, just people who worship Nature in place of Allah.

I just wanted to share that with my fellow atheists. Nowadays I just look on those views as death throes or someone who refuses to take time to listen to atheists. I actually wanted to study under Ehrman back then, before I knew that much about him. Religions are just things to study, much like anthropology and archeology.

I dunno... What's wrong with a group of people saying, "Hey! We want to be friends. You help us achieve our goals, and we (think we) help you achieve at least part of yours!"

The other groups of people want to fight you, hate you, and even murder you. Pick and choose your battles. Yes
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08-04-2016, 03:42 PM
RE: Rav Kook, or Why Some Jews Don't Hate Us As Much
(08-04-2016 03:41 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(08-04-2016 03:34 PM)Clockwork Wrote:  Yeah, I remember reading some of that history of iconoclasm. Like I said, I don't believe in any of my old religions, whether Catholic, other Christian, kabbalah, or other. I think it's condescending to say atheists actually serve a higher religious purpose. There are imams who say there are no atheists, just people who worship Nature in place of Allah.

I just wanted to share that with my fellow atheists. Nowadays I just look on those views as death throes or someone who refuses to take time to listen to atheists. I actually wanted to study under Ehrman back then, before I knew that much about him. Religions are just things to study, much like anthropology and archeology.

I dunno... What's wrong with a group of people saying, "Hey! We want to be friends. You help us achieve our goals, and we (think we) help you achieve at least part of yours!"

The other groups of people want to fight you, hate you, and even murder you. Pick and choose your battles. Yes

Bigotry is bigotry. Violent or not.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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