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Orthodoxy on Kabbalah

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by rakovsky, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    Hieromonk Job answers "What is Kabala"?

    The question is:
    If possible, please tell us about Kabbalah. I would like to hear your opinion about this teaching.
    http://www.pravoslavie.ru/answers/6905.htm

    Hiermonk Job answers:

    He adds:
    He then goes on to say that the Zohar was composed around 1300 and that specialists showed that the Aramaic language in the book showed consistent writing styles of the single author, and that medieval Hebrew ran through it, despite it being attributed by the Kabbalists to a 2nd century Rabbi bar Yohai.

    He next goes into detail explaining it and how it differs from Christianity, concluding "Kabbalah represents a fantastic blend of esoteric occultism, mixed with pagan religious and philosophical ideas."
     
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  2. inconsequential

    inconsequential goat who dreamed he was a sheep

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    I don't know much at all about kabbalah but I do know that there are lots of faked "ancient" writings floating around and many people eager enough to find something genuine that they swallow the fakes and believe what they teach. I was taken in by the "Simon" Necronomicon back in the 80s, as were many people.
     
  3. Fenwick

    Fenwick ☩ Broman Catholic ☩

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    Isn't Kabbalah essentially more or less a "mystical" arm of Judaism?
     
  4. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    It is a mystical thinking often associated with the rabbinical community and its philosophy. However, it is hard to say that is really a mystical arm of Judaism, because Hiermonk Jove found major differences between them and considers it occult, which it really is, because it is about religious secrets.
     
  5. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    Hiermonk Jove comments about "Applied Kabbalah":

    This is an occult numerological and alphabetical magic that doesnt have anything in common with the Bible. Biblical texts don't have any code or cypher. Parables, images, and symbols, are only means to which are opened up things that are hard to express with human language that are the deep theological truths of salvation.
     
  6. Fenwick

    Fenwick ☩ Broman Catholic ☩

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    Understandable. From what little I read, it sounds like Kabbalah doesn't resemble it's origins in that it has indeed become more occultic.
     
  7. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    You mean its alleged origins in that it has become more occultic than one might expect if it was legitimate.
     
  8. AV1

    AV1 Junior Member

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    Um, in a word...no. The Trinity is the beginning and end of all things.
     
  9. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    pretty much
     
  10. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    It seems to me it's easier to find in Russian what Orthodox think about some topics, and on other topics it's easier to find them in English. NOBODY in Russian talks about Supersessionism, because the word does not exist in their language. It was made up 30 years ago by Protestants to describe Christian traditional thinking.

    Kabbalah on the other hand is just not something Orthodoxy or for that matter Christianity thinks much about for obvious reasons, so it's something you can find more about in Russian- most of the stuff you find in Russian will be from an Orthodox culture anyway, so there's a good chance to find a reflection of the Church's ideas. Just a sidenote.
     
  11. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    Lev Tikhomirov from the early 20th century makes some interesting claims in RELIGIOUS-PHILOSOPHICAL BASES OF HISTORY.
    (Каббала)
    (My comments are indented)

    He writes that during the Babylonian captivity and even afterwards, many Jews remained in Babylon, and picked up Aramaic and stopped speaking Hebrew regularly. They also changed their writing alphabet from ancient Hebrew to Assyrian script (the one we normally associate with Hebrew today). Prior to that time, the letters looked more like Greek ones.

    But was it really the Babylonian Captivity when they changed their everyday language to Aramaic? I thought it might have been under the Assyrian conquests. Yet the Assyrians did not conquer Jerusalem, so maybe the babylonian captivity was really it?​

    He also cites a 3rd century writer who claims that the idea of angels in Judaism came from the Babylonian captivity. And he writes that the calendar was taken from babylon too.

    But is that really true? There are important references to angels way before then, from David's time- are we to think those are later insertions? Likewise, if you go back to the Books of Moses, you see references done in the Hebrew calendar. Are we to also propose that these were written back in by the Scribes? This would suggest that the Books of Moses were seriously edited during Babylonian times (the 6th century BC) at least several generations after Moses.​

    He says that the Assyrian letters above mentioned were given special secret meanings by their scholars. I remember reading something not dissimilar to this idea of secret meanings on a Messianic website, which proposed that the Hebrew letter Ш (same letter in Russian- this is the "sh" in the middle of Jesus' name.) had a special connection to Jesus. Actually, I believe the scribes who wrote the Bible really did give a special meaning to the letters. As the Messianic website mentioned, in certain places, the letter Ш was not written in a normal way, but had something look a hook on it. The Messianic website also pointed out another instance of a very unusual instance of a word or letter, which if I recall you would not pick up in a normal English translation. I found both examples very persuasive, although what was the true importance of this I am not sure.


    The author goes on, and his writing is interesting. However, three points must be made. This done not really prove that Kaballah itself goes back to Babylon. Hiermonk Jov showed that Kabballah's main book the Zohar was composed in the 14th century and attributed by its composer back to earlier times. This debunks Tikhomirov's thesis about Babylon, except one can say that this thinking about secrets as a strain in the Jewish community's thought can be traced back that far.

    Second, Tikhomirov was really a Monarchist philosopher, who was attached to Orthodoxy. He did work at Sergiev Posad after the revolution, but I think one need not equate his views with those of the church. I think sometimes you have Russian philosophers or figures from before the Revolution who did their own think or thought their own way, even though they were writing about Orthodoxy. I think that his writings may not show enough respect therefore to the Old Testament, from an orthodox point of view, by saying that such ideas came from Babylon. Yet actually he could turn out to be factually correct. Just as we have writers who claim the New Testament did not happen as written, there are writers who claim similar things about ancient Israel, especially from before David's time.

    Also, I believe you can find a very similar factor among Orthodox in the west, influenced by movements in Protestantism. I have in mind the former Protestant, and major theologian, Met. Timothy (Kallistos) Ware's writing I cited elsewhere emphasizing how the Jews are still the Chosen People, and equating them with Israel. This is a serious trend in modern Protestantism. Without debating Ware's thesis, I will just point out that it goes in the opposite direction of Tikhomirov- where Tikhomirov really puts in question the Israelites' Scriptures much more than Orthodoxy does, Met. Ware in fact tends to talk about God's people in the Christian era in a more exclusive and national way. On one hand in Tsarist Russia there were alot of prejudicial attitudes, and in modern Protestant countries interfaith equality plays a very important role to the point where in those two societies some Orthodox writers have been influenced.​
     
  12. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    The reason why Kabbalah literature for and against is more popular in Russia, is because its only taken seriously by the Hasid's who originate from eastern Europe. Orthodox jews are more into mysticism and most of them originate from Russia.

    The primary form of judaism in the west is conservative and reformed judaism. Mysticism doesn't play much of a role in these communities. You wont hear about predictions of when the messiah will arrive as it simply plays no role in there beliefs. Whether the kabalah dates to the babylonian era or is a more modern writing is basically irrelevant, the same way many conservative and reformed jews find it irrelevant whether Moses actually parted the red sea or whether its just a pious fable.
     
  13. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    It's hard to argue with you there. What place does Kaballah have among reform and conservative communities though? Is it basically irrelevant? Or do they have a serious attitude about it? Moses' parting may be considered a myth, but one they still take seriously as such.
     
  14. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    In conservative and reformed jews the kaballah in everyday life can be summed up by three things

    1 something obscure made popular by hollywood and the roman Catholic goy Madonna

    2 an orthodox Jewish discipline

    3 its cool to wear a red string on the wrists and if vacationing in Israel we can bring them back as souvenirs for our friends.
     
  15. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    Actually, it does seem to me that they make occasional references to it as if it was an authority. I agree that it is not a constant thing, but I think you are underestimating it among some. I think it is often presented as if it is a real thing but without the same centrality that the Bible holds.

    Otherwise, what are we supposed to think when Yesh.HaDerekh ascribes it as his lifeview, that he is just some whacko? It is obvious that it is important for him, even though he focuses most of his writings here on Messianic thought.
     
  16. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    I dont know what branch of judaism Yesh follows. But I will try and post a newspaper article that just came out today. Quite the coincidence that I just read it a few hours ago from todays paper. Basically a new study found that 20 percent of jews describe themselves as non-believers. The overwhelming majority believe being a good jew is remembering their ancestors customs and promoting social justice. Basically the same thing liberal christians promote when they talk about social gospel and other secular ideologies.

    You will find,more jews sporting tattoos than studying kabbalah
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  17. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  18. Yeshua HaDerekh

    Yeshua HaDerekh Men dream of truth, find it then cant live with it

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    I follow the original one...HaDerekh ;)
     
  19. Yeshua HaDerekh

    Yeshua HaDerekh Men dream of truth, find it then cant live with it

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    LOL, reading this I KNEW it was just a matter of time you would involve me in it. That is what this whole thread you started was about. Since I did not take your hate bait, you could not stand it any longer LOL! The reason I stayed out of this discussion was because I knew what you were trying to do. It is OK if you don't like me or my posts.

    Why do you try and pontificate on things you very obviously do not understand at all? I guess that is just your nature...you don't even know what Kabbalah means LOL! It is like the word Orthodox...it can mean the "Orthodox" church or it can mean "Orthodox" Jews or just mean true belief. True "Kabbalah" is following HaDerekh as I have previously told you. Keep making fun of things you don't understand...pearls before swine. :wave:
     
  20. RosaryChaplet9

    RosaryChaplet9 Guest

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    Since when is the Kabbalah ever used in worship?...
     
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