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Islam Isma'ili

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Ishna, Dec 2, 2012.

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  1. Ishna

    Ishna
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    Introduction to Isma'ili here: http://www.ismaili.net/Source/0583.html#16

    I found this particularly interesting:

     
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  2. Archived_member15

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    Dear sister Ishna ji mundahug

    Thank you for this thread and for the introduction.

    I see much that is worthy and progressive in it, however I detect also (and this is the only part I disagree with) a certain bias of the author towards Christianity as being a closer counterpart to Islam and a very blatant, unfair and generalized account of Judaism which does not match up with the true majesty of this independent, world religion - and is I fear even a coded, latent form of anti-semitism that is still sadly rife in the Islamic world and was too in Christianity until the horrors of the Holocaust in Europe.

    In fact I would say that Islam and Judaism share more in common than do Islam and Christianity. Islam and Judaism both have dietary laws, whereas Christianity has none. Islam and Judaism both have rules on dress and clothing, whereas Christianity doesn't. Jesus in fact did not create or promulgate a religious law at all.

    The Pope explained this in his address to the German Parliament last year:

    Christianity does not propose a law grounded in a particular revelation. Rather, it grounds Law in universal Natural Law discovered through reason. Judaism has Halakha and Islam has Sharia, divinely revealed laws taught by Moses and Muhammad for society. Jesus never taught a legal system. He left his diciples only one command. JOHN 13:34 NKJ 34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another".

    Islam and Judaism both have circumcision, whereas Christianity does not. I could go on, but I think that you get the point already.

    The author writes:

    This is an unacceptable, unfair and unscholarly description of another faith. I find it very rich that Muslims often decry generalizationa of Islam and unfair criticism (of which there are sadly plenty), when they also do the same with Judaism and Jews, as this introduction demonstrates.

    Point-by-point:

    This is a common misinterpretation of Judaism that the Nazis used as a propaganda tool during the Third Reich. Jewish tradition teaches that all peoples were called by God and that the Jews were the only ones in the earth in that time that answered the call. Their "Chosen-ness" is to be a blessing and a light to all other nations, as the Tanakh describes:


    Furthermore Jews do not teach about a "National God" who belongs only to Jews. Again let me refer to the Tanakh:

    Furthermore Judaism teaches that all people, from every nation and religion, can have a share in the Olam Haba (world to come). Judaism, unlike Islam and Christianity, has never restricted salvation to only Jews, but recognises that all people of good will can go to heaven. Judaism believes that those who do not feel compelled to convert to Judaism can just as well achieve a share in the World to Come by following the moral principles of the Seven Laws of Noah as well as the tenets of their own faith. That is far more enlightened than traditional forms of Islam and Christianity, and Judaism is a FAR older religion from a more primitive culture - so shame upon Muslims and Christians!!!!

    The Tanakh expressly recognises that people of all religions worship God and that God accepts their diverse worship of him:






    The exact same can be said about Islam's use of spurious Hadiths written CENTURIES after the lifetime of Muhammad. The Qur'an Alone Muslims continually point out that the Hadiths often contradict the Qur'an and bear no historical relation to the actual Muhmmad. And what makes this more laughable is that the Qur'an uses the Talmud as one of its sources! No kidding.

    For example, God forbids Moses from suckling from a foster mother in both the Qur'an and Talmud:

    And We had already forbidden foster suckling mothers for him, until [his sister] said: Shall I show you a household who will rear him for you and take care of him?

    ~The Qur'an 28:12

    The Holy One, Blessed is He, said: "Shall the mouth that will one day speak to me suckle from anything unclean?"

    ~The Talmud

    This isn't mentioned at all in the Bible.

    Both the Qur'an and the Talmud tell the story of God raising a mountain over the Israelites:

    "We raised the mountain over them as if it had been a canopy, and they thought that it was going to fall on them. (We said): "Hold firmly to what We have given you."

    ~The Qur'an 7:171


    The Holy One, blessed is He, raised a mountain over Israel as though it were a dome. And He said to them: if you hold to the Torah all is well, but if not you will be buried here!

    ~The Talmud

    Once more this isn't biblical! It comes from the Talmud, the Oral Torah which both Jesus and Muhammad seemed to take for granted as having genuine truths about Moses and the Torah.

    Targum of Jonathan-ben-Uzziah

    "Adam and Eve, sitting by the corpse, wept not knowing what to do, for they had as yet no knowledge of burial. A raven came up, took the dead body of its fellow, and having scratched at the earth, buried it thus before their eyes. Adam said, 'Let us follow the example of the raven,' so taking up Abel's body, buried it at once."

    Qur'an- sura 5:31


    "Then Allah sent a raven, who scratched the ground, to show him how to hide the shame of his brother. 'Woe is me!' said he; 'Was I not even able to be as this raven, and to hide the shame of my brother?' Then he became full of regrets."

    That's another story from the Oral Torah mentioned in the Qur'an. There are many more:

    The Qur'an relates a Talmudic parable about the value of human life in its account of the murder of Abel by Cain.

    Quran

    “ On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. [Qur'an 5:32] --Translated by Yusuf Ali ”


    This is mentioned nowhere in the Tanakh (Old Tetament). It actually makes no sense in the Qu'anic context of the passage above. It makes sense only in the Talmud, where it is a Rabbinic interpretation of a word used in Genesis referring to the murder of Abel by his brother Cain in which a "plural" word in Hebrew is used for "blood" ie the spilling of Abel's blood is not singular but plural. The Jewish Rabbis interpreted this as being a reference to all humanity and thus came up with this interpretation, which the Qur'an used after the Talmud and got from the Talmud:

    Mishnah

    In another edition of the Mishnayot, the wording is: "Whoever destroys the life of a single human being [nefesh a`hat mi-bnei adam] ... it is as if he had destroyed an entire world; and whoever preserves the life of a single human being ... it is as if he had preserved an entire world".

    Thus a teaching often attributed to Muhammad about the inestimable value of a single human life, was actually first taught by the Jewish Rabbis who wrote the Talmud before Muhammad.

    The story of the Raven and the Burial of Abel in the Qur'an also has no precedent in the written Torah but is mentioned in the Talmud.

    I am appalled by this outrageous attack upon Judaism. I am very dissapointed that I - a non-Jew - am actualy having to defend another world religion.

    It demonstrates ZERO attempt at trying to actually understand Judaism in a considerate and open-minded fashion.
     
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    #2 Archived_member15, Dec 2, 2012
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  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Vouthon Ji...I notice you said....

    << I am appalled by this outrageous attack upon Judaism. I am very dissapointed that I - a non-Jew - am actualy having to defend another world religion.>>>

    Well you are NOT alone...The SIKHS have always and consistently..defended the RIGHT to Freedom of Religion...in fact GURU TEG BAHADUR ji gave His head in Chandni Chowk Delhi to DEFEND the Right of the Hindu to wear his Janeau and practise his rleigion... so YOU are in GOOD honourable Company sir !! Earlier Guru Arjun Ji was also martyred defending the Right to practise ones own religion and holy books etc..

    Just imagine this sceanrio....In a Majority MUSLIM Country Malaysia it was the SIKHS who fought for Right to wear DASTAAR....and got the Majority population...Muslims the "free right" to wear the Hajj Cap (ref Motorcycle laws on rider + pillion) Earlier the Hajjis had to remove their hajj caps and wear a helmet to ride a motorcycle..)...and this Right is being fought in FRANCE too and once the SIKHS win it..its the Majority MUSLIMS that will benefit as it will have to allow the Burka which is actually REASON for the SIKHS being denied the dastaar !!!-Burka HIDES/CONCEALS while the DASTAAR IDENTIFIES !!! YET the FRENCH see BOTH as same...but once the dastaar case wins..the burka wins automatically)

    IN Punjab..the SIKHS fought a LONG battle for their language state..Punjabi..and when it was conceded..a HINDI state of Haryana, himachal were created free of charge without even asking...again the Sikhs fought for HINDI in haryana/Himachal as well as Punjabi in Punjab...

    After 9/11 you will have noticed that its the SIKHS (each hate killing has been a SIKH) are bearing the brunt of ANTI-MUSLIM hatred..BUT SIKHS have scrupolously AVOIDED having campaigns that would ostensibly declare that SIKHS are NOT MUSLIMS..implying that if you hate muslims..target muslims..not Sikhs..and this stand is not as per SIKHI...so its OUT....no matter if SIKHS get targetted and even killed...we refuse to take that stand. Very very FEW Mulsims have actually come out to defend the SIKHS in these hate crimes...:happysingh:
     
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  4. Ishna

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    Hmm, I'm not very interested in Judaism so I only skimmed that section. A religion that teaches a woman is unclean to the point of hysteria when she experiences a perfectly natural menstrual cycle isn't worth my time right now.

    Leviticus 15

    So, apparently her period is a sin. Go god! lol This religion business is getting more and more hilarious while looking at it from this side of the fence!
     
    #4 Ishna, Dec 2, 2012
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  5. Archived_member15

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    I think that it is unfair to judge an entire belief system in this way. Jewish people have contributed much to science and human endeabour throughout history, inspired by this religion that you so easily seem to dismiss and mock. I would be greatly offended if I were a Jew.

    Equally irrational things could be affixed to Christian and Islamic teachings. I mean Islam believes in Jinn and Christianity in angels. There is one Hadith which Muhammad taught that the devil sleeps in a person's nose and another in which Satan urinates in our ear:


    What do you consider more rational:

    Ancient Jews living 1,000 years BC who thought that an emission of blood from a woman's vagina was a sign of uncleanliness and had to be washed away in a ritual bath, or the devil residing in a person's naval cavity and urinating in his ear?

    It should also be noted that "sin" in the Torah does not carry the connotations of later Christian theology. It simply meant to "transgress the law", the law being in this case to wash oneself in a ritual bath after (If one is a man) one has an nightime ejaculation, or if a woman a menstrual period. There is no concept of hell or heaven in the Jewish Tanakh, or of original sin, or even "sin" as it is commonly understood in Christianity.

    You declined to mention the male ejaculatory equivalent purity law right above the section you quoted above:

    At least these ancient Jews were "clean" and had good sexual hygiene. I wouldm't want personally to leave my semen on my bed, underpants or lying around my house lol! Not exactly safe for other people either ie infections being transmitted.

    Both are to do with matters of purity. But at least the Jewish teaching has nothing supernatural in it, merely a matter of staying clean as perceived through ancient eyes and practice (nearly every part of life was ritualized and made into a rite by ancient cultures, just consider all the various sexual rites).

    All ancient belief systems contain irrational (by our standards) teachings influenced by time and culture. But they also have profound teachings that never change and can teach us even now because humanity inner life rarely changes. Humans have had the same basic needs and urges throughout history.

    I do not think that either Judaism or Islam deserve to be rejected on the basis of certain time-bound understandings of reality. What of the profound teachings of the Tanakh that you haven't quoted? You seem to focus only on the bad.

    Do you reject Greek philosophy and Roman Law because of the irrationality of Roman and Greek polytheism? No, even modern Secular Humanists trace their movement back to the genius of Plato and Aristotle and the the later Renaissance Humanists! Indeed ancient Greek philosophy and Roman Law are two of the foundations of our modern Western society, which demonstrates my point about ancient belief systems and their enduring validity for us today despite being time-bound in some areas.
     
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  6. Archived_member15

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    An example of some obvious good and enlightened teachings for the time in which they were delivered (because I am wearied with anti-Judaism, anti-Old Testament bashing as I see it):

    Love for enemies taught in Book of Proverbs of the Old Testament (Tanakh):


    I may also put up a thread up in interfaith with quotations from the Jewish Talmud, their mystical writings, even the Tanakh and particularly the the "Pirke Avot" section of the Talmud, to cast light on more good points of the Jewish faith which has in my eyes been disproportionately cast in a bad light by some recent postings on their primary Sacred Scripture, the Tanakh.
     
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  7. Ishna

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    I'm sorry if I offend you by pointing out the nastier passages in scriptures. It's hard to tell sometimes which parts people choose to believe in and follow and which ones they don't since they're all there together in a volume for all time.

    If you like, I'll balance it out with this passage about the potential and ability of women, from the Old Testament:

    Proverbs 31:

     
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  8. Luckysingh

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    As followers of sikhism this ''anti'' behaviour is not sikhism in any way.

    Due to my upbringing and childhood with the bible, I find it offensive if any old or new testaments are being verbally bashed !
     
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  9. Ishna

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    Which part was the bashing part?

    Look, Vouthon, Lucky, and any other readers of the thread: I apologise for my slavish criticism of holy texts in this and other threads. I'm sorry to have caused offence and it won't happen again.
     
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  10. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    Ishna Ji...I too felt offended...even though i am not a Jew..!!

    Btw..Talk to any "Taksali" or Baba form any DERA...you will find thsair variety of SIKHISM almost similar...thats why they DONT ALLOW women to do paath, take part in Kirtan..etc etc...and certianly not be part of the PANJ !!!

    At least the Jews have their beleifs based on a written text..the Taksalis and Babas base all their prejudices on "THIN AIR" that exists between their ears. Becasue the SGGS condemns all these prejudices...JION jorru sir navhan aveh varo vaar...says Guru nanak Ji..its a natural biological process that occurs every month and is part of the reproduction process......so comparably the Jews are on more solid ground....

    Lets be more kinder to others...

    Jarnail Singh
     
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  11. spnadmin

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    I do not see any bashing on the part of Ishna ji. Listing texts that say what they say is not bashing. Neither is disagreement or hard questioning. Where, Ishna ji, you may have run aground in in the statement, "not worth my time right now."

    When one compares and contrasts, it is natural to see areas where there are major differences and hard questions about religious texts can lead to discovery and deeper understanding. Within Roman Catholicism women may not serve as priests, and hard questions are asked by women within Roman Catholicism who feel they are battling a patriarchy that oppresses them. Reform movements have led to modern branches of Judaism that have re-interpreted Biblical texts; women are not constrained in Reform Judaism as they are in more traditional understanding. They serve as rabbis and play a full role in services.

    And, vouthon ji, many Jews today do not adhere to literal meanings of Biblical texts, but others do. Hasidic Jews take these texts very seriously and apply them literally. Because of literal application, practices such as levirate marriages, or refusing higher education to girls, raise controversy within and among Jews themselves. And some fundamentalist sects of protestantism apply literal meanings to old and new texts to assign inferior status to women.

    I think when Sikhs do not ask questions, we lose sight of some very good reasons for why we have chosen to follow the path we are on. And the same must be true for adherents of other religions. That is not "anti" behavior in my opinion, but evidence of a mind at work.
     
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  12. aristotle

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    * They question thee (O Muhammad) concerning menstruation. Say: It is an illness, so let women alone at such times and go not in unto them till they are cleansed. And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah hath enjoined upon you. Truly Allah loveth those who turn unto Him, and loveth those who have a care for cleanness.
    (Qur'an 2:222)

    * Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females, and if there be women more than two, then theirs is two-thirds of the inheritance, and if there be one (only) then the half.
    (Qur'an 4:11)

    * Unto the male is the equivalent of the share of two females.
    (Qur'an 4:176)

    * And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them.
    (Qur'an 2:228)

    (Wonder how women are "equal" in the Qur'an)
     
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  13. Archived_member15

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    To even it out though, some passages which do lend themselves towards a more balanced view of gender equality:


    I particuarly love the above passage, since it goes through a series of couplets saying the exact same for men and women believers.
     
    #13 Archived_member15, Dec 2, 2012
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  14. Archived_member15

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    I agree with everything you say brother Spnadmin ji peacesign

    I think that I spoke in the heat of the moment, enraged particularly by that comment and the idea that Judaism was not worth her time at all because of its perceived backwardness. I thought that this was patently unfair since people can say exactly the same with Christianity and Islam.

    I really appreciated your insights into the different forms of Judaism (Reform, Orthodox, Conservative, Hasidic). As with any religion, there is diversity of opinion. The Reform Jews interpret Torah according to modern standards, the Conservative have also made amendments etc. In every faith there is traditional and progressive elements.

    It is far more complex than black-and-white, "the text says this and so this is what we believe".

    I would like also to apologize to Ishna ji if I accused her to rashly of bad intent, however I still do not see why Judaism should be dismissed because of its scripture's teachings on menstruation and ejaculation when other religion's also have similar purity laws. I still consider that to be unfairly dismissive. And the introduction which she quoted in this thread is blatantly anti-Jewish to my eyes, giving not one ounce of a balanced view of that religion.

    Thank you!
     
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  15. aristotle

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    'To even it out'???
    What does that mean? First condemn the women to a life as second class citizens and then throw a few sugar coated passages praising the believers in general. I don't think the passages you quoted serve any good in this regards. Apologies, sincere apologies, but that's the truth..
     
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  16. Archived_member15

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    Thank you brother Aristotle ji kaurhug

    My point was not to suggest that women do not suffer in Islamic countries as a result of traditional readings of such ayats as you quoted. I have the deepest solidarity with these women, which is why I was involved two years back in a campaign with the group, "Iran Solidarity" led by Maryam Namazie. We campaigned to stop the stoning of women for adultery according to Sharia law. It was concerning the Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani case. This is therefore an issue close to my heart, and I hope that my quoting of Qur'anic ayats that I see as exhibiting a more balanced view of gender relations does not obscure that.

    I simply think that there are statements in the Qur'an which could lend themselves to a recognition of a more considerate understanding of the value of women in society.

    Consider this ayat for example from one of the Meccan suras:


    As you can see, the Arabia into which Muhammad was born practised wiespread infanticide of baby girls. Muhammad spoke out against this practice, whereas he could have stayed silent and accepted it carte blanche.

    He didn't and I think that this is an example of humanity and even progess within his own culture/region/time-frame

    I'm not trying to be politically correct. The ayats you quoted are in our modern eyes offensive to the dignity of womanhood, and this is the problem that they are applied in Islamic countries without recourse to advancements in human rights because they are seen as divinely inspired. In their own time however, they may have been the standard, patriarchal understanding of the role of women accorded in heritage, for example, in that society.

    However I do not think that the Qur'an is wholly comprised of negative passages concerning women. There are positive ones also. The first Muslim was Muhammad's wife Khadijah, and consider how highly the Virgin Mary and Fatimah Zahra are revered in Islam.

    Peace be with you and you have no need to apologize I can see this completely from your perspective.
     
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  17. aristotle

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    @Vouthon Ji,
    I didn't mean to spread negativity about any religion. I am not an Islam-basher, at least not that. But I do think Islam stands on sandy soil when it comes to women rights and feminism, even when compared with Christianity or Judaism.

    Interestingly, the ayat you quoted:
    This ayat is from Surat-al-nahl, and was revealed before hijrah, at a time when Muhammad was still struggling to establish his religion. The ayats I quoted were from Surat-al Baqarah and Surat-al Nisa, and were revealed after hijrah, when Muhammad returned as a politically powerful man, with the terror of his growing number of followers. This is a general trend in the Qur'an...
    After all, who needs to be politically correct when he/she has the power to silence(= kill/maim) the critics?
    The moderate ayats are but an eyewash...
    Enjoy the correlation...!
     
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  18. Archived_member15

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    peacesignkaur

    Brother you are not an Islam basher, and I was wrong to accuse Ishna ji of Judaism-bashing even if I do think that she has expressed offensive (for some unknown reason) comments towards Judaism in particular on areas where it doesn't really differ all that much from what other religions also teach. I heartily regret using the word "bashing" at all - it is haunting me now! And I've just read her apology and nice quotation from the Tanakh.

    I have heard of the doctrine of abrogation in the Qur'an whereby latter revealed suras superscede earlier ones. Since I have no qualifications in Islamic theology, nonetheless, I do not wish to pass judgment.

    I do not know of any later sura which contradicts the Meccan one I have quoted. As far as I am aware it is accepted that this Qur'anic injuction helped bring an end to the Arab infanticide of girls. Whatever one thinks of other laws revealed in the Qur'an, I do regard this as progress at least in that respect.

    Thank you for your enlightening thoughts.
     
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  19. aristotle

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    @Vouthon Ji...
    I think you're saying 'something is better than nothing'...right? (oversimplification again, that's my forte..)
    :noticemunda:
     
    #19 aristotle, Dec 2, 2012
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  20. Archived_member15

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    I had not checked the previous page until now. Thank you for the apology! peacesignkaur

    I certainly feel bad about accusing you of "bashing". That was a sweeping accusation made in the heat of the moment.

    I have no opposition to anyone pointing out areas of another belief system that they disagree with or even are perturbed by. I have made criticism of other religious beliefs in my time but I would hope that I have always used a considerate tone when doing so, mindful that other people are devoted to their faiths. I expect always that religions be spoken of with a respectful tone since they are the cherished beliefs of millions of human beings and have created whole civilisations, or had wide ranging influence in socities or in individual lives. This demands a tone of compassion even if negative elements are highlighted. I got the impression of mockery and unfair dismissiveness from one of your posts which is what really upset me. However I was wrong to say that you are bashing Judaism. You are fully within your rights to critique it or any other belief system.

    I would like to give you a :hug: and put this tustle as a storm in a teacup.

    I want to thank you again for quoting a positive passage from the Tanakh. I really appreciated that. It was a lovely sentiment.
     
    #20 Archived_member15, Dec 2, 2012
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