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December 29th, 2010
02:36 PM ET

Letter from rabbis' wives urge Israeli girls to avoid dating Arabs

Israeli right-wing activists protest in Jerusalem on 23 December in support of a letter forbidding Jews from selling or renting property to non-Jews.

From Shira Medding, CNN

A letter from about 30 prominent rabbis' wives was causing a stir in Israel Wednesday because it urges Israeli girls not to date Arabs.

The open letter comes three weeks after the uproar caused by another letter, which was written by 50 state-appointed rabbis and told Jews not to rent or sell property to non-Jews.

The latest missive, which was published by some websites and news outlets, says Arab men act polite around Jewish girls and "act as if they really care about you," but it says that's a ruse. The men, it says, even change their Arab names to Hebrew forms like Yossi and Ami in order to get close to the girls.

Read the full story about the letter urging Israeli girls to avoid dating Arabs

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Interfaith issues • Islam • Israel • Judaism • Middle East

soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Mark from Middle River.
    Children will be tought but beliefs but when old enough will have to choose one belief...
    But as for female Muslims if that religious they are and their families then the person wanting to marry will have to covert but the non religious ones specially living abroad say western countries might not mind although as a religion states they have to convert and become Muslims in order to marry Muslim females...I think during the last four months there was a blog here about an Australian man who wanted to marry an Indonesian Muslim female and had to convert to Islam to enable him to marry her..

    December 31, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      "as a religion states they have to convert and become Muslims in order to marry Muslim females..."

      Muneef, then it is not really that much of a difference between this belief in Islam and the letter signed by the Rabbis in this article, is there? In some ways I am not sure which is worst, the absolute not wanting the girls to marry because the guys are Arab or the not wanting girls to marry unless the guy has to change his faith.

      I have learned a lot about Islam in the past year, probably more than in my entire life. While I do not see Islam as negative as I used to, there are issues such as this that cause me to pause. I do see a twinkle of hope on this particular issue because if you Google the subject you will see that it has happened, where a Muslim girl marries a non-Muslim guy. Same as the Muslim woman who is a Iman now.

      The question is if ... and it seems that it will be a fact.... when Islam begins to develop a more and more non-traditional segment of its faith, which side will you be on.

      December 31, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
    • Muneef

      Mark from Middle River..

      Am with what the Quran says to me... Excuse my little knowldge but not sure if in the Quran verse says that Clean Faithful Men can not Marry Muslim Women?! But if you do find let me know!! For Jew easy but for cristians do not know if are not ci-rc-um-ci-sed!?
      But surely would mention some thing about infidels being considered unclean unfaithful if to marry Muslim women !?

      December 31, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  2. Arglebargle

    This is nothing new.

    December 31, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  3. Mark from Middle River

    Muneef – No problem dude, my new years celebration was not that much on the line. I just didn't want to go into the New Year arguing a heated point on some where like here.

    No, you didn't say that you did marry the girl and I am impressed / shocked that it appears that you said the children would be raised in both faiths.

    Then my final inquiry for today would be if you had a sister and she fell in love and wanted to marry a Christian or Jewish man.... I think the term is a "Ahl al-Kitāb".... would you and/or your family be ok and bless their union? This is a return to the article here today about how the Rabbis do not want Jewish daughters to marry Arabs... which I have understood does not make the men automatically "Muslim" ... I want to know if your interpretation of Islam you feel that Muslim women are not allowed to marry outside of the Muslim faith. If you say they are not then its just another of a growing list of similarities of present day Islam and present day Judaism. A growing list that is slowly causing many folks in the world wonder how two so similar groups can not get along side by side.

    December 31, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  4. Earthman

    Hmmmmmm, I have never been able to see the Truth standing out as clear in any of the versions of the same story. Light is associated with good/God and Darkness represents evil or the deceptive forces like Satan. When the dark energy is named Lucifer(Luciferum in Greek), which translated means Light reflector or Bringer of Light, an inherent inability to tell the two apart is built into the story. It is as if one cannot exist without the other. Since physical life is really a place where the invisible forces cannot be seen, it is impossible to tell the two apart in the dark room we are in here. My suggestion: Go to the source of Light youself. Do not listen to the traditions of humans, The force that created you is at the center of your being. Don't be co-dependant when it comes to taking resposibillity for your beliefs. It is better to not know all things, (which we can't), than to beleive and have faith in a lie. Follow the Light that is in yourself, Close your eyes that you may see, awaken and serve those you Love. Blessing to all ~ Earthman

    December 31, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      The problem is that if you move towards a life just serving the ones you love it is a path to a life of selfishness. There is no challenge, spiritually to serve only those that nothing but smiles upon you.

      December 31, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  5. Mark from Middle River

    Muneef – "our religion allowed us men to marry from Jewish and Christian women with out needing to have them convert their faith religion in to Islam."

    I tried to hold my tongue and go out of 2010 on a good note but on this subject, as long as Muslim women are prohibited from dating non-Muslim men, ....on this subject you guys and the radical rabbis have the shared "state" intolerance so much in common that many of us non-muslims and non-jews can not tell either apart.

    Basically, where ones hatred ends another starts.

    December 31, 2010 at 12:50 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      ....Another thing Muneef. If that Israeli girl you mention had gone out with you, you both fell in love and got married and had children.... What if she wished the children to be brought up in the Jewish faith?

      December 31, 2010 at 12:56 am |
    • Muneef

      Hi,Mark from Middle River.
      Sorry if had unintentionally spoiled your new year celebration. But Sid I say I went out and married the jewish girl? No no it was just hi and good bye and nothing else.
      But if you meant the supposedly we got married yes all children will have to learn both faiths and when old enough it is up to them to decide their faith to follow as religion is not compulsory?

      December 31, 2010 at 7:07 am |
    • Muneef

      Al-Baqara
      Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from Error; whoever rejects Evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. (256) Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness, He will lead them forth into light. Of those who reject faith the patrons are the Evil Ones: from light they will lead them forth into the depths of darkness. They will be companions of the fire, to dwell therein (for ever). (257).

      December 31, 2010 at 7:14 am |
  6. Muneef

    The sons of Israel never listened to their Prophet and Messenger of God or to any one else after him kindly read the how stubborn they were and still are;
    Start with Moses PBUH

    http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/Prophet/musa.htm

    December 30, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
    • Reality

      o Once again we come to save Muneef and the other 1.5 billion lost Muslims from their Three B Syndrome, i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Islam but this time reducing to the Five Step Program for Deprogramming Islam to One Step in order to by-pass most of the language barrier:

      Gabriel never existed!!!!!! No Gabriel, no communiques from heaven and therefore Islam has no foundation!!!

      December 31, 2010 at 12:09 am |
  7. Muneef

    Well guess no one can stand against cousins getting closer to each other beside it seems their women are fed up with them and prefer Arabian Stallions? Yet again their fear that the Jewish religion does not accept intermarriages of among other than their own faith while as a Muslims or Arab Muslims our religion allowed us men to marry from Jewish and Christian women with out needing to have them convert their faith religion in to Islam.
    Truly one day in Shanghai China 2005 in a hotel lobby a female with Arabic complextion or say light dark skin and dark hair so attractive and softly spoken came to me and spoke to me and I was done ready to ask her to marry me when she introduced her self as Israelian jewish but that did not change any thing and I felt like taking her in my arms and hugging her with all my love and affection...

    December 30, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
    • Muneef

      Still to date I regret why I have not asked her for dinner or night out although my heart was telling me to do so but my mind was telling me not to try because it might be misunderstood or can be easily setup and accused just as the stuff above or accuse me being Arab having intentions of attacking her for being Israeli..tell you truly my heart fell for her but those unseen chains of politics are separating us bringing fears among us and we are doubted for any move of affection between the most known three faiths...

      December 30, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  8. Iqbal khan

    http://www.realzionistnews.com/?p=120

    December 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  9. Iqbal khan

    Is that so?

    http://www.realzionistnews.com/?p=40

    December 30, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  10. Bill

    Arab men are smelly and treat women poorly. Everyone should avoid dating them.

    December 30, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  11. Methusalem

    In other words, the water is telling to the fire to stay away from it. Rabbis are there to teach and protect their people, so, there is nothing wrong warning their women of those crazy children of Ishmael. After all, muslims kill non-muslims if they dare to go out with their women, right!

    December 30, 2010 at 7:37 am |
  12. CNN posting tips for the "religion" blog ONLY. These tips do not work on all the other blogs here.

    bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter...
    Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.

    NOTE: You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
    ----------–
    ar-se.....as in Car-se, etc.
    ba-stard
    co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
    co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
    cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
    cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
    do-uche
    ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
    ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
    fu-ck......!
    ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
    ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
    jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
    ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
    ji-sm
    koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
    nip-ple
    pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
    pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
    ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
    se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
    sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
    sh-it
    sl-ut
    sn-atch
    sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
    ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
    tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
    va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
    who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
    wt-f....also!!!!!!!

    There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
    -----
    Allowed words / not blocked at all:

    anal
    anus
    ass
    boob
    crap
    damn
    execute
    hell
    kill
    masturbation
    murder
    penis
    pubic
    raping (ra-pe is not ok)
    shat (sh-@t is not ok)
    sphincter
    testes
    testicles
    ---
    The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those.

    I have found the best way to re-submit is to hit the back button, look for and fix the problem, delete your cookies, and then hit "post".
    If you don't want to use dashes or other characters and seriously want your words to remain correct, you can paste in the proper code strings to take the place of any letter.
    To do this, either google "html ent-ities" (without the dash) also known as unicode strings or go to "w3schools.com/tags/ref_ascii.asp".
    Look for simple tables that show the alphabet with the associated character string and replace any letter with the string – and it will post the correct letter without falling afoul of the nasty filter.

    Example: fuck (I used the characters &,#,1,1,7,; to form the "u") 😯

    p.s. All "Smilies" supported by this blog can be found at: en.support.wordpress.com/smilies/

    Happy Gnu Year!

    December 30, 2010 at 3:26 am |
  13. Larfin

    heh heh heh 😛

    December 30, 2010 at 2:41 am |
  14. Mark from Middle River

    I am with David on this one.

    This is a big, who cares.

    December 30, 2010 at 1:41 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Mark from Middle River

      Hey Mark...!

      Well, besides seeing you show up on the radar and getting to say...hello, your post caught my eye, and I thought I would comment, as I'm a bit interested.

      Now, to me your post seems a bit 'circular' because.... If... you truly don't care, why in the heck would you even bother to post 'anything' in the first place...? Especially with something like... "Who cares."

      I mean, obviously, there are a lot of people in Israel, and the Middle East... and actually, according to the article, all around the world who really do care.

      If there are posts in which 'I' really don't care, in general, I won't leave a post.

      So, was it you just knew I'd pop up to say hello to you...? 🙂 Or what...?

      Peace...

      December 30, 2010 at 2:33 am |
    • Larfin

      heh 😛

      December 30, 2010 at 2:41 am |
    • Larfin

      @Peace2All
      Wat! 😯
      You're getting pretty verbose, there, man-of-peace!
      [Sum Dude– just passin' thru]
      I hope you had a great holiday season with all the storms down there!
      Have a greatly peaceful and happy new year!
      And everyone else, too!
      😛

      December 30, 2010 at 3:05 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Sum Dude (-larfin)...really...?

      Where have you been...? What the heck you doin'...? Not happy, not having you around their pal !!! 😯

      Seriously, we miss ya'... and hope that you will be hanging out with us, more often soon...! 🙂

      Peace Bro...

      Peace...

      December 30, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Peace2All

      Been doing non-computer stuff. And traveling through time. 😛
      I might post more someday, but it might be a while, as I am pretty burnt out on reading blog entries.
      Things move apace, I am on vacation. The sun is bright if you go outside during the day, but you don't see much of it at night.
      Heh. 😛
      I miss it sometimes, but CNN is getting more watered down all the time now. The big bosses are still setting the agenda.
      And there are people saying things better than I can. I leave it to you and all my other friends to have fun with the fundies.
      So have a happy and peaceful gnu ear! If you can find one, that is.... 😛
      Peace

      December 30, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
  15. Reality

    Some years ago, my Christian sister dated a Jewish fellow. His mother threatened to kill my sister and she even came to our house one night for that purpose. My dad convinced rather forcibly her to leave. My sister dumped him real quick. The fellow died many years later, a very lonely bachelor. And all because of a religion based on mythical Abraham. Might want to see the December issue of National Geographic to see the latest on "king" David and attempts by some Jews still trying to find him "archeologically" to validate their religion that is fast losing its status as such.

    December 29, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
    • Larfin

      O_o

      December 30, 2010 at 2:43 am |
    • Thinker23

      "...see the latest on "king" David and attempts by some Jews still trying to find him "archeologically..."

      The "House of David" is inscribed on this victory stele excavated at Tel Dan, in the Galilee region of Israel. It is dated from the 9th Century BC. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. The Tel Dan Stele is important in the study of Biblical Archaeology, it mentions the House of David in an Inscription. With this important discovery it is clear that King David is a real figure in ancient history:

      bible-history.com/archaeology/israel/tel-dan-stele.html

      December 30, 2010 at 6:41 am |
    • Reality

      Unlike the folks at bible-history.com/archaeology/israel/tel-dan-stele.html, the National Geographic review of "king" David gives both sides of the issue starting with the comment:

      "Was the kingdom of David and Solomon a glorius empire or just a little cow town? It depends on which archeologist you ask."

      "House of David"
      p. 74

      pro empire-
      "A stela appearing to be inscribed with the words "House of David" was found in Tel Dan."

      pro cow town:
      "The inscription was made a century after Solomon's rule; a few argue it may not refer to the biblical David.

      Also from the NG article:

      "Most Judean kings traced their lineage to David; Jewish profits said the Messiah would be a descendent of David".

      For this to be true, Joseph would have to be Jesus' father (Mary had no "Davidic" blood lines) so that basically eliminates any god-seed in the historic Jesus and of course that means the Jews are still waiting for their messiah.

      in 1993"

      December 30, 2010 at 11:06 am |
    • Reality

      Unlike the folks at bible-history.com/archaeology/israel/tel-dan-stele.html, the National Geographic review of "king" David gives both sides of the issue starting with the comment:

      "Was the kingdom of David and Solomon a glorius empire or just a little cow town? It depends on which archeologist you ask."

      "House of David"
      p. 74

      pro empire-
      "A stela appearing to be inscribed with the words "House of David" was found in Tel Dan in 1993."

      pro cow town:
      "The inscription was made a century after Solomon's rule; a few argue it may not refer to the biblical David.

      Also from the NG article:

      "Most Judean kings traced their lineage to David; Jewish profits/prophets said the Messiah would be a descendent of David".

      For this to be true, Joseph would have to be Jesus' father (Mary had no "Davidic" blood lines) so that basically eliminates any god-seed in the historic Jesus and of course that means the Jews are still waiting for their messiah.

      December 30, 2010 at 11:10 am |
    • Mike, not me

      Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,[Mary's husband and now family line]

      the son of Heli, the son of Matthat,

      the son of Levi, the son of Melki,

      the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,

      the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos,

      the son of Nahum, the son of Esli,

      the son of Naggai, the son of Maath,

      the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein,

      the son of Josek, the son of Joda,

      the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa,

      the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,

      the son of Neri, the son of Melki,

      the son of Addi, the son of Cosam,

      the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,

      the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer,

      the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat,

      the son of Levi, the son of Simeon,

      the son of Judah, the son of Joseph,

      the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim,

      the son of Melea, the son of Menna,

      the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan,

      the son of David, the son of Jesse,

      the son of Obed, the son of Boaz,

      the son of Salmon,[d] the son of Nahshon,

      the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram,[e]

      the son of Hezron, the son of Perez,

      the son of Judah, the son of Jacob,

      the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham,

      the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,

      the son of Serug, the son of Reu,

      the son of Peleg, the son of Eber,

      the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan,

      the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem,

      the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,

      the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch,

      the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel,

      the son of Kenan, the son of Enosh,

      the son of Seth, the son of Adam,

      the son of God.

      December 30, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • Reality

      Hmmm, let us see what some of the experts have to say about the "Son of God references in the NT:

      Matt 7:21
      “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."

      Not said by the historical Jesus, but more embellishment my Matthew. wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/111_Invocation_without_Obedience

      Matt 9:6 Passage notes "Son of Man" not Son of God.

      .faithfutures.org/index.php/127_Sickness_and_Sin

      Matt 10:32-33, ""Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; /33/ but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven"

      "Ludemann [Jesus, 344] states " this is a prophetic admonition from the post-Easter community. For it, Jesus and the Son of man were 'identical in the future: Jesus will return in the near future as the Son of man with the clouds of heaven. In his earthly life he was not yet the Son of man, since he will come to judgment only with the clouds of heaven (Dan. 7.13f) at the end of days' (Haenchen)."

      Matt 11:27 "All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

      faithfutures.org/index.php/045_Father_and_Son and

      "Lüdemann [Jesus, 330f] invokes the classic description from K. Hase of this passage as a "thunderbolt from the Johannine heavens." He notes the typically Johannine reference to mutual knowledge between Father and Son, and the absolute use of "Son" as a designation for Jesus. In dismissing the saying's authenticity, Luedemann also notes the similarity to ideas in the post-Easter commissioning scene at Matt 28:18, "All authority has been given to me ..."

      Matt 1:20- 225 (another "pretty, wingie thingie requirement)

      20/ But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. /21/ She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." /22/ All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: /23/ "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." /24/ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, /25/ but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus."

      "Bruce Chilton

      In Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a mamzer; someone whose irregular birth circ-umstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural paternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-ident-ity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest. "

      Mark 1: 11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/058_John_Baptizes_Jesus

      "Gerd Lüdemann

      Lüdemann [Jesus, 9] affirms the historicity of Jesus being baptized by John, but does not trace the theological interpretations back beyond the post-Easter community:

      ... Jesus did not regard his baptism as appointment to be the son of God. The underlying concept derives from the community, which believed in Jesus as the son of God (cf. Gal. 2.16; 4.4) and located his appointment within his lifetime. In the earliest period, for example, the appointment of Jesus as son of God came only after his resurrection from the dead (cf. Rom. 1.4).

      "John P. Meier

      The second volume of A Marginal Jew devotes considerable space to a study of John as "mentor" to Jesus. The historicity of the baptism is addressed on pages 100-105, before considering the meaning of Jesus' baptism on pages 106-116. On the basis of the criterion of embarrassment, supported by a limited proposal for multiple attestation (relying on possible echoes of a Q version in John's Gospel and in 1 John 5:6), Meier concludes:

      We may thus take the baptism of Jesus by John as the firm historical starting point for any treatment of Jesus' public ministry. (II,105)

      Having established the historicity of the baptism event, Meier is adamant that the narrative must be seen as a Christian midrash, drawing on various OT themes to assert the primacy of Jesus over John. In particular, Meier insists that the theophany must be excluded from all attempts to understand the event, since it is a later Christian invention rather than a surviving memory of some actual spiritual experience of Jesus.

      Meier's discussion of the meaning of the baptism puts great weight on the fact that accepting baptism implied Jesus' agreement with John's apocalyptic message, and also engages at length with the question of Jesus' sinlessness."

      December 31, 2010 at 8:43 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Mike, Not Me

      The genealogies of Jesus are different in Mathew and Luke.

      Some say it is because the genealogy in Luke, is actually from Mary.

      But Luke clearly says the genealogy is from Joseph. See where it says Joseph? So if this is actually from Mary, there is an error. No mention is made of Mary.

      Mathew clearly says the genealogy is also from Joseph. So, the Mathew genealogy is not from Mary either.

      What's up with that Mike?

      Curious Evangelical in Arizona

      December 31, 2010 at 8:46 am |
    • Reality

      Start the New Year by saving your Christian friends from the Resurrection Con? Of course, read below:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists).

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      So where are the bones? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      December 31, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      DJ

      http://www.lookinguntojesus.net/ata20010401.htm

      If Luke is tracing the genealogy of Mary, why does he cite Joseph's name? Today, it would be politically incorrect to map a woman's genealogy through her husband, however, in Luke's day, it was proper and correct. Luke follows Mary's genealogy, beginning with the name of Joseph, her husband, Heli's son-in-law (in legal terms, his son by marriage).

      January 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Ya gotta do what ya gotta do to keep the myth alive...

      January 3, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  16. Gary

    Are you kidding me?? I am agnostic grew up in a Jewish neib in Austin. The jewish moms did not want me a non white upper middle class on jew dating their daughters.

    December 29, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  17. Thinker23

    Some people forget that democracy means freedom of speech (or, in this case, writing of letters) and sometimes people say or even write something we disagree with. Well the rabbis' wives have the right to write letters and we have the right to disagree with their opinion and even (listen, listen...) write our own letters.

    December 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  18. Reality

    Obviously these followers of Abraham have not gotten the word about the New Torah for Modern Minds:

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    "New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument. "

    December 29, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
    • Thinker23

      I'm curious what kind of "latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures" did the people who wrote this "New Torah" use to support their claims... After all, findings of any kind can only prove that something or someone DID exist, not that he/she/it NEVER EXISTED. As long as there is no positive proof that Abraham, Moses, David or the poster "Reality" DID exist one can say that no evidence of their existence was found. This, however, CAN NOT be used as a proof that these individuals DID NOT exist.

      December 29, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      "When I grew up in Brooklyn, congregants were not sophisticated about anything," said Rabbi Harold Kushner, the author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" and a co-editor of the new book. "Today, they are very sophisticated and well read about psychology, literature and history, but they are locked in a childish version of the Bible."

      "Etz Hayim," compiled by David Lieber of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, seeks to change that. It offers the standard Hebrew text, a parallel English translation (edited by Chaim Potok, best known as the author of "The Chosen"), a page-by-page exegesis, periodic commentaries on Jewish practice and, at the end, 41 essays by prominent rabbis and scholars on topics ranging from the Torah scroll and dietary laws to ecology and eschatology.

      These essays, perused during uninspired sermons or Torah readings at Sabbath services, will no doubt surprise many congregants. For instance, an essay on Ancient Near Eastern Mythology," by Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, states that on the basis of modern scholarship, it seems unlikely that the story of Genesis originated in Palestine. More likely, Mr. Wexler says, it arose in Mesopotamia, the influence of which is most apparent in the story of the Flood, which probably grew out of the periodic overflowing of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The story of Noah, Mr. Wexler adds, was probably borrowed from the Mesopotamian epic Gilgamesh.

      Equally striking for many readers will be the essay "Biblical Archaeology," by Lee I. Levine, a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. "There is no reference in Egyptian sources to Israel's sojourn in that country," he writes, "and the evidence that does exist is negligible and indirect." The few indirect pieces of evidence, like the use of Egyptian names, he adds, "are far from adequate to corroborate the historicity of the biblical account."

      Similarly ambiguous, Mr. Levine writes, is the evidence of the conquest and settlement of Canaan, the ancient name for the area including Israel. Excavations showing that Jericho was unwalled and uninhabited, he says, "clearly seem to contradict the violent and complete conquest portrayed in the Book of Joshua." What's more, he says, there is an "almost total absence of archaeological evidence" backing up the Bible's grand descriptions of the Jerusalem of David and Solomon.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "litany of disillusion" about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      The reaction to the rabbi's talk ranged from admiration at his courage to dismay at his timing to anger at his audacity. Reported in Jewish publications around the world, the sermon brought him a flood of letters accusing him of undermining the most fundamental teachings of Judaism. But he also received many messages of support. "I can't tell you how many rabbis called me, e-mailed me and wrote me, saying, 'God bless you for saying what we all believe,' " Rabbi Wolpe said. He attributes the "explosion" set off by his sermon to "the reluctance of rabbis to say what they really believe."

      Before the introduction of "Etz Hayim," the Conservative movement relied on the Torah commentary of Joseph Hertz, the chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth. By 1936, when it was issued, the Hebrew Bible had come under intense scrutiny from scholars like Julius Wellhausen of Germany, who raised many questions about the text's authorship and accuracy. Hertz, working in an era of rampant anti-Semitism and of Christian efforts to demonstrate the inferiority of the "Old" Testament to the "New," dismissed all doubts about the integrity of the text.

      Maintaining that no people would have invented for themselves so "disgraceful" a past as that of being slaves in a foreign land, he wrote that "of all Oriental chronicles, it is only the Biblical annals that deserve the name of history."

      The Hertz approach had little compet-ition until 1981, when the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the official arm of Reform Judaism, published its own Torah commentary. Edited by Rabbi Gunther Plaut, it took note of the growing body of archaeological and textual evidence that called the accuracy of the biblical account into question. The "tales" of Genesis, it flatly stated, were a mix of "myth, legend, distant memory and search for origins, bound together by the strands of a central theological concept." But Exodus, it insisted, belonged in "the realm of history." While there are scholars who consider the Exodus story to be "folk tales," the commentary observed, "this is a minority view."

      Twenty years later, the weight of scholarly evidence questioning the Exodus narrative had become so great that the minority view had become the majority one.

      Not among Orthodox Jews, however. They continue to regard the Torah as the divine and immutable word of God. Their most widely used Torah commentary, known as the Stone Edition (1993), declares in its introduction "that every letter and word of the Torah was given to Moses by God."

      For added details on the New Torah for Modern Minds, you can buy a copy:

      From amazon.com

      "Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary (Hardcover) $58.00

      ~ David L. Lieber (Editor), Jules Harlow (Editor), United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (Corporate Author), The Rabbinical Assembly (Corporate Author)

      4.7 out of 5 stars (15 customer reviews)

      "The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) is the primary organization of synagogues practicing Conservative Judaism in North America. It closely works with the Rabbinical Assembly, the international body of Conservative rabbis, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.[1]"

      December 29, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
    • Thinker23

      As I've suspected this long story is a collection of speculations as well as flatly untrue statements. As I've said above absence of evidence is not evidence of absence (of Jews in ancient Egypt, for example). Further, there is indeed such evidence like the "Israel stela" dated during the rule of Pharaoh Merneptah, one of the twelve sons of Rameses II The Great. Rameses is considered the "Exodus Pharaoh" by most biblical scholars. Further, one can visit the site of the ancient Jericho near the modern town of Jericho and inspect the archeological findings there that do indeed prove that Jericho was a city of considerable size some 3000 year ago. It is always better to take baseless speculations of any kind with a grain of salt.

      December 29, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
    • Reality

      Some of the atrocities that god's chosen ones and their god are responsible for according to the OT/Torah:

      •Exodus 32: 3,000 Israelites killed by Moses for worshipping the golden calf.
      •Numbers 31: After killing all men, boys and married women among the Midianites, 32,000 virgins remain as booty for the Israelites. (If unmarried girls are a quarter of the population, then 96,000 people were killed.)
      •Joshua:
      ◦Joshua 8: 12,000 men and women, all the people of Ai, killed.
      ◦Joshua 10: Joshua completely destroys Gibeon ("larger than Ai"), Makeddah, Libnah, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron, Debir. "He left no survivors."
      ◦Joshua 11: Hazor destroyed. [Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews (1987), estimates the population of Hazor at ?> 50,000]
      ◦TOTAL: if Ai is average, 12,000 x 9 = 108,000 killed.
      •Judges 1: 10,000 Canaanites k. at Battle of Bezek. Jerusalem and Zephath destroyed.
      •Judges 3: ca. 10,000 Moabites k. at Jordan River.
      •Judges 8: 120,000 Midianite soldiers k. by Gideon
      •Judges 20: Benjamin attacked by other tribes. 25,000 killed.
      •1 Samuel 4: 4,000 Isrealites killed at 1st Battle of Ebenezer/Aphek. 30,000 Isr. k. at 2nd battle.
      •David:
      ◦2 Samuel 8: 22,000 Arameans of Damascus and 18,000 Edomites killed in 2 battles.
      ◦2 Samuel 10: 40,000 Aramean footsoldiers and 7,000 charioteers killed at Helam.
      ◦2 Samuel 18: 20,000 Israelites under Absalom killed at Ephraim.
      •1 Kings 20: 100,000 Arameans killed by Israelites at Battle of Aphek. Another 27,000 killed by collapsing wall.
      •2 Chron 13: Judah beat Israel and inflicted 500,000 casualties.
      •2 Chron 25: Amaziah, king of Judah, k. 10,000 from Seir in battle and executed 10,000 POWs. Discharged Judean soldiers pillaged and killed 3,000.
      •2 Chron 28: Pekah, king of Israel, slew 120,000 Judeans
      •TOTAL: That comes to about 1,283,000 mass killings specifically enumerated in the Bible.

      Hopefully the Thinker's archeological "gurus" have found evidence of these outside of the bible which brings us to the following:

      “I believe the Bible is inspired.” “Why?” “Because it says so.” Would your
      anyone let that logic pass if it came from the followers of any other book
      or person? “I believe x is inspired because x says so.” Fill in the blanks:

      x=Pat Robertson
      x=the ayatolloah Sistani
      x=David Koresh
      x=the Koran”
      x= the Thinker

      more “logic”?
      “I believe there is One God Jehovah because He is revealed in the infallible
      Bible. I believe the Bible is infallible because it is the Word of the One God Jehovah.”

      December 30, 2010 at 8:04 am |
    • Thinker23

      As expected you did not address my statement with a proof that Jews were in Egypt but you went on with more claims of different individuals saying that not everything in the Jewish Bible was literally true. I've never said that every biblical statement was literally true so you're bursting into an open door here. There is a HUGE distance between saying that not everything in the Bible is true and saying that everything is false...

      December 31, 2010 at 8:12 am |
    • Bob

      > As expected you did not address my statement with a proof that Jews were in Egypt

      You provided evidence that there were indeed jews in egypt. Fine, so what?

      December 31, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  19. juniormint

    It may be distasteful but it wouldn't have caused so much controversy if it weren't true.

    December 29, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • Thinker23

      Can you elaborate a bit? I'm interested what is "it" and how do you know that "it" is indeed true.

      December 29, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
    • Miriam

      "It" is Arab mens' abuse of their women and how you know "it" is true are the pictures of Arab women with their noses and ears cut off.

      December 30, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
    • YepItsTrue

      Just googled 3 words: palestinian women abuse
      The result?
      "Report: 23 percent of Palestinian women endure domestic violence"

      Now just imagine, what do you think would happen if a JEWISH women was placed in an Arab village if they're doing it to their own? If I was a Jewish woman I would be very afraid.

      I'm sure if you googled the following you would get similar results:
      arab women abuse
      arab women violence
      palestinian women violence

      And who are we to judge this letter? They are there on the scene, not us. Based on the search results, it seems highly likely that there is truth to this letter.

      December 31, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And googling "American women violence" returns very disturbing statistics too... I wonder what the correlation between spousal abuse and religious belief is?

      December 31, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  20. David Johnson

    Who cares?

    December 29, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Heyo David!

      The Jewish faith/people/etc is all at once racist, xenophobic, delusional, and a religion that is supposed to be synonymous with the "Jewish" people themselves.
      They need to get a clue and quit being delusional, but when you add the State of Israel to the mix, you get incredibly stupid things happening in their response patterns thanks to all of the above and all the PTSD, etc. they have in that silly little country.

      In other words, I kind of care in that they are being just as psychotic as every other religion out there and as racist as all the people they rail against. Religion needs to go the way of the fucking dinosaurs, period. I just don't expect to see anything like that in my lifetime, I'm sorry to say...

      See? You trolled me just fine there, bub. Have a great and cheerful new year! 😛

      December 30, 2010 at 3:20 am |
    • HotAirAce

      A letter advising tribe members to date and marry within their tribe is no big deal. When one tribe makes unsupported and perhaps stereotypical claims about another tribe, they have crossed a line.

      December 30, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • mmtaylormd

      ALL DESERVE LOVE! Read Dating the Messenger: The Untold Story of a Clairvoyant available from Connect with Spirit.net and see what we mean. Blessings, K and Dr Michael

      January 23, 2011 at 8:14 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.