Crisis in God 2: Wisdom of Kahana

There have been some extremely interesting responses to the first article regarding this Crisis issue. Some of it can be found in the Hubpage Comments section, but most of it has been through an exchange of private emails by several readers that wanted a less public forum to express and discuss their viewpoints. I must admit, I am quite amazed by the particular stand of some of those viewpoints, which in my opinion are representative of the exact dilemma I was trying to pinpoint and highlight. In most cases it was full acknowledgement that the changes to the ordinances, commandments, obligations have occurred but such change was a necessity and in fact a fundamental requirement. There was this presumption on their part that God wanted us to change, perhaps even encouraged us to do so. What we in our modern society perceive as archaic, pagan ritualistic, blatant tribalism, He too must perceive it exactly in the same manner and therefore, though the Lord has not stated outright, there must also be an unwritten commandment to adapt, modify, edit, abandon, exchange, and even overrule all His previous commandments. In some of their responses, the Torah has been referred to as an out-dated, prehistoric document from an age of Barbarism that must be rewritten for modern times and only served as a unifying force 30 centuries ago. Furthermore, these are statements by those that refer to themselves as faithful, religious and obedient Jews that follow God’s will. I don’t know if it’s just me, but do others not see the incongruity of these statements. That if one wants to overhaul the Hebraic faith, rewrite its doctrines then one cannot say that they are faithful adherents to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob because those people are no longer following the laws that guided our forefathers. I cannot debate one’s claim to Judaism, because Judaism is more than a religious doctrine, it is a particular genetic determinant characterized by certain haplotypes that suggest it is more a ‘race’ than a religion. Having a narrow gene pool for breeding purposes for three thousand years will tend to do that. But, what I can debate is one’s assertion that they still follow the Hebrew faith, the religion of our forefathers, practice the word of God, even though they are so willing to change those commandments, laws and obligations preserved in the Torah by pronouncing them as ‘outdated.’ This was exactly the point made by the early Karaite leaders in their accusations against the Rabbanites. When you change the articles of faith significantly, then one can no longer say that they are adherents to that faith; they have become something else, perhaps resembling the initial faith but most certainly not the same as their forbearers.

THE REAL McCOY

Firstly, let me say to all those that wrote that the so-called primitive, tribal and pagn practices of the Torah are no longer required by God. I don’t remember when the Almighty told us that so could someone please refresh my memory of the exact date and time it occurred. I must not have been listening that day because I could have sworn that God said something to the effect that, “As it is now, so it was in the beginning and so it will be in the end.” If that is true, then it would suggest that God’s expectation would be that we should be practicing his commandments now, the same way that we were given them at the foot of Sinai. To do otherwise would mean that we have overruled God and have become no different from the many other nations that have laid claim that theirs is the true path towards salvation. In fact, our admission that we unilaterally decided that there was a need to modernize, modify and mitigate our original laws and commandments only serves to legitimize every other religion that bases its origins on the Judaic inheritance because they have done nothing different to what we freely admit to have done. They are mutations, adaptations of the original but yet, we will freely condemn them for doing so. The brush must tar us as well if we truly believe that.

For those of you that are not aware of Mohammed’s original mission, either because you care little for history, nor have you read the Koran, the Muslim prophet considered himself a messenger from God intended for the Jews long before he began his mission to convert the Arab tribes. In fact, he laid claim to be the Jewish Messiah, a claim by which he was quickly rejected, scorned, and physically abused by the rabbinical leaders in Judea, Mecca and Medina. His message to the rabbinical courts was similar to what I’m saying now, that the people have strayed away from the original commandments, are no longer adhering to the ordinances as laid down by Moses, and therefore we are following a corrupted and false version of the Hebraic faith as provided by the Lord. Was he right? The fact that the Karaite movement laid the exact same accusations against the Rabbanites a century and a half later would suggest he was on the mark. The only difference being that Mohammed responded to the abuse and threats by turning against the Jews much in the way a spurned and rejected lover vows revenge.

MOSES THE AUTOCRAT

In those same emails I received, one theme that was raised as a common thread was the accusation that there were those commandments that God gave to us and then there were those that Moses personally created and imposed upon us. Some even suggested that my own articles on Rediscovering the Exodus provided evidence that this Egyptian Prince Thutmose V, would most certainly be autocratic by nature and create laws that secured his power and authority over the people. In my exploration of the historical Moses, at no time that I’m aware of suggested that Moses was anything other than a legitimate servant of God, receiving instruction directly from the Almighty. For us to question that fundamental pillar of our faith is to question are very own existence. When we no longer believe that God directly influenced the Exodus, that He gave us his rules in the desert, issued from his own mouth but written by the hands of the elders, and selected us to be the Light Unto The World, then we have lost any entitlement to call ourselves the ‘Chosen People.’ Have we become so faithless, so cynical, and so corrupted by this modern society that there is no place for miracles and no direct connection between God and man? The moment we start to question our origins, is the day you can no longer call yourself a child of Jacob, a member of the Congregation of Israel, a Hebrew or even Jew in the religious connotation. Because what you no longer believe in is the defining point of ‘us’ as a people of God, the moment that a covenant was drawn between a deity and a group of mortals. It is Sinai and the wandering in the desert that separates us from all other faiths. The events that occurred, the hand of God as it was revealed, and the laws that came to us from God are what make us who we are. Other religions can lay claim to having the same moral commandments, derivatives of Torahitic laws, to be endowed with benevolence and charity for humanity, but the one thing they cannot claim is having passed through the river of baptism under fire that we endured for a generation in exile. Take that away and we are nothing. Proclaim the laws of that episode as no longer binding and we're nothing more than a philosophical branch of humanism. Deny Moses as a direct conduit of God’s will and expression and we are fatherless, and undeserving of being the Lord’s children. We are nothing more the flotsam floating on the sea after a shipwreck; a shipwreck we have caused because we chose no longer to steer by the signs of the heavenly bodies and the maps handed to us at the start of our voyage. That being the case, then how can you voice your concerns of being abandoned, awaiting a never manifesting promised salvation, when you have been the ones to abandon Yahweh by denying what He had ordained and commanded?

We will continue this discussion. Your emails have raised issues that I don’t even think you are fully aware of.

Shalom Aleichim

Avrom Aryeh –Zuk Kahana

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Comments 26 comments

Bar 3 years ago

BH

What is really at the heart of this discussion ? Is it that sacrifice is/has become an appalling taboo from our historical past? Is it that scandal filled scribes and their masters altered a once perfect TEXT? That this argument happens and we contend ourselves with it some should say this is evidence of our righteous roots. I would not.

I would say that if one needs to read a scratching of ink to know ones reality construct or build ones worldview, this is what was, and one is like his/her ancestorial past buried in the dust. If one can enter the river of time and bathe in her waters to cleanse ones dust away this is what is, and one is like his/her children full of boundless potential awaiting instruction. If one can enter the sea and breathe her life force into your blood then one is like his/her Korban before the Kohen and this is what well be.

The holograph we call reality is a pun of the most ironic proportions. A twist of justice, humor and brilliance all disguised as suffering and sacrifice through the optic of ego. I've digressed.

That the Temple Faithful build objects while children of their own blood and bones suffer and are sacrificed, while we yet debate the need of blood sacrifice in a yet dreamed of state of ownership of once lost ground and structure, baffles even my own seance of humor and appreciation of pun.

This love of tradition has been our curse since it began. To remember the widow and the orphan requires men, not concerned with the words of their fathers but rather the deeds of their children. Solve this paradigm shift and you will have your Temple.


Kahana profile image

Kahana 3 years ago Author

Yes, that quote is from Matthew but sometime there are some very applicable quotes even from New Testament writings that do reflect Jewish thought from Exodus 21:23 better. After all, we have to remember where they had their origins.


Vincent 3 years ago

“For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to His blessings in the last days.” (Hosea 3:4–5)


Vincent 3 years ago

" if thy right eye offends thee, pluck it out! "

It's from the NT, isn't it ?

Anyway, if we don't follow the Torah of the Father, we will be punished again and again, as He promised in Deuteronomy, the prophets and so on.

About the sacrifices, are we vegetarian ? If not, we should visit a modern farm, its not really nice to look at.

And about the stoning of some guys, open the prisons and the madhouse, take these guys as your neighbours, and then we will talk again ( after they have raped your teenage daughter if you have one )

Besides, who are we to judge YHVH's way of doing things ?

PS: my comment isnt directed at someone in particular


Kahana profile image

Kahana 3 years ago Author

Accusation, after accusation, after accusation. Firstly Shiloh, I am not a dog on a leash patiently sitting at its masters feet for a bone to be thrown its way. You presume that somehow I sit here at my computer just waiting for your comments and I should immediately jump to a response. You are not master in His house.

Secondly, you do not understand the role of a moderator. When I find comments offensive, as they have been in your most recent outbursts, railing against the Kohenim, saying the Rabbis are correct that Karaites are not Jews (on FB), and then disparaging my family lineage, as well as expressing some personally directed vindictiveness, then I see no need to approve them, since in case you have forgotten this is a discussion regarding the references in the Tanakh regarding sacrifice. Respect the topic or don't engage. Either support your reasoning with facts, proof, or even anecdotes, but Do Not turn an open forum into your own personal poisoned penletter fanclub.

And now Thirdly, most important of all. How would a man of God respond? A man of God takes the Lord's advice that if 'Thy right eye offends thee, pluck it out!' I will take His advice to heart because that verse immediately came to mind when you made accusation that a man of God should not take offense to what you say. The Lord tells me differently.


Shiloh 3 years ago

Avrom, no censorship? You have ones that I posted and you are not posting them. A man of God is lying? Come on Avrom, we disagree but to censor and say you do not!


Kahana profile image

Kahana 3 years ago Author

Uri, thank you for joining in our discussion. Don't believe everything you hear. Rumours are just that, rumours. My site is not heavily censored as has been suggested. There are just times when the occasional person does not like the fact that I refuse to agree with them. You see, I listen to my heart, my mind and my soul. I listen to what I have heard, what I have seen and what I feel. I interpret, I analyze and I teach. But one thing I never do is write on someone's Facebook that, 'The Rabbis are right in saying that Karaites are not Jews." We are all Jews, whether we agree with one another or not. That is the message of our future, of our survival as a people. A man truly sent by God, Uri, would never write such a thing.


Uri Levinson 3 years ago

I understand that this site is heavily censored, but maybe it is only a rumor. Surely in the modern world, healthy discussions are permitted here. I have found Kahana an intelligent fellow from reading his posts and comments. I have seen that others that post here are intelligent as well. I have an ~ 152 IQ myself, which might qualify me as someone with a bit of intelligence too, but it is worth nothing without being holy as commanded by HaShem...

With that said, I wish to say something here in regards to one of the people who does post here a lot...Shiloh...I have talked with him (via the Net) and have no doubt that he is a man of HaShem (no, I do not say His name, but for another reason, not a rabbinical one...until I'm 100% sure how it is pronounced...I will say HaShem, nothing personal and yes, I do study this one topic quite a bit). Even if you do not agree with him on every topic...at least listen to him...listen to what he says and then take the time to go look things up...I don't think you will be disappointed...

As I just said...I KNOW this man is from HaShem...

Who am I since you don't know me from Adam...let's just say that I am a scientist who has worked with people smarter than myself for over two decades, including a dear friend of mine who worked directly with Einstein himself...meaning...maybe, just maybe, I might know a thing or two...and I do.

Everyone here needs to remember, "For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God rather than burnt-offerings." Be merciful to one another as it is befitting that we dwell together...,"

Psalm 133

1 A Song of Ascents; of David.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,

coming down upon the beard; even Aaron's beard,

that cometh down upon the collar of his garments;

3 Like the dew of Hermon, that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion;

for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for ever.

Listen...


Kahana profile image

Kahana 3 years ago Author

Alan, the Temple Faithful, Gesh Emunim are a group of ultra-orthodox Jews living in Israel that have made preparations for the rebuilding of the Temple, Even carved the corner stone and have it ready to be put in place. From what I've been told, they even have a red heifer ready for the sacrifice. Of course that heifer is probably now a cow by now since that was a few years past. How strong their movement is I can't say for certain but you can read all about them on the net.


Kahana profile image

Kahana 3 years ago Author

So let me paraphrase your arguments Shiloh. You disagree with what is written in the Torah as the work of the priestly caste. You disagree with the laws pronounced by Moses as this was just the autocratic rules of an Egyptian prince. You disagree with the ancient customs of the Hebrews, as these were just borrowed from other cultures. But you do agree with one concept, which is that of a messiah, yet that is present in other ancient cultures, was brought to the people by priests or autocrats (almost all of the prophets were either of the Aaronic or Davidic families). What you have described is a religion where you select what you want and discard all that you don't like. And if you should disasgree with the Messiah, then you will reject him as being false because he did not agree with you. Therein lies the destructive seed of our faith. The Hebrew faith, Judaism, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not a buffet table where you select what appeals to your own tastes.


Shiloh 3 years ago

So practices from other cultures are not inserted into the Torah, really, look at circumcision. The Egyptians did it long before the Hebrews. A covenant to whom then? Moshe was an Egyptian, an upper class one and whom got circumcised, ya, exactly. Not saying not to do it, just saying Avrom that we have been influenced. Again, why calling the kettle black, let the messiah of whom God will annoint, if one still believes God is active in our lives decide animal sacrifices or not. Answer that, unless the answer is not what your believe it will come to. No matter how much we throw a childish fit, Gods annointed will have his way, no matter how much any Jewish sect tries to manipulate the person. I won't work Avrom.


Shiloh 3 years ago

Boker Tov Avrom, that's not correct. God does listen to prayer. He does work daily in our lives. It's whether or not we choose to see it. We all have times we think He has abandoned us, this is true, you know I have experienced those times, but I have had times of tremendous connection with the Source.

The ancient cultures where not commanded by God, they where commanded by the priests of each culture. There is a huge difference between a direct command by God and an interpretation being made into a commandment. Also, the gods of which there are many, then by your analysis, must all be sub gods to Yehovah and Yehovah dictated the sacrifices to all these gods which each culture assumed it was a command from their own god. Therefore Avrom, stubborness has caused our suffering and will continue. It's either for Yehovah or it's for the priestly class. For this is the day I will serve Yehovah and not that of men.


Kahana profile image

Kahana 3 years ago Author

Therein lies the problem Shiloh that I've been trying to raise. The assumption that the ordinance and all the associated ritual practices of sacrifice, which is quite a large section in the Torah, not being from God, is simply that; an assumption. Wanting to believe that it was adapted from other religions, inserted into our ancient beliefs and did not come from God, does not make it so. Let me approach it from another perspective. What if the reason that all these ancient religions performed sacrifice was because they were all instructed to by the Higher Power. That there was a need for such ritual, though we cannot understand it, by God and it wasn't a case of man inventing a ritual to praise the Lord but instead the fulfilling of a requirement that they never questioned. What if, they were right all along and the fault lies with our failure to appreciate the actual purpose of such practices? What if there's a direct link between the sacrifice and the perpetual existence of God (the so-called life from death perpetual circle)? We just do not know but yet we are quick to dismiss it as unnecessary because it offends our modern day senses. Yet those ancients treated directly with God on a regular basis, and us modern day Jews don't even know if he's listening to our prayers. They had a connection we no longer have. They performed acts which appeased Him that we no longer do. They knew something that we don't have a clue.


alanbedford 3 years ago

Your point is well taken, Kahana. The Temple certainly did become a vanity for the Kings. However, God demosntrated His apporval of the Temple by way of the "cloud and fire" above the Temple, which did not appear above the Second Temple. Who are the "Temple Faithful"?


Shiloh 3 years ago

Avrom, Gods commandments or insertions by men. Its about putting God first, not about slitting the throat of an animal. It's about prayer, about communicating with God. It's about our behavior which we all fail at sometimes. It's about doing what's right, doing justice. Going backwards won't help us, moving forward will. All cultures sacrificed in an attempt to appease the gods, to cause them to return. It's a common thread Avrom, it does not mean it's from God, it means that every culture in the world thinks it was from God when it was nothing more then an ancient attempt at a connection go a god. Trying to control God and manipulation of people won't help us either. Every one knows the Temple mount faithful are a bunch of nuts here in Israel. They are meaningless in the big picture and everyone here knows it.


Kahana profile image

Kahana 3 years ago Author

Alan, as you know, the Temple Faithful have already designated the High Priest for the new Temple as well as all his attending priests and Levites. Again a matter of the chicken and the egg as to which should come first. Regardless, it is the Temple which I question as to its necessity. God requested Moses construct the Tabernacle, insisting that the essence of God not be confined to any singular place, and that everything was built to be moved, hence the poles and the rings on the Ark, the alter, the laver, etc. It was David that insisted the Ark had to have a final resting place, and we can debate as to whether David's decision was politically or religiously motivated. It was Solomon that destroyed the nation by building the Temple at such incredible cost that the North revolted. Did the sacrificial cult need the Temple, No. Did the Temple need the sacrificial cult in order to give it a 'raison d'etre'? Yes. So ultimately what must come first if we are to build on that reasoning is the sacrificial cult.


alanbedford 3 years ago

Although it's true that sacrifices were performed before the Ark and the Temple existed, but Moses, speaking for God, commanded us to build the Ark, and then build a permanent place for the Ark which became the Temple built by Solomon. Moses commanded that sacrifice then be performed only at the Temple and nowhere else. Therefore when the First Temple was destroyed and the Ark disappeared, the Second Temple should never have been built. I believe that all of the catastrophes that befell the Jewish people could be seen as consequences, or "punishments", for having built a Temple without an Ark and performing sacrifices at that illicit, unauthorized Temple. Therefore any attempt by a self-proclaimed High Priest to resume sacrifices without an Ark and a Temple could provoke the same kind of catastrophe again.


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Kahana 3 years ago Author

And there is another purpose for these articles. Over eighty individual people have read these recent articles on Crisis in God. In a few days it will be over 100. It is a core issue to faith, to Judaism and to our survival as a people. So far, three have expressed opinions. A minute percentage of those that need to make their voices heard. If we are to change our society, steer our faith towards its ultimate destiny, then it requires that we all make our voices heard Therein lies our strength, our purpose and our future. It is our own personal relationship with the Almighty that make us who we are and only by expressing ourselves do we achieve our goals.


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Kahana 3 years ago Author

Shalom Achim. Trust me in that there is a reason I have concentrated on this topic. There is always a purpose though it may not be seen immediately. Divergent paths or dead ends, the reality is that we have made it so of our own choosing. I use sacrifice as a case in point. Whenever we fail to understand God's commandments, and we will never fathom his ways or his purposes, then we become resistant. Rather than have faith and assume there is a reason, instead we become as He says, "A Stiff Necked People" for which we are punished over and over again. That is the lesson we have not learned in 3000 years. As God has shown us with Abraham, He is willing to compromise but He is not willing to be overruled and ignored. Sacrifice was demanded of God long before the Kohenim as we see in Bereshit. Why? Only God knows. We can choose to defy His will, make believe that we know better, but then all that was promised is null and void. As a people we will have truly reached a Dead End.


Shiloh 3 years ago

Avrom, a divergent path? Because I know animal sacrifice is not required and that the Priests wrote it in, you claim to be a a Kohen which to serve in the Temple must have a public registery, not a private one according to the Tanach, it's not against you but your ancestors you claim to have link to. That's fine. You know when life became complex, when radical religionists started to try and control my path. Whether rabbinate or karaite. They are both the same. When does it improve is when I completely distance myself from them and continue my connection to Yehovah. The experience with the Shekinah did not occur when I was following the ways of the rabbi's nor will it return when doing so. It will not return when following the ways of the Karaites either. It returns when my heart returns to Him and by doing good. Yes, a simplistic approach, but it worked in the past and works now.


Shiloh 3 years ago

Avrom, the only argument is animal sacrifice. Your dream, it's not mine. We are totally divided Avrom on ONE issue, well two, this and the disagreement over a dual messiahship requiring advise from a Kohan, in your case the advise would be to reinstate animal sacrifice. Not every family of Kohanim state that animal sacrifice are required. For example the Ebionites, led by a Kohan, yes Avrom a Kohan also believed the animal sacrifice was written in the Torah by the Priests. Remember Avrom, let's let God decide who He chooses, not you nor me. Then let's just get over it and get on with it. This is all spilling the seel.


Bar 3 years ago

BH

Avrom, Passion fills your every word. Your zeal for Our Father teachings is unquestionable for all to see who have the Heart to do so. I wish the venue of exchange we different but obviously HASHEM deems this one adequate for now.

Look into your Yud's and see your Gimmel's. Is this not the way? Shall we remain the same another 40 years all waiting to die lost in a desert of information? In your heart the answer is already, when we sit together you will laugh at this struggle. What our Father wrote was for me to read and you to hear. Yes, my wise brother I am here as you are also. What you have written I have heard in the bitter wilderness, we are not to think Torah is all there is rather right now all there is Torah.


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Kahana 3 years ago Author

We are bound by both family and faith. Which is the stronger? Each must seek that answer on their own.


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Kahana 3 years ago Author

Actually Shiloh, there are far more deaths than merely the physical variety. What you also have also failed to appreciate is that there are both positive (Thou shalls) and negative ordinances (thou shall nots). When you don't even adhere to the positives, you cannot justify the lack of obedience through the avoidance of the negatives. Israel has always been the disobedient child, thinking they always know better than the parent. Look how well our self-proclaimed superior morality and knowledge has served us. Is your life a smooth path? Have you been rewarded for following a divergent path? Are you closer to God? Following the true path was never intended to be easy. It was always intended to be a test of faith, unconditional belief, and acknowledgement that perhaps there are things we don't understand, may never understand but we must commit to them. How we commit is within our determination but avoidance, fooling ourselves that they no longer are required of us, that is not committing to the covenant of our ancestors.


alanbedford 3 years ago

There is a big difference between "race" and "faith". "Race" is acquired genetically, whereas "faith" is not inherited but is discovered during one's lifetime.


Shiloh 3 years ago

So become the first to stone idoloters, adulterers, homosexuals and become the only one with a true link to Yehovah. Your truly missing something. Sad.

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