[Milton-L] Re-send of question re Judaism

Peter C. Herman herman2 at mail.sdsu.edu
Tue Jul 25 11:49:10 EDT 2006


It is unclear to me if Prof. Rudrum is contemplating converting to Judaism, 
or to Christianity. But be that as it may, I suggest that he direct his 
inquiry to Jason Rosenblatt and/or Jeffrey Shoulson, who are much more 
qualified than I am to comment. But I will say this: I think that the range 
of inquiry needs to be expanded beyond the Hebrew Bible (usually referred 
to by non-Jews as "The Old Testament") to the Talmud and the near infinity 
of commentators on the Talmud (which, to add to the complexity, is in fact 
two texts (Jerusalem and Bablyonian). So far as I know, there was no "ad 
fontes" movement in Judaism, no sense that one must adhere strictly to the 
Bible in order to determine what is licit and what is not.

As for the specific question, if Prof. Rudrum would consider what was 
delivered while standing on one leg, I think he will discover the answer.

elliptically yours,

Peter C. Herman

At 09:37 AM 7/25/2006, you wrote:

>I am re-sending this question, which has had few responses and very few 
>from Jewish scholars.  The question has a Miltonic bearing which will 
>become apparent if my brain-cells live long enough.  If you don't get the 
>joke in the last line of the message, you may not be qualified to respond.
>
>
>***********************************************************
>
>At my age I need to know which kind of cleric to ask for when I hit the 
>Emergency Ward, so I am trying to figure out the differences between 
>Christianity and Judaism.  There are some large academic tomes on my desk, 
>but we are in the midst of a heat wave.
>
>I have what strikes me as a low-level but not entirely useless work called 
>Jewish Literacy by Joseph Telushkin, and he says there are three 
>innovative teachings of Jesus diametrically opposed to Jewish teachings:
>
>1. Jesus forgives all sins
>
>2. Judaism does not demand that one love one's enemies.
>
>3. Jesus' claim that people can come to God only through him.
>
>All three on pages 128-129
>
>I suspect that the first and third are claims of the gospel-writer/editors 
>rather than claims of Jesus - I have yet to be convinced of the historical 
>accuracy of the gospels, which are "fanciful" according to one Jewish 
>scholar and theological rather than historical according to a good many 
>Christian commentators, but I should like to know if the second statement 
>by Telushkin is correct.
>
>Is there anything in the Hebrew scriptures which suggests that we should 
>forgive our enemies?
>
>Naturally, I expect you to write your response while standing on one leg.
>
>Alan Rudrum
>Professor Emeritus
>Department of English
>Simon Fraser University
>BURNABY BC V5A 1S6
>Canada
>
>www.sfu.ca/~rudrum
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