Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is it only a package deal?

The more I think about my issues with Orthodox Judaism, Torah, and God, the more I realize that I really have no problem with God at all. Or Gods. Or some other supernatural being that made/started the universe as we know it. Regardless of the answer science comes up with, I feel like we are still left with the question of what created that first thing regardless of how primitive it may have been. Maybe I like the idea of putting it on a God that I don't have to explain. It just seems convenient since I don't think we can ever know the real answer with total certainty (even if it was God as described in the Torah). We all can look at the different theories and just put our faith into one that works best for us.

That said, my issues with OJ and the Torah are ones that bother me constantly. The laws, the historical/scientific issues etc. are on my mind all the time.

So I was wondering if it makes sense to anyone else that I have no problem believing a God figure could have created the earth, but that this God did not give the torah and doesn't really care much about us humans. That is, can you believe in an initial God, but not an everlasting one?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Moshiach sources

Can someone please give me some Torah sources for why Jews believe in the the coming of Moshiach (Messiah)? I would prefer the sources be from the Chumash (five books of Moses) as I just don't believe the Navi to be divine.

I don't have time to write now, but this will be part of a longer, more in-depth post.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

When there are no satisfactory answers

When i started to move away from OJ, it was because I just didn't like it. It didn't speak to me at all and I did not get any spiritual uplifted from it. The minutia of halacha was incredibly annoying to me. And, unlike JP would like everyone to believe, it had NOTHING to do with wanting sex, drugs, or the like.

After a while like this, my wife encouraged me to seek out answers to my questions and to deal with my feelings instead of just giving up on it. I told her that I would honestly look for answers, but that she has to also understand that the conclusions I reach may not be the ones she desires. So I started to pay attention to the torah reading and actually read through it on Shabbat afternoon. I also began reading books that dealt with questions on Judaism or science/torah issues. I critically read some of the skeptic blogs and tried to look at the issues from a fair vantage point. Similarly, I read blogs from a traditional OJ vantage point.

Yet, what happens in the end of the day when the answers just don't satisfy one's need? Does that give one "permission" to leave the fold and follow the answers they have found? certainly not according to traditional OJ. Seems to me that people like me are really left in a bind because of this.

On one hand Judaism likes to state that, unlike Christianity, we are allowed to ask questions and think critically about our religion. On the other hand, if you are only allowed to come up with answers that lead you back to "proper" OJ, then you really aren't allowed to question after all.