rabbi Chaim the Small,Actually, I don’t agree with what you wrote. You write that separating from his wife was necessary for him to attain the highest level of spirituality in order to redeem his people from bondage, but that is simply not true. In fact, Moses only separated from his wife after he had already led the Jews on their Exodus from Egypt and only after he served as the main conduit of HaShem’s will at the Revelation at Mount Sinai, not beforehand. His so-called “celibacy” was not necessary for him to reach his level, it was an outcome of the fact that he had reached his high level like I have already explained to you in my previous post.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
I am glad you survived the rigors of the fasting and were able to give your attention to this important point.
Of course I realize that Moses was married and sired children prior to the command to him to separate from his wife. But the point I am making is that such separation was necessary for him to attain the highest level of spirituality in order to redeem his people from bondage. On that I am certain you can agree.
Jesus and St. Paul also spoke about those who make themselves celibate for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. These people are not sexless or neutered, but rather are able to embrace a much larger family unit in Divine Love due to their celibacy, which perhaps more accurately could be termed chastity. That was all I wished to apply to my Christian friends: for them to understand that indeed there is precedent in Judaism to praise the virtues of chastity and celibacy.Indeed, chastity is a virtue. Chastity means preserving one’s sexual innocence when outside the context of a permitted marriage in order to use their sexuality in such a context. Chastity is something to be admired. It requires one to only engage in allowed sexual conduct, but it obviously presumes the existence of permitted sexual relations. Celibacy, on the other hand, whereby one vows to never engage in sexual expression, is simply a dream. The very idea denies the truism of what it means to be human. It seeks a standard which for almost everyone is unattainable and almost intrinsically condones and excuses unchaste behavior. I will repeat clearer what I have already stated: Any man who claims to be “celibate” is either unhealthy (physically and/or mentally) or lying.
So far as your comment about Jeremiah, I have no idea what you mean. See here for example.I was proving to you that Jeremiah was not celibate. He in fact had a daughter. Your example from Jeremiah 16 proves nothing about Jeremiah’s celibacy. It simply shows that HaShem told Jeremiah not to marry and have children while he was in Anatot.
It also is obvious that celibacy is not the norm and is a rare spiritual gift. The point is not to force it upon anyone but rather to help people recognize its blessedness.There is not such thing as a “spiritual gift”. High levels of spirituality are not given to people as “gifts”, they are attained through hard work in perfecting their character traits, studying and keeping the Torah, and maintaining a close relationship with HaShem based on both fear and love.
And certainly our estimation of Jesus as God's Son and Divine Redeemer makes it totally understandable that celibacy is an appropriate and expected way of life for Him.On the contrary, according to your Christian fairytales, the bastard of Bethlehem was really a son of “god” because “god” had impregnated Mary. From here we see that “god” himself does not adhere to the standards of celibacy preached by the church because “god” himself impregnated a woman. In fact, he impregnated a marry women! Not only does the Christian god not believe in celibacy, he actually engaged in adultery. No wonder Christianity is such a corrupt and debauched religion.
Likewise for St. Paul, whose commission to remove pagan idolatry from the Roman Empire and to travel perhaps 20,00 miles in arduous missions journeys also makes celbacy a necessary concomitant to his spiritual calling. (Indeed I have often wondered if rabbi Shlomo Carlebach would not have had a much more successful and less controversial and morally compromised ministry if he too had embraced celibacy, but unfortunately Judaism has renounced this high idea!)Again, the exact opposite of what you are saying is true. As is readily evident, when one is busy travelling and is in “foreign” territory and situations, his sexual urges peak. This is clearly seen from the Torah allowing one to engage with a “woman of beautiful form” should he chance upon such a lady when at war (see Deut. 21:10-15). When one is away from home, his sexual desires become stronger. Accordingly, celibacy would only be more difficult in such a situation. In fact, if Paul really did travel the world to try and dissuade pagans from their religion, he probably took his wife with him, or had multiple wives in different cities, or engaged in “call girls” and the like to fulfill his sexual appetite. (And that’s if we judge Paul favorably and assume that he did not engaged in illicit sexual practices such as masturbation, pedophilia, homosexuality and the like).
The same is true with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Because he was constantly travelling around the world to preach his message. I don’t know if he took his with wife him on these music tours, but even if he did, the mere opportunity to meet so many different types of places and people (many of them vulnerable and looking for spirituality and companionship) probably gave Rabbi Carlebach a very difficult time trying to preserve his sexual innocence for permitted venues. A wife is not always a foolproof way of satiating one’s sexual appetite. Sometimes sexual relations with one’s wife is also prohibited (e.g. if she is menstruating or if she just gave birth as well as on Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av and several other days of the year according to Kabbalah). Had Rabbi Carlebach attempted celibacy in his situation, he probably would have been worse off and his sexual crimes and misdeed could have potentially been more heinous. In fact, even the great sages of the Talmud did not trust themselves to act properly when situations could potentially arise whereby they would be in a situation of great sexual anxiety such as travelling. Their response was not to engage in celibacy, that would be foolish and would only serve to exacerbate the situation. Instead, the Talmud relates that several sages would arrange to have “local temporary wives” for the duration of their visit to various places in order to combat their sexual impulses (see Yevamoth 37b, Yoma 18b and other places). Celibacy simply does not work for human beings.
Regarding your allegation about the "bastard from Bethlehem" I urge you to watch these shows on the Holy Shroud of Turin which present scientifically verifiable evidence for Christ's crucifixion and resurrection:I don’t watch videos. Do these videos say anything intelligent or are they simply the same Christian propaganda that has been spread for hundreds of years in Audio/Visual format?
The Real Face of Jesus From the Shroud of Turin
The Lost 40 Days of Jesus - Full Documentary
May God illuminate your eyes with His Holy Truth and pull away the veil from upon your mind and the stone from within your heart.
I definitely do hesitate to respond to all the members of your CC list. Many of them are on your blacklist against their will. Ever since you decided to add me to your list, I have seen many people who requested that you remove them from the list (from some reason they click reply all instead of just reply), but you hesitated to do so and delayed doing so (although, granted, it seems that eventually you do remove them from your list).
PS Please do not hesitate to respond to all the Cc list. These people are both Jewish and Christian scholars with a deep respect for Jewish roots in order to understand the life and works of Jesus. They will be most grateful to interact with an Orthodox Jewish scholar of your eminence. Indeed when I was at Ohr Samayach in the 1980s, a number of my instructors were associated with the Mirrer Yeshiva (eg Avraham Rockmill), so truly it is an honor and privilege to communicate with a scholar from that most famous of yeshivas! But from this point forward I will try to post directly to your blog, beseder???
PPS Your answer to my question about whether God would raise from the dead an evil man in order to test Jews is truly sobering:
<< BEGIN QUOTE>> I do not find it problematic to say that HaShem would stage a massive deception and corruption of His own Torah in order to test the strength of the Jews' commitment to it. We have seen this countless times throughout history. The entire creation of the state of Israel and Zionism (according to the Satmar Rebbe) is a test by HaShem to see who will remain faithful to His Torah and who will stray from it. The same is true of the horrors of the Holocaust, the intellectual draw of the Haskala movement, and many other such instances (many of which have long been forgotten). HaShem enjoys giving extra credit to those who are faithful to Him, the way to achieve extra credit is by passing His tests. Life is full of such tests some bigger some smaller. They are all chances for one to prove his steadfast commitment to the Torah and Judaism and gain greater reward in the Heavens. <<END QUOTE>>What you are saying is true that there is not one right decision in Judaism. But the truth is that different people have different abilities and inclinations and no two people tick the same. Your examples about the proper way of spending excess money and the proper way of engaging in prayer are good examples of this. Different people have different ways of expressing their servitude of the HaShem. רחמנא ליבא בעי. אחד המרבה ואחד הממעיט ובלבד שיכוון לבו לאבינו שבשמים. These concepts tell us that HaShem does not want quantity, He wants quality. Even when a person acts within the confines of Torah Judaism, there are still many personal and private choices which need to be made and there is not general right-or-wrong answer for everyone. Judaism is not a one-size-fits-all religion. There are various different strains of legitimate Judaism with each one focusing on a different facet of serving HaShem (even if sometimes their concentration on their focii are a cause in some laxity in other areas, as long as they don’t systematically and purposefully abandon one area of the Torah). For example, Chassidim may focus more on serving HaShem through prayer and immersion in the Mikva, while Misnagdim focus more on serving HaShem through Torah study and intellectual pursuits, Centrist/Modern Orthodox people may focus more on serving HaShem through perfection of their interhuman relations, Sephardic people might focus serving HaShem through Kabbalah, etc… All of these are legitimate answers and legitimate options, as long as one stays within the confines of Judaism.
It raises the question of whether we can ever trust God to speak to us via signs and miracles in order to shatter our complacent existences! I am well aware of the warnings of Deuteronomy 13 and 17 about false prophets who perform signs and wonders which also is sobering. But Jesus Himself seems to have addressed this. When accused of using satanic powers to exorcise people (as I believe the Talmud asserts against Him), Yeshua responded saying that personal insults against Him can be forgiven (such as your calling him bastard from Bethlehem) but insults against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven, since they blaspheme God's very spirit operating within us! Jesus also explains that satan would not exorcise people thereby dividing and weakening his own wicked kingdom. But this raises the very question you pose from Deuteronomy about a false prophet displaying signs and wonders that we are meant to disregard. How can we reconcile this?
Perhaps the answer is that the false prophet displaying signs and wonders of whom Deuteronomy warns us does not help people at all. Rather he might do what Isaiah did to demonstrate a sign to King Hezekiah: turn back the sundial. But Yeshua seems to be saying that any act of genuine love and compassion such as releasing a person from demonic oppression, cannot possibly be an act of satanic deception! And furthermore He warns us that anyone who claims so is guilty of blaspheming the Holy Spirit! See here:
(quotes from the so-called “New Testament” truncated)
Could one have argued that Moses' splitting of the Red Sea and indeed performing all the miracles associated with the Exodus were deceptions, since he was leading the people out of the wilderness 190 years too early according to some calculations? How about all the signs and wonders Moses performed? Were these too deceptions? Furthermore, you seem to ignore the fact that you cannot fulfill the Law properly, that most of the commandments are null and void today, and that even the ones you do perform are riddled with hypocrisy and inconsistency.
For example, let's say you have $1000 to spend any way you wish. How should you allocate it? Should you upgrade your tefillin and mezuzot (assuming you are blessed to have a home)? Should you buy an extra set of tefillin like rabbeinu Tam? or perhaps three extra sets as Moshe Sternbuch is reputed to do? Should you buy Torah commentaries? Spend money on your wife and children? Give tzeddaka to a yeshiva? To a hospital? To hachnassat kala? To feed the poor? You see the problem: since your religion is based totally on works without faith in the sacrifice of Yeshua as atonement for the world, then you are faced with a hopeless task of sorting through innumerable possibilities without any certainty of what is the right decision!
Another example: the Talmud teaches that the chassidim rishonim would pray nine hours per day: three hours for each of the three prayers. But in shuls today, most people rush through Shacharit in perhaps 30 minutes and then run off to get to work, kollel, or whatever. Now why can't a person say If it is more righteous and pious to pray longer and with more attention, then I will prolong my prayers and trust God to make up the lost salary! This is an obvious idea based on the Talmud extoling the faith of these people, yet hardly anyone does this. Instead they rush through their prayers in what I call Fax Machine Dovening, spewing words out with little attention, and then rush off to pursue their secular careers. Who says this is what God wishes? Who says He even accepts it?
We who follow Jesus can trust that the Holy Spirit He sent to us will stir our emotions and thoughts to do the right thing which we discern through prayer and contemplation. But you who do all based on works or righteousness are faced with a hopeless task of trying to weigh an infinitude of halachic and Talmudic possibilities and choices with no assurance you are making the right choice. You in the end are like the Moslems, who after all their fervent religious devotions have zero certainty they are fulfilling Allah's will or that they will get to Heaven. How dreary and discouraging!
Christianity’s dogma essentially states “If you believe, then you’re okay, if you don’t believe, then you are going to hell” and doesn’t require much beyond that. Judaism (like Islam but even more than Islam) requires its adherents to actually do something. Judaism is not a religion of dogma, it is a religion of action. HaShem does not want Jews to “just believe” to get into Gan Eden. He expects a Jew to act and live like a Jew, not just believe like a Jew. There are no “credit cards” in Heaven, if you deserve reward, you deserve reward, if you deserve punishment, you deserve punishment. HaShem weighs people’s actions and judges if they are doing the right thing or the wrong thing. In Christianity, you can do whatever you want as long as you “believe”. You can be a pope and father scores of illegitimate children through your papal harem, yet Christians will still view you as the holiest man alive. In Judaism, your status is dependent on your actions, not just your beliefs.
This is a logical fallacy (it is similar to a complex question) because you assuming something with is simply not true and then justifying my silence regarding said assumption.
I recognize that it is unlikely that you will be able to admit your admiration for Jesus especially publicly.
I was able to become His follower only after many years of suffering, in which I lost my marriage and was basically a nomad within the world of Orthodox Judaism. The Messianic teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov also prepared my heart to embrace the truth of Yeshua. I realize I was in a unique position to accept Jesus with minimal embarrassment or sacrifice vis a vis the rest of the Orthodox Jewish community.If your goal is to change my view about the bastard of Bethlehem, then the exact opposite has occurred. You have only once again proven to me that the bastard and his followers are simply mindless irrational drones who repeat the same drivel for hundreds of years without bothering to think about what they are saying and even address the many works which have already answered their unfounded claims. You have once again shown that Christianity only cares about drawing members away from other religion so that they can swell in popularity and influence. The bastard himself (if he really existed) already tried to dissuade Jews from the Torah and was largely unsuccessful. His efforts were continued by several of his students and eventually the mission was taken up by the early Church which tried several other tactics.
So my goals with you are humble. I just hope to jog your mind and spirit a bit and help you see Yeshua in a different light than 2000 years of rabbinical animosity would normally permit. Start perhaps with this article from Roi Tov, a former IDF officer who has become a follower of Yeshua: True Faith in the Word Notzri!
Thanks again for your willingness to correspond and for the long and thoughtful response you formulated.
Shalom baShem Yeshua,
I sympathize that you were in an unfortunate situation as a sort of pariah within the Jewish Orthodox community and that Christian missionaries saw a good opportunity in you to proselytize another Jew (as they have been wont to do for centuries) and therefore took advantage of your poor situation to transform you into one of their mindless drones spewing their anti-Jewish faith to the masses. This lowers my opinion of Christians more than before.
In another comment to post Mr. Korn writes:
I have no thought that Moshe would engage in masturbation, God forbid. It never occurred to me and I wonder why you would imagine so. I never posed this question to you in my initial email either. Perhaps you are projecting or protesting too much?I never said that you asked that Moses would engaged in mastrubation. I was simply answering the unspoken question that if the point Moses’ “celibacy” was to maintain a high degree of ritual purity, then it is not necessarily foolproof because sometimes nocturnal emissions of semen do occur when one is sleeping and that would render him impure. My answer is that since Moses was “in control” of himself, he did not have these lapses of sexual expressions which occur naturally to most human beings. I admit that my wording on this point was unclear there.
I do not believe that all Catholics priests are unchaste either, but certainly the overwhelmingly majority of them are. Of those priests who have taken an oath of celibacy, only those who are truly mentally or physically impotent are able to keep their oath. The others have a little something(s) on the side and with that release their sexual frustrations, as I mentioned before. You are right that marriage itself is no assurance against sexual depravity, but attempting celibacy is almost certainly an assurance for sexual depravity. If even happily married men have sexual desires which have to be fulfilled and lead them to committing horrid sexual crimes in order to abate their desires, then certainly one who is not happily married will have even more difficulty keeping his sexual desires in check. Marriage is not an assurance against sexual depravity, but it certainly helps the situation, as opposed to taking an oath of celibacy which not only does not help, but it actually hurts. Everyone has tests which HaShem expects them to overcome and doing certain things can make those tests easier or harder. For example, for someone who has the test of a strong desire for pedophilia, it is a good idea for him to get married to help him deal with his test better rather than to try and remain celibate and end up stumbling with the altar boys and the like. Everyone has different types of tests from Heaven, some people pass those tests and some people fail them; I don’t see that sexual crimes is more prevalent in the Orthodox Jewish community than it is in other communities. Every community has its individuals who do not fare with HaShem’s tests and indeed it takes wisdom and humility to seek His help! (The website to which you referred me is blocked on my web filter on suspicion that it contains pornography and profanity.)
I do not believe that all Catholic priests are unchaste. Or Catholic nuns or monks either. I imagine a small minority of them engage in unchaste activities.
And perhaps you should contemplate the sobering reality of rampant sexual abuse within Orthodox Jewish society, as this website somberly attests: http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/
Why do you suppose all these happily married rabbis are molesting young yeshiva boys? Clearly marriage in itself is no assurance against sexual depravity.
When I lived in Israel I read an article that claimed close to half the clients of the many prostitutes who have proliferated throughout the unHoly Land are Orthodox Jewish men!
Clearly your community is in great need of spiritual deliverance, and you have zero cause for smugness or complacency!
As our Lord taught:
(quotations from the so-called “New Testament” truncated)
Here are the unhappy and sobering sex abuse links:
Please note that in the previous link about sex abuse in the Orthodox community, there are over 10,000 reports! This is a community in deep need of spiritual deliverance that only Jesus Christ can provide! May you have the wisdom and humility to seek His help!
In another comment to the previous post he tries the old virgin birth shtick with me. He writes:
rabbi Chaim the Small,Much ink has been spilled debunking again and again the legend of Mary the prostitute, I will not delve into this topic. I will, however, note that there is not prohibition barring a Jew from marrying a girl who has not yet reached puberty. You must understand the social context of those times and it was quite widespread and accepted for men to marry pre-pubescent girls even though they cannot become pregnant.
In our bible study tonight we discussed the Virgin Birth of Jesus to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I'd like to ask you about Rashi's comment to Isaiah 7:14 which Christians believe alludes to the birth of Christ to a virgin.
You can see the Rashi at this link on the chabad website:
Immanuel: [lit. God is with us. That is] to say that our Rock shall be with us, and this is the sign, for she is a young girl, and she never prophesied, yet in this instance, Divine inspiration shall rest upon her. This is what is stated below (8:3): “And I was intimate with the prophetess, etc.,” and we do not find a prophet’s wife called a prophetess unless she prophesied. Some interpret this as being said about Hezekiah, but it is impossible, because, when you count his years, you find that Hezekiah was born nine years before his father’s reign. [[And some interpret that this is the sign, that she was a young girl and incapable of giving birth.]]
Please note the second part of Rashi in the section marked with [[ ]].
Can you explain why Jews find this miracle of a pre adolescent girl falling pregnant and giving birth more plausible than the New Testament account of Jesus' birth to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was a mature woman and betrothed in marriage?
Indeed, if a girl were too young to give birth, what Jew would marry her? Aren't marital relations forbidden if a girl has not yet reached puberty?
Thanks for clarifying. I feel that Rashi is alluding to a miracle like that reported in the New Testament, but not quite as plausible or reasonable.
Blessings to you for your erudite response.
When Mr. Korn sent his lengthy responses to my previous post to his mass mailing list, one of his “groupies” asked him why he is so busy with trying to delegitimize Judaism. Here is a copy of their email correspondence along with his answer:
-----Original Message-----And so the true nature of Mr. Korn is revealed by Mr. Korn himself—he wants to convert all the Jews to Christianity. He is not interested in debating and having intelligent discussions of Biblical history and theology, he has already made up his mind in what he believes to be the truth, he is simply using debate as a forum for spreading the religion of the bastard from Bethlehem. In fact, according to my sources from Ohr Somayach, Mr. Korn was already a member of Jews for Jesus when he was studying at Ohr Somayach and his entire purpose of studying there, it seems, was simply to sway other Jews from the proper path. Furthermore, his attempts at defaming the well-respected late Rabbi Nachman Bulman only serve to strengthen the idea that he is not really trying to search for the truth, rather he is attempting to hide from it and conceal it.
From: JoAn Karkos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Menachem Mevashir <email@example.com>
Cc: a whole bunch of people
Sent: Mon, Sep 16, 2013 11:54 am
Subject: Re: Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi on Moses' Black Wife and Celibacy
Why are you so focused upon Judaism that does not have the fullness of the truth and denies the Crucified Christ and Resurrection?
---------- Original message ----------
From: Menachem Mevashir <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 9:22 PM
Subject: Re: Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi on Moses' Black Wife and Celibacy
Cc: a whole bunch of people
They are my people and my mission field.
I do not want to be like the Catholic priest from India who boasted that of the millions of Hindus who attend Catholic schools, not a single one has converted to Christianity!!!