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Why Judaism is Superior to Islam (quaint, but good, read)
Faithfreedom.org ^ | 4/5/2006 | Umma Allergic

Posted on 04/05/2006 3:07:48 PM PDT by Dark Skies

In Douglas Adam's comedic novel "Life, the Universe and Everything", mattresses are not manufactured objects. Rather, they are a species of "... large, friendly, pocket-sprung creatures which live quiet private lives in the marshes of Squornshellous Zeta."

Interestingly enough, all members of this sentient species are called "Zem".

How would Judaism and Islam compare on Squornshellous Zeta? Far away from the earth, far away from the Mideast crisis and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, amidst a species of quietly burbling mattresses (all called Zem), how would Islam and Judaism compare? What would the mattresses think of these two systems of thought, not as religions, but simply ideas, simply two systems of ideas, with no political baggage and no religious compulsion of any kind?

The answer to this question was unwittingly given by Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas government in the Palestine Authority in the spring of 2006, a few days after the party took power.

There was factional violence in the Palestinian authority, beginning with the murder of the Popular Resistance Committees leader Khalil al-Quqa in a car bomb. PRC members claimed that Palestinian security forces (and Israel ) had taken part in al-Quqa’s assassination. Riots ensued, along with exchanges of gunfire between Palestinian security forces and members of the PRC, killing three more people and injuring 25.

Ismail Haniyeh called on his people to show some unity, and vowed to get the situation out of control. He called upon the groups to disarm and work together (perhaps unaware of the irony of this request), and said:

"The culture that dominated the Palestinian street in past years is a culture that needs time in order to turn into a culture that keeps law and order and does not resort to using arms under any condition."

And that is why Judaism is superior to Islam.

On Squornshellous Zeta, at least.

------------------------------------------------
Exclusionary Command and Control vs. Rule of Law
------------------------------------------------

Looked at as a system of ideas for guiding and regulating one's life and one's society, Islam is what sociologists might call an exclusionary command and control system. One obeys the *will* of Allah, and the *words* of the prophet. So there are commanders, and their decisions are the commands or orders everyone must follow. Commands are enforced by threats of death, torture, eternal damnation, social ostracism and rejection, and so on. Compliance is rewarded with approval, social inclusion, a sense of belonging, eternal sexual bliss for males (a bit odd, that one...) and a sense of goodness. What is good or bad is determined by decree (by fatwah). It is all a question of obeying, of seeing who is being obedient, of rewarding disobedience and punishing disobedience. Violence is both implicit and explicit in this kind of command and control system. Those who disobey are punished. There is no recognition of the fact that every individual is sovereign, with their own capacities to choose and decide, based on a natural human sense of ethical reciprocity. The system is really all about legitimizing the use of force to guarantee compliance.

The system is also exclusionary. There is an in-group and an out-group, an 'us' and a 'them', and this becomes a huge moral dividing line. It becomes okay to kill or dominate 'them', in the name of 'our' beliefs. There is no such thing as universal moral laws for all beings, including everybody in the in-group *and* out-group as one human family. This kind of exclusionary mentality leads to a binary oppositional understanding of conflict. 'We' must be in command. 'Our' truth is the only truth for ever and all time (a bit odd, that one...). 'We' must dominate. If 'we' don't dominate... Oh my God that must mean 'they' are dominating! Those are the only two possibilities! (Extremely, bizarrely and viciously odd, that one...) Those are the only two possibilities! The idea that 'we' might be sabotaging ourselves, and 'they' may only be mildly interested in us, but willing to help us out more if we prove to be good neighbours, that is impossible. 'We' must totally reject and destroy 'them', because 'they' fail to recognize 'our' God and 'our' prophet (I fail to see the logic here, but that is apparently what some people believe). 'We' must make 'them' submit to the commands of 'our' faith.

The mattresses on Squornshellous Zeta might have a hard time understanding this kind of angry, violent, command and control structure that forces everybody to think a certain way, if a Quran fell onto their planet from the sky. Squornshellous Zeta is a very peaceful planet. It's swampy, and the mattresses mostly just swim around blowing bubbles and relaxing. Interestingly, all of them are named 'Zem'.

I don't think they would like to be threatened with horrible consequences, and teased with extreme rewards, until all of them thought the same way – and here is the important point - JUST BECAUSE SOME PERSON/BEING SAID SO. Why should they stop just burbling away in the water? Here is another important point - THEY AREN'T HURTING ANYONE!! (The only justification for interfering with the choices of another is when those choices hurt somebody. Everything else is okay.)

All Islam has, at its ethical heart, are commands and exhortations to obey. Support other Muslims, no matter what (even if they murder), and subjugate or convert all non-Muslims (using murder if necessary). There is no single universal law (murder) by which one might judge both muslims and non-muslims equally and without prejudice. There are wild inconsistencies in the Quran partly because of this fact: it is based on bald assertions and exhortation, not laws or argumentation.

If a powerful mullah condemns me, his word is law for many people. I used to be in the 'in' group, but the mullah has now said I am in the 'out' group. It is now not only justified, but glorious and holy for people to kill me. The mullah has commanded it so, in the name of Allah who commands everything and the good little soldiers in the command and control structure will now seek me out, and they will only be following orders. I cannot simply take the mullah to court and prove according to objective laws that the charges he leveled against me were false. It is not the case that both I and the mullah are equals before the law in all civic disputes, with equal powers to condemn or exonerate each other.

Let's see if Judaism offers the bewildered mattresses on Squornshellous Zeta anything better.

In the holy books of Judaism, we find all kinds of stories about exclusionary command and control structures. We have kings and generals doing what kings and generals do, some of it good, some of it evil. However, as Robert A. Morey famously pointed out, Jews and Christians do not make the same claims for their holy books that Muslims make for theirs. Muslims believe that the Quran is a perfect book, full of unambiguous truth, written in heaven by Allah himself with no earthly sources. Jews and Christians know fully well that their books are compilations of stories from all around the middle east, brought together either because they contained important historical information, or interesting philosophical musings, or stories that taught interesting lessons, and so on.

The meaning of a story from these books is very much open for debate in the Judeo-Christian tradition. The term "Rabinnical debate" is almost a pure redundancy! Meanings are not necessarily fixed and eternal. For example, in the conquest of the Promised Land, Joshua carried out military maneuvers. This does not mean that the God of the Jews says that everything Joshua did is a model for future generations! What do Joshua's acts mean for us today? What lessons can we draw? Discussion and debate is encouraged.

Judaism and classical Greek cultures are the basis of Western society not because they have told us what to think, but because they have taught us how to disagree and debate peacefully and productively. The Western way is not a religion; it is a way of living with differences.

The ethical heart of Judaism is easy to spot. It is Mosaic Law, and most importantly the Ten Commandments. Let's review the Ten Commandments for a moment. There are a few different versions of these commandments, of course, but here is one of them.

1. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
3. Remember thou keep the Sabbath Day.
4. Honor thy Father and thy Mother.
5. Thou shalt not kill.
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
7. Thou shalt not steal.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods.

Two of these Ten Commandments are purely cultic, about respecting the Sabbath and following only one God. Commandment number 2 is partly cultic, but it is in many respects a very interesting commandment. One should not use the Lord's name in vain. This might apply to people who kill, rape, steal or bear false witness (think 'conspiracy theorists') in the name of God. One should not use God's name to justify atrocities. This is a violation of God.

The remaining seven commandments are completely universal. Of course, the whole book is about how Jews are to organize their society, but these commandments are applicable anywhere. Even the mattresses of Squornshellous Zeta (all of them curiously named 'Zem') would agree that in general, these commandments are a good idea. Living according to these rules will actually help preserve their peace, so they can swim around blowing bubbles in the swamp without being troubled, even if they never convert to Judaism, or never even figure out what Judaism is (mattresses are not too bright, but anyone from any tradition can see the value of these ethical rules).

Judaism is a religion, and so of course there is orthodoxy, extreme pressure to conform in some circles, manipulation of people, social ostracism and all the rest. But that is not all there is to it. There are some *universal* rules - rules that would apply to everybody, not just the ‘in-group’.

Thou shalt not kill.

This rule does not distinguish between Muslims and Kaffirs, or Jews and Gentiles. It is because of rules like this that Jews can criticize their own traditions, criticize their own governments, criticize their own orthodoxy, assess stories in the Torah and judge the actions of historical figures, and hold up all human beings to the same moral standards.

Judaism is a religion, and it has a lot of the in-group/out-group dynamics that Islam has, but in Judaism these tribal tendencies are powerfully balanced by universal moral rules.

As Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas government in the Palestian Authority in the spring of 2006 said, a few days after the party took power.

"The culture that dominated the Palestinian street in past years is a culture that needs time in order to turn into a culture that keeps law and order and does not resort to using arms under any condition."

They are just starting the long, hard path towards civilization, where disputes are settled not by establishing dominance, but by adherence to the rule of law. Hamas sees this is needed among its own people, but it remains steadfast in its commitment to wipe Israel off the face of the map. Nothing else will do. No two-state solution, no compromise. And if Hamas learned to compromise, this would be seen as weakness on the Arab street! One can only dominate totally, or be dominated totally. Prior treaties, rules and agreements are ignored.

However, elevate one of these street fighters to a position of responsibility, where he has to mediate between parties in a conflict, and suddenly the need for rule of law becomes obvious to him. He asks his followers to do exactly what the international community has demanded Hamas do – recognize your opponent’s right to exist, disarm, negotiate according to objective rules, and keep your agreements.

Judaism, whatever its flaws, began to journey along the long, hard road of ethical universalism and the rule of law thousands of years ago.

I wonder which ethical system the mattresses of Squornshellous Zeta (all of them curiously named 'Zem') would prefer?


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Israel; Miscellaneous; Philosophy; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: religion
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1 posted on 04/05/2006 3:07:51 PM PDT by Dark Skies
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To: Dark Skies
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
7. Thou shalt not steal.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.


Couldn't all three of these be combined in Thou Shall Not Be Dishonest?
2 posted on 04/05/2006 3:14:50 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Dark Skies

We must keep towels out of the hands of Muslim extremists. Towels + water = dangerous.


3 posted on 04/05/2006 3:15:36 PM PDT by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
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To: Dark Skies

That, and Judaism is given to us by God, while Islam was a pack of lies put together by a pedophile who needed to hold a group of warring tribes together and false religion seemed just the ticket.


4 posted on 04/05/2006 3:15:49 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: Borges

I'm not a big fan of number ten myself; obeying that Commandment would hamstring capitalism completely.


5 posted on 04/05/2006 3:16:20 PM PDT by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
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To: Borges

Or better yet, the first five as "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart" and the second five "love thy neighbor as yourself."

Some bright guy came up with that.


6 posted on 04/05/2006 3:16:46 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: Gordongekko909

"Coveting" is not the same as desiring.

Covet is unhealthy desire.


7 posted on 04/05/2006 3:17:30 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: MeanWestTexan

Mohammed, police be upon him, is responsible for more than his share of death and destruction.


8 posted on 04/05/2006 3:18:06 PM PDT by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
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To: MeanWestTexan

Ahh. So coveting would be wanting something so much that I'm willing to steal it or something?


9 posted on 04/05/2006 3:18:48 PM PDT by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
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To: Borges
lol...take it up with Moses or his Boss. I suspect the Big Guy didn't want any confusion about the definition of dishonesty.

For example, I might say to my wife, "honey, I don't want to be dishonest so let me tell you I am going to see if I can seduce the neighbor's wife...of course, I'm gonna tell him too (if he ever sobers up). Don't complain to me, little woman, I'm a rabbi/preacher/priest...I know God's law.!"

10 posted on 04/05/2006 3:21:52 PM PDT by Dark Skies (This is not a war between good and evil, but between evil and the Truth.)
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To: Dark Skies

Great read - thank you. Already sent to many folks.

Rabbinical teaching and discussion on Genesis for me was a great eye-opener as to how Jesus would have been viewing books like Genesis, Job and others.

We think we are so smart in our current age.


11 posted on 04/05/2006 3:25:21 PM PDT by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: Dark Skies

Did I hear Zeta?

12 posted on 04/05/2006 3:26:01 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: Gordongekko909

More or less.

"To feel blameworthy desire for (that which is another's)."

There's more to it than simple desire, anyway --- unhealthy desire, such that you sacrifice that what is good and moral to satisfy the desire.

To me, the commandment links back to "no other gods before me."

The lower-case "gods" in this context does not merely mean some false god one might worship, but also something one obsesses about (covets) and becomes, to you, more important than God --- a "god" could be money, sucess, power, women, NASCAR, whatever.

As an aside, the most mis-quoted commandment is the one that says "Thou shall not murder." It doesn't "not kill." There is a distinction there.


13 posted on 04/05/2006 3:26:54 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: Right Wing Assault

Might I direct you to Commandment number nine?


14 posted on 04/05/2006 3:28:10 PM PDT by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
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To: Right Wing Assault

I desire her amazing tracts of land.

Fortunately, her husband lives in Califonia and is thus not my "nighbor."

(Haha.)


15 posted on 04/05/2006 3:28:44 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: MeanWestTexan

there's a difference between coveting your neighbors goods and recognizing that man is at his best when he is gainfully productive.


16 posted on 04/05/2006 3:28:54 PM PDT by Dreddnafious
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To: Dreddnafious

wow this forum moves fast


17 posted on 04/05/2006 3:30:33 PM PDT by Dreddnafious
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To: Dreddnafious

Correct.


18 posted on 04/05/2006 3:30:46 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: Gordongekko909
Mohammed, police be upon him....


I don't know how everyone else missed this...I spit my beer all over my screen. LOLOLOLOL
19 posted on 04/05/2006 3:31:17 PM PDT by Jackson Brown
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To: Dark Skies
In the Ten Commandments, what happened to Thou shalt not worship graven images?
20 posted on 04/05/2006 3:31:41 PM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: Dreddnafious

Speaking of coveting thy neighbor's goods, might I direct you to post number 12?


21 posted on 04/05/2006 3:32:04 PM PDT by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
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To: Lx

That's #1.

There are different iterations and extrapolations.


22 posted on 04/05/2006 3:33:06 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: Jackson Brown

I started using that a few weeks ago. Feel free to pick it up. =)


23 posted on 04/05/2006 3:33:18 PM PDT by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
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To: 1st-P-In-The-Pod; A_Conservative_in_Cambridge; adam_az; af_vet_rr; agrace; ahayes; ...
FRmail me to be added or removed from this Judaic/pro-Israel/Russian Jewry ping list.

Warning! This is a high-volume ping list.

24 posted on 04/05/2006 3:33:37 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 39-43)
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To: Gordongekko909

Jews and Christians are essentially the police department, holding true to ethics and morality as given to them from above. They are essentially charged with defending the public trust, protecting the innocent and upholding the law. They are also instructed to promote the freedom of the common man, as exemplified by the Father's gift of independent thought.

Atheists and agnostics represent the lost sheep of society. Aimlessly wandering through life without a clue as to why they exist, some have ethics while many do not (see Communists). Regardless, they are clueless about the meaning of life.

Muslims represent the violent gang that terrorizes the local community through senseless violence, death threats and other harmful activities to those who disbelieve Mohammed's message.


25 posted on 04/05/2006 3:39:25 PM PDT by Emmet Fitzhume ("It is better to be alone than in bad company.")
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To: Emmet Fitzhume

Actually, "police be upon him" is supposed to invoke imagery of cops beating the crap out of someone. =]


26 posted on 04/05/2006 3:46:44 PM PDT by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
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To: Gordongekko909
Might I direct you to Commandment number nine?

Just admiring, not coveting. If she hangs around with Michael Douglas, that repels me.

27 posted on 04/05/2006 3:49:30 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: Right Wing Assault
Did I hear Zeta?

Do I hear you coveting somebody's very well-formed wife?

28 posted on 04/05/2006 3:50:07 PM PDT by jimfree (Freep and ye shall find.)
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To: Gordongekko909

29 posted on 04/05/2006 3:51:43 PM PDT by humblegunner (If you're gonna die, die with your boots on.)
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To: Alouette

Alouette, you may or may not appreciate this:

"The Jewish people have observed their 5758th year as a people." the Hebrew teacher informed his class. "Consider that the Chinese have observed only their 4695th. What does this mean to you?"
After a reflective pause, one student volunteered, "Well for one thing, the Jews had to do without Chinese food for 1063 years."





This is most of the text from a little book called "The Optimist Sees the Bagel, the Pessimist sees the Hole. (Life's Little Jewish Instruction Book) by Leonard Sorcher

The optimist sees the bagel, the pessimist sees the hole.
If you can't say something nice, say it in Yiddish.
It's not who you know, it's who you know had a nose job.
If it tastes good, it's probably not kosher.
Who else could have invented the 50 minute hour?
WASPs leave and never say good-bye. Jews say good-bye and never leave.
Twenty percent off is a bargain; fifty percent off is a mitzvah.
Remember, even Sandy Koufax didn't play ball on Yom Kippur.
There's nothing like a good belch.
Israel is the land of milk and honey; Florida is the land of milk of magnesia.
Never pay retail.
Pork is forbidden, but a pig in a blanket makes a nice hors d'oeuvre.
No one leaves a Jewish wedding hungry; but then again, no one leaves with a hangover.
The High Holidays have absolutely nothing to do with marijuana.
And what's so wrong with dry turkey?
If your name was Lipschitz, you'd change it, too.
Always leave a little room for the Viennese table.
Always whisper the names of diseases.
One mitzvah can change the world; two will just make you tired.
If you don't eat, it will kill me.
Anything worth saying is worth repeating a thousand times.
The most important word to know in any language is sale.
Where there's smoke, there may be smoked salmon.
Never take a front-row seat at a bris.
Prune danish is definitely an acquired taste.
Next year in Jerusalem. The year after that, how about a nice cruise?
Never leave a restaurant empty-handed.
Spring ahead, fall back, winter in Miami Beach.
The important Jewish holidays are the ones on which alternate-side-of-the street parking is suspended.
You need 10 men for a minyan, but only four in polyester pants and white shoes for pinochle.
A bad matzoh ball makes a good paperweight.
A schmata is a dress that your husband's ex is wearing.
Without Jewish mothers, who would need therapy?
Before you read the menu, read the prices.
There comes a time in every man's life when he must stand up and tell his mother he's an adult. This usually happens at around age 45.
According to Jewish dietary law, pork and shellfish may be eaten only in Chinese restaurants.
Tsuris is a Yiddish word that means your child is marrying someone who isn't Jewish.
If you're going to whisper at the movies, make sure it's loud enough for everyone else to hear.
No meal is complete without leftovers.
What business is a yenta in? Yours.
If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it. But if you can afford it, make sure you tell everybody what you paid.
The only thing more important than a good education is a good parking spot at the mall.
Laugh now, but one day you'll be driving a big Cadillac and eating dinner at four in the afternoon.
Schmeer today, gone tomorrow.




About a century or two ago, the Pope decided that all the Jews had to leave the Vatican. Naturally there was a big uproar from the Jewish community. So the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Jewish community. If the Jew won, the Jews could stay. If the Pope won, the Jews would leave. The Jews realized that they had no choice. So they picked a middle aged man named Moishe to represent them. Moishe asked for one addition to the debate. To make it more interesting, neither side would be allowed to talk. The pope agreed.
The day of the great debate came. Moishe and the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Moishe looked back at him and raised one finger.

The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat.

The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. Moishe pulled out an apple. The Pope stood up and said, "I give up. This man is too good. The Jews can stay."

An hour later, the cardinals were all around the Pope asking him what happened. The Pope said: "First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground and showing that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?"

Meanwhile, the Jewish community had crowded around Moishe. "What happened?" they asked. "Well," said Moishe, "First he said to me that the Jews had three days to get out of here. I told him that not one of us was leaving. Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared of Jews. I let him know that we were staying right here."

"And then?" asked a woman.

"I don't know," said Moishe. "He took out his lunch and I took out mine."





A Rabbi is walking slowly out of a Schule in New York when a gust of wind blows his hat down the street. He is an old man with a cane and can't walk fast enough to catch his hat. Across the street a man sees what has happened and rushes over to grab the hat and returns it to the Rabbi. "I don't think I would have been able to catch my hat." the Rabbi says. "Thank you very much." The Rabbi places his hand on his shoulder and says, "May God bless you."
The young man thinks to himself, "I've been blessed by the Rabbi, this must be my lucky day!" So he goes to the racetrack and in the first race he sees there is a horse named Stetson at 20 to 1. He bets $50 and sure enough the horse comes in first. In the second race he sees a horse named Fedora at 30 to 1 so he bets it all and this horse comes in first also. Finally at the end of the day he returns home to his wife who asks him where he's been. He explains how he caught the Rabbi's hat and was blessed by him and the went to the track and started winning on horses that had a hat in their names. "So where's the money?" she says. "I lost it all in the ninth race. I bet on a horse named Chateau and it lost." "You fool!" she said, "Chateau is a house, Chapeau is a hat." "It doesn't matter," he said, "the winner was some Japanese horse named Yarmulka."





An old Jewish man goes to a diner every day for lunch. He always orders the soup du jour. One day the manager asks him how he liked his meal.
The old man replies (with Yiddish accent) "Wass goot, but you could give a little more bread."

So the next day the manager tells the waitress to give him four slices of bread. "How was your meal, sir?" the manager asks. "Wass goot, but you could give a little more bread", comes the reply.

So the next day the manager tells the waitress to give him eight slices of bread. "How was your meal today, sir?" the manager asks. "Wass goot, but you could give a little more bread", comes the reply.

So ... the next day the manager tells the waitress to give him a whole loaf of bread with his soup. "How was your meal, sir?" the manager asks, when he comes to pay. "Wass goot, but you could give just a little more bread", comes the reply once again.

The manager is now obsessed with seeing this customer say that he is satisfied with his meal, so he goes to the bakery, and orders a six-foot-long loaf of bread. When the man comes in as usual the next day, the waitress and the manager cut the loaf in half, butter the entire length of each half, and lay it out along the counter, right next to his bowl of soup. The old man sits down, and devours both his bowl of soup, and both halves of the six-foot-long loaf of bread.

The manager now thinks he will get the answer he is looking for, and when the old man comes up to pay for his meal, the manager asks in the usual way: "How was your meal TODAY, sir?"

The old man replies: "It wass goot as usual, but I see you are back to giving only two slices of bread!"





A young woman brings home her fiance to meet her parents. After dinner, her mother tells her father to find out about the young man. The father invites the fiancee to his study for a drink.
"So what are your plans?" the father asks the young man.

"I am a Torah scholar." he replies.

"A Torah scholar. Hmmm," the father says. "admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in, as she's accustomed to?"

"I will study," the young man replies, "and God will provide for us."

"And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she deserves?" asks the father.

"I will concentrate on my studies," the young man replies, "God will provide for us."

"And children?" asks the father. "How will you support children?"

"Don't worry, sir, God will provide," replies the fiance.

The conversation proceeds like this, and each time the father questions, the young idealist insists that God will provide.

Later, the mother asks, "How did it go, Honey?"

The father answers, "He has no job and no plans, but the good news is, he thinks I'm God."





A man wonders when life truly begins. So he goes to a priest and asks for his opinion on this question.
After consulting the Bible, the priest says, "My son, after an exhaustive search, I am positive that life begins upon the union of egg and sperm."

The man thinks: "What does a priest know about life?" After all, anyone in the Catholic clergy would be saying that due to the shrinking of their flock in the past several decades.

The man decides to ask a Unitarian minister and receives different reply: "The beginning of life is not something that can be determined exactly. Even the words "beginning" and "life" are too broadly defined to arrive at a meaningful answer. However we will be having a discussion group about this in three weeks if you would like to attend", the minister said.

Not pleased with the reply, and unwilling to wait for three weeks he seeks out the ultimate authority: a man of thousands of years' tradition and knowledge. In other words, he goes to a rabbi. The Rabbi briefly ponders the question, then states, "My son, it's quite simple. Life begins when all the kids leave the nest and the dog dies."





My mother once gave me two sweaters for Hanukkah. The next time we visited, I made sure to wear one. As we entered her home, instead of the expected smile, she said, "What's the matter? You didn't like the other one?"




During the first day of Hanukah, two elderly Jewish men were sitting in a wonderful deli frequented almost exclusively by Jews in New York City. They were talking amongst themselves in Yiddish - the colorful language of Jews who came over from Eastern Europe.
A Chinese waiter, only one year in New York, came up and in fluent impeccable Yiddish asked them if everything was okay and if they were enjoying the holiday.

The Jewish men were dumbfounded. "Where did he ever learn such perfect Yiddish?" they both thought. After they paid the bill they asked the restaurant manager, an old friend of theirs, "Where did our waiter learn such fabulous Yiddish?"

The manager looked around and leaned in so no one else will hear and said... "Shhhh. He thinks we're teaching him English."





A Jewish mother is walking with her small son along the shore, enjoying the sounds and smells of the ocean. Suddenly, without warning, a huge wave comes in and washes the boy out to sea. The woman screams, but no one is nearby, and she can't swim. She sees her son's head bobbing up and down as he cries for help and moves farther and farther from shore.
Desperate, she sinks to her knees in the sand. Pleading with God for mercy, she swears she will devote herself to good causes and be faithful in attending synagogue if God will spare her only child.

Suddenly another huge wave crashes in, and deposits her son, wet but unhurt on the sand. She lifts her face to the heavens, extends both arms and cries...

"He had a HAT!!!!"


30 posted on 04/05/2006 3:53:00 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: jimfree

Nice piece overall, but I do wish he had used the correct translation, "Thou shalt not murder". Hebrew, like English, has two distinct words.


31 posted on 04/05/2006 3:54:13 PM PDT by szweig
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To: Dark Skies

Though I'm not a practicing Jewish man, I am consider myself Jewish by birth and culture. I do not consider modern day Judaism better or worse then most Christian beliefs. HOWEVER, I consider both Judaism and Christianity in pure theory SO SO far ABOVE the Muslim concept. I love Judaism, and Christianity has my UTMOST respect.


32 posted on 04/05/2006 3:56:34 PM PDT by Frank_N_Sense (Vincente Fox, Al Sharpton and Jaques Chirac's DNA stains are on Hillary's blue dress.)
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To: Gordongekko909

The Biblical covet is to want something without giving value in return for it and whether or not your neighbor wishes to part with it. Coveting leads to theft and decrees by rulers and all sorts of other unpleasantness.


33 posted on 04/05/2006 4:09:31 PM PDT by arthurus (Better to fight them OVER THERE than here.)
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To: Lx
what happened to Thou shalt not worship graven images?

It's not there with that wording. It seems to be subsumed under Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Maybe so?

34 posted on 04/05/2006 4:12:18 PM PDT by arthurus (Better to fight them OVER THERE than here.)
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To: Frank_N_Sense
G-d's a clever feller. He has used islam to put Jews and Christians together. In our prayers to Him, He tells us why He has done this. But we must inquire fervently...even demand. If we demand the Truth...we are only doing His will.

He is the Truth.

35 posted on 04/05/2006 4:15:11 PM PDT by Dark Skies (This is not a war between good and evil, but between evil and the Truth.)
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To: jimfree
Do I hear you coveting somebody's very well-formed wife?

No, no. Someone else suggested the same. Please see my post #27. We missed by 37 seconds.

36 posted on 04/05/2006 4:16:02 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: Borges
>"6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
7. Thou shalt not steal.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Couldn't all three of these be combined in Thou Shall Not Be Dishonest?

Even Buddah had an insight into avoiding these evils.

All suffering is caused by desire!

Do not covet or desire, and most of the rest falls into place.

Moe doesn't have a clue!

Allah he wants is control and possession of his neighbor, when he has no control even over himself!

38 posted on 04/05/2006 4:23:46 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say Ni at will to old ladies.)
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To: MeanWestTexan

All those jokes are from Leo Rosten's "The Joys of Yiddish"


39 posted on 04/05/2006 4:23:53 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 39-43)
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To: Dark Skies
He has used islam to put Jews and Christians together.

I feel that, too.

40 posted on 04/05/2006 4:24:57 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: Alouette
In heaven...we'll all be Jewish!

Whadda a bidness the delis will do.

Yum!!!

41 posted on 04/05/2006 4:31:49 PM PDT by Dark Skies (This is not a war between good and evil, but between evil and the Truth.)
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To: MeanWestTexan
I'm still laughing .....

Thanks!

42 posted on 04/05/2006 4:39:42 PM PDT by happygrl
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To: Dark Skies; Alexander Rubin

Best deli EVER, just like the olden days:

Marky's, at Wilson & Bathurst, in Toronto


43 posted on 04/05/2006 4:40:05 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 39-43)
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To: Alouette

My favorite is Shapiro and Fine on the West Side in NYC.


44 posted on 04/05/2006 4:41:34 PM PDT by Dark Skies (This is not a war between good and evil, but between evil and the Truth.)
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To: Alouette; All
Fine & Shapiro
138 West 72nd Street
New York, NY
212-877-2874

Forgive me...I remember it as Shapiro and Fine. But it is incredible. If I didn't have a pastrami and cole slaw on rye (with thousand island dressing) at least once a week...I felt weak at the knees.

Heaven on earth!!!

45 posted on 04/05/2006 4:47:56 PM PDT by Dark Skies (This is not a war between good and evil, but between evil and the Truth.)
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To: Dark Skies

bump for Douglas.


46 posted on 04/05/2006 4:55:12 PM PDT by altura
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To: Dark Skies
Thou shalt not kill.

FTR, It's, "Thou shall not murder."

There is a difference.

ML/NJ

47 posted on 04/05/2006 5:04:00 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: arthurus
I think it's because they split up covet thy neighbors wife and goods when that was, I believe, one commandment originally.
48 posted on 04/05/2006 5:16:20 PM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: MeanWestTexan
From MW:
synonyms DESIRE, WISH, WANT, CRAVE, COVET mean to have a longing for. DESIRE stresses the strength of feeling and often implies strong intention or aim (desires to start a new life). WISH sometimes implies a general or transient longing especially for the unattainable (wishes for permanent world peace). WANT specifically suggests a felt need or lack (wants to have a family). CRAVE stresses the force of physical appetite or emotional need (craves sweets). COVET implies strong envious desire (covets his rise to fame).
I think covet is not quite so illicit in English as you suggest.

The first translation of the Hebrew was into Aramaic and there the word used translates into our desire.

I also found this:

What does 'covet' refer to? In Exodus 34:24 this verb (hamad) appears where the context suggests the meaning 'to confiscate your home' and not 'to covet'. Rashi, following a strong Rabbinic tradition, interprets the eighth commandment that we typically render as 'You shall not steal' to refer to stealing people (ie. kidnapping), and then understands 'covet' in the Ten Commandments to mean stealing objects. Does 'covet' then mean 'to steal' (or planning to steal)? Is only the behaviour acted upon the desire prohibited, or is the desire itself forbidden? I assume the latter would be the most widely violated commandment. (I mean, come on, don't tell me you don't covet your neighbour's iPod?) This was also an issue for the Christian church. Must I confess for inward desire or only outward acts? In a rare act of biblical interpretation, Pope Pious V in 1567 ruled that mere desire was not to be considered sinful; notwithstanding, President Jimmy Carter famously once admitted to 'sinning' in his heart.
ML/NJ
49 posted on 04/05/2006 5:21:38 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Dark Skies

ping for later


50 posted on 04/05/2006 5:43:19 PM PDT by junaid (...far from being gruntled)
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