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Not Madonna's Kabbalah
Chabad.org ^ | 9/4/2011 | Tzvi Frieeman

Posted on 09/04/2011 9:41:44 AM PDT by Phinneous

Inside your body breathes a person—a soul. Inside the body of Jewish practice breathes an inner wisdom—the soul of Judaism. We often call it “Kabbalah”, meaning “receiving.” Just as Jewish practice is received through an unbroken, ancient tradition from the revelation at Sinai, so is its soul.

Kabbalah, then, is the received wisdom, the native theology and cosmology of Judaism.


TOPICS: Judaism; Religion & Culture; Religion & Science; Theology
KEYWORDS: faithandphilosophy; kabbalah; madonna; orthodox; torah
In case anyone was curious what those Kabbalists are up to...
1 posted on 09/04/2011 9:41:49 AM PDT by Phinneous
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To: Phinneous

Bookmarked. Thank you.


2 posted on 09/04/2011 9:49:09 AM PDT by expat1000
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To: Phinneous
Traditional Kabalah, like the Madonna version, is built on a text called the Zohar - a text which is first attested in 1290.

It teaches such doctrines as metempsychosis (transmigration of souls), plurality of the Godhead, mystical emanations and the efficacy of magical incantations.

3 posted on 09/04/2011 10:18:20 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: Phinneous
Maybe some experienced kabbalhist can conjure up a frankenstein


who will serve as a golem type to rescue the Jewish people.

4 posted on 09/04/2011 10:19:52 AM PDT by Stepan12 (Palin & Bolton in 2012)
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To: Phinneous
“We saw all the secrets of the cosmos open before us. We saw how each thing is generated into being at every moment. We saw that there is truly nothing else but the one Creator, and all else is but articulations of His will.”

This resonates within me...

5 posted on 09/04/2011 10:23:49 AM PDT by GOPJ (126 people were indicted for being terrorists in the last two years. Every one of them was Muslim.)
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To: Stepan12

Isn’t it more like: they can conjure up a golem that is sorta like a Frankenstein, lol?

Saw the play once - a bad production, a fascinating story.


6 posted on 09/04/2011 10:38:35 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Run, Sarah, Run! Please!)
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To: miss marmelstein
Can it be believed that Germany made a pre Karloff, Frankenstien type film called The Golem (part 7 of 7)? How things changed when Hitler came along.

Also, the scene between the Golem and child (hopefully pictured in the link) is a lot more touching than the scene of Boris Karloff and a child (Karloff's Frankenstein throws the child into the water mistakenly thinking she will float like the child).

7 posted on 09/04/2011 12:07:02 PM PDT by Stepan12 (Palin & Bolton in 2012)
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To: wideawake

Plurality of the Godhead? Please explain.


8 posted on 09/04/2011 12:36:36 PM PDT by Piranha (If you seek perfection you will end up with Democrats.)
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To: wideawake
Traditional Kabalah, like the Madonna version, is built on a text called the Zohar - a text which is first attested in 1290. It teaches such doctrines as metempsychosis (transmigration of souls), plurality of the Godhead, mystical emanations and the efficacy of magical incantations.

Who are you quoting? It is clear you have never studied the Zohar. It is one text for Kabbalah, but not the primary. The Zohar is a commentary on the Torah and other Scripture. It is mystical, but so are portions of the New Testament. Also, the Zohar affirms the Oneness of G-d. Your assertion is an often quoted, never attributed statement. It is available in English for crying out loud.
9 posted on 09/04/2011 12:48:21 PM PDT by Tzfat
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To: Tzfat

You begin with condescension. It is apparently very important for you to reassure yourself that you are better-read than I am. When you are ready to discuss matters seriously, let me know.


10 posted on 09/04/2011 12:55:50 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Piranha
Plurality of the Godhead? Please explain.

Doesn't know what he is talking about. He seems to think that the Zohar's explanation of the Sefirot, the 10 attributes of Ein Sof (not G-dhead) are somehow a plurality. Ein Sof (the Infinite) is One. HaShem (the Name) is One. Deut 6:4.
11 posted on 09/04/2011 12:58:01 PM PDT by Tzfat
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To: Piranha

The Lurianic interpretation of Kabalah sees the Biblical usage of plural references to the divine as evidence for the Sefirot.


12 posted on 09/04/2011 1:00:50 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Tzfat; Piranha

The Ein Sof, being strictly unnamable, is not perfectly contiguous with HaShem (having a name) since the Sefirot are attributed to HaShem yet not to the Ein Sof. That’s the ambiguity of Kabalah.


13 posted on 09/04/2011 1:07:14 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Phinneous
A few months back I was moved to seek out the meaning of Sheckinah Glory. In doing that, because the term Sheckinah, according to my notes, originated with Talmudic Judaism, a Kaballah explanation emerged. According to these notes, the origin Talmudic Judaism occurred during the Babylonian ( Chaldean ) captivity of the Jewish people. During their captivity the Jews started studying Mystery Babylon religion and incorporated it into Mosaic Law. The basis for the Chaldean religion can be boiled down to the term Deified Man. That Chaldean thought intertwined into Mosaic Law resulted in a sect called the Pharisees. The Kaballah of the Pharisees, at first passed down as oral traditions from Master to disciple inspired the compilation of the Talmud using an Aramaic translation called Targum. Talmud is Kaballah and Kaballah is Talmud. After visiting http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1567567/jewish/Kabbalah.htm the results of my earlier research about Sheckinah Glory appear substantiated from my Christian KJV point of view. The notes I am referring to as I write this are not original thoughts. I will admit to wondering every now and then about where on earth occultism sprang from. What I learned months ago seemed to provide the answer. While the roots of such esoteric groups as Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism go deep into the Mystery Babylon religion, the Talmud provided a vehicle to ingrain occultic concepts to God's Chosen People. Who better to control/deseminate that knowledge than the Pharisees. The chabad.org website touches on an explanation of Light and Vessels of Light and the Ten Sefirot which sounds to me like a lead in to the Deified Man concept. Next, it explains the Union of Opposites: The entire universe is a dynamic of male and female union. The life-soul of the universe, known as the Shechinah, and the Infinite Light yearn to reunite with one another, as does the human soul yearn to reunite with its origin within G‑d. The study of Torah and performance of mitzvot brings about these unions, thereby allowing new, transcendental light to penetrate the cosmos. Since Sheckinah started me on this trip I wil share some more of my notes. Talmudic Judaism holds different ideas about Sheckinah. One school of thought believes Sheckinah was God's first creation. The most consistent belief and the one that is reflected in the chabad.org website, is that God has both male and female attributes. Hence, Sheckinah is God's feminine nature. That belief is borrowed from Babylonian goddess worship of Ashtoreth, otherwise known as the Queen of Heaven. God's response to that will be found in KJV Jeremiah 44:25. As one brought up Catholic, that chapter and verse was an eye opener. To close this unintentionally long post, neither Christ nor his Apostles ever used the Targum translation of the Old Testament nor the term Sheckinah. And chapter 23 of Mathew tells what Jesus thought of Pharisees. There is only One God and One Saviour, His Son Jesus Christ. My apologies for the appearance of the post if it comes out in one big paragraph. It didn't leave looking like that!
14 posted on 09/04/2011 2:01:40 PM PDT by MurrietaMadman
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To: MurrietaMadman
Your sources are in error.

The Pharisees as a school developed long after the Babylonian Captivity.

The Torah was reestablished in Jerusalem by the men of the Great Assembly, who produced the theology of Malachi and Ezra.

Moreover, the term "Mystery Babylon" has no historical value. It was invented by Alexander Hislop, whose work has been proven to be mostly invented out of his own fevered brain.

I would point out that the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth was more closely related to the Pharisees than it was to any other school of Judaism.

15 posted on 09/04/2011 2:19:11 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

Thanks for working through that blob. Tried fixing it a number of times.

The Torah you referred to, is that the Talmud? I’m trying for an understanding here. I was under the impression the Old Testament, the Mosaic law version is the Torah.


16 posted on 09/04/2011 2:27:26 PM PDT by MurrietaMadman
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To: wideawake
You begin with condescension.

Your post was filled with misrepresentations, and dismissive at best - indicating a pretext based not upon personal "reading" but based upon someone else's "reading."
17 posted on 09/04/2011 2:36:00 PM PDT by Tzfat
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To: MurrietaMadman
There is only one Torah. There are two Talmuds, each one a commentary on the Mishneh, which itself is a commentary on the Torah.
18 posted on 09/04/2011 2:44:17 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Tzfat

A type of ancient Book of Mormon. Thanks but no thanks.


19 posted on 09/04/2011 2:46:37 PM PDT by bronx2 (while Jesus is the Alpha /Omega He has given us rituals which you reject to obtain the graces as to)
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To: MurrietaMadman
References to the Shekinah predate the Talmud. Shekinah is indeed a femine word, but the Sages of Israel used the masculine/femine construct in a manner of balance, not in the human reckoning which is related to procreation.

Just because there are similarities in ancient religions, does not mean a common point, or borrowing. There have always been counterfeits. A case in point: circumcision was practiced by the Egyptians. "Scholars" have tried to use this to prove that Israel adopted the practice from their time in slavery. Ironically, those same "scholars" would know nothing of Israel in Egypt apart from the Torah (first 5 books of the Bible). So, we should ask such "scholars" if you are going to take the Torah's word for one thing, why not believe it all?
20 posted on 09/04/2011 2:49:48 PM PDT by Tzfat
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To: Tzfat
Nothing I wrote was misrepresentative, nor was it dismissive. My point was that the original article gives a very simplified Hasidic point of view of Kabalah, without revealing the problems of both theology and historicity that texts like the Zohar present.

Simply because I have read the text critically rather than uncritically does not mean that I have not read it.

21 posted on 09/04/2011 2:52:51 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake
The Ein Sof, being strictly unnamable, is not perfectly contiguous

Funny. You use the word "contiguous" in reference to Ein Sof, in the same breath as "unnamable"? Ontologically speaking, "contiguous" is about 7 levels below a name. Isn't Ein Sof [Infinite] beyond the concept of "contiguous"?
22 posted on 09/04/2011 2:59:31 PM PDT by Tzfat
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To: Tzfat
The Ein Sof is supposed to be beyond all description, thus the difficulty of unambiguous reference. This is one of the key issues: the Torah ascribes the category of existence unambiguously to HaShem - even using existence as a definition of the name. Yet Ein Sof is supposed to transcend even existence/nonexistence (the famous "ten Sefirot of nothingness").

Further the Sefirot can be predicated of HaShem, but not of the Ein Sof.

There is also a distinction to be made between the Shekhinah (which the Ari refers to as a bride) and HaShem himself as well as between Keter and HaShem and Malkhut and Shekhinah - all of which become blurrier the more they are discussed in the literature.

23 posted on 09/04/2011 3:20:37 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

Please give a listen to “The Oral Law part 1” at

http://www.dovidgottlieb.com/Rabbi_Gottlieb_Tapes.html


24 posted on 09/04/2011 3:55:21 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: wideawake
The Pharisees as a school developed long after the Babylonian Captivity.

Near as I can figure, long after was about one hundred fifty years. A drop in the bucket of time when a captive people is absorbing itself in a new culture. But just about right for a bottom-up transformation. I'm clinging to my earlier statement about the Pharisees sect.

The Torah was reestablished in Jerusalem by the men of the Great Assembly, who produced the theology of Malachi and Ezra

Did not the men of the Great Assembly seal the Torah, thus shutting down the open line with God the Prophets utilized to teach or warn the Jewish people? During their time, didn't the Great Assembly also shift the emphasis from Temple worship and codify prayers and civil law as the Talmud, in essence, setting the Law above God?

I interpret those actions as a rejection of their Mosaic roots while embracing change learned from their previous time in Babylon.

Moreover, the term "Mystery Babylon" has no historical value. It was invented by Alexander Hislop, whose work has been proven to be mostly invented out of his own fevered brain.

The term Mystery Babylon could be read in the Bible a full seventeen hundred years before Alexander Hislop uttered the phrase.

I would point out that the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth was more closely related to the Pharisees than it was to any other school of Judaism.

Please explain further. If there was one thing I thought I understood it was the one hundred and eighty degrees that seperated the Pharisees from Jesus.

25 posted on 09/05/2011 12:31:28 AM PDT by MurrietaMadman
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To: MurrietaMadman

Interesting post. I’ve always simply identified the Shekinah Glory as a manifestation of His indwelling.

One example would be the burning bush, another the pillar of fire advancing in the desert before the Hebrew nation, another is the phenomenon of halo as depicted in many medieval artistic renderings, as well as the cloud surrounding the Tabernacle when He was present within.


26 posted on 09/05/2011 12:52:00 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Tzfat
References to the Shekinah predate the Talmud.

Certainly by now you have recognized the level of my Hebrew scholarship. I appreciate your input.

Anything that predates the Talmud has to be ok by me.

The concern that started my Sheckinah search was based on learning that the term was being used in an occultic sense by various church groups that appear intent on improving Christianity without the proper authorization.

The search I made lead me to what appearss to be a Talmudic derivitive of a Chaldean religion. I'm not blaming the Jewish people for that anymore than I blame the people who vote for any Republican believing it to be a means to returning to the good old days.

27 posted on 09/05/2011 1:08:58 AM PDT by MurrietaMadman
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To: wideawake
The majority opinion seems to be that the Zohar was written by Moses de Leon, and the attribution to Shimon bar Yochai was a ruse to increase the price he charged. The presence of Spanish loan words in the original text provides a certain support for this opinion, as does the eyewitness testimony of his widow.

The book fell into a certain disrepute - quite unjustly - when Sabbatai Zevi used some of its prophecies to support his claim to be the Messiah, and many modern Jews avoid it. Its rehabilitation, mostly by Hasidic scholars, began towards the end of the 9th century.

Gershom Scholem is in my opinion the best modern authority on the Kabbalah, and indeed on much Jewish mysticism. Alas, he died in 1982, but several of his books are still in print and can be found on Amazon.

28 posted on 09/05/2011 2:03:45 AM PDT by John Locke
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To: wideawake

I’m guessing that’s a minority analysis, since the basic unifying principal of Judaism is the Shema which is about the unity of G-d (and one of the major points of the Tanya is that everything is G-d).

Can you attribute your understanding to any leading rabbis, past or present?


29 posted on 09/05/2011 5:26:44 AM PDT by Piranha (If you seek perfection you will end up with Democrats.)
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To: Piranha

http://www.inner.org/nonjews/kabbalah-for-nations-monotheism.php

...Monotheistic consciousness, which started with Abraham, and which became the spiritual inheritance of all Jews, originates in the World of Emanation, where nothing stands apart and separate from the Almighty. Because of this, monotheistic consciousness allows a person to see through the multiple manifestations of the Divine that seem to fill the world around us and thereby help him or her retain perfect faith in God’s absolute Oneness.

However, non-Jews did not receive Abraham’s spiritual inheritance and therefore do not possess an innate monotheistic perspective on reality.

Consequently, a non-Jew may believe, theoretically, that God is One. But, as soon as questions about God’s actual manifestation in reality arise, in the mind of the non-Jew, the description of God tends to take on some form of plurality, the exact nature of which is irrelevant—it could be a duality, like the Chinese Yin and Yang, or a trinity, like the Christian model, all the way to full-fledged polytheism. The mind rooted in the consciousness of the three lower worlds creates a division in God’s true unity, a division that tends to degenerate into idol worship, as stated above.

The only remedy for this innate tendency to perceive God as a plurality (i.e., polytheism, or pantheism as the case may be) is for a non-Jew to bind his or her consciousness to the Torah’s universal teachings. The essence of the Torah that lies within its every word is that God is absolutely One.

That is the origin of the sages’ saying that every word of the Torah is a Name of the Almighty. The subliminal and conscious message forever transmitted by the Torah to both the Jew and the non-Jew is the message of God’s absolute and undividable unity.


30 posted on 09/05/2011 5:32:07 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: jjotto; wideawake

I agree with you that any expression of G-d as a multiplicity, such as wideawake’s understanding of the Ein Sof, is not a Jewish concept and, to a Jew, is heretical. That is where I was going with my questions.


31 posted on 09/05/2011 6:24:42 AM PDT by Piranha (If you seek perfection you will end up with Democrats.)
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To: Piranha

During a class by a famous rabbi (noted for his contacts with Christian clergy and his tolerance of alternative views), I was shocked when he remarked off-handedly that one of the main occupations of Christian theologians was “telling big giant whoppers”!


32 posted on 09/05/2011 6:30:49 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: All

The thread is morphing into a few strings. On the issue of authenticity of Kabbalah as a tradition (as I posted to some privately) from Adam the first man, through Abraham, author of the Sefer Zetzirah,) the tribe of Levi while in captivity in Egypt, and beyond—Jews believe in the transmission of Torah “From Moses at Mt Sinai” when G-d Himself spoke the first two commandments to the entire nascent nation, and the last 8 through Moses. Encapsulated in the knowledge Moses expounded is all of the Kabbalah. Every “religious law” right down to modern-day Jewish law (”Hey, why can’t a Jew turn on a light switch on the Sabbath—that’s not “Lighting a fire in my tent!?!?”) is contained in Moses’ teachings, albeit in “zip” form. In fact, the Torah, not only the Talmud, is absolutely replete with the secrets of Torah and can be understood on that esoteric, mystical level—evey single letter, word, phrase, and sentence—but you have to know what you’re reading. And you have to be taught. Jews brush aside all of the challenges or proofs one may bring (vis John Locke’s post) because of the fact of transmission of Torah at Sinai, and the faith that every word of real prophesy is true (see Deuteronomy 13:1-4.)

For an insight, and if those not versed in Hebrew can bear the smattering of translated Hebrew words, here is an audio class on this weeks “parsha” the portion of Torah Jews world-wide are studying this week and reading aloud from a Torah scroll on Shabbos. It is the portion of “Ki Tetzei” (”When you shall go out...”) starting with Deuteronomy chapter 26:1. This class usually looks at one or two verses, parses them in Hebrew, and explains them with classical Jewish commentary (also essential in studying the Bible) and elucidates with teachings of Kabbalah. This week: What’s with that commandment to “send away the mother bird??” This is an authentic rendering of how Kabbalah brings out the “soul” of scripture that the original article spoke of:

http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/468769/jewish/Kabbalah-on-the-Bible-Ki-Teitzei.htm

I respectfully posit that if you are studying the Bible (Torah and subsequent books of Prophets and Writings—as canonized by Judaism) in any other language than Hebrew, the language with which G-d spoke and created the universe, then you are missing the truth—on the simple translated level, metaphoric level, homiletic, and “kabbalistic.”


33 posted on 09/05/2011 6:31:21 AM PDT by Phinneous
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To: Cvengr
I’ve always simply identified the Shekinah Glory as a manifestation of His indwelling.

That is the projected interpretation used by many Christian ministers.

The term, however, does not appear in the Bible and since most of the New Testament writers were Jewish one could reasonably assume they had some knowledge of it. Because Aramaic was in common use during the time of Christ the word was allegedly understood and used by the Jewish population. There is no record that I've come across anyway, that Jesus or his Apostles ever used the term. Please keep in mind, I am no scholar.

One of the references used is found at http://olivebranch.proboards.com/

34 posted on 09/05/2011 8:43:07 AM PDT by MurrietaMadman
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To: MurrietaMadman

Instead of projecting what we think, let’s allow God to perform His spiritual work in us by first retruning into fellowship with Him and then studying what He provides us in His Word on the subject.

In the last verses of Exodus in Exodus 40:34-38 we read:

Exo 40:34-38
(34) Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
(35) And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
(36) And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:
(37) But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.
(38) For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

These verses confirm His Glory which is manifest where He dwells (Tabernacle).

Earlier in Exodus we are given the identity of who dwells between the Cherubim on the Mercy Seat.

Exo 25:22
(22) And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

His glory and dwelling is confirmed later in Isaiah and is well known amongst the Hebrew nation.

Isa 37:15-16
(15) And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying,
(16) O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.


35 posted on 09/08/2011 8:25:16 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr; MurrietaMadman

Just one small point: The original language of Exodus 25:22 does not have the phrase ‘mercy seat’. The Hebrew phrase is “mey’al hakaporet” - ‘from on the covering’.


36 posted on 09/08/2011 9:12:15 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Cvengr

Nothing I posted came close to denying God’s glory. I could never do that. But I do deny the word Sheckinah is in the Bible. If what you posted from Exodus or Isaiah is supposed to convince me otherwise, it didn’t work. Show me the ...
if you think I’m gonna say it, you’re wrong again ;)

And I have not been dissuaded from abandoning the connection of the Queen of Heaven formerly known as the Chaldean goddess, Ashtoreth. I refer you to Jeremiah Chapter 44 for an account of God’s anger regarding the Queen of Heaven.

Nor have I abandoned my aversion to the Deified Man concept.

But I never once questioned the Glory of God.


37 posted on 09/09/2011 9:56:56 PM PDT by MurrietaMadman
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To: jjotto
"Ya could look it up!"

It would take too long, my FRiend, so I'll thank you, believe you and say good night.

38 posted on 09/09/2011 10:08:19 PM PDT by MurrietaMadman
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