Posts Tagged ‘Torah’

Hasidic Judaism is not one movement, but a collection of separate individual groups with some commonality. There are approximately 30 larger Hasidic groups, and several hundred minor groups. Though there is no one version of Hasidism, individual Hasidic groups often share with each other underlying philosophy, worship practices, dress (borrowed from local cultures), and songs (borrowed from local cultures). The word means “piety” or loving kindness and it is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and was founded in the 18th century Eastern Europe by Rabbi Issrael Baal Shem Tov as reaction against overly legalistic Judaism. His emphasis was on redemption for the individual in the present ,the here and now. Compare this with St.Pauline dictum:’Today is the day of Salvation’. Hasidim worshiped God not only in prayer and study, but at work and play. Their style was to make a song and dance about it literally!
Kabbalah and Rabbinic Judaism has different views of human sexuality. The former saw humanity in a more romantic light than the other.Rabbinic interpretations of the Torah is called the Mishna.
“Know whence you came: from a putrefying drop; and whither you are going: to a place of dust, worm and maggots.” Kabbalah on the other hand views man as the last highest of the divine emanation.(Isaac Luria)
Evil came into being and became intermixed with good at the moment of creation, when God’s masculine and female aspects became separated. This concept of ‘Ardhanari'( the concept of half male and female principle in godhead is also found in Hinduism)
When these aspects came as one it signified God’s wholeness. Kabbalah would denote denote the glory of god as shekinah (from Shachan meaning presence of God in human events. In my opinion any man who conducts himself from highest motives that stem from his moral sense, and where his own personal fortunes are at stake giving the glory of God precedence over his own, has God as his friend.(ack: wikipedia-Hasidic Judaism)


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While Rome took control of Israel it was decreed that Torah should not be seen anywhere in the land. There came Pappos Ben Yehuda and found Rabbi Akiva carrying on as usual giving lectures to great assemblies and studying Torah.
The visitor was aghast and asked,’Akiva, are you not afraid of the wicked government?’
The Rabbi said,”I will tell you a parable: to what is the matter like? A fox walking along the running stream saw some fishes darting in and out with great agitation. The fox asked what was the matter. They answered,’From nets which men are bringing against us.’
He said to them,’Let it be your pleasure to come upon the dry land, and let us you and me,dwell together ever as my fathers dwelt with your fathers.’
‘Are you he whom they tell that you are the wisest of all animals? You are not wise but a fool. If we are in the place which is our life-element, how much more so in a place which is our death element?'”. The Rabbi added,’So alas it is with us: now while we sit and study Torah, in which it is written,’for that is thy life, and the length of thy days,’we are in such plight, how much more so if we go and neglect it!’ (from the Talmud)
Note: Rabbi Akiva was the greatest scholar of his age, and his support won Bar Kochaba wide following. When Rome prohibited the study of Torah in 135 AD, he defied the decree. He was arrested as a rebel,imprisoned and executed at Caesarea.( ack: The Jews in Their Land/ed. Ben-Gurion.pub.1966)

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