1. Joined
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    27 Apr '18 22:11
    I'm reading a book written by Dennis Prager on Exodus. He has some rather interesting points in the book, one of which, involves the notion of how one man or woman can stand up to seemingly overwhelming evil.

    "Exodus 1:9 And Pharaoh said to the people......

    Samson Raphael Hirsch, a nineteenth-century German Jewish thinker, pointed out it was the Egyptian leader, not the Egyptian people, who initiated the campaign against the Israelites that ultimately came to include attempted genocide. This is a profound insight. The terrible truth is individuals are capable of inflicting massive evils -- because indivicuals are fare more capable of doing great evil than great good. Were it not for Lenin, it is unlikely communism would have taken over Russia and ultimately the Soviet Union, where it enslaved over 150 million people and murdered tens of millions. The same holds true for Mao Zedong in China. This one man was responsible for the deaths of over 60 million Chinese men, women, and children. The same can be said for Kim ll-sung, who created the most totalitarian state in human history, North Korea. And were it not for Adolf Hitler, the Holocaust would almost certainly not have taken place.
    Understandably, people are very uncomfortable with acknowledging how much evil one individual can perpetrate. That is one reason people concoct and believe conspiracy theories. The assassination of the American President John F. Kennedy in 1963 is one example. The overwhelming evidence is that one man, Lee Harvey Oswald, and American Communist, murdered Kennedy. But the assassination had so many destructive consequences and was so emotionally difficult for Americans to accept that many came to believe there was a conspiracy to assassinate JFK. They simply could not believe so much damage could be done by just one person -- a pathetic misfit, no less. Oswald proves the unhappy truth that you don't even have to be particularly talented to do great evil.
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    27 Apr '18 22:19
    Originally posted by @whodey
    I'm reading a book written by Dennis Prager on Exodus. He has some rather interesting points in the book, one of which, involves the notion of how one man or woman can stand up to seemingly overwhelming evil.

    "Exodus 1:9 And Pharaoh said to the people......

    Samson Raphael Hirsch, a nineteenth-century German Jewish thinker, pointed out it was the Egyp ...[text shortened]... proves the unhappy truth that you don't even have to be particularly talented to do great evil.
    Seems all those named above have one talent in common. They have good aim. They set their sights on whoever it is they hate and firer away.
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    27 Apr '18 22:19
    Exodus 1:9 .....Look, the Israelite people are much too numerous for us

    Pharaoh refers to the Israelites using the rare phrase am b'nei Yisrael, which literally means "the nation of the children of Israel." There are two words for "nation" in biblical Hebrew --am and goy. Am refers to a nation defined by blood ties, a common ancestry, history, and language as opposed to goy, which refers to a nation defined as a political unit. In using "am," Pharaoh Is saying, in effect, the purity of the Egyptian people is being threatened by an alien presence, the children of Israel, who are of a different bloodline.

    Throughout history, blood beliefs have been a great source of cruelty: Those who are not part of the right group are deemed worthy of persecution. The Torah, in contrast, did not place much values on blood ties. As Joseph Telushkin points out, Jacob is regarded as the third patriarch of the Jewish people, but his twin brother, Esau, who did not share Jacob's beliefs, is not even regarded as a Jew. In Exodus 19:6, God tells the Jews to be a holy goy "national unit", not a holy am "blod group or ethnicity".

    The Hebrew Bible holds, and later Judaism held, that anyone of any blood can become a Jew -- just like the first Jew, Abraham, who was not born a Jew but became one late in life. Likewise, centuries later, Ruth, a Moabite woman, becomes a Jew, and subsequently becomes the ancestor of Israel's great King David, the man from whom, according to Jewish and Christian tradition, the Messiah will descend.
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    28 Apr '18 09:15
    Exodus 1:11 So they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor......

    The Torah indicates the Egyptians four times in the next four verses:
    The Egyptians set taskmasters over the Israelites (verse 11)
    The Egyptian ruthlessly imposed hardships on them (verse 13)
    They make them perform harsh labors (verse 14)
    They make life bitter for them (verse 14)
    The Torah is emphasizing the collective guilt on the Egyptians. Even though it is Pharaoh who initiates the slavery and annihilation campaign, the Egyptian people are the ones who execute it. Individuals initiate mass evil, but they need collaboration of many people to carry it out. This explains the collective national punishment of the Egyptian people will experience.
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    28 Apr '18 09:22
    Exodus 1:11 .......and they built garrison cities for Pharaoh: Pithom and Ramamses.

    Exodus 1:12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they increased and spread out, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.
    1:13 The Egyptians ruthlessly imposed upon the Israelites.

    Most Egyptians were not as evil as Pharaoh, just as most Germans in the 1930's and 1940's were not as evil as Hitler. There are relatively few truly evil people in the world However, you don't need a great number of truly evil people to carry out massive evil. You only need:
    1) Ordinary people who have allowed themselves to be indoctrinated by the truly evil:
    2) People who benefit from the evil (to cite two obvious examples, during WW2, not only were 6 million Jews murdered, but their assets were stolen as well; and these assets enriched large numbers of Europeans;
    3) A paucity of courageous good people
    I am convinced courage is the rarest of all good traits. There are far more kind and honest people than there are courageous people. Unfortunately, however, in the battle against good and evil, all the good traits in the world amount to little when not accompanied by courage. Two verses later, the Torah depicts precisely this trait -- courage.
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    28 Apr '18 09:26
    Exodus 1:15 The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives,

    The Torah emphasizes Pharaoh's direct order to the midwives to highlight their courage in defying his edict. The meaning of the Hebrew phrase m'yaldot ha'ivriyot is ambiguous; it may be translated either as "the Hebrew midwives" (meaning the midwives were Hebrews), or as "midwives of the Hebrews" (meaning the midwives could have been of any nationality). But there are several clues in the next text (which shall be noted) that clearly suggest that the woman were not Hebrews. The most obvious clue, however, is not rooted in the text but in common sense: Given that Pharaoh intended to murder every male Hebrew baby, it is unreasonable to expect he would rely on Hebrew women to murder their own.
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    28 Apr '18 09:53
    Exodus 1:15 .....one of whom was named Siphrah and the other Puah,

    In listing the names of the heroic midwives, the Torah is making a powerful moral point. We tend to remember the names of villains, but not of the truly good. The Torah wants to correct that and to ensure the names of the moral heroes are also remembered. Thus, Shifrah and Pauh are mentioned by name, yet the Torah never mentions the name of the evil Pharaoh. To this day the names of two lowly midwives are better known than the name of the demigod Pharaoh. Moreover, Shifrah remains a common name for Jewish girls.

    Exodus 1:16 saying, "When you deliver the Hebrew women, look at the birth stool: if it is a boy, kill him, if it is a girl, let her live"
    1:17 The midwives, fearing God, did not do as the king of Egypt had told them; they let the boys live.

    The Torah does not say the midwives saved the babies because they could not bear to harm them, nor does it say the midwives saved the Hebrew babies because they loved God. They saved the babies because "they feared God".

    Fear of God---when that God is the moral God of the Torah, the God of the Ten Commandments, the God Who commanded, "Love your neighbor as yourself"----is necessary to make a society of moral individuals. Of coarse, there are moral atheists, just as there were moral pagans, and moral individuals in even the worst cultures. But you cannot build a good world with a handful of individuals who happen to be good people. You need a universal moral code from a universal God who is the source of that moral code, and this God must judge all people accordingly. Consequently, "fear of God" is as inevitable as it is necessary. If God judges how moral we are, of course there will be fear of Him---just as there is of a human judge. Consequently, if God does not judge people, there is no reason to fear Him.
    There is another important moral aspect to the fear of God. People fear those who are most powerful than they are. Therefore, the only way not to fear powerful people is to fear God. Thus, in the instance recorded here, those who feared God saved the Hebrew babies, while those who feared Pharaoh helped kill the Hebrew babies.
    Remember, it was not love of God that prompted the midwives' moral heroism. In our time, many people invoke the commandments to love God but ignore or even disparage the commandment to fear God. While many God-believers will engage in heroic self-sacrifice out of love of God, most God-believers are moral on day-to-day basis because they believe they will be judged by God. That is why, for example, in traditional Western societies, the finest people were routinely described as "God-fearing", not "God-loving".
    It was the midwives' fear of God that liberated them from the fear of the Egyptian tyrant. This point is often overlooked: Fear of God is a liberating emotion, freeing one from a disabling fear of evil, powerful people. This needs to be emphasized because many people see fear of God as onerous rather than liberating.
    This fear is what gave the midwives the strength to carry out what is, as far as we know, the first recorded act of civil disobedience in history. Indeed, fear (and sometimes love) of God explains why a disproportionately high number of dissidents in totalitarian societies have been believers in God. When I visited the Soviet Union in 1969, I smuggled out a Soviet Jewish dissident song whose lyrics included the words, "I fear no one except God, the only one"
    Those words were all the more remarkable in that the vast majority of Soviet Jewish dissidents were not religious. But they understood the simple moral and logical fact that if one "fears no one except God," one can muster the courage not to fear a totalitarian state. And these simple words also explain why totalitarian states like the Soviet Union so feared and fought against belief in God. Because belief in God posits there is something higher than the Party, it constitutes a fatal threat to secular totalitarian societies (that's why North Koreans have been horribly punished for owning a Bible)
    In the Torah, the term "fear of God" is generally used when describing non-Jews. For example, when Abraham worries Sarah will be mistreated in Gerar, he explains: "there is no fear of God in this place" Thus, the use of this phrase to account for the midwives' behavior provides yet another indication that the midwives were likely not Hebrews.
    Finally, it is important to point out that the Torah's account of the moral heroism of the midwives is part of a pattern present throughout the opening chapters of Exodus--the depiction of both non-Jews and women as moral heroes. This is another of the many examples of the Torah's uniqueness. Other holy books rarely portrayed either people of other nations, other religions, or women----let alone women of other nations and religions--as the moral heroes of their epic stories. This unique aspect of the Torah--one of so many examples of such--is among the many reasons why I do not regard the Torah as man-made.
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    28 Apr '18 10:42
    Originally posted by @whodey
    Exodus 1:15 .....one of whom was named Siphrah and the other Puah,

    In listing the names of the heroic midwives, the Torah is making a powerful moral point. We tend to remember the names of villains, but not of the truly good. The Torah wants to correct that and to ensure the names of the moral heroes are also remembered. Thus, Shifrah and Pauh are men ...[text shortened]... f so many examples of such--is among the many reasons why I do not regard the Torah as man-made.
    Are you sonship in disguise?
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    28 Apr '18 11:491 edit
    Originally posted by @divegeester
    Are you sonship in disguise?
    Is the fear of God necessary to stop mass genocide?

    What say you?

    Here is a recent story about the uncovering of a mass genocide of children in South America.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/remains-140-children-had-hearts-170136714.html

    The practice of child sacrifice to the gods was a routine event in the ancient world.

    The Bible was the first religious text that stood against such practice. Ironically, when people read the story of Abraham being told to take his son to a mountain top to sacrifice his son to him, the opposite conclusion is often reached. However, they discount the notion that God stopped him from carrying out the sacrifice. This is key in understanding the message God was sending those ancient people. He was telling them that child sacrifice was not OK. In fact, this is one of the reasons the Canaanites were driven out of the Holy Land.
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    28 Apr '18 13:002 edits
    Originally posted by @whodey
    This was very good whodey. It helps me with understanding what I explained about Matthew 25:31-46 and "the eternal gospel" the book of Revelation predicts will be preached by an angel from the air during the great tribulation. (See Rev. 14:6-7).

    The Torah does not say the midwives saved the babies because they could not bear to harm them, nor does it say the midwives saved the Hebrew babies because they loved God. They saved the babies because "they feared God".


    This was helpful to me in understanding more "the eternal gospel" to fear God the Creator and Romans 1:16-22.

    Thankyou for your labors there.
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    28 Apr '18 13:34
    Originally posted by @whodey
    Is the fear of God necessary to stop mass genocide?
    What say you?
    No, of course not.
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    29 Apr '18 19:25
    Originally posted by @sonship
    This was very good whodey. It helps me with understanding what I explained about [b]Matthew 25:31-46 and "the eternal gospel" the book of Revelation predicts will be preached by an angel from the air during the great tribulation. (See Rev. 14:6-7).

    [quote] The Torah does not say the midwives saved the babies because they could ...[text shortened]... spel"[/b] to fear God the Creator and Romans 1:16-22.

    Thankyou for your labors there.[/b]
    Well it's people like yourself that I posted this.

    Maybe think about getting the book and reading it yourself.

    He is a Jew but has some pretty good insights.
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    30 Apr '18 04:07
    Originally posted by @whodey
    Well it's people like yourself that I posted this.

    Maybe think about getting the book and reading it yourself.

    He is a Jew but has some pretty good insights.
    What do you mean by "people like yourself?"
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    30 Apr '18 08:50
    Originally posted by @whodey
    Is the fear of God necessary to stop mass genocide?

    What say you?

    Here is a recent story about the uncovering of a mass genocide of children in South America.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/remains-140-children-had-hearts-170136714.html

    The practice of child sacrifice to the gods was a routine event in the ancient world.

    The Bible was the first re ...[text shortened]... as not OK. In fact, this is one of the reasons the Canaanites were driven out of the Holy Land.
    "This is key in understanding the message God was sending those ancient people. He was telling them that child sacrifice was not OK."

    As much as you may repeat this, it will never become true, Whodey.

    There is nothing in that story that indicates what you say. There is no message by your spooky god saying "don't sacrifice your child, it's bad".

    The only discernable purpose from that story is right there, easy to understand for anyone who reads it. "Follow god blindly, do as he says, he is more important than anything and anyone else. If he tells you to kill your child, you do it. If he tells you to not kill your child, you don't."

    Blind obedience is all that is preached in your silly bible story. Anything else is added by people like you, to try and soften your sick religion.
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    30 Apr '18 14:12
    Originally posted by @divegeester
    Are you sonship in disguise?
    Whodey went and got a temporary personality transplant.
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