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  1. #1
    faithandpeace's Avatar
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    Judaism and Islam

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    Salaam everyone. Here are some observations I'm having where Islam does seem to correct some "glitches" with Judaism. For instance with modesty. In Hebrew/Yiddish it is called tzniut/tznius and in Arabic I believe hijab. Ashkenazi (European) Judaism states that it is law for females to cover the head if married yet Jewish culture seems to oppose unmarried women covering even though the Jewish law (halacha) does not prohibit it because they say "it isn't custom." Why should modesty be less important for unmarried women? I tend to like the hijabi look moreso than the Jewish tiechel look anyway. Islam does seem to stress modesty in a more fairly applied manner.

    Judaism puts a strong emphasis on prayer but also a strong emphasis on holiday observance. While I believe communal gatherings are important, there are so many holidays with so many different requirements that it starts to seem like the rituals distract from spiritually connecting to God. Complexities can be interesting only so long as they don't overwhelm and distract. I remember attending some Ramadaan break-fast meals before and I felt meaning and a sense of community without anything seeming overly complex.

    The conversion business. Hmm. I'vs come to realize that no rabbi or other human has the authority to decide manners of my own heart other than to advise. To make conversion candidates spend years proving to rabbis that they really are Jewish and ready to receive permission to fully observe Judaism seems wrong. Why does someone need a permission slip to follow the path to God? I believe God has the authority to guide me to the path. I don't need to prove what is ultimately between me and God to a paid employee whose own authority can be questionable.

    Further, there seems to be a theology problem. Judaism does not seem to stress submission very much. Instead the focus is more on struggle. I think you need to have both. Struggle in spiritual matters and levels of religious observance are expected and encoraged in my opinion but there has to be a purpose to it. Following commandments should have a purpose and that purpose in my opinion is to serve God.

    Last but not least, the banishment of Hagar is something that I continue to find disturbing.

    I appreciate anyone's feedback!

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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    There are many "corrections" within the scripture as well, and that's what I've been working on writing about. I need just a little more time. But I wonder how many you've noticed?

    As for this other stuff...well, I'm ashamed to say I don't know a whole lot about Judaism.
    Judaism and Islam

    Peace be to any prophets I may have mentioned above. Praised and exalted be my Maker, if I have mentioned Him. (Come to think of it praise Him anyway.)

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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    Shalom faithandpeace,


    i see a struggle in today's Judaism, but i see it as a continuous struggle since the Babylonian captivity in terms of trying to define itself. i don't believe that God would have so utterly destroyed a nation unless some very important aspects of the religion were not being adhered to. we know that in Judea that their beliefs we, what Prof Jodi Magness called, Yahweh exclusive as opposed to Israel/Ephraim/Samaria that were Yahweh inclusive. in the south, it was supposed to be worship Yahweh/G-d/Hashem alone and only Yahweh/G-d/Hashem, while in the north, other gods, esp Baal, were worshiped along with Yahweh.

    this was true post-exile, but we see the Priesthood becoming the dominant force in Judea, starting with Ezra. by the time of Jesus, pbuh, we see the priesthood splintered mainly into 2 groups, Sadducees and Pharisees. the Sadducees, Zadokites, had a much different view of Torah than the Pharisees, taking it quite literally and adhering to a religion of ritual. the Pharisees split between Shimmei and Hillel, with the preachings of Jesus, pbuh, clearly following Hillel. the exile also resulted in the formation of 2 different Talmuds. it is easy to see that a lot of searching, or maybe soul-searching, has been taking place. to me, it is obvious the the religion delivered by Moses, pbuh, has been lost.

    when i think of hijab, i think back to Judea. all but "entertainers" wore it.

    i think that the purposes of the holy days, as delivered by Moses, has been lost.

    i agree with you about conversion, but remember, in ancient times since Athens, groups are about control. if i make you study for 2 years, odds are that you will obey me in most matters. even early Christians did this.

    i see no problems with your points on theology.

    regarding Hagar, i've copied much on this site. think of it this way, could Abraham, pbuh, really be called "Friend of G-d" AND be a deadbeat dad at the same time? think about it. much is left out in today's Torah. i mean, if he was, then why on earth would Ishmael attend his funeral? how would he even know he died? burials were within 7 days. Ishmael HAD to be close by. there is more, but my time runs short.

    peace
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    Judaism and Islam

    Had the non-believer known of all the Mercy which is in the Hands of Allah, he would not lose hope of entering Paradise, and had the believer known of all the punishment which is present with Allah, he would not consider himself safe from the Hell-Fire
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    Abu Loren's Avatar
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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by faithandpeace View Post
    Islam does seem to stress modesty in a more fairly applied manner.
    Wa Alaikkum

    The Holy Qur'an stresses that fornication or zina is a great sin. I think this is the major reason why women are told to cover themselves, but also the men have a responsibility to lower their gaze. I would say that men tend to look at younger women than say older and married women. So in that repsect I fail to see why the Jewish tradition is as is.


    Quote Originally Posted by faithandpeace View Post
    I remember attending some Ramadaan break-fast meals before and I felt meaning and a sense of community without anything seeming overly complex.
    In Islam it's not the 'holidays' that we celebrate but the event that is being honoured.


    Quote Originally Posted by faithandpeace View Post
    The conversion business. Hmm.
    If I'm right, I believe that one cannot be converted into the Jewish religion but one has to be born into it, hence the reason they do not accept anybody else. They believe that the Jews are the chosen people of God and only they will enter heaven.


    Quote Originally Posted by faithandpeace View Post
    Judaism does not seem to stress submission very much.
    Therein lies the problem with Judaism. Without full submission to God Almighty arrogance creeps in, and arrogance is most hateful to God Almighty.


    Quote Originally Posted by faithandpeace View Post
    Last but not least, the banishment of Hagar is something that I continue to find disturbing.
    Hagar was not banished. Prophet Ibrahim (Alayhi Salaam) was asked by God Almighty to take her and her child Prophet Ismail (Alayhi Salaam) to that area of Mecca in order that they start a community there. The purpose being the maintaining of the Ka'aba by the progeny of Prophet Ismail (Alayhi Salaam). Prophet Ibrahim (Alayhi Salaam) visited his son Prophet Ismail (Alayhi Salaam) often.

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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    If I'm right, I believe that one cannot be converted into the Jewish religion but one has to be born into it, hence the reason they do not accept anybody else. They believe that the Jews are the chosen people of God and only they will enter heaven.
    That is not what they believe at all in either case, I'm pretty sure. As for the former...well, from what I've heard there are some sects, or sub-sects, where they like to create that impression. It's the "Fight Club" thing. They pretend that they won't let in outsiders because they're testing you to see how dedicated to conversion you are. The idea is to separate the truly determined from the poseurs or something. If you get really angry and stubborn then they'll admit that they were just kidding and go ahead and give you some lessons in dogma and let you take your vows or whatever it is they do. But if you just storm out...well, that's it. They want you to go propagate the idea that they're a bunch of elitists who let no one in who wasn't born a Jew. They feed on that myth because it preserves the facade and therefore the trial...Or maybe that is the myth but it's what I've heard. Let me reiterate that this practice isn't supposed to be done by all groups of Jews anyway.

    As for no one but them entering heaven, my understanding of that is that in any religion opinions will naturally differ on that sort of subject. (To go into more detail I'd have to risk making offensive blanket statements.)

    Therein lies the problem with Judaism. Without full submission to God Almighty arrogance creeps in, and arrogance is most hateful to God Almighty
    ...like that one, for instance.
    Last edited by IAmZamzam; 03-21-2013 at 03:19 AM.
    Judaism and Islam

    Peace be to any prophets I may have mentioned above. Praised and exalted be my Maker, if I have mentioned Him. (Come to think of it praise Him anyway.)

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    faithandpeace's Avatar
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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by IAmZamzam View Post
    There are many "corrections" within the scripture as well, and that's what I've been working on writing about. I need just a little more time. But I wonder how many you've noticed?

    As for this other stuff...well, I'm ashamed to say I don't know a whole lot about Judaism.
    Honestly I'm not an expert on Judaism myself but I do own a Tanakh (i.e. what Christians call Old Testament) and it has side-by-side Hebrew and English. I can read the Hebrew but do not have enough of a command over the language to be able to translate most of the words. I don't know that I would say much of anything that I have read in there would be false. What I think is the more serious concern is that contemporary Judaism has distorted much of its meaning and has a real identity issue. The liberal streams of Judaism (i.e. American Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, European Progressive, Masorti) tend to be very "open minded" about ritual and theology. Yet for someone who wants a system to follow to become closer to God in a way that makes sense, there is no real program or identity. It is like a potluck of choose whatever you want. It makes one feel comfortable but doesn't really get a seeker of truth to the end goal unless you could simply count it as a stepping stone on the way to better things which may be the case with me and my experience. It works for awhile but then it's time to move on.

    Orthodox Judaism such as its Western Ashkenazi Modern Orthodox, Chasidic, and Charedi movements and Middle Eastern Sephardic and Mizrahi forms do seem to have a more logical, purer, and more consistent form of theology in my opinion and experience than the liberal movements. Submission to God and His law is much more significantly stressed. Yet this is where I'm also running into skepticism and dissent. Even if I am to accept the words of the Torah to be true I am not so confident that modern practices are a real representation on what the original covenant was really intended to be. It appears that too much custom has been made law and things not prohibited or required by the Torah are now integral to Judaism because regular customs have been rebranded as law. I'm not sure that I have any real examples off hand but I can try to think. A lot of this has to do with regional issues. For instance, Ashkenazi (European) Jewish customs, practices, and rituals will differ from Sephardic/Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) practices. And there seems to be real cultural issues regarding this where Ashkenazi Jews mostly in the United States and Israel don't want to acknowledge Sephardic/Mizrahi Jews or their customs and instead rebrand Ashkenazi Judaism as the real Judaism and over time Sephardic/Mizrahi Jews are seeming to feel that their customs and traditions are being lost because everything is being assimilated into the Ashkenazi fold. I'm not an expert on this, just some of my own observations. Then there is the whole Zionism/Israel issue in which racism against non-European Jews and Arabs does seem to be a serious issue to put it lightly. And there is simply too much emphasis on Zionist politics many of which are not based on Torah values and some of which are in direct opposition to Torah values.

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    faithandpeace's Avatar
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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    Jewish law does have a process for conversion but it really raises some questions. So let's say God chose the Jewish people to receive the covenant at Mt. Sinai and to be bound by the 613 laws. Others follow different paths or no path at all. Then others decide at some point in their lives that they want to follow that covenant. If it is in their hearts to want to serve God by following the covenant then it would seem logical that the seekers of truth simply start doing so. This is why the Islamic conversion process seems to make so much more sense to me. If you believe in this in your own heart and your intellect honestly and sincerely confirms this as well than you don't wait for the permission of other people, you make your statement and just start doing it. Yet the Jewish conversion process is designed solely around the community's approval of whether or not one is a member of the covenant or not. This puts human gatekeepers in charge of your own personal spiritual development which is between you and God. In the end, what this is really made to be about is not so much following the covenant but being made a part of the Jewish people. Yet why does one need to be a part of a particular group of people to submit to and follow God? I'm seeing what I've put two years into logically falling apart right before my very eyes. It just isn't logical and at this point I'm skeptical that any Rabbi can make it make sense.

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    Abu Loren's Avatar
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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    As a Jew you might be interested in the following verses from the Holy Qur'an.

    Muhsin Khan

    The likeness of those who were entrusted with the (obligation of the) Taurat (Torah) (i.e. to obey its commandments and to practise its legal laws), but who subsequently failed in those (obligations), is as the likeness of a donkey who carries huge burdens of books (but understands nothing from them). How bad is the example (or the likeness) of people who deny the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah. And Allah guides not the people who are Zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers, disbelievers, etc.).
    Say (O Muhammad SAW): "O you Jews! If you pretend that you are friends of Allah, to the exclusion of (all) other mankind, then long for death if you are truthful."
    But they will never long for it (death), because of what (deeds) their hands have sent before them! And Allah knows well the Zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers, disbelievers, etc.).
    Say (to them): "Verily, the death from which you flee will surely meet you, then you will be sent back to (Allah), the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen, and He will tell you what you used to do."
    62:5-8
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    faithandpeace's Avatar
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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    It is interesting how Islam seems to explain Christianity and Judaism so much better than those paths can explain themselves. I've read and contemplated on these matters enough now to realize I am convinced. I really doubt anyone can show me a path more logical than Islam. I wish I had spent more time on this years ago.

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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by faithandpeace View Post
    It is interesting how Islam seems to explain Christianity and Judaism so much better than those paths can explain themselves. I've read and contemplated on these matters enough now to realize I am convinced. I really doubt anyone can show me a path more logical than Islam. I wish I had spent more time on this years ago.
    Just to let you know that when you take the Shahada (Statement of Faith) then all of your past sins are forgiven. You are like a new born baby on fitra without any sins. But be warned that this is the time that satan is most active in tempting you and putting doubts in your mind. If you are sincere in your pledge and you believe that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger then you will win over satan.

    Islam is the full submission of the slaves of Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala to our Creator. Islam is the continuation of the relgion that was given to Prophet Ibrahim (Alayhi Salaam) by God Almighty. The Children of Israel has earned His wrath and the Christians are astray. Islam is the True religion in the sight of Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala.

    When you take the Shahada I will then call you sis.

    Read the Holy Qur'an (or a translation) with an open heart and you will find that it truly is from God. It is the Final Revelation given to the Final Messnger to mankind until the Day of Resurrection. So be part of the Muhammadan Covenent so that your soul has a chance of salvation Inshaa Allah.
    Last edited by Abu Loren; 03-22-2013 at 08:14 PM.
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    IAmZamzam's Avatar
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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    It is traditional to take the shahada in front of at least two Muslim witnesses. You can say it here if you like, although you’re eventually going to be told to say it in person in a mosque, in front of the imam and possibly everyone else. But you mustn’t say it at all until you’re sure that you mean it. If you still have problems with that, we’re here for you.

    The shahada goes like this. You can copy and paste it if you like.

    In English:

    “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His prophet.”

    In Arabic: “Ashadu an la ilaha illa illa-ilah, wa ashadu anna muhammadan rasul ullah.”

    Another old tradition is to take a bath after converting, being sure to immerse your entire body in the water.
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    Judaism and Islam

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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by faithandpeace View Post
    It is interesting how Islam seems to explain Christianity and Judaism so much better than those paths can explain themselves. I've read and contemplated on these matters enough now to realize I am convinced. I really doubt anyone can show me a path more logical than Islam. I wish I had spent more time on this years ago.
    Allah is much wiser than we are. it is a great mercy if you didn't understand the truth before you could accept it!

    as for things making sense, WA'ALLAHI you ain't seen nothing yet! i had a ton of questions, and after i became a Muslim, Allah has guided me to answers to questions that i never thought could be answered! i still study Judaism, early Christianity and the history of religion in general and i get fascinating insights all the time. it is truly amazing! questions i gave up on years ago, they keep popping up almost daily. Islamic monotheism is the key, once you understand it, you can see the flaw in anything.

    but, like the brothers have said, if you do believe, you don't hesitate for a minute! any of us could die in the next second.

    la ilaha illallah muhammadur rasoolullah!

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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Loren View Post
    Wa Alaikkum

    The Holy Qur'an stresses that fornication or zina is a great sin. I think this is the major reason why women are told to cover themselves, but also the men have a responsibility to lower their gaze. I would say that men tend to look at younger women than say older and married women. So in that repsect I fail to see why the Jewish tradition is as is.




    In Islam it's not the 'holidays' that we celebrate but the event that is being honoured.




    If I'm right, I believe that one cannot be converted into the Jewish religion but one has to be born into it, hence the reason they do not accept anybody else. They believe that the Jews are the chosen people of God and only they will enter heaven.




    Therein lies the problem with Judaism. Without full submission to God Almighty arrogance creeps in, and arrogance is most hateful to God Almighty.




    Hagar was not banished. Prophet Ibrahim (Alayhi Salaam) was asked by God Almighty to take her and her child Prophet Ismail (Alayhi Salaam) to that area of Mecca in order that they start a community there. The purpose being the maintaining of the Ka'aba by the progeny of Prophet Ismail (Alayhi Salaam). Prophet Ibrahim (Alayhi Salaam) visited his son Prophet Ismail (Alayhi Salaam) often.
    As faithandpeace said, with it leading to arragonce, that is how they get the steryotype. And jews have a belief that if you are born jewish, then you are supperior to jewish converts. Out of complete honesty I have never met a humble jew, I am sure there are some out there though.

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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    What, prejudice by "born" Muslims against "reverts" never happens in Islam? I'm sure there are a lot of people out there thinking, "I have never met a humble Muslim. I'm sure they're out there though!" In fact on another board I actually met someone who told me that it wasn't until they came there that they ever found any final proof that decent Muslims exist.

    I guess what I'm saying is, the grass may always be greener on the other side of the fence, but it still remains that nobody ever seems to like the way things are run over in the neighbor's yard, do they?
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    Judaism and Islam

    Peace be to any prophets I may have mentioned above. Praised and exalted be my Maker, if I have mentioned Him. (Come to think of it praise Him anyway.)

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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    faithandpeace,



    one of the truly amazing thing that is hard to accept unless you are a Muslim is this:

    when the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, died, revelation of the Qur'an was completed. it was an oral tradition, later put in writing on the order of Abu Bakr, ra, who initially argued against such a move. it was U'mr ibn al Kittaab, ra, who convinced him to do so. thus the Qur'an was completed in the early 7th century CE. the Christian Bible went through many changes, much was added in the Latin. it wasn't until the time of Erasmus that I John was (finally) completed in the Greek. it was also in this time frame that non-Catholic sects began removing what additions they could find, and some they left in.

    thus, it is a very true statement that, even thought Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, wasn't sent until nearly 600 years after Jesus, pbuh, was sent, the Arabic Qur'an was known and accepted as complete at least 4 centuries before the the Christian Bible was finally completed in the Greek language.

    many of the Tanaach today, esp by JPS, actually use the Christian OT from the 12th century as the basis for their translations, even the interlinear ones. and as no knows for sure if Esther even belongs in the Tanaach, the Qur'an is technically completed as an accepted whole BEFORE the Tanaach! )because there is STILL a question about the Tanaach.

    it is one of the miracles of the Qur'an that all can plainly see, but few other than Muslims accept.

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    Judaism and Islam

    Had the non-believer known of all the Mercy which is in the Hands of Allah, he would not lose hope of entering Paradise, and had the believer known of all the punishment which is present with Allah, he would not consider himself safe from the Hell-Fire
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    Ahmad H's Avatar
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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    Faithandpeace, I think you should read up on Islam a bit. It is never too late to look into Islam just as it is never too late to learn anything. I think you should read the Holy Qur'an and try and absorb the content in it. You should find all of your answers there. Read books on Islam as well. I think you should take your time just like everyone else here has explained to you as well and just reflect over everything. Allah is the Best Guide in all matters.

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    Re: Judaism and Islam



    Salaam or Shalom peaceandfaith (whichever you prefer)

    did you know that, according to Jewish exegeses the Islam IS in the Torah? i wrote the following years ago, so it may seem to be edited in a peculiar manner, but i thought it might be of interest to you:

    A VERY SIMILAR thing happens when Christians look at the Torah and Tanakh! Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is taken as referring to Jesus, ad naseum and others will kick and scream and hold their breath insisting that there is absolutely nothing in either which prophesies Islam. It’s hard to believe, I know, but still they are like that, especially if you bring up Melchizedek!

    My intent is to address this:
    Quote:
    ________________________________________
    Originally posted by Grace Seeker You never addressed my finally comment: Look again at the verse you quoted: "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him." Who is referred to by the term "them"?
    ________________________________________
    This is a valid question, can we use the Torah, as it is today to attempt to discover the identity of “them?” I’m pretty sure that we can, so lets’ take a look at the event which brings us to Mt.’s Sinai & Horeb. It’s called EXODUS! So, let’s look there to see if we can find any clues.


    Now, I’m sure that we can all agree that the descendants of Jacob are at times referred to as the “children of Israel”, AND we know that Ishmael is Jacob’s Uncle, so in that manor, they ARE brethren. But let’s take a look at Exodus to see what we can learn there. What we find is a term from Genesis itself used to differentiate the “children of Israel” from the Egyptians, and that is the term Hebrews. The term itself is from an ancestor of Abraham, a descendant of Shem, Eber. Now, the descendants of Shem are referred to as Semites and those of Eber as Hebrews. In the 11th Chapter of Genesis we read in part” …and Shem begot Arpachshad…and Arpachshad begot Shelah…and Shelah begot Eber. So we see here that Eber is Shem’s great grandson. Reading further we read: and Eber begot Peleg…and Peleg begot Reu…and Reu begot Serug...and Serug begot Nahor…and Nahor begot Terah…and Terah begot Abram. That makes Eber Abraham’s great-great-great-great grandfather! (And Shem his great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather! Phew!)


    In chapter 9 verse 26 of Genesis we read in part: Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. One wonders why the Lord is called the God of Shem. We find an “undercover” clue in Genesis chapter 14, to wit:
    17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley).
    18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem [d] brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,
    "Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Creator [e] of heaven and earth.
    20 And blessed be [f] God Most High,
    who delivered your enemies into your hand."
    Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.


    So who is this mysterious Melchizedek, priest of God Most High? First of every Christian and his brother will of course say “its Jesus, Jesus!” Why, because that’s what Christians do with the Tanakh, they try to turn everything into Jesus!

    But what do the Jewish say about our mysterious high priest? Lets look at the notes for verse 18 in the Artscroll Tanach Series Bereishsis/ Genesis A New Translation with a Commentary Anthologized From Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic Sources Translation and commentary by Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz with Overviews by Rabbi Nosson Scherman and a Foreword by HaGoan HaRav Mordechai Gifter, published by Mesorah Publication Ltd:


    …The sages unanimously identify Malchizedek, King of Salem as Shem, son of Noah (Rashi). He was so called because he was king [melech] over a place known for its righteousness [zedek] (Ibn Ezra); a place which would not tolerate any form of injustice or abomination for an extended time period (Radak); or, according to Ramban, because he ruled over the future site of the Temple, home of the zedek, the righteous Shechinah, which was known even then to be sacred. Thus, Malchizedek might designate him as “king of the place of zedek, righteousness.”

    Just below wee see a reference to Shem on 10:21, among others, which reads in part: Why should the Torah associate him (Shem) with Eber more than any other of his offspring? …Shem was the primogenitor of all the descendants of Eber from who came forth the Hebrews (Radak, Ibn Ezra)…Although Shem had may descendants, Eber’s children were the most favored of his offspring because they were righteous like him (Arbarbanel). Sforno comments that those who believed in god were called I(b)rim, after Eber their teacher. Shem, because he was also their teacher, is called the “father” of Eber’s “children” meaning his “students”, because students are called the children of their teacher. [As a side note, it is also Jewish a belief that Jacob spent 14 years engaged at the Academy of Eber in Jerusalem]
    Back to the notes on 14:18: Ramban explains that Shem was the most honored among the generation of Canaanites, and he therefore became the priest of God the most high in Jerusalem…


    Back to the topic at hand, is the term Hebrew used in the Exodus story? Why yes it is, in fact is used at least 9 times:
    Chapter 1:15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 "When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live." 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, "Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?"

    19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, "Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive."

    2:6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew babies," she said.
    7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?"

    11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, "Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?"

    21:2 "If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything.

    Now, even more phenomenally, the God of the Patriarchs transforms into none other than the God of the Hebrews! We see this at least 6 times:
    Exodus 3:18
    "The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.
    Exodus 5:3
    Then they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword."
    Exodus 7:16
    Then say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert. But until now you have not listened
    Exodus 9:1
    Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: "Let my people go, so that they may worship me."
    Exodus 9:13
    Then the LORD said to Moses, "Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me
    Exodus 10:3
    So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, "This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me.


    So the “God of the Exodus” in fact becomes the God of the righteous descendants of Shem through his “son” Eber! Now if we apply this to Deuteronomy18: 18, we get:

    17 The LORD said to me: "What they say is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among “the righteous descendants of Shem through his “son” Eber”; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.
    We now have a translation that is correct as well as accurate that CAN apply to a descendant of Eber in the form of ANY descendant of Ishmael!

    Its fascinating isn't it? Now I can already hear the Christians questioning whether or not Ishmael and his descendants have any claim to the title righteous! Well, that’s part 2, Insha’ Allah!


    Re: Refutation: "From among their brethren..." (A Jewish brethren only?)



    Peace be upon those who follow the guidance,

    Greetings Gene,

    Here's assessment of Ishmael's righteousness:

    Was Ishmael righteous?


    Most of us remember Ishmael in Genesis by the comment, he shall be “a wild-ass of a man” and some consider him to be somehow illegitimate.

    Let us clear up these misconceptions. For sources we’ll use The Stone Edition Chumash The Torah, Haftaros and Five Megillos with A Commentary Anthologized From The Rabbinic Writings by Mesorah Publishing as well as the Artscroll Tanach Series Bereishsis/ Genesis A New Translation with a Commentary Anthologized From Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic Sources Translation and commentary by Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz with Overviews by Rabbi Nosson Scherman and a Foreword by HaGoan HaRav Mordechai Gifter, published by Mesorah Publication Ltd, hereafter referred to as the Chumash or Bereishsis/ Genesis respectively.

    From the Chumash we read 16:3, So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her maidservant – after 10 years of Abram’s dwelling in the Land of Canaan – and gave her to Abram her husband, to him as a wife. He consorted with Hagar and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was lowered in her esteem.

    16 The Birth of Ishmael. Despite their spiritual riches and Godly assurances, Abraham and Sarah were still heartbroken at their barrenness, for without heirs they would not be able to continue the mission of Bringing God’s teaching to mankind. Recognizing that it was she who was infertile, Sarah suggested that Abraham marry her maidservant Hagar, and, if a son were born, Sarah would raise him, so that he would be considered her adopted child.

    Hagar was a daughter of Pharaoh. After seeing the miracles that were brought on Sarah’s behalf when she was abducted and taken to his palace, he gave her to Hagar, saying, “Better that she be a servant in their house, than a princess in someone else’s.” So it was that Hagar, an Egyptian princess, became Abraham’s wife and bore him Ishmael.

    In the notes to verse 4 – Her mistress was lowered. Hagar brazenly boasted to the ladies, “Since so many years have passed without Sarai having children, she cannot be as righteous as she seems. But I conceived immediately!” (Rashi). Now that Hagar had assured Abraham’s posterity, she no longer felt subservient to Sarah (Radak).


    A few notes about Sarah and Hagar from verses 6 – 8:
    Verse 6 “your maidservant is in your hand; do to her as you see fit.” To me she is a wife; and I have no right to treat her unkindly. But to you she is a servant; if she mistreats you, do what you feel is right. (Radak; Haamek Davar). Sarah’s intent was not malicious, but to force Hagar to cease from her insulting demeanor. But instead of acknowledging Sarah’s superior position, Hagar fled (Arbarbanel; Sforno).

    Rabbi Aryeh Levin noted that it is congruous to believe that a woman as righteous as Sarah would persecute another human being out of personal pique. Rather, Sarah treated Hagar as she always had, but in the light of Hagar’s newly inflated self-image, she took it as persecution.

    We’ll leave the issue of Hagar for the moment except to pause to list the prophecies about Ishmael AT THIS TIME:

    V10 And an Angel of Hashem said to her, “I will greatly increase your offspring, and they will not be counted for abundance.”
    V 11 And an Angel of Hashem said to her, “Behold, you will conceive, and give birth to a son; his name shall be Ishmael, for Hashem has heard your prayer. And he shall be a wild-ass of a man; his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him; and over all his brothers shall he dwell.”
    The prophecy in verse 10 sounds VERY familiar to ones about Abraham’s’ descendants, while verse 11 gives us our other prophecy. We will return to Hagar later, Insha’ Allah.



    Let us return to matter relating to Israel’s uncle Ishmael. In chapter 17, Chumash, God is speaking to Abraham about their covenant and promising a son through Sarah, Abraham interrupts God:
    v18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before You!” God said, “Nonetheless, your wife Sarah will bear you a son and you shall call his name Isaac…v 20 But regarding Ishmael I have heard you; I have blessed him, will make him fruitful, and will increase him most exceedingly; he will beget twelve princes and I will make him into a great nation…”

    Part of the notes for this verse read: “We see from the prophecy in this verse, that 2337 years elapsed before the Arabs, Ishmael’s descendants, became a great nation [with the rise of Islam in the 7th Century C.E.]…Throughout this period, Ishmael hoped anxiously, until the promise was fulfilled and they dominated the world. We the descendants of Isaac, for whom the fulfillment of the promises made to us is delayed due to our sins…should surely anticipate the fulfillment of God’s promises and not despair” (R’ Bachya citing R’ Chananel).


    Bereishsis/ Genesis adds: R’ Bachya cites R’ Chananel’s comment on this verse: We see from this prophecy [in the year 2047 from Creation, when Abraham was ninety-nine], 2337 years elapsed before the Arabs, Ishmael’s descendants, became a great nation. [This would correspond to 624 C.E, two years after the H(ijra)!…] to be honest, I totally missed the hijra comment the first time I read this because I wasn’t a Muslim and I didn’t know what they meant by hegira! But we do have one prophecy that at least according to the Jews, puts Islam as an Old Testament prophecy!


    I got lazy and copied this from the Jewish Publication Society, the first half of Genesis chapter 25:

    1 And Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah.

    2 And she bore him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah

    3 And Jokshan begot Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.

    4 And the sons of Midian: Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.

    5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.

    6 But unto the sons of the concubines, that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts; and he sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.

    7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, a hundred threescore and fifteen years

    8 And Abraham expired, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.

    9 And Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;

    10 the field which Abraham purchased of the children of Heth; there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.

    11 And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son; and Isaac dwelt by Beer-lahai-roi.

    12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bore unto Abraham.

    13 And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the first-born of Ishmael, Nebaioth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam,

    14 and Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa;

    15 Hadad, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedem;

    16 these are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their villages, and by their encampments; twelve princes according to their nations

    17 And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, a hundred and thirty and seven years; and he expired and died; and was gathered unto his people.

    18 And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Asshur: over against all his brethren he did settle.

    Let’s begin with the part dealing with Ishmael first. We see in verse 9 that both Isaac and Ishmael buried their Abraham, what does this tell us? Well, for one, we can confirm that there was NEVER a time during Abraham’s life when Isaac was Abraham’s firstborn, NOR was there EVER a time during Abraham’s life when Isaac was to Abraham “your son, your only son”. Those terms could ONLY be used to describe Ishmael, Abraham’s firstborn son. But we are not here to speculate who changed THAT story!

    In Bereishsis/ Genesis, the notes for verse 17. Ishmael’s age is given because it assists in calculations with respect to [dating the various events which occurred during the life of] Jacob (Rashi [Yevamos 64a]) [and this is footnoted, which reads in part: 1 Rashi goes on to explain that we calculate from Ishmael’s age at his death that Jacob attended the Academy of Eber for fourteen years from the time he left his fathers’ house to the time he arrived at Laban’s house (as explained in Megillah 17a); to which we have the sub footnote: [Briefly, according to the data cited in Megillah 17a, when Jacob stood before Pharaoh he should have been 116 years old, yet Jacob himself gave his age as 130(Gen. 47:9). The discrepancy is explained by the fact that he spent fourteen years in the Academy of Eber after leaving his fathers’ house.]
    According to Ramban [to this verse but cited in v12] Ishmael’s age is noted here because he repented and the age of the righteous is generally stated. Rashbam holds that it is recorded as a mark of honor for Abraham. Since the torah had mentioned Abraham’s age at Ishmael’s birth, and Ishmael’s age when he underwent circumcision. It now concludes by mentioning his lifespan. Further on we read Rashi comments that…is only mentioned in the case of righteous people [such as Ishmael, since he repented…]…
    According to R’ Bachya it [the phrase “and was gathered unto his people”] is based the use in our verse of both expired and died – which refer to the death only of the righteous – and the Sages said that Ishmael repented of his evil ways.


    So whatever ill will the Jews may harbor against Ishmael [that they say he had “evil” ways], he is cleared of any error and claimed by JEWISH Sages to be “of the righteous!” note the similarity in regards to Abraham in verse 8 And Abraham expired, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. Compared to of Ishmael in verse 17 And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, a hundred and thirty and seven years; and he expired and died; and was gathered unto his people.

    Also, consider that we saw in the notes to Genesis 16 “that Abraham and Sarah were still heartbroken at their barrenness, for without heirs they would not be able to continue the mission of Bringing God’s teaching to mankind. Recognizing that it was she who was infertile, Sarah suggested that Abraham marry her maidservant Hagar, and, if a son were born, Sarah would raise him, so that he would be considered her adopted child.” This tells us that it was the intent of Abraham and Sarah to raise Ishmael “so that he would be considered her adopted child!” it stands within reason but our case doesn’t rely solely on it, that in their job of “parenting” Ishmael [up until the birth of Isaac] that they would have sent him to the “Academy of Eber in Jerusalem” for proper training in the “mission of Bringing God’s teaching to mankind.” So from Ishmael's beginning and again at the end of his life we can put him in the category of the “sons” of Eber, and thus an Hebrew.


    We will take another look at Hagar, just in case any see her as a reason to disqualify Ishmael as one of the “righteous.” Let’s look again at 25:1, And Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah.
    The notes say that there is a Hebrew word in the phrase which means “again” which would literally mean: And Abraham again took a wife, which is interpreted by the Sages to intimate the Abraham remarried to before: Hagar.


    Keturah is Hagar, who received this name because her deeds were as beautiful as incense [ketores]; also because she remained chaste…from the time she had separated from Abraham (Midrash; Rashi).
    In 21:14 Rashi comments that Hagar reverted to the idolatry of her father’s house. How then does he now call her action “beautiful as incense?” – Rather, when she was expelled from Abraham’s household she felt forsaken even by his God and she intended to revert to her idolatrous ways. But when the miracle occurred at the well, she repented (Gur Aryeh).

    The Zohar similarly comments that although she had relapsed into her ancestral idolatry, she later repented and changed her name, after which Abraham sent for and married her. From this we see that a change of name males atonement for guilt, for she made this change of name symbolic of her change of behavior.
    [Immediately following this there is a note discussing some Hebrew phraseology which…denotes that Keturah was righteous and fit for Abraham.]

    Although Hagar/Keturah was a first generation Egyptian and hence forbidden in marriage [see Deut.32: 9], nevertheless, since his first marriage to her was with God’s sanction, she remained permissible to him for remarriage as well. Furthermore, the Midrash [Bereishis Rabbah 60:4] specifically states that Abraham married Keturah/Hagar by Divine Command (Tur).
    Targum Yonasan renders the verse: and Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah; she is Hagar who had been bound to him…from the beginning.


    So we here additionally that if there were any ill feelings on the part of the Jews for Hagar, regardless of whether or not she is Keturah, the Jewish sources claim that not only was Hagar “permissible” for Abraham, but they actually speak quite highly of her considering the circumstances. Based on that I would reject any effort to disqualify Ishmael as a “son of Eber” based upon anything said about him or his mother, Hagar.

    The actual words of Dueteronomy require some "discussion" in order to explain some of the phrases which seem out of place, but that might actually help us with identifying that "prophet." THAT is the next step, Insha' Allah.

    now, as a Muslim, i don't accept the parts about Hagar returning to idolatry, i'm just posting information that most Muslims, Jews, Christians are totally not aware of, AND i'm using Jewish sources EXCLUSIVELY!

    as Mufti Menk might say, just some "points to ponder"!

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    Judaism and Islam

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    IAmZamzam's Avatar
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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    There has been even further explanation of the Isaac/Ishmael thing in another thread. Of course one could always leave it that "from among your brethren" just means "from among your fellow worshipers of the God of Abraham".
    Judaism and Islam

    Peace be to any prophets I may have mentioned above. Praised and exalted be my Maker, if I have mentioned Him. (Come to think of it praise Him anyway.)

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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by IAmZamzam View Post
    What, prejudice by "born" Muslims against "reverts" never happens in Islam? I'm sure there are a lot of people out there thinking, "I have never met a humble Muslim. I'm sure they're out there though!" In fact on another board I actually met someone who told me that it wasn't until they came there that they ever found any final proof that decent Muslims exist.

    I guess what I'm saying is, the grass may always be greener on the other side of the fence, but it still remains that nobody ever seems to like the way things are run over in the neighbor's yard, do they?
    I understand what you meant on your first statement, but I'm not saying that in Judaism it is a 'prejudice' per se. The Torah strictly dictates that born Jews are superior and more 'pure' than those who convert. Does the Qu'ran say that born Muslims are superior to converts? No were in the Qu'ran does it say that. I believe you misunderstood what I said.

    As for your second statement, my reasoning was based on an accurate stereotype that most Jews tend to be arrogant. I do not deny the fact that people think the same of Islam, but it is less common. Arrogance is not a common interpretation of Muslims.

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    Re: Judaism and Islam

    "An accurate stereotype."

    ...

    Let's just move on to that other thing. Where in The Torah does it say that? Because I happen to have read through it recently for a project I've been working on and I don't recall seeing any such verse.
    Judaism and Islam

    Peace be to any prophets I may have mentioned above. Praised and exalted be my Maker, if I have mentioned Him. (Come to think of it praise Him anyway.)


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