Saturday, January 25, 2014

Parshat Mishpatim, (Exodus 23:26-24:18)-1/25/2014

A friend mentioned that the one G_d of the Torah wasn't the only god in town ... he was just the one for the Jews. The idea of one god came later. A few months ago a rabbi mentioned that there were at least five gods in the Torah.

Buddhism has gods as well, though the gods came to Buddha because he was the awakened one. 

When G_d speaks of the other gods, he doesn't say that they don't exist ... just that people shouldn't worship them. At these points, he seems a bit like a megalomaniac. 

He makes promises that couldn't possible happen, like “no woman shall miscarry or be barren.”

Finally in this parshah Moses, Aaron, Nabad, Abihu, and seventy elders all get to see G_d. "Under his feet was the likeness of a pavement of sapphire, like the very sky for purity." I don't remember another place where parts of his body are mentioned.

Later on the seventh day God appeared as a consuming fire at the top of the mountain. Much more what one would expect than in the image of a man. 

And we have 40 days and nights that Moses remained with God in the mountain. I wonder what the magic is of 40, as in 40 years they roamed. Is that the normal lifetime of a man? 

Norman O. Brown reads the 40 years not from Egypt to freedom, but rather from youth to manhood. Now the Jews, with their laws and with their experience of God, were grown up and ready for their lives' work. 

Fire at the Top of the Mountain

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