Tuesday, October 12, 2010

When did "Jew" mean "Hebrew" and more

Ok – we can all agree that Sherman is still getting used to the technology. I posted this once but did something wrong and so I am posting again. My mistake from which I learned to “post” before exiting.
Question One from last Sunday was, “When did the Hebrew people become known as the Jews?”
The Torah (Hebrew word meaning "teaching" or "instruction", or "law" also known as the Pentateuch which are the Five Books of Moses and comprise the entirety of Judaism's founding legal and ethical religious texts) does not refer to “Jews” as it is found in the post exilic period. The word Jew comes from Yehuda, the son of Yaakov who become the leader after Shimeon lost that position over the tribe of Judah.

Question Two “Was Adam a Jew?”
Adam was the first human (his name is an ancient Hebrew word for any human) which makes him the archetype (when God made human male and female Eve became the archetype female) and given the fallen nature of human – I have to believe we have no idea what Adam looked like. He and Eve were a standard to themselves.

Question Three came from a text which was truncated but here is the question I received, “The assumption that Noah had a sex act that caused the family disruption is just that...an assumption. It could just be what it says: That…”
Very good question as we don’t really know what happened. We do know that what ever it was turned out to be bad enough to cause curses to be placed by a father on a son. Here are some of the explanations I found on Wikipedia which is quoted in several other sites with Jewish contributors.
“The Talmud deduces two possible explanations (attributed to Rab and Rabbi Samuel) for what Ham did to Noah to warrant the curse. (Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 70a.) According to Rab, Ham castrated Noah on the basis that, since Noah cursed Ham by his fourth son Canaan, Ham must have injured Noah with respect to a fourth son, by emasculating him, thus depriving Noah of the possibility of a fourth son. According to Samuel, Ham sodomized Noah, on the analogy between “and he saw” written in two places in the Bible: With regard to Ham and Noah, it says, “And Ham the father of Canaan saw the nakedness of his father (Noah)”; while in Genesis 34:2, it says, “And when Shechem the son of Hamor saw her (Dinah), he took her and lay with her and defiled her.” According to this argument, similar abuse must have happened each time that the Bible uses the same language. The Talmud concludes that, in fact, "both indignities were perpetrated."
In more recent times, some scholars have suggested that Ham may have had intercourse with his father's wife. Under this interpretation, Canaan is cursed as the "product of Ham's illicit union."
This "curse of Canaan" by Noah was likely connected to the conquest of Canaan by Israel. Both the conquest of Canaan and the curse, according to the Book of Jubilees 10:29-34, are attributed, rather, to Canaan's steadfast refusal to join his elder brothers in Ham's allotment beyond the Nile, and instead "squatting" within the inheritance of Shem, on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, in the region later promised to Abraham.”
See you Sunday

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