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Gavriela  Gavriela is offline
Join Date: 11 Mar 2007
Location: Sometime Anywhere
Posts: 1,280

If your Jewish someone has a grasp of Hebrew, then they know that God isn't always a 'he' in Jewish. We have a gazillion god-names, some masculine, some feminine, some plural, some even nicknames.

And trust me, our bible is radically different to Christian interpretations and translations thereof. If we were in reality what many Christians tell us we are, I would've bailed decades ago.

I do have trouble with the credibility of anything found on though. Jewish law is a complicated entity, and I'm not sure anyone follows all of it. One law is that if you have even the slightest doubt about the truthfulness of something, you cannot use it to try to convince a non-observant Jew to become more observant. That's a really, really important one. Proselytising is still a big no-no for us, and even within the Jewish community there has to be a great deal of sensitivity and absolute honesty about bringing someone to observance. Not belief, mind - we always have been more about behaviour than about thought police. There are a few fanatics now trying to change that, which is so sad to watch.

The entire purpose of the Aish site is to make non-observant Jews observant - aish-style - and they promoted the hell out of a bible codes experiment (still do in their tours) that has been proven statistically flawed to the max, even by observant Jews who also happen to be statisticians. The secular community of statisticians trashed it even more, and lots of folks on all sides pointed out that its publication in a peer reviewed journal was as a curiosity piece, not as a peer reviewed article - which Aish conveniently omits mention of.

There's some decent stuff over there. But take anything you read at their site with a grain of salt, at least if you can't find independant verification. The same is true of Chabad, and any number of others out there. Most of the time they're pretty good, and miles better than the 'messianic Judaism' (read: Southern Baptist in drag) sites that have been popping up, or the kabbala centre crap, but do remember that there's an agenda at work on all of them.

In fairness, a lot of the Jewish outreach sites do offer the original texts and commentaries, which is really useful - and not all the new stuff is bad, either. There are some really smart scholars around who donate time to them.

Just a caveat - because in Aish's case it is so blatant, they know it, and it's just - not good at all that they do this. And given how big that controversy was, and that they still choose to ignore it lo these many years later, I always wonder what else they might be fudging the truth about.
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