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About Daniel

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    Just a blade of grass
  1. Elisha and the oil... vessels...
  2. You seem to be interested in re-writing it. The thread is asking about "pagan". The thread is asking about "abrahamic". Abrahamic is defined by the Torah, not you, not me. It's impossible to discuss what is or is not Abrahamic while denying the credibility of the books which define it. This has nothing to do with me or my sect. It has to do with the desire by many to reimagine a group from the outside. The insider does have priviledged information. Why? You brought philo quotes. They appear to be heretical, although, that could be the translator making choices. They don't match adam kadmon as I understand the concept. If I were to correct it, based on what you brought, I would attribute philo's "logos" to "mochin" aka "the-god-head". Does that fit? You're the expert on philo's logos. Adam Kadmon is not creating anything. It's definitely not a delegate which is given authority for creation. It's not even an empty vessel. It's internal, "pre"-expression. "Pre" is in quotes because there is no "prior" for the eternal. It doesn't say "malchuth" in the original. That is added. The original says they are all likenesses of each other, you have added a distinction between these likenesses which does not exist in the original. It also exposes a miscomprehension. Even if the commentary is included, the supernal exist in kesser ( you would probably call it kether ), the immanent exist in malchus ( malchuth ). Malchus is a reflection of kesser. There cannot be a dichotomy. In fact: malchus of the layer beyond is the kesser of the layer following/inside of it. They are literally the same "form". There cannot be a dichotomy there. This reflection of "kesser <--> malchus <--> kesser" in atzilus and "mallchus <--> kesser <--> malchus" in assiyah is a great example of the sort of concepts which are often missing when outsiders try to learn kabalah. What you've written about forms and logoi, is completely deviating from the Zohar quote to which you are referring. Unless forms and logoi are identical. Are they? ( Technically, the nesting is much more elaborate, but, what I wrote above is the basic idea. ) You're still cropping out details. It doesn't even say "from speech to silence". It says there are lower names which vocalized and thought. Then there is a different level of name which are not. What'll really tickle the turnips, is: Kabalah teaches to go down for the purpose of going up. Is that platonic? It's not my account: https://iep.utm.edu/ancient-greek-philosophy/ From Thales, who is often considered the first Western philosopher, to the Stoics and Skeptics, ancient Greek philosophy opened the doors to a particular way of thinking that provided the roots for the Western intellectual tradition. Here, there is often an explicit preference for the life of reason and rational thought. Under the sub-heading Plotinus: The best life depends upon becoming one’s true self via the intellect, which means to step away from the part of the soul by which we typically identify ourselves, the passionate and desiring part of the soul. If we are now accustomed to identify ourselves by our likes, dislikes, opinions, , then a true Plotinian self would not be a self at all. For Plotinus, however, this is true selfhood since it is closest to the center of all life, the One. ( Notice the extreme deviation. Kabalah teaches to connection with all, above-below, left-right, inner-outer. This is favoring intellect of the mind and discouraging the passions of the heart. ) Under the sub-heading neo-platonists: ( this is really important. The bold introduces a direction of influence. ) Plotinus set off a tradition of thought that had great influence in medieval philosophy. This tradition has been known since the 19th century as “Neoplatonism,” but Plotinus and other Neoplatonists saw themselves merely as followers and interpreters of Plato (Dillon and Gerson xiii). Plotinus’ student, Porphyry, without whom we would know little to nothing about Plotinus or his work, carried on the tradition of his master, although we do not possess a full representation of his work. With Iamblichus came a focus upon Aristotle’s work, since he took Aristotle as an informative source on Platonism. Neoplatonism also saw the rise of Christianity, and therefore saw itself to some degree in a confrontation with it (Dillon and Gerson xix). Perhaps in part because of this confrontation with Christianity, later Neoplatonists aimed to develop the religious aspects of Neoplatonic thought. Thus, the later Neoplatonists introduced theurgy, claiming that thought alone cannot unite us with gods, but that symbols and rites are needed for such a union (Hadot 170-171). The neo-platonists were, maybe, influenced BY Christians not the other way around, per the University of Tennessee. You had pointed to the theurgy as an indicator of the influence neoplatonists had ON kabalah. Yet, the University of Tennessee encyclopedia of philosophy proposes the opposite. What do you think of that? No, you haven't. You've ignored what I've brought. You've ignored your own sources. In order to make a point you need to ignore what's written and replace it with outher words in the kabalistic texts. Strike 1, strike 2, strike 3. In order to demonstrate it amply, you'd need to at least be able to address what I've written, and show an actual similarity. Your own sources admit, they are looking at hints, reverberations, and outright contradictions of what is written. Ample is not a hint. Ample is not a reverberation. Ample is a strong match which has no obvious counter-examples. You have yet to address any of the counter examples that I have brought. Now you're flip-flopping. Ya know what? I've stopped caring. Your desired and forcibly greek insertion from behind is uninvited and unwelcome. This will be my last post to you. Goodbye. Whatt ever questions I've asked, please consider them rhetorical. I will not be reading any of your replies. You have not been able to address any of the comments I have made. I've shown you the texts and what they say. Yes, Maimonides books were burned. Ravad, known by many as the father of kabalah cursed him because of what he wrote. You ignored all of that. Gershom Scholem is an outsider. Those who are in the community do look unfavorably on the ideas that he considers to be "kabalah". The fact that you do not care about what is authentic or not, doesn't matter. Your standards are weak.
  3. There were a couple of examples in the quote you brough, but, I think this one is the best. This, right otr wrong, is the point of view of the jewish philosophers. Where the other traditions match, they are incomplete. The way to evaluate if this is true or false is to notice that the shared concepts ( which are not heretical ) are connected to the Torah. And. The elaborate details which are not included in the other traditions are ALSO connected to the Torah but are nuanced and concealed from the casual observer. So, it's easy to imagine, highly plausible, that a debate or conversation is happening between an jewish philosopher and a greek philosopher. The greek philosopher challenges the jewish philosopher. ( This has been happening for thousands of years. Christians come to say, you're wrong. Muslims come to say you're wrong. Greeks come to say you' re wrong. ) The jewish philosopher corrects it via the Torah, and then shows them the entire explanation via the Torah. This is a strong argument fromt he jewish philosopher that the Torah is supreme. That's what one finds in jewish philosophy ( which is not heretical ). So, naturally, one is going to ask about the "heretical" philosophers. Once it's confirmed that the Torah is the most likely source and and contains much much more than the other traditions, the heretical jewish philosopher is hopefully going to abandon the foriegn subject matter and return home. That's why the concealed wisdom of the Torah is being revealed. Ultimately, though, there is no reason for the non-jewish individual to try to argue about the "pagan" concepts being included in judaism UNLESS they attribute some sort of authority to judaism. If they find their pagan beliefs to be true, and they would like to call on angels, or demons, or perhaps they would prefer to imagine a creator god which is "nothingness" and is somehow incapable of making judgements. Perhaps it is comforting for them to imagine a god which is completely distant and univolved in their life, because they feel abandoned, or cannot make sense of the world in any other way. That's perfectly fine for them. Judaism teaches something different. Jewish mysticism teaches something completely different. However, for a jewish person, it only makes sense for them to learn about their roots, their heritage, the philosophy of their lineage without interference. Sadly, we jews are in large part captives among the other nations. This is obviously going to interfere especialyy when non-jewish people assert their ignorance of jewish philosophy as absolute certain fact.
  4. It is the point, because, this thread is about pagan roots. Ignoring the heresy is ignoring the point of the thread. What's needed, if you would like to use Philo's example: Bring Philo's definition of logos Bring a kabalistic source which matches it Show that the kabalistic source is not coming from Torah or Tanach You seem to be adding the "platonic" to the passage. You're platonic. The Zohar is not. You added the words "forms" and "logoi" here. If we read the actual passage, there is no distinction in form between the supernal letters and the lower letters. Further, if the entire passage is considered, there is nothing platonic about that is being taught. Let's just use the translation you have chosen. Let's ignore the surrounding context and the simply compare what you wrote with what is in the translation. Doing this shows, not only that you are adding words to force the short snippet to be platonic, but you are also removing words to force it to be platonic. Here is the Zohar passage uneditted: There are large letters and small letters. Large letters are above, and small letters are below. Everything below, is in the likeness of above, because there are holy, supernal names that are drawn only by a willing of the spirit and heart, without any speech at all. And there are lower Holy Names that are drawn by speech, and with directing thought and will towards them. Here is your editted version: the supernal large letters above (forms), and the small letters below in their likeness (logoi). We contemplate the likenesses below, accessible to thought and speech In the original version, everything is in the likeness above. There is no form/logoi dichotomy. You added that. Further you omitted the perscription in the willingness of the spirit and the heart which is lacking vocalization. This is important because greek philosophers idolize the intellect. Kabalists do not do this. If you continue reading the passage the focus is on the "vav" which is connectivity in kabalah. If the passages are cropped and cherry picked, yes, an illusion is produced where it appears that kabalah matches "greek wisdom". Here is what you said: "cleaned up and adapted by monotheists". It can not be cleaned up nor adapted if it was not copied first. I think it's clear from what you've written that you held to a postion that kabalah was influenced from greek wisdom. The direction of influence was asserted with certainty. Hopefully your position is evolving on this. This entire paragraph is a rejection of the previous assertions that jewish kabalah is influenced by neoplatonism. You have correctly rolled back to long before neoplatonism. However you have incorrectly stated the position of the jewish philosophers ( whom had not adopted heretical views ). What happens consistently is both: the errroneous teachings are excluded AND what remains is presented as an incomplete version of what is considered the original religion. Whether or not this is "true" is debatable, of course. But, it is false to claim that the jewish mystical tradition was influenced by the others in any way other than rejection.
  5. Adam kadmon... is the image of the chariot per the Zohar you quoted. If so, you would need to find something in the neoplantists discussing a chariot, a mercavah. Among other things that is missing is the left-right paradigm. Ultimately there are 2 systems, both are considering a formless singular creator. There is a jewish philosopher using the word "logos", and as you've stated, Christians were/are confused about what is happening in the book of John.
  6. You're doing it again... "the monotheists took those ideas ( copied them ) and adapted them". I've shown you the ideas predate all of that. Which Zohar passsage? The one you referred to as "letterism"? The ones above are quadrangles? The ones below are circular? "According to the secret of the letters that are engraved with dots, that the supernal lights are a quadrangle and those of below are circular. This has no body. When it is clothed by them, it stands on nine pillars, according to the secret of the letter final Mem, without a circle. Even though the letter Samech is round and shaped like a circle. According to the secret of the letters that are engraved with dots, that the supernal lights are a quadrangle and those of below are circular." "And this is the secret. The letter Yud is one point (dot) and even though it is one point, its shape has a head above, it amounts to three points like the Hebrew dot Segol, Therefore, the expansion to four sides, three on each side, equals nine and eight. These are pillars that stem from the secret of the luminary to support the letter Yud, and they are considered its Chariot (Mercavah). They are not called by name, just by the secret of the nine vowels in the Torah." "In the secret of the Book of Adam, these nine that are eight divided into permutations of letters of the Holy Name. This is in order to combine and unite them in all these manners, because when these eight, which are nine, travel. They shine with the illumination of the letter final Mem quadrupled, and extract eight lights that appear like nine. They divide below to carry the Tabernacle." Didn't you say that logos is a "great reason" according to philo? None of that fits with what is written above. .. it is not the pursuits which you follow that are the causes of your participation in good or in evil, but rather the divine reason [logos], which is the helmsman and governor of the universe ... Notice that the logos is the helmsman and governor. That is heresy. That is in opposition to the Torah. Either the author is holding heretical ideas, the translator is superimposing those ideas onto the author's words, or, the quote is taken out of context and there is clarification elsewhere which corrects this. Philo, On Husbandry XII (45) (p. 178) ... For God, like a shepherd and king, governs (as if they were a flock of sheep) the earth, and the water, and the fire, and the air and all the plants, and living creatures that are in them, whether mortal or divine; and he regulates the nature of the heaven, and the periodical revolutions of the sun and moon, and the variations and harmonious movements of the other stars, ruling them according to law and justice; appointing as their immediate superintendent, his own right reason [logos], his first-born son, who is to receive the charge of this sacred company, as the lieutenant of the great king; ... This is also against the Torah, because, the Torah very clearly states, there is no other, only God. This claims there is another, a deputy, a lietuenant. The "right reason" has been seperated from God. The authority has been delegated to it. That will not ever be found in Torah. Isaiah writes: אני יהוה הוא שמי וכבודי לאחר לא־אתן ותהלתי לפסילים׃ I am the Lord; that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to carved idols. If you would like to make claims about greek influence on Christianity, be my guest. If the compilers of the Christian bible were influenced by jewish heretics ( or were themselves jewish heretics ), that is also a good fit. Mark 2:17 ( NIV ): On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” If the desire is to be congruent with Jewish principles the place to go is the hebrew bible. Starting with jewish heresy is going to produce jewish heresy. Garbage in ---> garbage out.
  7. Please bring some examples.
  8. If it has a will of its own, it is not monotheism. It is a vessel, nothing less nothing more. The corresponding concept is the shechina which is the divine-presence from the root shin-chaf-nun, to dwell, conjugated feminine. The mystery of creation via divine speech terminates with shechina which is always and forever emanating from the source of reality which is commonly referred to as God. King David writes: לעולם יהוה דברך נצב בשמים׃ For ever, O Lord, your word is fixed in heaven. פתח דבריך יאיר מבין פתיים׃ The unfolding of your word gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. נר־לרגלי דברך ואור לנתיבתי׃ Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. https://www.chabad.org/library/tanya/tanya_cdo/aid/7931/jewish/Chapter-52.htm
  9. They didn't arise in that time. They were written down in that time. The proof of it is in the fact that there are many scriptureal references supporting the ideas, and, the talmud names both kabalaistic schools and confirms that they are not to be written. This shows that the ideas predate your assumed arising They're not borrowing platonist language. The english translators are borrowing the language. For example: פָּתַח עוֹד ר' שִׁמְעוֹן וַאֲמַר רְאוּ עַתָּה כִּי אֲנִי אֲנִי הוּא וְאֵין אֱלֹקִים עִמָּדִי וגו', אֲמַר, חַבְרַיָּיא, שְׁמָעוּ מִלִּין עַתִּיקִין, דְּבָעִינָא לְגַלָּאָה, בָּתַר דְּאִתְיְהֵיב רְשׁוּ עִלָּאָה לְמֵימַר, מַאי נִיהוּ דַּאֲמַר רְאוּ עַתָּה כִּי אֲנִי אֲנִי הוּא אֶלָּא, דָּא הוּא, עִלַּת עַל כָּל עִלָּאִין, הַהוּא דְּאִתְקְרֵי עִלַּת הָעִלּוֹת, עִלַּת מֵאִלֵּין עִלּוֹת, דְּלָא יַעֲבֵיד חַד מֵאִלֵּין עִלּוֹת שׁוּם עוֹבָדָא, עַד דְּנָטֵיל רְשׁוּת מֵהַהוּא דַּעֲלֵיהּ, כְּמָה דְאוֹקִימְנָא לְעֵילָא בְּנַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם. Here is an example of Zohar in which the english translator uses the phrase "cause of causes", but, that's not what it actually says. The "kabalah centre" has chosen that phrase. But it doesn't say that. It's close, it's similar, but it's not borrowing their language. The english translator is using their language. Here's a link to their translation. If you read carefully, God is NOT the "arising of arisings" in the Zohar. Rabbi Shimon corrects the students. God is above all the causes. Not an "arising" like the others. There's two things happening simultaneously. There is a chain of "arising", and there is God. That is kabalah. Is that in neoplatonism? https://www.zohar.com/zohar/Bereshit A/chapters/15 If the ideas predate hellenism, and predate neoplatonism, then the accusation of "being influenced" is wishful thinking. He only has access to the oral tradition. If there is a "logos" that is not monotheism. You seem to think it is. Not the ones who did not assimilate. You seem to assume that all jews were doing the same things. And you seem to ignore that the Torah defines judaism. Gmirkin's dates are off. It's that simple. He isn't aware of the archeology that supports an earlier written law.
  10. There is nothing wrong with preferring plato. My comment was directed to @SirPalomides who insists that the Zohar must have been influenced by neoplatonism when it does not come close to what is written in the Zohar. Here is a good example. What is neoplatonic here? https://www.zohar.com/zohar/Tetzaveh/chapters/2
  11. That's the point. The story you brought is the opposite of what is happening in this thread. This thread is the opposite of two individual independent traditions sharing similarities. This thread is pointing at someone else's religion and saying "You're copying from me." Any similarity, no matter how small is conflated into influence.
  12. Not quite. The jewish version is: "there's an oral tradition, you've probably heard of it, but, it shouldn't be written down." Then around 500 years later, it gets written down. The ones who wrote it weren't supposed to write it down, they were rebels and likely held heretical beliefs already. Because of this, the written texts which are studied by academics are a mix of the authentic original teachings and the heretical beliefs/practices which they had adopted. The academics do not have access to the private one-on-one tutellage which happens behind closed doors, so, they are only able to judge based on what they have. Academics, also, are studying advanced topics lacking the required foundations: Torah, Tanach, Talmud. Kabalah is not intended for those who are not fluent in all three. Lacking Torah, when one considers a singular source for reality it's natural to conclude there is a "logos" and/or a "demiurge" and/or "God is a mix of good and evil". None of these are congruent with Torah. This is what is written. ״וַהֲסִרֹתִי אֶת כַּפִּי וְרָאִיתָ אֶת אֲחֹרָי״. אָמַר רַב חָנָא בַּר בִּיזְנָא, אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן חֲסִידָא: מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהֶרְאָה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמֹשֶׁה קֶשֶׁר שֶׁל תְּפִילִּין. Says Rav Chanah Bar Biznah, "Says Rabbi Shimon Chasidah: It teaches that HaKadosh-Baruch-Hu is showing to Moshe the tefilin's knot." That's what's written. The story that's told is that this is where Moses learned to tie the tefilin knot into a dalet/daleth. Which makes sense if we get "mystical". The parts about being on the back of the head are commentary added to the talmud. Some focus, again, on רָאִיתָ, which is the same word used for a "vision". But, the literal meaning of the "וַהֲסִרֹתִי אֶת כַּפִּי וְרָאִיתָ אֶת אֲחֹרָי" can not be a hand and it can not be a back-side. If it were literally a hand, it would be written HaYad, not Es-Kapaiy. If it were literally a human-back-side, it would be written HaAchoraiy, not Es-Achoraiy. Christians, naturally, are going to translate it and understand it as a human form because they're traditionally envisioning god in the flesh. When reading the english translations from a Christian perspective, they will imagine a humanoid god. The problem, ultimately is linguistic. The word "Es" את, is extremely difficult to translate into english.
  13. That's because the actual teachings are not to be written down. It doesn't say God's "back" in an anthropomorphic manner. It says es-achahrai. והסרתי את־כפי וראית את־אחרי ופני לא יראו׃ The anthropomorphisms are in poetry, visions, and dreams.
  14. It's more likely you have mistaken which terminology is actually being used. As I stated before, you don't seem to know what kabalah is. It is literally making a mercavah. That's what it is.
  15. From the jewish perspective, this is heresy. The one and only creator, is the one and only creator. None other are "giving". That's an assumption. Have you read hagigah in the talmud? Maasei b'reishis and maasei mercavah predate the medieval period. It's not written until later. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merkabah_mysticism#Early_Jewish_merkabah_mysticism