Saturday, November 8, 2008

Say Whaat?

If anyone ever wondered if Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity could ever be reconciled with each other in any realistic way, here is an excerpt of an article just for you. It explains why, according to Judaism, Abraham is the greater model of righteousness than Noah for followers of God to imitate.

Most significantly, when these individuals [Abraham & Noah] were faced with similar challenges they each reacted very differently. When the Almighty tells Abraham His plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, the first Hebrew argues aggressively, railing against a wholesale destruction: "Will you then destroy the righteous together with the wicked?... Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous together with the wicked!... Will the judge of the entire earth not act justly? (Gen. 18:23-25).

And Abraham goes on to bargain with God as if they were standing in the Mahaneh Yehuda market.

In stark contrast, when God informs Noah that He is about to destroy the world, we hear not a peep of protest.

It seems to me that precisely in this contrast we can understand the entire picture. Noah's greatest virtue is obedience - whatever God wishes to do, Noah is ready to accept. He takes the world as it is, and submits to whatever plan God suggests.

That is not the mission that God wishes to impose on His chosen people. God knows that He has created an imperfect world, and wants His people to perfect it, to challenge and goad even Him to cause His compassion to overcome His anger and even His strict justice. God is not seeking pure obedience; He wants to be challenged.
Despite the fact that Abraham completely failed in his efforts to prevent the devastation of Sodom and Gomorrah, the most glaring omission in the discussion is the notion of faith. For me, it is breathtaking that obedience to God takes a back seat to the idea that those who follow Him are expected to confront Him what He says. Call me simplistic, but as I read the very same Bible as the rabbis, I believe this is a very wrong and even dangerous understanding of the Bible. But don't take my word for it - read the Bible for yourself and see what you think.

1 comment:

J. K. Jones said...

Tragic quote.

Hope you all are doing well.