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Offline Mooning Freddy

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New Year read: Who is Satan according to Judaism?
« on: September 04, 2013, 04:13:50 AM »
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Since I know at least some of you are interested in theology, X I'm talking to you, I think you would be interested to read this theological question which some one addressed a Rabbi.

http://www.outreachjudaism.org/articles/who-is-satan.html


In your explanation of Satan and other fallen angels you attributed the creation of evil to G-d thus making Him responsible for evil. There are at least 87 references to G-d’s holiness in Leviticus alone! In 11:44 G-d says, “I AM HOLY.” Is not holiness the absence of sin? There are many scriptures to prove that G-d hates sin (evil), that He cannot tolerate evil in His presence. How, then, can you attribute evil to G-d? I am interested in the Biblical support for your statement.


This was the Rabbi's answer:

Quote
Why weren’t the rabbis surprised by these Jewish teachings on Satan? The Hebrew Scriptures record that the Almighty Himself placed both good and the evil into the world, Click here to listen to Rabbi Tovia Singer’s audio presentation, “Judaism and Christianity on Satan: Why We differ” in order that mankind would have the opportunity to exercise free will. The Torah states:

    “See, I [God] have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.” (Deuteronomy 30:15)

When describing God’s creation plan, the prophet Isaiah reports that the Almighty created evil in the world:

    “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)

These edifying verses underscore the fundamental biblical teaching of the Almighty’s divine sovereign plan, which provides that every searching soul must confront evil, as well as good, in order to remain vigilant in one’s personal search for perfect spiritual balance. The Almighty’s gift of freewill to humanity is what separates us from His other creations. For those committed to attaining a higher spiritual existence, the struggle toward a life of virtue is only possible with the existence of evil, which serves as a spiritual counterweight. In other words, righteousness cannot exist unless man is free to choose or reject evil.

Passages in Tanach like Isaiah 45:7 and Deuteronomy 30:15 pose a monumental theological problem for Christians who maintain that God did not create Satan, the angel of evil. According to Christian doctrine, as you state in your question, Satan was the highest-ranking angel who, through his own act of spiritual defiance and outright disobedience, became the chief adversary and slanderer of God, and the embodiment of evil in this world. As you maintained in your question, God never created evil according Christian teachings; He is only the author of righteousness and perfection. Therefore, God could never create something as sinister as the devil himself. Rather, Satan’s unyielding wickedness is the result of his own spiritual rebellion.

You see, Judaism rejects the Christian ideas that Satan defies God and is his rival, who's driving people to do evil things, and the eternal battle between them, because they contradict the logic of Monotheism. If the Jewish God is the only deity then he can have no rivals. That leads Jews to the obvious assumption that Christians borrowed ideas from non-Jewish religions when defining the fundamentals of Christianity.

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Although this well-known Christian doctrine has much in common with the pagan Zoroastrian Persian dualism from which it spawned, it is completely alien to the teachings of the Jewish Scriptures. In fact, this Christian notion that Satan, in an act of outright defiance, ceased to function as God had intended him to, suggests that God created something imperfect or defective.

For the Jewish faith, Satan’s purpose in seducing man away from God poses no problem because Satan is only an agent of God. As a servant of the Almighty, Satan faithfully carries out the divine will of his Creator as he does in all his tasks.
In essence, Satan is an agent of God, and has no free will or independent existence.

In no part of the Bible is this principle more evident than in the Book of Job, where Satan’s role is prominent. In the first chapter of Job, Satan appears before the Almighty with a host of other angels. Satan suggests that Job’s righteousness was not fully tested. He argues that Job might lose his faith if he were confronted by personal pain and utter destitution. He proposes to God that Job serves Him simply because God protects him. Satan requested permission from God to test Job’s virtue. The Almighty grants this petition; however, He meticulously outlines for Satan what he may and may not do when testing Job. Satan obediently follows his Creator’s instructions.

While in Christian terms Job’s personal spiritual triumph is theologically impossible, in Jewish terms it stands out as the embodiment of God’s salvation program for mankind. In Deuteronomy 30:15, the Torah attests to this principle and in Isaiah 45:7, the prophet echoes this message when he declares that the Almighty Himself creates evil.


It's an interesting read for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year. It outlines the differences between Christianity and Judaism. While Christianity claims that man is born sinful and his only way to save himself from a horrible fate is to seek salvation, Judaism says the choice between good and evil is his to make and that, in fact, God gave people that choice.

Happy Rosh Hashana, may you all have a great year!   ;D
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 04:16:06 AM by Mooning Freddy »
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Offline X

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Re: New Year read: Who is Satan according to Judaism?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2013, 10:25:37 AM »
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Everything I read in that interview shows just how messed up the christian bible is (thanks a lot Roman empire), and why the Judaic teachings are more in line with the original teachings of Jesus. But of course the Jewish teachings also talk about satan and other fallen angels and Jesus's original teachings never mentioned them. Angels cannot fall from grace or 'fall' period. They do not have a human being's flaws, emotions nor our free will of choice. God created angels before us and He/She did so with pure spiritual love; nothing else. Angels cannot fall and cannot kill. Those flaws would require free will and Angels simply don't have that. We came after angels. God made us deliberately flawed. Why? Because it is the only way to learn. We have free will and therefore make mistakes. It is impossible for us to not sin because it goes against our very nature. In order to learn we need to make mistakes which we will learn from, and gain valuable knowledge. This knowledge in turn advances us to greater spiritual potential and understanding. I've seen people whom live with the christian ideology of not sinning and they are an emotional train-wreck. They are easily offended and will use quotes in the bible to shun others, put them down and to make themselves feel bigger or superior to those around them. It's very disturbing on how far some of them will actually take their faith to the point of near-fanaticism, all because they were taught not to sin or else be cast into hell forever with no hope of salvation. It's a blatant terror tactic created by the early church in order to have absolute control over others and unfortunately it still carries on to this day. And the church even murdered in god's name saying it was all for the greater good of wiping out "sinners". Absolutely disgusting. I find it also interesting to note that the Rabbi talks of God creating both good and evil. This is in line with what I've read in other spiritual works. God creates human souls and they are flawed by their very nature. And because those souls have free will, some chose to go 'dark'. It's these 'dark entities' that are evil in nature and god knew it would be like that. Why? Because God knows all. Dark entities came about all for the purposes' of our benefit. If there's nothing out there to "grind against" we 'light souls' cannot advance in our spiritual potential. We also gather valuable knowledge from these dark entities to aid us in further development. But despite the fact that dark entities are evil, in the end God will take them back unto him/herself where they came from. In god's eyes no-one is left behind. Not the good and certainly not the evil. God is indifferent to everyone and everything as he/she does not play favorites. God loves all unconditionally.

Good find Mooning Freddy  :)
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Offline DoctaMario

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Re: New Year read: Who is Satan according to Judaism?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2013, 11:13:40 PM »
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Interesting reads guys! :)

Offline Shiroi Koumori

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Re: New Year read: Who is Satan according to Judaism?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2013, 12:27:08 AM »
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I can accept this more than the conventional Christian Bible.

Offline Lelygax

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Re: New Year read: Who is Satan according to Judaism?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2013, 09:22:20 PM »
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Good read.
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