A good thing doesn't justify a wrong thing. That certainly is true.
People of every faith, though, generally speaking, belong to that faith, and not another one because it is the faith they grew up with, the one in which they were instructed with in childhood from their parents. Thus, people who belong to a different faith from one's own are not there because they have committed, any more than the members of one's own faith, the sin of not searching for the true message of G-d to humanity.
The people of all the faiths may think that their own faith is the One True Faith, but the world does not know which is which. The world does, however, know the difference between someone who is righteous and kind, and someone who is wicked and cruel.
But what is that supposed to mean, as a message from Jesus to people who are believing Christians? Thanks guys for coming to the right church on Sunday, but it doesn't really matter? No, because that's a message that could hardly be at the heart of a religious denomination that would continue to exist.
A bit of humility about whether the faith of one's fathers is really the True Faith is, however, not inappropriate. But that isn't really the message here.
Instead, it is generally believed - although different denominations handle this one differently, and some would not accept this - by Christians to be this:
Do not count yourself as righteous because you are privileged to be in the True Faith and others are not.
The W-rd is spoken to Man in order that he might be righteous and do what is pleasing in G-d's eyes. If those who have not heard the W-rd still do what is righteous to their fellow man, is it not even more pleasing?
Those who have heard the W-rd are also called to worship. But the worship, the prayers, the sacrifices, and the burnt offerings of those who oppress their neighbor are not pleasing unto the L-RD.
Of course, this seems to be saying that good works towards one's fellow man are what Christianity is about, and religious belief is secondary - an addition rather than a fundamental obligation. The reality of Christianity as a whole is more complicated than that. This is the message of one parable, that of the Good Samaritan.
But elsewhere, the New Testament also points out that "by grace, not works" people are saved - the necessary thing is to believe in Christ, so that He can forgive your sins. But it also says "faith without works is dead". Christianity basically reconciles these contradictory messages like this:
Christ died on the Cross in order that it may be possible to forgive sin (or, at least, to forgive sin without sacrificing animals at the Temple).
To have your sins forgiven, it is helpful (but perhaps not strictly necessary, as far as what is explicitly stated) to accept Christ as Savior.
If you really have done this, though, then you will be righteous and you will do acts of kindness to your neighbor. (Or, at least you will _want_ to; G-d looks upon the heart while the world sees only actions and their results. Doing the right thing is important, but what counts is doing or trying to do the right thing for the right reasons.)
And those who truly follow Christ are also called to the worship of G-d.
So in Christianity there is a strict ordering of prerequisites:
- faith in G-d and Christ;
- works of justice, mercy, and charity;
- acts of worship.
The earlier items are required to give the later ones meaning, and the later ones are necessary consequences if the earlier ones are really present. So, while there is an ordering, there is also some circularity.
>> The people of all the faiths may think that their own faith is the One True Faith, but the world does not know which is which. The world does, however, know the difference between someone who is righteous and kind, and someone who is wicked and cruel. <<
I was taught when I first entered a yeshiva rabbinic college at age 23 1/2 that the way to know whether something is true or false, be it a teaching, a behavior of a student, is to judge by the results.
If the teachings produce generations after generations of refined people, then those teachings must be true.
But if the teachings of brotherly love and kindness etc. produce the opposite, hatred and murder etc., then those teachings must be false.
>> Do not count yourself as righteous because you are privileged to be in the True Faith and others are not. <<
There is a great lesson from the Midrash (a section of the Talmud dedicated to teachings based upon verses of the Tanakh.
"Moses spotted the burning bush, and looked away." - Exodus 3:2-6 "What did he look at?" asks the Midrash. He foresaw all the generations of the Jewish people until the advent of the long awaited Moshiach. He spied the very last generation; they perceived nothing of G-d, like Mose who spoke face-to-Face with G-d; they did not have the great learning of the entire Torah, like Moses had.
Moses reasoned, "If they had the good fortune to see G-d as I do, to learn the entire Torah as I do, they would be so much greater than me. This humbled Moses exceedingly, and Moses was the humblest on the face of the earth.
>> Of course, this seems to be saying that good works towards one's fellow man are what Christianity is about, and religious belief is secondary. <<
We say in the Talmud that our sages obm debated the entire night about what was greater: deeds or learning.
They concluded that 'maaseh hu haikar" - deeds are the main thing, but learning is great too, for learning leads to doing deeds (correctly).
>> "by grace, not works" people are saved - the necessary thing is to believe in Christ, so that He can forgive your sins. <<
In Judaism, this notion is rejected. Self-achievement is essential. The disadvantage of the above approach is that it allows a person to get off 'scot-free'.
>> "faith without works is dead" <<
A similar lesson is taught in the Talmud, in tractate Taanit/Fasting, and very likely studied by Yeshu/Jesus when he went to Rabbi Joshua's yeshiva.
A discussion arises regarding the fear of G-d (brought about by faith), and deeds. The Talmud concludes that fear of G-d is false, if it is not joined by deeds.
> Are there any... Samaritans today?
Of course (+-1000) + very rich tradition, culture.
The Samaritans recitation of prayers & hymns:
In ancient Aramaic (4th-5th cent.):
Gen 1 (version 1):
Gen 1 (version 2):
Thank you, David.
Why is the Tav enlarged in the late Aramaic hymn? Is it just an unusual 'drop-cap'? (center justified vertically withe line)
Are the bottom two corresponding to the top two?
Interesting version of the Frankrul typeface design. It isn't Linotype, right? Who made it? The Ayin with its lower lifted tail on the left. It seems to have been made for nikkud.
> Is it just an unusual 'drop-cap'?
drop cap based on the MS
> Are the bottom two corresponding to the top two?
> The Ayin with its lower lifted tail on the left...
Good morning :) a sample from a book, late 1960s (printed in Israel, of course):
>> drop cap based on the MS
What is the MS?
> The Ayin with its lower lifted tail on the left...
You see from your example with nikkud, that such an ayin is desigtned to operate with text with nikkud. When text is set without nikkud, an ayin with its lower tail on the left descending below the baseline.
Two Systems of Alignment
GHB (GoHebrew Biblical Hebrew www.GoHebrew.com starting in the second quarter of 2011) fonts come in both flavors: System One, by default, and System 2, by request.
Why is system two "by request", and not the default?
Since the scribe of the second system could have passed over the vocalized text, after it was vocalized, there may be no valid system two.
In Talmudic logic, this is a case of bar-ree (a certainty) and sheh-mah (a doubt), in which bar-ree wins.
To the second system's defence, it is a fascinating suggestion that nikud takes precedence over meteg/siluk and/or taam.
Yet no evidence of nikud's precedence has been suggested.
I don't want to be rude :) but the whole idea of "two systems... some ancient documents use the first system... some ancient documents use the second system... that nikud takes precedence over meteg/siluk and/or taam." --- is bullshmul :)
I don't recall the reference now, but I think I did come across a mention of a case in which a manuscript had Masoretic annotations added later, after being originally written with vocalization. So I would suspect that the explanation given for why the "system two" might only appear to have existed is a reasonable one.
> a manuscript had Masoretic annotations added later, after being originally written with vocalization
What is the relationship between positioning/mark positioning & 'Masoretic annotations added later'? or if the ta'am is a little bit to the left ("system one"), or to the right ("system two"), or centered?
In your view, the hierarchy system is bull, as I think, or the centered approach even for groups, is bull?
If the hierarchy system is full of it, then Koren's Bible made the most sh*t!
There is no "hierarchy system" but mark positioning preferences, design preferences.
> If the hierarchy system is full of it, then Koren's Bible made the most sh*t!
why is that? they have their own design preferences.
>> What is the relationship between positioning/mark positioning & 'Masoretic annotations added later'? or if the ta'am is a little bit to the left ("system one"), or to the right ("system two"), or centered? <<
I am surprized you ask. Aren't you omnipotent? :)
I think there is no extra significance to either system. Perhaps, the second system is even false, because some nikud vowels have one role, others have another; different taam are for one purpose, and others are for another; often a meteg-like symbol is called a meteg and serves one purpose, and others are called a silug and serve another purpose all together.
So we have six categories at the very least. Why is one higher in importance than another? Who will rate them?
This nikud is more important that this taam, but not that one. Silugs? Oh, so dear! A silug is greater than a shvah-nah. Bump it up! Etnachta? Well, an etnachta is greater than ...
If I were G-d, I'd dump the second system in the ocean, and let it drown.
A design preference, is a employed system, is a design-based upon hierarchy.
Different ways to describe the same thing.
Some designs are thoughtful, but only one is both thoughtful and consistant to its own rules.
As I understood what Rabbi Seldowitz wrote, "system two" had the vowel points centered beneath the Hebrew letters, and the accent marks placed to their right. While that could result from a conscious decision to give priority to the vowel points, obviously it could also be the result of a manuscript being written in ink on papyrus (as opposed to pencil, or ink on parchment that could be given the palimpsest treatment) at one time with vowel points, and then with the Masoretic accents being added by another scribe - independently, on a later occasion, without the scribe placing the vowel points having been aware that someone else would add accents perhaps a hundred years later.
I don't know why I have so much trouble expressing myself clearly.
john is correct