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Unread 02-26-2006, 05:32 AM   #1
milwaukee
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Are we Jewish-supremacists?

I'm teaching a class on this subject, and I wan't to refute the common misconception that the Torah is ethnocentric.

Here are arguemnts supporting that misconception:
a. Yiden hav a nefesh alakes, goyim do not.
b. Jewish slave have to be treated humanly, goyish slaves can be mistreated.
c. During the time of Moshiach the goyim will "serve" the Jews.
d. You can charge rebis (usury) to goyim, but not Jews.
The list goes on and on.

What are some arguments that shatter this misconception? Or is it true that Judaism is ethnocentric?

Last edited by milwaukee; 02-26-2006 at 06:03 AM.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 07:24 AM   #2
teva
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As for charging Ribis, it isnt so much that we charge Goyim as it is we dont charge Jews.

And in general:
"Ki Bochar Bonu Mikol Hoamim"
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Unread 02-26-2006, 07:32 AM   #3
milwaukee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teva
As for charging Ribis, it isnt so much that we charge Goyim as it is we dont charge Jews.

And in general:
"Ki Bochar Bonu Mikol Hoamim"
True.
How do we explain this: "A Jew may steal from a goy, he may cheat him in a bill, if it be unlikely to be recognized by him." (Shulchan Arach Chashen Hamishpat 348)
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Unread 02-26-2006, 07:35 AM   #4
teva
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Still Assur Miderabanan I believe.
Also be carefull not to take anything out of context. I dont have the Sefer in front of me, but I doubt its that Poshut.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 07:47 AM   #5
milwaukee
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I would be interested in seeing where this would be forbidden medarasa?
It would at least be forbidden under "dina demalchus hadina." But again that doesent deal with the underyling reason.......................

We are always elavated above the rest of the world but at the same time we are the ones that carry the burden of humanity by enduring the greatest suffering. Why is that? What's the greater lesson?
Does that go back to the whole idea that we can accomplish more through suffering, similar to the crushed olives for hameor concept in Chasdis?

Last edited by milwaukee; 02-26-2006 at 07:51 AM.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 07:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milwaukee
I would be interested in seeing where this would be forbidden medarasa?
It would at least be forbidden under "dina demalchus hadina." But again that doesent deal with the underyling reason.......................

We are always elavated above the rest of the world but at the same time we are the ones that carry the burden of humanity by enduring the greatest suffering. Why is that? What's the greater lesson?
Does that go back to the whole idea that we can accomlish more through suffering, similar to the crushed olives for hameor concept in Chasdis?
The Kasis Lama'or is a good point. Also Bikesh Yaakov Leisheiv B'shalva.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 07:52 AM   #7
milwaukee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teva
The Kasis Lama'or is a good point. Also Bikesh Yaakov Leisheiv B'shalva.
Can you elaborate on those two points and how they relate to the idea I mentioned about suffering?
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Unread 02-26-2006, 07:58 AM   #8
teva
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milwaukee
Can you elaborate on those two points and how they relate to the idea I mentioned about suffering?
The Kasis thing you know, I think you mentioned it in your post about crushing.
The thing with Yaakov I dont remember so well, but basically when Yaakov was in Eretz Yisroel he wanted to live in peace and then the whole episode with Yosef happened. This shows on the constant Avoda that a person has in serving Hashem and can never relax, for when you relax in essence you are going backwards and not growing. I think its a Sicha somewhere, but I think thats how it goes.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 09:29 AM   #9
R'YehudaHalevi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milwaukee
I'm teaching a class on this subject, and I wan't to refute the common misconception that the Torah is ethnocentric.

Here are arguemnts supporting that misconception:
a. Yiden hav a nefesh alakes, goyim do not.
b. Jewish slave have to be treated humanly, goyish slaves can be mistreated.
c. During the time of Moshiach the goyim will "serve" the Jews.
d. You can charge rebis (usury) to goyim, but not Jews.
The list goes on and on.

What are some arguments that shatter this misconception? Or is it true that Judaism is ethnocentric?
Jews are special compared to the rest of the world because of an inheritance not an inherent superiority. Is it fair, no.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 09:38 AM   #10
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jews are special because of inheritance, thereby also giving them some superiority, but the superiority is not inherited, but merely caused by it. for instance, a good looking person is hansome by inheritance, but the fact that he is attractive is a superiority caused by his inheritance - but i don't know how this explanation would fit in our case

- although it may just be appropriate to recognize that jews are different to one another - as they would be to goyim. jews aren't only a religion, they are a family, and families have certain priorities - no? wouldn't you treat your family differently than you would others? not suggesting that you wouldn't act nice to others, but your family would come first - only natural?


i don't know
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Unread 02-26-2006, 09:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R'YehudaHalevi
Jews are special compared to the rest of the world because of an inheritance not an inherent superiority. Is it fair, no.
Yes, it is fair. With that inheritance comes much greater responsibility and a standard of observance and honor to HaShem. Jews are not superior. They are called to priesthood in the messianic era which is the reason they observe the 613 whereas gentiles only must observe the 7. Because more is given to them, more is expected of them. One of the obligations of the Jews, is the obligation to teach the gentile the difference between right and wrong. One does not teach the gentile the difference between right and wrong by stealing from him, by taking his wife (not recognizing a gentile marriage), by violating his human rights, by asserting Jewish superiority, by enslaving him and otherwise mistreating him. The Jews, in the messianic era, will serve as an example of such fairness, honesty and integrity, that all of the nations will want to model their governments after The Rose and they will become part of The Rose.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 09:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DW Duke
Yes, it is fair. With that inheritance comes much greater responsibility and a standard of observance and honor to HaShem. Jews are not superior. They are called to priesthood in the messianic era which is the reason they observe the 613 whereas gentiles only must observe the 7. Because more is given to them, more is expected of them. One of the obligations of the Jews, is the obligation to teach the gentile the difference between right and wrong. One does not teach the gentile the difference between right and wrong by stealing from him, by taking his wife (not recognizing a gentile marriage), by violating his human rights, by asserting Jewish superiority, by enslaving him and otherwise mistreating him. The Jews, in the messianic era, will serve as an example of such fairness, honesty and integrity, that all of the nations will want to model their governments after The Rose and they will become part of The Rose.
I agree.
You paint a rosy picture, but bepal mamesh the Torah teaches us that taking advantage of the goyim and viewing ourselves as superior is ok.
Besides the directive to be "a light onto the nation" what other Torah sources would support the picture you represent?
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Unread 02-26-2006, 10:05 AM   #13
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Judaism, unlike xtianity is not a feel good religion - a feeling of superiority b'poel mamesh is certainly not essential - only if it is genuine superiority - like the difference between hisna'asus al ha'am and hisna'asus atzmis
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Unread 02-26-2006, 10:07 AM   #14
milwaukee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiskashrus
like the difference between hisna'asus al ha'am and hisna'asus atzmis
can you please explicate that refrence.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 10:11 AM   #15
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those are two concepts in chassidus, hisna'asus al ha'am is when someone is considered superior and powerful above a certain force, in which his power is expressed in the form in that he is more powerful than his subsidiaries. hisna'asus atzmis is referred to g-d, who is superior and supreme in of himself, i.e. he is special because he is special, not because he is more powerful. than others
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Unread 02-26-2006, 10:28 AM   #16
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There are actually many verses concerning the role between Jews and goyim. Numbers 27:16-17.

A distinction, of course, must be made between a Noachide and an Amalekite.

Quote:
When one of the Children of Noah engages in the study of the Seven Universal Laws, he is able to attain a spiritual level equal to the High Priest of the Jews, who alone has the sanctity to enter the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem." [Babylonian Talmud, Baba Kamma 38a]
Some believe these verse apply only to the convert. I believe they apply to the Noachide as well.

Quote:
Do not oppress a stranger. You know the soul of the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Exodus 23: 9)
Quote:
Numbers 15:14-16: "If a proselyte will live with you or among you, for all of your generations and makes a fire-offering of pleasing fragrance to Ad-noy, in the same fashion as you make it, so shall he make it. The assembly has one statute for yourselves and for the proselyte who resides; one statute for all of your generations, just as it is for yourselves, so shall it be for the proselyte, before Ad-noy. One law and one rule will apply to you, and to the proselyte who lives with you."
Judaism as not flourished in the world despite the fact that all major religions of the world have modeled their tenents after Judaism. Why is that? Is it because, at least prior to Chabad, Jews have not ever undertaken their obligation to teach the gentile the truth by way of example?


Quote:
I agree. You paint a rosy picture, but bepal mamesh the Torah teaches us that taking advantage of the goyim and viewing ourselves as superior is ok.
Actually, I borrowed the rosy picture.

Quote:
It is written, as the rose amongst the thorns.(Song of Songs 2:2). He asked, What is the rose? And answered, It is the Community of Israel, meaning Malchut. Because there is a rose, and there is a rose. Just as the rose among the thorns is tinged with red and white, so is the Community of Israel (Malchut) affected by the qualities of judgment and mercy. Just as the rose has 13 petals, so the Community of Israel is surrounded by the 13 attributes of mercy on all sides. As it is said in the first sentence in the Torah, In the beginning Elokim created This is when He thought and initially created 13 words to surround the Community of Israel and guard it. Here they are: THE, HEAVEN, AND THE, EARTH, AND THE EARTH, WAS, WITHOUT FORM, AND VOID, AND DARKNESS, WAS UPON, THE FACE, OF THE DEEP, AND THE SPIRIT, up to the word Elokim.
When Israel comes to realize her place as the Rose with qualities of judgment and mercy for all, then Israel will see Moshiach ben David. That, I believe is the essence of the teaching of the Rebbe.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 10:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiskashrus
those are two concepts in chassidus, hisna'asus al ha'am is when someone is considered superior and powerful above a certain force, in which his power is expressed in the form in that he is more powerful than his subsidiaries. hisna'asus atzmis is referred to g-d, who is superior and supreme in of himself, i.e. he is special because he is special, not because he is more powerful. than others
These expressions of superiority are within the Malchut and are perfectly consistent with Torah and relate directly to the covenant. Superiority is not the term I use to describe this status which I previously discussed in terms of priesthood and obligation. But you are absolutely right.

The concept of superiority as perceived by goyim in the context of Milwaukee's question implies ethnocentrism and possibly even racism (depending upon one's definition of race.) That is the reason it would be dangerous to allow non-Jews to be aware of these concepts.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 12:12 PM   #18
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I don't see a problem with someone (nation) considering himself (itself) superior then another.

In life everyone is trying to excel over others. Thats a great thing, it is human nature.

With the issue of ribiz and slaves perhaps the reason you can act in that manner to a goy and not to a Jew, is because they would do the same on you. A fellow Jew (with the same laws) would give you the same mutual respect.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 01:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRA
In life everyone is trying to excel over others. Thats a great thing, it is human nature.

With the issue of ribiz and slaves perhaps the reason you can act in that manner to a goy and not to a Jew, is because they would do the same on you. A fellow Jew (with the same laws) would give you the same mutual respect.
You are right, historically goyim could charge ribis to jews so its only fair that jews would have the same economic advantage..........

according to the laws of capitalism the system works best when there is an even and fair playing field.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 03:09 PM   #20
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besides, jews can just as well charge ribis to jews - ever heard of heter iskah?
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Unread 02-26-2006, 03:27 PM   #21
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besides, jews can just as well charge ribis to jews - ever heard of heter iskah?
Thats only for specific circumstances and its not so Poshut.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 03:47 PM   #22
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of course, but the concept of a jew being charged ribbis is definitely existent.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 04:59 PM   #23
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of course, but the concept of a jew being charged ribbis is definitely existent.
Existent yes, prevalent no.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 08:48 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by teva
Existent yes, prevalent no.
Are you sure it is not prevelant? I was under the impression that it had entered the mainstream Jewish society. I see ribbis between Jews on a daily basis. Moreover, Jews deal with various financial institutions on a daily basis many of which are owned by Jews.

If one loans money to another without charging interest sufficient to keep place with inflation, then is the one who loaned the money being unfairly disadvantaged? If a Jew loans money to another Jew interest free when it could have been loaned to a goyim for interest, how does one compensate the lender for his loss?

Here is a similar concept. Although Jews are suppose to deal with disputes with one another in Bet Din I see Jews in civil court on a daily basis and thousands of Jewish attorneys represent their clients in civil litigation matters. Indeed, many of the finest judges, attorneys and law professors in the US are Jews.
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Unread 02-26-2006, 09:01 PM   #25
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aYiden hav a nefesh alakes, goyim do not

Bill Gates has 60 billions ,you only have 35 million.But it is a good money,u can make a lot with is.Nefesh Elokis brings more responsability(613 mitzvos against 7)and it is very hard to be a Jew.But what goym have to accomplish,only them can do it and can become chassidim umos aholam

bJewish slave have to be treated humanly, goyish slaves can be mistreated

Who has Jewish slave,has a master,bc a Jew should not be slave from onother Jew, only from H.
A goishe slave has the great zechus to serve a Id.This is the best for him, and the Jew is going to treat him with respect, but sometimes he might need a little guidance, just for the slave 's benefit


cDuring the time of Moshiach the goyim will "serve" the Jews

During Moshiach's times, thw Goym r going to have the unbelieveable zechus to serve YDN
Explain how precious would be for a chassid to serve his Rebbe.This dimension is going to be reveald in every Jew,so the greatest expectation for a Goy and the greatest joy, will be to serve his Reebbe,a Jew

d

rebis, business is business
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