Thomas Sandberg’s Reviews > Judaism: A Very Short Introduction

Judaism: A Very Short IntroductionJudaism: A Very Short Introduction by Norman Solomon

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This Very Short Introduction begins well enough, the first two paragraphs even succinctly evince the false presupposition underlying the Protestant religions. However, shortly thereafter anti-Christian vitriolic saturates the narrative. Sadly, all of that vitriolic about Christianity – when it comes to Orthodox Christianity – is mistaken and incorrect and in a future blog post I hope to correct the appropriate places.

As for the rest of this small book, I do not know enough about post-Second Temple Judaism (hence why I read this) to comment, but I must say that I received the impression that Solomon was painting a picture with a Postmodern brush. Pre-Second Temple Judaism is mentioned so briefly that a separate ‘Pre-Second Temple Judaism: A Very Short Introduction’ is truly in order with this present volume renamed appropriately. Then again, I guess that’s what Wikipedia is for.

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Nor Shall a Garment of Mixed Linen and Wool Come Upon You

<<…καὶ ἱμάτιον ἐκ δύο ὑφασμένον κίβδηλον οὐκ ἐπιβαλεῖς σεαυτῷ.>>

Λευιτικὸν Κεφὰλαιον ΙΘʹ:19

This morning, the day after the celebration of the Orthodox Church’s Triumph over heresy, I found myself in a position of having to defend the Faith against, sadly and ironically, a fourth-year seminarian who has fallen into heresy in many areas of the Faith. As he stated his case against the Church’s teaching on ὁ διάβολος and supported his position that abortion is not caused by ὁ διάβολος, he informed me that evil isn’t a πρόσωπον.

“The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist.”

Charles Baudelaire

Trust me, I know this is ridiculous, but it is a position he has chosen to take in order to justify his political stance of supporting Hillary Clinton (and no, he is not an American citizen…see how ridiculous this is?) and yet be free from cognitive dissonance due to his alleged profession of Orthodox Christianity.

Carrying on, he said and inferred that certain teachings (let’s say, the Church’s traditional teaching on demons) need to be reinterprted, to which I disagreed (q.v. ΠΑΡΟΙΜΙΑΙ ΚΒʹ:28), exposing his secular φρόνημα as a postmodern demythologizing of the Church; he responds to me in the classic ignorant seminarian way by invoking the Canons (even though I know very few who have ever read them, those non-readers of the Canons sure like to bring them up), when that doesn’t destroy my position due to the fact that I actually read and understand what the Canons are he resorts to the ultimate in, ironically, atheist bullshit arguments, the anti-Christian social justice warrior’s perceived ace in the hole, the progressive heterodox christian’s Sirens’ Call: Leviticus. Specifically Leviticus 19:19d.

There is no need for me to write in opposition to this argument, as it has been already been done by Orthodox and conservative heterodox Christians already. Below I will simple supply some links.

2013 – Why Wearing Clothes of Mixed Fabrics (Lev. 19:19) Was Wrong

<<οἶδα ὅτι σπέρμα ᾿Αβραάμ ἐστε· ἀλλὰ ζητεῖτέ με ἀποκτεῖναι, ὅτι ὁ λόγος ὁ ἐμὸς οὐ χωρεῖ ἐν ὑμῖν. ἐγὼ ὃ ἑώρακα παρὰ τῷ πατρί μου λαλῶ· καὶ ὑμεῖς οὖν ὃ ἑωράκατε παρὰ τῷ πατρὶ ὑμῶν ποιεῖτε. ἀπεκρίθησαν καὶ εἶπον αὐτῷ· ὁ πατὴρ ἡμῶν ᾿Αβραάμ ἐστι. λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦσ· εἰ τέκνα τοῦ ᾿Αβραὰμ ἦτε, τὰ ἔργα τοῦ ᾿Αβραὰμ ἐποιεῖτε. νῦν δὲ ζητεῖτέ με ἀποκτεῖναι, ἄνθρωπον ὃς τὴν ἀλήθειαν ὑμῖν λελάληκα, ἣν ἤκουσα παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ· τοῦτο ᾿Αβραὰμ οὐκ ἐποίησεν. ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε τὰ ἔργα τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν. εἶπον οὖν αὐτῷ· ἡμεῖς ἐκ πορνείας οὐ γεγεννήμεθα· ἕνα πατέρα ἔχομεν, τὸν Θεόν. εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦσ· εἰ ὁ Θεὸς πατὴρ ὑμῶν ἦν, ἠγαπᾶτε ἂν ἐμέ· ἐγὼ γὰρ ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐξῆλθον καὶ ἥκω· οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀπ᾽ ἐμαυτοῦ ἐλήλυθα, ἀλλ᾽ ἐκεῖνός με ἀπέστειλε. διατί τὴν λαλιὰν τὴν ἐμὴν οὐ γινώσκετε; ὅτι οὐ δύνασθε ἀκούειν τὸν λόγον τὸν ἐμόν. ὑμεῖς ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ διαβόλου ἐστέ, καὶ τὰς ἐπιθυμίας τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν θέλετε ποιεῖν. ἐκεῖνος ἀνθρωποκτόνος ἦν ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ οὐχ ἕστηκεν, ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἀλήθεια ἐν αὐτῷ· ὅταν λαλῇ τὸ ψεῦδος, ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων λαλεῖ, ὅτι ψεύστης ἐστὶ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ. ἐγὼ δὲ ὅτι τὴν ἀλήθειαν λέγω, οὐ πιστεύετέ μοι. τίς ἐξ ὑμῶν ἐλέγχει με περὶ ἁμαρτίας; εἰ δὲ ἀλήθειαν λέγω, διατί ὑμεῖς οὐ πιστεύετέ μοι; ὁ ὢν ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ τὰ ῥήματα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀκούει· διὰ τοῦτο ὑμεῖς οὐκ ἀκούετε, ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ οὐκ ἐστέ.>>

PTNT ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ Ηʹ:43-45

The Anathemas of the Sunday of Orthodoxy

I. Synodikon of the Sunday of Orthodoxy

Ecumenical Patriarchate

1082?

Metaphysical and religious truths could validly originate only in the Christian revelation. This is the reason that Plato and the Neoplatonists were always looked at with suspicion in conservative–and particularly monastic–circles of the Byzantine Church: Indeed, in any form of Platonic thought, no understanding of reality was possible without metaphysical, that is, in fact, theological presuppositions foreign to Christianity.

     It is not astonishing, therefore, to find out that every year, on the first Sunday of Lent–also known as the “Sunday of Orthodoxy”–all Byzantine Orthodox churches resounded with formal and repeated anathemas against “those who follow the foolish opinions of the Hellenic disciplines” and particularly against those “who considered the ideas of Plato [the ‘Divine Ideas’ or ‘Forms’ -T.S.] as truly existing or believe (with Aristotle) in the eternity of matter.* These anathemas were first issued in the eleventh century on the occasion of the condemnation of the philosopher John Italos, but their inclusion in the liturgical Synodikon of the Sunday of Orthodoxy gave them permanent significance. -Fr. John Meyendorff, “Introduction,” Gregory Palamas: The Triads, The Classics of Western Spirituality, pp. 10-11, 115

*J. Gouillard, ” Le Synodikon de l’Orthodoxie. Edition et commentaire”, Centre de recherche d’histoire et de civilisation byzantines. Travaux et mémoires 2 (Paris, 1967), p. 59; also Triodion (Athens, ed. Phos, 1958), p. 160.

II. The Anathemas of the Sunday of Orthodoxy

Saint Petersburg

1902

(Jordanville Edition 1967)

III. Anathema Against Ecumenism

ROCOR

1983

IV. The Anathemas of the Sunday of Orthodoxy

ROCOR

2000