ATTEMPTS AT IMPROVEMENT SUPPRESSING IDEALSThe bloody gap between "God's kingdom" and "Tikkun ha Olam"

MAKE (TRANSLATED BY COSMIN GHIDOVEANU)
English Section / 05 ianuarie

The bloody gap between "God's kingdom" and "Tikkun ha Olam"

Sitting by the fireplace

Happy new Year!

This current essay called "ATTEMPTS AT IMPROVEMENT SUPPRESSING IDEALS / The bloody gap between "God's kingdom" and "Tikkun ha Olam" creates a disconnect from the usual problems that the readers of the BURSA newspaper are faced with.

The same thing happens to us during the Winter Holidays, whose symbols - Jesus' birth, the fir tree, the golden or red ornaments, the candles, Santa Claus, the sleigh, the bag of gifts, the carols, - induce the spirit of Christmas and the hope of Revelation, along with the return to the New Year.

During the winter holidays, we connect our regular problems to a universe of spirit and that is the intention of the essay.

In agreement with the subject, the literary treatment of the text is different from that of articles normally published, in BURSA.

It is recorded that Democritus said that winter was the time for telling stories by the fireplace, eating roasted chickpeas.

Some said that what Democritus meant was that the spirit demands a break from the labors of the year and tranquility.

Read this article, eating chickpeas!

Or roasted nuts.

They have the same effect.

BURSA

The expressions "Kingdom of God" and "Tikkun ha Olam" meet the hope of access to an ideal/better world, conceived/allowed by God, and they can be understood as synonymous, (like some authors use them), but they have the potential to be different not just through the innovative interpretation of their common origin - Tanakh (the Old Testatement) - , but also through the fact that being connected, they are suspected of in fact suppressing each other, which will result from the text of the essay that follows; the demonstration inevitably sets the draft of an original contribution to the building of "God's Kingdom".

As its subject stems from the Bible, this essay could be suspected of wishing to be an exegesis, but the expressions "Kingdom of God" and "mip'nei tikkun ha-olam" (1) have promised, in their time, methods of functionally bringing balance to society, which corresponds to a higher meaning of life, which is exactly what we today are seeking as an antidote to the disorganization which undermines the meaning of the world (the most discernible crises - social, economic and financial), meaning that the interest on the matter is rather practical.

Carrying over the solutions which were fit for the bronze age and the slavery-societies would prove a dubious sense of humor, but the stereotypes in the collective organization, the constants in human life and the millenary endurance of the sacred texts of the Abrahamic religions, allow the examination of the antique solutions not just to be suggestive, but will actually be stimulative, instructive and therefore advisable.

This essay has its origins in my book "The solution to the crisis / Terminus a quo" (RAO Publishing House, Bucharest, 2016 - the book can be read freely, online, in English, on www.bursa.ro), where I included some of my press articles on the subject of the financial crisis, published (between 2010-2016), in the Romanian financial daily BURSA; the paper concludes that the solution to the global financial crisis is not financial in nature, but lies in designing a desirable world (Apocalypsis) and its practical implementation.

Researching the concept of a desirable world in the sacred Jewish texts has some benefits:

- the research is supported by the processing of thousands of other seekers from present and past generations (2), synchronized in an imaginary debate which, as in the Talmud, does not take into account the time that separates the opinions expressed (fatally, the enterprise is traditional and , independent of history);

- avoids, for the time being, the toxic problems of planning a multidisciplinary collective research, undertaken with contemporary instruments (philosophy, sociology, economics, law, ethics and certainly others) and of the acquisition, by the political will, of the result of this process; for it is not certain that more poisonous consequences would follow, if we left to chance the evolution of our disorganization towards the pointlessness, (which, in fact, seems most likely to happen);

- can benefit from the support of religious fervor, before being politically appropriated.

The New Testament records Jesus Christ's statement that the mission for which he has been sent to promote the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (3).

but it is unanimously admitted that an explanation of the concept is missing from the Christian text, which only records the gestural and / or verbal reactions of Jesus, in various biographical circumstances, from which we obtain, at most, an outline of the notion, without ever being inside.

The fact generates a triple challenge:

a) it is disappointing that the New Testament does not present the very doctrine whose preaching was the mission of the life of its central character (and most likely, the reason for his death sentence); The Christian Bible does not tell us why Jesus Christ lived and died; Is this a deliberate omission or have the authors simply been unable to explain the gospel of the kingdom of God despite Jesus' efforts? - there are indications to support both variants;

b) believers long to being admitted to the Kingdom of God, whose certainty they can only get after accepting the concept they are missing;

c) intelligence, regardless of faith, is enticed to study the sacred texts for the satisfaction of understanding.

This threefold challenge has generated the vast literature devoted to the definition of the "Kingdom of God," literature which has been nourished by the generous metaphysical suggestions which that very expressive name inspires, and which cannot be refuted by anyone, even though confirmation is not at hand either (a frequently used textual support is found in "Prophets").

However, the New Testament indicates that the source of ideas for the Kingdom of God includes the Law and the Prophets (4), that is, the Tanakh / (Old Testament); which could be the reason why the teaching of the Gospel preached by Jesus is omitted - the New Testament does not present what is already presented in the Old Testament, (because that would be pointless), but, at most, relates the leitmotif spoken by Jesus - "that the prophecy might be fulfilled" - repeated in all the circumstances it creates, to be identified as the Messiah, without explicitly declaring Himself to be.

Most likely, on the date that Jesus said that the Law was the "reference" for the Kingdom of God has referred mainly to what has subsequently been established as the corpus of the 613 Godly commandments (Mitzvot) that Moses received on the Mount of Sinai, which he is said to have passed on in writing.

Although tradition holds that the Commandments have been passed down from generation to generation unchanged, it still records the loss of 300 of them (from the very first transfer) and the assertion of their subsequent recovery; then, the complete loss of the Book itself, in its entirety, and its rediscovery during the reign of Josiah (5), in the seventh century B.C. (Some exegetes even suspect that the Pentateuch has been lost forever, and that the finder, the priest Hilkiah, is, in fact, the author of what we inherited today under this title); the questionable way in which Rabbi Simlai (6) reached the figure of 613 and the intuitive way in which this figure became a numerical value of the multitude of the Commandments, rejected by some exegetes as foreign to the rabbinic tradition; but, above all, the unsuccessful effort over a millennium, almost, of some brilliant minds to find concretely the list of the 613 Commandments; which, finally, is established by Maimonides, in a laborious work (7); and although his list is vigorously and arguably contested, it becomes generally accepted; in all these reincarnations, tribulations, and adventures of the list of the Commandments, the action and spirit of the people participated, so that, moreover, the Commandments were defined as "meeting places with God," in all areas of social and spiritual life, and not just as an open multitude of obligations that God has established to every member of mankind

While it is inappropriate to issue statements on divine reason and motives, still, the processing and human participation in the normative space of the divine Commandments gives them the presumption of coherence - the uniqueness and consistency of the identity of each Commandment, the observance of the Law of excluded middle and the non-contradiction of the body of Commandments - which are qualities of human logic, for the purpose of comprehensibility.

The assumption supports the present essay, in configuring what we may call the "Kingdom of society, the values of which are found in the prophecies of the second part of the Tanakh.

At the heart of this construction is Shmita, with its two Laws - the Law of Forgiveness and the Law of Liberation - the observance of which is the divine condition for the conclusion of the last Covenant between God and the People of Israel, by which God allows them to use the Promised Land / Erertz Israel and bestows its supremacy on the World.

The Shmita has two functions, for its observance not only fulfills the condition of the Covenant, but ensures the social cohesion, economic efficiency, and the environment that drive the ethical and spiritual values promoted by the Prophets and required by the Commandments, values assumed to be characteristic of the Kingdom of God, which becomes an ideal human organization, whose promised supremacy is realized through itself, without any other transcendental intervention than that of the promise.

It is an intelligible miracle - the promise is made true through the Covenant (the divine promise, through the following of the Commandments by man).

Noticing that Shmita inhibited credit around the Sabbath Year, causing a cyclical economic deadlock, under the guise of "repairing the world" (Tikkun ha olam), Hillel introduced the Prosbul procedure, authorizing the circumvention of the Law of Forgiveness through legal tricks and linguistic leniency to allow for continuous flow lending.

Of course, the practice of Prosbul has altered the Shmita and has thus made impossible achieving the Kingdom of God, which has become a utopia.

Moreover, God himself has become an external entity, whose words can be twisted.

This radical change of the Commandments, into their very opposite, has opened the line for rabbinic creativity, where the validation of the interpretation of the holy text matches a human decision democratically passed through the vote of the majority, rejecting the invocation of the divine intention beyond the words of the Commandments (the authoritarian interpretation with its origin in the oral Torah).

This development during the Amoraim period seems to have arisen from the controversy between "a better world" (Tikkun ha olam) and "an ideal world" (the Kingdom of God), transformed into a bloody conflict that apparently obscured the motive, probably yielding to the spectacle of the narrative that culminates in the crucifixion of Jesus.

Configuring the kingdom of God, in this essay, does not claim to come from the Bible, except to the xtent where everyone can find in the Book what they are looking for and can interpret in their own way; and does not propose for it to be a social ideal, but rather as a starting point for discussion and benchmark for testing.

NOTE

"Tikkun ha-olam", within its meaning in "Aleinu leshabei'ach"- a prayer from the "Siddur", the classic Judaic prayer book: "to speedily see Your mighty splendor, to cause detestable (idolatry) to be removed from the land, and the (false) gods will be utterly "cut off', to takein olam - fix/repair/establish a world - under the Almighty's kingdom" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikkun_olam.

"The Kingdom of God: A Bibliography of 20th Century Research. Update Les³aw Daniel Chrupca³a/Created: 5 July, 2007. Last modified: 11 November, 2019" is one of the bibilographical lists present on the internet (https://www.academia.edu/41346521/The_Kingdom_of_God_A_Bibliography_of_20th_Century_Research._Update), which, without being the only one of the kind, is exclusively dedicated to the works on the Kingdom of God; the lists spans 400 pages, and displays about 6000 studies.

"And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent". (Luke/Cap. 4/.).

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil". (Matthew/Cap. 5/.)

"And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord,

Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the Lord given by Moses". (Paralipomenos/Second Chronicles Book - Chapter 34/14.).

The total number of commandments has been set in the second half of the third century (250-290) by Rabi Simlai, amoraim of the second generation, calculating the gemmatria of the word Tawrah (the Arabic pronounciation of the word Torah), see: (https://www.sefaria.org/Makkot.24a.2?lang=bi&with=Chidushei%20Agadot&lang2=en /The William Davidson Talmud/Makkot 24a).

"Mishneh Torah", written between 1170-1180

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