¿Cuál es el significado místico de la estrella de David?

¿Cuál es el significado místico de la estrella de David?

El maguén David simboliza la conexión entre ambas dimensiones de Di-s, la Torá e Israel

Por Naftali Silberberg

El Zohar (3:73a) dice: “Existen tres nudos [tres entidades] que se conectan la una a la otra: el Santo Bendito Sea, la Torá e Israel”. Los judíos conectan sus almas con el creador mediante el estudio y la observancia de la Torá. El triángulo representa la conexión entre estas tres entidades.1

Cada una de ellas posee una dimensión interna (pnimiut) y una externa (jitzoniut). La Torá comprende enseñanzas exotéricas, como ser el Talmud y la ley judía, al igual que enseñanzas esotéricas como la cábala. La energía “revelada” de Di-s provee y permite la existencia de todas las cosas del mundo, pero su esencia está completamente oculta y trasciende a toda la creación. De manera similar, el alma (que es un reflejo de Di-s2 ) tiene un elemento revelado, aquella porción que se expresa dentro del cuerpo y le otorga vida, y una esencia que trasciende el cuerpo.

El doble triangulo de la estrella de David (maguén David) simboliza la conexión entre ambas dimensiones de Di-s, la Torá e Israel: el nivel externo del alma se conecta con la expresión externa de Di-s por medio del estudio de las partes exotéricas de la Tora; la esencia del alma se conecta con la esencia de Di-s por medio del estudio y puesta en práctica de las enseñanzas de la cábala.

Otra explicación:

La cábala nos enseña que Di-s creó el mundo con siete bloques espirituales: sus siete atributos “emocionales”. De tal forma, toda la creación es un reflejo de estos siete atributos fundacionales.

Ellos son: jésed (bondad), gevurá (severidad), tiféret (armonía), netzaj (perseverancia), hod (esplendor), iesod (cimiento), maljut (realeza).

Estos atributos se dividen en tres columnas: la derecha, la del centro y la izquierda:

Gevurá      Tiferet        Jesed

Hod            Iesod         Netzaj

Maljut

Del mismo modo, la estrella de David posee siete compartimientos: seis picos que sobresalen de un centro.

El extremo superior derecho es jésed.

El extremo superior izquierdo es gevurá.

El pico central superior es tiféret.

La cábala nos enseña que tiféret encuentra su fuente en kéter, la corona, que es infinitamente mayor que todos los atributos divinos que están vinculados a la búsqueda “mundana” de crear el mundo.

El extremo inferior derecho es netzaj.

El extremo inferior izquierdo es hod.

El centro es iesod. Iesod es “cimiento” y como tal, todos los demás atributos tienen su raíz en este atributo y se desprenden de él.

El triángulo inferior de la estrella que desciende del centro es maljut, el atributo que absorbe la energía de los seis atributos superiores y los utiliza para descender y crearlo todo, y para “reinar” sobre ellos.

Notas al Pie
1. El hecho de que en un triángulo cada uno de los tres extremos esté conectado a los otros dos demuestra que el alma judía está, en sí misma, atada a Di-s. El estudio de la Torá y su observancia no crea una conexión entre el judío y Di-s, simplemente la saca a la luz.
2. Tal como se expresa en Job (19:26): “Desde mi carne puedo percibir a Di-s”.

Según tomado de,http://www.es.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3020679/jewish/Cul-es-el-significado-mstico-de-la-estrella-de-David.htm el viernes, 28 de agosto de 2015.

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Baruch Spinoza Was Not a Great Jewish Role Model

Baruch Spinoza Was Not a Great Jewish Role Model

August 14, 2015 11:57 am

Author: Jeremy Rosen

Baruch (Benedict) Spinoza (1632-1677) was one of the greatest philosophers. Not only that, but he was possibly the most honest and moral of them all. He was a gentle, if prickly, principled human being who led an ethical, modest life unaffected by money or fame. He won a court decision over his father’s estate and promptly handed it all over to his estranged sister. He turned down an offer of a professorship and life pension from a German prince, because he feared he might not be able to say what he thought.

He was born Jewish and had a good Jewish education. Technically, Spinoza remained Jewish even though he was put under a ban (Cherem) by the Amsterdam Jewish community. He never converted to another religion, but he was given a Christian burial, and his remains are buried in the churchyard of the Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague. What led to his ban (Cherem is not strictly the same as Excommunication, which has very specific Catholic theological ramifications) were his views on the Bible, on God, and on religious authority. They were as much a threat to the Catholic Church and Protestantism as they were to Judaism. There is some dispute as to how much pressure from the church was brought to bear on the Jewish community in Amsterdam to disown him. All his writing was put on the Catholic Index of Forbidden Books.

 

In the religious and political turmoil of the Netherlands of the day, Spinoza courted the opposition of all religions. The so-called Eighty Years’ War, from 1568-1648, was an attempt by Catholicism, in its struggle with Protestantism, to retain its grip over Northern European countries. The Netherlands ended up being divided into a Protestant North and a Catholic South. It was still divided over religion in Spinoza’s day, and the Enlightenment was only beginning to sprout its controversial shoots. Only a handful of freethinking intellectuals, such as his teacher Van den Enden (another one whose books were banned by the church) and the brothers Johan & Cornelis de Witt, supported him. Even then, the situation was so tense and volatile that the much respected Johan de Witt was lynched by a mob of religious fanatics.

The case for Spinoza is that he came from Marrano stock and was subjected to all kinds of alien ideas, and the family had only recently reentered the observant Jewish community. But he had been taught by several distinguished and actually open minded rabbis, including the great Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel, a friend of the legal giant Grotius and the artist Rembrandt. Spinoza’s scandalous views included denying the Mosaic single authorship of the Bible, rejecting theological ideas of life after death, and describing God as the sum of the universe (an idea that can be found in the Kabbalah, too). These are the sorts of ideas that nowadays can be found as topics of debate and discussion in more open Orthodox circles. But it is true that if the Amsterdam community was the equivalent of the Charedi community today, he would certainly have been branded a heretic.

Spinoza did not initially intend to leave the Jewish community. He recited kaddish for a year for his father. He donated to the Amsterdam Talmud Torah and other charities. It was only when he was driven out of Amsterdam that he cut his ties with the Jewish community altogether. If his philosophy in general is controversial, he frankly disliked all religious authority, all blatant exercises of political power, and was very much attuned to the new intellectual world that wanted to separate state and religion, enthroning reason above all else. So the case for his defense is that he was a reluctant rebel and simply alienated by intransigent communities, both Jewish and non-Jewish.

But there is another angle. In his great religious polemic the Tractatus Theologicus-Politicus, he questions the Mosaic authorship of the Torah, and he claims that it is no longer binding on Jews. It is true that he denigrates all religions as having failed their founders. But he sees the prophecy of Moses as being of an inferior level to that of Jesus. He considers the meeting of minds that characterized the relationship of God to Jesus (as described in Christian theology) as being of a higher and purely intellectual order. It has been suggested that he said this only to curry favor with the Christian authorities and try to gain the support of the church.

But if we assume that these were really his views, then I can perfectly understand not only the offense taken by the Amsterdam community but by Jews nowadays too. So those who might argue for his posthumous reinstatement are just wide of the mark and clearly have not read his philosophy.

A criterion for belonging to the Jewish religious community is to regard the Torah as the ultimate prophetic communication, whether it was “face to face” or “mouth to mouth” or indeed symbolically. This is what differentiates the Jewish religion from the other monotheistic religions. To deny this is to “deny the rock from whence you were hewn.”

In the enlightened world we inhabit, we do not insist on people having to belong to one religion or another. If we are enlightened practitioners of our own religions, we will not object to people finding their points on its spectrum. We approve of freedom of thought and mind when it comes to making personal choices. But we cannot expect the sort of relativism that considers all views of equal significance or all Jews as being an integral part of the Jewish people, regardless of what they think or how they behave. Sadly, Spinoza ended up not only rejecting Judaism, but giving up any attachment to his people.

I can certainly sympathize with his sense of alienation, and this is consistent with his philosophy. But you can no more call Spinoza a great Jew than you can Karl Marx. They might be great people who happened to have been born Jewish, but that is a different matter altogether. If the Cherem in Amsterdam was based purely on his theological views, and given that in those pre-emancipation years it was only religion that defined a Jew, then clearly Spinoza belonged and belongs to the rarefied world of philosophy. He is not a proponent of religion in general or Judaism in particular. Quite the contrary.

Were he alive today, I would like to think he would have been head of the philosophy department at the Hebrew University where, I am delighted to say, religious parties exercise no influence whatsoever. However, it is much more likely that he would have joined Noam Chomsky!

http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/08/14/baruch-spinoza-was-not-a-great-jewish-role-model/

Who Are You to Call Me a Goy? The Dawn of Judaism as a Personal Choice

Who Are You to Call Me a Goy? The Dawn of Judaism as a Personal Choice

After a millennium and a half as the gatekeepers to being Jewish, the rabbis and their conversion courts are in danger of becoming quaint throwbacks.
Let’s say your parents aren’t Jewish, but you feel Jewish and want to be a Jew. Who could stop you? The rabbis, the bureaucrats? How could they deny something that you know to be true, with every fiber of your being? They tell you that if you want to be Jewish, you must convert, but that makes no sense to you, because you are sure that you’re already Jewish.

To many Jews, whatever their level of belief or observance, the argument may sound absurd: You can’t just be Jewish. Either you are born Jewish, or you have to go through some official process to be recognized as Jewish.

But in an age where society is gradually coming to accept that a person’s gender is not necessarily defined by the circumstances of his or her physiology at birth, and that steps can be taken to increase physical congruence if desired, the idea that external validation is needed for one’s choice of religion seems increasingly anachronistic.

I’m not aware of any research or surveys on the subject, but I have no doubt that a growing number of people consider themselves Jews without having undergone any kind of conversion. What’s more, most of their friends, relatives and neighbors regard them as Jews as well.

Over the years I’ve met many such Jews: immigrants to Israel and their children, who are not recognized by any rabbinate but are convinced that by living in the Jewish state, paying taxes and above all by putting their lives in danger serving in its army, they have earned the right not to have their Judaism questioned.

There are people, mainly outside of Israel, who chose to identify as Jews after they researched their genealogy and discovered a Jewish ancestor. Others married a Jew and accepted their spouse’s faith. Still others became captivated by the beauty of the Torah, the Talmud, the Hebrew language (or Yiddish or Ladino) — by chance, or destiny — and adopted this knowledge and culture. As one such student told me, in perfect Hebrew, “Torah is my life, I don’t need a rabbi to tell me I’m Jewish. I just know I am.”

The civil war that broke out this week within Jewish orthodoxy after a group of Israeli rabbis broke with the Chief Rabbinate and established an alternative, “friendlier” conversion court, could catalyze forces that are already pulling the oldest stream of Judaism — the most dominant one in Israel — in opposite directions.

Either side in this religious, but also very much political, conflict could still back down so as to reestablish an uneasy status quo. In any event, the conversion issue is only one of the ticking time bombs under the fissure that will ultimately tear apart Orthodox Jewry, if the movement is not irrevocably split already.

It is not only this current round of bickering and power plays among the rabbis. The six decades-plus of theological, political and legal arguments fought between the Orthodox movement on one hand and the Reform and Conservative movements on the other, in the Knesset, the Supreme Court and the Israeli and Jewish Diaspora media over “who is a Jew” are growing increasingly irrelevant. As long as the religious parties have the power to dictate the state’s recognition of Jewish identity, its subsidization of religious education and its control of marriage, divorce, burial, much of the food industry through kashrut restrictions and so many other parts of civic life, this debate will matter. But as more and more alternatives become available and individuals become more self-aware and confident in making their own cultural and religious decisions, the rabbis will be scrabbling for a rapidly devaluating currency.

The rebel Orthodox rabbis realize this. Connected as they are to a much wider cross-section of Israeli society than their ultra-Orthodox rivals, they are fully aware that the great majority of the approximately 350,000 Israelis and their children who emigrated from the former Soviet Union under the Law of Return, only to be told on arrival that they weren’t considered Jewish enough to get married in Israel, are not particularly motivated to go through a long and arduous conversion process.

For years these rabbis hoped that a clamor from this “Russian” community would force the rabbinate to liberalize its hidebound religious courts, and now they’re trying to do it themselves.

They may be fighting a battle which for all purposes is over. Most of those “Russians” simply don’t care anymore. Many of them have lived in Israel now for nearly a quarter of a century, or were born here. As far as they are concerned, they are Israeli and Jewish and no rabbi can tell them otherwise. Nor have more than a few opted for the more user-friendly Reform and Conservative conversion programs.

The Jewish Agency has come out in support of the rebel rabbis. Naturally the organization is anxious that prospective Jews and Israelis will not be deterred because of the obstinate Chief Rabbinate. But their endorsement played only a tiny role, if any, in this saga. The rabbis didn’t need the blessing of the Jewish Agency, and would have gone ahead even if it had expressed its disapproval.

Writing in Haaretz this week, Or Kashti revealed how the organization was totally sidelined by the grandiose Initiative for the Future of the Jewish People of Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, which will receive 190 million shekels ($50 million) in state funding. The Jewish Agency, once Israel’s government-in-waiting, is now increasingly marginalized in every field of operations, pushed out by more dynamic, efficient, well-funded and often ruthless outfits such as Chabad, Nefesh b’Nefesh, Birthright Israel and Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

Never before in Jewish history has there been so much competition, and so much money spent, on trying to connect Jews to each other. Ironically, this hyperactivity is becoming increasingly obsolete, as just about every Jew in the world today is free to emigrate, to practice whatever faith they choose and to learn and communicate about any form of Judaism they like, using the Internet.

Judaism began as an aggressively proselytizing religion, and remained so until Christian and Muslim persecution forced the rabbis to change tack and to set up barriers. As it was, few wanted to join the ranks of a persecuted minority. Now, after a millennium and a half as the gatekeepers to being Jewish, the rabbis and their conversion courts are in danger of becoming quaint throwbacks. For better or worse, we are entering an era where being Jewish is matter of individual choice.

http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/jerusalem-babylon/.premium-1.671089?utm_content=Who+are+you+to+call+me+a+goy%3F+The+dawn+of+Judaism+as+a+personal+choice&utm_medium=hdc+Weekend&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=newsletter?date=1439584022596

Shavei Israel publica un nuevo libro: “¿Tiene usted raíces judías?”

Shavei Israel publica un nuevo libro: “¿Tiene usted raíces judías?”

Brian Blum

כריכה¿Alguna vez se preguntó si tiene raíces judías? ¿Tiene su familia tradiciones extrañas que no sabe de dónde provienen? ¿Su nombre es similar a un nombre judío antiguo?

Shavei Israel está aquí para ayudarlo. Hemos publicado nuestra primera guía práctica para descubrir sus raíces judías. El nuevo libro de 109 páginas, se encuentra disponible en forma impresa y como e-book, su nombre es “¿Tiene usted raíces judías?”.

Sus nueve capítulos cubren las más importantes preguntas que alguien que comienza a explorar sus raíces puede tener. Hay discusiones sobre cómo conducir una búsqueda genealógica (incluyendo cómo acceder a los registros de la inquisición), cuáles apellidos son los más comunes en las diferentes diásporas judías alrededor del mundo (si se encuentra en Palma de Mallorca y su apellido es Segura, probablemente tenga raíces judías), además de información sobre costumbres judías “ocultas” (tales como el encendido de velas, costumbres de duelo y el horneado de jalot), organizadas a nivel geográfico e histórico.

A lo largo del texto también podrá encontrar historias personales para proveer inspiración y ejemplos prácticos – si ellos pudieron hacerlo, entonces usted también puede. Hay preguntas para guiar a los lectores en su propio proceso y cada capítulo comienza con un pasuk – una cita de la Torá.

Al final del libro, hemos incluido un apéndice escrito por Genie Milgrom, el cual explica cómo realizar una investigación genealógica y en los archivos de la inquisición. Milgrom es la presidenta de la Sociedad de Estudios Cripto-Judaicos y de la Sociedad Genealógica de Miami, y brinda varias conferencias al año sobre genealogía.

La primera versión del libro es en español, especial para Bnei Anusim de España y América Latina, donde se encuentra un gran número de personas interesadas en descubrir sus raíces. Pero los ejemplos del libro, son aplicables para cualquier persona que busca sus raíces. Las próximas publicaciones serán en portugués e italiano, y se referirán especialmente a los Bnei Anusim de dichos países. Futuras ediciones saldrán en polaco, ruso e inglés.

El libro fue escrito por el director de Shavei Israel, Michael Freund, y por el director educativo de Shavei, el Rabino Eliahu Birnbaum, con la ayuda del Rabino Nissan Ben Avraham, emisario de Shavei Israel en España y Tziviá Kusminsky, directora del departamento de Bnei Anusim y los judíos escondidos de Polonia.

El libro, el cual estuvo dos años en preparación, se encuentra disponible en forma gratuita como e-book. Descargue hoy su copia aquí. Algunas copias ya han sido distribuidas en El Salvador donde Michael Freund y el Rabino Birnbaum realizaron un shabatón hace unas semanas atrás.

Puede recibir más información sobre el libro en nuestro video de promoción en YouTube. Si cree que puede tener raíces judías o está interesado en seguir el despertar de personas de origen judío que Shavei Israel ha estado apoyando desde sus comienzos, “¿Tiene usted raíces judías?” es un libro obligatorio para su biblioteca.

Segun tomado de,http://casa-anusim.org/2015/08/12/shavei-israel-publica-un-nuevo-libro-tiene-usted-raices-judias/

New Route to Conversion Challenges Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Establishment

By JODI RUDORENAUG. August 11, 2015

JERUSALEM — The newest combatants in Israel’s raging battle over ultra-Orthodox control of Jewish law and institutions are six children, ages 1 to 11, who were converted to Judaism on Monday by Orthodox rabbis operating outside the official system.

The conversions were not expected to be recognized by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate or by the Interior Ministry. But after the Israeli government bowed to pressure last month from the ultra-Orthodox, also called Haredim, and reneged on a plan to ease conversion, a group of respected rabbis has expanded its private conversion court in what analysts see as a significant challenge to the establishment.

An article in the daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot said, “The initiative reflects a deep crack in the wall of the religious rabbinate that is going to be impossible to fix” and could lead to the institution’s collapse.

Ben Caspit, a columnist in the newspaper Maariv, called for a stampede to the new conversion courts, describing them as “perhaps a one-time opportunity to save ourselves from the closed and dark ghetto in which the Haredim are trying to imprison us.”

At issue is the status of about 300,000 Israeli citizens, mostly descendants of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who consider themselves Jewish but require conversion in order to marry because their lineage is not clear. The conversion of children has been particularly problematic, with Haredi rabbis generally requiring that parents prove their religious observance.

The conversion debate, which has also enraged many American Jewish leaders, is part of a broader struggle between Haredim and virtually all other Israeli Jewish groups, from the avowedly secular to the so-called religious Zionists, or modern Orthodox. The Chief Rabbinate is also facing a challenge to its monopoly on kosher certification, with a nonprofit group recently issuing its own stamp of approval to about two dozen restaurants in Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv.

Ultra-Orthodox leaders managed last week to persuade a new cafe in Independence Park in Jerusalem not to open on Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath, by threatening the kosher certification of its related coffee business. They have also vowed to demonstrate outside a 16-screen cinema opening in the city this week because it will show films on Saturdays.

“The more dominant the ultra-Orthodox sector becomes, both numerically and politically, it’s challenging the status quo of Israel” because “their margin for flexibility and for compromise are practically nonexistent,” said Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute, who wrote an article on Monday calling for Israel to give equal recognition and funding to Reform and Conservative rabbis and institutions.

“Their view,” he added, referring to the ultra-Orthodox authorities, “drives a wedge between Israel as a state and many in the Jewish community in North America, but also drives a wedge between the rank and file of many Israelis and their Jewish identity.”
Daniel Bar, the spokesman for the Chief Rabbinate, declined to comment on the new conversion court, but Moshe Gafni, an ultra-Orthodox member of the Israeli Parliament, called it “a grave thing,” from “a legal point of view and also from an ideological view.”

“There is law in Israel,” Mr. Gafni said in an interview on Israel Radio on Tuesday, saying the conversion of the children “borders on the criminal.” The rabbis involved, he said, “simply want to replace the Chief Rabbinate.”

Ziv Maor, who was the rabbinate’s spokesman until March, said that unlike the alternative kosher certificates, the conversion courts presented a severe threat to the current system because they dealt with central issues of identity.

If people converted by private courts petition the Supreme Court for recognition, as expected, Mr. Maor said, the court will also have to consider conversions done by non-Orthodox rabbis, whose interpretations of Jewish law vary widely. Those converts would then presumably be permitted to marry, something Mr. Maor called a “disaster.”

“It will be a collapse of the entire system,” he said. “The question of whether or not the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the official religious establishment of Israel, has control of three issues — marriage, divorce and conversion — will eventually determine if the State of Israel is a Jewish state in name only or in fact.”

Rabbi David Stav, who is modern Orthodox and two years ago ran unsuccessfully to be one of Israel’s two chief rabbis, said the new conversion court was a necessity after the government’s reversal on the conversion bill.

He said 4,500 children are born each year to Israeli families whose Judaism is not recognized, “boys and girls who are going to the university, they are going to the army — if they are not converted, there will be an assimilation crisis in Israel.”

Rabbi Stav, who attended the conversion ceremony on Monday, said the children’s parents had been required to sign papers to prove they understood that the rite would not be recognized by the government or by the Chief Rabbinate, even though it had been performed according to Jewish law.

“It is recognized by God,” he noted. “Eventually, there will be no other way but to recognize them officially.”

Según tomada de,http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/12/world/middleeast/orthodox-jews-conversions-israel.html?emc=edit_tnt_20150812&nlid=64717990&tntemail0=y el miércoles, 12 de agosto de 2015.

Enigmáticas inscripciones aparecidas en Jerusalén cautivan a los arqueólogos

Hallazgos arqueológicos en Jerusalén los hay casi con cada nueva construcción.

La mayoría de ellos -monedas, piezas de cerámica, herramientas o pequeños

candelabros- pasan desapercibidos. No así las inscripciones halladas recientemente

en un barrio del sur de la ciudad santa.

Las extrañas anotaciones, halladas en el interior de un antigua “mikve”

(baño ritual judío), han despertado la curiosidad de los principales

arqueólogos que estudian el pasado de Jerusalén, ahora abocados

a descifrar la inusual combinación de símbolos y palabras.

“Pueden ser desde un simple grafiti a un profundo mensaje espiritual,

pasando por una descuidada decoración o una llamada de emergencia

en tiempos de necesidad”, dice el investigador Alex Wiegmann,

director de la Autoridad de Antigüedades de Israel (IAI) para este lugar.

El hallazgo, de hace unos 2.000 años, fue descubierto en un extremo

del barrio de Arnona durante la construcción de un complejo de

jardines de infantes y junto a un nuevo complejo de torres residenciales

que han requerido profundas excavaciones.

A unos cuatro metros por debajo de la superficie, los arqueólogos

que supervisaban la obra por exigencia de la legislación local descubrieron

hace dos meses la boca de una cavidad enyesada que fecharon en el siglo I,

el final del período del Segundo Templo.

Los baños rituales judíos, empleados hasta hoy día para la purificación

espiritual, existían en Jerusalén por decenas, pero el de Arnona no solo

es uno de los más grandes sino que destaca por la colección de dibujos

e inscripciones que sus usuarios nos dejaron.

“Hay varias interpretaciones porque no se han conservado enteras

y la caligrafía es descuidada. Puede que, simplemente, sean nombres

de personas, o que se trate de simbología para bendiciones de parte

de una fuerza sobrenatural o, incluso, de maldiciones”, matiza Wiegmann,

quien dice no tener la más mínima pista sobre los autores.

Están en el interior de una cavidad a la que se accedía por una antesala

flanqueada por bancos de piedra, una suerte de sala de espera para

acceder al baño, junto al que también se ha descubierto una prensa

para hacer vino.

La cavidad estaba cuidadosamente enyesada, una cubierta que los

arqueólogos han extraído en placas para someterlas a exhaustivos

exámenes de laboratorio y encontrar restos microscópicos que

ayuden a completar las letras y palabras.

Según el arqueólogo, están en arameo transliterado al hebreo

en un distintivo tipo de letra cursiva, una costumbre de finales

del período del Segundo Templo, el bíblico centro de culto judío

que estaba situado apenas cuatro kilómetros más al norte y

que fue destruido en el año 70 por los romanos, al mando

del general (y luego emperador) Tito.

También los dibujos y símbolos de las paredes son un enigma,

sobre todo por la variedad y la concentración.

“No sabemos su propósito, si los hizo una o más personas,

si fue una expresión espontánea o alguien los pidió, si trataban

de trasladar un profundo mensaje espiritual o eran una petición

de ayuda ante un evento traumático”, agrega Wiegmann en

referencia a la revuelta judía contra Roma entre el 66 y el 70.

Dibujados unos con hollín y otros con barro, algunos incluso

grabados en las paredes con algún objeto afilado, sus misteriosos

autores representaron un conjunto de palmeras y pequeñas plantas.

Más curiosos son el detalle de una embarcación, que pudo ser

dibujada por algún viajero llegado allende los mares -embarcaciones

han aparecido en otros lugares de Jerusalén a pesar de no tener

mar- o de alguien que apelaba con ella a la suprema aspiración

de la “salvación” divina y la “redención”, a decir del arqueólogo.

“¡Todo es una incógnita! En los próximos meses quizás los

expertos puedan descifrar de qué se trata”, afirma.

Trasladados a un museo para su análisis y conservación,

otro de los interrogantes más curiosos es el dibujo de lo que

parece una “menorá”, el candelabro de siete brazos

convertido en símbolo nacional judío.

Por aquella época los judíos se abstenían de dibujar ese

objeto sagrado custodiado en el Templo hasta el expolio

de la ciudad por Tito, y si ya lo hacían no era en un baño ritual.

Esta anormal mezcla de objetos altamente espirituales y,

a la vez, seculares confunde a los investigadores no menos

que la relación entre los dibujos y las indescifrables inscripciones.

Situado sobre el antiguo camino que unía Jerusalén con

Hebrón y a unos 300 metros de los restos del que fue un

consolidado asentamiento a las puertas del desierto de

Judea, la “mikvé” recién descubierta pudo pertenecer a

alguna granja o edificación extramuros, como indican

unos túneles descubiertos en la misma zona y que,

por ahora, no serán investigados. EFE

Segun tomado de http://www.aurora-israel.co.il/articulos/israel/Newsletter/66589/?utm_source=Noticias+diarias+new+Martes-TEA&utm_medium=11-08-2015%202da%20edic, el lunes 10 de agosto de 2015.

¿Los judíos creen en el infierno?

¿Los judíos creen en el infierno?

Los místicos del judaísmo describen un lugar espiritual denominado el “Gueinom”

Estimado rabino:

¿Los judíos creen en el infierno? No es que esté planeando algún viaje a ese lugar, pero he escuchado opiniones diversas acerca de su existencia.

Respuesta:

Los judíos creen en un tipo de infierno, pero no es aquel que se encuentra en los dibujos animados o en las historietas. El infierno no es un castigo en el sentido convencional, sino, por el contrario, una expresión de gran bondad.

Los místicos del judaísmo describen un lugar espiritual denominado el “Gueinom”, cuya traducción más común es “Infierno”. Pero resultaría más preciso traducir este término como la “Suprema Lavadora”, porque así es como funciona. La forma en la que nuestra alma se limpia en el Gueinom es similar a como lavamos nuestras ropas en una lavadora.

Si nos detuviéramos a pensar por un instante y pudiéramos ponernos en el lugar de nuestras medias, por ejemplo, claramente no nos resultaría grato ser arrojados al agua hirviendo y dar vueltas a lo loco durante media hora. Creeríamos que sin dudas alguien no nos quiere en absoluto. Sin embargo, solo luego de haber lavado bien las medias es que podemos volver a usarlas.

No arrojamos nuestra ropa a la lavadora a modo de castigo. La sometemos a algo que parece duro y doloroso para que vuelva a estar limpia y así poder usarla nuevamente. El calor intenso del agua afloja la suciedad y la fuerza centrífuga hace que se desprenda de la ropa por completo. Lejos de dañarlas, les estamos haciendo un favor al someterlas a este proceso.

Lo mismo ocurre con nuestra alma. Cada acto que realizamos en esta vida deja marcas en ella. Las cosas buenas la resaltan y elevan, mientras que las malas acciones dejan manchas que deben ser removidas. Si, al final de nuestros días, dejamos este mundo sin haber enmendado las malas acciones que cometimos, nuestra alma no pude acceder a su lugar de descanso en las alturas. Debemos pasar por el ciclo de lavado primero. Nuestra alma es sometida a un calor espiritual intenso para quitarle todo posible residuo y prepararla así para entrar al Cielo.

Por supuesto, este proceso puede evitarse. Si verdaderamente lamentamos los errores que cometimos y los enmendamos con aquellos a los que hemos lastimado, podremos irnos de este mundo “con la ropa limpia”.

Es por ello que nuestros sabios dicen: “arrepiéntete hasta un día antes de partir de este mundo”. Y ¿qué hacemos si no tenemos la certeza de cuándo será nuestro último día en este mundo? Entonces, debemos arrepentirnos hoy mismo.

POR ARON MOSS
El rabino Aron Moss enseña Cábala, Talmud y Judaísmo en general en Sydney, Australia.
Segun tomado de, http://www.es.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3005393/jewish/Los-judos-creen-en-el-infierno.htm el viernes, 7 de agosto de 2015.

Open Letter to the Archbishop of Westminster

  • With Islam, how it is possible to dialogue with a faith that denies the divinity of Christ, regards the Bible as corrupt, believes that all Christians are the inferiors of Muslims and are destined to hell fire? What is there to talk about if both sides are to be honest about their beliefs?
  • When members of ISIS murder apostates, it is hard to condemn them, as that is what the Prophet did. When they take slave girls as war booty, that is what the Prophet did. Waging jihad is an injunction in many chapters of the Qur’an.
  • I do not know what copy of the Qur’an Pope Francis has been shown, but it is clearly very different to any copy in my possession, whether the original Arabic or a translation.
  • When hate preachers in British mosques convey a violent or intolerant message to their congregants, they do so by quoting the Qur’an as the Word of God, thereby sanctioning acts of jihad. To ignore this is to hamper us in our efforts to bring Muslims into peaceful relations with the West, with all non-Muslims and especially with one another.
  • What was striking was that, instead of successive generations of Muslims becoming better integrated into British society, the younger they are, the more radical they become. Apparently the majority of Muslims do not feel particularly progressive.
  • Only 34% of British Muslims believe the Holocaust happened. 62% of Muslims here do not support freedom of speech. Only 7% of Muslims in the UK consider themselves as British first. CSP Poll this year reported that 38% of Muslim-Americans say Islamic State (ISIS) beliefs are Islamic or correct. Figures such these are indicative of a wider level of acceptance of extreme ideas than your comments and those of many politicians suggest.

On June 19, when Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, spoke at the 2015 Global Security Forum in Bratislava, one section (under the heading ‘Clarity’) drew widespread attention from the media and politicians, and from some the religious realm.

In that passage, Cameron spoke about the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL, or, in Arabic, Da’ish). “In ISIL,” he started, “we have one of the biggest threats our world has faced.” He went on to express concern about the way in which young British Muslims were being drawn into the ISIS web through the internet or within their communities:

The cause is ideological. It is an Islamist extremist ideology — one that says the West is bad and democracy is wrong that women are inferior, that homosexuality is evil. It says religious doctrine trumps the rule of law and Caliphate trumps nation state and it justifies violence in asserting itself and achieving its aims.The question is: how do people arrive at this worldview?

How does someone who has had all the advantages of a British or a European schooling, a loving family, the freedom and equality that allow them to be who they want to be turn to a tyrannical, murderous, evil regime?

There are, of course, many reasons – and to tackle them we have to be clear about them. I am clear that one of the reasons is that there are people who hold some of these views who don’t go as far as advocating violence, but who do buy into some of these prejudices giving the extreme Islamist narrative weight and telling fellow Muslims, “you are part of this”.

This paves the way for young people to turn simmering prejudice into murderous intent. To go from listening to firebrand preachers online to boarding a plane to Istanbul and travelling onward to join the jihadis. We’ve always had angry young men and women buying into supposedly revolutionary causes. This one is evil; it is contradictory; it is futile – but it is particularly potent today.

I think part of the reason it’s so potent is that it has been given this credence.

So if you’re a troubled boy who is angry at the world, or a girl looking for an identity, for something to believe in and there’s something that is quietly condoned online, or perhaps even in parts of your local community, then it’s less of a leap to go from a British teenager to an ISIL fighter or an ISIL wife, than it would be for someone who hasn’t been exposed to these things.

For what may be the first time, a head of state dared to make a connection between ordinary Muslims and extremism, by arguing that fundamentalist views might be quietly condoned online, or perhaps even in parts of a local Muslim community.

A report written in 2007 by this author for the British think tank Policy Exchange, titled “The Hijacking of British Islam,” exposed the existence of hate literature in mosques across the UK. As soon as it was published, all hell broke loose, and everything possible was done to pretend that our evidence had been somehow faked. Many British writers and journalists such as Douglas Murray, Samuel Westrop and myself have tried over the years to draw attention to the realities of Islamic ideology and practice in schools, shari’a courts, and in politics, but we were severally rebuffed.

But now, over one thousand young British men and women have travelled to Syria and Iraq to support the Islamic State, and it is becoming clear to everyone that something is amiss — not with British society, values or aspirations, but in parts of our two million strong Muslim community. Innes Bowen’s study of the UK Muslim population, “Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent: Inside British Islam,” shows in some detail just where these radical influences may come from.

Inevitably, Cameron’s references to the Muslim community brought condemnation from the usual suspects (and one unusual one). Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of a Muslim think tank, the Ramadhan Foundation, found the remarks “deeply offensive.” The Muslim Council of Britain found Cameron’s statement “wrong and counter-productive.” In a radio interview, Muslim Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi argued that, “To make the comparison he has done the way he has done, it is not only unhelpful but actually wrong.” Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, who sits in the House of Lords, described the speech as “misguided” and “demoralizing.”

That Muslim leaders might respond this way was not surprising. Muslims in the UK, with several notable exceptions such as Haras Rafiq and Majid Nawaz, have been in denial for decades, and show few signs of facing up to the dangers facing them any time soon.

The unusual rebuke came, not from a Muslim, but from Britain’s most important Catholic prelate, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster. Speaking on LBC Radio on the day of Cameron’s speech, the Archbishop spoke unfavourably about the Prime Minister’s remarks on Muslims. His remarks bear quoting almost in full here:

The interviewer started by saying that “he [Cameron] seems to be laying this squarely at the door of the Muslim community. Too many people in the UK are sliding into violent extremism. He’s warned that British Muslims risk quietly condoning ISIS. Do you think that’s fair?”

To this, Nichols answered:

No. I think the community is a very diverse community. I was at a Muslim meeting last Saturday week. It was a Shi’a Muslim meeting. It was looking at dialogue and how people live together. And then they were absolute in their condemnation of ISIS. So there are many voices, Muslim voices in this country, that condemn ISIS and condemn it absolutely. We don’t hear those [voices] in the public media very often, but they’re there. It is an enormous challenge to Islam in this country, and I know many of the Muslim leaders are deeply, deeply concerned about this. I would say for most of them and the families they represent, they feel a bit helpless in terms of the access to the Internet and to that whole seduction and manipulation that goes on. I think they need help with that.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster (center). Image source: Catholic Church England and Wale

On the face of it, the Archbishop’s remarks are worthy of respect, since he is active in interfaith work and considers it to be his mission, like that of the current Pope Francis, to work for peace and conciliation. But interfaith work can often be marred by an underlying refusal to come clean about beliefs that contradict those of others.

With Islam, I have to ask how it is possible to dialogue with a faith that denies the divinity of Christ, denies that he was crucified or resurrected, denies the Trinity, denies Mary as the mother of God, denies the belief in original sin and salvation through Christ, regards the Bible as corrupt, believes that all Christians are the inferiors of Muslims and are destined to hell fire? What is there to talk about if both sides are to be honest about their beliefs?

Even if a majority of Muslims may be concerned about extremism in their midst, there are reasons to think that David Cameron’s view is close to the mark: that some Muslims unwittingly or wittingly condone what goes on because much of it is in keeping with the Qur’an, the hadith[traditions], the Shari’a law books, and Islamic practice from the time of Muhammad.

Here is what I wrote. I await his reply.

An open letter to
His Eminence Vincent Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

Your Eminence,

I have listened with interest to your interview last Friday on LBC Radio, when you were asked to comment on David Cameron’s speech at the 2015 Globsec conference in Bratislava, specifically his remarks concerning British Muslims and the role he wants them to take in defeating the radicalization of Muslim youth. You took issue with him, and gave reasons for a different approach to the problem.

May I comment on the things you said in turn? I write as someone with a lifetime’s experience with Islam and Islamic Studies. My second degree was a four-year MA from Edinburgh University in Persian, Arabic and Islamic History, when I studied the life of Muhammad and the Qur’an (in Arabic) with the late William Montgomery Watt, the world’s leading authority on both subjects at that time. I also have a PhD from Cambridge in Persian Studies, researching aspects of Iranian Shi’ism. I have taught Arabic-English translation and Islamic civilization in Morocco and Arabic and Islamic Studies at Newcastle University. I have written many books, academic articles, entries for scholarly encyclopaedias (including the second edition of The Encyclopaedia of Islam).

More pertinent to what I want to say here is my authorship of think tank reports on hate literature found in British mosques, on Shari’a law in the UK, and two reports on Muslim schools in this country, when I was the first person to identify the problems revealed by the Trojan Horse scandal.

I say all this, not to brag, but to show that I come to this subject as an informed and experienced commentator. I am, as much as yourself, an active opponent of genuine Islamophobia, but not of honest criticism of Islam, whether from religious or secular points of view. I have often collaborated with and written about Muslim reformers here and abroad, and I regard them as the chief hope of the Muslim community in the years to come. And I frequently criticize the treatment of such fresh thinkers by Islamist governments, whether in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, or elsewhere.

I also take a deep interest in the fate of the Baha’i community of Iran, a religious group I have studied and written about for many years. I fear that the Shi’a meeting you attended recently would have asked you to leave had you spoken up in defence of the Baha’is and asked for an end to their persecution. You say you spoke about dialogue and how people live together. Shi’a Muslims almost to a man curse the Baha’is in their prayers and support the Iranian government’s treatment of them. They are, may I say it, often vociferous in their hatred for Jews as well.

Like yourself, I have great hopes for Muslims, above all in their integration within this country and their adjustment to the British way of life while retaining those aspects of their faith that blend best with our own values — notably their spirituality, prayerfulness, and their pursuit of the various cultural achievements they bring here, from Qawwali music to one of the highest art forms of all civilization: Arabic and Persian calligraphy.

But I fear I am not as sanguine as you are about the possibilities of finding genuine opposition to radicalism. Some form of intolerance, and acceptance of violence, seems to pervade so many Muslim communities around the globe. You say, “there are many voices, Muslim voices in this country that condemn ISIS and condemn it absolutely.” That is undoubtedly true, but Muslim voices openly condemning radicalism remain muted, especially within the more closely knit communities, not least those where hate preachers still lecture in the mosques and intolerant literature is still to be found. As you yourself say, “we don’t hear those [voices] in the public media very often.” You add that “many of the Muslim leaders are deeply, deeply concerned about this.” But rather more Muslim leaders, especially those from Deobandi, Salafi, Wahhabi, Muslim Brotherhood and similar circles do not seem at all concerned.

There is a simple reason. All Muslims, if they are at all pious, believe that the Qur’an is the unassailable Word of God, dictated by the angel Gabriel to Muhammad. They also believe that it is a complete and perfect transcript of a book that has existed with God for all eternity. Sunni Muslims (and Shi’is using a different corpus) believe that the ahadith — the passages of hadith literature recording the sayings and actions of Muhammad — are beyond criticism, since centuries of scholarship have winnowed out anything unauthentic. And all Muslims, however diverse their origins, believe that the Sira, the historical biography of the Prophet, reveals words and actions that serve as models for the behaviour of all believers.

Salafi Muslims, who are the most radical, are far from a modern suddenness. They believe that Muslims must act in accordance with the path laid down by the Prophet and his companions (the salaf), the first three generations who lived in Muhammad’s lifetime.

Where does this lead? No Muslim may criticize or seek to re-interpret the Qur’an (some who have tried have been killed), the six canonical hadith volumes, or the behaviour of the Prophet and his companions. When members of ISIS murder apostates, therefore, it is hard to condemn the ISIS members, as that is what the Prophet did. When they take slave girls as war booty, that is what the Prophet did. When they impose the jizya or poll tax on Christians, or execute any who refuse to pay it, that is what the Prophet and his companions did. Waging jihad is an injunction in many chapters of the Qur’an. Taking concubines as part of war booty is ordered explicitly in the Qur’an. Killing non-Muslims who take up arms against the Muslims is repeatedly urged in the Qur’an. Killing apostates is enjoined by a Tradition in the most authentic book of hadith, the Sahih al-Bukhari. Beheading those deemed to have acted against the Muslims is an act approved of by Muhammad, famously when he allowed the beheading of some 700 male members of the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza.

Of course, many Muslims in this country are horrified by the things ISIS fighters do, above all by the non-Qur’anic punishments they carry out, such as killing Christians and others without offering them a chance for conversion, killing Muslims who have opposed them without giving them an opportunity to repent, or burning a prisoner alive. But where extremists act in accordance with Islamic law or scriptural commandments, criticism is far harder to express. I have heard only the tiniest number of British Muslims condemn Hamas, its terror tactics or its covenant to kill all Jews in the world.

After the terror recent attacks in Tunisia, Paris and Kuwait, David Cameron said that these had nothing to do with Islam and that “Islam is a religion of peace.” This is a frequent assertion by politicians. It has also been echoed by Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel,” in which he writes: “Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Quran are opposed to every form of violence.”

Much as I respect Pope Francis and find him a man of goodwill and understanding, I fear I find him much mistaken in this. It is a simple fact of Qur’an commentary, since the earliest period until today, that early, Meccan verses, which express a tolerant and peace-loving attitude, although applicable within the Muslim community, have been abrogated by later, Medinan, verses, which call for jihad, the beheading of non-Muslims, outright hatred for Jews and Christians, generalized hatred for all non-Muslims (who are destined for hellfire), and the need to use violence to impose Islamic rule across the world.

I do not know what copy of the Qur’an Pope Francis has been shown, but it is clearly very different to any copy in my possession, whether the original Arabic or a translation. When hate preachers in British mosques convey a violent or intolerant message to their congregants, they do so by quoting the Qur’an as the Word of God, thereby sanctioning acts of jihad. And the history of “authentic Islam” has been a constant story of acts of violence punctuated by periods of peacefulness within the Islamic realm. Muhammad led jihad armies and sent others out — that history is regarded by all Muslims as “authentic.” The first four caliphs (authentic to all Sunni Muslims) directed major campaigns of conquest that finally brought Muslim armies to India in the East, and the Iberian peninsula, the south of France, southern Italy and to the gates of Vienna.

The Ottoman Empire, between 1346 and 1918, conquered and enslaved much of Eastern Europe. Even several of the mystical Sufi orders, thought by many to be non-violent, fought jihad wars in North Africa, the Caucasus and elsewhere. From the 18th to the 20th century, jihad wars were waged against heretical Muslims and Westerners in India, Algeria, Sudan, Somalia, Egypt, Libya, British Mandate Palestine, against Israel, and in Arabia (twice). Today’s wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere are a powerful testimony to the attractions of fundamentalist Islam.

There are many kinds of jihad, but violent jihad — war in the cause of Islam — has been constant throughout Islamic history. To that extent, Islam and violence are far more closely associated with each other scripturally and historically than in any other religion. To ignore this is to hamper us in our efforts to bring Muslims into peaceful relations with the West, with all non-Muslims and especially with one another.

It also does not help if we ignore another basic Islamic doctrine, something calledAl-wala’ wa’l-bara’ — meaning something like “loyalty and enmity,” as it has been translated in several English-language Muslim publications issued in the UK. While the real meaning is more complex, what it amounts to is an assertion that Muslims must have as little as possible to do with non-Muslims. Muslims should not celebrate Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries or anything else with their non-Muslim workmates or neighbours. They must not take part in interfaith gatherings where they may be called on to compromise their faith. They must expose the falsehoods of Christianity and Judaism (based on passages in the Qur’an that treat both the Old and New Testaments as hopelessly corrupt); deny the sonship and godhood of Jesus; reject the crucifixion; condemn monks and priests, and so on. This doctrine has been widely preached and published in this country. It represents a significant challenge to your own interfaith work. Even the most moderate and companionable Muslims find it impossible to deny these things, because to do so would mean denying the veracity of the Word of God.

Those who ignore such passages in the Qur’an are to be commended for making an effort to engage with non-believers, but as often as not, doing so becomes a challenge to their faith or brings them closer to secularism.

Many convert to Christianity, but in doing so they expose themselves to threats or acts of violence from their families and other local Muslims. Many converts have paid the ultimate price.

There is strong statistical evidence to show that more than a negligible number of Muslims in the West subscribe to what we consider radical views. In survey after survey, polls taken by well-regarded agencies such as Pew, NOP World (a UK company now within the German Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung [GfK], one of the top five marketing research organizations in the world), the British public opinion researcher ICM Research, the Center for Security Policy, Policy Exchange, and Civitas show high figures for support for violence, honour killings, stoning adulterers, executing apostates and much else. There is far too much material to discuss in any detail here, but a thorough compilation of such findings is available. The figures are worrying in the UK, but grow even more alarming when surveys are conducted in Muslim countries.

In 2007, the conservative British Think Tank, Policy Exchange, published a groundbreaking survey of Muslim attitudes in the UK, “Living Apart Together: British Muslims and the paradox of multiculturalism.” What was striking in it was that, instead of successive generations of Muslims becoming better integrated into British society, the younger they are the more radical they become. Overall, 53% of Muslims prefer Muslim women to wear a veil. Only 16% of 45-54-year-olds prefer shari’a to UK law, but this rises to 37% of 16-24-year-olds. Conversely, 75% of those aged 45-54 prefer UK law, but this drops to 50% of 16-24s. 56% of this youngest generation insist that a Muslim woman may not marry a non-Muslim; 56% insist that a woman may not marry without the consent of her male guardian (father, brother, uncle); 52% say a man may have up to four wives, a woman only one husband; 36% believe apostasy is punishable by death; 71% insist that homosexuality is wrong and should be illegal. Whereas 56% of 45-54 year-olds want some reform of shari’a law, this drops to 37% of 16-24 year-olds. While a mere 2% of 45-54s support al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, this rises to 13% among the youngest.

These numbers go some way to confirming Sarfraz Manzoor’s conclusion that apparently the majority of Muslims do not feel particularly progressive, especially in areas such as permitting homosexuality, mixing with members of the opposite sex, in reining in the application shari’a law.

The Policy Exchange survey must be read in its entirety. It is long, detailed, and sophisticated in its nuance. Overall, a majority of Muslims seem to be well integrated and do express loyalty to Great Britain. We should not go too far in claiming there are no progressives or that they are not in large numbers. But it remains worrying that the younger generations are clearly much less well-integrated than their fathers and grandparents.

Most immigrant communities go in the other direction. According to a 2011 report on integration by the US Migration Policy Institute, “Full integration into U.S. society and economy generally takes more than one generation, with children of immigrants reliably outperforming their parents in educational attainment, occupational status, wealth, and home ownership. Residential segregation also decreases between first and second generations, and rates of intermarriage between ethnic and racial groups increase. Language proficiency improves dramatically as well.” Clearly, this does not seem to apply as strongly among British Muslims, and a similar pattern can be seen across Europe.

Other surveys are even more disturbing. An ICM Unlimited poll in 2006 found that a full 40% of British Muslims wanted shari’a law and that as many as 20% approved of London’s 7/7 bombings. The 7/7 bombers seemed to be well-integrated young men, with jobs and educational qualifications. An NOP World Ltd. survey at the same time put the figure of support higher, at 25%. In 2005, the Federation of Islamic Students in the UK indicated that one in five Muslim students would not report other Muslims known to be planning terror attacks.

CSP Poll this year reported that 38% of Muslim-Americans say Islamic State (ISIS) beliefs are Islamic or correct. A 2010 survey of 600 Muslim students at 30 universities throughout Britain found that 32% of Muslim respondents believed that killing in the name of religion is justified; and that 40% wanted shari’a law. A 2006 NOP Research survey showed that as many as 78% of British Muslims supported punishing the publishers of Muhammad cartoons. The same survey found that fully 29% of British Muslims would “aggressively defend” Islam. It also showed that 68% of British Muslims support the arrest and prosecution of anyone who insults Islam. When compared with the views of Christians and Jews, this is a very high figure indeed. One in ten British Muslims supports honour killings.

This is only support for violence. There are other areas for concern. Only 34% of British Muslims believe the Holocaust happened. 51% believe a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim. 62% of Muslims here do not support free speech. Only 7% of Muslims in the UK consider themselves as British first: with the passage of so many generations now, this is a disturbing indication of non-integration. 54% believe a Muslim man may marry up to four wives. 61% want homosexuality punished. According to Pew (2011) 21% of Muslim-Americans say there is a fair to great amount of support for Islamic extremism in their community. 43% of Muslim-Americans believe people of other faiths have no right to evangelize Muslims. That, of course, includes the Catholic Church. In 2013, 1 in 3 Muslims in Austria said it is not possible to be a European and a Muslim, and 22% oppose democracy.

I have, I fear, gone on too long citing statistics. But figures such these are indicative of a wider level of acceptance of extreme ideas than your comments and those of many politicians suggest. I do not envy you in your work to find reconciliation, and I do commend your efforts in seeking solutions to this problem, now a problem of overwhelming proportions across the world. Nothing here is remotely Islamophobic, insofar as it is based wholly on a direct reading of Islamic scripture and texts, of Islamic history, and of statistics for modern developments and attitudes. I do, therefore, ask you to take some measure of my comments simply on their own merits. My arguments are not subtle, and of course there are many other perspectives on all the matters covered here. As a professional, however, who has spent a lifetime studying many facets of Islam, perhaps my views deserve to be taken into account alongside the important work you do to secure closer relations with those sections of Britain’s Muslim community, who show themselves willing and even eager to forge close ties with their fellow citizens, regardless of faith or its absence.

Apologies for subjecting you to such a lengthy exposition, but I simply hope that you will see that David Cameron did not speak out of turn when he expressed concern at Bratislava.

With best wishes,

Dr. Denis MacEoin

Denis MacEoin was born in Belfast, where he learned at first hand the dangers of religious strife

As taken from http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6191/archbishop-westminster. August 2, 2015.

Muchos famosos eligen la Cabalá, ¿eso esta bien?

Pregunta:

Hola, Rabino,

El otro día estaba mirando el noticiero en el que aparecía Madonna (hoy conocida como Esther). Relataba como la Cábala había cambiado su vida. Los nuevos puntos de vista que tenía y las percepciones que había logrado estudiando con su Rabino.

Mi pregunta es: ¿qué piensa usted acerca de las masas de personas que están estudiando Cábala? ¿Es una cosa buena o es una moda pasajera?

Respuesta:

No estoy seguro de cuán auténtica es la Cábala que está estudiando Madonna, pero imagino que hay cosas mucho peores que ella podría estar haciendo con su tiempo. Si la Cábala ha hecho de Madonna una persona mejor, bien por ella.

Es fabuloso que más personas estén interesadas en la Cábala. Aunque en generaciones anteriores era un área de estudio restringida, los cabalistas siempre dijeron que llegaría un tiempo en el que sus enseñanzas estarían disponibles a todos. Su mezcla de pensamiento profundo y espiritualidad “bajada a tierra” es algo muy necesario hoy.

El tema no es tanto sobre quién puede estudiar o no Cábala, sino más bien cómo puede uno decir si lo que estudia es lo auténtico. Lo que me preocupa es que algunos exponentes modernos de la Cábala sostienen que se trata de una religión separada, distinta del judaísmo. Esa afirmación no sólo no es cierta, sino que es autodestructiva.

Predigo (sin usar ninguna percepción mística) que esa idea de divorciar la Cábala de sus raíces judías significará el fin del denominado “movimiento de la Cábala”. La verdadera Cábala florecerá, pero las imitaciones baratas seguirán el camino de las otras modas pasajeras. ¿Por qué? Vea: los cabalistas llaman al misticismo judío El Pardés, que significa “El Jardín”. ¿Cuál es el paralelo entre un jardín y el misticismo? Si usted ve una flor hermosa en un jardín podría sentir el impulso de recogerla y llevarla a su casa para disfrutar de su belleza. Pero fuera de su hábitat natural, una flor no dura mucho. Una vez desconectada de su fuerza vital se marchitará y morirá pronto.

El sacar la Cábala de su contexto judío es como sacar una flor de un jardín.

Luce hermosa y tiene buen aroma por un tiempo, pero pronto comienza a marchitarse, a pudrirse y a oler mal. La Cábala es una espiritualidad viva, que respira, que es nutrida por el rico suelo de la sabiduría y práctica judías. Pero quienes la califican de religión separada (por la obvia razón de tratar de ganarse una audiencia más amplia) están convirtiendo algo profundo y sagrado en otra mera moda pasajera: luce bien, provoca revuelo, pero no durará.

Aunque uno puede sentir el sabor de las enseñanzas de la Cábala incluso sin ser particularmente observante del judaísmo, no se la puede separar de su fuente. La Cábala es el alma del judaísmo. Un cuerpo sin alma carece de vida; un alma sin cuerpo no tiene base. El judaísmo sin su lado místico puede resecarse y perder atractivo. Pero la Cábala sin los cimientos del judaísmo práctico es una flor sin raíces, una flor arrancada.

Somos una generación que está en la búsqueda permanente. Hemos intentado el materialismo vacío, y no ha logrado sostenernos. Hemos experimentado con el escapismo espiritual y nos ha dejado flotando hacia la nada. Es tiempo de probar los frutos del jardín, las profundas percepciones místicas cimentadas en el fértil suelo de la tradición. Esa es la verdadera Cábala.

Segun tomado de, http://www.es.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/502270/jewish/-La-Cbala-Est-de-Moda.htm el sábado, 1 de agosto de 2015.

POR ARON MOSS