Pranešimas skaitytas 2019 m. spalio mėn. 26 d. konferencijoje Rytai-Vakarai: Civilizacinio mąstymo, politikos ir vaizduotės aktualėjimas
Dievo žodžio skaitymas ir rašymas
Biblijos laikų šiuolaikiškumas ir mūsų laikų biblijiškumas
I) Ką reiškia Dievo žodis
Pasipasakosiu, savo asmeniškais pavyzdžiais, kas atsiskleidžia, kai skaitome šventraštį ne šiaip kaip atsitiktinę knygą, ne atokiai ir patogiai, tarsi pašaliniai stebėtojai, o kaip mums išklotą Dievo žodį, kurį privalome įsisavinti ir įkūnyti.
Šventraščių skaitymas ir rašymas yra vienas iš civilizacijų pagrindinių bruožų. Bendru šventraščiu, besąlygiškos tiesos išraiška, iškyla įvairovė supratimų, tai išsako civilizacijos esminę įvairovę.
The topic this year for the "East-West" conference is "Civilization". And so, a key theme in my talk is that a Scripture is interpretable from multiple points of view, which is needed for a civilization, such as the Jewish civilization and others that drew from it.
Trumpai peržvelgsiu, kuria prasme žydai ir krikščionys Bibliją supranta kaip Dievo žodį. Toliau, pasidalinsiu samprotavimais, kuriais esu įvairiai priėjęs prie krikščionių Naujojo Testamento ir žydų Tanako. Pagrįsiu savo išvadas, kuria prasme Biblija išreiškia Dievo žodį, ir kokiu būdu mes savo laikais panašiai galėtumėme rašyti Dievo žodį.
II) Prieštaravimų svarba - dviprasmybė skaityme
Dvigubas skaitymas - fundamentalizmas - nutraukti ranką, išdurti akį. Metafora ar tikra?
Gali būti pasmerktas.
III) Prieštaravimų svarba - dvigubas mąstymas - Dievo žodžio esmė
Iš vienos pusės, teko pripažinti, jog man, kaip žmogui, kai kurie pasisakymai atrodo akivaizdžiai dieviškos kilmės. Juk kaip aš, žmogus, galėčiau kitam įsakyti, "Mylėk priešą"?
In the Gospels, certain statements seem to me evidently of divine origin, such as "Love your enemy". I don't know who could possibly command such a thing, and it is a hard concept for me to imagine, it is so unusual. It requires a split mind - that I myself hate somebody for good reason - but that I take up a higher point of view, namely G-d's. I have, however, done a critical study of the Resurrection of Jesus, and noticed that all three accounts (Matthew, Luke, John) differ in absolutely EVERY detail (!) including time, place, who saw Jesus first, etc. This destroys the idea that these three accounts could somehow be compatible, and instead suggests that the Resurrection, if genuine, was a total breakdown of time and space.
IV) Prieštaravimų svarba - mįslių įminimas - pasimokymas iš gyvenimo - dvigubas mąstymas
Thank you for the explanation by the late Rabbi Moshe Shapiro z"l. I give people the same response when they tell me that I can't know everything. I ask them if they had ever spent a full day trying? Whereas I had spent decades, and made good progress.
Yet my reply to you and the late Rabbi is that I think the Scripture is a book about life. And who can know about truth and life, the one who lived fully, in life and in mind, or the one who studied books? As I wrote, in Genesis, the days of creation seem very much to refer to the "divisions of everything" and provide some confirmation and encouragement, rather than information. Similarly, when Jesus talks about "blessed are the poor-in-spirit", I know from organizing independent thinkers that he means "blessed are the skeptical", the ones who say, "I don't want to believe, I want to know! I want to believe as little as possible - I want to be a scientist - I want to believe only as much as I need to, to have a hypothesis!" Whereas the martyrs are the "rich-in-spirit". When I know from life that "God doesn't have to be good, life doesn't have to be fair", then Scripture reads entirely differently, and many riddles find solution, at least as regards the Gospels. That is why a few years ago I thought to engage the Tanakh, which brought me to these challenges.
I can give an example regarding Daoism. Last year, in China, just before the World Congress in Philosophy, I agreed at the last minute to give a talk on the Dao De Jing, something I know little about. http://www.ms.lt/sodas/Book/20180814Daodejing My talk was "Daoism for a Lifetime or a Day?" And with my rudimentary knowledge of Chinese, but my vast knowledge of life, I translated the first chapter of the Dao De Jing. I showed that the actual meaning was completely opposite to the standard translations. A standard translation says:
"The Dao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Dao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name."
But my translation, which is attentive and faithful to the actual words in the text, and understanding of what they could be talking about, is:
"The way of inclination is rarely the true way. The word that suggests itself is seldom the right word."
Typically, people think the Dao is "the easy way", which the unconscious suggests. But I showed that the true reading is the opposite: that the easy way, which the unconscious suggests, is not the true way, except by accident. Thus the Way is that of the Conscious mind which does not know, rather than that of the Unconscious mind which knows. What was amazing for me, was that all of the experts there agreed with me and my novel reading!
Similarly, when Jesus is asked "who is my neighbor?", and he tells the parable of the Good Samaritan, everybody to this day presumes that our "neighbor" is the one who the Samaritan helped. But instead, Jesus says in the text, "Which was a neighbor to that man?" and the answer should obviously be "the Good Samaritan" (!) So the command is to love the Good Samaritan, which is to say, love those who love you (even if you find them offensive). In other words, if you won't "love your enemy", then at least "love your friend", and it will end up the same.
So the conclusion there is that 1) if we read the Scripture literally, what it actually says, and 2) if we live life fully, honestly, then we will be able to connect the two. We will be able to solve Godly riddles that connect us with prophets who lived thousands of years ago. And those riddles will be central to life. And they will often have the ambiguity where people can read it unthinking, "the easy way", without contradiction. Or they can spot the contradiction, appreciate the tension, and see how it relates to the same tension in real life.
Prieštaravimo įtampa labiau svarbi nė turinys, nes tai dvigubas mąstymas, verčia mąstyti.
I was troubled that, in the Gospels, even Satan quotes the Bible. Yet I concluded that if Scripture is indeed a perfect text, then it must impact every honest reader for the better. It can't make anybody worse, even if they misread it, so long as they come to it with good intentions, and perhaps even if they don't.
V) Dievo žodžio tyrimai
Aprėpti tai, ką protas neaprėps.
I have been working to discover that divine language, as in my many investigations.
Some conceptual structures I recognize in my own philosophy. So, for example, I identify the days of creation with the "divisions of everything" by which the mind organizes everything into zero, one, two, three, four, five, six and seven perspectives, as in this talk: http://www.ms.lt/sodas/Book/20171011DisembodyingMind
Aštungubas kelias: Tėve mūsų, palaiminimai, šv.Petro raktai į dangų.
Ryšys su Dievu.
Several years ago, I identified and systematized 24 ways that Jesus figured things out, and was stunned to find a deep conflict between two points of view, the Son ("the good child") who believed that we could all come together in the kingdom of heaven, as in the Sermon on the Mount, and inspire all by our example, vs. the Father, who rather insisted that priority be given to "the bad child", who hated the Son for being good, and "made an example of him", only to realize his own wickedness and be saved by the resurrection. Thus the Father loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten son, whereas Jesus said, before his death, "I don't pray for the world, I pray for my own" and yet "not my will, but yours".
VI) Tanakas, kaip Dievo žodis
I wanted to likewise study and systematize "the Father's" ways of figuring things out and see what I might learn from them and how it might relate to my philosophy, the main conclusion of which is that G-d doesn't have to be good, life doesn't have to be fair. But I realized that I would need to understand what the Tanakh means from a Jewish perspective. And speaking with Dovid, I concluded that I would have to start with a critical view.
I think what Prof.Katz explained to me is how he personally comprehends the dogma, as an intelligent, resolutely practicing Jew. He identifies with the Litvak tradition, is translating the Tanakh into Litvak Yiddish, has taught university courses in the Tanakh, and is a reknowned scholar of Yiddish literature and linguistics. So his explanation was very important to me, anthropologically, in terms of how he deals with the challenges I will describe. Dogmatically, the Catholic position is rather similar to what you write, but anthropologically, pragmatically, practically, although there are readings from the Tanakh every Sunday, even serious Catholics don't give any thought to them, and if they did, they would typically think of anything thought-provoking, "that was all overruled by the Gospels..."
Skirtumai, kaip žydai supranta.
"Yeridat Hadorot" and the hierarchy of texts
Šventraščių rašymas toliau...
VII) Biblijos sukeltos abejonės
Būtinas patiklumas, tikėjimas. All of my life, I have been accepting of Scripture's many miracles and contradictions, ultimately rejecting attempts at explaining them away and instead taking contradiction as a sign of divine freedom.
I suppose that Scripture, by its nature, will at some point challenge every reader as to whether it makes sense. And for each reader that will be a different issue. I know that for me, as a Catholic, it was troubling to realize that the litany of "the Sacred Heart of Jesus" refers to his biological heart (!)
As I tried to appreciate the word of God from a Jewish perspective, Dovid lent me the book David and Solomon by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman.
Visoje Judėjoje gyveno maždaug 50,000 gyventojų.
As I mentioned, I was stunned to read their exposition how the Jerusalem of David and Solomon was a modest village. I found a review critiquing their book:
But basically, it had me personally stand back from the Tanakh and consider it from a critical point of view. That is what I wanted to share with you.
I have a Ph.D. in math. So it's perhaps understandable that I was struck by the census of the twelve tribes in Chapter 1 of Bamidbar-Numbers. The largest tribe, Judah, has a population 74,600 roughly double that of the smallest tribes, Benjamin - 35,400 and Manasseh - 32,200. But that is completely unreal! Consider any political division, such as the EU countries, the Soviet republics, the US states, the thirteen American colonies or the Canadian provinces. Roughly speaking, the distribution of populations is never linear but always logarithmic. So the most populous province, Ontario, has 13 million residents, and the least populous, Prince Edward Island (or whichever), has 140,000. If I was checking a student's paper, or a scientist's data, then I would say that their numbers obviously have no relation to reality but were completely made up.
I can accept that Enoch did not die, and that Elijah made the shadow climb backwards. But it seems wrong to insist that numbers which a human concocted are the word of G-d. That's a rather mean way for G-d to communicate. On that point I might well give up my life and stand before G-d like Job. That's why Dovid's position is important from a practical point of view. He looks at the Bible as literature by which G-d supports a tradition of scholarship of wisdom and devotion. Whereas I'm interested in understanding truth and G-d. Of course, or I suppose, the Scripture is meant not for me, not for Dovid, but for everyone.
Iš kitos pusės, tenka pastebėti, kad neužmirštami Pradžios knygos pasakojimai apie Adomą ir Ievą, Nojaus arką, Abraomą ir Izaoką, Dešimt Dievo įsakymų ir t.t. vis dėl to nėra legendos, o tėra potremtinės žydų bendruomenės sukurta literatūra. Juk Evangelija ir šv.Pauliaus laiškai remiasi šiais pasakojimais, tuo tarpu psalmės, kronikos bei pranašų knygos jų visai nemini.
With Scripture, inasmuch as it is is All or Nothing, then once I entertain a doubt about part of it, then the whole edifice crumbles. Once I consider that the Torah and Tanakh came into being only after all the books had been written, and I allow that the supposedly oldest books were actually written last, then it seems possible to think of the entire effort as an insistent concoction, although in many places noble, while in other places not.
Those numbers are perhaps, in some sense, a detail. But a real critical view would consider the Tanakh as a whole. As Dovid helped me appreciate, the Tanakh - and the Torah - were not understood to be such, and not distinguished and edited as such, until very late, basically after the events described. The first five books, the Torah, were compiled by the post-exilic community, perhaps 450-350 BCE, perhaps later. I was taught that, regardless, the Bible stories were very old legends that dated back to the original events. But I realized that is a hypothesis which is easy to check with a Bible search engine. Note the Gospels and St.Paul's letters are full of allusions to the vivid Bible stories: the tree of life, Noah's ark and the rainbow, how Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac, and so on. A quick Bible search shows that there are no psalms, no histories, no prophets, no proverbs that allude to the Bible stories or the ten commandmants that we know from the Torah. In conclusion, the Bible stories and the ten commandmants are not legends dating from the time of Moses, but rather they are literature created by post-exilic scholars, just as the tales of King Arthur were literature, with some tales invented in the 12th century, and others later. This analysis concludes that the Torah is a work of literature by which post-exilic scholars established a code for Judaic culture. I suppose it happened at a time when Judaic culture, and for example, the Hebrew language, was in danger of extinction. Again, this critique is troubling as regards the status of the word of G-d.
VIII) Išvados apie Dievo žodžio rašymą
Apžvelgęs įvairias tokias įžvalgas, prieisiu prie Kunigų knygos, kurioje smulkiai aprašomos neįtikėtinos apeigos, kaip puošniausiais rūbais apsirengę kunigai skerdžia aukas. Šioje knygoje visgi yra nuostabus 19-asis skyrius, kokie kunigai privalo būti tyrai dori. Visa knyga susiveda į dievišką priesaką, "Mylėk artimą, kaip save patį." Man tai pavyzdys, kad nuoširdaus žmogaus širdingi prisigalvojimai gali prasiveržti iš žmoniško mąstymo ir pakilti į dievišką mąstymą.
It's humbling for me to be among the misreaders. I thought that Leviticus instructs priests to perform sacrifices in fancy clothes. But last night, in double checking, all I could find was the case of Aaron, apparently dressed in his best, splattered in blood. But that was a one-time occasion, I suppose. My suspicious mind had multiplied my suspicions. And perhaps it is written that way, to multiply faith or doubt. I suppose that double checking is a key part of reading Scripture, the obligation to reread it.
Kunigų 6 19:20 Tas kunigas, kuris atnašauja ją kaip atnašą už nuodėmę, turi ją valgyti. Ji bus valgoma šventoje vietoje, Susitikimo palapinės kieme. 20 Visa, kas tik paliestų jos mėsą, taps pašvęsta, o jeigu ant drabužių užtikštų jos kraujo, aptaškytąją dalį turi išplauti šventoje vietoje.
Kunigų 8 6:9 Tada Mozė, paliepęs Aaronui ir jo sūnums prieiti, apiplovė juos vandeniu. 7 Paskui apvilko jį tunika, apjuosė juosta, aprengė skraiste ir uždėjo jam efodą, suverždamas jį meistriškai išausta efodo juosta ir taip pritvirtindamas prie Aarono. 8 Uždėjo jam krūtinės dėklą, o į krūtinės dėklą įdėjo Urimus ir Tumimus.[i3] 9 Užmovė jam ant galvos turbaną ir prie turbano, priekyje, prisegė auksinį papuošalą – šventąją diademą, kaip VIEŠPATS buvo Mozei įsakęs.
6:30 Tada Mozė, paėmęs patepimo aliejaus ir kraujo, esančių ant aukuro, pašlakstė jais Aaroną bei jo drabužius ir taip pat jo sūnus bei jų drabužius. Taip jis pašventino Aaroną ir jo drabužius, taip pat jo sūnus ir jų drabužius.
I will present another criticism, though, which offers a ray of understanding. The book Vayikra-Leviticus has much about sacrifices. It's quite incredible that fixed numbers of animals are prescribed for the daily sacrifices, even while demographics circumstances may be changing dramatically. But what's most strange for me, having moved to a small village of farmers, is that the priests are slaughtering animals while dressed in the finest clothes. It makes no practical sense at all, and although I don't know much about slaughtering, but I doubt that the post-exilic author knew more than me. And the practical purpose of these chapters is completely baffling. However, because the priests must be of the highest morality, there is a very important Chapter 19 regarding that. And in that chapter, the essence is distilled by the command, "You shall neither take revenge from nor bear a grudge against the members of your people; you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Those last words, "love your neighbor as yourself", I think are manifestly divine. They are not representative of human thinking. True, we suspend our selves and participate in many activities as a team. But taken as an absolute generality, this becomes divinely extreme.
So this analysis suggests how Scripture is written. A person of intense devotion can imagine a world, such as a mythical, historical time of King Solomon, with such fervor, that it grows like a funnel that ultimately pierces through our world and enters the realm of divine thinking, of internalizing G-d's point of view. This explains that most of Scripture is not itself divine but rather supports that construction which leads us to G-d's divine truths.
IX) Galimybė rašyti Dievo žodį
Siūlau taip naujom akim peržiūrėti Bibliją, kur joje žmogiškas ir kur dieviškas mąstymas. Galėtumėme panašiai mokytis iš savo istorijos, iš Holokausto ir kitų Lietuvos sukrėtimų. Turime milijonus dokumentų, atskleidžiančių įvairiausią elgesį, nušviečiantį visas dorumo ir nedorumo plonybes. Širdingai tirdami šiuos elgesio pavyzdžius galėtumėme rašyti šventraščius, išmokti išgauti Dievo žodį.
At that point, then perhaps there is something about the hierarchy of texts which functions in reverse. That amongst the rubble there is yet a new center for the deep principles that explains the logic by which it all gave so much life, in terms of the living community of scholars and believers. What was it that they gravitated towards? And this generates new touch points, new conclusions, perhaps the Messiah and even more so, the after life being among them, or in our times, the restoration of the state of Israel.
Additionally, we should be able to study Scripture to understand well how to write Scripture, how to write G-d's word, how to arrive at G-d's truths. The Biblical times are basically fictional. But our current days are tangibly Biblical. The Holocaust, the reestablishment of Israel, the wars with the Arabs, are all of Biblical proportions, as are the miraculous events of our times, everything from electricity to space travel to computers to climate change.
We have millions of pages of documents from these Biblical events, such as the Holocaust. They document millions of examples of people's behavior, good and bad, exemplary and not. It is certainly possible, with devotion, to write many inspired texts that would yield unexpected truths of G-d.
Perhaps next year I will do a study of the Tanakh regarding G-d's ways of figuring things out. Then that would help me to see G-d in other texts as well.
Maurų mokslo šventyklos šventraščio pavyzdys.