Progressive Jewish Spirituality
Words of Torah from Rabbi David Wexelman
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Progressive Jewish Spirituality
Progressive Jewish Spirituality accepts the Orthodox Jewish tradition but does not accept that the Oral Torah is eternal like the written Torah. The written Torah was written for all time and for all mankind. The Oral Torah was given for the Nation of Israel in the times of the Beit Hamikdash but after the destruction of the temple is no longer the law of the Jewish people. The orthodox tradition is continued but free choice is given to each Jew to observe the Halacha. Progressive Jewish Spirituality follows the Orthodox Rabbinical but is not obligated to accept all their decisions. No Jew is considered to be a sinner unless he publically and intentionally sins in opposition to the Torah and Halacha or commits a criminal act. Progressive Jewish Spirituality endorses Love of your fellow Jew as well as World Unity and Peace. Gentiles are also considered to be part of the Congregation of God. The Jewish people are the chosen people of God but all of mankind is part of the kingship of God on earth. Progressive Jewish Spirituality recognizes Christianity and Islam religions as authentic representative of God on earth. Their prophets Mohammed and Christ are revered in Progressive Jewish Spirituality like Moses the prophet of the Jewish people. Unity, truth, and peace are the goals of Progressive Jewish Spirituality. All of mankind has a part in building the kingship of God on earth. God we can't know but through his prophets mankind comes closer to know God and to love God. Progressive Jewish Spirituality accepts the prophecy of Moses as the highest prophecy. Moses is truth and his Torah is truth. Prophecy has returned to Israel and the Jewish people in the last five hundred years. Progressive Jewish Spirituality recognizes the Zohar as the Book of the New Covenant of Israel. It recognizes the Lubavitcher Rebbe as the Messiah the son of the David who lives forever. The nation of Israel will not be exactly as was the Nation of Israel at the time of the Beit Hamikdash. There will be free choice and freedom of religion. The Beit HaMikdash will come down from heaven to be the eternal resting place of God in the world. Each person will know God adult and child like prophesized by Jerimiah:31. On Mount Sinai God revealed himself to the world. After Mount Sinai God will not reveal himself again but through the prophets of God will come to mankind his revelation. In Progressive Jewish Spirituality there is freedom called Yoval the Jubilee after the 50th year which corresponds to the fiftieth gate of spirituality the 50th day when was given the Torah. Each Jew receives freedom through receiving the Messiah; the Messiah the son of Joseph and the Messiah the son of David as explained below. Progressive Jewish Spirituality calls idolatry all philosophies which preach to be the only way to know God. God is One and unknowable. Only God is One and not the Messiah, the Oral Torah or the Koran, or any nation including Israel. Progressive Jewish Spirituality claims to be the New Covenant which includes in it the Old Covenant. It believes in the Ten Commandments but the mercy of God comes before justice which means Tolerance. It condemns anti-orthodox philosophy as well as Anti-Christ philosophy which means that it is against extremism. Peace is its first concern and non-violence. The ultimate goal of religion is World Unity and Peace. Peace between Judah and Israel, the Jewish people and the world. See website at: http://www/worldunitypeace.org
The Garden of Eden and Progressive Jewish Spirituality
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Adam and Eve were the last of God's creations. He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God made to grow from the earth many tasty trees. They had free choice. God commanded and cautioned to Adam "from all the trees of the garden you should eat, but from the Tree of Knowledge you shouldn't eat because in the day that you eat from it you will die."
Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge and they had children. They were forced to leave the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had the knowledge and experience of living in the Garden of Eden. Their children were born in the world we know today of Good and Evil where there is death. Their children did not know or have experience of eating from the Trees of the Garden of Eden including the Tree of Life.
The world we live in is governed by the law of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. The first and most important part of education of children is to teach them to know to differentiate between Good and Evil and to do good. Good is reinforced by reward and bad is reinforced by punishments when necessary. When the child has learned Good and Evil, he is on the way to being an adult.
The knowledge of God is the knowledge of the Garden of Eden. First comes the knowledge of Good and Evil, to fear God and to go in his ways. In the Garden of Eden the principal tree was the Tree of Life. In this world the principal tree is the Tree of Knowledge. After eating from the Tree of Knowledge which means learning Law of God a person can begin to enjoy life. If he merits, he can even know the Tree of Life of the Garden of Eden.
The Law of God differs for each person according to his religion. There is universal law, not to kill, not to steal, not to commit adultery, honor your father and mother, recognition of God as the creator of the universe, etc. Each religion gives their own way to know Good and Evil as a preparation for living the essence of life. Life, goodness and peace are the goals of religion.
All the permissible Trees of the Garden of Eden are filled with knowledge which leads to good life. In the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil are forbidden fruits as well as permissible fruits. Parents and educators have the job to teach their children which fruits are permissible and which are forbidden. Especially important is to lead their children to learn to eat from the Tree of Life which gives spiritual joy and happiness. All the trees of the Garden of Eden are important including the Tree of Knowledge. However God has placed fear and caution to those that eat from the Tree of Knowledge because in the world of the Tree of Knowledge there is Good and Evil. In the world of the Tree of Knowledge there is death. In the Garden of Eden the world of the Tree of Life, there is only life and no death. In our world there is good, evil and death.
Adam and Eve left the garden to procreate the world. They had the knowledge and experience of living in the Garden of Eden. They knew the Tree of Life. They were cautioned about eating from the Tree of Knowledge. In the Tree of Knowledge there was fear of God, reward and punishment. Today mankind lives with both trees, the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. God has introduced to mankind through the Bible and its teachings to know both trees. Today there are two Messiahs representing the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge.
There were many trees in the Garden of Eden whose fruits were good. These trees are the prophets and their teachings which are included in the Bible. The Law has been learned out and given honor by the Jewish people. The Jewish people have given more emphasis to the learning of the law than all other people. Every person and every religion has the work of learning and teaching the law of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. It is the first part in recovery of the Garden of Eden which had become covered up by thorns and thistles which are the sufferings of life. In the Garden of Eden there is still the Tree of Life which has also been covered over and been hidden.
In the Garden of Eden, there is no death. All the trees in the Garden of Eden are eternal including the Tree of Knowledge. Man is mortal. His life is limited as it says in Ecclesiates, 'there is a time to live and a time to die." In the world of the Tree of Knowledge there is work to accomplish according to the law of God. After 120 years more or less every person returns to the Garden of Eden where he lives eternally with the holy prophets of God and the forefathers.
Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. The purpose of life is to Love God with all your heart, soul and might. Each person has the work of building God's kingship on earth.
The Biblical calendar records 6000 to the world. Adam and Eve begin history. Adam lived 930. After his death he returned to the Garden of Eden where he lives forever. The same is true with Noah who was the most righteous in his generation and saved the world from the flood. All the righteous saints in history are trees in the Garden of Eden. The two trees which are labeled as The Tree of Life and The Tree of Knowledge are the two Messiahs which have been revealed in history. Recently has been revealed the Messiah the son of David the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Each revelation of the Messiah relates another aspect of God's unity. Each of the trees in the garden are the prophets who have come into the world to reveal God to man. We learn their texts on the way to the Garden of Eden.
The Bible the five books of Moses relates the history of the revelation of God on earth beginning with Adam. On Mount Sinai God revealed himself in the world to mankind. Moses brought to the world the Ten Commandments. The kingship of Israel was established in the land of Israel according to the Law of Moses. The nation was governed by these laws and God was revealed to the world through the holy temple in Jerusalem. King David the King of Israel conquered the land of Israel and his son Solomon built the holy temple. The Kings of Israel were descendants of David. The revelation of God was limited to the place of the holy temple in Jerusalem. Two temples were built within a history of near to 1000 years. The two temples were destroyed and the revelation of God was revealed afterwards within the heart and soul of each person through the Messiah the son of Joseph who is in the place of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. Isaiah and Jerimiah who prophesized the coming of a New Covenant are trees of the Garden of Eden. The Law of Moses remained important in the development of the revelation of God on earth. Moses brought down the law which contained the knowledge of Good and Evil. The New Covenant was added to the Old Covenant and was not intended to replace it. However there were new changes that had to be made within the law to make it compatible with the New Covenant. In the Old Covenant God was found in the Holy temple and in the place of learning. In the New Covenant when there was no longer the Holy Temple. Each person had to build for himself a Holy temple in his heart and mind and pray to God. Each person had the work of seeking out God within himself and bringing Godliness into the world.
The Jewish people continued to follow the laws of the Torah as if nothing had changed. They did not accept a New Messiah with a new law. They continued to wait for the coming of the Messiah while living in the diaspora. The Men of the Great Assembly instituted prayers three times a day to return the divine presence to Zion like in the days of old. The world changed but Judaism continued without any major changes. The Law of Moses remains important even after the coming of a New Covenant. Christianity and Muslim religions developed and spread out in the world. Judaism is the oldest known religion.
The law of the world of the Tree of Knowledge was revealed by Moses bringing to the world the fear of God and his law. Jews continue to study the law throughout history even until today. Christianity revealed to the world the aspect of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. The aspect of the tree of eternal life called the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden is revealed through resurrection of the Messiah the son of Joseph. He sacrificed his life for this revelation. The eternal life of the Messiah the son of David which has been revealed through Lubavitch comes without death. This revelation began with Elijah the prophet where it is recorded in the Book of Kings that he ascended into heaven on a cloud. King David even though his death is recorded in the Book of Kings, the Zohar attributes to him eternal life as if he never died. This is also true of father Jacob where death is not mentioned in the Bible regarding him in contrast to the other forefathers. The Messiah the son of David is the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. Like all the trees in the garden the Messiah the son of David lives forever. The Messiah the son of Joseph and the Tree of Life represents the attribute of God called mercy. The Messiah the son of David and the Tree of Knowledge represent the aspect of God called justice. Mercy includes in it justice and the justice includes in it mercy. God's most important attributes are revealed through the two Messiahs which are mercy and justice. There are other important attributes of God which are revealed through other prophets which live forever in the Garden of Eden included in the trees of the garden. In the history of time to bring to the world the revelation of God required the coming into the world of many prophets and wise teachers of the law. They are all included in the trees of the garden and their teachings are worthy to be studied.
Judaism which found itself in a difficult place in history to begin the revelation of God on earth has taken longer to adjust to the changes in time and history of religion. Initially the Law of Moses principally the Oral teachings made the kingship of Israel supreme God's only nation. The world was to be under the rulership of the One God with the Jewish people as the only representatives of God on earth. The nation was conquered by their neighbors. Two temples were destroyed. After the destruction of the first temple the Jews were exiled to Babylon. They returned after seventy years to build the second temple in the times of Ezra the scribe. The second temple stood over four hundred years but the level of spirituality was less in the times of the second temple. There was no prophecy in the time of the second temple. There was no sovereignty like there was in the times of the first temple. The Jewish dream of complete independence proved impossible even from the beginning. The nation itself was divided into two parts at the peak of its dynasty during the time of Solomon. The destruction of the two temples did not change the Jewish National hope and pride, the only nation of God on earth. Jews pray three times a day to return to the days of old when they had a sovereign nation representating God on earth. They pray for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the holy temple.
Jews even today do not accept that there is a new covenant even though they accept the prophets Jerimiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel who spoke about a New Covenant. They base their firm stand on the fact that Moses commanded them not to change the law and covenant. The Bible says Moses is the greatest of the prophets forever. There is a conflict between the later prophets and the prophecy of Moses. However at the same time in the Bible BaMidbar Wilderness:11, Moses does not object to there being other prophets after him. He even wants for all people to be prophets like him. For this reason, he is called the humblest man.
In Judaism today there are two schools. Fundamentalist Jews do not accept any change in Judaism and continue to practice Judaism strictly according to the Oral Law. Progressive Jewish Spirituality has accepted change on the basis of the written law and have also accepted the teachings of the Zohar. The Zohar teaches that there are two Messiahs. The Zohar teaches that the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge are two Messiahs which become one in Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Progressive Jewish Spirituality accepts the New Covenant as well as continues the old covenant with several changes. The old covenant is accepted as tradition as well as obligation. Progressive Jewish Spirituality accepts other religions like Christianity, Islam, Bhuddism as long they worship the One God and preach unity and peace. Progressive Jewish Spirituality keeps Judaism separate from other religions but does not deny that they are genuine. Progressive Jewish Spirituality clashes with these other religions in many issues but recognizes the importance of Interfaith dialoque.
The Rambam the leader in fundamental Judaism rejects other prophets that have made other religions because they preach that the Law has changed. Progressive Jewish Spirituality recognizes that the Old Covenant built on the Oral Law was given temporarily until it became necessary to add to it the New Covenant. The Oral law did not give the individual free will. The Jew was commanded to do it even against his will. The law was reinforced by severe punishments for transgressing. Some people could hold by the stringencies of the law but other people were not able to practice willingly the precepts. The law forced them to continue even against their will until they rebelled. The new covenant gave each person free choice. Forcing people to accept the New Covenant was against its own principles. Jews were forced to accept these new religions in the world or they would be killed. Many Jews gave their lives rather than to convert to Christianity or Islam.
Progressive Jewish Spirituality gives each Jew free choice to observe the laws and commandments. It teaches the importance and meanings of these commandments. It believes in the holiness and wisdom of the Torah enough to give freedom with the Torah without stressing obligation before freedom. Progressive Jewish Spirituality stresses the truth of Judaism and the goals of Unity of God on earth. Progressive Jewish Spirituality stresses the inner teachings of the Torah and for each person to discover these meanings within his own soul. Progressive Jewish Spirituality stresses self realization and God realization. The foundation of Progressive Jewish Spirituality is the teachings of the Zohar and Chassidism.
The Oral Torah stresses obligation. Progressive Jewish Spirituality stresses that the Torah is the Torah of truth and a teaching for all mankind. Moses is truth and his Torah is truth. For sure at one point it was important to give the Torah as a commandment. Today already it can be offered to each person as free will offering. The holiday of Shavuot where is celebrated the giving of the Torah is called "The gift of the Torah." Initially it was given as a gift. The New Covenant has infiltrated the Old Covenant and given to the Jew freedom.
Many people say that there is only one Judaism. However there are two laws the Oral law and the written law. The Oral law was given by Moses to the Elders with the instruction "to do." The written law was given by Moses to the Jewish people with the instructions "to do and to understand." Judaism began with almost exclusively the approach toward service of God through the Oral law "to do" without any questions with blind acceptance. This was necessary to establish the Jewish religion for all time. The Jewish religion has already been established. Jews have a history of 1000 years living according to Torah in the land of Israel with the holy temple. Jewish law in these periods was established forever. The Oral law was written down after the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash. Today it has been compiled in a more concise form as the Shulcan Aruch the code of Jewish law. Progressive Jewish Spirituality works to add the New Covenant to the Old Covenant but not to change Jewish tradition. Progressive Jewish Spirituality adds to the Tree of Knowledge the light and life of the Garden of Eden where there is no death. In the world of the Tree of Knowledge Jews work to raise their families in the way of the Torah. The light of the Garden of Eden where there are two Messiahs and many holy prophets helps the Jew to serve his creator with happiness and joy amidst the darkness of Chevlei Moshiach, the pangs of the Messiah.
Progressive Jewish Spirituality has brought to the Jewish people the light of the eternal life of the Garden of Eden. Jews today pray and celebrate at the graves of the righteous saints who the Zohar learns that "they are alive rejoicing in their graves." The Messiah the son of Joseph and the Messiah the son of David have been revealed. The Zohar and the kabbala works of the Arizal have brought to Judaism the inner meanings of the Torah which are divine unities of male and female attributes of God. Shabbat in Progressive Jewish Spirituality is the day of redemption from all sadness. The work of the six days of the week radiate into the Sabbath and the Sabbath completes the week. In Progressive Jewish Spirituality there is only happiness and joy in service of God. Even the mundane matters of life become important when they are united with the Sabbath. Each day the Jew puts on Tefillin. The Tefillin which are worn on the arm and on the head, reveal the truth of God and the unity of the two Messiahs. Tefillin redeems the Jew each day from darkness and adds to his soul knowledge. All these divine intentions of the mitzvoth are discussed in the Zohar, the books of the Arizal and in chassidut. In learning Torah especially the learning of Pnimiut HaTorah is revealed the supernal knowledge of Shma Yisrael, the unity of God. In the learning of the Oral law, Gemora and Shulcan Aruch alone, is revealed the obligations of the Jew. In the learning of Pnimiut HaTorah is revealed God's unity of earth, God is one and his name is one.
Progressive Jewish Spirituality has added to Judaism the aspect of redemption called Geula. The Jews were thrown into exile called Golah when their nation was conquered by the Romans. Progressive Jewish Spirituality has now added the letter Aleph which is divine unity to exile or Golah to make the word redemption or Geula. Mourning the destruction of the holy temple is part of Judaism especially during the summer time between the 17th of Tamuz and Tisha B'Av. However it is celebrated as a memory because Moshiach has already arrived. The Rebbe of Chabad the Moshiach is now in heaven building the holy temple which will be revealed soon in our days. In Progressive Jewish Spirituality, the redemption has already arrived.
Jews have a tradition to reject change. They claim that the law cannot be changed. These religious Jews feel it is their duty to fight change. They feel that martyrdom is what God wants from the Jew. They were right until finally arrived the Moshiach the Rebbe of Chabad Shlita. Now that the Jews have the Moshiach, they can accept the changes instituted by the Moshiach which are Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Those Jews that reject the redemption by Moshiach the Rebbe of Chabad Shlita, have free choice like those that have already accepted him and are dancing and singing the song of the redemption. Although Jews want to be the only truth in the world, even the Arizal Rabbi Yitzchok Luria the great Kabbalist of sefad said in the name of Job, "God A-L Daot knowledge in plural is God," to mean that there are two approaches to Torah observance. We have to accept two Messiahs like there are two Torah. We have to accept that there are two nations of God Israel and Judah. The Old tradition believed that they were the only one and none else. History has revealed that only God is One and not Moshiach, Israel, and the Torah. Progressive Jewish Spirituality in this way can have peace with the world and does not have to hate the world or people that disagree with them. Faith in the One God is the principle part of the Torah and of Progressive Jewish Spirituality. We pray for the day that God will be one in the whole earth, "in this day God will be One and his name will be one." Amen
The Kabballa teaches that there are four worlds which God created. The world we live in is the world of action which is the lowest of the four worlds. Above the world of action is the world of formation. Above the world of formation is the world of creation. Above the world of creation is the world of emanation which is united with God the creator. Religion developed from the world of formation, which is the Garden of Eden where God placed Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were created from the earth in the way of resurrection. The world of formation is also the world of resurrection. In the world of formation there is no death. In the world of action the lowest world, there is natural birth and death. When Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they entered the world of action one step below. Above the world of formation is the world of creation which is also the world of unity and peace. The world of creation includes in it the world of action and the world of formation. Above the world of creation is the world of emanation which is the world of God and his divine presence. God rests in the world of emanation.
Mankind lives in the world of action which is this world where there is good and evil. On Mount Sinai God revealed himself to mankind living in the world of action. Mankind was not ready to receive the Torah, the law of God. Only the Jewish people were ready to receive it from God and Moses. Moses gave the Jewish people the law, the five books of Moses. He also gave them the Oral law which was to be for them the constitution of their nation in the land of Israel. The purpose of creation of all the worlds is for the purpose of the revelation of God on earth which is the world of action.
The revelation of God on earth began at Mount Sinai. The Jewish people carrying the Torah into the land of Israel established the nation of God according to their law. The One God the creator of the world was revealed in the holy temple in Jerusalem. The nation of Israel was governed by the law of God which is primarily the Ten Commandments. The Jewish religion was established in Israel for all time. About this was prophesized Baalam in Numbers:24, How goodly are the tents of Jacob the sanctuaries of Israel. The Jewish religion is monotheism praying to God without any intermediate. God is in the heavens above and was in the holy temple on earth.
The revelation of God on earth was not yet complete. There is a sanctuary in the heart of each human being which is his soul. This aspect of Godliness was revealed through Christianity. It was already part of the written Torah but was not revealed in the Oral Torah which was Judaism because the revelation of God in the heart of man requires an intermediate the man of truth. Now was revealed the two aspects of revelation of God which Jerimiah called "the seed of man and the seed of the animal." These two aspects are revealed and included in the Zohar connected to the two Messiahs.
Now at the time of the end of the second temple before its destruction and forever were revealed the two aspects of revelation of God on earth. Both are important to complete the ultimate purpose of creation which is to reveal God and his kingship on earth. These two approaches toward prayer and unity with God became two religions Judaism and Christianity. They also became two nations. The Jewish people preserved the faith in God as was taught to them by Moses to worship God without an intermediate. This way was taught to them in the Oral Torah on which is based Judaism. In the written Torah given by Moses is included both ways of worship. The Christians adopted the Old Testament and added to it their own scripture which became their religion. The Jewish people continued to worship God according to their religion which they were commanded not to change. Mohammed came later to reinforce the old approach toward worship without an intermediate which he taught to his followers. Mohammed accepted Christianity but preferred the way of worship of the Jews. Judaism was limited to Jews who were the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In Judaism there is a hierarchy according to lineage. This hierarchy was abolished in Christianity and Islamic faiths. Judaism includes in it genetics which today is recognized for its important play in life. Through these three primary religions almost all mankind received the revelation of God. Christianity is related to the Tree of Life and to Adam in the Garden of Eden. Judaism and Muslim religions connect to the Tree of Knowledge which is the fear of God and the world of action.
In the world of action there are three major religions and ideologies which clash. There is competition between them. There have even been wars between them even existing today. God's purpose is for there to be peace on earth and an end to war. The goals of Progressive Jewish spirituality are world unity and peace. In the world of action these three religions are separate. The world is divided into separate nations, seventy nation or more. The Nation of Israel today is one of these separate nations. In the Bible plan written in the Five Books of Moses for World Unity and Peace, the Messiah the son of David will be revealed on earth together with the resurrection of Moses. Moses died after living 120 years. His grave is unknown. Moses in the end of time will resurrect and with Elijah the prophet will bring peace to the world. Elijah the prophet never died. Most of the teachings of the Zohar come from Elijah the prophet.
Not only has Moses resurrected today but he has resurrected with Jesus and Mohammed and they are living under the site of the holy temple of Jerusalem. These three prophets who have resurrected live in the world of creation which is above the two worlds below the world of action and the world of formation. In the world of creation is united the three faiths Christianity, Islam and Judaism called the One World religion. In the world of action these three faiths continue to be separate. On the level of the world of creation, they are one and they are at peace with each other. Moses unites Christian and Muslim faiths to make an end to war.
The Messiah the son of David who has been revealed finally after two thousand years of Jewish exile has elevated from the world of action to the world of emanation to build the third holy temple for all mankind and for eternity which soon will be revealed on earth. This is the meaning of what is written in the Zohar that the third temple will come down from heaven without any wars. Jerusalem will exist in the end of time without the need of walls for its protection. The world will have received the revelation of God's name which is Shalom. This is the ultimate goal of Progressive Jewish Spirituality.
The revelation of God on earth has developed in steps. The Bible relates the development of this revelation from the beginning until Mount Sinai when God's voice was heard by man. The law was then written by Moses and instructed to the Jewish people. When God will speak again to mankind will be at the time of the resurrection of the dead in the end of time.
The Jewish and World Dilemma
Progressive Jewish Spirituality is not only for Jews but for all mankind. Mankind has survived the most horrifying experience in the history of time since the destruction of the holy temple in Jerusalem. In World War II over forty million people were killed as well as six million Jews tortured and executed in concentration camps. Many people have lost faith in God as a result, the world has sunken to the lowest levels of morality and faith since the destruction of Sodom and Amora written in Genesis:19. There is the threat of a third world war which will be a nuclear war. The Second World War ended with an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Progressive Jewish Spirituality has come to prepare the Jewish people and the world for this possibility and to work with the rest of world religion for world unity and peace. God has prepared man for these traumas and sufferings through the teachings of its prophets.
Judaism came into the world principally to teach mankind morality and to bring justice to the world. The forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob spread the faith in One God the creator in the world which was followed by the establishment of the Nation of Israel and the building of the holy temple in Jerusalem. Moses gave to the world the five book of Moses giving the history from the beginning of creation until the Jewish people entered the land of Israel including the giving of the Ten Commandments.
Belief in One God and his law was not enough to support faith in God especially after the world witnessed the destruction of the holy temples of the Jewish people by pagan nations surrounding them. People including Jews needed more emotional support from spirituality which came through other religions Christianity and Islam. The Jewish prophets could not lift up the spirits of the people enough to keep their faith in these hard times. The Jewish people and the world needed the Messiah. Today is no different. Belief in God without the Messiah is not enough to support the world faith emotionally in times of stress and torment. Belief in the Messiah is needed on two fronts which are the Messiah who will come at the end of time to bring peace to the world and the Messiah who will give mercy and compassion to those that are suffering the pains of life. Judaism has only the hope of the coming of the Messiah for the sake of World Unity and Peace and Jewish Unity. The belief in the coming of the Messiah is one of the thirteen principles of faith of Rambam. There is also the faith and belief in the revival of the dead. Jewish leadership has rejected the need of the coming of the Messiah for mercy and compassion. Christianity is a religion which was made to support the belief in the coming of the Messiah of mercy and compassion which was part of the prophecies of the Jewish prophets. Moses the prophet brought to the world faith in the One God the creator and the knowledge of the law of God. In the Torah it was prohibited to make graven images for worship. Also the Muslim religion prohibits making any intermediates in worship to God. Both Muslim religion and Judaism need the Messiah of mercy and compassion which is the Messiah of Christianity.
Progressive Jewish Spirituality has accepted the Lubavitcher Rebbe as the Messiah the son of David described in the Zohar as a man who gave his life for the Torah and the spirituality of the Torah. Like King David who the Zohar praises for his divine service, the Lubavitcher Rebbe in Progressive Jewish Spirituality is considered to be alive as if he never died. Elijah the prophet escaped death and never died. He went up into a cloud to heaven with his body to become part of Jewish spirituality. The Zohar added the belief in the eternal life of King David and Moses called Raya Mehemna to Jewish Spirituality. Chassidism has broadened the way toward belief in the eternal life of the righteous saints like Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the Arizal, Baal Shem Tov and other Tzaddikim. Their graves have become places of worship for Jews in times of trouble. Progressive Jewish Spirituality is growing. On Lag Bomer more than five hundred thousand Jews visit the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai the author of the Zohar.
A Jew today can understand that there is a need for a Messiah of mercy and compassion. They cannot make graven images of a Messiah or righteous saint but they can today appreciate the work of Christianity to preserve the memory of Jesus. The Zohar teaches the belief in two Messiahs. The Jews are waiting for two thousand years for the Messiah the son of the David. The work of the Jewish people is to build justice and to support morality in the world. They have given up their lives for this purpose which was given to them by God through their prophet Moses. The Messiah the son of David is the principal Messiah of the Jewish people even in the Zohar which mentions two Messiahs. The Messiah the son of David is the principal Messiah of Progressive Jewish Spirituality. However Progressive Jewish Spirituality recognizes the need of the Messiah the son of Joseph, a messiah for mercy and compassion. The Zohar which is the principal work of progressive Jewish spirituality includes a second Messiah for mercy and compassion also for spiritual freedom and redemption called Yoval the fiftieth gate.
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in his final lecture called Idra Zuta, reveals the 50th gate of wisdom the gate of spiritual freedom called Yoval the essence of spirituality. This level called Atik pure mercy is mentioned throughout the Zohar. Before Rabbi Shimon revealed the spiritual level of Atik he warned not to make any idols. He also requested from his students Love for your fellow Jew. Christianity is focused on the revelation of Atik connected to the resurrection of Jesus. The Christians are allowed to represent Atik in a physical form but not the Jews. Judaism is connected primarily to the law of God justice and righteousness and not to the attribute of mercy. The Jews learn the Torah which today includes the learning of Zohar and its commentaries. The study of the Gemora Talmudic law is most emphasized in Judaism. Progressive Jewish Spirituality accepts other prophets and their teachings, not only Moses. Even the traditional Jewish prophets preached change even though in the Torah it says that even a prophet is not allowed to change the law. Moses himself accepted other prophets out of his humility. In the written law which includes the Oral law, there are contradictions between fundamental Ultra Orthodox Judaism which refuses to accept change based on the Oral Torah and Progressive Jewish Spirituality based on the written law. This is a Jewish Dilemma which affects many Jews who want to believe in their leaders but also feel that they need to be part of the world. Many Jews need Atik; they need the Messiah of Mercy who has revealed the 50th gate but they also want to remain Jews. They believe in the Jewish heritage but cannot accept the one sided closed way of thinking of the Orthodox Jew and the Oral Torah. The world has a dilemma that people find it hard to believe in Jesus without knowing the rest of the Torah. Today there are two sides of faith which are interwoven which are the belief in God the true Judge and the belief in God the all merciful. The Oral Torah reveals the justice of God; Progressive Jewish spirituality has added to it his mercy. The Zohar gives the perfect way and faith which are two Messiahs for mercy and justice, the old way and the new way. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai before he introduced to his students Atik said "There is a time for God and a time for personal life." Through Atik mercy life becomes sweetened with spirituality that the Jew's personal life becomes filled with holiness in the way of "in all your way you should know God."
Progressive Judaism has accepted change. Traditionally Judaism is Monotheist without accepting an intermediate, the Messiah in worship to God. Therefore in most synagogues there are no pictures or graven images especially in the front of the congregation in the direction of prayer to the holy temple. Judaism rejects the revelation of the Messiah which the world has accepted. The Messiah of Judaism will return the Jewish people to worship to God without an intermediate as it has done in the past and to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. Progressive Judaism cannot accept the Messiah as God as did the rest of the world except for the Muslims. Progressive Judaism opposes making graven images. However Progressive Judaism does accept Christianity as another approach toward worship. Progressive Judaism cannot accept the Messiah the son of Joseph who is part of the revelation of Atik revealed by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, without the revelation and coming of the Messiah the son of David. The Messiah the son of Joseph called the Messiah of Christianity is revealed through resurrection. The Messiah the son of David of the Zohar does not die and is considered to be alive forever like Elijah the prophet. There are two Messiahs representing the two approaches to worship with and without an intermediate in Progressive Jewish Spirituality. In Progressive Spirituality only God is One and not the Messiah. However Progressive Jewish Spirituality does not oppose Christianity except when it dictates it's doctrine to Jews and tries to convert Jews to Christianity. The recent declaration of Pope Francis accepting Judaism which is not Anti-Christ is a step in the right direction of unity between faiths. Pope Francis has in effect accepted also Muslim faith which is not Anti-Christ. The Zohar in its approach toward Judaism has accepted change and initiated a new way in Judaism to include Atik which is freedom called Yoval. The Arizal in his works recognizes that there is a place for change but at the same time continued the traditional approach toward Judaism with the Kabballa. The Arizal revealed that there is also mysticism in the traditional approach toward Judaism without Atik or freedom. Progressive Spiritual Judaism adopts the way of the Zohar which is also the way of Messianic Lubavitch and Breslov Chassidism. Progressive Jewish Spirituality accept and learns the Kabballa of the Arizal and can even use it in worship. However it rejects that the Messiah has not already arrived. The Arizal called for the coming of the Messiah the son of David and understood that the Zohar also preached the revelation of the Messiah the son of Joseph with Yoval and freedom. However until this generation where the Messiah the son of David has been revealed in Judaism by Lubavitch as the Lubavitcher Rebbe who is considered to still be alive without death, there was only the Judaism rejecting the Messiah the son of Joseph as a separate Messiah like is taught in Christianity. Progressive Jewish Spirituality which began with the Zohar could not become a new approach toward Judaism until today when has been revealed the Messiah the son of David of Progressive Jewish Spirituality. In the Zohar it was theory, but today it is Progressive Jewish Spirituality. The Arizal had Progressive Jewish Spirituality in theory but it was not yet complete until the coming of the Messiah of Chassidism which were in Chabad and Breslov. Even if Progressive Jewish Spirituality there are two Messiahs which are Rebbe Nachman and the Rebbe of Lubavitch. In Progressive Jewish Spirituality there is also the learning of the Kabballa of the Arizal and practice of the divine intentions of worship and service. Progressive Jewish Spirituality has two way of Kabballa, the Kabballa of the Arizal (non-messianic) and the Kabballa of the Zohar and Chassidism.
Judaism in its source is not a messianic religion. It is the religion of a nation which worshipped the One God according to the law of Moses. The king of Israel was chosen according to the law of Moses. His successor was chosen from his children. The ultimate authority in the nation of Israel was shared between the king and the Sanhedrin the Jewish Congress consisting of the wise sages of Israel. Prophets were sometimes also members of the Sanhedrin. Under the law, a power of a prophet was restricted. A prophet could not change the Law of Moses which was given to Israel forever. The nation could not choose a prophet to be their king even if he may have been worthy. Only descendants of King David could be chosen to be king. If the King died, another king was chosen from his sons. In the law there was no place for King David after his death to be considered forever King the Messiah even though he is mentioned in many places and including in prayer as "David the son of Ishai, your servant your Messiah anointed one.
Fundamental Orthodox Jewry continue the tradition with strict observance of the Oral Torah. They follow the law primarily according to Rambam and other Rabbinical authorities that compiled the laws of the Jewish religion according to the teachings of the Talmud. Religious Jews pray three times a day for the coming of the Messiah; but the Messiah they pray for is in the end to be replaced by one of his children who are from the seed of King David. The nation will return to be governed by Torah law. According to the Rambam, the nature of the world will not change. In this is a contradiction with the sacred words of the prophets, who said that in the end of times will be peace between the lion and the lamb. If the world will not change, the future nation of Israel will have to be not only a religious nation but a military protected nation in a world which continues to threaten their security like the Israel nation of today. The prophecy that the world will be filled with the knowledge of God demands a spiritual revolution within Judaism. Knowledge of God is of secondary importance in Judaism which is based upon blind faith. The King the Messiah of Judaism rules the country with military strength and protects the security of the nation. The King of Israel is a warrior according to the Oral law; and is not a man of peace to be called the Messiah of the world.
Progressive Jewish Spirituality receives its knowledge of the Messiah from the Zohar and not from the Talmud. In the Talmud, the sovereignty of the Nation of Israel is primarily important in the time of the coming of the Messiah. In the Zohar World Peace and Unity is most important; the knowledge of God will fill the whole earth, in this day God will be One and his name will be one." The sovereignty of the nation of Israel is of secondary important. The land of Israel is forever a home for the Jewish people.
Progressive Jewish Spirituality recognizes that the Jewish nation can only be part of the world of peace when it has in it religious freedom. The Nation of Israel of the Bible times allowed only One religion which was Judaism. Judaism has changed over the decades. The Kabballa became part of Judaism in the last seven hundred years. Judaism separated into two parts at the end of the second temple beginning with the conflict of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Pharisees who maintained that the Oral Law was eternal like the written law remains in power even until today. However from this conflict developed Christianity who took the written law as a foundation of their religion. They claimed that the Oral law had changed; the Messiah lives after he passes away and resurrects. Reformed and Conservative movements modified Judaism without giving an approach to Judaism which gives sanctity and holiness to the Jew. Reformed and Conservative which claim to be Progressive Judaism modified the way of service of HaShem without adding to Judaism spirituality. Progressive Jewish Spirituality may be more lenient about observance of the Mitzvos but have added to Judaism spirituality. In Progressive Jewish Spirituality not only is there the hope in the Messiah; the Messiah has already arrived and there is the beginning of the redemption which is never ending. Progressive Spiritual Judaism has added to Judaism the knowledge of God. There are two Messiahs and two Torah, the written and Oral Torah. Jews are encouraged to increase in their service of God both in practical service and in spiritual service. A Jew can be Ultra Orthodox Jewish spiritual or less Orthodox according to his ability. Most important in Progressive Jewish spirituality is to love HaShem and be happy.
Progressive Spiritual Judaism has not been born overnight. It has developed over 6000 years. It is the culmination of 6000 years of spirituality; the development of religion of earth. Judaism which was the first religion has incorporated all the development of spirituality through all the prophets into Progressive Spiritual Judaism. Just as the Christians claimed to be the New Covenant in the prophecy of Jerimiah:31; Progressive Jewish Spirituality also claims to be the New Covenant within Judaism culminating all the other changes in spirituality throughout history. Jews who were taken out of the darkness of Egypt by Moses and brought into the land of Israel to follow the law of Moses, refused to change and accept another prophet in the place of Moses. Today that has been revealed the Lubavitcher Rebbe as the Messiah the son of David, Jews can receive the New Covenant which is the Zohar. About the new covenant of the Messiah the Rebbe told his close followers that the Shelicut or mission of Chabad Chassidism is to unite the spiritual worlds of Mah and Ban. Mah is the New Covenant and Ban is the Old Covenant. The way of Chabad Judaism which is Progressive Jewish Spirituality is to include both ways; the unity of the two covenants. Chabad Chassidism follows the Orthodox tradition and even learns each day the teachings of Rambam; at the same time they learn Pnimiut HaTorah including the Kabballa of the Arizal and the Zohar. His Chassidim, many of his followers consider him to be the Messiah the son of David, God's Jewish messenger of peace to the world. The Rebbe gave this way to the Jewish people with free choice. Through following the teachings of the Rebbe can be fulfilled all the prophecies of peace. At the same time the Jewish people can be united to live in their homeland forever.
Two Approaches to Judaism
There are two approaches to Judaism which very often conflict especially in education of children. These two approaches are called in Progressive Jewish Spirituality the way of Rachel and the way of Leah. Rachel and Leah are the two principal mothers of Israel. Rachel is recognized as the principal mother of the house of Israel which is the way of the Oral Law the fear of God. Leah is the way of the Written Torah, the five books of Moses considering the Oral Torah secondary to the written Torah but recognizing its importance in the Jewish home. Progressive Jewish Spirituality is the way of Leah in contrast to fundamental Orthodox Judaism. Both approaches have interplayed in Jewish history even from the time of Shoftim, Judges before was built the Holy temple in Jerusalem.
The Oral law was dictated to the Jewish people by Moshe Rabbeinu. They agreed to accept the law blindly. Receiving the law blindly was not a simple task. Not everyone was able to hold by all its demands. In order to enforce the law, the nation of Israel was established with courts and law enforcement, like it says, make for yourself judges and police. The people were encouraged to help in law enforcement, like it says, "you should rebuke your neighbor." Severe punishments was established according to the Law of Moses for transgressing the commandments. There was no free choice. The Oral law was the law of the land.
Today, educators attempt to introduce Torah law to children at a young age in the way it was taught in the times of the Beit HaMikdash emphasizing the fear of God. Education begins in the home and is reinforced by Jewish Schools called Chaderim. The children are told that this is the law that God commanded to the Jewish people. They are told to accept the law blindly without free choice. Education develops from level to level. First the children learn the Aleph Beit and the weekly Torah portion. Then they study Mishna which is the beginning of the Oral Torah. When they are ready is begun Gemora Talmudic law which is disciplined intellectual learning. Shulcan Aruch, the code of Jewish law reinforces the Jewish education of Mishna and Gemora. The child becomes obligated in the commandments at the age of thirteen for a boy and twelve for a girl. Not every child is able to hold by the strictness of Torah law. Not every child has the intellectual capacity for learning Talmud. These children naturally feel less important as they get older. They are encouraged to continue learning Torah even if they will never reach the level to teach the law and answer Halachic questions. They can also begin to learn Chassidut and Kabballa.
Jewish educators focus on developing the best students into Talmidei Chochomim, Torah Scholars. As the children grow older the best students are taken out of the group for more advanced study. The lesser learners are taught according to their level. Progressive Jewish Spirituality does not become important to children until they feel that they need another direction in Torah observance. They may have lost interest in the learning of Talmud because of its intellectual demands or they may want an easier load on their minds with less discipline. Progressive Jewish Spirituality stresses more the joy of Torah life than the obligations of the Torah. Instead of stressing blind faith in the commandments, they are encouraged to do the commandments with free choice.
In this way Judaism has branched out naturally into two schools which are Fundamental Orthodox Judaism and Progressive Spiritual Judaism. Assimilated Jews who want to go back to their heritage and are not happy with reformed and conservative Judaism can return in the way of Progressive Spiritual. Progressive Spiritual does not teach a different Shulcan Aruch from Fundamental Orthodox. However it does not insist on accepting the religion with blind faith but also to accept the religion as tradition. Prayer becomes more emphasized than Torah learning. Torah learning is broadened to include Chassidut called Pnimiut HaTorah the learning of the inner meanings of the Torah. The children are encouraged to connect and grow close to Chassidic masters, which means to go to their Tishim Shabbat Tables, and hear their lectures. An orthodox Jew is in this way is either Fundamental Orthodox or Progressive Spiritual to various degrees.
The Zohar which is the foundation of Progressive Spiritual Judaism classifies Jews in two categories which are Talmidei Chochomim Torah Scholars and Progressive Spiritual. Talmidei Chochomim the Zohar describes as those that practice the commandments without seeking reward with blind faith. Progressive Spiritual look to know the inner meanings within the Torah through which they can be elevated spiritually to love Hashem and rejoice in his Torah and Mitzvos. Progressive Spiritual seeks spiritual freedom. Ultra Orthodox, Talmidei Chochomim are faithful servants who deny themselves pleasures even spiritual pleasures. They are satisfied with being servants of HaShem and do not seek spiritual freedom.
For an assimilated Jew or any Jew to become a Talmid Chochim is very difficult. Very few religious Jews become Talmidei Chochomim. There are Baalei Teshuva that are able to make this great change in themselves but they are a minority. Most Baalei Teshuva choose to be religious, not because it is a commandment. They have a religious conscience toward continuing the Jewish heritage and raising a Jewish family. Judaism has broadened its horizons in the last generations even to the point where has finally been revealed the Moshiach the son of David. Moshiach the son of David, the Lubavitcher Rebbe has now made it possible for Jews to be Orthodox Jews and Progressive Spiritual by which they connect to the rest of the world in the movement toward the Unity of God on Earth. Many Baalei Teshuva are seeking higher goals than just Jewish Unity. They want Moshiach and the fulfillments of the prophecy, "in this day God will be king of the whole earth, he will be one and his name will be one."
The traditional approach toward Judaism strictly according to the Oral law is the foundation of the survival of the Jewish people. It remains the fundamental approach toward Jewish education. However this approach lacks the spirituality which is in Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Even though the Arizal has added on to traditional Judaism service of Hashem with Kavanot divine intentions, it still lacks fulfillment of the goals of Unity of God on earth which is an obligation like observance of the Shabbat. Progressive Jewish spirituality is the universal aspect of Judaism. Most children rebel against the Oral Torah because it is limiting them from feeling part of the world which Hashem created. They cannot live only in a Jewish world as they are instructed by their teachers even to the point to deny the importance of the rest of the world completely. For this reason they are told to reject technology such as internet, television, and radio. Even children living in Ultra Orthodox Chassidic homes find ways in life experience to contradict what they have been taught in their Yeshiva. Judaism is like all religions hide important controversial issues to keep their congregations separate. Judaism more than most religions is interwoven with politics. Judaism is a national religion, a Monarchy. In a National Religion especially a monarchy individuality is suppressed for the sake of the nation. The Jews in Israel are living in two nations which conflict. The Nation of Israel of the Torah was a dictatorship. Their nation today is a democracy. Most Rabbis prefer the old way; but Progressive Jewish Spirituality prefers religious freedom from dictatorship. The conflict between the secular state and religious state has caused children to rebel against their family upbringing. Religious Jews try to avoid military service even though the Oral Torah endorses service in the army. Progressive Spiritual Judaism objects to military service idealistically on the grounds of spirituality which is against war, instead of using other tactics which contradict Ahavat Yisrael love of your fellow Jew and the commandment, "Do not stand passively when your brother is being murdered". The Ultra Orthodox who claim that the law has not changed contradict their beliefs in the Oral law by refusing to serve in a Jewish army to protect Jews. Children are sensitive to falseness and rebel. Hatred is created between Jews.
Judaism needs these two schools of thought and approaches to Judaism rather than that there should be just the choice of to be religious or be secular like has been in the past. Religious Jewry by rejecting the importance of spirituality have caused Jews to become atheists, agnostics, secular Jews and secular Zionists. They have thrown Jewish children into the reformed and conservative movements. The Lubavitch Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach has initiated a change in Judaism as a solution to the Jewish Dilemma. A Jew today can be part of the world and be religious spiritual.
The source of the two ways of Judaism which have developed over 6000 years is in the Torah. On Mount Sinai God revealed himself in the way of his essence at the time of the giving of the Torah. This revelation was only for an instant. The sages record this event and tell that at the moment of the giving of the Torah the souls of all that were present left their bodies in fear. God brought them back to life. Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights to receive the first tablets which were written by God. Moses broke these tablets when he saw that the nation under the leadership of Aharon his brother built a golden calf. Moses understood that the nation was not ready to accept the authentic law on tablets written by God. In place of these tablets, the people of Israel were given a second set of tablets written by Moses. The second set of tablets were also from God but written by Moses the prophet of truth. The second set of tablets gave the laws and commandments for establishment of the Jewish nation. They were not directly from God like the first tablets. Judaism is derived from the Torah of the second tablets. Therefore, the Torah gives a place for there to be changes in the law in the future or for there to come other prophets to bring God to the world with other approaches.
The sin of the golden calf and the breaking of the tablets is ignored by Rambam and other Halachic authorities. A Jew is taught that the Oral Torah is the law of God which is the Torah of the second tablets can never be changed. The written Torah records history including the incident of the building of the golden calf and the breaking of the first tablets. The teaching of the Oral law ignores these events in Jewish history. The Jewish people wanted a National religion. They wanted to build a nation through which God would reign in the world. They wanted to preserve their family lineage forever. The Oral Torah made this possible. The Oral Torah avoids the sensitive issue of the building of the Golden Calf. Moses the prophet gave with the Oral Torah the written Torah. Moses is truth and his Torah is truth.
The first tablets were not political. God is not political. The essence of God was written on the first tablets and broken. The second tablets are not the essence of spirituality. For this reason, the nation of Israel and the Beit HaMikdash had to be destroyed. God wants to reveal his essence. However God kept his word and the Jewish people and their religion continues through the Oral law. Progressive Jewish Spirituality has developed over 6000 years to reveal the essence of God. God will not speak again like he did on Mount Sinai. The two temples will not be rebuilt by man but will have to come down from heaven like it says in the Zohar. The two Messiahs have been revealed in the world; the Moshaich the son of David has recently been revealed to be the Rebbe of Chabad. There will not be another Messiah even though Jews continue to pray three times a day for his coming. In the end of time God will speak again at the time of the resurrection of the dead but not before.
Judaism continues as if nothing has changed. The traditional Ultra Orthodox try to reject spirituality and continue the tradition according to the Oral Torah. In this way today there are two approaches which are Progressive Jewish Spirituality who have received the Moshiach and traditional Orthodox National Judaism that is waiting for the coming of the Moshiach and for the Beit Hamikdash to be rebuilt. The Ultra Orthodox have accepted the Zohar and Chassidism in the last four hundred years but they refuse to accept the Lubavitcher Rebbe or Rebbe Nachman as the Moshiach. They also continue to be Anti-Christ. On Christmas Eve they have a custom not to learn Torah which will give strength to Christian spirituality. After the Lubavitcher Rebbe has been revealed as Moshiach, this custom is absurd. The Messiah the son of David is a higher level of spirituality than the Messiah the son of Joseph. Also Moshe Rabbeinu who has resurrected is also on a higher spiritual level than Moshiach Ben Joseph. The revelation of Moshiach Ben Joseph is vital in Progressive Jewish Spirituality but is only the beginning of the redemption. There are four spiritual worlds that are revealed beginning with the world of Asiyah action the place of the Oral Torah. Jewish people continue to learn the Oral Torah and follow the Shulcan Aruch in the world of Asiyah. The other three worlds are revealed by Progressive Jewish Spirituality.
Even though the Ultra Orthodox claim that Judaism has not changed, there are many groups within the Ultra Orthodox community each one a little different. Lithuanian Orthodox called Litvaks or Bnei Torah are the least spiritual of these groups. Following the way of the Vilna Gaon who was an opponent to Chassidism and also a student of the Kabballa, they learn the Kabballa but have not adopted customs within the Kabballa including praying at the graves of Tzaddikim. They use the Siddur Ashkenaz which was used before the Arizal began Nusach Arizal a Kabballa prayer book. Very often they are quoted "Chadish is forbidden in the Torah" which means changing the Torah and prayer like is forbidden eating the new wheats called Chadish. The Mizrachi who are also called National Religious also hold strictly to the policy that the Torah has not changed and wait for the Moshiach to re-establish the Torah nation and build the Holy Temple. They believe that all Jews should live in Israel and are devoted to the commandment to settle the land. They risk their lives to fulfill this mitzvah by living in areas which are close to Arab settlements. Sefardic Jewry has mostly accepted the Kabballa but only as interpreted by the Arizal. There is Sefardic Fundamental Orthodox who follow strictly to the Halacha of Yosef Cairo the Beit Yosef author of the Shulcan Aruch. They practice customs instituted by Arizal but are primarily rigid in accepting customs of the Zohar which are more spiritual. Other Sephardic Orthodox have also accepted the Zohar with the Kabballa of the Arizal. Chassidism began with the Baal Shem Tov and branched out into many dynasties. Most of these dynasties have changed or modified the spiritual approach taught to them by the Baal Shem Tov to become less spiritual. There remain several dynasties which continue more the tradition of the Baal Shem Tov and the Zohar. Of these Chassidic groups are Chabad, Breslov, Ashlag and Morgenstern also called Torat Chochom which has become today a new Chassidic group. Chabad has become divided between Messianic Chabad and traditional Chabad. Breslov has also become divided into Messianic Breslov called Na Nachman Breslov and traditional Breslov. Ashlag is devoted to learning and spreading the Zohar and the teaching of Ashlag called the Sulam commentary on Zohar. The famous Berg Kabballa Centers all over the world come from Ashlag but they are not considered to be authentic Ashlag. Progressive Jewish Spirituality differs from all these groups which are more or less spiritual that they accept other prophets and religions which came after the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash. Progressive Jewish Spirituality has accepted the two Messiahs Moshiach Ben Joseph and Moshiach Ben David a Messiah for the whole world and a Messiah for the Jewish people. It is more connected to Chabad but it is more universal, less Orthodox and more traditional. Chabad retains the traditional Orthodox approach to Judaism adding to Judaism the Moshiach the son of David of Progressive Jewish Spirituality.
Two Laws from God
The Jewish people have been fortunate to receive from their prophet Moses two Laws which are the Written Law the five books of Moses, and the Oral Law which Moses gave the Jewish people to establish their nation.
The source of these two Laws are discussed in the Kabbala and are both part of the Written Law. The Written Law begins with creation "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Afterwards in six days God created the world and the seventh day the Sabbath he rested. The most important part of the creation was man and woman Adam and Eve. The Written Law is the Law of creation which is divided into seven days of creation and ten utterances through which the world was created.
The Written Law is the Law of creation. Not only was the world created with the Torah like it says God looked at the Torah a thousand years before creating the world, the Law of God and creation is interwoven in God's creation. He created the world with this Law and he sustains the world through this Law. This law is called in the Kabballa "the secret of the eye of God."
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were governed by the Written Law. In the Garden of Eden was the Tree of Life which is the Written Law. In the Garden of Eden was also the Tree of Knowledge as well as other trees. God warned Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge but allowed them to eat from the other trees in the garden.
After they ate from the Tree of Knowledge through the trickery of the snake, they were forced to leave the Garden of Eden. When they left the Garden of Eden and began to populate the world, they needed a second Law to reinforce the Law of the Tree of Life which was in the Garden of Eden. This second Law is called the Law of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil which is taught today in Jewish schools. Children are taught to distinguish between Good and Evil. The Oral Law which is written also in the Written Law gives positive and negative commandments Thou shall and Thou Shall not. Both the Oral and Written Laws are important in the life of the Jew.
On Mount Sinai God gave to Moses the Torah written on two tablets which was the Ten Commandments. There were Laws specifically for the Jewish people and their religion and Laws for all of mankind. For one moment God was revealed on Mount Sinai. This event will never be repeated. Mankind is to know forever that the Torah has come from God the creator of the universe either directly from God or through his prophet of truth Moses.
The Written Law is prophecy of Moses giving a background of history of the development of Monotheism, the belief in One God on earth and prophecy about the future. Adam knew God and his Law. Noah Knew God and his Law and survived the flood. Abraham received from Shem the son of Noah the Law of God which was given from Adam to Noah his father. There were seven generations from Noah until Moses. Each generation carried with them the knowledge of One God which was born with Adam. In the flood God revealed his wrath through water. On Mount Sinai God revealed himself through fire which came from heaven. This event began a new age in history. In the Written Law is inscribed the four letter name of God containing in it the deepest secrets of creation.
The Jewish people marched into the land of Israel carrying with them the Torah of Moses. They conquered the land and established the Kingship of God on earth with the Beit Hamikdash the holy temple the place of the revelation of the One God on earth. The temple stood for almost one thousand years. The Nation of Israel a Kingship was governed by the Law of Moses which he dictated orally to Joshua his successor. Joshua handed it down to the elders; the elders handed it down to the prophets; who gave it over to the Men of the Great Assembly at the beginning of the time of the second temple. There have almost always been religious leaders in Israel knowledgeable in the Law even until today. In this way the religion and the Jewish people have survived until today.
The secrets of the Torah were forgotten in the course of Jewish history. The Jewish religion which originally was connected to Adam and the Tree of Life now continued with just the Oral Law derived from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The religious leaders and people learned, taught and practiced the Oral Law Mishna, Talmud and followed the Shulcan Aruch called the four Amot of Halacha. Many religious leaders preferred to avoid spiritual issues of controversy with Christianity contained in the Written Law. There was no longer spirituality in Judaism.
During this period after the destruction of the second temple, the Jews were instructed to pray for the Moshiach three times a day. Moshiach will bring the nation out of exile, rebuild Jerusalem and the Beit HaMikdash, return the divine presence to Zion. Christianity and Islam were spreading new religions in the world. Christianity claimed that the Messiah had come. Their religion included worshipping the Messiah which was foreign to Judaism. Islam whose founder was Mohammed preached an approach toward worship to God without any intermediate like Judaism. They claimed that their prophet replaced Moses the prophet of the Jewish people. They preached a new Law Sharia based on the Law of Moses.
Today, Judaism has added to the study of the Oral Law spirituality derived from the Book of Splendor, the Zohar. The Zohar is called the Tree of Life as opposed to the Oral Torah which is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. From the Zohar has developed branches of the Torah of the Tree of Life principally based on the teachings of the Arizal and the Baal Shem Tov and Chassidic masters. The secrets which are hidden in the Oral Torah and Written Torah revealed by Kabballa masters connects the Jews again with the Tree of Life. The Written Torah is essentially the Tree of Life and the Oral Torah the Tree of Knowledge. However they are not separate one from the other. These are two Torah which are one and necessary for Jews to make for God a dwelling place in the world. Although Jewish religion was able to survive with the Oral Law alone, there has been mass assimilation and reformed and conservative Jewish movements in rebellion against Orthodox Judaism without spirituality without Moshiach.
The essence of Judaism combines both the Oral and Written Torah which is practical Halacha and spirituality. To accomplish this difficult task of uniting the Oral and Written Torah, it became necessary to finally reveal the Moshiach. According to the Oral Law Moshiach will be revealed at the end of time and he will build the Beit Hamikdash according to the Laws of Kings of Rambam. Waiting for the Moshiach inhibits the ability of the sages to reveal secrets of Torah because of conflicts with Christianity and Muslim religions which claim that the Torah has been changed. Before these secrets can be revealed must be revealed Moshiach Ben David, the Messiah of the Jewish people. The time of the redemption arrived and the Lubavitcher Rebbe revealed himself as the Moshiach the son of David. The Moshiach the son of David is different from the Moshiach the son of Joseph. Moshiach the son of Joseph is revealed through resurrection; the Moshiach the son of David never dies like Eliyahu the prophet and the Zohar image of King David, the King of the Oral Torah. Through the Lubavitcher Rebbe being revealed as Moshiach Ben David opens the way to revealing the Torah of the Tree of Life, called pnimiut HaTorah the inner teachings of the Torah. At the same time, it opens up spiritual conflicts of ideology with Christianity. Judaism has always been Anti-Christ. According to Rambam the Sanhedrin sentenced Yehosaf to death, because he preached changing the Oral Law. Judaism according to the Oral Law does not accept a Messiah that has died. The Messiah has to be a living Jew. According to the Zohar, there are two Messiah who are both eternal.
The Zohar is the Tree of Life which has returned to the Jewish people. Through the Zohar Moshiach can come without wars. According to the Oral Torah Moshiach will be the commander and chief of the Army of God. The Muslim nation of Islam also claims to be the nation of God on earth. The Messiah of the Jewish people according to the Rambam wages a war against the world and Islam for the sake of sovereignty of the Nation of Israel. He leads the nation back to the way of the nation of the Torah governed by the Oral law.
The prophets speak of a Messiah of Peace called Sar Shalom. They preach the way toward Moshiach without soldiers, military power, with spiritual power alone. Isaiah preaches peace between wolf and the lamb. These prophecies are for the coming of the Messiah to be a spiritual revolution and awakening. This spiritual awakening has already begun in Judaism from the time of the discovery of the Zohar. The Lubavitcher Rebbe has made the final correction to Judaism to allow these prophecies to be fulfilled soon in our days. Amen.
Progressive Jewish Spirituality recognizes the importance of the two laws of God the Written and Oral law. The difference between these two laws are that the Written Law is the Crown of God called the Tree of Life which is eternal. The Oral Law is the wisdom and will of God handed down by Moses to the Jewish people which is eternal but may be changed if necessary according to the judgment of the sages for the sake of peace. The Jewish people cannot claim that there is no other prophet than Moses. They cannot claim that Judaism is the only religion and that the Oral law is the only law in the world. About this is commented in Talmud Baba Kamma 37: A gentile that examined the Talmud commented that he agreed with the teachings of the whole Talmud except where it says; If an ox of a Jew gores the ox of a Jew, the owner of the ox has to pay damages. If an ox of Jew gores the ox of a gentile, he need not pay any damages. This particular law would not be accepted today in the world. The Law still exists but for the sake of peace it has to be changed. The sages cannot expect the acceptance of the all the laws of the Talmud in a free world society like exists today.
Most important in the Torah is the declaration Shma Yisrael Here O Israel the Lord is Your God the Lord is One. The word Shma in Hebrew has a large letter ayin . Ayin is numerically equal to 70 which represents the seventy nations of the world. The unity of God has to include these seventy nations to be complete. Judaism cannot limit Shma Yisrael to Jews alone as they did in the past during the days of the temple where they could rule that "An ox of a Jew that gores the Ox of a gentile does not have to pay damages." In the Garden of Eden the law of the Tree of Life was that all people are the children of Adam. It may have been necessary for the Oral Law to make the Jew superior to the gentile in the times of the Beit HaMikdash. Today the law is that all people are created equal children of Adam. The superiority of the Jew is in his performance and not in the law as before. We cannot go back to the way of the past even if it was once acceptable. We cannot expect Moshiach to bring us back to the law of the past. What was the New Age in their times; today is considered the Old Age. The educated world and the Jewish people have to suffer to be part of one world. Moshiach Ben David has been revealed; there is no longer time to wait for the Moshiach according to the Rambam.
LINKS TO OTHER PAGES:
Titles #2 Freedom of Religion for Jews, Judaism and Spirituality, Judaism Genocide and the Zohar, Mental Health Religion and Spirituality, Moses is truth and his Torah is Truth, Judaism in War and Peace
Titles #5 - Pelegash Begiva – The Battle for Freedom, The Need for Family, The Practical Kabballa, Truth and the Seal of Truth, No Easy Way to Happiness, The Myth of the Messiah, The Messiah of the Oral Torah, The Failure of Christianity, Hinduism Christianity and Judaism
Titles #6 - Truth and Half Truth, The Jewish Mother and the Snake, Understanding the Zohar - The Book of Splendor, The Jewish People and their Destiny, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, Jonah and the Whale, Torah Philosophy, Chanukah on the way to Christmas, The Legality of Judaism, Suicide and Depression amongst Orthodox Jews
Titles #7 - Orthodox Society or Free World, Ohr Haganuz - The Hidden Light, Closing the Pandora Box, Judaism a religion for Soldiers, Covering up the Truth, A Jew may need peace and salvation, Judaism a holy prison, Resurrectionist or Fundamentalist, Happiness the Essence of Chassidism, Idolatry Today , The Universal God and the Jewish God, The Coming of the Messiah, Open minded Jews, The Good Influences of the World on the Jew, Evolution, Judaism, Christianity, Internet the Biggest Threat to Judaism since Christianity, Bastards in the Torah, Moses and the war with Amalek, The Good in Esau, Serve the nation
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