All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!



Rabbi B has been helping guide my interest in learning more about Judaism.   One of the challenges that I have is figuring out the nomenclature.  The difficulty I have is that even when the documents are translated into English, they often contain Hebrew terms that are Anglicized into phonetic English.

That wouldn't be a problem if there were only a handful of specific terms with specialized meanings.  I could make a list and memorize them.  That wouldn't be any different than studying any other subject. 

In Judaism there are hundreds of specific religious and cultural words that I don't have the slightest clue what they mean. Figuring them out isn't always a quick and easy task.  I've bought a Hebrew dictionary.  I'm considering another one to go with it.  Frequently I go to the Net and Google things I don't understand.

of study leads me down numerous rabbit trials.  Recently I came across the word "Ketuba".  I had plenty of opportunity to chase rabbits with "Ketuba".  As I was chasing those rabbits I came across something interesting.

In case you didn't follow the link, a Ketuba is the formal solmization of Jewish wedding vows.  While marriage can properly be described as an "action" the Ketuba is akin to the contract.  My explanation doesn't do justice to the nuances that you would discover if you studied the term fully, but I think you get the general idea.  "Ketuba" equals the formal or legitimate basis for marriage.

Here is where the rabbit trail gets interesting.  According to Talmud Chullin 92a&b (for those of you wanting to look it up) One of the reasons that God destroyed the world in the Flood of Noah was that men were writing Ketuba for men.

That's right, according to rabbinic tradition, gay marriage was one of the reasons for the destruction of the world.

The Babylonian Talmud was compiled from the oral law (as well as private written notes) sometime between 200 and 500 AD.  Parts of the Jerusalem Talmud are known to have been written earlier and incorporated.  In any event, that's when they wrote it down in the form we have today.  The teaching behind it had been passed on for centuries before that.  All of which proves that it's a lot older than the current gay marriage debate going on in the United States.


  1. Susan9:16 AM

    I know that gay behavior and other debaucheries was the cause of destruction for S & G. The Bible does say "as in the days of Noah", so I imagine that I will not be surprised when the court rules in favor of gay marriage. Heartbroken and sorrowful, but not surprised.

    I also believe that the Greek mythological beings come from that time of our history also. Supposedly demons were taking human form and spawning. It was such an evil time, that even as bad as it is now, I still can't wrap my head around what was, back at that time.

    I am not surprised that you are finding all kinds of little bits and bobs in your researching Res. One of the things that Jesus battled during his time here was all the extra rules and regs that the Pharisees loved.

    Some of his rebuttals to the Pharisees are some of the best reading of the New Testament IMO.

    1. Susan,

      One of my discoveries is that Jesus's teaching was interestingly in line with a trend of teaching that started about 60 years before His birth. Then among the non-converted some of the same themes persisted for about 200 years in rabbinic thought. Truly He arrived in "the fullness of time". The religious intellectual ground work and teaching had "primed the pump" so to speak.

      The passages where Jesus takes the Pharisees to task for hypocrisy are interesting. Do you know why? It's because the Pharisees spent a good deal of time teaching against, wait for it, their own hypocrisy. That is an example of only one of the ways God maximized the potential for His people to "get it" when it came to the message of repentance. Another was the tevilah.

      Have you even heard the term "tevilah"? Do you understand its importance in Christian living? I bet you have heard the word in transliterated Greek. Long before I started this Jewish study that I'm doing now, my first detailed word study was on mikvah and tevilah. I believe the church as a whole has gotten this wrong for the last 1,600 years.

      I love learning about scripture. Each new nugget I "discover" is a blessing to me at least.

    2. Susan1:43 PM

      Something that has pleasantly surprised me over the past couple years is how one little word or pronoun, if interpreted incorrectly or correctly, can change the whole meaning of a passage or verse.

      I LOVE this new feature, it is Fantastic!! I wish Vox and Nate would do this.

    3. I can't really claim this as a feature. I just came across something that lead me to discover the quote from the Talmud. I'm not even reading the section that talks about ketuba. The tractate I'm reading has to do the Jewish legal system. Rabbi B recommended that I start on Tractate Sanhedrin.

      One thing I have noticed that I sort of knew about was the method of quoting other Rabbis is actually distracting from understanding the topic under discussion. When they said Jesus taught with authority, most commentators suggest this refers to Him not quoting other rabbis. I think it references more than that, but man the whole quote system out of control.

      For example: Rambam, quoting Joseph Ben Something Another who was quoting Some other guy nobody knows from some town that no longer exists was quoting the son of this other guy, not the oldest son from the first wife but the second oldest son of his third wife's sixth cousin twice removed from the other side of the family had this to say. Then what follows is a six or eight word quote about some minuet point which you have already forgotten because being a novice reader of the Talmud I actually thought the stuff written on the page had something to do with the chapter heading.

      The real reason so many Jews go into law isn't because they are smarter than the rest of us. The real reason is that after a couple of years in Hebrew school reading this stuff, they can handle the most obscure overly footnoted text book with ease.

  2. I have always thought that there were subtleties and meanings that were incompletely translated into our "modern" Bible translations...

    What resources are you using to study?

    I have also wondered if there were a Bible translation that was more true to the original Hebrew/Greek than the others, and/or any Bible commentaries that were the most "accurate"...

  3. jml1911a1,

    I am learning that there is a lot of meaning that we don't get, or that isn't as obvious as American Christians. Part of that is a language difference but a big part of it is mindset. The Jewish mindset and method of studying scripture is different than the traditional western approach. I'm not anywhere close to mastering the approach, My hope is to "get it" enough to be able to reproduce it on my own.

    What resources are you using to study?

    Years ago I read the complete works of Josephus. I guess that planted the seed of curiosity. In the last 18 months or so I read "Meet the Rabbi's" by brad Young. That book reignited my interest. Most recently "Hebrew Word Study" by Chaim Bentorah", Pirket Avos: Ethics of the Fathers, and I have started working my way through "The Soncino Babylonian Talmud".

    Of those books, the Talmud and Avot are the only original source materials, other than the Bible. The Talmud consists of several tractates and runs about 10,000 pages in a Kindle format. The good news is you can buy them in individual tractates for 99 cents, which is much better than hundreds/thousands of dollars in hardback.

    If you have a passing interest in the subject, check out the Hebrew Word Study first. He has several other books that are basically devotional style "studies". The "Hebrew Word Study, Beyond the Lexicon" explains the theory. The other books do a "study" that allows you to go step by step through the theory, sort of an example of "how to". Anyway they are available on the cheep for download until March.

    On top of that, Rabbi B has been supplying me with liturgical material and supplemental readings. I assume the readings are from his congregations normal worship routine, but I hadn't thought to ask him. I've been enjoying them so much that it just now occurred to me that I don't know how they fit into the larger picture. Last night I added a app to help me learn how to write Hebrew and I found an series of you tube lessons on the subject that I started.

    If you are interested, drop me a line and I can help steer you around some poor purchases that I wish I had avoided.

    1. Thanks, Res. You're saying to start with this one, right:

      Any suggestions on a Bible commentary or version?

    2. Yes that's the one I have and it is very informative about the process of doing an esoteric Hebrew word study. The main benefit is it introduces you to the process and teaches you how to do the study on your own. I like that better than someone simply telling me what something means. I like to check it for my self.

  4. Anonymous12:42 PM

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  5. Anonymous12:45 PM

    "I have always thought that there were subtleties and meanings that were incompletely translated into our "modern" Bible translations..."

    You couldn't be more correct. One example to illustrate:

    In Matthew, Y'shua uses a phrase that has puzzled a number of exegetes for centuries. Y'shua makes this statement:

    “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"

    I have seen approaches to this passage that boggle the mind, and yet the 'Hebraism' that is expressed here is quite simple. 'Good eye' and 'evil eye' is a phrase found all over the rabbinic literature. (It has also come in to the mystical literature of Kabbalah and Zohar, but since the Zohar and Kabbalah is more of a Johnnie-come-lately - 10th century CE - it doesn't come into play here).

    To have a good eye, is simply another way of saying that you are generous person, and to have an evil eye is to say that you are a stingy person or a skinflint. It comes from the idea of the type of facial expression one might make when asked for money. If you are generous and someone asks you if they can borrow from you, your facial expression will say a lot about your willingness to part with your funds.

    Now put this in the context of the passages before and after Y'shua's statement about an evil eye and good eye:

    “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

    “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

    The statement is nestled between and in the larger context of other statements that concern money and questions of generosity or stinginess. Even a deep study in the Greek text would not have unpacked this Hebraism. The text may have been transmitted in Greek, but the authors were of a Hebrew mindset and perspective, which augments Res's point:

    "Part of that is a language difference but a big part of it is mindset. The Jewish mindset and method of studying scripture is different than the traditional western approach."

    1. This stuff is fascinating...thanks!