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Sorry no longer take comments. Post's 'labels' are unreliable for linking or searching. Use the INDEX OF POSTS instead. A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. Highlighted words lead to other posts almost all in my blog. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family (1950's) and went to Orthodox Yeshiva from kindergarten thru High School plus some Beis Medrash.Became an agnostic in my 20's and an atheist later on. My blog will discuss the arguments for god and Orthodox Judaism and will provide counter arguments. I no longer take comments. My blog uses academic sources, the Torah, Talmud and commentators to justify my assertions. The posts get updated. INDEX OF POSTS SEE MAY 2017 or click link above.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Proof of God from Miracles (part 2) or Kuzari Argument Part 15

Updated twice on 1/1/2018

Before reading this post, please at least skim   Proof of God from Miracles or Kuzari Argument Part 9  which can be considered part 1 of Proof of God From Miracles

Kuzari proponents argue  How could the ancient Israelites come to believe in miracle manna from G-d, if manna was not really a miracle food from G-d ? 

Lets read Psalms. (source Jewish Publication Society's 1917 edition of the Hebrew Bible in English.)

Psalms Chapter 78:20 Behold, He smote the rock, that waters gushed out, and streams overflowed; 
can He give bread also? or will He provide flesh for His people?'
21 Therefore the LORD heard, and was wroth; 
and a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also went up against Israel;
22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in His salvation.
23 And He commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven;
24 And He caused manna to rain upon them for food, and gave them of the corn of heaven.
25 Man did eat the bread of the mighty; He sent them provisions to the full.
26 He caused the east wind to set forth in heaven; and by His power He brought on the south wind.
27 He caused flesh also to rain upon them as the dust, and winged fowl as the sand of the seas;
28 And He let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their dwellings.
29 So they did eat, and were well filled; and He gave them that which they craved.
30 They were not estranged from their craving, their food was yet in their mouths,
31 When the anger of God went up against them, and slew of the lustieth among them, 
and smote down the young men of Israel.
32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not in His wondrous works.

Psalms Chapter 105:40 They asked, and He brought quails, and gave them in plenty the bread of heaven.

Psalms 78:24 {ETA 1/1/2018 in conjunction with verse 28 bread of the "mighty", which some translate as "angels" } and Psalms 105:40  suggests  manna was food for heavenly beings. otherwise the two verses make no sense.  (Side note: Do you really think there are heavenly beings and they are eating Manna ? )

{ETA 1/1/2018 The interpretation that the Torah/Tenach is referring to manna being food for heavenly beings or even supernatural food as some scholars have just suggested is open to doubt. Other scholars interpret the Torah/Tenach that manna is food from heaven in the sense there is food from the Earth. Are you surprised that ancient people could believe that the gods controlled the supply of food or provisions that derive from heaven or from Earth ?  Many Orthodox Jews till this day pray to Yahweh for rain, because they believe he can provide it or withhold it, just like many other peoples believe (or maybe believed would be more accurate) their supernatural beings can do so.}

It is widely believed by scholars that Manna was probably a natural substance of some sort. A common opinion being an exudation from certain plants with additional  help from insects.  It is known some ancient people  would ascribe certain foods or natural substances  to be the food of the gods or foods associated with supernatural.  For example, Honeydew (plant-insect secretions)-ambrosia- nectar by the Greeks. Why could not this be so for the ancient Israelites ? Why must we insist the manna was truly a supernatural substance ?  Maybe it was a natural substance that for political or theological purposes was eventually claimed to be divine or to have supernatural involvement for it's provision. 

Previous posts discussed the idea the Sinai story as a national foundation myth, myths which are known not to be fully reliable. Heavenly manna could be part of such a mythology.  

Here I will present a different argument.

Did the ancient Israelites consider manna miracle food  ?  {ETA 1/1/2018 Did the ancient Israelites truly believe all the miracles and wonders ? }Read verse Psalms 78:32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not in His wondrous works.

It seems the ancient Israelites did not believe miracles had occurred !  {ETA 1/1/2018 Apologetic response may include the text does not 'really' mean they did not believe in the miracles. Nonetheless, the text does describe a situation where the alleged miracles lacked enough convincing power. That people were not fully convinced of the miracles.}

{ETA 1/1/2018 Another apologetic response -  the Israelites "really" believed in the miracles, but were not convinced they were from Yahweh. That is a bit of a stretch if you read Psalms 78:32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not in His wondrous works.}

This informs us that we really do not know that the bulk of the  ancient Israelites always accepted that something truly miraculous occurred regarding manna. Psalms all but writes such was not the case. 

The Kuzari argument for manna miracles requires an unbroken chain of an Israelite/Jewish national tradition of believing in the manna miracles.  But we have evidence from our holy texts that such an unbroken chain of national tradition seems not to have existed. 

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