A Xian pacifist just sent me a blow-by-blow description of the wars perpetrated by and evils that "invaded" the Xian churches. Then he hastened to assure that that's not real Xianity. Real Xianity, despite the fact that it's history is blood-drenched, is really peaceful, he would have us believe. I responded:
You are a kind man *despite* the fact that you are Xian, not because of it.You are the exception that proves that rule that Xianity exacerbates the worst in people by the demonically clever technique of causing violent backlash by demanding that people be far more morally advanced than they are really capable of being without long and arduous work on themselves.Jewish tradition, as taught in the *Hebrew* Torah, in contradistinction, starts at the base level of human morality, without unrealistic presumptions of what we are or expections of what we can and cannot be at base level, and walks us step by step to moral heights far greater than Xians can even dream of.
This is why Xians think that "the Old Testament" is on a lower moral/spiritual level than the new.
They don't understand that Torah teaches us to toddle (at the level of פשט, the most basic, apparent level of Torah), then to walk (at the level of רמז the level at which Torah hints that there is something beneath what we see on the surface level), then to run (at the level of דרש the allegorical or homiletic level), then to fly (at the level of סוד the secret level of Torah).
Non-Jews can't see those lessons and how they are accomplished because they don't understand Hebrew and can't see the חילופים and גימטריאות.
By Xianity expecting people to be ready for the Olympics of morality just by belief alone (remember, acts don't matter to them!, thus they don't undertake a life of תיקון מידות) - it sets them up for fall after fall.
The person who was the most extreme case of the backlash that comes after one forces themselves to do what they are not ready to do and do it in a harsh manner is the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius of Loyola.
After years of cruel self-mortification and maximal self-denial, he reached what we call "the other side". You don't want to go there.
Rather than undertaking a kind and gentle, but firm, programme of improving one's moral structure by undertaking to act, dress and speak modestly; go out of one's way to make people smile and be happy; give charity (some 10-15% of one's income, not povertize oneself); visit the sick; honor the elderly; avoid speaking about people behind their back; not to lie and doing this on a regular basis, gently increasing in the frequency and growing in the abilities, many traditions undertake a life of extreme asceticism as the road to God-consciousness.
I have spoken about this at length in my video: True Kabbalah: Path of the Just. If you wish to see it, it is on Google videos on this link:
As a result of years of extreme self-mortification, self-denial and self-denigration; one arrives at a very strange place where one imagines that they are so pure and Godlike that they can do whatever they want - and they compensate for the years of self-denial with a vengeance. They also see humanity as being like bugs in comparison to themselves rather than seeing the Godliness of each person.
This is not the way to true God-consciousness. On the Jewish mystical path to God-Consciousness, one also merges into God (insofar as we are able when incarnate and each according to their merits) and also realizes that God is above good and evil, in fact all dualities, as in other mystic traditions, *BUT* one *chooses*, as God does, to deal in goodness and in justice with the creation.
As is written:
R. Yochanan says in the name of R. Yose: How do we know that the Holy One, blessed be He, says prayers? Because it says: Even them will I bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. It is not said, 'their prayer', but 'My prayer'; hence [you learn] that the Holy One, blessed be He, says prayers.
What does He pray? — R. Zutra b. Tobi said in the name of Rab: 'May it be My will that My mercy may suppress My anger, and that My mercy may prevail over My [other] attributes, so that I may deal with My children in the attribute of mercy and, on their behalf, stop short of the limit of strict justice'. It was taught: R. Ishmael b. Elisha says: I once entered into the innermost part [of the Sanctuary] to offer incense and saw Akathriel Yah, the Lord of Hosts, seated upon a high and exalted throne. He said to me: Ishmael, My son, bless Me! I replied: May it be Thy will that Thy mercy may suppress Thy anger and Thy mercy may prevail over Thy other attributes, so that Thou mayest deal with Thy children according to the attribute of mercy and mayest, on their behalf, stop short of the limit of strict justice! And He nodded to me with His head. Here we learn [incidentally] that the blessing of an ordinary man must not be considered lightly in your eyes. – BABYLONIAN TALMUD: Tractate Berakoth Folio 7a
The Jewish path to Godconsciousness, then, does not end in a sense of entitlement and nihilistic realization that it does not matter if one is good or evil because God is above all duality.It ends in praying the prayer above, with God and as God prays it.
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel