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In the Name of God بسم الله

Maimonides

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  1. I think it is impossible to generalize about a religion with about a billion adherents (give or take). Bosnians and Beduins are both Muslims, but they have very little in common - neither ancestry, nor language, nor culture, nor worldview, nor even the same type of Islam. To some extent you can generalize about individual societies -- you can make useful contrasts between how Islam is practiced in Turkey vs. in Gaza vs. in Sudan -- but of course individuals vary even within those societies.
  2. Actually, no. We don't have detailed descriptions. Also, "hell" is a loaded translation, because it's an English word that is freighted with Christian connotations. If you had to pick an English word and its associated Christian concept, "purgatory" would be better. Here's a useful summary from jewfaq.org:
  3. Yeah, Rambam did say that. I've been thinking of changing my user name here from Maimonides to something else because it gets confusing when I don't hold by Maimonides 100% on a given issue. From a Jewish perspective, it has to be that Islam is "erroneous." I don't see how Rambam could have held any other way. But that doesn't necessarily dictate the analysis of Joe Average Muslim (or, if you prefer, Mustafa Average Muslim). To me it seems clear is possible for a Muslim to be a righteous gentile (and, as Ariella points out, Yad Vashem has already come to that conclusion, for whatever that's
  4. But let's take a very simple issue: T-shirts and shorts for guys. I did the year in Israel thing after high school, and there you will see plenty of guys in talit katan and kipah wearing T-shirts, shorts, and sandals, including in shul (not for Shabbat of course ... for that, it's a polo shirt, khakis, and sandals). And plenty of yeshivot where the rebbeim have no problem with this (even if they don't dress that way themselves). Other guys go to more hard-core yeshivot where it's black suit all day, no exceptions, and their rebbeim will swear that it's issur to do anything less. Here in Am
  5. Actually not really. You can search the annals of WWII history in vain while you look for a Jew who killed a group of random German civilians, and as unpleasant as it may be to live in Gaza right now, it is not worse than being put into an oven and baked into ashes. But there are many desperate people in desperate situations around the world: South America, North America, Asia, Africa. Yet, with the exception of the Tamil Tigers (who did as you note "invent" suicide bombing, although they have not been nearly as prolific with it as Palestinians and Iraqis), its use as a tactic is conf
  6. Let's step back a minute. The thesis of the original poster, who is some kind of quasi-Christian, was that Judaism is opposed to Israel. I said that if he wanted to hate Israel, that was fine, but he should do it for reasons other than the presumption that Judaism is opposed to Israel. I listed, as a parenthetical, some example reasons. One of those example reasons is something that is often repeated in the Arab press, as translated into English. I was challenged for making what koroigetsuga claimed to be an outrageously unbelievable statement. I provided a web article with about 55 citati
  7. You're asking a non-Muslim to become an expert in the intricacies of thousand-year-old intra-Muslim conflicts as a qualification before posting on this web site? I'll put it out to a broader audience: does this forum have any role for non-Muslims? If not, please say so, and I'll delete my account. I'm not intending to stay where I'm not welcome. I was under the impression that this particular forum at least was intended to invite participation from people who are not Muslims (or do not have PhDs in Comparative Islamic Studies). If the prerequisite is that nobody can say anything unless t
  8. The article isn't justifying a stance. It's simply reporting quotations on a common theme. The question was not "can I provide you with Islamic sources that you personally consider authoritative, authentic representatives of Islam." The challenge posed was, in light of my (quite passing) reference to a hadith that says that Jews are descendants of apes and pigs, whether I could, and now I'm quoting you, provide: I will freely admit that I cannot provide "the hadith number, its transmitter, its chain of narration and the name of the book in which it is found." I do think, however, I succee
  9. All interesting stuff. Maimonides played a crucial role in serving as a bridge (perhaps the last person who could do so) between Islamic, Western, Greco-Roman, and Jewish culture. This certainly applied to his medical practice. However, all that said, I would have to say that "now" is the golden age of Jewish medicine. If you look at a list of Nobel Prize winners in Medicine, 28% of the world total (and 41% of the US total) are Jews. Considering that Jews represent about 0.2% of the world population (and 2% of the US population), these figures would be astonishing -- if not for the fact tha
  10. At the risk of repeating myself, I'm just going to say what I said before: "What is considered modest in 21st century USA is not the same as what was considered modest in 14th century Egypt or 12th century Germany. I am not a woman so I am not an expert on this, but I can give you the analogous man's issue, which is that you are supposed to dress in synagogue on Shabbat like you would to meet the king (or President, or Prime Minister, depending on where you live). I assure you that if you walked into a synagogue in New Jersey dressed the way a 10th century Baghdadi Jew would have dressed to m
  11. Who in tarnation is Robert Spencer? Much obliged. http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Area=sr&ID=SR01102 The hadith scholarship is of course not by me. It seems to have been done by such noted thinkers as Al-Azhar Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi (Sunni) and Hezbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah (Shiite), as well as lesser figures such as Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi, Palestinian Authority official and imam of the Sheikh Ijlin mosque, Gaza City's main mosque, and various commentators in the Arab media. I'll trust you to check their work. I'll make you a deal: if you'll label every single
  12. Genius, do you expect anyone to take this seriously? Let's look at just a few of your posts from the last few days. "You may yet reach your ambition of being an even bigger sob story than the Jews. Then you can avoid all guilt and responsibility by covering your eyes and ears in a swamp of self pity." "Oh dear. Here we go again. Jews are the rightful masters" (this one wasn't even apropos of anything; it was in response to a post by a Muslim having nothing to do with Jews) Actually, maybe I shouldn't be offended. According to your post earlier on this thread, "Zionists are not real Jews." So
  13. I would have to defer to Ariella on these questions of early Jewish-Christian history. All I know is that the first 1-2 generations of Christians were observant Jews. There were tensions in the synagogues and I'm sure there were plenty of arguments, but the early ones stayed within the community and kept the mitzvot. Paul introduced the idea that Christians were not obligated to observe the Torah, which severed the "Jesus movement" from Judaism and turned it into its own religion.
  14. Sadly, the person from whom you are quoting knows very little about Judaism. Perhaps it would help if you would cite your source. Judaism, unlike many other religions, does not center on a 'creed' or affirmation of dogmas, or, in the above writer's view, "basic theology." It centers on the mitzvot ('commandments'), which constitute the grammar of a Jew's relationship with God. Maimonides wrote some crucial works on halacha (Jewish law), including the Mishneh Torah, and a commentary on the Gemara (an ancient text). These are authoritative Jewish legal works and are studied to this day. He
  15. I think there are three issues going on. 1. The principle of tzniut (modesty) is inherently flexible. What is considered modest in 21st century USA is not the same as what was considered modest in 14th century Egypt or 12th century Germany. I am not a woman so I am not an expert on this, but I can give you the analogous man's issue, which is that you are supposed to dress in synagogue on Shabbat like you would to meet the king (or President, or Prime Minister, depending on where you live). I assure you that if you walked into a synagogue in New Jersey dressed the way a 10th century Baghdad
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