A Rosh Hashana Revelation: To Bill Quick

William Quick

This cite from Bill Quick is appropriate on erev Rosh Hashanah.           Since Bill married my sister Stephanie, he has had a pathological hatred for me.  He has written that I am a liar, a thief, a pedophile and used all this to justify an effort to have me fired from my position as a Professor at the University of Washington.  One source for this hatred may be , as I understand,  Bill is not Jewish.  There has been a sort of “wink wink” since he ans Steph got married probably out of concern that this would matter to my Dad.

An odd choice of quotes by Bill Quick offer an opportunity to explain an important difference between Judaism and Christianity:

“They bend their tongue like their bow; Lies and not truth prevail in the land; For they proceed from evil to evil… do not trust any brother; Because every brother deals craftily… Everyone deceives his neighbor. And does not speak the truth, They have taught their tongue to speak lies; They weary themselves committing iniquity…

Jeremiah 9:3-5

I guess Bill means this as an attack on me?

Bill, as I understand you are a Christian?  Never been sure about this but I am fairly sure you never studied Judaism.  Like all Christians (and even many illiterate Jews) you seem to not understand the distinction between Torah and the two collections of our history of our ancient leaders called Neviim (Prophets)  and Kesuvim (miscellaneous old writings).

I suspect you meant this scrap as part of your effort to claim that I am a liar, a thief a pedophile, or perhaps merely crazy.   Leaving aside how apt this scrap might be in describing me, maybe you should read some Jewish philosphy?  I recommend the Guide to the Perplexed by Maimonides.

In Judaism the SOLE revelation by the Deity is the Chumash (books of Moses). These are also called the Torah.

I suspect you do not understand that your misuse of Jeremiah is offensive to Jews.  The Prophets’ writings are the word of the Deity for Christians and used to justify the worship of Jesus.  These writings, the Neviim, along with the stories about our Kings and Judges, were made part of the Christian Bible.  Their misuse has been a source of great hatred and antisemitism .. denigating us for refusing to acept Jesus as a God.  To Jews,  these  are just old and valued writings … as interesting as these old scraps of history may be, the scraps are just that.

The Neviim and Kesuvim are just stories and must be superseded when archaeology shows the accounts to be false.  “Torah,” in contract, is believed tn be inerrant.  Torah is a word you should  try to understand.  It means “law” but also refers to the Five Books of Moses.

The Torah contains eternal laws that bind Jews .. the mitzvot.  The mitzvot are not given by the Deity, they are part of the Deity and are eternal.   The only exception, even in Orthodox Judaism, is that facts about the world, and therefore our understanding of the mitzvot, must be revised when science offers a more accurate view. One of the best parts of Judaism is that science is revelation.

Let me try another tact.  Your wife has been very upset about my (as well as our father) being an atheist.  Her rabbi might explain to Stephi that belief in God is not part of Jewish law.   Since we do not have heaven or hell, the mitzvot stand independent of any rewards or punishments.  Jews are supposed to follow the mitzvot because of the laws themselves.

Next you mught ask the same Rabbi to explainTeshuvah.


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