Kuzari Proof Discussion

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Martin Winer

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Jan 13, 2006, 12:32:27 AM1/13/06
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Ken Bloom

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Jan 13, 2006, 9:50:27 AM1/13/06
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Martin Winer wrote:
> Some articles on the Kuzari Proof
> http://www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi?C=106529

Dreck. All of it.

> The ancient Israelites sojourned at Kadesh-Barnea for approximately
> 38 years. 3 million would have left some manner of record there.
> However, "Not even a shard from the Bronze Age has been found
> (Finkelstein and Silberman 2001, p. 63), despite thorough excavation
> of the site and surveys of the surrounding area." [13] Some have
> argued that it wasn't the business of the ancient Israelites to leave
> relics for archaeologists to discover. Archaeolgists retort that
> modern archaeology is "quite capable of tracing even the very meager
> remains of hunter-gatherers and pastoral nomads all over the world"
> (Finkelstein and Silberman 2001, p. 63). [14]

Finkelstein is in the biblical minimalist camp of archaeologists, who
attempt to use archaeological evidence to show that biblical Israel was
a backwater. As more work is being done, it is increasingly refuting
Finkelstein's conclusions. (Although I'm not familiar enough with the
subject matter to give any specifics)

> Further, there is a possible confusion between the word 'alluph'
> (chief) and 'eleph' which look identical in Hebrew without vowels.

But we have a tradition (recorded as far back as the Talmud) of reading
this as a number

Now supposing I take him at his word on this: Then the counts in the the
tribes given in parshat bamidbar would be as follows:

Aluf Other
46 500 Reuven
59 300 Shimon
45 650 Gad
74 600 Yehudah
54 400 Yissachar
57 400 Zevulun
40 500 Efraim
32 200 Menashe
35 400 Benyamin
62 700 Dan
41 500 Asher
53 400 Naftali
598 5550 Total by adding
603 550 Total given by the torah

As you can see, there is carrying between the "Aluf" (cheifs) that the
author supposes and the non-cheifs. Hence, this is evidence to show that
the Torah really does mean to count this as a single number.

He proceeds to discredit this by inventing an explanation to suit his needs:

> "Simeon: 57 armed men [chiefs, eleph] 23 'hundreds' (military units).
> This came to be written: 57 'lp 2'lp 3 'hundreds'.

Where does he invent this wording from?

> Not realising that 'lp in one case meant 'armed man' and in the other
> 'thousand', this was tidied up to read 59,300. When these figures
> are carefully decoded, a remarkably clear picture of the whole
> military organization emerges. The total fighting force [of the
> Exodus Israelites] is some 18,000 which would probably mean a figure
> of about 72,000 for the whole migration". [26]

So if he's going to deny that the Torah was correctly transmitted, then
nobody can prove what he says either and he's just making stuff up.

More on the transmission of the torah text:
http://www.aishdas.org/toratemet/en_pamphlet9.html

> An academic caveat, we must beware of denying biblical numbers
> outright.

So they'll deny whatever *they* feel is convenient to deny.

> http://www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi?C=98052

More dreck.

--
I usually have a GPG digital signature included as an attachment.
See http://www.gnupg.org/ for info about these digital signatures.

Rafael

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Jan 13, 2006, 9:59:48 AM1/13/06
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"Ken Bloom" <kbl...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:dq8enj$t2j$1...@falcon.steinthal.us...

> Martin Winer wrote:
> > Some articles on the Kuzari Proof
> > http://www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi?C=106529
>
> Dreck. All of it.
>
> > The ancient Israelites sojourned at Kadesh-Barnea for approximately
> > 38 years. 3 million would have left some manner of record there.
> > However, "Not even a shard from the Bronze Age has been found
> > (Finkelstein and Silberman 2001, p. 63), despite thorough excavation
> > of the site and surveys of the surrounding area." [13] Some have
> > argued that it wasn't the business of the ancient Israelites to leave
> > relics for archaeologists to discover. Archaeolgists retort that
> > modern archaeology is "quite capable of tracing even the very meager
> > remains of hunter-gatherers and pastoral nomads all over the world"
> > (Finkelstein and Silberman 2001, p. 63). [14]
>
> Finkelstein is in the biblical minimalist camp of archaeologists, who
> attempt to use archaeological evidence to show that biblical Israel was
> a backwater. As more work is being done, it is increasingly refuting
> Finkelstein's conclusions. (Although I'm not familiar enough with the
> subject matter to give any specifics)

And yet you're so quick to claim refutation of their work. (They're correct,
btw. Archaeologists have detected the meager remains of small bands and
nomadic tribes whose impacts on the earth should have been much harder to
find than that of a developed settlement, not to mention a full-blown
empire. And "backwater" is a value-laden term which you, not they, have
projected on to the early Israelite settlements.)

As for your defense of the Kuzari fallacy, been there, done that, no thanks.

Rafael


Martin Winer

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Jan 13, 2006, 1:00:52 PM1/13/06
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>Dreck. All of it.
do you mean my works, or your response? :) silly comments deserve
silly responses

>Finkelstein is in the biblical minimalist camp of archaeologists

Agreed, I'm of the William Dever school who is as much against
minimalism as he is against literalism. He however, agrees with
Finklestein in this regard (that there is no evidence of 3 million at
Kadesh Barnea).

>But we have a tradition (recorded as far back as the Talmud) of reading
>this as a number

When was the talmud canonized, when was the Torah canonized? The
answer isn't 10th century BC.

What language was in existence from 10th century BC to around the 6th
or so?... the answer ISN"T the hebrew the Torah is currently written in
http://hebrewresources.com/ancient-Hebrew-2.html

>http://www.aishdas.org/toratemet/en_pamphlet9.html
same comment as immediately above... the problem is the time of
canonization

Martin Winer

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Jan 13, 2006, 2:27:25 PM1/13/06
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>As for your defense of the Kuzari fallacy, been there, done that, no thanks.
Are you speaking to me or to Ken?

If you mean to say that my article
http://www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi?C=98052
is a defense of the Kuzari argument... it's not, it's an attack.

yaco...@aol.com

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Jan 13, 2006, 2:36:33 PM1/13/06
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Martin Winer wrote:
> What language was in existence from 10th century BC to around the 6th
> or so?... the answer ISN"T the hebrew the Torah is currently written in
> http://hebrewresources.com/ancient-Hebrew-2.html

Language or ****script***? Are you sayign because the script was
different it wasn't Hebrew?

Where O where do these silly ideas come from?

Jacko

Rafael

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Jan 13, 2006, 2:42:52 PM1/13/06
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"Martin Winer" <martin...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1137176017....@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> >As for your defense of the Kuzari fallacy, been there, done that, no
thanks.
> Are you speaking to me or to Ken?

Ken.

Rafael

Martin Winer

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Jan 13, 2006, 5:02:35 PM1/13/06
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>Language or ****script***? Are you sayign because the script was
>different it wasn't Hebrew?

proto-hebrew

>Where O where do these silly ideas come from?

This is where:
"The Gezer calendar is written without any vowels, and it does not use
consonants to imply vowels even in the places where more modern
spelling requires it (see below)." (Gezer Calendar, 10th century BC)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_language#Early_history

yaco...@aol.com

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Jan 14, 2006, 6:28:53 PM1/14/06
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And that has nothing to do with what language is involved. It has --
again -- only to do with the ***script.**** A different script does
not "proto Hebrew" make.

Do you even know Hebrew?

Jacko

Micha Berger

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Jan 14, 2006, 7:29:04 PM1/14/06
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On Fri, 13 Jan 2006 14:59:48 +0000 (UTC), Rafael <jmal...@cheerful.com> wrote:
: And yet you're so quick to claim refutation of their work. (They're correct,

: btw. Archaeologists have detected the meager remains of small bands and
: nomadic tribes whose impacts on the earth should have been much harder to
: find than that of a developed settlement, not to mention a full-blown
: empire. And "backwater" is a value-laden term which you, not they, have
: projected on to the early Israelite settlements.)

One could similarly argue that this proves the medrashic claims about the
exodus -- that manna is "totally consumed" (ie people living on manna
wouldn't defecate), their clothing wouldn't wear out, etc... It would
disprove a natural trek through the desert, but that's not the claim.

Or, that we have very little idea where in the Sinai the route was.

Or someone could point out to the number of times population estimates
have already been proven wrong: the entire existence of Elam, the new
indication that J-m was capital of a sizable kingdom J-m in 1k BCE, etc...

Biblical archeology isn't one of life's more solid sciences.

: As for your defense of the Kuzari fallacy, been there, done that, no thanks.

Except that the Kuzari didn't actually give this proof. In that, one of
the points of the book is the limitations of philsophical proofs!

This was one of my favorite themes on my blog:
http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2004/12/kuzari-proof-part-i.shtml
http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2004/12/kuzari-proof-part-ii.shtml
http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2005/02/kuzari-proof-part-iii.shtml
To show by example:
http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2004/12/argument-by-design-ver-40.shtml
On the roles of faith and thought:
http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2004/11/emunah-peshutah-vs-machashavah.shtml


Gut Voch!
-mi

--
Micha Berger The waste of time is the most extravagant
mi...@aishdas.org of all expense.
http://www.aishdas.org -Theophrastus
Fax: (270) 514-1507

Micha Berger

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Jan 14, 2006, 7:31:45 PM1/14/06
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On Fri, 13 Jan 2006 18:00:52 +0000 (UTC), Martin Winer <martin...@gmail.com> wrote:
: When was the talmud canonized, when was the Torah canonized? The

: answer isn't 10th century BC.

In parashas Pinechas, the hundreds carry into the elefs. Kind of means
it means "thousands". You must have seen me write this in reply to
Herman by now. We go through it every 3 or 4 months or so.

: What language was in existence from 10th century BC to around the 6th


: or so?... the answer ISN"T the hebrew the Torah is currently written in

...
: http://www.aishdas.org/toratemet/en_pamphlet9.html


: same comment as immediately above... the problem is the time of
: canonization

Ah, but isn't it weird to post an answer to your question as proof
that your question is real? (Torat Emet, hosted by AishDas.org, defends
classical Judaism's positions on this kind of question.)

Gut Voch!
-mi

--
Micha Berger One doesn't learn mussar to be a tzaddik,
mi...@aishdas.org but to become a tzaddik.
http://www.aishdas.org - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

bac...@vms.huji.ac.il

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Jan 14, 2006, 9:52:30 PM1/14/06
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In article <1137173693.6...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com>, "Martin Winer" <martin...@gmail.com> writes:
>>Dreck. All of it.
> do you mean my works, or your response? :) silly comments deserve
> silly responses
>
>>Finkelstein is in the biblical minimalist camp of archaeologists
> Agreed, I'm of the William Dever school who is as much against
> minimalism as he is against literalism. He however, agrees with
> Finklestein in this regard (that there is no evidence of 3 million at
> Kadesh Barnea).
>


There is an Italian archaelogist who states that the biblical
Kadesh Barnea is NOT the site which has been excavated. In other
words, Finkelstein has no claim.

>>But we have a tradition (recorded as far back as the Talmud) of reading
>>this as a number
> When was the talmud canonized, when was the Torah canonized? The
> answer isn't 10th century BC.
>
> What language was in existence from 10th century BC to around the 6th
> or so?... the answer ISN"T the hebrew the Torah is currently written in
> http://hebrewresources.com/ancient-Hebrew-2.html
>

>>http://www.aishdas.org/toratemet/en_pamphlet9.html
> same comment as immediately above... the problem is the time of
> canonization
>

Josh

bac...@vms.huji.ac.il

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Jan 14, 2006, 9:52:51 PM1/14/06
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For a recent college graduate in computer science like you without
any background in Judaic studies, that's quite a statement.

Josh


>

Ken Bloom

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Jan 15, 2006, 12:30:25 AM1/15/06
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Could someone quote the Kuzari's proof in as close to a literal
translation as poosible, and cite a location for it?

All I can find is as follows, but that doesn't seem to amount to the
much heralded proof. (And lots of googling only finds people outlining
it or assuming the reader is already familiar with what it says).

The source for what I find is Kuzari 1:83-85, which in R. Yechezkel
Sarne's rearranged edition[1] can be found midway through the "the first
gate - faith" under the heading מופת יציאת מצרים.

To summarize (because this is about 3 pages long), the Kuzari begins by
saying:
> Six hundred thousand male Jews between the ages of 20 and 60 lived as
> slaves in Egypt.

He continues, by describing the miracles involved in the 10 plagues and
the crossing of the Sea of Reeds.

He states:
> It is a well-known episode. This is certainly a revelation of Divine
> Power, and the commandments associated with it must therefore be
> accepted. There can be no doubt about these events, nor can it be
> suspected that they were the results of witchcraft, trickery, or
> fantasy. ... Only the stubborn obstinacy of heresy could cause one to
> deny the historicity of these events.
>
> Afterwards, when they came to the desert, a place in which nothing
> grew, G-d provided them daily with food (manna, heavenly bread)
> except on the Sabbath.

Chronologically, all of the events the Kuzari describes here take place
before the revelation at Mount Sinai.

And none of this amounts to the much heralded proof. The revalation at
Har Sinai is not mentioned, and neither is the chain of transmission
from the 600,000 witnesses to us, both essential elements in the proof.

This passage that I have quoted here appears more to be an example of
how when we left Egypt, we experienced the miracles, and believed in God
and in the Torah that he gave on the basis faith built up by our own
experiences.

On the other hand, if the famous proof is elsewhere in Kuzari, then
please, please, please do not accuse me of bad debate form, simply point
me to the correct cite (if you can tell me where it is in R. Sarne's
rearrangement, that would be nice, considering that's the version I own.)

--Ken

[1] This is the version I have, published by Metsudah. Don't buy it. The
original dialog-format Kuzari is much easier to understand because it
doesn't omit the questions. Aaronson publishes a translation of the
original.

q_q_an...@yahoo.co.uk

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Jan 15, 2006, 4:52:37 AM1/15/06
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If so

It's a calendar . Given this, it's likely that words may well be spelt
in short form.
e.g. Jan, Feb Like calendars today, so that people can refer to them
quickly and there's Limited space on a small lump of rock[1] .
However, in Hebrew, we are not limited to shortening only the Months.
Other words too, as Is done in BIBLICAL hebrew.

It's still the same language. And spelling words in short form is
common in biblical hebrew anyway. Many places in the Torah, words are
spelt in short form. vowels omitted. In the Torah, the purpose is to
hint at something.

Besides. Spelling variation doesn't change the language. I think maybe
jew hating archaeologists labelled Hebrew the Proto-Semtic language
because if they label it Hebrew it makes Judaism, Jewish history and
Hebrew look Ancient. This conflicts with their real interest. they
have no love of Judaism, they want to cause peopel to disbelieve the
bible, and try to show the Judaism developed later. These are wicked
people that we should....and....then....until....so that...and then
DROP them from a helicoptor, onto saudi arabian soil...and then... hmm


[1]
(otherwise the rock would be too heavy, plus, they probably cut the
rock beforehand).

'James Hanley'

mos...@mm.huji.ac.il

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Jan 15, 2006, 5:35:58 AM1/15/06
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Ken Bloom <kbl...@gmail.com> writes:
> Martin Winer wrote:
>> Some articles on the Kuzari Proof
>> http://www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi?C=106529
>
> Dreck. All of it.
>
>> The ancient Israelites sojourned at Kadesh-Barnea for approximately
>> 38 years. 3 million would have left some manner of record there.
>> However, "Not even a shard from the Bronze Age has been found
>> (Finkelstein and Silberman 2001, p. 63), despite thorough excavation
>> of the site and surveys of the surrounding area."

It's worse than that! After centiuries of searching, archeologists
have not turned up even _one_ bone, not of the fat cows and
not of the lean ones. QED.

Moshe Schorr
It is a tremendous Mitzvah to always be happy! - Reb Nachman of Breslov
The home and family are the center of Judaism, *not* the synagogue.
Disclaimer: Nothing here necessarily reflects the opinion of Hebrew University

Martin Winer

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Jan 15, 2006, 10:58:59 AM1/15/06
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>And that has nothing to do with what language is involved. It has --
>again -- only to do with the ***script.**** A different script does
>not "proto Hebrew" make.
Do you expect me to believe that the entire alphabet changed but the
language it reflected experienced no change? How then do you explain
that the Gezer calendar violates the rules of Torah hebrew by omitting
vowels and consonants that imply vowels?

>Do you even know Hebrew?

Betach, aval ze lo chashoov.

Martin Winer

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Jan 15, 2006, 10:59:53 AM1/15/06
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:One could similarly argue that this proves the medrashic claims about

the
:exodus -- that manna is "totally consumed" (ie people living on manna
:wouldn't defecate), their clothing wouldn't wear out, etc... It would
:disprove a natural trek through the desert, but that's not the claim.

Which came first the explanation or the challenge? I strongly suspect
that the entire talmud is a theological cleanup operation. If this
explanation had been written into the Torah, I'd be far more likely to
believe your statements to be an explanation rather than an a
posteriori modification.

:Except that the Kuzari didn't actually give this proof. In that, one


of
:the points of the book is the limitations of philsophical proofs!

It would seem the limitation lies with the (Kuzari) author, not with
philosophy.

Martin Winer

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Jan 15, 2006, 11:01:40 AM1/15/06
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:In parashas Pinechas, the hundreds carry into the elefs. Kind of means

:it means "thousands". You must have seen me write this in reply to
:Herman by now. We go through it every 3 or 4 months or so.

>From my article:

"Simeon: 57 armed men [chiefs, eleph] 23 'hundreds' (military units).
This came to be written: 57 'lp 2'lp 3 'hundreds'.

Martin Winer

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Jan 15, 2006, 11:02:55 AM1/15/06
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:There is an Italian archaelogist who states that the biblical

:Kadesh Barnea is NOT the site which has been excavated. In other
:Words, Finkelstein has no claim.
You sidestep the point that there is no proof of 3 million people
wandering around in the desert. Some one else in this forum has
invoked disappearing feces... what is your escape? There is no
archaeological evidence of a sudden influx of 3 million people.
Instead we see a steadily increasing population. Were there also
disappearing people?

Martin Winer

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Jan 15, 2006, 11:03:39 AM1/15/06
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:On the other hand, if the famous proof is elsewhere in Kuzari, then

:please, please, please do not accuse me of bad debate form, simply
point
:me to the correct cite (if you can tell me where it is in R. Sarne's
:rearrangement, that would be nice, considering that's the version I
own.)


perhaps this will be of help:
http://ohr.edu/yhiy/article.php/2054

Shlomo Argamon

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Jan 15, 2006, 11:24:18 AM1/15/06
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Martin Winer wrote:
> :One could similarly argue that this proves the medrashic claims about
> the
> :exodus -- that manna is "totally consumed" (ie people living on manna
> :wouldn't defecate), their clothing wouldn't wear out, etc... It would
> :disprove a natural trek through the desert, but that's not the claim.
>
> Which came first the explanation or the challenge? I strongly suspect
> that the entire talmud is a theological cleanup operation. If this
> explanation had been written into the Torah, I'd be far more likely to
> believe your statements to be an explanation rather than an a
> posteriori modification.

Oh get real! First, the comments about clothes not decaying and so
forth are in the Torah's text explicitly, and the notion that the manna
created no excrement is a direct inference from the term "lehhem
haqeloqel". Furthermore, Finkelstein and his school LONG post-date the
Talmud, so it is rank anachronism to say that the Talmud is engaging in
apologetics for archeological "evidence" that would not arise for
hundreds of years!

> :Except that the Kuzari didn't actually give this proof. In that, one
> of
> :the points of the book is the limitations of philsophical proofs!
>
> It would seem the limitation lies with the (Kuzari) author, not with
> philosophy.

OK - please cite chapter and verse in the Kuzari for the supposed proof
you are supposedly debunking. Thanks.

-Shlomo-

Shlomo Argamon

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Jan 15, 2006, 11:26:33 AM1/15/06
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To paraphrase: "In order to save my theory, I will posit an
intermediate, unattested textual form, as well as a redactive
tidying-up for which there is no evidence." Can you say "epicycles"?
I knew you could!

-Shlomo-

Rafael

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Jan 15, 2006, 12:10:56 PM1/15/06
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Micha Berger wrote:
> On Fri, 13 Jan 2006 14:59:48 +0000 (UTC), Rafael <jmal...@cheerful.com> wrote:
> : And yet you're so quick to claim refutation of their work. (They're correct,
> : btw. Archaeologists have detected the meager remains of small bands and
> : nomadic tribes whose impacts on the earth should have been much harder to
> : find than that of a developed settlement, not to mention a full-blown
> : empire. And "backwater" is a value-laden term which you, not they, have
> : projected on to the early Israelite settlements.)
>
> One could similarly argue that this proves the medrashic claims about the
> exodus -- that manna is "totally consumed" (ie people living on manna
> wouldn't defecate), their clothing wouldn't wear out, etc... It would
> disprove a natural trek through the desert, but that's not the claim.

They don't call the sciences "methodological naturalism" for nothing
(and with good reason).

> Or, that we have very little idea where in the Sinai the route was.
>
> Or someone could point out to the number of times population estimates
> have already been proven wrong: the entire existence of Elam, the new
> indication that J-m was capital of a sizable kingdom J-m in 1k BCE, etc...
>
> Biblical archeology isn't one of life's more solid sciences.

It's alot more scientific (or evidence-based) than an uncritical
acceptance of traditional myth and legend (i.e. no matter how
far-fetched or otherworldly its claims).

> : As for your defense of the Kuzari fallacy, been there, done that, no thanks.
>
> Except that the Kuzari didn't actually give this proof. In that, one of
> the points of the book is the limitations of philsophical proofs!

What "proof"? That the entire nation of Israel experienced prophecy in
the Sinai wilderness, and that its collective nature somehow validates
the claim? I seem to recall its origin in the Kuzari, but regardless of
who originated it, it's an argument that I've encountered often in O
circles (and, apparently, I'm not alone in that).

Rafael

Martin Winer

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Jan 15, 2006, 1:16:42 PM1/15/06
to
:For a recent college graduate in computer science like you without

:any background in Judaic studies, that's quite a statement.
not recent, was Orthodox.

Computer Science taught me two relevant things to this task.
1) Logic
2) Ability to analyze and decifer (sometimes cryptic) data.

Sounds like you might benefit from such a course of study.

Ken Bloom

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Jan 15, 2006, 1:53:12 PM1/15/06
to

Nope, I found this last night when googling and it isn't what I was
looking for.

You mean you went to refute the Kuzari without reading his own words?

--Ken

Ken Bloom

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Jan 15, 2006, 2:00:03 PM1/15/06
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Micha Berger wrote:
>>Except that the Kuzari didn't actually give this proof. In that, one of
>>the points of the book is the limitations of philsophical proofs!

Rafael wrote:
> What "proof"? That the entire nation of Israel experienced prophecy in
> the Sinai wilderness, and that its collective nature somehow validates
> the claim? I seem to recall its origin in the Kuzari, but regardless of
> who originated it, it's an argument that I've encountered often in O
> circles (and, apparently, I'm not alone in that).

I don't dispute the existance of the proof. I've read it myself. It's
explained in full detail in "Permission to Receive" by Lawrence Kelemen
(http://tinyurl.com/7zr5q).

We're simiply discussing that it doesn't seem to come from the Kuzari,
and in fact the Kuzari is making the opposite point that any proof would
make.

--Ken

Abe Kohen

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Jan 15, 2006, 4:34:40 PM1/15/06
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"Martin Winer" <martin...@gmail.com> wrote

> :For a recent college graduate in computer science like you without
> :any background in Judaic studies, that's quite a statement.
> not recent, was Orthodox.
>
> Computer Science taught me two relevant things to this task.
> 1) Logic
> 2) Ability to analyze and decifer (sometimes cryptic) data.

I don't know whether it was English or computer science which taught me to
decipher "decifer," but I do recall that NLP was not an easy task.

Best,

Abe

1-15-06

Herman Rubin

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Jan 15, 2006, 5:41:25 PM1/15/06
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In article <dqcddd$omn$1...@falcon.steinthal.us>, <bac...@vms.huji.ac.il> wrote:
>In article <1137173693.6...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com>, "Martin Winer" <martin...@gmail.com> writes:
>>>Dreck. All of it.
>> do you mean my works, or your response? :) silly comments deserve
>> silly responses

>>>Finkelstein is in the biblical minimalist camp of archaeologists
>> Agreed, I'm of the William Dever school who is as much against
>> minimalism as he is against literalism. He however, agrees with
>> Finklestein in this regard (that there is no evidence of 3 million at
>> Kadesh Barnea).

>There is an Italian archaelogist who states that the biblical
>Kadesh Barnea is NOT the site which has been excavated. In other
>words, Finkelstein has no claim.

>>>But we have a tradition (recorded as far back as the Talmud) of reading
>>>this as a number
>> When was the talmud canonized, when was the Torah canonized? The
>> answer isn't 10th century BC.

>> What language was in existence from 10th century BC to around the 6th
>> or so?... the answer ISN"T the hebrew the Torah is currently written in
>> http://hebrewresources.com/ancient-Hebrew-2.html

The Hebrew the Torah is currently written in is
sufficiently similar to the Ugaritic of the period
immediately before the 10th century BCE that it
would be difficult not to say that the languages
were dialects of each other. Of course there is
linguistic evolution, but it would not be a surprise
if Solomon and Herod could talk to each other.
--
This address is for information only. I do not claim that these views
are those of the Statistics Department or of Purdue University.
Herman Rubin, Department of Statistics, Purdue University
hru...@stat.purdue.edu Phone: (765)494-6054 FAX: (765)494-0558

bac...@vms.huji.ac.il

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Jan 15, 2006, 6:17:03 PM1/15/06
to
In article <1137311662.1...@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>, "Martin Winer" <martin...@gmail.com> writes:
> :For a recent college graduate in computer science like you without
> :any background in Judaic studies, that's quite a statement.

> not recent, was Orthodox.


Yoreh Yoreh smicha ? Yadin Yadin smicha at a kollel hora'ah ?
Or did you simply belong to an O congregation going to an afternoon
Hebrew school and thus have a highly mediocre Jewish education ?


> Computer Science taught me two relevant things to this task.
> 1) Logic
> 2) Ability to analyze and decifer (sometimes cryptic) data.
>

I only TAUGHT this kind of info at the highest level (including
traffic analysis [and no, I'm not referring to driving :-)]
and deciphering codes, but who's counting ? :-) [It was in 1980
when I was transferred from the Air Force Training Dept. to what's
ephemistically called here in Israel the 'Prime Minister's
Bureau'. Playing Irving Bond for one year was fun. Going back to
medicine was quite a let down]


> Sounds like you might benefit from such a course of study.
>

Giggle, grin. When you get smicha, get involved in academic
Jewish studies (I'm on the editorial board of H-JUDAIC), and teach
medical students ("Evidence-based medicine") and supervise PhD
students, you'll let me know.

We'll have an educated discussion.

Josh


bac...@vms.huji.ac.il

unread,
Jan 15, 2006, 6:46:09 PM1/15/06
to
In article <1137310308.5...@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>, "Martin Winer" <martin...@gmail.com> writes:
>>And that has nothing to do with what language is involved. It has --
>>again -- only to do with the ***script.**** A different script does
>>not "proto Hebrew" make.
> Do you expect me to believe that the entire alphabet changed but the
> language it reflected experienced no change? How then do you explain
> that the Gezer calendar violates the rules of Torah hebrew by omitting
> vowels and consonants that imply vowels?


Look at the English language in the year 1000 and English in the year
1200. You couldn't even read (let alone) understand a single word
in the English of 1000. the entire English language (grammar, syntax,
pronunciation) changed dramatically in less than 150 years.

Josh

bac...@vms.huji.ac.il

unread,
Jan 15, 2006, 6:46:24 PM1/15/06
to
In article <1137311515.5...@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>, "Martin Winer" <martin...@gmail.com> writes:
> :There is an Italian archaelogist who states that the biblical
> :Kadesh Barnea is NOT the site which has been excavated. In other
> :Words, Finkelstein has no claim.
> You sidestep the point that there is no proof of 3 million people


You miss the point. The archaeologists are excavating in the
WRONG site.

> wandering around in the desert. Some one else in this forum has
> invoked disappearing feces... what is your escape? There is no
> archaeological evidence of a sudden influx of 3 million people.
> Instead we see a steadily increasing population. Were there also
> disappearing people?
>

You again miss the point. The Italian archaeologist HAS found
extensive evidence for a large mass of people travelling in the
Negev desert.

Josh

q_q_an...@yahoo.co.uk

unread,
Jan 15, 2006, 6:51:49 PM1/15/06
to

You are not familiar with the kuzari, neither are you familiar with
philosophy. You are familiar with some formal logic or natural
deduction, "when A happens, B happens. I believe A, so I conclude B".
Great fun, using letters and symbols to give basic arguments. May be
helpful WAY into the future of computer science if these techniques are
ever used to prove the correctness of algorithms. Or perhaps they teach
it to make computer science appear a little more mathematical or
scientific. But that 1 little module in formal logic (the best bit of
the degree?) won't help you here!!


You seem to have misunderstood the real meaning of 'the limitations of
philosophical proof '

You think you're sitting in your house? Prove it. You bring forth
your evidence.
And a response to counter it all may be. NO YOU'RE NOT!!! You're
actually asleep in a train station, you're dreaming. This reveals the
'limits' of the philosophical proof you provided. I write 'limits' in
quotes to stress that I doubt you would consider it much of a
limitation practically speaking.

You think those are your shoes? They're not!!

You think that's a table over there? It's not! You're delusional.

Those are the limitations of philosophical proof. Not exactly what you
thought they were

If you are silly enough to say that the problem lies with Kuzari's
author, without EVER quoting the kuzari. Then, I think the logical
thing to do would be to recognise your own limitations in this area and
do something that you're knowledgeable and good at. That would be
better than doing this pseudo-intellectual stuff that you are doing.

By the way, remember that Knuth is a 'god' in computer science, yet he
has also tried a book on christianity, which hasn't been so well read.


--
q_q_

Ken Bloom

unread,
Jan 15, 2006, 7:02:03 PM1/15/06
to
q_q_an...@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
> Martin Winer wrote:
>
>>:One could similarly argue that this proves the medrashic claims about
>>the
>>:exodus -- that manna is "totally consumed" (ie people living on manna
>>:wouldn't defecate), their clothing wouldn't wear out, etc... It would
>>:disprove a natural trek through the desert, but that's not the claim.
>>
>>Which came first the explanation or the challenge? I strongly suspect
>>that the entire talmud is a theological cleanup operation. If this
>>explanation had been written into the Torah, I'd be far more likely to
>>believe your statements to be an explanation rather than an a
>>posteriori modification.
>>
>>:Except that the Kuzari didn't actually give this proof. In that, one
>>of
>>:the points of the book is the limitations of philsophical proofs!
>>
>>It would seem the limitation lies with the (Kuzari) author, not with
>>philosophy.
>
>
> You are not familiar with the kuzari, neither are you familiar with
> philosophy. You are familiar with some formal logic or natural
> deduction, "when A happens, B happens. I believe A, so I conclude B".
> Great fun, using letters and symbols to give basic arguments. May be
> helpful WAY into the future of computer science if these techniques are
> ever used to prove the correctness of algorithms.

There are techniques for doing this now, but they're either in the
research stage or they're so cumbersome that they're only used for high
assurance systems like NASA's software, or the microcode inside
microprocessors. (We would hope they would do this for voting machines,
but I don't think they do).

Or perhaps they teach
> it to make computer science appear a little more mathematical or
> scientific. But that 1 little module in formal logic (the best bit of
> the degree?) won't help you here!!

We couldn't program if we couldn't do complicated mathematical
reasoning. Maybe it's true that we don't have very many classes
specifically in it, but that's because it's more of a skill involving
practice.

Don't knock CS.

--Ken

> If you are silly enough to say that the problem lies with Kuzari's
> author, without EVER quoting the kuzari. Then, I think the logical
> thing to do would be to recognise your own limitations in this area and
> do something that you're knowledgeable and good at. That would be
> better than doing this pseudo-intellectual stuff that you are doing.

yaco...@aol.com

unread,
Jan 15, 2006, 9:35:37 PM1/15/06
to

bac...@vms.huji.ac.il wrote:
> > wandering around in the desert. Some one else in this forum has
> > invoked disappearing feces... what is your escape? There is no
> > archaeological evidence of a sudden influx of 3 million people.
> > Instead we see a steadily increasing population. Were there also
> > disappearing people?
> >
>
> You again miss the point. The Italian archaeologist HAS found
> extensive evidence for a large mass of people travelling in the
> Negev desert.

Can you provide his name and some of his books?

Jacko

kepip...@hotmail.com

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Jan 15, 2006, 11:06:54 PM1/15/06
to
mos...@mm.huji.ac.il wrote:
>
> It's worse than that! After centiuries of searching, archeologists
> have not turned up even _one_ bone, not of the fat cows and
> not of the lean ones. QED.

I am puzzled here, Moshes. Why would archaeologists search for fossil
remains of animals that never existed save in a dream?

Gershon Eliyahu, who is about to recite the hamapil prayer and wishes
to dream of fat cows.

Rafael

unread,
Jan 15, 2006, 11:30:06 PM1/15/06
to

Ken Bloom wrote:
> Micha Berger wrote:
> >>Except that the Kuzari didn't actually give this proof. In that, one of
> >>the points of the book is the limitations of philsophical proofs!
>
> Rafael wrote:
> > What "proof"? That the entire nation of Israel experienced prophecy in
> > the Sinai wilderness, and that its collective nature somehow validates
> > the claim? I seem to recall its origin in the Kuzari, but regardless of
> > who originated it, it's an argument that I've encountered often in O
> > circles (and, apparently, I'm not alone in that).
>
> I don't dispute the existance of the proof. I've read it myself. It's
> explained in full detail in "Permission to Receive" by Lawrence Kelemen
> (http://tinyurl.com/7zr5q).

And?

> We're simiply discussing that it doesn't seem to come from the Kuzari,
> and in fact the Kuzari is making the opposite point that any proof would
> make.

I'm afraid you lost me there.

Rafael

bac...@vms.huji.ac.il

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 12:18:14 AM1/16/06
to


Emmanuel Anati www.hakarkom.com

Josh

>
> Jacko
>

Micha Berger

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 10:04:35 AM1/16/06
to
On Sun, 15 Jan 2006 15:59:53 +0000 (UTC), Martin Winer <martin...@gmail.com> wrote:
: Which came first the explanation or the challenge? I strongly suspect
: that the entire talmud is a theological cleanup operation...

I strongly suspect you have never studied Talmud. It's almost entirely
a collection of legal debates.

: :Except that the Kuzari didn't actually give this proof. In that, one of


: :the points of the book is the limitations of philsophical proofs!

: It would seem the limitation lies with the (Kuzari) author, not with
: philosophy.

I also strongly suspect you didn't chase the links I posted.

His position on philosophy, which in his day meant Scholasticism, is
similar to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, and his resolution smacks
of reliablism. Rav Yehudah haLevi's position is actually quite "modern".

-mi

--
Micha Berger "Man wants to achieve greatness overnight,
mi...@aishdas.org and he wants to sleep well that night too."
http://www.aishdas.org - Rav Yosef Yozel Horwitz, Alter of Novarodok
Fax: (270) 514-1507

Herman Rubin

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 11:03:10 AM1/16/06
to
In article <dqems1$ite$1...@falcon.steinthal.us>, <bac...@vms.huji.ac.il> wrote:
>In article <1137310308.5...@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>, "Martin Winer" <martin...@gmail.com> writes:
>>>And that has nothing to do with what language is involved. It has --
>>>again -- only to do with the ***script.**** A different script does
>>>not "proto Hebrew" make.
>> Do you expect me to believe that the entire alphabet changed but the
>> language it reflected experienced no change?

I would not say NO change, but very little change. The Qumran
texts are in both "Paleo-Hebrew" and the modern script we use;
the letters are shaped differently, but do not have different
sounds or meanings.

We have a modern instance of this. Ataturk changed Turkish
writing from using the Arabic alphabet to using a Roman
alphabet with additions in the 1920s. Also, Yiddish is mainly
a dialect of German written in the Hebrew alphabet.

How then do you explain
>> that the Gezer calendar violates the rules of Torah hebrew by omitting
>> vowels and consonants that imply vowels?

>Look at the English language in the year 1000 and English in the year
>1200. You couldn't even read (let alone) understand a single word
>in the English of 1000. the entire English language (grammar, syntax,
>pronunciation) changed dramatically in less than 150 years.

>Josh

This is not a fair comparison. English in 1000 was a purely
Germanic language. In 1200, it had a fair admixture of
Norman French, and everything was evolving. By Shakespeare's
time, it has almost settled down.

On the other hand, Hebrew, after the 6th century BCE, was
primarily a sacred language, not the vernacular, until
modern times. This greatly reduces the tendency to change.


>>>Do you even know Hebrew?
>> Betach, aval ze lo chashoov.

--

Martin Winer

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 11:09:50 AM1/16/06
to
> only TAUGHT this kind of info at the highest level (including
>traffic analysis [and no, I'm not referring to driving :-)]
>and deciphering codes, but who's counting ? :-) [It was in 1980
>when I was transferred from the Air Force Training Dept. to what's
>ephemistically called here in Israel the 'Prime Minister's
>Bureau'. Playing Irving Bond for one year was fun. Going back to
>.medicine was quite a let down]


>> Sounds like you might benefit from such a course of study.


>Giggle, grin. When you get smicha, get involved in academic
>Jewish studies (I'm on the editorial board of H-JUDAIC), and teach
>medical students ("Evidence-based medicine") and supervise PhD
>students, you'll let me know.

>We'll have an educated discussion.

I presume that for each credential you use to claim intellectual
superiority over me, you'll supply 3 million witnesses. That would
appear to be where you set the bar for proof.

Martin Winer

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 11:10:38 AM1/16/06
to
>> We're simiply discussing that it doesn't seem to come from the Kuzari,
>> and in fact the Kuzari is making the opposite point that any proof would
>> make.


>I'm afraid you lost me there.

Rafael, they've lost me too. Now they're trying to say there is no
such thing as the Kuzari argument, or that the Kuzari didn't write it?
If Halevi didn't write the Kuzari, then why aren't all these jokers
writing in to Gottlieb to correct him? The only arguments against
Gottlieb are the ones made by people against the Kuzari Argument?

eg.. http://www.dovidgottlieb.com/works/SinaiArgument.htm

Herman Rubin

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 11:19:58 AM1/16/06
to
In article <1137351352....@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com>,
q_q_an...@yahoo.co.uk <q_q_an...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

>Martin Winer wrote:

..................

>You are not familiar with the kuzari, neither are you familiar with
>philosophy. You are familiar with some formal logic or natural
>deduction, "when A happens, B happens. I believe A, so I conclude B".
> Great fun, using letters and symbols to give basic arguments. May be
>helpful WAY into the future of computer science if these techniques are
>ever used to prove the correctness of algorithms. Or perhaps they teach
>it to make computer science appear a little more mathematical or
>scientific. But that 1 little module in formal logic (the best bit of
>the degree?) won't help you here!!

We also use inductive logic, which is more than formal
logic. However, formal logic is the best understood,
and it is applicable to "philosophical proof" as well.


>You seem to have misunderstood the real meaning of 'the limitations of
>philosophical proof '

The "definition" of a philosopher as someone who is
looking for a black cat, in a totally dark room, which
isn't there, and FINDS IT, is quite relevant here.

>You think you're sitting in your house? Prove it. You bring forth
>your evidence.
>And a response to counter it all may be. NO YOU'RE NOT!!! You're
>actually asleep in a train station, you're dreaming. This reveals the
>'limits' of the philosophical proof you provided. I write 'limits' in
>quotes to stress that I doubt you would consider it much of a
>limitation practically speaking.

>You think those are your shoes? They're not!!

>You think that's a table over there? It's not! You're delusional.

>Those are the limitations of philosophical proof. Not exactly what you
>thought they were

Except for pure logic and mathematics, one starts with
observations. These observations are then fit into
speculations about the state of the universe.

>If you are silly enough to say that the problem lies with Kuzari's
>author, without EVER quoting the kuzari. Then, I think the logical
>thing to do would be to recognise your own limitations in this area and
>do something that you're knowledgeable and good at. That would be
>better than doing this pseudo-intellectual stuff that you are doing.

The Kuzari argument attempts to find outlandish explanations
of a prior position. It does fit into inductive logic, because
if one assumes something a priori, unless one gets a direct
contradiction, it remains forever.

>By the way, remember that Knuth is a 'god' in computer science, yet he
>has also tried a book on christianity, which hasn't been so well read.

Knuth is not a "god", but at most a prophet, who has not
always been "right". I have no difficulty in understanding
his works in mathematics and computer science.

Micha Berger

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 11:48:45 AM1/16/06
to
On Sun, 15 Jan 2006 15:58:59 +0000 (UTC), Martin Winer <martin...@gmail.com> wrote:
: Do you expect me to believe that the entire alphabet changed but the
: language it reflected experienced no change?..

The alphabet stayed the same, 22 letters of the same values in the same
order. The script changed. English has two frequently used scripts, Hebrew
has three (square, cursive, and Rashi), and yet no one assumes they are

: that the Gezer calendar violates the rules of Torah hebrew by omitting


: vowels and consonants that imply vowels?

Omitting vowels? Vowels didn't exist until after the Roman conquest. You
really do not know of what you speak.

-mi

--
Micha Berger The mind is a wonderful organ
mi...@aishdas.org for justifying decisions
http://www.aishdas.org the heart already reached.
Fax: (270) 514-1507

Herman Rubin

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Jan 16, 2006, 12:34:03 PM1/16/06
to
In article <1137394212.8...@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,

I only see that Kuzari CLAIMED 3 million witnesses,
and we have an accurate report of what they saw and heard.

In fact, this is the whole point of the discussion.
There are those who claim 3 million people saw the
described events, and there are those who deny that
those 3 million people existed, or that the observed
events happened.

Abe Kohen

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 4:31:46 PM1/16/06
to
"Herman Rubin" <hru...@stat.purdue.edu> wrote

>
>>By the way, remember that Knuth is a 'god' in computer science, yet he
>>has also tried a book on christianity, which hasn't been so well read.
>
> Knuth is not a "god", but at most a prophet, who has not
> always been "right". I have no difficulty in understanding
> his works in mathematics and computer science.

Leaving asides questions of diety, with respect to computer science and not
Xianity, where has Donald Knuth not been "right."

Best,

Abe

1-16-06

q_q_an...@yahoo.co.uk

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Jan 16, 2006, 4:31:56 PM1/16/06
to

I don't mean to knock CS as being rubbish. On the contrary. Writing
algorithms and programming are too difficult for most people(just like
accountancy is prob too difficult for most people), CS requires a mind
capable of basic logic and it requires an attention to detail. But, CS
isn't going to help him here. He seems to think that CS has prepared
him well for his current endeavour. Evidently it hasn't.

That is not a limitation of CS. The only thing i'll say about CS
that might but shouldn't be considered a knock, but i'm sure many would
agree with me. It's not a Science at all , and it's not very
mathematical. Not knocking it for that. Many very good clever
mathematicians can't do it at all.

I don't think programming requires complicated mathematical reasoning
at all. It's just naturally breaking problems down and doesn't require
any prerequisite maths knowledge. Some ppl can do it, some can't. I
don't think the coding of the program is so hard 'cos people use a
debugger. But, many - smart or dumb - people can't program at all, and
it does require basic logic and attention to detail, so I don't intend
to knock it. Just to say that it won't help him here. The logic LEARNT
in CS - formal logic - (at least in an UG course) has been known to
mortal man and some of it even known to animals for years - just not
written in symbols.
The difficulty and skill learnt, is writing it in symbols. But that
skill isn't relevant here!


q_q_

Martin Winer

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 4:44:05 PM1/16/06
to
:I would not say NO change, but very little change. The Qumran

:texts are in both "Paleo-Hebrew" and the modern script we use;
:the letters are shaped differently, but do not have different
:sounds or meanings.
Qumran - 2nd century BC.

Gezer Calendar 10th century BC

Exodus etc... before 10th century BC. Lot's of time for changes in
language.

Martin Winer

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 4:45:44 PM1/16/06
to
:Omitting vowels? Vowels didn't exist until after the Roman conquest.

You
:really do not know of what you speak.

You just made my point for me. Then aleph lamed (vav omitted, consonant
implying a vowel) fe
could be
eleph(thousand, family, clan, armed man) or alluph(chief)
which are spelled
alef lamed fe, alef lamed vav fe respectively in modern hebrew.

(vav is a vowel placeholder consonant)

The lack of vowels introduces ambiguity.

I wnt sx pls. Did I just say I would like six of something or did I
just proposition you? Please prefer the former interpretation. ;)

Martin Winer

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 4:46:08 PM1/16/06
to
:You again miss the point. The Italian archaeologist HAS found

:extensive evidence for a large mass of people travelling in the
:Negev desert.

He is one out of a million archaeologists. Let's play Abraham and
Sodom here... find me 10 (published) archaeologists of any repute who
espouse this belief.

Herman Rubin

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 4:57:27 PM1/16/06
to
In article <1137447028.5...@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,

Languages changed slowly, unless there was mixing with
other languages. Ugaritic goes back to the 15th century
BCE, and fortunately is cuneiform on clay tablets; the
Semitic alphabet was converted to cuneiform. Transliterated
into Hebrew letters, I can do a fair job of reading it,
and my Hebrew is not great. It is essentially the Hebrew
of that time, but it is not that different from Biblical
Hebrew of any period.

The changing of the forms of letters of the alphabet are,
from a linguistic standpoint, almost completely
irrelevant. It was not difficult to read the Behistun
Rock, in Persian in an unknown alphabet, as soon as enough
letters could be deciphered to read it, knowing Persian in
the Aramaic alphabet. Ventris even managed to decode the
Greek syllabary in Cretan Linear B, and before he did this,
it was not even known to be Greek. It was written centuries
before any alphabetic Greek was written, and there were no
inscriptions using both.

Herman Rubin

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 5:04:39 PM1/16/06
to
In article <1137445985....@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,

The ambiguity in lack of vowels is much greater in
Indo-European languages than in Semitic languages,
as the vowels are not part of the root. I have
much better success in looking up words in Hebrew
dictionaries from the consonants than I do given
the pronunciation.

Consider pat, pet, pit, pot, and put. Possibly
the first two might have a common origin, but
not the rest. This is rare in Semitic languages.

Steve Goldfarb

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 5:20:13 PM1/16/06
to
In <dqh53j$41...@odds.stat.purdue.edu> hru...@stat.purdue.edu (Herman Rubin) writes:


>Consider pat, pet, pit, pot, and put. Possibly
>the first two might have a common origin, but
>not the rest. This is rare in Semitic languages.

Remember to pat the pet's pate before you put it in the pot, then putt
the pot into the pit, Pete.

--s
--

yaco...@aol.com

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Jan 16, 2006, 6:15:14 PM1/16/06
to

Let's not and let's play Moses Maimonides instead.

An idea is not made more correct due to the numbers of people who
subscribe to it, nor is it made less correct by the lack of numbers of
people who subscribe to it.

You are arguing by authoritas, which in the modern world of
Wissenschaft des Judentums is called "generally accepted."

Jakco

Martin Winer

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 7:13:36 PM1/16/06
to
:Then, I think the logical thing to do would be to recognise your own

limitations in this area and
:do something that you're knowledgeable and good at. That would be
:better than doing this pseudo-intellectual stuff that you are doing.

Spinoza, arguably the greatest thinker of our time, was a lenscrafter.

While I don't claim to be Spinoza, I trust my point is made... If
theologians are going to ask me to believe them, then I'm qualified to
argue with them.

yaco...@aol.com

unread,
Jan 16, 2006, 7:13:51 PM1/16/06
to

Martin Winer wrote:
> :Omitting vowels? Vowels didn't exist until after the Roman conquest.
> You
> :really do not know of what you speak.
>
> You just made my point for me. Then aleph lamed (vav omitted, consonant
> implying a vowel) fe
> could be
> eleph(thousand, family, clan, armed man) or alluph(chief)
> which are spelled
> alef lamed fe, alef lamed vav fe respectively in modern hebrew.
>
> (vav is a vowel placeholder consonant)
>
> The lack of vowels introduces ambiguity.

But your point was the lack of vowels "breaks the rules of Tora Hebrew"
and you backprojected the vowels into "Tora Hebrew" of the 1200s BCE.

It was hardly ambiguous to the Israelites, any more than ASAP is to us.

Please provide your proposed pasuq in Hebrw using "alluf" as opposed to
"elef".

I doubt it will make sense.

Jakco

Martin Winer

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Jan 16, 2006, 7:16:02 PM1/16/06
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:Consider pat, pet, pit, pot, and put. Possibly

:the first two might have a common origin, but
:not the rest. This is rare in Semitic languages.

Great, alluph and eleph, the 'big guy' and the 'big number' are likely
to have the same root. Their identical spelling (without vowels) is the
greater issue here. The ambiguity is to the scribe who copied out the
texts.

:Languages changed slowly, unless there was mixing with
:other languages.

The 'unless' clause above applies, Dever
(http://fp.arizona.edu/judaic/faculty/dever.htm
) seems to think hebrew was originally a dialect of Canannite
hybridized with a few others.

Martin Winer

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Jan 16, 2006, 7:17:37 PM1/16/06
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: :Except that the Kuzari didn't actually give this proof. In that, one
of
: :the points of the book is the limitations of philsophical proofs!

I took the time to read up a bit about you:
http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2004/12/kuzari-proof-part-i.shtml

Your work I presume?

If it is, then we agree that the Kuzari proof, as presented by
Gottlieb, is invalid. So why all the argument? Why didn't you just
say so?!

If you had bothered to read my article, you'd discover that I'm arguing
against Gottlieb's (and a few others) presentation of what they call
the Kuzari Argument.

The VERY FIRST LINE says:
"The Kuzari Proof is a famous proof of the validity of Judaism and is
commonly used in outreach programs to convince estranged Jews to return
to the fold of observance. (1)"
The footnote points to Gottlieb's site?!
What part of that did you miss?!
See: http://www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi?C=98052 if you don't
believe me.

Micha Berger

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Jan 16, 2006, 7:39:13 PM1/16/06
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On Mon, 16 Jan 2006 21:45:44 +0000 (UTC), Martin Winer <martin...@gmail.com> wrote:
: :Omitting vowels? Vowels didn't exist until after the Roman conquest. You

: :really do not know of what you speak.

: You just made my point for me...

Had you not explicitly mentioned matris lexionus (semivowels used
to denote vowels) separately, perhaps. As it is, it came across as
demonstrating real lack of knowledge of the topic at hand.

The Torah uses them in some cases, and not others. For example, the
tablets are called "luchos". The long /oo/ after the lamed is denoted
with a vav ("w"), but the long /O/ of "-os" is atypically not. And
we don't even know how well we transmitted which vowels are denoted,
and which not. As Rav Meir wrote nearly 2 millenia ago, "We are not
experts in full and deficient spelling."

...
: The lack of vowels introduces ambiguity.

: I wnt sx pls. Did I just say I would like six of something or did I
: just proposition you? Please prefer the former interpretation. ;)

In English, vowels can be part of the root of the word. In Hebrew,
they're more grammatical. Therefore, while there is some ambiguity when
they're missing, it's not nearly as great as implied by your example.

-mi

--
Micha Berger When you come to a place of darkness,
mi...@aishdas.org you don't chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org You light a candle.
Fax: (270) 514-1507 - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

Ken Bloom

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Jan 16, 2006, 8:03:44 PM1/16/06
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Martin Winer wrote:
> : :Except that the Kuzari didn't actually give this proof. In that, one
> of
> : :the points of the book is the limitations of philsophical proofs!
>
> I took the time to read up a bit about you:
> http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2004/12/kuzari-proof-part-i.shtml
>
> Your work I presume?
>
> If it is, then we agree that the Kuzari proof, as presented by
> Gottlieb, is invalid. So why all the argument? Why didn't you just
> say so?!

(a) Just because the Kuzari doesn't say it doesn't mean it's invalid.
What the Kuzari says doesn't amount to a proof, but others say it in a
way where it amounts to a proof. I will use "Kuzari's proof" in quotes
because the Kuzari doesn't use it as a proof.

(b) The "Kuzari's proof" can be disproven quite easily without resorting
to any of the tricks you're trying to resort to. Micha has presented one
possible way at the link cited above, and he discusses that there are
certainly perspectives on faith on God other than having that faith
based on philosophical proof.

(c) If you want to disprove the "Kuzari's proof," be my guest (as per
(b)). But your real motivation when you present your hypothesis about a
redactive cleanup of the Torah is to undermine the authenticity of the
Torah. THAT is what we find unacceptable.

--Ken

--
I usually have a GPG digital signature included as an attachment.
See http://www.gnupg.org/ for info about these digital signatures.

Ken Bloom

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Jan 16, 2006, 8:33:50 PM1/16/06
to
Ken Bloom wrote:
> Martin Winer wrote:
>
>>: :Except that the Kuzari didn't actually give this proof. In that, one
>>of
>>: :the points of the book is the limitations of philsophical proofs!
>>
>>I took the time to read up a bit about you:
>>http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2004/12/kuzari-proof-part-i.shtml
>>
>>Your work I presume?
>>
>>If it is, then we agree that the Kuzari proof, as presented by
>>Gottlieb, is invalid. So why all the argument? Why didn't you just
>>say so?!
>
>
> (a) Just because the Kuzari doesn't say it doesn't mean it's invalid.
> What the Kuzari says doesn't amount to a proof, but others say it in a
> way where it amounts to a proof. I will use "Kuzari's proof" in quotes
> because the Kuzari doesn't use it as a proof.
>
> (b) The "Kuzari's proof" can be disproven quite easily without resorting
> to any of the tricks you're trying to resort to. Micha has presented one
> possible way at the link cited above, and he discusses that there are
> certainly perspectives on faith on God other than having that faith
> based on philosophical proof.
>
> (c) If you want to disprove the "Kuzari's proof," be my guest (as per
> (b)). But your real motivation when you present your hypothesis about a
> redactive cleanup of the Torah is to undermine the authenticity of the
> Torah. THAT is what we find unacceptable.

(d) The methods that you're resorting to (specifically, asserting that
there's a previous version of the text of the Torah that isn't found in
any known written text of the Torah) are extremely questionable.

yaco...@aol.com

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Jan 16, 2006, 9:15:32 PM1/16/06
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