Monday, January 19, 2004

distracting thoughts of the day;

Find specific uses of "Biblical Law" (i.e., legal mechanisms/justifications "derived" from Hebrew Scripture that doesn't engage the Rabbinic eco-system/Gauntlet), in [for ex], English empire-building; concept of "indentured servitude" in settling new world, parameters of it deriving from Biblical sources, other pragmatics of Protestant Chosen-Peopleness ("New Israel" deriving "from Scripture", independence from the Mesorah of "Holy Tradition" in the Eastern/Catholic churches, with their tainted Greek connections), more facets to the generally-accepted role of Anglo-Israelism in "light to the nations", sense of benevolence to "entering Canaan" of the new world.

So this convert approaches Hillel and asks him about converting (Shabbat 31); that the famous one with the "standing on one foot", or the other guy with the whole "rest is commentary"; the other guy. So he is wants to convert, but doesn't accept Hillel's authority regarding there being an interpretive mechanism bound up with the Text (which is perceived as "THE Given facts"), i.e., Oral Torah (maybe this understanding I give is Jewishly reasonable, maybe not). So Hillel gives him his first lesson on the spot; learn Aleph Bet. He comes back the next day, R. Hillel has reversed the order; the guy calls R. Hillel on it, and Hillel responds that there is obviously an oral component without which EVEN THE MOST ESSENTIAL BUILDING BLOCKS OF JEWISH EXISTENCE (and from within to Torah outlooks, the building blocks of Creation, of the universe), CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD. Again, this understanding may be off the wall. All rubrics (Xtian, islamic, etc), entail some pretextual, pretheoretical Assumptions that EVERYTHING is understood/explained/misunderstood/"mystified", etc, through. In the modern world, the source for much of this is from Tanach as well as "Biblical" (Xtian), systems, even secularisms (which are Xtian heresies; Clouser/Dooyewerd/Voeglin, etc)...lost my train of thought...anyways, I'm very interested in the relationship of orality to literacy, and the transmission of "The Givens", pretheoretical assumptions that can't be doubted if you want your language-game-of-choice to's likely in the West that almost all prime "language games" derive from essentially Torah/"Biblical" perspectives, either in reaction against it or from it, or from the presumptions shared by it/the ensuing Churches/social systems, etc,. probably also in more Esoteric ways with the Freemasonry and Freethought movements, Rambam's influence in Latin translation of Moreh Nevukhim, especially on skepticism and Liebniz, etc, with vernacular printing the accessabilty of "The Bible", it's perceived errors and inaccuracies, and it as an opponent, something to be revised, understood, amended, disputed, etc., also the death of "Scholarly Languages", of greek and latin or at least their STATUS as such...scientific/philosophic texts made accessable in local tongues; also "mystification" of languages that needed "translating", a new concept in some ways since printing flourished (yeah, Chinese printed, but didn't disseminate/foster the practice) and the Works themselves; also DEmystification of said texts, particularly religious texts of Others becoming "philosophical", when a pan-language-game-logic is assumed/accepted...the dissemination of "esoterism" in groups that required trappings of "mystery religion"; initiation, "code", etc...and what's "worse" (depending on your secondary commitments epistemologically/intellectually/morally-speaking), is...there are lots of good reasons to believe not only that Torah Givens aren't simply true pragmatically (Jamesian, some PoMo perspectives), but that they are TRUE in the most function-making ways possible in Olam HaZeh (this world). Where was I? Getting late for Minha.


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