Belief and reason: What has Athens (Plato) to do with Jerusalem (Isaiah)? Stacks

A Jew called Concerned Reader asked me on another blog: “Shouldn’t faith be reasoned, and based on a comprehension of the covenant G-d made with Israel? As opposed to just a belief?”

Let’s consider reason without bringing God or religion into it. It is not, logically, possible to use reason to prove that it is rational. Without faith/trust in your reason, you end up in an unreal, relative, random, nonsensical universe. Most human beings refuse to accept this logic. An illogical person will say he reasons well without having faith in his reason.

With regard to the relationship between reason and belief in the God of the Bible (Tanach and New Testament), this God chooses to reveal Himself to humanity. As with Abram, so with every one who accepts God. God of his good pleasure sovereignly, therefore, unilaterally, chose to reveal himself to Abram. No one knows why he revealed himself to Abram, to his progeny and later to the Israelites, or to any one else. “And the LORD said, ‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion’” (Exodus 33:19).

In the scriptures, reason (thought) is the tool God gives us to understand WHO He is; not THAT he is (exists). The revelation at Sinai was a special gift of God’s generosity (mercy, grace) revealing what reason couldn’t discover. The first verse of Genesis says “In the beginning, God…” God’s existence in the Bible is a given (not a “taken”).

The following sounds crazy to most Jews. “I believe that I may understand” (Augustine of Hippo). The Hebrew prophets, indeed, all godly people in the Tanach, would agree with Augustine.

Jews have too much faith in their reason. Many of them believe that reason is all they need to find God. They want to be Jewish Platos (chollile), when in fact they are, as the Tanach emphasises play dough – not play things – in the hand of God.
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Do Muslims hate only Zionists; or do they hate all Jews? Because they are commanded to imitate if not ape the Qur’an?

The Imam of the Al-Haram mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayis, said in one of his sermons:
Read history and you will understand that the Jews of yesterday are the evil forefathers of the even more evil Jews of today: infidels, falsifiers of words, calf worshippers, prophet murderers, deniers of prophecies … the scum of the human race, accursed by Allah, who turned them into apes and pigs… These are the Jews – an ongoing continuum of deceit, obstinacy, licentiousness, evil, and corruption .
..” (Contemporary Islamist Ideology Authorizing Genocidal Murder).

The Muslim’s intense hatred of the Jew did not originate with the Declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, but with Allah. In three places in the Qur’an, Allah refers to Jews as monkeys and/or pigs. For example: 2:65 And you know well the story of those among you who broke Sabbath. We said to them: “Be apes—despised and hated by all” (Trans. Maududi).

Ibn Ishaq, an early and reliable biographer of Muhammad, writes that Muhammad called the Medinan Jewish clan, Qurayzah, “brothers of monkeys.” Did Muhammad mean this figuratively? The Iranian Medieval commentator Razi said the appearances of the Jews were changed, but they kept their human minds. Maududi says that in the original Arabic: “The words of the Qur’an … indicate that it was… a physical metamorphosis.” Whether literal or figurative, this does not affect the fact that Muhammad and company hated Jews; they thought he was a very confused Gentile.

The Qur’an says: “Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Surah 9:29).

In sum, the Islamic hatred of the Jew did not originate with Zionism but with Allah/Muhammad. To be faithful to the Qur’an, a Muslim must believe and imitate – if not “ape” – every word of it: hate Jews.