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A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. Highlighted words lead to other posts almost all in my blog. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family (1950's) and went to Orthodox Yeshiva from kindergarten thru High School plus some Beis Medrash.Became an agnostic in my 20's and an atheist later on. My blog will discuss the arguments for god and Orthodox Judaism and will provide counter arguments. I no longer take comments. My blog uses academic sources, the Torah, Talmud and commentators to justify my assertions. The posts get updated. INDEX OF POSTS SEE MAY 2017 or click link above.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Kuzari Part 5

This post is a continuation of the Kuzari ‘proof/argument of Judaism’  begun here. I would recommend at least skimming the prior four posts. 

Kuzari proponents often ask if there are any parallels to the Sinai story. Are there examples of a group of people claiming that god reveals himself to them ? My prior posts have described  stories having parallels to the Sinai story. I have come across another that would qualify.

In the book Pygmy Kitabu by Jean-Pierre Hallet and Alex Palle 1973, it is documented many customs, laws, myths, philosophies, and stories of the Pygmies of Africa. Hallet had lived with them for many years and thus had first hand experience and knowledge of the Pygmies. 

Page 53 "The Western Pygmy men informed Anthropologist Trilles that the deity dwelled with them during the first ages of man." 

Page 106-107  The Pygmies say “In the beginning,  God lived with men and gave them his commandments.” Some of Pygmy 'laws'  are similar to the 10 commandments.  [Probably to account for the fact that God is  no longer seen among them, they also claim he ascended to heaven.]

Page 111 - “The Pygmies say in ancient times their Lawgiving Father-God-King reigned near Ruwenzori; the mountains of the moon.”   “In this neighborhood, according to the Pygmies they received the deity’s laws and commandments.” [And in the Tenach, Yahweh is associated with certain mountain ranges and God gives the commandments at Mount Sinai. At least the Pygmies know the location of the mountain of God where God provides the laws, something the Jews do not know.]

Page 117 Interestingly, that African area has experienced a major volcano eruption from which dusts, ashes, rocks were spewed up and poisoned life and also killed fish. [This sounds somewhat similar to some of the 10 plagues in Exodus.]

How could such stories gain traction amongst the Pygmies ? 

It may be argued that when the Christian and Muslim invaded their country the Pygmies came in contact with Biblical stories and adopted/adapted them. But that is irrelevant, because using the Kuzari argument the stories should have never gained traction at all. In addition, the book argues it is unlikely the Pygmies learned the stories from the Christians or Muslims.  Regardless if we accept the book’s argument, according to the Kuzari argument we should accept the Pygmy's claim of divine commandments given at the mountain and having dwelled amongst them in the past.

It is known the Ancient Egyptians had contact with the Pygmies and were fond of them (at least for certain periods)  even bringing some to their country. This raises the possibility, that the Pygmy myths were  heard by some Israelites that where in  Egypt or had been trading with Egypt. [Also recall Moshe  marries a Cushite women who also may have come in contact with Pygmy myths.] The book argues for this sort possibility to explain why some Pygmy myths resemble those in the Bible.

I also recommend reading the blog by Kefirah http://kefirahoftheweek.blogspot.com/ and he has at least one on the Kuzari argument see http://kefirahoftheweek.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-modern-kuzari-argument.html and the comment section is very informative.

The pygmies are threatened with extinction and humanity is in danger of losing one of it's oldest living branches. Surely the World's powers can and must do much more to help them survive. 

Next up is Kuzari Part 6

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