The history of Judaism is a line of trust and growth in loving and understanding to do God's purpose for man, ranging from the obvious to the sublime. For millennia since Adam and Eve lost their first Earth home and nursery school to a great upheaval in the Garden of Eden, once prepared by their LORD of all the Earth for their childhood development, the Jews closest to their line wandered, or were plainly pulled, about the Fertile Crescent from Ur on the southern Euphrates, northward to Ninevah and westward to Haran, southward (along) the Jordan, passed Jerusalem, and westward to the Egyptian Nile delta ... they followed the advice and admonishments of their LORD, sometimes their matriarch, sometimes their Godhead. As if to keep their line they never strayed from this Fertile Crescent, never wandered north above into the mountains of Armenia, nor east beyond into the mountains of Iran and India or China far beyond, never into Turkey, Greece, Europe, nor Russia, never beyond the Nile ... save that individuals sometimes did, and that great hordes called, The Diaspora, were dragged away by conquering armies, to be lost and all-but-forgotten ... but the central line stayed: as nearly as Mercury, the meandering morning star, hugs closely about the sun, (as Isaiah noted, cf: Lucifer), the Jews hugged the arc of rivers in the Middle East around the sun-baked Arabian desert: the multiple rivers represented conscious streams in their connecting thoughts of life, flowing from their LORD's provision and reassurances for life on Earth, refreshing mankind's hope in garden-abundance-living.
The trend of Jewish history has been to stick to this line, and work out the understanding based on evidences gathered only in this line: this anoints the line, simplifies the education processes, appeals to coarser folk, but (it) makes a pragmatic pedant of the intellect (which might be better served by following its own line, of reasoning, even when that takes (the body) to the far reaches of space and time). The traditional method was by questioning and expounding man's ability to follow the good wisom of their LORD, seeking to find such paths as might, drawing on the lessons of nature so abundantly provided, that do - as even Christ Jesus did in parabole. The traditional setting was a family gathering, a feast in remembrance of tribulations and triumphs past (Moses' Exodus from Egypt, the cessation of Noah's flood, the Sabbath, etc.); and the traditional order was to have the youngest child who could speak, begin by asking some simplistic question: usually something a child should challenge, such as upon being served his first goblet of bitter wine, demanding to know why wine is drunk on this occasion; the elder children would help cue the youngest to be sure (he) recognized that it was indeed an occasion, and that he did ask. (In the author's own experience, not being Jewish, one drop of bitter wine was sufficient to elicit the silent mental challenge of something wrong with the first taste - they were enjoying it - and to ask for a second try, which was denied; and wine was never at the table again).
But the questions could be far ranging, (and) ultimately challenging (to) the basis of their religion: whether nature could be reliably interpreted for man's use in obeying God, and whether any man could so interpret. The answer to the first gave rise to prophets and preachers, and the answer to the second lead to ecclesiastical pedantry, the seven-headed dragon in St. John's vision. Behold the zeal to answer all questions imagined; and even the last, first. Carried up with the inquisitive inspiration of human reasoning, that is, reasoning on the immediate evidences, the sky meeting the horizon, the balancing of the clouds, the waxing and waning of the moon, etc., a young Daniel might propose:
Why is it that ... When the moon leaves the night, to refresh itself with the daylight, its crescent turns away from the night, that the moon withdraws more surely to leave the night, and more hesitantly to return?! Has God ordained the moon to give her light to the night, yet when she nears the day, she affrights of the night?! Consider the zeal of the wicked to enter into the darkened ways of evil, withholding not themselves, but rushing in, and reluctant to leave: this is not the way of the light shone of the sun, nor of the moon: for he proceedeth steadily, yea, unreservedly; and she, steadily, but with reservations. Shall not the good woman shine as a light in the darkness, yet when she returneth to her husband, shall she not then put-off and turn-away much good-doing therefrom, as she leaveth the darkness to utterly fail of her light?! Doeth not therefor the light seek the light, and the dark, the darkness; yet even so the day returneth, and the moon to her night, and the darkness fleeth, and its place is not known, but it lurketh about?! Even so the wicked ever haunt the good woman whilest she is near, and bring about their evil upon her reservations. Is not God a just God, as a good and steady husband, reserving nought but ever shining as the sun; and is not the man (of his people) a just man, as a good and steady bride reserving ought for her husband: shall a man be more just than his God; shall the moon reserve more than the sun which reserveth not?! But woe in that day that she hideth her husband, neither giveth her own light: but in that day and in that hour ye shall see the son of man (the shadow of the moon) coming in the clouds (across the whole sky) and ye shall perceive the outer darkness (as night) suddenly, and the wicked shall flourish (momentarily). [Thus having arrived at the notion of the ascending Christ]
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