YHWH & Son?

If I’m correct, in Islam the notion of Allah fathering a son is as ludicrous to the devout as the notion of Time-Space getting knocked up by a Russian sailor would be to a physicist. Allah is infinite and neither male nor female but transcends such corporeal mundanities as procreation. Is this the Jewish conception of G_d as well? Is G_d a male deity in Judaism, or is “He” used more as a way of personifying “Him”?
Also, why is “G_d” the respectful way of righting the name when referring to the Jewish deity since, whatever His name is, it certainly wouldn’t rhythme with rod?
Also, can anybody recommend a good English translation of Midrash?

Could you, just perhaps, have thought of a less offensive way of posing the question?

My apologies if I offended- it absolutely is not intentional- but I am interested in any takes on the answer. Is the Jewish deity male, and either way is the notion of his engendering a child blasphemous/ludicrous to the devout?

What you have here is a serious case of fuzzy thinking. First and foremost have you ever heard of figurative speech? ‘Son’ has a lot of meanings besides a purely biological one. Ancient writers lacking the rigorously obtuse speech of a Kant or a Schopenhauer couched their metaphysics in allegory. Procreation likewise is a concept that covers a lot of ground.

What various peoples’ concept of God is rather depends on the people or person in question. There are some who argue persuasively that many ideas about God that Jewish theology now represents as being primal to their religion actually evolved not reaching their current form until the Hellenic period. Indeed one intriguing theory for non-believers is that the history of Judaism before the Babylonian captivity was more or less fabricated and that Judaism is really the result of the Babylonians trying to set up a buffer state between them and the Egyptians. This is all airy speculation, of course.

W. Panic Snopes:

This is indeed the Jewish conception of G-d - neither male nor female, but completely non-physical, and therefore asexual.

The reason G-d is most often referred to as male is becasue the Hebrew language has no gender-neutral pronoun. Even inanimate objects such as chairs and tables are assigned a gender for grammatical purposes (based on various lexicographical rules). Since the Hebrew word for G-d falls into the male category, the Hebrew word used for G-d’s “it” has always been the Hebrew “he” rather than the Hebrew “she”.

It is done this way so that a written reference to G-d - even if it is a “nickname” rather than his genuine, Holy name - not be erased or discarded. Not all Orthodox Jews feel this needs to be done, it just happens that most of the Orthodox Jews on this message board do.

Not really, because you must understand that the “Midrash” does not refer to a single book, but that the word is used in reference to many works that were written over a period of several centuries. Some of the most commonly referenced Midrashim are the Midrash Rabbah, Midrash Tanhuma, Sifra, Sifri, Torat Kohanim, and the Zohar (which many people have heard of as a Kabbalistic text).

I can recommend two excellent English compilations of Midrashim. One is a series called “The Midrash Says,” a set of five volumes, one for each of the five books of Moses. The other, which is much longer and more comprehensive (but also includes much instruction in Jewish law and custom as well as midrashim) is called The Torah Anthology. It’s in twenty volumes which cover the Five books of Moses, and there are other volumes in this series on the other Biblical books.

And by the way, Monty, I cannot for the life of me think of why you see the OP as offensive.

Thanks again for the info, CM. This is an area of knowledge that I really want to explore. Currently I’m researching the Shabbatean school, but as with everything in the subject it supposes prior knowledge, so I’m trying to get as close to reading the bedrock as possible, which isn’t easy since I don’t read Hebrew and am told it’s a bear to learn.

I think I heared tell of that “figurative speech” stuff. It was featured on an episode of BJ & THE BEAR weren’t it?

However, I think you’d have to agree that to most Christians, even those who don’t identify as Fundamentalists, the “Son” in Son of G-d is not a figurative or metaphorical interpretation but a “supernaturally formed virgin born and spiritually engendered issue” context; as early as the Dark Ages people were dying in wars over exactly when the spirit of God (please don’t be offended if I am inconsistent with the use of vowels and underscores- I’m also the world’s worst abuser of homonyms) entered His “son” (was it at conception, birth, or in adulthood).
The Muslims also aren’t being figurative when they eschew the notion that Allah could or would produce a son, and while they have no qualms with the virgin birth of Jesus (it being a major portion of the Qur’an), they are offended at the notions that the baby was actually begotten by the Divine as a demi-god. (Strangely, jinn and angels are, I believe, capable of biological fatherhood in some branches of Islam.)

I’ve considered criminal courts that give out death only as a last resort and mainly sentence them to deportation or sterilization, but the problem is that they reproduce so fast that the public defenders become too overworked to give adequate defense, then also you can’t really have roaches as judges since they’re biased, but I’m convinced that butterflies have their own agenda.

I really don’t believe for an instant that roaches are beautiful creatures or that they have souls (I’m not convinced that humans do), but I do think they have some sort of pain sensors. They are definitely photosensitive, as anybody who’s ever seen them scatter when the light was turned on knows, and they definitely practice self preservation, as anybody who has ever seen them run when a shoe is thrown knows. This would imply that some form of displeasure occurs that they seek to avoid, which would also imply pain or the beginnings of it.

Bacteria however are just SOL. If you have to get in my hamburger to get from place to place, get ready to meet Mr. Lysol, the Aerosol Kali. At least cockroaches had the gumption to evolve some legs; microbes are the welfare class on the non-mammal pecking order.

There is a whole spectrum of belief and argument over what substance means, as in “of one substance” certainly some people believe this to mean physical or material substance which would imply that God is somehow material but there are many ways of reconciling this to God also being immaterial. You could hold that God is both in some superlogical way or that Jesus’ was material directly created by God and spiritually part, whole or both of his essence. As God is all powerful there is no confining him to the limits of human dichotomy. You can always fall back on mystery.

Muslims and other religions with a literate founder tend to have fewer logic problems. When a fonder doesn’t write his own copy his heirs get to work it out and since none of them have his authority there is a lot of argument. If Mohammed didn’t like the idea of Jesus being divine that’s enough for Muslims but it’s not that they couldn’t reconcile the notion to their idea of God if he had told them to.

W Panic Snopes:

You mean the followers of the seventeenth-century false Messiah Shabbetai Zvi?

Not that I mind answering your inquiries, but darned if I can see how any of them were relevant to the history of the Shabbateans…

Chaim Mattis Keller

They’re not directly, but in order to understand some of the major changes to the laws and rituals by people like Zevi and other reformers and heretics and schismatics it helps to know what the traditional concept of the law and G_d were (i.e. what was so revolutionary about the Lurian concept of the Shekhina).
I’ve tried reading THE SOURCE by James Michener, but he succeeds in writing a book with more characters than the Bible with none of them being interesting. Besides which, how can you write the history of Israel in the first few centuries without mentioning Bar-Kochba?
The Lysol dispatch was intended for another forum, incidentally- sorry about that- I’m a little bit stupid on my Dad’s side.