Menachem Mendel

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First he had horns, and now he was high

By now it is almost a cliche, “You are the first Jew that I have ever seen, where are your horns?” Ancient Hebrew Poetry has the scoop on Moses and his frontal lobe issues in this post. As if horns, weren’t enough, somebody is now claiming that Moses and the Israelite met Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan Matus while in the desert,

The “perceiving of the voices” has been interpreted endlessly since these words were first written. When Professor Benny Shanon, professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, reads the verse, he recalls a powerful hallucinatory experience he had when he visited the Amazon and drank a potion made from a plant called ayahuasca.

“One of the things that happens when you drink the potion is a visual experience created via sounds,” he says. Shanon presents a provocative theory in an article published this week in the philosophy journal Time and Mind. The religious ceremonies of the Israelites included the use of psychotropic materials that can found in the Negev and Sinai, he says.

See the rest here. Hopefully the truth of the Torah will hold up a bit better than Castaneda’s work.

I’ll end with a quote from what I think is one of the most important chapters of modern Jewish theology, chapter 27 (“The Principle of Revelation”) from Abraham Joshua Heschel’s God in Search of Man.

The essence of our faith in the sanctity of the Bible is that its words contain that which God wants us to know and to fulfill. How these words were written down is not the fundamental problem. This is why the theme of Biblical criticism is not the theme of faith, just as the question of whether the lightning and thunder at Sinai were a natural phenomenon or not is irrelevant to our faith in revelation. The assumption of some commentators that the Decalogue was given on a raining day does not affect our conception of the event.

The act of revelation is a mystery, while the record of revelation is a literary fact, phrased in the language of man. (God in Search of Man, p. 258)

One Response to “First he had horns, and now he was high”

  1. 1
    avakesh:

    I agree wholeheartedly. It was ignorant of haatetz to print such uninformed drivel as worthy of note.

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