Learning with others

March 26, 2008

These last few weeks I’ve been taking a class during the Thursday lunch hour at Hebrew Union College, right across the street from UC.  The class is called “Faith in a Better World” and is taught by a rabbinical student.  There are five to six others in the class and it has been mainly oriented toward discussion around certain texts – the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, Torah commandments to do justice and honor the poor.  The teacher has done a good job of bringing out similarities and differences in how Jews and Christians have understood the same Scriptures.  Her ultimate goal is looking at common ways that faith motivates people in making the world a better place.  I’ve found these short times together enriching.  I love the lively way that Jews have engaged Torah, the first five books or our Bible, over the centuries, believing it to be the Tree of Life where God is made known.  As one often asked to represent the Christian perspective, I also realize how complex and varied each tradition is.  I can speak a Christian perspective, but it’s really a Mennonite understanding of the Christian perspective, and even that is my own understanding of the Mennonite understanding of the Christian perspective.  So ultimately we’re really engaging each other as fellow human beings, each bringing our own wealth and limitations to the conversation.  Anytime there’s an opportunity to engage people on this level there is an opportunity for growth – in understanding of the other and in self-understanding.  And the real miracle of a genuine face to face encounter with another human being is contained in that expression that Jacob made through his meeting with his brother Esau – “to see your face is like seeing the face of God.”          

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4 Responses to “Learning with others”

  1. twice as nice aka twice puddintain Says:

    or mr hmmmm:)
    well now how is it that i often think i see
    connections amongst things
    that perhaps other dont…

    and why should this come up in my mind now…

    well now
    now that u ask 🙂
    my last post comments were on
    the most recent sermon
    of being members of the body of christ
    and how that gives a special
    interconnectedness
    i think the point was
    i say that in order to make the point
    that thru god consciousness
    by being one in the mind of christ
    there is this kind of interconnectedness
    where
    all things work together for the good
    for those who love god
    and are called according to his purpose…

    ah but what some fancy as seeing
    interconnectedness and the workings of god..
    might come more from the natural man[kjv]
    an oft repeated them in my posts

    so hmmm says mr hmmm
    and oops to
    i had gotten in mind my initial post here
    was about personality types for some reason
    but i checked and it is about
    genuine face to face
    encounters with others…
    so now hmmmm
    knowing their personality type
    can be an aid …
    such as enneagram type
    which connects with something on this site
    that links to someone with the last name rohr..
    so now then finally a more specific connection
    with this topic…
    the encounter between jacob and esau…

    okay at this point
    Gen 33:1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.
    Gen 33:2 And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.
    Gen 33:3 And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
    Gen 33:4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
    Gen 33:5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.
    JACOB HAD HAD HIS NAME CHANGE THING
    to israel in the previous chapter…
    seeming to signify
    he had given up his ways of deception
    in order to succeed
    and rather to seek god’s way
    as to how to proceed….
    and thus the success with the face to face
    with esau..it would seem
    and while i am on esau
    where earlier god would not accept the tears of esau…
    Heb 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
    THAT AFTER THE FACE TO FACE
    ESAU COULD THEN HAVE FOUND MORE FAVOR
    WITH GOD 🙂

    IT SEEMS THO THAT THE SONS OF JACOB
    had already learned the art of deception
    from the earlier jacob
    and the change of heart
    when jacob became israel
    did not work to change
    immediately anyways a change of heart
    with his sons
    in terms of using treachery for
    what they made in their mind
    to be righteous revenge…
    in terms of their sister dinah
    in chapter 34 of genesis…
    and treachery remained to an aspect of
    the children of israel
    in terms of how they dealt with their brother joseph…
    which perhaps became resolved
    in maybe a kind of parallel to esau and jacob
    with the episode in egypt….

    ah finally interconnectedness thru
    knowing type and rohr and the enneagram…
    in terms of the 12 tribes of israel…
    as 3 of the 9 enneagram types
    might be doubled to make the 12 🙂

    ah types
    now esau was a hairy man:)

    Gen 25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
    Gen 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.
    Gen 25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

    Gen 27:11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:

    so type
    even such type as being male or female
    and how in recognizing issues thus involved
    tho to see beyong to all as potentially equal
    members in the body of god…
    and how to meet them face to face in a way
    that best enables them to recognize themselves
    as potentially all equal children of god
    and able to be one with god
    as jesus is one with god…
    and one might indeed need to rebuke some sin
    as i think jesus makes mention of in luke 17:3
    in order to best help them deal with their issues best
    but at all times to forgive them when they repent
    but can one discern if the repentence is of say the order of as sought by esau
    that should not be recognized
    aas that could enable the other
    to pursue more bad behaviour…

    gen 27:34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.
    Gen 27:35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.
    Gen 27:36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
    Gen 27:37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
    Gen 27:38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
    Gen 27:39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;
    Gen 27:40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.
    Gen 27:41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.

    well me thought seems to have gone sufficient full circle for the moment
    such that in my mind
    i have covered the main points sufficiently
    tho others might have a hard time tracing that out…
    and upon my own review ..me too 🙂

  2. twice puddintain Says:

    well lordy be
    i did a search here for genuine and
    we we approaching the 1 year mark for one of the things that popped up with genuine in it
    and in the spirit of spuds
    where it popped up to
    we be talkin down home now 🙂

    i searched for genuine coz
    on some other adventure i used the word disingenuous in talking about lack of candor but then i got to thinkin ifn lots more nowadays due to there being less spiritual discernment but what passes as such as coming form the natural man…

    when people nowadays often think of what they be doin is genuine it taint
    but an unrecognized disingenousness…
    what made me think of this when i looked up ingenuous it said it is obsolete..

    and the obsolete meaning was given as
    discernment
    and now the new spelling ingenious is about cleverness not discernment
    and that put me in mind that much of what is called discernment in the name of
    postmodern wisdom is more clever too often rather than discerning..and what it claims in terms of discernment comes more from the natural man than spiritual maturity….

  3. joelmiller Says:

    Thanks Amelia. I agree that it was a hopeful time on Wednesday. It was a great visual display of the tragedy of war and support for finding alternatives to violence.

  4. amelia mengon Says:

    Joel,
    The class at HUC sounds really interesting. We in Cincinnati are fortunate to have the resources found at HUC and in their historical center.
    As you know, on the day of the Memorial for the 4000 soldiers killed in IRAQ, we CMF’ers happened to be holding our representative T shirts on the part of Clifton Ave. which is directly across from HUC and the Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education. We stood in the rain and gazed at a reminder of another saga of violence, inhumanity, and senseless loss of life. Such an horrific tragedy!
    This could have been a cold, wet, depressing hour on Clifton Ave. Or, it could be an hour of affirmation for being involved with all those people up and down Clifton Avenue. We were all there to pray for, and promote peace in our world.
    Fortunately, I was wearing a huge down coat, a thick wool hat, and was waterproofed from head to toe. Some people near me looked cold and miserable, but stayed the whole time. It was a good hour, a hopeful hour, an affirming hour.
    In “Learning With Others”, we are reminded of how much is gained by interaction with, and education about people of other faiths; a very good type of “Humanity Education”.
    Thanks for sharing about your class.


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