Sunday, August 23, 2009

What is meant by 'if' in the scriptures

Question: Thank you for the excerpt from the Quran as well, as I am unfamiliar with it at this time. One similarity between the bible and the Quran seems to be the word "if".
M has commented on this several times and made a good point of that word indicating the Holy One's love being conditional. In other words, "if" you do this I will love you.
I can see that and try to remain cognizant of it when I read any religious text.
However, there is another perspective. This one was also discussed during the Kabbalah workshop I attended this week. Rabbi W stated that when a scripture says "if" it actually means "when". For instance, "If you study diligently you will surely graduate. ". This statement is not entirely different from something like, "If you live by these words you will surely go to heaven".
Both statements indicate the result of a given action, not an "if you do this, then I'll do that" type of transaction. Which is very different than how we were perceiving it. It truly sheds a new light on everything IMHO.
From what I can tell, it seems to apply to both the bible and the Quran. Do you feel this true?

Answer: Yes, I agree with Rabbi W’s explanation of the word if…….. the book of God is a guidance for mankind and, as such, tells us which actions and beliefs lead us in which direction, and what is the ultimate destination. We believe that Torah, Bible, Quran and many other books/revelations have been sent earlier from the Almighty for the guidance of mankind, so essentially, Yes, the style is consistent throughout: glad tidings for the right beliefs and actions, warning for those who choose other paths. I guess this is the basic requirement for justice, all souls shall carry the burden of their beliefs and actions, and no soul shall be wronged in the slightest.

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