On Becoming Connected

My beloved and I get along most stupendously. I don’t say this lightly or in a ‘Evangelical Christian” way, to say something that ain’t so to make it so. We really do get along great. What’s our secret? We both bend, but we don’t break.

We have such different tastes in many, many areas. I love technology. She hates most of it. I couldn’t wait to get my first computer in 1990. She gets all glassy eyed over plants on sale at WallyWorld. I’m thinking of getting the latest and greatest from Apple. She has finally gotten the hang of texting and Pinterest and decided her next cell phone will be similar to a flip phone.

I love movies, T.V., drama, stories, suspense, action and plot. Not her. Just the facts please. She would rather listen to a good teacher about Torah than 100 offerings of the Netflix fare.

Don’t get me wrong. I love good Torah teaching, too. But my entertainment diet has to be watched carefully because the Yetser Hara (the Evil Inclination, a tool of Satan) knows my weakness and exploits it when he can.

And this brings me to the point of this treatise. Since we decided to leave the mainstream and convert to Judaism, we have to work to maintain balance in our lives. Because, if nothing else, Judaism is about balance.

Most of Christianity has this conversion thing so wrong. You don’t just walk down the aisle and ‘accept Jesus in your heart’ and you are ‘Saved’ and your ticket to Heaven is secure. In Judaism, you become righteous/generous and grow toward HaShem (the Creator of the Universe) and by the way, (spoiler alert) nobody goes to Heaven. You’re either going back to Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden) or being eliminated completely. That’s right, according to the Sages of Judaism, there is no ‘permanent’ Hell. Now there is Gehinnom, which is not to pleasant, but it is for tikkun (correction) and never lasts more than a year.

I think now would be a good time to interject my personal belief on the afterlife. Any time someone tells you what is going to happen after you check out of this incarnation, take it with a grain (grain? how about a spoonful) of salt. The obvious reason is because the stairway to Heaven is a one way ride. Now I know that there are people that have had NDE’s (Near Death Experiences) and I don’t discount their encounters. But that’s the key, it was THEIR experience, not yours. HaShem, most blessed be He, may have something entirely different in store for you.

So, do NOT, base your actions because someone said they’ve been there and this is the way it is. Base your actions on what the Holy One tells you. Just make sure you know it’s the Holy One, the Ancient of Days.

How do you know it is G-d directing you down a certain path? This is the reason my beloved and I get along so well. We have a relationship. We talk to each other. We know each other.

This is what you must have with the Creator, blessed be He. Read His Word, pray to Him and follow His directions. Now, you don’t have to be Jewish and have a Siddur (Jewish prayer book) to pray to G-d. He created YOU! He loves YOU! He wants to hear from YOU! My advice on reading His Word is that you learn Hebrew if you want to get the correct translation. I know, I know, learning a language is very difficult and Hebrew is really difficult. So if you’re going to continue to read the Bible in your native tongue, here is a rule I have found helpful. If you read something that contradicts or nullifies the Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy) it is most probably mis -translated and needs further research to see what went wrong.

Becoming a Jew for me is a process. I’m still walking it out. I’m definitely a work in progress. But guess what, we all are. The thing is at the end of the day, you need to be able to say … I think I’m a little bit closer to you HaShem, Todah Raba (thank you very very much), because we never are stagnant, we either grow to Him or away from Him.

December 30, 2019 at 12:40 pm 1 comment

Servant

I am a servant of the Most High, The Creator of Everything Created. I wake up to serve Him and sleep to wake up to serve Him. If I am doing something for myself, it is ultimately to serve Him the more. I want to serve Him 24/7/365. That is my goal in life.

Some say that that goes too far. That no one can or should “give up his life” that HaShem gave him. That is their opinion, not mine

I do not seek reward for this lifestyle. I know that I will be given my ‘just deserts’ in the end. The thing is the more I seek to serve Him, the more I am rewarded. If not materialistically then spiritually. Or both.

December 24, 2019 at 12:28 pm Leave a comment

Thoughts of Living a Long Life

I woke up for the 3rd or 4th time today at about 5:30. I’m getting better at just getting up and not lying there for another 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes or so. I realized later that I got up because today looked to be a great day. When you have hope, it’s easier to throw the legs down and get the torso off the rack.

I plan on living life till HaShem (G-d) takes me off this rock. Next year will mark my 7th decade here. The Word says in Psalms that man is afforded 7 maybe 8 if in strength. Then there’s the quote about 12. (Gen 6:3) And HaShem said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever in his going astray. He is flesh, and his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”

Whatever I’m allotted, I want to make the most of it. If you’ve ever visited a Nursing Home or the like you know what I’m talking about. I don’t know whose at fault for the condition of some of our Senior citizens but they are in bad shape! If I’ve got up to 5 decades left, I dang sure don’t want to end up close to vegetation stage like some I’ve seen.

My beloved was certainly a wise choice for me. That woman is adamant about living healthy. We eat healthy, and eating healthy and kosher is no small feat. We don’t smoke. I used to smoke but she finally convinced me the balance sheet of momentary pleasure benefits versus long term health deficits was no contest. She never smoked. I still drink beer and liquor in moderation. For some reason, she can’t. It just don’t agree with her.

You ought to see how that woman cooks!!! She researches (pinterest, facebook, books, et. al.). She has all kinds of cool gadgets, (go-sun cooker, grinders, mashers, etc.) She fixed me up some squash that looked like green colored spaghetti. Throw some parmesan cheese on top and it is DELICIOUS! Right now she’s on the Keto diet. I’m trying to stay slim and trim to stay off of it. It don’t look like fun.

I’m not in tip top shape and haven’t been since arthritis attacked in ’84 and the cancer in ’07. But the only prescription medication I am on is the daily Thyroid pill and I plan on keeping it that way. Although, I have heard that BSO (black seed oil, sold by Dr. Fitt, https://drfitt.com/black-seed-oil/ ) can help that thyroid. I’ve tried it and it had adverse effects on my colon but I may try it again.

So now we get to the main treatment for against a miserable old age… the brain. Because if you’re brain goes south then you’re toast. I pray every day that I never think that I have achieved all I will achieve in knowledge. Just like the universe the brain is ever expanding. But it won’t expand unless YOU expand it!!! . I am learning Torah (the Bible), Hebrew and computer. I help when and where I can with a local group helping Senior citizen shut-ins.

That’s my plan. I hope you have one too. Don’t wait till it’s too late. Seventy slips up on you like a thief in the night.

December 16, 2019 at 1:33 pm Leave a comment

Treatise from My Rabbi About Nazarean Judaism

What Shall We Do?

What Does It Mean To Be A Nazarean Jew?

By Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai

One of the unknown correlations between the festival of Shavuot and the events that transpired in 2 Luqas (Acts) Chapter 2, is an obscure but pivotal bridge Torah passage which many seem to miss or even discount. However, in this Shiur, I shall point to the tremendous underpinnings that 2 Luqas Chapter has upon this particular Torah text, as well as being one of the main themes projected through page after page in the Nazarean Codicil. Let us for a moment systematically describe the events that lead to the account of 2 Luqas Chapter 2, the events that took place, and the outcomes of that event. In doing so, I remind all to understand that this approach is of a necessity a Judaic one and viewed from an entirely Hebraic rabbinical perspective.

The reason for the event: Just before the ascension of His Majesty King Yeshua Ha-Mashiach to the Heavens (2 Luqas 1:9-11), His Majesty the Master Hakham commands his Talmidim Hakham (Rabbinical Students) to:

2 Luqas (Acts) 1:4-5 And being synagogued with him, he commanded them from Yerushalayim not to depart, but to await the promise of the Father, which you heard of me. For Yochanan indeed immersed you with water, but you will be immersed with the spirit of Holiness not after many days.

Now, if I have trained diligently and thoroughly a group of Talmidim Hakham (Rabbinical Students) and I am about to depart for a long, long time, what would be expected of me? Of course, Smikha (Rabbinical Ordination)! So from a strictly logical perspective we would expect that this immersion in the spirit of Holiness would be equivalent to a Rabbinical Ordination.

Now, if my calculations do not fail this was said on or very close to Lag B’Omer which we celebrated not many days ago. Thus the expression “not after many days” (2 Luqas 1:5) indeed would have been understood clearly as a Gemara hint pointing to the coming festival of Shavuot. Therefore, a connection is established between Smikha (Rabbinical Ordination) and the festival of Shavuot.

Now the Talmidim (Rabbinical students) interject, Master, we have been your faithful Rabbinical students but please tells us before you leave “will you as Mashiach restore again self-rule to Bne Israel?” (2 Luqas 1:6) The question hints also at “What will be our place as Hakhamim in the Messianic Kingdom that you are about to establish now?”

The answer from the Master Hakham is swift to his Talmidim Hakham –

2 Luqas (Acts) 1:7 And he said to them, not yours it is to know the duration of time or ages which the father placed in his own authority.

This reminds us of the Torah text “The secret things belong HaShem, our G-d” (Devarim 29:28). In other words the kingdom certainly will be restored to Israel. When? That is none of your business. As Hakhamim you will bring this process about by teaching Torah (Matityahu 28:19-20) and by establishing reputable courts of Torah justice, Batei Din (Matityahu 6:33) throughout all the world. This is important since from these two passages we understand what the office of a Rabbi (Hakham) is, not a Pastor, not a Priest, but a Torah Scholar and a Judge.

After this brief interruption of what the Master Hakham was saying. The Master Hakham continues explaining:

2 Luqas (Acts) 1:8 but you will receive power, having come the spirit of Holiness upon you, and you will be to me witnesses both in Yerushalayim and in all Judaea and Samaria and to uttermost part of the earth.

Now instead of your ruling the world as the Gentiles do by the power of the gun, or by political power, you will rule the earth through both a didactic and judiciary program starting in Yerushalayim. But first you will need to receive power from the spirit of Holiness. Now, question: Do we have a precedent in the Tanach where a Prophet shares of the spirit by which he was anointed as a confirmation of Smikha (Rabbinical ordination)?

The Pivotal Torah Passage

I propose that undergirding this brief introduction in 2 Luqas Chapter 1 and the whole of Chapter 2, is none other than Bamidbar 11:24-30. In this portion we read about the Smikha (ordination) of the seventy Elders (the Hebrew word Elder always denote the modern term Hakham) and how the spirit that had been imparted on Moshe Rabbeinu was caused to emanate from him and be bestowed upon the Seventy Hakhamim (a whole Sanhedrin).

Let us look and compare some of the phrases used in this passage and those used in 2 Luqas, Chapter 2.

a) The miracle of HaShem‘s presence.

Bamidbar 11:25 – HaShem descends in the cloud and it envelops Moshe Rabbeinu and the seventy Elders.

2 Acts 2:2 – a sound from heaven like as a rushing mighty wind envelops the Temple.

On this pasuk (verse) from the Torah Hakham Samson Raphael Hirsch comments: “and HaShem descended … and spoke with him” The text does not tell us the words that HaShem uttered to Moshe on this occasion. Was this omission, perhaps intended to make clear to all further Sanhedrins that not everything that HaShem said to Moshe is recorded in Scripture? Was this meant to remind them that the field of competence for which they had been appointed at that moment was the Oral Law, that Word of HaShem which was to remain unwritten, handed down only by word of mouth?

b) The Emanation of the spirit from one Hakham to many.

Bamidbar (Numbers) 11:25 He caused the spirit that had been imparted on Moshe to emanate, and He (HaShem) bestowed it upon the seventy Elders.

2 Luqas (Acts) 2:3 And appeared to them divided tongues of as fire, and sat upon each one of them

Now there may well be a connection here with the beginning of Parasha Beha’alotekha[1] concerning the lighting of the Menorah and the tongue of fire coming out of each candlestick. But also the connection here of the spirit emanating from Moshe towards the seventy elders, contrasted with the spirit that was in Mashiach emanating from the heavens, now towards his Talmidim Hakham.

c) The Result

Bamidbar 11:25 – When the spirit rested on them (the 70 Elders) they began (Hebrew: YITNABEU – “were made” or “were impelled”) to prophesy without ceasing.

2 Luqas (Acts) 2:4 And they were all filled with the spirit of Holiness and began to speak with other languages as the as the spirit gave them to utter forth.

Now it is important to note that one of the requirements according to Chazal, our Sages, of members of the Sanhedrin was the ability to speak not only in Ivrit, but also in several other languages of the seventy Gentile Nations. This point again reconfirms that the major theme of this event at the Beit HaMikdash (the Temple) was a Smikha, and with this Mashiach indicating to the people of Israel that the legal authority amongst the Jewish people was to be transferred from the Kohanim (Priests) to the Rabbinate until his return.

What other important theme also undergirds this event at the Temple? The clue to this most important question is given to us in Bamidbar (Numbers) 11:29:

“I only wish that all of HaShem‘s people would have the gift of prophecy! Let HaShem grant His spirit to them all!”

In other words, that the pedagogic objective of the miracle at the Temple, by which the Talmidim of His Majesty King Yeshua HaMashiach received Smikha indicated that the goal of every Nazarean should be to be indentured under a Hakham, become a Talmid Hakham and at some point become Hakhamim themselves. Look at this statement of Hakham Shaul:

“Faithful is the Torah, if any stretches forward (makes sacrifice and studies) to attain overseership (the Rabbinate) a good work he is desirous.”

Now, this is evidence enough that what Hakham Shaul is alluding with the phrase “if any stretches forward” is an echo of Moshe’s words “would G-d that all of HaShem‘s people were prophets.” That is, the intention here is that every man ought to keep stretching forward towards the goal of receiving Smikha.

A further piece of evidence leading to this conclusion are the words of Hakham Yochanan as recorded in:

1 Yochanan (John) 3:1 “See what Ahavah (steadfast love) has given to us the Father that Bne Elohim we should be called.”

Now, again the phrase “Bne Elohim” has been literally translated as “Children of G-d,” but the title of a Hakham is also “Ben Elohim” (son of G-d to indicate his role as a Judge), a title which is also given by G-d to Melech David and to His Majesty King Yeshua HaMashiach as Chief of all Hakhamim. Thus the above pasuk states that Ha-Shem, Most blessed be He, has given to us so much Ahavah that he calls and expects every Nazarean Jew to become a Hakham a genuine Ben Elohim.

And after this Event They Started a Church, Nu?

Good question, Christians teach so, but we know that the church started at Sinai (Acts 7:38). So what did the Nazareans start, a new religion, a new denomination, or what? In 2 Luqas 3:41 we read that by the end of Shavuot that year at the Temple 3,000 male Jews and Converts were added. But the question still remains added to what?

Again we have many hints in 1 Luqas 2:42, which when carefully read, more aptly describes a Yeshiva to train future Hakhamim than it does a Church, a new religion, or a new Jewish denomination. Yes 3,000 Jews that day decided to drastically turn their lives around and matriculate in that Great Nazarean Yeshiva using as their classrooms the various courts within the Temple grounds.

Conclusion

In summary, Shavuot is not only a festival by which we receive the Torah afresh from HaShem, Most Blessed be He, but also a festival that reminds us year by year what should be our goal in life, to sit at the feet a genuine Jewish Rabbi (Hakham) a Torah Scholar like Gamaliel[2], and work hard, stretching ourselves towards receiving Smikha[3] and becoming Hakhamim.[4] Truly then we shall gradually see the fulfillment of the words of the prophet Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah), “They will no longer teach each man his fellow, each man his brother saying, ‘Know HaShem!’ For all of them will know Me, from their smallest to their greatest, the Word of HaShem, when I will forgive their lawlessness and will no longer recall their sin”.[5]


[1] Bamidbar 8:1ff.

[2] II Luqas(Acts) 22:3

[3] Smikha (Hebrew: סמיכה‎, “leaning [of the hands]”), also semichut (Hebrew: סמיכות‎, “ordination”), or semicha lerabbanut (Hebrew: סמיכה לרבנות‎, “rabbinical ordination”) is derived from a Hebrew word which means to “rely on” or “to be authorized”. It generally refers to the ordination of a rabbi within Judaism. In this sense it is the “transmission” of rabbinic authority to give advice or judgment in Jewish law. Although presently most functioning synagogue rabbis hold Smikha by some rabbinical institution or academy, this was until quite recently not always required, and in fact many Haredi rabbis may not be required to hold a “formal” Smikha even though they may occupy important rabbinical and leadership positions.

[4] Hakhamim (plural of Hakham) is the title Sephardim give to their Rabbis.

[5] Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 31:33

August 28, 2019 at 1:24 pm Leave a comment

Love will keep us Together or Tear Us Apart

Love is Blind (to Truth)

It baffles the tar out of me that ANYONE would be a Democrat these days. Or a Muslim. Or a Socialist. Are these people nuts? What kind of insanity justifies their thinking?

Love

They love their belief. So much so they overlook, turn a deaf ear, ignore any logical explanation of why they are … as I heard someone once say,”Lost as a goose in a snowstorm”.

How do I know this?

cue the Beatles … “because I’ve been in love before and I know that love is more … than just holding hands”

When a soul latches on to something he/she/it believes in and they know in their knower … it’s hard to shake. When something happens to someone and it rings true down deep, convincing them otherwise is nigh near impossible. True or not, doesn’t matter. If they BELIEVE it true, to them TRUE it is. No amount of argument, statistics or even facts will sway them.

It reminds me of a young one that won’t hear anything bad about their future mate.

cue Percy Sledge … When a Man Love’s a Woman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHS8LAqHyHs

Liberals, for the most part, are in love with their fellow man. They want equality for all and willing to give all to get it. Liberal politicians know this and exploit it to the max.

This is why the “swamp” we call Congress is so corrupt.

Conservatives, for the most part, are in love with earning and fair play. They are not against charity but know that it can be abused. Conservative politicians also exploit this to the max.


This is why the “swamp” we call Congress is so corrupt.

What’s the answer? Well, barring Yeshua returning and setting us all straight, I gotta say I don’t know.

I just think I see the problem.

May 1, 2019 at 7:32 pm Leave a comment

Why Am I Jewish?

When I was older, I remember church. I was fascinated by the Preacher. Not a certain Preacher, but any Preacher. The sermons grabbed me. I tried to memorize what they were saying. It seemed so important.

Continue Reading November 27, 2018 at 8:56 am Leave a comment

A Psalm for Today … Ps. 94

Psalm 94:1 O יהוה, Ěl of vengeance; O Ěl of vengeance, shine forth!

I was reading this Psalm during my morning prayers. It is the Psalm the Rabbis recite on Wednesdays at the rostrum.

Psa 94:2 Raise Yourself up, O Judge of the earth; Render punishment to the proud.
Psa 94:3 יהוה, how long are the wrong, How long are the wrong going to exult?

With the heated debates on the political scene today, I pondered,”Man, that’s close!” Now look at the next verses.

Psa 94:4 They pour forth words, They speak arrogantly; All the workers of wickedness boast in themselves.
Psa 94:5 They crush Your people, O יהוה, And they afflict Your inheritance.
Psa 94:6 They slay the widow and the stranger, And murder the fatherless.

OMG!!! Really!! This was written 2000 years ago and it perfectly describes the doings of Evil today! They crush Your people, O יהוה, … look what happened last Shabbat !!

Psa 94:7 Yet they say, “Yah does not see, And the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ pays no heed.”

Sound familiar? Let’s skip a few verses …

Psa 94:21 They band together against the life of the righteous, And declare innocent blood wrong.

But don’t despair … for we win.

Psa 94:23 And brings back on them their own wickedness, And cuts them off in their own wrongdoing; יהוה our Elohim does cut them off.

I know those who know me know where I stand. I am praying for righteousness to prevail next Tuesday. Our country, our World depends on it. But however it comes out, HaShem (God) is in control and if he deems we should have mercy, we will have mercy.

 

November 1, 2018 at 12:42 am Leave a comment

Older Posts


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 95 other followers

Calendar of Posts

February 2020
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
242526272829