Israel’s Friends, Lovers, Enemies and Family

I’ve come to the conclusion that attempts to present factual, logical evidence in support of Israel to counter the current regurgitation of hateful propaganda is largely a waste of time and energy.  Those who have made up their minds in either direction are not going to change, and those with a propensity to walk the path of least resistance are going to continue in that way.

Israel doesn’t need either the financial, military or political support of the US or any other nation, nor does it require the assistance of any religious or political group.  Reversing the narrative of most advocates, nations and peoples of this earth have only been tolerated by heaven as they play their bit parts in a drama where the Jewish people are the main characters.

Almond is a species of Prunus belonging to the...

Almond is a species of Prunus belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae עברית: פריחת שקד מצוי בשלג ירושלמי. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Isaiah 60:14
The children of your oppressors will come bowing (doing homage) before you (having been humbled); all who despise (treated with contempt/rejection) you will bow down at your feet and will call you the City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Zephaniah 3:19
At that time I will deal with (do to those) all who oppressed (afflicted/defiled) you. I will rescue the lame; I will gather the exiles. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they have suffered shame.

One Jewish pundit proclaimed that to a Jew, a friend is someone who doesn’t want to kill you and an enemy is one who does, cutting through a lot of confusion. Sorry, I couldn’t find the author.  Those who say, “come, let us tear at them with our tongues,” also want to kill us, and would if they could attack us with artillery rather than rhetoric.  Bystanders to wickedness are equally guilty.  There are only two kinds of people in this world:  Those who bless Israel and those who curse.  The Hebrew meaning of the second word translated curse includes the connotation of treating as insignificant or unworthy of consideration, as well as those filled with hatred and plans of destruction.

Israel is family.  Family members may dispute vigorously among themselves and even have times of estrangement as well as harsh words.   But when a family member is under siege, he/she is enfolded in the protective embrace of loyalty.  To offer succor to enemies when family is attacked by outside forces is despicable, no matter what internecine issues continue.  Let’s dispense with deceitful talk that criticizing Israel to those bearing or hiding their teeth towards her is acceptable behavior for family. Those who choose money, position, social acceptance or safety above family are not worthy of the family and release the family from its obligation of rescue, redemption and protection.  There is still mercy and compassion to those who have gone astray and return, but those who harden their hearts and minds may find themselves deaf and blind in the coming days.

The Holy One of Israel sees those family members of divided heart and loyalties who recently engaged in Operation Protect My Tuches as Israel sent its sons to fight in Operation Protective Edge.  You know who you are.  Any empathy you might hold toward those who would rescue and avenge your life is quashed by worry that an action of your brethren in the land of promise might negatively impact your Court Jew status, block your career advancement and make you a pariah in social circles.  I am aware that in some academic and perhaps other environments, the price of social acceptance for Jews is bashing, trashing and disavowal of Israel.  As the world turns darker, and the, “winds shift in an evil direction,” do you really think your high places friends will protect you, rescue you or put in a good word with the next demagogue to arrive on the scene?  Dust off your history books and put away your delusions.

If someone hated my children, no matter their faults that I am well cognizant of, or the conflicts that occur frequently, then we have no basis for relationship. Family stuff will be handled within the family.  This is not a political, academic or theological issue; it is personal.  For those who are true friends of my family, nothing else, no disagreement or misunderstanding in any other area matters.  No other link or commonality counts for squat if there is a disconnection regarding this primal bond.

Israel may not today have taken hold of her destiny and calling – yet, but she is moving in that direction, toward the Kingdom of God.  That is why many will hear and walk with us.   It is the same reason many others will run away.  Jerusalem will become a cup of trembling, but we are safe inside, in the eye of the storm.  Nothing can harm us; at least not for long.  Take heart, you will decide the fate of our enemies; you will stand in judgement upon them.  We who have been trodden down shall be lifted up, in due time, at the appointed time.

Posted in American Jews, antisemitism, bible prophecy, Israel, Jerusalem, prophecy, Zionism | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Mission to Rescue the Jewish Scriptures: The Story of the Kidnapped New Testament

chaya1957:

Thanks James and PL. The rescue mission needs to continue. When great works of art or precious artifacts are discovered, they are handled by expert restorationists, who possess the knowledge and skill to properly handle these priceless works and not damage them further in the process. May those called to the rescue work emerge and act courageously in our time. And may the Hebrew language versions of Greek texts alluded to in ancient literature be revealed in our day, for such a time as this.

Originally posted on Morning Meditations:

He who reads through translation looks through a blurred pane, not experiencing the full flavor and the soul’s yearnings.

-Chaim Nachman Bialik, “Nation & Language Part 1″
from the Translator’s Preface, p.xxvi
written by Rabbi Kadish Goldberg in
Rabbi Moshe Avigdor Amiel’s English translation of
Jews, Judaism & Genesis: Living in His Image According to the Torah

Sabrina Allen, who was abducted in 2002 at age 4 by her mother in a custody battle, has been found in a secret rescue mission near Mexico City and returned to the United States, the private investigator involved in the search said Wednesday.

Sabrina, now 17, was rescued in an operation conducted by the Mexican Federal Authority, FBI and U.S. Marshals in Estafeta Tlaxcala, about 60 miles southeast of Mexico City, according to Philip Klein, with KIC Investigations.

Klein told USA TODAY that Sabrina and her alleged abductor, Dara Llorens, were…

View original 1,624 more words

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The Real Left Behind: Who, Why and Not What You Think

What you are about to read may be not only in left field, but miles out of the ballpark if you subscribe to any of the popular or even alternate end time scenarios.  If you possess courage or at least curiosity, please keep reading.

English: Afternoon Traffic Jams near 'Halacha'...

English: Afternoon Traffic Jams near ‘Halacha’ Interchange at the Ayalon Highway Category:Images of Tel Aviv (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I received a recent article, alarmingly calling for prayer for the Jewish people and Israel, and certainly prayer can only be good, and I doubt if even an atheist would balk at being the recipient of prayer.

However, I believe the focus and understanding of those of that mindset is misdirected.  See, this faction believes that signs of the times reveal that, “the church,” however you choose to define who is in and who is out, will be raptured, taken, “outta here,” any moment.  Rapture fever died down for a bit following the failed predictions for the new Gregorian century as the clocks turned midnight, January 1, 2000.  We are seeing a bit of a reload, and of course the cynic in me isn’t surprised that this is aligned with a film release of that genre.

So, I hate to be the bearer of unpleasant tidings, and it is not that I really enjoy bursting someone’s safe, truth bubble or invading the perimeter of long-held belief systems.  Okay, admittedly, sometimes I do.

Those in the pre-trib rapture club believe that once the church is removed, along with its godly, restraining influence, (I know, that’s debatable) the Holy Spirit will leave with the church, and all Hell will break loose upon earth as the antichrist, his false prophet and the beast system run amok.  I see that they get the general plot somewhat, but the characters and their lines are skewed.

Attacks upon Jewish people, Jewish institutions and anyone who can remotely be identified with either, such as Christian Zionists, Israel supporters of any stripe, torah following or Judaic friendly non-Jews, will increase exponentially in number and intensity.  What appears to be a great work of evil, is actually part of the divine plan to return the covenant people to the land sworn to Abraham, and to separate the sheep from the goats, so to speak. The dividing line is not between those who adhere to a certain doctrine, confession or belief system or engage in or refrain from various practices. Those on the front lines will be expat Israeli citizens or dual citizens, whose adopted countries will rescind their welcome, even to families who have lived abroad for generations and have diaspora born children.  These will go first, with a few tut tuts, but barely a whimper of protest.  Don’t be shocked when your trusted colleagues and beloved friends jettison you without even a proper farewell as soon as you prove more of a liability than a benefit.  Some people just don’t learn from history.  The remainder of the diaspora Jewish population is next, including the more than 6 million in the US, as well as those who have few ties and don’t even identify as Jewish.

As these things begin to break forth, both targets and bystanders may engage in some hand-wringing.  Their eyes are closed to the mercy of the divine hand that reaches down to rescue as the heavenly servant grabbed Lot and dragged him to safety in the midst of denial and not a small amount of nostalgia for the affluence and comfort of Sodom.

Jerusalem will be a cup of trembling; that we know.  That divinely opened portal between heaven and earth will spill out upon mankind and envelope those who have loved her and release dormant demons among those who secretly despise her.  Churches will split; not over theological disagreements or personality conflicts, but over what the late French ambassador to the UK called, “that shitty little country.”  For those who believe certain political or religious groups will stand with you as the winds continue to, “shift in an evil direction,” you are going to be sadly disappointed.  This is all part of the plan ordained from of old, that Israel will stand alone and will have no help or succor of human origin.  It is then that all Israel will cry out for help, those who don’t believe and those who have long believed.  And they will not light up the phone lines to powerful political allies because those avenues are cut, but will invade the switchboard of heaven and call down the armies of the Holy One.

There are those who are assured that political advocacy will turn things around.  I believe they are putting a finger in the dike, and I can’t blame them for doing this.  But all that mindset will do is perhaps delay the inevitable for a very short time.  At this season we are told that prayer, repentance and charity avert the evil decree.  However, this will only provide a space of mercy for individuals and families who turn their ears to listen to his voice and walk in his ways.  The nations and political and religious systems have all been judged and are only awaiting the day the sentence is carried out.

By your words you will be justified and your words you will be condemned.  Every word spoken against the land and people of Israel, the holy city of Jerusalem, its living and its dead will be judged.

Once the Jewish population of a nation is gone, that is where all Hell will break loose.  This can be seen now in Iraq and Syria who ejected their last Jewish citizen long ago.   Maybe it doesn’t sound fair, especially in light of “church privilege,” but the source of protection, of holding back evil, leaves with the expelled Jewish population.  Scripture tells us that the Holy One will destroy all the nations which the Jewish people have been scattered to, which I believe is every nation on earth at one time or another.  Reading between the lines, and because I believe that God is just, every one of these nations will first turn on Israel, Jerusalem and the Jewish people prior to judgment and destruction.

And as our friends and lovers turn on us, some among those we would never expect friendship will join with us at a time when there will be no rational reason to be identified with a despised minority that is the only obstacle to global utopia.  As the dormant seed of evil is stirred in the wicked, a dormant seed of righteousness will be stirred in men and women of every kindred and tribe and nation, surprising even the bearers who say, “Be it unto your servant according to your will.”

Okay, you’ve handled that quite well; now I am going to get more offensive.  The Pope will form an alliance with Islam, ostensibly to prevent the deaths of Christians at the hands of Muslims.  The caliphate with a recognized leader will be restored to enable this alliance.  I don’t believe the Pope is, what is called in Hebrew, the tachat hamashiach; one who replaces the Messiah, as some think.  What I am about to say will upset others besides practicing Catholics.  The antichrist is the false image that has been placed upon the carpenter rabbi from Nazareth.  The image speaks twisted words that obscure and violate the original meaning and tone.  The false prophet is the prophet of Islam.

If you add the world’s Muslim and Christian populations together, the sum is about 60% of the human inhabitants of planet earth.  Most among those who follow neither of these religions will also join or capitulate, whether for reasons of pragmatism and survival or because they truly believe they are ushering in a new world of peace and cooperation.

But there will be many who bravely stand against the tide, and they may be those who you do not expect; as well as many who appeared resolute in word and reputation will shock and shake the multitudes who had been following.  In fact, the names, the famous, the prosperous, popular and well-connected will be among the first to embrace this monstrosity.  These are those who have the most to loose, as well as the most to gain.  Well, at least as things appear to the natural senses.

One group of people who will not be invited to the party are, you guessed it, the Sons of Israel, both those who live in the land of promise and those who aren’t there yet. Not that some won’t try to sneak in, and perhaps those wicked sons who are willing to spit on the graves of their fathers and stomp on everything holy will find acceptance. Israel will be anathema and the one obstacle to world peace.  Israel will be cast out of the UN and every international body, expelled from the world of academia and expunged from the environment of commerce. Israel will no longer be welcome to compete in the Olympics nor will Israelis continue to be considered for Nobel Prizes.   Israel will be a curse on everyone’s lips.

There will be those who elect to not join in the carnage, but seek to save themselves with silence.  The cowardly, along with murderers, idolaters, detestable and liars will not enter the holy city.

As far as the covenant with many, the supposed 7 year peace treaty, I believe this is already nearly a done deal behind closed doors.  The Hebrew doesn’t say that a certain person will be accepted or worshipped as Messiah or even create a treaty with Israel.  He will strengthen or harden (make firm) an agreement that is already in place, albeit not strictly enforced.

In the eyes of heaven, there are only two groups in this world:  Those who stand with Israel and those who stand against her.  There will soon be a time when there is no middle ground, no place of conscientious objection or neutrality.  I am telling you this so you won’t be disheartened and dismayed that you have been fed a false narrative and willfully or unknowingly deceived.  That is what happens when you trust even the best of men.

What should you do now if you are Jewish?  Prepare your hearts to return to the land, if not now, then when you hear the call to arise.  What if you are not Jewish?  You do not need to and should not seek to become Jewish unless this is the desire of your heart and the direction you want to take knowing exactly what you will be getting yourself into.  Join your hearts to the Holy One of Israel and choose to walk in his ways spoken from of old and join in solidarity with his people.  Don’t listen to the pundits whether religious or secular.  Learn to recognize his voice and shut out all others.  The source of all wisdom and guidance will direct your steps.

Ps. 84:5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion!

6Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring;
The early rain also covers it with blessings.

7They go from strength to strength,
Every one of them appears before God in Zion.

Posted in aliyah, American Jews, antichrist, Chrislam, end times, prophecy | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Real Mark of the Beasts Among Us

I read a post that deeply disturbed me, and it has taken a couple of days to sort out the implications of why it was so troubling and what this portends.

English: Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil עב...

English: Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil עברית: חטא עץ הדעת – ד”ר לידיה קוזניצקי (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A professor of a recent course I had taken reported encountering an unruly group of hundreds of people protesting against Israel in Los Angeles.  They were chanting, “Bibi and Hitler are the same; the only difference is the name.”  As an educated and intelligent person familiar with employing reason, moderation and facts, he approached one of the protesters to question his narrative, “Whatever you think of Netanyahu and his policies, how can you compare him to Hitler?”

The sign carrier gathered a group of his buddies and asked the professor to meet them at Starbucks to dialogue about their respective viewpoints.  The Starbucks symposium went so well, the group began an initiative to counter baseless hated and violence with rationality and respect.  Thousands joined hands and sung, “Kumbaya,” and they taught the world to sing in perfect harmony.

The last part of the paragraph above, as you may have realized is fiction.  More than fiction, it is a delusion.  What really happened was that the professor was verbally threatened, grabbed and narrowly escaped injury.  I’ve come to the conclusion that I have wasted a lot of time and effort attempting to reason with those who are not reasonable.

When I was in college, many years ago, it was believed that education was the answer to all the world’s ills, with the foregone conclusion that ignorance was the root that needed to be pulled out.  But the source of evil is far more ubiquitous and recalcitrant.  There was a family friend enrolled in a Ph.D program.  She was an idealistic individual who set high standards for herself and others, living at a time of idealism with all the passion, naivete and a touch of the arrogance of an intelligent,  talented, university educated, “liberated,” woman.  One time she confided to me, devastated at the corruption and deviousness occurring in her competitive Ph.D program, including fellow, “liberated,” women sleeping with faculty in return for preferential treatment, “But, but, they’re highly educated!”  So what?  Education does not morph a selfish, self-centered person into an altruist, nor does it turn a hateful person kind or a wicked person good.  A plethora of well-intentioned failures should evidence this.

Knowledge and education are useful when gaps in these are the major source of problems.  A parent may be better able to manage a two-year old if there is understanding of developmental stages.  Simple techniques such as washing hands and boiling water has saved lives.  Conversely, an educated person is afforded the opportunity to cover deviousness with sophistication, as twisted rhetoric cloaks villainous intent.  A smart evil person is far more dangerous than a stupid evil person.  I would alter the meme, “Don’t underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups,” to, “Don’t underestimate the power of fearful people in large groups.”  A scared animal is known to attack and a fearful, beastly person will likewise attack.

The thin veneer of sheepskin is falling away as the sneering  insistence of, “Anti-zionism isn’t antisemitism,” is replaced by the more honest, “Kill the Jews; Jews to the ovens.”  Of course the best lie is the one you want to believe.  (Dan Ariely)  Don’t we want to believe the best of our fellow man and blame all his wicked behavior on poor parenting, bad genetics and Twinkies?

How do we tread the fine line between, “Answer a fool according to his folly and he will hate you,” with, “Answer a fool according to his folly or he will be wise in his own eyes.”  I believe one needs to recognize that the (moral) fool will respond with invective and sometimes violence (depending upon what he/she can get away with) when countered or opposed, and those with hopes of self-preservation should keep a safe distance while engaging in corrective activities.  Yet, it is necessary to stand for truth, accepting what may come.  Be careful to gauge the, “beast potential,” of those you encounter; you may believe you stand next to a rational human being; he looks at you and salivates before dinner (you).

I believe the only response to those who have drunk deeply of the serpent’s venom and gorged themselves on the tree of knowledge of good and evil is the warning to Cain.  Driven by jealousy, he plotted a devious murder of his only brother; his younger brother who he was designated to protect and care for.  Are we our brothers’ keepers?  Yes we are.  The warning to Cain by his loving Creator (my unscholarly and personal translation) tells us:  Shall you not, with amending and bettering yourself, find a place of dignity and being lifted above all this, and if you don’t do well, don’t do good and are not pleasing (to God) there is a doorway, an opening, an entrance for sin (missing the mark, the target of what is good and right) that lies in wait for you, stretches itself out toward you; its powerful, obsessive and ever-expanding desire is to overcome and conquer you.  However, toward you and within you an opposing, corresponding measure has been added, so that you have the ability to rule, master, have authority over and govern that desire (channel it appropriately.)  You must do this!

But Cain didn’t.  As well, few who we warn will overcome that beast whose seed they have welcomed and nurtured.  The next verse reveals that the beast-driven may speak to us.  Now, don’t take that as a sign of progress.  The only reason Cain spoke to his favored brother was to lure him to a place where he could kill him.  Think about that prior to planning your next negotiation.  If we go on to verse Gen. 4:9, we cannot escape that one who has no qualms about murdering his brother who did nothing to harm him, will feel no guilt or remorse about it afterward, and not be troubled with lying about it.

Skipping to verse 14, I can’t find one translation that appears to convey the correct meaning here.  All say, “whoever,” or, “anyone who finds me will kill me.”  However, the Hebrew word here is, “kol,” which means, “all.”  There is no connotation of whether the reference is to a human or a non-human.  Midrash teach that Cain had so lost that b’tselem elohim, the image and reflection of his Creator that made him human, that beasts would no longer maintain the distance they instinctively keep from humans, as they would recognize Cain as a beast like themselves, governed by his instincts and passions, lacking empathy, his reasoning darkened with preference of a lie to truth and a choice to be estranged from both God and his fellow man.

This is not pretty, but it is what we are dealing with.

I would like to somehow end this on a positive note, as the above is rather depressing.  We can be progenitors of light and truth in a dark and delusional world, even if our voice is only for a moment; that voice may catch the wind and spread far and wide.  The Baal Shem Tov taught that, “from every thing a person hears or sees in this world, he must find a teaching in how Man should serve God.  In truth, this is the whole meaning of service…”  Tzvi Freeman, “Bringing Heaven Down to Earth.”

Posted in acharei hayomim, American Jews, antisemitism, bible prophecy, darkness and light, End of Days, Israel, prophecy, truth and error, truth and lies | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Miracles in the Land Are Upon Us

Zech. 8:23:   So says YHVH of hosts (armies): In those days it shall come to pass, that asarah anashim (ten men) out of kol leshonot HaGoyim (all the tongues of the nations) shall take hold, even take hold of the hem (corners) of the robe of a Yehudi (Jew), saying, Let us go with you; for we have heard that Elohim is with you.  

Temple Mount and Western Wall during Shabbat

Temple Mount and Western Wall during Shabbat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’ve been hanging around here, you’ve probably heard that verse mentioned frequently.  For those who argue that this verse is not referring to the Jewish people, but to the Messiah, the Hebrew phrase for, “with you,” (eemchem עִמָּכֶֽם) in both instances is plural.  So, it must refer to more than one person and cannot describe a singular individual.  If a speaker wanted to express that they desired to go with one male  person only, the correct word is, “eemcha.”

Somehow, I don’t believe the ten men, which represent completeness, are going along for the ride because they are in sync with the philosophy or enjoy the hora and chopped liver.

In the miraculous deliverance from Egypt, the mixed multitude, likely mostly slaves or members of other Egyptian underclasses also, chose to join the sons of Israel as they left Egypt for an  uncertain future.  What drove them to make this choice?  It seems clear that this group saw the mighty power of the Holy One of Israel as he acted on behalf of his covenant people, and desired to get in on it.  All the other survivors of the ten plagues saw the same mighty works and also watched their economy and infrastructure crumble before their their eyes.  Even as they mourned the death of their firstborn, they refused to leave this land of death.

Think:  Ten plagues upon a nation of death.  Ten men leaving nations of death.  As we return to the land and as we return to the Holy One, others will hear and go with us.

Really, we don’t have time for all this stupid stuff anymore; the political maneuvering, the posturing, the dumb arguments spoken by fools.  We can’t waste energy and divide our loyalties with either the slime of the secular world or the white-washed slime of the religious world.  In every place, in every nook and cranny, the ruler of heaven’s armies has his warriors, and he is waking them up and providing marching orders.  Don’t be surprised at who you see marching beside you, and who you don’t.

As we come upon Shabbat tonight, our nation is at war, and will act as a lightening rod to reveal the wickedness, the vile hatred that has lain dormant for so long.  Don’t be surprised or afraid.  This is the hand of Elohim, reaching out and bringing his children home.

I’ve been informed that a certain well-known religious leader who claims to speak for many people pronounced that attacks upon Israel and the Jewish people is punishment for not accepting his doctrinal camp’s interpretation of scripture.  These same words have been spoken for almost 2,000 years, and his spiritual forebearers spoke similar words as they slaughtered our people or treated them despicably.  But now the tide is turning and the day of the vengeance of our God is upon us.  We have a great cloud of witnesses; those who stooped low before men inferior to them and were cut off from the land of the living by vicious animals.  Their blood cries up from the ground, and some of us hear it.  They will have their day of retribution; their day of triumph.

I believe we will live to see every proud thing this man has built torn down, as nothing built by the enemies of Israel will be left standing.  And many will weep and mourn for their blindness and treachery and the sins of their fathers.

As your children sit around the Shabbat table, think of the parents whose sons and daughters are absent from the table and fighting for our survival.  This is the prayer for the Israeli Defense Forces, in Hebrew and English:

תפילה לשלום חיילי צהל

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אֲבותֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקב ואמותינו שרה רבקה רחל ולאה, הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת חַיָּלֵי צְבָא הֲגַנָּה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, הָעומְדִים עַל מִשְׁמַר אַרְצֵנוּ וְעָרֵי אֱלהֵינוּ מִגְּבוּל הַלְּבָנון וְעַד מִדְבַּר מִצְרַיִם וּמִן הַיָּם הַגָּדול עַד לְבוא הָעֲרָבָה בַּיַּבָּשָׁה בָּאֲוִיר וּבַיָּם. יִתֵּן ה` אֶת אויְבֵינוּ הַקָּמִים עָלֵינוּ נִגָּפִים לִפְנֵיהֶם. הַקָּדושׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יִשְׁמר וְיַצִּיל אֶת חַיָלֵינוּ מִכָּל צָרָה וְצוּקָה וּמִכָּל נֶגַע וּמַחְלָה וְיִשְׁלַח בְּרָכָה וְהַצְלָחָה בְּכָל מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיהֶם. יַדְבֵּר שׂונְאֵינוּ תַּחְתֵּיהֶם וִיעַטְרֵם בְּכֶתֶר יְשׁוּעָה וּבְעֲטֶרֶת נִצָּחון. וִיקֻיַּם בָּהֶם הַכָּתוּב: כִּי ה` אֱלהֵיכֶם הַהלֵךְ עִמָּכֶם לְהִלָּחֵם לָכֶם עִם איבֵיכֶם לְהושִׁיעַ אֶתְכֶם: וְנאמַר אָמֵן

Prayer for Members of the Israel Defense Force

 

He Who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – may He bless the fighters of the Israel Defense Force, who stand guard over our land and the cities of our God from the border of the Lebanon to the desert of Egypt, and from the Great Sea unto the approach of the Aravah, on the land, in the air, and on the sea.

 

May Hashem cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holy One, Blessed is He, preserve and rescue our fighting men from every trouble and distress and from every plague and illness, and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor.

 

May He lead our enemies under their sway and may He grant them salvation and crown them with victory. And may there be fulfilled for them the verse: For it is Hashem, your God, Who goes with you to battle your enemies for you to save you.

 

Now let us respond: Amen.

 

Please listen to these, and discover who you are.  Be like the daughters of Zelophechad, and gain your inheritance in the land.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24bOclbE_eg    translation:  http://www.hebrewsongs.com/?song=anabekoach

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXS4esYOJs4  (English and Hebrew)

 

“In Israel, to be a realist, one must believe in miracles.”  David Ben-Gurion

 

 

 

Posted in antisemitism, Israel, Jerusalem | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Myth-Busting: Should I or Shouldn’t I?

Eternity II

Eternity II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A poor Irish woman living in New York during the early 1900’s has a worthless husband.  He drinks, gambles, cheats, among other vices.  Finally, his excesses destroy his health and he dies prematurely, leaving the poor woman with a young son.  She decides that despite the fact that this man was useless as a husband and father during his life, she was going to make him useful in his death.  She tells her son, “Study hard, work hard, be successful and make your father proud!”  When her son misbehaves and exhibits poor choices, she admonishes, “Now Patrick, what do you think your father would say about that?”  The mother skillfully uses the image of a noble father of good character to inspire and direct her son.  Okay, so when he gets older, he may hear from relatives and friends the real scoop.  Perhaps he will understand and appreciate his mother’s subterfuge. Perhaps not.

That’s why I wonder about my drive to replace delusions and false narratives with truth, to the extent it can be done.  However, it seems helpful for many to believe in a noble history, which spurs them on to their own nobility in thought, character and accomplishment.  What happens when you tell them the truth?  Well, due to cognitive dissonance, most will get that glazed look in their eyes, or the equivalent on the keyboard and fail to hear or read what you say. Or they will turn on you with unexpected ferocity for bursting their bubble or just shut you out.  You can provide a mountain of credible evidence.  But this is like telling them that mommy and daddy weren’t as good or loving as they thought.

In order to continue relationships, must one embrace their delusions, or at least try to keep quiet about them?  I know we are told not to awaken love until it please.  So, perhaps there is a prematurity in providing wisdom to one who doesn’t want it, truth to one who is safe and comfy in their lies.  Having a good eye might mean patience, and realizing that the false belief may be intended for good and still serving a good purpose.

Am I going to be bereft of friends if I persist in engaging in pilpul (ancient Jewish method of learning by arguing) with people who don’t know how to play and probably don’t want to?  Perhaps I need to gather to myself more pilpul players, more honest and courageous persons who are not afraid to scrutinize their most cherished thinking traditions.  I’m game.  And I’m not looking for perfection; just honesty.  If I just knew one person that I didn’t have to be careful of places you can’t go.

So, I think it is a matter of maturity.  As children we seem primed to believe that our parents are both good and right.  We require this as a foundation for our survival.  But as we mature, we realize our parents may not have been so wise or good, and perhaps not wise or good at all.  There are different methods of response.  We can dig our heads in the sand and build castles there, or we can face the unpleasant truth.  If we choose the first process, we may avoid some pain and discomfort, but the truth is pushed down below the surface, and the fear of its discovery and the energy that must be expended to strengthen and protect the delusion may drain the life-force needed for other life actions.

There is a teaching of the Jewish sages.  The word for truth is, “emet”:  alef, mem, tav.  It  is made up of the first letter of the alphabet, the exact middle letter of the alphabet and the last letter.  Truth is balanced and stands.  You can throw whatever you like at truth and you cannot knock it over.  The word begins with the sign of strength, flows with many waters and finishes at the sign of the covenant.  If you remove the middle letter, you have the word, “ot,” which means, “sign.”  “Em,” means, “mother,” as a mother is a source of wisdom and truth we are to seek out her wisdom. The teaching of the mother passes the knowledge of the covenant to the next generation, allowing it to continue in perpetuity.  “Met,” means death, and truth will remain strong, “aleph,” even in the face of death, and if one removes strength, or what is first, then the word truth becomes the word death.  Just playing with Hebrew letters a bit :)  Aleph (God/power/first) has authority over, “met,” death.

However, the word for lie or false is, sheqer, shin, kuf, reish, and these are the three next to last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, not including the tav, the last letter, which is the sign of the covenant.  They are unbalanced and don’t have the proverbial leg to stand on.  A lie or a false presentation can be kicked over with little effort.  In fact, it seems that lies and false testimonies fail to stand up to scrutiny and questioning.  That is why promoters and supporters of false histories so vigorously act to silence debate or discussion and presentation of contrary evidence.  They know how weak their argument is, so use fear in various forms, such as fear of social rejection, fear of not belonging in a camp, fear that this lie is necessary to protect what is valuable and fear of even questioning.  Fenced off areas are created for the delusion’s supporters where they can repeat their indoctrination in peace without fear of interruption or providing a defense.

The shin represents destruction, or flames of fire that reach up to heaven and cannot be put out, like the bush that burned but was not consumed.  The kuf is the back of a  man’s head and represents what is hidden, what  lies behind and is not seen.  The reish is a man or a leader.  The sheker (liar) is a man/leader who destroys via employing what is hidden from view; i.e., subterfuge.  The unquenchable flames of his destruction reach up to heaven.  A sheker must be help up artificially as it has no foundation of support or continuity.  Put the shin and kuf together and you get the word, “shek,” which means bag.  Kuf plus reish is, “kar,” which means cold.  So, you have a man with a bag covering himself and covering the eyes and minds of those he deceives.  Shin used as a prefix means, “that/for.”  The falsehood and the teller of falsity has no warmth, nothing to give or sustain life.

We are provided warning in the ten “commandments,” which are really ten words of prophetic empowerment ( via Bill Bullock) not to bear false witness, and we are given grace to carry out that blessing.  We are to be a people of truth-tellers, not a people  politically compromised who believe we need the help of men and their schemes to survive and thrive.   False narratives also dishonor those who were harmed, whose blood cries out, that we shut our ears to.  Those who shut their ears to the cry of those taken away for slaughter (whether it is happening now or occurred in times past) will themselves cry out with no one to answer.  It is wrong to honor the wicked, as well as to debase the righteous.

I am not saying it won’t be painful and confusing, but isn’t it better to face the dark as well as the light of any social, national, religious or political group you choose to join yourself to?  Perhaps recognition of the these deeds and thoughts of darkness will help you, and the people you join with, to make amends for the evil of the past and ensure a future that is aware of the propensity to walk the wrong way.  Maybe you will even decide to leave the social situation or understanding you are a part of, or seriously question it.  There may be some negative fallout, and even serious consequences.  But that is what teshuva (real repentance) is about.  It is not only admitting your wrong, but turning from it, making right those wrongs, if possible and creating a plan to walk in the right path from now on.

I know I need to accept that:  1) People are not rational; not possessing either natural critical thinking nor spiritual discernment.  2)  People don’t want to know the truth, however much they protest to the contrary.  A survey of the Book of Proverbs makes it clear that people love simplicity; they love foolishness.  It is not that they can’t find wisdom; wisdom cries out and they won’t listen.

We are told that as we mature we should be able to train our senses to comprehend the difference between good and evil.  That is an ability of the rational human mind; it does not even require spiritual input and giftedness.  We are also promised in Mal. 3:18  (my paraphrase of the Hebrew) You (plural) shall return and see (discern) between the righteous (singular) and the wicked (singular) between a servant of Elohim and who is not a servant (does not serve.)  The discernment is in the returning, which I believe includes the desire to know wisdom and know truth within our inmost parts, as David cried.

As a person with a background in the healthcare world and in journalism, I appreciate the use of the rational mind, the ability to think critically, weigh evidence, look for corroboration, determine if a source is trustworthy or not.   These things are divine gifts, yet they have a limit.  They can only judge the things of this world.  They cannot move in the realm of what is beyond.  So, I don’t toss these abilities aside, but I know there is more.

When I became a man (or a woman) I gave us childish things.  Now is the time to let go of our childish clinging to comfortable lies and face the necessity of dealing with discomforting truth.  You will survive, believe me.  You will be enabled to let go of what is temporal and illusionary and grasp hold of eternity, what is beyond the veil.  His secret is for those who fear him.  To fear him is to not fear men or what they will think of you and how they will treat you.

The verse from Kohelet (Ecclesiastes 3:11) comes to mind:  To every (all) he has made beautiful in his time, also to the world/eternity he has given in their hearts from without/wearing out that they cannot find out/attain the workmanship/accomplishment that God makes from the head (start) to the end.  We cannot, in this life understand even a small piece of the thoughts and ways of heaven.  But treasure that gift of eternity that resides in your heart.  You don’t know where it comes from or where it is going, but let that drop of eternity nurture you like an infant in the womb feeding from the umbilical cord.  He doesn’t know where the nourishment comes from, nor where it goes, nor can he stop its flow.  We, sadly have the capability to pinch off the flow and cover over the gift with tough sinews and hard places.  Break up the unplowed ground.  It is time to serve the Holy One.  Israel must break up the ground.  Do not sow among thorns.  Jer. 4:3; Hosea 10:11-12.

Posted in critical thinking, discernment, myth-busting, truth and lies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Warning to Israel, to Diaspora Jews, to Those Join Who Us and to Our Enemies

Last night I had a dream.  I don’t remember dreams that frequently, so perhaps this is just another aspect of aging :)  But this one came through loud and clear.  In the dream I was talking with friends, although none of the dream friends were people I would recognize among my real life acquaintances.  We were discussing the current war in Israel as it was related to scripture.  Then I heard a voice intone; strong, clear, emphatic, “The warning is in the parsha.  The warning is in the parsha.  The warning is in the parsha.”  This phrase was spoken three times, and then I woke up.

Enemies Among Us

Enemies Among Us (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For people who don’t know, the, “parsha,” is the weekly portion of torah that is read in synagogues worldwide.  Right now we just completed Parsha Pinchas, which tells the story of a priest who drove his spear through an Israelite prince who was cavorting with a Midyanite princess openly and obscenely right in front of the mishkan, the place where the presence of the Holy One dwelt among the people.  All the Jewish people worldwide study the same weekly parsha; so we are all on the same page, so to speak, along with any who choose to join us.

Pinchas, as a Levite, was given responsibility to guard the sanctity of the mishkan. It appears that all the others who had responsibility to act failed. In the face of the others who failed, he acted alone. It makes me think of the Talmudic saying, “In a place where there are no men; be a man.”  This means:  Do what needs to be done, even if you are the only one doing it.  Some are remembering who they are and rising up today to do just that.  These are people who don’t possess a following, honor, respect or credentials; they may even lack talent and ability.  But as these are willing, they will be enabled, as Betzalel was gifted with all the wisdom and skill required to build the tabernacle.

Somehow, I don’t think Pinchas was worrying about what the neighbors might think, or the future of his Levitical career, or was even concerned that the Midyani fan club mob might tear him to pieces or the powers that be might urge restraint.  We are told that Pinchas was zealous for the honor of the Holy One (not his own) and made atonement for the people.  This grandson of Aaron turned away the divine wrath, and received in turn a blessing of eternal priesthood upon his descendants.  Don’t try this at home folks.

I believe that what is occurring now is that the murky past and the murkier future are coming into clear focus as they merge closer and closer together.  This is what Daniel may have been talking about when he was told to seal up the scroll of the prophecy until the end of days when men shall roam/search(the internet) and so knowledge shall increase.

Last week we studied Parsha Balak.  Two archenemies, Moab and Midyan joined together, hiring a double-minded, compromising prophet Bila’am as their mouthpiece to fight against Israel.  Israel was no threat to them and had no designs on the property or goods of either Moab or Midyan.  Yes, both were jealous and fearful, which led to anger and hatred.  Both Moab and Midyan had a road back, as all who are estranged from the Holy One, his covenant and his people are offered a way to return.

I suspect it began with Cain.  Cain could have learned from the divine voice that warned him and sought out the brother that pleased Elohim to join him in worship according to the way that was accepted.  Cain chose to refuse that route and destroy the one who had gained the favor of heaven.  Ishmael rejoined his brother Isaac in order to bury their father Abraham.  But then Ishmael went back to his people and his life.  He could have partaken of the covenant blessings, but he chose not to follow the covenant ways, and didn’t want to play a subordinate role, I suspect.  King David opined that he would rather be a doorkeeper in the House of Adonai than dwell in tents of wickedness.  Lot could have rejoined his uncle, who would have welcomed him joyously and he would have provided spouses for his daughters and a place in his world.  Esau had a chance to rejoin the brother that possessed the blessing and the birthright, but wasn’t about to play second fiddle or leave his pagan lifestyle.  Both the Moabites and the Midyanites could have shared in the blessing of Israel.  They could have asked the prophet Bila’am to grant them and their people whatever they wished.  I think when one is filled with hatred, it cancels out all reason; it crushes rationality.  Don’t expect your enemies to think rationally or even act in their own best self-interest.

I believe Moab represents what the world today sees as Christianity; an incestuous relationship of Judaism with Greek philosophy and various forms of paganism that has led to multitudes who hate, despise, fear and seek to murder the sons of the covenant.  Likewise, Midyan represents Islam, a son of Abraham nurtured in a different womb, given gifts and sent away.  Midyan helped and protected Moses at a time when he was fleeing, as Islam has assisted the spiritual descendants of Moses as they were fleeing Christian lands.  But Midyan also continually attacked Israel and seeing Israel grow in strength of exploits due to the favor of Israel’s God threatened them in ancient times, as it does today.  So, the world of Christianity will join the world of Islam to fight their common enemy; the Jews.

It is Moab that hires the pagan prophet who hears from the Holy One of Israel, who is enticed by wealth, power and the praise of men.  Curiously, as Bila’am speaks, he issues a heartfelt cry, “May I die the death of the righteous.”  However, the word used here is yisharim, which means straight.  I suspect Bila’am looked upon the tents of Israel, and opined that he would walk continually in a straight way until death.  But good intentions are not enough, and Bila’am died shamefully a short time later.

We already see antisemitism growing in leaps and bounds throughout Europe, and most of the Mideast outside of Israel is quickly being emptied of Jewish citizens.  But it can’t happen here, right?  Here in the US where there are more than six million of us?  Likewise, Jewish citizens of English speaking countries such as Canada, Australia are safe?  I left out South Africa, where many Jews have already left due to a precarious situation.

Living in the US, I see government and media spewing out a false narrative about Israel, barely covering their wolves’ teeth with a weathered sheepskin.  But soon the sheepskin will come off, and the rhetoric of, “We aren’t against Jews, just Zionists,” will be replaced with free and open Jew-hatred.  Perhaps much of this has always been present, but kept hidden for the sake of political correctness.  Currently, outside of academia, celebrities and some religious groups on both ends of the spectrum, the vast majority of the US population really care little about a war in the Mideast.  But wait until it hits their pocketbook.  Wait until it threatens their survival.  Then we will be hearing much more of what was occasionally bandied about during the 1970’s Arab oil embargo, “Burn Jews, not oil.”  The difference now, more than forty years later is most of our political leaders, authorities in academia, the powerful in the press, and the world of religion is not on our side.  Even intelligent and formerly cultured persons no longer think rationally or act graciously when they feel threatened and when there is a price to pay.

Someone recently suggested that technology could improve Israel’s Iron Dome, so it not only deflected incoming missiles, but sent them back the way they came.  I suggested this new weapon be called, “Iron Slingshot.”  Such a weapon would be castigated as it would send the rockets back to the civilian areas where terrorists hide, and would lead to numerous civilian casualties, of course laid at Israel’s feet.

As the media fails to report attacks upon Israel, and rather reports only Israel’s acts of defense, so our media will black out attacks on Jews, and report only that we are suspected of disloyalty in standing with a nation that our political leadership and all the talking heads have turned against.  Recently a pro-Israel group was attacked violently by anti-Israel protesters in San Francisco while the police stood by and did nothing.  Don’t think this is an anomaly.  Antagonism toward Israel will enlarge to include besmirching resident Jewish citizens.

Canada has their blessed Stephen Harper, and Australia’s PM has pledged to stand with Israel.  I believe judgement may be delayed as long as these nations hold to this stance, although certainly many of their citizens are in opposition.

I believe persons with dual Israeli citizenship who are residing in the US or elsewhere will be at the forefront of those receiving the brunt of the first volley of attacks.  Don’t be surprised as your liberal friends in academia look the other way.  Einstein believed that German academics, due to their love of freedom of thought, speech and inquiry would stand against Hitler.  But they fell like dominoes as soon as their careers were in jeopardy, even prior to any endangerment of their freedom or lives.

Large Jewish communities who live in major cities are going to be in danger, as the message gets across that it is open season and there will be minimal consequences as police hold off lest they be accused of political incorrectness.  Its too bad that so many Jews live and work in gun free zones.  I don’t know how much help a weapon will do in the long run, as you will just be arrested for protecting yourself for employing disproportionate force.

It is understandable that the only way Jews have survived, however precariously, in foreign lands was to create alliances with powerful foreign leaders.  The Jewish people have done this in their diaspora guest homes, and Israel has played this card among the nations.  Regrettably, there are Jews among us, as Israel is fighting for its survival with Operation Protective Edge, some American Jews are planning damage control: Operation Protect My Tuches.  These are concerned that actions by Israel will reflect badly upon them, and endanger their position of Court Jew, and then there are the turned kapos in our midst.  For those Jewish members of groups that are either openly or covertly enemies of Israel, where will you go when you are forced from your job and your home?  Do you believe your friends will protect you, speak up for you, stand beside you?  No, no, no.  They won’t hide you in their basements either.

Then there are those who stand with us.  But I warn you, many will not remain standing with us when it costs them something besides a donation and it is no longer fun and meaningful.  The world of Christian Zionism is being gradually infiltrated by the Christian Palestinian narrative.  The emergent church views Israel as an obstacle to its plan of world peace, and would  just as soon see Israel and her supporters ethnically cleansed.  Much of the evangelical church is a mile wide and an inch deep in their devotion, so any emotional appear that sounds reasonable will sway many, especially the youth, who see this as another way to rebel against the ways of their elders.

For those who still remain beside us, you will be counted as one of us by those who seek our destruction.  Those who love Israel, who love torah will be considered treasonous in their own land.  The Subbutniks of 18th century Russia were first persecuted viciously by the other churches.  Then they were granted the right to become a recognized religion.  When Nazis invaded Russia, Subbutniks were given the option of rejoining one of the established churches, or going to the camps with the Jews.  Some chose to get in the cattle cars; some chose faithlessness, and were required to burn their Subbutnik houses of worship to prove their loyalty.  Don’t expect anything different.

We are frogs in a pot, and most of us don’t notice the heat being turned up ever so gradually.  Starting to get warm, isn’t it?  Don’t be surprised as synagogues and Jewish venues require armed guards, as people become more and more afraid of appearing in public as identifiably Jewish.  Already at Berkeley Jewish students are required to renounce Israel in order to avoid social shunning, and what has begun among celebrities and radical leftists will gain mainstream acceptance.  I am not going to be shocked when pro-Israel media faces further censorship, and purchase of goods from Israel and donations may become difficult or impossible.  Major financial resources for fund transfer may disallow payments to Israel in the same way they shut out charitable organizations they dislike.

The complacence does not surprise me, because who wants to believe their livelihood or their life is threatened?  It is time.  We are told the Holy One would bring his people from the North, the South, the East and the West.  Perhaps some of us in comfortable guest homes aren’t going willingly, until our environment becomes far less comfortable and more precarious, such as that of Jewish people in France, which hosts the largest diaspora Jewish population outside the US.  We just don’t get it.  He is getting his people out before judgement falls.  Measure for measure, as a nation, a group or a person treats God’s covenant nation Israel; it will be done to them.  Nobody needs to believe a word I say; just sit back and watch.  As the US spreads lies about Israel, so lies will be spread about the US.  As the US endangers Israel, so the US will be endangered: by terrorists, by invaders, by financial downturn, by political subterfuge.  The eyes of heaven see all; the divine ears hear what is spoken in secret chambers.

I know I am going to hear, “But what of the poor Palestinians?”  The Arabs, the Muslims, all peoples in every place and every state they find themselves can attach themselves to the God of Israel and the people of Israel.  There is the blessing, but it comes with a price.  They can throw in their lot with one stronger than themselves and their enemies.  They can leave the kingdom of darkness and journey to the kingdom of light.  There are sheep of other folds, and you are being awakened now to who you are and are being led where you need to go.  May you find blessing and protection in your journey.

Keep looking for clues in the weekly torah portion.  He will clearly show us what he is doing.  The false prophets will speak peace and safety, and the wicked will not understand, but the wise will understand.

Remind me that I need to keep working on my Hebrew.

Posted in acharei hayomim, aliyah, America, American Jews, antichrist, antisemitism, bible prophecy, Christian Palestinianism, Christian Zionism, complacence, Court Jews, days of Noah, dreams, Emergent, End of Days, end times, euthanasia, Evangelicals, Israel, Jerusalem, kapos, last days, prophecy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Knowledge & Rationality a Highway or a Roadblock?

 

English: Picture was shot in July. Ada Feed & ...

English: Picture was shot in July. Ada Feed & Seed is located at the junction of highway 200 & 9. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe it depends where you want to go, if and how you decide to change course along the journey, and if it matters if you travel the route you planned or just that the trip was meaningful and fulfilled a purpose.

About ten years ago I had  this conversation with my computer geek husband, “What do you think about video on the internet?  Wouldn’t it be cool to share videos and be able to watch films online?”

“Not possible,” he  surmised.  “It would be too slow.”

More recent conversation about a research study that demonstrated false memories could be physically implanted in mice -

Me:  I’m surprised the conspiracy theorists missed this one, so focused on imagined or unlikely scenarios that they miss the bulls-eye.  Doesn’t this have dangerous potential if applied to human subjects?

Him:  Nah, it’ll be twenty years at least before they reach that stage.

Me (not out loud)  Haven’t we had this conversation before somewhere?

I am completely ignorant (by choice) in the technology area and find it dull and even distasteful.  My husband and kids aren’t thrilled when I ask questions or for help on what they consider simple computer issues.  “Mooom, why don’t you just take a course and learn to use your computer?”  “Because I don’t want to and I would rather you just do it for me.”  They say there is no such thing as a stupid question, but that is not the case when a techno-illiterate by doctrine is left awash in a sea of the techno-fluent as the language and knowledge body evolves and expands daily.  I do have some basic knowledge in the area of medical sciences, but have shunned the more detailed and technical (here’s that bad word again) stuff.  I only took the required science and math courses in college, while hubby has an undergraduate science degree and much experience in this field also.

I recall my college anatomy class, where I thought I had hit the jackpot as I spotted a frog specimen that appeared nearly twice the size of the others.  I jockeyed for position and grabbed this one for myself before anyone could get it, sure that a larger frog would make it easier to find the organs.  What a shock to open up froggy and discover she was pregnant, black, stinky eggs spilling out everywhere covering and displacing the organs.  Trying to clean her up did no good, as I wouldn’t be able to describe this altered anatomy correctly.  I ended up borrowing my neighbor’s frog to complete the assignments.

So, a person ignorant of the limitations and parameters according to prevailing belief could imagine the possibility (without understanding the specifics of how it could be accomplished) of future progress, while one with greater education and training sees a brick wall ahead and doesn’t bother to try to find ways around, over or through.  It seems men and women who have set off major creative innovations either didn’t have anyone tell them it couldn’t work or decided not to listen.

I’ve discovered that there is something resident that rises up within me whenever I hear something like, “Impossible; it can’t be done.”  That is just the impetus I need to figure out a way to do it, just to prove them wrong and engage in a challenge.  Interesting, that at times it has turned out that the, “impossible,” wasn’t even based in real information, but instead on a false supposition assumed correct because it had been passed down from an authoritative source.

Last year No. 2 son was preparing to take his AP (advanced placement) exams.  Mommy bear marched into the student services and announced that baby bear required an accommodation.  My son is a young man on the spectrum and has been diagnosed with dysgraphia, which means he has difficulty with handwriting due to small muscle control and hand-eye coordination issues.  He had an accommodation to take all school related tests that required essay writing on a computer.  I was told by several staff members that I would not be able to get this relief from the testing agency and they had never heard of anyone who received this accommodation.  The counselor also informed me that my son was capable of writing legibly, if minimally so.  I even spoke with his AP instructors who told me they had my son hand pen the essay portion of the practice pre-test to prepare him.  I asked, “Well, what if a student had cerebral palsy and couldn’t even hold a pencil?”  “That would be different,” she replied.  “This is not the case with your son.”

Okay, so this made me mad.  I discussed it with my husband, and he was prepared to plunk down the $400 to file a lawsuit under ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) against the testing agency if necessary.  We were fired up, but our battle plans were not required.

The problem was, that although my son could write in a manner that was barely legible, when he wrote by hand rather than via keyboard he was forced to put so much energy and effort into forming the letters that he was unable to focus on the content of the writing.  This had been demonstrated both in formal testing and in my own observations.  My first step was to visit the website of the testing agency, and I clicked on accommodations.  Dysgraphia was listed as a disability with the allowed accommodation being the use of a keyboard for the essay portion of the test.  Bingo.  All I needed to do was provide documentation of testing that validated my son’s disability, and he received the allowance without any trouble.  I even called over to the testing agency and was assisted politely and assured that there would be no problems.  The school sent over the required evidence, and all was fine.  This also allowed my son the same accommodation on his SATs.  The staff naysayers were dumbfounded, “I never heard of anyone getting this before.”  Sometimes a person can quit way too early.

I believe courage widens the road, while fear and cowardice narrow it or lead one to pass the right exit or get off on the wrong one.  We had a family friend who realized that his place of employment was less than acceptable.  It looked like some questionable activities were occurring, and the atmosphere was negative and depressing; an environment of crude, amoral chain smokers.  This friend knew he was taking a risk in leaving, that the company leadership wouldn’t hesitate to retaliate if they felt threatened or dishonored.  But following discussion with his wife, he secured more hours at a well paid part-time gig and politely gave his notice, graciously thanking the supervisors and staff for the “wonderful,” training experience.  This individual is now CEO of his own successful firm and well-respected in his profession.  But what if he had taken the route of fear instead?  I suspect he might have grown resentful, bitter and depressed like the other employees and perhaps tempted or forced to compromise or even caught up in legal troubles due to the company ethics.  His health likely would have suffered, as well as his career future.

One area of deception is that foolishness and presumption can masquerade as courage.  Foolishness may lead one to an open road, but nobody bothered to check the tires or oil; the brakes are thin and there is only a quarter tank of gas and no navigation system.  In a class I took in Behavior Psychology, one student asked, “What is the most dangerous emotion?”  I expected the answer to be anger, hatred, bitterness or the like.  I was surprised to hear the professor say, “The most dangerous emotion, based upon my research, is overconfidence, megalomania, as it appears to be the most destructive and wreck the  most havoc.

Can one employ the knowledge one has effectively without allowing one’s current understanding to act as a barrier to greater knowledge and understanding?  Is it beneficial to believe something that is not true if this accomplishes the intended purpose?

Back more than twenty years ago, following my husband’s completion of graduate school and getting his first “real,” job and renting a home, he began to become anxious that we would have a family.  I had refused to even entertain the idea of having a baby while he was still in school, and insisted on health insurance, his full-time employment and a home.  Okay, I agreed to flex on the home, as we were renting a house in a nice neighborhood even though we were unable to purchase one yet in pricey SoCal.  So now the pressure was on.  I wasn’t against the idea of having children, but I had my qualms.  And darling was concerned that my age (early thirties) might prove problematic if we kept waiting.  I was concerned that any children I had might inherit the negative personality traits I saw in my family members, and as I didn’t have a happy childhood or effective role models on how to parent, I was conflicted.

The prevailing viewpoint at the time was behaviorism; that is, how a child turns out depends upon the parenting and environment.  I asked a couple different professionals who assured me that if I was a loving and dedicated parent, my children would do well.  The monster under the bed, that I might end up with a child who resembled persons I had moved 3,000 miles to escape seemed banished for good.  Now, my kids did not turn into these people, but there were some frightening moments; like the one where No. one son spoke the exact same phrase my dad had used and he had never heard this from anyone and had only seen my dad three times in his life.  He was speaking critically (I thought overly so) of his younger brother, and I called him on it.  The response, “It’s constructive criticism.”  That was traumatic.  I informed No. one son that this was exactly what my abusively critical father used to say when countered. Hopefully, he will be sensitive enough to not do that again.  Actually, I was so happy today to hear younger brother tell me he was going to call his older brother and ask for his advice.  Wonderful, I thought, as this would encourage my  older son to feel protective toward his sibling and respected in being asked for advice, so he wouldn’t feel the need to point out his younger brother’s failings. I’ve seen other inherited negative traits from both sides of the family. But we have survived, as with the job comes the wisdom and strength.  Well, some of it anyway.  I am so thankful I couldn’t look ahead and see some things that have gone down, as perhaps I would have made much different decisions, not knowing I would somehow be able to cope with uncertainty.  Maybe there is a sweet blindness that allows anyone to even take a step forward, foolishly confident that they won’t fall over the side of a cliff or into a hidden ditch, when at times we do.

Some people possess nice, mediocre DNA.  Our families consist of some members who are brilliant, creative and highly talented, as well as many who are marginally or seriously mentally ill; some, of course are, “all of the above,” as well as those with defects of character, and I can’t discern what mix of genetics, environment and personal choice is the culprit. Perhaps built into the eternal covenant was the natural selection that allowed the hyper-vigilant, neurotic, rigidly stubborn and paranoid to survive slaughter, persecution, treachery and assimilation in ways that their complacent, easy-going, trusting and optimistic brethren couldn’t.  I do believe that heaven holds out the wisdom and strength to get us where we need to go if we are willing.

My conclusion is that creativity is harnessed insanity.  Some do a good job of harnessing it; some don’t.  For me, I think it is like jumping into the pool, and I am not a very skilled swimmer.  When I get tired, or the water gets too murky or deep for me, I climb out, knowing I can always get back in.  Maybe  next time I will stay in longer and dive deeper?  Maybe it is not just a pool, but a pool between two worlds, like Narnia.  I like the world of journalism because it is solid, stable and real, while the world of creative thinking and writing is nebulous and ambiguous.  Perhaps the shadow is more solid, and the firm and clear is temporary and illusory.

I don't feel comfortable in
 a world of irrationality;
 it feels unsafe as it is 
too chaotic for my tastes. 
 But a world of only rationality 
lacks color, warmth 
and meaning;
 it is hard, unyielding
 and resistantly cold. 
 A cold that cannot be 
warmed.  
 
Perhaps surety and 
appointed sages are
 a safety net
 for some in the
 world beyond the natural senses,
 and for many, 
it is a short tether 
 to the mother ship.  
 
I don't want to snap the tether and
 go hurtling out into the depths of space, 
but I would like to extend the tether
 and venture out without fear. 
 In him we 
live and move and have our being, 
but perhaps we fail to live to the extent
 we can and 
our movement is limited and 
our being is diminished. 

 Maybe I don't even need 
 the protection of the space suit,
 for the unexplored 
 is a realm 
where I was designed 
 to dwell and I just need 
to learn how to breathe 
in this I know 
divine protection for the core of 
myself that is beyond, 
and if it is dangerous
 to my flesh, so be it.
  When my flesh is gone, 
I will not die;
 I will be more alive. 
Now I am becoming,
What I will be.
All my days,
Before they emerged.

Time and space
Constrain my body
Still I can touch
Eternity in my heart.

 

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Days of Deep Darkness; A Time of Supernatural Light

Darkness is spreading all over the earth and entering every nook and cranny of existence, but it is not something we should fear and recoil from.  Why?  In the primordial darkness the voice of the Holy One spoke divine light into existence.  This was not the light of the sun, moon or stars; this light was from beyond.  When there is divine light, there is also divine separation.  As it was in the beginning, it will be in the end, in the acharei hayomim.

Red light bulb in darkness

Red light bulb in darkness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I believe we are entering into a time of great deception, and also a time of miracles.

ירים העם ויוכיח שדברו ותורתו עומדים 

The prophecy of Rabbi Kaduri, before he died at the age of 108 can be translated, “He will lift up the people (singular) and prove that his word and his torah stand.”  The Hebrew verb translated, “prove,” is, “l’hokiakh,” and some other nuances to the word are, “to demonstrate, to show, substantiate and also, in the negative focus, “to reproach and rebuke.”

Here is what I believe a more accurate translation of Is. 60:2:  For behold (take notice, pay attention) the darkness (hachoshek, the same word used in the creation narrative) will cover (hide, conceal, engulf) earth….What does choshek cover when it engulfs earth?  I believe it hides the presence of the Creator in his work; it is erasing the name of the author’s signature on his art.  We are also told that, “gross darkness,” in Hebrew, “arafel,” which refers to a heavy or thick cloud, deep darkness and gloom.  The root means to drip or drop in the same way that rain drops from a cloud.  This deep, thick darkness and gloom will drip like rain and the thick cloud will drop down upon the peoples and envelop them.  But what happens next?  Then YHVH will arise and be upon you and his kavod, his glory, his manifest presence will be seen upon you.

No longer will those who belong to YHVH need to employ human methods of logical explanation and attempts at persuasion.  He will be seen and all will be made aware.  But you don’t get off easy  here, as many will run to the light and many more will attempt to put it out by any means possible.

Who in Is. 60 is, “you?”  Read the chapter and you can’t get away from the clear presentation that, “you,” represents Israel.  This is where his light will shine in the darkness and this is where his glory will fall.  Well, what if you are not Israel?  What if you still want to walk in the light and see his glory?  You can choose to join yourself to the Holy One of Israel and walk in his ways, honor his words of instruction and meet with him at his appointed times.  Open yourself to receive the fullness of understanding you are called to bring forth, and play the part your have been given in the deliverance of Israel.
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The Prophet Waits for and Recognizes Messiah

Presentation of Christ in the Temple Icon

Presentation of Christ in the Temple Icon (Photo credit: bobosh_t)

The prophetess Anna must have cried many tears as she waited, never leaving the temple, with yearning and hope, as her namesake Hannah(Channah) also waited, cried and hoped for a child.  The name, “Anna,” means, “compassion,  mercy, yearning, and favor.”  Like Simeon, she immediately recognized what I assume was an ordinary infant brought to the temple by ordinary parents performing the prescribed offering for a first-born son.  We hear that Simeon was just and pious and the ruach was upon him, with revelation of the coming one.  Simeon means, “to hear.”

What a joy for these two, to be given this reward, this blessing to cap off a life of worship and service, to touch what myriads had yearned for, wept for…

I am going to draw the conclusion that a prophet or prophetess, a man or woman who seeks to live justly, devotedly, as a servant will recognize Messiah when they see him.  They will not require argument, evidence or convincing.  The Spirit of God will witness with their spirit.  And I suspect that they will not miss the baby through the voluminous, dirty bathwater.  Both Anna and Simeon recognized the fulfillment of prophecy, and there were no clues or outward signs to this miracle occurring in front of their eyes.  I can imagine as they held the child in their arms, hoards of men and women went about their temple duties and business without a glimmer of what was taking place in their midst.

Luke 2:25And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Holy One’s Messiah. 27And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Yeshua, to carry out for Him the custom of the torah, 28then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,

29“Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,   According to Your word;  30For my eyes have seen Your salvation,  31Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

32A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”

33And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. 34And Simeon blessed them and said to Miriam His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— 35and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

36And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. 38At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Perhaps there are some among us who recognize him; recognize him in people, recognize him in scripture, recognize him via the ruach, recognize him in dreams….  Maybe, like Anna, they are waiting in a set-apart place, watching, serving.  Maybe there are old men like Simeon who know they will see Messiah return in their lifetime. Perhaps they will give thanks and and speak to all looking for the redemption of Yerushalayim.

 

 

 

 

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