Tikkun Olam or God’s Sacred Precepts?

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There is a notion in the Jewish Faith of Tikkun Olam, repair the world.  To the modern Jews this had meant social justice and trying to force the world to be equal according to a secular model more than the Biblical Precepts given to us by inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit holistically.  How does the Bible tell us to repair the world?  Does repair the world mean we throw out all sacred precepts of faith on sexuality, definition of marriage etc…? Does it mean we force everyone to participate in actions contrary to Biblical Precepts in the name of equality and social justice, or because well that was written long ago and none of it matters except for what modern society says matters?  

These are all valid questions. Sadly, Judaism and even in some sectors of Christianity the answer to the last one is yes.  What is the main problem with social justice as being played out today?  There is this assumption that social justice presented in the Bible is equivalent to charity, to government care and solutions for everything, even everything goes, so long as it makes everyone feel good and equal, which it is not.  As an article online well pint out, the majority believe the wealth should be collected by the government and evenly distributed to members of society that are poor. Some will say social justice sounds like communism. It does; because it is; and the United Nation’s has adopted this Marxist/ socialist philosophy.  It is not the biblical one, and even in the Christian Bible when there is social sharing of goods etc.. it is not government forced, it is the community being persecuted for the faith helping each other out!   This pseudo humanistic movement of bringing fairness is more ideological than altruistic. Altruism is defined as 1: unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Instead this is based on an ideology: “the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program.”Convincing people with a platform of platitudes that this is the right thing to do for everyone, as the goal is a utopian type society. But it will never be reached by human efforts no matter how noble or earnest they may be in them. 

What is then justice according to the Bible in terms of government and relationship with others?  It sure as heck is not forced or fanatical environmentalism, a huge monstrosity of bureaucracy and Marxism imposed by the government.  It is not about making what is unnatural order into order for the sake of a modern secular society.  It is not about the faith community being complicit in helping to violate immigration laws blatantly, or to redefine sacred institutions such as marriage to please the people.  That is not to say that one should not treat people with civility and a modicum of respect, basic human respect.  However, the inspired word of the divine is not meant to be used as a tool to create a communist or marxist state, or society where those not following natural order demand that everyone embrace it as the norm and accommodate that in violation of Biblical, Torah precepts on what is natural order. We must realize that Social justice is the far reaching arm of socialism reaching the faith community. It has been connected to liberation theology, think Rev. Wright and Obama, hatred of capitalism, federalism all that jazz, the foundations of our nation, hatred and division. The justice the Pentateuch, even the Christian Gospel speaks of is about liberation from ego and negative influences of the world through a relationship with God, with Holy Spirit working within you to better your life and as you work, and I mean work towards what is your vocation etc… do well, you also help others through individual teach them to fish not give them fish only, and local community collaboration perhaps creating solid internships that teach work ethics and all that, which help everyone expand on their talents, which provide those with disability  or chronic health issues that make it impossible to do the work they did, find a new path through other gifts they may have.  The faith community should locally work with businesses and each other to help bring this about, but it must not be the realm of government because government will always try, as the leaked, not Russia hacked, but inside job leaked DNC emails show, to make it secular and screw God over in the process and his precepts forcing all to accept what is not within the natural order.  

Sadly,  the faith community has been blinded and people in their efforts to feel great about themselves and what they are doing with their faith and their life have denied the truth of what the Pentateuch and even the Christian Gospel have to say.  While I will never accept violence and a secular business and such can bring in who they want as an employee and service whom they wish, the non secular businesses and such must not be forced and coerced into following liberation theology and social justice in an erroneous way, which is what has happened.  I pray it can be reversed, that people realize the government should have little to so with anything in our lives and must never dictate a secular agenda to the faith based community.  I pray also that the faith based community gets strong in adhering to the sacred precepts of the Pentateuch and the Christian Gospel.  Though we must have understanding of the sin nature and tendencies, we must not give blessing to them and be Marxists or Communists.

What do we do for Tikkun Olam, to repair?  Well according to the Pentateuch and the Christian Bible, which built on the Pentateuch it is about individuals and community freely giving and helping, not a Marxist government agenda, and this is where the faith community screws up.  What does it have to say about this? It says the following:  Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”, emphasis on one another, person to person, not government to person.  Do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.  Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. It is about right judgement, not harming others, not about government doing charity.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Again, about individual and community actions, not about marxism or socialism at any government level, though an effective system of justice and judiciary is warranted, that is about it for government responsibility.  If that is not the case, then yes the populace can peacefully make suggestions for improvement, never with hate or violence.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Comfort each other in bad times, counsel each other, all good. Therefore because you trample on the poor and you exact taxes of grain from him, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine. For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins— you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate. Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time, for it is an evil time. Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.  Notice the no no on high taxation, on bribery at the political level.  Justice is related to government in how they run the country, and not putting excessive taxation on the population, in how they conduct affairs of state.  if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  Private charity is what the Jewish and Christian bile indicate, not government.  “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.  No partiality, when it comes to the law and justice.  If you broke the law, you broke the law, that included immigration, not special treatment or turning a blind eye.   There are other passages in these regards, including the government being even handed in giving out justice, taxation, no excess of taxes, no bribes.  

If we truly want tikkun olam, then these passages are the key, not government marxism and socialism or any such thing. Remember, whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.  Also, , I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.  Let’s foresake liberation theology and the social justice that goes with it, which is not biblical, especially when it forces those of faith to go against the natural order as put forth by the Jewish and Christian Bible.

Amen

It’s The Ideology Stupid

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As I watched the Catholic channel and saw the Christmas parade in Bethlehem with everyone in unison and the kids having a great time of all ages and faiths, then recalled recent attacks in Europe even here, it dawned on me.  

“It’s The Ideology Stupid”.  It is an ideology of extreme Islamic interpretation, of literalistic interpretation and refusing to move into the future,  an extreme version of something, which sees all as the enemy who do not have that same radical ideology.  Even  Egypt’s President has  openly said that the ideology of Islam  is driving people to kill and commit acts of terror.  He said this to clerics mind you, so he realizes there is  problem in Islam.  The Washington Times points out what he said and it is most likely spot on:  

He stood before clerics and scholars and asserted that years of Islamic writings and sermons had created an ideology that justifies waves of violence. Now, he said, the imams have a duty to stop it.

“You must emerge from it and look from outside, in order to get closer to a truly enlightened ideology,” he said in a speech televised to the Egyptian people. “You must oppose it with resolve. Let me say it again: We need to revolutionize our religion.”

 It has to start with naming the enemy ideology both within and outside the Muslim world, and then within the Muslim world an active campaign of change, of reformation.  Nothing can be changed, transformed etc.. unless you acknowledge and then actively change it.  This is true of any situation.  The West can try to eradicate ISIS etc.., but unless the Muslim world changes from within the ideology nothing can change.  It is heavily upon the shoulders of the Muslim world itself to say “NO” this way of things is no longer viable for the modern world and we must change in step with modern times, though keeping core  five pillars of the faith.  Anything that is of and connected to violence, to absolute hatred of others to the point of seeking their destruction is not accepted or acceptable.  They must change the way they teach is the schools, everywhere.  In the West their big mistake was taking in large numbers of unknowns and not having the capacity to assimilate them, thus creating mini arab radical nations within their nations. This is why the U.S. is wrong in having a refugee resettlement program that ignores states rights.  It must halt all immigration until guaranteed vetting can be put in place that is bulletproof.  When immigrants come here, and legally only, they must be made to assimilate, while still appreciating their culture.  The U.S. culture must become their primary culture, the notion of a Capitalist Federalist Constitutional Democratic Republic.  

Will the Islamic and Muslim world have the courage to make the New Year one of reform, of reformation and inner revolution to change a history of terror being created for future generations?  I hope so, for all our sakes including theirs.

Yeshua, Messiah, Some Accepted, Others Not

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The Journey That is Life.

I keep wondering some accepted the resurrected Yeshua as Messiah, and others did not, and I knew there had to be a reason, but what was it? Well it seems that there is not a single notion in Judaism of who or what Messiah is.  I found a few articles that helped me understand this.  

http://yeshua.org/historical-facts/yeshua-ben-yosef/  – It seems Yeshua fit this lineage and for some Jews they were ready to accept him thus as Messiah to usher in the Messianic Age.  If one accepts this and who Peter, Paul, James accepted as Messiah then how does one accept Torah and Messiah?  Well, that is a good question and I guess it gets down to the phrase about the Torah will be written in the heart, and it is not about a whole bunch of laws to be kept, but a deeply spiritual metaphysical life, as well as deep relationship with God, very creative one with God.  What about the Tree of  Jessie, grafting?  Again, the grafting could be viewed either way and those who accepted Jesus as the Messiah they felt the grafting was of the Jew and Gentile to be released to an etching of the Torah in the Heart and for life to not be a series of hundreds of laws and commands, but the focus to be strictly on relationship with God, and the Sabbath, how one treats others, the Mitzvot all of that is not command, but all just is to flow naturally from the heart based on a deep metaphysical connection to God through prayer, meditation, and deep relationship to God, in Christ and the Redemptive work of Christ, our gratitude for that great act of love by God.  This is how those who accepted Yeshua-ben-yosef of that day as Messiah came to understand Messiah and his role and the Messianic Age as a time to prepare for the return of Yeshua and when all would be permanently made right.  

I was not aware of the fact that Messiah in Judaism is not just one, but there are two Notions of who Messiah is and one is Yeshua-Ben-Yosef, so for those in Jesus’s day, some embraced Yeshua-Ben-Yosef, son of Joseph and Mary, son of the carpenter, as the Rabbis has foretold.  As that group then spoke passionately about Yeshua-Ben-Yosef, son of Josheph and Mary, son of the carpenter as the Rabbis has foretold and who resurrected, they were able to create a movement centered around this Messiah, around Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth.  His redemption for all mankind, all he embodied, Torah inscribed in the heart, not as a set of hundreds of rules and obligation, but in the heart, and centered around deep metaphysical relationship that would lead us to live Torah without needing rules and obligations, as it would come naturally was not hard to accept for a lot people.  

Some felt Yeshua was mocking the Torah, trying to push it aside, taking authority away from Torah, as he would often begin with “but I say”.  In fact, he was not and as a learned and knowledgeable Rabbi, he was mealy coming from a place of authority and knowledge.   Those who embraced him as Messiah, when he said he came to fulfill the law and having accepted him as the one of the line of Joseph-Ben-Yosef etc.., well they would have understood that as Messianic probably, interpreted it as such.  Some of his actions etc.. may have been misinterpreted and even those of Paul and James, those who who felt he was the Messiah and had their understanding clashed with others, there was at some point a fierce parting of the ways.   There may never be a way to reconcile the two views of Messiah, but that is life, one of different views.

The question now becomes which version of the Messiah do I believe is the Messiah, having this new information/  Lots to explore and understand, to pray over and ponder.  

Shalom and Amen

 

Security or Compassion?

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In a world that is so topsy turvy, and so much war etc… going on, the Torah commands kindness, hospitality and all that.  On the other hand, there a question of security for the native land, for your country.  How the heck do I square my conservative beliefs with my journey now of coming into Judaism that says we must welcome the stranger etc..?  

One thing I firmly believe is that the answer is not to uproot them and send them to a strange land, but rather to work to change the ideology that creates these situations and oppressions in the first place in those parts of the world.  When Yeshua said that prayer in numbers was powerful, he had a point.  When the intent is strong to bring about change, when change is prayed for, that the ideology of the Islamic faith, the most repressive forms and the most fanatical forms, shift.  When we pray that governments truly honor a very clear Constitutional code and perspective and all the things that make a nation thrive, prosper and succeed as a truly Capitalist Constitutional Democratic Republic and we work to change our own government to that, leaving charity and such strictly to the community, the faith institutions and the government leaves much money in our pockets so we can be charitable, when they spend very efficiently, wisely, hold dictatorships accountable, the world can change for the better and we can still honor Torah.  The governments of The West must work to create safe zones in those areas, including Africa and meantime also we as a whole must work, I am realizing to work together as a true community to eradicate fanatic ideology that brings harm to people in the world.  We can always honor Torah, but even the Jewish Bible makes it clear that God expects borders and for them to be respected.  How do we know this?
I recently read something from Renew America and it made good points: “Two things, we are told, are under God’s sovereign control: how long a nation lasts, and where its borders are. The verb translated “having determined” is the Greek verb “horizo,” from which we get the word “horizon.” It means “to mark out, to define.” So God has marked out and defined the borders of each country.   The bulk of the second half of Joshua is a record of the promised land being divided up among the 12 tribes. What is striking is how thorough and detailed the description of each tribal boundary is. In Joshua 15 the word “boundary” is found no less than 15 times in describing the perimeter of Judah.

For instance, here’s the description of the southern boundary: “It goes out southward of the ascent of Akrabbim, passes along to Zin, and goes up south of Kadesh-barnea, along by Hezron, up to Addar, turns about to Karak, passes along to Azmon, goes out by the Brook of Egypt and comes to its end at the sea. This shall be your southern boundary” (Joshua 15:3-4). Such detailed delineations go on for chapter after chapter.

Even regarding private property, curses were pronounced on anyone who moved a boundary marker, a stone which delineated the perimeter of privately owned land. Borders, boundaries and property lines clearly matter to God.”    In another article I found it talks about legal and illegal Aliens and what the bible has to say.  What does it have to say? Many will take passages about hospitality to strangers and use those to say we must accept everyone and if some bad apples get through well, it’s okay.  It makes some good points also 

“Strangers that sojourn with you or live with you do not equate with illegal aliens. In fact, the corollary here, in each and every case, is that the children of Israel were “strangers” in Egypt. That’s why they were to treat their own “strangers” well, because they knew what it is like to be “strangers” in a foreign land.

Clearly, then, what it means to be a “stranger” is to be a foreigner. In the case of the children of Israel in Egypt, they were invited and, at first anyway, were honored guests. Later, they would be oppressed by a generation who “knew not Joseph.” But they were certainly not trespassers. They were certainly not in Egypt illegally. They were certainly not breaking the laws of the land by being in Egypt. In fact, they were commanded not to offend their hosts in any way (Genesis 46:28-34).

So, we must conclude that “stranger” does not equal “illegal alien.” Even when the term “alien” is used in the Bible, it seems to have the exact same meaning as “stranger.”  But the aliens and strangers of the Bible were expected to obey the Hebrew laws, though they were exempt from some. They were also treated differently than the children of Israel in that they could not own property; they could be bought as slaves and charged interest on loans.  Only if these aliens and strangers were fully converted to the covenant could they be landowners, partake of the Passover and be fully integrated into the nation of Israel.”

God makes it clear we are to have boundaries and they are not to be encroached upon, or disrespected.   Those who are going to reside or immigrate to a nation must abide by their laws so on and so forth, must not try to disrupt that society, embrace it as its’ own.  We are never to mistreat, take advantage of the immigrant legal or illegal, but we are to understand the necessity and biblical command for borders.  Should we honor Torah and Mitzvot, be kind, understanding and all that? Yes, but within the boundaries of sound biblical teaching and our own safety, as well as strict abiding to the Constitution, the letter of it as much as possible.  

 

Shalom and Amen

 

Important To Share My Journey?

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Inspiration Peace and Love

As I get more involved in my journey towards Judaism, learn more about it, the more it rings of truth.  As I have said I believe Jesus was  very learned Rabbi who was very spiritual, and was seeking to reform Judaism to make more “in touch” with the people.  The more I am involved in synagogue and engage with those at the synagogue, the more I am realizing I am engaging with those whose views may not be in agreement with mine, and it’s okay.  How is this journey of mine in Judaism etc…going to have an impact in terms of who my life partner is?  It is a question I am asking myself.  

I am going to be literally converting, and embracing my identity as Jewish, and also will be seeking to focus on my creativity and doing more spiritual life coaching, teaching, focus on spoken word creative projects.  I plan on being a part of the efforts at Town and Village Synagogue to build the congregation, community, work on myself to listen much more, to learn more, and to be part of Tikkun Olam, help repair the world, while maintaining strong Originalist Constitutional Federalist Republic Principles.  I realize that it will impact who I share my life with, as I wish to observe Shabbat, High Holy Days, live Torah to the best of my abilities, as imperfect as that might be.  As I was not raised in a Jewish home and hope to have my own space with God’s help soon as possible, I hope to live Conservative Judaism on a daily basis, learn and live it, to help Town and Village Temple grow, thrive.  The person who shares my life I realize will have to either be willing to participate in the journey with me in some way, honor my journey, be very supportive, including of Shabbat observance, be making the journey themselves into Judaism as I am or already be living the faith.  I feel very much at home in the Jewish community  like I have never felt elsewhere and that includes the theology, particularly Conservative Judaism.  I am meditating and praying for a partner that fits one of these three descriptions to come forward into my life, and who can also share my creative side, and maybe also do some teaching and spiritual life coaching work with me.  All of this, sharing all of this, having a deep connection, having a union that is faithful, loyal mutually, being best friends as well as life partners and soulmates, all of this is very important to me, so I hope that my meditation and prayers bring forward the right person into my life for this journey I am embarking on.

Shalom and Amen 

Parshah Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30

Life and Liberty, God Bless America
The light shines within., going out in connection to the Divine Creator.

Reading this Parsha now from a Jewish perspective of Torah I have come to a wonderful revelation and am confirming my sense of what Jesus really was seeking to accomplish along with the other disciples that Paul really messed up on, which led into a whole bunch of now idolatry, denominations etc.., stuff that Jesus would not even recognize. 

What stood out to me?  What stood out was the fact that Moses was given the Mitzvah to share the Torah with all people every seven years, to make sure that all knew that there was only One God, not a Trinity, NO, One God, One Sacred Text to understand God, Torah and of course Pentateuch, to be share with all.  Why is that important?  That tells me that the grafting of the tree of Jessie, the coming together was for the world to come together under the tree of Judaism.  Then one can ask, what kind of Judaism and being a part of the Town and Village Synaogue, Conservative Judaism, Moderate Judaism and really reflecting on what Jesus did and taught, it reinforces that Jesus was trying to bring Judaism from rigid Orthodox to Moderate Conservative.  In the Conservative though there is an honoring of the basic tenets of the commandments etc…, there is also a seeking to understand, heart, and women are given rabbinical roles and there is a sense of truly meeting people where they are and embracing them, while still seeking to maintain the core principles of the faith.  There is great emphasis on forgiveness, on adapting to the changing world, but not losing one’s core tenets and identity in the process, finding that balance.  Torah is honored, but it is not a heavy weight that strangles or chokes, at least not at Town and Village Temple in Manhattan.   There is even effort to work with a representative from Israel to bridge the gap between Israeli Jews and those in the diaspora, between the orthodox community in Israel and the diaspora in our community in NYC.   The fact that Moses entrusted that the sharing of the Torah should continue, that sharing with all means that Judaism should be shared as God’s truth with all the world, for the world to be repaired.  Jesus did try, so did Peter, James the brother of Jesus, all those original followers of Jesus did try to spread Conservative Judaism, the One God and One God Only Adonai and his precepts with the people.  I hope that continues, that Conservative Judaism can not only survive, but expand exponentially in all the world and I can help be a part of that.

 

Shalom and Amen

 

 

 

My Path to Judaism

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWfOd-6pTNI

As I heard this I realized this describes my journey to the truth that Jesus would never recognize Christianity as his faith and religion were he to return.  It is not anything he created, and the journey God had in mind from the beginning of time was for all to be part of the Tree of Jesse, of Judaism, very heartfelt, not legalistic Judaism.  I am so blessed to have made this journey home.