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Showing posts from December, 2016

Judaism is Fundamentally a Religion of Practice

An article I read about an interview with Noam Chomsky inspired me to write this blog. Before I knew anything about Noam Chomsky, I was introduced to the work of his father William Chomsky through his book Hebrew: The Eternal Language. It contains a wealth of knowledge about the culture behind ancient Hebrew words. It wasn’t until I returned to college and began taking linguistics courses that I learned about Noam. He is a professor at MIT and is considered the “Father of Modern Linguistics.” In an awards ceremony at MIT, he was introduced as the “world's most cited living scholar.”  He is also known as “the world's leading political dissident,” which often makes him an unpopular figure to those on the right and left.
In a December 14, 2016 interview with Daily Mirror, Noam Chomsky was asked: “And your views on religion, you were born into a Jewish family and raised . . . .” His answer brought back some old memories for me. I grew up in a town that did not have a synagogue and …

Who Founded Christianity? Jesus, Paul or Neither? The Answer Will Surprise You

Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus or Paul say he is rejecting Judaism and starting a new religion. In fact, the term “Christian” doesn’t appear at all in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), which chronicle Jesus’ spiritual mission; and only later, three times in the rest of the New Testament. If Jesus conceived of a new church, why did he spend his life religiously celebrating the major Jewish holidays in the Temple in Jerusalem? And we must remember that throughout the years Jesus prayed, preached, and read from the Torah in a synagogue on the Sabbath. Read the complete blog at -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernard-starr/who-founded-christianity_b_13821370.html

"DO TZEDAQAH (righteousness)" - Yeshua’s Primary Message

The following is from a book we highly recommend – There shall be no needy: Pursuing Social Justice through Jewish Law & Tradition by Rabbi Jill Jacobs © 2009; Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, Vermont; pp. 80, 84-85. Rabbi Jacobs is providing information from sources much later than Yeshua, but I have no doubt that he would be in complete agreement with her message. The information below has been edited and highlighted to make specific points related to the teachings of Yeshua.  ___________________________________________________________________________
The theme of JUSTICE remains central to the understanding of TZEDAQAH (righteousness). Support for the poor is understood as an obligation and as a means of restoring justice to the world, and not as an altruistic or voluntary gesture.
If the poor are entitled to the same dignity and quality of life as the wealthy, and if the fortunes of the wealthy and the poor are understood to be interconnected, then it stands to reason that t…

Have You Met Rabbi Yeshua?

Is understanding Yeshua as a rabbi more important than "believing in Jesus"? The role of Yeshua as a messianic figure gets much more attention than his role as a rabbi. The Synoptic Gospels, however, provide a wealth of information and highlights his activities as a rabbi.Interestingly, and as surprising as it may seem, we have a record of more of the sayings and the deeds of Yeshua than any other 1st century rabbi. Learn more about Rabbi Yeshua at --  http://www.biblicalheritage.org/rabbi-yeshua.html

Go and Learn What This Means

Over the past 2000 years there have been many opinions about Yeshua, but I believe almost everyone will agree that he was a good teacher. His followers were known as “disciples,” which Dr. Ike Tennison likes to call “learners.” “Go and learn what this means” has to be a clue about something that was very important to Yeshua, and something he wanted his disciples to learn. What did he want them to learn? Was it the meaning of this – “I desire mercy and not sacrifice?” Click here to find out -- http://www.biblicalheritage.org/go_and_learn_01.html

Who were the Poor in Spirit?

Dr. James H. Charlesworth, is the George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature and Chairperson of the Department of Biblical Studies at the Princeton Theological Seminary. In his book, Jesus Within Judaism: New Light from Existing Archaeological Discoveries, he provides very important insights into the meaning of two technical terms Yeshua used in his teachings – the Poor in Spirit and the Poor. The follow is from his book, which I highly recommend.
Some passages suggest that Jesus may have been influenced in a positive fashion by the Essenes. The very first beatitude in the Sermon on the Mount is “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). The meaning is now supplied in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The terms, “poor in spirit’’ and “poor,” are technical terms used only by the Essenes to describe themselves. 1
The Poor in Spirit” and “the Poor” signified that they had renounced all worldly possessions and dreams so that they might be …

What Kind of Jew was Yeshua?

Today, almost everyone agrees that Jesus was a Jew and an increasing number of people understand that his name was actually “Yeshua.” People often describe him as an “observant Jew.” When asked what that means, people usually reply by describing what it means to be an observant Jew today as a member of Rabbinic Judaism in American democracy. There are three very big problems with that understanding of Yeshua.
(1) Rabbinic Judaism didn’t exist at that time.
(2) America did not exist.
(3) Judea wasn’t a democracy.
Yeshua lived during the final decades of the Israelite Temple Period, which began with the portable Tabernacle of Moses and ended with the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem about forty years after he was crucified. There was no separation of church and state. Jerusalem wasn’t viewed as a religious center. Yeshua was a member of an Israelite Temple nation that was occupied and controlled by the Roman Empire.
The best example I can think of that reflects how Yeshua and …

The Real Ten Commandments

Think about theTen Commandments. How many sermons have been preached, books have been written, movies have been made, monuments have been constructed and court cases tried in which the focus was on the Ten Commandments. Now what would you say if I told you they weren’t about the actual Ten Commandments. Are you ready for a surprise?

What they called the Ten Commandments in the examples above were not the commandments written on the two stone tablets Moses received at the top of Mount Sinai and brought down to the Israelites! If you are willing to follow Moses up and down Mt Sinai, you will discover when he received the stone tablets and what was written on them. The journey begins by going to – http://www.biblicalheritage.org/ten_commandments_p1.html

Do you consider the Real Yeshua important?

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