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Showing posts from 2018

Watch discussions between Rabbi Jeffrey Leynor and Jim Myers on Genesis 1

Watch discussions between Rabbi Jeffrey Leynor and Jim Myers about the ancient wisdom principles and values embedded in the Hebrew texts of the first creation account in Genesis. Genesis 1 Part 1 consists of eight very short videos that cover the first four days of creation. They have been posted on Facebook, but you do not have to be a Facebook member to watch them. When you click on the play button of each video, a “Sign Up Screen” will pop up -- just click on the “Not Now” option and the video will play. Go to the TOV Center Videos Page to find links to the eight short videos online – CLICK HERE.

The Christian Doctrine that Destroyed the Gospel of Yeshua

When Yeshua announced that he had been chosen by Yahweh to be an Anointed One (Christ) at his hometown synagogue in Nazareth, he explained what he had been “anointed to do” by reading Isaiah 61:1-2a:
The Presence of the Master Yahweh is upon me because Yahweh has anointed me to proclaim the good news (gospel) to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to declare liberty to the captives, the opening of the prison to those who are bound and to proclaim the year of acceptance of Yahweh.
Later he taught from Isaiah 58 to reveal more about who the poor, captives and those who are bound were. God wanted people to “do acts of TZEDAQAH (righteousness)” to make the Yeshua’s Gospel a reality. For Yeshua, “doing acts of TZEDAQAH (righteousness)” was the primary requirement for being a member of his movement and for entering eternal life. Isaiah specifically described the following “acts of TZEDAQAH (righteousness)”:
breaking your bread with the hungry
bringing the wandering poor y…

Speaking the words of the scrolls instead of reading the Bible

To speak about the books of the Bible is misleading on more than one account. Historically, the Hebrew Bible is a collection of scrolls, and scrolls cannot be simply equated with books. The difference between the two is not merely a matter of form; it affects the mode of writing, editorial strategies, and the way in which readers use the text.1
The ancient world was a world without books. Reading and writing were restricted to a professional elite; the majority of the population was nonliterate. If we are to understand the making of the Hebrew Bible, we must familiarize ourselves with the scribal culture that produced it. They practiced their craft in a time in which there was neither a trade in books nor a reading public of any substance. Scribes wrote for scribes.2
Reading was an oral activity. In order for the message to reach its destination, however, the written text needed a voice. Texts were for the ears, rather than the eyes. Written documents were read aloud, either to an audie…

Repentance is a way of life not a ritual

The first word in Yeshua’s first message was TESHUVAH:
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, TESHUVAH, for the Kingdom of Heaven is here!”
(Matthew 4:17)
English translators translate the words above as -- “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” Today people think of “repent” a ritual that is done as part of “being saved,” or “a prayer that is prayed after committing a sin.” That is not what “TESHUVAH” meant to Yeshua or his Jewish audience. They knew that Yeshua was “teaching a way life.”
God created to humans to be creatures just above the animals and below Him – creatures with an Earth soul and His image. Humans are also creatures with a freewill. That means humans do things like animals and things like God. Like animals we must do things like eat, drink, find shelter, reproduce, etc. to survive. We also do things like cooperate, communicate, create, etc., things that no other creatures are capable of doing.
At the extremes humans have the potentialities acti…

Who will enter the world-to-come?

A Jewish Answer
When a man is asked in the world-to-come: “What was thy work?” and he answers: “I fed the hungry” it will be said to him: “This is the gate of the Lord (Ps. 118:20). Enter into it, O thou that didst feed the hungry.” When a man answers: “I gave drink to the thirsty,” it will be said to him: “This is the gate of the Lord. Enter into it, O thou that didst give drink to the thirsty.” When a man answers: “I clothed the naked,” it will be said to him: “This is the gate of the Lord. Enter into it, O thou that didst clothe the naked.” This will be said also to him that brought up the fatherless, and to them that gave alms or performed deeds of loving-kindness. Midrash Tehillim on Psalm 118:17*
Yeshua’s Answer
“Then the King will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was…

What is The Image of God?

The first clue the ancient text provides about this mysterious image is found in two words of Genesis 1:2 – “RUACH ELOHIYM.” RUACH is defined as breath, wind or spirit;ELOHIYM is the word translated God. They are traditionally translated as “Spirit of God.” But, since they are in a “construct state,” this means they are so closely united that “together they constitute one compound idea.” Read the complete blog at --

The Beginning of the Sixth Day of Creation

I began this series by asking why is it important for 21st century Americans to share a common understanding of “what it means to be humans?” My answer to that question was because it is the one thing that affects every thought we have that includes humans – others and ourselves. And then I pointed out that if your beliefs about God are linked to the words of Genesis, then your understanding of what it means to be a human includes “humans are created in the image of God.” This is the second blog in this series and it is about the first activities that took place on the Sixth Day of Creation.
Keeping things in context is essential for creating accurate understanding of the words of Jewish and Christian Scriptures. For some readers, some of the things you are about to read may challenge your understanding of certain verses. That’s normal because of the linguistic model we use to translate the ancient Hebrew text into English.
We let the words of the ancient texts tell their own cultural…

What would humans be without the image of God?

This is the first blog in a series I call “A Radical New Understanding of Humans.” Why is it important for 21st century Americans to understand what humans are? It is because that our view affects and influences everything we do – and everyone else’s view affects and influences what they do.
Humans are social creatures and that means from conception to the disposal of the body humans are dependent on other the actions of humans. In most of the “good” and “bad” things humans experience in life, they are the result of actions of other humans. So, individual and cultural understandings of “what humans are” and “why humans do what they do” are very important.
In many cases, “understandings of what humans are” is related to “understandings of what gods are.” Conflicts over gods and their relationships to human have been major factors in the rise and fall of nations, as well as the types of governments that exist and the quality of life those that are governed experience.
If your understandin…