Response to the Line of Fire 8

1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources

Response to Line of Fire 8

On the May 20 2011 edition of the “Line of Fire” radio show – http://lineoffireradio.askdrbrown.org/ , Dr. Brown addressed a presentation I made on the subject of the “second coming”.

The thrust of my presentation was that the concept of a “second coming” appears nowhere in the Jewish Scriptures. Furthermore, the disciples of Jesus are reported to have been shocked by his death. If the teaching of the “second coming” can be found in the Jewish Scriptures, the disciples should have been shocked if he didn’t die. The fact that the disciples were surprised at Jesus’ death proves that the “second coming” doctrine is but an invention of people desperately trying to hang on to their belief in a prophet after his prophecy has failed.

Dr. Brown responded with the argument that by contrasting Zechariah 9:9 with Daniel 7:13, we can see the concept…

View original post 951 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cry of Grace

Cry of Grace

The haftora that we read on Channuka ends with an rebuke to Zerubavel’s opponents. “Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubavel (you will) become a plain. He will bring out the cornerstone, with cheers of ‘grace, grace!’ for it” (Zechariah 4:7).

Zerubavel was attempting to lay the foundations of the Second Temple and there were many who opposed him. The prophet compares his opponents to a great mountain. As Zerubavel takes out the cornerstone for the Temple the great mounatin will turn into a plain, in other words his opponents will simply dissipate. And when people see that cornerstone of the Temple they will loudly express their excitement over the beauty of this stone. The power of the cornerstone to blow away the enemies of Israel lies in its grace and beauty.

The opponents that we faced during the days of the Second Temple were also known for their beauty. Noach’s son, Yaphes, received a blessing of beauty which our teachers apply to Greece (B. Talmud Megila 9b). the culture that oppressed us during those times was a culture that idolized the beauty of the human being. Not only did they develop the human body but they also cultivated a philosophy that brought out the power of the human mind. The Greek ideal was a person who is graced with beauty and sophistication both physically and mentally. And they attempted to draw all of mankind into the circle of their search for grace and beauty.

As a general rule, the various cultures that the Greeks encountered succumbed to the allure of the Greek worldview. The Western worldview is rooted in the Greek philosophy that venerates the beauty of this world.

But the Jewish people did not surrender to the appeal of Greece and her worldview. We opposed them tooth and nail. Our teachers taught us that all of the beauty worshiped by Greece is but darkness (Bereishis Rabba 44:17).

The power of our resistance to Greece and her culture is rooted in that cornerstone that Zerubavel put down to lay the foundation of the Second Temple. You see, it is not that we have no appreciation for beauty. Our strength lies in that we have a different standard of beauty and grace. The cornerstone of the temple is where the Creator of heaven and earth touches this world. And God touches this world in the heart fo the person who lives out His commandments.

The ideal human being is not one who is immersed in this material world. Our understanding of an ideal human being is one allows the light of the Creator to shine through his actions. When a person submits to the will of God as expressed in His commandments and steps forth to fulfill His purpose on earth, there you have the ideal man. In honesty, in kindness, in truth, in morality and in holiness, that is where we find beauty and our grace.

At this point in time the darkness of Greece reigns and the world at large does not appreciate the true beauty of life. But the lights of Channuka testify that this situation is but temporary. The day will yet come when all of mankind will recognize the beauty of humanity accepting the sovereignty of God. And they will abandon the darkness of Greece, and they will embrace the beauty of the Torah with cries of “grace, grace to it.”

If you found this article helpful please consider making a donation to Judaism Resources by clicking on the link below.
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=FEAQ55Y7MR3E6
Judaism Resources is a recognized 501(c) 3 public charity and your donation is tax exempt.
Thank You
Yisroel C. Blumenthal

Posted in Holidays, Reflections on the Haftorah | 5 Comments

Innocent Trust

1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources

Innocent Trust

The following words are not addressed to Tzahi Shapira. These words are also not directed to those religious leaders who endorsed him and presented him to the public as a scholar. I am writing to those who do not readily have the ability to evaluate the teachings of Shapira but instead rely on the evaluation of their leaders.

Your leaders are making a laughingstock of you.

I have already pointed out (https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/spiritual-responsibility/ ) how Shapira emphatically argues that a particular Hebrew word must be translated in a certain way. He makes this argument against a respected translator of the Bible. We would assume that he did not make this argument lightly. If he is going to discard the work of scholars we would expect that he researched the matter thoroughly and only then did he come to his dramatic conclusion.

But these assumptions would be dead wrong.

View original post 1,383 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

King in Israel

1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources

We added a new video to the collection on Judaism Resources – it is entitled “King in Israel”

http://www.judaismresources.com/video-and-audio-lectures.html

View original post

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Myth versus Reality

1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources

The Myth of “Post Temple Judaism”
Versus the Reality of Post Pauline Christianity
The Tannaitic and Amoraic periods of Jewish history parallel the first several decades of the Common Era. The classical works of the Mishna, the Talmud, and most of the midrashim were formulated in this era. The authors saw it as their holy duty to preserve the spirit and the soul of Judaism for future generations. They saw no need to discuss Christianity with their readers. They were Jews, they lived and breathed Judaism, and their focus was on the faith of their ancestors.

During the same period, the founders of Christianity were doing their work. The Christian scriptures and the writings of the early Church Fathers were also formulated in the first several centuries of the Common Era. These people saw it as their holy duty to preserve the spirit and the soul of Christianity for future…

View original post 1,339 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Covenant and Embrace

1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources

Covenant and Embrace

The point of a covenant is the preservation of a relationship. The two parties recognize that they share a bond with each other. The two parties also recognize that the awareness and the appreciation of the bond between them may grow dim with the passage of time, so they seal a covenant. They promise to each other that they will remain faithful to their shared bond and they bind themselves to each other in a union that cannot be broken.

There are different types of relationships that covenants can possibly attempt to preserve. Some of these run deeper than others. An alliance between two nations can be called a “covenant”, but in no way can such a covenant compare to a covenant of friendship between two people who would die for each other. The deepest covenant that exists between people is the covenant of marriage. Not only…

View original post 552 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery

The act of adultery is a violation of a commitment. But this aspect of adultery should technically be covered in the range of the prohibition against stealing. If one member of a partnership committed themselves to the agreement under the belief that the other member would maintain their part of the agreement, then when one partner violates the deal, the other partner’s commitment was falsely obtained.

But adultery goes further than the violation of a commitment between two partners. Adultery is the violation of humanity. When a person puts his desire for physical pleasure above his desire to keep a solemn commitment he has identified himself more as an animal and less as a human. One who commits adultery tramples upon honesty, honor, human dignity, kindness and integrity all for the sake of a crass physical pleasure.

With this understanding of the prohibition against adultery in mind we can see how the spirit of the seventh commandment extends far beyond the actual act of violating a marriage vow. Any activity that redefines a human according to the qualities that we share with animals and tramples on the qualities which separates us from animals is a violation of the spirit of this commandment. It makes no difference if the human we are redefining is ourselves or if it someone else.

This would obviously include a situation where a person allows lustful thoughts to consume their minds and hearts. One who does so diminishes the noble side of man, the side which appreciates justice and honesty, the side that is impressed by kindness, selflessness and integrity and cultivates the animal side of man, the side that has no problem with selfishness and greed. But this also extends much further.

Defining people according to attributes that we share with animals, be they physical beauty, brute strength, cunning, agility and athletic prowess diminishes humanity. This is not to say that we should ignore these gifts, but they should not be the defining factor. The human is a being that appreciates truth, loves kindness and despises greed and pettiness. That is who we are. Identifying ourselves or others according to animal-like qualities is a diminution of the human being.

The spirit of the commandment that prohibits adultery is a guide to life. It calls us to be noble and to see our fellow humans as noble beings. And it would have us draw away from anything that would lessen the dignity and nobility of the human being.

If you found this article helpful please consider making a donation to Judaism Resources by clicking on the link below.
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=FEAQ55Y7MR3E6
Judaism Resources is a recognized 501(c) 3 public charity and your donation is tax exempt.
Thank You
Yisroel C. Blumenthal

Posted in The Righteous Gentile | 3 Comments