Hope

Hope

Being a Jew is all about hope. A hope that the day will come when the world will be what it was meant to be. A world where nation does not lift sword against nation, a world that declares the sovereignty of God with every molecule of existence. Every good deed of a Jew, every word of Torah, and every tear of prayer, is an expression of this hope.

When a Jew leaves this world the world loses a person who hoped. We try to fill that void with the Kaddish, the prayer of hope – “May His name be exalted and sanctified” – because it is this hope that summarizes the life of a Jew.

The hope of a Jew is not the passive hope of a bystander. God is orchestrating the events of history in a way that our hope itself contributes to His master plan in an active way. The ultimate purpose of God’s creation is the revelation of God’s truth. The entire world will learn that there is no Master but God and that there is no power but God. But they will learn more than this. They will come to know that the only true place for the human heart is the in realm of hope to God.

“And you will know that I am the Lord, that those who hope to Me are not shamed.” (Isaiah 49:23)

Mankind will look at the hope that Israel carried in their hearts through the darkest times and through every distraction. And all of humanity will see that this hope is the only hope that bears fruit. Our unwavering yearning for the redemption will stand as the paradigm for all of mankind to emulate.

May the Lord guard us and enable us so that our every action, word and thought be a true reflection of hope for the goodness and truth of God.

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Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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18 Responses to Hope

  1. Eliza says:

    Why do the ultraorthodox think Judaism is the only way and that everyone else doesn’t count?

  2. Sharon S says:

    Shalom Rabbi Blumenthal,

    Good day.Thank you for the beautiful post.

    The hope that the Jew has is shared by many others as well , by Muslims , Christians and theists in general. Our understanding of God and His works in creation, particularly in human history may differ, but our hopes are similar in essence.

    My question – Is it really necessary for one to know and follow Israel’s story and yearning for redemption? If yes , why? Does God spurn a person who loves Him and prays for His sovereignty over all creation, even though his/her expectation of this manifestation may not align with that of Israel?

    Thank you.

    • Sharon S No it is not necessary for a person to know and follow Israel’s story for redemption – but many people find Israel’s story helpful. God is close to all who call upon Him in sincerity. You can find God through nature, through your conscience and with the help of people who called to Him and walked with Him from every culture.

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Sharon S says:

        Shalom Rabbi Blumenthal,

        Good day. Thank you for your reply.

        I do not mean to question Israel’s hope and yearning for redemption. I am blessed to learn Israel’s story directly from you and other Jews .I have come to appreciate the commitment of the Jewish people towards Torah and the covenant with God in every area of life -even in the most mundane undertaking . However , what should I do with this story ? How does it benefit an outsider listening in to these narratives? These are questions I ask constantly.

        Should a non Jew who knows Israel’s story stop listening to these narratives if it does not empower them to realize their own purpose and mission in this world?

        I am sorry if these questions offends.

        • Sharon S Your questions do not offend – I would say that a non-Jew should not spend his/her time on the Jewish narrative if it doesn’t empower them in their own mission before God. However, our narrative is vary rich and if one aspect of our narrative does not empower, there will perhaps be another aspect that empowers and elevates. To illustrate – Scripture itself is so varied – some are inspired by the devotion of the Psalms, others by the ethics of Proverbs, others by the narratives, others by the vision of Isaiah and Jeremiah, yet others by the philosophy of Job and Ecclesiastes and yet others by the order of the laws – and the same person can find one aspect elevating one day and another aspect talking to his/her heart another day

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Sharon S says:

            Shalom Rabbi Blumenthal,

            Good day. I did not expect that my comment will be replied , yet I am grateful for your response.

            You explained in your video “Did Dr Brown Answer” Part 1 that there are two groups of people i.e the Jewish people/teachers throughout history and the missionary/theologians who use the same Jewish scriptures and sees two messages that are diametrically opposed to each other. One group is reading the Bible correctly and the other is imposing their own theology. You explained further that one group is trying to help us see the real inherent message in the Bible while the other party trying to prevent that.

            You advised to look into the other aspects of the Jewish narrative that empowers and elevates. As a non Jew , should I look into Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah , Jeremiah etc from the perspective of the group that is reading the Bible correctly?

            I am blessed to get a glimpse of how the Jewish community and the Sages interpret the Jewish Scriptures. The interpretation of the scriptures are mainly within the life of the community and speaks to the community . There are wisdom behind it which I can apply in a loose sense .However so far I have not find a teaching in the Torah that which truly empowers and elevates me personally .

            Take for instance , the Torah portion Be’halot’cha of the past week. The Israelites complained that they are only able to eat manna as compared to the fish and vegetables which was available to them back in Egypt (Numbers 11) . The anger of the Lord burned against them and they were struck with a plague. The moral of the story , which I read from one commentary is to focus on the blessings that we have and not on what we lack.

            Catholics this week celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi i.e the Body and Blood of Christ, present in the Eucharist . The Gospel reading is on John 6:51-58, where Jesus declares himself to be the Bread that came down from Heaven , which anyone may eat and may not die. He contrasted this with the manna from heaven , which the Israelites consumed but still ended up perishing in the desert.

            I can see that there are two messages about the story of the manna which are diametrically opposed to each other-the interpretation from the Torah portion is a lesson not to complain on the blessings God has given. The other is using the manna as types and shadows to justify the theology of the New testament.

            To the Jew reading the Torah portion , the story of the manna shows how God provides for your ancestors in the desert. This is essentially a family story and its message will definitely resonate more within the community . The lessons learnt from these narratives serve to avoid past pitfalls and to deepen the love and commitment of your people to God , His Torah and His covenant with the Jewish nation .

            There is a good lesson that I learnt from the Jewish interpretation of Numbers 11. However the message of the manna may not resonate so much to an outsider listening in to a family story. I find personally that John 6:51-58 resonates with me more , as the message and invitation of this Living Bread is available to everyone to partake. I find this message has the potential to empower and elevate .

            The interpretation of this story by the Jewish people/teachers may be correct and has its value within the community, but that does not mean that it elevates/empowers me personally to realize my own purpose and mission in this world.

            If I were to put it in a simple analogy-it is like finding one’s favorite Thai dish from a restaurant in New York differ fundamentally in taste and essence from the same dish one ate at a restaurant in Thailand. This person may not get used to the taste and spiciness of the original dish in its native country as compared to the version of the dish served in the New York restaurant , which have been tweaked to suit the Western/International palate . This person fear that he/she may not come to appreciate the Thai dish in the original version . Should this person just stick to the version of the dish served in the New York restaurant to preserve his love for this dish, though it may not be as authentic?

            Conversely , a Thai national who is very familiar with the authentic Thai dish may find the taste and texture of the same dish served in New York restaurant totally alien to his/her palate. One man’s meat may be another man’s poison.

            The above is my own opinion and perhaps this may not be shared by other non Jews who listen and are following Israel’s message .

            However I will take your advice and try again .I hope that I can eventually find empowerment in the message of the Jewish scriptures from those who wants the world to know its inherent message-without tweaking it to suit my own palate.

          • Sharon S If a gift from heaven that gives eternal life is an inspiration for you – read Isaiah 55:1 or Proverbs 8:35 where God’s wisdom offers life. I find John’s “teaching” on the Manna to be spiritual poison – and I will explain. The Manna was a gift from God – it wasn’t meant to give eternal life, it was meant to sustain physical life. It was a blessing from God and John’s Jesus is teaching us to see this blessing as a curse – which in our subconscious minds will then be extended to other blessings of God. This is like the snake in the garden which has Eve see God’s prohibition against eating from the tree as something detrimental instead of beneficial. The underlying lesson of the Jewish Scripture is to see the world that God created in a positive light and certainly to see His miracles in a positive light. 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Sharon S says:

            Shalom Rabbi Blumenthal,

            Good day.

            Thank you for responding to my comment.

            To be honest , I was surprised by your response to John’s teaching on the manna . It took me a while to process this . I read the passage on John 6 in detail . I do agree that John sees the manna , a blessing from God to the Israelites in the wilderness as a curse . However to say that following this teaching may subconsciously lead us to see God’s blessings in general as a curse is not accurate.

            I once questioned on the blessings the Jewish man (and woman) recite in the morning for not being created a Gentile , a slave and a woman in another discussion thread. I am sorry for what I am about to write-but I see the blessings as a spiritual poison as well . It seems that the reciter sees some flaw in the Gentile, the slave and the woman-God’s very creation and he blesses God for not being born as one. I was concerned that the daily recitation of this blessing may influence the reciter’s perception of these groups . However I was informed that it is not the case.

            Spiritual poisons exist everywhere and Judaism is no exception. It’s just that it is harder for us to see it in the religious traditions we are born into. You see John’s teaching as a spiritual poison in that it may cause one to see God’s blessings in general as detrimental/ curse . I see the blessings as a spiritual poison in that it may cause one to conclude that not all of God’s creation are good (Genesis 1:31).

            Again , my apologies if this comment offends.

          • Sharon S I could understand why you feel that way about the blessings of not being created a gentile/slave/woman – I see several important differences between this and the teaching of John – but I think the following difference is the most significant. In Judaism the blessings are balanced with teachings that speak of the nobility of having been created in the image of God and the prayer that all mankind should serve God together. Where in John or in the Christian Scriptures do you have a balance? Isn’t so much of the Christian Scripture built by using Judaism and the Torah as the “other” against which to contrast Jesus and his teaching? Until today Christian writers use Judaism as the foil against which to portray the moral “superiority” of Christianity – you won’t find the same venom in Jewish writings. John’s poison triggered off centuries of dehumanization of Jews and Judaism across the spectrum of Christendom. I don’t see the morning blessings doing anything of the sort.

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • Shalom, Sharon. I’m commenting here because i don’t see the thread on your other comments. If Catholic brought that kind of interpretation to create a tradition of Eucharist, i see it definitely detrimental both to Jews and Christians. The gospel of John must be read according to the first chapter of John which is the prologue of which message pervades in all the following chapters. “THE WORD (logos) became FLESH and dwelt among us (Israel)” (John 1:14)

          When Yeshua said, “they ate manna but died in the wilderness, but i am bread from heaven for eternal life,” he didn’t curse nor mocked Judaism, rather he pointed his life and obedience to Father’s word (Torah) and wanted to teach how we need to OBEY the WORD of GOD which give life to the people of God! –> this is the true meaning of “INCARNATION.” Not that GOD became Human! But The WORD became flesh! It means that The WORD is not something you hear and remember or hear and forget. The WORD is something you must eat and make it flesh and blood on your body to energize yourself to OBEY the WORD!

          “And He afflicted you and let you go hungry, and then fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your forefathers know, so that He would make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but rather by, whatever comes forth from the mouth of the Lord does man live.” Deuteronomy.8:3

          As for me, as i meditate on the wilderness story with manna, i am marveled at how the Israelite communities in the wilderness ate manna for FORTY YEARS! and plus same meat provided later! IF I were among the camps, i would have surely run away back to EGYPT!
          Christians should not be proud to point out their complaints, rather be humbled by the people who had to eat same menu for FORTY YEARS! WE should see the text from human perspective because we are same humans, not God’s perspective.

          • Sharon S says:

            Hi Gean,

            Good day . I hope that you and your family are well ,especially since we are all still in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.

            I do appreciate your comments. If I understand you correctly , you see the manna as a lesson that man should live on the word of God . Jesus , according to John did not curse the manna but is pointing out the lesson of Deuteronomy 8:3 to his listeners.

            However , if you read the John 6 closely , you will find that there is a stark contrast between the manna , which the Israelites ate , yet they died (John 6:49 & 6:58) and Jesus’s declaration that he is the bread of life/ the bread that came down from heaven (John 6:50 & 6:58).

            If Jesus , according to John had Deuteronomy 8:3 in mind , then he would not have painted such a contrast. If he wanted his countrymen to go back to Torah , he would have reminded them about Numbers 11 , where the Israelites complained that they were only given manna , as a result they were struck with the plague and perished. The Israelites survived in the wilderness thanks to the manna and the various plagues/troubles encountered were due to their doubts on God’s kindness and promises to them. Similarly those who witnessed Jesus’s teachings and miracles (where he fed five thousand people) should believe from these signs that He was sent by God .

            I would like to draw your attention to John 6:49 & 58. Jesus stated twice “Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness , yet they died”. This perhaps is a response to verse 31 , where the crowds ask for a sign and stated “Our ancestors ate the manna in he wilderness”. Perhaps the crowd sees him as one of their own (see verse 42) and are appealing to their shared history. Jesus seems to be distancing himself from his own countrymen from his response , why is that?

            This interpretation is not started by Catholics , but it goes back way earlier. Hence the difference in our interpretation on the word made flesh/incarnation -metaphorical to you and physical/literal to me is not relevant. Based on the two points above , it seems that John wanted to paint a contrast between the manna and Jesus and not to draw his readers to the lesson of Deuteronomy 8:3.

            Finally , I am not a bible scholar and my understanding comes from plain reading of the text in the English language.

            Thank you.

          • Shalom Sharon. Thanks for your comprehensive and very convincing reply. Yet John 6:51 says “the bread that I will give is my FLESH”
            John emphasize Yeshua was Word became FLESH. (Jn 1:14)
            If Jesus wanted to direct the attention of Jews to make them believe and worship him, apart from Word of God (Torah), he would have said
            the bread that i will give is my NAME, or my BEING, or my WORK.
            Why flesh?

            So, as far as i understand Yeshua did not mean they need to eat Jesus’ physical flesh (cannibalism)
            or transubstation of Catholic teaching.
            He meant the obedience to the Word.

            We all know that the Israelites died in the wilderness even after they ate manna not because the manna was lack of power to give eternal life but because they disobeyed.

            Take care bro and keep good comments on this precious platform to seek the truth among Jews and Christians!

          • Sharon S says:

            Hi Gean,

            Thank you for your reply.

            I see the contrast between the manna , which the Israelites ate , yet they died (John 6:49 & 6:58) and Jesus’s declaration that he is the bread of life/ the bread that came down from heaven (John 6:50 & 6:58) as an indication that he intends to introduce something new to his listeners.

            Jesus stated twice “Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness , yet they died”. Anyone who reads this sentence will have an impression that the manna from heaven is a poison or a curse. This is a falsehood and the very opposite of what the Torah intended to convey about the manna and its lesson in Deuteronomy 8:3.

            If John had written “Your ancestors ate manna , yet they died due to disobedience/lack of faith” , then it would have been more accurate.

            The questions to ask is why did John write about the manna in that manner ?Should we consider this statement about the manna and its contrast with the bread of life seriously? Or should we gloss over statement about the manna and focus on the real message John intended to convey -the Bread of Life?

            I like your interpretation on the wilderness story with the manna in your previous comment. As always , I am in awe with your humble nature and love for the Jewish people.

      • Annelise says:

        I just found these comments. I like how the conversation here has moved beyond taking about whether a religion and it’s adherents are good or bad, and instead talking about the nuance of which elements of each religion we each find valuable or dangerous. No person, and no group of people, will get it right all the time, but it’s a great experience when we can respectfully glean wisdom from each other’s perspectives.

        The times in life where we change our identity, especially something as morally loaded as religious identity, can increase our defensive tendencies. But getting past that, there’s a secure and curiously respectful discussion that’s both healthy and healing, as well as being very enriching, socially and in terms of understanding.

  3. shalomshalomisrael says:

    “God is orchestrating the events of history in a way that our hope itself contributes to His master plan in an active way.” Yes, I want to say Amen! Additionally, you sound like what Yeshua said, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12) Here is why.

    2000 years ago, a Jewish wilderness prophet proclaimed, “REPENT! the Kingdom of heaven is near!” To paraphrase it, “Behold! Tornado is coming near! Be ready to be drawn into this storm!” KINGDOM of HEAVEN means God’s absolute and active orchestrating of events of history from His heavenly throne (Psalm 103:19); It is like a tornado (JOB experienced God’s absolute sovereignty through speaking of God in the storm) which absorbs everything around so that the tornado (kingdom of heaven) suffers violence because everything is drawn, flied, carried into the whirlwind of tornado so violently (“The kingdom of heaven suffers violence”).

    So, you need to REPENT! When tornado comes near you, you cannot be a bystander. You better actively participate into the whirl of tornado. Come back to God and submit your lives to His reign. You have a free will to throw yourselves into the kingdom of heaven and take it by force. If you resist it, you will pay the price.

    All of humanity including myself is looking at the prophecy of Ezekiel 39:27-28: “When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.”

    and want to ask you Rabbi and my beloved Jewish friends in the nations, “God is orchestrating the events of history such as the rise of antisemitism, COVID19, Antifa, anarchy, and the Jews are making aliya more and more these days. He is fulfilling his prophecy: Kingdom of heaven is so near to you. Why not repent? why not come back to your inherited land that God has promised? Will you be a bystander staying in the dying nations? or Would you actively participate in this tornado and take your inheritance forcefully for God to fulfill his prophecy?

    Humanity needs to see God’s glory which will be displayed when His prophecy is fulfilled. Gentiles also have some roles to make this happen. Thanks.

  4. “God is orchestrating the events of history in a way that our hope itself contributes to His master plan in an active way.” Yes, I want to say Amen! Additionally, you sound like what Yeshua said, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12) Here is why.

    2000 years ago, a Jewish wilderness prophet proclaimed, “REPENT! the Kingdom of heaven is near!” To paraphrase it, “Behold! Tornado is coming near! Be ready to be drawn into this storm!” KINGDOM of HEAVEN means God’s absolute and active orchestrating of events of history from His heavenly throne (Psalm 103:19); It is like a tornado (JOB experienced God’s absolute sovereignty through speaking of God in the storm) which absorbs everything around so that the tornado (kingdom of heaven) suffers violence because everything is drawn, flied, carried into the whirlwind of tornado so violently (“The kingdom of heaven suffers violence”).

    So, you need to REPENT! When tornado comes near you, you cannot be a bystander. You better actively participate into the whirl of tornado. Come back to God and submit your lives to His reign. You have a free will to throw yourselves into the kingdom of heaven and take it by force. If you resist it, you will pay the price.

    All of humanity including myself is looking at the prophecy of Ezekiel 39:27-28: “When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.”

    and want to ask you Rabbi and my beloved Jewish friends in the nations, “God is orchestrating the events of history such as the rise of antisemitism, COVID19, Antifa, anarchy, and the Jews are making aliya more and more these days. He is fulfilling his prophecy: Kingdom of heaven is so near to you. Why not repent? why not come back to your inherited land that God has promised? Will you be a bystander staying in the dying nations? or Would you actively participate in this tornado and take your inheritance forcefully for God to fulfill his prophecy?

    Humanity needs to see God’s glory which will be displayed when His prophecy is fulfilled. Gentiles also have some roles to make this happen. Thanks.

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