Showing posts from 2007

Christmas and the Jewish People

Originally uploaded by bobmendo The Jews and Jesus… Christmas concerns

Jews and Jesus seem to live in two different worlds. They appear to be representing two different religions. Melbourne’s Darren Levin, writing in last week’s Australian Jewish News, thinks this. “Jews don't believe in Jesus. How do I know this? I am one - and I can't recall any glow-in-the-dark crucifixes or fibre-optic Mother Marys in my parents' Caulfield South home...Being a Jew who doesn't believe in Jesus - I find it difficult to believe in Christmas.”

Separation of religions makes sense to Levin and to most people. Levin wants Jews who believe in Jesus to be ‘over there’ and Jews who don’t believe to be ‘over here.’ Some aver that it’s better to separate all religion from us. Keep religion over there and secular information over here. But with Christmas strewn all over our diaries and across our shopping malls, it’s increasingly difficult. The news media highlight this with case…

Announcing...Peace in Jerusalem

Neville Chamberlain is known to many as the Western prime minister who accommodated the Nazi regime, who was willing to bend over backwards with signing the Munich Agreement in 1938. His bending in Britain’s Parliament led to back-breaking bombing and war mongering by the Germans in World War II. His famous, “Peace in our times” comments on the tarmac in Britain, and then his speech delivered to Parliament rings in the ears of many, especially Jewish people, as empty words, wishful thinking and sad misunderstanding of the situation and the devilish opponent which was Germany in 1938.

But peace is not a bad thing, is it?

In his famous speech to Parliament Chamberlain said, “It is my hope and my belief, that under the new system of guarantees, the new Czechoslovakia will find a greater security than she has ever enjoyed in the past.“

Sadly this did not happen. When the Sudetenland was annexed to the Reich without a shot, no one won, and to this day Czechoslovakia and the later-divided lan…

Getting it right...again


Yom Kippur 5768
21 September 2007
Given at Jews for Jesus
Bondi Junction NSW AUSTRALIA

For those who are with us for the first time tonight, a hearty Shana Tova and a welcome to our public gathering. May your fast be easy tonight and tomorrow. We don’t have many of these gatherings a year, so each one is very special to our staff and to many of our constituency. Each time we gather we take a section or sections of the Bible and see if this Book has anything to say to us, as 21st century people.
Last week we began to consider again this New Year, 5768 and the desire of God to be in relationship with us. That in itself is an awesome point to consider.

Now tonight, we will look at the idea of getting it right…again. Some may grow weary of New Year talks. I never do. For many reasons the Holidays were always a time of good feelings for me. Maybe it was because I enjoyed getting new clothing and attending the synagogue with my parents. I enjoyed starting school again at th…

Yom Kippur: Getting it right

Once again we start over, as 5768 is in full swing. Last Wednesday evening Rosh Hashanah hit the world, one time zone at a time. And Jewish people listened to the sounds of the shofar, blown 100 times each day, to remind us of the sovereignty of the Kingship of the Lord God. The shofar reminds us to repent, to get it right with God, and with one another.

Now we take aim at Yom Kippur and Sukkot, the 6th and 7th holidays (of 7) of the biblical diary. What will those days bring us? Alternatively, what will we bring to those days?

Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. Actually in the biblical book of Leviticus, the day is named "the day of 'atonements.'" Plural. Interesting. Why plural? Perhaps because it means that many parts of our lives need fixing, not just our life, but our lives. In light of that, what areas might need atoning?

Let's start with our economic life. God wants to be Lord of our money, our wallet, our giving and our charity en toto. He cares if we care…

The Great Escape

The great escape (Cooks in the river, Hawthorn Hawks reach Preliminary Final, More on Madeline)

Police last night charged 41-year-old Cameron Cook with attempted murder, kidnapping, false imprisonment and other associated offences. It seems he and his wife, 34-year-old Sonia Cook were not getting along well lately. They planned to divorce. But Cook, a policeman in Melbourne, couldn't wait for that kind of separation. He shackled his wife inside their Magna, gagged her and drove them both into the bay at the mouth of the Mordialloc Creek.

The two escaped, although Sonia's was very dramatic. She crawled out with chains around her ankles and swam to safety, finally standing on the Nepean Highway until a car stopped-- a policeman.

Within an hour the police had found her husband, also chained, still in the submerged car. His head was above water.

This was a shocking story and no doubt, will give us more information than we ever wanted about people we otherwise would know little ab…

Telling a story

Originally uploaded by bobmendo It's only natural to share our thoughts with others. I do that on this blog and in my journal and even via photos, I suppose. As a result, my Flickr site (click here) is really a story-telling exercise. Via photos and text, I tell what I'm thinking, what I'm seeing, what seems to be in the public eye or in the public conversation.

My friend Richard is sharing a story or two with some new folks at the LCJE conference we all attended in Lake Ballaton, Hungary last week. And telling the story is what we are all about.

I shared from the platform the following evening the following stories:

Thank you to the ICC for including Australia in the program this week. 100,000 people registered as Jews in the census last year in Australia. Among the missionaries there and others working for our Jewish people’s salvation, most of our work is ordinary, most of our work is non-spectacular. Our joy and our job is to keep on keeping on no matter wh…

doors open or closed

Originally uploaded by bobmendo Don’t let him in or keep him in! How do I get in?
By Bob Mendelsohn
August 12, 2007

Indonesia barred the entry of an Australian man connected with the conservative Islamic group Hizb ut-Tarhir (HT) ahead of a large conference today in Jakarta.

Sheikh Ismail Al Wahwah, of the group's Australian branch, was one of at least two international speakers prevented from entering Indonesia ahead of the huge conference in Jakarta today, HT Indonesia's speaker Ismail Yusanto said.

An Immigration spokesman confirmed Wahwah was prevented from entering Indonesia because he did not meet its immigration criteria on Friday.

Banned in several countries but not in Australia, HT or Islamic Liberation Party, is pushing for the creation of a caliphate, a single Islamic state across the Muslim world.

Across the ocean in Los Angeles, weary international passengers were stuck at Los Angeles International Airport for several hours, unable to set foot in the …


Originally uploaded by bobmendo Guedes reports from Rio de Janeiro

“I was handing out flyers about Y'shua on Copacabana Beach when I saw a middle aged man pushing a stroller. I gave him a flyer and after a few minutes I saw that he had turned around and was following me as I walked on the boardwalk. I stopped and as he approached me he said that he was interested in receiving more information.

I asked him what information he was looking for and he said that he was Jewish and wanted to know more about Jesus. I very plainly explained to him, by sharing some Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus, Y´shua was the Jewish Messiah and that he had come and died for our transgressions and that He had risen from the dead.

The man then very quickly replied that he wanted to know that Messiah. I went through the proposal statement a set of theses about what God does with us, how he loves us and wants to be in relationship with us. It's like a marriage proposal, where God is seek…


Originally uploaded by bobmendo Rescued (Tulo Tuala, Duke of Ellington Anglicans, Napean riverists, Paedophiles)

Monday 18 June 2007

Sunday was a good day for Tulo Tuala. He and a friend went fishing on Saturday, and spent the night lost and tightly holding on to the sides of their 2.5 metre boat until 9 a.m. when rescue crews saved them.

This all happened off Wellington New Zealand’s Makara coast. The air temps went down to –3 degrees overnight. In the evening on Saturday, some rescue boats passed in the distance, and even though Tuala and friend lit towels soaked in petrol to try to attract their attention, it was to no avail.

When their engine failed as they checked nets in the evening, they were out of mobile phone range and at the mercy of nature. They were found about 25 kilometres off Mana Island at 9am, transferred on to the Mana Coastguard boat Pelorus and brought to shore cold and shocked but happy to be back on land.

Mana Coastguard president Chris Seaton sai…

Which direction are we going?

Originally uploaded by bobmendo There must be 20 signs (although tomorrow I will count them) in the Eastern Distributor, in the tunnel, under the Domain in Sydney's east. Each one is very readable (I shot this whilst travelling at 70 km per hour, so some necessary adjustments had to be made. And every 40 metres, there's another sign. "North/ South" with appropriate indicating arrow.

Now there's really no chance of going the other way, once you are in the tunnel. It's not like they want to offer us choice. It's that we are going south and, well, that's it. So what's the point of the signage? I'll have to ask someone from the Transport ministry, which is something for which a subcommittee will have to be convened, no doubt.

One sign, that might make sense. Two signs, ok, for those who missed the first. But 20 signs?

Can you change directions anyway? Outside the tunnel, there are choices, to be sure. And one of the reasons I do what …

National Day of Thanksgiving

A Thanksgiving thought or two
By Bob Mendelsohn

I was in a rush. The children needed collecting in only thirty minutes. My wife was cold. We had entered the little Chinese restaurant in a hurry and sat quickly. The owner approached us with menus in hand and I told her that 'long soup' would be a great starter, thanks. She nodded.

Four minutes later she came by to take our order. I reiterated the 'long soup' request and she now wrote it down. Oy, I thought, what's wrong with this woman? Didn't I already order this? Doesn't she know my wife needs warming, and that we are in a hurry?

Of course, she didn't know any of this. And she was managing the front section alone. And she did a great job. And within minutes our soup was on the table. Within a minute after that our hot tea was warming our insides and then the mains came very promptly. There was no reason for anxiety about collecting the kids or about thawing out. We ate and were satisfied; the children w…

Christian vs Pharisee

Christian vs Pharisee.jpg
Originally uploaded by bobmendo. I'm so impressed with this book and these two gentlemen who wrote each other. This is a series of 14 letters from Dr RT Kendall, a famous Christian author and pastor, to Rabbi David Rosen, formerly of Ireland and South Africa. Rosen is a main player in the world of Jewish-Christian dialogue .

Dr R T Kendall retired as Minister of Westminster Chapel in the centre of London in 2001. He originates from America where he was Pastor of a number of churches before moving to the UK. He and his wife Louise now live in Key Largo, Florida.

Rabbi David Rosen is the International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee. He was born and educated in Britain, continuing his advanced rabbinic studies in Israel, where he received his ordination (semichah). In addition to military service in the armored corps of the IDF, he served as Chaplain to the forces in Western Sinai.

From 1975 to 1979, he was the Senior Rabb…


First published
June 1, 1990 Some information may be outdated.

In my childhood my mother warned me, "Never talk to strangers." The distinctives of a stranger were not very clear at the time. I just knew that if people were not from my neighborhood or my family they were not to be talked to. Of course childhood rebellion and natural curiosity led me to converse with dozens of "forbidden ones" in my early years. I allowed them to speak to me and even to have an influence on me.

Now in my adulthood the media—television, radio, weekly journals, daily newspapers—are designed to influence me. They also sell advertising to those who claim to have a concern and a right to speak into my life. If I really want to know, I will read that certain magazine. If it's fit to print, I will read it in that particular paper. If I want the inside scoop (unless it's insider trading) it's available from that certain daily journal in New York's financial district. They all wa…


Originally uploaded by bobmendo. Zach Johnson, an unlikely winner of the Masters, uses a blade putter similar to his 'hero' Payne Stewart. In fact, when he was asked about the victory Zach similarly attributed credit to Jesus, as Stewart did in his day. Goodonya Zach for such a testimony and for such a victory over the likes of Tiger Woods and Vijah Singh.

The 'power' of one...a look into pervasive choices for singles

Originally uploaded by bobmendo. In 1981 I worked in New York City, home of five million single adults. Just a few years earlier I had married my wife in the middle of the US in a religious ceremony. We left our quiet university town and moved to major cities in the US over the next 17 years before leaving for Sydney in 1998. And the life of singles continues to advance and become sealed as normative for adults in the 21st century, throughout the west. In fact it is increasing at significant rates.

Increasing loneness

According to the Australian Board of Statistics, 25% of households are home to only one person, and they predict that by 2030 the statistic will rise to 33%. Raw data? There are 1.8 million households where couples are living with children. However there are more than that-- 1.96 million-- with only one person residing. This drastically up from a low of 5.5% back in 1971.

Of course we can point to divorce and a few other social factors changing society, …

Tunnelling in Melbourne, Lane Cove and to you!

Originally uploaded by bobmendo. Opening the Tunnel

Down in Melbourne, only a ten-metre section of road was the scene on Friday of a horrific accident. And as a result the Burnley tunnel, with a terrifying fusion of metal and fire that shattered lives and will disrupt Melbourne's roads network for days.

Overhead, four florescent lights were blown out and burned strands of cabling hung from the roof. Underfoot, the tarmac was blistered and sticky - a sobering testimony of the fierce 1,000-degree inferno that engulfed the tunnel thoroughfare.

"That being said our priority now is to get the tunnel reopened as quickly as we can." So said a spokesperson for CityLink. There were eerie shadows in the dim lighting as they worked against a soundtrack of ear-splitting generators inside what is usually a bustling city arterial.

Soon the repairs and the repairers will be gone. The tunnel will reopen and tens of thousands of vehicles will barrel through daily, like they have …

Colma Cemetery

Originally uploaded by bobmendo. Death and dying...true reality. One day it will bite us all. And what then?

Yesterday was the anniversary of my father's birth. He died 2 years ago. And there is not a week that goes by that I do not think about him. His wild antics, his silly jokes, his desire to make other people happy.

We had good times, not enough times, deep times and real hurtful times. But all together it was a good ride. I enjoyed my dad. He embarassed me at times and I was very proud of him at times. He drove to St Louis to see me in plays in uni days after having worked all week in and out of cars some 400 miles away. He loved Mom and that was top drawer.

But like everyone my dad passed away. And you will too. And you will end up with a gravestone like all these folks in Colma South of San Francisco.

What if they say of you that you are like this photo in Texas from a couple weeks ago

Grave Marker. Will you hope for a better signage?

What will you do with life after…


This is a test post from , a fancy photo sharing thing.

In like a lion

March was always the month I enjoyed in my youth in Kansas City. It heralded Springtime. During March, my grandmother, sister, father and cousin were born. And it seemed as though the earth did as well. The school saying in the US was 'March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.'

Winter was almost over, school's ending was in sight, my life was taking a turn.

And maybe that's happening to you in the North as well. I've been in Texas and San Francisco this month and will return to Sydney on Sunday night. So I've been thinking more about March as 'in like a lion.' And 'out like a lamb.'

Lion and lamb. Sounds so biblical.
Listen to these uses of the phrase 'Like a lion'
For instance, in Job 10.16 ‘And should my head be lifted up, Thou wouldst hunt me like a lion; And again Thou wouldst show Thy power against me.
Psa. 7.2 Lest he tear my soul like a lion, Dragging me away, while there is none to deliver.
Psa. 17.12 He is like a lion th…

Lost Tomb of Jesus

I found this blog on another site and it said EXACTLY what I want to say, so with permission (and Joe Biden watching... here it is.

James Cameron is a famous movie mogul. He claims to have found the tomb of Jesus. He also claims that Jesus was married to Mary Magdelene and had a child with her. Hmmm. This sounds familiar. Oh, right. The DaVinci Code. Cameron's a little late to this party.

A Hollywood director will today unveil three coffins he claims were those of Jesus, his mother Mary and his 'wife' Mary Magdalene. Cameron says he has proof that Jesus married Mary and that she bore him a son, Judah, who was buried alongside them.

The Lost Tomb of Jesus, made for the Discovery Channel, will be shown in the U.S. this week and later in Britain by Channel 4.

Today, Cameron is holding a press conference on what he describes as 'one of the greatest archaeological finds of all time'.

Crucially, he is not denying the resurrection - as there…

Rabbis in the shul: A video

Rabbis in the Shul

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Description: Hassidic Rabbis surrounded by their Jewish fans on the dancefloor, shake to the beat of (Aviad Cohen) 50 Shekel's "In Da Shul," which is a parody of 50 Cent's "In Da Club." 100% Jewish music!