25 July 2009

Was there a flourishing Palestinian society before 1948

NOT by Bob Mendelsohn, but written by Charles Oren
Tuesday July 21, 2009

Published here
http://www.icjs-online.org/index.php?article=2007

Too many writers on ME conflict base their ideas on the premise that there was a flourishing Arab society in Palestine that was destroyed by the creation of Israel.

However, there were 200,000 Arabs here in 1830, and conditions were very bad, just as in every other part of the Ottoman Empire.

Conditions improved after 1832 when Mohamed Ali permitted infidels to buy land since he wanted European support for his campaign against Turkey. Arabs migrated to Palestine attracted by the prosperity created by Christians building churches, consuls providing law & order and then Jews draining the swamps. There were 600,000 Arabs here when the Mandate started. This grew to 1,200,000 by 1948 due to British policy to encourage Arab immigration so as to thwart Jewish efforts to create a state. Most of these 1.2 m Arabs were new immigrants, 'colonialists' just as the Jews ...... except that we returned to the only land we had ever claimed as ours in 3,000 years. Even the Koran recognises this fact.

There were few Jews here in the 19th and 20th century. However, there were 15 m Jews in the world who had dreamt of Zion for 2,000 years. However, not a single Arab anywhere considered Palestine as his or Holy !

The 1947 partition plan was based on demography. A minority of these 1.2 m Arabs lived in the area allocated to Israel, probably less than 400,000. Of these, 150,000 remained in their homes and became Israeli citizens. Hence, only 250,000 Arabs fled rather than remain under Israeli rule. The others lived in areas allocated to them, and so cannot claim refugee status since they did not flee foreign rule.

And yet, everyone repeats the claim that there were 750,000 Arab refugees in 1948 ....... but ignore the 1 m Jews expelled from Arab states.

No one mentions the populations of the countries involved in the conflict. It can be presumed that today's readers do not know that there were only 600,000 Jews here in 1948 and they had no army or weapons since the Brits had confiscated all Jewish arms.

My own grandchildren cannot grasp this!

There were about 100 m Arabs in the countries around Israel who attacked in 1948. With those odds, it should have taken them only a few weeks to drive all the Jews into the sea.

And everyone accepts that they had a right to attack Israel !

This was a war of aggression that has not yet ended. Israel has a right to defend itself and to expect compensation, in cash and/or territory.

The odds were worse in 1967!

Russia had flooded Egypt and Syria with weapons after the 1956 fiasco while there was still a very effective arms embargo on Israeli.

Israel had grown from 600,000 in 1948 to 3 m in 1967. Homes, jobs etc had to be created for all these people. Just imagine the chaos in any other country if the population suddenly tripled ! No country today is able to create even a few new jobs for their unemployed.

It is an insult to human intelligence to claim that 6 m Jews are a threat to 1,500 m Muslims who are supported by the rest of the world that depends on their oil.

And finally, UN resolutions are treated as if they are based on justice without considering the number of Muslim and Jewish states involved.

23 July 2009

Does the universe have a beginning?




From the internet...

Did the Universe Have a Beginning?

This article is online at
http://www.y-origins.com/index.php?p=beginning1

For some Q and A, read
http://www.y-origins.com/index.php?p=id_qa

Scientific discoveries revive the ancient belief in a beginning to the universe. If we could rewind the history of the universe, what would we discover about its origin and development? Did it really have a beginning, or was it always there?

The influential ancient philosopher Aristotle stated, “It is impossible that movement should ever come into being or cease to be, for it must always have existed. Nor can time come into being or cease to be.”

Meanwhile, the biblical book of Genesis famously starts off, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

Which is it? Is the universe eternal—has it always been here? Or did it have a start at some point in time—did it have a birthday, so to speak? These are the two schools of thought that have enrolled followers since early times. (Actually, there was also a third school that postulated that the universe existed on the back of a giant sea turtle, but they’re mostly gone now.)

The seesaw of opinion has tipped one way or the other over time. But lately the weight of evidence has all been coming down on the side of the birthday universe.

In the old days when the Christian church dominated Western society, the creation of the universe was taken for granted. But slowly the scientific viewpoint pushed aside creation as well as the Creator. Now many scientists are thinking that the idea of a creation may not have been so far off from the truth as they thought. It’s looking like the universe had a beginning after all.

Remarkably, one of the first scientists to swing the pendulum of opinion back to the birthday-universe position was so entrenched in eternal-universe thinking that at first he refused to believe his own conclusions.

A GREAT BRAIN'S BIGGEST BLUNDER

When Albert Einstein developed his revolutionary theory of general relativity in 1916, his mathematical calculations pointed to an extraordinary conclusion—the universe was expanding. And since if you rewind the tape on any expansion, you get back to a point where it started, that meant the universe must have had a beginning too.1

Einstein, however, was like most scientists of his day in that he believed in an eternal universe. Unwilling to accept a beginning to the universe, Einstein fudged the numbers in order to nullify the conclusion that the universe was expanding.

University of California astrophysicist George Smoot explains that Einstein’s main problem with an expanding universe was its implication of a beginning. A beginning pointed to a beginner beyond scientific investigation.2 However, once experimental data proved that the universe really was expanding, Einstein admitted his error, calling it “the biggest blunder of my life.”3

There’s a point worth considering here: if it could happen to Einstein, it could happen to anyone. Rarely is anyone completely objective when it comes to the issue of a Creator. While it is true that religious belief and philosophy became an obstacle for scientific inquiry in the days of Galileo, trends have changed. In the modern era it has at times been a prejudice against the possibility of a cosmic designer that has kept many scientists from honest and open inquiry.

Thankfully, the truth generally comes out in the end and scientists begin to see the light. For Einstein and others, it was something called red shift that started the parade of evidence for a universe with a beginning.

RED SHIFTING THE BIG BANG THEORY INTO HIGH GEAR

In the late 1920s, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble noticed something unusual as he gazed into the heavens. It wasn’t a new planet or little green men waving at him from Mars; it was something both more tedious and at the same time more thrilling.

Hubble had been spending countless nights at the Mount Wilson Observatory, studying the stars and galaxies and especially the spectrum of color in the light they sent our way. He discovered that the light from most other galaxies was shifted to the red end of the spectrum, which indicated they were moving away from us.

Furthermore, the farther a galaxy was away from us, the more red shifted its light was and, thus, the faster it was moving away from us. The only explanation for all of this was that space itself was expanding, causing all galaxies to move away from each other. In an expanding universe, from any point in space (including our own), it would appear that most stars and galaxies were racing away. And the farther away they were, the faster they would be racing.

There it was in the red shift: proof that Einstein had been right in the first place (before he fudged his formula) and that the universe really was expanding. Proof, in other words, that the universe was not eternal but had a beginning.4

And yet not everyone accepted the proof at first, including a scientist named Sir Fred Hoyle (former Plumian professor of astronomy at Cambridge University and founder of the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge). Ironically, it was Hoyle who originally described the event as a “big bang,” meaning to mock the idea. The name stuck. (According to physics professor Brian Greene, the term “big bang” is actually misleading since there was nothing to explode and no space in which an explosion could take place.)5 But unlike Hoyle, many other scientists began coming over to the side of the newly named theory.

The world’s leading astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking, who has held the esteemed position of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, calls Hubble’s discovery of an expanding universe “one of the great intellectual revolutions of the twentieth century.”6 The discovery that the universe had a beginning has led to a new science called cosmology, which attempts to understand what happened at the origin of the universe, how it works, and what will happen in its future.

The new science led cosmologists to take another look at a seemingly mundane insight from the 19th century, the second law of thermodynamics.

THE QUESTIONS THAT FOLLOW THE EVIDENCE

Einstein’s theorems based on his theory of relativity predict that the universe could not have begun without an outside force or Beginner.14 Since Einstein’s theory of relativity ranks as the most exhaustively tested and best proven principle in physics, his conclusion is deemed correct.15

Tests from an array of radio telescopes at the South Pole have confirmed the big bang to a still higher degree of accuracy than ever before.16 Background radiation measurements exceed 99.9% of what had been predicted.17 There are now more than 30 independent confirmations that the universe had a one-time origin.18

A SECOND LAW OF FIRST IMPORTANCE

In addition to Hubble’s discovery, the second law of thermodynamics also predicts a beginning to the universe. You say you don’t know the second law of thermodynamics? Think again.

Let’s say you come into a room containing me and a bunch of your other pals, and you find a steaming cup of Starbucks coffee on the table. Being the thoughtful individual that you are, you ask, “Does this belong to anyone?”

To which I reply, “It’s been there for the last month.”

Well, you’d know immediately I was wrong or lying (probably lying). Why? Because the coffee wouldn’t still be hot if it had been there for a month; it would be room temperature.

That’s the second law of thermodynamics in action. This law states that everything continually moves from a state of order to disorder and that heat and energy dissipate over time. This is a law that has been verified by proof after scientific proof and has never been shown to be wrong.

Now let’s apply this law to the universe, just as cosmologists have. If the universe were eternal, it would have gone cold and lifeless long ago. The stars would have burned out. Planets would have broken up into clouds of dust. And even the black holes would have ceased vacuuming the universe of unsightly stars and planets.

When you see flaming suns and scorching meteors, in other words, you’re looking at a steaming cup of coffee that over infinite time would have long since gone room temperature. Since the universe is still full of pockets of heat and energy, it cannot be eternal. Who would have thought heat would be such a helpful clue? And that is just the half of it.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TV INTERFERENCE

There is still another way that the measurement of heat help to prove that the universe is expanding. In the spring of 1964, two researchers at Bell Labs observed a persistent hiss while testing their microwave radiation detector. Regardless of which direction they pointed the antenna, the static was the same. (This is the same static as TV interference. The same static that was supposed to be gone when I paid $150 to have my satellite dish installed.) Those men, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, had discovered what scientists say is the echo from the birth of the universe.7

But how could scientists know for sure that the hiss they were hearing was actually an echo from the beginning of the universe? Mathematicians calculated that heat generated at the moment the universe began would have been enormous beyond comprehension. This heat would have gradually dissipated over the life of the cosmos, leaving only a tiny residual of about 3 degrees Kelvin (-270 degrees C).

Additionally, in order for galaxies to have formed by the explosion needed to have slight variations in the form of waves or ripples.

According to George Smoot, these ripples would result in very slight fluctuations in the predicted temperature and would reveal an identifiable pattern.8 Thus, if the temperatures matched up, the birth of the universe would be scientifically verified. Merely discovering the temperature to be 3 degrees Kelvin would not prove that the universe actually had a beginning, the fluctuations also needed to match.9

But how could we verify fluctuations so subtle?

THE GREATEST DISCOVERY OF ALL TIME?

In 1992, a team of astrophysicists led by Smoot launched the COBE satellite in order to verify the temperatures in space. The satellite would be able to take precise measurements and determine whether fluctuations in temperature existed.

The results stunned the scientific world. Not only was the three-degree temperature confirmed, but more importantly, the profiles of the fluctuations were discovered to be a match with what had been expected.10 Hawking called the discovery “the scientific discovery of the century, if not all time.” Smoot himself excitedly stated to newspaper reporters, “What we have found is evidence for the birth of the universe.”11 He also said, “If you’re religious, it’s like looking at God.”12

Astounded by the news, Ted Koppel began his ABC Nightline television program with an astronomer quoting the first two verses of the Bible. The other special guest, a physicist, immediately added his quote of the third Bible verse: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. … And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:1, 3).13

Evidence like that provided by the COBE satellite raises some intriguing questions, to say the least.

New telescopes such as the infrared Spitzer Space Telescope, launched in 2003, have opened up even bigger windows to our universe. They have prompted astronomer Giovanni Fazio, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, to remark, “We are now able for the first time to lift the cosmic veil that has blocked our view.”19

As a result of the accumulating evidence, the scientific community has long since begun asking questions about origins, such as the following:

• What was there before the big bang?

• Why did the big bang result in a universe enabling life to exist?

• How could everything originate from nothing?

Smoot ponders what was there before the beginning: “Go back further still, beyond the moment of creation—what then? What was there before the big bang? What was there before time began?”20 The same astrophysicist notes that “until the late 1910’s … those who didn’t take Genesis literally had no reason to believe there had been a beginning.”21 The Genesis account of creation and the big bang theory both speak of everything coming from nothing. Suddenly the Bible and science agree (a discovery somewhat embarrassing to materialists). Smoot admits, “There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”22

The evidence had begun to add up, and some scientists weren’t liking the sum.

A ONE TIME BEGINNING

Hoyle and other scientists fervently pursued alternative explanations to a one-time origin of the universe. Eventually, however, the evidence showed clearly that the universe had a beginning, and the big bang theory was proclaimed victorious. Ironically, it was evidence from Hoyle’s own research that helped confirm that the universe had a one-time beginning.
TRYING TO AVOID THE BAD DREAM

A beginning to the universe was like a bad dream come true for materialists who wanted to believe everything had always existed. It brought scientists face to face with the loical conclusions that primary cause must exist. That argument is a simple logical syllogism:

1. Everything that has a beginning had a cause.

2. The universe had a beginning.

3. Therefore, the universe had a cause.

But admitting a cause leads to the next logical question: who or what is the cause?

Think about it for a minute. Since time, space, matter, and motion are all a part of the created universe, then before the beginning it was timeless, spaceless, and motionless.

What can happen spontaneously from this state of affairs? There’s nothing moving, there’s nothing colliding, there’s … well, nothing. Not even the potential for anything to happen.

The fact everything came from nothing has forced scientists to acknowledge that something outside of space and time, something very powerful and with apparent volition, must have acted to bring about the beginning. That is, there must have been an intelligent Designer of the universe. Some might go ahead and use the name God for this Creator.

Well, in certain academic circles, this line of reasoning simply won’t do. Thus it is that many materialists have looked for a way to prove that the universe didn’t have a beginning. Smoot remarks, “Cosmologists have long struggled to avoid this bad dream by seeking explanations of the universe that avoid the necessity of a beginning.”23

Sir Fred Hoyle (he who mockingly coined the term “big bang”) was one scientist who strongly opposed the concept of a beginning for the universe. In 1948 Hermann Bondi and Thomas Gold joined Hoyle in postulating that matter was in a continual state of creation. They called their idea the steady state theory, which was an attempt to show that the universe is eternal after all, even though the evidence had long been trending against such a view. However, the COBE discovery of background radiation was the fatal blow to the steady state theory. 24

Next came the oscillating-universe theory. According to this concept, the universe explodes, contracts, and explodes again, eternally yo-yoing. This would be another way to permit a belief in the eternal existence of the universe. But the physics for this theory didn’t work.

More recently, some scientists, including Hawking, have begun considering the so-called multiverse theory. This theory accepts that our universe is finite, but it suggests that ours is just one of many universes. The whole multi-universe may be eternal, according to this theory, even though our particular universe is not. This theory is covered in more depth in another article in this magazine, but the key point to understand about it right now is that it has no evidence whatsoever to support it.

These theories fit neatly with the philosophy of materialism, whereas a beginning of the universe would raise the obvious question, who was there to start it? Professor Dennis Sciama, Hawking’s supervisor while he was at Cambridge, admits his reasons for supporting the steady state theory: “I was a supporter of the steady state theory, not in the sense that I believed that it had to be true, but in that I found it so attractive I wanted it to be true.”25

An origin of the universe meant materialists were suddenly faced with the questions that threatened their worldview.

Today most cosmologists and physicists accept the big bang theory as the scientific explanation of how our universe began. In fact, scientists believe they can trace the history of the universe all the way back to 10-43 of a second. Prior to that point in the history of our universe, all of our current theories break down and science can see no further back. The very beginning of the universe remains a mystery.

Imagine rewinding the universe back to its beginning, a time when there were no stars. No light, matter, or energy. Not even space or time. Suddenly an enormous explosion erupted from this nothingness at a temperature exceeding a million trillion trillion degrees.26 Time begins along with matter, energy, and space.

When a bomb ejects shrapnel into the air, both the bomb material and the space it blows into have already been there. However, in the beginning of the universe, neither space nor matter existed until the explosion. The space surface of the universe and the newly created matter came into existence.

According to the big bang theory, this explosion launched the entire universe, from the most distant galaxy, to the most colorful nebula, to quasars flashing like beacons, to our own comforting sun and nearby planets, to you and me with our questions about where we came from and what it all means. Since man alone thinks about the meaning and purpose of life, the beginning—and the cause of that beginning—must be fascinating to each one of us.

The verdict is in on the question of whether the universe is eternal or had a beginning. The idea that everything in the cosmos originated out of nothing seems mythical, yet it is now mainstream science.

ENDNOTES

1. Brian Greene, The Elegant Universe (New York: Vintage, 2000), 81-82.

2. George Smoot and Keay Davidson, Wrinkles in Time (New York: Avon, 1993), 36.

3. Greene, 81-82.

4. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1990), 38-51.

5. Greene, 83.

6. Hawking, 39.

7. Smoot, 80-83.

8. Ibid., 187.

9. Ibid., 240.

10. Ibid., 241.

11. Associated Press, “U.S. Scientists Find a ‘Holy Grail’: Ripples at the Edge of the Universe,” International
Herald Tribune (London), April 24, 1992, 1.

12. Thomas H. Maugh II, “Relics of ‘Big Bang’ Seen for First Time,” Los Angeles Times, April 1992, A1, A30.

13. Nightline with Ted Koppel, ABC, April 25, 1992.

14. Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, 3rd ed. (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2001), 224.

15. Roger Penrose, Shadows of the Mind (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 230.

16. E. M. Leitch et al., “Measurement of Polarization with the Degree Angular Scale Interferometer,” Nature 420 (2002): 772-87; J. M. Kovac et al., “Detection of Polarization in the Cosmic Microwave Background Using DASI,” Nature 420 (2002): 772-87; Matias Zalarriaga, “Background Comes to the Fore,” Nature 420 (2002): 747-48.

17. Gregg Easterbrook, “Before the Big Bang,” U.S. News & World Report special edition, 2003, 16.

18. Hugh Ross, “Big Bang Passes Test,” Connections, Qtr 2, 2003.

19. Paul Recer, “Newest Space Telescope: The Spitzer,” Seattle Post Intelligencer, December 19, 2003, A17.

20. Smoot, 291.

21. Ibid., 30.

22. Ibid., 17.

23. Ibid., 291

24. Ibid. 86.

25. Stephen Hawking, ed., Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time: A Reader’s Companion (New York: Bantam, 1992), 63.

26. Bradford A. Smith, “New Eyes on the Universe,” National Geographic, January 1994, 33.

13 July 2009

Jewish Christians in the Church?


Beth Hatefutsoth is the diaspora museum in Tel Aviv, Israel. The picture's caption reads:

Jews and Jewish-Christians prepare to worship at the Great Synagogue of Antioch, Syria, 4th century. Chrysostom, one of the fathers of the Church, reproves the Christians and demands that they separate from the Jews.

---Diorama, Beth Hatefutsoth, Permanent Exhibition

When I saw this diorama in Israel in 1983, I was amazed. Here was evidence in the 4th century of the reality that so many knock back...Jews for Jesus. Messianic Jews existed then and now, and caused a stir in each.

Rodney Stark makes a big deal, as do many about St John of Antioch, later titled Chrysostom (Golden tongue). According to Wikipedia, During his first two years as a presbyter in Antioch (386-387), Chrysostom denounced Jews and Judaizing Christians in a series of eight sermons delivered to Christians in his congregation who were taking part in Jewish festivals and other Jewish observances.[See Wilken, p.xv, and also "John Chrysostom" in Encyclopedia Judaica] It is disputed whether the main target were specifically Judaizers or Jews in general. His homilies were expressed in the conventional manner, utilizing the uncompromising rhetorical form known as the psogos (Greek: blame).

One of the purposes of these homilies was to prevent Christians from participating in Jewish customs, and thus prevent the perceived erosion of Chrysostom's flock. In his sermons, Chrysostom criticized those "Judaizing Christians", who were participating in Jewish festivals and taking part in other Jewish observances, such as the shabbat, submitted to circumcision and made pilgrimage to Jewish holy places.

Chrysostom claimed that on the shabbats and Jewish festivals synagogues were full of Christians, especially women, who loved the solemnity of the Jewish liturgy, enjoyed listening to the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, and applauded famous preachers in accordance with the contemporary custom.[37] A more recent apologetic theory is that he instead tried to persuade Jewish Christians, who for centuries had kept connections with Jews and Judaism, to choose between Judaism and Christianity. ( Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity. How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries, (Princeton University Press:1997)p.66-67.)

I'm not writing about church antisemitism against Jewish people today. That is abundant and shamefully abundantly clear throughout the centuries. What I'm referencing is church antisemitism against Jewish believers in Jesus today. And in 350 AD and that's not good by any means.

Chrysostom wanted Jewish believers to separate from the historic Jewish community and there are too many Christian pastors who want us to do the same. Quit eating kosher; quit keeping Shabbat; come over to our side. The title of the diorama was "Bear the Cross"... leave Judaism. Be one of us.

Friends, even the word 'Judaize' is a slur word. Judaize would mean to do Jewish things, or to invite others to do the same. It might even mean to "become Jewish." What exactly is wrong with that? The theme in the book of Galatians warrants another word--"legalize", or to 'seek favour with God by means of works' rather than by faith. But to name this action "judaizing" is a demeaning of the people to whom God gave the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Messiah according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 9.4-5)

The Church has been guilty in so many places of demeaning Jewish people, here in Australia, and around the world. God help the church to stop the wrong of St John of Antioch, to stop the wrong of the Spanish Inquisition (which targeted Jewish Christians, along with Islam converts as well), to stop the wrong of these days. Let Jewish believers practice their faith as they desire. Don't make me eat ham; don't discourage my celebrating Rosh Hashanah. Help us focus our practices and life and culture on Messiah Y'shua, the Saviour of the world and King of Kings.

11 July 2009

Jews and Jesus. The Great Divide

Jewish people all over the world are thinking about Jesus in unprecedented numbers, and it's not because they believe in him as messiah and Lord. And it may not be because of godly evangelistic campaigns worldwide. Since the turn of the 20th century Jewish academics and theologians have been revisiting the identity and the work and ministry of the Nazarene.

And how significant is that? Today I was witnessing in Bondi Junction, nearby our book shop in Sydney. And three young chassidim, ultra-orthodox Jewish men, were readying themselves for Shabbat. They were out to share what they believed as was I. One wanted to know if I had wrapped myself with tefillin that morning; another wanted to know why I believed in Jesus. But to even mention Jesus with a bit of honour was a surprise. The third used the derogatory slur "Yoshke" for Jesus and I corrected him. He recanted. He started calling him "Y'shua."

Wow, Orthodox Jewish people using the name Y'shua with honour and respect. I was surprised and delighted.

Last night I went to a lecture delievered by my recent friend Amy-Jill Levine (photo). She and I met last year about this time, and spent some good time discussing the issues of Jewish people and faith in Jesus. She had no problem discussing, she knew the terms, the parables, the words of Jesus and the apostles. And spoke them to me without a blink.

Sure, AJ is an academic. And her field of study and professorship is New Testament at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. So it should come as no surprise, except, wait a minute. AJ attends an Orthodox synagogue in Nashville. She's a faithful Jew. She does not believe in Jesus like I do, and tens of thousands of others of us.

So why the apparent comfort in discussing the issues? Isn't the Jesus of the New Testament the great divider? So how can centrist Jewish people who would radically disagree with our theological conclusions be comfortable in using his name and his parables, like it's a series of poems from Keats or stories from John Grisham.

Donald Hagner wrote about this phenomenon in the 1980s. He posited that the reclamationists, those Jewish academics like Neusner and Flusser and (he didn't know her then) AJ, accepted the ethics of Jesus, as little more than Talmudic Judaism re-tooled. But they refused the eschaton of Jesus, that part of the New Testament which allows him to claim to be the only way to the Father. His claims to be the Messiah. His claims to be the fulfillment of biblical Jewish desire for the consummation of all things.

In the Q and A session last night, a Holocaust survivor, a Mr Goldberg couldn't quite figure out what our lecturer was saying. He chronicled his own story from cheder in Poland to Auschwitz at 16 to learning of his parents' death inside the camps. He was saying he was a sufficiently schooled and real Jew, who although he didn't practice his religion and didn't really believe in God, wondered if AJ was using the parables of Jesus to bring Jews like him to believe in Jesus. Is that so? She denied it. Of course. She made it very clear that she found Jesus to be a serious Jewish teacher, not a liberal Jew, not a Roman-obsessed revolutionary. But not God.

It's a great conversation. It's all about the Great Divider. Hear these two quotes.
John 7.43 So there arose a division in the multitude because of Him.
John 10.19 There arose a division again among the Jews because of these words.
Seems that everywhere the real Jesus went, some believed and some didn't.

And that continued last night in Bondi, and today in Bondi Junction, and among people of good will and ill will, and throughout the world.

So what do you think? Who do you think Jesus is?