26 February 2011

Kosher cooking

Matthue Roth posted this below in quotes during the week about Australia's Top Kosher Chef and then I will have some comments on kosher things and you!

And new to our book shop is Master Chefs cooking kosher.

How timely! And yours if you want on sale, too. Doubly good. This from Roth:

"Just in case you weren’t ready to have your mind blown, turn back now. The following video is a commercial for a kosher cooking competition. In Australia. Like “Iron Chef” or “Top Chef” or “Man V. Food” — well, probably not so much like “Man V. Food,” but I still can’t believe that show exists, let alone that the host is pals with my coworker Jeremy. One thing you have to understand before you watch the video is that “MasterChef,” Australia’s version of the aforementioned shows, is the most popular programme in the country. Its finale was rated higher than the Olympics.

You might think Darth Vader is narrating, but it’s my uncle. (I mean that as a compliment, I promise.) And you can spot glimpses of my brother-in-law as well as my soul brother, local (Melbourne) Jewish celebrity Bram Presser, ex-lead singer of YIDCore.

OK — I laugh, and you kind of need to laugh, but this video is awesome. Partly that kosher cooking has gotten sophisticated enough so that a competition like this (a) exists, (b) is taken seriously, and (c) people are paying money to go to a swanky theater (that isn’t even a Jewish theater) to watch the competition. I mean, sure, they do this kind of kosher cooking contest in New York (and my wife reports on it)…but in Melbourne? Go you people.

I really should be rooting for my bro, but DL, the wife of my study partner, is also involved. It’s a toss-up. If you’d like to be part of the real winners — that is, the crowd — just go here and reserve yourself a ticket. (Ticket to Australia not included, by the way. Sorry!)"

So watch the show, enjoy the festivities, if you can handle yet one more reality show. Ponder what kosher cooking on tv looks like. And at the end of the day, look for God to make you kosher, too.

After all, kosher means 'fit' or 'fit for use' and the most important thing to certify as kosher is yourself. What makes us fit is being in right standing with HIm, and that comes by faith, and forgiveness. Anything less than that, is ...well, less than that.  Being right is being declared innocent. Justified. Just as if I'd never sinned.

And the Bible says we are justified by faith in Y'shua the Messiah. That's awesome and worth all the pondering and all the celebrations and the television ...get right with God, and celebrate with us.

24 February 2011

Confession: The Jewish view on the Catholic iPhone app

An article from the NY Times written by Laurie Goodstein is entitled “App Can’t Replace Confession, Vatican Says”

She reports, “A new application being sold on iTunes, “Confession: a Roman Catholic App,” cannot be used as a substitute for confession with a priest, the Vatican said Wednesday. The application was developed by American entrepreneurs with the help of two priests and the blessing of a bishop. It features a questionnaire of sins, and is promoted as a tool both to revive interest in confession and to help Catholics prepare for the sacrament. But some media reports cast the app as a “virtual priest” for Catholics who do not have time for church, prompting the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, to respond, “One cannot speak in any way of ‘confession by iPhone.’ ”

Wow, confession that doesn’t count. 

Maybe I should wait until Yom Kippur to share this, but I have to let you in on something. God is always available. You don’t need a pope or a bishop; a poet or a king. You need God to listen to you. We all fail; we all make mistakes. Sometimes it’s even worse than using the wrong app on our smart phone.

And all the while it is the Almighty who is ever listening. He really wants to hear from us and to forgive us our sins. He wants to hear from you today. No app required-- just honesty and forthrightness-- and humility to admit our failings. After all, everyone else is willing to admit our failings; we ought to join them.

For more information, read a couple Psalms, like Psalm 32 or Psalm 51. Psalm 130 is terrific as well. Some read in the Newer Testament in 1 John chapter 1 and others enjoy Romans chapter 8. It’s all good, I think.

Confess just means to ‘agree with’ someone. So agree with God that you are a sinner. Agree with God that He loves you. Agree with God that those things you do against others are wrong, and you are sorry. And agree with God that Y’shua is our Messiah and can save us from all our sins.

Romans 10 records this: “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” That’s an agreement better than any smart phone could ever include.

23 February 2011

Earthquake and rescue

The world is glued to the television as another country like Chile and Korea and Haiti cops another devastating earthquake. This time it's New Zealand and the major city on the South Island, Christchurch. Yesterday's 6.3 magnitude earthquake has left a country reeling.

The death toll from Tuesday's quake now stands at 75, with another 300 people missing in the rubble of the shattered New Zealand city.
Julia Gillard is the Australian prime minister and is sending over 300 federal police who will be there to relieve their New Zealand colleagues, and will not be assisting in the rescue efforts.
"Those police officers will go to assist with community policing. They are not going for search and rescue purposes, the search and rescue is being undertaken by the specialist teams we have (already) provided," she said.

The blogosphere is going viral with images from there and comments like, "My heart goes out to you New Zealand.  You are in our thoughts and prayers"

I watched this scene yesterday as the woman was caught on the roof after the earthquake and was rescued before the next aftershock rocked the city again. And I ached for her and for the thousands whose lives were shaken as well.

One of my Facebook friends put things in perspective this way, "We might be passionately opposed when it comes to netball or league or union or cricket yet when it comes down to it- it's all about people GOD DEFEND NEW ZEALAND #ANZAC mateship"
For those reading elsewhere, the national anthem of New Zealand is God defend New Zealand. And mateship, that's what it's all about. 

I remember when the bushfires happened two years ago outside King Lake in Victoria and New South Welshmen from my state went down to help. Or this year in the floods in both Victoria and Queensland when other states who are bitter rivals in sports jumped in to help. 

That's mateship. That's what countrymen are. 

Who are your mates? Whom do you help when things are bad for them.
Do you remember the final episodes of Seinfeld? Due to their selfishness, the foursome of George, Elaine, Kramer and Jerry copped a one-year sentence for breaking the law. What law was that? The Good Samaritan Law. From Wikipedia: "The four witness an overweight man (John Pinette) getting carjacked at gunpoint. Instead of helping him, they crack jokes about his size while Kramer films it all on his camcorder, then proceed to walk away. The victim notices this and tells the reporting officer, who arrests them on a duty to rescue violation that requires bystanders to help out in such a situation." 

The reference to "The Good Samaritan" may be familiar to some. I quote the pericope from the Scriptures here. 
A certain lawyer stood and put Y’shua to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
And Y’shua answered him,  “What is written in Torah? How does it read to you?”
And the lawyer answered,  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
And Y’shua replied to him,  “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
But wishing to justify himself, the lawyer said to Y’shua,  “And who is my neighbor?”
Y’shua replied and said,  “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went off leaving him half dead. And by chance a certain priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said,  ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.’
Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands? And the lawyer said,  “The one who showed mercy toward him.” And Y’shua said to him,  “Go and do the same.”
(Luke 10.25-37)

Maybe we could all learn a lesson, and help those devastated in earthquake, in flood, in loneliness, in heartache, in smugness, in hostility, in anything which seems to separate us from the love of God. 

Today, let's be Good Sams.


18 February 2011


In a convent in Ireland, the 98-year-old Mother Superior lay dying. The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her last journey comfortable.
They tried giving her warm milk to drink but she refused it. One of the nuns took the glass back to the kitchen.
Then, remembering a bottle of Irish Whiskey that had been received as a gift ...the previous Christmas, she opened it and poured a generous amount into the warm milk.
Back at Mother Superior's bed, they held the glass to her lips. The frail nun drank a little, then a little more and before they knew it, she had finished the whole glass down to the last drop.
As her eyes brightened, the nuns thought it would be a good opportunity to have one last talk with their spiritual leader.
"Mother," the nuns asked earnestly, "Please give us some of your wisdom before you leave us."
She raised herself up in bed on one elbow, looked at them and said, "Don't sell that cow."

14 February 2011

Live on TV

Right now, for the next 50 minutes on television or internet streaming, you can catch the interview with a couple from Michigan. Enjoy!