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Showing posts from September, 2012

Getting it right, again

This message was written and preached in 2007 but the message seems to still fill the bill. Even today.

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 ne…

Israel, homosexuality and freedom of speech

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This is from some messianic believers in Israel today.  I'm sure they would welcome some comment and some public outcry. What do you think?

"Dear friends in the Lord,
This is the third time I write a letter to all of you regarding the lesbian law suit against Yad Hashmona, and this time with a heavy heart over our loss in this case.
The judge ruled against us, claiming that our refusal to allow gay marriage in the Yad Hashmona guest-house is against the law. We were fined 80,000 shekels and together with our expenses in this case, its very heavy on us.

This is a quote from the ruling: "“Every person who opens a public business in Israel should know that they must serve the whole public equally, without discrimination... which covers sexual orientation as well. As soon as the defendants opened their doors to all, they cannot close them for those who they believe do not meet the requirements found in the Bible or New Testament."

Needless to say, we do not close our door…

Protest and violence

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Eight people were held in police custody after violent clashes between hundreds of police and protesters erupted in Sydney's CBD at Town Hall yesterday afternoon. Six police were injured and 17 others were treated for the effects of capsicum spray when a demonstration against an anti-Islamic video turned violent. Police charges include a range of offenses, including affray, assaulting police, resisting arrest and throwing a missile.
 Police said the group began walking along George Street towards Martin Place, where they attempted to enter the US consulate, located in the MLC Centre.

"They were aggressive and violent at times and came into contact with police."
Waving banners with slogans such as "Behead all those who insult the Prophet", protesters listened as one protester told the crowd: "We will never accept the assault on our prophet."
The rally was the latest in a spate of demonstrations at US embassies and consulates in the Middle East…

Jhan the creative (3rd in a series)

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hicksvillesunrise, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. It's been a week since my dear friend Jhan Moskowitz went suddenly into eternity. And the last week I've been pondering so many aspects of his life, and photos of our being together and songs he enjoyed and comments he made... you get it, I've been thinking and grieving. Shiva is a worthwhile and meaningful time for such.

If anyone knew Jhan, they would have known him to be a creative man. He and I used to give ourselves to writing projects. We would choose a topic and try our hand at writing some flyer or pamphlet which would take topics secular and move them to topics sacred. We rarely succeeded in our collaboration, but we gave it a go regularly. And the creative juices flowed.

One day Jhan and our friend Baruch Goldstein and I were doing this creative writing project and Goldstein said, "If this missionary thing doesn't work out, we can always move to Madison Avenue." Advertising was what we were doing, but …

Jhan the thinker

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LCJE Question Queue, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. Auguste Rodin has an entire museum in Paris dedicated to the many replicas of Le Penseur, The Thinker. If Jews for Jesus creates such a museum in San Francisco or wherever we end up moving our headquarters, I'll hope there is a thoughtful mannequin (a la Madame Tussaud's) that somehow shows Jhan Moskowitz, who died on Tuesday at 63 years of age, as a thinker of modern times.

We don't know how well read he really was, but what we do know is that whatever he read, he was able to consolidate and appreciate. He was able to think and process his thinking in a way so few of us even imagine doing.

Maybe some will remember his malapropisms. He was often known for saying thoughtful comments but then dropping in a wrong word. Dictionary.com says this is "an act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, especially by the confusion of words that are similar in sound." That said, what I appreciated was that although Jhan ofte…

Appealing (In memory of Jhan Moskowitz)

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Frivolity, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. This morning I'm gutted. My friend and colleague Jhan Moskowitz died yesterday and the news is riveting me to the realities of life and death. Jhan was born Alan Moskowitz and during his teenage years changed his first name to something quirky and it stuck. And quirky he ever was. And changing he ever was. He loved change and sought to keep things fresh and alive and renewed as often as he could. No doubt he had some things in mind about changing his situation when the doctors were working on him to the last.

The random fall in the New York City subway yesterday that caused his head to hit the stairs and his death seems so misfortunate. Yet, it's so terminal and so informing.

Death does inform us. Dying makes us ponder what is beyond the grave. Jhan's death will teach many how to live their lives in these days.

This photo was taken a little over two years ago at a memorial service for Moishe Rosen, Jhan's mentor and friend fo…