Showing posts from November, 2014

Boycott, Divest, Sanctions(BDS): Consider the down side

BDS is an acronym for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. In 2005, Palestinian civil society issued a call for a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. Some churches even joined this noisy global movement which seeks to stall Israeli life. In response, Meyer M. Treinkman, a pharmacist, offered to assist them in their boycott as follows:

Any Muslim who has Syphilis must not be cured by Salvarsan discovered by a Jew, Dr. Ehrlich. He should not even try to find out whether he has Syphilis, because the Wasserman Test is the discovery of a Jew. If a Muslim suspects that he has Gonorrhea, he must not seek diagnosis, because he will be using the method of a Jew named Neissner..
A Muslim who has heart disease must not use Digitalis, a discovery by a Jew, Ludwig Traube.
Should he suffer with a toothache, he must not use Novocaine, a discovery of the Jews, Widal and Weil.
If a Muslim has Diabetes, he mu…

Muslims' prayer in DC--no big deal, right?

David Lazarus wrote this piece for the internet service Israel  and I had to share it today...

"It looked like a chilling scene from a Last Days, anti-Christ-takes-over-the-world disaster movie. Hundreds of Muslims take over America’s most notable church, prostrate on their prayer rugs as their unified chant echoes out in full volume: “There is only one god, he begets not and I bear witness that Muhammad is His only servant and Apostle."

Only this was not a movie. This was the scene, last Friday, for the first time in history, at the iconic National Cathedral in Washington, where orthodox Muslim clerics were invited to lead an Islamic prayer service. A congregation of hundreds were lead by an Imam in declaring that “god has no son, that Jesus Christ cannot be his son, and that there is no god like Allah.”

Only a single middle-age woman jumped up in the middle of the service and shouted, “America was founded on Christian principles. . . . Leave our church…

Love the Lord, your God, with all your mind: How do we do that?

I don't remember ever hearing a sermon on this topic. I've heard that I'm to love the Lord, with everything I have, yes, but not ...'with all my mind.' So we pondered that the other night and came up with the following selection of thoughts and ideas...
--> What prompted me to consider this and for us to address it was a reminder of the old US advertising campaigns, which popped out onto my browser one day recently. It showed the old motto of the United Negro College Fund. So you know the ad was from long ago. Since negro has not been used in US language since the early 1960s.  The ad shown here brought the motto to the fore: "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."
I gleaned from Derek Prince in the early 70s and also from Watchman Nee in his "Spiritual Man" books that the soul and the spirit were distinct. That is also indicated in these biblical verses: --> "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any …

Short Stories by Jesus. A critical review (Part 1)

A Jewish Journey Through the Parables of Jesus
by Rich Robinson
In this series of posts I want to make my way through Amy-Jill Levine’s latest contribution, a book on the parables of Jesus. Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi was published this year (2014) by HarperOne. (Aussie readers can buy it here Short Stories )
For those not familiar, Levine (hereafter AJL) teaches New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University. She is, according to her Website , “a self-described ‘Yankee Jewish feminist who teaches in a predominantly Christian divinity school in the buckle of the Bible Belt.’” She is also an Orthodox Jew who, as she says somewhere else, can be somewhat unorthodox. AJL is known as co-editor of the recent Jewish Annotated New Testament (Aussies buy that here ) and author of The Misunderstood Jew (Aussies: Misunderstood) (that is, Jesus). We interviewed her some time ago for our Havurah magazine and you can find that interview here.

Is that a real mitzvah?

The man in this video is Scott Rogowsky. He has a twice a month live show in NYC, as well as a series of videos and each one has irony and humor and repetition. I think my friend Bennett Arron would have as much fun as Rogowsky if he had a video guy following him around all day. But the point of this is to discuss the idea of a mitzvah.

What is a mitzvah anyway? By definition, it's a commandment. But by practice, the word means 'the completion of a commandment', thus a religious activity which complies with something in the Jewish religion. So handing out food to homeless people is 'doing a mitzvah' or wrapping oneself with leather straps (tefillin) in the morning and praying certain prayers is fulfilling the commandment of doing so, thus 'performing a mitzvah.'

In the video below, according to Rogowsky, after 10 hours of walking in New York City as a Jew, during a Jewish holiday named Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles), many Jewish men accosted him and tri…

Is it a club or a church?

I was speaking with a long-time friend in the US about a congregation she is attending. By her own testimony, she is growing in the Lord much more than she ever has, learning more about Jewish people more than ever. I asked her about the congregation; she said it's a place for teaching about Jewish roots, about Jewish people, and of course, about Yeshua.

So now I share with you some random thoughts that came out during our chat. It's hardly a comprehensive teaching on ekklesia or kehilah, the biblical language terms for congregation, but may help spark some chat or more importantly, some thoughts in you about where you (should be) attend(ing).

1) A church needs to be much much more than a place where you learn Jewish things. So it's an ethnic club and has an ethos, which is good. But it's not a church. Clubs are one thing; churches are another.

And the problem is the non-differentiation

You get my point.

2) What we say about God, what we say about (all …

Sodom, Rabbi Ingram and tolerance

Rabbi Chaim Ingram wrote this week on the portion in the Bible concerning Abraham and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. He alludes to tolerance and intolerance and same-sex marriage. It's a very good read. Tell me what you think, won't you?

"Why is the famous passage of Abraham’s plea for the inhabitants of Sodom and Gemorra such a seminal statement of Jewish ideological outlook?Abraham’s series of entreaties to G-D to spare the populations of five wicked cities including Sodom and Gemorrah if even 50 then 45, 40, 30, 20 or even 10 righteous inhabitants are to be found there(Gen. 23-32)  is often cited by thinkers of a leftist-libertarian persuasion as a seminal example of, as they put it, “the Jewish value of tolerance”.Actually nothing could be further from the truth.  What Abraham does not do – and what he would do were he “tolerant” in the leftist-libertarian sense – is to ask G-D  “Please tell me – what is the nature of their sin?  And anyway, ‘sin’ is such …

Mosques, Christian warriors and tolerance: What is OWRT?

My friend Owen sent me this link:  "Interstate Christian activists on board of Canberra group fighting mosque in Gungahlin"
And Owen asked me a question which is a good one. Could I "please elaborate on the concept of #OneWayReligiousTolerance as you use it."

 In other words, knowing that I'm very keen to notice the misuse of religion in the gamery of public action, isn't this just another one of those actions and thus intolerance in a multi-cultural society? You see, in the article, some Christians are trying to prevent some Muslims from opening a mosque in Canberra.  And in fact, some of those listed as preventers are running for parliament in the next election. One of the opponents is Mr Adrian Van Der Byl - who said he opposed "the advancing Islamisation of Australia" - and he also confirmed he planned to run as the CDP candidate in the seat of Goulburn, which borders the north of the ACT, at the coming NSW state election. Realistically…