Flogging a Dead Horse

In a resurrection of a previous two part article fired down previously we have a question re-posed as “Who Is Doing The Harming?” by Israel Medad in regards to yet another Christian of the we do not proselatise camp by the name of  Laurie Cardoza-Moore. Laurie Cardoza-Moore heads up the web-site Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN). Part of the prestigious major donors and international advisory board is Jay Schottenstein one of the main contributors, along with his family, to the Schottenstein Edition of the Babylonian Talmud. So we have some big hitters here!!

Laurie Cardoza-Moore is no stranger to the messianic Judaism camp which includes El Shadai Ministries:

el shad

Laurie Cardoza-Moore

But of course you may say what harm does it do, so what that she appeared at a messianic service, after all she is a Christian is she not? The problem of course is a two edged one. On the one hand a question hangs over her; does she really advocate that her organization does not have the agenda of converting Jews to one of the many brands of Christianity out there which includes the likes of El Shaddai Ministries too?

On the other hand in the confusion it is forgotten in just a stones throw away that we have the likes of El Shaddai ministries and HaYovel who all have the insane belief that they are part an parcel of:

the prophetic RESTORATION of the land of Israel that is happening TODAY!…….. We give thanks to God Almighty who, by His great mercy has allowed us to take part in the restoration of Israel!

Moreover, the holy ground created by this neutrality of non-proselytization is such that we are, if we are to be deemed as ‘good Jews’ will not even mention the odd slip up of missionary zeal that sometimes plops out[1],[2] of the various organs of these pro-Israel/ Zionism groups. The nerve of the pro-Israel/ Zionism groups even extends to demanding the removal[3] of the word ‘missionary’ from one of their videos which plainly demonstrate their missionising agenda.

In other words we Jews [just the ordinary types] are supposed to play along with the double standards of these pro-Israel/ Zionism groups. Further, the muti-million dollar success[4] of the HaYovel and others should also make us keep our mouths shut too to the sometimes well hidden missionizing agenda of these groups, less the money dries up!

The problem of course is that Cardoza-Moore’s own theological stand comes with some extra heavy “biblical” baggage:

“The Bible is clear from Genesis to Revelation that God will keep His Covenant with His people, all Israel. The Apostle Paul confirms that truth in the book of Romans, Chapters 9 -11. Christians are grafted into that Covenant through Jesus. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 3:29, “If you are in Christ, you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” The promise Paul was referring to is the same promise God made to Abraham in Genesis, and then repeated it to Isaac and Jacob. Paul further stated in Ephesians 2:11-13, that we, Gentiles in the flesh, were once outside of the commonwealth of Israel, but because of Jesus’ shed blood, we have been brought into the commonwealth of Israel.”

Yisrael Medad blah blahIn the Torah, there are many references to “the strangers who dwell among you” or “righteous strangers.” Israel society has always made provisions for non-Israelites to worship the G-d of Israel allowing either full conversion to Israeli citizenship or for people to selectively choose what they may wish to observe of the Torah [whilst dwelling with the people of God] short of circumcision/ full conversion and citizenship. Such a system to allow non-Israelites to worship the G-d of Israel is even identified in the New Testament with the non-Israelites referred to as G-d fearers. G-d fearers are referenced in the New Testament’s Book of Acts in Acts 13:16, which describe the Apostolic Age of the 1st century CE.

The evangelical paradigm, however, introduced by Paul according to the New Testament, with the coming of Jesus, changed everything! Now, according to the prevailing evangelical paradigm, all of these Jews AND non-Israelites were fundamentally lost, unless and until they accept Jesus as their personal savior. The evangelical paradigm still to this day requires Jews AND non-Israelites to accept Jesus as their personal savior or they are doomed [See Mark 16:16, John 3:18, 5:24, 1 Corinthians 1:18].

Moreover, the evangelical paradigm asserts that full citizens of Israel, to the exclusion of any previously held beliefs and parameters of Israeli citizenship are now changed. Instead, Israeli citizens are only believers of Jesus and his ‘does it all, once and for all’ sacrifice.

In contradistinction the bottom line has always been that non-Israelites (who do not want to convert fully) are allowed to reside as residents of the nation of Israel by believing in the G-d of Israel AND forsaking idolatry which in today’s terms means forsaking Jesus/ Yeshua.

The New Testament in an idolatrous attempt via Paul which annuls and ‘upgrades’ the revelation of the will of G-d (Torah) by its promotion of Jesus and the receiving of the Holy Spirit turning Shavuot into Pentecost, the ‘old’ into the ‘new’ testament etc…

Ruth however, did not ‘upgrade’ by virtue of belief in a divine/ human messiah for her citizenship because no such thing is mandated in the Torah. Rather Ruth chose the requirements of law for citizenship as shown in the Torah (i.e. 613 commandments):

12 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? 14 To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the LORD set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. Deut 10

The promise of Paul is a new manufactured promise and is NOT the same promise God made to Abraham in Genesis. It is very important to understand what Paul has created:

In Galatians 5:1, Jesus has freed all believers from something Paul calls “a yoke of slavery”. In context this verse is the culmination of Paul’s allegory on Christian freedom (4:21-31). In Paul’s allegory the yoke of slavery is the burden of the whole Old Covenant.

“Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law actually says?” (4:21).

Yisrael Medad idiotWhat “law” is Paul referring to? He continues, “For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman” (v.22). Where is this written? In one of the five books of Moses that contains all the law. This story is not from some ceremonial section of the law of the Old Covenant. It is found in the book of Genesis chapter 16. In Galatians 4:24 it is as clear as crystal that Hagar represents the Old Covenant established at Mt. Sinai which covenant means slavery for its children. “These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar.” In v. 28 Paul says that his fellow believers are not children of this Old Covenant yoke of slavery, but are the children of New Covenant freedom. In v. 30 Paul tells Christians to “cast out” Hagar who represents the Old Covenant of slavery. What does this accomplish? “Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman” (v. 31). Christians are free from all the laws of the Old Covenant not just the ceremonial ones. The “yoke of slavery” referred to in 5:1 must be the same yoke of slavery that Paul has been referring to in 4:21-31 and that is the whole Old Covenant. “These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar.” Were only the ceremonial commandments from Mount Sinai? No, the Ten Commandments and all the other commandments were from Mount Sinai. Hagar represents the entire Old Covenant and Christians are to cast out that entire covenant in order to become children of freedom.

In sum, Laurie Cardoza-Moore and The Apostle Paul’s claim that “If you are in Christ, you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise” is fundamentally wrong because Paul advocates the rejection of the Torah by the new belief in Jesus. Paul additionally changes any previously practiced parameters and criteria of Israeli citizenship and replaces them with new parameters which graft gentiles in to Israeli citizenship. Gentiles and apostate Jews are BOTH deceived if they think they are full Citizens of Israel by being believers of Jesus/ Yeshua.

I think we all know who is doing the harming to the Jewish people!!

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[1] see http://jewishisrael.ning.com/profiles/blogs/comment-confusion-on-jewish-press-icej-idf-article

[2] http://jewishisrael.ning.com/video/avi-mizrachi-speaks-at-the-ticej-2014-feas

[3] http://jewishisrael.ning.com/profiles/blogs/jewishisrael-s-counter-missionary-of-the-month-award-goes-to-miss

[4] The results of the 2014 harvest labor of Hayovel volunteers was 438 tons of grapes which should produce at least 258,000 bottles of wine. Since 2004, they harvested over 2000 tons of grapes and olives which represents 156,000 work hours, saving labor costs of $1,100,000.

The Sisterhood

August 21, 2015

By Rachel Wizenfeld

Orthodox Feminism

This week I read Rachel Rosenthal’s open letter to Rabbi Willig expressing her frustration and anger about his views on women learning Talmud. I have sympathy for Ms. Rosenthal’s frustration and agree with her that it is in everyone’s best interest to have smart, educated observant Jewish women.

But Rabbi Willig’s main point was that Talmud study is problematic because it leads to women’s ordination and egalitarian minyanim, which he believes are damaging to the foundations of Orthodoxy. Rosenthal neglected to confront that point, though based on the fact that she participates in a partnership minyan I imagine she would disagree.

The Nishmat Yoatzot.

Counselors, who help women uncomfortable with asking rabbis about intimate matters, are taking pains to distance themselves from controversial maharats. Maharat is a term for a female leader in Judaism. The word maharat is a Hebrew acronym for words manhiga hilkhatit rukhanit Toranit (Hebrew: מנהיגה הלכתית רוחנית תורנית‎) denoting a female “leader of Jewish law spirituality and Torah”.

However I’d like to explain why I, an Orthodox woman who also cares strongly about female empowerment, agree with Rabbi Willig that female ordination and partnership minyanim are damaging to Orthodoxy, and not just due to the halachic reasons that (male) rabbis keep espousing.

Consider why Joanne Rowling penned her Harry Potter books under the name J.K. Rowling to attract more boy readers. Or why Pinterest has had to pull out the stops to overcome its scrapbooking persona to attract more male users. Or why Conservative and Reform rabbinic schools, so I’ve been told, have to do special outreach to attract and recruit qualified male candidates, while being inundated with stellar female applicants.

For better or for worse, men like their boy’s clubs. They’re attracted to environments and experiences that are inherently male. Put a woman at the helm of a synagogue and you’ll probably see what I’ve witnessed after teaching at Conservative Sunday schools and at the occasional Hillel I’ve passed through—a few good, sensitive men coupled with lots of spiritual-seeking women. Whether it’s from mere discomfort around women or buried chauvinism, the reality is that most men relate best to male leaders. It takes a rare man who can sit at the feet of a woman scholar to drink in her wisdom.

While you can legitimately argue that women shouldn’t be limited in their leadership potential simply because men like to hang out together, I don’t think that men should be written out of the religious sphere either, which is likely to happen once women enter the rabbinate. Judaism can’t afford the disengagement of Orthodox Jewish men as has been seen in the decreasing involvement of Conservative and Reform men (read “The Diminishing Role of Jewish Men in Jewish Life” for more on this issue). This same phenomenon has been echoed in professions, such as teaching and even psychology, where women are more likely to predominate. But the world is not going to suffer from a plethora of qualified female psychologists or teachers, or doctors or lawyers. And men can always be encouraged back to careers with financial incentives and good job opportunities, if needed. But religion doesn’t have the same financial incentive that careers do, making it a more vulnerable system. And it’s also more vital and central to our lives. So if men need this to be a boy’s club to participate, then I say go ahead and claim it.

Conservatives ordain 3 female rabbis in Jerusalem

But there’s another, more obvious reason why I don’t think women should be rabbis. It became clear to me one night as my husband and I watched a YouTube clip of a female Reform rabbi delivering a speech. I found the story she told both poignant and uplifting. But when I turned to my husband to discuss it, he said, “You know, just the fact that she’s a woman made it really distracting for me.” This female rabbi wasn’t a stunner, but neither was she ugly. She was modestly dressed, had a cheerful voice and upbeat speaking style, and guess what? She distracted my sweet, sincere husband. He’s not the type to objectify women. His primary mentor is a highly accomplished and successful aunt, and I’ve seen him deeply respect the opinions, insights and ideas of many different women over the years. But like it or not, men are often attracted to women, especially when those women are wearing stylish wigs and Shabbat clothes and make-up. For many Orthodox men, the synagogue service is a break from the constant stress of interacting with often-attractive women in the workplace and the street, and a chance to focus their minds on G-d and prayer. To interrupt that spiritual oasis for the purpose of giving women the position of rabbi or Rabba isn’t an equation that evens out in my mind. It’s an “It’s not you, it’s me,” situation. “Dear women who want to be rabbis: I barely know what I’m saying when I pray. Please don’t make me even more distracted.”

It’s no secret that men are more sexually attracted to women then vice versa. I’ve never heard of a woman who was distracted by a male rabbi’s sermon due to his being good-looking. And any man who says that he wouldn’t be distracted by a female rabbi is probably in denial, or has become overwhelmingly desensitized to female sexuality, probably due to overexposure. That desensitization is precisely what Orthodox Judaism tries to avoid: we want husbands and wives to have passionate, romantic relationships with each other instead of lukewarm marriages in which the power of physicality has been diluted. Having more female rabbis might accustom men to being less distracted, but that’s an inherent negative because Judaism sees desensitization as a lose-lose.

Obviously these points won’t resonate with women who feel shut out, shut down, voiceless and abused by the male-led religious society called Orthodox Judaism. To those women, I hear your pain. I’ve felt some of that same hurt. But it’s not the Orthodox way to push halachic norms into uncharted territory when things get uncomfortable. It’s to work within the system, broken as it may seem, to find meaning and empowerment in a way that can resonate with you.

I concede that there’s an inherent disrespect that’s bound to come from a society in which all the religious leaders are male. That’s why there’s an onus on our rabbinic leadership to take an active role in soliciting the concerns of Jewish women and empowering us to have a say in areas which affect us. Instead of writing so many articles about the dangers of female ordination, why not take the time to consider how to inspire and empower the next generation of Orthodox women and girls? That’s what I think is missing from Rabbi Willig’s piece – an acknowledgement of some of the purer forces that drive women to learn Talmud and seek ordination, and a discussion on how those needs can be met in more halachically permissible ways.

Yes, Ms. Rosenthal, on the surface it seems weird that women can be anything today — doctors, artists, lawyers, bankers, teachers — and yet can’t be Orthodox rabbis. I’ve thought about that discrepancy quite often. But I decided that I’m completely okay with it. I find it a price I can pay to keep the men in my life engaged and enthusiastic about their Judaism while allowing me the opportunity to pursue service of God in an empowered, respectful fashion. And to the women who insist they can’t be empowered without pursuing the rabbinate, I fundamentally disagree. There are numerous paths within Judaism to find true empowerment, if you only look for them. Whether it’s as a teacher, principal, politician, advocate, synagogue president, or Torah scholar. And these are all achieved without the high cost of causing Orthodox men to become distracted at prayer and disengaged from Jewish life.

Rachel Wizenfeld writes on women’s issues, parenting, education and more for a variety of Jewish publications. She lives with her family in Los Angeles.

Yeshua the Worm!?

There is a species of oak with the fancy Latin name of Quercus infectoria (Quercus boissier), called in Hebrew by the corresponding name tola oak because of the crimson worm (tola) which lives off its branches.

Like most things in Judaism and in Israel, the crimson worm (תֹּולֵעָֽה, tola) is immediately pounced upon as being representative of Jesus / Yeshua. The abuse of psalm 22 verse 6 is a prime example.

But I am a worm (תּוֹלָע), and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. Psalm 22:6

Crimson worm

Now of course Psalm 22 is a well maligned psalm by the missionaries in their quest to convert Jews, even Christening it as the crucifixion psalm[1].

For dogs have encompassed me; a company of evildoers encircles me; like a lion (כָּאֲרִי), they are at my hands and feet. Psalm 22:17

The phrase “like a lion” is a direct translation of the Hebrew word “ke’ari (כָּאֲרִי).” Compare:

Lest he tear my soul like a lion (כְּאַרְיֵה), rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver. Psalms 7:3

To transform Psalms 22:17 into a “prophecy” of Jesus’ crucifixion, missionaries translate “ke’ari” (כָּאֲרִי) as “they have pierced my hands and feet.” Yet this is clearly a mistranslation[2], for the Psalmist continues:

Save me from the lion’s mouth (אַרְיֵה), for You have answered me from the horns of wild oxen. Psalms 22:22

The claims of Christians blinded by their New Testament theological projections onto the Jewish scriptures of course completely ignore any immediate context/ fulfillment of psalm 22 and what the Rabbis had to say about it.

An interesting understanding is that Psalm 22 alludes to Purim, an event which was to occur hundreds of years after David. It goes that David, with his ‘holy spirit’ foresaw the bleak Babylonian and Persian exiles in general, and in particular, the terrible threat of Haman and Ahashueros against the entire Jewish nation, personified by Queen Esther. Although there are countless events in Jewish history which David does discuss in the Book of Psalms, Alshich explains that David dedicated a Psalm to Esther because she personally had a hand in the salvation of Israel in her days. When David fled from Absalom, Shimei ben Gera of the tribe of Benjamin went out to viciously curse David. Yet, David would not allow his men to kill Shimei although he deserved death for blaspheming the king:

5 Now when King David came to Bahurim, there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei the son of Gera, coming from there. He came out, cursing continuously as he came. 6 And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David. And all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. 7 Also Shimei said thus when he cursed: “Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue! 8 The Lord has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a bloodthirsty man!”

9 Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!”

10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’”

11 And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction,[a] and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day.” 13 And as David and his men went along the road, Shimei went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, threw stones at him and kicked up dust. (II Sam. 16:5-13).

The Talmud (Megilla 13a) says that David foresaw that Mordecai [and Esther] was destined do descend from Shimei [Mordecai, son of Yair, son of Shimi) (Esther 2:5)] and being that the salvation of Israel was at stake, David forfeited his own dignity for the sake of saving his own people.

Now onto the Worms

Worm: Rima (רִמָּה) and crimson worm tolat (תוֹלַעַת)

In considering Psalm 22:6 and other passages in the Jewish scriptures we have a very interesting parallel between worms, men and G-d himself. The richness and the beauty of the Hebrew language as such allows for very precise definitions and general principles to be worked out so that any crazy ideas we may entertain may be eliminated. First a quote of Psalm 22:6 (verse 7 in Jewish ‘bibles’):

But I am a worm (תוֹלַעַת, tolat), and no man (אִישׁ, ish); a reproach of men (אָדָם, odom), and despised of the people (עָם).

וְאָנֹכִי תוֹלַעַת וְלֹא-אִישׁ; חֶרְפַּת אָדָם, וּבְזוּי עָם

A word for worm in Hebrew is Rima (רִמָּה) and for a specific crimson worm is a tolat (תוֹלַעַת). In terms of usage  Rima (רִמָּה)  is used seven times in seven verses and tolat (תוֹלַעַת) is used forty-three times in forty three verses. In two places both terms are used together:

Your pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of your stringed instruments: the worm (רִמָּה) is spread under you, and the worms (תּוֹלָע) cover you. Isa 14:11

How much less, man, who is a worm (רִמָּה), and the son of man (בן–אדם ben odom), who is crimson worm (תֹּולֵעָֽה). Job 25:6

In the case of the verse in Job we have a reference to the term ‘son of man’ (בן–אדם ben odom), the very first reference to ‘son of man’ (בן–אדם ben odom) is found in the Torah in Numbers 23:19

God is not a man (איש : [‘iysh]) that He should lie, nor is He a mortal (בן–אדם : [ben-adam ]) that He should relent. Would He say and not do, speak and not fulfill?

In the above both types of men in terms of the singular or in the generic [as in all mankind] are ruled out to describe God or that God could ever become a man. After all God cannot change (Mal 3:6) unlike the lie of the New Testament and New Testament theology which directly present the opposite [see John 1:1,14]. The notion and the implication from the lie of the New Testament and its theology projected onto the Jewish scriptures is that:

god = man = worm

It is rather unfortunate that Christians have to resort to the twisting of scripture to promote the lies of the New Testament to get ‘pierced’ into the distorted picture of Psalm 22. Even more unfortunate is that once pierced is ‘registered’ into the mind of a Christian, the Christian then goes into a frenzy to entertain other bizarre notions about the ‘crucifixion’ psalm. The crimson worm of course provides the copious amount of crimson blood in a bloody allusion  to crucifixion only if the specific tree concerned (Quercus infectoria oak) is totally infested with the little critters!! Similarly if absolute literalism is required for ‘exact’ fulfillment, then by implication the cross has to be made from “Quercus infectoria” and only “Quercus infectoria”. Any sane individual would know that if one was to put all the relics of the cross together you would probably have enough wood to build Noah’s Ark. Moreover, what kind of sacrifice is it if the worm comes back to life after 3 days. A true sacrifice would be gone forever would it not?

Why not take what Psalm 22 has to say at face value and in its context? To do so for the Christian would include a painful acknowledgement of an immediate context for Psalm 22 which describes the psalmist’s degradation. Also to acknowledge future allusions of Psalm 22 to describe the degradation of Israel in exile which includes historical facts [Purim for example] that nations including Christian nations of the world have treated Jews like worms. In other words with numerous inquisitions, pogroms and the Nazis [acting upon the theology of protestant Martin Luther] has seen the treatment of the Jews as not Human and as easily disposable as worms?

___________

  1. From an old Jews for Jesus brochure, there is a section that quotes several Biblical verses which they say foretell the life of Christ. One of these is Psalms 22:16, which they translate as “They pierced my hands and feet.” This supposedly foretells the crucifixion of Jesus where his hands and feet were pierced by the nails that hung him to the cross. One problem, it doesn’t work in Hebrew.The Psalm describes the angst of the psalmist who is surrounded by enemies and asks why G-d has forsaken him. Psalms 22:16, which in Hebrew says “k’ari b’yadai v’raglai” (“Like a lion (the enemies) are at my hands and feet”). The disputed word here is “k’ari” which is spelled kaph – aleph – resh – yud. Most graduates of a Hebrew school education know that an ari is a lion, and that the use of the letter “kaph” before a word means “like” or “as.” The Christians appear to have invented a new Hebrew word which they pronounce “koari” yet no such word exists in Hebrew with the same spelling. There is a similar sounding word to koari that is used to mean to dig, or perhaps bore (as in a hole), although there are better words for that. But the spelling is much different. In “koari” there is no letter aleph as there is in the word k’ari and no grammatical reason for dropping it.
  2. The word in T’hillim / Psalm 22 is ka’ari (lion) not karu (which means “to dig” BTW, as in digging a ditch, not pierce). The word כָּרוּ karu (“they dug”) occurs in T’hillim / Psalm 57:7 and 119:85, as well as in Yirm’yahu / Jeremiah 18:20 and 18:22, The full conjugation is
    ∙ כָּרִֽיתִי kariti “I dug” (B’réshιt 50:5)
    ∙ כָּרִֽיתָ karita “you [m.sing.] dug” (T’hillim 40:7)
    ∙ כָּרִית karit “you [f.sing.] dug”
    ∙ כָּרָה karah “he dug” (T’hillim 7:16, Divrei Hayamim Beit 16:14)
    ∙ כָּרְתָה kar’tah “she dug”
    ∙ כָּרִֽינוּ karinu “we dug”
    ∙ כְּרִיתֶם k’riy’tem “you [m.pl.] dug”
    ∙ כְּרִיתֶן k’riy’ten “you [f.pl.] dug”
    ∙ כָּרוּ karu “they dug”
    Some missionaries try and say that the word in T’hillim / Psalm 22 should be karu — but as just shown above כָּרוּ karu (“they dug”) is NOT pierced. Its cognate 3rd person plural masculine gender (karu) translates to they dug.
    Kaf-resh-vav is a word. BTW the KJV translates ka’ari correctly in other places that arent proof texts misquoted by the GT.
    Numbers 23:24
    (veka’ari), and I as a young lion
    Numbers 24:9
    (ka’ari), like a lion
    Isaiah 38:13
    (ka’ari), like a lion
    Ezekiel 22:25
    (ka’ari), like a lion
    So the KJV translators correctly translated it until they got to Psalms 22:17[16] and suddenly the KJV doesn’t know what it means and translates it as “they pierced.”
    One more little bit of Hebrew grammar. If the word really was “pierced,” (which we’ve proven it is not) the sentence would have an “et” (את) to identify the direct object which would be affected by that verb. There is no et (את).

Pastor at ‘Passion for Truth’ church sentenced to prison for swindling the elderly

Well here is the outcome from a previous post and the posts of the many followers of Pastor Jim in reaction to the 7 year sentence:

Jim Staley

No doubt one of the many believers of Pa$tor Jim who still insist that denial is a river in Egypt. More from the seedy world of the me$$ianic Bu$ine$$ here also. Here is the news below:

by BETHANIA PALMA MARKUS

Jim Staley delivering a sermon in April (Screenshot/YouTube)

Jim Staley delivering a sermon in April (Screenshot/YouTube)

A Missouri pastor at a church called “Passion for Truth Ministries” will serve prison time for lying to and defrauding elderly investors, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Jim Staley, 40, was sentenced Wednesday to 7 years in prison and ordered to repay elderly investors $3.3 million. He pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud and profited $570,000 in the scam of elderly people who trusted him because of his Christian faith and family values. Some of them were suffering from dementia.

Although he apologized, the daughter of a man who lost $155,000 in Staley’s scam said it wasn’t sincere and was staged for church members.

His victims were not members of his parish.

Despite being warned by the court that not accepting personal responsibility for his actions could earn him more prison time, Staley has said in sermons that he was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and blamed the economy.

Staley has only paid a tiny fraction of restitution owed to victims — $1,950, despite the fact he lives rent free with an annual church salary of $127,000.

As a sales agent for B&B Equity Group, a California company, Staley misled victims into believing that billionaire Warren Buffett was an investor and convinced people to cash out on annuities knowing they would lose money. He continued to sell investments even after the state issued a cease and desist order. Staley did not mention the order to clients.

Staley ran a controversial church ministry called the “Christian Roots Movement” which advocates following the Bible in the manner of early Christians, before churches “started adding and subtracting from the word of God.”

He said that supporters had visions of “high-ranking demonic generals,” which Staley interpreted to be the FBI agents investigating him.

Even then, Staley was beset by financial troubles and allegations of fraud. One former church member told the Post-Dispatch he left because of it.

“The dishonesty was a big problem for me,” Josh Ernst told the paper. “I started to see a pattern — he used the same sorts of excuses, blamed other people, and nothing was ever his fault or his responsibility. That happened one too many times.”

If Jesus Was Not The Messiah Then Who Will Be? – Short Answer: Who Cares?

by Amos Wittenberg
24 June 2015

When Christians or Messianics discover that all the purported “messianic prophecies” in the Christian writings are without exception based on distortions, misreadings, mistranslations and passages taken out of context, they are often left with a burning question: if Jesus/Yeshua was not the promised Messiah, who will be?

Obviously this is not just a matter of curiosity. Leaving the Jesus religion leaves behind a Jesus-shaped hole.

This is the result of a terrible misunderstanding, brought about by centuries of Christian theology – or better Jesulatry.

You see, in Christian thinking the Messiah is a Saviour, a Redeemer, the Light of the World, the Bread of Life, the Source of Living Water, the Alpha and Omega.

So, even when a God-fearing Christian or messianic comes to the (inevitable) conclusion that:
a) Jesus did not die for anyone’s sins,
b) no one dies for the sins of someone else,
c) Jesus really was not the promised Messiah
d) the New Testament is not the word of God and cannot be relied upon
e) there is no unblemished lamb to bear the sins of the world
f) etc etc

s/he still carries around the baggage of all those lofty qualities ascribed to the Messiah in Christianity.

The question then arises: who is the true Saviour, Redeemer, Light of the World, Bread of Life, Source of Living Water, Alpha and Omega? Who will come and fill the hole that Jesus/Yeshua left in me?

The answer is: that hole is a figment of a pagan imagination. No one “has to come” to reveal himself as the “true Saviour”. If you are waiting for that Saviour, you are waiting in vain. No one will announce the “good news” of his coming. That is NOT what “awaiting the Messiah” means, at all. “Awaiting the Messiah” is short-hand for “awaiting the time of redemption when, among many other things, the Davidic kingdom will be re-established”.

There was, is and always will be only One True Saviour.

Please read carefully the words of Isaiah! I will show you the Hebrew text and offer my clumsy translation. Nothing can replace the original: it is written in clear and simple language which is difficult to render. I just stick to as literal a translation as possible.

אַתֶּם עֵדַי נְאֻם־ה’ וְעַבְדִּי אֲשֶׁר בָּחָרְתִּי לְמַעַן תֵּדְעוּ וְתַאֲמִינוּ לִי וְתָבִינוּ כִּי־אֲנִי הוּא לְפָנַי לֹא־נוֹצַר אֵל וְאַחֲרַי לֹא יִהְיֶה׃ אָנֹכִי אָנֹכִי ה’ וְאֵין מִבַּלְעָדַי מוֹשִׁיעַ׃ אָנֹכִי הִגַּדְתִּי וְהוֹשַׁעְתִּי וְהִשְׁמַעְתִּי וְאֵין בָּכֶם זָר וְאַתֶּם עֵדַי נְאֻם־ה’ וַאֲנִי־אֵ־ל׃ גַּם־מִיּוֹם אֲנִי הוּא וְאֵין מִיָּדִי מַצִּיל אֶפְעַל וּמִי יְשִׁיבֶנָּה׃
[You are My witnesses, declares HASHEM, and My servant whom I have chosen in order that you will know and rely on Me and understand that I am He, that before Me no god was formed and after Me there will not be. I, yes I am HASHEM and besides Me there is no saviour. I said it and I saved and I let it be heard and among you there is no strange god and you are My witnesses, declares HASHEM, and I am God. Also from now on I am He and no one delivers from My hand; I will act and who can turn it back?] (Isaiah 43:10-13)

Why wait for a saviour, born from a virgin or not born from a virgin, born in Bethlehem or not born in Bethlehem, Davidic or not Davidic, whatever his name, whatever wonders and signs?

HASHEM is your Saviour and there is none other. Not Moses. Not a prophet. Not the King Messiah – may he come soon, in our days. None but the Living God, HASHEM of hosts. He is your Redeemer. He is the First and the Last. From the words of His mouth we live. His Torah is the source of living water and a lamp for our feet and a light on our way.

You don’t have to wait for your Saviour, He is waiting for you!

PS: So what about the Messiah? Who cares? He is not important. He will be our king as promised but everything he will ever do or say will point away from himself and point to his and our King, the Living God.

Could We Weaklings Dream Of Revenge?

Yair Wasserman | Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Menashe Walsh's photo.Onlookers and media men gaped as the drama played itself out in the pope’s receiving line. Polish-born Pope John Paul II had returned to his native country for a memorial ceremony at Auschwitz, in which he sought to honor Christian Poles who died as co-victims of the Jews who perished in the Holocaust. On one side of the line was the bearded, dignified rabbi, and opposite him, draped in white, the man considered by hundreds of millions around the world as their spiritual father. The rabbi stood alone, speaking from the heart in fluent Polish, while the pope and his accompanying bevy of bishops and dignitaries all listened wide-eyed, some of them squirming uncomfortably, as they envisioned the horror scenes the rabbi was describing.

Poland’s chief rabbi, Rav Pinchas Menachem Joskowicz, ztz”l — whose shloshim was marked last week — was reacting to the numerous crosses planted throughout Auschwitz, desecrating the sanctified memory of the millions of Jews who had been sent to their deaths in the camp.

In 1979, the pope himself had erected a twenty-six-foot tall cross on the grounds of Auschwitz after reciting mass there for some 500,000 Catholics. Several years later, Carmelite nuns attempted to move their nearby convent to the Auschwitz grounds, and dozens of other “new” crosses were erected, much to the chagrin of the international Jewish community. When Rabbi Joskowicz — himself an Auschwitz survivor — met with the Polish-born pope in 1999, the issue of the crosses had become one of the most explosive issues of the papacy.

Shortly before the pope’s arrival, the government ordered the removal of hundreds of smaller crosses erected at Auschwitz by Catholic militants. But the pope’s cross, meanwhile, remained.

Rabbi Joskowicz created a minor scandal when his appeal, televised live internationally, opened with the remark, “I have a favor to ask Mr. Pope” (instead of the more politic “Your Holiness”). But more than that, he unabashedly put back on the table a sensitive issue the Polish government, and the papacy, would have preferred to suppress.

“Let me tell you a story,” Rabbi Joskowicz (or Rav Mendel, as he was fondly called) addressed the pope. “This is a personal story that has stayed with me for all these long years since those days of darkness. On one of the death marches, when the Nazis forced us to tramp from one place to another for no specific reason, we were ordered to wait by the roadside. It was a sweltering day, and the soaring heat pressed down upon us as we waited in the symbolically fitting backdrop of an abandoned cemetery.

“We waited for an hour, two hours, the sun beating upon our heads and sucking up the very marrow of our bones. We were terribly thirsty — especially the women, children, and old people in our midst, who had barely been able to withstand the march. We were literally dying of thirst, to the point that we put our lips to the tombstones, hoping to find residue of the morning’s dew.

“One woman was half-carrying three small children. She had valiantly carried them along throughout the march, one in her arms and the other two trailing by her side, holding on to her with all their might. As we waited by the roadside, her condition became critical; she was at the end of her strength, lying by the road, her children drooping dangerously by her side, their lips parched, whimpering helplessly in voices that slowly waned, begging for water.

“The mother was at her wit’s end. Where could she find water to revive her withering children? Suddenly, she had an idea. She arose with determination and approached the German soldier guarding us. He, of course, was generously supplied with canteens of cool water from which he slurped every few moments.

“She approached him and begged for a bit of water.” Rav Mendel shuddered as it all came back to him. The pope could not help registering this motion. “She pleaded with him, ‘Just a bit of water for my children who are dying of thirst.’ Without rewarding her with as much as a passing glance, he grabbed his rifle and smashed it down upon her head, killing her on the spot, right in front of the children.

“At that moment, I looked up to Heaven, sure that the sky would come tumbling down upon our heads. I was certain that if anything could shake the heavens and earth, it was this terrible act. Since then, I have experienced many shocking things in life, but nothing compares with that total absence of anything human. Still the sky did not fall and the earth did not quake.

“And if in those moments we did not make Auschwitz into a place of religion,” said Rav Mendel, shaking an accusing figure at the shocked pope, “if then, when every vestige of compassion was obliterated, no religious icons or symbols were erected, how can there now be any justification for exhibiting so many crosses throughout the camp, whose victims were primarily Jews?”

Following the rabbi’s confrontation with the pope, most of the new crosses — the pope’s own received a reprieve — were removed. For Rabbi Joskowicz, however, the meeting was the final significant event in his service as chief rabbi of Poland.

Various powers within the Catholic hierarchy took offense at the pressure put upon the pope, and sought allies among the Jewish community. Flaunting the photo of the rabbi wagging his finger in the pope’s face, they declared that this irreverent act was a severe breach of respect toward the Church, and took the necessary steps to have Rav Mendel removed from the position he had served in for a decade and returned to Eretz Yisrael.

Pray only to G-d (no intermediaries)

8/12/2015

by Sophiee Saguy (link here)

0 Comments

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You should incline your prayers, your thoughts and your actions only to G-d. This is the fifth principle and it warns against idolatry (עבודה זרה / avodah zarah — literally “strange worship”). Do not pray to or through any intermediary.  Do not pray to an angel.  Do not pray through a human (e.g. a deceased relative).   Do not pray to or through anyone or anything but G-d Himself.

It is inappropriate to pray to anyone but G-d Himself.

Worship of any three-part god by a Jew is nothing less than a form of idolatry. (Whether Christianity is idolatry for a non-Jew is debatable).  The Rambam certainly saw it as idolatry, but many others opine that for a non-Jew Christianity is שִׁתּוּף / shituf.  Shituf  is the heretical idea of some sort of co-mingling of something with G-d — the worship or belief of other gods (e.g. Jesus and the holy ghost) in addition to the G-d Himself  In the case of Christianity this is the idea of a G-d in human form being worshiped (Jesus) and even the “holy spirit” being worshiped.

Whether Christianity is שִׁתּוּף / Shituf or עבודה זרה /avodah zarah for a non-Jew, it is definitely עבודה זרה / avodah zarah / idolatry for a Jew — and  forbidden.  Some posit that today’s non-Jewish Christians cannot be considered idol-worshipers since they are merely following in the tradition of their parents.   Still, most agree that Christianity is idolatry for Jew and non-Jew since it does involve praying to or through an intermediary (Jesus, and in the case of some Christians praying to or through saints, Mary, etc.).

Nissim ben Reuven, The Ran, (14th century) wrote   “…even the Christian saints, and even the…leader of the Ishmaelites, even though their followers do not consider them gods, nevertheless, since they bow to them to acknowledge that they are human incarnation of their divinities, they all have the halachic status of avodah zarah…”

Idolatry does not necessarily mean worshiping a god of stone or wood. Even if a Jew worships the highest angel, it is also a form of idolatry.   G-d is the infinite One, Creator of all things. Anyone who worships anything else is guilty of idolatry even for a non-Jew.

We have already discussed the unity of G-d.  The three-part god of Christianity is not the G-d of Judaism.

Therefore, in the Jewish view, Christianity may very well be a variation of idolatry even for a non-Jew.  The Christian bible teaches its followers that the only way to G-d is through the son (Jesus).  John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

This is in direct violation of the Torah precept to worship only G-d.   Sh’mot / Exodus 20:2-3:  “I am G-d your L-rd, who brought you out of Egypt, from the place of slavery.   20:3 Do not have any other gods before Me.”

By saying “before Me” G-d is stressing that no one should believe in any other deity, even if you believe in Him, too.   By praying to or through Jesus a Christian is putting that other entity between themselves and G-d.   If you believe in G-d, why do you need Jesus?   Why do you need to pray to or through anyone but the Holy One?

G-d gave man absolute free will.   Man can choose good or evil, the blessing or the curse.   The choice to honor G-d and pray only to Him is an expression of our free will.    So that such a choice can exist, G-d created a world where both good and evil can freely operate. He thus said, “I form light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil; I am G-d. I do all these things” (Y’shayahu / Isaiah 45:7).

G-d created it in order that man should overcome it. It is written, “Behold, the fear of G-d, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil, that is understanding” (Iyov / Job 28:28).

So humans have absolute free will, with the ability to choose between good and evil.   The Torah says:  “I call heaven and earth to bear witness this day, for I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life, so that you and our children may live” (D’varim / Deuteronomy 30:19).

It is evil and a curse to pray to false gods or intermediaries.

People, upon hearing the word “idolatry” picture people bowing and praying to statues.    This is not the Jewish definition of idolatry.   The term for idolatry in Hebrew is  עבודה זרה / avodah zarah / idolatry – and it translates to “strange worship.”

What about Jews who say prayers at the gravesides of famous Jews?  There are Jews who visit the graves of our patriarchs and leave prayers.   There are Jews who visit the grave of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem M. Schneerson.   Would this not be considered  שִׁתּוּף / Shituf or עבודה זרה /avodah zarah?

No, because Jews do not pray to the dead.   When a Jew visits the gravesite of a sage, they are not praying to or through that person.  They are not asking the dead person to “intercede” on their behalf. 128:13 in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch says  “the place of the burial of righteous people is holy and pure, and prayer is accepted there more [readily], since the person is on holy ground. And the blessed holy one will do kindness in the merit of the righteous people.   However, the person parying should not face the graves (literally:  corpses who dwell there) as they pray, because the matter is close to being in the category of  you shall not. . . communicate with the dead.”  D’varim / Deuteronomy 18:10-11.  Rather, he should request from the blessed G-d that He have mercy on him in the merit of the righteous people, the dwellers of the dust.”

G-d describes avodah zarah (idolatry — literally “strange worship”) in D’varim / Deuteronomy 13:7-9 – and it is the death knell to Christianity – even to those who do not “worship” Jesus but claim to only “pray in his name.” —  it is still a clear violation of the Rambam’s 5th principle against worshiping any other than G-d.

Even Christians who say Jesus is G-d are violating the precept since no one at Sinai knew or prayed to or through Jesus.   The Torah says:

“[This is what you must do] if your blood brother, your son, your daughter, your bosom wife, or your closest friend secretly tries to act as a missionary among you, and says, ‘If your brother, the son of your mother, tempts you in secret or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your embrace, or your friend, who is as your own soul saying, “Let us go and worship other gods, which neither you, nor your forefathers have known.”‘ 13:8 [He may be enticing you with] the gods of the nations around you, far or near, or those that are found at one end of the world or another. 13:9 Do not agree with him, and do not listen to him.”  D’varim / Deuteronomy 13:7-9.

The key phrase here is “WHICH NEITHER YOU OR YOUR FOREFATHERS HAVE KNOWN.”

Jesus supposedly lived 2000 years ago, 1300 years after our fathers heard G-d speak at Mount Sinai.  Thus the worship of Jesus is an experience that we did not know (at Mount Sinai when we accepted the Torah) — and thus is worhsiping Jesus (or praying “through” him is idolatry for a Jew.

Line 19 of that same passage (D’varim / Deuteronomy 13) tells us “For you shall hearken to the voice of the L-rd your G-d, to keep all His mitzvot which I command you this day, to do that which is proper in the eyes of the L-rd, your G-d.”

Those mitzvot are the same ones NOT observed by Christians.  Christians (non-Jews) are only bound to 7 mitzvot, but one of those is to worship only G-d.    While some Christians view Jesus as a human being, most worship him as a part of G-d (shituf at a minimum for a non-Jew).

Praying to or “through” Jesus was not a spiritual experience known to our ancestors at Mount Sinai – hence it is forbidden to a Jew.  Again, the Rambam was simply stating a fact already well established in the Torah.

When did “our fathers”, present at Sinai, have a spiritual experience with Jesus? Was Jesus “known” to them? Did they pray to Jesus or through Jesus? Of course not! Jesus was unknown to them.

G-d warned us against both Christianity and Islam — any spiritual experience not known to us at Mount Sinai is false. It is not the Rabbis who have “changed” or turned to avodah zarah — it is those apostate Jews who pray to or through a man and put that man above the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Principle:  G-d is the exclusive object of worship.  No one or thing is worthy of being worshiped.