HOW DOES THE DEATH OF THE RIGHTEOUS ATONE?

 

Birur by “Borg”?

13 September 201610 Elul 5776

One month ago, I wrote a blog post entitled The Not-So-Secret War Against the Torah. I was reminded of it when I read Binyamin’s statement that “..this world which the majority in it are against the Torah, and not against the Jews particularly,but against the Torah.”

In other words, if the Jews will agree to leave the Torah, they will be tolerated in the New World Religion and even be honored as the third pillar of “Abrahamic Faith” along with Xianity and Islam.

Also mentioned in that earlier blog post was the plan to inaugurate the AMEN House of Prayer at the beginning of a three-week “cultural festival called Mekudeshet:

“…for one week in September, a small structure of four walls and a bit of balcony, called the Alpert Youth Music Center will become AMEN, a home for something that has never before been attempted in the Holy City – a place of worship for the three great monotheistic religions “who share a passion for Jerusalem in which they will co-exist temporarily under the wings of the Almighty.”   (photo h/t Y.Y)


Under the radar, away from the public eye, a small clutch of religious leaders have been gathering for years to believe, to hope and to reconnect via the atavistic language of faith.

…The concept they have created, which the believing public is invited to join between September 5 to 11, is part of a festival known as Mekudeshet, Blessed, part of Jerusalem’s Season of Culture.”


The Mekudeshet homepage makes some startling statements:

…We have sought out ways to present Jerusalem as a place that is both holy and secular

…Jerusalem obligates us, always, to step off the well-trodden paths and to absorb both the bad and the good;….

…we understand that after all is said and done the essence of Jerusalem is contained within the Hebrew root for the words sacred and holy. It is from holiness that faith, hope, and the aspiration for tikkun olam (the concept of repairing the world) derive; holiness is the source of divisiveness, exclusion, and hatred; holiness is both the spring from which all the good of Jerusalem bursts forth and the foundation stone of all that is bad.

…we feel ready and mature enough to reach into Jerusalem’s heart of hearts and propose a more expansive and profound interpretation of the words holy, sanctification, and sacredness.

…We will try during the three weeks of Mekudeshet—or actually at any given moment— to go back to the source, to the spring, to the core, and to the heart, and to call on anyone who believes—no matter what they believe in—to come to Jerusalem. Come and find yourselves. Come in peace.

I don’t know if this was also part of that, but it fits the same agenda: Israeli Leaders Meet With Leaders of Eastern Faith Traditions.  (photo h/t/ R.L.)

According to Binyamin Golden, an autistic young man who is known for his “messages from Heaven” says this is the final test. Will we cooperate in being assimilated out of existence? Will we let go of our hold on the Holy Torah and embrace instead the Brotherhood of Man? God forbid!
Kedushah cannot be redefined as both holy and profane, both good and bad. A choice is required of each of us. The Torah bids us choose – blessing or curse, life or death. There is no both!

And there is no Torah Judaism combined with other “faith traditions”. It’s US or THEM, but there’s not BOTH!

From Part 2 of The Coming World Religion, foundational writings for the “New Age”:

The Jews, who refused even to leave their “Age of Aries” (the time of the Torah) to enter the Age of Pisces, (to merge with Christianity) are doubly behind in their evolutionary development.

..A necessary preparation for the leap upward is the isolation, refinement and preservation of the top 10% of humanity as the new “seed”. The major New Age efforts at indoctrination are therefore designed to get the other 90% of humanity to accept this elitist selection as necessary and just, and if possible to secure their cooperation in the purge.

…High on the list of those 90% which must be eliminated are the Jews who insist on Jewish identity: “When humanity has solved the Jewish problem (with the understanding and cooperation of the Jew)… it will do so by fusing the problem in one vast humanitarian situation. When that happens [the dissolution of the “Jewish race”], the problem [the presence of “separation” and “hate” in the world] will be rapidly solved and one of the major difficulties will disappear off the face of the earth.Racial fusion will then be possible… and then there will be peace on earth.”

When Jews forget that they are Jews, “we shall see a very different world.

Of course, what they plan will never come to fruition because HKB”H will not allow it. However, it is after all A TEST and many individuals, some with very good intentions, will fail this FINAL EXAM for Life. Don’t let it happen to you. Try not to let it happen to anyone you can possibily influence.

Choose blessing, choose life, choose separation in accordance with the demands of our Creator and His Holy Torah.

Do You Mind The Gap?

A popular T-shirt sold as a souvenir of the London Underground sports the phrase “mind the gap”. The gap of course is in between the tube train and the platform edge. The warning “mind the gap” is painted on the floor of the platform as well as being announced gapinside the tube train before and after the tube train stops at the station and opens its doors to let people on and off. The warning has been sounded and painted on tube platforms for many years and like many of the nursery rhymes like “rock a bye baby”, have been sung so many times, people are blissfully unaware of the meaning and ramifications of what they are singing! The warning of “mind the gap” in reality points out the potential horror of what could happen if somebody does not mind the gap: you fall under a train and you don’t have to be drunk to fall under a train either. Falling under a train and the train moving off again does not paint a pretty picture!

Travelling the religious tube train also comes with a “mind the gap” warning too. Chronologically speaking the earlier stations of Judaism as defined by the written torah certainly indicates a journey comprising the following:

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 book of Deuteronomy provides a grand summary and exposition of all that has been stated previously in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. The rest of the Jewish scriptures shows a ‘warts and all’ history of how we the Jewish people with failure, success and ambivalence have and still to this day keep to the journey which G-d had planned out for us: 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, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you. for the naysayers we have the final word from the final prophet Malachi of the original testament:

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.

If the above admonition was not sufficient for us we also have further “mind the gap” warnings to the effect that even if someone from our own people comes along and performs miracles and tells prophecies which come to pass BUT instead offers a different journey to the journey G-d commands we are to put that dreamer or prophet to death (see Deut 13).

Other “mind the gap” moments of recent history include the attempts of the two clowns at One for Israel Ministry to convince Jewish folks of the historical validity of so called ‘messianic’ Judaism all married up with modern day evangelical Protestantism as with thehistory.png case of a recent propaganda article to fill in the gap with a short history of messianic Judaism. The history of messianic Judaism is indeed short rather like the short history of the Palestinian people. The facts on the ground is that so called messianic Judaism was invented in the 1960s as a syncretic movement that combines Christianity—most importantly, the Christian belief that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah—with elements of Judaism and Jewish tradition[1]. Prior to the invention of messianic Judaism in the 1960s there is a gap which goes way back to the time of the New Testament and the Gamliel test recorded in Acts 5:

38 So in the present case I advise you: Leave these (apostles including Peter) men alone. Let them go! For if their purpose or endeavor is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God.” 40 At this, they yielded to Gamaliel. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and released them.…

To go along with the idea of a continuum in the time gap between the Gamliel test and the present day invention of messianic Judaism, one must assume that the Apostles including Peter, were pork eating Sunday keeping Baptists. The reality is that there is no historical record of a messianic Judaism historically existing between the Gamliel test and the present day invention of messianic Judaism. In other words, Peter and the apostles failed the Gamliel test. The dangerous time gap includes therefore such wonderful pagan ideas of the Trinity, the virgin birth  and a divine messiah.

To defend the historical fact that so called messianic Judaism failed the Gamliel test, One for Israel Ministry would insist that the continuum in the time gap between the Gamliel test and the present day invention of messianic Judaism has so called ‘authentic Judaism’ of Moses replaced by so called “Rabbinic Judaism”. Is there really such a thing as Rabbinic Judaism?

heritage.png

The book Torah’s Goal published by One for Israel Ministries is an example of a theological agenda projected onto the Jewish Scriptures and Judaism. The theological agenda is a seriously flawed agenda emphasized right from the beginning of the book in the ‘definitions’ section. The definition section refers to the “Oral Law” as the “rabbinic traditions”.

Did the Sages “invent” Rabbinical Judaism? Did they change Judaism to fit their own “image” of G-d?

TUTUS2

Paradoxically messianic Judaism quotes Sages (Rabbis) who post-dated Yeshua himself. Another thing to note is that 100% of these Rabbis themselves said what they said and rejected the possibility that Yeshua was the Messiah let alone a divine Messiah. In other words, what the Rabbis said and meant by their words was COMPLETELY different to how messianics quote their words and then reinterpret them within their own Christian traditions and their latest spins doing the rounds of the various messianic circuits. Nothing could be further from the truth! Read the T’nach! Rabbis are mentioned in the Torah (just not by that term) – they are the judges and the teachers (just as they are today). They were the men Moses told you to listen to! The system of justice (rabbis are judges), then as now, follows the mitzvot (the “do” and “do not” rules) in the Torah — this includes how courts are established and how they “operate.” The Jewish system of judges began under Moses. Read Sh’mot (Exodus) chapter 18:

“But you must [also] seek out from among all the people capable, G-d-fearing men – men of truth, who hate injustice. You must then appoint them over [the people] as leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, and leaders of tens. 18:22 ‘Let them administer justice for the people on a regular basis. Of course, they will have to bring every major case to you, but they can judge the minor cases by themselves. They will then share the burden, making things easier for you. 18:23 If you agree to this, and G-d concurs, you will be able to survive. This entire nation will then also be able to attain its goal of peace.’” Sh’mot / Exodus 18:21-23.

From the time of Moses to today there have been Rabbis in every single generation from Moses which includes judges / teachers who have maintained the Torah and Jewish law. There has never been a break in that chain. “Rabbinical Judaism” has been handed down לדור ודור / l’dor v’dor (from generation to generation).

Messianic Judaism and its marriage with evangelical Protestantism fails to realize before it was written, the Torah already existed in our world as a lesson from Moses to the people (especially the elders) and their discussion with him. That’s what we call “the oral Torah,” which, contrary to popular misconception, preceded the written Torah. You could say, then, quite literally, that the fullest manifestation of that G-dly wisdom we call Torah is not how it is written in a book, but how it exists in the minds of the people that received it and put it into practice. And since the Torah is a way of life for all seasons, the Torah includes all the discussions and innovations that have organically emerged from it through the medium of those people over the past 3,300 years. A modern day innovation for example concerns what to do with electricity on Shabbat.

After all, a G-dly wisdom must be given by a G-d who is above time and foresees all. He gave us His Torah through Moses like a gardener plants a seed or a forester a sapling; yet unlike those, knowing all that would sprout and grow over the long life of that tree. “They are the shoot of My planting,” He says, “the craft of My hands in which I take pride.” Like a gardener, He plants the seed. Like a craftsman, He forms the final product, step by step.

Simply stated, with Judaism there is no gap to fall into unlike the gap between the Gamliel test and the present day invention of messianic Judaism. The gap of so called messianic Judaism invented and funded by evangelical Protestantism would have us believe in the idolatrous idea of a divine messiah which has to be part of a Triune godhead if their missionary funding is not to dry up that is!

In contrast any messiah according to what has always been understood by Judaism will always lead people to belief in G-d alone and for his people to follow his commandments according to the historically verifiable ongoing continuous discussions and innovations of our teachers and leaders over the centuries under a system established originally by Moses. The added bonus of being G-d’s chosen people is that we are already described as a kingdom of priests (Ex 19:6) and also that each one of us is a messiah (moshiac, see Psalm 105:11-15). In sum our ongoing traditions, innovations and discussions as an anointed and holy priesthood of people will be to the attraction of the gentiles:

19 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months [Rabbinic festivals folks] will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.”

20 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, 21 and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the Lord and seek the Lord Almighty. I myself am going.’ 22 And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him.”

23 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’”

 MIND THE GAP!

___________________

[1]  Melton, J. Gordon. Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Infobase Publishing, 2005, ISBN 978-0-8160-5456-5, p. 373. “Messianic Judaism is a Protestant movement that emerged in the last half of the 20th century among believers who were ethnically Jewish but had adopted an Evangelical Christian faith… By the 1960s, a new effort to create a culturally Jewish Protestant Christianity emerged among individuals who began to call themselves Messianic Jews.”

Why It’s Absurd for a Pastor To Give Donald Trump a Jewish Prayer Shawl

This article does not represent my ideas in total, I have placed comments in [] where appropriate.

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Trump, who had just addressed the Great Faith Ministries, a black church, in an attempt to make inroads with African-American voters, accepted the gift with a smile. Immediately, the Jewish Twittersphere exploded — not just because of the inappropriateness of this appropriation, but probably also because it was especially galling to see Trump, a man who has stoked “alt-right” anti-Semitism in this country, wearing this symbolic Jewish garment.

But what about the pastor — what was he thinking? Does he, like some other Christians, think that adopting elements of Jewish ritual makes their worship more “biblical,” and therefore more authentic? Does he think that Jesus wore this same type of “prayer shawl,” and therefore Christians should wear it to emulate Jesus? If so, the pastor badly needs a history lesson, because this whole business with the tallit is historically ridiculous. Imitating Jesus by wearing a modern Jewish prayer shawl during morning prayers? Just…no.

In the religion [is it a religion?] known as rabbinic Judaism [is there such a thing?], rectangular garments are required to have knotted tassels on the corners, following the Torah. According to the scholar Dafna Shlezinger-Katsman, in Jesus’s era, people in the eastern parts of the Roman Empire routinely wore a rectangular thing called a pallium, and therefore people who wanted to observe rabbinic Judaism probably put tassels on their pallia. (In more fashion-forward parts of the empire, they wore togas, which were elliptical and therefore didn’t require tassels.) A tassel-equipped pallium is what the early rabbis were probably referring to when they said “tallit.”

pallium

[photograph shows(left) the development of the pallium and the pope (right) wearing a pallium, not very convincing Forward Magazine!!]

 

Image result for priest's stole

[A priest’s stole (left) is more convincing]

In a sense, this tallit was a bit like a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap. For the initiated, it signifies membership in a particular group. For everyone else, it’s just a cap with a slogan. According to Steven Fine of Yeshiva University, the tassels on the religious Jews’ pallia probably stood out to those in the know, but those who weren’t savvy to the significance wouldn’t have cared especially.

Jesus may or may not have worn a tallit, depending on whether he was the type who wore pallium and whether he was inspired to mark himself as part of the rabbinic in-group by attaching tassels to it [be careful here Forward magazine your hatred of things orthodox is showing!]. We might recall that Matthew was not overly keen on that kind of social parading (see chapter 23 of his gospel); quite possibly Jesus, too, thought there were more important issues to focus on.

But this kind of tallit, the tasselled pallium, is just like wearing a baseball cap with a slogan on it — it’s something you might routinely wear, adapted in a way your in-group cares about. It is not a “prayer shawl,” a garment associated with worship services. Having a special rectangular garment with tassels that you wear during prayer seems to have been a late medieval development, according to scholars like Elisheva Baumgarten. Jewish tradition today is influenced by two millennia of developments in practice, including medieval ones, and this kind of tallit (a “tallit gadol,” in Jewish terms) is used by contemporary Jews at certain times to accentuate the experience of prayer.

Image result for Moses at Dura EuroposSome Christians (and some Jews) labor under the impression that Judaism as practiced by Jews today is an exact reproduction of Judaism in all historical periods, going back to Moses. This misconception isn’t new, as Steven Fine points out: a third-century fresco of Moses at Dura Europos anachronistically depicts Moses in Roman pallium with tzitzit. And so some Christians who want to imitate the actions of the historical Jesus suppose that he worshipped exactly as modern Jews do, and thus a mass-market prayer shawl “straight from Israel” somehow, nonsensically, becomes imitatio Dei, behavioral emulation of the Divine.

Jesus didn’t wear a “prayer shawl,” but if you believe he did, you can buy a tallit and put it on and play dress-up-as-Jesus. You can put a tallit on your presidential candidate and pretend that makes him just like Jesus, with all the character traits you want in a leader. Certainly buying a few Jewish ritual items from an online store is a lot easier than persuading Trump to develop the character traits that originally endeared Jesus to his followers[I personally think that Trump is a lot like Jesus: a capricious egotistical megalomaniac but what politician is not?].

Jen Taylor Friedman studies the material culture of ancient Judaism at McGill University.

 

[Regardless of the possible inaccuracies pointed out above it is still a classic example of the misappropriation and a misapplication of things Jewish].

A Match made in Heaven?

A recent video promoting a mission is currently being promoted by the Land of Israel Network.

GLC gimple

Money is being requested for the funding of this project with the added bonus that if they collect $50,000 dollars, this amount will be matched so that in total $100,000 will go towards a new studio, a guest house complex and a Yeshiva for Jews and non-Jews.

To date we already have a record of collusion between the Land of Israel Network and Ha Yovel ministries since 2004 but currently marketed as a new venture according to the HaYovel website, so  an alarm bell is already sounding.

But the big question is who is matching the funding?

GLC Gimpel

A request to donate to this project came in form of an e-mail from God’s Learning Channel(GLC)[1]. Pleading for folks to:

“Be a Part of the mission to Broadcast The Torah from Zion & Truth from Jerusalem!
Here at GLC it’s our constant prayer that through our teachings Christians will gain a much-needed, Scriptural perspective of the Land of Israel. It’s not just the historical land of the Jews, it’s the prophetic land of our Messiah!

We’re so excited to share with you this amazing announcement from the hosts of Israel Inspired, Rabbis Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel. They’ve taken a huge leap of faith! Please watch the short video and join with them in this historic mission… in the heartland of Biblical Israel!

To date the $50,000 barrier has been broken:

The Land of Israel Network – Because the Truth is Pro Israel   Cause Match

GLC and HaYovel are Christian organizations who want to convert Jews to Jesus/ Yeshua as well as secure for themselves property and citizenship status for themselves in Israel.

It does not take a genius to see who are doing the partnering and the matching of funds for this joint venture in spiritual and physical genocide of the Jewish people right here in the land of Israel!

Who is Donating?

(1.) Aviv Judea Messianic Cong.

(2.) HaYovel

hayovel fund

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  1. God’s Learning Channel (or GLC) is a Christian television network which is based in the Southwestern United States. It describes itself as Christian television teaching the biblical roots of the Christian faith. The network was founded in 1982 by Al and Tommie Cooper with its first full-powered station based in Roswell, New Mexico. It is now produced in Midland, Texas by Prime Time Christian Broadcasting with KMLM-DT serving as the flagship station. The network is available on terrestrial broadcast television and cable TV systems. The network has five full power stations and several low-power TV stations; it is also broadcast free-to-air as part of the Glorystar package, as a free-to-air channel on the Galaxy 19 satellite for other direct-to-home broadcast dishes, and is available as streaming video over the Internet as well as on Roku devices. The network offers 24-hour programming, in English, Spanish, & French

 

Cringe Factor 4 Mr. Scott

I am no expert in body language but in a recent video highlighted on a missionary website caused a high count on my cringeometer. The recent video highlights a new partnership between Hayovel and The land of Israel Network. In the video, one of the two Rabbis present possibly displayed fawning deference to his own role and the roles played out by the others during the video. Via the body language I could almost hear him asking himself the questions, “how is thing going to fly, what are we doing here and what have we gotten ourselves into?”.

gimp

It could of course be none of the above assumptions but the questions are still relevant. During the video it was stated by one of the rabbis:

“True love is not about changing someone or giving them what you want to give them but giving them what they need….. and when the Waller Family came here in 2004, they came here not without any preconceived notions of what they wanted to do or wanted too give but how they came to serve.”

Call me picky but this was not the program or intentions of the Wallers in 2004 and beyond, even to the present day.  As recently as February  2015 we have an example of the type of Agenda that both Rabbi Gimpel, HaYovel and Don Finto are into:

After being welcomed on stage by Gimpel and the HaYovel team, Finto expresses his gratitude at seeing “what’s happening among Christians, believers in jesus, coming together, united together for ‘your’ purposes”. Finto lays his hand upon Gimpel’s shoulder and blesses him and Hayovel. This is followed by Finto’s prayer in the name of jesus, as well as Finto’s Hebrew version of the priestly blessing.

Hayovel’s original vision and mission can be viewed in this clip:

“…for us sharing the gospel is not only verbal, it has an action to it. It’s based on relationships. As we’re working with these people [the Jews], we’ll be able to share with them this Jesus, that we know… Our family has begun a ministry called Hayovel. The vision of Hayovel is to develop a network of individuals, families and congregations who are ready to labor side by side with the people of Israel. To bless them, to stand with them, to share with them a passion for the soon coming jubilee in yeshua messiah.” (article here)

An extensive list of HaYovel activities and the Wallers may be found at the Jewish Israel site. A survey of the facts indicate that quite the opposite is true, HaYovel is heavily committed to the evangelical mission of converting Jews to jesus/ yeshua from 2004 to 2015 at the very least.

Do some of our Rabbis know what they are doing and what they are enabling? The paradox of how supposedly learned men can fall for this type of thing is not new, apostasy and idolatry is something that has plagued the Jewish people for centuries.

The NT says that the root of all evil is money, I think missionaries know what they are doing and what they are trying to achieve. How can we Jews be so subject to such enticements? What will it take? When our sons and daughters want to intermarry? By then it will be too late. It is nothing new but will we ever learn from playing with idolatry? Worse of all and more cringeworthy is how some Jews presently expect us all to acquire collective amnesia to the facts and go along with madness since the ends of political correctness along with financial gain justify the means ….apparently!

 “Can there be a greater stumbling block than [Christianity]? All the prophets spoke of Moshiach as the redeemer of Israel and their savior, who would gather their dispersed ones and strengthen their [observance of] the mitzvos. In contrast [the founder of Christianity] caused the Jews to be slain by the sword, their remnants to be scattered and humiliated, the Torah to be altered, and the majority of the world to err and serve a god other than the L-rd.”(Chapter 11 of Hilchos Melachim from the Mishneh Torah of the Rambam)

Its like as if we have not been warned many times previously!

THE ONGOING CONTEXT:

15 August 2013

“Inquiring Minds Want to Know…”

9 Elul 5773 (15 August 2013)

Commenter Goldie ZP asks a very important question.

What’s really going on with Rav Eliezer Melamed, spiritual head of Yishuv Har Brachah and its hesder yeshivah:

Devash, Has Rabbi Melamed changed his mind? Would you know? Har Bracha residents: Christians out!  …

Quoting from the article:

Settlers living on the western hill of the religious community of Har Bracha recently sent a letter to the community secretariat, protesting the housing of Evangelical Christians in their neighborhood.

According to the residents, the presence of the Christian volunteers – who arrived to work in the community’s vineyards – violates the fabric of their society, and as a result – they hardly leave their houses.

“When we came to live in a religious community, we never imagined that one of these days we would be forced to live alongside people of a different religion, which doesn’t match our faith and lifestyle,” the residents wrote.

“We’re not interested in associating with them, or alternatively – staying away from the public domain… We live in a small, intimate place, which is greatly affected by the composition of the population living here.”

…The Christian volunteers are part of a large group of American volunteers affiliated with Yuval – a pro-Israel Evangelical organization. The group includes dozens of people, and their stay in Har Bracha was made possible after the community rabbi, Eliezer Melamed, met with them and ruled that they are not missionaries.

The rabbi’s stand was recently published in detail in the Beit El Yeshiva website, under the title, “Respect and love for the lovers of Israel.”

Ahavat chinam
at its most damaging.  (The money doesn’t hurt either.)

It’s my understanding that the Jews were forced to leave that area, but I have no documentation of it.

I have not spoken to the rabbi, but I know that others have and that he refuses to listen to anything against the missionaries, only to say that they are not “missionaries” despite all the proof to the contrary. I know he has referred to them as “righteous gentiles.”

If he’s not saying the things the missionaries are reporting in his name then there is a serious disconnect between his words and the ears of those who are listening to him. One prominent missionary, who is training Christians to come to Israel and save the Jews, says in a recent newsletter:

Having noticed the unselfish and unwavering support year after year of the volunteer organization HaYovel led by Tommy and Sherri Waller from Nashville TN, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed has taken an initiative to establish a Christian Zionist Visitor Center on the Mount of Blessing in Samaria, in order to strengthen and encourage Christian support for the so called settlers.

Rabbi Melamed is Head of Yeshivat Har Bracha and is a prolific author on Jewish Law. He is well known in Israel and has a popular weekly column in the Beersheva [sic] newspaper called “Revivim.” At the moment he is gathering other rabbis in Israel to get behind his historic initiative with a visitor center open for Christians on the Mount of Blessing.

We need to pray that Rabbi Melamed will succeed. Melamed has said that it is time for the Jewish people to act like Abraham, and open up the tent in order to receive those that have come to support them. He has gone even further and stated about HaYovel, “If we say no to these people, we will say no to the Messiah!”

Another, but related, question:

Does the fact that the missionaries perform avodah zarah in the vineyards and/or believe that the wine will one day be part of a central Christian religious ritual affect the kashrut of the fruit or the wine?

THE AVODAH ZARAH

HaYovel Ministries has designated “worship leaders” to guarantee that “praise and worship” is ongoing continuously in the vineyards during the working period. (See a clip of one of their videos HERE where they explain it. Transcription below.)

Volunteer Nate Taylor: “A group of worship leaders who have taken different times throughout the day to make sure that there’s continuous praise/worship and prayer throughout the vineyards. These vineyards belong to our Abba (God, the Father) in that our praise and worship is an important part of that cycle to recognize who Ha-Shem is. I believe it does motivate and encourage others, not only to work harder and faster, but they’re not even thinking about that, they’re thinking about how we praise Ha-Shem throughout the day, not only with our words and our lips, but with our actions.”


But, they say “Ha-Shem.”  How is that avodah zarah?  Glad you asked that question.  They’ve been coached to use our terminology, but they don’t mean the same thing by it that we do. So, who are they speaking about when they say Ha-Shem?

Following are five examples taken from Messianic websites where they identify who they mean when they say Ha-Shem.

1) “The Name” in Hebrew is hashem [sic].
A Jew named Peter realized the truth about “the Name” and taught that “the Name” is Jesus; Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

2) Since Jesus is the Name (HaShem) above every name (Phil. 2:9-10) and HaShem means God it looks as if Paul is saying that Jesus is God.

3) Facebook Page: Jews for Real Judaism(Hashem-Jesus is Messiah)

4) ..the first century Jewish Christians did not refer to “Jesus” they called Him The Name, yeah! that would be HaShem.

5) Yeshua is called HASHEM

Well, some Jews claim that this is still ok because these people no longer believe that Yeshu is G-d.  Oh, yeah?

This was written by one of HaYovel’s main volunteers – Barrett Warren – on his blog in January of this year. (Keep in mind that Tommy Waller handpicks his volunteers to insure that they are “like-minded” believers.)

Some call me a Messianic Jew or a Hebrew Christian. Let’s just say I’m a Torah observant Believer in Yeshua (Jesus).  …I thought I’d address some of the Scriptures that I believe show that Yeshua is YHWH.  …we have Yeshua claiming to be the I AM. That is He claimed to be YHWH who spoke to Moshe (Moses) in the burning bush.

THE WINE

Note that Christians (especially those of HaYovel) believe that Yeshu’s second coming will culminate in a great wedding between him and his faithful believers (who are called The Bride of Christ). They take it all very literally when they say they are helping to produce the wine which will be served at the great wedding feast…

An affiliate of HaYovel encouraging their followers to volunteer writes:

I have drunk the wine from the hills of Samaria. That is the wine that, one day, the Messiah will drink at the great reunion in Jerusalem for all His Believers!! …What if you were among the workers, who picked the grapes, of the winery from which the Messiah picks that big bottle of wine??!!

HaYovel writes in a newsletter:

At HaYovel we absolutely love weddings! …..and because we believe the vineyards have been and are being prophetically planted, pruned and harvested on the mountains of Israel specifically for the wine served at the great wedding feast in Jerusalem …..we feel it is important for us to do anything and everything we can to help. (Is 25:6-10, Rev 19:7-9, Mt 26:29)

These wedding preparation vineyards have, over the last 5 years, expanded exponentially in Samaria and Judea. It certainly looks like Abba is expecting a large gathering!

I’ve consulted a kashrut authority who is currently investigating.

Donniel Hartman Is So…Yesterday!

BY · JUNE 30, 2016

hartman

In a new twist on the old “Jews to the back of the bus” routine, Donniel Hartman, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, wants the Jewish G-d to take a back seat as well. In an extensive interview in the Times of Israel, Hartman explains the thesis of his new book, Putting G-d Second. The purpose of religion ought to be the creation of the ethical personality.

I think God wants to be second… God didn’t come into this world for self-aggrandizement. It was in order to create a different type of human being, in order to elevate this world. But unfortunately, through God intoxication and God manipulation, the idea of God becomes a catalyst for evil. God intoxication is where our devotion to God is so all consuming that we no longer hear or see the needs of others….The more we put ethics first, the more I am a religious person [and the less that God is] a destructive force in our lives.

Hartman sees this preoccupation with G-d as blinding us to the plight of Palestinians and migrants seeking entry to Israel. He notes that in all of Israel’s wars, it was religious MKs who pushed for pushing on in battle while their more secular colleagues wanted to call it quits.

Religion gets in the way of what should be our real focus: inculcating ethical values in our personalities, and democratic processes in our societies.

He does not want to do away with religion as we know it. He wishes for G-d to be number two, not to disappear, or even show up as number twenty. Two can’t be so bad, he says. Religion is a “powerful vehicle” for making ethics central to our lives. And while the violation of the ethical renders all other attempts at spirituality meaningless, there are spiritual dimensions that are valuable if the ethical is there, front and center. Religion can transmit them. Moreover, religion helps create community, which banishes loneliness. So we ought not to discard or minimize religious practice – as long as it does not interfere with the primary goal of ethical development. (He therefore mocks the notion of an Orthodox woman at Bar Ilan not singing at a Holocaust commemoration, in deference to the halachah of kol ishah, which interferes with our ethical sense of egalitarianism. And he tells baalei teshuvah that if they refuse to eat at their non-observant parents’ home, they can stop calling themselves his students.) To the contrary, Hartman wishes that Israel firmly embrace a Judaism whose first passion is the ethical, and bringing its values to the rest of the world.

None of this is particularly new. It is rather old and tired. The derogation of the ritual and ceremonial in favor of the ethical has a storied past, all of it ending the same way. More religious denominations than we can easily keep track of – Jewish and otherwise – hoped to revitalize interest by accentuating good character, or (more recently) good deeds. Think, in modern times, of Felix Adler’s (said to having been inspired by a Berlin lecture by Rav Yisroel Salanter) Ethical Culture, and what is left of it. Consider the attempts by the mainline Protestant denominations move towards social justice as their primary concerns. Or the elevation of so-called tikun olam as the only principle of faith of the Jewish heterodox movements. What they all share is younger people stampeding out the door, fossilizing those who remain behind. Without coupling character and social action with responsibility to a personal Creator, too many give up on the entire enterprise of religion. We have very little reason to believe that all those who have fled from religion are better people, or have succeeded in making ours a better world. Meanwhile, the only group within Judaism that is growing is Orthodoxy, with its insistence on G-d centeredness. And in the Christian world, the fastest growing group are Pentacostals, who distinguish themselves for seeking an immediate, strong connection with G-d.

Hartman is also so….incredibly wrong on the intellectual level. The words that stood and stand before the baal tefilah for centuries – שויתי ה לנגדי תמיד (Tehillim 16:8) cannot possibly be rendered, “I have set Hashem before me some of the time.” Hartman would certainly cheer Rambam (Shemonah Perakim), who insisted that the development of an ethical character should optimally become a natural part of one’s personality, rather than a response to Divine command. The same Rambam, however, wrote (Hilchos Teshuvah 10:3)

What is the proper love of Hashem? It is that a person should love Hashem with an extraordinarily great, strong love, so that his soul is connected to Him through love, to the point that he is preoccupied with Him at all times…

Hardly a second-place finish.

Is ethical development really the summa bonum of Yiddishkeit? When the Khazar king argues something similar to thechaver (pointing to the same lines from the prophet that Hartman does, expressing Hashem’s preference for proper character over a surfeit of Temple offerings), the latter explains that Judaism has two chief goals. The first, earlier goal that must be achieved is the creation of the ethical individual. Having attained that goal, the Jew is then positioned to achieve the next goal: becoming more G-d-like, through the performance of myriad mitzvos.

For good measure, we’ll throw in the Ibn Ezra to Tehillim 84:6, “Praiseworthy …[are] those with paths in their hearts,” who explains that those paths focus on a single goal – getting close to Hashem.

Hartman’s new/old religion will never produce the kind of connection to Hashem evinced by the Klausinberger Rebbe, zt”l:

When we reached the extermination camps…we stood there, naked and with nothing, without clothing and without coverings for our heads, and with the wicked ones beating incessantly with the batons in their hands; the situation was terrible. I turned to those standing around me and I shouted, “Fellow Jews – know that the holy God is waiting for us there, inside the camp…and let us not forget that God is with us.” Throughout that entire year I worked on this – strengthening myself and not forgetting that God was with us, and that the entire world is filled with His glory – even in Auschwitz and Dachau, and that no place is devoid of Him…( Shefa Chayim, Chanukah)

Hartman’s error is more serious because in other regards he is so…right! The goals (and achievements) of the Shalom Hartman Institute are, in other regards, spot in. It has had success in showing all sorts of Israelis the need to keep Judaism within the Jewish State, and the interconnection (and interdependence) of democracy and Judaism. It has made a case for a common platform of belief that all parts of the Israeli spectrum can agree upon. It has introduced respect for Judaism to groups of Christian and Muslim visitors. Regrettably, Hartman fails to realize how the views he sets forth in this book will set back the progress of his other, noble goals. They will turn off many of those he is trying to bring into the conversation.

Hartman thinks big:

We’re going to “buy” a day a week with top students for two years — 45 hours a month for two years. Top students in law, business, sciences, arts, be they Orthodox, secular, Haredi, right-wing, left-wing, Jew, non-Jew. …The curriculum is: what is a Jewish democracy, what is a modern Judaism, what is religious pluralism, what ought to be the relationship between Israel and world Jewry? How do we develop the ideas that will sustain this tradition for the next generation?

We had a group of Haredim come to us and asking…How do I remain a faithful Haredi and be a part of modern Israel? A person committed to halacha and a Haredi way of life, and still live in the world.

Hartman has just made a great case for the opposite, for demonstrating just how stunted and twisted one’s Yiddishkeit can become. I suspect that it will not just be haredim who greet his remix of Judaism with revulsion.

This is a shame, because his vision for the Israeli future is in large part positive and achievable. But it may take the participation of those who are not ready, chas v’shalom, to turn G-d into an also-ran, and to ride roughshod over the Jewish neshamah’s yearning for devekus. It is upon us to demonstrate how and way fealty to halachah and halachic detail can and should enhance – not hinder – the ethical imperative. It is upon us to show that without yir’as shomayim, involvement in the ethical too often becomes self-serving or recreational, but not serious business. And it is upon us to show our fellow Jews that the sweetness of closeness to Hashem yields more smiles than frowns, on our brows, and on those who observe us.

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Some context as to how Orthodox Donniel Hartman is:
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Orthodox Leaders to Join Conservative, Reform Worshippers at Western Wall Protest
An egalitarian prayer service is scheduled to protest the government’s capitulation to ultra-Orthodox demands to back out of an agreement to build a prayer space for non-Orthodox movements.

Ultra-Orthodox protesters seek to disrupt egalitarian prayers held by Reform and Conservative worshipers at the Western Wall on June 16, 2016.Emil Salman

Judy Maltz Jul 03, 2016 7:00 PM

Ultra-Orthodox protest at Reform, Conservative egalitarian Western Wall prayers
Mixed messages at the Western Wall: What’s happening with the Kotel compromise?

Orthodox representatives of a prominent institute of Jewish education will join Reform and Conservative Jews in a special egalitarian prayer service at the Western Wall on Monday afternoon.

It will be the first of two prayers services scheduled to be held at the Jewish holy site this week, in protest at the government’s apparent capitulation to ultra-Orthodox demands that it back out of an agreement to build a special prayer space for the non-Orthodox movements at the Western Wall.

Joining Reform and Conservative Jews at Monday’s afternoon Mincha service will be Rabbi Donniel Hartman, president of the Jerusalem-based Shalom Hartman Institute, and Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. The two Orthodox leaders decided to join the egalitarian service as a sign of support for the non-Orthodox movements in their ongoing struggle to gain recognition from the Israeli government.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, who is in Israel this week, will also be attending the service, which will be held in the upper Western Wall platform, in clear sight of the gender-segregated prayer areas. So, too, will Anat Hoffman, chairwoman of Women of the Wall, even though the feminist prayer group will not be hosting the event. Two weeks ago, the Reform and Conservative movement held a similar service at the upper plaza, which was disrupted by ultra-Orthodox protesters. The area is usually designated for pedestrians and sightseers.
Monday’s prayer service will be held at 16:00.

On Thursday, following the monthly Women of the Wall morning Shaharit service in the women’s section, the Conservative and Reform movements will hold their own egalitarian prayer service in the upper plaza at 8:30.

Reform and Conservative leaders have at this point all but given up hope that the government will follow through with its commitment to built a special prayer space for them at the southern expanse of the Western Wall near the archaeological excavations known as Robinson’s Arch. The plan was approved by a majority vote in the cabinet in January.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with ultra-Orthodox leaders who threatened to leave his coalition government if the plan was executed. The ultra-Orthodox parties oppose the plan because it provides formal recognition to the non-Orthodox movements.

The Reform and Conservative movements have threatened that if the government reneges on its commitment, they will appeal the Supreme Court and demand that existing prayer areas adjacent to the Western Wall be redivided into three equal sections: one for men, one for women, and one for mixed-prayer services.