Comment Feature Fixed

I’m sorry friends! I was wondering why I was getting e-mailed comments and messages via FB that would otherwise be blog comments.  It didn’t occur to me that the comment feature had been disabled.

It is now fixed.

I’m still trying to remember how wordpress.com works after having abandoned this blog a few years ago.  ;)  If there are other parts of the blog that aren’t working properly or that look funny, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Thank you ~

The Nine Days

As we are in the midst of The Three Weeks, today we have come to the new month of Av and our mourning increases.  Last month we mourned the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem.  The communities outside of Jerusalem were empty and bare, the conquerors were outside the walls and the people had come into the city for refuge.  And yet, the walls were breached.  Many were lost, many died.  This month we mourn the destruction within Jerusalem, culminating with the destruction of the Holy Temple.

Destruction of Jerusalem by Ercole de' RobertiIn the days of the Babylonian conquest, this judgement came upon the people for their lawlessness.  There was an apathy toward the terms of the covenant between Israel and the King of the Universe.  That apathy caused many generations to be ignorant of these covenantal terms, these instructions for life.  We read how in the days of Kings Hezekiah and Josiah that there was a revival, a renewal, of covenant devotion.  But what we find is evidence of how far the people had fallen from their intended place.  People perish for lack of knowledge and many simply did not know.  Revivals came and went, and unfortunately many of the people chose to reject what they learned.  So the Babylonian conquest came as a form of punishment for straying so far away from the laws of Israel as ordained by the King of Kings.

But while in Babylon systems were put in place that ensured that every Israelite would learn, could learn and do so they would never again be disciplined for their unfaithfulness to the covenant.  70 years after the destruction of Jerusalem,  an edict was set in place by King Cyrus that allowed, and not just allowed but strongly encouraged the Jewish people to return to their home and rebuild their city, and the focal point was to rebuild the Holy Temple.  Can you imagine?

Jerusalem_Siege_by_Romans_70_AD_1Centuries later, it was time for discipline once again.  This time it wasn’t because the people were walking in lawlessness, this time the issue was the lack of love.  Our Master and His disciples taught a lot about love.  In fact, it is one of the primary teachings!  The Sages of Israel tell us that the Holy Temple was destroyed this time due to baseless hatred.  There was such a lack of love of one’s neighbor in those days that the privilege of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was removed and the privilege of living in the land of promise was also taken away.  Exile came again, and has persisted since those days.  All because of baseless hatred.

For this we mourn.  We mourn the loss of the Holy Temple, the only place where the worship that HaShem has commanded is to take place (sacrifices, offerings, etc) because THIS is the place where His Name dwells forever.  And yet, because we could not find it within ourselves to love one another, we’ve lost the privilege of having the Holy Temple available to us.  So we mourn.  We  mourn the loss of life that occurred when the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and when the Romans followed suite centuries later – on the same day.  It is a tragic day indeed.  Continue reading

My L’Chaim for Tonight

I’m going to let you in on my “secret” for the next few hours.  As we sit down for Shabbat, when the blessing over the wine is made we pause and share good news with each other.  Everyone has the opportunity to share a SHORT blessing from the week that we’re concluding and if it’s a long story, we share a highlight so we can talk about it over dinner.  It’s not that we try to keep them secret, but it’s exciting to be able to share news of a new job, about a particular blessing, or some other wonderful news when every one is together and can celebrate with us.

So, my “L’Chaim” this week is this (it’s SO super awesome!!!), shared by a friend in Israel: Continue reading

What to DO part 2

I am encouraged today.  After the blog post I shared late last week, What to DO in times like these? I’ve been seeing quite the uptick among my friends.  I honestly don’t think it’s all because of anything I’ve said, but I do believe that what I’ve said has been part of what has helped to make that change.  I’ve seen friends who have been relatively quiet about their position on Israel – based on the Scriptures as well as those who base their support of Israel only on what could be held up in a court of law (according to the world’s post-religious perspective) – start to share their perspectives and DO something.

Our family attended a Solidarity with Israel rally on Sunday with a few friends.  This rally was put together, partly, in response to a very hateful and obnoxious anti-Israel rally the weekend before.  On Friday the rally was organized and announced, and on Sunday the rally was to be held in a small park in the middle of Seattle, amidst road closures and heavy traffic and on a cloudy cool day.  I anticipated somewhere around 200 people to participate, at least that was what I hoped a large city could pull together.  I was very pleased to be one of a crowd that numbered somewhere around 650 people.  All peaceful, all respectful, all standing together to show their support for Israel – for whatever their reason.  At the time that rallies like the one we attended were being held in major cities around the globe, the haters were holding their rallies as well.  Some of them drew thousands of people!  Do you ever wonder how these things work out in a spiritual sense – how the scales are balanced or tipped in one direction when we DO something, or when we don’t?

Like I’ve been saying, I know that there are more of “us” than the haters, more of “us” than there seems to be.  I am wholly confident that had others in our area known about this rally sooner, had the weather been nicer, had the roads not been closed and traffic not so incredibly frustrating, that there would have been twice the number of participants than we saw.   Continue reading

What to DO in times like these?

It seems that with each passing day that things get a little dicier.  We’ve all heard the reports that tell us that anti-Semitism is on the rise around the globe, that our current times mirror those of pre-WW2 days, and that Islamic terror groups are doing some horrible things all over the globe.  Recent events regarding Gaza has opened the floodgates of all manner of hateful activities and accusations.  Hate is on the rise and it’s using it’s sister, ignorance, to overcome a growing number of people.  While we live in a “post-religious” culture and want to view things as merely political, the rest of the world acknowledges that the struggles that are engulfing the globe are all of a religious nature.  And at the heart of this religious struggle for global control is Jerusalem.  It is just as the Prophets said and just as our Master told us it would be.

The other day on FB I posted a few messages pleading with people to stop being silent and to DO something.  This raised the question, what are we to do?  So I sat down to brainstorm some suggestions about what we can do.  Everyone can do something and the trick is to understand how many of “us” there are out there.  You see, we live in a Judeo-Christian society.  Our morals and laws are based on the Holy Bible.  While our cultural values and morals may be crumbling around us, the foundation is still there and anyone who tells you that murder is wrong and taking care of the needy is right still holds to the values taught in the Bible.  I’m convinced that there are more of “us” than there are “haters” out there.  I’m also convinced that while we are the majority, we are a sleeping silent majority.  It’s time we wake up.  The haters may be loud and obnoxious, but that’s how they get their way.  They are bullies and they intimidate, but we far outnumber them.  We don’t have to fight or be obnoxious like they are, even a silent show of numbers is enough make a point.  While we need to stand together, we must not become like them.

Whatever the differences may be between “us”, we have much more in common with every Christian and Jew around the globe than we don’t.  If we can begin to stick together and stand strong, we can make a difference.  But that difference needs to start with us – with you and with me.  We need to begin to make the changes in our own lives and our own homes before anything larger can be seen.  I know people care, but I also know that they’re uncomfortable with the reports coming in from around the world and in our own back yards.  Instead of turning a blind eye and becoming part of the growing problem, let’s DO something.  Apathy is not having much emotion, interest, or concern.  We must not become apathetic. So, here are some simple ideas to get us DOING something, together: Continue reading

I’m Baaack!

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I’ve saved this meme on my computer and on my phone hoping it would inspire me.  It’s been there for, well, more than 6 months I’m sure!  Actually, it began to be a sign to me that I did have some hope left in me somewhere, even if I couldn’t find it. I was lost in a pit of despair.  I didn’t know how to get out and then later, I didn’t care that I couldn’t find my way out.  I was too exhausted from the struggle.

Continue reading

Three Weeks of Sorrow

Beginning this evening at sundown begins a period of time known as “the three weeks.”  These three weeks begin with the Fast of Tamuz (on the 17th of Tamuz) and concludes on the 9th of Av.  History has been particularly difficult for Israel on the 17th of Tamuz.  For example, it is the anniversary of the day that Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Mt Sinai and saw the people worshiping the golden calf.  Moshe was so angry that he broke the tablets that contained the terms of the covenant between G-d and Israel.  As history progressed it is the same date that King Manasseh, one of the worst of Judah’s kings, had an idol placed in the Holy Sanctuary of the Temple (2 Kings 21:7), and it is the same day that the daily sacrifices were stopped because of the Babylonian siege, the day that Jerusalem’s city walls were breached by the Romans.

In modern history it is the day that edicts were issued against the Jews condemning them to death or for the confiscation of their property, the day that Jewish communities were looted and burned in various places in Europe and in various years, it is when WWI began, and the day that the Kovno ghetto was shipped off to death camps. Historically this has been a very difficult day for Israel.  This is why there is a fast on the 17th day of Tamuz.  This fast has nothing at all to do with a Babylonian god or any pagan rituals and should not be confused with “weeping for Tammuz” which we read of in Ezekiel 8:14.

The fast in the month of Tamuz is to recognize, to remember, that on this day throughout history the Jewish people have suffered through some very difficult things.  The 17th of Tamuz marks the beginning of a three week mourning period that culminates on the 9th of Av, the date when Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians and, interestingly, the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans centuries later.  Yes, both of these events occurred on the same day – the 9th of Av.  The 9th of Av has no equal as far as a day of mourning and sadness.
3weekssorrow4 Continue reading