Monthly Archives: September 2010

Shofar, So Good – L’Shanah Tovah 5771/2010

Rabbi Marty played this short video this morning at the Yom Teruah/Rosh HaShanah service at Baruch HaShem Messianic Synagogue, loved it. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_r27mrH1MU

May grace and shalom be multiplied upon you in the matchless name of Yeshua the Messiah!

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JBOM: As A Driven Leaf – Part II

I finally finished As A Driven Leaf yesterday, which was the JBOM selection for June. Slightly behind schedule eh, but nonetheless done:-). I had been close to finishing this book for well over a month but just didn’t have the urge to complete until yesterday. In July when I was full steam ahead in this book everything it seemed in my life came to a head and I was really stressed out in every facet of it. We had been short-staffed at work for the past 3 months straight, at home I have a 3 1/2 year old and an almost 2-year-old, and in my recreation activities I had loaded myself up with self-imposed commitments and deadlines that when all combined was physically and emotionally exhausting. One reason it took me so long to finish this book is that I felt I had to pull back and take some time off and re-prioritize my duties and commitments as a husband, father, employer and friend. I felt in many ways connected to the character of Elisha Ben Abuyah in his journey for truth and answers to consuming questions although on a different level. I wasn’t traveling outside of my faith to find these questions but I was in the midst of leaving the congregation that my family had been a part of for the past 6 years and I would begin my search and spiritual quest without that community and sense of security in the physical aspects of it.

A man of constant sorrow………………

I left off of my first post on this book wondering where the author might lead Elisha on his journey in search of absolutes and certainty. Ultimately Elisha’s journey ended in self-realized vanity and emptiness along with a self-admitted pride that could not allow for repentance. Ironically the only sure thing Elisha found was indeed something he had known from his youth, that “There is no truth unless there be a faith on which it may rest”. But in the end Elisha exclaimed “I cannot surrender the liberty of my mind to any authority. Free reason, my son, is a heady wine. It has failed to sustain my heart, but having drunk of it, I can never be content with a less fiery draught”.

Encounter with the Jesus Faith……………

One place which was of interest to me was an early 2nd Century Messianic Congregation that the author led Elisha to on his search for truth. This was interesting to me because of the authors background of being a Conservative (Non-Messianic) Rabbi writing this Historical Fiction novel in the late 1930’s. It was very insightful to see how the author painted the picture of this scene from his viewpoint which could be a significant viewpoint amongst religious Jews in their view of Jesus, Paul and Gentiles. It was in a poverty-stricken area of Caesarea in a small dingy room where Elisha entered to find 30-40 Jewish believers in Jesus. As a scroll was removed from the  Ark, Elisha expected to hear a selection from the Law or Prophets but instead it was an Aramaic extract from the sayings of Jesus. Elisha thought the moral epigrams and parables he heard were lovely and he was stirred by their ring of authoritativeness strangely combined with bold kindliness. At the end of the service the author gives these “Nazarene’s” an interesting response to Elisha “We are observant Jews. The only difference between us and other Jews is that we know that the time of which the prophets spoke has been fulfilled, that the Messiah has already come in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Otherwise we follow the Law to its last jot and tittle for so He enjoined upon us. Nevertheless, the sages insist on confusing us with the followers of Paul who are mainly Gentiles and who contemn not only God’s revelation but the Master’s injunction as well, in disregarding the ordinances prescribed by the Law of Moses”. Though Elisha found this Jesus faith to be “lovely” and “stirring” there was no desire to pursue it further or a transformation of heart that would lead to further revelation of God’s truth. Indeed Elisha would continue on to his damnable conclusion. It is worth noting that Sternberg’s view of Paul and Gentiles is something that has been misunderstood since their beginning and is even recorded as such in Scripture throughout the book of Acts, Paul’s Letters and in 2 Peter 3:16 it is said of Paul “as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”

All in all this was another great JBOM selection and I’m happy to have had it introduced to me and added as a part of my library.

May grace and shalom be multiplied upon you in the matchless name of Yeshua the Messiah!