I”m back and able to post again. Why the gap in posts? Baruch Hashem my daughter was born–two months early! Nachaliel Tikvah came on April 29th full of life and health. It was touch-and-go a week before and for several weeks after her birth because of my wife’s health but thank G-d we’re all healthy and thriving.
We were also able to participate a little in observing Shavuos with the community in Dallas where we hope to move soon, IY”H. My favorite part was staying up all night on Tikkun Leil Shavuos. I never got tired; the evening was filled with fascinating topics like: Child Labor Laws: Minors and the 39 Melachos of Shabbos; Lo Sachmod (Do Not Covet): Can Halacha Legislate Emotions?; Before & After: Meaning and Motivation to Birkas HaTorah; Dreams & Dreamers: The Shtus Dreams Are Made Of — The Bizarre Role of Dreams in Halacha.
Finally, I’ve quit Facebook, Twitter, and all Social Media. Having been inspired by the Gedolei HaDor via the Ichud HaKehilos Asifa: Using Technology Responsibly, I’m joining the war on Social Media. It is killing our children, dumbing down our minds and is no place for the holy nation of Israel.
You can watch the Asifa here:
I will use the Internet (only in filtered form) for work, business and occasional personal communications with friends and family–no social media! I’ll turn all the extra time I’ll gain into studying Torah.
This Pesach was the first one I’ve observed not being an idolator. What does this mean? I was able to fully participate in the Sederon its own terms. Jesus/Yeshua had nothing to do with it or Pesach at all. Christianity was not there to reinterpret the Seder elements or to usurp the power of G-d’s gift of freedom to worship Him then and now. For once the matzoh was full of meaning without it having anything to do with a false messiah. The cups of wine were not the “bris chadashah” that the New Testament lies about. The enormity of the miracles of yetzias Mitzrayim were not overshadowed by the bogus Christian narrative of a man-god system of atonement and redemption. Read More
Converting to true Judaism is a maze of information and choice-points. You ask for advice but not allRabbis agree with each other. Communities may not warmly open up to conversion candidates because Messianics and other insincere Gentiles may have spoiled the community’s opinion of true gerim. Then factor in your own personality and preferences. Are you drawn to Sephardic or Ashkenaz minhagim? Are you going Modern or Ultra-Orthodox? Which eruv best meets your criteria for living?
In the Zombie-genre movies, the strongest people usually survive. Becoming a Jew is much more than changing your religion. It is an apocalypse of identity. Read More
Only Torah Observant Jews and studied Noahides really have a clue about who G-d is and what He wants. It does not matter how educated a person is, how long they have attended church or how many years they went to a Reform Jewish camp as a kid, it is only the person who is occupied in the Torah that can speak about G-d from our limited, human understanding with any truth. All the rest will simply mislead you.
If Jesus had a Facebook account would you “unlike” him? With all of the press around Rabbi Boteach’s recent book and the plethora of availability of commentary from both sides, it might be worth considering how much attention Jews and Noahides should “devote” to Jesus. I read that someone on another blog suggested an interesting idea: form a group of ex-messianics for the purpose of writing refutations to Christian proofs. That might be helpful. It certainly is worth exploring but with some caution. Read More
It seems like the only barrier to us moving to our community to live within the eruv and taking the next step in our conversion process is me getting a job. The city is fairly large and I have great qualifications so I don’t see this being a problem. The process just seems to be dragging. After making hundreds of applications last month it’s a little discouraging that I have not been called for an interview yet, but I don’t want to complain.
Each week we have a friend davening for us at the Kotel (Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel of thelandofisrael.com) and of our friends that are left after we rejected J.C. (there aren’t many), most of them are praying also. I hope to find work with the State of Texas in some kind of management position or in a Social Services field. If anyone has connections, feel free to see my profile on linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeisyn
With all of the travel between Austin and “home,” the Jewish community where we really want to move, it has been difficult to find time to blog. Not only that, but there has been so much we’ve been experiencing, I’ve needed some time to integrate it before I can actually write about it.
So here’s what’s been brewing in my head lately.
The Great Messianic Pretenders.
A Relief Depicting The Development Of Oral At Diaspora Museum, Tel Aviv
My wife and I are amazed at how little Messianic Judaism has to do with real Torah Judaism. It is even more embarrassing how our former lives appear to us now. I also feel angry at the deception that is infused in Messianic Judaism by its adherents. Unless you’ve been through this it might be hard to understand what I’m saying. Messianic Judaism claims that it encourages Jews and Gentiles to follow the Torah but this is so misleading because fundamentally all Messianics reject the Oral Torah. This is key because in Orthodox Judaism “Torah” is Torah Sheba’al Peh and Torah Shebichtav (Oral and Written Torah respectively). Even if they run around separating meat and dairy (as we began doing years ago), keep Taharat HaMishpachah, and hold to other halachah as outlined by the Sages, if they still think Jesus/Yeshua is the messiah then they are ultimately rejecting the Oral Torah outright and are bringing tremendous disgrace to the Sages.
For example, I know of one man who has been involved in Messianic Judaism for many years. He claims that he has great respect for the Sages and is even a little familiar with the Talmud. He wears a tallit and lays tefillin. He observes some Rabbinic holidays and keeps some other halachah given in the Oral Torah but he accepts it cafeteria style. Ultimately he is an Evangelical Christian trying as best he can to mold Torah Judaism to his pick-and-choose belief system. But what he (and the others) are trying to do will never work. It would be better for him to drop Yeshu and become a Noahide under the direction of a Rabbi and learn Torah that way. It would also be better for the Jewish Community that he professes to love. Sadly, he doesn’t see the damage he is causing and because he is so lost in idolatry, he can’t even be willing to hear arguments from the Jewish side.
Bonding To My Rabbi
I am grateful that we have found a Rabbi to whom I feel so connected. We have been able to speak openly so far about everything and I always feel better after being around him and speaking with him. He treats me and my family with such respect. He is a lively teacher and very congruent in his life with what he believes. Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Perachya says in Pirkei Avot (Chapter 1, Mishna 6) “Make for yourself a teacher…” and the commentaries go on to say that this person should be someone you can trust because he has your best interest at heart. I know my Rabbi does and I look forward to seeing him every week, be’ezrat Hashem.