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.
1. Messianic Judaism Disregards The Authority Of The Sages.
Rabbi Mordechai Rhine published an article last week on parashas Shemini focusing on Nadav and Avihu. About their death he asked, “How could it be that these two great sons of Ahron would err in such a significant way as to deserve the divine punishment of death on this auspicious day?” He answers by citing a story from the Talmud:
Moshe and Ahron were going in the lead, Nadav and Avihu were behind them, and the rest of the Jewish people followed. Nadav and Avihu said, ‘When will these elders die so that we can be the leaders.
Rabbi Rhine reminds us that these two sons of Aharon were holy men who had difficulty controlling their own drives and submitting to a mentor. They wanted to take a shortcut to spirituality in spite of the commands of G-d and the ways of their fathers. Moshe and Aharon were “in the way” of their aspirations to greatness. Read More
But what do we know? We’re just a couple of guys who have lived this article quite literally. So pay attention…there may just be something in here for you.
How do you prevent a viral infection? Give a person a small dose of the virus itself of course. It’s counter-intuitive but an effective treatment nevertheless. However it only works within key parameters: the antigen must be introduced in such a way as to produce the greatest action and the vaccine must also contain preservatives in the solution to prevent infection in the delivery system. 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
One Yud makes all the difference. Just a small letter. The smallest of all Hebrew letters. But if you don’t pay attention to the details you could be following a corrupter instead of waiting for the Messiah.
Look at this picture. Does it look Christian to you? Probably not. There is a sefer Torah on the table, men in kippot and women with their heads covered; but trust me, it couldn’t get more Goyish or more Christian. Jesus (a.k.a. Yeshua) was on everyone’s mind that day. How do I know? I was there! It’s a snapshot of my former life and as embarrassing as it is to admit that I was there I think it’s necessary to reveal so that I can warn others about a lethal threat to Jews today.
While Christians are certainly dangerous to Jews because of their missionary efforts, Messianics are far more so because of how deceptive their lifestyle is. True, an Orthodox, Frum From Birth Jew would be able to tell right away that something was wrong but other Jews may not suspect until it is too late (read counter-missionary Julius Ciss’ riveting story). Messianics, in their lust for Jewish approval and membership, commit acts of great destruction. For example, they often intermarry wreaking havoc on the lives of their children and the Jewish community. They desecrate Jewish ritual objects like Torahs, shofars, mezzuzot and tefillin. The men show up in real Jewish synagogues and pray in the minyan; they feel that they have a right to do this because they believe that they are a part of the “true Israel” because of their belief in Jesus. They hold Pesach seders, go to their churches on Saturdays, and keep some form of kosher (although most of them do not keep Rabbinic kosher because they disdain the Oral Torah).
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.
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.