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The bird represents the wayfarer of the sky, and at the same time it represents a being who belongs to the earth and is capable of dwelling in the skies. The former explanation of the bird represents the idea of a soul whose dwelling place is Heaven, and the latter represents the dweller on earth being able to move about in the higher spheres, and both these explanations give the idea that the spiritual man dwelling on the earth, is from Heaven; they explain also that the spiritual man is the inhabitant of the Heavens and is dwelling on earth for a while. Inayat Khan, The Unity of Religious Ideals
Photographs: Stephen Wise
Woe to those who plot evil, who lie in bed planning mischief! No sooner is it drawn than they do it—their hands have the strength for it. Seizing the fields that they covet, they take over houses as well, owner and house they confiscate together, they take both man and inheritance. So the Lord says this: Now it is I who plot such mischief against this breed as your necks will not escape; nor will you be able to walk proudly, so evil will the time be. On that day they will make a satire of you…Therefore you will have no one to measure out a share in the community of the Lord. Micah 2:1-5
The leaders of the Modern State of Israel, with their hopes in Iron Dome, are acting like the Jews of Old who were banished from the land for their sins. They are impostors — heading for eternal hellfire.
The remnant of Israel — People of the New Covenant, are home when united with the Lord in truth and love — as living stones building up a living Temple.
Artwork: Bushra Chaudry
Arnold Eisen, Chancellor of The Jewish Theology Seminary and a self-proclaimed religious, cultural and political Zionist, addressed the Hadassah community last evening on the subject of what Zionism/Judaism means in the 21st century.
“I don’t think Judaism survives without Jews and I don’t think Jews survive and flourish without the Jewish State…This is a great time to be a Jew, the resources we have at our disposal are truly mind-boggling. The question is whether we are going to have the intelligence to use the resources wisely.” Arnold Eisen
The view, and hope, of Mr. Eisen, and other religious Zionists, is that the modern state of Israel will help to revive Judaism around the world. He said that antisemitism is at a historic low level in the U.S. — with “assimilation and indifference” being the bigger problems.
Analysis: Rather than providing a home for Judaism, the Zionist project is making Jews more homeless and alienated than ever — from their Creator (“lost sheep of the House of Israel”). Perhaps the tendency of the diaspora to abandon Zionism is more truthful than Zionism itself — which, in spite of the religious rhetoric, is a highly material and individualistic undertaking.
The better way is to make a home built with “living stones which rest upon the living corner-stone, which is Christ, and are built together into a holy temple, far surpassing any temple built by hands, into a habitation of God in the Spirit.” Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corpus Christi
In Rabbi Sidney L. Markowitz’s book: What You Should Know About Jewish Religion, History, Ethics and Culture (1955), the essence of the Torah according to Hillel, “who, when challenged to state the essence of the Torah in one sentance, expressed it thus: ‘Do not do unto your neighbor that which is abhorrent or unpleasant to yourself.’ The rest of the Torah he maintained, was merely commentary.”
Photograph: Stephen Wise
From the Balfour Declaration: “His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine…” British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, James Balfour to Lord Rothchild, November 2, 1917, whom Dr. Weizmann had suggested as addressee
Given their superior position, the Jewish failure to work out an equitable solution, with the Palestinians, manifests an impoverishment of spirit.
“They have chosen their own ways, And their soul delighteth in their abominations…Because when I called, none did answer; When I spoke they did not hear, But they did what was evil in Mine eyes, And chose that in which I delighted not.” Isaiah 66:3-4
The real House of Israel is being erected by the Son of Man, not the Man of Steel.
On this the 66th anniversary of the proclamation of the State of Israel, we hope and pray that Jews recognize that their true identity, redemption and freedom come from being united with, and serving, their Creator and fellow man (not from self-serving nationalism or socialism), so that God may be all in all.
Artwork: George Grosz
Noted food writer and author Leah Koenig provided a cooking demo at the Jewish Theology Seminary, as part of the new JTS Ethics program — which includes food ethics. Her Modern Jewish Cookbook will be released in 2015.
Ms. Koenig’s Chocolate-Caramel Matzo Clusters and Chocolate-Dipped Figs are likely new classics for the Passover table.
“There is this vast opportunity that I believe remains untapped.” Dan Senor
Speaking at a TIKVAH event last evening, Dan Senor talked about mobilizing Christian Evangelicals to be a “grass-roots army,” for Israel in the US. Which doesn’t bode well for Palestinians, Syrians and Iranians.
In his book: Why I AM Not Christian, Bertrand Russell says “Jews and Protestants are mutually indistinguishable.” Perhaps by that he meant their individualism leads them to worship matter over essences (Church over God), thereby becoming blind and hardhearted to the bigger picture of the human community.
With a hysterical (security first!) mindset, along with a notion of being “extraordinary men with the right to commit any crime” (Dostoyevsky), many American Evangelicals and Jewish Zionists are a threat to the U.S. and the world. The good news is there are some Evangelicals and Jews with a more healthful way of being — a more Christ-like approach to their neighbor. “The best way to take care of our self is to take care of our neighbor.”
“From the beginning, Christian Revelation has viewed the spiritual history of man as including, in some way, all religions, thereby demonstrating the unity of humankind with regard to the eternal ultimate destiny of man.” John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, (Knopf, 1994)
Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations in the UK, spoke at NYU’s Catholic Center on March 24, in a program titled: Communities of Faith and the Public Intellectual Argument. He was joined by Edward Egan, Cardinal-Archbishop Emeritus of New York.
“I believe that life is God’s question, and our existence is the only humble answer we can give.” Rabbi Sacks
Photograph: Stephen Wise