You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Religion’ category.

5Pointz041414The Bible is filled with stories of people being saved from oppression—passing from death to life; old to new. Today’s exile is often self-inflicted, caused by egoism. The only exodus from egoism is to overcome ourselves, be filled with the spirit and live.

LeahKoenigJTSNoted 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.

 

 

Tikvah“A common refrain in evangelical churches goes something like: ‘America will be fine so long as we don’t go against the Jews’.” Robert W. Nicholson

“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)

RabbiSacksCardinalEganJonathan 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

EdwardJacobson (2)“We told them (the British statesmen): ‘The Jews will go to Palestine anyhow, whether you want it or not. There is no power on earth that can stop the Jews from getting to Palestine. You gentlemen can make it easy for them; you can make it difficult. In making it easy you will derive considerable advantages for yourself. Help us and it will help you.’” Chaim Weizmann, 1919

The Jewish obsession for Palestine has led to the corruption of numerous U.S. presidents, from Woodrow Wilson up to and including President Obama — as well as Congress. Today Syria is suffering because of that obsession and corruption.

“Lloyd George, the wartime Prime Minister of Great Britain (WWI), testified many years later, in 1936, before one of the Royal commissions appointed to ‘inquire into the Palestine problem’ that the publication of the Balfour Declaration at that particular time was dictated by ‘propagandistic reasons.’ Lloyd George stated that the ‘Zionist leaders gave a definite promise that, if the Allies committed themselves to giving facilities for the establishment of a National Home for the Jews in Palestine, they would do their best to rally Jewish sentiment and support throughout the world to the Allies’ cause. They kept their word.’” Pictorial History of Israel (Thomas Yoseloff, 1958)

In return for getting Wilson and the U.S. into World War I, the Zionists received a commitment from Great Britain for Palestine.

Had the U.S. stayed out of the Great War, it most likely would have ended sooner (Germany sought peace in 1916 but England resisted knowing the U.S. was getting in). Hitler wouldn’t have emerged. WWII, the Holocaust, and the Cold War could have been avoided.

Photograph: Edward Jacobson leaving the White House on June 26, 1946, after urging President Truman to support a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

ChagallExodus1“We want to further a kind of Judaism that respects and learns from other religions, values the insights of the arts and social sciences, insists that Jewish wisdom be brought to bear on every aspect of contemporary society—and that it be enriched and corrected by other sources of knowledge and truth.” from: “Educating for Human Wholeness,” by Arnold Eisen, Chancellor, The Jewish Theological Seminary

Mr. Eisen’s insistence “that Jewish wisdom be brought to bear on every aspect of contemporary society” is curious and even alarming — given that wisdom comes from one’s relationship with God, and Jews are essentially revolting from, and in rebellion against, their Creator. Zionism is a project of self-adoration, not Divine worship/gift.

If Mr. Eisen is serious about being enriched and corrected by other sources of knowledge and truth, may we suggest that he and all Jews embrace Jesus Christ as the way of true freedom, redemption and identity (renewal based on the New Covenant).

“In the dens where dragons dwelt before, shall rise up the verdure of the reed and the bulrush. And a path and a way shall be there, and it shall be called the holy way; the unclean shall not pass over it, and this shall be unto you a straight way, so that fools shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor shall any mischievous beast go up by it, nor be found there; but they shall walk there that shall be delivered.

And the redeemed of the Lord shall re-turn, and shall come into Zion with praise, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” Isaiah 35: 7-10

Artwork: Marc Chagall

JTS2014d (2)Did Christianity, Modernity and Zionism make Judaism obsolete? Does God still dialogue with Jews — even though they rejected His Son as their Savior? Are Jews seeking the living God? What would they say if God asked them: “Who are you?”

Last evening at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), in New York, Rabbi Shai Held presented his book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence (Indiana University Press, 2013).

Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1971) was a prominent Jewish theologian, activist, and poet who, according Rabbi Held, focused on “the idea of transcendence—or the movement from self-centeredness to God-centeredness.” In his book, Rabbi Held critiques Heschel in relationship with contemporary Jewish thinkers, Christian theologians, devotional writers, and philosophers of religion.

“‘To pray,’ Heschel writes, ‘means to bring God back into the world, to establish his kingship, to let His glory prevail,’ Once again, the Creator is not only transcendent, but also vulnerable and dependent. The majestic God depends for His very majesty on an act of man.

Like countless modern theologians, Heschel begins with the subject and proceeds to emphasize the human capacity to know God, intuitively and immediately…One of Heschel’s most consistent laments is that revelation is an answer to a question that human beings have stopped asking.

JTS2014eOur humanity, as we have seen, is constituted by our capacity to rise above our selfish ego. So, Heschel reminds us, is our freedom.”

Rabbis Heschel and Held provide a wake-up call for self-centered Jews, Christians and secularists.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

manayigalozeri“You have developed among you a dangerous Messianic spirit…I have learnt from my own experience that the sword alone offers no solution…Israel will not survive as a democratic state if she continues being a society that occupies another nation.” Ariel Sharon, Knesset 23 October 2004

The question now is “what are the goals of the ‘new’ (badass) Jews?” And “how will that affect the trajectory of the U.S., Israel, and the world?”

“Jewish history consists of a unique series of events—accidental or purposeful—which have had the practical effect of preserving the Jews as Jews in an “exile” to fulfill their avowed mission of ushering in the brotherhood of man…What the Jews themselves have thought of their destiny has shaped their history more profoundly than did events.” Max Dimont, The Indestructible Jews (The New American Library, 1973)

FDNY2014b“The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light; and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death, a light has arisen.” Matthew 4:16

The FDNY is fine, but to be led out of exile, and to get home, we need to be with the Savior of the world.

Sometimes it’s the ‘believers’ who are in the greatest need of being saved.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

OHolyNight2013O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining; It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!”

Christmas2013a

Archives

Stephen B. Wise

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 181 other followers