Tag Archives: Jewish

PANDEMIC 2020 VISION: Resurrection Sunday

“And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.” Ex 12:22-23

I have not been writing in this time of solitude. Instead, I have been learning. Learning like all my students have been told to learn at home. After all, what is good for the student is good for the teacher as well. Sitting on my small front porch/deck, I see the signs everywhere. Spring is here.

Resurrection Sunday just around the corner.

The flowers are blooming with abundance in my small piece on Terra. The trees which were in bud last week are providing shade when I walk through the woods with my happy choc lab girls. Baby spinach is peeking up through the large lettuce plants, and tiny peas have started to sprout the roots that will lead to more food. Mulch is being hauled here and there, and my wheelbarrow doesn’t seem to mind as much as my back does.

With all of that said, the mind keeps turning. I find it interesting that in Israel, most of the United States and a good portion of the world, people are re-living Passover much in the way the first Israelites experienced it over 3000 years.

The eight plagues had come and gone. The ninth was outside the door – – the door that Jewish people had been commanded to shut and not leave until morning. They were sheltered at home. Shelter in their homes – alone – unsure of what might come – waiting for the first rays of the morning, and trusting the words of Moshe who spoke the words given by the GOD of Abraham, Jacob and Issac.

I wonder at the “Godwink” of timing as I sit outside and look up. Passover – Easter.
Jewish – Christian.
Holy celebrations to the same GOD or “Abba” as Yeshua referred to Him. The two religions linked together by the One who was both. And – in this year of Pandemic 2020 Vision – both religions sheltered at home during this same space in linear time.
A plague outside their doors.
Alone.
Unsure of the future.
Waiting for the first rays of the morning.
Trusting the words of Moshe and Yeshua Mashiach.

“Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” Lk 21:29-33

Teachers often re-teach concepts. Parents may be seeing that they need to go over a concept more than once as they work with their kidlets in home schooling. History repeats for a reason.

In case you haven’t noticed – humans don’t always listen so well. Sometimes we may get that concept for awhile, but then we get lazy and let it drift away into that nether world of the “past”. The concept that was so clear yesterday becomes a little fuzzier over time. Hence – the all “nighters” pulled by many a collegiate crammer.

Is it any wonder that a Father – Who loves His children beyond anything we can imagine – would want to remind us to trust Him once again?

Personally, I am looking forward to being sheltered at home during this Pandemic 2020 Vision: Resurrection Sunday. No egg hunts. No bunny hiding baskets. No large family get-together. Instead, I plan on getting up and sitting on my porch where I will watch the first rays of the morning cross the horizon.

Resurrection ‘Sunday may be rainy and cold here in NC, and seeing the sun’s light is improbable. But, it is not the physical light I will be waiting for on this Resurrection Sunday because I have the Son’s Light in my heart and His holy manna and praise cup within me after tonight’s Seder. He is worthy.  And so – I wait with expectation and His songs circling in my head.

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and blessing!”
And I heard every creature in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To Him who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb,
be praise and honor and glory and power
forever and ever!” …
“Amen,” Rev 5:12-14

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ALIYAH

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?”

There are nights when after a full day of walking through his life, that the world seems darker than dark. Angry slurs spew back and forth – separating, dividing, tearing at loose bands that once wove and united one to another.

And the age old question rises once again.

The Book of Life is full of similar stories. People united then torn apart by complaining, whining, power, self-interest. They have a beautiful garden, but want what they want when they want it. They watch the leader walk up a mountain and when he is a little late, they make their own leader out of gold. They get freedom, but don’t like walking. They get manna but want meat. They see the Son of God but He doesn’t fit the description in their heads. They have forgotten the song.

When the Jewish people would journey to Jerusalem for a festival, they would sing Psalms and recite the Torah. It was a way to teach the youngsters, but it was also a way to remind themselves of why they needed to do this journey in life. They called the journey “aliyah”. Today, when a person moves to Israel, it is also called “aliyah”.

“My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth…”

Tomorrow, our little school is making a journey to a farm. They will take a hayride, pick out a pumpkin, get some pictures taken, spend time with the animals, and listen to some stories and songs. Since Jesus made aliyahs when He walked this earth, I will be reading a story about the Jewish festival Sukkot – the harvest festival. I had to smile when I saw that our principal paired me with the music teacher. After all, it is fitting that the story and songs will go together on an aliyah.

God is like that. When things are darker than dark, He throws a little light into it. A fire cloud that leads us forward and protects our hearts from the chaos. It is just a matter of faith. A matter of looking up to the hills and remembering to ask the question.

Where does our help come from?

It cometh from the LORD who hath made heaven and earth.

“He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.” ~ Ps 121 A song of ascent. 

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#7daystoelection #7daystopray #7daystolookup

10 Book Challenge

Labor Day.  Big party was yesterday at the daughter’s.  Took lots of pictures.  Got my needed hugs and kisses from the Grands.  Today’s plan…dogs to lake…read book…write a little…pray a little more… and just laze around.

Got the first two things started and then made the mistake of checking FB because I had some pictures to share with the daughter.  One of my friends sent a challenge:  “In your status, list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the “right” books or great books of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Tag 10 friends including me, so I can see your list.”

hopalongI was not tagged – shame on this friend who knew I would love this challenge, but I tagged myself because I loved this idea.   Seeing as how I really didn’t have anything major planned.  Seeing as how the husband was off “laboring” on Labor Day.  Seeing as how books have entirely ruled my life from the time I discovered words on my childhood area rug that said:  Hop-a-Long Cassidy in big white letters (if memory serves, mine was a brown rug – but then again – that is memory for you).  I thought, “This would be a quick and fun thing to do”.   HA!

Hmmmmm….not so quick but definitely a great pursuit for the introspective Jewish month of Elul.  Because – just how do you limit it to 10 books?   I have since thought of at least 5 more books, I should have liked to squeezed into the original “ten”.  Must be Common Core is sinking into my logic – 10 doesn’t necessarily mean 10 – right?  

1. bibleBible (where would my soul be without it?  I read it everyday.  2 chapters of the OT, 5 psalms, 1 chapter of Proverbs, 2 chapters of NT and assorted side tracks into Daniel, Isaiah, etc.)


2. ifjesuscameIf Jesus Came to My House by Joan G. Thomas (1st book I remember reading over and over)

 


3. black like meBlack Like Me by John Howard Griffin (read it in Jr. Hi. and sent me on a quest; took the 1st ever Black Studies classes offered on OSU-Cols campus, read tons more favorites (Malcom X, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Native Son, Fredrick Douglas, Langston Hughes…oooh where do I stop???)


4. Edgar Cayce the Sleeping Prophet (found on the self of the Loudonvillecayce Library when I was working there as a page and started me on my own spiritual quest outside of my parents’ faith…and all books by Cayce, Ruth Montgomery, Authur Ford, Jane Roberts, etc)

 

whitman
5. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (Thank you, Mrs. Robinson, for this one, the research paper I wrote on his life and all the poetry books that I devoured after that.)


6. atlasAtlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and all her books (changed my politics a little more and challenged my faith since she was writing from an atheistic bias)

 


7. Dialogue with the Devil by Taylor Caldwell handed to me by a stranger downloadin the Whitehall Library in Columbus who said I needed to read it (then I preceded to read every book she wrote, including her autobiography Growing Up Tough which I read portions of for our 8th grade autobio unit)

 

akiane8. Akiane Kramarik: Her Life, Her Art, Her Poetry (Added depth of thought on SOOOOOO many levels)

 


9.blessingsThe Path of Blessing by Rabbi Marcia Prager (continues to add so much depth of thought behind Rabbi Yeshua actions and words, even though she is not Christian, she is His child.  Thanks to my good friend who didn’t tag me for recommending this book)
10. And all classics – Children – Young Adult – Adult (doesn’t matter) – any genre (doesn’t matter) – after all – that is why they are called classics.

It got me thinking about how much reading has meant to me and continues to mean to me.  When my mom developed Macular Degeneration, we got her books on tape via the library.  She had a hard time operating the tape recorder, but she loved listening to me when I would read to her.  I read her newspapers, books, magazines and letters that my kids sent via e-mail.  It would make her laugh or cry or start a discussion that would last in my heart for many years.

Reading is like that.  It builds and elicits memories on so many levels.  Movies that exist in our heads.  New lands to visit.  New time periods to learn details that we never knew from the history books.  Emotions that we had forgotten.  Dreams to seek – as a child – an adult – a senior citizen.  Reading is all that and probably much more than I have remembered.

I love this Jewish month.  It is appropriate that school starts in this month as students start the long road of reading for knowledge, wisdom and discernment.  I love challenges.  I love a book challenge.

Wisdom is supreme:  therefore get wisdom.  Though it cost all you have, get understanding.  ”  Prov 4:7

Old Deuteronomy

Several years ago, when I was performing in CATS with a local theatre BookOfPracticalCatsgroup, Old Deuteronomy was the cat full of wisdom and grace.  Most musicals have a wise person passing out wonderfully timed wisdom to those seeking help.  Wisely, Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber had the sense not to change much of T.S. Eliot’s original poem, “Old Deuteronomy:

“Old Deuteronomy lived a long time;He’s a Cat who has lived many lives in succession, He was famous in Proverb and famous in rhyme, A long time before Queen Victoria’s accession…” 

Deuteronomy has never been one of those books that I spent much time studying in the past.  In fact, I spent very little time in the OT.  I just didn’t think it was necessary.  After all, I was a child of the New Covenant.   Jesus was where it was at…the narrow gate…the Way…       The sad part of this history lesson is that I don’t believe that my thinking is unusual.  Most of the churches I attended in my formative years (and I attended a bunch of different ones since I was usually getting paid to sing in their choirs) gave only a passing nod to the OT.  Besides, they only had so many Sundays to get across all those wonderful stories that happened between Matthew and Revelations. 

“Be silent, O Israel, and listen!  You have now become the people of the LORD your God…”  Deut 27:9b

Maybe it is because I always have so many questions.  Or maybe it is because I tend to rebel much more than most people would ever guess.  But the last couple of years, God has set my feet on this path of understanding the Jewish portion of Jesus, and why the Old Covenant is an integral portion of our redemption.  It has not been an easy journey (after all I do tend to be a little  – ok – more than a little – stubborn).  Reading the OT can be tedious at times and boring at best.  Timelines are confusing.  Names just don’t tumble off your lips.  And really?  All the violence and patriarchal society thing drives me nuts most of the time.  Just how does God’s people do all this nastiness, and He still loves them?  And then I look at me…and sigh.  If my life was miraculously dropped into the Bible, I would definitely fit right in with all of God’s nasty acting people.

“Old Deuteronomy sits in the street,  He sits in the High Street on Market Day.  The bullocks may bellow, the sheep they may bleat, But the dogs and the herdsmen will turn them away…”

Unlike the dogs and the herdsmen, Our Father doesn’t EVER turn us away when we seek Him out.  Our nastiness continues.  Violence — Wars — Terror —   yet — when God’s people continue to trust and put their faith in I AM, the miracles follow.  GRACE.  My Bible’s study guide says that the theme of Deuteronomy is “Devote yourself wholeheartedly to God”.  I keep trying to remember that as I am reading it.  It is a book full of Moses’ final words to God’s people. It was the end of the 40 year journey.  It was the start of a new life in a new country.  Finally, it is the land of “Milk and Honey”, and it was in front of them.

“Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants…’” Deut 34:4b

It is just something to think about as we watch the world unravel.

The Gate-keeper

We beat the gate-keeper to the lake this morning. I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to let the girls (our labs =) ) swim and walk this morning (since I had appointments to keep), so I wanted to make sure to take advantage of every minute. It was worth it. 73 degrees, a slight breeze and happy, barking dogs – life doesn’t get much better and I was glad the gate-keeper was on time.

“Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee..” Job 22:28a

But as I watched all the beauty around me, I kept thinking about the 3 teenagers killed in Israel. 18 days missing and buried today. Earlier today I read and shared a post by an Israeli woman. She talked about how the number 18 in Hebrew is equivalent to the word “chai” which means “life”. Needless to say, that one little sentence has been revisiting my thought process throughout the day. A dat spent reading a new book, waiting for the doctors to say I am a perfectly healthy 63 year old – enjoying the freedom to drive around and purchase things I “needed”.

Just – Life.

I think I have a pretty great one, and I am more and more thankful for it everyday. As I stood by the water watching the girls fetch their sticks, two pure white birds flew low over us. They were not the typical sea gulls that are often swirling over the lake, but they were also bigger than the white doves we occasionally see. I don’t know what they were, but they were beautiful. Even the dogs looked up as they were swimming, sticks in mouths, towards me. It’s one of those times I wish I was more like mom. She would have had a camera ready and snapped it. As they disappeared into the shelter of the woods, Israel and America popped into my mind.

Two countries founded upon a faith in one God. Three boys: Two Israelis and 1 American. Two countries tied together by faith. Three boys of different countries tied together by friendship and faith.

The older I get, the less I’m inclined to believe in “quinky-dinks” as my dad and mom used to say. Jewish wisdom looks at every “jot and tittle” as they study the WORD. They believe that nothing – not a dot – not a word – not a repetitive story – in the WORD is just a coincidence. They give God so much more credit than we -people of the new covenant – have done. In fact, we pretty much ignore the OT except for a few stories that we find relevant. We tend to forget that Jesus was totally Jewish and knew the WORD down to every “jot and tittle”. He often repeated the wisdom of the OT in His teachings.

“”Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matt 18:18

I guess with all these thoughts roaming through my busy day, I wasn’t surprised when this last verse popped up in my devotions tonight. Did you notice the reference? 18:18. Did you notice that Jesus repeated a verse in Job? Life. Prayer. Faith. The gate-keeper is standing by the gate.

A Caliphate is proclaimed.

Three boys are buried.

I don’t know thy these things continued to claim my attention today or why I feel so compelled to write about all of it. I only know I am called to circle these thing in prayer, be faithful to what He calls me to do, and offer thanks for all the promises that He faithfully keeps each and every day. I am blessed…and watching for the gate-keeper to open the gates.

http://www.jewishgiftplace.com/Meaning-of-Hebrew-Chai.html