A Story with an Ending

Once upon a time.

There was a land called choice by Almighty, YHVH.

This land had other people in it, people who were doing unforgivable things.

  • They were serving other gods, and they were performing detestable acts in that worship.
  • They were conducting sexual actions that were deemed abominable, not acceptable.
  • They were shedding blood without consequence.
  • They were not acting justly toward their Landlord.

So, the Landlord took notice and made the choice to bring in another set of tenants, and gave specific instructions to those tenants.  Part of that tenancy provided for great abundance, in progeny and in harvests and stock.  There were ‘taxes’ paid to an elite class of rent collectors, who then paid their ‘taxes’ to the elite class of property management staff.  There were also dues and penalty payments to be made to the elite class of property management staff, who performed in accordance to the tenancy document.

The tenancy document was indeed a well constructed thing, but it didn’t appeal to the masses.  Why would it?  It didn’t promise a permanent occupancy.

So the masses took it upon themselves to appoint new positions, and to make addendum after addendum and to oust the property management staff.   They forgot who was holding the deed.

The terms of the tenancy document clearly stated that eviction would be the result of such actions.  The Landlord had every means available to enforce, and did – time and time again.

Yet the contracted tenants had progeny who thought themselves above the document, so there was much scrutiny given it and many resources employed to create their own version of the benefits of the land.  And thus they returned and began hosting and joining with the peoples who would do similarly to the originally storied occupants.

Here we are now, with a polluted land and a polluted people.  The original tenancy document still exists, yet there are no readers, no intellect to shed their own confidences and addendum and look back to the original tenancy contract.

Israel occupants.  Are you listening?  Do you think that the contract is null and void?  Do you truly think that Almighty would allow a rewrite?

Return to Torah.  Renew your contract.

Discontent

Within our Torah community, discontent is something we often discuss.  It’s pervasive in this day and age, and likely always has been.

We see it played out in the exodus story – the people complaining about their meal delivery plan not being as diverse as what they had available to them in bondage.  Rather than continuing to celebrate their freedom from bondage, rather than being thankful for the daily food they were delivered, rather than being in awe of the historic event they participated in, they instead obsessed upon that discontent of temporary gastrointestinal displeasure.

Always looking for something to make us feel better, why are we not satisfied with ‘enough’.  When is it ‘enough’?

Why do I feel like the dining set I’ve had for 20 years needs to be replaced?  It’s sturdy, it expands to seat extra people, it’s scratches and worn finish could easily be covered over.  What creates that desire to have more, to replace what already exists?  It seems so easy to justify whatever we perceive as our desires – and that self-justification and subsequent acquisition only temporarily lulls that lusty appetite for more.

I could dive into the psychological manipulations of the marketing gurus from decades past, or the social manipulations being currently driven by mass data mining and artificial intelligence.  But it goes back much farther than that.

The desire to have what is perceived to be better than our current holdings, our current space, our current position, this drive to have what was not ours, it’s making us miserable.  And it seems our species is entrenched with it as part of our genetic make-up.  It seems we’ve always been looking for more.

This discontent has upset the entire global structure and clouds our perception of how life should truly operate.  We think we can improve upon every natural thing, but instead corruption and destruction lies in our wake.   Our self-importance and striving to improve our lots are threatening to wipe out important species, and draining our natural resources.

Where does it stop?  How do we turn this gluttonous belly of society into a functional form?

What is your discontent?  How can you accept your place, your space, your allotment in life and embrace contentment?

Are you out of line?  Am I?

Community Discussions – Open

Life As A Hebrew:

This has been a long time coming, but some of our community is having an ‘open’, well semi-open, discussion about Torah and the Land of Canaan.

You are welcome to see what it’s about:

http://torahhealstheland.boards.net/

Join in, if you agree to the terms.  🙂

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Community Discussions – Open

This has been a long time coming, but some of our community is having an ‘open’, well semi-open, discussion about Torah and the Land of Canaan.

You are welcome to see what it’s about:

http://torahhealstheland.boards.net/

Join in, if you agree to the terms.  🙂

No Rewards

I sometimes ask myself why I believe Torah.  Why do I desire to serve Almighty?

Continually, I get knocked off my feet with discovered errors.

Always, it’s a lonely traipse through time.

The end of the matter – I have absolutely no skin in the game.  There is zero lineage in my family line that ties to the People of the Book.  I am listed on a family pedigree, part of a registered family history, that extends back to the 1500s, of European descent and documented immigration to the colonies in 1629.  I am European American.  Or hillbilly, in tribute to my dead mother.

There is absolutely nothing I gain by my desire to serve Almighty, except that I soothe my own soul.

I’m ostracized in some circles for staunchly defending my integrity.  My blood family steers a wide berth around me since they don’t understand me — that or they attempt to proselytize me.  My spouse thankfully tolerates and accommodates me, but disagrees with my beliefs, so I will not be a citizen in the land YHWH calls Israel, unless by means beyond my control.  Should I find myself there, I would have to beg for scraps, scrape by and feed off the corners, hope to become a servant to survive.  I have no inheritance.

You see, I am nobody.  I have no reward for what I believe.

What I have is a deep belief that what YHWH has set down in Torah is the most perfect system I could ever imagine.  I am a follower of rules, a cynic who tests but a guardian once I am convinced.  I could keep the instructions, I believe, should I be in the position to be in the land.  But what if I’m wrong?  If I don’t keep the Law in the Land, I would be expelled or killed.

Harsh?  Or perfect?

Either way – there’s no reward.  Yet, I will continue.

 

 

 

Hebrew Shema: Hear Oh Scattered of Israel!

We can point to this, that, or the other as prophecy – and even look at old text and say that it was prophesied and came true – not knowing for certain when it was written.  But Torah gives us concrete instructions for what a messed up and lost nation Jacob would become.

We can look at irrigated fields, with neighboring bodies of water sucked dry and call them miraculous signs of blessings;  we can tout technological savvy and military prowess, backed by other nations not familiar to our ancients, as preordained and call them proof of biblical texts.  But we ignore what Almighty pictured in Torah as our proof of being in sync with Almighty:

3 If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them; 4 then I will give your rains in their season, and the land shall yield her produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time; and ye shall eat your bread until ye have enough, and dwell in your land safely. 6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid; and I will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. 7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand; and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 And I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you; and will establish My covenant with you. 10 And ye shall eat old store long kept, and ye shall bring forth the old from before the new. 11 And I will set My tabernacle (Not Temple) among you, and My soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be My people. 13 I am the LORD your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bars of your yoke, and made you go upright.

We cannot seem to look at Torah and take it seriously, literally –  have we not acknowledged that we CONTINUE to WALK AGAINST OUR ALMIGHTY?

Contrary to what two of the major religions claim, Torah shows us the truth about today and the Covenant with the tribe of Israel:

Leviticus 26

The critical piece is as follows – I will make the text red and put notes in parenthesis and in blue text for what I am calling attention to:

32 And I will bring the land into desolation; and your enemies that dwell therein shall be astonished at it.  (desolation is ‘without Israel’ but not unoccupied, as the enemies are dwelling there)   33 And you will I scatter among the nations, and I will draw out the sword after you; and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste. 34 Then shall the land be paid her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye are in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and repay her sabbaths. 35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall have rest; even the rest which it had not in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. 36 And as for them that are left of you, I will send a faintness into their heart in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a driven leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as one fleeth from the sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth. 37 And they shall stumble one upon another, as it were before the sword, when none pursueth; and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies. 38 And ye shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. 39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them. 40 And they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, in their treachery which they committed against Me, and also that they have walked contrary unto Me41 I also will walk contrary unto them, and bring them into the land of their enemies; if then perchance their uncircumcised heart be humbled, and they then be paid the punishment of their iniquity42then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land43 For the land shall lie forsaken without them, and shall be paid her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them; and they shall be paid the punishment of their iniquity; because, even because they rejected Mine ordinances, and their soul abhorred My statutes. 44 And yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God45 But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the LORD46 These are the statutes and ordinances and laws, which the LORD made between Him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.

So – Israel, Jacob, Hebrews –  I beseech you – confess that your course is off kilter and that you are no longer in concert with the Covenant, no longer doing your part in keeping The Law.

May YHWH Remember.  And may there be people left alive To Hear, and To Do.  And may The Land be once again the Joy of YHWH, Eternal.

 

No Traditional Yom Kippur

Our Hebrew observance of Yom Kippur is not what you’ll find in the search engines; the current traditions that have been set for many years are not followed among our people.

In fact, I was astounded to see a search option come up to show that the scapegoat was taken to its death on this Holy Day.

Not so.

In fact, as I pondered on that change to the commands, it occurred to me that my picture of that scapegoat was also in error.

When the bull and the two rams were chosen for Yom Kippur, it would not be clear which of the rams was to be the offering and which was to be the scapegoat, as the lots had not yet been cast by the High Priest.  The rams would have both been choice, healthy and vigorous animals.  Fit, without blemish, choice for offering to Almighty.

The ram that was sent away with the sins of the community figuratively upon its head would have been capable of survival in that wilderness, should it make it past the predators in the early time period.  Accustomed to domestic life, there would be a quick learning curve – or death.  But the ram was not sent to die – rather it was released to freedom, to a clean slate.  Its choices would determine its future.

So it is for us, should we follow the commands – the command to refrain from work and the command to afflict our souls.

Unlike the days of unleavened bread, where we’re commanded not to eat leaven, we are not commanded not to eat on Yom Kippur.  We’re commanded to afflict our souls.  That is a hard concept and leaves some room for translation.  To my mind it means to reflect, to self-examine and find my inner motives, my inner workings and check them against Torah expectations to see where I find myself lacking.  It’s also to recall where I’ve made outright errors according to the Torah laws and to acknowledge that guilt, that fault that should have already had restitution made and to bring that to the forefront as an item that would today be released.

And so the day began.  A pot of coffee to stir the mental works.  A bit of rest upon the cozy sofa as the achy morning muscles and joints stirred and loosened.  A little bit of music once the brain cells were beginning to fire.

Then the journal and favorite pen were pulled out and the commencement of self inspection began.

Well timed, the Holy convocation – the meeting with the community – was announced and began, only moments after the pen was set aside and just after I had snacked on curry seasoned cashews.

We discussed our perspectives on the day.  We talked about the happenings of the week, and a few current events.  We discussed concerns over family, and life.  And then we spent some time talking of those joys we’ve had, those things we look forward to and relish, and how thankful we are for those.

After the convocation, a quick lunch and a short walk for the dog, I returned to the inspection and discovered a few more items for which I could find reason for relief of guilt, for cleaning the slate.  Items that I could improve upon.

Not every moment of the day has been spent wallowing in self pity for wrong doing – and moments outside of the meeting and the self inspection were not swept away by napping.

I set a bluegrass station on the stereo as background and did some wishful thinking, some reading, and some thinking about the fall weather approaching.

And look forward to the evening and a clean slate – and a full return to the rituals commanded by Almighty.

 

Stripping Away Cultural Inheritance

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