Category Archives: Soapbox

Rights? What Are Rights?

I keep hearing ‘God-given rights’.

I want to know:  what are those rights?  Seriously?!

If those rights are based on something that isn’t factual, frequent repetition of those words doesn’t by default make them law.

If those oft-repeated rights are based on something seemingly factual but being attributed to the God of Torah, the God of the Old Testament, then the title of God has been taken in vain.  Dangerous ground there, slippery slopes and all.

God given rights are to breathe, to multiply, and to die. Given equally to mankind, to animals as well as to plant life (breathe termed in alternate forms) and organisms.

Choice is an option given mankind. Not a right, an option. People often choose to be emotionally driven.

Right to live?  Well, until you die… sure.

Liberty? No, not a right that Almighty granted, but seemingly a cultural perception graced upon society in general.

Pursuit of happiness? Whatever. That’s another cultural perception of mankind, not a God-granted right.

The words of Torah, the history of Tanakh comes to mind… 

People were born poor.

People were in situations where there was no food, no water.

People died.

People were born into slavery.  All colors.

People were isolated into groups.

People were restricted and persecuted for their beliefs, their race, their cultures.  Across the earth.

These situations are often the direct result of consequences.  Choices made and consequence of choice being the equal and opposite reaction.  Assigned situations based on circumstance and consequence.

Breathing.

Reproducing.

Dying.

 

Rights equal to all.

The rest is conceptual. Even if penned by founders.

 

Reflections

publish beauty

We celebrated this little beauty’s first year recently.  An astonishing fact, considering how quickly this time has lapsed.

It’s been a blurry year.  One of those mind-numbing, day-in and day-out, so many similarities that they all blend together sort of years.  The drudgery, the sameness, mostly blending so completely that before you know, the moments for opportunity are past – passed, slipped on by to become lost time; sometimes regret, sometimes survival.  Mostly, just a blur.

Emergency ailments, celebrations, discord and distress, good health, economic woes, family time, work, great friends – all combined to create another assemblage of time.  Moments and milestones, smiles and scares.

I’ve worked way too much, and the job project has hit the manic phase – a major program changeover that will wrap in ten weeks, with the primary module going live in three.  I’m worn near the frack out.  I was not cut out for 80 hour work weeks.  They’re an attack to the peace of the home front, and emotional health in general.  But the light at the end of the tunnel is now much less dim.

Time to start preparing for the next stage.

Hubby and I are scheduled to host our youngest grandbabe this next spring, spending a full week with her sweetness.  In the interim, we think we need to arrange more visits to get to know her better – so we won’t be such strangers when she makes her special visit to our home.

Shortly after that visit, we hope to attain some serious financial freedom – an opportunity to make remodeling plans for this ol’ home of ours.  Providing that there are no surprises between now and then, the first on my list will be a new main floor bathroom.  Dreams sometimes become reality, right?

Then fall plans include a meet-up with a dear friend, one of my Torah community members, to celebrate a Holy day and travel time visiting places and spaces where I’ve never been.

In the meantime, life is moving along at the full-steam sameness.  Yet, as much as that feels like reality, it’s really not is it?

The world is changing every moment, little bits and pieces bouncing around, pinging off each other, creating actions and reactions that not a single one of us can accurately predict.

We live, we die.

In the in-between, lies reality.

Sh’ma Yisra’eil: Return to the Law

altar rock color

Sh’ma Yisra’eil – Return to the Law.

Torah Law, that is… the religion of the Hebrews.

I can keep it, it’s not terrifically hard, but it doesn’t matter.

Outside the land – It doesn’t matter.

I can live my life restrained only by civil law – eat, drink and be merry.  An ocean away, across the border, on the moon… as long as I’m not in the land chosen by Almighty, the Law is not a matter to much concern me.

So why am I so morose, so concerned with doing what YHVH commanded?  What keeps me on course, holding the line, standing apart and keeping separate from everyone and everything I know?  Why do I not just blend in, become a comfortable fit with society, with culture, with family and friends and community?

If nothing else, so that I can sleep well at night, so that I can practice what I believe with all of my heart.  Even if my obedience makes no difference, none.  Inconsequential, insignificant.  Important only to me.  Important only that by extension, I hope to revere YHVH by keeping the commands.

Truly, YHVH said I will bless them that bless you and curse them that curse you – by you all of the families of the earth will be blessed.

Not me.  Almighty didn’t say that about me.

Not anyone outside the land.  Other nations didn’t get this condition, this special selection.

Only Israel.  Chosen resident of the land.

So hey there Israel – Are you listening?!? – people in the land, citizens, strangers, residents of all shapes, sizes and beliefs – do you not believe YHVH?

Are you fearless, thinking Almighty, YHVH will not require?  See Numbers 35.

לג  וְלֹא-תַחֲנִיפוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּהּ, כִּי הַדָּם, הוּא יַחֲנִיף אֶת-הָאָרֶץ; וְלָאָרֶץ לֹא-יְכֻפַּר, לַדָּם אֲשֶׁר שֻׁפַּךְ-בָּהּ, כִּי-אִם, בְּדַם שֹׁפְכוֹ. 33 So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are; for blood, it polluteth the land; and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.
לד  וְלֹא תְטַמֵּא אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם יֹשְׁבִים בָּהּ–אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי, שֹׁכֵן בְּתוֹכָהּ:  כִּי, אֲנִי יְהוָה–שֹׁכֵן, בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.  {פ} 34 And thou shalt not defile the land which ye inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell; for I the LORD dwell in the midst of the children of Israel.’

The land is chosen, deliberately; forever claimed by YHVH – a possession only lent to others as punishment to those peoples who defiled it, those who denied that YHVH owned the land.

Israel – pay attention before you also are spewed from the land!  Please!

There are terms.  There are conditions.  Go back and search for the God of your father Abraham.  Look to the ancients, those Hebrews who came out of Egypt to serve your Almighty, and repair your ways.  Strip your extraneous laws and traditions and return to YHVH who chose you  – to be the blessing, to dwell safely in the land, to become the rightful servants of YHVH.

Look closely at Leviticus 26.  Is the land and its people truly blessed?

ג  אִם-בְּחֻקֹּתַי, תֵּלֵכוּ; וְאֶת-מִצְוֺתַי תִּשְׁמְרוּ, וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם. 3 If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them;
ד  וְנָתַתִּי גִשְׁמֵיכֶם, בְּעִתָּם; וְנָתְנָה הָאָרֶץ יְבוּלָהּ, וְעֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה יִתֵּן פִּרְיוֹ. 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.
ה  וְהִשִּׂיג לָכֶם דַּיִשׁ אֶת-בָּצִיר, וּבָצִיר יַשִּׂיג אֶת-זָרַע; וַאֲכַלְתֶּם לַחְמְכֶם לָשֹׂבַע, וִישַׁבְתֶּם לָבֶטַח בְּאַרְצְכֶם. 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.
ו  וְנָתַתִּי שָׁלוֹם בָּאָרֶץ, וּשְׁכַבְתֶּם וְאֵין מַחֲרִיד; וְהִשְׁבַּתִּי חַיָּה רָעָה, מִן-הָאָרֶץ, וְחֶרֶב, לֹא-תַעֲבֹר בְּאַרְצְכֶם. 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.
ז  וּרְדַפְתֶּם, אֶת-אֹיְבֵיכֶם; וְנָפְלוּ לִפְנֵיכֶם, לֶחָרֶב. 7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
ח  וְרָדְפוּ מִכֶּם חֲמִשָּׁה מֵאָה, וּמֵאָה מִכֶּם רְבָבָה יִרְדֹּפוּ; וְנָפְלוּ אֹיְבֵיכֶם לִפְנֵיכֶם, לֶחָרֶב. 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.
ט  וּפָנִיתִי אֲלֵיכֶם–וְהִפְרֵיתִי אֶתְכֶם, וְהִרְבֵּיתִי אֶתְכֶם; וַהֲקִימֹתִי אֶת-בְּרִיתִי, אִתְּכֶם. 9 And I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you; and will establish My covenant with you.
י  וַאֲכַלְתֶּם יָשָׁן, נוֹשָׁן; וְיָשָׁן, מִפְּנֵי חָדָשׁ תּוֹצִיאוּ. 10 And ye shall eat old store long kept, and ye shall bring forth the old from before the new.
יא  וְנָתַתִּי מִשְׁכָּנִי, בְּתוֹכְכֶם; וְלֹא-תִגְעַל נַפְשִׁי, אֶתְכֶם. 11 And I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you.
יב  וְהִתְהַלַּכְתִּי, בְּתוֹכְכֶם, וְהָיִיתִי לָכֶם, לֵאלֹהִים; וְאַתֶּם, תִּהְיוּ-לִי לְעָם. 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be My people.

Not according to Torah.  Is the land and its people truly in the midst of punishment?  It appears clearly so to me.

לז  וְכָשְׁלוּ אִישׁ-בְּאָחִיו כְּמִפְּנֵי-חֶרֶב, וְרֹדֵף אָיִן; וְלֹא-תִהְיֶה לָכֶם תְּקוּמָה, לִפְנֵי אֹיְבֵיכֶם. 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.
לח  וַאֲבַדְתֶּם, בַּגּוֹיִם; וְאָכְלָה אֶתְכֶם, אֶרֶץ אֹיְבֵיכֶם. 38 And ye shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.
לט  וְהַנִּשְׁאָרִים בָּכֶם, יִמַּקּוּ בַּעֲוֺנָם, בְּאַרְצֹת, אֹיְבֵיכֶם; וְאַף בַּעֲוֺנֹת אֲבֹתָם, אִתָּם יִמָּקּוּ. 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.
מ  וְהִתְוַדּוּ אֶת-עֲוֺנָם וְאֶת-עֲוֺן אֲבֹתָם, בְּמַעֲלָם אֲשֶׁר מָעֲלוּ-בִי, וְאַף, אֲשֶׁר-הָלְכוּ עִמִּי בְּקֶרִי. 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 Me.
מא  אַף-אֲנִי, אֵלֵךְ עִמָּם בְּקֶרִי, וְהֵבֵאתִי אֹתָם, בְּאֶרֶץ אֹיְבֵיהֶם; אוֹ-אָז יִכָּנַע, לְבָבָם הֶעָרֵל, וְאָז, יִרְצוּ אֶת-עֲוֺנָם. 41 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 iniquity;

Find your priests, the sons of Aaron.  Ask them to take their stand, to resume their eternal inherited positions.  Support them.  Give them reason  to seek YHVH, to inquire of, and worship YHVH as they have been commanded.  Ask them to seek out the old ways, the ways of Abraham.  Ask them to become servants of YHVH, as designed.

Do your part – clean house, prepare yourselves and the tabernacle of Almighty – set yourselves straight.  Accept the punishment and ask YHVH to Remember – to Remember the Covenant with Abraham – to Remember the Covenant with Isaac – to Remember the Covenant with Jacob – and to Remember again the Land.

מב  וְזָכַרְתִּי, אֶת-בְּרִיתִי יַעֲקוֹב; וְאַף אֶת-בְּרִיתִי יִצְחָק וְאַף אֶת-בְּרִיתִי אַבְרָהָם, אֶזְכֹּר–וְהָאָרֶץ אֶזְכֹּר. 42 then 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 land.
מג  וְהָאָרֶץ תֵּעָזֵב מֵהֶם וְתִרֶץ אֶת-שַׁבְּתֹתֶיהָ, בָּהְשַׁמָּה מֵהֶם, וְהֵם, יִרְצוּ אֶת-עֲוֺנָם; יַעַן וּבְיַעַן–בְּמִשְׁפָּטַי מָאָסוּ, וְאֶת-חֻקֹּתַי גָּעֲלָה נַפְשָׁם. 43 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.
מד  וְאַף-גַּם-זֹאת בִּהְיוֹתָם בְּאֶרֶץ אֹיְבֵיהֶם, לֹא-מְאַסְתִּים וְלֹא-גְעַלְתִּים לְכַלֹּתָם–לְהָפֵר בְּרִיתִי, אִתָּם:  כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה, אֱלֹהֵיהֶם. 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 God.
מה  וְזָכַרְתִּי לָהֶם, בְּרִית רִאשֹׁנִים:  אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִי-אֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לְעֵינֵי הַגּוֹיִם, לִהְיוֹת לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים–אֲנִי יְהוָה. 45 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 LORD.

Kick those rabbis to the curb.  Eject them from the land if you have to, if they, like others before them, refuse to honor the established hierarchy set forth by YHVH.  If they continue to usurp the position of authority, the priesthood, set forth by YHVH, then send them away.  They lead you astray.

The rest of us are counting on you – whether we know it or not – our future hangs in the balance, waiting on you.  All of the families of the earth are looking and hoping for a thing that will not happen without you.

Save yourselves, and allow us to rejoice in your resumed status, as Chosen of YHVH, rightful residents of the Land of Israel, Land of YHVH.

Not for me, not for the Sojourner.  I have no position.  I just have great hope for your future.