Miketz Torah : Genesis 41:1-44:17| Prophets : Isaiah 66:1-24| Gospel : Luke 24:13-29


Commentary on Torah Portion Parashat MiketzKids Learning: 1.10 Miketz Bereshith (Genesis) Chapters 41:1-44:17

Weekly Torah Portion - Relationships Re-examined | The Detroit Jewish News

God's Salvation Is Always Possible | International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

 

10. Miketz Genesis 41:1 a 44:17 Maravillas Escondidas en la Torah | Buscando lo Escondido

Miketz biblestudyresourcecenter.com. Miketz Genesis 41:1 – 44:17 Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14 – 4:7 Gospel: Luke 4:16-30 Miketz = “At the end of” The 10th. - ppt download

Genesis 41 KJV - And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.

 

Ohr Torah Stone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gen 44:33 | scripture pictures at alittleperspective.com | Scripture pictures, Read bible, Bible

A Passage To Ponder: Genesis 45:5-7 | ThePreachersWord

 

genesis 41:1-44:17, annual miketz “at the end” outline

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Hard Work – Miketz

“And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘In my dream, I am standing on the bank of the River. And, behold, there come out of the River seven cows…'”—Genesis 41:17-18.

This week’s portion opens with the story of Pharaoh’s two dreams: first, seven fat cows swallowed by seven skinny ones, and then, seven healthy stalks consumed by seven withered ones. Joseph, who is released from prison in order to interpret these dreams for Pharaoh, himself dreamed two dreams described in the beginning of last week’s portion. In Joseph’s first dream, he and his brothers are working in the field bundling sheaves and in the second one, Joseph sees the sun, moon and stars bowing to him. A comparison between Joseph’s dreams and those of Pharaoh brings to light the essential difference between holiness and negativity as represented by Joseph and Pharaoh, respectively.

A comparison between Joseph’s dreams and those of Pharaoh brings to light the essential difference between holiness and negativityJoseph’s dreams begin with toil and labor: “We were bundling sheaves in the field.” (Genesis 37:7) Pharaoh’s dreams, on the other hand, have no mention of work at all. In his dreams, the cows and the stalks, both representing bounty and sustenance, simply rise by themselves out of the Nile. The underlying difference is that any gain stemming from the realm of holiness must begin with work, whereas all sustenance provided by the side of negativity comes without toil. The true good that G‑d wishes to give us must be earned, for it is a complete and perfect good. Thus, were G‑d to grant us ‘bread of shame’ (the kabbalistic term for unearned largess), the goodness He wishes to give us would be lacking in that we would be robbed of our dignity.

The realm of unholiness, however, is not concerned with our well-being and, thus, freely dispenses all kinds of quick and easy pleasures. This degradation is then later compounded by bitter disappointment as well, for all that the realm of unholiness bequeaths is hollow and fleeting.

There’s an old saying, “How do you know the difference between a weed and a flower? If you tear it out and it grows back by itself, it’s a weed. If not, it’s a flower.” That which comes without work rapidly develops beyond control, choking the life out of the very one who allowed it to grow. The fruits of real labor, however, are enduring and cherished.

Of course, we alcoholics and addicts know all too well how fast and easy payoffs come back to haunt us. But this pertains not only to our drinking days but to our recovery as well. Being a gift from G‑d, sobriety is true good and thus requires real work. There is no “easier softer way” to come by a gift as precious and holy as spiritual, mental and emotional healing.

There’s an old Hasidic parable about a man who brings his young son to the river in the middle of the winter to engage in the mystical practice of purifying immersion in water. The man cracks the ice with an axe then lowers the boy into the freezing water. The boy shrieks, “Eek!” The father pulls the boy up, wraps him in a blanket and the boy sighs, “Ah.”

“Anything in life that starts with an ‘ah,’ will certainly end with an ‘eek'”“Let this be a lesson to you, my son,” says the father, “immersing in the water is a holy ritual and so it starts with an ‘eek’ but ends with an ‘ah.’ Anything in life that starts with an ‘ah,’ is certainly not holy and will just as certainly end with an ‘eek.'”

This same idea is also expressed by the trajectory of the dreams of Joseph and Pharaoh. Joseph’s dreams begin in the field and end in the heavens with the sun and the moon and stars. There is a progression from the earthly to the celestial, an ascent. Pharaoh’s dreams begin with cows – from the animal kingdom – and then a lower form of life, stalks of grain – from the vegetable kingdom. Furthermore, in both of his dreams, Pharaoh first saw the healthy cows or stalks and then the poor ones with the good ultimately being swallowed by the bad. There is a terrible descent in both vitality and health. Negativity has no real staying power. It is always in a course of decay. Any appearance of it having substance is but a show, set up to lure man into taking its bait. The realm of holiness, however, is eternal. Any changes within it are only in a manner of increase and ascent from level to level.

Our relationship with alcohol begins with it giving us much for very little but regresses exponentially until giving us less and less for a more and more of a price. Recovery, in contrast, makes hefty demands from the outset but grows increasingly precious as the days go on.

 

The Maccabbee’s Bright Lights in A Pitch Black World


 

1 The Maccabean Revolt: Between Tradition and History By Steven H. Werlin  In modern Judaism, the holiday of Chanukah celebratesJudas Maccabeus - WikipediaDecember | 2017 | The Deadliest Blogger: Military History Page

275: Be the Maccabee!!!! The Maccabean Revolt for Catholics Today - Taylor  Marshall

…Lights of the World, that is who we are, filled with His ruach hakodesh…

Hanukkah: The Courage of the Maccabees

Chanukkah-Hanukkah-menorah-hanukkiah

A Jewish boy lights multiple Hanukkah menorahs on the second night ofHanukkah, as a neon menorah glows in the background.

Today is the first day of Hanukkah.  Last night, the first light of the hanukkiah was kindled in homes and public venues as this special holiday began.

As the sun sets here in Jerusalem, the second night of Hanukkah begins.

Perhaps the best-known custom of Hanukkah is the lighting of the hanukkiah, and tonight, all around the world, two candles will be lit on the hanukkiah (special Hanukkah menorah)!

Chanukah-hanukkah-menorah-hanukkiah-gelt-dreidel-dontus-sufganiyot

Symbols of Hanukkah: the hanukkiah, sufganiyot (jam-filled donuts), gel (chocolate coins), and dreidels (tops).

This special menorah is used only at Hanukkah, and although it is reminiscent of the seven-branched light stand that stood in the Temple, it is different.

Instead of having seven branches like the Temple Menorah, the hanukkiah has eight candles, as well as a special candle called a shamash.  Since the shamash is used to light all the other candles, it is considered to be the servant candle.

This ninth candle is most often elevated over the eight other candles in the hanukkiah and sometimes placed in the middle.

Since the second day of Hanukkah begins tonight, a second light will be added to the hanukkiah.  With the shamash, there will be three lights glowing on the Hanukkah menorah.

On each night of Hanukkah, one additional candle is added to the hanukkiah. On the last night, the shamash lights all eight candles so that all of the lights shine together.

Fully lit oil hanukkiah with the shamash raised at the end.

Fully lit oil hanukkiah with the shamash raised at the end.

In addition to lighting the hanukkiah, it is also customary to read stories, spin the dreidel, sing Hanukkah songs, and eat foods fried in oil.

Sufganiyot (donuts), which are a favorite here in Israel, and latkes (potato pancakes) served with sour cream and applesauce, are two traditional Hanukkah foods.

As fattening as these deep fried foods are, they are prepared in order to memorialize the miracle God did in restoring the Temple in Jerusalemand saving the Jewish People from the Greek/Syrian army.  (It’s all about the story of the olive oil!)

Sufganiyot-donut-chanukkah-hanukkah

A Jewish girl eats a sufganiyah on Hanukkah. This fried food of Hanukkah memorializes the miracle of a one-day supply of holy oil burning for eight days while the Temple was rededicated.

Hanukkah: A Great Miracle Happened Here

The word Hanukkah comes from the Hebrew word hanukh, which means dedication or education.

Hanukkah is celebrated as the Feast of Dedication to remember the re-dedication of the Temple after God faithfully delivered Israel from her oppressors.

In fact, the reason for lighting eight candles is to present to Israel and the world a visual reminder of God’s faithfulness and the miraculous story of Hanukkah.

Between the years 175 to 163 BC, after the death of Alexander the Great, who had conquered and divided the entire ancient world of the Eastern Mediterranean, the area of Judea came under control of the Greek King Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

Antiochus tried to force the Jews to accept Greek culture. He even defiled the Beit HaMikdash (Temple in Jerusalem) by sacrificing a pig on the altar and desecrating this holy place with the blood of this unclean animal.

As described in the book of the Maccabees in the Apocrypha, this wicked ruler forbade the Jewish people from keeping God’s laws.  In fact, the penalty for keeping the Torah was death.  Many Jewish people chose martyrdom over defying God’s commandments.

Dreidels

Since the Greeks outlawed the study of the Torah, when someone approached, the Torah was hidden and dreidels were taken out and played like a game of chance.  Their oppressors thought the Jewish people were playing a children’s game when they were actually pursuing the things of God.  The letters nun, gimmel, hey, shin stand for nes gadol haya sham, meaning a great miracle happened there.  In Israel, however, the letters are nun, gimmel, hey, pey meaning a great miracle happened here (poh).

Antiochus also erected a statue of the Greek false god, Zeus, in the Holy of Holies!

As horrible as this was, it fulfilled the Hebrew Prophet Daniel’s prophecy concerning the “abomination of desolation.”

The Prophet Daniel wrote: “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice.  Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.  With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.”  (Daniel 11:31–32)

A Jewish revolt against this assault on Judaism rose up led by the courageous freedom fighters called the Maccabees.

This name is an acronym standing for the Hebrew phrase Mi kamocha ba’elim Adonai, which means Who is like you, Lord, among the gods?

latkes-sour cream-applesauce-Hanukkah delight

Delicious potato latkes served with generous dollops of sour cream and applesauce—a real Hanukkah delight!

Although greatly outnumbered and overpowered, Yehudah (Judah) the Maccabee led his brothers and some other Jewish men in a valiant battle to drive out tens of thousands of Greeks and reclaim the Temple.

God helped this small but courageous group of men to win the victory in 163 BC, taking back Jerusalem and rededicating the Temple to God.

Jewish law requires the Temple Menorah to stay lit 24 hours a day using consecrated oil, but tradition has it that they only found a one-day supply of sealed, consecrated oil; however, the oil miraculously burned for a whole eight days—the time it took to prepare the sanctified oil for lighting the Menorah every day after.

Hanukkiah-hanukkah-chanukkah

The most common tradition at Hanukkah is lighting the hanukkiah.  It is lit in remembrance of the eight days that the Golden Menorah in the Holy Temple kept burning on a one-day supply of oil.

Yeshua: the Shamash Who Kindled the Light in Our Hearts and Lives

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”  (Mark 10:45)

Since Hanukkah is not a holiday ordained by God in the Torah, some wonder if Yeshua (Jesus) actually celebrated it.

The answer is a resounding yes!

“It was winter, and the Festival of the Dedication was being held in Jerusalem.  Yeshua was walking in the Temple precincts, in Solomon’s Portico.  The Jews gathered round Him and asked: ‘How long must you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah say so plainly.’”  (John 10:22–24)

Yeshua went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), and while in the Temple area He proclaimed, “I and the Father are one.”  (John 10:30)

Chanukkah-hanukkah-hanukkiah

Shamash: Yeshua the Messiah, like the shamash candle, kindles the light in our hearts and brings us out of darkness into the light of life.

Just as the shamash on the hanukkiah is the servant candle that lights the other eight candles, Yeshua the Messiah came as a servant to be the light that shines in and through us to others.

John confirms that Yeshua is the light that darkness cannot overcome.

“In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  (John 1:4–5)

Darkness has no power over the light.  When the lights are turned on, the darkness disappears immediately!  It’s never a struggle or a contest.  Light wins every time!

“When Yeshua spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”  (John 8:12)

This gold replica of the ancient Temple Menorah sits opposite the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, ready for service in the Third Temple

Israeli children gather around the recreated Temple Menorah, which is on display in Jerusalem.  The Temple Institute created this Menorah for use in the Third Temple, which will inevitably by built.

The Significance of the Menorah

When the Holy Temple was restored during the time of the Maccabees, the act of re-lighting the Menorah in the Temple represented restoring God’s presence there.

The Temple was set up so that the Jewish people would have a place to come and meet with God.  And while the Menorah was placed inside the Holy Place, the Jewish sages teach that the windows in the Sanctuary walls were no ordinary windows:

“For what is normally considered the function of windows?  To let the light in.  But these windows were in order to let the light the out—to disseminate the spiritual light emanating from the Temple Menorah out into the world.  The Sanctuary’s windows allowed the special ethereal light coming forth from the Menorah to burst out to the world from within the hallowed hall.”  (Temple Institute)

While the Bible makes it clear that the Temple will once again be rebuilt, today, those who know Yeshua do have spiritual light and are the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh).

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”  (1 Corinthians 3:16)

Without the presence and Light of God shining on us, we are all lost.  Moreover, without the presence and Light of God shining in us and out from us, we cannot minister His Good News of saving grace to others.

What Hanukkah and the Maccabean Revolt Have to Do with JesusMaccabees Archives · Mini Manna Moments

 

Chayei Sarah Torah : Genesis 23:1-25:18| Prophets : 1 Kings 1:1-31| Gospel : John 4:3-14


Life is a Dash

 

 

 

 

Genesis (Messianic) — The Harvest

 

 

 

 

 

JANUARY 8 -THE ONE YEAR BIBLE READING TOUR- GENESIS 18:20-19:38; MATTHEW 6:25-7:14; PSALM 8:1-9; PROVERBS 2:6-15Women of the Bible: SARAH

8 Purposeful Lessons We Can Learn From Sarah In The Bible

Who is Sarah in the Bible and Why is She Important? - Beliefnet

Abraham And Isaac Walk Together Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

 

Jesus and Isaac's Submission to Their Fathers - Scott LaPierre

Sarah Dies so Abraham Purchases a Field & a Cave in Hebron | The Last Days CalendarLesson 29 A Covenant Marriage Genesis The L ORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife. - ppt download

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8 Purposeful Lessons We Can Learn From Sarah In The Bible

 

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Women of the Bible - Sarah - Springs Lighthouse

 

Hebrew In Israel | Haftarah Chaye Sarah – Learn Torah – Hebrew In Israel

I_Kings

Lesson 93 Empire of David and Solomon 1 Kings 1-10 And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies. - ppt download

 

071014 David Passing The Reigns 1 Kings 1 2 Dale Wells

 

 

Solomon At Davids Deathbed Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

 

THE QUEEN MOTHER IN THE DAVIDIC DYNASTY – The Marian Blogger

Is Messiah Found In The TaNaKH and Brit Chadashah? Part 2 · Mini Manna Moments

John 4:3-14

THE SAMARITAN WOMAN: her story in John's gospelWhat can we learn from the woman at the well? | GotQuestions.org

 

 

john 4:25 – I Live For JESUS !

 

 

 

 

John 4:14. A Destined Meeting at the Well - Wellspring Christian Ministries

 

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Women of the Bible - Sarah - Springs LighthouseBold Women of the Bible: Deborah - Just Boldly Go37 Deborah the Prophetess and Judge ideas | bible, bible women, judge

The Bible Story of Deborah-Prophetess - YouTube

 

 

The Judges: Victory in the Hand of Deborah | United Church of GodA Fearless Leader: A Bible Story About Deborah (Called and Courageous Girls) - Signed by the illustrator! — Eric Elwell Art

 

 

Women of the Bible – Jael | the Word chickWho Was Jael In The Bible? A Character Study | Jack Wellman

Old Testament & New Testament. Women of the Bible The Bible is full of women who became unexpected heroines and surprising instruments of God's story. - ppt download

 

 

Amazon.com: Psalm 46:5" God Is Within Her, She Will Not Fall" Bible Verse Quote Wall Art - Unframed 11 x 14 Woman's Face Watercolor Print - Inspirational Gift for Family & Friends

Women…

Mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, aunts…

infants, little girls, teens, youthful, young, vibrant…

young women, young mom’s, young wives…

elderly, wise, full of years, survivors of much…experience, insight, fearless…

Women…

God’s daughters….His beautiful crowning creation…

Trafficked, abused, marginalized, second class citizens…chattel, booty, prized possession, captive in a harem…

This is history. This is factual. This is a travesty.

But take heart dear one! He is restoring all things! He is not only restoring His Shabbat, Feast Days and Torah, but He is also restoring His lovely ladies to their role, design and function!

I want to share with you a show Keisha Gallagher and I did a while back and I want to share with you some other resources that may be a blessing to you! For my brothers, I urge you to ask Yah to help you to see the truth of false doctrinal teachings regarding women! I will post some resources that will assist you in your own studies on this topic!

Healing for the Nations with A Modern Day Samaritan Woman

A Life of One Day at a Time – Chayei Sarah

Abraham was old, come along in days”—Genesis 24:1.

This week’s Torah reading describes Abraham as being “old, come along in days.” What is the difference between the two? If one has already been told that Abraham was old, why is it necessary to add that he also lived many days?

The answer is that to be “old” means to have lived a long time, but says nothing about how one spent his time. To “come along in days” describes the manner in which a person’s life was lived. Abraham did not merely pass through life, racking up the years. His years were made up of much smaller units of time—days. He lived with the knowledge that there will never again be a time like this time right now. He had a sensitivity to the significance of each moment, and succeeded in actualizing whatever unique opportunities presented themselves. If I live my life right, then I am not just “x” amount of years old. I am the product of days, hours and minutes lived to their fullest G‑dly potential.

Even the smallest unit of time is a distinct creation never to be replicated againThere are some who push through life just trying to get from one day to the next. There are others who say that every moment is to be savored, not just endured. Abraham’s attitude surpassed both of these. He saw every moment as something to be put to use. Even the smallest unit of time is a distinct creation never to be replicated again. Today’s work is not tomorrow’s. The call of the hour is not that of the next.

When those of us in recovery speak about taking sobriety “one-day-at-a-time,” we don’t just mean breaking up time into manageable chunks. We mean that to stay sober, we need to stay in the moment. We have to be in the now; we need to know that we were brought to this place and time at this very second to serve a purpose and be of use to our fellow and our Creator. We need to be aware that we are being given a gift that will never be precisely replicated.

When we were drinking or drugging, the past dogged us with remorse and resentment; the future loomed before us with fear and dread. The present was barely tolerated or frittered away with procrastination. As sober people in recovery, we still have difficulty relating to time. But sober living, and the kind of spiritual awareness that it demands from us, have helped us to learn how to look with keen eyes at the opportunities for service brought by each moment.

Whereas aging takes no special effort or insight, truly living means to “come along” in days, hours, minutes and seconds—all put to good use in our service to man and G‑d.

VAYERA TORAH : GENESIS 18:1-22:24| PROPHETS : 2 KINGS 4:1-37| GOSPEL : LUKE 17:28-37


 

 

 

This week, as usual, we have many rabbit trails! (Some like to call them “rabbi trails).

 

Rabbit Trails are Good! - Homeschool Legacy

                                       We have much terrain to cover! Let’s get started!

Part A) Weekly Torah Portion: 04 VAYERA - HE APPEARED - GENESIS 18:1-22:24 - YouTube

                                            Is He not the God of the impossible?

Products Tagged "Is Anything Too Hard For the Lord" - GraceLaced

Sarah's Last Laugh – Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7 – Pastor Mandi

                                               OH!!! The tests we all go through!

What Does Genesis 22:7 Mean?

 

Torah Portion – Vayera “He appeared” | Oh Happy Daze

Game: Fast Forward | Family | BoardGameGeek

 

                                                                Sodom and Gomorrah

 

Genesis 19 - Holy Bible English - BibleWordings.comGenesis 19:1-3 Lot sat in gate of Sodom, and when he saw the two angels he invited them to spend the night at his house. Click for next slide. - ppt download

 

 

The Offering of Lot's Daughters (Interpret, Preach and Draw) - YouTube

**SEE BELOW FOR MORE INSIGHT INTO THAT TOPIC!

 

God's Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah - YouTube

 

Don't Look Back, You're Not Going That Way!” – Jeanie Shepard MinistriesLot's Wife Drawing by James Robinson

 

                                                   There is nothing new under the sun! 

 

Jerks Of The Bible Series | Entry #5: Lot – Dust Off The Bible

 

Male RAPE by Women: Myth or Fact?13 Best Lot's Daughters ideas | lot's daughters, sodom and gomorrah, zoar

New Testament BCM 103 Dr. Dave Mathewson Gordon College/Denver Seminary. - ppt download

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Are we vessels for His honor or do we bring dishonor to our King and His kingdom?

 

 

 

The Daughters Of Sarah Around The World13 Best Lot's Daughters ideas | lot's daughters, sodom and gomorrah, zoarPin on QuotesII Kings

VaYERA” / “HE Appeared” – (YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH) THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE Ministry Congregation, Glasgow (Scotland, U.K.)

Haftorah Portion

 

Luke BUT THE SAME DAY THAT LOT WENT OUT OF SODOM IT RAINED FIRE AND BRIMSTONE

Remember Lot's Wife" - Sermon - May 17, 2020 - YouTube

   ***EXTRA READING/VIDEO’S***

               No Looking Back

 As I looked in the mirror and saw the bunny trails returning, I thought “now what do I do about them” Those dreaded stinking bunny trials. When I got my last Botox injections, I knew it was only temporary, as with the fillers.  Only a temporary fix.  I told my husband and my anti-aging doctor I wanted the lifestyle lift.  It was more permanent than filler and injections and less invasive and expensive than a face lift. Less down time.  Made sense to me.   They both frowned.  So did I. I didn’t call the shots, the one with the money and the one with the needles did.

Here I am, in a shelter for women fleeing domestic abuse worrying about returning bunny trials….how stupid and superficial!  Three times I have left the destructive relationship, two times I have returned due to the financial situation…and dare I look back at the pleasures enjoyed?  The messages, the facials, the access to an anti-aging doctor, a good chiropractor`, manicures, pedicures.  A beautiful house, a house cleaner, good organic food.  Vacations, shopping sprees, what more could a woman want?

Reality.  Damage Control…Therapy, medications, stress so bad the chiropractic adjustments wouldn’t hold, the messages didn’t undo the layers of  knots in my shoulders, the manicures and pedicures were less than what I needed.  Botox and fillers couldn’t erase the added 10 years of aging in the less than 4 years of marriage.  I had to go back the The House.  No amount of exterior excursions could change the fact that I had to go back to The House. To The Abusive Husband.

As I looked at my traumatic chaotic life and the great losses, the Lord said, “do not look back”.  What? Was that You Lord?”  I was unsure. All through the day Lots wife came to my mind.  I pondered why she looked back as the Lord’s angel was delivering her and her family from destruction.  Did she, too, have a leisurely lifestyle and nice pretty clothes and a beautiful home?

I reviewed the reasons I returned to the relationship 2 times previously and also the outcomes of returning. There was no change in him thus no change in the marriage. Since returning from Florida the last time I left him I needed to take Xanax when I knew he was on his way home from the office. I took it on the weekends to keep calm around him.  Depression and anxiety were my everyday norms now. Did I want to continue living like this or was I willing to trust God and let Him lead me on a final Exodus journey into the life He wants me to live. 

This time there was no returning; no looking back. I was wasting my life on an illusion that my husband controlled.  When I pulled aside the illusion and tried to confront his fantasy world all hell broke loose.  I was the crazy one, I was the one on meds, I was the one that twisted things and abused him. I was the one playing the victim…well, no more!  I came to a decision…  No more games, no more lies, no more power and control over me. Enough was enough!

No looking back this time.  So let the bunnies run the trails on my aging face.  May I age gracefully free in the arms of the One who won my freedom.

                                        Now, a word from big brother Judah!

Vayeira (Genesis 18-22)

Don't Look Back

                                                        Don’t get stuck in the past.


We’ve all made mistakes and bad decisions in life and unfortunately we sometimes have a problem getting those mistakes out of our system. This week, the Torah warns us that looking back and focusing too much on the past can result in spiritual and physical stagnation.

Lot’s family was warned not to look back when they leave the city of Sodom, a city that was being destroyed for its total lack of morality (Gen 19:17). Instead of focusing on the past, they needed to focus primarily on the future.

Lot’s wife ignored the warning and looked back. As a consequence she was turned into a “pillar of salt.” Salt is the ultimate preservative; she is essentially mummified — frozen into the same position for all of eternity, never able to grow or change.

A person needs to be able to admit to his failings, make amends, roll his sleeves up, and start over. To focus any more than necessary on the past will inhibit the opportunities presented to us to maximize our potential and move forward into the future. King Solomon says it all when he teaches, “A bad person will fall once and never again get up, whereas a righteous person will fall seven times and get up again each and every time.”

(Based on the teachings of Rav Avigdor M

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VIDEO OF TORAH PORTION BELOW

 

https://www.alephbeta.org/playlist/real-sin-of-sodom-gomorrah

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“Lot and His Daughters” by Georg Pencz (Wikimedia)

Violence Against Women

Parashat Vayera offers many instances of abuse towards female biblical characters.

This extraordinarily rich parashah filled with violence — not just the obvious and dramatic violence of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the incipient violence of the binding of Isaac, but also various, more ordinary, forms of violence against women. Half-buried in the vivid description of the people of Sodom gathering around Lot‘s house and demanding the strangers staying with him is Lot’s reply, “Look–I have two daughters who have never been intimate with a man; let me bring them out for you, and do to them as you please.

But do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof” (19:8). While a later midrash will see Lot’s offer as evidence that he was infected by the wickedness of Sodom and picture him as having been punished (Tanchuma Vayera 12), the biblical text offers no explicit judgment on his behavior. The violence of the people of Sodom merits the destruction of the city, but the willingness of Lot to see his daughters assaulted and raped is apparently unworthy of comment.

Abraham & Sarah

At the beginning of Genesis 20, we have another form of violence: the second of two stories (or two versions of the same story; see 12:10-20) in which Abraham seeks to pass off his wife Sarah as his sister in order to protect himself. In this passage, Abimelech, king of Gerar, seizes Sarah, but her potential rape is averted when God keeps Abimelech from touching her. The similar tale will be repeated once again in relation to Isaac and Rebekah (26:6-11).

The three-fold reiteration of the narrative suggests that it might serve as a paradigm of the situation of Jewish women. The first two male ancestors of the Jews, perceiving themselves as “other” and therefore endangered in foreign lands, use their wives as buffers between themselves and the larger culture. The women become the “others’ other,” the ones whose safety and well-being can be sacrificed in order to save the patriarchs’ skins.

The story names a pattern that becomes a recurring part of Jewish history: male Jews, subordinated by the dominant culture, in turn subordinate women within their own cultures, doubling the otherness that partly mirrors their own. As in the case of Lot’s offering his daughters to the people of Sodom, the biblical text offers no comment on or protest against this situation. Unlike when God appears to Abimelech in a dream and threatens him with death unless he releases Sarah (Genesis 12), God does not explicitly chastise Abraham or Lot.

Sarah & Hagar

Then, in Genesis 21, we meet still another form of violence–this time Sarah’s violence against Hagar. After Sarah bears Isaac in her old age, she tells Abraham to throw the slave girl Hagar and her son Ishmael out of the house, so that Ishmael will not share in his father’s inheritance along with Isaac. The violence that is practiced by Abraham against Sarah, she now recapitulates in relation to the most vulnerable person in her own household. Thus, the cycle of abuse goes on. In this context, not only does the text not judge Sarah, but God is explicitly on her side, telling Abraham to listen to Sarah because her son Isaac will be the bearer of the covenantal line.

This Torah portion makes clear that our ancestors are by no means always models of ethical behavior that edify and inspire us. On the contrary, often the Torah holds up a mirror to the ugliest aspects of human nature and human society. It provides us with opportunities to look honestly at ourselves and the world we have created, to reflect on destructive patterns of human relating, and to ask how we might address and change them. In Lot’s treatment of his daughters-and in the Torah’s lack of comment on that treatment–can we see the casual acceptance, indeed the invisibility, of violence against women that is so ubiquitous in many cultures, including our own?

In Abraham’s seeming lack of concern about the fate of Sarah, can we see the ways in which marginalized peoples are all too liable to duplicate patterns of subordination from which they themselves have suffered? In Sarah’s banishment of Hagar, can we see the horizontal violence that oppressed people visit on each other as they jockey for what seems to them limited resources, rather than making common cause against the forces that suppress them? And what do we do when we see ourselves enacting these patterns in our own personal and political lives? How do we respond to and interrupt them?

It is striking that throughout the portion, God is implicated in the violence in the text. Except in the case of Lot’s willingness to sacrifice his daughters, God carries out or commands the violence (Sodom and Gomorrah; Isaac) or supports it (Abraham and Sarah; Sarah and Hagar). The representations of violence that the text holds up to us are ones on which the human and divine levels mirror each other. There is no cosmic relief, so to speak, from the reality of violence. Abraham’s challenge to God over the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah can thus be seen as a question to both God and ourselves. “Must not the Judge of all the earth do justly?” Abraham asks God. “Will You indeed sweep away the innocent along with the wicked?” (18:23).

The implication of these questions is that it is the judge of all the earth who creates the ethical norms that Abraham reflects back to God and to which he holds God answerable. But the moral voice in this passage is Abraham’s voice. What happens to that moral vision two chapters later when Abraham betrays his wife Sarah? Can we read these narratives in ways that strengthen our resolve to hold both ourselves and God accountable to standards of justice that we recognize and value-and yet continually violate?

Reprinted with permission from The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, edited by Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Andrea L. Weiss (New York: URJ Press and Women of Reform Judaism, 2008).

 

Female on Male Rape in the Bible

Lot’s Daughters: The men of Sodom, but they’re women

Valentine Wiggin

Jun 10, 2019·3 min read

Genesis 19:30–38, at least to me, is one of the most disturbing passages in the Bible. In this passage, Lot’s two daughters got him drunk and raped him in order to preserve his family line. Although this is just one of many horrible things people did in the Bible, this one stands out due to the fact that male victims of rape, especially by female rapists, go overlooked and are even ridiculed.

This incident inverts traditional power dynamics in a family unit. One would expect Lot, the father and the man, to be the rapist, but his daughters, the women his offspring, were the rapists. Some people might take this as a warning against allowing women to have power, but, this power was not delegated to them. Instead, they violently seized power from Lot while he was in a compromising position. Such is the case with all rapes no matter the gender of the victim or the rapist.

If Lot were female and raped by her sons in order to continue the family line, the rape would be acknowledged as such: a rape. However, other sources do not use the word “rape” to describe the incident. One source even suggests that Lot lusted after his own daughters and knew what happened to him, but that does not justify his daughters’ actions or make them any less serious. Others might try to point to the apparent lack of available men, but, again, consensual incest was the overlooked option. Their sons, Ben-ammi and Moab, even had names that referred to their mothers’ crimes; their descendants came to be hated by the rest of ancient Israel.

Ironically, before this happened, Lot offered his daughters to be raped in the place of his guests. However, it does not carry the same satisfaction that “eye-for-an-eye” moments typically do. Perhaps one could see Lot’s desperation as the men of Sodom surrounded his house or that the rape did not solve any initial problems or bring about any sense of justice. Instead, it left Israel with two hated tribes, both of which were banned from places of worship, and Lot probably feeling conflicted about his rape and unable to do anything about it because he was a man. Though they left the city of Sodom, the city of Sodom did not leave them, especially the two daughters.

The city of Sodom was not conducive to the development of healthy sexuality, not due to homosexuality as some have been taught, but due to the absence of consent and mutual enjoyment seen in both the men who wanted to rape the angels and Lot’s daughters raping their father. When sex is nonconsensual, it strips someone of their power in a way that humiliates the victim and disregards the value of the human body. I don’t know how it took me seven years to realize the connection between the men of Sodom and Lot’s daughters, but seeing it now made me realize how foolish I was to overlook the nature of Lot’s daughters as being like that of the men of Sodom.

Are You Living in Sodom? #MeToo

The biblical city had a culture of rape — and it wasn’t the victims’ faults.

 

#MeToo. Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of women are saying it. I’ve said it too, in this blog.

I’ve told stories about home invasion. Police laughing at our report. An attacker on the ferry. A rude boss with an onion fetish.

These aren’t easy stories to tell. For 20 years I was afraid to sleep, afraid of my own bed. But I can speak now.

Because 20 more years have passed. My body no longer recoils when I remember.

And because these stories are straightforward. Even the most judgmental critics could agree. I was exactly where I should be: home, work, and public transit. Wearing what I should wear: pajamas, long-sleeves, a heavy coat. Doing what I should be doing: writing, sleeping, stacking boxes.

But I’ve got other stories, too. More recent stories. Stories I’m ashamed to tell – because I’m not sure they would be viewed as assaults. When I tell them, I second guess myself. They took place in men’s homes, offices and cars. Places I could have chosen not to go. Offers of hospitality I could have declined. By being a guest, did I implicitly consent?

No, says the Torah. No, no, no. A host may not assault a guest. Remember the story of Sodom? A city so horrid God planned to destroy it?

Two men — traveling angels in disguise — arrive in town. Through their eyes, we see the horror: Sodom has a culture of rape. No one but Lot will shelter the travelers overnight. A mob storms Lot’s house, yelling, “Give us the men so we can rape them!” Lot knows he ought not to surrender his guests. So he says, “Take my daughters instead.” The angels stop him and strike the mob with blindness. Early the next morning, they grab Lot’s wife and daughters and run. They save Lot too — an incomprehensible move until you read the conclusion of this grim fable.

Fire and brimstone rain down on the city. Mrs. Lot dies. Lot and daughters set up camp in a cave. Surely by now, Lot’s daughters hate him. “I wouldn’t want you as the grandfather of my children unless you were the last man on earth!” they must think. But guess what? Recent experience tells them he is the last man on earth. So they drug him and rape him — to harvest his sperm. Thus, they believe, they save the human race.

What’s the sin of Sodom? Our prophets Amos, Ezekiel,  and Jeremiah offer interpretations. Oppression. Idolatry. Arrogance. Adultery. But the peshat, the simple text of the story, is less delicate.

Sodom is a rape culture. Enter the city at your own risk. Accept hospitality and you’ve invited assault. One ethical man lives there. But he’s a rapist too. And he’s initiated his children into the culture.

I want to believe that we aren’t in Sodom. That women, men, and children are safe from sexual assault. That hospitality is sacred. That if my host attacks me, he, not I, has sinned. I want to believe.

But I don’t believe it yet. Because #MeToo keeps rolling in. We’re still discovering the painful truth. Too many of us feel we are in Sodom — unable to see the way out.

 

TORAH : GENESIS 12:1-17:27| PROPHETS : ISAIAH 40:27-41:16| GOSPEL : JOHN 8:51-58


 

Parashot Lech Lecha n.03 The Illustrated Torah Scroll - Studio in Venice

 

 

Genesis 12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram,“Go forth from your country,And from your relativesAnd from your father's house,To the land which I will show you;

Parasha Lech Lecha (Go Forth!): Leaving Home to Go Home | Messianic Bible

 

Isaiah 46: 4 KJV | List Of Verses | Inspirational words, Isaiah 46, Book of isaiah

 

 

 

 

 

The Lord Our Strength – Isaiah 40:27-41:20 – The Little Church in the Vale

 

Jesus: The Way, The Truth, & The Life: Isaiah 40:27-31 - Applying the knowledge of God's greatness

 

Isaiah 40:27-31 "Do you not know?" - YouTube

I AM: The Light of the World | First Presbyterian Church

ARGUING WITH THE GREAT I AM (A WOMAN TRANSFORMED BY THE GOSPEL) PART I LESSON 5 - Dee Brestin Ministries

 

Father Wounds…

Takes time to heal…renewing our minds with His truth about us is one of the most powerful ways to be reprogrammed…renewing those old tapes takes time, I am still working on it…and many events in life give ample opportunity to the enemy to press play on those old tapes…we have the way of pressing stop!

We are His…His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.

Uncategorized – Page 21 – WGCK BETHANY WORSHIP CENTRE – ELDORET

Affirmation: I am worthy, enough & beautiful - ReflectandRespond

Sometimes, we really do need to leave our earthly father’s “house”…

his way of thinking, doing and even his perspective…

on life, on us ,on Yah

to follow the great I am that I am…

to become who He created us to be…

too many of us are still carrying father wounds…

but, we have a way out of the old country to the new…

out of darkness to light…

out of lies to truth…

Is it time for you to leave your fathers house to your Father’s house?

 

fathers | The Mighty

 

 

Absent Father Quotes From Son. QuotesGram

The Heartache of Father Wounds: Three Reasons to Embrace God as Father | Dr. Michelle Bengtson

Healing the Father Wound — Brya Hanan, LMFT

The Disciple and Trauma - Saturate

 

Pin on A Love Story: God for His People

Recovery wisdom from our older brother Judah:

Leaving Self to Find Yourself – Lech Lecha

“Go from your land, from your birthplace and from your father’s house to the land which I will show you”—Genesis 12:1.

This week’s reading begins with G‑d‘s command to Abraham to go forth from his birthplace and travel to the land which would eventually be given to him and his descendants. On a deeper level, this narrative describes not only Abraham’s geographical relocation, but tells about his spiritual journey of self-discovery. Implied in the words of G‑d‘s command is an instruction to Abraham that he abandon every aspect of self—and be willing to become something totally unknown to him.

Here is how the verse may be interpreted, in the context of a spiritual journey:

“Go from your land…”—The Hebrew word for land, eretz, shares a common root with the word for will, ratzon. G‑d told Abraham to surrender his own desires and leave self-will behind.

“…from your birthplace…”—G‑d also told Abraham to abandon all of his traits that were a product of his environment and conditioning—all of the effects of his ‘birthplace.’

“…from your father’s house…”—In Kabbalah, the capacity to generate new ideas is called ‘father,’ because the potential for insight is the progenitor of feelings and behavior. Thus, G‑d told Abraham to leave his intellectual pre-conditioning behind, and allow himself to grasp an entirely new way of thinking.

“…to the land which I will show you…”—G‑d did not specify to Abraham where he was heading, but only told him to leave where he was. He would be shown where to settle when he got there. There he would be shown an entirely new way of being.

For many of us, recovery from alcoholism and addiction has meant a discovery of a new self; but first we had to be ready to let go of everything we thought that made us who we were.

We need to examine the story of Abraham for inspiration and instruction—for our stories in recovery have followed this same pattern. Like Abraham, we had to leave our will, our habits and our mode of thinking behind. Common sense dictated that if were we to remain our old selves, it was highly unlikely that we would not return to our old using behaviors. We needed to seek G‑d’s help in changing ourselves (Steps 1-3). We even mustered up the courage to face the truth of exactly who we were (Steps 4-5). We even agreed that we were not just giving up alcohol—but most everything about our desires, our conditioning and our way of thinking (Steps 6-7). We were ready to let go of everything that made us who we were and become someone completely different. But, like Abraham, we had no idea where we were going and what we would become. We simply trusted in G‑d—that it was He who was guiding our path. After forsaking all that was known and comfortable to us, He would help us to arrive at the destination He had planned for us.

As we continued to follow the Steps, we found ourselves changing. Nature abhors a vacuum, and wherever we had pushed out our old self, G‑d came rushing in to fill the void. We slowly began to recognize our new selves, our true selves—an optimistic, confident and humble soul who could live life without the bottle or the pipe.

This amazing process of self-discovery also mirrors the journey of Abraham. “To the land which I will show you,” may also be read “to the land where I will show you.” So, it is not that G‑d just shows you the land; G‑d takes you to the place where He can show and reveal yourself to you. The bold venture into the unknown culminates with G‑d showing us who we really are. In order to get there, we need to pay attention to His call — to leave behind everything we thought we were.

B’reisheet Torah : Genesis 1:1-6:8| Prophets : Isaiah 42:5-43:10| Gospel : John 1:1-17


 

 

In The Beginning…

 

Have we been lied to? And if so, then what are the lies? How deep do they go? Let’s explore some of these topics in this week’s Torah Portion…

Note this…for me, flat earth is not a salvation issue, however, this has led many atheists to His Word and His Torah…

Note this…it DOES matter how He designed the first woman…I believe He is restoring all things…and this is one of them.

Do not debate, educate!

The Earth Is Not A Globe! – Hidden Peoples And false Doctrines Exposed

I want to share with you one of my favorite writers.Keisha Gallagher’s website is called Grace in Torah. This website has a series on the role, design and function of woman. There are other Hebrew Scholars that also help people to understand what He is saying to us about how He designed woman.

Role of Women

Another author, Skip Moen, also assists us in our endeavors to know His truth.

https://skipmoen.com/tag/guardian-angel/

And yet another resource for you to glean from!

https://godswordtowomen.org/bushnell.htm

Haftarah Instagram posts (photos and videos) - Picuki.com

 

We walk blindly, not knowing who we are, not knowing who each other is…shooting our wounded…telling them its their fault because of x,y and z…many tell women how wrong they are when they are actually walking out their God-given design…women are disrespected because they are not allowed to walk as she was originally designed to walk…imbalance is the result.

We are all out of balance, and will remain out of balance until we allow the Ruach Ha’Kodesh to teach us the truths so long ago hidden with words…twisted words.

Summertown Church of the Nazarene

Yom Kippur

What/Who am I to You, Yahweh?
King of Kings, Lord of Lords,
The Great I am that I am
Elohim above ALL Elohim

Why do you care for me?
As dirty and sinful as I am?

As many times as I fall
flat on my shameful face
because of these stubborn
ingrained
mindsets
behaviors
tumultuous feelings
manifesting as
pride
arrogance
selfishness

self this, self that

self-pity
self-rejection
self-centeredness
self-focused
self-neglect

self
self
self

deliver me from the bondage of

self…

You and only You can free me,
forgive me
purge me
renew me
regenerate me
heal me…

resetting my soul

before all the trauma
drama
chaos

hijacking my heart
my brain,
my very soul

morphing me
into this self-absorbed
wounded animal,

nursing my wounds…
creating a barrier around my heart
self-protecting
even from You, my Deliverer

Will I, even I?

be written in Your book of Life

or Your book of the dead?

 

Do you say 'Happy Yom Kippur'?

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Yom Kippur for Believers - Curt Landry Ministries

 

Pin on Inspirational Jewish Quotes

Tropical Talker on Twitter: "Close The Book Yom Kippur ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ # yomkippur #highholidays #reflection #cleartheslate #pages #story #bookoflife #newchapter #nextchapter #quotes #instamood #goodandbad #fasting #mindfulliving #blessings #gifts ...36 Best Rosh Hashanah Quotes - Inspiring Quotes About Rosh Hashanah

Pin on Christian Walk

Quotes about Confessing Sin (40 quotes)

Receive Abundant Blessings from the Lord during Yom Kippur! - Apostle David E. Taylor - Official Site

 


 

 

 

 

KI TAVO TORAH : DEUTERONOMY 26:1-29:8| PROPHETS : ISAIAH 60:1-22| GOSPEL : MATTHEW 4:13-24

 

Deuteronomy 27-28: Blessings and Curses before entering the Land – Hallel Fellowship

 

 

 

June 23rd: Bible Meditation for Deuteronomy 28 | Free Daily Bible Study

Green Street Beach, Hollywood Florida 8/21/2021 Deliverance Service preparing the Bride for the Fall Feasts! Please see below for information on two Torah Pursuant Deliverance Ministries for both education and deliverance!

 

May be an image of one or more people, people standing, body of water and nature

Isaiah 60:1 Inspirational ImagesJesus: The Way, The Truth, & The Life: Isaiah 60:14-22 - The glory of Israel in the Kingdom contrasted with their previous state.Isaiah 60 | Bible Teaching Notes

 

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons Words of Jesus | Words of jesus, Jesus heals, Jesus

 

Feast of Tabernacles, 2020 High Springs, Florida, I participated in another deliverance ministry session. Pastor Gil drove for many miles from his home in Miami, Florida to assist those who wanted to get free from strongholds and “lassos”. Those brave enough to be honest of their struggles with the demonic came forward and received ministry and deliverance.

Feast of Tabernacles 2015 was my very first Sukkot. I met a woman who was instrumental in my journey to true freedom. She helped me detox from prescription medications by taking me into her own home and nursing me back to health. During my stay at her beautiful farmhouse, I read a book called Unloving by Henry Wright. I was drawn to the title as it defined how I felt. I had just left yet another abusive marriage and was desperate for healing. My friend suggested I attend Be In Health in Georgia…long story short, it WAS the Ruach HaKodesh leading me to go, so I did…and what I witnessed was people getting free from demons…

My next experience was at the congregation I was a part of in upstate New York. The pastor brought a deliverance team from the state of Florida to conduct a weekend deliverance ministry. The small church was packed. I went in the direction of the Ruach HaKodesh. I was overwhelmed when some of the people I knew and respected began to manifest different demons…over the course of two days, I saw many manifestations of demons…this totally broke any denial still lurking in my mind!

My eyes were opened. Wide. I could NOT unsee and inexperience what I personally witnessed of my own deliverance and those of the other folks. I knew the body of Messiah was in big trouble. And, in denial of the reality of the spirit realm. And, how these very demons are the things that are causing such division in the body of Messiah, the conflicts and domestic abuse, porn addiction, child abuse, etc. within His body!

This past weekend, I and a friend drove to Hollywood, Florida, to participate in a deliverance immersion held by Pastor Gil of Torah Deliverance Ministry located in Miami Florida. Many from his congregation united at Green Street Beach on a hot Shabbat morning.

I had sensed strongholds from my ancestry stemming from the occult/freemasonry. My great uncle was a great man, a Yale graduate, one of America’s leading American History Historians, a Professor at Yale University for many years, and an Oxford Cambridge Fellow. My other uncle was a Professor at Cornell University and a Yale man also I believe, also, I believe, another Yale grad. My great-grandmother graduated from Havard/Radcliffe. My cousin, involved in some very dark secret societies was also a big question mark for me.  Yes, I sensed some things from my ancestors was still in operation in my life…I had felt cursed since I was a young child. My life was very difficult and seemed to attract demonic attacks since I was very young…suicidal from the tender age of eight, sexual abuse and physical abuse the driving force behind years of self-medicating that trauma with drugs, booze, numerous toxic relationships,  eating disorder, and a number of other self-destructive behaviors.

So… during this deliverance session in the cool waters of Green Street Beach, Hollywood Florida, the deliverance team was able to target the demonic strongholds rooted in my ancestors’ disobedience and involvement in the occult…a deep deep anger arose in me…up and out, you demon of darkness!!! You do not belong in a child of the Most High!!! Those tormenting, harassing spirits had to flee in the mighty name of Yeshua!!!

In my 3o years of pursuing recovery and healing from childhood trauma and various addictions, I have had seasons of deliverance. One does not walk where I have walked without opening portals for demons…childhood abuse is a portal the enemy takes full advantage of. Spirits of fear, lust, rejection, bitterness, and other spirits enter in, creating a lifelong pattern of relationship issues. How do I know? Because that is my own story. And the story of many others. Like Mary Magdalene…some of us need deliverance.

What shocks me and frustrates me is that so many people who come into an understanding of His Torah, feast days, and Shabbat deny that demons are still an issue! Let me give you a recent personal experience:

I have recently been attacked by two women on the subject of divorce and also regarding Christian Counseling. I have been accused of being used by the enemy to harm people. But yet, these women, who do not even know me, accused me,  disrespected the boundaries I set and continued to harass me. One went so far as to jump on a live Facebook show hosted by a marriage and family therapist who is Torah pursuant demanding the therapist provide scriptures to prove that Yeshua allowed divorce and remarriage. After the show ended she began harassing and attacking both the therapist and I. So, here are two women, supposedly walking in His Word, attacking, accusing, demanding. This is spiritual abuse, this is not loving one’s neighbor as commanded in Torah! One even told me I needed to repent for being a Christian counselor and leading people astray! Funny, I have never even been a “Christian Counselor. I share this with you to show you the insanity of what is going on even within our own places where we turn for fellowship! And this is being allowed!

So, Laura Lee, how do you handle it? I cried out to Him, asking Him to show me if I AM wrong. Just as in the past when I have been attacked by others (this is not the first time with one of the women) He has always rallied around me and whispered in my ear His love and He has shown me their wrongness…and He has shown me in scripture truth…

I repent of my own anger, my own hurt emotions, and I pray for those who spit in my face and accuse me of doing evil.

Sorry for the rabbit trail…let’s get back on track…

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Isaiah 61

He came to set the captives free! He came not only healing the sick but Also casting out devils and He commissioned His disciples to do the same!!! Do you consider yourself His disciple? Then you may be commissioned to assist others in getting free! We all have a calling, we all have been given gifts and talents to be used in these last days!

But! It is highly recommended that one deals with their own log first! IE…get delivered first! Make sure you are walking clean before Him, walking in obedience before one takes on this kind of ministry! The enemy knows us by name and he knows every wound that has been inflicted in us because he was the one behind that wounding! These are the very things he uses against us in every area of our lives!

The Sons of Sceva

11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all[a] of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.

We live in the last day’s folks, time is short…the King IS coming!!! But first, there comes a time of great upheaval…many hearts will fail due to fear…Let us be strong in Him! Let us be about our Father’s business…let us get out of the boat and be water walking warriors filled with His Spirit…so filled with Him that we do those greater works He said we would do! Let us be His last day disciples!!!

Do not get me wrong…I do not follow Chabad, but I do not believe in throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but brother Judah can teach us a few things about the Torah and recovery from addictions…so please give some grace!

Is Unhappiness a Sin? – Ki Tavo

“Because you did not serve G‑d with joy and a happy heart…”—Deuteronomy 28:47.

In this week’s portion, we find a lengthy description of the dire consequences to be faced by G‑d‘s people should they fail to serve Him properly after entering the Land. The results for untoward behavior include: desolation, famine, war, illness and exile.

Among the transgressions which bring on all these troubles is unhappiness. Yes, unhappiness! “Because you did not serve G‑d with joy and a happy heart…”

But is being unhappy a sin? How can one be punished for a thing like that? If G‑d punishes people for being unhappy, that would rather seem like kicking a man when he’s down.

Happiness is a decision. And like all decisions, it has consequences these questions, however, only arise from a fundamental misunderstanding of what happiness is. We tend to see happiness as an indicator of outside conditions. If things are going well for us, we are happy. If things are rough, we are – or have cause to be – unhappy. The word itself implies that happiness is something that happens to us; that when we are happy, it’s due to good fortune. Conversely, whenever we are unhappy it is because we have caught a bad break and suffered some kind of mishap.

But G‑d tells us that this is not so. Happiness is a decision. And like all decisions, it has consequences. And G‑d does not punish people for being unhappy. He warns us about the trouble that unhappiness can bring.

We alcoholics and addicts can testify to the disastrous consequences of unhappiness. Why else did we keep coming back for more of a beating from alcohol other than the fact that we were fundamentally unhappy? We found life to be a frequent source of disappointment and aggravation. It was never good enough to make us feel content and at ease. We were “men and women… [who] are restless, irritable and discontented unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, p. xxvii)

Our spiritual program of recovery gives us the tools to change ourselves into people who are comfortable with life. It teaches us how to be happy; and that our happiness is not a result of what happens, but of the ideas, attitudes and actions we choose. If we do not use the tools of recovery, we find ourselves quickly growing weary and agitated with life. We steep in self-pity and rage and, eventually, we relapse. Then there is the resulting chaos, with the possible end results of destruction and death.

So, is unhappiness a sin? What difference does it make what you call it? The result is the same.

As for happiness, there is no limit to the blessings that being happy can bring.

Torah Deliverance Ministry

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KI TETZE TORAH : DEUTERONOMY 21:10-25:19| PROPHETS : ISAIAH 54:1-10| GOSPEL :Matt5:31=32: 19:3-12;Mark 10:2-12;12:18, Luke 20:27-38;1 Cor. 9:4-18: Gal. 3:9-14: 1 Tim 5:17-18


Torah Portion Ki-Tetze Complete - Wisdom In Torah Ministries - Rico Cortes

 

Wow! This week’s Torah Portion and haftorah along with the Brit Hadasha lead down many rabbit trails! This week on Hebrew Nations Radio/Healing for the Nations with A Modern Day Samaritan Woman, I have Dr. Robin Gould, LMHT, author and radio show host for Messianic Lamb Radio. Please see her information and the link to her show! And also I have provided for you the chat we did!

 

Rabbit trail warnings!

deuteronomy 21:10-25:19, ki tetze, “when you go” | christine's bible study

 

Ki Tetse - Faith of Messiah

 

Isaiah 54:1–10 (RSVCE) - "Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in travail! For..." - Biblia.com

Have you ever felt like the enemy of your soul used a bad marriage as a weapon against you? Maybe you have been in a marriage or marriages that almost destroyed you, maybe, like so many, you lived to tell!

From Shame to Honor — Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations

Rabbit trail___________________________________________________________________________________________

Next week, Rico Cortes from Wisdom in Torah will join me to chat about Honor and Shame! Stay tuned!!!

Yah allowed divorce because of the hardness of their hearts…life was not easy for women back in the Old Testament times, but have they ever been easy? How many women have suffered through the years due to spiritually abusive doctrines? These man-made doctrines have guilted them into staying in damaging marriages! How many scriptures have been twisted through the years to serve men with evil hearts…don’t get me wrong! There have been plenty of men who have been abused by women!  Those, too, are damaging to men, and to the children witnessing the abuse. Are we not raising yet another generation of traumatized people who carry soul wounds, only to hurt themselves and others? We are a generation who have the opportunity to say “enough is enough! I will be the one in my family who gets help and stops passing the abusive behaviors on to my own children!” There is NO excuse for not getting help, there are a plethora of resources to tap into! Feel free to reach out to either Dr. Robin or I and we will help you in any way that we can! The hour is late brothers and sisters! If these are the spots and the wrinkles on your wedding attire, it is high time to get them washed,  and pressed out!!!!

Next week my special guest is Rico Cortes! Stay tuned! Shalom!

Sermons: Though the Mountain May be Removed, Isaiah 54:1-17

Part One of my chat with Dr. Robin

Part two of my chat with Dr. Robin

Dr. Robins radio show!

https://www.messianiclambradio.com/shows/robingould

THIS WEEK SHOFTIM TORAH : DEUTERONOMY 16:18-21:9| PROPHETS : ISAIAH 51:12-52:12| GOSPEL : JOHN 14:9-20


 

Torah portion reading this week Shoftim Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9

 

Torah Portion – Shoftim – “Judges “ | Oh Happy Daze

 

Kids Learning: Shoftim 5.5 Debarim (Deuteronomy) 16:18-21:9

Isaiah 51:12 | Explore Tumblr Posts and Blogs | Tumgir

 

What Does Isaiah 51:12 Mean?

 

 

Isaiah 51 - DailyVerses.net

 

 

20 Encouraging Bible Verses - Encouraging Words from the Bible

 

 

 

Isaiah 52:12 | Inspirational scripture, Isaiah 52, Isaiah

 

Isaiah 52:12 For ye sha... | Quotes & Writings by Joel Augustin | YourQuote

 

John 14 Inspirational Images

 

 

John 14:16-17 - Samoa Global News

 

I stumbled upon this incredible article and I wanted to share it with you! How amazing our Yah is!

 

YHWH and Marginalization: Israel’s Widows and Abuelita Theology

by Katrina Armas | January 30, 2021

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. The idea of human rights—fundamental rights for each human irrespective of his or her gender, social status, or origin1—is a characteristic of our modern world and a fruit of the Enlightenment. However, many scholars believe that the tradition-historical root of human rights is the Hebrew Bible, as its ideas of social justice remained subversively effective, impacting modern views of social justice.2 The theology of the book of Deuteronomy and the anthropology of the creation traditions of the Hebrew Bible had a deep impact on the formation of the modern world, particularly as it pertains to justice for the marginalized in society.

When it comes to human rights, ancient Israel was commanded by YHWH to protect and honor the dignity of one of society’s most vulnerable groups: widows. Today, Christian theology still expects care for the “least of these” (recall Matt 25:40), particularly those who may not seem to have anything to contribute to society. This not only has physical implications, but Christians are left to wonder about honoring the vulnerable theologically. What role do the vulnerable play in shaping theological understandings? Modern theologies, including womanist and mujerista theologies, have attempted to answer these questions.

In our modern contexts, poor, marginalized women or the abuelitas (grandmothers) in our midst are often overlooked for many of the same reasons widows were overlooked in the ancient world. These factors include age, physical vulnerability, social status, and gender. However, these abuelitas have historically served as unofficial theologians and backbones of the faith. This article will introduce and expand on a lesser-known theological concept, namely, abuelita theology. It will argue that YHWH’s instructions concerning widows in the Hebrew Bible are foundational to understanding abuelita theology as a theology that upholds the dignity of marginalized women.

The Basis for Human Rights and Dignity

When considering the dignity of humans, it is important to begin at the beginning, as the creation narrative sets a basis for how all persons—even those who do not seem to have anything to contribute to society—are to be understood. Much like the widow in ancient Israel, abuelitas often fall into a similar, marginalized category, as they are physically vulnerable and unable to provide for themselves. However, how does the imago Dei speak into the dignity of persons?

Yair Lorberbaum explains that the concept of human dignity and the sanctity of human life is historically bound up with the biblical idea of humankind created in the divine image.3 Similarly, Lorberbaum argues that the theological message underlying the first chapters of Genesis is that humanity is created or born in the image of the divine king (read with the backdrop of royal theology prevalent in the ancient Near East). Different interpretations offer a range of meaning for what it means to be made in God’s image. For example, one understanding is that God created for himself an image to serve as an extension of himself on earth. Other interpretations assume there is “a divine spark” in human beings that establishes humanity and grants humans unique status among God’s creation. This view assumes that the divine image is the basis for the equality in principle among human beings, for all are in the image of the Creator.4

Going further, some have likened human dignity to the imago Trinitatis, drawing out the relational dynamics of equality, mutuality, and reciprocity. Catherine La Cugna argues that this characterizes the intra-relationality of the persons of the Trinity.5 Dignity of human persons is to be understood in relationality. As James Hanvey argues, dignity has a social dimension: “in some way our dignity, qua our person and identity not just our status, is held in and by the ‘we’ of our relationships. In terms of theology, we encounter here the reality of solidarity which has both natural and supernatural dimensions.”6 The natural dimension that Hanvey refers to is the moral obligation we owe every person by virtue of our common humanity.

In On Human Dignity, Jürgen Moltmann encapsulates this idea of human dignity and common humanity, particularly the struggle between having dignity and actualizing it—the foundation for abuelita theology. Moltmann argues that,

Human dignity lies in the fact that each particular human being and all human beings are, in common, human . . . this presupposes the difference between the existence and the essence of the human being: The human being is a human being, and ought to be a human being. The being-a-human contains his or her humanity initially only as possibility, but not yet as constant reality.7

He then explains what happens when the hominitas (being human purely in the sense of belonging to the zoological species) and the humanitas (human nature, civilization, and kindness) are at odds, putting the humanitas at risk:

It can be actualized, but it can also be blocked. So the dignity of human beings consists in this, that they are human and should be human. Their existence is gift and task simultaneously. It presents them with the task of actualizing themselves, their essence, and thus coming into their truth.8

In our human likeness, it is essential to understand that where the imago Dei is degraded or humiliated in one of us, so it is for all of us.9 This is important to consider as it pertains to the most marginalized or vulnerable in society—including abuelitas, many of whom find themselves, like the widow in ancient Israel, without physical or financial support. The following sections will highlight the biblical case for widows and how it serves as a basis for understanding modern abuelita theology, a theology that presents marginalized women with the task of actualizing their dignity and essence, thus “coming into their truth.”

Family Structure in Ancient Israel

In order to better understand the plight of the widow in the Hebrew Scriptures, it is important to first understand how familial society in ancient Israel worked. While modern, Western culture echoes a similar importance of family, the “family unit” in ancient Israelite society played a unique role in how society functioned, comprising a central aspect of Israelite culture. Family profiles differed among three differently sized groups. According to Bunie Veeder, there is general agreement that the ancestral house was the central unit in a relationship diagram, comprising three generations or more.10 The next group was the clan, a kinship group composed of many households residing in close proximity. Lastly, the tribe, which was comprised of many clans.11 An individual’s identity came from this three-ring structure, with the household being the strongest connection, moving outward to the clan and the tribe.12 According to Num 36:6–9, women were required to marry within a clan of their father’s tribe in order to keep the holdings within the tribal boundaries. When married, women moved to their husband’s household.

Another factor to take into consideration is generational identity in the Israelite family. One can find laws requiring respect for both one’s mother and father (e.g., Exod 21:15–17; Deut 21:15–17, 18–21, 22:13–21, 23:1). Similarly, mothers were expected to be active participants in the legal procedures outlined in the Deuteronomic Law, as seen in both the requirements for the parents of the accused bride in Deut 22:13–21 and the parents of the rebellious son in Deut 21:18–21. Nonetheless, the mother and father did not typically have equal authority in these household matters. Danna Fewell and David Gunn suggest that, although the mother had some authority within the family hierarchy, systemic power resided with the father.13

Class differences proved to be an important factor in Israelite society. Women were usually protected by the male household head and transitioned through secure categories from daughter, to wife, to mother. However, some wives or mothers lost the economic support of a privileged Israelite male (this included husband and even sons). Thus, it was not uncommon that a widow was associated with a family entity. “From patriarchal to monarchic times her presence among Abraham’s descendants has been cited in the Hebrew Scriptures.”14 Losing protection of a male further marginalized a woman in society, making her part of the needy class.15 This is specifically apparent through the laws found addressing the widow, orphan, and stranger, three groups of people devoid of the economic support provided by the privileged Israelite male.16 The laws in Deut 14:22–29, 26:12–15, and 24:17–22 were put in place to eliminate the economic hardships of these groups of people who would otherwise have found themselves destitute in society. Similarly, as it pertains to the widow, the law presumed that she would be supported by her sons in the case of her husband’s death. If there were no sons available to provide for her, then the law of levirate marriage would apply.17 However, as Eryle Davies explains, “the pleas of the prophets on behalf of the widow are due to the fact that one of the most basic provisions legislating for her support [was] often, in practice, neglected.”18

Widowhood in Ancient Society and Hebrew Scripture

The protection of the widow, the orphan, and the poor was the common policy of the ancient Near East, although both in ancient Near Eastern literature in general and in ancient Jewish literature in particular, widows were not a prominent or even a well-defined group. Similarly, the plight of widows was not exactly the same everywhere.19 Nonetheless, protection for the widow, orphan, and poor was a policy of virtue of gods, kings, and judges that proved the piety of a ruler. Great Mesopotamian kings like Urukagina, Ur-Nammu, and Hammurabi boasted in their legal inscriptions that they had accomplished the principle of taking care of such needy persons.20 Keith Wessel points out that their boasting appears to have had primarily an economic focus, “set as it is in the immediate context of various initiatives to insure fairness and safety in commercial ventures.”21

Charles Fensham argues that the attitude taken against the widow, the orphan, and the poor is to be considered from a legal background. Because they had no rights or legal personalities, they were “almost outlaws,” as anyone could oppress them without the risk that legal connections might endanger their position. Fensham demonstrates that, in order to restore the balance of society, widows (and other needy people) had to be protected, making it necessary to sanction their protection by direct command of a god and to make it a virtue of the kings.22 He also states that the Israelites in later history inherited the concept from their forebears, some of whom had come from Mesopotamia, Egypt, or Canaan. “In the Israelite community this policy was extended through the encouragement of the high ethical religion of YHWH to become a definite part of their religion.”23

There is great concern for the just treatment of the widow in the Hebrew Scriptures. In biblical Israel the government of sacred law required the public to become generally responsible for the welfare of the marginalized. This is seen in the abundance of laws that placed a duty on every Israelite to care for the fatherless, the widow, the stranger, and the disadvantaged members of society in their midst.24 It begins with YHWH’s instructions in the wilderness (Exod 22:20–23), where widows are mentioned for special consideration as vulnerable members of society, often living at the mercy of others. In this passage, YHWH defends the widow against any ill treatment and warns perpetrators of possible dire consequences for those who might harm her. “Because newly freed Israelites travelling in the wilderness presumably lacked courts, hearing her cry (and theirs) God Himself would become the judge to pass sentence.”25 God champions the cause of the downtrodden when there is an absence of a human protector or a human judicial system to carry out justice.

Next, the plight of the widow is repeated in Moses’s final instructions (Deut 10:17–18, 27:19). Wessel argues that the book of Deuteronomy seems particularly concerned with the vulnerability of widows because there may have already been a large number of them in the camp of Israel at the time of the giving of the “second law” for a new generation of Israelites, shortly before their entrance into the promised land.26

Moses’s final instruction in Deut 10:16–18 is the focus of this article. This passage states,

So circumcise your hearts and stop being so stubborn, because the Lord your God is the God of all gods and Lord of all lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God who doesn’t play favorites and doesn’t take bribes. He enacts justice for orphans and widows, and he loves immigrants, giving them food and clothing. (CEB)

Walter Brueggemann argues that, in this text, the ritual practice of circumcision is transformed into a metaphor for intense loyalty to YHWH. Like the cutting away of the foreskin serves to make the organ more sensitive and responsive,27 so it is for the heart, making it more sensitive and responsive not only to YHWH, but to the vulnerable in society. Israel should be intentionally responsive to YHWH because of who YHWH is, one who reigns over all “gods,” lords, and powers of various kinds. The text describes this awesome, great, and mighty God as one who is “concretely and effectively involved in the affairs of the earth as advocate and protector of the vulnerable; one who cares about the specificities of justice and the victims of injustice.”28 This is a God who cannot be bribed by the wealthy and powerful but who attends to the necessities and desires of those in need, including widows. He is one who cares about the tangible execution of justice that has to do with fundamental necessities including food and clothing. Moses’s call for sensitive and intentional obedience is grounded in the assertion that the Most High God of heaven is completely engaged in the lowly and earthly work of justice. “Israel is permitted no escapist religion but is drawn into the exigencies of earthly justice, where YHWH’s own sovereignty has been most fully engaged.”29

Widow as Almanah

In order to fully grasp YHWH’s intent for this “earthly justice” for widows, it is important to understand the nuances encircling the term “widow” in the Hebrew Scriptures. The word translated “widow” is the Hebrew word almanah. References to widows in the Hebrew Scriptures can be seen in two different forms. Sometimes the widow is referred to alone, and other times she is cited as part of a group. An understanding of the biblical almanah can be gained more fully by examining the terminology surrounding her and the characteristics that describe her.

First, an almanah is most literally a woman who has lost her husband. However, there is nuance for how this word is understood against a biblical backdrop. For example, Chayim Cohen explains that almanah is a “once married woman who has no means of financial support and is therefore in need of special legal protection.”30 Harry Hoffner states that “the word almanah has a completely negative nuance. It means a woman who has been divested of her male protector (husband, sons, often also brothers).”31 As one without agency because of her loss of living relatives and money, and as one without influence, the widow is frequently associated with the stranger and the orphan. Seeking to capture a full import of the Hebrew word, another scholar has related almanah to “being silent,” because once her marital identification is broken she becomes a silent person without voice in the community’s legal or economic affairs.32

Because marriage in ancient Israel was framed as a union of two families, a widow remained attached to her deceased husband’s family even as both groups maintained their rights and obligations.33 However, if there was no existing male from that union to sustain her interests, then the woman became responsible for herself and free of male authority. Similarly, Paula Hiebert contends that a woman who lacked possibility of remarriage (typically a levirate marriage found in Deut 25:5–10) and who lacked a son to provide for her, was bereft of support. Naomi Steinberg addresses the economic implications that would ensue given the aforementioned circumstance. She explains that, “understanding widowhood in biblical Israel revolves around the existence or absence of ancestral land in the estate of the deceased husband.”34

Wessel argues that the tone in the Israelite legislation concerning widows in the OT (particularly in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy) is markedly different from the other ancient Near Eastern texts. “Different from the other Near East law codes, in the Old Testament there is an attitude—a motivation—that the Lord wishes to see in his chosen people as they fulfill the requirements of his law.”35 He claims that there is an attitude of hope in which widows are valued members of society. This can be seen in narratives like 1 Kings, where it is recorded that God extended his providence to Gentile widows, or those outside of Israel. In turn, ancient Israel was to form how they deal with the less fortunate with attitudes and actions indicative of how YHWH dealt with them. “In short, since unfortunate persons were considered valuable to God, they were likewise to be considered valuable members of the Israelite community as well.”36

Justice for All People

Thus, these Israelite principles intended to nurture an attitude among the population that the widows in their midst were valued members of the community. In most general terms, the major concern that can be found in the law code is that the marginalized not be deprived of justice. Thus, Deut 24:17 commands that the foreigner or the orphan not be deprived of justice, or not to “take the cloak of a widow as a pledge.” This was intended to command the Israelite men in patriarchal positions of leadership to not give in to the temptations to abuse their authority and, “in shameless self-interest, take advantage of those dependent upon the mercy of others.”37 This responsibility of the leadership is vividly emphasized at the closing of the Pentateuch, where YHWH threatens a curse for those who disobey. Abusing authority and wielding power over the vulnerable in society is akin to forgetting Israel’s plight and bondage in Egypt and consequently, forgetting YHWH’s mercy in rescuing Israel. Instead, the Israelites were commanded to constantly remind themselves “they were descendants of a patriarch whose family went from humble beginnings to being a great nation, but only by the Lord’s mercy.”38

Israel was not to bask in their favored position, but to be a light for the rest of the world. With this humble understanding of their standing before God, the Israelites were to show special concern for those in need of mercy and kindness: the widow, the orphan, the poor, the foreigner.39 One way that this kindness was to be shown was through the triennial tithe in Deut 14:28–29. In this passage, Israel is instructed to offer the third year’s produce, given specifically so that “the immigrants, orphans, and widows who live in your cities, will come and feast until they are full. Do this so that the Lord your God might bless you in everything you do” (Deut 14:29 CEB). Later, in ch. 24 of Deuteronomy, they are directed to leave some grain in the field so that the immigrant, the orphan, and the widow could have some means of support by gleaning from the remains left behind by the harvesters.

Not only were the marginalized in society said to be dear to YHWH’s heart, but he regarded them as equals to all other peoples of Israel. Deuteronomy emphasizes this not only in the aforementioned commands, but in the instructions given for national worship during the three major festivals of the religious calendar: Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles.40 During these times, all of Israel gathered together not only to recognize YHWH’s goodness, but also to acknowledge his sovereignty over them. Deuteronomy 16:11 states that every single Israelite was to rejoice before God at the place of God’s choosing, “you, your sons, your daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites who live in your cities, the immigrants, the orphans, and the widows who are among you” (CEB). Thus, the Jewish festivals were established as specific times to reiterate a truth that the entire Torah frequently emphasized, namely, that all persons were of equal worth and status before God.41

“While legislation affecting her is imbued with YHWH’s oversight, the rules about her care, quite interestingly, involve the entire population in something of an early social legislation for vulnerable people.”42 Treating the widow justly, for YHWH, was a communal task which alludes to Hanvey’s articulation that where the imago Dei is degraded or humiliated in one person, so it is for all persons.43

Old Testament Widows and Abuelita Theology

The way that YHWH cares—and consequently calls his people to care—about the downtrodden, and particularly the widow, is foundational to how modern-day Christians are to understand and live out abuelita theology, a theology centered on the grandmothers in our midst. The following section will explain what abuelita theology is and how it finds its roots in mujerista theology.

Mujerista Theology

First, mujerista theology is a reflective action that has its goal in liberation.44 It was coined by Cuban native, Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, after serving as a missionary to Peru for three years. During her time there, Isasi-Diaz realized that not only is liberation necessary for justice and peace, but that one cannot be liberated at the expense of another or isolated from others.45 Thus, mujerista theology should not be understood as a theology exclusively for Latinas, but a theology from the perspective of Latinas.46It is a process of empowerment for marginalized women that begins with the development of a strong sense of moral agency. It then works on clarifying the importance and value of who these women are, what they think, and what they do. This process enables them to understand oppressive structures that determine their daily lives, and to understand that the goal of their struggle should not be to participate in and to benefit from these structures, but to work toward changing them radically.47

The goals of mujerista theology are to provide a platform for the voices of Latina grassroots women, to develop a theological method that takes seriously the religious understandings and practices of Latinas as a source for theology, and to challenge theological understandings, church teachings, and religious practices that oppress Latina (and all) women.48 It does not insist that liberation is something one person can give another, but instead it is a process in which the oppressed become protagonists—or protagonistas—of their own stories. As Moltmann argues, the dignity of humans consists in humans being human. This involves their existence, humanity, and essence being actualized and thus, “coming into their truth.”49

Abuelitas as Theologians

Similar to that of the widow in ancient Israel, abuelitas in our society often find themselves in a marginalized state, as they are physically vulnerable and unable to provide for themselves. One characteristic that is shared among abuelitas is the fact that many of them are immigrants—a vulnerable group similar to that of the ancient world. This puts abuelitas in multiple marginalized positions which includes their age (physical vulnerabilities), social status (poor, immigrant), and gender. Because of this, they are often overlooked, their stories remain untold, and they are not valued as genuine theologians.

Like mujerista theology, the aim of abuelita theology is to give these abuelitas a voice in which they become protagonistas of their own stories and participants in creating a different reality unlike their present oppressive one. It is a process in which the dignity of abuelitas is realized and actualized. For one, the basis of their dignity is to be found in the imago Dei and in the Christian understanding of the imago Trinitatis, which draws out the relational dynamics of equality, mutuality, and reciprocity. As Israel—collectively—was called to view the vulnerable as valuable members of society engaged in communal worship and theological engagement, so we are to view and engage the abuelitas in our midst—despite their powerless status—and consider them as a genuine source of theology. Thus, abuelita theology seeks to answer: what if the greatest theologians the world has ever known are those whom the world would not consider theologians at all?

Abuelita theology is birthed from the reality that in Latinx religious culture, matriarchal figures, such as abuelitas, within the home are the mainstays of preserving and passing on religious traditions, beliefs, practices, and spirituality within the family. The women of the household, specifically the abuelitas, function as “live-in ministers”50particularly because the privilege to receive formal religious instruction is often lacking within the Latinx community. Thus, abuelitas serve as the functional priestesses and theologians in Latinx familias51through the informal conversation that occurs within the space where many women are usually relegated, the home. Abuelita theology can be seen as a reclaiming of this space as a place where popular religious expression emerges and is preserved. The informal transition of religious understandings to the next generation of family members has led some to propose that Latinx popular religiosity has a matriarchal core.52 Thus, abuelita theology affirms abuelitas as gatekeepers of most of Latinx popular religiosity, with their lived experience taken into serious theological consideration. Old Testament examples include Ruth and Naomi, two widows whose story is celebrated and revered.

The praxis of abuelita theology is built around everyday life, or what Isasi-Diaz refers to as lo cotidiano. According to Isasi-Diaz, lo cotidiano constitutes the immediate space of one’s life, “the first horizon in which one has experiences that, in turn, are constitutive elements of their reality.53Lo cotidiano refers to how reality is understood and evaluated—both historically and culturally. It is necessarily entangled in material life and is a key element of the structuring of social relations and its limits, situating people in their experiences. It has to do with the practices and beliefs that have been inherited, and it is what makes the world of each and every person specific. Lastly, “it is in lo cotidiano and starting with lo cotidiano that we live the multiple relations that constitute our humanity. It is the sphere in which our struggle for life is most immediate, most vigorous, most vibrant.”54 Practically, abuelita theology is both a form of resisting oppression and a noninstitutional, nonacademic way of humans knowing about God.55Abuelitas transmit what Jeanette Rodriquez calls “cultural memory,” a way that lower-class, peasant women construct and make use of their world.56 This includes instructing through oral traditions (much like ancient Israelite culture) in popular religious beliefs.

Additionally, abuelita theology centers on overlooked and unnamed women throughout history, those whom—while unrecognized—have changed the course of history and provided us with the most profound examples of faith. It is a theology of survival, strength, persistence, and resistance. Its goals are to take seriously the religious understandings of abuelitas in our midst, assure that they are protagonists of their own stories who actualize themselves, their essence, and come into their truth, as Moltmann suggests. While the teachings of abuelitas are the starting points for many, there must be a continuous, ongoing, and communal effort to critically discern aspects of inherited traditions that have been colonized.57

The theologies inherited from these overlooked and often-unnamed abuelitas in our communities have given us a firm foundation of what it means to live out our faith and demonstrate love in the world. “These wise women taught us about the power of prophetic words and the responsibility we have to seek and hear them,” wrote Loida I. Martell-Otero, “they did not simply pass on el evangelio (the gospel) as a set of accepted dogmatic statements. They nurtured us with a keen sense of the Spirit’s ability to create anew.”58

Conclusion

This article has demonstrated the ways that the Hebrew Bible’s ideas of social justice established the foundation for how the ideas of human rights are to be engaged today. The theology of the book of Deuteronomy has impacted the modern world’s view of justice for the marginalized and vulnerable in society. This is seen in how ancient Israel was commanded by YHWH not only to protect and honor the dignity of widows, but to ensure that they were seen as equal to everyone else in society, partaking in theological engagement and participation.

In our modern contexts, we are to treat poor, marginalized women—or abuelitas—in our midst similarly to those of the ancient world, not overlooking them because of their age, physical vulnerability, social status, or gender, but honoring them as “unofficial theologians,” functional priestesses, and backbones of the faith. As a theological discipline, abuelita theology seeks to recognize the imago Dei in abuelitas, understanding that when the image of God is degraded in one, it is degraded in all. Abuelita theology also aims to empower abuelitas to resist oppression, serve as protagonists of their own stories, actualize their dignity, and come into their truths.

Notes

1. Eckart Otto, “Human Rights: The Influence of the Hebrew Bible,” JNSL 25/1 (1999) 1.

2. Otto, “Human Rights: The Influence of the Hebrew Bible,” 15.

3. Yair Lorberbaum, “Blood and the Image of God: On the Sanctity of Life in Biblical and Early Rabbinic Law, Myth, and Ritual,” in The Concept of Human Dignity in Human Rights Discourse, ed. David Kretzmer and Eckart Klein (Kluwer Law International, 2002) 56.

4. Lorberbaum, “Blood and the Image of God,” 56.

5. James Hanvey, “Dignity, Person, and Imago Trinitatis,” in Understanding Human Dignity (Oxford University Press, 2013) 224.

6. Hanvey, “Dignity, Person, and Imago Trinitatis,” 224.

7. Jürgen Moltmann, On Human Dignity: Political Theology and Ethics (Fortress, 1984) 9.

8. Moltmann, On Human Dignity, 10.

9. Hanvey, “Dignity, Person, and Imago Trinitatis,” 225.

10. Christopher J. H. Wright, God’s People in God’s Land (Eerdmans, 1990) 762.

11. Bunie Veeder, “The Hebrew Bible Widow: Somewhere between Life—Hers, and Death—Her Husband’s” (D.H.L., The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 2011) 10.

12. Stager, “Archaeology of the Family,” 20.

13. Danna Fewell, and David M Gunn. Gender, Power, and Promise: The Subject of the Bible’s First Story (Abingdon, 1993) 100.

14. Veeder, “The Hebrew Bible Widow,” 30.

15. Moshe Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Eisenbrauns, 1992) 55.

16. Cheryl B. Anderson, Women, Ideology, and Violence: Critical Theory and the Construction of Gender in the Book of the Covenant and the Deuteronomic Law, JSOTSup 394 (T&T Clark, 2004) 54.

17. Levirate marriage is the modern term (levir is Latin for “brother-in-law”) for a marriage between the widow and a brother of a deceased husband/brother. Such a marriage served to provide economically for the widow and to prevent ending the family line of the deceased. The law is described in Deut 25 and lived out, for example, in the marriages of Tamar (Gen 38) and Ruth (where the custom extends to a more distant relative).

18. Anderson, Women, Ideology, and Violence, 55.

19. Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 68.

20. Charles Fensham, “Widow, Orphan, and the Poor in Ancient near Eastern Legal and Wisdom Literature” JNES 21/2 (1962) 129.

21. Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 74.

22. Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 139.

23. Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 139.

24. Veeder, “The Hebrew Bible Widow,” 55.

25. Nahum M. Sarna, Exodus, JPS Torah Commentary (Jewish Publication Society, 1991) 138.

26. Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 86.

27. Walter Brueggemann, Deuteronomy, AOTC (Abingdon, 2001) 73.

28. Brueggemann, Deuteronomy, 73.

29. Brueggemann, Deuteronomy, 73.

30. Veeder, “The Hebrew Bible Widow,” 56.

31. Veeder, “The Hebrew Bible Widow,” 57.

32. John H. Otwell, And Sarah Laughed: The Status of Women in the Old Testament (Westminster, 1977) 125.

33. Veeder, “The Hebrew Bible Widow,” 59.

34. Steinberg, “Romancing the Widow,” 327.

35.  Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 96.

36.  Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 96.

37.  Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 97.

38.  Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 98.

39. Bruce V. Malchow, “Social Justice in the Israelite Law Codes” WW 4/3 (Summer 1984) 306.

40.  Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 99.

41.  Wessel, “Charity toward Widows in Early Christian Communities,” 99.

42. Veeder, “The Hebrew Bible Widow,” 56.

43. Hanvey, “Dignity, Person, and Imago Trinitatis,” 225.

44. Ada María Isasi-Díaz, Mujerista Theology: A Theology for the Twenty-First Century (Orbis, 1996) 1.

45. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, En La Lucha: In the Struggle: Elaborating a Mujerista Theology (Fortress, 2004) 10.

46. Isasi-Diaz, Mujerista Theology, 1.

47. Isasi-Diaz, Mujerista Theology, 3.

48. Isasi-Diaz, Mujerista Theology, 2.

49. Moltmann, On Human Dignity, 10.

50. Mario T. Garcia, The Gospel of César Chávez: My Faith in Action (Sheed & Ward, 2007) 25.

51. Robert Chao Romero, “Abuelita Theology,” Perspectivas 14 (Spring 2017) 17.

52. Miguel De La Torre, Hispanic American Religious Cultures (ABC-CLIO, 2009) 34.

53. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, “Lo Cotidiano: A Key Element of Mujerista Theology,” Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology 10/1 (Aug 2002) 8.

54. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, “Lo Cotidiano,” 9.

55. Mario Garcia, Católicos: Resistance and Affirmation in Chicano Catholic History (University of Texas Press, 2008) 25.

56. Garcia, Católicos, 25.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.alephbeta.org/playlist/law-enforcement-in-the-bible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take It As It Comes – Shoftim

“Be wholehearted with your G‑d“—Deuteronomy 18:13.

In this week’s portion we are told, “There shall not be found among you… a soothsayer, a diviner of times, one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or a charmer…” We are then told – immediately in the next verse – to be “wholehearted” with G‑d.

What is the connection between the prohibitions against various occult practices and the commandment to be wholehearted with G‑d? And what does it mean to be wholehearted with G‑d?

First let’s understand the various prohibitions enumerated in this reading. As modern, so-called “enlightened” individuals, we may discount these warnings as something out-dated, something that was told to our ancestors—but does not pertain to us. After all, we think, who runs after soothsayers and sorcerers to tell them their fortune nowadays? But let’s examine the underlying psychology that drove the ancients to seek a stolen glimpse into the future. Are we really immune from the very same weakness—a preoccupation with what is yet to come?

Oh, the price we would pay just to have certainty about the future, but to no avail.We worry and fret about outcomes. We expend energy trying to secure that which cannot be guaranteed. Oh, the price we would pay just to have certainty about the future, but to no avail.

Thus, we are told to be “wholehearted” with G‑d—to leave the future up to Him and to accept life as it comes. After all, isn’t it enough just to know that He is in perfect control? Why should we prefer to have foreknowledge of His plans? Why don’t we realize that whatever He chooses will be best?

If we cannot give up our worries about the future, then it seems that our trust in Him is tenuous, conditional and half-hearted. What we are really telling G‑d is that our relationship with Him is conditional.

Think of a marriage. If your spouse were to suddenly whisk you away on an impetuous romantic getaway, would you first demand to know what the plans were? To do so would mean being more interested in how the time will be spent than with whom it will be shared. True love means that time shared with one’s beloved is always time well spent—whatever happens, whatever we are doing and wherever we go.

If G‑d were to speak to you and invite you to live in His presence, to follow Him at every turn, would you ask Him first where He plans on taking you? Before agreeing, would you first ask for an itinerary?

For those of us who recover from the spiritual illness known as alcoholism or addiction, we rely on our relationship with G‑d for our very survival. We cannot afford to let that relationship be half-hearted. We need to stay in the present and let the One who is above time worry about what is to come. Our wholehearted commitment to Him means that we are ready to joyfully and fearlessly accept whatever He may bring us, for we trust that ultimately, whatever happens, He is with us and He is running the show.

That is all we need to know.