Looking at the blessed time of the Elohim which comes every seventh day, completing the week. The Shabbat representing completion. Delighting in the Shabbat has evolved over time, but it is for believers still a day of blessings and delight by bringing mercy and love, blessing and joy to others, and refreshing our souls.
Some believers wonder if they can meet up with worthy prayer only at home. Some need to be convinced or given advice on how to make sure to have a worthy service for the Elohim, even when in a closed private or personal space like the living room.
Those who went on to their balcony for singing out loud, and got the police at their door, avoid such public witnessing now. Many of our and other congregations still think on certain days we cannot make use of electronic tools like television and computers, and as such cannot take part in our weekly e-streaming. It would be nice if some other solution could be found for those to give them still a feeling of unitedness and gathering in prayer.
- all experienced a number of sweeping changes to our lives > financial, logisitical, medical > one overarching difference in our now normal routines = blurring of any boundaries that we once took for granted.
- locations between wor/school + home = same.
- we once entered the synagogue to pray, reflect, read Torah, say Kaddish
- routinely took online classes or even home schooled their kids > no one ever thought congregational life would be possible without actually gathering as a congregation.
- praying as individuals at home = omitting communal prayers like Kaddish.
- Can one experience the same connection – the same kavannah — at home as when in the sanctuary?
- experience in being a congregant or participant on the Facebook Live screen or Zoom
- once awkward task of leading prayer into a computer screen
- Shabbat services or Zoom minyan > do you set aside a dedicated space at home that you know is your worship spot? Or sit with your laptop anywhere that’s convenient?
- How much of the service has become passive for you?
- Do you make services a family experience?
- The offspring from a tortured generation finding the Word of God again
- Social Distanced but Spiritually Close
- Turning Your Home into a Sacred Space
- Hineni for our Virtual Services
- Voor het eerst in jaren weer een Pesach in isolatie
- Isolatietijd vrij te nemen voor jezelf
- Opdracht niet na laten om over de belangrijke Uittocht te praten
- Oplossingen gezocht voor Joodse dienstvoorziening
- Ontnomen van een gebedshuis #1 Doodveroorzakers
- Ontnomen van een gebedshuis #2 In de greep van een coronavirus
- 9 Av 2020 en Dagen van droefheid
Over the last few months, we’ve all experienced a number of sweeping changes to our lives–some financial, some logisitical, some medical–but the one overarching difference in our now normal routines is the blurring of any boundaries that we once took for granted.
We used to make a separation between work and home. Now those locations are the same.
We used to make a separation between going to school and being in the house. That too is no longer the case.
And even more than those examples–we once entered the synagogue to pray, reflect, read Torah, say Kaddish, and shmooze over black and white cookies. While some people had already worked from home before all this started, and others routinely took online classes or even home schooled their kids–pretty much no one ever thought that congregational life would be possible without, you know, actually gathering as a congregation. Sure, some people…
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The day a number of disasters in Jewish history occurred, primarily the destruction of both Solomon's Temple by the Neo-Babylonian Empire and the Second Temple by the Roman Empire in Jerusalem, received an other black spot in this year of the CoViD-19 pandemic.
For security reasons our country came into lockdown and after some easing measures it looked like we soon could come together. Yet by having again a rise in the infections we shall not be able to gather in one place and as such shall have to fulfil our worship duties at home in private. Let us remember that our liturgy is really about engaging God and therefore it is not bad to take some time to consider how you want to build up your service for God.
Tonight let us remember the bad and the good that came over our people and be grateful for the way the Elohim is helping us day in day out.
Time of distress should never be an excuse to not follow the mitzvah of our God. As such now in a time of lockdown, being isolated we should still have a Memorial Meal.
One Passover tradition asks that if people can afford to, they provide those less fortunate with foods that are eaten during the holiday, like matzah, eggs, chicken or wine.
Before the Israelites escaped Egypt they solemnly prepared themselves for their escape and had the seder in their closed circle, what we shall have to do in 2020 as well.
Tonight the eight days of extra dedication to haElohim started with the commemoration of the victory of the few whose desire for freedom to practice their religion impelled them to battle against great odds and which we should take as an example not to be afraid to show our faith to others..
Elul, the month to reflect and to prepare oneself to perfect oneself plus preparing oneself to enter a new phase in facing the Elohim, coming closer into the Divine presence.
For all the world is nothing more than the means by which you will connect the above with the below.
The Hebrew phrase tikkun olam (pronounced tee-KOON oh-LUHM) means "world repair." In modern Jewish circles, tikkun olam has become synonymous with the notion of social action and the pursuit of social justice. Created in the image of God each human being is requested to come close to the Bo're and to be a partaker of a marvellous peaceful world to which each member has to contribute out of free will. In order for the balance between good and evil intended by God to be restored, humans must be involved in the world's reparation and can not keep aside or aloof or 'do nothing' to get social justice or a better world.
- point of Judaism = tasked with mission > Judaism antidote to many of the greatest problems we face in the 21st Century.
- religion gives a sense of community, purpose + meaning.
- why progressive Judaism = our way forward
- Progressive Judaism has come under attack.
- Jonathan Neumann’s book entitled ‘To Heal the World?’ its subtitle – ‘How the Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism and Endangers Israel’ – tells everything you need to know about this book. = argues that progressive Jews distorted Judaism + created their own denomination, completely divorced from tradition.
- Jewish mysticism > world in which we live = broken => through pursuit of social justice > begin to heal it => (for Neumann) idea = innovation = ideology of American New Left + Jewish theology.
- ‘tikkun olam’ new development= rallying cry to bring together many of issues on which Jewish community in America was campaigning, particularly black civil rights, women’s liberation + international peace.
- idea > Judaism’s core = one of social justice = integral to progressive Judaism since its inception.
- Rabbi Abraham Geiger in 19th Century Germany, argued > soul of Judaism =/= in its laws > = in its prophetic texts.
- Reformers repositioned Judaism from its narrow focus on ritual to universalist message of justice.
- Prophet Elijah harbinger of messianic redemption = first among our prophets to promise that messianic age is coming.
- promise of liberation = built into very understanding of what it means to live a Jewish life => must participate in building it through pursuit of justice, by following consciences, + by seeking to make the world a more loving place.
- tikkun olam’ message can be found throughout the Tanakh, rabbinic literature, + our liturgy = core of what Judaism calls on us to do.
- Neumann argues deviation from traditional Judaism > progressive Judaism must be contrasted with ‘traditional’ Judaism => seems not to understand Orthodox Judaism = a modern innovation = response to modern world, that takes a conservative approach to life + a dogmatic approach to commandments.
- at our most Jewish when we are sharing food with others.
- Neumann’s idea of traditional Judaism = narrow + limiting
- progressives, halachic observance + social justice are not competitors = complement each other.
- food laws help > force to think ethically about consumption.
- Shabbat = joy > teaches value of rest + holiness of God.
- All rules + rituals have value > turn us into disciplined, conscientious people, who will seek out justice when it is necessary.
- Progressive Judaism > point of Judaism =/= rules in themselves => = pursuit of better world through rules
- message = clear > short time on earth + here with a mission => tasked with a sacred purpose of perfecting the world, demanding justice and pursuing peace = point of Judaism +> Let us work to heal the world together.
What is the point of Judaism?
Last night, I gave a defence of Judaism for the disengaged. I argued that religion gives us a sense of community, purpose and meaning. I talked about how Judaism is an antidote to many of the greatest problems we face in the 21st Century.
This morning, I want to talk about why progressive Judaism, specifically, ought to be our way forward. Progressive Judaism has, in recent years, come under attack. Last year, Jonathan Neumann released a book entitled ‘To Heal the World?’. Its subtitle – ‘How the Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism and Endangers Israel’ – probably tells you everything you need to know about this book.
In it, he argues that progressive Jews have distorted Judaism and created their own denomination, completely divorced from tradition. He pours scorn on one idea in particular, that of ‘tikkun olam’. The basic premise of this…
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- Parashat Ki Tisa (when you take), God instructs Moses to take a census + an offering.+ > Sabbath given as perpetual sign = covenant for God’s people
- this Torah reading = summed up in one word: Purpose!
- Tikkun Olam – Restoration To The World
- God has a Purpose for everything He does. => Tikkun Olam = God’s redemptive purpose to restore a fallen world + fallen humanity back to the perfect order that He intended at creation.
- God’s plan for humanity = laid out in His Word like a road map to destiny.
- plan of redemption through Messiah Yeshua.
- God’s redemptive plan begins with Israel + spreads to the nations.
- “take root” in Israel => bear fruit => fill entire world.
- God brings hope to humanity + restoration to nations > repairing one life at a time.
- Tikkun Olam possible when we become God’s instruments of restoration by taking an interest in others.
- Messianic Judaism + Jewish world in general = you will find those who will invest their interest in you.
- friendship + love conquer all racial, ethnic, + cultural barriers.
- God wants to use you to bring tikkun to wounded souls + broken lives.
- bring tikkun olam to others when we walk in our purpose.
- plan = to walk in relationship with God + bring glory + honor to His name.
- take time to invest in someone.
- Tikkun Olam = heart of God for His people. > instrument of Restoration in lives of those around you!
Parasha With Passion – Weekly Torah Reading Cycle – Week #21
In Parashat Ki Tisa (when you take), God instructs Moses to take a census and an offering. Also, God instructs Moses on how the basin for washing should be used, how to formulate the anointing oil, and appoint skilled craftsman to construct the tabernacle furnishings.
in Parashat Ki Tisa, the Sabbath is
given as a perpetual sign as a covenant for God’s people, Moses experiences
God’s glory, and the people make a golden calf. Wow, what a power packed Torah reading! However, I believe that all that the children
of Israel experienced in this Torah reading can be summed up in one word: PURPOSE!
Tikkun Olam – Restoration To The World
has a PURPOSE for everything He
does. From the beginning, God had a
purpose when He called Abraham the father of many nations…
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Tikkun entails more than putting something right what was wrong. We should look more at it as a word presenting the healing factor or bringing something in a good or healthy state.
In Europe we still speak about correcting or reacting in the good sense to something to repair it. Some may use the word to fix something, but we doubt this word would be used in our regions in the sense of tikkun.
Tikkun is a Hebrew word, means correction.
I am yet to hear a Westerner, or an Easterner use the word: correction. The world, nowadays, is into “fixing”. ((In your vocabulary, each word should mean what it actually mean… If you use words that are close, but mean something different, you can see that in your Starting Point Measurements, in the vocabulary measure… your number will be low… signifying that for you everything is the same as everything else, except that not always… a low ability to differentiate between things. You’ll misinterpret what you hear/read, you’ll misunderstand things, follow things poorly, you’ll have a lot of pain and little happiness.))
Fixing is an ugly world, immediately signaling what the speaker sees, that there is something wrong and it urgently needs to be fixed, because it is wrong that it is. Reactive.
But when emotions run high, the cone of vision narrows…
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