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U.N.J.S. http://www.unjs.info en Strange Incense http://www.unjs.info/content/strange-incense <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><strong>Strange Incense</strong></p><p><strong>Adapted from the original article by David Wilkerson</strong></p><p> </p><p>I want to talk about a horrible abomination in the house of Elohim that is not being dealt with. I have felt the breathing of Eloah's wrath against this sin in my life. The Ruach Ha Kodesh has taken me into the depths of this hideousness and exposed it.</p><p>It has to do with the other side of prayer! The dark, evil, sinful side! The abominable kind of prayer! Prayer from the hearts and lips of unconsecrated and unholy people.</p><p>David said, "You give heed to prayer which is not from deceitful lips...but as for the guilty, let his prayer become sin..." (Psalm17:1 and 109:7).</p><p>Elohim warned His people Israel, "When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you, yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from my sight.  Cease to do evil..." (Isaiah 1:15-16).  This is beyond simple “faith”, but is faith with works.</p><p>Elohim could not have made it any clearer; the need is not for more Prayer - but for correct prayer from a cleansed people! What a frightful prophecy this is - Elohim's People spreading out their hands in prayer and supplication in great and multiplying numbers, and He is not listening! It is because we have been told that no one can ascend the holy hill of God except those With clean hands and pure hearts. These supplicating multitudes had unclean hands and evil hearts. Elohim said, "I am weary of it all... I can no longer endure it..." (Isaiah 1:13-14). "He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination" (Proverbs 28:9).</p><p>To call adulterous, fornicating, compromising people of a faith, like most of Christianity, to prayer is to lead them into a sin against Elohim that is worse than all the other evils in their lives combined. We had better get to the laver before we approach the golden altar of incense. Offering prayer to Elohim through unclean lips and lifting polluted hands can bring down His wrath and perpetuate hideous judgments.</p><p> </p><p>YHWH's Word likens prayer to incense - an aroma that goes up before Elohim to the throne. David prayed, "Let my prayer be counted as incense before thee; the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice..." (Psalm141:2).</p><p> </p><p>John removes all doubt about it: "And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints..." (Revelation 5:8). I believe this incense includes all the praying, all the praising of Elohim's people.</p><p> </p><p><strong> I.  The Offering of Corrupt Prayers to a Holy God is an Unspeakable Horror in the Heavens!</strong></p><p> </p><p class="MsoBodyText">Not a single corrupt prayer falls to the ground innocently! Every prayer from unclean lips of a person is gathered in an angelic censer – and one day must face the consuming fire of Elohim.</p><p>There is a scene in Revelation 8 - so awesome, so incredible, I can't comprehend it! "And when He broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before YHWH; and seven trumpets were given to them.</p><p>And another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before Elohim out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer; and he filled it with the fire of the altar and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.</p><p>And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them. And the first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up" (Revelations 8:1-7).</p><p>In Revelation 5 John describes the thunderous, exultant voices of the living creatures, the elders, and myriads of angels-thousands of thousands of them all singing with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing."</p><p>What a loud, glorious scene as every created thing in heaven lifted voices in concerts of praise. "And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.  And the four living creatures kept saying, Amen.  And the elders fell down and worshiped" (Revelations 5:13-14).</p><p>In Revelation 6, we hear also the loud crying of the martyrs underneath the altar, "And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of Elohim, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" (Revelation 6:9-10).</p><p>In Revelation 8 all heaven is hushed! For nearly half an hour the Elders kneel in silent wonder. The living creatures, the cherubim, the seraphim, all are hushed and speechless. The martyrs are silent wonder.  Angelic choirs are not singing; the harps have been put aside; and there is not a sound in heaven. All is hushed! Why? It is because the Seventh seal has been broken and they have seen the frightful judgments written on the seventh document. Seven angels with seven trumpets stand ready to inflict death, destruction and fiery judgments on the earth.</p><p>This indescribable silence has something to do with prayer! It has to do with incense. The time has come for Eloah to bring to His altar every prayer of His people for righteous judgment. He is going to put His consuming fire under the incense to test the aroma! Will it be a sweet smelling savor - or a stench in His nostrils? "And another angel came and stood at the altar holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the Lord" (Revelation 8:3).</p><p>There are two kinds of incense mentioned in Elohim's Word. One is pure - the other is called strange. Elohim commanded that only pure incense be offered to Him on the golden altar. "You shall overlay it with pure gold.... And you shall put this altar in front of the veil that is near the ark of the testimony, in front of the mercy seat that is over the ark of the testimony, where I will meet with you.  And Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it; he shall burn it every morning when he trims the lamps. And when Aaron trims the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense. There shall be perpetual incense before YHWH  throughout your generations. You shall not offer any strange incense on this altar, or burnt offering or meal offering; and you shall not pour out a libation on it" (Exodus 30:3-9).</p><p>You shall offer no strange prayers on my altar! There was a death penalty on all who offered strange incense to YHWH. In the Old Testament, YHWH was trying to show us His heart against corrupt praying. He intended to show us how serious this matter of corrupt praying is in His sight.  This is clearly seen in the way YHWH dealt with the two sons of Aaron.  "Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective fire pans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from the presence of YHWH and consumed them, and they died before Elohim. Then Moses said to Aaron, It is what the YHWH spoke, saying, 'By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, and before all the people I will be honored.' So Aaron, therefore, kept silent" (Leviticus 10:1-3).</p><p>There, before the altar of incense, lay the two sons of Aaron. Two Young priests who dared approach God to offer incense with polluted hands and hearts. They are dragged out to the front of the sanctuary. Aaron must have wept! How frightful! What kind of God is this? Praying men killed at the altar.</p><p>Moses solemnly brings the Word, "YHWH says - those who approach Me must honor My holiness! I will not let this be a light thing among My people!" YHWH help us to see what a holy life-and-death matter prayer is.</p><p>The word strange, to be an adulterer, to be an alien or outsider. It was what they had become. They had become fornicators, idolaters, rebellious, adulterous of heart. They were priests who had become aliens to YHWH because of pride and unrepentant sin. It is what you are and what you have become that makes your prayer what it is: holy or strange!</p><p>Unrepentant sin becomes a stronghold for haSatan; and it corrupts everything you bring to YHWH.</p><p>What strange incense is pouring out of the lips of many compromising servants of YHWH today. Many are counseling rebellion. Many have lost the fear of YHWH. They have no vision of the holiness of Elohim. A holy man of Elohim turns people away from sin; a corrupt minister causes many to stumble. "My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him as an object of reverence; so he revered Me, and stood in awe of My name. True instruction was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many back from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts" (Malachi 2:5-7).</p><p>HWH singles out adulterers as those He no longer hears. Their incense is strange; their prayers and tears are an abomination. YHWH's heart is sick of it all. "And this is another thing you do; you cover the altar of YHWH with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. Yet you say, 'For what reason?' Because YHWH has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant" (verses 13-14).</p><p>YHWH also singles out those who have gotten soft against sin. It has to do with a permissive attitude toward divorce. It has to do with telling worldly-minded Christians that YHWH still delights in them. It has to do with ministers/rabbim/teacher who refuse to show YHWH's people the difference between the holy and the profane. "For I hate divorce, says YHWH, Elohim of Israel, and him who covers his garment with wrong, says the Lord of hosts.  So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.  You have wearied YHWH with your words. Yet you say, How have we wearied Him? In that you say, Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of YHWH, and He delights in them, or, Where is the El of justice?"(verses 16-17)</p><p>The prophet Ezekiel was given a vision of the elders of Israel offering incense - even though their minds and imaginations had become totally corrupted by sin. Leaders, ministers, praying-while their hearts were full of idolatry and wickedness, "Then He brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall. And He said to me, 'Son of man, now dig through the wall.' So I dug through the wall, and behold, an entrance. And He said to me, 'go in and see the wicked abominations that they are committing here.'</p><p>So I entered and looked, and behold, every form of creeping things and beasts and detestable things, with all the idols of the house of Israel, were carved on the wall all around. And standing in front of them were seventy elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them, each man with his censer in his hand, and the fragrance of the cloud of incense rising. Then he said to me, 'Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are committing in the dark, each man in the room of his carved images? For they say, YHWH does not see us; YHWH has forsaken the land'" (Ezekiel 8:7-12).</p><p>They thought, "Elohim is overlooking our sin. As long as we pray, offer incense, YHWH is appeased." It is not incidental that the Word declares, "Jaazaniah stood among them...." Jaazaniah means "God hears!" What arrogance sin causes. They actually believed YHWH was hearing their prayers, even though laden with sin.</p><p>YHWH indicts His people for corrupting prayer before the idols of gold, silver and materialism. Through the prophet Ezekiel, YHWH cries out against burning holy incense before the self-centered gods of this age.  It is a cry against those who use prayer to reach selfish goals – who use prayer to enrich themselves - who pray only to get something out of God. "You also took your beautiful jewels made of My gold and of My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images that you might play the harlot with them. Then you took your embroidered cloth and covered them, and offered My oil and My incense before them.  Also My bread which I gave you, fine flour, oil, and honey with which I fed you, you would offer before them for a soothing aroma; so it happened, declares the YHWH Elohim" (Ezekiel 16: 17-18).</p><p>"You offered my incense before these idols," YHWH said, "You sat on a  splendid couch with a table arranged before it, on which you had set My incense and My oil" (Ezekiel 23:41).</p><p> </p><p><strong> II.  Holy Incense Offered by Holy Hands Shielded the Priest From Judgment.</strong></p><p> </p><p>"And he shall take a fire pan full of coals of fire from upon the altar before the Lord, and two handfuls of finely ground sweet incense, and bring it inside the veil. And he shall put the incense on the fire before YHWH, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the ark of the testimony, lest he die" (Leviticus 16:12-13).</p><p>The mercy seat represents the very presence of Messiah. If the priest had pure incense, pure garments, he could come boldly to the throne of Grace to obtain mercy. He would not die, but would see the glory of His presence.</p><p>We talk so flippantly about Daddy God; we speak so arrogantly about getting our rights; we even try to manipulate Him through prayer. But YHWH help those today who have no awe, no reverence for the mercy seat.</p><p>You say, God no longer deals with His people so severely. No one dies under grace. Under grace, strange incense leads to "twice dead and plucked up by the roots!"</p><p>John once laid his head on the bosom of Yeshua. John saw Him in His humanity but not in His holiness. On the Isle of Patmos he had a vision of Christ now glorified, and it was a shattering vision. Christ now had eyes like a flame of fire - feet like burnished bronze when caused to glow in a furnace - and His voice was like the sound of many waters.</p><p>And John fell at His feet as a dead man. You can't be flippant and giddy when you've had a vision of His holiness. YHWH has determined to judge, cast down and destroy all the altars and incense offerings of those who refuse to walk in holiness before Him.</p><p>The curse of the Mosaic covenant included a threat that YHWH would disown the altars and destroy the incense of the Israelites if they walked in disobedience.</p><p>"Yet if in spite of this, you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with wrathful hostility against you; and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins. Further, you shall eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters you shall eat. I then will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and heap your remains on the remains of your idols; for My soul shall abhor you. I will lay waste your cities as well, and will make your sanctuaries desolate; and I will not smell your soothing aromas. And I will make the land desolate so that your enemies who settle in it shall be appalled over it" (Leviticus 26:27-32).</p><p>Look again now at that hushed scene before the altar of YHWH in Revelations 8. I hope you can see what I see! I see two kinds of incense. There is the much incense which was given to the angel. To me this represents the tainted prayers of Laodicean Church. There is also the incense already burning on the altar - the pure, holy incense of the sanctified. The fire on that altar has never gone out - that pure, holy praying has continually been a sweet savor to YHWH.</p><p>The angel was told to mix this much incense, this much praying, with the incense already on the altar. But when YHWH's consuming fire touches it, something happens.</p><p>For centuries the smoke of the incense of holy saints has covered the mercy seat. It has been accepted; it has been a shield against judgment. But now look at what happens; the angel suddenly flings the censer out of God's presence - out upon the earth - and terrible judgments break out.</p><p>Corrupt prayers do not shield from judgment - they cause judgment!"</p><p>And the angel took the censer; and he filled it with the fire of the altar and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake. And the seven Angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them. And the first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up" (Revelations 8:5-7).</p><p>It is true that YHWH sends judgment to avenge the prayers of the righteous and the martyrs. But the Word also reveals that stubborn and unrepentant hearts are storing up wrath for the day of judgment. "Do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God" (Romans 2:4-5).</p><p>The prayers of the selfishly ambitious are being stored up as so much strange incense; and one day our holy Elohim will pour it all out on their heads in distress, wrath and indignation. "But to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.  There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek" (Romans 2:8-9).</p><p>Think of the frightful effect of corrupt prayers. Not only is YHWH not hearing these kinds of prayers - not only is He weary of them - not only are they an abomination to Him - they bring YHWH's woe-woe-woe to those who dwell on the earth.</p><p>I hear it said, "If Christians will all pray - God will spare this nation from judgment." We forget to add, "...if they repent, confess and forsake their sins!" But YHWH only hears and answers holy prayers from holy hearts. Let millions of church-goers pray! Let multitudes of lukewarm Christians pray and stretch out their hands calling for mercy and blessings. God will spew it all out of His mouth.</p><p>Tainted prayers from sinful lips do not shield from judgment. They cause judgment! "Then the YHWH said to me, A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They have turned back to the iniquities of their ancestors who refused to hear My words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers. Therefore thus says YHWH, Behold I am bringing disaster on them which they will not be able to escape; though they will cry to Me, yet I will not listen to them" (Jeremiah 11:9-11).</p><p>In Exodus 37:29 we learn that the holy anointing oil and the pure incense was the work of a perfumer. In Ecclesiastes 10:1 it is said, "Dead flies make a perfumer's oil stink...." In Hebrew, a perfumer is one who mixes oil and incense. The angel of Revelation 8 is Elohim's perfumer, the one who mixes the incense. But he will not mix the strange, stinking incense corrupted with dead flies.</p><p>Do you encourage others to pray with filthy flies in your incense?Do you believe YHWH is going to accept your prayers when the dead flies of secret, unrepentant sin has caused them to stink before His throne?Be honest! Is there a dead fly in your incense? Is sin shutting out your prayer life?</p><p>Certainly YHWH will hear the prayer and cry of a repentant heart. He hears even the sinner's prayer of contrition. But He said His ears are closed to the corrupt, putrid prayers of disobedient and rebellious Christians. "The eyes of YHWH are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry [ears to hear - for the righteous]" (Psalm 34:15).</p><p>But listen to what YHWH said to His children in Israel who committed abominations: "and He said to me, Do you see this, son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they have committed here, that they have filled the land with violence and provoked Me repeatedly? For behold, they are putting the twig to their nose. Therefore, I indeed shall deal in wrath. My eye will have no pity nor shall I spare; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, yet I shall not listen to them" (Ezekiel 8:17-18).</p><p> </p><p><strong> III.  The Apostles Prophesied That in the Last Days There Would be a Division in the Church Regarding Prayer!</strong></p><p> </p><p>The apostles of Yeshua Messiah clearly warned some would give themselves over to lust and worldliness, and their prayers would become mockery.</p><p>But others would arise, keeping themselves in the love of Yeshua, building themselves in the love of Jesus - building themselves up in holy faith - praying with a holy mindset! "But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken before hand by the apostles of our Lord Yeshua Ha Moshiach, that they were saying to you, In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts. These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of YHWH, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Yeshua Messiah to eternal life" (Jude 17-21).</p><p>The lines are already drawn. Those devoid of the Holy Spirit, bound By lust, worldly, will continue to mock YHWH with strange incense. He warns they will go on praying by habit. Theirs will be empty words, vain, powerless. They will be stripped of all discernment. YHWH said through Isaiah, "Then YHWH said, Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be concealed" (Isaiah 29:13-14).</p><p>Isaiah says their prayers are mockery because they are lying. Their sins testify against them. They are praying lies - and that is mockery!</p><p>"But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your Elohim, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken falsehood, your tongue mutters wickedness. For our transgressions are multiplied before Thee, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: transgressing and denying the Lord, and turning away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words" (Isaiah 59:2,3,12, 13).</p><p>"And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Ruach intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will do YHWH" (Romans 8:26-27).</p><p>What I hear the Spirit saying to me and to the assembly is, "Draw near To YHWH and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded" (James 4:8).</p><p> </p></div></div></div> Sun, 10 Dec 2023 14:55:33 +0000 admin 32 at http://www.unjs.info http://www.unjs.info/content/strange-incense#comments Halacha of the Believer http://www.unjs.info/content/halacha-believer <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Excerpt from Messiah, Volume 1 By Avi Ben Mordecai</p><p>Rabbi (Hacham) Shaul was a scholarly teacher of Torah, both of the Oral and Written codes. Not only did he order his life by it, but he also taught it to others, born Jews and born Gentiles alike. Since Sha'ul followed Messiah Y'shua, who also taught the Oral and Written Torah, I submit (at this time in my life) that we should be following in the footsteps of Judaism's great teachers of G-d's Law, so long as the halacha meets five conditions:</p><p>It does not contradict Y'shua's teachings on Oral Torah.</p><p># It does not add to nor subtract from the words of the Written code of Sinai.<br /># It is halacha that was recognized during the First and/or Second Temple periods.<br /># It does not place an unnecessary burden upon the whole Jewish community, realizing that not everyone in the community can bear the load.<br /># It does not alienate Gentiles from Jews nor create a cause to shun them.<br /># It was a .....???</p><p>As I see it today (and things can change, but for now, this is how I presently see it), Nazerean (Messianic) halacha should be in place to help us as a global community of believers in Y'shua HaMashiach properly interpret the written code of Sinai for the community at-large. Not only is this good government (i.e., "the kingdom of G-d on earth") but this is also the commandment of Y'shua. He said to go out into all the world (as you go) and make talmidim of all the goyim. Understanding the concept that a Jewish talmid is a student of the rabbis' Mishnah and Gemara (Mishnah is the Oral Tradition and the Gemara is the commentary and discussion, i.e., Mishnah + Gemara = Talmud, hence "talmidim"), I also recognize that our Rabbi Y'shua also had His Gemara (discussion and teaching) on the rabbinic Mishnah and the written code of Sinai. Thus, we are His talmidim or students of His Oral Traditions which is the proper definition of the term "Gospel." We are to follow His Mishnah and Gemara, i.e., His Talmud, and take it to the goyim, teaching them to observe all that He commanded us!</p><p>The council in Acts Chapter 15 led by its Nasi (Prince) Ya'acov HaTzadeq (James) and his Av Bet Din (Father of the House of Judgment) Kefa (Peter), was built on this very principle that biblical Jewish government must include the authority of a Bet Din and this means we have the responsibility and privilege to establish something like the Acts 15 council. And it should be done in Y'rushalayim! Unfortunately, I am not presently optimistic that this can be accomplished since there is not the kind of Torah scholarship and unity that is needed among the believers in Y'shua to build something so beautiful. I suppose we will have to wait for the Messiah to come and build it for us. In the meantime, what Jewish Oral Traditions are we to follow? Those of modern Judaism? Those of the Sephardim? Those of the Ashenazim? Or do we all just continue in this state of "do your own thing"?Well, personally, I find the "do your own thing" and "make up your own interpretations on the Torah as you go" somewhat offensive not only because it violates everything Jewish but because it also says to G-d, "we don't need the teachings of Y'shua on Jewish government (Mattityahu 18)." On the other hand, we cannot keep alienating ourselves from our own people nor from those of Judaism's ancient scholars and sages that I believe were far more knowledgable on the Oral Traditions than we could ever hope to be. However, if we try to establish a global halachic court and use the authority granted to us by the Messiah, I can tell you that this would be a staggering project!</p><p>So, what do we do? Where do we stand today? I'm sorry, but I have no answer. Perhaps, though, we can at least start building some unity by teaching believers in the Messiah the written code of Sinai, the oral code of the rabbis, and the rulings of Acts Chapter 15 and then following the five principles that I outlined for you on the previous page.</p><p>If you are a born Gentile, I strongly encourage you take hold of your heritage and to live like a full member of the Jewish community, according to your new "grafted-in" birthright. If you are Jewish by birth, I also encourage you to get reconnected to the customs, traditions, and teachings of the Mosaic regulations, if you have been estranged from them.</p><p>May your life be enriched as you search out the truths of the Mosaic Torah, and put it into practice. May you find rest and enjoyment in learning even more about your Jewish Messiah Y'shua. In doing so, you will be fulfilling the words of Messiah Himself who said with boldness:</p><p><br />My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it. (Luke 8:21).</p><p>Naturally, if one will step out in faith and obey the above words in their Hebraic context, then these words in Mattityahu 5:19 apply:<br />"...but whoever keeps and teaches them (the Mosaic Laws of G-d), he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."</p></div></div></div> Sun, 07 Oct 2018 03:01:54 +0000 admin 29 at http://www.unjs.info http://www.unjs.info/content/halacha-believer#comments Responsa on the matters of beards and tattoos http://www.unjs.info/content/responsa-matters-beards-and-tattoos <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Yedayim 4:3E tells us,<br />"Everyone who gives a stringent ruling must bring forth proof."<br />(Mishnah 4:3E(2))</p><p>While this is the comment of a single rabbi, and not a ruling from "the sages", it is still a good guide. Before declaring something is banned by prohibition of the written Torah (as we interpret it), we must take the position that someone must prove that the prohibition exists. Otherwise, a person should be considered left to their freedom of choice and judgement. If a passage can be interpreted in either of 2 ways, then we should presume that the less stringent of the two interpretations is the definition of the law. This philosophy seems especially true of the Oral Law, as the Talmud says elsewhere..."all doubts concerning rabbinical ordinances must be decided more leniently" (Tractate Yom Tov in commenting on Mishna 1:1)</p><p>However, fences are not a bad idea either. And sometimes the more stringent of the two interpretations can be the "safe" mode of conduct. Allow me to present a few examples:</p><p>Onan:</p><p>In Gen 38:8-10 we find the following...</p><p>* G-d kills Onan<br />* Onan was engaging in the following activities<br />* Failing to fulfill his obligation to care for his brother's widow<br />* Spilling his sperm to prevent conception<br />* Potentially misleading Tamar into thinking she might get pregnant.</p><p>Which of these 3 things explain why G-d was mad at him and killed him? From the passage, we can't tell. Can we ban birth control based on this? Some people have argued so, but since we can't tell, we don't have proof for a strict ruling to use this to ban birth control. It could have been deceit or it could have been the obligation issue. On the other hand, we can certainly look at this and understand why some people would feel uncomfortable using forms of birth control that imitate this, such as a condom. So if one wanted to be "safe" that they were not sinning by doing whatever it was G-d was mad at Onan for, they might decide to (1) Not use birth control, (2) never deceive their wife about the potential for conception and (3) marry the widow of any brother they have. Since the last of these 3 may not make everyone feel comfortable who is unsure about the definition of adultery and wants to play that issue "safe" by only marrying one woman, we may not always be able to build a fence around every commandment to ensure we don't commit an act that MAY be offensive to G-d, but we are unsure if it is or not.</p><p>In short, we would have to conclude that if G-d doesn't want us to do something, or specifically wants us to definitely do something, He will tell us and not be ambiguous about it.</p><p>There are several levels to interpreting scripture for purposes of halachah...</p><p># Determining that which is clearly banned or clearly promoted<br /># Determining that which COULD be at least PART of what is intended<br /># Determining what COULD be a possible meaning.</p><p>The first, or even second, is what a Beit Din might make a legal ruling on. The second or third is where we may determine to propose a personal advisory, or a "fence" , but not conclude that there is a clear-cut obligation.</p><p>Exodus/Shemot 23:19 says...<br />"Do not cook a kid in the milk of it's mother/people/M)."</p><p>Several interpretation have been proposed for this...</p><p># Don't COOK a kid in the milk of the mother that gave it birth, but OK if milk from another female animal of same species.<br /># Don't COOK a kid in the milk of the any animal from the same species, since "M)" can mean any animal of the same species.<br /># Don't COOK a kid in the milk of the any animal of any species.<br /># Don't eat meat and diary together.<br /># Don't COOK a Kid while it is IN its mother's milk.. .ie. it must be weened</p><p>The least strictest ruling is #5 - and blocks consumption of veal and newly born animals.  The next is #1, but #2 is indeed a possible way to read the text. We're not sure how broadly or narrowly to interpret this. #3 would be a bigger fence and #4 a really big fence, and it is exactly the fence that Rabbinical Judaism has built. However, we do find in the Talmud that there was a difference of opinion on this issue...</p><p>"In the place where R. Jose of Galilee lived, fowls were eaten with milk"<br />(Tract Shabbat, p289 of Rodkinson translation)</p><p>There is no danger of cooking turkey or chicken in its mother's milk or the diary products of any of its species or similar species, since fowl do not provide diary products. But the prevailing thought of modern day Judaism has been to build a much bigger fence than what was adhered to in ancient Galilee.</p><p>In trying to assess how big of a fence we should put around this command in order to not violate the principle of the commandment, we have to ask ourselves several questions...</p><p>* What is the likelihood that the "fence" is actually the essence of the commandment?&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;(Maybe "people" here IS the intended meaning, and not just a fence to be sure we don't break the intended meaning.)<br />* How much damage COULD result if we violate the standard proposed by the fence?<br />* How much benefit is there if we ignore the standard proposed by the fence?</p><p>It's hard to find any nutritional benefit to a loose standard on this topic and many have found some damage, thus most have been quick to conclude that we it should not matter if a kid is cooked in the milk of its mother or another goat's mother, especially since this COULD be what it is saying. On the other hand, expanding the interpretation to include #3, milk of any animal, would seem to be broader than the commandment since there would be no reason for "the milk of it's "M)"" to be present here if that was the intended meaning, and this would seem like an overly broad fence. The 4th "fence" of not eating meat and diary together seems to violate Genesis/Bereshit 18:8, in which Abraham fed YHWH meat and diary in the same meal.</p><p>"Fences" are built around commandments for several reasons:</p><p># We're not sure how broadly to interpret the commandment itself. Exod/Shem 19:23 is a good example. We're not sure if just the biological mother or any mother of its species is included in the intended meaning.<br /># We might ban an activity, not because it is wrong, but because it could LEAD TO violating what we know is wrong.</p><p>Example #1: Don't cook a kid any ANY store-bought milk, because if its store-bought, we don't KNOW FOR SURE that the milk didn't come from its mother.<br />Example #2: Telling your teenage daughter to be home by midnight. (In reality, that's just a "fence" to prevent her from getting into OTHER types of trouble.)</p><p>Broad fences around Torah akin to "be home by midnight" should be viewed as good advice, not a definition of sin. Sometimes we have to separate "What does Torah forbid?" from the question "what advice should we follow to avoid breaking Torah?" For example, we might adopt the general guideline of not cooking beef in storebought milk, but if we know the beef came from a farm in Arkansas and the cheese was imported from Sweden, do we really have a reasonable worry that it is the same? And if we're talking about beef and goat's milk, then it can't be either the kid's mother or the same species.</p><p>How important is Oral Law?</p><p>While some today make no distinction between Written and Oral Law, we find that ancient Judaism did. Here's a few quotes that demonstrate this.</p><p>"The following acts necessary for the sacrifice of the paschal offering supersede the due observance of the Sabbath, namely: The slaughtering thereof, the sprinkling of its blood, the removal of its entrails, and the burning of the fat with incense; but the roasting of the sacrifice, as well as the washing of its entrails, does not supersede the due observance of the Sabbath. To carry and bring it beyond the sabbatical legal limits, or to remove a wen (or spreading sore) thereon, is an act which does not supersede the due observance of the Sabbath. R. Eliezer, however, says they do supersede it. "For," said R. Eliezer, "this is surely a logical sequence; if slaughtering an animal, which is prohibited on the Sabbath as being a principal act of labor, is allowed in this instance (of the Passover) and even supersedes the Sabbath, does it not follow that these two acts, which are only prohibited by rabbinical law, should also in this instance supersede the Sabbath?" " (Mishnah Pesach 6:1) "If there be two cities (to which a person may go) and in one city they are about to sound the cornet and in the other to recite the benedictions, he should go to the city in which they are about to sound the cornet; and not to that in which they are about to recite the benedictions. Is this not self-evident, because the sounding is Biblical and the benedictions are only Rabbinical?" (Tractate Rosh Hashonah, p74 of Rodkinson translation) 'Where a biblical ordinance is in question the case should be discussed before the act is committed, but in the matter of rabbinical ordinances the deed may be accomplished and then the decision may be asked for.'" (Tractate Erubin, p159 in Rodkinson translation) "Mishna teaches that a prohibited thing must not be ignored on purpose. This, however, is only true of a biblical prohibition, but not of a rabbinical." (Tractate Yom Tov in commenting on Mishna 1:1)</p><p>So here we see that the Talmud is recognizing that the written Law is superior to the Oral.</p><p>Beards &amp;amp; Tattoos</p><p>Let's take a look at the structure of Lev 19 and how it deals with these two issues....</p><p>LEV 019:019*Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.<br />LEV 019:020*And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.<br />LEV 019:021*And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering.<br />LEV 019:022*And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.<br />LEV 019:023*And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.<br />LEV 019:024*But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the LORD withal.<br />LEV 019:025*And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I am the LORD your God.<br />LEV 019:026*Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.<br />LEV 019:027*Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.<br />LEV 019:028*Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.<br />LEV 019:029*Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.<br />LEV 019:030*Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.<br />LEV 019:031*Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.<br />LEV 019:032*Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.<br />LEV 019:033*And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.</p><p>Let's summarize the themes of this section...</p><p>Lev 19:19 Mixing two kinds of animals together. Mixing two kinds of seeds together<br />Lev 19:20 Mixing two people together (they become one flesh)<br />Lev 19:21-22 Atonement for sins<br />Lev 19:23-25 Law concerning when fruit of trees becomes kosher to eat.<br />Lev 19:26 Don't eat meat with blood still in it. (A mixing of some sort, so we are still on this theme) Also bans enchanters or observing times. enchanters mix the spiritual and physical world, and so does astrology (observing times). Also, enchanters and astrology could be viewed as a form of mental/spiritual "food"<br />Lev 19:27 "Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard."<br />Lev 19:28 "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the YHWH."<br />Lev 19:29 Talks about prostitution, a mixing of man and woman in exchange for money.</p><p>The thematic context of the commandments in Lev 19:27-28 is this...</p><p>* Verses before and after it involving mixings.<br />* Verses before and after it involving pagan practices.</p><p>Thus, from the context, it would be very logical to conclude that Lev 19:27 and 28 are banning specific pagan practices. The Scriptures CAN be interpreted that way, and the principle of Strict VS lenient would lead us to go with the more lenient ruling here of only viewing this as a pagan practice, and not something that affects life when shaving or tattoos are not an attempt to imitate a pagan practice.</p><p>Analytically, we can apply the 4th rule of Hillel to conclude that Lev 19:26 and 19:31 are discussing the general principal of pagan practices. To apply the 6th rule of Ishmael to Lev 19:27 and 28 would cause us to interpret those specific examples in verses 27 and 28 as only applying to the general principles derived in 26 and 31.</p><p>HOWEVER an objective person might still conclude a need to put a broader "fence" around this could be wise for the tattoo issue, since the text says...</p><p>"Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you"</p><p>One could argue that the 6th rule of Ishmael doesn't apply, since we had to "build" the general principle in verses 26 and 31 from another rule. IF we abandon those rules of interpretation, we might wonder if this is banning a pagan practice in general in the first part ("cutting flesh for the dead") but going one step broader and banning "print any marks on you" while its on the topic? Or just banning both CUTTING the flesh, as well as putting a mark ON TOP the flesh?</p><p>Ezekiel 9 may help us resolve at least part of this...</p><p>"Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it."<br />(Ezek 9:4)</p><p>So it would appear that not ALL markings are evil. For example, do I use Lev 19:28 to claim a religious objection to going to Chucky Cheese, where they put a stamp on your hand to identify what kids came with what parents? That would probably be an overly broad interpretation. So not only would the 6th rule of Ishmael tell us to not interpret verses 27 and 28 any more broadly than the general rule derived from the examples in Lev 26 and 31, but a broader interpretation would conflict with Ezek 9:4.</p><p>The same argument could be made for interpreting this text as banning beards. Also, we have another guide for it's interpretation that is easier, since there's a completely parallel sentence here.</p><p>"Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard." (Lev 19:27)</p><p>Whatever its saying about beards it is also saying about the head. They tradition of wearing peyot and not shaving is probably more of a fence than where the prohibition actually lies. We also find this in Torah...</p><p>Num 8:6-7 "Take the Levites...have them shave their whole body..."</p><p>So, Lev 19:27 must not be a total ban on all forms of shaving, because Num 8:6-7 tells the priests to shave ALL HAIR from their body for consecration. If Lev 19:27 was a complete ban on all shaving, then it violates Num 8:6-7. But if it is a specific example of the general rule about pagan practices, then it should only be interpreted in light of how it relates to pagan practices, and therefore is not forbidden as long as it is not imitating some sort of pagan practice.</p><p>written by J _ Viel of Messiah Alive in __ Tennessee USA</p></div></div></div> Sun, 07 Oct 2018 02:56:34 +0000 admin 28 at http://www.unjs.info http://www.unjs.info/content/responsa-matters-beards-and-tattoos#comments Responsa on the matters of the Amidah and the Birkat HaMinim http://www.unjs.info/content/responsa-matters-amidah-and-birkat-haminim <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Our responsa on the matters of the Amidah and the Birkat HaMinim is written by consensus.</p><p>In general it is as written to you before:</p><p>There is no Torah command to pray thrice daily.</p><p>* However; There is the example of both Daniel and David<br />* When one prays we should follow the pattern given by our Messiah<br />* One should recite the Shma daily as is customary&amp;nbsp;<br />* One should remember the admonition of Shaul HaScliach to pray without ceasing, this is best done by learning the pattern of the traditional blessings and using them, or your own, were appropriate<br />* Phrasing such as:<br />"Praised be YHWH for such a beautiful day"<br />"Praised Be YHWH for giving me a loving mother" When you see her<br />"Blessed am I of YHWH for such an adorable wife" When she looks especially pleasing or wears a beautiful dress etc<br />* Be mindful to never include any thing not in line with Torah such as pagan things of our fore father or the commands of rabbis that are not in Torah (the candle blessings etc)</p><p>If you wish to know acceptable replacement bracha for those that have 'as commanded' write me and I will send the ones we have, some are enclosed</p><p><em>The community prays three times each day. As a community together we should prayer in harmony. Such is the purpose of liturgy. The Amidah is liturgy and should be prayed with community, if however one can not join their community they nay say the liturgy if they wish.</em></p><p>As for the Birkat HaMinim:</p><p><em>One should never pronounce a curse on anyone, especially oneself. This is a clear violation of Torah and the words of Messiah as given in the parable of the Samaritan.</em></p></div></div></div> Sun, 07 Oct 2018 02:29:28 +0000 admin 27 at http://www.unjs.info http://www.unjs.info/content/responsa-matters-amidah-and-birkat-haminim#comments 13 rules of Ishmael http://www.unjs.info/content/13-rules-ishmael <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Now the Seven Rules of Hillel are of great importance to Nazarenes because:</p><p>''They were first penned by Hillel BEFORE Messiah's coming''<br />''They are used by Messiah and other NT writers.''<br />''Paul speaks of "rightly dividing the word" and since he was a student of Gamliel (grandson of Hillel) and since he used the seven rules of Hillel, it appears that "rightly dividing" refered at least in part, to the seven rules of Hillel.''</p><p>Now the 13 rules of Ishmael were first penned by Ishmael AFTER the first century (though they likely existed long before they were penned). However, they are important to us none the less for two reasons:<br />''They seem to have some intrinsic value.''<br />''We must be able follow the reasoning of the Rabbis of the Mishna and the Talmud who often rely o­n these rules.''</p><p>(All of the examples I will give o­n the 13 rules of Ishmael are from Rabbinic halakhah and may or may not be valid Nazarene halakhah.)</p><p>=== THE THIRTEEN RULES OF ISHMAEL ===</p><p>==== [1] (same as 1st rule of Hillel) ====</p><p>==== [2] (same as 2nd rule of Hillel) ====</p><p>==== [3] (same as 3rd &amp;amp; 4th rules of Hillel) ====</p><p>==== [4] (same as 5th rule of Hillel) ====</p><p>==== [5] perat ukhelal (particular and general) ====</p><p>If the general instances are stated first and are followed by the general catagory, instances other than the particular o­nes mentioned are included. EXAMPLE: Ex. 22:9 "...an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, OR ANY BEAST" beasts other than those specified are included.</p><p>==== [6] kelal uferat ukhelal i attah dan ella ke-ein ha-perat (general, particular, general) ====<br />You may derive o­nly things similar to those specified. EXAMPLE: Dt. 14:26 Other things than those specified in Dt. 14:26 may be purchased, but o­nly if they are food or drink like those specified.</p><p>==== [7] kelal she-hu tzarikh liferat uferat she-hu tzarikh li-khelal (The general requires the particular and the particular the general) ====<br />Specification is provided by taking the general and the particular together, each requiring the other. EXAMPLE: "Sanctify unto Me all the firstborn (masc.)" (Dt. 15:19) with "whatsoever opens the womb" (Ex. 13:2) A firstborn male would have been understood as included in the term "all the firstborn" even if a female had previously been born to that mother. Thus the particular limiting expresion "whatever opens the womb" is stated. But this term would not have excluded o­ne born after a previous c-section birth, hence the general term "all the firstborn" (b.Bek. 19a)</p><p>==== [8] davar she-hayah bi-khelal ve-yatza min ha-kelal lelammed lo lelammed al atzmo yatza ella lelammed al hakelal kullo yatzo (if a particular instance of a general rule is singled out for special treatment, whatever is postulated of this instance is to be applied to all the instances embraced by the general rule.) ====<br />EXAMPLE: "A man, also, or a woman that devines that by a ghost or a familiar spirit, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones" (Lev. 20:27) Divination by a ghost or a familiar spirit is included in the general rule against witchcraft (Dt. 18:10f). Since the penalty in Lev. 20:27 is stoneing it may be inferred that the same penalty applies to other instasnces within the same general rule. (b.San. 67b)</p><p>==== [9] davar she-hayah bi khelal ve-yatza liton to'an echad she-hu khe-inyano yatza lehakel ve-lo lehachmir&lt;br&gt;(when particular instances of a general rule are treated specifically, in details similar to those included in the general rule, then o­nly the relaxations of the general rule and not its restrictions are to be applied in those instances.) ====<br />EXAMPLE: The law of the boil (Lev. 13:18-21) and the burn (Lev. 13:24-28) are treated specifically even though these are specific instances of the general rule regarding plague spots (Lev. 13:1-17) Therefore the general restrictions regarding the Law of the secod week (Lev. 13:5) and the quick raw flesh (Lev. 13:10 are not applied to them (m.Sifra 1:2)</p><p>==== [10] davar she-hayah bi-khelal ve-yatza liton to'an acher she-lo khe-inyano yatza lehakel-lehachmir. (When particular instances of a general rule are treated specifically in details dissimilar from those included in the general rule, then both relaxations and restrictions are to be applied in those instances) ====<br />EXAMPLE: The details o­n laws of plagues in the hair or beard (Lev. 13:29-37) are dissimilar from those in the general rule of plague spots. Therefore both the relaxation regarding the white hair mentioned in the general rule (Lev. 13:4) and the restriction of the yellow hair mentioned in the particular instance (Lev. 13:30) are applied (m.Sifra 1:3)</p><p>==== [11] davar she-hayah bi-khelal ve-yatza lidon ba-davar he-chadash i attah yakhol lehachatziro li khelalo ad she-yachazirennu ha-katav li-khelalo be-ferush. (when a particular instance of a general rule is singled out for completely fresh treatment, the details of the general rule must not be applied to this inststance unless Scripture does so specifically.) ====<br />EXAMPLE: the guilt offering of the leper requires the placing of the blood o­n the ear, thumb, and toe (Lev. 14:14) Consequently, the laws of the general guilt offering, such as the sprinkling of the blood o­n the alter (Lev. 7:2) would not have applied, were it not for the Torah passage "For as the sin offering is the priest's so is the guilt offereing" (Lev.14:13), i.e. that this is like other guilt offerings (b.Yev. 7a-b)</p><p>==== [12] davar ha-lamed me-inyano ve-davar ha-lamed mi-sofo. (The meaning of a passage may be deduced from (a) its context, or (b) from a later reference in the same passage) ====<br />The first part of this rule is Hillel's seventh rule. EXAMPLE: "thou shall not steal" in Ex. 20:13 must refer to the capitol case of kidnapping, since the other two offenses mentioned with it: "You shall not murder" and "you shall not commit adultry" are both capitol offenses (Mekh., BaChodesh, 8, 5) EXAMPLE: "I put the plague of leporasy in a house of the land of your possesion" (Lev. 14:34), refers o­nly to a house built with stones, timber, and mortar, since these materials are mentioned later in verse 45.</p><p>==== [13] shenei khetuvim hamakhchishim zeh et teh ad she-yavo ha-katuv ha-shelishi ve-yakhria beineihem. (two verses contradict o­ne another until a third verse reconciles them.) ====<br />This is VERY similar to the sixth rule of Hillel.----</p><p>Original article written by James Trimm - UNJS, and now with WNAE</p></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/13-rules-ishmael" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">13 rules of Ishmael</a></div></div></div> Sun, 07 Oct 2018 02:23:31 +0000 admin 26 at http://www.unjs.info http://www.unjs.info/content/13-rules-ishmael#comments Initial Reactions to Ovid, “The Transformation of Daphne into a Laurel,” an excerpt from Book 1 of The Metamorphoses, ca. 2 C.E. 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line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">I am particularly attracted to works from this period due to relationships from mythology that can be attributed to families of giants from religious literature predating the period.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>I find that Ovid has captured a common theme that was reflective in the texts of Sepher Ha Yashar (Jasher 2:20) relating to women not wanting to raise children, and the desire of those titans, demi-gods, or sons of the gods, to procreate with the most beautiful of women available.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">    </span>The parallels between the themes in the ancient texts and this classical period work are fascinating, giving the impression that there may be a basis in the ancient religious texts to the mythology found in later periods.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span></span><!--break--><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">There are several passages in the poem that allude to these demi-gods having great supernatural powers, similar to the meta-humans we see in modern movies.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>Similarly, we also see that their fathers are far more powerful. In the poem, Daphne’s father has the ability to transform her from her demi-god state into a tree – one way trip from the appearance.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>This act of her father parallels the act of G-d in Enoch in changing the female fallen angels into sirens (1Enoch 19:2 as translated by R.H. Charles and Richard Laurence), a creature with no lack of reference in mythology or religious texts . Both Daphne and Peneus are subject to the will of Cupid, who is mischievous, sending their desires in opposite directions through a chemical induction by way of arrows (darts?).<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Beyond the above are the common romance issues of a man having a strong desire for a woman who has no desire towards him.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>His pursuits are shunned, and she feels as a hunted rabbit because he will not take no for an answer, a common problem in our modern world.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>In the end though, he still honors her and she accepts that honor willingly.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>She almost seems to be regretful of her decision and request to her father that cannot be reversed. We see this often as well in modern society as a women rejects a courter early in the relationship, but later regrets that decision when he has moved on to other fields.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><strong><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Historical Context</span></strong></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">This particular poem is built around the pantheon religious system of the period.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>In this framework, Daphne certainly qualifies as a muse, a goddess that inspired creative literature.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>The polytheistic nature of the poem bolsters the connection between humanity and the “gods” by attributing human characteristics and concepts of love, lust, desire, self-will, self-determination, and even error onto the demi-gods from which the poem speaks.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>Indeed, the poem identifies Daphne as a nymph, a supernatural race and Apollo (Peneus) as the god of music. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">This period introduced the idea of the “Golden Mean”, a balance between extremes, which the poem plays against as a framework.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>From Cupid two expressions are made and applied to Peneus and Daphne.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>The first expression is of desire, and the second of rejection.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>These two expressions are manifested in extremes that created problems for both until balance was achieved.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>The dichotomy of their expressions give the appearance that Peneus was attempting to rape Daphne, and this may be the case as this topic was addressed in other poems within the body of the 15 books of “Metamorphosis”(Fantham, 2004, p. 63).<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>Of course, like many times in life, because an extreme was held to in the first place, there were costs later.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>Perhaps the symmetry that was desired by the author was that this couple were at extremes, and this created the balance that the world needed in the mind of the author.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Democracy was developed, during this time period, as a form of government which bestowed a great deal more responsibility of how the nation was run among the people(MindEdge, 2014).<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>The separation between government and religion appears to have developed two tracts of philosophy toward understanding life.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>There were those that worshiped the pantheon and focused on particular gods to give them favor in their sphere of influence, and those that sought to look at the ideology and morals that were found in the stories of the pantheon under more scrutiny(MindEdge, 2014). </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">The Greeks were very fond of human sport and competition.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>They had games at regular intervals that later evolved into our modern Olympics called the Pythean Games which included categories for art and dance(Pythian Games).<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>The last portion of the poem plays on the importance of these games and ties the tradition of the adorning of a laurel wreath on the winners in relation to the religious figures of Apollo and Daphne in the Pantheon.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><strong><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Biographical Context</span></strong></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">This poem was published late in Ovid’s poetic career, around 8AD (Ovid).<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>The author appears to be attempting to anthropomorphize creation to government by applying human like emotions and characteristics to their gods and that which gods became or that which became gods.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">   </span>It was in this same year that he was banished the Tomis on the Black sea(Ovid).<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>It appears that Ovid died at Tomis about 9-10years after completing this work.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>It is interesting to note that he had been married three times and that his father was disappointed that he chose this career path rather than that of law(Ovid).<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>Ovid is an accomplished career writer with many works, including one that he self identifies as the cause of his exile(Ovid).<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><strong><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Style Characteristics</span></strong></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">The poem is written in a hexameter epic format.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>The poem is based in 6 metered wording which was common for this period.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>This poem is part of a larger body of work consisting of 15 books moving from creation to the transforming Julius Caesar into a god-like character(Ovid).<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>In the English translation of the text, the metering may be lost compared to the Greek. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes"> </span>However the broken old English form and word variants help hold it together.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><strong><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Current Relevance</span></strong></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">This entire work is relevant in research that is currently ongoing into connections between mythology and religious texts and the possible basis in “fact” of the origins of many of these mythic characters.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>Most myths have some basis in fact.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>The facts get transformed over time to a level where they barely resemble the facts behind them.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>Careful scrutiny, as even the early Greek philosophers were doing, into these myths can reveal some basis when compare to apparent unrelated older texts.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>This becomes even more relevant when living in an apocalyptic generation where the events, technology, and ideas in an ancient world are supposed to manifest themselves in the modern day.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Additionally, the poem along with other poems within the collection touch on the subject of rape(Fantham, 2004, p. 63). This is still a problem in modern society.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>This poem could be used to bring about discussion on the subject and the extremes to which a person will go to escape such an event.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">   </span>Certainly Daphne made an extreme choice to escape Peneus, one which she appear to regret later, but then she is safe such a humiliation at that point.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">   </span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><strong><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Changing Perspective</span></strong></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Reading the poem really opened my eyes to the depth of information that may be buried in classical literature that could be re-assessed in new ways.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>I’ve always had a fascination with old texts and finding correlations between them and certain religious texts, but this poem really put that into a firmer perspective.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>Not having photos in the period, we really only have narratives to go by.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>Physical evidences degrade and pass away over time.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>How would someone in a potential far future assess the stories that are told today?<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&#10;&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Additionally, I see relevance of social topics within the poem that I had not realized were there with the issue of rape being addressed.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>Rape is a very serious problem that has always plagued society, whether modern or ancient.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>This is not an excuse though, but an acknowledgement. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>I knew that anciently it was common during war, almost a spoil to be had by the winners of battle with the aim of destroying the bloodlines of the families that were conquered.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">    </span>We still see it, but perhaps we don’t recognize the war anymore.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>We address it as a social issue, and it is.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>But it is a personal issue as well.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>Almost three out of every four people that I personally know have had a sexual assault in their life, including myself.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>This has profound impact on life that is difficult, if not impossible to fully overcome.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>The intensity with which Peneus pursued his victim, and the implication that the drive may have been chemically motivated by Cupid’s Arrow, aligns quickly with modern rapes and the drugs and alcohol problems that drive many of those who commit these crimes.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span>Also, the extreme measures his intended, Daphne, is willing to undertake to avoid this in her life give reflection on the damage caused when it cannot be prevented.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.5in;text-indent:-.5in;line-height:300%"><strong><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:300%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">References</span></strong></p><p><span style="font-size:10.5pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:black">MindEdge, Inc. (2014). <i>Introduction to the humanities</i>.  Waltham, MA: MindEdge, Inc.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.5in;text-indent:-.5in"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:&#10;115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Jasher online text</span></i><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">, Sacred-text.com.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">  </span><br />Retrieved from http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/apo/jasher/2.htm</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.5in;text-indent:-.5in"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:&#10;115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Enoch online text</span></i><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">, Sacred-text.com.<br />Retrieved from </span><a href="http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/boe/boe022.htm"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/boe/boe022.htm</span></a></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.5in;text-indent:-.5in"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:&#10;115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Daphne.</span></i><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"> Wikipedia. Retrieved from </span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daphne"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daphne</span></a></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.5in;text-indent:-.5in"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:&#10;115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Ovid</span></i><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">. Wikipedia Retrieved from </span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovid"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovid</span></a></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.5in;text-indent:-.5in"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:&#10;115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Hexameter</span></i><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">. Wikipedia </span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexameter"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexameter</span></a></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.5in;text-indent:-.5in"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:&#10;115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Pythian Games</span></i><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">, Wikipedia </span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythian_Games"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythian_Games</span></a></p><p class="MsoNormal">Fantham, E. (2004). <i>Ovid's Metamorphoses</i>. Oxford, [U.K.]: Oxford University Press.</p></div></div></div> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 15:47:23 +0000 admin 25 at http://www.unjs.info http://www.unjs.info/content/initial-reactions-ovid-%E2%80%9C-transformation-daphne-laurel%E2%80%9D-excerpt-book-1-metamorphoses-ca-2-ce#comments The Sages have said: http://www.unjs.info/content/sages-have-said-5 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Does not atonement come through the blood, as it is said: For it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life!</p></div></div></div><div class="quotes-author">&mdash; Babylonian Talmud</div><div class="quotes-citation"><cite>Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 5a referring to Vayikra (Lev.) 17:11 in the Tanakh</cite></div> Fri, 10 Feb 2017 22:39:34 +0000 admin 24 at http://www.unjs.info http://www.unjs.info/content/sages-have-said-5#comments The Sages have said: http://www.unjs.info/content/sages-have-said-4 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>What is the cause of the mourning (Zechariah 12:10)? It is well according to him who explains that the cause is the slaying of Messiah, the son of Joseph, as it is written, 'And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son.'</p></div></div></div><div class="quotes-author">&mdash; Babylonian Talmud</div><div class="quotes-citation"><cite>Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 52a</cite></div> Fri, 10 Feb 2017 22:38:41 +0000 admin 23 at http://www.unjs.info http://www.unjs.info/content/sages-have-said-4#comments The Sages have said: http://www.unjs.info/content/sages-have-said-3 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>In the times of the Messiah, the L~rd shall manifest a second time His hand' (Isaiah 11:11). He shall be the Redeemer in person so that 'Israel shall be saved in the L~rd with an everlasting salvation' (Isaiah 45:17). And 'his rest shall be glorious' (Isaiah 11:10). All the world shall say, 'It is fitting that his rest shall be glorious, for while ordinary kings acquire glory for themselves through victorious wars, and do not believe themselves to be esteemed when they are at rest, he, on the contrary, without waging war makes everyone subject to him, and all render him homage.</p></div></div></div><div class="quotes-author">&mdash; Minha- Ghedola</div><div class="quotes-citation"><cite>Commentary Minha- Ghedola in the Grand Rabbinic Bible of Amsterdam, 1700-1705— Rabbinic Bible of Bombergi</cite></div> Fri, 10 Feb 2017 22:37:44 +0000 admin 22 at http://www.unjs.info http://www.unjs.info/content/sages-have-said-3#comments The Sages have said: http://www.unjs.info/content/sages-have-said-2 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>And the King Messiah will be revealed and all the nations of the world will gather around King Messiah, and the verse will be fulfilled, 'The root of Jesse which standeth as the peoples' ensign, unto it shall the nations seek, and his resting place shall be glory. (Isaiah 11:10)'</p></div></div></div> Fri, 10 Feb 2017 22:36:31 +0000 admin 21 at http://www.unjs.info http://www.unjs.info/content/sages-have-said-2#comments