Cuddly teddy bear blog readers, fine as you are, this week’s bracha covers 2 weeks of notables in the Messianic blogosphere. I was gone fishin’ last week, you see, and had little time for this bracha business. But this week I am back with great geek vengeance.
Enjoy the totally redundant double blessing of the double bracha of tri-une Messianic, Jewish, Christian blogs + news + wondrous bits of kosher neverneverland!
New Messianic Blogs
First, I must announce 3 (count ‘em!) new Messianic blogs. Or 2 new ones, and one that’s a year old but new to me:
- Gemara Thoughts – Jeremiah Michael has started a new blog on Talmud. Here’s to hoping it fairs better than his first attempt at blogging.
- Daily Minyan – Everyone’s favorite fearsome Messianic comment battle-daemon starts his own blog, and has some great content to start things off. Check out Sacrifices For Sin in the Messianic Kingdom for a taste of the goodness.
- Truth Ceeker – A Messianic gentile “criticizes the Bible critics”, addressing the biblical minimalists and liberal scholars who reduce the Jewish and Christian scriptures to little more than myths. Much needed, in my opinion.
Two big news items about the Messianic movement in the Israeli media. Both quite favorable, praise God! Seeing several articles like this in the past year or two, I cautiously submit that things appear to be changing for the better.
- Jesus lives on in Jerusalem – Rabbi Levi Brackman writes on the thousands of followers of Yeshua in Israel, how they’re lawful, Zionists, serving in the IDF, honor the traditions, generally respect Judaism, and yet are persecuted by the haredi in Israel. He ends the article memorably,
For a community living under the perpetual wrath of the haredim, who for the most part alienate and discriminate against them, Messianic Jews remain inexplicably optimistic. Perhaps it is because they still follow in the footsteps of that Galilee-born Jew who wandered into Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, the one who believed in turning the other cheek.
- The Messianic Movement – Chief Rabbi of Efrat writes an opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post, encouraging dialog between Christians and Jews, and comments on the persecution of Messianic Jews in Israel. While he clearly opposes evangelism of Jews, his words are nonetheless a welcomed change from the bitter, I’m-plugging-my-ears, you’re-an-idolator ugliness we’re often greeted with.
- New Zealand Kosher Ban – Dov Bear comments on the pending ban on kosher-slaughtered beef in New Zealand. He likens it to outlawing of…slavery? Yikes. Amusing read, at least. I love the totally non-politically correct statement: Stop taking everything so personally, you big stupid babies. Oh, Lord, I cannot count the times I could have used that statement on my not-so-fine blog readers.
- When Scum Calls You Scum – Surprise! Finnish Amnesty International head Frank Johanson calls Israel a scum state. Then, when forced to apologize, he says, “When I said scum, I didn’t mean it in a bad way.”
- National Geographic Dead Sea Scrolls Documentary – Aaron Eby points us to a new documentary on the DSS. It’s also free to watch on YouTube. Go check it out!
- Let us not forget the crazy politicking world we live in, me fine bloggies:
- You Who Are With Us Today – Did you know the New Testament records Jews and gentiles worshiping together? This is the New Testament model, folks.
- Thoughts on the Afterlife – Another deep post on death and the afterlife. Is there ultimate justice? This directly addresses some agnostic arguments I’ve heard from friends:
Belief in an afterlife does not mean this life is merely an audition for the main event, but a continuation of what was started here. It is the realization of what is only hoped for in this plane of existence. Religion did not invent the notion of an afterlife as an enhancement for its followers. It reminds people that because there is an afterlife, our lives matter and the way we live our lives have meaning. It is not a superstition, but a reminder that actions matter, and the way we treat others matter. Without a belief in an afterlife, all there is, is meaninglessness, and it leaves one with the question, “why bother?”
- Is All Life Really Sacred? – Ha. Dr. Schiffman, in his usual frank writing style, articulates why it is morally acceptable to kill animals for food and why human life is more sacred than that of any other animal’s.
- The Wolf Will Dwell With the Lamb – Dan Benzvi argues against conversion as an original element of our faith, arguing it is a later invention, one never mentioned in the entire Tenakh.
J-BOM (Jewish Book of the Month club)
- John McKee gives a status report of the epistles study and his plans for tackling Titus next.
Take your time to enjoy the double bracha! Eat it down and be thankful! I command it!
And have a good week, fine Kineti blog readers.