Weekly Bracha 47

Salute, fine knowledge-thirsty Kineti reader! We have some tasty goodness in the bracha this week, as we highlight gems from the Messianic blogosphere, plus related items in the Jewish and Christian worlds.
  • The Man Who Mocked the KGB – Chabad.org published a fascinating story on the brother of Messianic pioneer Paul Phillip Levertoff. A detailed, riveting read on his family’s survival through poverty, Soviet suppression of Judaism, Communist state-sanctioned atheism, and the Nazi invasion.
    Father had incredible courage to keep us out of school. According to Soviet law, every child was required to attend public school. Parents who disobeyed faced severe penalties, including arrest, imprisonment, and placement of their children in government orphanages. Faced by such a threat, many fine observant Jews felt they had no choice but to let their children attend school.
    The government schools gave compulsory lessons on Marxist ideology. Teachers indoctrinated their young students with atheism, teaching them that Comrade Stalin was their father, and the Communist Party their mother...
  • Pagan Roots of Christianity – Messianic organization First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ) published “What About Paganism?”: materials that temper some of the pagan characterizations of Christian holidays. They receive a flurry of angry letters from Messianics who reject pagan parts of Christianity. And in this post, the president of FFOZ responds,
    It seems that a good deal of the Hebrew-Roots-of-Christianity movement justifies its existence based upon the perceived Pagan-Roots-of-Christianity. Now if someone comes along and reveals that some of those Pagan Roots of Christianity are actually based upon misinformation, junk-scholarship, and just plain deceitful sensationalism, that's going to be a problem. First order of business would be to start hurling condemnation at anyone who would dare to look at the question impartially and honestly.
  • A Review of 'What About Paganism?' – Messianic blogger James Pyles offers an independent take on the apparently inflammatory materials.
  • Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged – A review on a Christian book that points out the ugly fruit of Christian replacement theology, with about 60 comments between Jews, Christians, and Messianics following.
  • Near Collision – Comparing Yeshua’s teachings to that of first-century rabbi Hillel.
  • Empowering Jewish Identity In Yeshua – Follow Yeshua has often meant weakening Jewish identity, but Derek argues it can strengthen this identity.
  • American Rabbinical Statement On Gentiles Renting Property In Israel – Israeli rabbis recently voted to oppose non-Jews renting land in Israel. Now, the American Rabbinic Council issued a statement opposing the Israel rabbis. I wonder, how do Messianics view gentiles renting land in Israel? 
  • Mussar: Calmness – Messianic Rabbi Russ Resnik on the virtue of calmness in one’s life, with an example from the Tenakh.
  • Intermarriage Stats on Jews in the US – Messianic Jewish author and intellectual David Rudolph summarizes some interesting demographics among Jews and Messianic Jews in the US.
  • Reasons for the Season – A Messianic rabbi giving a teaching on Christmas to a church group? See what he has to say, it might surprise you.
Savor the tasty bracha morsels! May you have a shavua tov, my fine blog readers.

20 comments:

  1. Just read the "Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged" article and comments section. My, but that became political awfully fast. I wouldn't touch that comment section by contributing a missive for all the proverbial tea in China.

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  2. Whew, yeah. Comments on that Rosh Pina blog are by far the nastiest on the Messianic blogosphere. :-)

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  3. There have been some horrible comments on every blog - including this one!

    Generally, you let them stand and challenge the more objectionable comments, which I think is an excellent approach.

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  4. I created a new blog post based, in part on the comments made on the RPP blog and got some pretty fast (but polite) responses: Peace on Where and Good Will Towards Who?

    I suppose it'll only be a matter of time until I'm discovered by some of the folks I quoted.

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  5. You are welcome to alert them of your post on RPP!

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  6. No worries then :-p

    I don't think they will likely respond but perhaps bography will, we'll see!

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  7. I have alerted them myself, let's wait and see. Although I think we've been over most all of the various positions on the discussion forum you refer to.

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  8. You gotta have the courage of your convictions and be able to take it on the chin to post on RPP because everyone comes at you from the anti-missionaries to the anti-messianics. It is also often the case with the comments section, but come one James man-up and make your point and make your arguments count with those who disagree with us and do so forcefully, not just those who agree and are sugar sweet to us and the polite dissenters.

    Gev @ rpp

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  9. Joe and Gev, you guys do a great job of keeping above the fray. I don't know how you put up with that depth of attacks and insults.

    I visited RPP the other day and read some comments. I was actually disheartened, LOL. And I'm no weakling newbie when it comes to internet fights! I think I'll generally stick to the posts from now on. :-)

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  10. You gotta have the courage of your convictions and be able to take it on the chin to post on RPP because everyone comes at you from the anti-missionaries to the anti-messianics. It is also often the case with the comments section, but come one James man-up and make your point and make your arguments count with those who disagree with us and do so forcefully, not just those who agree and are sugar sweet to us and the polite dissenters.

    Nice try, but no sale.

    The point of any such conversation is to communicate and to at least attempt to build bridges. That would be difficult-to-impossible in the middle of a thoroughly stoked flame fest. I've spent enough time on discussion boards, even those which were well moderated, and watched people being torn apart just for giggles.

    I like to choose my fights if I can, and I don't think I'll choose this one. Thanks, anyway.

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  11. Thanks Judah you are very kind!

    James it sounds like you don't like blog comments in general. That's fine but then you should turn off your own comments, or you're open to the same exact charges that you level at rpp, surely.

    I think our main point is this: why is it okay to post your objections on your own blog, but not to write them in our comments? What's the moral difference?

    I don't get it.

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  12. I'm sorry if you feel I'm misjudging you in what I'm about to say, but based on what you just said, plus your and Gev's comments about me in the comments section of the blog post in question, you are acting like a troll. There's nothing "moral" or righteous about stirring the pot just because you can stir it, Joseph.

    Before submitting a reply, take a few minutes to re-read your comments, evaluate your motivations, and see if there's any truth in what I say. While you're at it, ask God. He's always truthful.

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  13. James,

    Don't feel I am misjudging you in what I have to say, but you are acting like a person with no spinal cord. You are all over the place kissing up to every one and no one really knows where you are standing.
    Don't you have the stomach and conviction to openly state what you are believing?

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  14. James you are writing about us and then call us trolls when we respond to your post. If I were you I'd take your own advice!

    Gev @ rpp

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  15. For me, believing is a process, not an event, Dan. And I didn't think trying to be courteous and measured in my responses was "kissing up". I'm sorry you believe that of me.

    I'm trying to show that it's possible to have differences of opinion without personalizing conflict. That appears to be a minority position in the blogosphere.

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  16. "I'm trying to show that it's possible to have differences of opinion without personalizing conflict. That appears to be a minority position in the blogosphere."

    But you've personally named Dan, bography, Ken, Gev, and myself.

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  17. James, I DO see your gentler approach to conversation as building bridges. You don't shy away from issues either, so it's obvious that one could be respectful of your opponent and still get into exciting debates - even if we continue to disagree on many issues. Keep it up, friend.

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  18. Thanks, Gene. Dan made a point in the comments section of my blog that does make sense. Perhaps I have been a little "fast on the trigger" when writing blog posts. I wish I could have foreseen the unintended consequences of my latest post but as the saying goes, you can't unring a bell. The damage is done and anything I say or do from this point on will just continue the conflict.

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  19. I'm offering this as my final comment on this matter. I don't know what else to say.

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Husband, dad, disciple of the Jewish Messiah Yeshua, technologist. Author of Chavah Messianic Radio, MessianicChords, and EtzMitzvot. @judahgabriel


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