The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad (hereafter, TKGB) were created by HaShem for human free-will. Eating from the TKGB did not tarnish Mankind with absolute immoral depravity. The TKGB was a tragic choice, but it is morally pure for mankind. Once chosen, mankind began a journey to … Continue reading Becoming Like HaShem: The Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Bad. Genesis 3:1-8.
Parable: A king had a palace. Beneath his palace, he dug caverns and tunnels in case he and his family should be attacked by an evil army. The evil army does come, but they are soon routed, and they try to hide in the caverns and tunnels beneath the palace. Quickly and easily the king … Continue reading Zohar 68a: Genesis 7:7, “Communities, Repent! And The Shekhinah Will Guard You From The Evil Eye”
A Sonnet based on Mark 9:30-32. 1 “Tell none whence we came this hour today, 2 Still I must teach you my suff'ring to death, 3 The Son of Man's soon extinguished breath 4 That will be all your trouble on that Day." 5 How could He, the most holy Son of Man 6 … Continue reading “Tell None Whence We Came This Hour Today”
The stories in the book of Genesis present life or death choices for the patriarchs and matriarchs, but HaShem orchestrates their choices and delivers them from evil. Famine is one life or death scenario. Jacob's sons had sent Joseph into slavery in Egypt and honestly had no idea if he was still alive. But HaShem … Continue reading Genesis 37-50: Grain And Hope Are Found In Egypt
What is free will when HaShem is all knowing and powerful? I came across a story in the Talmud that gave an entrance to discuss the idea. Page 93a is at large discussing the resurrection of the dead and specifically talking about the righteous who cover for the sins of the less righteous. When Daniel, … Continue reading Bavli Sanhedrin 93a: Where Did Daniel Go?
Some might say, "Brian, you interpret the conversation as an allegory!" Rather, I think it was a staged conversation. Whether the actual conversation happened is not the point. Rabbis often recited staged conversations to illustrate a point (e.g. B. Sanhedrin 91a, Geviha ben Pesisa stories). I think John's Jewish audience would be familiar with the … Continue reading John 4:4-26: Part 2. Worship In Spirit And Truth
Who knew Samaritans were idol worshipers and did not believe in the resurrection of the dead? In this post, I will briefly discuss Samaritan biblical history and the mutual tension with Jews. That background will provide a interesting backstory to the Samaritan woman story in the Gospel of John. The Assyrians moved colonists into the … Continue reading John 4:4-26: The Samaritan Woman Part 1
The presence of holiness and righteousness in this world is difficult to discern at any given moment without faith. In fact, Holiness and righteousness abounds if you have the eyes to see it. I want to reflect on the words of the prophet Habakkuk. I believe he was very astute to see holiness through the … Continue reading The Good News Of The Kingdom Of Heaven According To Habakkuk
A quick overview of Chapters 9&10: 9 discusses the two Divine Services of the earthly and heavenly tabernacles and their respective Covenants. The earthly sin offerings did not remove the problem of our sinful conscience in This World; sin which is still operating, I might add. But just as the first covenant was established in … Continue reading A Series In Hebrews 8:6-8a: The Conclusion Drawn From The Two Tabernacles. Part 7
The book, "Dune", was a real influence on my life. Since the latest movie has come out, and I just watched it, I wanted to talk about my love for this story. My memories of interaction with the book is from childhood; I think I actually read it more than 25 years ago! I was … Continue reading “Dune” By Frank Herbert: Why I Love Reading