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Volume 8 Issue 2
July 2014…Tammuz 5774
I Love...We'd Love....
Update (with HQ pics)
I Love...We'd Love....
“What I love most about Judaism,” we often hear, “is the freedom to question.” That strikes us slightly oddly. What kind of belief system disallows freedom to question? Some religions do, undoubtedly, but in the Mosaic religious movement – the religion of Israel, and the Noahide Way – freedom’s a given.
We don't take it for granted - God forbid - but freedom's not the source of our blessings, it's only a consquence.
What we’d love to hear are comments more on the order of:
“How I love HaShem! How good it is to live conscious of Him, to show Him gratitude and serve Him!”
In the larger System, Noahides should be just like Jews in this: anyone who follows HaShem – that is, anyone acquainted with God’s Name, who recognizes Him as the One and Only Deity – is supposed to get to the point that gratitude and clarity and dedication are constants. That’s true God-consciousness.
Nothing less will do - because, obviously, our holy, loving, Almighty HaShem (blessed be He, and blessed be His Name) deserves no less. We owe God. That’s why prayer matters. “Prayer doesn’t save us, it just helps make us worth saving.”
“We thank You for inspiring us to thank You. Blessed is the God of thanksgivings.” [From the Prayerbook]
Other nations encourage petitionary prayer – “Please X, grant me….” - but in our Way (since, obviously, our God already knows what we want!) worship mostly means the study of His Name, and how a human being is supposed to feel about Him.
We pray and learn about the God on Whom we’re focused, to Whom we owe everything: “Who restores my soul to my body,” “clothes the naked,” “gives sight to the blind,” “implants eternal life within us,” etc.
So, naturally, we’d love to hearmore on the order of:
“Praying as Israel prays makes me sharper! Instead of the passive-dependent mindset that some movements foster, our Way aligns me with the holy cosmic forces that underlie Creation! It gives me power! It instills in me a sound philosophy.”
Besides all those Gentiles (non-Jews, or Noahides) whocan't be bothered by the universal moral laws, Maimonides teaches us to make a distinction, to draw a line, between two kinds of Gentiles:
Gentiles who fulfill the Noahide laws but don’t recognize, love or fear HaShem;
Gentiles who fulfill the Noahide laws because they love and fear HaShem.
[See Yad, Hilchot Melachim 8:11]
The second kind of Gentile subscribes to Israel’s religion – the holy Way of Torah, the Way of the Noahide.
Obviously, people of this second category aren’t transmuted into Jews. Rather, the Noahide Way and the religion of Israel – or, at least, the ideas that make up the religion of Israel – are for everyone of every nation. Noahides like these become, according to Maimonides, the pious or saintly of the nations – the “wise” of the goyim (the Gentile nations).
Calling this “Judaism” makes it sound, absurdly, like this – God’s Way! – is just a sect for a little group called Jews.
Someone recently asked us, “What sect are you?” Even we tend to forget that HaShem calls the whole world to Him. He’s described Israel as His “first fruit” of His orchard (Jeremiah 2:3), but His extended harvest is the whole human race – stretching to eternity!
“Look unto Me and be ye saved, All the ends of the earth; For I [HaShem] am God, and there is none else.” [Isaiah 45:22]
We’ve had some interesting baby-boomer medical problems recently, and for the last couple of years. Turning these old houses and lots in Detroit into a physical center for the study of the First Covenant has been absorbing too. But we’re all feeling pretty well right now, thank God. Plus, we’ve made real progress with the building projects.
Here’s two shots of our last project, just completed a few weeks ago: new (used) windows, cannibalized from the third house, installed in the middle house, overlooking the deck that overlooks Michigan’s celebrated (“notorious”?) Eight Mile Road.
Eight Mile, also called Baseline Rd., marks the latitudinal baseline of President Thomas Jefferson’s great Northwest Ordinance. From Canada and the Detroit River, it's part of the same line that crosses Michigan, Lake Michigan, forms the dividing line between Wisconsin and Illinois, and finally ends at the Mississippi River. Woodward Avenue, crossingEight Mile a few yards away from us to the West, is Michigan’s historic pioneer trail, M-1, Michigan's main street.
Wehope and expect to be getting these Covenant Connections out more frequently, along with other deep teachings. - Michael Dallen, Editor.
We call on God for help. As the prayer that Israel says every morning just before reciting the Hebrew statement of faith known as the shema asks (please understand that this is much richer in Hebrew than in English): Our Father, the merciful Father, Who acts mercifully, have mercy on us, instill in our hearts to understand and elucidate, to listen, learn, teach, safeguard, perform and fulfill all the words of Your Torah's teachings with love. Enlighten our eyes in Your Torah, attach our hearts to Your commandments, and unify our hearts to love and fear Your Name. Amen.
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