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Covenant Connection



Volume 13.3
November 2018...Cheshvan 5779


Of God and Hubble

Of God and Hubble
God of Love - and Calamities
God One, or Incarnate?
Who Supervises Noahides?
More Evidence - From Crazy


OF GOD AND HUBBLE

How the Galaxies in the Universe Testify to Creation

By Professor Robert Buxbaum



Edwin P. Hubble

Perhaps my favorite proof of God is that, as  best we can tell using the best science we have, everything we can see today, popped into existence some 14-billion years ago in a “Big Bang.” Before that, there was nothing. After that there was everything. As best we can tell, not an atom has popped into existence since the time of this miracle of Creation.                                                              

The fellow who first saw this miracle was an American, Edwin P. Hubble, born 1889. Hubble got a law degree and a PhD (in physics) studying photographs of faint nebula, that is small, glowing fuzzy areas of the night sky.“Photographic Investigations of Faint Nebulae.”He continued this work at the Mount Wilson Observatory, home to the world’s largest telescope, and concluded that there were galaxies outside of our own. While most of the stars we see are located relatively close to us, in our own “Milky Way” galaxy, a swirling star blob some 250,000 light-years across, study of the photographs of the Andromeda “nebula” suggested it was another swirling galaxy quite like ours, some 900,000 light-years away. What a wonderful find. Better yet, there were more swirling galaxies beyond that, about 100 billion of them we now think.

But the discovery of galaxies beyond our own is not what Hubble is most famous for. Hubble was able to measure the distance of galaxies by their brightness and their apparent size and concluded that brightness was a better measure. He was also able to measure the speed of the galaxies relative to us by use of the Doppler shift, the same phenomenon that causes a train whistle to sound differently when the train is coming towards you or away from you. The color of the spectral lines of light from the galaxies was shifted to the red. Hubble could determine the velocity by the formula V= c (λ - λ*)/λ*. Here, V is the velocity of the galaxy relative to us, c is the speed of light, 300,000,000 m/s, λ (“lambda,” a Greek letter which stands for wavelength here) is the observed wavelength of the particular spectral line, and λ* is the wavelength observed for non-moving sources.

Strange to say, Hubble found that the further a galaxy was away from us, the faster it was moving away from us. There were only a two explanations for this: (1) We were the center of the universe and all other galaxies hated us, or (2) The whole universe was expanding and thus every galaxy was moving away from every other galaxy.

This second explanation seems a lot more likely than the first, but it suggests something very interesting about the origin of everything.. If the speed is proportional to the distance, there must have been a time, some 14 billion years ago apparently, when all matter was in one small bit of space — one origin for everything. It all popped into existence at one point, in one instant. Call it Creation or call it the “Big Bang.” We can’t say it was an accident since nothing like it has happened since, nor can we call it a random fluctuation since there are just too many stars and too many galaxies. That so much popped out in so little time suggests there is a God of Creation. We’d have to go to other areas of science to suggest it’s a personal God, Who might listen to prayer, but this is a start.

If you want to go through the calculations yourself, using pictures and spectra of galaxies, you can find all you need here:

October 10, 2018

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God of Love - and Calamities

Observant Israel prays every day - to God, Who else? - including these words: “Who among all Your handiwork, those above and those below, can say to You, ‘What are You doing?’” Yet some us who say this, and even more of us who don’t, complain about God all the time. We call Him unjust, God forbid. We say that nothing excuses the Holocaust, for instance; the suffering of children; painful death; torture. We ask, how can an all-powerful loving God permit evil to exist?

Reading Genesis last week, we see God addressing Abram – a Noahide sage and prophet who becomes Abraham, the founder of the Jewish People. Abraham “walked before God,” as Scripture tells us, and was blessed by God (Genesis 17:1). HaShem loved him so much as to describe Him as His friend! - Isaiah 41:8, 2 Chronicles 20:7). Yet…

This passage, Genesis 15:12-3, is pretty scary and spooky:
“… when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a dread, a great darkness, fell upon him. And God said unto Abram: “Know for certain that your offspring shall be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them [that country’s masters]; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.”

Four centuries of affliction! As it turned out, it was a mere 240-years (!) – of awful suffering, bitter slavery, and terrible oppression and cruelty in Egypt. That’s eight generations of misery! And these are the favored “seed” of Abraham, God’s friend!

How could a loving God inflict that upon those poor generations? The misery... We need some context. Nothing makes sense without context. So, some things to consider: the People of Israel had to become a people, separate from others (in Cana’an, even a great man like Judah, Yehuda, had started mixing with the locals, even frequenting Cana’anite idolatrous festivals (Genesis 38). The people had to become numerous. They had to learn to deeply feel the difference between slavery and freedom. And then, among other things, they had to produce a Moses.

God’s ways are inscrutable. Discussing the sin of sacrilege in Rainbow Covenant, “To suffer and, suffering, declare that the world that hurts me is perverse and so is its Maker perverse” (p. 232), it’s obvious: to substitute one’s judgment for the Holy One’s is as natural as breathing.

Lacking God's perspective, one thing we might keep in mind, when tempted to rail against “God’s injustice” - the concept of an unjust God being a contradiction in terms - is that this worldly life is not all there is. Scripture promises “bliss for evermore” (Psalm 16:11) and “a memorial better than sons and daughters” (Isaiah 56:5).

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God One, or Incarnate?

One huge difference between Christians and people who worship HaShem: our different conceptions of God.

We sometimes talk about God’s throne and His heavenly court, as being somewhat apart from Him, and angels, similarly; or, say, the apparently immortal Prophet Elijah (Elyahu, in Hebrew, “My God is HaShem”), as spiritual phenomena, as HaShem Himself is a spiritual phenomenon. But those things and beings are not Him, even though they are, obviously, of Him… Yet we could say the same of all Creation and all phenomena everywhere: they are “of God.”

God is One, the Torah insists (Deuteronomy 6:4). He is no more divisible than a geometric point; He is unified beyond anything that's unified and completely, utterly indivisible. While He maintains every single thing and force and particle in Creation- and is, in a very real sense, everywhere at once - He is self-contained and absolutely, indivisbly, One.

In the worldview of Christians, we see, God is “one” but also capable of “coming down in human form,” of transforming Himself into something belonging to, and part of, our material world.

This is, basically, inconceivable from a Torah point of view:

Deuteronomy 4:15: For you saw no manner of form on the day that HaShem spoke to you in Horeb [Sinai] out of the midst of the fire.
Kings 8:27: Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee.
Isaiah 42:8: I am HaShem, that is My name, and My honor will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images.
Isiah 43:11: Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me. I, even I, am HaShem, and besides Me there is no Savior.
Isaiah 45:21-22: Is it not I, HaShem, and there is no God apart from Me, a righteous God and Savior; there is none but Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other!
Isiah 46:5: To whom shall you liken Me and make Me equal and compare Me that we may be alike?
Isaiah 46:9: Remember the first things of old, that I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like Me.
Hosea 13:4: I am HaShem your God, Who brought you out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but Me, no Savior except Me.
Psalm 146:3: Do not put your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no salvation

Nothing material or physical can be a complete unity, since everything material or physical is made up of atoms, or photons, or other forces or particles. Everything like that can be divided. God’s unity is infinitely beyond that.

It always comes as a surprise to us that others don’t recognize it.

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Who Supervises Noahides?

   

“Can I breathe without rabbinic guidance?” a Noahide writes in. He’s complaining because a rabbi was just sounding off, “Bnei No’ach must observe the laws given to them and neither add nor substract to them. Without rabbinic guidance, no one can even know what they are.”

Since the Noahide laws are all logical, “social laws,” necessary for civilization to succeed and flourish, and since they all follow, logically, from the universal revelation that “man exists in the ‘image’ of God,” the simple truth is that Noahides do NOT need to sit at the feet of rabbis to know and determine what these laws are!

As Rainbow Covenant insists, again and again, Noahides themselves are responsible for determing the details of their own laws for themselves. This includes commercial laws, property laws, criminal laws, insurance laws, environmental laws, pure food and drug laws, labor laws, and traffic regulations.

Anyone who claims, or tries to give any substance or fuel to the claim, that the Noahide laws are, in ANY way, part of some “Jewish plot to rule the world,” has got the whole thing wrong.

 

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More Evidence – From Crazy


Oddly, the chief inventor of Facebook and its principal owner, Mark Zuckerberg, is Jewish. Facebook owns Instagram. And Instagram hosts lots ohate-filled crazies. We just encountered this, reported in The New York Times on October 29th, with a San Francisco dateline:

SAN FRANCISCO — On Monday, a search on Instagram, the photo-sharing site owned by Facebook, produced a torrent of anti-Semitic images and videos uploaded in the wake of Saturday’s shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. A search for the word “Jews” displayed 11,696 posts with the hashtag “#jewsdid911,” claiming that Jews had orchestrated the Sept. 11 terror attacks.


One of the many strong proofs of the Torah’s truth, and the reality of the God of Abraham and Israel, is Israel's role in human history. This includes - from those who hate the Jews - the vast unhinged push-back against them.


By Michael Dallen

 



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