Shalom! This year we finished building our “hillbilly highway,” the gravel paths that connect the First Covenant Foundation’s three houses and the outbuildings (including “the Ark,” a wonderful open-sided roofed patio, graced with no less than five mezuzot; formerly half of an old garage) in back. These paths really tie things together.
We’ve introduced our Conscious Servant program in our newsletter, Covenant Connection. Against warped belief, that considers God to be tyrannical and even cruel, conscious service respects His holy Name, insisting that He is absolutely worthy of man’s respect and love and admiration.
A conscious servant doesn’t, at a minimum, expect God to betray His promises and principles. So teachings like, for instance, “[His Way] is not hidden from you… It is near to you… so you can do it” (Deuteronomy 30:10 - 15) and, e.g., “[T]hey read the scroll of the Torah clearly, and they applied reason and understood the text” (Nehemiah 8:8), make up part of the conscious servant’s consciousness.
We started working on our next book. It has the working title: “Ferplutzing the Apocalypse: How We Warp the Great Teachings of the Bible.” Touching as it does on “end times” issues, concerning the great “apocalypse” (“revealing”) promised in Scripture, it explores the common mischaracterizations of Scripture that people have come up with to make it – Scripture, including the entire Torah system - look ridiculous.
We hope to have this in print, at least as advance reading copy, by the end of 2015.
Of course we still broadcast our Covenant Connection newsletter, and we keep growing our 1stcovenant /rainbowcovenant website. (This gets some real attention, by the way, receiving – from all over the world – hundreds of thousands of “unique visitors.”). We’re always adding articles, as well as new members, and subscribers. And – naturally - we continue counseling those who text or call us for help and information. This is, basically, an every-day activity.
We plan to utilize our alleged “gift” for controversy in the next few months.
Torah Faith is fact-based. Creation happened, Abraham existed, the House of Jacob was enslaved, then liberated from Egypt in actuality; God somehow “speaks” to His prophets and their religion - the Religion of Israel that came out of Sinai - was and is still a world-historical force to raise up all humanity. The “faith” part of this program isn’t that we condescend to intellectually accept its reality but that we believe that HaShem shall keep delivering on His promises.
Someone who adopts this program while aspiring to live life as a conscious servant of HaShem is a mostly rational human being submitting to the guidance of objective thoughts. He or she doesn’t mindlessly “accept authority.” Rather, the path of the conscious servant is one of constant humble questioning, logic, and scientific reasoning.
God willing, in the first part of 2015 we’ll be back to exploring the Noahide Law with these methods. We said before that we’d got some issues wrong in our big work on the subject, “Rainbow Covenant.” What we mean to do now is correct them. We’re convinced that the Law is even more just and wise than we characterized it earlier; we intend to use our little pulpit in Covenant Connection to help advance the study.
The People of Israel’s return to the Land of Israel and the re-birth of the land against great odds is one of the great stories of our age. Just last summer, Israel fought a hot defensive war against Hamas, the legitimate representative of the Jew-haters of Gaza, which was slamming missiles into Israel; since then we’ve seen intensification of the worldwide BDS – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – Movement which seeks to delegitimize (and, if the truth be told, ultimately destroy) Israel.
One needs to take sides here. Against the claim that “International Law” forbids the fulfillment of God’s Plan – the well-known Scriptural program for the people and the Land of Israel – HaShem’s conscious servant asks, for instance, “How can that be?” and “Show me where it says that!”
In the next few months, we intend to produce several short (2- to 3-minute) videos on these issues as part of our conscious servant programming. We’ve already got quite a little library of articles, essays, and even some cartoons about these things, up on our website under Articles.
We also mean to do some videos – short ones, as above - on “cursing a leader of your people.” Because a conscious servant of HaShem is not supposed to go around reflexively defaming people like the President or, e.g., the Prime Minister of Israel. Similarly, we want to use our little video studio (God bless this modern age, that allows us to have such a thing!) to do some videos on gilgal/”reincarnation” and “past life experiences,” and also on the theology of chassidus. Such ideas and related ones are part of the spirit of our times and a conscious servant of HaShem should know about them.
These last few years, we’ve had some rich experiences with common baby boomers’ ailments, but – hopefully – we’re mostly done with them for now. Sometime in late spring or early summer, we expect our partner and co-director Jack E. Saunders to join us as a visiting scholar up here. We look forward to doing more in the way of public lectures and open houses when he gets here, and probably a series of videos.
In this end-of-year letter, we need to tell you that we run a lean operation with very little overhead. But we can’t run on fumes. We work with a young man who’s our webmaster, technical guru and doer of countless odd-jobs involving things like cleaning and painting. We’re very lucky to have him and we share him with several others who also employ his talents; even so, not even talking about what it takes to keep the lights and heat and water on, it takes more than $200 a week, every week, just to keep going.
We need to thank our good friend in Kazanlak, Bulgaria, for his generous recent contribution to First Covenant. Few people anywhere work harder for their money than Dimitar Kosev, who processes huge quantities of rose petals into rose oil, to make a living for himself and his family, but he believes in what we’re doing – he’s a deeply committed Noahide who’s one of the earliest members of the First Covenant Foundation - and he’s glad, he says, to help out. The US $500 he gave us through PayPal meant a lot to us.
We have a few other supporters like Mr. Kosev – a lovely Noahide lady in Great Britain surprised us, not long ago, with a similar gift – but the need still far surpasses the supply. Please, consider lending some help?
To donate, click here.
We look forward to doing good things in this new solar year, 2015. We hope we’ll be around and that you’ll be around with us, healthy, happy and prosperous, at least till the next end-of-year letter, and beyond.
By Michael Dallen*
Financial information for the First Covenant Foundation may be obtained by contacting us at 2400 Woodstock Drive, Detroit, Michigan 48203; (313) 891-1920, and annual reports, official registration, financial and other documents may be obtained through the Michigan Department of Corporations, Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Division, ID # 783819.