Tag Archives: Days

60 Days: There is Still a Light that Shines

Inner lightWhen you come to a place that seems outside of G‑d’s realm, too coarse for light to enter, and you want to run away—

Know that there is no place outside of G‑d, and rejoice in your task of uncovering Him there.

-Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
“Stay Put”
Based on letters and talks of the Rebbe
Rabbi M. M. Schneerson

The soul above awaits the time it will be privileged to descend into a body. For the soul senses how much it can accomplish here below; it can attain the level of “delighting with G-d.” So what is everyone waiting for?

“Today’s Day”
Shabbat, Cheshvan 15, 5704
Compiled by the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Translated by Yitschak Meir Kagan

Given what I’ve been writing about in these past few days, the quotes above seem rather fitting. There is no place we can go that God cannot enter with us, ironically including into the church.

I’ve been experiencing a little “push back” (no, not at home) about my decision to re-enter Christian fellowship, as if Christianity was a step backward and that some other philosophy or theology were more evolved for the non-Jewish believer. I can’t say that the path I’ve selected is for everyone, I can only say that it is right for me, at least the “me” who exists today and needs to face a certain set of challenges.

Jewish mysticism sees the soul in Heaven awaiting “assignment” to a physical body so it can enact the will of God in the world of human beings. In a sense, that’s sort of how I feel right now, waiting to enter into the world of the church to see if I have anything to contribute to the body of Christ. I also (and I’ve said this before) must be careful to communicate that I’m not entering the church with “ulterior motives” but rather, to add whatever uniqueness of expression and perspective God has gifted me with to the ekklesia of the Messiah as it exists in my own little corner of the planet.

One of the reasons some people choose to attend a particular church is that they are “fed” there. I’ve never been really sure of what that meant (I’m not very good at “Christianese”) but I suppose it has something to do with the teaching or the level of emotional or spiritual support provided by the Pastoral and teaching staff. I don’t think I’m going to church to be “fed” as such, but I do believe that Christian fellowship will give me something that I’ve been sorely lacking.

O, God, who will dwell in Your tabernacle, who will rest on Your holy mountain? … One who speaks the truth in his heart … who swears to his own hurt but will not retract.

Psalms 15:1-4

In their mind’s eye, people believe that they are acting as truthfully as possible. We all know, however, how easily we can deceive ourselves. Since truth may be elusive, how then can we know that we have the truth?

There is a useful litmus test. We can know that we have the truth when we have the courage to feel the pain of accepting the truth. People lie because they think the lie will be less painful or costly for them than the truth.

People often fail to grow because they are reluctant to face the painful truth that they have done wrong. We have an innate tendency to avoid pain, and therefore we are apt to conjure up rationalizations that justify our behavior. These rationalizations are nothing but lies ― sometimes clever and convincing, but lies nonetheless. Facing the truth and accepting the pain that comes with it requires courage.

People who “speak the truth in their heart,” says the Psalmist, do not retract their word even if it is to their own hurt. On the other hand, those who constantly seek to change everything to conform to their maximum comfort are only lying to themselves.

Today I shall…

try to be courageous and not automatically withdraw from everything that is painful. I shall try to examine my actions to make sure I am not sacrificing truth for comfort.

-Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski
“Growing Each Day, Cheshvan 13”

While I don’t experience the church or Christians as a “painful truth,” in fact, I most likely have been denying myself an experience that I need in order to grow spiritually. It’s easy to say that the church is “such-and-thus” in some negative sense, and to let that be the excuse to keep me away. It’s also easy (but not as easy) to visit a church, and to say to yourself (and others) that “these people aren’t me,” or “I can visit them, but I’m not one of them.” Playing the “superiority card” at the church is no way to contribute to the body of believers, even if you (or I) think that they are less than what they can be and should be.

In the “Today’s Day” lesson for Friday, Cheshvan 14, 5704, we find:

“From G-d are man’s steps established.” (Psalm 37:23) Every one of Israel has a spiritual mission in life – which is to occupy himself with the work of construction, to make a “dwelling-place” for G-d.

That statement doesn’t actually apply to the church or any body of worship so much as it does to the individual and how we establish a “dwelling place” for God within us and within the world, but it still fits. If the Messiah dwells among us when two or three are gathered in his name, (Matthew 18:20) then it behooves us…it behooves me to gather with others so that he may be with us…and with me. Serving God isn’t particularly being served by God, but serving others and summoning the Spirit so that it may dwell within those who need it. There are so many who would hoard the gifts of the Spirit for themselves, but that’s not what we were taught. We can only be who God made us to be by being together and by joining others.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)

This teaching of the master is not unlike what we see presented from a more contemporary Jewish Rabbi.

G‑d did not give you light that you may hold it up in the middle of the day.

When you are given light it is in order to accomplish something, to do something difficult and novel.

Go take your light and transform the darkness that it may also shine!

It feels a little egotistical to say that I’m going to take my light and let it shine among my fellow Christians, but I feel as if the Master is commanding us to do just that; to share and to love and to be with each other. More than that, we are to place that light on a hill and let the rest of the world experience it as well. That’s pretty hard to do in isolation and I don’t think just “blogging light” cuts it. We have to uncover the light, we have to shine the light.

We have to be the light.

Let it be, let it be
Ah let it be, yeah let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be…

-Paul McCartney
Let It Be (1970)

Let it be.


61 Days: Stars

I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.

What is crooked cannot be made straight,and what is lacking cannot be counted.

I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

Ecclesiastes 1:12-18 (ESV)

The Voyager 1 spacecraft’s 35th anniversary is proving to be unexpectedly exciting, as scientists gathered this week to examine new hints that the spacecraft is on the verge of leaving our solar system.

Voyager 1 is now more than 11 billion miles away from Earth. It blasted off in September 1977, on a mission to Jupiter and Saturn. But it also carried a Golden Record filled with music and the sounds of our planet, in case it encountered intelligent life as it moved out toward the stars.

Scientists have been eagerly waiting for Voyager 1 to become the first human-made object to leave the solar system. And in recent weeks, the spacecraft has sent back intriguing signs that it might be getting close, to the delight of researchers who have been working on it for decades.

-Nell Greenfieldboyce
“After 35 Years, Voyager Nears Edge of Solar System” (Sept. 5, 2012)

Most weekday mornings, I get up early enough to leave home by five, pick up my son who lives nearby, and then go to the gym to workout together. This time of year especially, it’s still dark when I open the garage door. Usually, I step outside for a minute and look up at the sky. The front of my house faces south, so if the sky is clear, I can see a fair number of stars, including the constellation Orion.

I don’t know why I look for it, except I can remember different times in my life, different “eras” in decades gone by, when I would look up at the night sky and recognize that constellation. I suppose it gives me some sense of continuity across my personal history.

It also reminds me of how incredibly small I am.

I intellectually understand how far away the planets and stars are, (I once, very briefly, considered a career in Astronomy) from millions of miles to untold light years, but to actually, experientially grasp the distances, even for a moment, is a staggering feat. I know we have robots on the surface of Mars, and Mars is relatively close to Earth, but if I had to walk such a distance; if I have to travel across the emptiness of interplanetary space, how lonely and isolated I would feel. Imagine yourself somehow traveling with Voyager 1 as it prepares to exit the official confines of our solar system and, setting aside the fiction of Star Trek or Star Wars for a moment, try to comprehend just how far away you would be from everything you know and love…

…except God.

I was thinking all these thoughts this morning as I lay awake in bed around 3 o’clock. I don’t know what brought it to mind. I had a bit of a headache, which is unusual for me, particularly in the morning. Perhaps it was something I had dreamed that disturbed me in some way.

My blog and blog comments periodically come to the attention of a few Internet trolls and, in their self-importance, they find it necessary to be disagreeable (only excusing their rudeness and hostility by calling it “debating” or even some form of “loving”). It’s certainly unsettling to be treated badly by those who also claim the cause of Christ (such as being openly maligned by name on their blogs without so much as a “by your leave”) and I won’t pretend it doesn’t bother me, but then, I stop and realize that it doesn’t really matter.

Oh, of course people matter. I don’t want to suggest that I don’t care about others and their well-being, but what I realize is that there are a few unhappy, or grumpy, or insecure people out there who have to try to suck joy out of the lives of others in a quixotic quest for significance in the blogosphere. It’s their behavior that inspired my Days series where I have been examining the idea of abandoning this blog and perhaps all Internet social media by the end of the calendar year.

So far (and I haven’t made a final decision yet), I’m deciding against giving up. First of all, my trollish critics are few in number, even though they can occasionally make a loud “noise” (like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal). Secondly, far more people have been encouraging of me, both publicly and “backchannel,” than these two or three “curmudgeons” have been discouraging of me (though they aren’t curmudgeons in terms of years, merely in attitude).

I had thought about making this particular “meditation” today’s morning meditation, but passed it off as random thoughts of the night, deciding that Re-entry was a more worthy topic. But since the trolls have been active today, I decided I’d write this to clear my head of them and to realize that, in our human smallness, what happens from day-to-day in a small collection of blogs among a minority expression of Christianity doesn’t really matter. It’s certainly not worth my peace of mind.

As I said, I’m currently leaning toward continuing this “morning meditation” blog past January 1st, but I also think I’ll institute a tighter set of controls for comments. There haven’t been any really rude comments here for a while, but I anticipate they may return. In the past, in the interests of being fair, I’ve allowed a significant amount of abuse (in the guise of “debate” or being “loving”) in the comments people have posted on my blog, but that is likely to change. Free speech doesn’t mean “free to abuse” and a blog owner is more of a “benign dictator” than a moderator of democratic speech.

No, I won’t immediately flip over into draconian mode and if I think someone has crossed the line, I’ll serve fair warning first, but beyond that, I feel perfectly content to remove specific comments if they cross the line I set for proper decorum. And on occasion, I will close comments on a specific blog post if things get too heated (I’ve done both in the past). Repeat offenders who are not willing to “take a hint,” or those to engage in severe personal attacks or who use obscenities will be immediately banned.

Consider this my version of putting a wall around the roof of my home so that the safety of my “guests,” (and my own safety) who I consider anyone visiting my blog, (and most visitors don’t post comments) can be ensured.

But as I also said, I haven’t made up my mind yet. I can still pull the plug on life support and consign “morning meditations” to a peaceful, dignified demise. Better that than allowing the trolls to abuse what started out as such a peaceful and uplifting vision to begin each day.

When you awake in the morning, learn something to inspire you and meditate upon it, then plunge forward full of light with which to illuminate the darkness.

There are those who insist in living in darkness and they are not satisfied unless they pull others down into their realm with them. I prefer to soar and glide in the heights, letting the light illuminate my mind, my emotions, and my spirit, like the light of the sun gracefully reflects off of the wings of a dove.

The best response to harsh people is how Buddha responded; with a smile, accepting what was good and uplifting around him and not accepting anything else. I can’t even aspire to be Buddha, let alone Jesus, but I am supposed to emulate my Master so far as it depends on me by “living peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18)

Infinite darknessAngry and dissatisfied people are not helpful and are not healthy, for themselves or anyone exposed to them, even over the Internet. To repeat a lesson I continually need to learn…

Today I shall…

…try to improve my response to other people so that I only accept and give gifts of kindness, and not of anger.

Everything that we fuss and feud and argue about won’t really matter in the end. Jesus isn’t going to judge us on who won this blogosphere argument or that, no matter how important we may think they are at the time. They don’t really matter. They aren’t significant. Most of what we do isn’t significant. Staring up at the stars at five o’ clock on a clear autumn morning in Idaho, I realize that against all that vastness, against the stars, the space between me and them, and whatever is beyond, I’m not significant at all…

…except to God.

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8 (ESV)

64 Days and 41,000 Paths to Follow

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

Acts 4:13-20 (ESV)

Solemnly charged not to speak in Yeshua’s (Jesus’s) name, the apostles replied, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

The Sanhedrin could argue that they were God’s ordained authority on earth, therefore disobedience to them was disobedience to God. It was a difficult contradiction, and one faced by others in Jewish history. Decisions the legislators adopted by majority consensus were also adopted as the ruling in heaven. (see b.Bava Meitza 59a-b)

What does one do when God-ordained institutional authority rules in contradiction with the will of God? The Master had already prepared his disciples for just such a circumstance. He had foreseen the way things would go and had assured His disciples that they would possess “the keys to the kingdom of heaven” and the right to make legal determinations of binding and loosing. (Matthew 16:19) As apostles of Yeshua, the twelve disciples represented the authority of the throne of David. That important legal power gave Simon Peter and the Twelve the right to overrule the Sanhedrin if necessary.

-from Torah Club, , Volume 6: Chronicles of the Apostles
Torah Portion Lech Lecha (“Go Forth”) (pg 78)
Commentary on Acts 2:42-4:31
Produced by First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ)

It’s all fine and well for Jesus to assure “His disciples that they would possess ‘the keys to the kingdom of heaven’ and the right to make legal determinations of binding and loosing,” but what about us? The apostles represented a direct link to the Messiah, since they had been taught by him and the giving of the Holy Spirit to them, in a very public visible and physical demonstration, was only days or weeks old. While the Sanhedrin could attempt to refute and even defy their “Messianic authority,” a good many witnesses in Jerusalem were more than convinced, and correctly so. Not only that, but there could have been no doubt in the minds of Peter, John, and the rest of the apostles, that they were in the right. Thus they had not only the authority, but the confidence and certainty of mind to be able to stand up in defiance of an order of Israel’s authentic and authoritative legal court system.

But how does D. Thomas Lancaster’s commentary on the legal authority of the apostles to defy the legal authority of the Sanhedrin affect us? That is, who holds “the keys to the kingdom of heaven” today?

You might say, “the church,” but which one? How many denominations of the Christian church currently exist?

According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations and organizations in the world. This statistic takes into consideration cultural distinctions of denominations in different countries, so there is overlapping of many denominations.

-quoted from “Christianity Today – General Statistics and Facts of Christianity”

Oh my!

That’s a lot of denominations, and they don’t take into account a lot of the more fringy or cult-like groups who also claim some sort of authority to interpret scripture over their flocks in a legal manner.

And then there’s the Internet. As we’ve seen in a seemingly endless stream of religious blogs and their associated comments, there is a plethora of groups and individuals who claim to collectively or personally possess “the keys to the kingdom of heaven” and the right to defy the more established Christian authorities.

I suppose we could split the difference 41,000 (legitimate) ways within the body of Christianity and say that each church possesses a set of keys as applied to their own communities, and that their authority, as it were, is limited to the confines of said-communities, but that’s not really satisfactory. There are not 41,000 Gods and there are not 41,000 Christs, and there are not 41,000 Holy Spirits. God is One. While I believe, to a certain degree, that how the Bible principles are applied may vary and even evolve over the centuries in order to serve the needs of each generation, there is still an objective God; a God unto Himself, the One God with One Mind, and One Spirit, who cannot be subdivided in any manner, even though we may want and even need Him to do so for the sake of our own priorities.

So who inherited the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” or were they simply lost over the course of time?

That’s the problem we are having today. Look at the struggles the “early church” had in Jerusalem. They never became a major power in the Jewish hierarchy. They remained a small Jewish sect operating within the larger collection of valid Judaisms of the late Second Temple period and to some small degree, beyond the destruction of the Temple (but not very much farther). If there was one authentic Messianic (Christian) Jewish authority with the living apostles of Christ among the many Judaisms, when the Jews either surrendered Christianity to the nations or were “kicked out” of the assembly of the Messiah by the Gentiles, what happened to that authentic authority? Was it divided and subdivided, and subdivided again, endlessly across history, like a single-celled organism replicating, evolving, developing to form some vast living mass that is associated but not particularly unified? Is that authority shared among 41,000 living “cells” in what is (loosely) collective Christianity today?

Who currently has the right to make legal decisions that are binding both on earth and in Heaven and to defy all of the others who claim authority over the “Christian church?”

Oh, it gets worse.

It has been taught: On that day R. Eliezer brought forward every imaginable argument, (Lit., ‘all the arguments in the world’) but they did not accept them. Said he to them: ‘If the halachah agrees with me, let this carob-tree prove it!’ Thereupon the carob-tree was torn a hundred cubits out of its place — others affirm, four hundred cubits. ‘No proof can be brought from a carob-tree,’ they retorted. Again he said to them: ‘If the halachah agrees with me, let the stream of water prove it!’ Whereupon the stream of water flowed backwards — ‘No proof can be brought from a stream of water,’ they rejoined. Again he urged: ‘If the halachah agrees with me, let the walls of the schoolhouse prove it,’ whereupon the walls inclined to fall. But R. Joshua rebuked them, saying: ‘When scholars are engaged in a halachic dispute, what have ye to interfere?’ Hence they did not fall, in honour of R. Joshua, nor did they resume the upright, in honour of R. Eliezer; and they are still standing thus inclined. Again he said to them: ‘If the halachah agrees with me, let it be proved from Heaven!’ Whereupon a Heavenly Voice cried out: ‘Why do ye dispute with R. Eliezer, seeing that in all matters the halachah agrees with him!’ But R. Joshua arose and exclaimed: ‘It is not in heaven.’ (Deut. 30:12) What did he mean by this? — Said R. Jeremiah: That the Torah had already been given at Mount Sinai; we pay no attention to a Heavenly Voice, because Thou hast long since written in the Torah at Mount Sinai, After the majority must one incline. (Ex. 23:2 though the story is told in a legendary form, this is a remarkable assertion of the independence of human reasoning)

R. Nathan met Elijah (It was believed that Elijah, who had never died, often appeared to the Rabbis) and asked him: What did the Holy One, Blessed be He, do in that hour? — He laughed [with joy], he replied, saying, ‘My sons have defeated Me, My sons have defeated Me.’

Baba Mezi’a 59b

The Torah Club commentary, from which I quoted above, refers to this Talmudic story, and it is believed in observant Judaism, that the right of the Rabbis to interpret and apply halakhah in an authoritative manner derives from this passage as attached to Deuteronomy 30:12 (Stone Edition Chumash):

It is not in heaven, [for you] to say, “Who can ascend to the heaven for us and take it for us, so that we can listen to it and perform it?”

My Christian reading audience is probably asking why any of this matters, since the Jews do not have authority to interpret scriptures for Christians, and especially not to establish halakhah for us. That’s a good question and you’re right. We don’t expect any of the Talmudic rulings to have any sort of impact, let alone authority, over any of the 41,000 Christian denominations (and their variants, spin-offs, or edge case adaptations) today.

But what about Jews who profess Jesus Christ as the Jewish Messiah King, not as members of a Christian church, but as disciples of Yeshuah HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ) within a wholly Jewish ethnic, cultural, and halakhic religious and lifestyle context? What about Messianic Judaism?

When G-d intrusted Israel with the Torah, He commanded them to appoint leaders to interpret the Torah and to judge whether or not the people had broken the Torah. Inherent in this process is the development of case law, history, tradition of the Jewish people which establishes the precedence that fleshes out the full meaning and implications of each of the commandments. This body of tradition was created by the Jewish people at the commandment of G-d…The Torah invests the divine authority in the spiritual leaders of the Jewish people (this is in the Deuteronomy ch. 17), where their rulings are called…”a word of Torah”. Any Israelite presumptuous enough to reject the rulings of the judges of Israel was cut off from his people, the same punishment as for someone who rejected the written Torah. How much more presumptuous is it for a gentile to cast off entire body of Jewish tradition and claim the right to act as the judge and definer of the Torah?

-Boaz Michael
President and Founder of First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ)
Speaking at the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) July 2012 conference in Baltimore, Maryland
as quoted by Gene Shlomovich on his blog
Daily Minyan

We see that in some corners of Messianic Judaism (as I define it), there is a serious devotion to the authority of the Jewish people to define themselves as Jews and to determine halakhah for themselves based on the authority of the sages. This rather flies in the face of we non-Jewish Christians but is a particular “thorn in the side” of some of those non-Jews who have either directly (by attending authentic Messianic Jewish congregations) or tangentially (through an affiliation with some form of the Hebrew Roots movement) attached themselves to a (more or less) “Jewish” viewpoint on the New Testament scriptures, Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, and God as the God of Israel.

I’ll tell you right now that I don’t know what all this means and that I don’t have the answers to the questions I’m asking. Because of this, some people accuse me of not knowing if I’m coming or going, and I suppose that is a valid concern from an outside observer’s point of view. On the other hand, there are others who feel exactly the same way about the impact and the consequences of a real, authentic, and transparent life of faith and trust in God as we attempt to grasp the meaning of the Bible across the history of the Jewish people and the world.

The Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council (UJRC) has established a written Standards of Observance (PDF) document that is intended to guide its member synagogues in the appropriate halakhic rulings as adapted for Messianic Jews, but it is only one body and cannot possibly represent all Jews who profess Yeshua as Messiah everywhere. It also, by necessity, defines a varying level of halakhic response for the non-Jewish disciples who come under the MJRC’s authority, but again, the scope if such authority is limited. These standards do not solve the problem or answer the questions I’ve been posing in today’s meditation however, but only because, like the multitude of Christian churches that exist today, it can’t, at least not outside its own community. We don’t have a universal legal and theological interpretation of scripture where “one size fits all.”

We long for the coming of Messiah. Christians desperately await the return of the King in all his glory. We have many reasons for doing so but one of the reasons I seek him and his presence is to help me understand who indeed on earth holds the “keys to the kingdom,” if anyone. Many claim to hold them or at least know the path on which to travel to find them. Many would-be “Messiahs,” religious leaders, pundits, and self-taught scholars of one stripe or another, profess to know “the truth.” But who are we to believe except God Himself, but how we understand God through the Bible and even through the Spirit, is split at least 41,000 ways, from a Christian perspective.

How am I to choose among 41,000 paths, and probably more if I factor in my own fascination with Judaism, as applied to my Christian faith? I can’t. I can only choose one of the myriad ways as they stand before me and start walking, trusting that God will not allow me to travel the wrong path, nor select a guide made out of my ego, my biases (at least not too severely), or my weaknesses, but only His Son, and the lamp of the throne of David.

May he and I walk together discovering the truth of his existence and my own. May God grant you this gift as well, for this may be all we can do until Messiah returns to rule in Jerusalem, and reveals clearly the One God and the One Way from His Temple.

Blessed is Hashem from Zion, He Who dwells in Jerusalem. Halleluyah!

Psalm 135:21 (Stone Edition Tanakh)

For from Zion shall go forth the Torah, and the word of Hashem from Jerusalem.

Micah 4:2 (Stone Edition Tanakh)

64 days from now, on my path, chosen from among 41,000 paths, (and probably more) where will I find myself?