Tag Archives: Jewish communities

Passover 7 days of meditation opening a way to conversion

Immanuel Verbondskind looks back at the lockdown period and the impact on the small Jeshuaist community and some Jewish communities. For Jews it has even been more difficult to undergo the lockdown, because many do have no television or internet and have been in a real-time strict isolation, not being able to have worship moments with brethren and sisters.

Those times of seclusion and restriction could be called a ‘reflection time‘ or retreat, where one had enough time to think about faith and religion. On the 15th of April this year (2022) it was 14 Nisan, the evening to remember the liberation of God’s People from the enslavement in Egypt, but also to remember the gathering of Jeshua and his disciples, where at the last supper Jesus talked about the blood being shed for the liberation of all people.

In Wintertime, many Christians celebrate Christmas and have some holiday, where they also can think about the light that came in the darkness. For true Christians and for Jews, 14-22 Nisan is the most sacred period of the religious year, where is remembered how the Elohim brought to light in the dark night by passing over the houses where there was the blood of the lamb, giving the opportunity for the Jews to flee their world of slavery in Egypt.

True Christians with Jeshuaists remember also the Passover lamb Jeshua (Jesus Christ) and show their gratitude for the salvation by the Grace of God, Him accepting that ransom Jesus was willing to pay for all people.

Last Supper 2

 

Since Friday night Jeshuaists and Christadelphians, like other true Christians, since some long time of isolation because of lockdown, could at some places get together (in restricted form) and make connections with other brothers and sisters, either in place or via the internet streaming. Many, the previous time in isolation got lots of opportunities to think about the value of such a connection or ‘fraternity‘. They had enough time in the lockdown period to think about their religious affiliation, and some also about their need to go over into a conversion. Because the last few months, more signs could be seen that we are entering a new period in the Time of Ages or in God’s Plan.

Because of those “Signs of the Times” there has come a certain pressure to know what to do and which direction to go. Now many more ask themselves who shall be part of the things going to be there after the big battle or great tribullation.

Several people have wondered in those Covid times if it would not be better to become part of a community. There also have been Jews by race or non-believing and non-practising Jews, who started to change ideas about the world and its Creator. The Jews from Middle European origin also started wondering by which denomination of Jews they would best join. Those people living here in Belgium, France, Holland and Germany wonder if they would convert to Judaism, if they then would be accepted as a Jew.

Anti-Zionists often claim that Ashkenazi Jews are white imposters, fake Jews who are entirely descended from European converts to Judaism. This is completely rebutted by genetic studies which have proven a Middle Eastern patrilineal origin for Ashkenazi Jewry. However, when the Anti-Zionists make the Apartheid accusation are Jews suddenly a single racial group. The notion that Jews generally constitute a racial group is Nazi in origin and is at the core of the Anti-Jewish Apartheid libel. {Why Many Ashkenazi Jews “Look” European}

There is a long history of the racialization of Jews. There have also been religious and non-religious Jews in several countries.

Racialization of Jews have a long pedigree in the history of Anti-Semitism. Racialization of Jews was practiced in Spain against the Anusim (“Marranos”), Jews who were involuntarily converted to Christianity during the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Racialization of Jews in Germany became prominent already in the second half of the 19th century when religious Anti-Semitism (Anti-Judaism) was increasingly supplanted by racializing Anti-Semitism. The third phase is the current racialization of Jews by the extreme left.

Racialization of Jews is intended to paint Jews as “genetic aliens” in a certain country (e.g. Spain, Germany or Israel). Of course painting any other people as “genetic aliens” is not socially acceptable beyond Nazi circles. But Anti-Semitic opponents of Israel systematically engage in discourse to stigmatize the Jews in the land of Israel as genetic aliens despite Ashkenazim, Sephardim and Mizrahim patrilineally being very very genetically similar to Palestinians due to common historical origin, with the genetic divergence accounted for by historical conversions to Judaism and by immigration to the land of Israel from other parts of the Middle East during the Islamic era.

Ashkenazim, Sephardim and Mizrahim are more similar to each other than to any other populations and are predominantly of Middle Eastern origin in genetically confirming the historical narrative of ancient Israelite origin. The Anti-Semitic accusation according to which Ashkenazi Jews are exclusively descended from European converts to Judaism despite that part of Ashkenazi ancestry accounting only for only 30% of the Ashkenazi gene pool with the remaining 70% being Middle Eastern in origin is used by Anti-Semites such as Palestinian-American professor of Columbia University Joseph Massad to libelously paint Israeli Jews as “European colonizers” and against the scientific consensus denying that most modern Israeli Jews are Levantine returnees to Israel. The false claim that Ashkenazi Jews are “European colonizers” is in fact one of the main claims involved in the Anti-Semitic racialization of Ashkenazi Jewry. {Jews are a Nation of Color}

After the covid pandemic several feel a greater need to come to connect with one or another Jewish or Jeshuaist denomination. Having been on their own, in their own living room, with nobody else to share the faith, was too lonely. Some, who were previously connected with a shul, lost contact but also interest to go to a prayer and study house. Though others have now, even more than ever before, felt the need to be connected to other fellow believers.

This Passover is for several an essential time to consider the way how God handled His People and how, also today, He is still willing to guide them through the desert of this (non-religious) world.

Some people take time to think about separation and isolation, and look at the lessons we get from the Scrolls that teach that the priests were deliberately separated from everyone else. They even couldn’t go to family funerals, like many could not in the Corona crisis. Their job was to remain separate from the people they served, which may sound strange. But their goal was to maintain their close connection with the Most High in purity or holiness.

To remain separate at all times isn’t healthy for anyone. All over the world many learned that all too well the last two years. this year many felt a great joy they were able again to come together with some friends to do like the apostles did, following up the permanent ordinance… a celebration for all of God’s people throughout all time, remembering Passover.

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Find to read:

Times of seclusion, restriction, liberation, connection, religious affiliation and conversion

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Preceding

Measure of loneliness whilst time drags

Adar 6, Matan Torah remembering the giving of Torah

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Additional reading

  1. Jewish diaspora
  2. December a joyful time for many
  3. Lenten Season and our minds and hearts the spiritual temple in which God seeks to live
  4. Remember the day
  5. Ransom for all
  6. A perfect life, obedient death, and glorious resurrection
  7. Redemption #4 The Passover Lamb
  8. Redemption #7 Christ alive in the faithful
  9. Atonement And Fellowship 8/8
  10. A strange thing might happen when you come under Christ
  11. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  12. Falling figures for identifying Christians
  13. What is happening in America to religion and to the language of faith
  14. Who is a Jew?
  15. Counting sands and stars
  16. We Count. We Just Weren’t Counted.
  17. Judaism and Jeshuaism a religion of the future
  18. Great tribulation and Armageddon
  19. Armageddon or the Great Tribulation
  20. Ashkenazi Jews are extremely inbred

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Related

  1. Passover Blessings – April 15th through 22nd, 2014
  2. Proselytism
  3. Jesus Became Our Passover Lamb
  4. How Jews look to non-Jews – Part 1
  5. Going back to shul
  6. Fighting ignorance

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Filed under Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, World affairs

American Judaism: Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Reconstructionist

 

Mark Beré Peterson: The Humanities focused on Ancient History, Culture, Literature, Myth, Magic and Counterculture Movements

Whether you refer to them as denominations, streams, movements or branches the American Jewish experience is as diverse as their interpretation of traditional Jewish law or halacha. Outside North America, the non-Orthodox streams of Judaism play a less significant role, and in Israel the vast majority of synagogues and other Jewish religious institutions are Orthodox, even though most Israeli Jews do not identify as Orthodox. Evenwithin North America, the role of the movements has diminished somewhat in recent years, with growing numbers of American Jews and Jewish institutions identifying as “just Jewish.”

The largest affiliation of American Jews, some 35 percent of Jews identify asReform. The movement emphasizes the primacy of the Jewish ethical tradition over the obligations of Jewish law. The movement has traditionally sought to adapt Jewish tradition to modern sensibilities and sees itself as politically progressive and social-justice oriented while emphasizing personal choice in matters…

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Filed under History, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs

Judaism and Jewishness in 2020 America

A new Pew Research Center survey finds that many Jewish Americans participate, at least occasionally, both in some traditional religious practices – like going to a synagogue or fasting on Yom Kippur – and in some Jewish cultural activities, like making potato latkes, watching Israeli movies or reading Jewish news online.  The same could perhaps be said for European Jews.

Among young Jewish adults, however, two sharply divergent expressions of Jewishness appear to be gaining ground – one involving religion deeply enmeshed in every aspect of life, and the other involving little or no religion at all.

For Europeans it might be strange that overall, about a quarter of U.S. Jewish adults (27%) do not identify with the Jewish religion. Like all over the world we can find the strong feeling of ethnicity, more than religiosity.  The 27% U.S. Jewish adults who consider themselves to be Jewish ethnically, culturally or by family background, even when they have a Jewish parent or were raised Jewish,  answer a question about their current religion by describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” rather than as Jewish. Among Jewish adults under 30, four-in-ten describe themselves this way.

The two branches of Judaism that long predominated in the U.S. have less of a hold on young Jews than on their elders.
In 2013 the Conservative movement was the second largest of the three main religious denominations within American Judaism, claiming 18 percent of American Jews. In some years in the 1950s, the movement was adding 100 new affiliate congregations annually.
In the 21st century, the movement’s long-term viability has continued to be drawn into question. The percentage of Jewish households that identified as Conservative dropped by 10 points — from 43 to 33 percent — between 1990 and 2000, according to surveys of the American Jewish population conducted in those years. By the end of the century, the movement was in serious decline, in such a way that some were fretting openly that Conservative Judaism was on the road to oblivion. About fifteen years ago Rabbi David Wolpe suggested that Conservative Judaism be rebranded as Covenantal Judaism. That name we hear also here and there in our regions, where some Jews and Jeshuaists consider themselves Covenantal Jews.
Today roughly four-in-ten Jewish adults under 30 identify with either Reform (29%) or Conservative Judaism (8%), compared with seven-in-ten Jews ages 65 and older.
Among Jews ages 18 to 29, 17% self-identify as Orthodox, compared with just 3% of Jews 65 and older. And fully one-in-ten U.S. Jewish adults under the age of 30 are Haredim (often known in English as “ultra-Orthodox.”), (11%), compared with 1% of Jews 65 and older. Approximately 1.2 million Haredim live in Israel, jealously guarding their traditions.

Strangely enough, or perhaps not, we can find several Jews who are somewhere “in-between”, themselves found to be not a believer, but who have not given up upon Jewish religious practice. some of them have even adopted more religious practices than they were ever raised with.
In the States, like in Canada and West Europe we find lots of Jews who adopted a religious Jewish lifestyle for themselves, in a similar way we have seen Christians also creating their own religious system and spiritual lifestyle.

In fora we can see that the participants who no longer believe were raised in various Orthodox communities around the world, ranging from Modern Orthodox to Yeshivish to Hassidic; and most spent their childhoods and years of their adulthoods studying in houses of Torah learning. Some were rabbis themselves, educators who dedicated years of their lives to spreading love of Torah and traditional Judaism among the Jewish people. {Why can’t I be secular?}

Remarkable is to notice that in the U.S.A. the youngest U.S. Jews count among their ranks both a relatively large share of traditionally observant, Orthodox Jews and an even larger group of people who see themselves as Jewish for cultural, ethnic or family reasons but do not identify with Judaism – as a religion – at all.  For non-Jews the difference is mostly not made, which gives a totally wrong view of Jews, them thinking all those things those civilian non-believing Jews do against Torah would be in line or acceptable to all Jews.

In the U.S., the same as in Europe, we can see that the youngsters, though not so interested to know if the food is kosher or not, still like a lot of traditional foods. As such, they like cooking traditional Jewish foods, visiting Jewish historical sites and listening to Jewish or Israeli music. Yet the survey finds that most people in the latter group (Jews of no religion) feel they have not much or nothing at all in common with the former group (Orthodox Jews). For many youngsters the Jewish traditions and lifestyle may feel outdated. Others may become unsettled because they find people in their forties searching for ways to live more in line with their ancestors, going back to the synagogue and praying again in the house. Some want to delve into the deeper meaning of Jewishness and Judaism.

It is a fact that Jews and Jeshuaists are a minority. For the U.S.A. in absolute numbers, the 2020 Jewish population estimate is approximately 7.5 million, including 5.8 million adults and 1.8 million children (rounded to the closest 100,000). The 2013 estimate was 6.7 million, including 5.3 million adults and 1.3 million children. The precision of these population estimates should not be exaggerated; they are derived from a sample of the U.S. public that is very large compared with most surveys (more than 68,000 interviews) but are still subject to sampling error and other practical difficulties that produce uncertainty. Furthermore, the size of the Jewish population greatly depends on one’s definition of who counts as Jewish.

Most U.S. Jews identify as Democrats, but most Orthodox are Republicans

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Find also to read

Judaism and Jeshuaism a religion of the future

Jewish Americans in 2020

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Related

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  2. Covenantal Judaism: Ki Tavo 5780
  3. On Rosh Hashanah, a sermon to the unwelcome
  4. Converting to Judaism sparks political uproar in Israel
  5. Opening Israel to non-Orthodox Converts Should Have Happened Long Ago
  6. A Journey of Discovery
  7. Messianic Jews Say ‘Fake Rabbi’ Was Wrong Way to Reach the Ultra-Orthodox
  8. Reform Jews Should Recite Qorbanot in Prayer
  9. Parshat Eikev
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  12. What I’m Watching
  13. Oh, come on, or: Srsly?

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Filed under Being and Feeling, History, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs

The Rise of Anti-Seminism

In January a Jewish community centre received a recording, which was obtained by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a news service. On the tape one could hear the pitch of the voice computer-altered, making the speaker sound a little like Donald Duck, but the message was hardly cartoonish.

“In a short time, a large number of Jews are going to be slaughtered.”

In February there was a rash of threats on Monday the 27th hit 20 Jewish institutions in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.  It was the fifth round of similar threats that have come during the last two months, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which has counted 90 bomb threats for those two months.

Paul Goldenberg, who used to head a hate-crimes office for the state of New Jersey and is now in charge of investigating anti-Semitic threats for Jewish organizations, said, anti-Semitic incidents would increase in reaction to events in the Middle East, such as Israeli incursions in Gaza or Lebanon, but the recent incidents appeared to have no such trigger.

“I am a 20-year veteran of law enforcement, and these are extraordinary times. … I have never seen such an uptick in such a short period of time.”

Goldenberg said.

English: "Anti-Semitic Jewish Postcard"

English: “Anti-Semitic Jewish Postcard” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some analysts have tied the upsurge of hate crimes to the polarizing election of Donald Trump as president, but Naomi Adler, head of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, said it dated to 2015.

“The rhetoric and disgusting speech began two years before the actual election at the beginning of the election season, but is not the whole explanation,”

she said.

“There is an incredible amount of anxiety and fear in our community.”

Jews, Christians and Muslims should show they want to be children of God. They should do everything to show the world the Love of God and how we as creatures created in God His image, should all respect every other human being, ass well as every other created being (animals and plants).

The best way to take away anti- or hate feelings is to make sure the wrong ideas about the religious community (be it Jews, Christians or Muslims) are taken away by openness and clarity of teachings and way of living, not isolating oneself from the rest of the surroundings society.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio Downtow...

The University of Texas at San Antonio Downtown campus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Find a reaction on the University of Texas San Antonio’s newspaper The Paisano inside view from a university Jewish Hillel student on her thoughts and feelings about the recent tragedies,  JCCs and cemeteries that are threatened and neighbourhoods or houses that have experienced anti-Semetic attacks.

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Preceding article: What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

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Elizabeth Quinn

Disclaimer: I have chosen this article due to my photojournalism project that was also about anti-Semitism. I wanted to see how similar my questions were with another school’s student’s questions.

Jewish communities continue to receive threats and are attacked by anti-Semitism. The University of Texas San Antonio’s newspaper The Paisano interviews a Jewish Hillel student on her thoughts and feelings about these recent tragedies.

The newsworthiness of this piece is evident with the current and continuous threats and attacks to Jewish communities. To get an inside view from a university Jewish student is a great way to frame a story. It is a first-hand attack, but in this case, it is not a first-hand experience.

The first thing that I notice about the questions asked were the audiences for the questions. Isaac Serna moves from a broad, national, audience to a specific, university, audience and back to a broad, national…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, Knowledge & Wisdom, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs