Tag Archives: Meditate

9 Adar and bickering or loving followers of the Torah preparing for Pesach

The Catholics may have started their Lenten Season and try to lessen what they normally would eat and cut in entertainment activities. When we look around us we may find a few people who want to take the time to go over to a willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time.

Many religious observances have fasting in their program.

You should know that it is not bad to have every year some cleaning of the body and mind. Also in the house many may do a Spring cleaning. Abstinence from food or drink or both may be done for health, ritualistic, religious, or ethical purposes. All over the world we can find peoples taking abstention which may be complete or partial, lengthy, of short duration, or intermittent. Fasting has been promoted and practised from antiquity worldwide by physicians, by the founders and followers of many religions, by culturally designated individuals (e.g., hunters or candidates for initiation rites), and by individuals or groups as an expression of protest against what they believe are violations of social, ethical, or political principles.

Since at least the 5th century bce fasting has been used therapeutically. The ancient Greek physician who lived during Greece’s Classical period and is traditionally regarded as the father of medicine, Hippocrates recommended abstinence from food or drink for patients who exhibited certain symptoms of illness.

Beit Hillel is located in Israel

Northern district, Mevo’ot HaHermon council, moshav Beit Hillel

Detail of the Knesset Menorah, Jerusalem: Hillel the Elder teaching a man the meaning of the whole Torah while he stands on one foot

In almost every rabbinic book we can find mention of 9 Adar as a fast day. Though we must admit that during the last 2,000 years, not many Jews actually observed it. According to tradition, 9 Adar was the day on which initially peaceful and constructive disagreements between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, the two great schools of thought during the Mishnaic period, erupted into a violent conflict over 18 points of law. The 1st century Jewish scholar Shammai was the most eminent contemporary, an important figure in Judaism‘s core work of rabbinic literature, the Mishnah, and the halakhic opponent of Hillel, the highest authority among the Pharisees (predecessors to Rabbinic Judaism), founder of the House of Hillel school for Tannaïm (Sages of the Mishnah) and the founder of a dynasty of Sages who stood at the head of the Jews living in the Land of Israel until roughly the fifth century of the Common Era.

Hillel was the head of the great school, at first associated with Menahem the Essene, who might be the same Menahem the Essene as the one mentioned by Flavius Josephus in relation to King Herod, afterward with Shammai, Hillel’s peer in the teaching of Jewish Law. The family of Jesus Christ also belonged to the Essenes.

Hillel and his Torah colleague Shammai were both disciples of Shemaya and Avtalyon as well as the last of the Zugos. (The five generations of Zugos were Jose ben Joezer and Jose ben Jochanan, Joshua ben Perachiah and Nitai HaArbeli, Judah ben Tabbai and Shimon ben Shatach, Shemaya and Avtalyon, and Hillel and Shammai.) Both were fearless upholders of the Torah’s honour, standing up to Herod and brooking no mockery of Judaism.

Due to increased Roman persecution, Hillel and Shammai their disciples were unable to analyze new situations as deeply as Jewish scholars once could. As a result, the emerging scholars broke off into two schools of thought, known as Bais Shammai and Bais Hillel or Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, and wound up disputing more than 300 cases. This beginning of large-scale argumentation (machlokes) is viewed by the Talmud as a sad diminution in Torah scholarship, which, due to the lack of clarity, had drastic results for the Jewish people.

At first the scholars personally treated each other with great love and respect. But according to various sources 9 Adar was the day on which initially peaceful and constructive disagreements between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, erupted into a violent conflict over 18 points of law, killing as many as 3,000 students in the fighting which should have been avoided.

We can take 9 Adar as a cautionary tale. There is a timely and pressing need to examine how the model of machloket l’shem shamayim (dispute for the sake of Heaven) between Beit Hillel, which produced 14 generations of great leaders, spanning nearly 400 years, and guiding the Jewish people through some of their most difficult times, and Beit Shammai devolved into a Jewish civil war. The lesson from that occasion is that

if we don’t work to resolve conflict peaceably and in a way in which everyone walks out stronger and the community is strengthened,

notes Nurit Bachrach, director of Mosaica: The Center for Consensual Conflict Resolution.

9Adar9 Adar, may be looked at as a day we should recognize the urgency to impart skills for constructive conflict to future Jewish leaders and therefore the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution has therefore chosen this day to be the international Jewish Day of Constructive Conflict (machloket l’shem shamayim), dedicated to both the study and practice of Judaism and conflict resolution.

People need to have their minds open for different thoughts. They should always try to negotiate with those of other opinions and should always remember that all people are creations of the Most High, in His image, which we should show respect.

As in any community there may be different thoughts or different schools. All created in the image of God should respect the others around them. We also should know that nobody can know everything, but God. We as fallible human beings shall have to try to work things out. God has given us time to do that. He also has given His Word and His Law, which we remembered this last weekend. That Torah or Written Law should be our guide. We should follow those instructions.

There are 18 ways you or your organization can participate in your home, workplace, synagogue, school and community, recalling the 18 matters over which the conflict erupted.

Traditional Fast Day Customs (Minhagim)

  1. Fast (ta’anit)
  2. Fast from destructive speech (ta’anit dibbur)
  3. Contribute (tzedakah)
  4. Self-reflect (teshuvah)
  5. Pray (tefilah)
  6. Cook/eat (se’udah)

 

Learn/Teach (Talmud Torah)

  1. Write
  2. Study/Read/listen
  3. Give a dvar torah (words of Torah)
  4. Teach
  5. Announce/share/tell
  6. Create

 

Be a Rodef Shalom for the Day

  1. Sign/Create a Rodef Shalom Agreement (Haskamah)
  2. Greet others as a rodef shalom
  3. Be a rodef shalom in your own conflicts
  4. Be a rodef shalom for others in conflict
  5. Be a rodef shalom by facilitating a constructive conversation
  6. Invite a professional rodef shalom

 

On this day it is also important that we do think about the reason why we received the Torah and how we should use it as a guide to construct our life. If we want to be a Child of God we should behave like one. As children of God we do have to feel like brothers and sisters of each other, respecting and loving each other, trying together to please our heavenly Father.

When we treasure our friendship with the Most High Elohim Hashem Jehovah, we should strive to please Him in every aspect of our life, including our thoughts. Preparing ourselves for the coming period, living up to Erev Pesach or 14 Nisan on Monday April the 10th in 2017 and hoping to have a joyful Pesach the next two days days, we may take the coming days to think how we can better our life and cleanse our inner soul. Fasting, or trying not to be tempted by certain things we so love, is a good way to train our self.

Everybody has to work at himself or herself to come to have “a pure heart”. This has to happen by focusing our minds on what is chaste, virtuous, and praiseworthy. (Ps. 24:3, 4; 51:6; Phil. 4:8) Granted, Jehovah makes allowances for our imperfect nature. He knows that we are prone to improper desires. But we do have to recognize that it saddens Him when we nurture wrong thoughts instead of doing all we can to reject them. (Gen. 6:5, 6) Therefore let us remember those squabbling studious Jewish followers of Hillel and his Torah colleague Shammai, and make sure that we do not fall in the trap of discussing so much smaller things that they grow above our head into something which would bring us to fight and do something against the Will of the Most High.

Going up to the days of Pesach we can take time to meditate on the Word of God plus His Works and to reflect on our way of living. It can be a good thing to avoid being tempted to eat or drink certain things we love, and to stand still by those who were going day in day out through the desert, hoping to find the promised Holy Land soon. We too still have our hopes on the Holy Land and look forward to see it coming to a time of peace. We therefore should take enough time to consider what it is what God wants and to come to accept that Jews, Christians and Muslims should all be partakers of that Holy Land. In the end all the world should know that the Kingdom of God shall be the place for all lovers of God, no matter from which school they came of from which denomination they were part of. Jerusalem shall be the capital of God’s Kingdom here on earth and there shall be place enough for all those who want to do the Will of God.

Doing the Will of God should be our aim. To do that Will of God we may only worship One True God and keep ourselves away form all sorts of heathen rites and traditions. So, if you want to fast, do it, but do it with a pure heart, not mixing with pagan traditions and keep your thoughts chaste or spotless. An important way to show our complete reliance on Jehovah is by making our fight against unclean thoughts and staying restraint a matter of prayer. When we draw close to Jehovah in prayer, he draws close to us. He generously gives us his holy spirit, thus strengthening our resolve to resist immoral thoughts and remain chaste. Let us these days remember that and let peace grow in our hearts and share it with others around us.

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Preceding articles

Happy First Day of Spring: Spring Cleaning!

From the Ramadan into the eid

Your Future

7 Ways To Become A Better Christian

Reactions against those of the other sex

Glimlach raam naar je ziel

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Additional reading

  1. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  2. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  3. Gone astray, away from God
  4. Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day
  5. First mention of a solution against death 7 Human sacrifice
  6. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  7. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God
  8. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  9. Lenten Season and our minds and hearts the spiritual temple in which God seeks to live

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Other related articles

  1. The other way around?
  2. A Moment of Bliss
  3. Lent
  4. Day 0 – The Preparation, The Mission
  5. Catholic-Judeo Spirituality of Fasting: It’s all about squealing with joy
  6. Why Catholics Observe Lent Uniquely
  7. Daily Mass: Fasting for God. Catholic Inspiration
  8. Lent is Here and I’m Late Posting This!
  9. Five Reasons Not to Observe Lent*
  10. What Did You Give Up For Lent?
  11. Fasting For… (3.4.2017)
  12. Meditation on Lent: Good Gifts
  13. Lent – An Invitation to Joy
  14. Facebook Fast
  15. Soul Food: Lent Temptation cakes
  16. Begone, Satan!
  17. Why is Fasting So Difficult For Me?
  18. Day 3 Fasting & Abstinence: Good Read
  19. Lent Day 4: 3/4/2017
  20. Day 4 Fasting: Day of Temptations
  21. Taking the Other Seriously
  22. What Does God Really Want From Us this Lent?
  23. The Unbiblical Nature of the Lenten Season!
  24. March 2017 Fasting Log
  25. “Why Do You Fast?”
  26. My Fast is Finished but God’s Not
  27. It is well with my soul
  28. Lent Day 5: 3/5/2017
  29. Day 5 Fasting & Abstinence: Blessed Sunday
  30. Healing crisis
  31. Fasting Opens Us Up
  32. slob days
  33. Fasting Echoes Joy
  34. Lent 6 ~ Fasting to Repair and Restore
  35. Lent Day 6: 3/6/2017
  36. Day 6 Fasting: Adjustment Over
  37. 1029
  38. 100 days to Ramadan
  39. Aiming for an outstanding Ramadan The holy month of Ramadan this year is going to start at the end of May.
  40. Targets for Ramadan
  41. Daily News Egypt: Twitter reveals increase of users’ activities in Ramadan
  42. Fasting Tips for New Muslims
  43. When Is Laylatul Qadr?
  44. Praying Maghrib and Esha in Jamaat in The Last 10 Nights of Ramadaan
  45. Prolonged Du’a in Sujood and Tashahud in The Last 10 Nights of Ramadaan
  46. Doing Good Deeds in The Last 10 Blessed Days of Ramadaan
  47. Tips for The Last 10 Nights of Ramadaan
  48. “Better Than:” The Spirit of Fasting
  49. Detox

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

The Mountain: Radical Love

In our second reposting from the paraphrased chronological harmony of the four gospels, by Frank Boulet we look once more at the central message of Jesus which is simply this:

 Love God by loving people, even your enemies.

with From Guestwriters we do want to spread this message of love and want to get enough people to see how we do have to control ourselves first before we can try to get a better world.

Our aim is also that those who come along our site, shall make the effort to read the appropriate Bible text and shall take time to meditate on the material.

Insofar as they convey that message, these meditations may be helpful as an introduction to the complete texts of the New Testament, or for daily devotional reading.

Those who call themselves Christian always should remember that they have to be followers of Christ longing for God’s Spirit to feed them. They cannot be called Christian when they do not keep to the laws and teachings Christ adhered to.

The spirit that God wants reflected to the world by your life is revealed in the law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. {The Mountain: God’s Word}

As believers in Christ we do have to be believers in the One True God and become children of Him.

In order to live as God’s child, you must be faithful to the essential spirit of God’s word. {The Mountain: God’s Word}

It was on a mountain that Jesus began giving examples of the spirit of God’s Word. From that sermon on the mountain we should get to know that our faith needs those works Jesus spoke about.

As a Christians we should not only have a good relationship with Christ Jesus, but also with God and God His creatures.

If you’re about to worship God in any way, and you remember an unsettled dispute with another person, first go & make peace with that person, and then return to worship God. {The Mountain: Anger}

As a Christian we should follow Christ’s teachings and God’s commandments.

God’s law says, do not engage in sexual cheating (meaning sexual relations are to be enjoyed only with your husband or wife). {The Mountain: Sexual Cheating}

This means we have to be faithful to the partner we have chosen to share our life with. That faithfulness demands control and requires acts of love. The keeping our minds focused on the right persons is one of the works we do have to do. Because we should know that we may not even look with lust at a woman, because for God that is considered the same as sexual cheating in your heart!

We also should be careful which words  we use and what sort of promises we make.

It has also been said, ‘Do not break your promise to God.’

But I say, do not even make promises to God.

Yes we are told not to promise by heaven, by the earth, by Jerusalem, not even by your own head, because it’s sinful to try to add emphasis to your promises in that way.

We should not do the wrong things but the right things and as such

Instead of promising to do what God says, just do what God says. {The Mountain: Promises to God}

heart-of-a-good-samaritan-reveals

We also may not seek revenge against any other person, which again shall demand control of ourselves and not getting into anger which would bring us to do wrong.

extra_mile

Jesus gives an indication how in our relation to others we should care for them and even be willing to go with them.

If a soldier demands that you carry his pack one mile, carry it two miles.

Whenever another person asks you for something, give it to him.

Whenever another person wants to borrow something, lend it to him.

Matthew 5:38-42

Also to love your enemies we shall need to be stronger than the first reaction most people get against their enemies or to those they hate.

Jesus concluded:

Instead of being like everybody else, God wants you to love perfectly — just as God himself loves perfectly. (Matthew 5:43-48) {The Mountain: Loving Enemies}

Living for God in this life means you need to have different goals than most people.

For instance, you must love your enemies. {The Mountain: Radical Love}

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We should remember

  • things essential to gain all of God’s blessings:

• Admitting + Mourning self-inflicted spiritual poverty.
• Regretting your self-inflicted separation from God.
• Desiring to live God’s way
• Expecting & accepting trouble living God’s way will bring in this life.

  • Living for yourself in this life will never lead to God’s blessings in the next life:

Then the author says:

  • • goal in this life to be rich => poor in the next life.

  • • goal in this life to be full => hungry in the next life.

  • • goal in this life to be happy => sad in the next life.

  • • goal in this life for other people to speak well of you => no one will speak well of you in the next life.

But with death we have paid for our sins and then there comes an end to our life. When we die it shall be too late to do anything. there shall be no “next life”, except the life we shall continue to live on this earth in this system of things when we have done wrong and do not repent, or after Armageddon and the judgement when we shall be rejected or receive the entrance to God’s Kingdom, being able to live in the restored ‘Garden of Eden‘, the paradise, God’s Kingdom.

It is here, now or never that we shall have to do and make it. Several parables of Christ show us how for many it will be too late for them to change anything for their entrance in the Kingdom of God … they just shall miss it … because they have not done the required works to be saved.

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Preceding articles

Illusion of control

First man’s task still counting today

He who knows himself, is kind to others

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

The Mountain: Radical Obedience

Restitution

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Also of interest

  1. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  2. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  3. Christ’s ethical teaching
  4. The business of this life
  5. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  6. Running away from the past
  7. Be holy
  8. Love for each other attracting others
  9. The Greatest of These is Love
  10. Unconditional love
  11. Love is like playing the piano
  12. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  13. Relying on the Love of God
  14. No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends
  15. Work with joy and pray with love
  16. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  17. We love because he first loved us
  18. Malefactors becoming your master
  19. 112314 – A Peculiar People
  20. Be ye angry and sin not
  21. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  22. He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger
  23. Singing gift from God
  24. God does not change

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Further related articles

  1. “Week One Reflection” by Dr.J. 2016 Fast Post 19
  2. The Difference Between Healthy And Unhealthy Shame
  3. God Can Set You Free From Your Shame
  4. The Surprising Key to Increasing Your Willpower
  5. How to gain self-control & self-discipline
  6. Control When It Counts
  7. Bible study: Blessed are the meek: For they shall inherit the earth (Mt 5:5)
  8. Frank Sinatra quotes from Sermon on the Mount
  9. You are the Way Jesus!
  10. Who gets your attention?
  11. Building on the Rock
  12. The Jesus Revolution
  13. Class #1: Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount
  14. sermon on the mount – an introduction
  15. The King’s Sermon (Matt. 4:23, 25, 5:1-2)
  16. Blessed are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
  17. Sermon on the Mount: Ask, Seek, Knock
  18. Sermon On The Mount – Blessed are the meek
  19. Blessed are the Meek
  20. Sermon on the Mount: In the Eye
  21. January 17 Matthew 7:1-14
  22. Misreading the Bible: “Judge Not”
  23. The Sermon on the Mount (18)
  24. The Poor in Spirit
  25. Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit
  26. Blessed Are They That Mourn
  27. Sermon on the Mount: Wisdom
  28. The Sermon on the Mount is not a Guide to Christian Salvation
  29. God give us grace to face the Sermon on the Mount
  30. Sermon on the Mount: Blindness
  31. Salt and Light
  32. Sermon on the Mount by Vance Stinson
  33. The Lord’s Prayer
  34. The Third Way: Nonviolent Resistance
  35. Loving the Unlovables – Part One
  36. Be Different in Your Purity
  37. The Poor in Spirit (Matt. 5:3)
  38. Like A Bull In A China Shop
  39. God is Jehovah Jireh – The LORD Will Provide
  40. Thesis of Jesus
  41. Be Different in Your Anger
  42. Class #3: Three you are statements. Matthew 5:11-16
  43. January 12 Matthew 5:21-32
  44. January 13 Matthew 5:33-48
  45. Borrowed Trouble — Being Perfect, Part 4
  46. When Grief is Good
  47. Lay Down Your Blessings
  48. Teacher
  49. Master, teach us how to pray – The Lord’s Prayer
  50. James 1
  51. Be Your Attitudes
  52. beatitude
  53. The Beatitudes: Growing into the Kingdom of Heaven. Already.
  54. In Search of Eternity
  55. Be Different in Your Righteousness
  56. Daily Riches: Can One Obey Without Actually Obeying? (James Hannay and William James)
  57. A Greater Righteousness
  58. Out with the old, in with almost nothing
  59. Be Different in Your Influence
  60. Rain or Shine — Being Perfect, Part 1
  61. Virtue Signaling — Being Perfect, Part 2
  62. The Business of Blessing Others

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