PO Box 58,
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Sixty-nine years ago, the modern state of Israel was born. The first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, not an overtly religious man said: “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.” This is as true today as it was in 1948.
A friend of mine recently celebrated the long-awaited arrival of his first child and almost overnight he became a different man. He drove his car a bit more cautiously. His facial expression looked a little more mature. His approach to work seemed more focused. While lovingly cradling his infant, he said to me, “Rabbi, I can’t believe what I created!”
I pretended not to hear him and cupping a hand about my ear, I asked, “What was that I heard?” He repeated what he had just told me. “No, no,” I said. “I heard you all right but I had to listen a bit more carefully to hear your son.”
“My son?” he asked, looking baffled. “Yes, your son just said exactly the same thing. He moved a tiny finger to point at you and he murmured, ‘Rabbi, I can’t believe what I created.’ “
I continued, “Yes, I think it true that more than a man creates a child, it is the child who creates a father.”
There are many life transforming experiences. Many have the potential to transform us into our higher selves while, of course, there are those experiences which will transform us into lesser beings. Then there are experiences, like watching cat videos on the Internet, which do nothing at all.
We spent Thursday night with a few hundred Christians who are picking grapes in Israel. Then we met a small group of new Jewish Israeli immigrants on Friday morning. All these people are in the “occupied territory,” a term designed to denigrate them and twist public opinion. How wonderful to be with strong and Godly people. You can catch an interview with some of these people on the current podcast.
Adina is the daughter of one of my best friends and one of my daughter’s best friends. My aunt and uncle and many of my cousins and friends live within a short distance of Adina and her family. This is her story.
We overslept this morning. Instead of our usual 6am wake up, my husband woke with a start at 6:50. I was nursing the baby while he got up to brush his teeth. Within minutes he returned, handing me his phone silently. “Terrorist apprehended in Zayit neighborhood of Efrat, one wounded, all residents told to stay indoors.” I handed his phone back to him and said, “oh.”
Sometimes there is no response to the unthinkable. Sometimes there is no response to what is almost inevitable and yet we hope and pray so desperately to avoid.
I listen to your podcast very often and I must say, that those helped me in becoming better human being. Hence my relationship with God improved as well (at least I think). But as I read through the Bible and other books, I always find some mention that only Israelites are the God’s nation. Why is that so important and mentioned quite often? Does this mean, that a person born outside Israel or in non-jewish family can believe in God, yet can never become one of his “chosen”?
I really enjoyed listening to you on the Glenn Beck show and thought I might ask a quick question, if that’s all right…I am a farmer/rancher and have decided to observe Shemitah, even though I don’t think it is “required” of gentiles. I just want to, as a sign of obedience to Him. But, I do wonder if it is permissible to cut hay for our cattle this winter? I am far from being an authority on this matter and don’t want a “loophole”. I really want to properly observe it to the best of my ability. I believe He will provide for us in any case. He always has.Any help you might offer would be greatly appreciated.Blessings,
∼ Ted C.
Let me start my response to you by praying that God rewards you for your faithfulness.
Second, thanks for watching the Glenn Beck show on which I appeared.
Your question is really interesting because not an hour before receiving it, I had just completed writing the Thought Tool that went out to over 40,000 of my students. I taught on the Shemitah and the Yoveil/Jubilee 50 year cycle.