Posts by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

“Hate-Speech” and Twitter – Rabbi Lapin’s Response

October 19th, 2018 Posted by AAJC Happenings No Comment yet

Rabbi Daniel Lapin was asked to respond for a news article to Louis Farrakhan’s most recent anti-Semitic remark on Twitter, and on Twitter’s hypocrisy in addressing “hate-speech”. Here is his submitted quote:

“Jews, along with all Americans, are best served by constitutional fealty and it is the First Amendment to the Constitution that happily makes America one of the few nations not to criminalize what is called “hate-speech.” The reason I say “happily” is because we Jews would rapidly become hate-speech legislation’s first victims, as teaching certain Biblical chapters is made illegal. In America, Louis Farrakhan may freely utter his opinions about Jews, and being a private sector company, Twitter may freely choose to publish those opinions. But Twitter betrays its moral mendacity by providing Farrakhan with a megaphone while banning many voices like the Christian blogger, Elizabeth Johnston, for opposing the sexualization of young children by Teen Vogue magazine. Americans would be better served by a Twitter that practiced no censorship at all. And Twitter would be better off too.” ~ Rabbi Daniel Lapin, American Alliance of Jews and Christians

Building Blocks – Not for Kids Only

October 16th, 2018 Posted by Thought Tools 25 comments

Jews around the world recently finished an annual cycle of reading the Five Books of Moses (the Torah) and immediately began reading again from the beginning of Genesis.  Since so many of us met the “stories” in Genesis as children, we sometimes neglect to view the book with adult eyes.  Ancient Jewish wisdom analyzes each letter and word, revealing treasure that we can only uncover with a mature viewpoint. I’d like to share one example. 

In the beginning, God created 92 basic elements including the well-known hydrogen, oxygen, gold, silver, copper, platinum, uranium, calcium and lead.  The remaining 83 include lesser known elements such as titanium, tellurium, caesium and cadmium.

While it is true that the periodic table today contains over 100 elements, only the first 92 occur naturally.  The others must be artificially made and are generally unstable.  They undergo nuclear rearrangement and radioactive decay shortly after being synthesized.

In other words, the entire universe is made with only 92 basic building blocks we call atoms.  Everything that we use and which makes life possible and wonderful comes about through combining the atomic building blocks into compound molecules.

Thus, water, air, steel, wood, plastic, wool, silk, potatoes and marshmallows are all mixtures of those 92 building blocks.  Even the table salt that our bodies need and which adds flavor to French-fries is a mixture of sodium and chlorine.

Obviously, true science never conflicts with the Torah and many of the secrets that God embedded in His book reveal this.  If you’ve been learning with me for a while, you know that every Hebrew letter has a numerical value. The Hebrew word for nature, HaTevah, has the identical numerical configuration (86) as the ineffable name of God, the Creator, that appears in Genesis 1:1 Elokim (86).  The lesson is that to understand God, we must try to understand His creation.

The account of Creation runs from Genesis 1:1 all the way to Genesis 2:3.  Those 34 verses contain exactly 92 separate discrete Hebrew words.  That’s right!  The building blocks of Creation number exactly the same as the building blocks used to describe it.  92 words to describe 92 elements!  Please tell me that you’re utterly astounded by God and His Book.  I know that I am.

We can’t leave it there. We must ask what valuable lesson God is imparting to us. The lesson is clear.  God created a world for connection.  He created atoms to connect into molecules and molecules to connect into the things we need. He created words to connect into verses, musical notes to connect into songs, and people to connect with one another for fulfillment and happiness.  Every socio-medical study arrives at the same conclusion.  People with strong connections to other people – friends, family, worship community and business associates – live healthier and happier lives. From the first word of Genesis, God is urging us to absorb the reality of a world of connection. 

Genesis and the rest of Scripture provide God’s blueprint for life. Much of it reveals its secrets only through ancient Jewish wisdom. I share some of the most eye-opening and amazing tips for life in 4 audio CD sets that are available together in our Genesis Journeys Set. This approximately 8 hours of audio will thrill you and reshape your life. I invite you to access it as a download or by mail while it is on sale right now. 

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Rabbi Lapin on Iranian TV

October 9th, 2018 Posted by AAJC Happenings No Comment yet

You may not have heard, but on Friday, September 14, 2018, Rabbi Daniel Lapin appeared on television throughout Iran.

“If a billion Muslims became Evangelical Christians tomorrow, would the world be a better place?”

This is the simple yes/no question that Rabbi Daniel Lapin has become famous for asking to large audiences. As a result, he was invited to tape three shows with Iran Alive Ministries under the direction of Dr. Hormoz Shariat. Iran Alive Ministries beams full time Christian programming to an estimated 2 million Christians in Iran as well as to a large secularized Muslim audience that is actively seeking a religious alternative to Islam.

Who Are You Calling a Hebrew?

October 8th, 2018 Posted by Thought Tools 18 comments

The Mayflower’s historic 66 day voyage in 1620 from Plymouth, England to the New World was characterized by what was then typical hardship for both passengers and crew.  Arduous handling of the heavy canvas sails, coping with almost non-existent bathroom facilities, and barely surviving on non-refrigerated food were only a few of the challenges faced by those who made that voyage.

While much has improved for mariners, one activity that plagued those on the Mayflower still requires attention today.  Whether a cruise ship like the Symphony of the Seas at over 1,100 feet long (more than a thousand times larger than the Mayflower) or the small motorboat on which the Lapin family explores coastal British Columbia, all boats have bilge pumps.  Their purpose is to return the water that inevitably finds its way into the bottoms of boats back to where it belongs—outside the boat.

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Feel Your Way to Failure

October 2nd, 2018 Posted by Thought Tools 49 comments

Our society is moving towards respecting feelings more than facts and placing emotions above the rule of law. That road to disaster is blatantly evident in the battle for civilization going on in Washington, D.C. right now.   It is clearly time for us all to relearn the following lesson from ancient Jewish wisdom.

Both individuals and societies can allow emotions to dominate us.  We then invariably  use our heads to rationalize the bad decisions we’ve just made. Alternatively, we can carefully make decisions and then invite our hearts on board to provide needed excitement and enthusiasm. The two ways we can choose to go lead to strikingly different places.

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Merry or Macabre?

September 25th, 2018 Posted by Thought Tools 16 comments

We are in the midst of Sukot, known in English as the Feast of Tabernacles. Weather permitting (easier in Israel than in many other locations), observant Jews spend as much time as possible in their Sukot, or outdoor booths, based on this verse:

In Sukot you shall live for seven days…so that your generations will know that in Sukot
I sat the children of Israel when I took them out of the land of Egypt,
I am the Lord your God.
(Leviticus 23:42-43)

This holyday is uniquely characterized as “the time of our joy” on account of the following verses:

…and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.
(Leviticus 23:40)

You shall make the holyday of Sukot for seven days…
And you shall rejoice in your holyday…
(Deuteronomy 16:13-14)

In another of those puzzling paradoxes we so frequently encounter in our Biblical studies and whose resolution inevitably leads to one more blinding truth about how the world REALLY works, we find death surrounding the holyday called “Time of our Joy.”  Death and joy?  Really?

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Storm Shelter

September 17th, 2018 Posted by Thought Tools 14 comments

I am spoiled. When I contemplate boating, I picture vacationing with my family among the magnificent islands of the Pacific Northwest. But except for a blessed few people and times, boarding a ship has not meant leisure, but instead was a risky way for crossing oceans.

Traveling by ship was dangerous and frightening in the days before exotic cruising. Ships served as the precarious means of transportation to start a new life, for trade or as a means of livelihood like the potentially deadly 19th century whaling ships and, indeed, today’s commercial fishing boats.

The book of Jonah opens with a different type of boating:

And Jonah arose to flee… from before God…
and he found a ship going to Tarshish…
(Jonah 1:3)

And God sent a big wind over the ocean and there was a great storm
upon the ocean and the ship appeared likely to shatter.
(Jonah 1:4)

And the sailors were terrified … and they threw all the articles
on the ship into the ocean to make it lighter
and Jonah went down
to the bilges of the ship, lay down and fell asleep.
(Jonah 1:5)

The word ship appears four times in these three consecutive verses. Only by looking at the Hebrew text can you see that the word in the first three instances differs from the fourth. The first three use the the Hebrew word ONiYaH. The final instance of ship uses the word SeFiNaH.

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Is Evangelical Support Good for the Jews?

September 6th, 2018 Posted by AAJC Happenings, On Our Mind 4 comments

The following appeared in Jewish in Seattle magazine, the August/September 2018, edition. The question posed to Rabbi Daniel Lapin was, “Is Evangelical support good for the Jews?”

Forgive me for conforming to the rabbinic stereotype of answering a question with a question but when you ask “…good for the Jews?”  which Jews do you mean?  I often tell my audiences that if you gathered together, into a colossal stadium, every self-identifying American Jew, the only thing you could get us all to agree on is that Hitler was a very bad man.

Evangelical support is good for those Jews who see modern day Israel as a fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham.  The nexus of American support for Israel is not Foggy Bottom. The State Department has long leaned Arab.  The United States was not the first country to recognize Israel in May 1948; the Soviet Union was.  But since 1948, Christian Evangelical strength in America has skyrocketed and paralleling it, so has American support for the Jewish state.  America’s Bible belt has become Israel’s safety belt.

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Instant Happiness?

September 5th, 2018 Posted by Thought Tools 14 comments

Susan and I shared in the immense joy of dear friends while attending the wedding of their daughter on Labor Day.  Since Rosh HaShana starts this coming Sunday night, we heard many greetings of, “Shana Tova,” (have a good year) and, “Have a happy new year.” The sentiment is lovely. The words are not quite accurate.

Being happy is a purposeful decision we make. Being happy is our responsibility.  It’s not the responsibility of our parents, friends, family, or God.  God commands us to be happy regardless of circumstance. (Deuteronomy 16:15)

On both occasions when the Torah mentions Rosh Hashana, it fails to speak of new year.

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Bloody Beastly Behavior

August 27th, 2018 Posted by Thought Tools 25 comments

I cringe whenever I recall the many instances my adolescent pranks and puerile pronouncements cast my parents down to the depths of hopeless gloom.  They had little excuse for optimism about the prospects of their first-born.  But seldom did the white heat of their anger flame more menacingly than when I dismissed myself as an animal.  Admittedly, I had learned to light their fuses so I knew just what to say when Mom reacted to my disgustingly slurping soup out of the bowl by spitting these words at me, “Stop eating your soup like an animal!”  What I said was, “But since I am an animal, it’s okay if I eat this way, right?”  In order not to posthumously ensnare my saintly mother with the government’s Child Protective Services, I’ll leave you in the dark as to what she then did to me.

Not to leave my long-suffering father out of this stroll down memory lane, I recall his reaction to our picnic in the park being marred by a nearby amorous couple’s inappropriately public displays of affection.  “That’s how animals behave,” he exclaimed.  That was a poorly chosen moment for me to disagree with him.  I mildly explained that I thought it was rather charmingly natural that they were indulging their animal instincts.  I think it was the word ‘charming’ that sealed my fate.  Or perhaps it was the approving way in which I uttered the word “natural”.  Either way, the father-son bond became taut and suspenseful for a day or two.

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