Posts in On Our Mind

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.

For Jews who would rather see slightly less whole-hearted support for Israel and who would prefer a nuanced vision for the Middle East in which Jew and Arab are seen as equivalent partners with congruent understandings of peace, well, Evangelical support is not so good.

Should we criticize Evangelical support for being self-serving?  Though most Evangelicals dispute this, undoubtedly some Christians support Israel to accelerate messianic days.  Jewish law mandates that we owe a debt of gratitude even to someone wishing us harm but who unintentionally does us good.  At the very least we ought to gratefully welcome the support of those who wish us only good.

In today’s post-Christian Europe, Jewish men can no longer walk the streets of Paris, Manchester, Cologne, or Stockholm while wearing a kippah on their heads.  Evangelical philo-Semitism indirectly helps protect kippah-wearing men in America.  I for one, welcome their support and express a heartfelt thank you.

Patty Hearst and Paul Manafort

August 22nd, 2018 Posted by On Our Mind 2 comments

I was raised with a respect for teachers, police, government – even the United Nations. Part of maturing was, sadly, recognizing that there were phenomenal teachers and incompetent ones; there were noble policemen and corrupt ones; principled statesmen and conniving politicians. As for the United Nations, well, maybe at some point it had a purpose, but it has long become a snake’s den.

The Patty Hearst trial in 1976 was another brick in building a tower of cynicism. At an age when I should have been idealistic I remember feeling, correctly or not, that her conviction came less from her actions or the facts and more as a punishment for being born to a wealthy and prominent family. These feelings of the corruption of justice are surfacing again with Paul Manafort’s convictions and the Michael Cohen saga.

I don’t think these men have lived blameless lives, but that is irrelevant. I think that if endless money and time was devoted to finding illegal acts in any president’s confidants, facts to convict them would be found. Actually, few citizens could withstand such scrutiny. The defunct USSR convicted anyone they wanted to punish and the stench of that type of corruption is present here. When justice searches to punish rather than to treat everyone equally, no one is safe.

 

In the Wall Street Journal today

August 1st, 2018 Posted by On Our Mind 2 comments

This morning’s Wall Street Journal (August 1, 2018) includes a letter from Rabbi Daniel Lapin on behalf of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians. His submission was slightly abridged, but you can read the original letter HERE

Rest in Peace, Mrs. Ziglar

July 30th, 2018 Posted by On Our Mind 9 comments

Some relationships are special blessings. For us, one of these was our friendship with Zig and Jean Ziglar.  Zig was the public face, but we had the privilege of meeting and spending time with “the Redhead” as well. There are countless number of people whose lives have been improved because they were touched by Zig and his tireless work as he helped others attain their dreams. We know, as he often said, that without Jean he wouldn’t have achieved his life mission. Theirs was a true partnership.

Jean was gracious, lively and full of warmth. She loved her family and church. She even made room for us in her heart and we send our heartfelt condolences to Tom, Cindy, Julie and the rest of the Ziglar family.

Wonderful news!

July 16th, 2018 Posted by On Our Mind 2 comments

A few weeks ago, we asked you to pray for the infant grandson of dear friends of ours. We are thrilled to share that Lion Huch, son of Pastors Luke and Jennifer Huch and grandson of Pastors Larry and Tiz Huch has been discharged from the hospital and is cancer-free. Here is Pastor Luke’s announcement:

“INFANT LEUKEMIA SURVIVOR Baby Lion Update: Special announcement from Pastor @lukehuch! Thank you so much for your continued prayers! We have the victory!!! Lion is healed, Lion will live, and Lion will thrive! Repost and share with others so they can hear the good news!!!”

Please keep praying as Lion is scheduled for further treatment to ensure that the cancer doesn’t come back. This is truly a miracle and we are rejoicing.

Please Don’t Tout Independence Day

July 9th, 2018 Posted by On Our Mind No Comment yet

How fortunate we are that the celebration of the United States’ founding became best known as the Fourth of July rather than Independence Day. That name has kept the holiday from being moved to a convenient Monday such as has happened to President’s Day which morphed from George Washington’s birthday partially so that it could not be tied to a specific date.

At a time when the founding principles of this country are largely forgotten and/or under assault, it is a soothing balm that the Fourth of July still reigns rather than being a day off (largely for government employees) positioned to make it most convenient for vacationing rather than for honoring.

Wishing us all a wonderful 4th of July

July 3rd, 2018 Posted by On Our Mind No Comment yet

Here are two presidential quotes to enjoy during this week of the Fourth of July:

“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.”
Abraham Lincoln

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

First Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress is attacked by Jewish journalist quoting his rabbi

June 21st, 2018 Posted by On Our Mind 5 comments

Pastor Robert Jeffress displays what I believe to be admirable courage in resisting the invidious idea that Judeo-Christian, Bible-based faith must to be stuffed out of sight where it can inflict no influence on American culture. He and his church, Dallas’ First Baptist erected a bill-board advertising the church’s commitment to faith and freedom and mentioned the name of Pastor Jeffress’ sermon for this coming Sunday-America is a Christian Nation.
This triggered macro-aggressions in Jewish journalist Robert Wilonsky who wrote an angry polemic slamming Pastor Jeffress in the Dallas News. Why do I mention the Jewish faith of this journalist? Only because he himself drew attention to it right near the beginning of his furious tirade against Pastor Jeffress. “My rabbi warned me there would be days like this.” Well, I have no idea of who his rabbi is, but I am deeply distressed that again, secularized Americans of Jewish ancestry should play conspicuous roles in the attempt to create a post-Christian America.
I have written extensively elsewhere and spoken many times explaining why Jews and other non-Christian minorities should be grateful that this is indeed a Christian nation so I won’t go into that again here. Politics is really nothing more than the practical application of our most deeply held values and the crusade to make sure that all values have a place at the political table other than Christian is dangerous. I support Pastor Jeffress’ work in bringing Judeo Christian Bible based values to greater relevance and prominence in the culture.
Whether one agrees with Pastor Robert Jeffress’ politics and theology or one does not, anyone passionate about freedom and open debate in America has to be troubled by the attempts to silence the good pastor which resulted in the removal of the billboard for which he paid. Even if it is only his opinion that America is a Christian nation, that opinion needs to be censored?
This rabbi finds that development deeply disturbing.

Flag Day

June 14th, 2018 Posted by On Our Mind No Comment yet

A number of rulings that have to do with the American flag have been handed down by the Supreme Court on June 14th, Flag Day, in different years. Wouldn’t it be interesting to re-read the arguments and imagine if certain Justices would rule differently were they to have seen down the road? Would those who dissented from the majority opinion wish they had agreed and vice-versa? Wishing you a respectful Flag Day.

Adding Our Prayers

June 5th, 2018 Posted by On Our Mind 2 comments

Two people we admire tremendously, and are honored to call friends, are Pastors Larry and Tiz Huch. Their family is battling now for the health of their precious grandson, Lion. We are keeping Lion, his parents and his whole family in our prayers and ask you to do the same.

LION UPDATE:

First and foremost. We will be victorious.
There is no easy way to say this, but our 7 month old baby boy Lion, has been diagnosed with Leukemia. He will begin treatment today. This will be a 2 year treatment process. Though leukemia is seen amongst older children, it is an incredibly rare disease in infants. Only 150 infants a year total are diagnosed with leukemia who are under the age of 1 year old. As you could try to imagine, this news has shaken our world to the core but we have great faith. We are and will remain steadfast. Being that Lion is so young, treatment comes with challenges. So we are going to fight this. Lion is going to fight. Jennifer is going to fight. I am going to fight and we are going to beat this. We know we are not alone in this journey and battle. We know God is with us and so are all of you. Your positive thoughts, words, prayers, emails, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, text messages, phone calls, voice mails, prayer meetings, meals and support mean the world to us so please keep them coming. How or why something like this would happen to a baby boy as sweet as Lion is a complete mystery to us. He is our whole world. But we know, for certain, Lion is going to make a full recovery. He is as strong as they come and then some and God has a divine plan and destiny for his life and our family and we will fulfill it together. We will see this through, from the valley to our victory. Our hearts, minds and body’s are with our baby son. Our eyes are fixed on his healing and our hope rests in God. Lion will Live! He will do great through his treatment! Mommy, Daddy and Baby will be strong! Our family will be whole! Pray and speak only positive words! We love you all!
Luke, Jennifer, Lion.
#LionStrong #ValleyToVictory #PrayForLion

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