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Showing posts from April, 2015

My Journey to Discovering the Real Yeshua

My journey to discovering the Real Yeshua began in 1980. I believe that it will help you understand what I write in our newsletters, blogs, groups, etc., if I share some of the most important events on my journey. Something that I quickly discovered is that one of the greatest obstacles I repeatedly faced on my journey was my own Belief System. Chances are, that as you read this, you may become aware of some conflicts with your Belief System too. Hopefully, my experiences will be beneficial and help you on your journey. Read the complete blog at --

Why Do We Let New Atheists and Religious Zealots Dominate the Conversation About Religion?

“Religion” is a big word, maybe too big. It is one of those words, like “artist,” capacious enough to denote both a thing and its near opposite. Religion is the Tao Te Ching and Dianetics.  Augustine and Koresh. Hillel and Kahane, Rumi and bin Laden. So why does the public conversation around religion often seem so cramped and stunted? Why is it dominated by people who are fond of reducing it to thumbs-up, thumbs-down propositions that leave no room for the way most people think about it? The philosophies at the heart of the great traditions emphasize the importance of empathy above all other human values, but the people at the extremes of the God debate don’t seem to know that. Maybe that’s why they seem so humorless. They seem impervious to the essentially comic nature of the frustrating, human bind we’re all in. The fundamentalists cultivate something like a sulky teenager’s romanticized notion of love, and the atheists a grumpy old bugger’s lack of belief in such nonsense. But lov…

Seeking Eternal Life -- Modern Biomedicine vs. Ancient Wisdom

An ancient Jewish wisdom principle teaches how to live to 120 -- first, get to 119, then be very, very, very careful!  Actually, Jewish tradition has a very balanced view of both Life and Death. Think about Rejuvenated Blood, Spray-on Skin, Custom-Built Bones, Bio-Printed Replacement Organs -- marvelous works of Science -- but longer lives have very little to do with "Eternal Life." Read Rabbi Leynor’s latest blog at --

The Fuse that Ignited the Middle East

Each of us sees the world through his or her eyes, but when we look at the “same” thing what we see may vary – a little or a lot.  This is an important blog and I believe that I need to provide you with some background information about my way of looking at the world so you can understand “how” I see, even if you what you see looks different.
1980 – I was at a critical juncture in my life and had just recommitted my life to God. I purchased a new Bible and, while sitting at the kitchen table, opened it prayed, “Show me what I need to know.” Instantly, this came into my mind – “Unless you know how words work you cannot understand one word of the Bible.” I took that as an answer to my prayer and set out to discover How Words Work.
1984 – I created what I called The Law of Language -- A word is a symbol or group of symbols with an attached bundle of associations and those associations are a product of the Source’s culture, historical time period, geographical location and personal exp…

Bald Spots on Clothing

The Torah portion that will be read in many synagogues tomorrow is Parashat Tazria (Leviticus 12:1 - 13:59). A literal translation of the end of Leviticus 13:55 is:
It shall be consumed in fire; it is an erosion,whether on its back bald spot(קרחתו) or its front bald spot(גבחתו).
Rabbi Dr. Zev Farber wrote:
“I first noticed this problem a few years ago when I was learning שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום with the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Hebrew text) as my preferred translation. I was oblivious to the problem with the MT (Masoretic Text – Hebrew), but noticed the fact that the Greek was unlike the Hebrew. It was only when I compared the two, it struck me that the Hebrew made no sense. I must have read theparashaover 100 times, and certainly had read Onkelos (an interpretation of the Torah) and Rashi (a commentary), both of whom creatively translate the phrase… and yet, it never clicked.  That Shabbat I turned to the person sitting behind me (an Israeli and amateur Bible scholar) a…

The First Temple was probably very different from what you believe.

Solomon Dedicating the Temple James Tissot [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The story of the First Temple begins with David, who was not allowed to build because of all of the “blood that was on his hands.” David’s son Solomon would be the one that undertook and completed the task. Most of us were taught that “Solomon is the wisest man” in the Bible. The thing we weren't taught is that just because Solomon was wise didn’t mean that he was faithful to Yahweh – his father’s God. If you had visited the First Temple during the first centuries of its existence you would have probably been shocked at what you saw. Find out what was taking place at Solomon’s Temple at --

Archaeologists Link Ancient Egyptian Influence in Israel Long After Biblical Exodus

Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered evidence of an ancient Egyptian influence in the land of Israel long after the Biblical exodus from Egypt, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced. The Israelites left Egypt; however, it seems that even years after their return Egypt did not leave the Israelites and their descendants. More than 300 pieces of pottery were found, some still intact, along with “dozens of pieces of jewelry made of bronze, shells and faience, unique vessels fashioned from yellowish alabaster, seals, seal impressions and cosmetic vessels,” according to the press release. See the great photos and read article at --

Ancient Cures Discovered in Greek Texts

The 1,900-year-old papyrus contains over 500,000 such documents found in the ancient Egyptian town of Oxyrhynchus by researchers Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt about a century ago. The study and publication of so many papyri is a long and slow task that has been going on for a century. Recently, volume 80 was published, containing studies and decipherments of about 30 medical papyri found at Oxyrhynchus, including the papyrus with the hangover treatment. The collection includes medical treatises and treatments for a wide variety of ailments, including hemorrhoids, ulcers, tooth problems, some fragments discussing eye surgery and they even contain a cure for a hangover. See picture and read complete article at --

9 Weird Medieval Medicines

Medicine in the ancient world through medieval times was very different from what we experience today. People back then, just like us, worried about their health and what they might do to ward off sickness, or alleviate symptoms if they did fall ill. Medicines in the medieval period were sometimes homemade, if they weren’t too complicated. Simple medicines consisted of a single ingredient – usually a herb – but if they required numerous ingredients or preparation in advance, they could be purchased from an apothecary, rather like a modern pharmacist. Although some medical remedies were quite sensible, others were extraordinarily weird. They all now come with a health warning, so it’s probably best not to try these at home. Read complete article at --

6 Modern Capitals With Ancient Roots

An ancient city that manages to stay inhabited—and important—over thousands of years is a surprisingly rare occurrence. Empires topple, harbors silt up, rivers change course, land subsides and before you know it a place that once seemed like the center of the world is nearly forgotten. Among the capitals of present-day nations, only 15 or so cities can convincingly claim more than three millennia of nearly continuous inhabitation. Here are six of the most fascinating examples. See pictures and read article at --

April 19th: A Day of Awareness, Remembrance & Understanding

Today is April 19, 2015. It is a Day of Awareness, Remembrance & Understanding
Americans should be aware of certain events that have taken place on April 19th in the history of the nation.
April 19, 1775 -- The American Revolutionary War begins with an American victory in Concord during the battles of Lexington and Concord.
April 19, 1861 -- A pro-Secession mob in Baltimore, attacks United States Army troops marching through Baltimore. The American Civil War had begun one week earlier on April 12th.
April 19, 1865 – Funeral service for Abraham Lincoln is held in the East Room of the White House.
April 19, 1985 – 200 ATF and FBI agents lay siege to the compound of the neo-Nazi survivalist group The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord in Arkansas. The CSA surrenders two days later.
April 19, 1993 – The end of the 51-day FBI siege of the Branch Davidians outside Waco, Texas, USA. In the fire 74 people died – 25 were children.
April 19, 1995 – Oklahoma City bom…

How Not to Negotiate With Believers

Malcolm Gladwell’s article – Sacred and Profane – published in the March 31, 2014 issue of The New Yorker is a textbook case for learning how not to negotiate with believers. It is the story of what happened in Waco at the Branch Davidian complex on April 19, 1993 – 23 years ago today. It should be required reading for law enforcement officers, members of the media and most of all, believers.
Not long after the Waco siege began, James Tabor, the Biblical scholar, heard David Koresh on CNN talking about the Seven Seals. Tabor is an expert on Biblical apocalypticism and recognized the Branch Davidians for what they were—a community immersed in the world of the Old Testament prophets. He contacted a fellow religious scholar, Phillip Arnold, and together they went to the F.B.I. “It became clear to me that neither the officials in charge nor the media who were sensationally reporting the sexual escapades of David Koresh had a clue about the biblical world which this group inhabited,” Tabor …

The Curse of Blessings

In Jewish tradition, these are the days of counting. Those of us in the "Diaspora" who live outside the land of Israel usually have two seders for Passover. During the seder on the second night, we begin counting "The Omer", the days between Passover and the second of the Three Biblical Festivals called Shavuot, which means "Weeks" The word "Shavua" in Hebrew means “week.” Seven days times seven weeks totals 49 days. The 50th day is recognized as the day the Israelites, and all those with them, stood at Mount Sinai and "Received" The Torah.  Read Rabbi Leynor’s blog at --

Where Are We Now?

Humans experience the world like many other living creatures with senses that make them aware of the things around them. We're aware of whether those things are moving or stationary, their size and speed at which they move and whether they are moving towards or away from us. We process much of this sensory input subconsciously and often react instinctually like the other creatures. In another way though, we are very different from all other creatures. We do not only observe things around us and react -- we change those things and the environments in which they exist. This is "human creativity." Other creatures do not flatten mountains, build lakes, manufacture vehicles to transport themselves, or create weapons of mass destruction. Read Rabbi Leynor’s blog at --

New Controversy Surrounds Alleged 'Jesus Family Tomb'

A new piece of evidence is reigniting controversy over the potential bones of Jesus of Nazareth. A bone box inscribed with the phrase "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" is potentially linked to a tomb in Talpiot, Israel, where the bones of people with the names of Jesus' family members are buried, according to a new chemical analysis. Aryeh Shimron, the geologist who conducted the study, claims that because it is so unlikely that this group of biblical names would be found together by chance, the new results suggest the tomb once held the bones of Jesus. Historians place Jesus' birth at some time before 4 B.C. in Nazareth, a small village in Galilee.
"If this is correct, that strengthens the case for the Talpiot or Jesus Family Tomb being indeed the tomb ofJesus of Nazareth," said Shimron, a retired geologist who has studied several archaeological sites in Israel. See picture and read article at --…

Yeshua the Rabbi

The role of Yeshua as a messianic figure gets lots more attention than his role as a rabbi. The Synoptic Gospels, however, provide a wealth of information that highlights his activities as a rabbi. In order to see It is important to remember that Yeshua wasn’t the only messianic figure or rabbi the people would have known. There were hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of rabbis circulating in the land of Israel at that time. According to Professor S. Safrai, the itinerating rabbi was the norm, rather than the exception. Being a disciple of Yeshua, especially for the apostles, required much more than just attending lectures. Read the complete Real Yeshua Blog at --

The Byzantine “Bird Mosaic” from Caesarea, Israel

A stunning 6th century CE mosaic floor referred to as the “Bird Mosaic” was uncovered by accident in 1955 on the outskirts of Caeserea in Israel, outside the walls of the ancient settlement. With no budget available for its preservation, it was covered over again until the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Director of the Caesarea Antiquities Preservation project decided in 2005 to preserve the unique find and to reveal it to the public. Lying in situ, the Bird Mosaic offers a rare glimpse into the lives of a wealthy Byzantine-era Caesarean who commissioned this ancient work of art. This palace complex, covering an area of nearly 1 acre (4,000 sq. meters), was probably owned by a reputable and wealthy family. See lots of great pictures and read article at --

Who or What Determines Your Worth?

One of the fun things I do is work with couples in planning their weddings. Like many things, I use this as an opportunity to teach, observe, listen and learn about relationships. We are social creatures which means, we need others for our very survival, technology aside. Almost all of our needs -- physical, emotional, psychological -- are met through interaction with others. In Genesis, the first thing identified as not being TOV (Good) is for a human to be alone. I tell each couple that, though marriages may be made in Heaven, the Maintenance needs to be done here on earth! Read Rabbi Leynor’s complete blog at --

What Do Americans Believe About Jesus?

What do Americans believe about Jesus? Who do they say he is? Here are five popular American perceptions of Jesus, based on recent Barna Group research. The first belief revealed by the research is that the vast majority of Americans believe Jesus was a real person. Read the complete report at --

Extinct Tree Resurrected from Ancient Seeds is now a Dad

Ten years since the Judean Date Palm was miraculously brought back to life following the chance discovery of seeds in the 2,000-year-old ruins of Masada, the male date palm tree named Methuselah, the only one of his kind, has become a father. For thousands of years, the date palm was a staple crop in the Kingdom of Judea, as it was a source of food, shelter and shade.  Thick forests of the palms towering up to 80 feet and spreading for 7 miles covered the Jordan River valley from the Sea of Galilee in the north to the shores of the Dead Sea in the south . . . by 500 AD the once plentiful palm had completely disappeared, driven to extinction . . . in 1963, the late archaeologist Yigael Yadin began excavating Masada and unearthed a small stockpile of seeds stowed in a clay jar dating back 2,000 years. In 2005, botanical researcher Elaine Solowey, director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura in Israel, decided to plant one and see what, if anything, would s…

5 Things You Didn't Know About Easter

For Christians, Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ -- and arguably the most important date on the religious calendar. Easter marks the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting and reflection. The day holds the promise of victory over death, a new life and the forgiveness of sins. The first recorded observance of Easter happened in thesecond century, though it is likely that Christians were celebrating the resurrection much earlier than that. Today, the holy day has inspired a wide variety of traditions -- from Sweden’s trick-or-treating Easter witches to Venezuela’s tradition of burning effigies of Judas. Read about the five little-known facts about the Easter holiday at --

Yeshua and the Passover Part 2

Three times in a year all Israelite males are to appear before Yahweh.[1] These are called Shalosh Regalim (the three pilgrimage festivals):
(1) Feast of Unleavened Bread (2) Feast of Weeks (Shavuotaka Pentecost) (3) Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)

On the major feasts days, all priests from all divisions could make pilgrimage, and all of them were entitled to the festal offerings. The special feature of Passover in the Temple was the slaughter of the paschal lamb by all worshippers, inhabitants of Jerusalem and pilgrims alike. Read the complete Real Yeshua Blog at --

The War in Yemen and Iran's Nukes

There is a direct connection between the escalating war in Yemen and the Iranian nuclear issue. Israel has been monitoring Yemen'sHouthi uprisingfor over a year now, and with good reason. Like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen are an Iranian proxy military force, shouting exactly the same slogans we heard in Teheran just last week:"Death to America! Death to Israel! Curse the Jews! Victory to Islam!"  Read Gil Elan’s latest update from Southwest Jewish Congress at --