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Showing posts from September, 2018

Teshuvah is a way of life not a ritual.

The first word in Yeshua’s first message was TESHUVAH:
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, TESHUVAH, for the Kingdom of Heaven is here!” (Matthew 4:17)
English translators translate the words above as -- “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” Today people think of “repent” a ritual that is done as part of “being saved,” or “a prayer that is prayed after committing a sin.” That is not what “TESHUVAH” meant to Yeshua or his Jewish audience. They knew that Yeshua was “teaching a way life.” Learn what TESHUVAH meant to Yeshua at --

What is The Image of God?

The first clue the ancient text provides about this mysterious image is found in two words of Genesis 1:2 – “RUACH ELOHIYM.” RUACH is defined as breath, wind or spirit;ELOHIYM is the word translated God. They are traditionally translated as “Spirit of God.” But, since they are in a “construct state,” this means they are so closely united that “together they constitute one compound idea.”1 It is important to know where the RUACH ELOHIYM is located in the account – “It was hovering above the surface of the waters.” The ancient text makes it clear that everything created has its own specific place and that requires a map. Words you take for granted mean very different things in this account, beginning with “Earth.”

Everything Has a Place
1. Humans live on the dry thing named “Earth.”
2. Water creatures live in the Seas.
3. Winged creatures fly beneath the Heavens.
4. Sun, moon and stars are set in the Heavens.
5. Nothing is said about the waters outside the Heavens.
6. The space above the surf…

The Beginning of the Sixth Day of Creation

I began this series by asking why is it important for 21st century Americans to share a common understanding of “what it means to be humans?” My answer to that question was because it is the one thing that affects every thought we have that includes humans – others and ourselves. And then I pointed out that if your beliefs about God are linked to the words of Genesis, then your understanding of what it means to be a human includes “humans are created in the image of God.” This is the second blog in this series and it is about the first activities that took place on the Sixth Day of Creation.
Keeping things in context is essential for creating accurate understanding of the words of Jewish and Christian Scriptures. For some readers, some of the things you are about to read may challenge your understanding of certain verses. That’s normal because of the linguistic model we use to translate the ancient Hebrew text into English.
We let the words of the ancient texts tell their own cultural…

What would humans be without the image of God?

This is the first blog in a series I call “A Radical New Understanding of Humans.” Why is it important for 21st century Americans to understand what humans are? It is because that our view affects and influences everything we do – and everyone else’s view affects and influences what they do.
Humans are social creatures and that means from conception to the disposal of the body humans are dependent on other the actions of humans. In most of the “good” and “bad” things humans experience in life, they are the result of actions of other humans. So, individual and cultural understandings of “what humans are” and “why humans do what they do” are very important.
In many cases, “understandings of what humans are” is related to “understandings of what gods are.” Conflicts over gods and their relationships to human have been major factors in the rise and fall of nations, as well as the types of governments that exist and the quality of life those that are governed experience.
If your understandin…

Upgrading American Opportunities for “Belonging”

Today we live in a highly polarized “Us vs. Them” nation in which members strengthen their feeling of “in-group” belonging by increasing their distance from and tension with their “out-group” competitors — “the Others!” Endless attempts at fact-checking, while valuable, causes group members to go into defense mode instead of change. Scientists now know that “belonging is stronger than facts.”1 I want to highlight some key points from the MIT Technology Review article I quoted from above:
Members of opposing groups are strengthening their feeling of “in-group” belonging by increasing their distance between members of the groups.
Members of opposing groups are strengthening their feeling ofin-groupbelonging by increasing tension between the members of the groups.
Members value belonging is valued above scientific facts.
In order to change things we must create different ways of belonging. Trying to change things by yelling and screaming facts weaponized memes doesn’t create peace…

Belonging is stronger than facts!

The cover of the September/October 2018 issue of MIT Technology Review has – Technology is threatening our democracy. How do we save it? and The “neuropolitics” consultants who hack voter’s brains. If you have been in any of our TOV Center discussions over the past few years, this isn’t “breaking news.” We have been talking about the pressing need for Americans to develop skills required to make clear distinctions between “free speech” and “weaponized memes.”
The authors of the articles in this issue of MIT Technology Review provide some very good information about how to make those distinctions and develop the skills to protect yourself and your loved ones. Below are a few quotes:
The problem is that when we encounter opposing views in the age and context of social media, it’s not like reading them in a newspaper while sitting alone. It’s like hearing them from the opposing team while sitting with our fellow fans in a football stadium. Online, we’re connected with our communities, and…