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N·J·B·S·P· - The National Jewish BRAZEN SEA PROJECT Let''s rebuild the Brazen Sea! This huge vessel cast of molten brass in the First Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed with it. The sovereign State of Israel deserves this symbol of Jewish National Pride.
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Temple Emanu-El | Nevada's oldest Jewish congregation This week's Parsha: Vayetse – the 7th weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading. This week's parsha is about Jacob and begins with the words, "vayetze ya yakov," meaning Jacob departed. Jacob left Bersheba and set out for Charan. This is a very rich and complex parsha which has been discussed, dissected and debated by rabbinical experts for eons. Starting with: why really, did Jacob leave – and was it true that GOD would bring him back as was promised? If so, why and when? The Rabbis debate why Jacob left. We read that Jacob had "stolen" the birthright of his older twin Esau, so was this a banishment? Some commentators say his mother sent him away and used the excuse that she didn't want him to marry a Caananite woman. But, was she sending him away to save him from some punishment? By contrast, commentator Rabbi Warhaftig says that Jacob left his home to honor the wishes of his father, and out of fear of his brother Esau, who might kill him for the "stealing" of said birthright. So, perhaps Jacob had to leave Bersheba in order to honor the wishes of both his parents. According to the first great Talmudic commentator Rashi: "When a righteous man leaves a place, it makes a mark." We can debate the virtues of Jacob at the time he left, but his departure certainly made a mark on his parents, as it does with most parents when their children leave home. So, was it simply time for him to "leave the nest" and learn fly on his own? Let me read you this portion: "Jacob left Bersheba and set out for Charan. He came upon a certain place and stopped for the night, for the sun had set. And the LORD was standing beside him and He said, 'I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the ground on which you are lying I will assign to you and to your offspring. Your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and your descendants. Remember, I am with you: I will protect you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.'" So, Jacob left first as a fugitive, but then GOD spoke with him, gave him this blessing, and then every place was equally good for him. That is fortuitous, because I think Jacob had work to do. On himself. I believe Jacob had to leave his family in order to mature into a more virtuous person, indeed a "mensch" before he could return home and fulfill the destiny that GOD described for him. Psychologists tell us that the role of our parents is to give us both roots and wings. Jacob was rooted in his home, but when his parents pushed him out of the nest, he was then forced to grow the wings that would develop into his maturing. He had to grow, learn, suffer, and take risks on this journey. His character needed to be tested and refined, his personality molded and transformed, in order to return as a mature person. And boy was Jacob tested! Do some of us need to leave in order to return? Do these life journeys of exploration and even rebellion, lead to discovery and a "return to roots? " Are they one-way trips – or, can they include a round trip ticket, as GOD promised Jacob? So Jacob needed to mature. What is maturity and how does it happen? According to the Torah and Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb., an ordained rabbi and psychotherapist, maturity can be associated with the wisdom gained from experience over time, with the development of an approach to life which is practical, informed, and wise. Parshat Vayetze gives us the opportunity to read about the maturation of our patriarch Jacob through two big dreams. Jacob's first dream envisions a ladder firmly rooted into the earth but extending heavenwards. This dream is a majestic glimpse of infinite possibilities, a grand imaginative symbol of the relations between man and God. But then, Jacob gets busy with mundane affairs, "scorched by heat all day, and freezing at night." Jacob is busy with business, with profit, with material matters, dealing with deceit and disappointment at many turns. Later Jacob dreams again, but this dream is much more practical. He see goats mating "with the flock which were streaked, speckled, and mottled." This dream gives Jacob ideas on how to enhance the business of goat breeding and it ultimately works very well. In this second dream, the angels tells Jacob it is now time to "leave this land and return to his native land." It is time for him to become mature in one sense. It is time for him to reclaim his first dream and to do all he can to make that dream real. He learns that he must not surrender to just mundane dreams, abandoning old ideals. He learns he can return to dream of his youth. He also learns that not only can he go home again, he must go home again! A return to roots, I ask? This is the eternal lesson for the Jewish people. According to Rabbi Weinreb, the dreams of the diaspora are apt to be mundane and shortsighted but the dreams of the Land of Israel are noble dreams, exalted dreams, and dreams which ultimately connect us to heaven. The Land of Israel is the land of our dreams and it is also our home and roots. Jacob's dream comes true. God told him he would return and that that place would be Israel. In 1948 the land of Israel declares itself a state and a home, a safe haven for all Jews seeking refuge. What is particularly interesting to me is that that was 70 years ago. Seventy, which has the number seven in it, is an important number to Jews, with both noble and mystical implications. According to the Tanakh, "the days of our years are three score years and ten (70), or if reason of strength, four score years (80)… and it is speedily gone, and we fly away." At 70, Benjamin Franklin was helping to draft the U.S. Constitution. Winston Churchill was 70 years old in 1945 when he led the United Kingdom to victory in World War II. Israel's Golda Meir became prime minister of Israel at age 70. So, at 70 years for a person, there should be some maturity, plus the opportunity to stop the daily rigors of work, start to focus on other opportunities and reclaim some of the dreams of our youth. It does not mean the departure of life, if we are lucky, but of the beginning of a new chapter in life. A re-rooting. As with Israel, I was also born in 1948 and turn 70 this week. Jacob's journey has reminded me a bit of mine. I didn't physically leave home until after college, but I left earlier in other ways. In my youth, I didn't like being Jewish. For me, it was all about what we could not do, eat, look like, enjoy. My mother was reared Orthodox in NYC and told us horrible stories of how difficult it was being Jewish there. As a child, her older sister, my tante Millie was hit on the back of her head with a hammer by a kid who called her a "dirty Jew." I watched for the rest of her years how my aunt lived with blindness and a whole host of other maladies brought on by this attack. Who, I asked myself, would want to be Jewish? We here in Reno Nevada (and before that in northern California) did not have much of a Jewish community. So I, as the eldest child in the family, felt singled out in school and in the neighborhood. We didn't get to celebrate Christmas (even though one XMAS eve my sister and I put out stockings anyway, hoping for Santa. It didn't happen.) It was embarrassing to be hauled out of school the first two days of Rosh Hashana and on Yom Kippur. We had to observe and fast. I do remember my mother making us stay in the car with her one Yom Kippur afternoon, however, as she listened to the World Series to see how her beloved Yankees were doing. We were sworn to secrecy. Not sure if it was about doing this on Yom Kippur or that she was rooting for the Yankees. Vayetze – I departed. There are different ways to depart – geographically, as Jacob did, and as the Amish kids do, for example. They leave at age 18 for a year to explore the world of the Others. Some return and some do not. It's an anguishing year for their frightened parents. Yet other youth depart by rebelling from their family's beliefs, values, and customs. That's more of how I departed. At the age of about 17, when I started college, I rejected my Jewish birthright, and left my parents' world to explore the world outside Judaism. I can only imagine my parents' fear and confusion, and I vividly remember huge, loud ugly family arguments. Who would choose to be Jewish, I would repeatedly ask myself. I was learning to grow wings and fly in other directions, I guess. Life went on. Until recently, I worked very hard as a single mother, self-employed, trying to help my friends and community, taking care of my parents when that time came, and working through many mundane things. Important things. Busy things. But giving little time for self- or life-reflection or thoughts about religion or Judaism. Like with Jacob, my work was "scorched by day and freezing by night." Well, not literally, but figuratively. And then things changed. I aged to the point where I could stop working at that level and could start to reap a bit of what I had sown, a maturation of a sort. What a blessing! Many people don't get to live this long or get to this point of freedom and comfort. It is now a time for gratitude and for reflection. And maybe something else. Perhaps it is a time to return home. A time to look back at the dreams of my youth and get them fulfilled. A time to achieve both levels of maturity, according to Rabbi Weinreb. A time to reclaim my birthright and return to certain things. We learn in Torah about the cycles of life, and when we leave some thing or some place, and then return, we are not the same as when we left. This cycle is more like a spiral which winds around an axis, like ivy growing up a tree. Its radius may be constant or not. Maybe our birthright acts like this axis, around which we can grow and change, leave and return. Kind of like a twisting, ascending ladder? On this journey around our axis, do we sometimes have to move backward in order to move forward? Going backwards might give us time to expand our knowledge and experiences, like Jacob did, and allow us to return more mature, experienced, and eager to get back to our core. Jacob knew he would be returning home. I did not. So what does this parsha mean for so many Jews who have left their roots and given up their birthrights? Like for me, maybe it is never too late to get back to their core. Israel certainly is a symbol of such return – to a homeland and a way of life. But for us Jews not in Israel, right here in the U.S., it means we need to find other ways to reconnect to our Jewish cores and reclaim our birthrights. It is not easy being Jews here and with the growing anti-Semitism locally and worldwide, it might even be dangerous. But there is great beauty in reclaiming. It means there has been thought and study and certain decision-making not required of us when we were children. I think there is a place for Jews like me, maybe like you, who are trying to reclaim their birthright and forge a Jewish life which honors and respects our traditions and purpose. We were "given" the 10 Commandments but with that (and many other commandments) we were given many responsibilities. We Jews deal with a number of mitzvahs. A mitzvah is both a commandment and a good deed. I love that dual meaning. I am suggesting that we as Jews work harder to be role models of civility and citizenship in this contentious world. We should honor our mitzvahs by being more mindful of what we think, do, speak and eat. We should be more grateful for all the beauty in our world and give thanks for all our gifts. We should be as generous as we can, in whatever ways we can, whether it be with money, time, or simply listening. According to the Dalai Lama, happiness comes from compassion, and when we are compassionate we turn from takers to givers. I also believe we should speak up against that which is evil, ugly, unfair, and cruel. We need to do mitzvahs by taking great care of our children, our friends and family, our communities and our environment. What a grand mark we would be making then! And lastly, we as Jews should be more accepting of other Jews and the variety of ways they choose to be Jews. When I was in Israel many years ago, I saw that Jews of all kinds live together, because they have a purpose that overrides their differences: survival. There are orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jews and there are also holocaust-surviving Jews who are actually atheists. Yes they argue and disagree, but they still know who they are and what their core is. Like in Israel, we Jews here need to accept the differences among ourselves. Rabbi Fasman tells us that when it comes down to it, Jews around the world and across time are just one big family. One big dysfunctional family. We need to both endure and embrace those big family dinners with the crazy sister and the drunken uncle. I have become very proud of my heritage – and very grateful I don't actually have to convert! Simply because of my birthright, I was born Jewish, and aren't I lucky. Yes, I get to be Jewish. I get to struggle with God, which is the definition of the word Israel, and something which I do regularly. I get to doubt the existence of God, wonder about what, if anything is His role and meaning. I get to yell at him when bad things happen to good people, but mostly I get to thank him regularly for all that is beautiful and magical in my life. My gratitude is huge. I have many people to thank for putting up with me on my journey, some for many years, and some for a shorter time. My teachers and friends have been loving and patient and have successfully hidden their rolled eyes with some of my Hebrew struggles. Like Jacob, maybe I had to depart my roots, "fly the coop," and build some wings in order to mature enough to come home. Maybe that is the responsibility for all of us Jews. So, to mommy and daddy, I hope I have made you proud. May you rest in peace, knowing you did what you could to give me roots and wings – and please know: "Ahni babayit." "Ich bin zu hoize." I just might be home.
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Question Your Reality - Interactive FAQ Question Your Reality, an interactive flash video site answering your questions on spirituality, the meaning of life and mankind''s role with his environment.
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Set Apart People Are you searching for truth? Do you know how to live a set apart life? Set apartness is living an obedient life unto YHVH. We examine the Scriptures and will share our findings with you.
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Jesus is a Jew - Contents Jesus is a Jew. He always has been. How is that relevant to you? Topics include the Jewish Messiah, Jesus'' name Yeshua, Yeshua''s message to Jews and Gentiles, the Torah (Law) of Moses and the New Covenant, the Jewish Apostles, Saint Paul and Torah, the people Israel, the Messiah of Israel, the God of Israel, Galatians (Galations), and much more!
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Messianic, Hebrew, Jewish roots, Judaism Nashville, Brentwood - One in Messiah Congregation messianic congregation
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HOME Noahide Nations follows Orthodox Rabbinic teachings that use only the primary sources for learning the proper Halacha (Law) for conducting our lives the way God intended us to.
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The Key .com home The Key to Eternity is your spiritual survival guide to the End Zone Days. YHWH the Elohim of Yisrael has declared the end from out of the very beginning of the Hebrew Scriptures. Every Prophecy shall come to pass, and the Torah shall be the Constitution for the coming Kingdom of Elohim. Faithful obedience to Messiah Yeshua, and the Commandments of YHWH is the Key to Eternity.
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David Hazony.com The official website of David Hazony, editor of TheTower.org, author of "The Ten Commandments," Middle East commentator, Jewish thinker, more. Sign up for mailings!
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Rabbi Simcha Weinberg| The Foundation Stone™| Torah| Judaism| Hebrew Bible Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.
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Intersex South Africa | Diversity in Nature In February 2000, Stephen Coan of The Natal Witness, an alarmingly able journalist, interviewed Sally for a three-part account of my life. The Witness ran it as one long article recently. A decade having passed, she agreed to draft an update. Religion looms large in my life-narrative. My Christian commitment and faith died slowly and painfully of the probably calculated denial of the nourishment of fellowship it needed. Like many Quakers, I'm universalistic, not Christian. Since my mobility has deteriorated, making walking and even sitting for an hour in a Meeting House chair problematic, and since my body needs a weekly "sleep in"?, my attendance at Sunday morning Quaker meetings has lapsed. Occasional short meeting for worship at my house, sitting silently together in comfortable chairs, are a joy. Buddhist meditation practice, especially mindful breathing, is important to me. The most profound experience of my life was at a week-long Buddhist meditation retreat when I was in the Order. For a while, the mind was free of hindrances. Its inherent luminosity emerged and time seemed to stop in an extraordinary epiphany of bliss and sheer grace. Sitting cross-legged is now beyond me and sitting up is problematic, so I tend to meditate in a recliner-chair. The teachings of the Buddha, his "Dhamma", especially in the Pali, speak powerfully to me. This is not really new. As a student in my Order Order, I was probably the only Jewish Dominican friar to be secretary of a University Buddhist Society. I don't view the Buddha's Dhamma as religion: it's more a philosophy of life. In and through all of this, I'm Jewish. This is cultural rather than religious, though Rabbinical literature is dear to me, and does not entail uncritical support for the actions of Israeli governments. "Why is there anything at all rather than nothing?" ? This question underpinned my belief in God. The mystery-shaped answer was "God"?. Around two years back I realised that I no longer believe that the question has meaning. It pushes beyond the bounds of sense for finite creatures. Thus I'm an atheist, somewhat to my own surprise, but this doesn't change the tenor of my life. More substantially, I reject much in scripture – the commandments to exterminate the Amalekites and the Canaanite nations, for example. Genocide is wrong, "divinely commanded" or not. Mad spirals of violence in Israel/Palestine and elsewhere, driven by "us-versus-them" attitudes with deep roots in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, suggest that the "Abrahamic faiths"? tend to bear strange, toxic fruit. Recently, a Buddhist friend introduced me to an acupuncturist-cum-Rabbi. He wasn't thrown by my life-history and atheism, and I'm amazed at his openness. He noted that the Zohar, a seminal Jewish mystical text, distinguishes derekh, well-charted highway, from netiv, uncharted trail. A few are unsuited to the derekh, the path of conventional communal and religious life: a netiv is their destiny. The derekh was not for me; I'm on a unique netiv. Rabbinics, powerful Christian archetypes, the Dhamma and my Jewishness are all part of this. Rejection by my Order and the Roman Curia still hurts, and I still miss religious life. Some years back, I sent a formal letter to the Roman Curia to protest at the dishonesty with which I was handled. I felt bound to express some outrage while seeking closure. Unsurprisingly, there was no response. In the film "The Mission" a character, having sinned grievously, drags a heavy bundle containing the armour and sword of his violent past with him everywhere as a penance. In some ways, the continued crippling impact of ostracism by the Order and Church was like that. Moved by this image, I e-mailed Malcolm McMahon, the Dominican who drove the process which shattered my life, now a Bishop. I explained that I sought closure. While his actions had been ill-judged, it was water under the bridge, I had no wish to diabolize him, and offered him my friendship. To his great credit, he replied soon afterwards. He saw me as a friend, but felt he'd acted in the Order's and Church's best interests. What I'd done was courageous, but he believed it wrong. I'm not sure what he contends I've done, but am grateful to him for responding so quickly and honestly. Recently, I managed to make contact with Timothy Radcliffe, Master of the Order during my ordeal. He responded warmly, expressing the hope that we might meet some day. I still work for the Regional Land Claims Commission in the Western Cape, as Research and Policy Advisor. The Commission's work is almost finished, and what lies ahead is uncertain. That my body is failing looms large. Diminished mobility makes public transport inaccessible, while eye-problems prevent driving. The expense of getting to and from work is unsustainable, so getting out and about is beyond my means. This is isolating. It isn't due to intersex. Highly pressured work and the deep wounds from the past have taken a toll. Several lifetimes' worth of experience are packed into 56 years, and perhaps my health problems reflect this. My body is like a car which bears the marks of heavy and productive use. Since 2000, I've drafted amendments bearing on intersex for the Alteration of Sex Descriptions Bill and the Promotion of Equality Act, and these have been lobbied into law. Getting intersex into the Promotion of Equality Act is the weightier of the two. Lobbying persuaded the SA Human Rights Commission that intersex is a serious human rights issue. This yielded an SAHRC workshop three years back which looked at the imposition of genital surgery on intersexed infants and children, and the possible need for legislation. Through Engender, an NGO on whose board I serve, funds were raised to set Intersex South Africa up formally as an Engender project with a full-time coordinator. My role is advisory. It has a website and has been served by two coordinators who developed literature and ran numerous workshops, though it is without a coordinator right now. Much needs to be done to educate the public about intersex. They need to learn that it is part of the fabric of human diversity and not a threat, a rights issue and not pathology. Teachers and curricula need content about it. Medical students need input from a medical-ethics and human rights perspective. Religious leaders need to be educated about it to educate others. Research about the prevalence of intersex in SA, and about attitudes and practices, is needed. We need legislation to limit and regulate non-consensual genital surgery on the intersexed, and legislation must be screened with implications for the intersexed in mind. The past three years have convinced me that, while NGO involvement is helpful, it is not sufficient. Government needs to act as a catalyst. A modest Directorate with a Director, a deputy director and one or two administrative assistants-cum-project-officers, within the department for Women, Persons with Disabilities and Children, and with a mandate to engage with other Departments regarding the rights and needs of the intersexed, could achieve a great deal at minimal cost. My knowledge, experience, skills and commitment would be best deployed in such a context while my body still permits it.
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Biblical Heritage Home Page The Biblical Heritage Center is an online community and resource center for people who share a common biblical heritage and who want to build bridges that link each other together instead of being divided by dogma
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Congregation Beth Shalom - Overland Park, KS A warm, welcoming Conservative synagogue led by Senior Rabbi David Glickman and Hazzan Tahl Ben-Yehuda. The shul has been a leader in the Kansas City Area since
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Teaching From Zion – BRAZIL | Jewish Institute - the Messianic affiliated Netivyah Institute (Israel ) by Matheus Zandona Guimaraes   Passover is a feast that marks the beginning of the biblical calendar of Israel and delineates the dates of all the
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The Way of the Most High The Way of the Most High is a path of life which few follow according to the Turah (Scripture). The path most follow is one of rebellion, "do as thou wilt," the path of death, the path of the heathen and transgressors. The path of slaves and sheeple. The path of the brain-washed.
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Learn Hebrew Prayers: Front Page Jewish prayers are more than phrases to be repeated. They imply a world vision, a compromise with God and ourselves. Find prayers for all occasions. Jews can pray in any language. Traditional Hebrew Prayers. Jews Prayers. Judaism.
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Torath Moshe A Torah center dedicated to providing education, inspiration, and practical help to Jews and non-Jews in keeping the eternal Torah Commandments of HaShem, the One True G-d, according to His Will: the authentic halakhah according to Mishneh Torah by Rav Moshe Ben Maimon, ‘RaMBaM’, and ancient Jewish tradition
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Messianic, Hebrew, Jewish roots, Judaism Nashville, Brentwood - One in Messiah Congregation messianic congregation
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Set Apart People Are you searching for truth? Do you know how to live a set apart life? Set apartness is living an obedient life unto YHVH. We examine the Scriptures and will share our findings with you.
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Torath Moshe A Torah center dedicated to providing education, inspiration, and practical help to Jews and non-Jews in keeping the eternal Torah Commandments of HaShem, the One True G-d, according to His Will: the authentic halakhah according to Mishneh Torah by Rav Moshe Ben Maimon, ‘RaMBaM’, and ancient Jewish tradition
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The Key .com home The Key to Eternity is your spiritual survival guide to the End Zone Days. YHWH the Elohim of Yisrael has declared the end from out of the very beginning of the Hebrew Scriptures. Every Prophecy shall come to pass, and the Torah shall be the Constitution for the coming Kingdom of Elohim. Faithful obedience to Messiah Yeshua, and the Commandments of YHWH is the Key to Eternity.
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Learn Hebrew Prayers: Front Page Jewish prayers are more than phrases to be repeated. They imply a world vision, a compromise with God and ourselves. Find prayers for all occasions. Jews can pray in any language. Traditional Hebrew Prayers. Jews Prayers. Judaism.
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Rabbi Simcha Weinberg| The Foundation Stone™| Torah| Judaism| Hebrew Bible Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.
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HOME Noahide Nations follows Orthodox Rabbinic teachings that use only the primary sources for learning the proper Halacha (Law) for conducting our lives the way God intended us to.
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Jesus is a Jew - Contents Jesus is a Jew. He always has been. How is that relevant to you? Topics include the Jewish Messiah, Jesus'' name Yeshua, Yeshua''s message to Jews and Gentiles, the Torah (Law) of Moses and the New Covenant, the Jewish Apostles, Saint Paul and Torah, the people Israel, the Messiah of Israel, the God of Israel, Galatians (Galations), and much more!
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The Way of the Most High The Way of the Most High is a path of life which few follow according to the Turah (Scripture). The path most follow is one of rebellion, "do as thou wilt," the path of death, the path of the heathen and transgressors. The path of slaves and sheeple. The path of the brain-washed.