Blog http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog Mon, 03 Aug 2015 16:16:55 -0700 en-gb Two Epic Events Converge in Berlin http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/two-epic-events-converge http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/two-epic-events-converge

History is about to be made this summer. The Maccabi Games, known as the Jewish Olympics, will be hosted in Berlin.

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Blog Thu, 16 Jul 2015 18:38:39 -0700
How to Have a Successful Workout http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/how-to-have-a-successful-workout http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/how-to-have-a-successful-workout

Did you know that sweatworking is the newest trend for closing a sales deal? It’s no longer over a dry martini or a glass of wine. Now it’s working up a sweat at your favorite gym while giving your sales pitch to a client.

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Blog Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:55:41 -0700
How Not to Love Your Neighbor http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/how-not-to-love-your-neighbor http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/how-not-to-love-your-neighbor

Not loving our neighbor is as natural as the air we breathe. We’re born with a bent toward ourselves first and then maybe we’ll consider others.

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Blog Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:10:59 -0700
The Peripheral, the Spiritual and the Brain http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/peripheral-spiritual-and-the-brain http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/peripheral-spiritual-and-the-brain

Stepping off the plane, you land in the rumblings of an airport whose native tongue is far from what you’d describe as familiar. There are vibrantly dressed children, running around their mothers’ skirts.

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Blog Wed, 01 Jul 2015 19:34:24 -0700
How to Stand http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/how-to-stand http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/how-to-stand

“Stand up and move!” No, that’s not coming from your fitness trainer at the cardio-barre workout. It’s your desk talking to you.

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Blog Tue, 09 Jun 2015 15:28:39 -0700
Shavuot – What’s Your Connection? http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/shavuot-what-s-your-connection http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/shavuot-what-s-your-connection

Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, comes with many traditions. For example, tradition tells us: that on this holiday, God gave the Torah to Israel...

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Blog Mon, 18 May 2015 21:41:20 -0700
In Memory of Rose Price http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/in-memory-of-rose-price http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/in-memory-of-rose-price

I discovered quickly, upon our first interaction over thirty years ago, Rose Price was an original.  Anyone who knew her would tell you that. And even if you didn’t know her, you’d know it the moment you heard her story...

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Blog Mon, 18 May 2015 20:28:57 -0700
It’s Been Paid For http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/its-been-paid-for http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/its-been-paid-for

Years ago I remember approaching a toll booth at a bridge with cash in hand. “It’s been paid for,” the agent said. “Huh? Who?” I said. He motioned to the car ahead of me, which by that time had zoomed away.

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Blog Wed, 13 May 2015 21:09:05 -0700
Two Curve Balls at One Party http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/two-curve-balls-at-one-party http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/two-curve-balls-at-one-party

Every ten years my Jewish family has a reunion, mostly to see who’s still alive, but also to catch up with the latest births, marriages and divorces.

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Blog Wed, 06 May 2015 19:49:02 -0700
Lag B’Omer – A great day for a Messianic wedding! http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/lag-b-omer-a-great-day-for-a-messianic-wedding http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/lag-b-omer-a-great-day-for-a-messianic-wedding

Growing up in a Messianic Jewish family, I knew all about Passover, Hanukkah, Purim and Sukkot. But I didn’t hear about Lag B’Omer until I moved to New York City and took a Hebrew class.  There I learned that for many religious Jews this holiday holds deep significance. 

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Blog Tue, 05 May 2015 17:19:28 -0700
Woman in Gold http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/woman-in-gold http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/woman-in-gold

Ignore the underwhelming ratings on the movie web sites. Woman in Gold is a movie well worth seeing, despite critics’ complaints of heavy-handedness, bad accents, too many flashbacks, and emotional mawkishness. I found none of those things in this story of Maria Altmann, based upon actual events in the life of a Jewish Austrian who managed to flee Europe for America on the eve of the Holocaust.

In brief: famed Austrian artist Gustav Klimt had painted a splendid gold-leafed portrait of Maria’s aunt Adele. When their Vienna apartment is plundered by the Nazis, the painting disappears along with much else, only to end up in an Austrian museum where it has become the “Mona Lisa of Austria,” the artifact par excellence of national pride. Seeking to reclaim rightful ownership of the portrait, Maria (wonderfully portrayed by Helen Mirren) enlists the help of a young lawyer, Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), grandson of the composer Arnold Schoenberg. As the movie progresses, Maria and “Randy” develop a relationship defined far more by Maria’s complexities than by Randy’s youth and inexperience. Together, and by fits and starts, the two pursue restitution of the artwork, which ultimately ends in the portrait’s restoration to Maria.

The story works on many levels: as a period piece; as consciousness-raising for art restitution; as a Holocaust movie; as a law film; as a character study of an Austrian, now American, Jewish woman.

At one important level, Woman in Gold concerns identity. Maria, as she imagines, has left Austria behind for good. But as events reconnect her geographically and emotionally with Austria, she needs to consider who she is vis-à-vis the past. (The several flashbacks to her experiences after the Nazi invasion of Austria help to root the film in history.) Reclaiming the portrait is both an act of justice and also one of personal closure. In a very real way Maria is reunited with her aunt and the rest of her family. The speech by Randy Schoenberg before an Austrian arbitration panel speaks of the nature of national identity, as Randy argues that there are two kinds of Austrians — those who believe in doing the right and just thing by owning up to what the Nazis did in stealing property, and those who don’t.

On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, identity issues will undoubtedly surface for many survivors and children of survivors. Some choose to “forget” their experiences, or at least not bring them to mind, for they cannot truly be forgotten. Others may find themselves speaking of their lives, so that the past will not be repeated. One thing is certain: artworks can be restored, but an arbitration panel cannot reunite those who died with their families.

How then does one reintegrate one’s life in the face of the Holocaust? Some built a new life in America or in other countries. Some became bitter, some became spiritual, some became activists, some retreated. Some painted and others wrote poetry. 

Against all odds, some Jews took up the image of Jesus as representative of the persecuted Jew, the martyr, the stand-in for all the hatred, calumny, and persecution that culminated in the events of 75 years ago. Perhaps some took up the image of the resurrected Jesus as the representative of the rebirth of Israel, though I’m unaware of such examples. Images of crucifixion may have resonated for some more than those of resurrection and hope. Sometimes pain stays with us longer than healing. 

I recommend viewing Woman in Gold. The triumph, tinged with the images of what once was, is itself a symbol of rebirth in the aftermath of horror. On this remembrance day, let us stand in solidarity, and in hope, with the survivors and with those who perished.

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Blog Tue, 14 Apr 2015 20:37:00 -0700
Hate Is Not That Complicated http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/hate-is-not-that-complicated http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/hate-is-not-that-complicated

On the eve of Yom HaShoah, an American Jew writes about his family’s fate in the Holocaust.

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Blog Tue, 14 Apr 2015 18:52:00 -0700
Anarchy Seder? http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/anarchy-seder http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/anarchy-seder

Does keeping order in the Passover really matter? What does the story spell out about God?

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Blog Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:24:00 -0700
Why Settle for the Worse? http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/why-settle-for-the-worse http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/why-settle-for-the-worse

Did you know you can become addicted to your own brain chemicals?

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Blog Mon, 06 Apr 2015 13:48:00 -0700
How To Live Debt-Free http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/live-debt-free http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/live-debt-free

Back in the day when Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem, taxes were a hated part of life, especially by the Jews. It reminded them they were subjected to foreign (Roman) rule, just like God had warned them if they did not obey and follow him.

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Blog Mon, 30 Mar 2015 20:29:17 -0700
Are You Insurgent? http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/are-you-insurgent http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/are-you-insurgent

Divergents are misfits in a system that seeks to control everyone. And now Tris, the most divergent of all in Veronica Roth’s best selling book and movie trilogy, is forced to be insurgent as well.

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Blog Fri, 20 Mar 2015 15:14:49 -0700
Moses Celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day — Who Knew?? http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/moses-celebrates-saint-patrick-s-day-who-knew http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/moses-celebrates-saint-patrick-s-day-who-knew

Hi, this is Moses here. Yes, that Moses. I hope you don’t mind my talking while I eat this corned beef and cabbage. Man, this sure tastes good. I mean, the manna was good too, it was food from heaven for our desert journey, but it’s nice to have something else for a change.

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Blog Mon, 16 Mar 2015 16:54:28 -0700
Fun Fact Friday - Passover - Spring Cleaning http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/fun-fact-friday-passover-spring-cleaning http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/fun-fact-friday-passover-spring-cleaning

Did spring cleaning start as a Jewish tradition or didn’t it? Let’s find out.

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Blog Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:43:09 -0700
Movie Review: Holocaust: Night Will Fall http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/movie-review-holocaust-night-will-fall http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/movie-review-holocaust-night-will-fall

A shocking documentary about the concentration camps that was suppressed by the British in 1945 will be released in April to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen. The film, German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, includes footage by British, American, and Soviet military cameramen of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, Magdanek, Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau and other camps.

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Blog Wed, 11 Mar 2015 20:00:09 -0700
Designer Babies Coming Your Way http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/designer-babies-coming-your-way http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/designer-babies-coming-your-way

England has shocked the world by announcing they are going to allow a new medical procedure that could lead to designer babies.

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Blog Mon, 09 Mar 2015 18:52:17 -0700
Fun Fact Friday - Purim http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/fun-fact-friday-purim http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/fun-fact-friday-purim

Did you know this is the month of Adar*? But what is the month of Adar? Is it the last month in the Jewish calendar? Let’s find out.

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Blog Tue, 03 Mar 2015 15:49:44 -0800
For Such a Time as Purim 2015 http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/for-such-a-time-as-purim-2015 http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/for-such-a-time-as-purim-2015



Anti-Semitism seems to be at a high right now.  After the horrific Paris attacks and the general anti-Jewish sentiment throughout Europe, perhaps Israel’s Prime Minister (his country has the largest Jewish population in the world) has concerns that are warranted.  Iran (Persia of old) has a long history of looking to get rid of Jews.  Tomorrow is the Jewish holiday of Purim, which commemorates the events that took place in ancient Persia in the 4th century BC.  What do Hassan Rouhani and Haman have in common?  Underestimating the God of Israel who has promised to preserve the Jewish people as a testimony to His faithfulness.  Want to chat?

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Blog Tue, 03 Mar 2015 00:07:00 -0800
Fun Fact Friday - Chinese New Year http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/fun-fact-friday-chinese-new-year http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/fun-fact-friday-chinese-new-year

Jews have a calendar! Chinese people have a calendar! And so does God.  Both the Chinese and Jewish calendars go by lunisolar time measurement, as do many other cultures. These calendars go by the same counting system as the Tanakh (Old Testament) does, and in fact, God says in Genesis 1:14, “‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years.’”

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Blog Thu, 19 Feb 2015 17:36:34 -0800
How to Find the Love You Crave http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/how-to-find-the-love-you-crave http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/how-to-find-the-love-you-crave

The Academy Awards are scheduled for Feb. 22. It’s an extravaganza of glitz, glamour and vicarious living.
It’s the yearly idol parade on the famous red carpet where actors show off their fashion, give their two-minute interviews and pose in front of a zillion clicking cameras.
Let’s face it - even cynics like me like to watch the show.

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Blog Wed, 18 Feb 2015 21:37:33 -0800
Fun Fact Friday - Valentine’s Day (Fifteenth of Av) http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/fun-fact-friday-valentine-s-day-fifteenth-of-av http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/blog/fun-fact-friday-valentine-s-day-fifteenth-of-av

Do Jews celebrate Valentine’s Day, or don’t they? Let’s find out.

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Blog Thu, 12 Feb 2015 23:29:07 -0800