Download II Chronicles 17-23 We are in the Nation Stream reading from the Easy-to-Read Version. 7streamsmethod.com | @7StreamsMethod | @serenatravis | #7Streams | Donate Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis Lord, we read of all the tumult today, the good and bad that come and go and we want to simply pause and escape the chaos that accompanies the evil people. Lord, keep US in your will, your hand, and in your sight. Amen. 17 - Jehoshaphat becomes the new king. He was for the most part good. He resembled his father Asa, who was good for 39 of his 41 years. Remembered his refusal to “take things to God” the last two years of his life? Notice the same motif in verse three in this chapter, “…in his young life he did the good things…” Jehoshaphat obeyed and sought our the Lord's advice most of the time. Let's learn what we can from him and not gloss over the things Jehoshaphat erred in. Remember, is it ok for a boat builder to fix ‘most' of the leaks?! Yeah, you get what we're saying Jehoshaphat sent teachers across Judah to teach the Law of The Lord. This is good. The people are strengthened as is the nation because of it. The neighbors start bringing gifts to stay on Judah's good side. The army is trained and tallied at 1,160,000 battle-ready soldiers who were smartly stationed across the kingdom. Do we realize that their army in a kingdom that was far smaller than the US State of Rhode Island was larger than the US Army is as of 2016? Judah was a country that was stocked, fortified, fed and ready to defend itself. 18 - The first thing that ought strike at our hearts is “why is Jehoshaphat dabbling with darkness?” He conspired with Ahab&Jezebel to have their daughter and his son marry. Gee what kind of gem might that young lady be?! So Jehoshaphat and Ahab are side by side and conversing. Not only are their children married. He later goes into battle with him. It's foolish! Hint: Ahab and Jezebel are utterly dark souls. Don't do deals with the Devil, ditch him. Later Ahab needs a word from a prophet regarding war with the Arameans, but he wants to hear what he wants to hear; not the truth. It's like the Neil Diamond lyric, “pour me a drink and I'll tell you some lies.” Ahab prefers ‘go ahead, lie to me'. And he likes it that way! Jehoshaphat has had plenty warning but he doesn't cut these ties with Ahab. Micaiah is a truthful prophet and he has enough presence of mind to toy with Ahab and obviously/openly reveal to Ahab that Ahab prefers to be lied to v.s. told the truth. As Micaiah prophesies the drama is intense, and he pays for telling the truth - but lying would have been far more costly. We just read it so it doesn't need to described again. Ahab proceeds into war, gets drilled, and dies. 19 - Though Ahab dies, Jehoshaphat returns from battle. Consequently the scolding he receives from Jehu is warranted. Next Jehoshaphat places judges around the country. This is reminiscent of Moses getting Jethro's advice in Exodus 18 to appoint judges to spread the work around v.s bottle-necking everything through him like control-freaks tend to do. 20 - The encounter here is a very famous one. Enemies are coming to eliminate Judah. The Lord's help is needed immediately. They cannot afford to lose this battle to Ammon and Moab. It's basically D-Day and Judah, led by Jehoshaphat, had to win. They consult the Lord - something Jehoshaphat did not do enough - but he did so here. His prayer in the open meeting is legendary. The reply from God comes via Jahaziel. The plan of marching to battle with the worship singers leading the pack was Jehoshaphat's orders. Memo to all of us: worship first and God can work His plan on our behalf. The enemy turns on itself and completely obliterates the threat (not one survived!). It is a victory for Judah AND a payday. How long does it take you to rake up your autumn leaves? Well imagine having so much cash bills dropped on your lawn that it takes three days to rake it all up and put it in bags. That is what Judah and Jehoshaphat are dealing with here. This time they listened to God and worshipped first instead of negotiating with evil people. The rewards were staggering. To summarize Jehoshaphat's reign, he did well a lot of the time but could have done it God's way all the time and everywhere but he didn't. His attempt at partnering in a shipping company was a disaster. Yes his faith in God was admirable but his concurrent dabbling with dark people marked his life as well. 21 - Jehoshaphat's dubious commitments end up plaguing his children as well. His son Jehoram, whom Jehoshaphat arranged to marry Athaliah - daughter of Ahab/Jezebel - was as wretched as can be. He removes his brothers from the scene [murder], so to eliminate any threat to his power- so all is well… right?! Tell me about it! This is put in there at the opening of Jehoram's reign to tell us what kind of man he was. The fights of his entire rule begin in his own heart. He is against God and his own family. So God turns on him. Soon all his neighbors turn on him (he unwittingly asked for it!). And at the end of his life the fight comes right home to him and into his own guts. Did you catch the misery he was in at the end of his days. It was revolting. Even his own people got rid of him as quickly and quietly as possible. Everyone was relieved to have him gone. 22 - Ahaziah is chosen king. He is grandson of Jehoshaphat on his father's side and Jezebel on his mother's side. So he is from a partly good family …and v.v. Well, how does a car roll when half it's tires are inflated and half are flat? You get the message. But Ahaziah's parents were both bad though his father Jehoram was raised right, sort of. He allies with Joram; the King of Israel (his ancestors were equally mistaken to do this). This has him encounter Jehu who kills them both since Jehu was on a blitz to wipe out Ahab's entire family. This enrages Athaliah; Ahaziah's mother. She retaliates by killing all the king's children in her scheme to assume power. Athaliah was raised by Jezebel, remember? The next in line for the throne, Joash, is hidden in the Temple for six years while Athaliah ran Judah illegitimately for those six years. 23 - This is a house-cleaning chapter. It is a comprehensive plan to rid the country of Athaliah and the residue of Baal she brought in since being a daughter of Jezebel who was raised a Sidonian pagan. Jehoiada took leadership in bringing the priests together, arming them all and arranging for the elimination of Athaliah. The Temple rule is played perfectly, which drew Athaliah past her boundary. The king-in-hiding had been carefully brought into place and we just read the illicit accusation of “treason” and consequently evil Athaliah is taken out and disposed of. With an evil queen gone, with a priest coordinating matters, with a good [though young] king newly enthroned, Judah was set to have some good years. All Joash had to do was stay on the path that the Priest Jehoiada had brought them down so far? Would he stay on this right path?
“Meet Jethro from Scripture (Exodus, Numbers, Judges)” from 30 Biblical People You Need to Know by Dr. Randy White. Released: 2021. Track 28. Genre: Speech. Additional Materials: ( Outline | Video | Website | YouTubeChannel | ZoHo ) The post Meet Jethro from Scripture (Exodus, Numbers, Judges) appeared first on RWM Podcasts.
Hockey Hall of Famer and four-time Stanley Cup Champion Clark Gillies joins Cory and Greg on the 11th episode of Talkin' Isles. Gillies talks about being drafted by the Islanders (2:50), playing minor-league baseball (4:53), being part of the Western Canadian contingent on the Isles (10:12), his nickname ‘Jethro' (12:58), comparing the Stanley Cup runs (20:36), taking part in the Coliseum crowd in recent years (35:31) and more!
Growing up without a dad, Rob felt he missed out on a lot of practical wisdom that fathers often pass on to their children. Not wanting anyone to lack important life skills, Rob made a series of practical “Dad, How Do I?” videos demonstrating everything from how to put up a shelf to how to change a tire. With his kind compassion and warm style, Rob has become a YouTube sensation, amassing millions of subscribers. Many of us long for the expertise of a parental figure to teach us valuable skills, as well as help us navigate difficult situations. Moses needed some wisdom after he and the Israelites fled captivity in Egypt and were establishing themselves as a nation. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, saw the strain that settling disputes among the people was having on Moses. So, Jethro gave Moses thoughtful advice on how to delegate responsibility in leadership (Exodus 18:17-23). Moses “listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said” (v. 24). God knows we all need wisdom. Some may be blessed with godly parents but all of us can ask God, who gives wisdom to all who ask Him (James 1:5). He’s also provided wisdom throughout the pages of Scripture. In the book of Proverbs, for example, we’re reminded that when we humbly and sincerely listen to the wise, we “will be counted among the wise” (Proverbs 19:20) and have wisdom to share with others.
Moses was going to wear himself out with the burden of solving all of Israel's problems on his own. Taking his father-in-law Jethro's advice, Moses appoints trusted men as leaders and becomes the people's representative before God. "You shall represent the people before God and shall bring their cases to God."Exodus 18:19b Support Our Show Please prayerfully consider supporting our ministry at https://buymeacoffee.com/donutsanddevos. Your donations will help keep our show running and improving the valuable content we can provide our wonderful audience!
This week the Mennobrarians return to the world of cozy Amish mysteries with a discussion on Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flowers. We chat candy making, armchair detectives, implausible buggy accidents, and whether or not Jethro the pig would eat humans (he would).
Like Jackie Shipp under Barry Odom, Jethro Franklin didn't last one full season. Missouri is certainly at a talent deficit up front, but the Tigers' tactics were stupefying. Just how bad is this run defense? Plus, an Ennis Rakestraw non-tackle goes viral. *** Follow Locked On Mizzou for FREE, and never miss an episode:
MIZ! Drink fires Jethro... something. Mizzou run defense couldn't stop a nosebleed. Drink stock falling. College football landscape. Dodgers v. Cardinals on Wednesday. Scherzer vs. Waino. Betting odds for the Wild Card game. TMA Live recap. Foot play. Lemmings Open recap. Betting on the series vs. the Cubs. Matt Carpenter.
In this episode, Cody and Chris bring on the amazing, incredible hosts of the Box of Oddities podcast, Kat and Jethro, to finally talk about a subject they have been avoiding for sometime: spirit boards. First, Kat tells a reddit story in which a girl and her friends summon a spirit that supposedly moves trees. Then, Jethro shares a story where another group of girls contact a spirit who spews out Heart lyrics that become ominously relevant later. Next, Cody tells us about his own personal Ouija experience, followed by the true story of a girl who killed a family member after being instructed by a summoned spirit. Finally, Chris gets into a true Ouija experience in Spain that was the basis for the horror movie, Veronica. Creep of the Week is a game that Cody plays with our guests. Drinks this week are Game Day Bud Light, Voodoo Ranger, and NA Sangria.
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Olivier winner Clive Rowe recently look over as Jethro in the West End production of The Prince of Egypt at the Dominion Theatre. Clive won the 1997 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for Guys and Dolls. He was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2009 for outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for Mother Goose at the Hackney Empire and in 1993 for Best Supporting Performance in Carousel.Just a few of his recent theatre credits include: Sweet Charity (Donmar Warehouse), Blues in the Night (Kiln Theatre), In the Willows (UK tour), Guys and Dolls (Royal Albert Hall), Me and My Girl (Chichester), The Light Princess (National Theatre), The Hothouse (Trafalgar Studios), The Ladykillers (West End / UK tour), Kiss Me Kate (Chichester / The Old Vic), No Naughty Bits (Hampstead Theatre), The Wiz (Birmingham Rep / West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Company (Donmar Warehouse).Clive is renowned for his pantomime appearances and this Christmas he will return to the Hackney Empire in Jack & The Beanstalk which runs 20th November - 2nd January 2022.His screen credits include: Tracy Beaker, The Evermoor Chronicles, So Awkward, The Kennedys, All The Small Things, Doctor Who and Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast. Clive stars as Jethro in The Prince of Egypt at the Dominion Theatre until Saturday 16th October 2021. The musical is currently booking to Saturday 8th January 2022.Hosted by Andrew Tomlins. @Andrew_Tomlins Thanks for listening! Email: email@example.comVisit westendframe.co.uk for more info about our podcasts.
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. Exodus 3:1-7 NKJV --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/pastor-lucy-paynter/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/pastor-lucy-paynter/support
In 1950, the West-End Baptist Church in Beatrice, Nebraska exploded from a gas leak. The church should have been full of a practicing choir, but it wasn't. This episode examines the curious circumstances that led each and every choir member to be late that day. Then we play the Quick Quiz with Jethro and Matt from the Drunkard's Walk podcast! Bonus episodes and content available at http://Patreon.com/MichaelKent For 20% Virtual Presenter Course, visit http://virtualpresentercourse.com/30 For 15% at SCOTTeVEST, visit http://scottevest.cwv7.net/a3VBZ
Pastor John DePalma speaks on the relationship between God and gentile nations, and how the story of Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, gives a glimpse into our own gentile relationship with God. August 15th, 2021 Music: CCLI License 20576625 - O Lord My Rock and My Redeemer | Nathan Stiff | ©2017 Sovereign Grace Worship | ARTIST: The Munteans
Regina Collins is the Principal of the Global School at the Florida Virtual School. Florida Virtual School is a national organization serving K - 12 students in online education for over 23 years. She has 20 years in education and 11 of them in virtual education. In her role as the Global School Principal, she collaborates with a diverse group of people to work towards the common goal of increasing student achievement and retention in an online setting. She has a way of encouraging students and staff to remain positive and persevere while adapting to change. And boy has the last 13 months or so really tested that skill! She believes partnerships with parents and school districts are essential to enriching the experience at FLVS Global School. Prior to joining FLVS in 2010, she also has experience teaching at the elementary level where she passionately pursued strategies to reach the individual needs of each of her students. Teaching is an art and science Organization Development Manager National Standards for quality online instruction Ongoing multi-step process Targeted professional learning sessions Very large school, considered their own district informal and formal observations pre/post observation conferences classroom walkthrough meetings mid-year evaluation EOY Evaluation How do you monitor if someone is working? It doesn't matter, what matters is that kids are learning. Heat map shows when kids are working. Students need to find the model that works for them. how to be a transformative principal? 1. Think outside the box 2. Collaborate - join Jethro's Mastermind Topics: Questions from other leaders: How to evaluate when they are remote? How do you make sure a teacher is working contract hours? Collaborative Culture in online environment String of little things I do on a consistent basis. Sponsors InControl SEL for Middle School In Control created an effortless social and emotional, character development video curriculum for your students that's ZERO-TEACHER-PREP AND it's so cool looking- it feels like a Youtube or Netflix Series- and that's purposeful, they meet students right where they're at. The videos are 5–6 minutes, kids love them, teachers love them, and you will too. There's no guesswork in the program because there's a 21-video progression for each grade level. They've thought of everything– because it's a group of award winning counselors, teachers, and principals that came up with this thing. It'll help you save tons of time and headaches. Take it from me, it's time to check that social-emotional learning box, the empty one that's been keeping you up at night–and it's time to do it in a meaningful, measurable, magnetic way. If you go to www.InControlSEL.com/jethro you can check out some of the videos and even receive 20% off if you pre-order for next school year John Catt Today's Transformative Principal sponsor, John Catt Educational, amplifies world-class voices on timeless topics, with a list of authors recognized globally for their fresh perspectives and proven strategies to drive success in modern schools and classrooms. John Catt's mission is to support high-quality teaching and learning by ensuring every educator has access to professional development materials that are research-based, practical, and focused on the key topics proven essential in today's and tomorrow's schools. Learn more about professional development publications that are easy to implement for your entire faculty, and are both quickly digestible and rigorous, by visiting https://us.johncattbookshop.com/. Learn more about some of the newest titles: - The Coach's Guide to Teaching by Doug Lemov The Feedback Pendulum: A manifesto for enhancing feedback in education by Michael Chiles Putting Staff First: A blueprint for revitalising our schools by John Tomsett and Jonny Uttley 10 Things Schools Get Wrong (And How We Can Get Them Right) by Jared Cooney Horvath and David Bott Let's Talk About Flex: Flipping the flexible working narrative for education by Emma Turner A Parent's Guide to Powerful Teaching by Patrice Bain John Catt is also proud publisher of the new book from Transformative Principal host Jethro Jones: SchoolX: How principals can design a transformative school experience for students, teachers, parents – and themselves Visit this page to learn more about bulk orders and how to bring John Catt's research-based materials to your school: https://us.johncattbookshop.com/pages/agents-and-distributors
"The Higher and the Lower Priesthoods" Section 84 gives us one of the best examples of The Higher and Lower Laws. Each of the Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthoods is necessary as they represent "Heaven and Earth". We explore the themes of the temple, Zion, the Last Days and bring them into context with the prophets Jeremiah, Daniel and Jesus as well. Website - https://www.cwicmedia.com Come Follow Me LDS Doctrine and Covenants 84
Exodus 2:23-3:15 New International Version 23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. Moses and the Burning Bush 3 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” 4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. 7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you[b] will worship God on this mountain.” 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, ‘What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[c] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.'” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[d] the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.' “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.
Reading I Ex 3:1-6, 9-12 Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. Leading the flock across the desert, he came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There an angel of the LORD appeared to him in fire flaming out of a bush. As he looked on, he was surprised to see that the bush, though on fire, was not consumed. So Moses decided, “I must go over to look at this remarkable sight, and see why the bush is not burned.” When the LORD saw him coming over to look at it more closely, God called out to him from the bush, “Moses! Moses!” He answered, “Here I am.” God said, “Come no nearer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your father,” he continued, “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. The cry of the children of Israel has reached me, and I have truly noted that the Egyptians are oppressing them. Come, now! I will send you to Pharaoh to lead my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He answered, “I will be with you; and this shall be your proof that it is I who have sent you: when you bring my people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this very mountain.” Responsorial Psalm 103:1b-2, 3-4, 6-7 R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful. Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. R. The Lord is kind and merciful. He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion. R. The Lord is kind and merciful. The LORD secures justice and the rights of all the oppressed. He has made known his ways to Moses, and his deeds to the children of Israel. Gospel Mt 11:25-27 At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/sofia-fonseca7/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/sofia-fonseca7/support
Parshat matot - This week, along with Rabbi Adam Mintz and Rabbi Raphael Davidovich we discuss compromises and differences of opinion relating to the Biblical borders of the promised land and the modern State of Israel. We explore how these discussions might actually be the only way out of the current conflict. So throw away your maps and pull out your sacred texts and lets discuss the Compromised Land. Link to Sefaria Source Sheet here: www.sefaria.org/sheets/334569 Transcript: Geoffrey Stern This week, we have a new episode in asking Moses for an exception to the rule. This week, the Jewish people after 40 years wandering in the desert have finally come to the border. They've actually already conquered some land outside of the land of Israel, just to get passageway they're about to cross over the Jordan River. And two tribes; the Reubenites and Gadites approach Moses. And the Bible starts by saying they owned a lot of cattle. And they noted that the land on the west side, the West Bank of the Jordan River, were really good for cattle. And they said, Would it be okay? If we stayed here? And Moses, as seems to be the standard falls on his face. And says to them, does that mean that you're questioning the whole endeavor, that you're not going to come and take the Promised Land. And he even talks and reminds them, that a whole generation, their parents, had also come close to the border, had sent the spies over, and then had had their second thoughts and doubts, and decided, again, not to engage in this endeavor of gaining the Promised Land. And he says, The Lord was incensed that Israel and for 40 years, he made them wander in the wilderness. And he says, and now you a breed of sinful men have replaced your fathers to add still further to the Lord's wrath against Israel. So again, he's shocked by their question, the way they phrase, their question is kind of interesting, too, because they say that what we want to do is we will build places for a cattle to graze, and we will go ahead and build places for our families to abode. And then we're actually going to come with you and help you conquer the land. And until the project of fulfilling the promise of the Promised Land is fulfilled, we will not go back to our settlement here on the West Bank. But until that time, we will fight along with you. And at this point, Moses comes back, and he talks not so much to God, but I think to the other leaders, and to Aaron, and the priests, and he says, if you will commit to do exactly that, then I will permit you to stay on the West Bank of the Jordan River. And it really goes on and on in terms of each of the different steps. And that I think is the last time .... I might be willing next week. But I think it's the last time that the people of Israel, or a segment from the people of Israel asked for an exception. And Moses came back and gave them the exception. So Rabbi, in your opinion, what makes this story worth a whole chapter in the Torah? And what are the lessons and what are the takeaways? Adam Mintz Okay, first of all, this is an amazing story. It's about exceptions. But ultimately, in the end, it's about what commitments are the Land of Israel means, because what we have is we have the two tribes of Reuven and Gad. And basically, they're willing to say we're willing to put ourselves on the line, to be able to live where we want to live. Now, they didn't necessarily have to offer that. But they decided to offer that. And it shows what their commitment to the land is about. And I think that's very important. Yu know, the whole Torah, they're always complaining about going into the land of Israel, why'd you take us out of Egypt, we should have stayed in the land of Egypt and all of these things, right? The Miraglim, the spies come, and they say bad things about Israel. And now you have a group of people who are willing to say, we're putting ourselves on the line, to be part of Israel to fight the battles before anybody else settles down. We're gonna fight with everybody. I think that's a wonderful lesson. Geoffrey Stern So it's interesting that you kind of see In the, the the members of these two tribes, someone who is virtuous, their intentions were good. And you would put them in the same category as the daughters of Zelophechad, or Jethro. They were good and well intentioned. Adam Mintz that's a good term. Geoffrey Stern Well intentioned and in a sense, selfless, because what they were saying is they will fight for the rest of the nation to redeem the Promised Land, and then they would go back to the houses. But I sense in the commentators that there's actually a bias in the other direction. In other words, Rashi picks up on the fact that when they said, We will build sheepfolds for our cattle, and then they say, and we will go ahead and build homes for our children. Rashi said, "asu Ikar Ikar vehatfal tafal" they actually were materialists that they show their colors, in terms of caring more about grazing rights and prosperity. And I think, in a sense, the way they're introduced also kind of places them as someone whose intentions in fact, were very materialistic. So how do you square that with your circle? Adam Mintz Good. I mean, there is no question that Rashi is critical of them, or Rashi says that they're interested, they're interested in their self-interest, right? Where is it going to be better for us? I'm really taking a different view. Rashi decides that these tribes are no good. Rashi doesn't like people who break with the norm. Rashi thinks that everybody should do the same thing. I don't think that that's the way that we're necessarily trained. I think that we're trained that it's okay to be a little different. And that if you're willing to make a commitment, that it's okay to be different. So I understand Rashi, I'm not a traditionalist as Rashi in the same way, in terms of the fact that everybody needs to do the same thing. Geoffrey Stern Well, I think that's wonderful. That's why you and I are made for each other. Adam Mintz Tere we go. Madlik. That's right. Geoffrey Stern So so let's talk in biblical terms, it would be called the Promised Land, and in modern day terms, it would be called Zionism. In a sense, the Reubenites that Gadites, were the first Jews to live in the galut [Diaspora] so to speak, in other words, they were saying you can go into the land, we want to live outside of the land. I think historically, the fact that they live there, ultimately became part of Greater Israel. But in that moment, in any case, they were acting very similar to Jews, like you and I, who live in New York, who say, we are going to do everything we can to support you in the building the dream of Zion and the Land of Israel. But we're actually going to live on the other side of the river so to speak Is is this the first instance .... and it's funny, it's it happened even before they took the land, they already had these outliers. Adam Mintz Yeah, well, I mean, by definition, it's the first example. They're just taking possession of the land. And they're outliers. I think the Torah is really making a comment about how they feel about these outliers. Now, Rashi has one view, and I presented another view. Obviously, there are different views about these outliers. But clearly, this is the story of the outlier. It's different than the daughters of Zelophechad . The daughters of Zelophechad , are making sure that they get an equal portion. That's not about being an outlier. That's about protecting their own interest. It's really a different story than the daughters of Zelophechad . Geoffrey Stern Well, absolutely. Do you do you give any import to the fact again, I've already mentioned that the Bible seems to go out of the way to say that they own cattle and that they were looking for land suitable for cattle, ...cattle cattle. Do you think that this is part of a tension throughout the Bible that we haven't discussed before, between agriculture and cattle grazing (herders and ranchers). Between vegetarianism, if you will, and a culture of raising cattle. Of the wanderer, the grazer and the land holder who prays for the rain, who tides the crops. There are so many laws of Judaism that have to do with agriculture, in a very positive sense that it almost becomes the paradigm. And cattle grazing and certainly of slaughtering animals was almost limited to the temple. I don't believe that it was even permissible to eat meat outside of the temple culture. Adam Mintz That's right. Geoffrey Stern Is there any of that going on here? Adam Mintz There might be. They're clearly making an argument to the fact we need more land, because that's the way our that's our livelihood, and our livelihood needs more land. Now, you wonder, I think, Geoffrey, this is an interesting question. What did the other tribes think about the request of Reuven and Gad. T Torah never tells us, but it's left open for our imagination. What do you think to Torah thought? Geoffrey Stern It makes it seem that the key issue that Moses had was, number one, are you going to be included in the draft? Are you going to help the rest of the people? If we let you pursue your own private interests and your different lifestyle? Are you going to still be committed to the national movement? That was one thing, the other argument that Moses makes, which I find even more fascinating, is he harkens back to when the spies came back, any Harkens back at great length, because he says you're going to be doing the same thing, you're going to be taking away the idealism. We all were looking forward to going into the land until the spies punctured that bubble. And here you are at this precipitous moment, we're going into the land. And already you're taking away from from the whole, from Clal Israel, if you will, but he doesn't really put any words into the mouths of the leaders of the other tribes or to the priests either. So I don't know how to answer that. But I do find it fascinating, where his concerns were, Raphael Davidovich that's interesting. You say he doesn't put words in their mouths. You wonder, about why the leaders of the other tribes, you know, when it came to the spies, they weren't so quiet, all of a sudden, here they are quiet? And you wonder why that is? Geoffrey Stern Well, I mean, you know, again, we only can read what what's in the text, and we can't read in between lines. There are two words that are kind of interesting to me. One is they talk about, okay, so after you fulfill your obligation, you will come back here, and it'll be an "ahuza". It'll be a holding for you. And the other word is we're crossing the Jordan, you know, the word "Ivri" Hebrew comes from the word "L'avor" to go over. And certainly, one of the references or associations that we always have, is that we crossed over the Jordan, or in the case of Abraham over the Tigris, but the point is, we were coming home. And the cattle grazers are still wanderers so there's also that tension between coming home [to settle] and ending the wanderings in the desert or of the diaspora. And then there is the other side of it is well, we've gotten used to this life and we like this untethered existence. And then there's this sense of what is the land to them anyway, is it is is something that ... we just passing through? What does "achuza" actually mean? Adam Mintz So that's a very good question. What is what is the attitude of these people towards the land? These two tribes? What's their attitude? What about the other tribes? Do they have a different attitude towards the land? Does everybody recognize the holiness of the land? I think from the story in the Torah it's very hard. Geoffrey Stern Yeah. I mean, I think at the end it says "Vehoyta ha'aretz hazot l'chem l'achuza liphney Hashem" that this land will be to you, "achuza" a holding in front of God? You know, I'm reminded that actually does the land really belong to any of us? And that it doesn't talk about "achuzah L'olam" forever. So it does raise these questions. There's so much talk about coming into the Promised Land. What does that even mean? Is it our land to live on our or is it something that we own? You know, I don't think we'll ever know. But I know that these issues are there, even if we just look at the simple words. This conflict between a wandering people and people that comes home? Adam Mintz Maybe we should open it up Jeffrey and see whether we have some some opinions Michael, anyone else who wants to hear their views? You kind of threw out a lot of ideas today Geoffrey Stern Absolutely. So if there's anyone who would want to comment on what we've been talking about in terms of the first time that the Jewish people came to the land, and the first time that the kind of borders were started to be made both physical borders and borders between lifestyles, Raphael, welcome. Raphael Davidovich Thank you. Fascinating conversations. I just want to point out, that it was mentioned that Rashi objected to the tribe of Reuben and Gad for their request. But that's not necessarily the case. You know, that's not necessarily the voice of the Torah itself. And I just wanted to make sort of a point, not so much in defense of Rashi. But more in defense of the point that Rashi makes. To me, it seems fairly clear from the narrative, not only of Reuben and Gad, but meaning the long arc narrative that you see at the end of the book of Joshua, that what Reuben and Gad's request, while it was honored, was not considered appropriate. And you see this in two ways. One way is that the fact that they were on the other side of the Jordan, led to their being separated from the Jewish people or the Israelite people at a much earlier stage. There's a Midrash that makes the point that they were exiled, leaving me for the remainder of the 10 tribes, and also that they had distanced themselves. And they almost started a civil war later on at the end of the book of Joshua for wanting to build an altar, which led to a big misunderstanding there. But sometimes, while a Jew might feel he wants a little bit of distance from other Jews, it's ultimately not really a good thing. And I think that's why Moshe never apologizes for his initial rant. It's not as if Ruben and Gad say no, no, listen we'll help as soldiers. And Moshe says, Oh, I apologize for the misunderstanding. You know, the point is left unresolved. And it seems to me that the narrative voice of the Torah feels that all things being equal, what they did was not considered appropriate. So I just wanted to sort of register that that voice, you know, that point of view, Adam Mintz okay. I mean, you're you're reading it, within the Chumash [Text of the Torah], and I'm suggesting that there might be two ways to read the book. Raphael Davidovich I understand. I heard that other way. But I think ultimately, given the distance. not only in Chumash. But like I said, there are many things in the Torah that foreshadow later stories that take place in the Nevi'im [Prophets]. And I think this one foreshadows the greater distance that would occur later. I think there's a strong point, not just in Rashi's way of looking at it.well, Geoffrey Stern I think Raphael that what you emphasize, is this healthy discussion about the different ways that we can look at these tribes, and the unintended consequences in later history, but I think ultimately, like any situation like this, the real issue to me, the real excitement to me is that from day one, this Promised Land was a Compromised Land, meaning to say that these two and a half tribes came even before they got into the brand new car, they already had issues. And were talking about, can they add a trailer? Can they sit in the backseat? It was spanking new. We look at Israel today with all of the different factions and all of the different opinions about who owns what land and how we should cut our borders. And to me, the biggest takeaway is: There is one discussion that had relates to their intention, and where they fall within the commentaries and within history. But there's the other issue. And I want to bring it into the not the not so distant present already, that even from the get go, there were discussions about where the borders were, whether you were in or whether you were out whether you were a purist or were detracting from the movement. And that is pretty amazing .... that already from that time this occurred. If I wanted to take it up into the present in modern Zionist history, there was a big discussion between Weizmann and Ben Gurion on the one hand, and Jabotinsky, on the other hand about what the boundaries of the future State of Israel should be. And Weitzman and Ben Gurion were willing to compromise and Jabotinsky did not. And the main issue was whether the borders would be on both sides of the Jordan or the Jordan would actually be the border. So it's fascinating that the story that we have in front of us is actually a prequel to an argument that related to the founding of the State of Israel. Jabotinsky, wrote a song that became actually the anthem of Herut and the rejectionists who felt that Ben Gurion should not make the compromise. And he has verses in it. The refrain is "two banks has the Jordan, this is ours. And that is as well. It's stretching from the sea to the desert and the Jordan, the Jordan in the middle two banks has the Jordan, this is ours. And that is as well." And it's fascinating that this concept of enlarging the borders, so that what happened in the parsha that we're reading with the Reubenites, and the Gadities went ahead and said they wanted to live outside of the borders, that actually changed the facts on the ground, and it became a new border. And it just seems to me that it's so fascinating when we talk about what the borders of the land should be, and how we should even look at these borders, that we can't but help go back to that first moment when the Jews hadn't even passed over the river. And already they were having these kinds of discussions. And I should say, compromises .... so I wonder what everyone's thoughts are in terms of it almost becomes it's a land of compromise. And it's a land where different people have different visions from the get-go. Michael Stern I kind of envision that the Promised Land and when the Israelites crossed over that that was like, opening up an oasis that would flood the whole planet, with the milk and honey with this divine consciousness and mistaken, of course, human frailties of thinking started to think about borders. And it was really just a key in a lock. And In came the Israelites in the alchemy was ready to flood the whole planet with divine consciousness. And so I just wanted to add that feeling that I have that we really could just forget about all the human limitations and borders and strife and see it as an oasis that was unlocked to release that to the world but humans got in the way. Adam Mintz Nice idea. And Michael, finish up your thoughts. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Michael Stern Oh, I think it's a good thing that it isn't about borders and it's really about going back to the moment and put the key in the lock and let this be the work. To make one holy planet, and of course, you have to start with a seed. And why run after the leaves when you can go back to the seed and then grow a tree of life on the whole planet that goes everywhere and brings everyone together, and no borders and global citizenship and consciousness. Adam Mintz Fantiastic... I love that idea. Geoffrey Stern But I want to take maybe a little bit of what Michael was saying in a slightly different direction. And that is, yes, I think that Jerusalem and the Promised Land have always been both a reality and a metaphor. And there is absolutely no question, especially in their later history where the two could live simultaneously. But unfortunately, for people living on a particular piece of land, the metaphor doesn't help. And that, ultimately, is what borders and conquest and troop movements and relocation of citizens always ends up. So I would like to talk about an amazing situation that is happening as we speak in Israel. And the New York Times had an article in July 4th, and it talked about how the secular peace effort has pretty much died. And that this might be a moment in time for people who are knowledgeable and committed to religion, to actually start talking about the issues that are dividing the Palestinians and the Israelis. And the example that they give. And the reason why it's happening right now is as you may all know, there is a new party that is a part of the Knesset, and part of the coalition, the ruling coalition. It's headed by Mansur Abbas. And it's called Raam. And unlike what one would think that it's would be a secular party. It actually is a Muslim Brotherhood type of party, it's absolutely committed to Islam. It's one of those instances where exactly the type of person that you think, could not reach out and compromise, is seeing the ability to make the livelihood of his people better. And the times gave a history of this person who had a teacher named Sheikh Abdullah Nimr Darwish, who was put in Israeli jail because he was part of the Muslim Brotherhood and when he came out, he did a turnabout, and said that actually, the Muslims living in Israel, should try to obey the laws. And he met up with a Rabbi Michael Melchior, and the two of them ( he since has passed away. But Rabbi Melchior has continued and clearly his student who is the head of the wrong party has continued) seeing the future seeing the potential of religious people who can read a text like we're reading today, and can discuss the issues from the perspective of religious categories of thought that they in fact, are the ones who are most equipped to look for ways out I mean, even if it's the most basic thing that the concept of the state does not exist, either in Islam or in biblical, or Talmudic Judaism. The idea that you can make covenants and those covenants can be permanent, they can be temporary, the fact that you can live on the land, but every 70 years, the land reverts back to somebody else, and looks at land ownership, totally different. All of these categories are religious categories that we study week in and week out. And sometimes we look at ourselves and saying, why are we studying these texts that have no relationship with human affairs and politics and people's lives? And the truth is, it might actually be the opposite. And I'm just intrigued by this movement of religious scholars being able to sit down and to figure out ways that we can communicate, because clearly religious scholars have more in common than they have apart. And I'd like to open that up for a short discussion and comment or just leave you with that thought. Adam Mintz That's a great thought. I think, Geoffrey, if we leave it at that, I think we've done a good job. And it's amazing that we took it back from Reuven and Gad and we took it to modern politics and some of the some of the real achievements in the State of Israel. That's really nice. idea, a good way to end this conversation about this parsha. Geoffrey Stern Fantastic well, Shabbat Shalom Adam Mintz Shabbat Shalom to everybody. Enjoy the parsha, it's a double parsha. I look forward to next the next week with everybody. Geoffrey Stern Absolutely. Shabbat Shalom.
One of the most enduring problems we have faced throughout human history is tribalism. From the Nazis to the Rwandan genocide, we’ve repeatedly seen the devastating results of group think and dehumanizing outsiders. Although some Christian groups have tragically fallen into this sin, we don’t have to. Christianity provides a better way. We can draw Read more about 399 Why Christianity 12: Inclusiveness (Sean Finnegan)[…]
One of the most enduring problems we have faced throughout human history is tribalism. From the Nazis to the Rwandan genocide, we’ve repeatedly seen the devastating results of group think and dehumanizing outsiders. Although some Christian groups have tragically fallen into this sin, we don’t have to. Christianity provides a better way. We can draw Read more about 399 Why Christianity 12: Inclusiveness (Sean Finnegan)[…]
There was a single tear, and I knew we were on sacred ground, but there was a decision to be made. I chose to linger and listen. I was talking with a man in his eighties the other day when I noticed a tear forming in his eye. I knew that this was one of those moments. One of those times where you mustn't rush past. There was an invitation to a stop and be quiet. It was a tender moment. A time of standing on what I call ‘sacred ground' where the other drifts, ponders and reflects on the storied waves of life. I dare not interrupt where Spirit was dancing him into. It was only for about 10 seconds, maybe not even that, but then he spoke about loss—the loss of deep friendships and relationships. Opportunity lost to connect with at least one other man. To have a friend. He talked about his observation that women seem to have more friends and deeper relationships. There was grief and that he had not had this. And then we moved on. Perhaps we will come back to it one day. The sacred ground of us I have been to many places that might have the term ‘Sacred Ground' attached to them. It might be a place where some act of religious significance occurred. It could be a place of pilgrimage. Maybe even be a sports arena or stadium where someone achieved some great sporting feat. We connect ‘Sacred ground' with the words of ‘This is where … happened.' But I also believe that there can be ‘sacred ground' moments within our conversations. A moment in a conversation where we could say ‘This is where … happened.' Moments where a space opens up for silence and listening. An invite to intimacy (In-to-me-see) is quietly given. Have you noticed these? People are scared of sacred ground. But people often are scared when they touch the outskirts of a sacred space. ‘Shields up' and alarm sirens wail. They back off, divert to other topics. Avoid, avoid, avoid. The brain, in all its hardwired self-protective goodness, shouts ‘This sacred ground feels like quicksand that could swallow me up.' But sacred places are the places where the pivot of change happens. The warmth of a burning bush There is a story in the bible about a sacred space conversation. It happened around a fire. A desert bush was ablaze, but the strangest thing was that the bush wasn't turning to ash. It was fully alive with fire, and this drew some attention from a wandering shepherd called Moses. Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the west end of the wilderness and came to the mountain of God, Horeb. The angel of God appeared to him in flames of fire blazing out of the middle of a bush. He looked. The bush was blazing away, but it didn't burn up. Moses said, “What's going on here? I can't believe this! Amazing! Why doesn't the bush burn up?” God saw that he had stopped to look. God called to him from out of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” He said, “Yes? I'm right here!” God said, “Don't come any closer. Remove your sandals from your feet. You're standing on holy ground.” Exodus 3:1-6 I think of my conversation, and the desire in me to come closer, dig deeper, ask questions and push the story on. Yet the best choice was not to come closer but actually to remove my sandals and be silent. You need to take your sandals off. Many people have conjectured as to why Moses had to remove his sandals. Sure he was instructed to because this was ‘Holy Ground,' but why? I want to offer a suggestion. I wear footwear all the time in the garden. Boots, shoes, sandals are all worn to protect my feet from connection to the earth. Without that layer of material my feet would get dirty, and possibly harmed by thorns and stones. I wear shoes to protect myself, to keep something between myself and potential harm. I wonder if God was saying … I don't want anything to come between yourself and the dirt and dustiness of this place. I want you to connect fully with the earth of this experience. Have no crafted, man-made structure that acts as a barrier. The sacred ground has an invite to dig your toes into it. There is a vulnerability to this moment, and you need to be part of it. What's it like to walk barefooted on soil? In that sacred moment We so often rush to fill the void when someone exposes pain. It makes us uncomfortable. Let's fix their problem. Here is some good advice that they need to take I can save them from that They need to be straightened out You might also swing to your favorite space-filling therapeutic technique. Perhaps, if you're a counselor, therapist, spiritual director, pastor, you've been taught what to do in these moments. To follow such and such practice. In these moments of sacred ground, you need to walk carefully, tenderly, quietly. Take your sandals off, as such, and feel your own vulnerability and what rises in you. This is a moment to wait and watch. Watch for where they go. Are they running away from the sacred ground, or are they wanting to dig their toes in with you. If they run, perhaps a gentle question that asks about their sacred ground is needed. A reassurance that running and avoidance are normal, but that the sacred ground has an invite to depth. The sacred ground has answers that our heart needs to hear. Of course, God is in the business of bringing us to burning bushes. Moments of grabbing our attention and pulling us aside to commune. One Emmaus many Damascus I've recently been reading Job and the Mystery of Suffering by Richard Rohr. A quote that grabbed my attention was this. Conversion, which is forever refining the most intimate nature of our experience, is a long, long process. More a long road to Emmaus than a one-time road to Damascus. I immediately thought of those two roads. The Emmaus road, where two followers of Jesus walked and talked out the mystery of what had just happened in Jerusalem. Then someone (Jesus) joined them and answered their questions. The Damascus road where Saul traveled with a hatred and murderous intent to kill people much like our pilgrims on the Emmaus road. Jesus joined him too, with an explosion of light. So much light that it threw him to the soil beneath his feet. Perhaps on our Emmaus road journey of conversion- ‘which is forever refining the most intimate nature of our experience' – we also have Damascus rd experiences. They may not always be as dramatic as Saul experienced but might be classified as little Damascus rd moments. Micro burning bush, sacred ground, sandal shedding, times. Those millimeter moments that invite us to pause and pivot. Times, like I experienced in the conversation, where my friend was invited to sacred ground. Those early followers of Jesus walking home to Emmaus had many small little Damascus rd events where they had their thinking gently challenged and redirected. They were walking on sacred ground and didn't even know it until the end of their journey. Then they realized how their ‘hearts had burned within them.' That's what happens when you encounter a burning bush that doesn't turn to ash. Praying for the sacred ground I am praying that I might see more of those conversational sacred ground moments. Those little instants where you know Spirit is dancing and weaving into the conversation. Perhaps there might be more tears—times where I notice the movement in conversation to a place of it being sacred. I hope I don't rush it or invade it. Instead, the invite is to linger and listen. Love does that. Quotes to consider God's healing has more to do with learning to worship than it does with getting life fixed. Craig Barnes The pain of something old falling apart—disruption and chaos—invites the soul to listen at a deeper level. It invites and sometimes forces the soul to go to a new place because the old place is not working anymore. Richard Rohr When Things Fall Apart When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. Henri J.M. Nouwen Real encouragement occurs when words are spoken from a heart of love to another's recognized fear. Larry Crabb A good journey begins with knowing where we are and being willing to go somewhere else. Richard Rohr Learn to respond to others with honest, open questions instead of counsel or corrections. With such questions, we help “hear each other into deeper speech.” Parker J. Palmer. Good work is relational, and its outcomes depend on what we are able to evoke from each other. Parker J. Palmer It is usually most helpful to ask questions that are more about the person than about the problem. Parker J. Palmer Questions to answer Have you noticed those ‘sacred ground' moments in conversations? Why do we rush to solve a problem? When have you entered a personal ‘sacred ground,'? That place where memories swirl and time drifts to uncomfortable places. What is your response? Run, take off your sandals, listen? Further reading Barry Pearman Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash
Parshat Pinchas - A live recording of Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz on Clubhouse as we use the intriguing case of the Daughters of Zelophechad to explore Patrilinear and Matrolinear decent in Judaism. Sefaria Source Sheet: www.sefaria.org/sheets/332756 Transcript: Geoffrey Stern Welcome, everybody. This week's portion has a story that is typically referred to as Zelophehad's daughters. And you'd figure because they always called daughters that they don't have names. They don't have identities. But the Bible in Numbers 27 says the daughters of Zelophehad, and it says their names: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. So they did have a name and what they came to Moses for was that they did not have a father. Their father had passed away in the wilderness. And they were worried about the allotment of land in the holy land that was divided up amongst the 12 tribes. And they were worried that since the portion that you received was passed on from father to son, that since their father did not have a son only had five daughters, that their allotment, their inheritance, their legacy would be lost. And they said: "let not our father's name be lost to his clan, just because he has no son." So I'm going to stop right there and ask you, Rabbi, what does this story mean to you? Is it a woman's lib story? Is it a purely transactional story? What does it mean to you? Peter Robins So I mean, on a basic level, it's transactional, of course, just how they divide the land. It's women's lib, but it's also the ability of people standing up to Moses, and saying to Moses, this is not fair. To me, that's even more interesting. Now, the fact that it's women doing it makes it more dramatic in the 21st century. But actually, from our perspective, just the ability to stand up to Moses and to say, Moses, this isn't fair, we deserve to have our share in the land is really an amazing thing. Geoffrey Stern I love the fact that that's the point that you You touched upon, because I started to think to myself, how unique is this situation? And I came up with two other cases, I'd be curious to know whether I missed any but the first case is when Jethro, the father in law of Moses shows up in camp, so to speak, when the Jews get out of Egypt, and there he sees his son in law, Moses adjudicating from early in the morning, to late at night. And he says to him, in Exodus 18, "the thing you are doing is not right, you will surely wear yourself out. And these people as well for the task is too heavy, and you cannot do it alone." So here's a situation where maybe he doesn't confront Moses, maybe Moses doesn't go and say, Well, let me ask the boss. But ultimately, it is also an outsider, if you consider women kind of on the fringe, here this father in law, who's not Jewish, uses his powers of observation, and says this is not sustainable. And the other instance, and this is an instance that we went into in detail is right before the first Passover, when the unclean Israelites came to Moses, and said, How could it be that we will not be able to experience the holiday? And that's when Moses minimally gave them Peach Sheni, a makeup Passover, and maximally adjusted the whole calendar? So my first takeaway from your comment and from this list is, is this the complete list? And two since in each case, God or Moses was so accommodating? I say, isn't it a shame that they didn't come and ask Moses more questions and push him further? Peter Robins Yeah, that's kind of an interesting take on it, is why they stopped there? Geoffrey Stern I mean, it just shows you the power of being engaged. You've got to ask and maybe that's the first lesson that we should learn from the daughters of Zelophehad, that if something doesn't seem fair, something bothers you, go ahead. And if it has to do with Judaism, we have a very receptive religion. God loves to hear from us write Him a note ask him a "Sheaylah" , send in a question. Peter Robins We joke about that, but that actually is what makes this story so sore story so special, the idea that you can actually ask God a question or that Moses has to ask God a question, you know, is something that's so surprising. That's just not the way the rabbinic system works. The rabbinic system is based on the fact that God doesn't really play a role. It's the rabbi's who play the role. But here we have God being an integral part of making this decision. Geoffrey Stern Absolutely. The other thing that occurred to me is that all of these three instances have something in common. Unlike Korach, who was splitting hairs and making an argument, these three instances seem to have in common that they are arguments from sustainability. The argument is, this is not going to last, this is not a practice that can continue over time. So whether it's the daughters of Zelophehad, who said, you know, we've just kind of revealed a crack in the system. If this will continue. It's it's not even about us. It's about keeping the integrity of the tribal allotment. In the case of the Passover. It was a question, in my mind, a big question about the Hebrew calendar, and how does one fix it and in the case of setting up a court system, clearly, that was something that was again, I think Jethro says it the clearest when he says, This can't go on. And so I'm wondering what what you anyone in the audience thinks about this question of sustainability. In other words, if we have a practice, I've brought this subject up before, for instance, the the, the issue of taking interest on a loan, it might work in some societies, but an agrarian society where you have to buy your crops and your seeds and stuff like that. It just wasn't sustainable. And and even though the Bible rants against it, the rabbi's went ahead, and they created a loophole. And so I'm wondering what can we learn from this about changing the law, modifying and modulating our practice, based on the argument that if we continue at this rate, we won't continue to exist, that we'll be throwing out maybe the baby with the bathwater. Peter Robins I mean, sustainability is an interesting idea generally, how the Torah deals with with sustainability? I mean, are you talking about sustainability in terms of fairness of law, or you're talking about it in terms of dividing the property? Geoffrey Stern Well, I mean, again, Jethro says it the best, you know, he says, that, if you continue doing this, you wear yourself out and the people as well, the task is too heavy for you, you cannot do it. So I'm not talking about sustainability and a fairness mode. And I'm certainly not talking about it in an ecological way. What I'm talking about is an institution, a custom, a practice a law, that if one continues doing it, life will cease as we know it. Other issues, the case of interest where either the farmers will not be able to run their businesses, or they'll be forced to break the law. In the case of Zelophehad's daughter, as you point out, the whole integrity of the tribal system, and the allocation will not last. So you have a choice, either you say, Well, this is the way it's written. And we'll have to give up on this sense of having the allocation for each tribe. The point is, you can't have it both.... it's a catch 22 it's, it's a social institution that cannot persevere, it cannot continue. going in the direction that it's going. It's not practical. Maybe it's an argument from practicality that I'm trying to say, Peter Robins yeah, maybe the word is practicality rather than sustainability. Geoffrey Stern So is there is there something there there? I brought the example of taking interest but are there other instances? I've brought up this concept of "Tircha D'Tzibur" (incoveiencing the community) or "gezera she lo hakehilah yachol l'amod bo" , there are there are rules that are given that if the determination is made. It's too difficult. It's too stark. We can't go on this way. Is that more widespread in the development of Jewish law in your mind? Peter Robins I think that that's a very important idea in Jewish law, the idea that people can't handle it, you can't Institute such a law is a very important principle in Judaism. That's what you call practicality and sustainability, if the system is not sustainable, because the people just can't rise to the occasion, you know, Geoffrey, take the simplest example, you know, in, in the diaspora, for whatever reason, we have two days of every holiday, except for Yom Kippur. Why don't we have two days of Yom Kippur? It's because it's not sustainable. People can't fast for two days of Yom Kippur. Right? That's a perfect example. We should have two days of Yom Kippur, but it's not practical. The system couldn't, can't survive that way. Geoffrey Stern Yeah, I think that's a wonderful example. It's kind of where the, the rubber hits the road, so to speak. And it makes you wonder, and again, you know, this is it. This is a question that people will have to use nuance for, when when does it become something that is too difficult? You know, clearly, if you have a rule that maybe was fine in the past, but people are finding too difficult. That's another question, can something become unsustainable? I see that Peter Robins is here. So Peter, you are on the stage. And I'd love to hear your opinion. Peter Robins I think you're going down a slippery slope. Where it is mutability, sustainability, and slippery slope are intermingled. And I give kudos to your definition of rigid laws being changed, because they're not sustainable. But I start out by asking the question, if you ask God a question, how do you know what the response is and where I end up is? That your conscience becomes the response? The question of sustainable and immutability, though, is a slippery slope. And I just wonder how diluted the tenants become when they become changed? Geoffrey Stern I think you're asking two questions. And they're two great questions. You know, the easier question is, how do you know that it's God speaking? Is this just a ruse? Is this just a face saving technique that can be used? And when can it be used? Does it disappear with the end of prophecy? Or is there a statute of limitations? I think that's a great question. And and of course, the slippery slope, part of it, is the question of used and abused, you know, who decides, and at what point do Jews come and say, you know, walking to Shul is not sustainable. We used to live in urban areas, or we used to live before the car and the highway, and now we're spread out. And, you know, can we ride to shul? And of course, I think there are movements within Judaism that have argued that that's precisely where one has to use a an argument like this, but clearly, it is a slippery slope, especially if you're an orthodox rabbi. So Adam, what what do what is your response? Peter Robins I mean, slippery slope is a tricky business. You know, I understand what Peter is saying, you know, you have to be able to draw lines, but you also need to have flexibility. If you don't have flexibility in the system, then the system is going to fall apart. So you talk about walking to shul. You know, the Conservative movement in 1960 decided that the movement was not going to survive, unless they allowed for driving to shul on Shabbat. 60 years later, they now write and they say that the Conservative movement made a mistake, that they lost community and orthodoxy maintained community because people had to live close by. The Conservative lost community there. So they made a mistake in the sense of figuring out the slippery slope, or whether it was practical. And I think that's so interesting that that's the consideration. That's what we think about now. Did they go too far? Did they fall down that slippery slope? What do you think Geoffrey, did you think the Conservative movement fell down that slippery slope? Geoffrey Stern Well, I do think that, in addition to being a slippery slope, there is the issue of unintended consequences. And I think that there is no question that if one was to make a determination, that riding to synagogue is a necessary evil, one would have to do it with their eyes wide open. And when I say that, I mean, that clearly the optimal situation is that maybe we have smaller synagogues that people even in a suburban or rural area, can live closer to, and if you are too far away to walk, you start another synagogue. And I do think that that is a solution that is, is very positive. So there are alternative solutions to every problem. And definitely, one needs to think but I think my answer to you is, sometimes you need an experiment like that. In other words, you cannot always know what the unintended consequences are. And so you need to be flexible enough to try something and then have the self confidence to admit when a mistake was made. Peter Robins That's a big deal, Geoffrey, that's not so easy for people, you know, to admit mistakes, is hard. Geoffrey Stern Especially if you're in the God business, I guess. Peter Robins I guess that's right. Peter, what do you want to say? Yeah, Geoffrey and rabbi, I think that slippery slope is I think, harsh. My takeaway from the conversation between and among the two of you, is that survival of the religion and its people, trumps any type of rigidity, that morphing into adaptability becomes the imperative. Geoffrey Stern I think maybe it's more of an art than a science. And I do think that the takeaway for me is that you have to ask, you have to speak up, no matter how, what position in the society you hold. You don't have to be a leader, you can be a woman, you can be on the periphery, you can be well meaning non Jew, you can be someone who's quote, unquote "unclean". That's the takeaway to me, and that you need to be flexible and try. And if there's a mistake that gets made, I think that you just have to have the self confidence to admit it. I do think, though, that if we're going to talk about something that is very meaningful, and relates very much to the ability of the Jewish people to survive, we have a another direction that we can go in our discussion today, in terms of the daughters of Zelophehad. And the direction that I want to take us in, is this is the first instance of women arguing for a matrilineal society, meaning to say the assumption of these daughters was that they lived in a patrilineal society, and their father died, and there was not going to be any inheritance to them. And his name would no longer go on, and that you certainly couldn't pass on his tribal affiliation through them. And I know the traditional answer will be, well, whether you are Cohen, Levi or Yisrael goes through your father, but whether you're Jewish, goes through your mother. And what I would love to spend the rest of our afternoon discussing is the fact that that's not altogether clear, number one, and number two, that you could make a case that this is the only instance that we see in biblical Judaism and Torah Judaism, that women were given some ability under certain circumstance to be able to exercise a matrilineal descent. And I'd like to quote a Mishnah. And, of course, the Mishnah is First / Second century, so many, many years after this instance (of the daughters of Zelophehad). And again, you'll hear in the in the Mishnah, that matrilineal descent is only for certain circumstances. So the Mishnah says as follows "Every place that there is a Kidushin (marriage) , and there is no sin, the child goes after the male. And it goes ahead, and it gives many examples..... the ones that I just gave where the father is a Cohen, where the father is a Levite, so forth and so on. And then it goes on to say, however, in a case where there is a sin, whether it's a question of a Cohen, who's not allowed to marry a divorced woman, or a widow, or someone who marries somebody who's a Gibonite. it makes a whole long list. And at the end of the list, it says, that "this one who engages with forbidden intercourse, according to the Torah and cannot join in marriage with that person. In that situation, the child goes after the mother." So if you if you hold in your mind, the situation of Zelophehad's daughters where they were in a situation where it could not continue through that the males. So it had to be tweaked to go through the females, (and of course, this is not the place to have a very deep textual understanding of the text). But what the text actually is saying that any case where the Kiddushin the marriage cannot be fulfilled, such as marriage with a non Jew, in that case, the child goes after the mother. And so this is absolutely radical for us, because we seem to believe that in every instance Judaism goes through the mother, where the Mishnah is saying that similar to the case of Zelophehad's daughter that was an exception with extenuating circumstances. So too Matrolinear descent, is based on extenuating circumstance. And now I'll paint it in much more social context. A girl gets raped. And she's not accepted by the the Canaanites or whatever. And rather than have her not affiliated with anybody, the Rabbis say your child is yours, and it's Jewish. And that, to me is the clear reading of this text. So rabbi, what is your sense of the history of this unquestionable belief that we seem to have that Judaism in all cases goes after the mother? Adam Mintz Yeah, so that is of course, fascinating. Now, you have to believe that the reason for matrilineal descent goes back Geoffrey is something you said at the beginning. And that is about being practical. And that is you always know who the mother is, you don't always know who the father is. Right? That's a very important consideration. So if you had to determine what the lineage is, I know what the lineage to the mother is. I don't necessarily know what the lineage who the father is. So therefore, the default seems to be that you go through the mother matrilineal rather than patrilineal. descent. Geoffrey Stern So I think that that's an explanation that I've heard before, and clearly, correct me if I'm wrong, but when somebody is, God forbid, sick, and we make a prayer for them for the reason that you just raised we say it after the mother because we know who the mother is. So there's no question that there was a strong basis for your argument. Alternatively, you cannot say that passing on one's tribal affiliation is meaningless. So, if in fact, we are willing to overlook this surety that we get from the mother when it comes to all sorts of things inheritance law, tribal affiliation, one could ask, why was there this disconnect for being Jewish? And of course, you could argue, well your religion is much more important. But I would argue that while it's a good argument that you're making, it's clear from this text, that When the rabbi's instituted this situation or instance of matrilineal descent, it was for this specific instance. And I just want to say that when I grew up and the Reform movement came out, and said that they were willing to accept patrilineal descent meaning to say that in Reformed Judaism, I think I'm correct in saying that whether your father is Jewish or your mother is Jewish, if one of the parents is Jewish, the kid is Jewish. We all went up in arms, we said that they were going to rip Judaism apart, and so forth and so on. It was a higher bar then when they said, you know, maybe you can light a fire on Shabbat or something. When I did some research, I found and it blew me away that the Reform movement actually wrote a traditional responsa. And in their responsa, they quoted the piece of Mishnah that I just said, and one other, and they said, "the report offers a sociological interpretation of the reason for matrilineal descent. In illicit unions, the woman with a child had no recourse but to return to her own people." So it's amazing to me, number one, I have to give credit to the Reform movement for actually going to the trouble of writing a traditional responsa. But I also believe that they were saying something that, just as the case of Zelophehad's daughters, a social situation prompted us prompted God prompted Moses his spokesman to make a change. In the case of matrilineal descent, it was a beautiful thing, and it stayed. But it somehow totally eclipsed, the more natural, the more widespread patrilineal descent and I was a member of Rabbi Riskin's, synagogue, Lincoln Square at that time, and I remember and I've googled articles that he wrote against these Reform rabbis. Fast forward 30 years, Rabbi Riskin is now living in Israel. And an Israeli soldier whose parents came from the Soviet Union, was tragically killed in battle. And his name was Lev Pascale. And he died in the Lebanon War. And he was about to be buried in the military cemetery, which is a Jewish cemetery. And all of a sudden, the military rabbi said no, his mother was not Jewish, he cannot be buried. And unlike a situation that might have occurred like this, in any other town or instance, in Israel, when it came out to the public, the public universally around Israel said here is a man, a young boy who gave his life for the State of Israel. And you are trying to deny him the the ability to be buried in the military cemetery. And at that point, rabbis, such as Rabbi Riskin, started to delve into the texts, and lo and behold, they started to come up with arguments that there is something to patrilineal descent, I'm going to stop before I actually start bringing some of the arguments. But rabbi, where were you in this in this argument? Is this something that is dynamic at this point, is this is there some movement here? Adam Mintz So I mean, that story that Rabbi Riskin story is a very powerful story. I mean, I think the answer is, is it dynamics? The answer is, yes, it's dynamic. But I wanted to go back, Geoffrey, to how you started. And you said that when you were a member of Lincoln Square Synagogue, and the Reform movement said that they accept either patrilineal or matrilineal descent that everybody was up in arms. The reason they were up in arms is because they were afraid that all of a sudden, we were defining Judaism differently for different groups of people means you could be Reformly Jewish, but not Conservative or Orthodox Jewish, and they became very much afraid of that. That at the very least the definition of what it means to be Jewish needs to be standard for everybody. So I think that even though of course, what Rabbi Riskin found out and the fact that there is room for patrilineal descent, but I think the idea that when you go out on a date, you have to wonder, are you Jewish, according to the Reform movement, Jewish according to the Conservative movement, or Jewish according to the Orthodox movement, I think makes it complicated. Doesn't mean it's impossible, and maybe long term. American diaspora Judaism is gonna have to address these issues, because these are the issues that have to be talked about by everybody. Because we can't have a situation where you're Jewish for one and not Jewish for another. Peter Robins Can I ask a question here? Geoffrey Stern Of course, Peter Robins what is the definition of a Jew under the Law of Return? Geoffrey Stern I believe it's one grandparent. And I'll go further than that, and say that the State of Israel took the same law as l'havdil eleph havadlot, Hitler took. Hitler would kill you if you had one Jewish grandparent. And I don't know if there's a connection or not, but the State of Israel would accept you if you have one Jewish grandparent. Peter Robins Why wouldn't the religion take the same point of view? Geoffrey Stern Well, because the religion Church and State in Israel are divided and close at the same time. And of course, the religion follows the halakhic, the legal thinking, and one has to formulate a legal argument. So we only have a few more minutes. Let me just tell you what Rabbi Riskin came up with, he found that the first Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, made the following ruling. He said, if your father is Jewish, and your mother is not, you can't look at that person the way you would look at someone who had no connection to Judaism at all. And when that person decides to come back, "Hozer haYeled l'ikar zaro" that child is coming back .... he's coming home. And so unlike when someone converts, they have to go through all these classes. And they have to agree to accept all the laws and all of that. This rabbi said, it's different. And of course, Rabbi Riskin said, and that is the way it should be in Israel for a soldier, but it doesn't work in the diaspora. The point that I'm trying to make is, this is an area like any area in Judaism, that you can ask questions, and you can get surprising answers. And I think that, ultimately, is the lesson that we have to learn from the daughters of Zelophehad. And more to the point we don't ask just intellectual questions, but questions that affect people's lives. And I think in with regard to intermarriage, clearly, in terms of American Jews, the new Pew study came out. And if you take away the Orthodox community, 75% of the Jewish community is now inter-marrying. But more than a point, more than 50% of them are raising their children in some level of Judaism. So I think in terms of sustainability of our people, but also the human issue, the social issue we are entitled to ask these questions, to have these discussions, and to know that there is never a black and white answer, and that is my takeaway from the Zelophehad. Adam Mintz Thank you. That was really a very good takeaway. I thought this was a great conversation. Thank you, Geoffrey, something to think about for all of us. Shabbat Shalom, everybody. Happy July 4th. I look forward to seeing everybody next week. Geoffrey Stern You got it ... Shabbat Shalom. Thanks for joining.
Of all the people in the Hebrew Bible, why is Melchizedek so crucial for understanding Jesus? In this episode, join Tim, Jon, and special guest Dr. Josh Mathews as they take a deep dive into the Old Testament, the book of Hebrews, and the life of the mysterious priest-king Melchizedek in relationship to the ultimate priest-king, Jesus.View full show notes from this episode →Timestamps Part one (0:00-15:30)Part two (15:30-24:00)Part three (24:00-31:30)Part four (31:30-41:00)Part five (41:00-51:00)Part six (51:00-end)Referenced ResourcesInterested in more? Check out Tim’s library here.Josh Mathews, Melchizedek’s Alternative Priestly Order: A Compositional Analysis of Genesis 14:18-20 and its Echoes Throughout the TanakShow Music “Defender (Instrumental)” by TENTS“Aso x Aviino x Middle School” by Canary Forest“Acquired in Heaven” by Beautiful Eulogy“Blue Wednesday x Shopan” by Directions“Tell Me Yours” by Beautiful EulogyShow produced by Dan Gummel and Cooper Peltz. Show notes by Lindsey Ponder. Powered and distributed by Simplecast.
Jethro Bovingdon is a long-time automotive journalist and a host one the newly relaunched Top Gear USA alongside Dax Shepard and Rob Corddry. He's written for some of the best magazines in the business, driven the best cars, and can drift just about anything. We discuss the fun between the new cast members, what stunts frighten him, which is the best Ferrari ever, why Huayras are great, and hear the story of his cheap-turned-expensive 996 Porsche. @jethrobovingdon Top Gear USA is available on the Motor Trend App for U.S. residents or on Discovery Plus for UK residents. Go to https://www.BlackVue.com/TST and use the promo code TIRE to get 10% off any BlackVue dash cam. Free shipping for orders over $200. Let Sunday take the guesswork out of growing a greener, more beautiful lawn this Spring. Visit https://www.getsunday.com/tire to get $20 off your custom lawn plan at checkout! Follow us! T: @thesmokingtire @zackklapman IG: @thesmokingtire @fakezackklapman