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Feminism & Patriarchy

Feminism is defined in today’s culture by Wikipedia as

a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism

Is this not consistent with our worldview? Gender equality is affirmed in the Torah in several ways, as Dennis Prager explains in his commentary on the Torah in The Rational Bible.

  • A literal translation of Genesis 2:18 yields,

It is not good for man to be alone, I will make him a helper who is his equal.

  • The creation event develops progressively, with each creation on a higher level than the creation preceding it. Fish on day 5, land animals and mankind on day 6, etc. Woman may be considered to be the culmination of G-d’s creation, as she was created last.
  • Even though progeny were promised to both parents, when Sarah was found to be with child, the Torah describes this miracle as “The L-RD did for Sarah…” rather than for “them.”
  • G-d commands that children honor both parents.
  • Depictions of women as heroic is made more frequently than the men in their lives (i.e. Rebecca, Jocheved, Miriam, Pharaoh’s daughter)
  • Women are lifted up in the Torah. (Rebecca – Gen 27; Naomi/Ruth – Ruth 3; Tamar – Gen 38; Abigail – 1Sam 25)

Patriarchy is defined in today’s culture by Wikipedia as

a social system in which males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarchy

There are surely differing roles and responsibility for men and women described in the Torah. Our class focused on the facts of the Torah regarding gender and what a difference the Torah made in world history. Prager notes, the Torah was the first religious work in the world to completely desexualize G-d and religion.

Gender Pronouns

  • We refer to G-d as “He” because that is how the Torah refers to G-d, not to demean women.
  • Using “He or She” would be dishonest to the text and incline people to think of G-d in gender terms.
  • “She” always refers to a female, but “he” or “man” frequently refers to both sexes. “The rights of man” refers to “human rights”; “mankind” includes women, etc.
  • Using “It” would render the G-d of the Torah as something else entirely, akin to Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover. One does not pray to, love, or otherwise relate to an “It.”

Rendering G-d as “He” has taught generations of males that to be compassionate and loving is part of being masculine.

We recognize that there are jerks in the world, some of whom claim a relationship with the Creator, and treat others poorly. Our goal in this series is not to debate and argue, but rather to provide a different perspective to conclusions others have drawn.

… always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect

1 Peter 3:15
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The Torah is not man-made and is totally unique. It defines our world view.

These concepts were unknown or unattainable without the giving of the Torah. I strongly recommend The Rational Bible, the Alperson Edition, by Dennis Prager. I used his commentary to direct our discussion.

      Universal G-d, not just the G-d of the Jews
      Invisible, incorporeal G-d
      Moral, not capricious, G-d
      The first God in history beyond nature, not a nature-G-d
      God who loves, and wants to be loved
      Gives every individual unprecedented self-worth
      Introduced universal human rights
      Began the journey to belief in human equality
      Brought universal morality into the world, as G-d judges every human being
      Means good and evil are not individual or societal opinions, but objectively real, making human moral progress possible
      Gives humanity hope
      Gives human beings free will
      Introduces holiness, elevating human beings from animal-like to being created in G-d’s image
      Is necessary for human brotherhood
      Teaches us the physical realm is not the only reality, which means there is ultimate meaning to existence and to each of our lives
      Teaches might is not right

    When the atheist differs with the Torah, he thinks the Torah is wrong, and he is right.

    When the believer differs with the Torah, he things the Torah is right, and he is wrong.

    So, what IS our worldview?

    Stay tuned.

    Yosef ben Yosef

    Tomorrow evening, Tuesday, 6 August, at 7:30pm, will be Lesson 0 of our next class, “Defending our Worldview in the Public Square.”

    This topic was suggested by one of the young men in our community who is attending college, and frequently called on to defend his beliefs. This defense is far beyond the normal, “Why are you a Christian?” We will start by reflecting on what makes the Torah unique, and what values and opportunities have been introduced to the world by G-d via the Scriptures.

    Join us at The Residence, or online via MixLr at 7:30pm Tuesday nights.

    “Is the pursuit of riches, you may ask, not a preoccupation of the secular world?”
    That is how the book The Jewish Secret of Wealth: According to the Torah, Talmud and Zohar by Rabbi Avraham T. Schwartz began. Gregory Bartos read the book and came away with these observations…
    I have often wondered how to balance pursuing wealth and pursing righteousness. After all, Yeshua instructs: 

    “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” 

    Matthew 6:24 

    Is it possible to pursue wealth and not stray from the righteous path? Is it wrong to desire to be wealthy? What is the biblical way to view wealth and the pursuit of wealth?
    This book pulled together quotes from a variety of sources in an attempt to view wealth through a religous lens. It was an inspiring book and helped me better understand wealth from a Jewish perspective. However, there is still much I need to learn and many questions I have. If my suspicions are correct, many other young men have the same desire to learn more about biblically pursuing wealth and have similar questions as myself. Over the next few classes I would like to introduce the subject of wealth and have a healthy discussion. My goal is for the young men to learn from the wise men in our group and gain a better understanding of how a righteous man should pursue wealth.
    Here is a sample of the subjects we will discuss:
    • Is wealth a good thing?
    • Can wealth be a heavenly pursuit?
    • Working hard
    • Ethics of wealth
    • Honoring your wife
    • Shabbat
    • Working for HaShem
    • True wealth
    • Giving
    I am excited to review this topic with Gregory at the helm, guiding our discussion!
    We look forward to seeing you tomorrow night at 7:30pm at The Residence for the first class of The Jewish Secret of Wealth.

    Shalom,

    Yosef ben Yosef

    For those of you studying through the Scriptures in the End Times for Dummies class, we have updated the Study Guide for you. Check the title page for yours and ensure it’s v2.5.

    We’re close to the end of the Scriptures – and the end of the study. We will be reviewing the latest Timeline Recap (#2) during class tomorrow night.

    I look forward to the privilege of studying with you!

    Shalom,

    Yosef ben Yosef

    This year I made it a point to wish as many people as possible a Merry Christmas. The result was delightful! Those who thought I was Jewish and those who had come to question my belief in Yeshua as the long-awaited Jewish Savior of the world were pleasantly surprised as we easily fell into a brief, light-hearted discussion about the real Christmas message. Some folks were actually kind enough to ask if it was appropriate to wish me a Merry Christmas! What a lovely way to further bond with colleagues and clients.

    This birth celebration has been mostly lost in the material, selfish culture which has arrested our culture, but true believers understand the true message of redemption, which starts in a manger and ends on a Roman cross. I actually enjoyed the obvious mental tension that ensued when each holiday goer was pressed regarding the forsaking of G-d’s appointed times. A few Rabbis were surprised that during this annual expression of excess, my family chose to join with G-d’s people on asarah b’tevet and mourn the siege on Jerusalem.

    As we watch the world around us painfully search for real contentment, and Americans forsaking the freedoms for which their fathers fought, we should take solace in the word’s of Sha’ul to young Timothy.

    Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

    (1 Tim. 4:7-8 ESV)

    The exciting conclusion of our End Times for Dummies is upon us! It’s time to study the Revelation of Yeshua to John. Download the latest study guide from the Resources page, as we’ve added the timeline deduced from class following the Olivet Discourse.

    Lessons 8 and 9 will be reviewed in several classes. The next class will focus on the sequence revealed in the seven seals.

    We are not meeting on Christmas or New Year’s days.

    Our next class is at 7:30pm on January 8. See you then!

    Shalom,

    Yosef b. Yosef

    After a lovely break from teaching non-stop for over a year, and then relishing the excellent class taught by Joshua Spurlock on The Messiah, we are ready to begin again.

    Tomorrow night, Tuesday, 16 October, begins a 10-week study on the end times.

    We are not doing an in depth study of every prophecy in Scripture. We are simply overviewing the main prophetic passages so that we can put the end times into a sequence of events.

    Join us! We will meet at The Residence at 7:30pm for one hour each Tuesday night. The homework is simple and straightforward. The audio of each class will be posted the following morning.

    When there is war all around us, with people dying and bombs going off, is this a mark that Messiah is about to come? Find out, from the Scriptures, with us.

    The study guide is available here. Read the Intro and Lesson Zero for tomorrow night, if you have time. I can’t wait to study this incredibly important topic with you!

    Shalom,

    Yosef ben Yosef

    After a year-long study of the Apostolic Scriptures, we took a short break to refresh. Vacation is over!

    Our first class back from vacation is NEXT TUESDAY, July 24 at 7:30pm at The Residence.

    Joshua Spurlock will be teaching an original study written by he and his wife, Julianna, called:

    Comfort Ye My People
    Handel’s Messiah and the Seven Shabbatot of Consolation

    There is no Lesson Zero, please download the study guide and complete Lesson One for class THIS TUESDAY.

    I’m excited to get studying again, as I hope and pray you are as well. This study was scheduled to coincide with the seven Shabbatot of consolation this year. So get your study cap on; finish out the first week of Av and the last week troubles; enjoy Shabbat and have an easy fast on Tisha B’Av, as you participate with all Israel in the fast of the fifth month.

    See you Tuesday!

    Yosef b. Yosef

    I was amazed as I sat and listened to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin.

    Perhaps you will be too. While there are men like this, there is hope for our nation.

    This is from WhiteHouse.gov.

    The Knesset
    Jerusalem, Israel

    VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: President Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Speaker Edelstein, Leader Herzog, members of the Knesset, justices of the Supreme Court, citizens of Israel — (applause) — it is deeply humbling for me to stand before this vibrant democracy — (applause) — to have the great honor to address this Knesset, the first Vice President of the United States to be afforded that privilege here in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel. (Applause.)

    And I bring greetings from a leader who has done more to bring our two great countries closer together than any President in the past 70 years — the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. (Applause.)

    Thanks to the President’s leadership, the alliance between our two countries has never been stronger, and the friendship between our peoples has never been deeper. And I am here to convey a simple message from the heart of the American people: America stands with Israel. (Applause.)

    We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause, your values are our values, and your fight is our fight.

    We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny.

    We stand with Israel because that’s what Americans have always done, and so has it been since my country’s earliest days.

    During his historic visit to Jerusalem, President Trump declared that the bond between us, in his words, is “woven together in the hearts of our people,” and the people of the United States have always held a special affection and admiration for the people of the Book.

    In the story of the Jews, we’ve always seen the story of America. It is the story of an exodus, a journey from persecution to freedom, a story that shows the power of faith and the promise of hope.

    My country’s very first settlers also saw themselves as pilgrims, sent by Providence, to build a new Promised Land. The songs and stories of the people of Israel were their anthems, and they faithfully taught them to their children, and do to this day. And our founders, as others have said, turned to the wisdom of the Hebrew Bible for direction, guidance, and inspiration.

    America’s first President, George Washington, wrote with favor to “the children of the stock of Abraham.” Our second President, John Adams, declared that the Jews, in his words, “have done more to civilize man than any other nation.”

    And your story inspired my forebears to create what our 16th President called a “new birth of freedom.” And down through the generations, the American people became fierce advocates of the Jewish people’s aspiration to return to the land of your forefathers — (applause) — to claim your own new birth of freedom in your beloved homeland.

    The Jewish people held fast to a promise through all the ages, written so long ago, that “even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens,” from there He would gather and bring you back to the land which your fathers possessed.

    Through a 2,000-year exile, the longest of any people, anywhere, through conquests and expulsions, inquisitions and pogroms, the Jewish people held on to this promise, and they held on to it through the longest and darkest of nights. A night that Elie Wiesel proclaimed “seven times sealed.” A night that transformed the small faces of children into smoke under a silent sky. A night that consumed the faith of so many and that challenges the faith of so many still.

    And tomorrow, when I stand with my wife at Yad Vashem to honor the 6 million Jewish martyrs of the Holocaust, we will marvel at the faith and resilience of your people, who just three years after walking beneath the shadow of death, rose up from the ashes to resurrect yourselves, to reclaim a Jewish future, and to rebuild the Jewish state. (Applause.)

    And this April, we will mark the day when the Jewish people answered that ancient question — can a country be born in a day, can a nation be born in a moment? — as the State of Israel celebrates the 70th anniversary of its birth. (Applause.)

    As you prepare to commemorate this historic milestone, I say, along with the good people of Israel, here and around the world: Shehecheyanu, v’kiyimanu, v’higiyanu la’z’man ha’zeh. (Applause.)

    Seventy years ago, the United States was proud to be the first nation in the world to recognize the State of Israel. But as you well know, the work we began on that day was left unfinished, for while the United States recognized your nation, one administration after another refused to recognize your capital.

    But just last month, President Donald Trump made history. He righted a 70-year wrong; he kept his word to the American people when he announced that the United States of America will finally acknowledge Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. (Applause.)

    The Jewish people’s unbreakable bond to this sacred city reaches back more than 3,000 years. It was here, in Jerusalem, on Mount Moriah, that Abraham offered his son, Isaac, and was credited with righteousness for his faith in God.

    It was here, in Jerusalem, that King David consecrated the capital of the Kingdom of Israel. And since its rebirth, the modern State of Israel has called this city the seat of its government.

    Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. And, as such, President Trump has directed the State Department to immediately begin preparations to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (Applause.) In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, and that United States Embassy will open before the end of next year. (Applause.)

    Our President made his decision, in his words, “in the best interests of the United States.” But he also made it clear that we believe that his decision is in the best interests of peace. By finally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the United States has chosen fact over fiction. And fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace.

    Under President Trump, the United States of America remains fully committed to achieve a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. (Applause.)

    In announcing his decision on Jerusalem, the President also called, in his words, “on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites, including at the Temple Mount, also known as the Haram al-Sharif.” And he made it clear that we’re not taking a position on any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders.

    And President Trump reaffirmed that, if both sides agree, the United States of America will support a two-state solution. (Applause.)

    We know Israelis want peace, and we know that Israelis need no lectures on the price of war. The people of Israel know the terrible price all too well. Your Prime Minister knows that price. He himself was nearly killed in battle, and his beloved brother Yoni was killed while courageously leading the Entebbe hostage rescue 41 years ago.

    And you, who know the price of war, know best what the blessings of peace can bring — to you, to your children, and future generations.

    The United States appreciates your government’s declared willingness to resume direct peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. And today, we strongly urge the Palestinian leadership to return to the table. Peace can only come through dialogue. (Applause.)

    Now, we recognize that peace will require compromise, but you can be confident in this: The United States of America will never compromise the safety and security of the State of Israel. (Applause.) Any peace agreement must guarantee Israel’s ability to defend itself by itself.

    Now, there are those who believe that the world can’t change; that we’re destined to engage in endless violence; that age-old conflicts can’t be solved; and that hope itself is an illusion. But, my friends, President Trump doesn’t believe it. I don’t believe it. And neither do you.

    I stand here today in the city whose very name means peace. And [as] I stand here, I know that peace is possible because history records that Israel has made the very difficult decisions to achieve peace with its neighbors in the past.

    Over the past two days, I’ve traveled to Egypt and Jordan, two nations with whom Israel has long enjoyed the fruits of peace. I spoke with America’s great friends, President Al Sisi of Egypt, and King Abdullah of Jordan, about the courage of their predecessors who forged an end to conflict with Israel in their time.

    And those two leaders prove every day that trust and confidence can be a reality among the great nations who call these ancient lands home.

    In my time with those leaders, and with your Prime Minister, we discussed the remarkable transformation that is taking place across the Middle East today, and the need to forge a new era of cooperation in our day and age.

    The winds of change can already be witnessed across the Middle East. Longstanding enemies are becoming partners. Old foes are finding new ground for cooperation. And the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael are coming together in common cause as never before.

    Last year, in Saudi Arabia, President Trump addressed an unprecedented gathering of leaders from more than 50 nations at the Arab Islamic American Summit. He challenged the people of this region to work ever closer together, to recognize shared opportunities and to confront shared challenges. And the President urged all who call the Middle East their home to, in his words, “meet history’s great test — [and] conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism together.” (Applause.)

    Radical Islamic terrorism knows no borders — targeting America, Israel, nations across the Middle East, and the wider world. It respects no creed — stealing the lives of Jews, Christians, and especially Muslims. And radical Islamic terrorism understands no reality other than brute force.

    Together with our allies, we will continue to bring the full force of our might to drive radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the Earth. (Applause.)

    I’m pleased to report that, thanks to the courage of our armed forces and our allies, at this very moment ISIS is on the run, their capital has fallen, their so-called caliphate has crumbled. And you can be assured we will not rest, we will not relent, until we hunt down and destroy ISIS at its source, so it can no longer threaten our people, our allies, or our very way of life. (Applause.)

    Now, the United States and Israel have long stood together to confront the terrible evil of terrorism, and so we will continue. And across the Middle East, Arab leaders have responded, as well, to the President’s call with unprecedented action to root out radicalism and prove the emptiness of its apocalyptic promises.

    As President Trump made clear in Saudi Arabia, we will continue to stand with our allies and stand up to our enemies. We will work with all of our partners to starve, in his words, “terrorists of their territory, their funding, and the false allure of their craven ideology.”

    We will also support faith leaders in this region and across the world, as they teach their disciples to practice love, not hate. And we will help persecuted peoples, who have suffered so much at the hands of ISIS and other terrorist groups.

    To this end, the United States has redirected funding from ineffective relief efforts. And, for the first time, we are providing direct support to Christian and other religious minorities as they rebuild their communities after years of repression and war. (Applause.)

    The United States has already committed more than $110 million to assist Christian and other religious minorities across the wider Middle East. And we urge our allies — here in Israel, in Europe, and across the world — to join us in this cause. Let’s work together to restore the rich splendor of religious diversity across the Middle East, so that all faiths may once again flourish in the lands where they were born. (Applause.)

    As we work to defeat the scourge of terrorism, and give aid to those who have suffered at its hands, we must also be resolved and vigilant to prevent old adversaries from gaining any new ground.

    To that end, the United States will continue to work with Israel, and with nations across the world, to confront the leading state sponsor of terror — the Islamic Republic of Iran. (Applause.)

    As the world has seen once again, the brutal regime in Iran is merely a brutal dictatorship that seeks to dominate its citizens and deny them of their most fundamental rights. History has proven, those who dominate their own people rarely stop there. And increasingly, we see Iran seeking to dominate the wider Arab world.

    That dangerous regime sows chaos across the region. Last year alone, even as its citizens cried out for help with basic necessities, Iran devoted more than $4 billion to malign activities in Syria, Lebanon, and elsewhere across the region. It has supported terrorist groups that even now sit on Israel’s doorstep. And worst of all, the Iranian regime has pursued a clandestine nuclear program, and at this very hour is developing advanced ballistic missiles.

    Two-and-a-half years ago, the previous administration in America signed a deal with Iran that merely delays the day when that regime can acquire a nuclear weapon. The Iran nuclear deal is a disaster, and the United States of America will no longer certify this ill-conceived agreement. (Applause.)

    At President Trump’s direction, we’re working to enact effective and lasting restraints on Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Earlier this month, the President waived sanctions on Iran to give the Congress and our European allies time to pass stronger measures. But as President Trump made clear, this is the last time.

    Unless the Iran nuclear deal is fixed, President Trump has said the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately. (Applause.)

    Whatever the outcome of those negotiations, today I have a solemn promise to Israel, to all the Middle East, and to the world: The United States of America will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. (Applause.) Beyond the nuclear deal, we will also no longer tolerate Iran’s support of terrorism, or its brutal attempts to suppress its own people.

    Last year, our administration more than tripled the number of sanctions targeting Iran and its leaders. And just this month, the United States issued tough new sanctions on Iran.

    But I have another message today — a better message — from the people of America to the proud and great people of Iran: We are your friends, and the day is coming when you will be free from the evil regime that suffocates your dreams and buries your hopes. (Applause.) And when your day of liberation finally comes, we say to the good people of Iran, the friendship between our peoples will blossom once again. (Applause.)

    While at times it may seem hard to see, those who call the Middle East their home have more that unites them than divides them — not only in common threats, but in the common hope for a future of security and prosperity and peace, and in the common ancestry of faith that runs throughout these very lands.

    Nearly 4,000 years ago, a man left his home in Ur of the Chaldeans to travel here, to Israel. He ruled no empire, he wore no crown, he commanded no armies, he performed no miracles, delivered no prophecies, yet to him was promised “descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky.”

    Today, Jews, Christians, and Muslims — more than half the population of the Earth, and nearly all the people of the Middle East — claim Abraham as their forefather in faith. Only steps from here, in the Old City of Jerusalem, we see the followers of these three great religions in constant contact with one another. And we see each faith come to life in new and renewed ways every day.

    At the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, we see a Christian child receiving the gift of grace, in baptism. At the Western Wall, we see a young Jewish boy being bar-mitzvahed. And at the Haram al-Sharif, we see young Muslims, heads bowed in prayer.

    In Jerusalem, we see all this and more. And so today, as I stand in Abraham’s “Promised Land,” I believe that all who cherish freedom, and seek a brighter future, should cast their eyes here to this place and marvel at what they behold.

    How unlikely was Israel’s birth; how more unlikely has been her survival. And how confounding, and against the odds, has been her thriving. You have turned the desert into a garden, scarcity into plenty, sickness into health, and you turned hope into a future.

    Israel is like a tree that has grown deep roots in the soil of your forefathers, yet as it grows, it reaches ever closer to the heavens. And today and every day, the Jewish State of Israel, and all the Jewish people, bear witness to God’s faithfulness, as well as your own.

    It was the faith of the Jewish people that gathered the scattered fragments of a people and made them whole again; that took the language of the Bible and the landscape of the Psalms and made them live again. And it was faith that rebuilt the ruins of Jerusalem and made them strong again.

    The miracle of Israel is an inspiration to the world. And the United States of America is proud to stand with Israel and her people, as allies and cherished friends. (Applause.)

    And so we will “pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” that “those who love you be secure,” that “there be peace within your walls, and security in your citadels.”

    And we will work and strive for that brighter future where everyone who calls this ancient land their home shall sit “under their vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid.”

    With an unshakeable bond between our people, and our shared commitment to freedom, I say from my heart: May God bless the Jewish people, may God bless the State of Israel and all who call these lands their home, and may God continue to bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

    END

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