Posts Tagged ‘“in the name of”’

“Chayei Sarah” – teaching from Shabbat Shalom Mesa

Saturday, November 26th, 2016

Join Mark Call of Shabbat Shalom Mesa for some insight into what might be called the first Law Seminar in the Scripture — several stories that literally form the basis for what was once known as the “Common Law”: Contract, Agency, Covenant;
Parsha “Chayei Sarah” (Genesis 23:1 through 25:18).

The Erev Shabbat teaching is all about Learning By Example; “precedent”, even. The first land contract, about one of the most important parcels ever sold, and why. What it means to “come in the name of,” and why marriage is more than a contract, but isn’t “covenant” without understanding, either.

SSM “Chayei-Sarah” 2016

The Sabbath Day teaching suggests that there is a reason why “lawlessness abounds” now, perhaps like never before:

We don’t understand contract, much less Covenant!

Torah portion “Chayei Sarah” teaching from Shabbat Shalom Mesa

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Join Mark Call for two teachings on this week’s Torah portion, “Chayei Sarah” (Genesis chapters 23 through 25:18).

During the Erev Shabbat teaching, (Friday evening) Mark covers the story which begins with the death of Sarah, but might also be called a short course, ‘Torah on Contracts 101’.

SSM Chayei Sarah 2014

The longer teaching from Shabbat again delves more specifically into how our understanding – or lack thereof – of what the Bible teaches about everything from contracts to servanthood reflects directly on the sorry state of “law” and “justice”. Perhaps plagues is a better word…

TT Cooh ‘Torah on Contracts 101 – and the state of ‘law’ today

“Lech Lecha” teaching from Shabbat Shalom Mesa

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Join Mark Call for two related, but different looks at parsha ‘Lech Lecha’ and the first chapters in the life of the first patriarch, Avram (later in the portion – Abraham).

During the Erev Shabbat teaching, (Friday evening) Mark again provides an overview of the main points of the entire portion for this week, from Beresheit/Genesis chapter 12 through 17.

SSM 2014 “Lech Lecha”
The longer teaching from Shabbat delves specifically into some specific aspects of the character of Avram, and the contrast with Lot, the revelation of the Abrahamic Covenant, and the parallels today as we watch how Avram “came out” of his land, and walked obediently before Yah.  Finally, the words of comfort from the haftorah (Isaiah 40-41) are vital to us now.

Talking Torah 2014 “Lech Lecha”

God as Game Designer

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Arguments about the “nature of God” have divided men for millenia, often to the point of bloodshed, war, and inquisition.  And although Shaul (Paul) distinguished the Biblical Yahushua from “another Jesus, whom we have not preached” in epistles like that to the Galatians, disputes about whether He could be “fully God and fully man” still abound.  Finally, while this author is familiar with differential equations and integral calculus, the math behind “is three identically equal to one” is still beyond my understanding.   But I learned long ago not to ‘divide’ from those who follow Him just because we do the math differently!   At least I have a better grasp of what the Hebrew word “echad” (Deut. 6:4) means in context.

The problem seems to rest on the concept of metaphor.  Torah, or His instruction, includes stories and examples, as well as His “statutes, judgments, and commandments.”  Yahushua taught using parables, among other things.  YHVH is described in a number of ways that humans can relate to — King, Master, Father, Husband, Judge, Lawgiver, Savior, and Creator among them — but He is clearly more than even all of these.   “As the heavens are higher than the earth, My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” *

Some time ago, I came across another, more “modern” metaphor that many people have found helpful, perhaps because it helps avoid certain traditional stereotypes, and may even have some parallels to quantum physics, since most of us struggle with concepts like, “how can the Creator be outside space and even time?”

Consider a brand new computer video/interactive game, like Worlds of Warcraft or countless others.  How does the designer go about developing a whole new “fantasy world”?  There are literally many layers to the effort – from what kind of computer hardware and operating system will run it, to crafting the rules of the game, the types of characters who will inhabit it, and, of course, deciding the purpose of the game itself.**

What the designer does, up front, in other words, is to literally outline the “torah” for this virtual universe — the instruction, even the laws of nature and the rules for the inhabitants.

But more to the point, how does the creator of a world interact with his creation?  How does he test the game, and communicate with its inhabitants?  Does He talk to some of the people – say, from a burning bush or cloud – or does He speak with a voice that rattles the mountains?  Might He even choose to participate in the game in the same form as one of those within it, by literally becoming a player, entering His creation as a character within it, subject to the rules He Himself Wrote?

Think about the implications of the metaphor of YHVH as “Game Designer.”

What do those creatures inside the electronic universe think?  Can they even begin to conceive of how the very fabric of their entire world runs on a computer system that is utterly outside their ability to perceive?  And how much more so, then, the mind and capabilities of the Creator of that entire system?  (Could one even, “see His face and live?”  Certainly not in any way they could understand.)  Even their perception of time is utterly different from the Creator, who is “outside” their time reckoning.  (He can hit the pause button, for example — and they’d never know it.)

So, when the Creator chooses to enter that world as a participant — what is the nature of the entity those WITHIN that universe see?  Certainly an aspect of Him they can relate to.  And it is one which “does the will of the One Who sent Him,” too.  Literally, in the Hebraic meaning of the term, that person “comes in His Name,” and does exactly as He directs.

But, would they say that the representation of the Creator they see from their perspective is “identically equal” to the very person of the Creator ‘Himself’?  And does it really matter?

In THIS Universe, our own Creator has given us His instruction about how to “win the game.”  That instruction includes the fact that we must t’shuvah, or “return to Him,” and seek to obey Him, as we would a Father, King, or Master, so that we might dwell in His house forever.  He even says, “if you love Me, keep My commandments.”  But thankfully, He doesn’t require us to know exactly how His design works, or to understand His nature in full.

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*  Isaiah 55:9

**  How does one save the fairy princess, or liberate the forces of Good from the Dark Tower?  Are there angels and demons, evil armies, orcs, dwarves, and hobbits, or flying monkeys and dragons to lead or to fight?  What powers, capabilities, limitations, and authorities to each have, and so on, and so on.

Legal standards in the Bible

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

This week’s Torah portion, entitled “Chayei Sarah,” or “The life of Sarah”  is really about a whole lot of important legal issues, which formed the basis for British and American “common law” – back when we HAD “law”.

 

From contracts, to “agency” and the concept of “power of attorney”, to why no man of Yah in Scripture EVER got a “marriage license” – this is the first major detailed outline of real Law in Scripture:

 Chayei Sarah