Posts Tagged ‘YHVH’

“Noach ”– teaching from Shabbat Shalom Mesa

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

Join Mark Call of Shabbat Shalom Mesa for a two-part look at one or two of THE most well-known stories in the Bible. But it turns out there far more that isn’t…

The Erev Shabbat overview teaching is a look at all of parsha “Noach” (Genesis 6:9 – 11:32) — and includes a lot of those parts that are typically “glossed over.”

SSM Noach 2017

The Sabbath Day teaching is a bit different this week: FAR more outright “speculation” than usual. But, sometimes that helpful when it comes to “iron sharpening iron” – so long as we call it what it is, and pay close attention to what IS Written in the process.

After all, if part of the idea is to wrap our heads around what “as wit was in the time of Noah” means, how better?

“Noach – Timelines, and thinking ‘Out-of-the-Box'”

“Shoftim”– teaching from Shabbat Shalom Mesa

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

Mark Call of Shabbat Shalom Mesa teaches parsha “Shoftim” this week, from Deuteronomy 16:18 through 21:9.

The Erev Shabbat overview teaching is about as FAR from AmeriKa-with-a-K in 2017 as is possible to get: <em>”Justice, JUSTICE you shall pursue!”</em> Evidently, because you won’t find it HERE:

SSM Shoftim 2017

 

The Sabbath Day teaching this week continues a theme from the last one, where we are clearly at a ‘cusp’, where many things seem to be ‘coming to a head’ of Downright Biblical Proportions. And when we compare how the Bible says we SHOULD seek “justice, JUSTICE!” with what has been happening in a nation that seems to hate YHVH even more than it has tried to forget Him — perhaps things become more clear.

In any event, Mark doesn’t blame those who are angry!

Shoftim: What if they gave a Race War and Nobody Came? Or – why you SHOULD be “mad as hell” – but it’s not enough!

“B’ha’alotecha”– teaching from Shabbat Shalom Mesa

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

Mark Call of Shabbat Shalom Mesa takes another two-part look at parsha “B’ha’alotecha” (Numbers chapters 8 through 12).  Again, it looks like another “potpourri” of perhaps disparate topics, in spite of the fact that it ALSO clearly contains another major “turning point” in the Story.

During the Erev Shabbat overview teaching, Mark outlines several of the themes, and why they remain “timeless”.

SSM Beha’alotecha 2017

But it’s during the Sabbath Day teaching, where it’s time for some spiritualizin‘ — and even a bit of speculation.”  If we see a ‘turning point’ in this story of Whining in the Desert, isn’t it about time we became “teachable” ourselves?  (Moses certainly was, as we shall see.)


“Food – Control – Trust – and Vulnerability:
…Time for a Turning Point”

“Bemidbar”– teaching from Shabbat Shalom Mesa

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Mark Call of Shabbat Shalom Mesa takes a two-part look at the first parsha in a new Book – Number, or “Bemidbar” in Hebrew.  (Num. 1:1 – 4:21)

Yes, there are a lot of ‘numbers’ (starting with a head count) but perhaps what happens “in the wilderness” really IS more important, in a number of ways.

During the Erev Shabbat overview teaching, Mark outlines the ‘why’ of all that.

SSM Bemidbar 2017

The Sabbath Day teaching this week is ultimately about the fact that it is impossible NOT to recognize the spiritual significance of being “in the wilderness”.  In the process, Mark examines a number of themes, from the lessons of the ‘head count’ and the order of encampment to what any of that has to do with the haftorah selection, in Hosea chapter 2.  If we can understand how a prophet, and then even his Creator, can love an unfaithful whore, maybe we can see how He can still love us, and plan for our return to Him.

“Bemidbar – Sound of Silence:  The Still Small Voice In the Wilderness”

“Emor”– teaching from Shabbat Shalom Mesa

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Mark Call of Shabbat Shalom Mesa takes an in-depth look at Torah portion, Emor, Leviticus chapters 21 through 24.

AND yet AGAIN, we find another segment in Scripture that we have probably been TOLD is boring, obsolete, irrelevant, and – especially – “done away with,” this time because the ‘priests’ or cohenim are held to a “higher standard” that doesn’t sound Politically-Correct, and, besides, we don’t have real priests any more anyway.

But we do seem to have plenty who “play one on TV,” and prove that maybe there’s another master being served besides.

SSM Emor 2017

The Sabbath Day teaching this week continues the theme that these last few portions make so clear. We are to discern the “clean” from the “unclean,” the set-apart (‘qadosh,’or holy) from the profane, and ultimately know that Torah really IS about “Life and Death.”
And that explains a whole HELL of a lot…

“Just Which Priests Are We Talking About Here?”

 

“Vayeira” – teaching from Shabbat Shalom Mesa

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

Join Mark Call of Shabbat Shalom Mesa for another two-part look at this week’s Torah portion, which begins the story of the plagues in Mitzraim (Egypt) and all that it portends.

The Erev Shabbat teaching is an introduction to what might well be one of THE most “fundamental” stories, when it comes to understanding all that YHVH “was, is, and will be,” in Scripture:

SSM Vayeira 2017

The Sabbath day is all about why it just BEGINS with “ani YHVH”. How can He REALLY prove that He really IS Who He says He was, is, and will be?

Vayeira – Plagues – Distinction – and what to expect next time

YHVH as Game Designer

Friday, July 4th, 2014

The last chapter of the Book of Daniel (12:4) is one of several prophecies which are said to be “sealed”, “until the time of the end,” when, among other things, “knowledge shall increase.” Sometimes it seems that we might today be getting very close to the unsealing of those prophecies, for a number of reasons.

The “nature of the Godhead” has been a source of conflict, division, and even war for the better part of two millenia at this point. Is He “three persons”, or only One? “Fully God and fully man,” or can we even wrap our minds around the distinction? This author has long stated that I will not “break fellowship over mathematics,” whether one has difficulty with differential calculus, or, more to the point, even how 3 == 1. After all, the Hebrew word echad, as in, “YHVH our Elohim, YHVH is echad,” (Deut. 6:4) can mean the cardinal number “one”, or even “unity.”

Is there a way to reconcile what seems totally contradictory? Or to begin to at least establish a picture of something now that might have eluded description in a way mere mortals could comprehend for centuries? I suggest that as “knowledge has increased,” that might be more achievable now than it has ever been. And while no analogy, or metaphor, is ever quite perfect, our familiarity now with computers, computer languages, hardware, operating systems, and even computer GAMES may now give us a bit of insight into that mystery that has divided believers since certain ‘creeds’ were written – and too often enforced at the point of a sword.

How can YHVH be “outside time” as we know it? How did He (Gen. 1, and later, John 1:1) speak the world into existence? We know that the “power of the tongue,” is immense, and that our vows really matter. Now we even know that computer languages, and programs written in them, can be likewise used for great good, or tremendous evil. It is no longer a giant leap to imagine a programmer ‘speaking’ (or writing) a whole virtual world into existence.   It is what game designers do.

When the designer(s) [it takes more of us, clearly, to do something far less sophisticated, and infinitely less complex than His creation!] sit down to create a new adventure-type game, a number of things must happen. The torah, or instruction, about how the game is to be played, and what the rules are for that particular virtual universe, must be laid out. What kinds of creatures populate the world? What are their strengths and weaknesses?  What are the “Laws of nature” there?  How does one “win”?

And all of that follows other, “lower-level” aspects of the design, everything from the nature of the operating system to the type of graphics system and computer hardware required. The first step truly might be likened to something analogous to “let there be light,” after which the rest of the creation follows.

Once the “Yah as Game Designer” metaphor is clear, certain other pieces begin to fall into place. How can the Creator be “outside of time?” That one’s easy: He just hits the ‘pause’ button. Those who populate His universe never know any difference. He can look “forward” or “behind” in time just as easily, run “simulations”, or do any number of things with His world that earlier theologians cannot have imagined, and modern ones might find disturbing. Thankfully, our Elohim has made it clear that He does NOT like to “break the rules” that He Wrote; He is in fact, the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, whether we understand His notion about “time” or not.

How might such a Designer choose to interact with those inside His creation? An array of choices present themselves, both in Scripture, and now, even our imaginations. He might choose to talk to them in dreams and visions, or via ‘messengers’ (malakim), or even from within a burning bush or a thundering mountain. But the form that would be most familiar to people who have ever played a modern “adventure” game would be to enter into His creation as a player, just like those within that universe. Would that character be both “fully man” and yet echad with the Designer Himself? Certainly it could truthfully be said that He “does the will of the One Who sent Him.” And just as certainly, it would be true that ‘no one has seen Him’ – indeed, those within that virtual world have no real conception of what the Creator might be, other than perhaps the knowledge they were somehow ‘created in His image.’

Finally, how could such an incredible Designer even begin to describe Himself to the inhabitants of the world He created?  That, too, should be obvious.  In terms, and with concepts, from His  ‘game’ itself; including by describing Himself as a Father, or King, or Master, or Husband.

Certainly, no analogy is perfect, and the most sophisticated virtual universe men have ever assembled pales in comparison to what YHVH has created for us.  And yet the imitations, limited as they might be, are now good enough — in movies, or flight simulations for example — to be real enough for training, or even for propaganda and deception.  That, too, is something that fits with any number of Biblical prophecies.

It may very well be that as “knowledge has increased,” we find ourselves more able to at least conceive of how some of the Scriptures which once seemed confusing and even contradictory can really reflect a better, albeit still limited, understanding of the nature of our reality, and what YHVH is teaching us.  That, in turn, might help us to focus on the ‘weightier matters‘ of His Word, rather than disputing among ourselves over “doubtful things.”  If time does indeed draw short, and  the kind of tribulation we can see coming is only the ‘beginning of sorrows’ — then we’ve all got far more important things to do than “argue about the math.”

 Postscript:

An audio teaching on this topic from Mark Call is available at this link —

Tetzaveh 2014