WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR OWN PERSONAL ADVISOR,
LAWYER, DOCTOR AND FRIEND?
Usually only Royalty, or Presidents or very rich people would have these.
But perhaps there is One waiting for you?
This article is dedicated to the millions of true,
Jewish-born people, (whether living in Eretz Israel or not),
who are not ‘religious’ at all. They do have the respect of thousands
of Bible-Believers, Jewish and non-Jewish people,
including the sponsors of this article who only want ‘the very best’ for you!
This discussion paper is simply offered for your own consideration.
The sponsors of this web site in New Zealand have been so happy to make friends with a number of Jewish people, either when we have been in Israel, or young Israeli’s came to visit us. So we feel close to Jewish people – partly because of a real interest in Israel and it’s struggles and successes. This is no doubt, not only because of the modern events in Israel, but the availability of all forms of media to ‘show and tell’ about Israel, people’s fascination with “all things Jewish” has grown. Many of us have lived to see or know of significant events or have been part of them – especially in the Middle East and Eretz Israel in particular - over the last 100+ years.
establishment of Israel as a Nation State
was seen as one of the most significant events!
the Nation of Israel has rightly taken opportunities to promote
its interests in every arena. Sadly, Israel has also had to defend
positions or actions - that are often severely criticised at best and
sometimes viciously condemned at worst, by individual people or even
by nations. Most Jewish people and their friends, feel very bad about
these accusations, as we sure do! In fact, some people don’t
even want Israel to exist or Jewish people to live - anywhere! How
bad is that!
However there are a lot of other non-Jewish people who believe in a fantastic future for all Jews! Secular Jews are among those that we know and like, (perhaps like you?). We can see a refreshing honesty, genuine doubts about ‘religion’, and love of life and freedom, in them. If that describes you, this web site is for you! The secular Jewish concept has a lot ‘going for it’. We also understand why Jewish people describe themselves this way. Some of the ‘blogs’ we’ve read and other research, sometimes even mentions the phrase, ‘Truth Seeker’. Inner sincerity is vital. Being ‘secular’ non-religious is partly because of the rigid outward rituals and regulations of some religious groups, especially the ‘Hassidic’ or ‘Ultra Orthodox’ branches of Judaism, and the ‘Beit Habad’.
THE MISSING DIMENSION
But is there a missing element to the secular life – especially for Jewish people? Could we suggest, (from our discussions with young Israelis,) that maybe you’ve never realised that there are some basic perspectives, that most Jewish people have never heard of, or understood? For us, they are totally Jewish Beliefs, which are precious to us – as our basic Jewish beliefs – but often, (even among Jewish teachers), they are totally hidden, or smothered –even covered – by ‘religion’. We are referring to the foundations of a true ‘Faith’ that are written in the Tanakh.
[We will write about them in another paper, in case you’re interested or see here]. (These true concepts are usually lost in so much outward emphasis and ritual and regulations that the treasures of amazing facts are just as lost as the invaluable ‘Temple Treasures’! And they are just as priceless!
The TRUTH is, the treasures of the Tanakh are in the words.
reaction of many Jewish people (and others) to ‘Religions’
Anyone who has had a meaningful contact with Jewish people have had to learn that the Jewish people, on the whole do not share most of the most precious Jewish beliefs, that most other people imagine they have. Instead, as polls in Israel have shown, about 70% of Jews are ‘secular’ or ‘Non-religious- traditionalists’. This is probably true of most Diaspora Jews as well. This means there are Jews who honestly do not believe in God, or the Torah, let alone the Tanakh as a whole ‘Scripture’. This is something we can understand about many Jews who know about the culture and lifestyle of most of the religious communities and yeshivas – not only in Israel, but also the USA, but don’t accept their religiosity.
every human being needs – someone else –
preferably an agreeable person – in his or her life.
There is a song that says, “Everyone needs Someone to love them.”
Be very honest with yourself. [Especially, if you are a true ‘Humanistic Jew’!] If you had the opportunity to have a free, really caring Advisor, (like fitness groups provide – “a personal trainer”) to help you in all sorts of ways, financially, or in practical skills, - maybe even as a counsellor – to be there to help when you needed them, wouldn’t you think seriously about taking them on? Of course it would be important to have someone who really knew you; ~ what you like and don’t like, what experiences you’ve already had, the kind of things that upset you ~ or make you really happy ~ that would qualify them a lot ~ when you came to choosing and trusting them, wouldn’t it? Be honest!
note! We are NOT talking about a business or sexual ‘partner’
– spouse, girl or boyfriend, etc.]
What we have in mind is an Expert in many different ways
– to be your personal Coach or Advisor.
What about the (rare) times perhaps when you might even need legal advice – for some deal or partnership or contract you want to make ~ or if ~ you find yourself accused of some bad act! What if you had a personal, caring friend, who would make everything come right for you ~ for free? Someone you knew was absolutely reliable and never told a lie? Don’t tell me you would turn down their offer to stand with you?
“Everyone needs someone to love and care for them.”
of the people in the world have someone like this, that they call
‘God’. [No - don’t switch off yet!]
But there are many kinds of ‘god’. Judaism also has a Person they think of as ‘G-d’. Someone wrote a book once called ‘Your God is Too Small’. Sadly this is true of almost 90% of human beings – even some ‘religious people’ who claim to know something about the God of the Universe. Even G-d-fearing Jews, and Christians, don’t really know how great the only true God really is!
Many people have no idea of Who or ‘what’ God really is! This maybe partly why some people are ‘Atheists’ – not believing there is any real ‘God’. ‘Agnostics’ – aren’t sure if there is a God or not. So we are here as ordinary people (though we have studied these questions for years) to simply discuss these important issues about ‘God’ from a personal, average level of understanding, for people like ourselves. It is a subject worth thinking about, by normal curious people. I’m told Jews are curious people. [For those who do want very ‘in depth’, academic studies, we recommend you could start with: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_of_God.] or http://atheismexposed.tripod.com/humanistic_atheism.htm
But ~ just to continue our simple, but sincere line of thinking with you…
Of course ‘all doctors are good’ – well, sometimes not. But what if you had a serious medical need, and not just any doctor could help you? Wouldn’t you look for a ‘Specialist’ so as to be sure you would get the best treatment? Sure you would! The same is true of a Lawyer, or a Sports or Fitness Trainer, or top Business Advisor, if it was important to find the best! So we trust you will think about what we are presenting to you.
A statement we sincerely, and honestly must question.
The 5th Philosophical affirmation of the Society for Humanistic Judaism says:
possess the power and responsibility to shape our own lives,
independent of Supernatural Authority.”
[You can see a link to a list of the
affirmations of secular Judaism, here.]
seems either a very courageous statement, (based as it is on pure
supposition), or an inaccurate one based on the verifiable
experiences of thousands of people who have had real experiences of a
‘Supernatural Authority’ at some time in their lives.
Actually, it isn’t even a true ‘secular’ statement,
as natural disasters, (earthquakes, tornadoes, droughts or floods,
etc.) and accidents of all kinds, diseases and deliberate wrong or
even unintentional acts of other people, can catch up with us, and
do shape people’s lives without ‘our power’ to
avoid or change them.
Just ask someone paralysed through a sports or vehicle accident or born with ‘spina-bifida’ or Cerebral Palsey… Even an horrific event in the life of someone we love, can affect us very deeply. Certainly we have a responsibility to make good choices to shape our lives, but sometimes people get it wrong. All of us have had times when we ‘took a wrong step’ and tripped up as a consequence. I would be very tempted to ask the writer of the above statement; “where did you get the mental gift to reason, and make a conclusion like that?” (Sadly Sherman T Wine who wrote these died in a car crash in 2007.)
1. One fact is, that the Tanakh never, ever tries to prove there is a God.
The very first sentence simply says, “In the beginning God…” [‘Elohim’ is the Hebrew word.] The fact is no one can prove there is no ‘God’. Honest people can only say, “I don’t know.”
God simply cannot be disproved.
2. The other amazing fact is, that God has put a ‘God-consciousness’ in every person.
It is a very clever person who can convince himself or herself to have a belief, (‘a faith’), that there is no God! That is a great “leap of faith”, if it is thought through carefully enough. ‘Faith’ is part of thinking.
The truth is it takes a lot of ‘faith’ to believe there is no God!
3. Neither does experience, (let alone the Tanakh) deny the existence of ‘spiritual realities’.
It doesn’t take a genius to realise there is a bad spiritual entity in this world, and in most people’s lives. This is because life soon teaches us that there are events, and realities that cannot be fully explained. Some of those realities, or facts are sinister, sad, and inexplicable. Perhaps they could even be called ‘Lucifer’s laws’. Any one who has had dealings with severely disturbed maniacal murderers knows this. These evil things can only be explained by at least the possibility of unseen, sinister, spiritual forces. So if there are evil forces, which cannot be explained, why couldn’t there be a Good Personality – more than just a ‘Force’ in the universe?
This means: if a person is willing to be totally honest, they will find the Truth is in a Person.
4. Most people realise the question of ‘God’, is linked to the origins of the Planet, and life on it.
Most modern scientists have now carefully come to the decision (based on factual evidence) that there is scientific proof of “intelligent design” being responsible for every form of life, even the apparent ‘simplest form’. Many are not yet willing to concede that the ‘Intelligence’ that is behind the design of life, is a ‘Creator who is God’.
However there now more scientists do accept that: ‘A Designer = A Builder/ Creator God.’ This is a BIG subject for a worthwhile study, and there is lots of good material available about it. Later you may like to see our article ‘For Jewish Atheists’, www.allaboutgod.com/science.htm - is a huge site - “but don’t forget to come back here ~d’ya hear!”
There are other sound reasons for believing in one God. The best evidence is in a reliable ancient Book, studied and analysed but always found to be accurate in its history, and accurate details of science and prophecy, especially regarding Jews.
Our conclusion is that the Hebrew G-D of the Tanakh is the ONLY GOD.
A MORE IMPORTANT STUDY IS TO FIND WHAT KIND OF GOD IS HE?
kind of qualifications does the perfect God have?
It is sad to recognise that even if there is a ‘God’, that the ‘picture’ often presented, is of a God who is not benign (i.e. kind), or knowable. Some Jewish people we’ve talked to have a hard view of G-d. So knowing or believing even, that there is a Supreme Being that is called ‘God’ is not enough. There is a good Jewish site that discusses this. www.beingjewish.com/G-d/G-disgood.html
People need to know what kind of Deity there is.
Many people admit to some kind of God, or ‘gods’ but ‘their god is too small’ or harsh or distant or unreal. The gods of most religions are distant, impersonal, and demanding in costly, or even cruel ways. Allah, Buddha, Krishna, the Spirit gods of tribal peoples, demand all kinds of sacrifices and rituals.
even the G-d of the Tanakh is often not seen
as the amazingly loving, real God, He is!
[Also, very often, throughout the history, mankind has been good at ‘creating’ their own forms of deities like Ba’al and other ancient gods or goddesses, or the Greek or Roman gods, like Apollo, or even ‘the god within’ etc. Now in modern times, ‘Gaia’ or ‘Mother Earth’ is the latest, fashionable ‘god’ of the Global Changers. See www.green-agenda.com/gaia.html
course, the reality the Tanakh portrays is of ONE only true God, Who
is so eternal and all knowing, (Omniscient); so supremely powerful in
creation, sustaining power and authority beyond our comprehension,
(Omnipotent); and so understanding and caring, and knowledgeable of
every detailed part of this world, -including the thoughts of every
person, (Omnipresent), that it is not surprising, no human can fully
know all about ADONAI Elohim! As we’ve said – He
is indescribable in His Totality, but what we can know about
Him is amazingly wonderful and awesome in every way!
Just one description is: “the High and Holy One, Who inhabits Eternity”. The Divine Being portrayed in the Tanakh is beyond time, space, matter, or energy. Outside of and beyond the limits of all we see in Space. We’d love you to take time to see these slides: www.pjknight.kol.co.nz/universe/universe.html
One so great and magnificent, we can barely
appreciate every facet of His great Personality.
Yet a personal, caring, all-knowing Being Who
knows about ever person on this Planet!
Some religious thought tries to make God so totally, mentally understandable, (almost common) that they forget that if God is real, (in the way the Tanakh, for instance, portrays Him) ~ because He is so much greater than we are, (in every way) it is that which makes Him the very kind of Deity we need! As some said,
God was ‘small’ enough for our minds,
He would not be ‘big’ enough for our needs!”
I need a God Who is greater than I am, yet actually cares about me…
Someone, Who is far above any human comprehension, in power, knowledge and integrity, (holiness). The amazing facts are, that God Himself has gone to enormous trouble, (since the moment He created mankind), to make Himself known to anyone who really wants to know Him. That is because He IS Holy Love. A Being Who wants to be personally involved in every human life, in the most noble, caring way!
David in Tehellim (Psalm) 62 wrote:
“One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard:
That You, O God, are strong, (powerful); and that You O ADONAI are loving.”
Those are the only, final facts that really matter.
They answer every question and satisfy every longing.
HOW GOD, ELOHIM, the LORD, HAS MADE HIMSELF KNOWN.
1. Communications. This is supremely, and wonderfully conveyed throughout the whole of Creation. A careful study of nature: - geology, plants, weather, all creatures and space. Also the history of peoples (especially the Jewish Nation), the experiences of many people, and the inner voice of a person’s own conscience ~ tell us about ADONAI. These are some ways God communicates with people.
It takes FAITH – or belief, if you like,
to either believe there is NO God, or that there IS a God.
Also, especially in the last 2000 years we have real-life stories and messages passed on from person to person, in written literature, art, music - from many parts of the world. These cannot be lightly dismissed! There can be no doubt that there is a Divine Person behind the stories of events, the poetry and prayers, and the speeches and (often electric) statements He Himself has made, in the minds of good, trustworthy people throughout history, especially the Tanakh! These will reveal so much more that any human person could want to know. The key is ~ a person really has to want to know! Many people have said in sincerity, “if there is a God, please show me”, and lives have been transformed by the answer. Later we will share some of these experiences of Jewish people for you to read.
G-d of Israel has actually pleaded for you to look for Him
– at least 7 times in the Tanakh! [See here.]
The TANAKH is the main, extremely important way to KNOW about the
If anyone had no idea about the G-d of Israel, but was simply willing to read the Tanakh – not only the Torah – (which is the most amazing part of a whole series), they would surely not only know mentally a lot of facts, but would be amazed at the diversity of communications that reveal God to us. From sad to humerus, from lives of individuals, to armies, or groups of people or various nations ~ all the characteristics of the God of the universes, (this world and everything in Space beyond us) ~ is clearly described.
The fact that the information is there in the 36 books of the Tanakh, should make it clear, that the Divine Being who is portrayed there, wanted to be seen and known in every facet of His personality, by all kinds of people! You can read the Tanakh in your own language these days, carefully authenticated and accurate, so you can trust it. It is possible to read the Tanakh and get nothing from it – but those who seek sincerely, will find!
the Tanakh was studied – even just by a careful reading
of the stories, events and prayers (as in the Tellihim/Psalms)
there would no doubt left, ~ as to what actions and ideas, values
and desires and plans Elohim has for all people, especially Jews.
He would be understood so much more clearly!
note; you do not need a teacher or go to a Yeshiva to read and
understand most of the Tanakh. Leave out what is hard – enjoy
the rest! You will be blessed!]
3. Clear introductions through His NAMES.
The first meeting of two or more people, almost always includes exchanging names. So it is with the One, that modern Jews refer to as ‘Ha Shem’ [‘The name’]. While the reason for this is understandable, with a real desire to avoid ever blaspheming the Name of the Holy One of Israel, it perhaps hides the great wealth of blessing in knowing the names, by which G-d deliberately introduced Himself, over and over again. [Since this is meant to be a brief introduction – it is not possible to enlarge of the statements made.] You will know the word ‘YHWH’ when written in English is ‘G-d’, as a mark of reverence. The reason for this is that there were originally no ‘marks’ in ancient Hebrew for what we call ‘vowels’, so that the Name of the Creator ‘YHWH’ was only written with the ‘consonants’ - (main letters) of the alphabet. Also, so as not to accidentally blaspheme the Name of The Holy One, in speaking, the non-de-plume of ‘Ha Shem’ is used.
Note too, that in many Bibles, the name in Hebrew using just the letters YHWH are written as ‘ADONAI’, or LORD in English Bibles. This is the written form of the Name of God, which is never pronounced but occurs throughout the whole of the Tanakh, (except the Book of Esther – where it is in a coded form). It stands for God’s own personal NAME, whereas most other apparent ‘names’, are the titles of His roles, as the One who is Peace, (Shalom); or Healer, (Rophe); or Shepherd, (Rehi); Leader, (Nissi) Rewarder (Gemulah) or my favourite, ~ ‘The One Who is Present’, (YHWH Shammah), ~ the very last name given in Ezekiel! Of course He is also the Sovereign KING, the Eternal One, The great Creator, Deliverer, Prophet, and Life-giver, and Father. He is also “The Holy One of Israel” (33 times), or the “God of Israel” (27 times).
There are several hundred Names of Israel’s God, given throughout the Tanakh!
[We feel that it is more reverent to use the names God has given to us, so we do not use ‘Ha Shem’.] The names in the Jewish ‘Shema’ are good to think of – especially “Elohaynu” = OUR God! Maybe in a future time, all the names of God will be treasured by the reverent use of them by all Jews?
4. It is also possible to understand more about God, in seeing PROPHETIC events about Israel.
Again, this is such a big area of amazing information in the Tanakh and so specifically about the future of the Jews that it we have written in our next article to try to list and explain these. However seeing no other nation on Earth has had such specific ‘prophecies’ made for and about them, surely this by itself would be a fair way of knowing something of the true God? Not only were these prophecies written 2 –3,000 years ago, but some have happened in the last 100 years or so, or are in process of happening very soon!
5. The existence right up to the present time, (after some 4000 years) of the Jewish people is a proof of the reality of Israel’s GOD. God instigated the Hebrew race and has preserved them.
REASON FOR THE EXISTANCE OF JEWISH PEOPLE
The problem of being ‘Jewish’ should not be a problem – but an honour!
We give more thoughts about this in our other articles, “I’m glad I’m Jewish”.
Jewish, but totally ‘godless’ – now that is a different question! As you may know, Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine, the founder of ‘Humanistic Judaism’ says it is possible for Jewish people to be ‘non-theistic and still be Jewish’. We agree.
But we would not be able to agree with him, when he states his belief (note a religious term –‘a belief’ is ‘faith’), saying that “Jews can have a meaningful Jewish lifestyle, free from Supernatural Authority”. That could take a great deal of investigation –over a long period of time to prove. If it can’t be proved in a comprehensive way, the result would be that it would not be likely to be true. (It simply does not ‘compute’! We believe without G-d there would be no Jews!)
Neither does atheism offer any encouragement, hope or comfort in life. If each man ‘is an island’, a totally disconnected blob of collective tissue, with little ultimate meaning or purpose - and little or no spiritual value, it is very sad. It leaves many unanswered questions at times of great need or great triumph. It reduces mankind to the level of animals, which is exactly what the New World Order, (being promoted by the members of the Club of Rome) is all about! [See www.green-agenda.com/unitedfaith.html]
However it can be, and soon will be seen to be true, (taken from the Tanakh, and present and future events for Jews), that a Jewish person can only, ever enjoy a meaningful Jewish lifestyle, by choosing the freedom to believe and experience life under the good, caring “Supernatural Authority”, of ADONAI. You see, the concept of a personal ‘Advisor, Counsellor, Helper, Healer, and true Friend is never more true than in the great powerful, loving Sovereign ADONAI. So He actually is ‘Immanuel’ – God with us! The very best personal, caring Adviser, Father figure, close Friend yet supremely powerful and all-knowingly wise GOD!
IT IS TRUE! Everyone needs Someone strong to care about them in a noble, honest, helpful way. ALSO: only in an honest study of the actual vindicated words of the Tanakh, will Truth be found.
is just as big a statement as Rabbi Wine’s beliefs.
They cannot both be true.
So now, maybe you can see why for
JEWS the investigation of our three absolutely vital facts,
to have joyful hope is so important!
(Only you can study it for yourself, but
we are here to simply offer our alternative thoughts to you.)
That you need to know what is special about being
Jewish and be blessed by it.
2. That it is the One true, only God Who inspired Hebrew people to write the Tanakh, Who has preserved the Tanakh, and sworn Covenants of blessings to Israel in the Tanakh, by His own Holy Person.
3. That in it Yesha’yahu/ Isaiah tells us that Elohaynu, our God wants to be our own “wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace” to each person who will believe He is that!
WONDER THE ‘SHEMA’ SAYS:
“SHEMA ISRA’EL! [Listen, Israel!]
ADONAI Elohaynu ADONAI Ehad!
[The LORD, Our G-d. The LORD is ONE!]
Being Jewish is special and important, because
the Holy Sovereign ADONAI [LORD] G-d ~ chose Israel
and no other ethnic/racial group as a group of people.
Yet He rightly expects a right attitude ~ of their hearts
~ to Him, as the next verse says;
“Love ADONAI your God with all your heart… soul… and strength.”
SO! The reality is, that because of the loving “God of Israel” ~ this is now and very soon will be the very reason for a time of unprecedented joy, prosperity, acceptance and everything that could be summed up in the word –BLESSING for Jewish people! At that time you would not want to be a ‘secular Jew’ but an accepted part of the special Family of ‘Isra-EL’ = People of GOD. The one important part of this is recognising Who the High and Holy; totally just and fair LORD GOD ALMIGHTY is! [‘ADONAI El Shaddai’] has promised that Israel will have a time of unprecedented restoration and ‘Hatikvah’!
is Truth ~ so He CANNOT LIE!
The conclusion is; that it is a very great privilege to be Jewish!
Also that Israel’s God is the only, true, great, loving, eternal God there is.
Even more that His plans and purposes from before
Creation was to be a Personal loving Advisor,
Deliverer in time of trouble, Father and Friend
to you as an individual. Wouldn’t you like that?
Here is one statement Moshe wrote about you from the Tanakh to end with:
“Know therefore that ADONAI your G-d is GOD,
He is the faithful GOD, keeping
His Covenant of LOVE to a thousand generations
of those who love Him and do what pleases Him.”
SO THE RECOGNITION OF ADONAI ELOHIM, IS ANOTHER STRAND OF
THE GOLDEN CORD OF REAL HOPE ~ THAT IS VITAL FOR ALL
JEWISH PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT AND ACCEPT!
But there is more…
And it is an amazing mystery ~ people can actually
come to KNOW ADONAI in a real, and personal way!
“Because everyone ~ needs Someone ~ to care about them!”
We will be happy to enlarge on the fuller aspects of these three facts,
using verses from the TANAKH, in other articles.
Or you are welcome to contact us, with any questions or comments.
[If you would like to do your own research on this subject ~ it’s actually really exciting] ~ here is a good link for you. Please do not be put off if some sites we refer to are made by ‘Christians’ ~ the genuine ones love and worship the ‘God of Israel’ sincerely and have studied all aspects of truth! You take what is helpful out of the articles – of which there are very many!]
But please be sure to read our next article,
‘What’s So Special About Being Jewish’, and later;
prophecies especially ‘For Jewish People, Only.’