New York Jewish Museum’s Discomfort with Religion

The Jewish Museum of New York her latest core exhibition reveals a distance from Judaism indistinguishable from disregard, embarrassment, and disdain.

Menachem Wecker’s essay on Scenes from the Collection, the latest permanent exhibition at the Jewish Museum of New York, talks about the city’s venerable 115-year-old Jewish Museum. Its collection of about 30,000 objects makes this among the most important such institutions anywhere and, according to its website, one of the oldest remaining Jewish museums in the world.

Downstairs, at the museum’s outlet of Russ & Daughters café, customers devouring the herring, knishes, and blintzes are assured that everything on the — also venerable — menu is under kosher supervision.

But for him

Upstairs, however, is a different story. With its recent, ballyhooed revamping of its permanent exhibition, the museum has squandered a priceless opportunity to be the hub for contemporary Jewish conversation, education, and memory. In so doing, it has also departed drastically from its founding mission as a champion of Jewish culture and practice.

Wecker, a relatively young man, is in possession of a Jewish education that is probably atypical of most of the museum’s visitors. By contrast, the art historian who has served as the director of several museums, as Assistant Secretary for museums at the Smithsonian Institutions, and as director of the museum program at the National Endowment for the Arts, Tom L. Freudenheim is a senior citizen who according to his response at the exhibition, risks sounding like the character of the Grumpy Old Man played by Dana Carvey on the old Saturday Night Live — the kind who carries on about how much better things were in the past, and that’s the way we liked it.

He writes in the Jewish magazine Mosaic

In truth, though, I can’t say I really liked it better growing up in a world of Jews who still lowered their voices to whisper the word “Jewish” in restaurant conversations, or who swelled with unseemly pride when the 1950 recording by Pete Seeger and the Weavers of the Israeli folk song Tzena, Tzena, Tzena gave “us” temporary standing on the Hit Parade.

Nowadays, to judge by sources like the 2013 Pew survey, American Jews are less self-conscious about being Jewish. But are they, really? Could it be, instead, that their self-consciousness just runs in directions more in line with today’s rather than yesterday’s cultural norms? Wecker’s ruminations and strictures about the Jewish Museum’s “Jewish problem” — evidenced by its wildly overdone distancing of itself from any taint of “parochialism,” together with its marked condescension toward Judaism itself — invite speculation.

 

There is some history here. When the Jewish Museum first moved toward displaying contemporary art lacking any palpable connection to Jews or Judaism, it was partly following in the  footsteps of Karl Schwarz, the director of Berlin’s Jewish Museum: an institution that opened in 1933 around the same time that Hitler seized power and closed five years later after Kristallnacht. Schwarz’s idea, then quite original, was that, along with showcasing the “material culture” of the Jewish past — ritual objects, books, and other artifacts — a Jewish museum might legitimately start to pay attention to the work of living Jewish artists.

Two decades later in New York, with its transformational 1957 exhibition Artists of the New York School: Second Generation, the Jewish Museum both adopted Schwarz’s idea and went beyond it to include work by contemporary non-Jews and, as often as not, on non-Jewish themes. It thereby established a model that in one form or another continues to this day and that, to be fair, has resulted in a number of remarkable and occasionally even ground-breaking shows.

In doing so, the museum hardly escaped controversy or, especially, conflict with the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), its founding institution and proprietor. In 1947, as Wecker notes, with the opening of the museum in its then-new home on Fifth Avenue, JTS’s chancellor Louis Finkelstein defined its mission as the preservation and celebration of

“the singular beauty of Jewish life, as ordained in the laws of Moses, developed in the Talmud, and embellished in tradition.”

By the 1960s, it had become known instead, and with reason, mainly as an influential venue for the artistic avant-garde.

That transformation needed to be rationalized, and an argument for it was quickly developed. The new argument went like this:

Jews were a cosmopolitan people, interested by definition in a wide range of ideas and areas of cultural creativity both within and outside of the Jewish world.

Often adduced in this context was the example of Commentary magazine, founded in 1945 by the American Jewish Committee as a high-level forum of discussion of both Jewish and non-Jewish issues by writers and thinkers — what we now call “public intellectuals” — many but not all of whom were themselves Jews. Especially after Norman Podhoretz was appointed editor of Commentary in 1960, the magazine’s existence and success were invoked to justify JTS’s support for influential exhibitions at the Jewish Museum less and less related to the vision articulated in 1947 by Louis Finkelstein.

 

Such exhibitions flourished in the mid-1960s under the brief directorships of Alan Solomon and Sam Hunter, years that happened to coincide with my own tenure at the museum as a young curator, aspiring art historian, and ex-rabbinical student. Partly owing to the last-named credential, no doubt, I ended up being responsible for the “Jewish” parts of the museum, and soon became well-acquainted with its by-then considerable collections of Judaica of all kinds — collections that were then, and remain today, second only to the holdings of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

And this brings me back to Scenes from the Collection, so skillfully picked apart by Wecker. I concur with most of his criticisms of the exhibition’s substance. With regard to its presentation of, in particular, material related directly to Jewish religious traditions or values, he is certainly correct to point to the organizers’ shoddy scholarship and connoisseurship. I would only underline his point by stressing that museums thrive or wither not only on the visions of their directors but on the ideas, interests, ambitions, dreams, and scholarship of their curators. (Susan Braunstein, the museum’s longtime Judaica curator, retired some months ago and, although remaining on staff part-time in an emerita position, has yet to be replaced.)

As a counterexample to the latest “core” exhibition, Wecker writes with some enthusiasm about its 1990s predecessor, Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, which indeed went far toward restoring the focus on the “Jewish” in Jewish Museum. I was never a great fan of that show for one simple reason: at its outset, visitors were invited to ask how Jews had survived for so many centuries and millennia, and were promised that the exhibition would answer that question. In fact, it’s sheer museological vanity to suggest that Jewish survival can be understood via Judaism’s material culture alone.

This stipulation aside, however, the conceptual premise of Culture and Continuity was solidly based: the Jewish Museum does indeed house any number of important works of Judaica — its field of specialty — that cannot be seen anywhere else. Indeed, the same principle underlies permanent exhibitions in most museums. Which is not to say that collections don’t also get temporarily rearranged to suit a curator’s creative idea, or some practical exigency. (For example, parts of the 17th-century Dutch collections in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art are currently on view in a two-year special exhibition because of skylight renovations in the main galleries.) But that is secondary, not primary. Permanent exhibitions are all about the core: how, in the end, a museum identifies and presents itself.

 

Where does the Jewish Museum fit here? For me, the real scandal today is that a collection of such size, quality, and historical importance has been reduced from the museum’s main attraction to a resource only for special exhibitions like the airily named Scenes from the Collection. Evidently, in the museum’s current thinking, the core works in its collection are to be seen only in the context of thematic and temporary special exhibitions like this one, surrounded by works of tangential, or arbitrary, or opaque relevance. This rethinking, to put it bluntly, can only reflect a disdain for the museum’s core assets on the part of the institution’s leadership (both the staff and the trustees).

Among those core assets are not only the thousands of items in the collection but the self-understanding of Judaism itself. In his essay, Wecker raises serious questions about the attitude toward Judaism held by the museum’s leaders and stewards. Here, too, a larger cultural phenomenon may be seen at work: namely, a pervasive discomfort, or embarrassment, manifested by many art museums these days, when it comes to Western religion. For obvious reasons, Christianity is the prime example. To take the Met once again, but hardly the Met alone, the reigning but incorrect assumption appears to be that everyone knows the meaning of Christian devotional art, that everyone can readily identify saints by their visual attributes, and that everyone can “read” the allusions and symbols in paintings of the Madonna or the Crucifixion.

Of course that is not the case: many if not most Christians are as ignorant of their religious traditions as are most Jews. Why, then, the silence? After all, explication is available for “exotic” religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and so forth). Only with Christianity and, at the Jewish Museum, with Judaism is a fastidious distance observed — a distance indistinguishable from indifference or, again, discomfort, embarrassment, and disrespect. In each case, the result is an abdication of the opportunity and the responsibility to educate the public about some of the greatest and most important works of Western art.

Tom L. Freudenheim ends with saying

I’m a reasonably well-educated but not especially religiously observant Jew. Nevertheless, like many other Jews, I’m wholly unembarrassed to lay claim to my Jewishness, not only as a matter of ethnic pride but also in my being a legatee of a venerable and quite awesome religious tradition.

American Jews can rightly be proud of, among other things, the Jewish museums that their communities have developed and supported, and that have in turn served as models for other ethnic and group-based museums around the country. As Edward Rothstein, quoted by Wecker, has acutely observed, those many museums spawned by the Jewish example make a point of celebrating the unique traditions and values of their particular sponsoring groups. By contrast (with exceptions, like UC Berkeley’s Magnes Museum), Jews have deracinated their own museums to the point of flaunting not only an ignorance of the Jewish tradition but a disdain for it.

Menachem Wecker gives us example after example from Scenes from the Collection of the feckless and philistine lengths to which the Jewish Museum has gone in its dereliction from its elementary responsibility. Is it too much to propose that the accolades the museum so desperately craves from the art-world cognoscenti might be gained without totally reducing the “Jewish” in its name to the slim and increasingly fraying threads by which it remains connected to its tradition?

Problemen bij vele Christenen aan de boodschap ‘God is liefde’

Het is algemeen geweten dat vele niet-gelovigen of atheïsten er over spreken dat als er een god zou bestaan deze zeker niet een van liefde kan zijn, want er gebeuren zo veel afgrijselijke dingen in deze wereld. Velen vergeten hierbij wie eigenlijk de schuldige is voor die vele wreedheden en wie de eigenlijke veroorzaker is van de vele natuurrampen.

“Overal in kerken hoor je dat ‘God liefde is’.

Aan die drie woorden wordt vaak het woordje ‘onvoorwaardelijk’ toegevoegd. Juist dat woord zorgt voor veel schade,”

vertelt David Pawson, die hier aan toe voegt

“Jezus en de apostelen noemden de liefde van God niet in hun publiekelijke prediking.”

David Pawson sprak twee weken geleden in Zuid-Afrika tijdens een conferentie voor voorgangers en predikanten.

“Wat begrijpt een ongelovige van deze ‘onvoorwaardelijke liefde’? In Engeland kregen twee homoseksuelen door middel van een draagmoeder een kind. Nadat ze hun tweede kind kregen gingen ze daar mee naar de Church of England, om de baby te laten dopen. De vicaris twijfelde over het dopen van de baby’s. Een van de mannen reageerde hierop en zei: ‘Gods liefde is toch onvoorwaardelijk? Die liefde veroordeelt niet.’ De man zei dit omdat hij ergens de toevoeging ‘onvoorwaardelijk’ had opgepikt.”

Vandaag vinden wij wel zeer veel gelovigen die zeer veroordelend zijn. Meer en meer beginnen zogenaamd Christenen te kappen op andere mensen, en vooral op diegenen die niet van hun land zijn. Vreemdelingen moeten het overal ontgelden. zou liefde niet alles moeten overtreffen en boosheid en veroordelingsdrang uit de wereld moeten helpen?

David Pawson:

“Wanneer we ongelovigen vertellen dat God liefde is, nodigen we mensen uit tot criticisme. Want als God liefde is, waarom lijden er dan zoveel mensen?
Voor een ongelovige betekent dit woordje ook dat God nooit oordeelt. Dat betekent dan ook dat God nooit iemand naar de hel stuurt. Toen ik eens een boek had geschreven over de hel werd ik overal in Engeland geïnterviewd. De interviewer vroeg mij:

‘hoe kan een God die liefde is iemand naar de hel sturen?'”

Hierbij werd dan heel duidelijk hoe de bevrager en Pawson zelf een vertekend beeld hebben van wat de hel volgens de Bijbel eigenlijk is. Pawson antwoordde door een vraag terug te stellen:

‘waar heb je het idee vandaan dat God een God van liefde is’.

‘Zei Jezus dat niet?’

antwoordde de presentator. Ik vertelde hem dat alles wat ik over de hel had geschreven in mijn boek, mij is geleerd door Jezus. Het was Jezus die de mensen over de hel vertelde. Op twee waarschuwingen over de hel na, gaf hij deze zelfs aan zijn discipelen. Toen hij de zeventig uitzond zei hij:

‘Wees niet bang voor hen die wel het lichaam maar niet de ziel kunnen doden. Wees liever bang voor hem die in staat is én ziel én lichaam om te laten komen in de Gehenna.'”

Volgens Pawson is de liefde van was niet de apostelen hun Evangelie, terwijl wij van die liefde het centrum maken.

Het is een feit dat Jezus, noch de apostelen de liefde van God noemde in hun publiekelijke prediking. En toch horen wij het overal.

Ik sprak eens voor een paar honderd evangelisten in Noorwegen en vertelde hen over dit probleem met de zin ‘God is liefde’ in evangelisatie. Een meisje kwam na afloop in tranen naar me toe en zei:

u nam mijn Evangelie weg.

‘Maar Jezus vertelde hen over God zonder de liefde van God te vertellen,’ antwoordde ik. Waarom zouden wij dat niet kunnen? Omdat we het misschien niet hebben begrepen?”

Moeten we dan vertellen dat God ‘goed’ is? Dat komt wat dichter bij de waarheid. Het woordje ‘goed’ gebruiken we als het gaat over onze hond, het weer. Het zou een belediging zijn om het met die achterliggende betekenis te gebruiken als het om God gaat. Jezus zei eens tegen iemand: ‘Waarom noem je mij goed? Er is niemand goed dan God.’ Als we die uitspraak serieus nemen gebruiken we het woordje ‘goed’ alleen maar voor God, zodat we Hem een speciale plek geven.

Nochtans zouden wij moeten beseffen dat God wel degelijk Zijn schepping lief heet. Maar God heeft de mens ook dat gegeven wat de mens verlangde. De mens ging in verzet tegen God en twijfelde over Zijn rechtschapenheid en Zijn recht om alles te beheren. Aldus heeft God de wereld in de handen van de mens gegeven. Uit liefde gaat Hij niet in tegen de mens, maar laat Hij die zijn gang gaan. Ook al doet de mens heel wat slecht tegenover het milieu. Het klimaatprobleem is ontegensprekelijk het gevolg van menselijk wanbeheer.

David Pawson haalt aan

We kunnen in plaats van ‘God is goed’, en ‘God is liefde’ beter het woord ‘rechtvaardig’ gebruiken.

Jezus noemde God niet lieve, of goede Vader. Hij noemde Hem ‘rechtvaardige Vader.’ God is rechtvaardig. Dat betekent dat alles wat Hij doet goed is, en juist daar zit een zekerheid in.
Ik schreef eens op een vel papier alle dingen die God niet kan doen. Uiteindelijk vond ik 31 dingen die God niet kon doen. ‘Hij kan niet een leugen vertellen. Hij kan niemand dwingen van Hem te houden. Hij kan geen belofte breken.’ Toen ik dat opschreef, realiseerde ik me dat de dingen die Hij niet kon doen, ik wel had gedaan. Ik realiseerde mij dat ik mij zo machtiger wilde maken dan God. De Heer heeft de kracht om alles te doen, maar zijn natuur voorkomt dat Hij slechte dingen doet.”

Dit is goed en slecht nieuws, stelt Pawson.

“God houdt meer van rechtvaardigheid dan van mensen, vanwege wie Hij is. Kijk maar naar wat er bij Noach gebeurde. Een hele generatie werd overspoeld vanwege hun ongerechtigheid. God houdt meer van rechtvaardigheid dan van mensen. Anders had hij nooit de vloed kunnen sturen. Dit vindt de wereld moeilijk om te accepteren. Het laat zien dat Hij niet alleen de Schepper is, en de God die er nu is, maar ook dat hij de Rechter is van alle mensen. Er zal een dag komen dat God rekeningen op maakt. Dat is het feit wat lijkt te verdwijnen wanneer het over onvoorwaardelijke liefde gaat. Op een dag zal God al het kwaad vergelden en dit bovendien weg doen. Dan zal Hij een nieuw universum, een nieuwe hemel maken, en daarin zal rechtvaardigheid zijn. Hij wil ons daar voor klaar maken.”

Vandaag is er de mens die meer en meer laat zien dat hij de Liefde van God niet in zich draagt. Velen die zich Christen noemen dragen ook de liefde van Christus niet in zich. Waar Jezus het op nam voor de armen en minst bedeelden, willen de huidige Christenen veelal zichzelf verrijken en zitten zij helemaal niet in met mensen van andere streken die zij liefst niet in hun eigen streek zien belanden. voor hen is hun eigen stekje heilig en is er geen plaats voor immigranten of voor anders gelovigen.
Daar waar Jezus open stond voor vele andere mensen, is er in hun hart geen plaats voor die ander.

Kler the Polish Spotlight on Poland’s Clergy Sexual Abuse

The oh so Catholic Poland now begins for many years later than our country to feel the consequences of the wrong attitude of the Catholic Church towards priests who abused young people.

New research shows that church attendance starts going down very quickly now. The Polish church also for the first time has to pay compensation to a victim of abuse.

In 1980, more than half of Poles regularly went to church, in 1986 it had dropped to a third. Nowhere in the world is church attendance decreasing so massive, the Pew Research Center concludes.

Karol Wojtyla, alias pope John-Paul II, may still be the most popular figure, but the Catholic Church not any more.

From the 28th of September the film “Kler” from the director Wojciech Smarzowski entered in cinemas. He says

I’m just a director. But I would like the church financing system to be open, paedophile priests to be sent to prison and that the Polish Church should finally take responsibility for the victims.

Wojciech Smarzowski – born in 1963. Director of the films ‘Wesele’, ‘Dom zły’, ‘Róża’, ‘Drogówka’, ‘Pod Mocnym Aniołem’. His previous film, “Wołyń” (2016), the president of TVP Jacek Kurski, awarded a special prize at the Gdynia festival.

Tadeusz Sobolewski thinks:

“Kler” will be the Polish “Spotlight“?

Spotlight (film) poster.jpgThe Oscar-winning biographical drama film directed by Tom McCarthy and written by McCarthy and Josh Singer follows The Boston Globe‘s “Spotlight” team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States and its investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests.

Initially the team believed that they were following the story of one priest who was moved around several times, but soon they came to understand it was a systematic system of the church hierarchy to cover up several sexual abuses of children by Catholic priests in Massachusetts.

For Poland Wojciech Smarzowski believes:

It’s a different situation. It must be remembered that in no country has the Church itself purified itself of the fault. There had to be state help, secular institutions. Anyway, “Kler” is not just a movie about paedophilia. It was important for me to make a movie about people who only distinguish themselves by wearing cassocks. There are three vectors that drive this story: the lust for money – greed, lust for power, and sexual desire.

And since we’ve started from it, let’s take care of this sin. Studies in Germany, which were carried out by secular commissions commissioned by the episcopate, showed that there are 4 percent of priests. paedophiles. But the episcopate provided archives to the commissions. In Australia, the episcopate made available all church archives and it turned out that it was 7 percent. Of course, we did not have any research, but even if only – as in 2014, Pope Francis said – 2 percent. all priests are paedophiles, and so more or less 600 pedophiles in cassocks walk each day between our children.

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A few years ago, three Catholic priests’ fates were joined together by a tragic event. Their lives were miraculously saved. Now, on every anniversary the clergymen meet to celebrate their survival. Each took a different path.
Lisowski is moving up the ladder in the church administration in a big city, dreaming about the Vatican. Standing in his way is the Archbishop, a luxury-loving dignitary who uses political influence to build the largest sanctuary in Poland…
The second priest, Trybus is a rural pastor. Serving in a place full of poverty, he slowly succumbs to human weaknesses.
Kukula is not very successful, either, and despite his fervent faith, loses the trust of his parishioners overnight.
Soon, the clergymen’s paths will cross again, and the events that will take place will have an impact on the life of each of them.

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Related

  1. Sex Offenders Have Faces Like Yours and Mine
  2. Clergy Sexual Abuse – Compassion for the Victims
  3. By it’s own definition – the Catholic Church is lacking credibility Update
  4. Feds: Priest Blamed Sex Abuse On Cancer He Didn’t Have
  5. Oakland Diocese To Release Names Of Clergy Accused Of Abuse
  6. File it under “It’s About Time” – Catholic Church to disclose names of all clergy accused of child abuse
  7. Priest Abuse As A Child
  8. Can you hear the scream of silence?
  9. Prosecutor: Catholic priests ‘weaponised’ faith to sexually abuse children – Mark Scolforo
  10. Pope John Paul II and the Vatican sex scandal cover-up – Saxasalt
  11. Righteous anger
  12. Cardinal Murphy O’Connor’s Cover-up of Child Abusers Must be a Lesson to the Catholic Church by Keith Porteous Wood
  13. ‘So many I’m sorry’s’: Why some survivors of sexual abuse won’t or can’t go to

Do You Want to Believe?

The “WEIRD-people” from the Weird world may have very weird ideas loving to belong to the Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic world but seem often to be blinded by their politicians, like the present presidents of the U.S.A., Turkey and Russia, who are of the same breed and love the tyranny of a dictatorship where they must play the lead, over a a group of people who are caught up in human doctrines of one of their religions, be it a very conservative form in Christendom, or in Islam, or in Russian Orthodoxy mixed with Stalinism.

We may be asked to calm down, but what happened to our family members, our teachers and friends in the 1930ies and 1940ies is clearly printed in our heads and  here in Europe we see history repeating itself.

In Christendom there is also once again a growing hate to those of Christianity. The ones believing in a Trinity got their agricultural fork out again, trying to get down who believe in the Only One True God of Israel, (Jews, Jeshuaists, Non-Trinitarian Christians and Muslims). Those who say they are Christian often do not take on the attitude of Christ, who should be their rebbe and show how they prefer to live without a God Who has given mankind His commandments. They want others to believe we do not have to keep those commandments any more, and do live accordingly a life full of indecent and immoral actions and foul language.

Our best hope should not be on that sort of community but should direct with open eyes for a better world where people of all sorts of culture, colour or race can live together in a global community of loving and sharing people.

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To remember

  • We all have friends who believe things that seem crazy, but we don’t think our friends are crazy.
  • People adopt beliefs based on several factors. If those factors are different, then the people tend to adopt different beliefs.
  • Differences in factors as: region, economic class, ethnicity, social circles, information sources, + life experiences lead people to different beliefs.
  • differences show up mainly in emotion + intuition, which influence our political + moral judgments.
  • perhaps half of Americans accept utilitarian + universalist ideas, but also value loyalty, respect for authority, respect for the sacred, individual liberty, + support for the common good.
  • disagreements exist + also a few genuine crazies + haters: in a population of over 300 million, that’s inevitable.

Don’t let a tiny minority of crazies and haters blind you to the fact that most people want to be good and to do the right thing – even if their idea of “the right thing” sometimes clashes with ours.

  • Screaming at people, calling them names, and dismissing their concerns as unworthy of consideration => on-going conflict + social disintegration.

The Thousand-Year View

graphic-01-newrepublicMy latest blog post for The Jewish Journal:

After a bitterly divisive election season, there’s one question on everyone’s mind:

“How can people possibly believe that?”

What “that” is depends on who’s doing the talking. It means one thing to Trump supporters, something else to Clinton supporters, and who knows what to third-party supporters.

We all have friends who believe things that seem crazy, but we don’t think our friends are crazy. So we’re completely baffled. Are the people who disagree with us ignorant? Stupid? Hyper-emotional? Or – this seems to be the favorite – are they just plain evil?

It’s usually none of those things. The true answer is simpler and more innocent.

People adopt beliefs based on several factors. If those factors are different, then the people tend to adopt different beliefs.

In 2016 America, those factors differ a lot – by region, economic class, ethnicity, social…

View original post 589 more words

Genuine Christian behavior

Genuine Christian behavior

“14 Bless them that persecute you; bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Set not your mind on high things, but {1 } condescend to {2 } things that are lowly. Be not wise in your own conceits. {1) Gr be carried away with 2) Or them }17 Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men. 19 Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto {1 } the wrath of God: for it is written, {2 } Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord. {1) Or wrath 2) De 32:35 }20 But {1 } if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. {1) (Pr 25:21 f) }21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Ro 12:14-21 ASV)

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In this world we may encounter lots of name Christians (worshipping a three-headed god) who hate those real Christians who prefer to live according the Holy Scriptures and to worship only One God.

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Very often those trinitarian Christians like calling the other ones names and sent them all sorts of hate mail and wishing them eternal torture in a place they call hell. With such fear-mongering they also try to get others to their faith and to keep them in their denomination, calling all other denominations works of the devil. Often we do find in several of those denominations also people who call themselves Christian but who are not ashamed to use such vocabulary their grandparents for sure would turn over in their grave. Today we can find lots of so called Christians who use one f… word after the other as if it is nothing.
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Each person who want to call himself “Christian’ should make sure that his or her attitude is in line with the teachings of the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) and should make sure he or she can be an example for and of the Body of Christ.

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To remember

  • God planned for all of us who are alive today, to be in this time for a specific purpose.
  • Sin invading this earth for thousands of years > influence seems to be growing immensely => Many being led astray from confines of God’s covering + walking along broad path that leads to destruction.
  • imperative Christians carry themselves in a way that demonstrates character of Christ,
  • hard to win others to God when behavior is just as bad, or worse as theirs.
  • trying to witness to people + tell them to turn away from same things being caught up in
  • When we do good while others treat us badly => our resistance to retaliate causes a seed of love to be planted in the hearts of those who come against us.
  • important to be rooted in God, + have wisdom + understanding of His word, because Scripture tells us why theses things happen, + how we are to react in them.
  • church should be of the same mind, + walk in humility.
  • church = direct representation of Christ
  • Instead of fighting against all those who attempt to knock you off track, show love toward them, + let God do the fighting for you, because vengeance is His, and He’ll be sure to give them a spanking they’ll never forget.

Yehowah in the Leningrad Codex

Since my childhood in the Old Roman Catholic Church I had been brought up with the Holy Name of God, though two versions of His Name were used: Jehovah (at that time written Yehowah or YHWH, later Jehovah and still later Jehovah or JHWH) and Yahweh (also later receiving the J for the Y and becoming Jahweh).

In the 1960ies the Jehovah’s Witnesses gaining more foot on the ground and the Catholic church starting loosing people to other faith groups and even having people (like me) totally abandoning the Holy Trinity, they started to create a hate against the Name Jehovah.

In a certain way we could see the growing hate against Jehovah, because most people, like still today, co-notate it with the faith group from the American organisation Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. In the land of the origin of that organisation we also could see a growing hate against non-trinitarians and users of God’s Name. On the other hand around the turn of the 20th to 21st century we saw also in the United States more people coming up for God’s Name, though they refused the contemporary or modern spelling which was by then also used in most other languages and as such said God His Name was not Jehovah, because a Y did not exist yet in ancient Hebrew, instead of accepting that it is exactly the same and in modern spelling it is agreed to write Jehovah, like others also write Jesus or Jeshua and not Iesus (e.g. like in the King James Bible of 1611) or Yeshua (like some also claim Christ his name to be).

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To remember

Leningrad Codex (or Codex Leningradensis) = oldest complete manuscript of Hebrew Bible using the Masoretic Text +Tiberian vocalization = oldest complete codex of the Tiberian mesorah

Masoretic vowel points in Leningrad Codex allow for pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton​ — the four Hebrew consonants making up the divine name — ​as Yeho·wah’.

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Additional reading

  1. Another way looking at a language #5 Aramic, Hebrew and Greek
  2. Een Naam voor een God #11 Y of J Kiezen
  3. Lord in place of the divine name
  4. Lord Of The Creation
  5. Anti Jehovah sites
  6. Al-Fatiha [The Opening/De Opening] Süra 1:1-3 In the name of Allah the Merciful
  7. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #11 Muslim Idiom Translations
  8. Jehovah in the BASF
  9. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #1 Abrahamic religions

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Related

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  2. Questions and Answers About the Name of God
  3. Blog 1903 Names of God: Adonai
  4. What is the name of God?
  5. Yes, Yes; No, No; Men are men; Women are Women. Numbers 30 – part 1
  6. What’s in a name?
  7. His Name Upon Us – Numbers 6:23-27
  8. Respecting God’s name
  9. Why is God called by different names in different ages? What are the significances of God’s names? |Eastern Lightning

Act of Faith held on February 6, 1481

Religious fanaticism and fundamentalism of all times

In the United States of America lots of people cry “murder and fire” and say Muslims are killing so many Christians in the hope to exterminate the Christian Faith. Their fear is ungrounded. Those Americans do forget it are not “The Muslims” but just fanatical Islamic terrorists, like the world also knows of such Christian fundamentalists. They also overlook that Daesh/ISIS/ISIL kills more Muslims than it kills Christians, so they do much more damage to the Islamic faith than to Christian faith.

Lots of Christians have forgotten what the crusaders and soldiers of the inquisition have done of damage to many people cross Europe and Asia. They where of the same breed as Al-qaeda, Daesh, Boko Haram, and contemporary fundamentalist Muslims and fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Buddhists.

In the thirteenth century Pope Innocent III and Pope Gregory IX established the dreaded institution to combat heretical groups and gave an easy instrument or weapon in the hands of rivals so that they could kill the ones standing in competition and to get their treasures, enabling them to enrich their own convent or cleric group.

Those in charge of the inquisition were so violently we can not imagine how lots of innocent people had to suffer greatly. The severity of both the questioning and the punishment is not so far off from the techniques used today in Africa and the Middle East. Like today those charged had no rights granted and those who came in the defence of the accused made them selves vulnerable and next prey of the inquisitors. Those who “snitched” on them could do so secretly. A victim was not permitted to challenge the witnesses against him or her.

In the country where for 7 centuries people of Jewish-, Christian- and Muslim- faith could live in peace and wealth under Muslim rulership,beautiful constructions where made and science developed magically. The Muslim Empire extended from North Africa to the Chinese border and in all the regions the people where allowed to have their own religion and where appreciated for their own craftsmanship.  Thanks to the Moors we also got citrus, avocado and other exotic crops which quickly spread across Europe. The Moors also introduced universal literacy and whilst the Greek philosophers were not wanted or allowed by the Papists in Spain they could be freely read.

During the 12th century, scholars from all over Europe flocked to the great libraries at Toledo to translate (into Latin) classical Greek and Arabic texts. These scholars would introduce a new approach to knowledge, based on rational inquiry, that would inspire the founding of prestigious universities at Oxford, Paris and elsewhere.

The wealth of the south was a thorn in the eye and Christian armies from northern Spain managed slowly to retake Moorish cities from their Muslim rules. By 1250, only Grenada at the southern tip of Spain remained under Muslim rule.

IsabellaofCastile03.jpg

Isabella I Queen of Castile wife of Ferdinand II of Aragon

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Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada

When the Queen of Castille, Isabella married the king of Aragon (her second cousin Ferdinand) their armies  succeeded to seize Grenada so that Spain could be unified in 1479. But they where not so at ease and were almost paranoid with fear of revolt. This made them highly susceptible to the whispers of the queen’s confessor, the Dominican Tomas de Torquemada. Of Jewish origin himself, he told her that Christianized Jews were secretly practising their Hebrew faith and corrupting good Christians. Isabella horrified and frightened asked the pope for permission to establish the inquisition in Spain, which was granted.

In his capacity as grand inquisitor, Torquemada reorganized the Spanish Inquisition, which had been set up in Castile in 1478, establishing tribunals at Sevilla (Seville), Jaén, Córdoba, Ciudad Real, and, later, Zaragoza. For him all sorts of ‘other behaviour’ where good to make some one suspicious and to torture people. Not only so called crimes of heresy and apostasy but also sorcery, sodomy, polygamy, blasphemy, usury, and other offences where punished hard. Our Christian brothers who like Jews and Muslims only believed in the One True God became now also persecuted in the south of Europe.

Torquemada’s implacable hostility to the Jews probably exercised an influence on the decision of Ferdinand and Isabella to expel from their dominions all Jews who had not embraced Christianity. Under the edict of March 31, 1492, more than 40,000 Jews left Spain.

In all cases of doubt torture was authorized in order to obtain evidence and under continuous sadistic torture, suspects incriminated other people. These in turn accused almost anyone they could think of just to please their captors and win a reprieve from their torment. Every confession added to the alarm of the Catholic king and queen, suggesting widespread corruption of the Christian faith.

The first Spanish “Auto da fe” (meaning “Act of Fait.)” was held on this day February 6, 1481, when six men and six women, who refused to repent of alleged backsliding, were burned at the stake. They were but the first. 13,000 “heretics” were tried in the first twelve years of the Spanish Inquisition. The number of burnings of so called “heretics” at the stake during Torquemada’s tenure has been estimated at about 2,000. Dressed in a penitent’s gown, they were marched in processionals to the stake and urged to repent even as they were bound for the ordeal. Those who confessed were strangled before the fire was lit. Those who refused to admit wrongdoing, or who defiantly clung to their “heresies” were burned alive.

The Spanish Inquisition ran for 327 years and was not abolished until 1808, during the brief reign of Joseph Bonaparte. In those three centuries, close to 32,000 people perished in the flames. About 300,000 others were forced to make some kind of reconciliation with the church. Even the 1808 “end” to the Spanish Inquisition wasn’t really the end. Incredible as it may seem, King Ferdinand VII re-established the dreadful apparatus in 1814! Six years later, revolution swept it away, but that did not mean all hostility against other believers than Roman Catholics had gone.

Today in several countries we see again some people who call themselves ‘Christian’ to stand up and demanding to fight against those who belief differently than them. Mainly from North America are messages or text spread with false messages, trying to have others believe that Europe is totally invade by Muslims who molest or attack European women.

The apparatus of the inquisition which was not restricted to Europe got exported it to the new world by Spain, where Mexican and Peruvian authorities burned men and women to death, starting in the sixteenth century. Portuguese priests also operated an inquisition in South America, Goa, India. and today there are fundamentalist preachers and neo-Nazis who cry for a new religious war against those who do not have the same faith as they.

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Additional reading

  1. Inquisition also bad for Jews
  2. A dialogue about the earth moving and spinning around the sun
  3. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
  4. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
  5. Anti-church movements and Humanism
  6. Propaganda war and ISIS
  7. Is the practice of religious freedom in danger in the United States of America
  8. Mean voices on the Internet and free speech

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  13. The Gospel is the answer. There is no other.
  14. Tomás de Torquemada: Grand Inquisitor During the Spanish Inquisition
  15. The Spanish inquisition had its roots in 1250s – ended in 1834 – almost 500 years timeline