White Privilege Conference (WPC) wanting to keep the press out for obvious reasons

WPC organizers reacted very poorly to the discovery that this year’s conference was being reported on from inside. This is unsurprising, since WPC has attempted to totally ban reporters from covering its proceedings and has actively kept them out in the past.

It must not surprise you why it was kept secretly for the press the previous years. When you look at the debates it is clear we should seriously pose several questions by the speakers invited and by the set up of that conference.

Today there is a renewed attack (in the Western world) on anything to do with believing there is a God, a Creator of any kind!

There are even people who hold conferences to make it clear to others that almost every dysfunction in society, from racism and sexism to global warming and a weak economy, is united by the ideology of ‘Christian hegemony.’ That is at least what a lecturer at the 2016 White Privilege Conference (WPC) claimed.

Believers are again open to ridicule. Academics, who are confident they have the answer (or at least acceptable opinions) to everything about how the world began, compete among themselves for the “glory” they can receive from each other and from the public with their notions. Some also want others to believe that all more active believers would be creationists and do not seem to get the difference of believing that there has been a Most High Supreme being ordering everything  and being responsible for the creation.

Contingency, Hegemony, Universality

Contingency, Hegemony, Universality (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Certain people, like Paul Kivel, think Christians “colonize our mind.”
Paul Kivel, is a social justice educator, activist, and writer, who to our mind looks not so social at all but is perhaps an atheist socialist against religion and willing to attack it. Though he claims to be an innovative leader in violence prevention for 35 years, it either looks like he has changed gear or has always loved to set up non-believers against believing people .

He defines Christian hegemony as the

everyday, pervasive, and systematic set of Christian values and beliefs, individuals and institutions that dominate all aspects of our society through the social, political, economic, and cultural power they wield. Nothing is unaffected by Christian hegemony (whether we are Christian or not) including our personal beliefs and values, our relationships to other people and to the natural environment, and our economic, political, education, health care, criminal/legal, housing, and other social systems. {Christian hegemony}

For him

All people who are not Christian, as well as most people who are, experience social, political, and economic exploitation, violence, cultural appropriation, marginalization, alienation and constant vulnerability from the dominance of Christian power and values in our society. {Christian hegemony}

It looks like Christendom and/or Christianity (though he constantly refers to Christianity) is/are the badness of this world.

The internalization of dominant western Christian beliefs and values by individuals in our society seems to bring all badness into the world and being the cause of the present problems we have with fundamental Muslims. but it seems also to be in participial white Christian men who are dominating this world and causing inequality and injustice.

He writes

Another level of Christian dominance is within the power elite, the network of 7-10,000 predominantly white Christian men who control the largest and most powerful social, political, economic, and cultural institutions in the country. And finally there is the level which provides the foundation for all the others – the long and deep legacy of Christian ideas, values, practices, policies, icons, and texts that have been produced within dominant western Christianity over the centuries. That legacy continues to shape our language, culture, beliefs, and values and to frame public and foreign policy decisions. {Christian hegemony}

He even wants us tot believe, that we believers are blind. It is true that we cannot go without all those companies and organisations which have their say in our communities and that economical as well as political parties want to have everything in their hands. But we think it over the top, him saying

Christian dominance has become so invisible that its manifestations appear to be secular, i.e. not religious. In this context, the phrase “secular Christian dominance” might be most appropriate, Christian hegemony under the guise of secularism. Of course, there are many forms of Christian fundamentalism which are anything but secular. Often fundamentalists want to create some kind of theocratic state. But the more mainstream, everyday way that dominant Christian values and institutions influence our lives and communities is less evident, although no less significant and certainly not limited to fundamentalists. {Christian hegemony}

According to him Christian leaders have established an annual holiday cycle that extols US militarism/ triumphalism, the nuclear family, consumerism and whiteness. Perhaps he is so much focussed on the U.S.A. that he does not see the holidays of other countries and mistakenly takes many heathen holidays as Christian holidays, though it mostly are also the heathen people who celebrate those and try to lure Christians to celebrate with them.

The holiday cycle which he presents on his website present many secular holidays which he presents as so called holidays of Christianity though Christianity argues a lot against the celebration of those feasts. But we do agree in Christendom we see many people with the name Christian celebrating those heathen festivals as so called Christian holidays.

English: Painting of Christopher Columbus. The...

Painting of Christopher Columbus. The painting Virgen de los Navegantes (in the Sala de los Almirantes, Royal Alcazar, Seville). A painting by Alejo Fernández between 1505 and 1536. It is the only state sponsored portrait of the First Admiral of the Indias called Don Cristoval Colon known today as Christopher Columbus in English. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For him those holidays downplays the violence in our history, holding up a few white Christian men, such as Christopher Columbus and his American presidents,

for uncritical praise and emphasizes faith, family and country.

he writes and continues:

For many in the US, this cycle has come to seem traditional, even though it is constantly recreated and most of the holidays originated within the last 150 years. For some, these holidays have come to feel familiar, unifying and just plain American even though for millions of others they can be painful and alienating. Most of our national holidays are seen as secular, even though their underpinnings are deeply Christian. Even Christmas and Easter are viewed as secular by many. (I have been told that the phrase Merry Christmas in bold letters on the public buses in my
city is not religious but merely a general holiday greeting.)

It looks like he does not know that Jesus was not at all born on the 25th of December and that all the traditions people flirt with have nothing to do at all with the birth of Christ nor with God, and are an abomination in the eyes of God, of which a real Christian should abstain.

That New Year’s day for Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Chinese, Vietnamese, Mayans and many Native peoples happens at other times of the annual cycle, has nothing to do with Christianity not with Christendom but with choosing an other calendar system.

The fact that western countries imposed this calendar worldwide, even though those in the West are a minority in the world, is never acknowledged.

he writes, but we do think that is a matter of choosing a time indication where the West has chosen to keep to that Gregorian calendar, even after some countries tried the Napoleonic calendar for some time, but whatever calendar they would choose always there would be people able to complain about the system chosen.

We do not see any reason at all why not to say “Happy Chinese New Year” or “Happy Jewish New Year”, like we do in the West of Europe? He should know that these other calendars are also culturally specific and that everybody is free to follow one or the other and that nobody would mind you saying “Happy New Year” when it is a new year for that person.
For us this article is written on the 12th of Nisan, 5776 but in the West most people would not know about which day we are talking therefore we also use the common general practised calendar indicating that it is today April the 20th of the year 2016 of the common Era (CE). For us on 22 April (Taanit Bechorot) Friday night we are looking at the 14th of Nisan, 5776 going to celebrate the Passover, the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” Erev Pesach and on the 23rd the 15th of Nisan, 5776 we look at the holiday yomtov, being part of the “Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread”or “Pesach I”, having on Sunday the 1st day of the Omer (or Pesach II) the period between Passover and Shavuʿot, the 16th of Nisan of the year 5776. {The holiday of Pesach, or Passover, is an annual week long festival commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt and slavery. Before the main festival begins for the Jews, the Christians remember the night that Jesus came together with his apostles for the Last Supper and announcement of the installation of the New Covenant. for us this 14 th of Nisan is the most important day of the year and precedes the Pesach festival which begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew calendar month of Nisan — which derives its name from the passing over of the homes of the Israelite slaves during the tenth plague. It is that liberation and the liberation by Christ that we should remember for ever.} Next year the Passover shall be on Monday, April 10 and in 2018 on Friday, March 30.
But this is all about arrangements and agreements and depending on which calendar you want to base your daily activities.

For economical and practical reasons an agreement has to be made to use what calendar and what to consider the first day of the week: Thursday (certain Hindus), Friday (like Muslims), Friday night – Saturday night or Sabbath (like the Jews), or the week beginning on Sunday or Monday, as such beginning the day at 00.00 hours or when the sun gets down. Here you may find calendars beginning the week with Sunday and others ending with the weekend (which I personally find more practical).
It is true that

holidays can be destructive when they celebrate war or colonialism, are promoted aggressively or when corporations use them to promote values hostile to our environment and us. {The Christian Holiday Cycle}

For sure we need to think seriously about what we celebrate and why, who is included or excluded in the celebration and what values are implicitly or explicitly communicated. But we never should condemn certain groups of people if they want to celebrate certain days, though it is our duty to point out to Christians what they are celebrating and which festivals are alright to take part in and which not.

For Kivel the choice of calendar use and the days celebrated shows the dominance of a certain group and the normalization of such a group.

It is said that WPC takes tremendous pains to protect everybody’s feelings, but this year many toes were stepped on. To ensure a gender non-conforming person isn’t labeled with a wayward “he,” attendees are asked to always introduce themselves with their name and their pronoun set. Presenters routinely ask for anybody to pipe up if they’re triggered by a presentation, and will apologize if such a complaint arises. Almost half the conference revolves around microaggressions and how to avoid them or defuse them.

A major part of WPC are the daily caucuses, where attendees segregate themselves by race and talk through their feelings on white privilege. They were assembled collectively beforehand and assigned to a specific smaller room ‘because of the large number of white people in attendance’. Organizers warned they could start physically exerting their white privilege by walking too aggressively and not paying heed to their surroundings. If attendees weren’t careful, they said, they risked getting in the way of non-white attendees who would have no choice but to shy away and debase themselves before these barreling vectors of overwhelming privilege.

Disaffected participants in the 2016 White Privilege Conference (WPC) have taken to Twitter to complain that the conference was, ironically, too white and was actually filled to the brim with white supremacy. Adopting the hashtag #WPCSoWhite, inspired by the recent #OscarsSoWhite campaign, Twitter users claimed the conference that was supposed to battle white privilege instead served to entrench it. The tag appears to have been started and pushed with particular vigour by Aeriel Ashlee, an education consultant who attended WPC and objected to several parts of a keynote address delivered by (white) historian James Loewen. Some of his comments where even described as “deeply offensive and traumatizing.”

More than 700 Barbie dolls are displayed during an exhibition which takes place from March 10 to September 18, 2016.       (MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE/AFP/Getty Images)Frederick Gooding, Jr., who styles himself as “The Race Doctor” gave a half-comedic, half-serious lecture intended to point out various moments of subtle white supremacy and white privilege throughout the past year. Near the end of his address, Gooding went after Hollywood for the recently-released film “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which features three Caucasian heroes in the form of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

“I have a quota where it’s just a little too much whiteness, I gotta tap out,”

the Doctor said to a laughing audience.

“One white hero at a time, I can kinda take that, but you have two of them … but then, the White Man said, we gonna show you something. And they throw in a white woman!”

For people discussing other folks it may not be easy today how to call them. All sorts of new terms have to be looked for to talk about people with an other skin colour or with an other faith. In this time of many fleeing from the Middle East and from Africa for discussing different terms are looked for, and one term which could be right at one time a few weeks later may be considered totally wrong to be used.  Undocumented immigrants may still be called “illegals” despite the fact that this also could be a highly inaccurate and pejorative term.  Whether intentional or accidental, the use of such terms has shaped public opinion on immigration policy.  Of course, not everyone who uses these terms intends to colour undocumented immigrants with the stigma that these terms carry with them.  Today the phrase “illegal immigrant” is by many considered

decidedly not okay

During a workshop titled “Nativism 101,” on the topic of immigration and the groups opposed to it, one attendee objected to another’s use of the term “undocumented immigrant.”

Instead of illegal or undocumented, the woman proposed that such immigrants be labeled

“unauthorized immigrants.”

Unauthorised where those who brought out photographs and texts from this conference where very high income prizes where charged, as if the poor people and immigrants ever would be able to pay such fees.

Dividing the people in categories for the debates Kivel finds it are the Christians who divide people and put them in hierarchical order. For him it is in-acceptable that there would be a

“God over people, men over women, parents over children, white people over people of colour,”

inevitably creating systems that justify and even glorify oppression, but was he and the organisers not doing just that?

 

Please do read also:

  1. The 17th annual White Privilege Conference a militantly Christophobic conference held in Philadelphia
  2. White Privilege Conference Attendees Complain Conference Is Too White
  3. White Privilege Conference: Almost Everything Bad Is Tied To Christianity
  4. 7 Things That Offended People At The White Privilege Conference

+++

First month of the year and predictions

Nisan, the first month of the ecclesiastical year and for the Jews the seventh month (eighth, in leap year) of the civil year, it is the month were renewal is at the tip of the tongues. In the Torah it is called the month of the Aviv, referring to the month in which barley was ripe. But in the Book of Esther in the Tanakh and in the Christian Bible it is referred to as Nisan.

Jesus, being a Jew commemorated also the salvation of the Israelite firstborns during the Plague of the Firstborn.

According to standard biblical chronology, the Jewish people got its freedom after that tenth plague wrought upon Ancient Egypt. Jehovah had spoken to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt requiring them to remember the moment He was going to give them as part of the month which had to be the beginning of months. Being the first month of the year to the people of God.

Exo 12:1-2 The Scriptures 1998+  (1)  And יהוה  {Jehovah} spoke to Mosheh and to Aharon in the land of Mitsrayim, saying,  (2)  “This month is the beginning of months for you, it is the first month of the year for you.

For those who followed the orders of God there was no problem but for the others who did not listen to the Most High every firstborn in the Land of Mitzrayim (Ancient Egypt) got struck.

Exo 12:23-30 The Scriptures 1998+  (23)  “And  יהוה  {Jehovah} shall pass on to smite the Mitsrites, and shall see the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, and  יהוה  {Jehovah} shall pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to smite you.  (24)  “And you shall guard this word as a law for you and your sons, forever.  (25)  “And it shall be, when you come to the land which  יהוה  {Jehovah} gives you, as He promised, that you shall guard this service.  (26)  “And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What does this service mean to you?’  (27)  then you shall say, ‘It is the Passover slaughtering of יהוה  {Jehovah} , who passed over the houses of the children of Yisra’ĕl in Mitsrayim when He smote the Mitsrites and delivered our households.’ ” And the people bowed their heads and did obeisance.  (28)  And the children of Yisra’ĕl went away and did so – as  יהוה  {Jehovah} had commanded Mosheh and Aharon, so they did.  (29)  And it came to be at midnight that  יהוה  {Jehovah} smote all the first-born in the land of Mitsrayim, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of livestock.  (30)  And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants, and all the Mitsrites. And there was a great cry in Mitsrayim, for there was not a house where there was not a dead one.

The Old Moore’s Almanac which has been published in Ireland since the year 1764 makes every year predictions. You need only look back on the monthly predictions it projects to realise just how inaccurate it is – just a bit of a ‘break’ here and there. but it was very popular and still today people are fascinated with predictions. Strangely enough they may find a book full of predictions, but which is not so popular because it gives predictions but also a lot of warnings which seem to be frightening, because they demand an honouring of Somebody Who cannot be seen. Though that Book of books may present lots of predictions we can verify with what happened in the past and see that they came true.

The Bible not only makes predictions, its batting average is 100%. Usually when we read the prophecies from elsewhere we end up knowing that they really haven’t got a clue – just a good calculated guess here and there. Prophecy for us humans with a consistency and without generalisation, well, our track record is not good. We can travel in space but not into the future.

Today people got more frightened with ISIS and other fundamental groups terrorising whole populations and killing people like it are just flees to be done with. Lots of people wonder if there is hope in what is increasingly being seen as a hopeless world. They should come to see that the future is plain to God as is the past and that gives us security.

With the first month of the religious year of the People of God, not only the Israelites got liberated, but also for the gentiles was given hope by the one who was also called the son of David and son of Abraham. this time it was not just a year old male taken from the sheep or from the goats.

Exo 12:5-6 The Scriptures 1998+  (5)  ‘Let the lamb be a perfect one, a year old male. Take it from the sheep or from the goats.  (6)  ‘And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then all the assembly of the congregation of Yisra’ĕl shall kill it between the evenings.

The world got offered a new spotless lamb. That perfect one was born as the only begotten son of God and anointed by his heavenly Father. Not having spot or wrinkle or any of this sort, but that it might be set-apart and blameless, the 33 year old one gave himself for the sins of many. Herein we do have our hope. Isaiah had forecasted that a baby will be born who will be a sign in the world. Beyond any short term fulfilment of that sign it pointed to someone coming who will really fulfil the sign and in their coming to the world, start a train of events that will make a difference both in time and eternity.

The baby born in Bethlehem, grown up in Nazareth had walked up to Jerusalem, God’s city and was now ready to have him taken prisoner, flogged and killed. Nobody can do God anything, but man can do a lot of awful things to another man. So Jesus had all the reason to be afraid and even to go sweating blood and water, at one moment even doubting the future and crying to his heavenly Father why He the God of gods had left him, now when he was in his hour of death.

Isaiah and others had made predictions about that sign which would come. Predictions in Old Testament days often had a short range fulfilment which prepares our minds to accept a long-range and far more significant fulfilment of what has been promised. The predictions are often fulfilled a couple of times. There’s an immediate fulfilment, and there’s also a long-term fulfilment.

500 years after the time of Isaiah, and about 250 years before the time of Jesus Christ, 70 scholars met in Egypt with the aim of getting the Old Testament from the Hebrew into the Greek language. Coming to the verse about a young woman they saw more in this event than a child back then. They saw that a child would be ‘God with us’. Lots of people came to understand that God could only be with us when He would be here on earth. They forget that God is everywhere and always is present all over. Having the ‘Immanuel‘ or God with us does not mean that the child would be The God. Throughout times many were called ‘Immanuel‘ or ‘Emmanuel,’ also today, but for sure they are not God here on earth..
What got fulfilled at Bethlehem was that the promise first made in the Garden of Eden came into fulfilment. Jesus of Nazareth was the personification of that Word given by God (John 1:1). He was going to present God’s Word in the world and let enough people see Who the heavenly Father really is. He also wanted to have people to understand how important it is not to do our own will but to try to come to do God His Will, like Jesus all his lifetime tried to do God His will and not his.

It was God His will that there would come a saviour to bring an end to the curse of the fall, the sin of man. Now the time had come in the first month of the year. Spring was near, but now had to come a more important Spring. He had to be the Spring of life, the Source of life for many. That is what we are commemorating soon. The liberation of God’s people is the first thing we do have to remember, but secondly we do have to commemorate the evening that Jesus gathered in the upper room with his close disciples and dearest friends.

The coming days we should prepare for that holy moment when wine became a symbol for blood and bread the symbol for the life giving flesh of the promised one.

++

Find also:

  1. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  2. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  3. Challenging claim 2 Inspired by God 1 Simple words
  4. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  5. Many Books, yet One
  6. Eternal Word that tells everything
  7. Bible in the first place #1/3
  8. Why think that (5) … the Bible is the word of God
  9. Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy
  10. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  11. Creator and Blogger God 11 Old and New Blog 1 Aimed at one man
  12. Miracles of revelation and of providence 1 Golden Thread and Revelation
  13. Isaiah’s Book of the Messenger of Glad Tidings
  14. Date Setting
  15. Exodus 9: Liar Liar
  16. Commemorating the escape from slavery
  17. 1 -15 Nisan
  18. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  19. High Holidays not only for Israel
  20. OT prophesies and the NT fulfilment of them
  21. About a man who changed history of humankind
  22. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  23. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  24. Ransom for all
  25. Thoughts on Passover
  26. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  27. Shabbat Pesach service reading 2/2
  28. This Passover maybe we can liberate ourselves
  29. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  30. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  31. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  32. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  33. 14 Nisan a day to remember #5 The Day to celebrate
  34. The Evolution Of Passover–Past To Present
  35. Passover and Liberation Theology
  36. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy
  37. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  38. The day Jesus died
  39. Impaled until death overtook him
  40. Jesus is risen
  41. Christ has indeed been raised from the dead
  42. Risen With Him
  43. To whom do we want to be enslaved

+++

  • Jews Around The World Recognize Strength, Pride With Purim Celebrations (newyork.cbslocal.com)
    Jews around the world are celebrating Purim, a joyous holiday that teaches lessons about strength and pride in your identity.
    +
    “The good part is hidden and wrapped up. You have to know that in all of nature we don’t see God, but he’s hidden somewhere,” Yosef Rapoport said.
  • Netanyahu and Queen Esther of Persia (rehmat1.com)
    Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we’ll read the Book of Esther. We’ll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies. The plot was foiled. Our people were saved,” Netanyahu said.
  • Netanyahu, Persia, Purim and Esther (stream.org)
    Netanyahu specifically mentioned Esther, Persia, Haman and the Feast of Purim. Here is what happened in the story. Haman, a wealthy high official, had tricked the king of Persia, Ahasuerus (many scholars think this was Artaxerxes II) into issuing a special order. According to Persian law, once such an order was issued, it could not be rescinded. The order required that all the scattered Jews throughout the empire (including Canaan, the location of modern Israel) be attacked and wiped out on a certain day.
  • No Mask Needed When Defending Israel (blogs.timesofisrael.com)
    Since the original decree calling for a “day of rage” could not be overturned, the king permitted the Jews to fight back in self defense. Instead of what was to be a “final solution” for the Jews, 75,800 men were killed. No Jewish casualties are recorded, although the Book of Esther does mention that no spoils of war were taken, indicating that the Jews were only fighting because they were being attacked.

    The story of Purim has repeated itself more than a few times in our history. Just over 70 years ago, the Holocaust, and shortly thereafter, Israel’s War of Independence was launched with the intended goal of our total decimation.

  • Netanyahu and Queen Esther of Persia (mooglemeow.blogspot.com)
    ‘Benjamin Netanyahu while addressing the American Knesset in Washington DC invoked Persians’ hatred toward country’s Jewish community over 2500 years ago.
  • Residents of Moldaw Enjoy a Purim Art Project and Time of Reflection with Local Students (ireport.cnn.com)
    our students spent time reflecting upon what they discovered about themselves, others and how they may make a difference in the world.
    +
    “Everyone feels uplifted when the children visit and they can exchanges stories and discuss their lives and particular holidays, like Purim,” said Thia Tran, lifestyles director at Moldaw Residences. “The intergenerational interaction is beneficial for everyone involved and always brings such joy to our residents. We’re happy to welcome the students and their families any time they want to visit.”
  • Seeking Esther (susanlapin.typepad.com)
    There is much that humans need to do and, tragically, too many people today, both Jewish and non-Jewish, are not standing up to the challenges of our time. However, no matter what we do, no matter how strong our military, no matter how advanced our technology, we need to deeply believe and modify our behavior in accordance with, the additional words, “God willing,” iin order to act as descendants of Moses and Esther. May God deliver us from evil today as He did long ago in Persia, reaffirming the blessing we say before reading the Book of Esther, “in those days as at this time.”

Seven Bible Feasts of JHWH

By many Christians the death of Christ is celebrated on “Good Friday.” In different denominations we also do find the Easter celebration on the Day of Estra.

The world should know not all Christians do celebrate on heathen feast-days but do keep to the Biblical days of the feast given by the Most High. The world should also know that the origins of “Good Friday” may be questioned it even not being mentioned in the Bible. Not only does it not contain “Good Friday”, the Gospels do not even speak of a Friday Crucifixion.

In a few days time we shall encounter the day we should remember. It is not on a fixed date, every time falling on the same day of the present calendar we are using in the West. On the Jewish calendar it is always falling on the same day, namely the 14th of the first month of the year or 14 Nisan, which this year shall be from Friday evening April the 3rd until Saturday evening April the 4th. Nissan was made the first month of the year because it is the month in which the Jewish People were freed from slavery in Egypt, the house of bondage.  That liberation is what we all should remember, plus a more important liberation as well, namely the liberation of all people. That general greater liberation happened by the Nazarene Jew Jeshua giving his body as a ransom for the sins of all people.

“In Nisan they were redeemed, and in Nisan they are destined to be redeemed in the future.”
(Rosh ha-Shanah 11a; Mechilta de-Rabbi Shimon bar Yochay 12:42; Tanchuma, Bo 9)

How true that is.  Jeshua or Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) suffered for us in the month of Nissan.  We should remember this offer lamb who took care to do only the will of his heavenly Father and not his will. By his offering he made a bloodcovenant with the heavenly Father and made a turning point for humankind. He became the beginning of the New Creation, and was the first born of that New World. With him may we reckon all time beginning at the point of our redemption from sin and death.
Nisan is truly a new beginning for Jew and Gentile.

That evening millions of true Christians shall remember the last meal Jesus had with his disciples. The Christadelphian community in Belgium invites everybody to their remembrance meeting Friday April 3 after sunset.

***********

There are seven Bible Feasts of JHWH recorded in Leviticus chapter 23.

In the Gospel of John the main Feasts of God are Sukkot (John 7 – 10) and Pesach
(John 13 – 17).

In the book of Acts we read about Sjawuot (Acts 2), the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Acts 20:6) and again Sjawuot  (Acts 20:16, Pentecost).

The first ”day”  of the week (mia toon sabbatoon) is actually the first Sabbath week of a series of 7 Sabbaths before Sjawuot, counting fifty days till Sjawuot (Leviticus 23:16).
The Jewish and Gentile believers celebrated the Feasts of JHWH.

In the Apostolic Constitutions we read that the Christians met on Sabbath in the first three centuries.

After that time Rome changed the Sabbath in a Sunday.
Jesus rose from the dead on a Sabbath day.
The early Christians did not celebrate the unscriptural feasts of Sunday (dies solaris), X-mas and Eastern.

– Martin
The Sacrifice of the Old Covenant

The Sacrifice of the Old Covenant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

++
Find also:
+++
  • Easter and it’s Pagan Origins (infobarrel.com)
    Constantine and the Council of Nicaea sought to merge the religion of the Pagans with the religion of the Christians.

    The mission sought out was to convert the Pagans to Christianity but in a way as not to shock them and completely turn them away. Constantine and Council of Nicaea came to the conclusion that if they were able to get the Christians and Pagans to celebrate similar holidays on the same day, then conversion would go more smoothly.

  • Brannon Howse: Church of Rome versus the gospel of the Bible – March 10, 2015 (thefreedomreport.us)
    Former Catholic Priest of 22 years Richard Bennett on the gospel of the Church of Rome versus the gospel of the Bible.
  • It’s the postmodern experimentation of the New Testament that keeps it new (theguardian.com)
    The gospels of the New Testament, compiled somewhere between AD50 and 110, get older every year. They also stay strikingly new, fuelled by a literary experimentalism that keeps them alive not as religious artefacts but as pieces of writing.
  • Did Christ die on a Friday? The fulfillment of the Sign of Jonah (biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com)
    Yeshua died before the Sabbath and rose after the Sabbath. The biblical Sabbath Day coincides with the day which is presently known as Saturday. Using the above, Christian Denominations around the world believed, and still believe in the following hypothesis (Please note that the following will be disproved using Scripture subsequently)
    +
    Yeshua had to fulfill the Scriptures by being in the belly of the earth for three days and three nights. From the time of death and entombment to the time of resurrection and rising from the tomb should have been 3 days and 3 nights. So how is a Friday evening death and burial to sunday early morning resurrection provide 3 days & 3 nights? It barely gives 1 day and 2 nights. So what happened to the rest of the 2 days and 1 night?
  • New Age Christianity: The Crossless Gospel of Deception by Rocket Kirchner (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
    if Europe is suffering from what many critics describe as “Metaphysical boredom”, then America is plagued by “Metaphysical lunacy”.
    +
    Have the New Agers ever stopped to think that the early Christians were martyred in Rome because they refused to put Jesus of Nazareth in the pantheon with the other gods? For to them He was God. The only One. Period. Now that may not prove that He was. But it does prove that they believed that He was. And many of them knew him when He actually walked the Earth. Forgiveness and reconciliation were not just a major part of Christ’s teachings, they were at the center of His teachings. And at the center of the center is that before there can be forgiveness and reconciliation between humans and other humans, it must first begin with God reconciling the world unto Himself. Enter the cross and vicarious expiatory blood sacrifice. In other words, according to the early followers of Jesus, He did not just die as a martyr. He died as a sacrifice for sin. Does this prove that it is a fact? No. But what it does prove is that this is what the early Christians believed to be a fact, and this was a matter of public record that they believed this. This sacrificial death motif is either misunderstood today or deliberately omitted. And we wonder why there is no world peace and why humans are not reconciled with each other. They first have to be reconciled with God. There is no short cut. First things first.
  • Passover Fast Facts (gantdaily.com)
    Passover, also called Pesach, is the Jewish festival celebrating the exodus of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery in 1200s B.C. The story is chronicled in the Old Testament book of Exodus. In the book, Israelites marked their doorposts with lamb’s blood to protect children from the tenth plague: the slaughter of the first born. With the protective mark, the destruction would “pass over” the house.
  • Chuck Kolb 03/20/2015 abbreviated (conpats.blogspot.com)
    This Shabbat is the last of the Four Parashiot that have special Torah readings in
    preparation for Pesach (Passover), which is only two short weeks away !

    It is called Shabbat HaChodesh (Sabbath [of the] month), and a special reading is
    added from Exodus 12:1–20, which details the laws of Pesach (Passover).

    This Sabbath also marks the first of the month (Rosh Chodesh), head of the month
    of Nissan, which God ordained as the first month of the Biblical calendar.

  • It’s all about that Group (blogs.timesofisrael.com)
    The Shem Meshmuel (as told to me by my Rebbe at YU Rav Herschel Reichman Shlitta) learns that GOD commanding Moshe to use the language of gathering when instructing the Jewish people to build the mishkan teaches us about the significance of our relationship to the Jewish people as a whole and our collective role as part of our holy people.
  • Torah for Today: What does the Torah say about.. Preparing for Pesach? (jewishnews.co.uk)
    The hard work of Pesach cleaning is at odds with the obsessive desire for gratification. Why, then, do so many of us work so hard in preparation for this festival?

    In fact, if one lists all the Jewish holidays and ask what proportion of Jews observe each one, the likely conclusion would be that the holidays most adhered to are the two most difficult: Pesach and Yom Kippur.

    The very fact that people work so hard in preparation for Pesach (and fast on Yom Kippur and do other things which require self-sacrifice) is itself testimony to the potential for human beings to strive for something greater than instant gratification.

  • Grace Upon Grace (#LentChallenge) (enthusiasticallydawn.com)

Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah

In 1888 the world could celebrate Thanksgiving and the start of the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah (Chanukah {חנוכה}) on the same day. In 2013 this happening now brought for some concerns, because this year the two feasts also come together but are by many mixed.

The convergence of the secular and sacred holidays is presenting opportunities for many Jews and challenges for others — including concerns about everything from extra preparation and party planning to those who think they will dilute or devalue both celebrations.

The dilemma is best illustrated by Hillel Day School teacher Lori Rashty, who recently watched eighth-grade students help second-graders plant their freshly painted hands onto paper to make the turkey, then transform the four finger feathers into candles to incorporate a menorah.

Image from a greeting card made by Jewish online gift shop ModernTribe.comWe are facing a real special Hanukkah – Thanksgiving holiday because we shall have to wait for an other for 79,000 years before we would encounter such an occasion again. Looking at what happens in the world now, this probably would not happen as such, because the Third World War shall have happened already and the Millennium shall also have been a fact, after which Christ Jesus shall have handed over the Kingdom of God again to his Father.

But now we can look at the double-barreled holiday, which in certain countries brings a kind of an exciting way for the kids to realize that it’s a special occasion for them.

The lunisolar nature of the Jewish calendar makes Hanukkah and other religious observances appear to drift slightly from year to year when compared to the U.S., or Gregorian, calendar. Jewish practice calls for the first candle of eight-day Hanukkah to be lit the night before Thanksgiving Day this year, so technically “Thanksgivukkah,” — or “Thanksgivvukah,” as the Hillel students spell it — falls on the “second candle” night.

At Hillel Day School, students entering the library see a colourful poster designed to provoke thoughts about the convergent holidays: Under a Thanksgivvukah headline are several questions, including

“How are Thanksgiving and Hanukkah alike?”

It may be very special to have Hanukkah and Thanksgiving on the same day. We should think about the creation, what God has given us all, believers in God and other believers. The secular element for Thanksgiving has been there always because it finds its historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, celebrating the reaping of the harvest. In many countries the heathen also had their harvest-home or harvest-festival, where they celebrated the blessings they got from nature. In lots of places was celebrated that the year came to a good end and was hoped and prayed to the gods to go in a good Winter season.

Origin of Thanksgiving

The radical reformers of 1536, wished to completely eliminate all Church holidays, including the heathen Christmas and Easter, but hose festivals looked to traditionally embedded they did not manage to get them our of the Christian holiday festivals. Though for many serious Bible students and sincere Christians, who knew Christ Jesus was born on the 17th of October 4BCE, the celebration of the goddess of light was a celebration they did not want to associate with. Therefore they wanted to say thanks to their God, and remember the birth of Christ Jesus on an other day.

In the 16th century the heathen holidays were to be replaced by specially called Days of Fasting or Days of Thanksgiving, in response to events that the Puritans viewed as acts of special or Divine providence.

English: The Discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, ...

The Discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, Laing Art Gallery (Tyne and Wear Museums) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Strangely enough for their holidays they also took secular happenings. Days of Thanksgiving were called following the victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588 and following the deliverance of Queen Anne in 1705. An unusual annual Day of Thanksgiving began in 1606 following the failure of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 and developed into Guy Fawkes Day. In the Autumn of 1621 William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Colony, called for a day of thanksgiving and prayer after the colonists’ first harvest. An other thanksgiving day in 1623 celebrated rainfall after a drought. After 1630 a Day of Thanksgiving came to be observed every year after the harvest and other colonies in New England gradually adopted the practice. In the South the custom did not appear till 1855.

President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 officially proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday. Traditionally celebrated on the last Thursday in November, it was changed by the act of congress in 1941 to the fourth Thursday of November.

The first Canadian Thanksgiving or Jour de l’Action de grâce is often traced back to 1578 and the explorer Martin Frobisher, in thanks not for the harvest but for surviving the long journey from England through the perils of storms and icebergs.

In Holland some commemorate the hospitality the Pilgrims received in Leiden on their way to the New World and thank God for His provisions. {Many of the Pilgrims who migrated to the Plymouth Plantation had resided in the city of Leiden from 1609–1620, many of whom had recorded their births, marriages and deaths at the Pieterskerk.}

Most of the U.S. aspects of Thanksgiving (such as the turkey), were incorporated when United Empire Loyalists began to flee from the United States during the American Revolution and settled in Canada. The Canadians celebrate it annually on the second Monday in October.

Origin of Hanukkah or the Feast of Dedication, the Feast of Light

Antiochus IV Epiphanes had, because of his frustration not to extirpate the Jewish faith, desecrated the Second Temple of Jerusalem. To observe the rededication of the temple in 165 BCE {Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire} , a celebration of 8 days, beginning Kislev 25 (according to the Hebrew calendar), had to bring to the memory the indistinguishable and ever spreading Jewish faith. The ceremony also recalls the Talmud story of how a small, one-day supply of non desecrated oil miraculously burned in the temple for eight full days until new oil could be obtained.

English: Hanukkah menorah, known also as Hanuk...

Hanukkah menorah, known also as Hanukiah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Jews use a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah. { חנוכה (Hanukkah) is also the Hebrew acronym for ח נרות והלכה כבית הלל — “Eight candles, and the halakha is like the House of Hillel”. This is a reference to the disagreement between two rabbinical schools of thought — the House of Hillel and the House of Shammai — on the proper order in which to light the Hanukkah flames. Shammai opined that eight candles should be lit on the first night, seven on the second night, and so on down to one on the last night (because the miracle was greatest on the first day). Hillel argued in favor of starting with one candle and lighting an additional one every night, up to eight on the eighth night (because the miracle grew in greatness each day). Jewish law adopted the position of Hillel.}

Today on the first day of the festival the first arm is put on light. The second day a second candle is lighted. Progressing to eight on the final night. The typical Menorah consists of eight branches with an additional raised branch. The extra light is called a shamash (sometimes spelled shamas Hebrew: שמש‎, “attendant” or “warden”) or gabbai ((Hebrew: גבאי‎) and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest. The purpose of the shamash is to have a light available for practical use, as using the Hanukkah lights themselves for purposes other than publicizing and meditating upon Hanukkah is forbidden.

In Sephardic families, the head of the household lights the candles, while in Ashkenazic families, all family members light.

A dedication to God

The name “Hanukkah” derives from the Hebrew verb “חנך”, meaning “to dedicate”. the Jews want to show others around them that they are willing to  dedicate themselves fully to the Most High Creator, the Adonai Elohim יהוה {Jehovah} Who created the heavens and the earth and  said, “Let light come to be,” and light came to be (Genesis 1:3). It was the Messenger of יהוה {Jehovah} who appeared to Mosheh  (Moses) in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. The God Who spoke often by the flames and should be are light in the darkness, is the One Who needs our attention. Those eight days we can meditate on His Works.

Jesus (Jeshua) also celebrated the Feast of lights or Hanukkah.

“22  then came Hanukkah in Yerushalayim. it was winter, 23 and Yeshua was walking around inside the temple area, in Shlomo’s colonnade.” (John 10:22-23 CJB)

When  Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon, he wanted to honour his Father and be thankful for all the things He did for him and his followers.

We do not have to go through Solomon’s porch any-more, but we do have to be thankful to our Creator like Jesus was thankful to Him. The Nazarene Jeshua remembered that in 167 BCE Antiochus ordered an altar to Zeus erected in the Temple. Jeshua when he was alive never was called Jesus, Issou or ‘Hail Zeus’ and probably would not have liked it to be called that way. This name in honour of the Olympian “Father of gods and men”, the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology was only given many years later in Constantine’s time to adhere with the Roman Empire their gods and to have him as a part of a three-une god like in the Roman-Greek culture. By calling him the same as Zeus, Jeshua also could be called the god father, like Zeus. It was Antiochus who banned brit milah (circumcision) and ordered pigs to be sacrificed at the altar of the temple (the sacrifice of pigs to the Greek gods was standard ritual practice in the Ancient Greek religion).

In the light of today

English: Saying grace before carving the turke...

Saying grace before carving the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner in the home of Earle Landis in Neffsville, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today Christians do not need to have a circumcision and do not need to bring any offerings, so there is certainly not needed a  sacrifice of pigs.

Hanukkah is not a “Sabbath-like” holiday, and there is no obligation to refrain from activities that are forbidden on the Sabbath, as specified in the Shulkhan Arukh. It is  and is celebrated with a series of rituals that are performed every day throughout the 8-day holiday, some are family-based and others communal. There are special additions to the daily prayer service, and a section is added to the blessing after meals.

For both occasions,  it is all about remembering the wonders of the Most High. The prayers and songs are presented to the Holy One who give us all things even when we may not deserve them. God has given his only begotten son Jeshua (Jesus Christ) who by giving his totally to his Father, presenting his body as a sacrifice, became the Messiah, the one who brought salvation to all people of the world.

“For Hanukkah, you usually just get presents and then for Thanksgiving you just eat. Now everything is just mixed together and I think that’s a great thing.”

said Jason Teper, an eighth-grader who was helping the second-graders with their menurkeys. But in many countries Hanukkah is in the first instance also a period of saying prayers to think God. In some countries the presents became more important. Also for the Christians the presenting food to the table of the lord, sharing the presents God has given us by the Work in nature,made lots of Christians concentrating on preparing a good festival meal at home for themselves. In many countries presents also became part of the holiday festival. For some Thanksgiving Day was such an important day like Christmas is/was for the Catholics.

Combined festivities

Saul Rube, Hillel’s dean of Judaic studies, said the light-hearted combinations of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah icons underscore a deeper bond: The Talmud, one of Judaism’s core texts, describes Hanukkah as a “holiday of thanksgiving.”

“The fact that you could meld our Jewish culture and the popular culture is such a wonderful opportunity, when so many times in December observant families feel … torn. They want to be part of that whole holiday season,” he said.

Rube said his Thanksgiving dinner table will have one notable addition: a challurkey, a loaf of Jewish challah bread in the shape of a turkey. Some Detroit-area bakeries are selling them but he found one he liked online from a kosher bakery and ordered it. It was only $12, but a good bit more for shipping.

“I splurged — I told my wife if we amortize the cost over 80,000 years ’til it happens again, it’s not so bad,” he said.

American Jews also love Thanksgiving and celebrate it every year with the rest of America. Some Jews consider Thanksgiving kosher, not for the thanking of the Creator, but because Thanksgiving is generally seen as a secular, national holiday in which people honour family and community, regardless of ethnic group or religious denomination. It is also popularly associated with pilgrims giving thanks for their new life in America, where they could practise their religion freely.

Rabbi Levi Shemtov, director of the Washington office of the ultra-Orthodox Chabad movement, says there is “nothing adverse to anything Jewish or contradictory to Judaism” in Thanksgiving.

“For that celebration to happen – as we are in our religious calendar celebrating our own religious freedom, as it was achieved in ancient times – makes it only that more emphatic,” he says.

People preparing meals for the poor at a Jewish community centre in Washington DC

+

Additional reading:

  1. Being thankful
  2. Thanksgiving-Hanukkah overlap spurs thanks, angst
  3. What happens when you cross Thanksgiving with Hanukkah?
  4. Barry’s Best Bread for the Challah-Days