Monday, May 14, 2018

Are You Ready for Shavuot?

Hello Grafted In Readers,

This weekend, my wife and I will be meeting our son's in-laws and visiting my father who both live in the same state but a couple hours by vehicle from each other. This weekend too, people of the Jewish faith and Christian faith will celebrate a shared Holiday known in Hebrew as Shavuot and in English as Pentecost. Beyond the Holiday occasionally occurring almost simultaneously on the secular calendar, that is about the only common denominator remaining for the two faith groups since the great divorce occurred and is still occurring due to the upheld conventions and stubborn natures of Catholic-minded influenced clergy who also put culture ahead of commandments.

Christians believe the institutional church was established on this date. Jews and Messianic believers celebrate G-d giving the Torah and the guidelines for living known as the commandments. In an effort to recapture the dynamic of this occasion, I wish to share with you a recent reflection from a Hebrew Word Study called I also wish you a blessed Shavuot!
Please pray that the Christian church would forsake its errant ways, attitudes and rend its hardened heart.
Exodus 19:17: “And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.”
In Exodus 19:17 we learn that the people of God assembled at the foot or base of Mt. Sinai to receive the law. But wait, it does not say in the Hebrew that they stood at the foot or base of the Mt. Sinai, it says they stood bethchethith beneath or underneath it. This comes from the root word tavach which means underneath. Of course it is not translated that way, that would be ridiculous. I mean God would literally have to pick the mountain up and hold it over the people. That is almost as ridiculous as having the faith of a grain of mustard seed and telling a mountain to be cast into the sea.
Of course our Christian translators will not translate the passage under the mountain, they will say at the foot of the mountain. I mean that makes more sense even if the word that is used is tavach which clearly means underneath. Who is going to be foolish enough to believe God would actually picked up a mountain and hold over the heads of the people declaring that if they followed the law and had just a small faith they could say to this mountain be removed from over their heads. Of course it is ridiculous to think that fifteen hundred years later the Messiah would reference this crazy event under Mt. Sinai by saying in Mark 11:23.
But explain to me why the writer used the word tavach underneath and not the word yalad which means at the foot of or beside? The ancient sages and rabbis don’t try to explain it away like we Christians of little faith try to do. They actually teach in the Talmud that God picked up the mountain and held it over the heads of the people until they showed their faith to command it to be removed and that the disciples and other Jews around Jesus who heard His teachings on moving mountains actually believed that such an event took place in their history.
Blessed Shavuot,
Mellow Rock

Friday, April 20, 2018

G-d Has Lifted The Weight

Hello Grafted In Reader,

Today is Friday, April 20 in my corner of blog land.

I want to return to one of the purposes of this blog, and that was to inform us of the Jewish roots of our faith in Adonai. Today, I wish to share a reflection with you from the website
by chaim ben torah and hope it will enrich your understanding. Do share with a friend.

Genesis 3:7,21:  “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (21)  The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” 
I was reading from the works of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, a 19th century Jewish scholar and discovered something I never even considered.  I have read Genesis 3 countless times in my life, I have heard numerous sermons where these verse are quoted but I never stopped to really meditate on what this actually means that God made clothes for Adam and Eve.  I thought back to my earliest memories as a child and I clearly remember Sunday School and listening to my Sunday School teacher tell us that God made clothes for Adam and Eve.  I remembering feeling quite relieved, I mean I was a little concerned because it didn’t seem like a bunch of leaves sewn together would last very long. At least God made something permanent.
This morning I read where Rabbi Hirsch commenting on this passage of God clothing Adam and Eve declared that is was  God’s  first act of  gamiloth chasad – loving kindness.  Adam and Eve clothed themselves with leaves from a fig tree.  The word for fig tree, te’anah could have two possible roots.  The first root te’an which means a fig tree.  But it also could come from the root word ‘aun  which means an inappropriate means of acquisition, in other words, to steal something.  The word for leaf is ‘alah which means to ascend, to rise up.  To wear fig leaves or te’anah alah had a double meaning. It also meant to steal something that was meant only for an ascension (to heaven).  Because of this disobedience, this act of stealing, Adam and Eve could not enter heaven so God clothed them in garments of skin.
Garments of skin is kathenoth ‘or which has a double meaning in Hebrew, it also means the protection from the weight of the world.  To this day, to this moment God has clothed us with the kathenoth ‘or protection from the weight of the world.  So why does Rabbi Hirsch call this an act of lovingkindness?  Because as we bear the weight of this world God can continually show His  lovingkindness by protection us, caring for us as we face the cares of this world.  Not only that, God has a wonderful way of turning tragic events into something wonderful. For now that sin has entered into the world, according to Rabbi Hirsch, God has given us the opportunity to follow His example and show lovingkindness to those who are suffering from the weight of this world.  We can feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick and show compassion to the poor.  God has turned the tables on the old serpent and took the fig leaves of Adam and Eve, the disgrace of their sin and clothed them and us with the garments of skin kathenoth ‘or  the opportunity to share love and loving kindness to those under the weight of this world.
Where did God get these skins?  He sacrificed animals. He made the first sacrifice for man as He eventually gave the final sacrifice for man, His Son.  Thus kathenoth ‘or (‘or with an Ayin) becomes a play on the word kathenoth  ‘or (‘or with an Aleph) to become a garment or protection of Light (Jesus Christ – John 1:1).

May the Lord Bless and keep you always,

Mellow Rock
David Russell

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Waiting for Messiah and Spring Weather? David Russell

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Can you believe we are in the second quarter of 2018?
My calendar says today is April 10. By the end of the week, my region of blog land could experience temperatures in the mid 50s. We have had 30-40-degree temperatures much of this month and periods of light snow. Yes, it happens but we are ready for w a r m.

Words and Writing
I just finished working on a 2,000-word story that grew in length with four revisions and will now undergo a title change as recommended by my editing cohort, Rebecca. It's a remembrance of a college professor, Mr. Paul Whaley, and his impact on my young life. Now, I am considering writing a story based on two words: maladroit and dexterous, two antonyms. The maladroits want to be like the dexterous, but in the end realize they are not and come to terms with that. It's much like some of us wanting to be or do this or that. In the end (whatever time that involves) we realize we can, cannot, will or will not and thus reorder our lives to be who G-d created us to be.

As an author I have decided to write for general audiences and will endeavor to encourage and inspire. You have shown me you like it better when that is my approach. I get it after seven or eight years of doing this..

The characters in the story will be named dexterous, skillful, clumsy, lubber, inept, bumbling, klutzy, nimble, agile, etc. I may share it here.

I am about halfway through a kidnapping or adult-napping story titled, Missing in Mudbug, by Jana Deleon. Mudbug is a small southern town in Louisiana. There is even a ghost figure involved in the happenings. It's entertaining and chapters are of reasonable length.

Hoping to hear from you soon. G-d bless and keep you as you go about your journey.

Mellow Rock
David Russell

Author: Waiting For Messiah
Available on