Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Some Words About Words

Hello Grafted In Readers,

A new month is on us and it is May 4 in my corner of blogland. I want to share an experience with you that occurred just yesterday.

A writing acquaintance asked me to proofread a review she had written about a particular book title. She described the book as "achingly, eloquent," and other descriptives. I Googled "definition achingly" and here is what I learned. defines achingly: "Causing physical pain or distress, an aching back." Furthermore, pronunciation varies from UK English to American English. In the UK, achingly is pronounced a-ching-ly. In American English, achingly is pronounced, a-king-ly.

-The UK definition for achingly from the Oxford English Dictionary,
"Of qualities or feelings very great and affecting you deeply." So, I suspect my writer acquaintance had this definition in mind when selecting descriptives.

Since we are talking about words, have you ever been called or called someone a wisenheimer?

A two-word definition from Merriam-Webster simply says smart alect.

The Oxford English Dictionary puts it this way:
Wisenheimer: (noun) "A person who behaves in an irritatingly smug or arrogant fashion, typically by making clever remarks and displaying their knowledge."

If you have any unique words to share, please do in a comment. Thanks for dropping by.

Per custom, Kevod Yeheveh, the presence of the Lord be with you today!

Mellow Roc

Friday, April 29, 2016

Try A Cappella Please (article from "Tablet Magazine"

Hello Grafted In Reader,

Today is April 29, 2016, (Friday), in my corner of blog land. Here is just a little more info on the period of time we are now in that is known as "counting the omer." (See previous post). All is not drab friends..

Please see excerpted article pasted here from Tablet Magazine.

It’s that time of year again, the 49-day period between the second day of Passover and the day before Shavuot known as Sefirat HaOmer, or counting the Omer, during which we well, count, as commanded. The traditional reason cited in the Talmud is that this is in memory of the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva who died in a plague for not honoring one another properly as befits Torah scholars.
It’s a weird, strange time, full of any number of semi-mourning practices (dependent on regional or familial custom), forbidding any combination of haircuts, shaving, listening to instrumental music, or conducting weddings, parties, and dinners with dancing. All such restrictions, however, are lifted on the 33rd day of counting, also known as Lag b’Omer, because it was on that day that the epidemic finally halted.
For those of us who are currently counting the Omer and following the restrictions of not listening to live or instrumental music, the Omer marks the beginning of a grueling five-week period of enduring just gosh-awful Jewish a cappella groups this side of college just to get a musical fix. (Because not everyone can be the Maccabeats.)
And so, as a public service, here are three not terrible a capella acts to help pass your Omer counting, and get a decent, non-instrumental musical fix.
Smooth McGroove covers the Final Fantasy VII battle theme
You may (MUST!) be a geek to truly appreciate this YouTube channel. And if you are, oh Moses’s beard are you in for a treat.

Final Fantasy VII Battle Theme Acapella
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Watch Final Fantasy VII Battle Theme Acapella
Pentatonix covers Daft Punk and Pharrell’s red hot jam from last summer, “Get Lucky”
If you’re looking for contemporary Top 40 stylings, these are your go-to guys. You will believe that a capella groups can not suck. Cray. Mazing.

[Official Video] Daft Punk - Pentatonix
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Watch [Official Video] Daft Punk - Pentatonix
Straight No Chaser covers Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk”
Luckily, drinking is still a legit thing to do during Omer. So knock one back with these guys.

Straight No Chaser - Uptown Funk (music video)
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Watch Straight No Chaser - Uptown Funk (music video)
Related: Counting the Days of the Omer, Up or Down

MaNishtana is the psuedonym of Shais Rishon, an Orthodox African-American Jewish blogger, editor-at-large at JN Magazine, and author of Thoughts From A Unicorn and Fine, thanks. How are YOU, Jewish?

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be with you in the major and minor events of your day!
Mellow Roc

Monday, April 25, 2016

It's The Final Countdown (contemporary song, 2000s)

Hello Grafted in Reader,

Today is Monday, April 25 in my corner of blog land. Passover was on Friday evening, April 22. We are now in the 49-day period between Passover and Pentecost, or if you prefer the Hebraic connotation: Pesach and Shavuot. First fruits is a barley harvest that occurs in Israel at Passover time. There is a lengthy article, excerpted here, from
that describes this 49-day period and also how it coincides with the crucifiction, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah! The western church ignores this time and prefers to remain in step with Catholicism observing what they call The Easter Season. It's doubtful that clerics of this man-made institution will change short of revival. So, please consider the following to enrich your time from Pesach to Shavuot, Passover to Pentecost.
May we be strengthened by Messiah and corrected where we need to be redirected so we can truly have a joyous Shavuot!
No Small Consequence
The Messianic implications of the Omer and the subsequent count down are great. If we subscribe to the literal reading of the Torah as the Sadducees did, we cannot help but notice that the appointed day for harvesting the barley omer coincides with the resurrection of Messiah: the Sunday after Passover. In a remarkable display of God's sovereign planning, the resurrection day was set aside as a day of first fruits 1400 years before its occurrence.
The symbolism is strong. Just as the first omer of barley was brought as a first fruits of the whole harvest, so too Messiah's resurrection was a first fruits of the resurrection of the dead. This is the imagery Paul invokes with the words, "Messiah has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep." (1 Corinthians 15:20). Just as the first fruits of the barley made all the rest of the harvest kosher for harvest, so too the resurrection of Messiah makes the resurrection of the dead possible.
If, however, we simply acquiesce to the traditional Pharisaic reading which places the day of the Omer on the 16th of Nissan, the masterful foreshadowing of the resurrection is lost.
Counting the Days of Messiah
Because of the resurrection and the connection to Pentecost , the counting of the Omer is an important mitzvah for believers.
According to Jewish tradition, the counting is done in the following prescribed manner. After the evening prayers, a blessing is recited, "Blessed are You, LORD Our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us to count the Omer." Then the counter simply states, "Today is X days of the Omer." This formal counting is followed by the recitation of Psalm 67 and a few short petitions for spiritual cleansing and renewal.
Psalm 67 is recited because it is composed of exactly 49 Hebrew words which correspond to the 49 days of the Omer count. The Psalm is seasonally appropriate because of its harvest motif. It is spiritually appropriate because it speaks clearly of God's salvation (Yeshua) being made known over all the earth.
The Counting of the Omer is a count down to Shavuot, the time of giving of the Torah and the time of the giving of the Holy Spirit. As such, it is a spiritual journey of preparation. It is a journey which is begun with Passover, the symbol of our Salvation in Yeshua, and completed at Pentecost, the symbol of our completion through the Spirit. The distance of days between the two events should be a time of spiritual reflection, growth, purification and preparation.
The Master's resurrection makes the counting of the Omer a season of special significance and joy. For his disciples.

Kevod Yeheveh, the Presence of YHVH be with us!
Mellow Roc

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sharing Passover Together!

Hello Grafted In Readers,

It is Friday - April 22 and not only is it Earth Day, anniversary of a personal career change, but for those who observe the Festival, it is the beginning of the Passover Season. I found an interesting blog post titled, The Hillel Sandwich, by R. Steven Bernstein, posted via the "Messianic Times" that I would like to share with you. This is particularly for those who believe Yeshua to be the Messiah sent from God to give His life a ransom for many.

If you find yourself celebrating this time in privacy, please consider others around the globe are also sharing in this moment too. You and I are not alone!
particular section of Talmud.

           We are in the season of Pesach, the season of our freedom. Because the Torah teaches us,”when your children ask,” we sit down on Erev Pesach for the Seder meal. Yeshua held a school Seder with his talmidim the evening before the actual Seder. Most of the elements of the Seder were present at this school Seder, but the Korban Pesach, the sacrifice itself was missing. The other main elements of the Seder were present, the matzoh, and the bitter herbs.

           During the Seder, immediately before the festive meal itself is eaten, there is a very interesting practice. This practice was instituted by Hillel, who had passed away only some 10 years before Yeshua’s birth. This practice was the eating of matzoh and bitter herbs together. Today, we call it the Hillel sandwich. We engage in this practice because, as Hillel points out, Torah commands us to eat it (the Passover offering) with matzoh and bitter herbs. In light of Zechariah 12.10, we can see an even deeper meaning and understanding.

           Understanding that the cause of the mourning of the children of Israel is the death of the Messiah, son of Joseph, the unique son, and the bitterness of his travails, brings the ceremony of the Hillel sandwich into a new light. Mixing the matzoh, symbolic of Yeshua’s body, with the bitter herbs, symbolic of his travails, is all the more poignant because of the sages understanding of Sukkah 12a.

John 13 CJB

21 After saying this, Yeshua, in deep anguish of spirit, declared, "Yes, indeed! I tell you that one of you will betray me."

22 The talmidim stared at one another, totally mystified -- whom could he mean?

23 One of his talmidim, the one Yeshua particu larly loved, was reclining close beside him.

24 So Shim`on Kefa motioned to him and said, "Ask which one he's talking about."

25 Leaning against Yeshua's chest, he asked Yeshua, "Lord, who is it?"

26 Yeshua answered, "It's the one to whom I give this piece of matzah after I dip it in the dish." So he dipped the piece of matzah and gave it to Y'hudah Ben-Shim`on from K'riot.

           According to verse 26, Yeshua is dipping a piece of matzoh into a dish. What part of this Seder ceremony is this? Since the time of Hillel, we know that matzoh is being dipped into a dish of horseradish, so that we may eat matzoh and bitter herbs together, as Hillel instructed. Yeshua is making the Hillel sandwich. He is taking matzoh, symbolic of his body, mixing it with bitter earth’s, symbolic the bitterness of his travails, and handing it to his betrayer.

           This year, as we sit and eat the Pesach Seder together, let us remember the bitterness of Yeshua’s travails and His sacrifice for us as we eat the Hillel sandwich. Make a point to actually dip our matzoh into a bowl of horseradish, as Yeshua did. Have a blessed and meaningful Pesach.

Kevod Yeheveh!

Mellow Roc