In my daily devotional readings, I always include a chapter from the Old Testament prophets. Yesterday, I began with chapter one of Isaiah; and I wondered: Are there any…ANY modern American or European rabbis who in front of their congregations would lecture or preach from such biblical material as this-- read it, and acknowledge that this material FITS modern Judaism and preach a sermon that convicts his congregation? Knowing what I know, I don’t think so.
ISAIAH CHAPTER 1
---“Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity.” (1-4)
--- “Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom! (1:10)
--- “Bring no more vain offerings…I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly… They have become a burden to me…” (1:13-14)
--- “Your appointed feasts my soul hates.” (1:14)
--- “How the faithful city has become a whore.” (1:21)
This is a chosen nation, but now they are characterized by God as a “sinful nation.”
The very feasts that God instructed them to keep have turned into a burden for Yahweh (the Lord).
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For the past three generations or so, the liberal American and European Jewish establishment has disregarded God. They left their previous life in the shtetl (Jewish villages) from the eastern borders of Germany to the deep regions of Russia. And then….
Well, way back in June, 1953, The Jewish Spectator stated: “There is little faith in God in the American Jewish community.” (Arthur Kac: The Rebirth of the State of Israel)
Now, I hesitate to say it, but the liberal Jews are contributing to the decline of the West—America and Europe. And the way they do it? Some examples:
--They are sacrilegious; and it’s easy to see it, because they have no respect for the name of God which they are taught to honor. (In fact, the traditional Jews are taught to say “THE NAME” (Hashem) instead of saying “God” to make sure they do not dishonor His name.) They dishonor Him further by not giving thanks to Him. They remain as ignorant as children in things pertaining to the scriptures—the revelation of God to man. And so…. on we could go with this criticism.
-- They join with other “liberals” to promote diversity, tolerance and multi-culturalism without considering core values from the Torah-- their previous source of values.
-- They contribute to societies’ permissive stances on sexual sins—fornication, adultery and homosexuality.
-- They join with secular liberalism to champion abortion rights and gay marriage,
ignoring basic biblical ethics in which their ancestors believed and practiced.
-- In living this way, many are self-satisfied and arrogant.
ISAIAH: “For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty.” (2:12)
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Mark Golub is one of my favorite YouTube conversationalists. He is a liberal Jewish rabbi. To him, defining a Jew has nothing to do with faith or God. To be Jewish is to be a family. And the one pre-occupation of this family is….get this: “to be a beautiful person.” That’s it in a nutshell!
He says: “The Jewish Tradition does not begin with God.” Also: “The Jewish tradition is all about people.”
He further says: “The Jewish Tradition cares little about what a person believes.”
As for salvation from sin—delete “sin” and use this definition of “salvation”—“achievement of an integrated personality.”
This, he says, is classical Judaism. The rabbis taught this 2,000 years ago. Actually, from the 3rd century before Christ to the 6th century after Christ, classical Judaism evolved.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
So, does the beginning of the prophecy of Isaiah apply to 20th century Western Jews? It certainly does. Because it is still the same God who calls the Jewish people out of their stubborn rebellion.
The problem of all problems concerning the American Jewish community is that no one seeks after God. They may say that they “have a faith,” and they may “have a synagogue and a rabbi,” or “they are spiritual.” But that doesn’t count for anything, because they are blind.
Who can blame them? Who is their judge? We cannot. However, we can, with open eyes, see what is taking place. Only the Lord can redeem. Now, says Paul, “apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed and is attested by the law and the prophets” (Romans 3:21)-- apart from the Torah, the synagogue, the Talmud and its studious rabbinical schools, the Messiah fulfills all the law. He outshines all efforts to save ourselves and the world around us.
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But now, Isaiah quickly lifts our eyes from spiritual sickness to a vision of the future in the first part of Chapter Two—just one poem five verses long—as a ray of sunshine gladdens us in a stormy, cloudy day as if to indicate that iniquity and arrogance will not forever prevail. The Lord is at work. He has a day that is coming.
It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
and many people shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths….
O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.
--Isaiah 2:1-3, 5 (ESV)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.