On Evil

There is a truth evident in scripture that many are reluctant to accept - one that most believers would rather not even contemplate. It has the power to turn a friendly discussion into a fierce debate. Because of this, I warn you - if you would prefer to remain calm, if you would rather not read something absolutely infuriating, make haste and click your way right out of here. For those intrepid souls who remain, however, read on. Do remember, though - you've been warned.

“I form light and create darkness, I make well-being [good] and create calamity [evil], I Am the L-RD, who does all these things.” ~ Isaiah 45:7


Yes, that's my father.

Sol Finkelstein had no idea what happened to his father.

In 1945, just days before liberation at Mauthausen concentration camp, Sol and his father were separated, and Sol never saw him again.

Sol's family contacted The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in hopes of finding more information about his father. What happened next was one of those extraordinary series of events that will remain with his family forever—and Sol graciously allowed the Museum to capture it on film.



Q: Are you here, G-d?

A: I AM.

Q: Where?! I can't see You...

A: Where I told you I would be. Look directly in front of you.

Q: But I still don’t see You!

A: You’re looking right at Me.


Why Hanukkah?

The Feast of the Dedication, the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah starts tomorrow night! With a number of friends who don't observe things quite like we do, and with some family, co-workers, and neighbors who remain rather unconvinced, the Hanukkah question is on many lips each year. I never tire of answering it, however, as my love and appreciation for this joyous holiday deepens as time goes on. I have many reasons for this sentiment, too - some of them spiritual, others personal. It's usually the spiritual ones that I end up sharing with my believing (or unbelieving) loved ones, though.

It often disturbs others to learn that Yeshua, too, must have loved Hanukkah. In John 10:22, we find Him in the Temple for the Feast of the Dedication - which is interesting as Hanukkah is not one of the biblical holy days Israel was commanded to observe. Yeshua's presence there indicates that He adhered to the cultural traditions of Judaism, as well as the biblical ones. Still, this lone, New Covenant passage is not convincing enough for most, no matter how enthusiastically I expound on it, and that's when a deeper perspective is offered - one of dedication, transformation and grace.


Christopher, meet G-d.

Christopher Hitchens, devout atheist (or "antitheist", as it were), journalist, literary critic, editor, and author of numerous titles, including God Is Not Great, was forcibly summoned into the presence of the Great and Eternal One yesterday afternoon. He was 62. Hitchens said that one, "could be an atheist and wish that belief in god were correct," but that "an antitheist, a term I'm trying to get into circulation, is someone who is relieved that there's no evidence for such an assertion." Yes, this man, known for his vast intellect, was "relieved" that there was "no evidence" for the existence of G-d. I imagine he found himself a bit more anxious Thursday evening. Hitchens also said, before he passed, "redemption and supernatural deliverance appears even more hollow and artificial to me than it did before." It has been reported that Hitchens was working on a book on the Ten Commandments - this from the man who, in God Is Not Great, wrote, "Very importantly, the divorce between the sexual life and fear, and the sexual life and disease, and the sexual life and tyranny, can now at last be attempted, on the sole condition that we banish all religions from the discourse. And all this and more is, for the first time in our history, within the reach if not the grasp of everyone." It's too bad we lost this charming fellow.

As if being an ardent "antitheist" weren't enough, Hitchens, who was Jewish (matrilineally), fancied himself a fervid Anti-Zionist, as well - a terrific example of how one mode of ignorance informs the next. He once said, "I am an Anti-Zionist. I'm one of those people of Jewish descent who believes that Zionism would be a mistake even if there were no Palestinians." While he maintained that the Israel-Palestine conflict was nothing more than a "trivial squabble" that has become "so dangerous to all of us" because of  its "faith-based element.", he viewed Zionism "as an injustice against the Palestinians" and once said, "I have never been able to banish the queasy inner suspicion that Israel just did not look, or feel, either permanent or sustainable." How gravely mistaken and misguided this man was - about a great many things.


He sees

It would be an understatement to say that this world, the Creation of the Eternal One, is indescribably, and inconceivably complex. From the trillions of atoms that comprise the billions of cells that form the incalculably elaborate structures of your eyes - the very organs you're using to read these words - to the vast oceans, the unexplored forests, and the inhospitable deserts - paved with more than a decillion microscopic jewels, we can see the incredibly creative hand of Adonai. And we see His creativity, sometimes even His humor, everywhere we look. He has hand-signed every piece He's ever designed. If we seek Him - truly, G-d is not difficult to find.

But what does He see? How does He perceive His own Creation?



KOEOY Media - Tikkun Poster

UPDATE: Tikkun prints are now available in 16x20 format.
They're full color on matte paper and turned out beautifully.
Mail me (koeoy.blog[at]gmail[dt]com) for details if you'd like to purchase one.


Digging Discipleship

I can't think of anything better for you to read today than this excellent series from Darren Huckey on discipleship - Becoming a Disciple of Yeshua , Retaining the Message of Yeshua and Are We Misunderstanding the Message of Yeshua. In this series, Darren is unearthing so many essential principles that I'd have to consider it mandatory reading for all those who desire to progress from a believer in Yeshua to His disciple. While they're each essential reading, if you only have a minute, start with this one - awesome stuff, to be sure.

Darren, if you're reading this, thanks so much for putting the time into sharing your perspective and ideas on this with us all. Yasher koach, brother!


On that Day

"Behold, I am about to make Yerushalayim a cup of stumbling to all the surrounding people. The siege of Yerushalayim will also be against Yehudah. On that day, I will make Yerushalayim a heavy stone for all the nations. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves - though, all the nations of the earth will gather against it... On that day, the L-RD will protect the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, so that the feeblest among them, on that day, shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like G-d, like the angel of the L-RD, going before them. And on that day, I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Yerushalayim.



"Jacob's Ladder" Albert Houthuesen 1966 
What might it have sounded like?