Stolpersteine (Stumbling Stones)

From Amsterdam.

These are the Stolpersteine (Stumbling Stones) for Andreas Hertzberger and his wife Selma Hertzberger-Roos.  They are located in front of their former home (above, right).

The German artist Gunter Demnig started placing the first Stolpersteine in 1997, in the Berlin’s Kreuzberg district. Now there are Stumbling Stones in many countries.  They are to remind the world and the local residents of the Holocaust in World War II.

A Stolperstein is a concrete stone of 10 x 10cm, with a brass plate on top, in which the name, date of birth and death and also place of death is punched. The Stumbling Stones gets a place in the pavement in front of the former house of the victim.

By doing this, Gunter Demnig gives a private memorial to each victim.
His motto is: ‘A HUMAN BEING IS FORGOTTEN ONLY WHEN HIS OR HER NAME IS FORGOTTEN’.  This is the same concept which is followed at many Holocaust memorials, where the names of the victims are listed.  Of course most victims do not have an individual place of burial, just a particular death camp.

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Beautiful Day in Israel

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Glad to be home!

Last night we had our regular Saturday night study.  We started with the Luke passages leading up to and including Passover.  Baruch brought out the point that beginning in verse 24, right after Yeshua told His disciples that He was going to die, the disciples’ response was to discuss who would be the greatest among them.  Can you imagine?  The Person you have followed and dedicated your life to has just told you He is going to die and you aren’t sad, but rather concerned about who will take His place?  And then, what is even more striking is that right after this takes place, Yeshua talks about them eating and drinking at His table in His kingdom, and that the disciples will sit on the thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel!

We can understand this after we consider that Yeshua knew that the Holy Spirit would come indwell them and lead them and that they would follow Him fuller.

In verses 31 and 32, we learn that Satan will sift them like wheat (scatter and separate them) and that they will come together and strengthen their brothers.  The disciples had not been called brothers before this.  This is to emphasize the unity which would take place among the body of believers through the Holy Spirit.  My how we fall short!  There are so many factions between believers today and see who benefits from this!  Satan.  I am not talking about joining together with those who “preach a different Gospel”.  Even among those of similar beliefs, we see people who do not associate together, etc.  This is not right.

Yeshua knows that we will go through trials and hardships.  He did and we will also.  But, He sent the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) to live within us to guide us, lead us, and give us strength to get through anything we might encounter.

We were glad to get back with our study group to share Havdallah, pray, sing “Adon Olam” and study Scripture together.

Shabbat Shalom

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Baruch and I made it home very late last night and we are looking forward to Shabbat. This week’s Torah portion (Parasha) is Parashat Mishpatim.  Please enjoy Baruch’s brief commentary below.  Shabbat Shalom!

Parashat Mishpatim (Judgments) Exodus 21:1-24:18

Shabbat Shekalim

Maftir: Exodus 30:11-16 Haftarah: 2 Kings 11:17-12:17

In this week’s Torah portion, there is a wide variety of laws given. These commandments are for the purpose of regulating a community and insuring that justice is maintained. In the midst of these laws, one reads,

Do not lift up a vain report…” Exodus 23:1

Nearly all English translations render the word שווא as “false” instead of as I have done with the word “vain“. There is evidence for rendering this word as “false” (The Even Shoshan Dictionary does supply the words כזב או שקר as definitions for this word). However, Even Shoshan also provides the words, “vain“, “empty“, “without any benefit“, and “without any need“, as additional meanings for this word. The point I want to make is that the report does not necessarily have to be false to meet the classification of report which one should not receive. A definition such as “a report which does not have any edifying purpose” actually better captures the intent of the verse.

A great passage that speaks to the message of the text from Exodus 23 is found in the book of Ephesians,

Every bad word out of your mouth should not go forth; but rather what is good for the edification of that which is necessary; in order to give grace to the ones listening.” Ephesians 4:29

Unfortunately, people frequently say things which do not serve any edifying purpose. As believers, we cannot stop what people say; however, we ought not take such things to heart or repeat them to other people. The next time someone makes a statement that is unnecessary about another, that is, one that serves no real purpose nor does not bring any edification to whoever is listening or to the one to which the statement is being said, you should interrupt the speaker and kindly respond that you prefer not to hear such reports.

It is significant that the verse from Exodus states “Do not lift up a vain report….” The word (one word in Hebrew) lift up teaches the reader two things. First, do not give any credence to such a report and secondly, do not pass this report to another individual. Remember that this report is one which is “vain“, “empty“, and “without any benefit or purpose“. All too often we spend time, effort, and give thought to things which do not edify rather than focusing on those things related to building one another up in the faith.

End of the Trip

 

Baruch speaking at Agape Christian Faith Center, Ramstein, Germany.

Yesterday Baruch and I took 3 trains to get from Frankfurt to Ramstein, Germany.  There, we had some meetings and he shared a message at the congregation in the evening.  There was a good turnout and the congregation was very encouraging.

That evening we had a 10:30pm meeting with some people who are interested in our work and how we can work together.  These meetings are not only an encouragement to us, but they also help give us avenues to further spread the Bible teaching of Baruch at LoveIsrael.org.

Through one of these meetings, we may be able to expand the frequency of our program being broadcast in the United States for a very small expense. In addition to this, Bible TV in Germany would like us to consider providing them the opportunity to include our program, dubbed into Germany. We have determined not to do any more expansion until we are meeting the cost of the DayStar Network. This network gives us the broadest coverage in the United States and Canada as well as throughout the world. It is our major vehicle for disseminating our program.

Today we took the train to the airport in Frankfurt for a late afternoon flight back to Israel. We are looking forward to getting home.

Tu B’Shevat (Yes this is late)

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This year, Tu B’Shevat fell on February 11.  I had a post prepared and I had planned to post it on the 10th, but due to cancelled flights, etc., I got sidetracked.

Tu B’Shevat is the New Year for trees.  “Tu” is the Hebrew letters which represent the number 15.  So the holiday is celebrated on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat.  At this time of year, the buds are beginning to come out in Israel.

The way the holiday is celebrated is to eat some fruit on this day. Best if you can get some of those fruits for which Israel is famous: olives, dates, grapes, figs and pomegranates.

The blessing on fruit:

Ba-ruch atah Ado-nai, Elo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam, borei pri ha-etz.

[Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the tree.]

If tasting a fruit for the first time in its season, recite the Shehecheyanu blessing before saying the fruit blessing:

Ba-ruch a-tah Ado-nai, Elo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam, she-heche-ya-nu ve-ki-ye-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh.

[Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.]

 

This is a festive holiday (and healthy!).

Baruch’s Interview on Daystar

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As you may remember, Baruch was recently interviewed on the Marcus and Joni Show on Daystar.  Please find below the link to that interview.  The link is to the entire show, which includes several different segments. Baruch’s segment begins at 18:30.

These interviews are a great way to make people more aware of our television show and our work.  We were in Dallas for only a couple of days and we were able to arrange for Baruch to be interviewed on 4 different programs.

 

 

 

 

LINK:

http://www.daystar.com/ondemand/video/?video=5317413423001

 

Goodbye Amsterdam…Travel Day

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Amsterdam.

Last night Baruch and I finished the Conference in Amsterdam.  Again, we had a very good turnout, with people serious about studying the Bible.  We finished at 5:00 pm and then went to the home of the family who do so much for our LoveIsrael Foundation in the Netherlands.  We enjoyed our time with them very much and then took the train back to Amsterdam.

Today we are on another train, on our way to Frankfurt, Germany.  There, we have some meetings and then Baruch will be speaking in a nearby city.  We return home to Israel on Thursday.  We are looking forward to getting back to Israel and working on some projects for the work there.

I shared with you on my blog post from Feb. 9 about Baruch’s interview/teaching with Itzhak Shapira.  Below is a link to that interview/teaching:

You don’t want to miss it!