Room for dissidents

Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur and the days in between are called “Yamim Noraim” and it means “Awesome days”. Also called the “Days of Conversion”, in Hebrew: “Ashereth Yemee Teshuvah”. This period of: Rosh HaShanah, the days in between and then the closing with Yom Kippur. Rosh HaShanah is seen in the Bible as the reminder of the day of Creation. The Torah calls it “Yom Teruah, the day of the sound of the Shofar and the Rabbis call it: Yom Hadin, the day of judgment. All these three meanings are celebrated on this day. Unfortunately, many of us cannot experience and celebrate these serious and beautiful days together this year because of the corona virus.

White cloud
We cannot hear the Shofar together and dress in white and because of this we miss seeing a “white cloud” of congregated people worshiping the Lord and we can experience this image as an image of heavenly purity. Cleanness and purity are a result of the cleansing that can only be given to us from Heaven by confessing our guilt and sins and receiving forgiveness. The sacrifice, the kapparah, has been given to us by the Eternal. First through the sacrificial service in the holy Temples and after this two thousand years ago by Messiah Yeshua, who gave Himself by dying for our sins. He is our Heavenly Rabbi and High Priest who wants to lead us in this life on this earth.

We receive our comfort and safety from Him, also during this period of corona and all difficult phases in our lives. This year, we have been brought to a stop by the coronavirus and thrown back more on ourselves. More than usual, it now comes down to our relationship with Adonai Yeshua and we can strengthen this relationship in the coming time of the Asheret Yemee Teshuva, the days of conversion, and celebrate these feasts with that inner knowledge, forgiveness and faith. The introductory text to this piece is from the book “How to run a traditional Jewish Household” and it was written by my favorite Blu Greenberg. She turns out to be the wife of Rabbi Yitzchak Greenberg.

Cooperate with G’d
This couple is pioneering in the current Jewish community in the United States and worldwide. As for the pandemic we now find ourselves in, Yitzchak Greenberg’s recent counsel in ‘The Wall Street Journal’ to religious leaders said: “Proclaim that the coronavirus is not willed or put on us by God, but instead that it is a “natural phenomenon.” He advocates that humanity will cooperate with God so that the virus will no longer spread through our wrong actions and cause more damage than is already happening. That one should adhere to the rules of: washing hands regularly, keeping social distance, wearing masks where required. He calls these responsibilities: ritual actions that connect us with the Eternal One as instructed in Deuteronomy: choose life!

Room for people who think different
Yitz Greenberg is a freethinker who is a scientist and rabbi. He has written a book: Yitz Greenberg and Modern Orthodoxy: “The Road Not Taken”. It is very interesting for Messiah Yeshua professing Jews because there is room for people who think differently about how to keep the rules and regulations of Tora in Greenberg’s explanation. He sees absolutism in the interpretation of the Torah as unacceptable. Greenberg advocates a new halacha, interpretation of the Torah, for the doing of the commandments.  The commandments must be workable for all mankind and done out of free will. He is a co-founder of CLAL, a center for “Intra-Jewish dialogue and pluralism”. His wife Blu was friends with the unforgettable Dutch Blume Evers, who died a few years ago in Beth Juliana in Israel, where she was her last years. Blume wrote a column in the NIW, Dutch Jewish Magazine since 1865,in the Netherlands. It was a joy to read her articles. I wish everyone a rich and good time during the “Asheret Yemee Teshuva” and the Biblical Feasts of Israel. Chag sameach and Shanah Tova 5781!