I think I found it today – the kind of peace that has no explanation, given in a time when my head and heart should be in total upheaval, and yet, that shalom runs so deep you truly do not comprehend it.
It was supposed to be raining today – science predicted it would be storming for three days straight. Science was wrong again. It was SO lovely outside that I took some time out on the porch to enjoy my coffee in the warm sunshine. I guess you could say I was getting my morning vitamins! I let the sun drizzle warmth down on my face, eyes closed, just absorbing every sound of my world. It was so quiet.
As I stood leaning on the railing, the birds seemed silent at first. I put on my praise music and then, interestingly, the birds started singing with me! How beautiful it was that they joined in as the music filled our neighborhood. One little friend even skitted back and forth under the little shrubs along the front walk, singing and dashing from hiding place to hiding place. It seemed he was trying to go unnoticed, yet wanted me to hear and see him, all at the same time. I closed my eyes again to listen to the peace.
After a bit, I decided to just look out over our little piece of Heaven. The lawn was green, nothing exciting, just green grass – I noticed it was growing a bit more than we want right now – which means mowing season starts soon, yet otherwise all was normal.
Glancing up as a neighbor drove by, I waved, then suddenly felt an amazing happiness inside, so I even smiled a bigger smile than usual. As my gaze wandered back to our growing lawn, I noticed something had changed. I have seen it many times before when I needed a little “sign,” acknowledgement, or comfort from Yahweh. Occasionally, I have asked Yahweh to bring it, yet most times He must just hears my heart and delivers it on His own. Today was one of those days.
I had been praying over our children, especially those exposed to this virus situation, and praying in frustration about some things I see happening in our world with this pandemic issue. I had been asking for what to write, if He had any messages I need to pass along when I saw them.
What was it? Jewels and gemstones all over our yard. I haven’t seen them as often this last 12 months for some reason. But today, they were more abundant than I had EVER seen before.
In some spots it seemed as though Yahweh had sprinkled jewels in puddles and pools. Tiny gems, all about the size of a ¾ karat diamond. Not too big, not too small. Sparkling in almost every colour imaginable. I have tried many times to capture a photo of them, and whenever I do, they vanish! It makes me giggle – it is almost as if they are merely a message for me to see. Yet one I have shared before.
This time was unique in a couple of ways: there were no deep red garnets or rubies on the lawn, and there were no jewels on the little evergreens along the walkway. Just the grass was covered so greatly that it was almost as if every blade of grass was physically encrusted with gemstones! And oh! How they sparkled today!
It looked as though the lawn had been poured over with tourmaline, aquamarine, sapphires, zircon, diamonds, amethyst, peridot, emeralds and topaz gems in orange, gold and yellow. Each time I glanced at another place, the glistening multiplied. I could watch it physically change right before my eyes. My eyes darted from place to place and as they did, my entire body filled with peace, joy, hope, and a deep feeling, “All is well.” Tears welled up in my eyes and all I could muster was a whispered, Thank you, Yahweh. And sometimes today as I have thought about it, I am not sure I actually whispered it out loud.
I know, I know – they are merely raindrops or dewdrops hanging around. Yet that is not how they present themselves for me – they light up in the sunshine up here on our mountain top as if Yahweh has literally sprinkled gemstones on our lawn.
What is well? No specifics, just ALL is well. And I will trust in Him that this is the case. As I have done in the past. Because Yahweh made a promise to me through a dream where He was pouring gemstones from a velvet bag into my hands, those gemstones, His provision, never stopped coming, and my hands never filled up.
For now I am just going to close the day knowing that throughout every minute and hour of today, I have known that all is well, and I have been filled with that peace that surpasses ALL understanding. I pray you do as well.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
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Peace That Surpasses All Understanding
Eggplant Rollatini stuffed with homemade ricotta, or Farm Cheese - Delicious!
Fear is NOT of Yahweh, even in this panicked time of “pandemic.” We are not to worry, not to fear, not to panic. We are to think for a few moments: what was taught to Abraham who was forewarned about Sodom and Gomorrah; Noah who was told to build an ark to save his family; and Joseph who was warned to store up excess grains for the impending famine. These men were ready for what was about to happen and had great courage to follow through. If we listen to these historical events, we would be courageous and prepared, too.
Part of being prepared is knowing not just what to store away, burt to know what to do with what you have stored. I used to have friends who had a basement filled with foods they would "use in an emergency," yet if an emergency hit, they honestly had no idea what to do with 75 pounds of dried pinto beans and 50 pounds of powdered milk!
Being prepared for emergencies isn't just about store foods and personal items to keep you through troubled times. No, we need to know HOW to be prepared in our THINKING, too. Often that is the last place people look to, yet it should be the FIRST PLACE we should turn after we have turned to Yahweh.
Here’s what I mean: Over the decades I have regularly been asked, “WHY do you do everything that you do?” What people mean when they ask this is, why do you cook everything from scratch? Why have you ground your own flour? Why do you make raviolis from farm cheese which you make from the milk you buy from the store?
My initial answer is often, "BECAUSE I CAN!" I am not being snarky or rude here, but I do all these things because I am capable of making those things from scratch. In other words, I do them because I know how to. AND, the blessings of creating so much from scratch end up being SO many.
Firstly, it is SO much cheaper to cook from scratch. I will share with you about raviolis as an example. Often when we go to the store and price a bag of raviolis with ingredients close to what we would make at home – ones that don’t have fake ingredients or fillers – the price is insane compared to what I can make them for. If I buy a pack of 18-24 ravioli for $7.00 (gluten free options would be more costly), people might think that is decent. But if I MAKE a batch, I will end up with more than 24, likely around 50 ravioli the same size as in the purchased package.
This is enough for one dinner for two immediately and one dinner for two to be frozen for later, maybe even two meals! The cost for my making them?
The cost is amazing – I calculated it the other day using gluten-free flour, spinach, and homemade farm cheese from whole milk (which requires ¼ cup of vinegar and the milk).
Filling (Cheese and spinach)
Pinch Salt: $0.75
Total: $3.10 + water, electric and a pinch of salt = $3.50
If we only ended up with the same 24 ravioli as in the purchased bag, it would cost half my calculated price. The cost would be 1/4 to 1/2 what it costs as a frozen bag of product. Yes, it takes the investment of time. But I tend to use my time wisely. I listen to lectures from school, or uplifting music. I use the time to catch up on videos or audios for which I haven’t had time. Sometimes I make them while praying for our needs or those of our children and family. There are so many things I can multi-task with while I make raviolis. My time is neither wasted nor lost.
Secondly, I create from scratch because I KNOW that in a pinch, if the world goes to Hades in a hand basket as we have seen happening lately, with minimal ingredients we will be able to create the same kinds of foods we are accustomed to eating. We don’t need to just eat rice and beans.
This is EXTREMELY important to us. For a few reasons. It means we can store a lot of the basics and get farther in food supply than many others can. But even more than this, we have LIVED on instant foods before. In a financial pinch, we had to eat some food storage foods we bought as a package deal a few years ago. We ate them for almost 18 months. There were days when we ate that food and WERE NOT satiated. In other words, we ate our serving sizes according to package instructions, we felt FULL, yet still felt HUNGRY at the same time. It was very strange to me.
When I looked into why, without our realizing it, those foods we stored were filled with “empty” ingredients. What this means is that many of the ingredients had NO nutritional value to our bodies, and our bodies KNEW it. Our bodies were not satisfied and were begging for more! Making and eating more is a bad idea. Families store foods by number of servings so food will last a certain amount of time, and enough to cover the number of people in the home. If you have stored enough SERVINGS for one year, yet those servings are not nourishing your body, you are likely to eat more. The result is you reduce the amount of time your food storage will last. Additionally, lower nutrient foods will cause nutritional issues, leading to possible health issues.
Thirdly, we know exactly what ingredients go into each meal – no hidden surprises or having to look strange ingredients up. We don’t have to tolerate over-starching, over-salting, or over-sugaring our bodies with products containing hidden items. Many manufactured foods have vague ingredients, such as “natural flavorings.” Following a Biblically clean diet, we want to know that the ingredients we eat will pass muster with our Biblical principles.
Fourthly, I truly do enjoy cooking and creating foods. Jim does, too. In fact, he is much better at it than I am. Some people have that knack – where they can take herbs and spices and mix the right ones together to create a delicious meal. Jim is one of those people. While I, on the other hand, am great at baking. We make a great combo!
It is a great blessing to be able to tie all these things together for our benefit. During some really rough times, we have been left with only a few ingredients in the cupboard, yet Yahweh has blessed us with new recipes and ideas for delicious meals. Having that blessing of knowledge as things get wonky in the world brings us peace of mind. We don’t have to be concerned about whether or not we will eat because we can’t find a premade meal hiding in the pantry – Comfort comes from knowing we will be able to make something delicious AND nutritious from nothing.
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Why Do We Make Ravioli From Scratch?
I have been thinking and praying these last few days about how the world is reacting to this Covid-19 virus, and the announcements of various governments around the world. I have been listening and watching the reactions of people, both online and in the public as we have ventured out. I have been weighing these behaviours against The Word of Yahweh written for us to bring us through these days.
This is what occurs to me.
At one point I read a story of an elderly man, someone who has been through the Great Depression. Someone who knows what it is like to do without - bread shortages, flour and sugar rations, and other things which greatly affected their lives during that time. This man has “seen it all,” you could say. He went to the store and, with everyone else in line pushing overflowing carts of toilet paper, he just wanted 4-6 rolls to get him through the month. That was all. Just to get through the month. He asked the customer of one cart that was over-flowing if they would sacrifice just ONE package for him. NO. He approached others, and not one would give up a single pack of toilet paper for an elderly man. Not one. I wanted to throw up. Literally – my stomach got so knotted that I felt like throwing up.
Is this what we have come to in America? If so, then it is time for people to check their heart!!! Do you know what hurt the most? Watching people who under normal circumstances call themselves believers, but under THESE LAST FEW DAYS, threw all of their compassion three sheets to the wind??? Yes, I went there and made a toilet paper reference!
If anyone would have, even for a brief second, questioned or hesitated about giving toilet tissue to that man, CHECK YOUR HEART. I will go even better on this topic, if you take one stance here on social media and while talking with friends, then you act differently in public - Check your heart!
And remember these words and use them as your check list:
When you have hoarded things to yourself or caused another less-fortunate than you to go without, what you just did was as if we had done it to Yeshua!!! Literally.
In Matthew 25:40 WEB it pointedly states: "The King will answer them, 'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, YOU DID IT TO ME.” (CAPS added for emphasis)
I may have repeated myself, but my hope is to drive the point home. Sometimes, in front of others, we may behave or speak one way, yet act or react completely different in another setting. Because of that, NOW is the time to truly examine Yahweh’s truth, the whole truth in His words recorded from Genesis to Revelation. THIS is the time to find out, discover, and examine how well are we witnessing of Him in each aspect of life.
Remember those verses in the New Testament that say, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” We hear them often as believers, don’t we? Well, let’s look a bit more closely at the words in Matthew 7:12 WEB “Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.”
I love this version because it is very direct: whatever it is that you want people to do to you, go out and do it to them!!! As you venture out to the grocery store or bulk store, can you say that you did to others as you wish to be treated? Another way of saying this is: when those customers denied an elderly man a basic personal care need, they want to be denied basic personal care needs. People will deny this. Yet scripture testifies otherwise!!! Next time you act out - positive or negative - in public: Didn’t you just express to others that you want to be treated that same way? What way was that? Were YOU a good example of Yeshua? Of His teachings? Did YOU exemplify Christ? Or NOT?
How about Luke 6:31 WEB “As you would like people to do to you, DO EXACTLY SO TO THEM.” (CAPS added for emphasis). Ouch. We often use these words to scold others for how they treat us, but is that what it truly says? I sometimes see things a bit differently than the rest of the world – I see here that we’re being told to treat others EXACTLY how we would like them to “do so” unto us. So, when you are rude, are you expecting to be treated rudely? Angry – angrily? Lacking compassion and denying basic needs to others – you want others to deny basic needs then to you.
I know believers who have taken pride in screaming in the faces of store clerks, cussing at store workers, cursing at family members! Using this teaching, we should ask them when they brag about it or demonstrate this in front of us, “Did you just give permission for that person to scream and cuss in YOUR face?” Of course, they will say no, and likely claim the person deserved it or “had what was coming to them.” But if you show or recite either of those verses to that “believer,” I pray you can show them how they actually ARE giving that person permission to do the same to them.
Reversing the attention in those verses should be an attention-getter for EVERY believer. How YOU ACT TODAY, TOMORROW, NEXT WEEK during this entire man-made crisis is a statement of HOW YOU WOULD LIKE OTHERS TO TREAT YOU.
If you hoard all the toilet paper to yourself, then that means you want people to withhold TP from you in an emergency. If you ensure you buy all the meat or milk, cereals or pasta, and do not share with the neighbor who didn’t make it to the store before the panic, then you are stating out loud that is how YOU want them to treat you in your time of lack! Have you ever thought of it that way? I have – many times. It is one of the “exercises” I use regularly to try and keep myself in check.
I have used this throughout my life. If I want others to backbite or gossip, lie, cheat, steal, and covet from me, then I will do the same to them. Yet I don’t want people to lie to or about me, covet, cheat or steal from me. And so, I try my best to not do those things to them.
That is what those words are there for in the scriptures – to help remind us of what NOT to be. Yet many don’t look at them from the other side. Most often we try to use those words to put OTHERS in check for how they are treating us or those around us.
Take the time, please, during this trial in our nations. And think about how you are treating others. Remember that old saying about walking a mile in their shoes? Now is the good time to start that. Some days it is as simple as asking yourself, if I were the store clerk, cashier or manager, or even the other customer: would I want those words coming out of someone’s mouth aimed at me? Would I want them to behave that way toward me?
NOW, apply this daily with friends and family AND those you don't even know.
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YOU Did This To Me
Sometimes we make Shabbat stressful on ourselves without intending to. During those moments, we are trying to not offend Yahweh, plus we want to avoid appearing to others like we are stepping away from our beliefs on keeping the day holy. When something throws us a curve, we can at times, feel an overwhelming, almost panic feeling inside. This was one of those times where it happened to me. Most of the time my head is clear, and I just roll with the flow as ideas pop into my head to overcome a curve thrown at me. Yet because of the outside drama taking place in the world this week, I think I was already a bit "en garde" inside when this happened.
Shabbat dinner was supposed to be one I could toss together after sundown by reheating the rice, then throwing veggies and pre-cooked meat into the frying pan. It required some work but was still an easy meal. Yet SOMEONE (ME, ME, ME!!!) forgot that we Sprang Forward earlier in the month, and now sundown is at SEVEN-30, and not six-30! I don’t like to eat too late in the evening, yet wasn’t comfortable cooking that much during Shabbat hours.
I had most of the ingredients ready to just toss into the skillet or wok, but there was still some cooking and preparing that would need to be done. Much more than I, personally, felt appropriate on Shabbat. On the other hand, if we waited for sundown, I knew we would be eating way too late in the day for my tastes.
With my mind already fuddled, I blurted out-loud my dilemma to Jim, and he very calmly said, “Just throw it all in a pan and stick it in the oven! Then just rinse the lettuce and it will be ready in no time!” I felt so silly – here I was worried about over-working, and it was so simple! I grabbed a casserole pan, dumped in the rice, piled on the meat and veggies, sprinkled soy sauce and sesame oil on, added a baking lid, then popped it in our toaster oven. Thirty minutes later it was ready to toss into the lettuce and eat our bulgogi dinner!
We need to remember to just take a breath and think at moments like this. And if we can’t, then turn to Yahweh and ask, or to our husband, maybe even a friend and run it by them, calmly. Ideas always come, whether through prayer or through another’s calm. Such a simple solution which provided peace for me to just enjoy the last little bit of Shabbat Shalom.
Maybe this idea will bless you with inspiration in your time of need.
Blessings and Shalom.
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Quick Shabbat Oops!
We hope you have taken the time to read the first in this series where we disccussed “halakha.” With that understanding, let’s explore and explain lashon hara.
Lashon hara is a Hebrew term that is considered halakha. Simply put, that means a behavior which rabbis determined is governed by their laws. Lashon hara is part of “Jewish ethics” and, when violated, is judged by the Jewish legal system.
Just as there is conflict with the definition of “halakha,” there is conflicting information about lashon hara.
1) Some believe lashon hara is simply telling any lie.
2) Some believe it to be the telling of stories that are the ruin of a reputation.
3) While still others believe it means when someone upsets you, and you declare they have offended you.
4) There are also people who believe it is ANY information spoken that might bring harm to another, true or false. In fact, some believe this includes speaking positive things about a friend or relative in front of the person’s enemy. Why? Well, it is beleived that this could tempt the enemy to commit some spoken offense against the person.
This has come about because, just as in halakha, Rabbis in different sects, orders, and communities have defined lashon hara according as they have been led. Here are just two examples:
A) To some, lashon hara is the truth spoken for a wrong purpose. Jewish law segregates truth spoken from lies spoken. Lies fall under the classification of defamation, and not lashon hara.
B) The Encyclopedia of Jewish Religion, however, defines lashon hara as: “Every kind of trafficking in evil report or rumors—whether true or not—by carrying them from one person to another, or by relating unpleasant or harmful facts about another, is forbidden.”
There are many more examples we could draw from, too. But these two examples will give us some ideas of what could be considered against Jewish law. And using scripture we can also show that Yahweh would not approve of these actions, either:
- Trafficking – spreading reports in any way. Today this would include face-to-face conversation as well as telephone, social media, text message, etc. It is interesting to look up the definition of the word “trafficking” because it means to “deal or trade in something illegal.” When it comes to our words or stories spread, it makes it sound pretty covert, under-handed, and evil.
Leviticus 19:16a is an example of “trafficking.” “You shall not go up and down as a slanderer among your people.” This verse is a good visual of trafficking as it shows movement when it describes someone who will “go up and down.”
- Wrong purposes, evil speaking, or evil reports – Often there is negative motive behind the trafficking of stories. Negative motives (wrong purposes) include things like envy, jealousy, pride, greed, vengeance, bitter root, etc. These motives aer what lead to words spoken with evil intentsuch as negative speaking that taints a reputation.
Proverbs 28:25 WEB: “One who is greedy stirs up strife…”
Proverbs 21:24 WEB: “The proud and haughty man, "scoffer" is his name; he works in the arrogance of pride.”
James 3:16 KJV: “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”
The bible is rife with examples of potential motives which people use to spread rumors against a
brother or sister.
- Tale-bearing – This includes idle talk, often sensationalized, or implied; meddlesome stories; tall tales, lies.
Proverbs 20:19 Douay Rheims: “He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets; Therefore meddle not with him that openeth wide his lips.”
2 Thessalonians 3:11 Good News Translation: “We say this because we hear that there are some people among you who live lazy lives and who do nothing except meddle in other people's business.”
- Scandal-mongering – similar to tale-bearing, but more scandalous, implying a ruinous rumor. “I heard that man died suddenly. Maybe his wife was cheating on him, and he walked in on them together then had a heart attack!” The only truth in this statement is likely that the man died – the rest is scandalous speculation about alleged infidelity. This goes well with the scriptures about meddling and idleness listed under tale-bearing!
- Insinuation - That situation where someone sounding exasperated says, “Goodness! Don’t even ask me about what Susie did the other day!” Then leaving it to hang for minds to wander.
- Gossip – includes pretty much all of the above and anything even similar to all of the above!
We have all heard these verses in Proverbs 6:16-19 KJV which read “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Four out of the seven Yahweh feels are abominations fit into what we just described, don’t they?
There is another aspect I would like to bring up which is in addition to the person does the actual SPEAKING. Jewish law says that both the speaker and the HEARER are guilty of lashon hara. You may be exclaiming WHAT? HOW?? Well, this too is scriptural. Many people don’t believe or realize that sitting and listening to someone gossip makes us just as guilty as the person speaking it.
Proverbs 20:19 WEB: “He who goes about as a tale-bearer reveals secrets; therefore don't keep company with him who opens wide his lips.” The talebearer reveals the secrets, but we are not to keep company with those. We are to remove ourselves from that situation, from that immoral influence.
Proverbs 17:4 KJV: “A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.” OUCH! If we listen to those false lips, we become an evildoer, too. We will appear to be liars as we willingly listen to the “naughty tongue.” If we stick around to hear stories, while nodding our heads, we give the distinct impression we are in agreement with what they say. Should we speak against these stories later, this can make us appear hypocritical. Or worse, if we speak the rumors to others we literally become liars for sharing false information. Which brings us to the next scripture I would like to share.
Exodus 23:1 WEB: “You shall not spread a false report. Don't join your hand with the wicked to be a malicious witness.” We must not listen to these stories and spread them, and we must not join forces with those who spoke first. Let’s be real with each other - when we hear one person speak about a situation, we are only hearing that one side. If we turn around and repeat only that side, we are not being honest. We have put ourselves, whether intentionally or not, in a position to be a malicious witness by speaking those stories as though they are truth.
1 Corinthians 15:33 WEB: “Don't be deceived! Evil companionships corrupt good morals." Also see the KJV translation: Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Whether it is evil companionship or evil communication, it will corrupt our morals and our manners. We can be led astray – so we must be careful to not be deceived by these temptations.
We MUST be aware of our speech, and we must be aware of the situations we allow ourselves to be in. Scripture says there is the power of life and death in our tongue, in the words we speak. God hates gossip (tale-bearing) – He calls it an abomination. Speech is VERY powerful – it can make or break people’s spirits, emotions, testimony, even their character and reputation. Look at it this way, Yahweh spoke this world into existence! How powerful is that? So, do we need to be aware of our words and be cautious of what
So – can we say that rabbinic lashon hara is biblical?
With all this scriptural evidence we would have to say that yes, in principle, lashon hara is biblical. Yet, we would stand firm to say RABBINICAL LASHON HARA IS NOT a message that we teach. You are probably asking a big WHY? Well, we see issues with using lashon hara in our modern day.
A big issue is that lashon Hara is an official claim in Jewish law made against another person. Biblically speaking, the court of judgment that was set up was the Sanhedrin and was made up of 71 men who heard cases. These led to judgments. Once the Jewish people entered the era of the diaspora, though, they were often cut off from the Sanhedrin by distance. After that point, the decision was made to rely, instead, on a panel of three men when there was conflict that could not be settled. These three men could be three rabbis, or could be just three men the individual community believes are "wise."
This small board of three men who are determined wise enough to judge – this would be called a Beit Din. Yet this is Judaic law, not biblical law. In non-Jewish circles, where people are “Torah observant Christians,” they do not fall under the judgment of rabbis, or this council.
Who, then, makes the decisions in a case that involves a Non-Jew? With all the variations of Christianity and Torah observant communities, who decides right and wrong? It depends.
We recently saw a perfect example of who decides outside of rabbinics. A case came up in the Christian churches where a preacher/teacher was accused of grievous sin. The accusations went public and part of the concern was that there were untruths being spread. In Jewish circles, this would be a case of potential lashon hara. It took some time for those of similar faith to come together and examine the case. Eventually, a board was appointed to bring in an investigator and then hear evidence leading to a decision. This IS an option which can be used. Just as was done in biblical times when Moses called the Seventy. Yet even this can go awry.
A couple years ago, I witnessed one person very upset over the words of another on a social media group. The offended person claimed lashon hara SO vehemently that several other people got involved in the situation. Three men got together in the background, appointed themselves the three wisest men, and they made a judgment in this case. I honestly never stuck around long enough to see how it turned out. Neither did the accused – because it was clear that the “trial” was not fair, nor was it impartial as all three men were deeper friends with the offended. There appeared to be no chance of impartiality.
Another issue we have seen with lashon hara is the flexibility from order to order, sect to sect, community to community, etc., just as with the term halakha. In fact, in researching this topic, there are several websites which contain lists or descriptions of EXEMPTIONS for lashon hara. In other words, there are times when you CAN commit lashon hara and the rabbis will not punish you. In some cases, they believe lashon hara is a “mitzvot,” or commandment. In other words, you are commanded by the rabbinic laws to speak lashon hara, and the if you don't do it, a punishment can be issued.
A nut shell
Well, that is lashon hara in a nutshell. I may have left you with more questions than answers. The summary at this point is that lashon hara is a rabbinic term for what they decide is evil speaking, and it is governed by Jewish ethics and law.
As I said before, it is not a principle Torah For Women will teach. Here are our reasons why:
1) It falls under rabbinic rule. It is halakha – and therefore, must be tried and judged by rabbis or a council of wise, Jewish men. We are not under rabbinic rule.
2) Although based on Biblical principles, lashon hara is, in our assessment, too flexible in both deciding what is and is not “lawful,” and in deciding who hears the cases. These two show a lack of consistent and proper discernment as what is lawful and who hears cases can change with a change in popularity, as we explained briefly in our first article in the series.
3) Our biblical evidence shows that the principle goes along with Yahweh’s teachings. Therefore, since rabbis have decided that sometimes it is a “rabbinical commandment” (or mitzvah) to BREAK a commandment of Yahweh’s, we cannot support this thinking. There are rare circumstances when we may have to choose between two of Yahweh’s commandments, but we should never put ourselves in the position to choose between MAN’S religious “laws” and YAHWEH’S.
Yahweh’s Word is our final authority. Not Judaism. Not Christianity. Not MAN, no matter what man’s claim of authority over us.
In our next articles in this series, we will explain better Yahweh’s teachings on gossip, as well as go over some ideas in our modern society of what can be considered a violation of His teachings. We can also explore who judges us in these areas. We hope to also explain "conversation" well enough for you to feel comfortable when talking with friends and loved ones.
Jewish “Permission” to Commit Lashon Hara
Jewish Encyclopedia Link to Lashon Hara Article
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Lashon Hara - Part 2
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
Torah For Women
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