Passage 79: We Are Afflicted in Every Way, but Not Crushed; Perplexed, but Not Driven to Despair; Persecuted, but Not Forsaken; Struck down, but Not Destroyed

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

2 Corinthians 4:7-12

Reflection

My personal understanding when reading this Bible passage is that the treasure in jars of clay is the spirit of God in us when we believe in Jesus as our savior—the same Spirit of God in all those who believe in Jesus as Savior and King. The jars of clay are our external appearances, our bodies.

This treasure is the reason why we can only be afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

God gives us this treasure to endure in our personal challenges and during the tribulation. With that, we should not fear because Jesus Christ lives in us.

Challenge

  • Be calm and kind-hearted to those who do not believe. But be firm and prophetic that those who do not believe may know the saving power of Jesus Christ to all humanity.
  • Stand your ground and be a living witness of God’s power through your life.

Prayer

Father in Heaven, grant me the gentleness to show your love and generosity to others. But, at the same time, please give me the confidence and the courage to speak the truth.

May my life be a living witness of your kindness, love, justice, and providence. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

1 thought on “Passage 79: We Are Afflicted in Every Way, but Not Crushed; Perplexed, but Not Driven to Despair; Persecuted, but Not Forsaken; Struck down, but Not Destroyed”

  1. Holding Reshonim Rabbis Accountable for their errors and mistakes. A Shabbos T’shuva address. טוב.

    Actions have consequences. Unlike you Americans who became a nation – just a tad more than 200 years ago, we Yidden, as a people (sometimes as a nation) have had to live with the consequences of bad decisions made by our rabbinic leadership. This last shabbot, the shabbot prior to Yom Kippur, also known as shabbot t’shuva. This post shabbot t’shuva address post, it addresses the issue of responsibility for the Shoah – the systematic murder of 75% of European Jewry in less than 4 years. Naturally, the Shoah\Holocaust has “shaped” the Jewish perspective upon life as abortion “shapes” the identity of women who murder their own children. It employs a few Yiddish and Hebrew terms. 1. Narishkeit – complete and utter stupidity. 2. Masoret – traditions. 3. Sha’s: the Talmud. 4. Siddur: the Prayerbook. 5. פרדס a shortened abbreviation for the Oral Torah logic system, first revealed to Moshe following the sin of the golden calf, wherein Yidden approached Aaron and declared on Yom Kippur\the Day of Atonement — Moshe’s dead, who will teach us the rest of the Torah. (After the revelation of the opening first two commandments at Sinai, all Israel thought that they would surely die if they heard even one more commandment straight from G-d. They therefore demanded from Moshe that he ascend Mount Sinai and receive the rest of the Torah. After 40 days the nation assumed that Moshe had died in the attempt.) 6. Kabbala: the concealed traditions consisting of 2 opposing threads, like warp weft threads in a loom. These two contrasting kabbalic traditions known as פרדס and מעשה בראשית – which translates as “the act of Creation”. 7. Kre’a shma: a defining prayer in the Siddur which begins with the opening thesis statement: Hear Israel HaShem our Judge HaShem is ONE. Countless generations have erroneously interpreted the meaning that opening verse of kre’a shma, that it commands a belief in monotheism. A gigantic error and plagues the Jewish people to this very day. 8. K’vanna: this Hebrew transliterated word has no accurate translation. It roughly translates as “set the direction wherein a person directs his path walk before HaShem”. Something like aligning the 2 sights of a rifle to hit a target at long distances. 9. Horev: another name for Mt. Sinai. Moshe heard the revelation of the Oral Torah logic system by which to interpret the Written Torah. Israel heard the first two commandments at Sinai. The name Sinai therefore refers to the Written Torah revelation, whereas the name Horev refers to the Oral Torah revelation. 10. Shemone Esrei: the 18 blessings of Jewish prayer in the Siddur. 11. Bnai brit: people of the Torah oath alliance. 12. T’shuva: the dedication of the Yatzir Ha’Rah\evil inclination and the Yatzir Ha’Tov\the good inclination unto HaShem. 13. Tefilla: prayer. 14. דאורייתא: Torah commandments. 15. דרבנן: Rabbinic commandments, also known as making a ‘fence around the Torah’. 16. Machzor: the Jewish prayer book wherein Jews pray on the High Holy Days of Rosh HaShanna and Yom Kippur. This prayer book edited and formalized during the Middle Ages of Jewish g’lut\exile as a nation. 17. יסוד: foundation. This word closely compares to סוד, which means hidden secret, the basis of all Jewish kabbala. 18. Postitive time oriented commandment: a commandment completely different from Positive and Negative commandments in the Written Torah revelation. 19. ודוי: translated as confession of guilt. 20. Reshonim: a period of post Talmudic scholarship, roughly in the years 950 CE till about 1450 CE. (CE: Common Era). 21. סלח לנו אבינו: Pardon us our Father. 22. ברכה: blessing. 23. יומא: a Tractate which addresses Yom Kippur in the Babylonian Talmud. 24. אנשי נח: people within the Books of the T’NaCH Prophets and Holy Writings. 25. Rif and Rosh: 2 extremely influential Reshon scholars during the Middle Ages. The Rif lived prior to the 1st Crusades. The Rosh witnessed the burning of all Babylonian Talmudic manuscripts in Paris France in 1242. This destruction of Jewish communities across Europe came as the consequence to the Rambam Civil War. Britain expelled all Jews in 1290, in 1306 France would do the same. Germany imposed taxation without representation and bankrupted all Jews living in the kingdoms therein. Having robbed the Jewish refugee populations of all wealth, the German kings and princes would imprison all Jews into Ghetto prison for over 300 years. Napoleon early in the 19th century freed impoverished Jews from our Ghetto imprisonment, which sealed poverty and starvation of Jews across all of Western Europe and caused a huge population transfer of millions of Jewish refugee populations who fled unto Easter European countries, specifically Poland and Russia hoping for a better life. 26. Korbanot: sacrifices 27. Avoda zara: idolatry. 28. 10 Sefiroth, the classic tree of Medieval Jewish mysticism. 29. Tzimtzum: the mystic post Zohar mysticism. Jewish gnostic speculations which theorized that HaShem so to speak contracted Himself and thereby created a huge void expanse. The Universe, according to this gnostic belief, HaShem created within that void vacuum. This gnosticism the Ari attempted to reveal the hidden kabbala of מעשה בראשית. His mysticism completely negated and up-rooted the Talmudic tradition of מעשה בראשית which taught blessing vs cursing, life vs. death as the meaning of the kabbala of מעשה בראשית. The next # 30. Mussar: the T’NaCH definition for prophesy. The classic translation for this complex term: education which rebukes both the Yatzir Ha’Tov and also the Yatzir Ha’Rah. 31. Da’aven: to pray. 32. Auchronim: period of Jewish scholarship from about 1450 CE to the present day.

    Holding Reshonim Rabbis Accountable for their errors and mistakes. A Shabbos T’shuva address. טוב.During my Yeshiva education, the standard rule Universally upheld by Rabbinic authorities straight across the board: They forbade any criticism of Reshonim scholarship. The excuse given, that the later generations do not sit on the same madraga\level as that of the Reshonim scholars. This narishkeit excuse flies in the face of the decision, made by the sages, to seal the T’NaCH, Mishna and Talmud. These sealed Primary sources (no later generation can add or subtract to their “sealed” contents) all generations equally possess. No one generation has a lock monopoly over the logic required to interpret the meaning of this body of literature commonly referred to as “Traditions”.

    The Reshonim scholars, their scholarship, post the Rambam Civil War, Universally abandoned both of the primary masoret, which most essentially organizes the Order of the Sha’s, and the Order of the Siddur. The Order of the Sha’s Bavli and Yerushalmi stands upon the פרדס kabbala – Rabbi Akiva’s explanation of the logic of the Oral Torah revealed to Moshe on Yom Kippur at Horev; the Order of the Siddur stands upon the opposing מעשה בראשית kabbala. These two sets of concealed traditions within the Talmud express themselves through the opposing Halacha vs. Aggadita discussions which sums up the entire Talmud as the collective codification of Judean law which existed prior to the Roman destruction of that Jewish civilization.

    The kre’a shma of the evening, it sets the k’vanna of the Shemone Esrei da’avening adjacent to that kre’a shma. The kre’a shma of the morning sets the k’vanna of the Shemone Esrei da’avening adjacent to that kre’a shma. Tefilla constitutes as a mitzva known as: the duty of the heart. What defines the duty of the heart following the sin of the Golden Calf? The Torah revelation of T’shuva. Torah curses rain upon the bnai brit people, like as did the plagues upon Par’o and Egypt, when Israel pursues after the desires and feelings expressed by the Yatzir Ha’Rah. Blessing brings prosperity, security, and shalom to the bnai brit nation ruling the oath sworn lands with justice, when Israel pursues to dedicate tohor middot דאורייתא ודרבנן unto HaShem in tefilla.

    The t’shuva made by the Yatrir Ha’Rah does not resemble, nor does it compare to the t’shuva made by the Yatrir HaTov. The Machzor of Yom Kippor da’avening fails miserably on this score. Repeating – ad nauseam – a long list of confessions for sins, these repeated confessions concludes each and everyone of the 5 tefillot da’avened on Yom Kippur, declarations of these long confessions do not compare – much less replace, the central k’vanna of tefilla – the dedication of t’shuva. The central k’vanna of tefilla has nothing whatsoever to do with making confessions before HaShem. Rather the central k’vanna of tefilla stands upon the יסוד of t’shuva; specifically making a clear distinction between the k’vanna of the t’shuva dedication made by the opposing Yatzirot within each and every heart of bnai brit Israel.

    The heart houses both opposing Yatzirot. Tefilla, as a mitzva – it exists only as a duty of the heart. What duty obligation does the heart do at the time of tefilla? A specific tefilla dedicates the t’shuva of a specific Yatzir within the heart. Herein defines doing this positive time oriented commandment with k’vanna. Reshonim scholarship upon the Siddur: ie the Machzor confused and grossly erred on this crucial point. Making a confession of guilt does not equal, nor does it compare to dedication of the Will to due t’shuva before HaShem. The kabbala of מעשה בראשית stands upon the יסוד of t’shuva. The basis of מעשה בראשית stands a סוד upon a יסוד; the kabbala of מעשה בראשית, this סוד stands upon the יסוד of t’shuva.

    The prophet framers of the Shemone Esrei did not include any rabbinic ודוי into the languages of tefilla. Reshonim scholarship failed to teach in a clear fashion that the language of סלח לנו אבינו, the 3rd Middle Blessing, that this ברכה does not in any wise qualify as a ודוי within the language of the Shemone Esrei. The Gemara of יומא, in the famous dispute between Rabbi Meir and the Sages, Moshe and the אנשי נח set the kabbala which determines the forms which express a rabbinic ודוי. This critical halacha the Rif halachic commentary to the Talmud failed to address. Consequently the Rosh super commentary on the Rif halachic code, it too failed to include this critical halacha.

    This crucial mistake caused the framers of the Machzor to confuse ודוי confessions with dedicating t’shuva unto HaShem. Why “crucial mistake”? Yidden lost the wisdom to know that tefilla requires a dedication of t’shuva unto HaShem. Tefilla which lacks this most essential duty of the heart – t’shuva, ceases to exist as the Torah commandment of tefilla. This ‘crucial mistake’ caused generation after generation after generation to fail to do the mitzva of tefilla. In effect, through this crucial error, our own rabbis destroyed the Temple. Based upon the premise that tefilla stands in the stead of korbanot.

    Foreigners, the armies of Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple of Shlomo, and the armies of Titus destroyed the Temple of Herod – the destruction of these Temple(s), amounts to small potatoes. The curse of g’lut does not destroy Jewish national Independence by the hand of Goyim. The curse of g’lut destroys Jewish national Independence by the hand of our own People! Justice Justice Pursue, upon this יסוד HaShem judges the brit of Avraham, Yitzak, and Yaacov in all generations. At the brit cut between the pieces, HaShem informed Avraham that his future born seed would betray one another and therefore lose their privilege to rule the oath sworn lands with freedom.

    Post the Rambam Civil War, virtually all rabbinic authorities thereafter whitewashed the assimilation avoda zara made by of all the Rabbis of Spain, having the Rambam as their “king”. That Rabbinic authorities could totally ignore the Platonic idea of “emanations”, as expressed in the Zohar’s 10 Sefiroth narishkeit. This error set the stage for the Ari’s gnostic kabbala of Tzimtzum. The sealed masoret – the Ari’s mysticism, it effectively replaced – that sealed tradition – whereby Yidden established their Yiddishkeit, before the Ari’s gnosticism obliterated the kabbala of מעשה בראשית! This gnostic kabbala compares to the “Mormon bible” and its impact upon Xtianity. It set the stage for the false messiah movements which totally disgraced generations of Yiddishkeit and opened the door for the Reform schism – comparable in its own right to Martin Luther nailing his objections of Catholic corruptions upon the doors of the church!

    The failure of Jews to understand that tefilla requires k’vanna; the k’vanna of tefilla – means – the discernment between the t’shuva dedicated by the Yatzir Ha’Rah in the evening and the t’shuva dedication by the Yatzir Ha’Tov in the morning. That the t’shuva of the one in no wise compares to the t’shuva of the other. Emotional passions rules the Yatzir HaRah, this t’shuva express grief, regret, and shame for decisions hastily made which brought disgrace as it shadow. The dedication of tohor middot דאורייתא ודרבנן crowns the t’shuva dedication of the Yatzir HaTov! All Talmudic scholarship centers upon using halachot to define the k’vanna of a specific Mishna; and through the wisdom of Aggadita/Midrashim affixing prophetic mussar as the k’vanna of both – that specific Mishna – and that specific Mishna affixed as the k’vanna of a blessing within the Middle Blessing of the Shemone Esrei! The dedication to HaShem of Positive Time Oriented Commandments the primary obligation of bnai brit Man! Reshonim scholarship upon the Talmud dismally failed to teach this faith.

    Napoleon freed our people from the ghetto prisons across Europe, but our people failed to do t’shuva and da’aven to HaShem with k’vanna. Then came the Shoah. Just as the destruction of both Temples rests firmly and squarely on the failure of the Jewish people to rule the oath sworn lands with justice, because our people failed to do t’shuva; so too and how much more so the guilt of the Shoah, too the result of the Jewish people and our failure to do t’shuva.

    Currently the American Biden Administration, condemned by most Americans for the defeat of the Afghanistan war! If Americans can condemn bad leadership, then Jews too can equally condemn the evil, even wicked leadership decisions made by Reshonim and Auchronim rabbis. Who caused the systematic destruction of European Jewry???!!! The shallow reactionary condemns Hitler and the Nazis. But HaShem has a brit with the descendants of Avraham, Yitzak, and Yaacov! Where was God during the Shoah abomination? Answer: The same place as the t’shuva made by the Jewish people.

    Tefilla – The Gemara of ברכות, the distinction of k’vanna between חיוב vs. רשות.

    The Shemone Esrei tefilla of ערבית the Gemara of ברכות employs the language רשות\optional. The Shemone Esrei tefilla of שחרית the Gemara of ברכות employs the language of חיוב\obligatory. What distinguages the k’vanna between these two contrasting terms. How does an ‘obligatory’ positive time oriented commandment switch to an ‘optional’ positive time oriented commandment?

    Next difficulty in the language of the Gemara of ברכות. Tallit – a positive time oriented commandment. The Reshonim interpret this to mean that both Tallit and tefillin – wrapped and placed upon the body – done only in the day, but never at night. What does day or night have to do with k’vanna? Positive time oriented commandments require k’vanna. These commandments do not wear a watch timepiece. The time of day plays no part in the determination of a positive time oriented commandment. For example, in many Torah observant communities Yidden wrap tallit during the ערבית Yom Kippur tefilla! This stark contrast shocked and bothered me during all the years of Yeshiva education.

    Years after leaving the Yeshiva, life as a simple בעל הבית\common man, (Did not agree to accept the title of Rabbi, till asked to join the Nascent Sanhedrin attempt in 2004). That disaster proved, at least in my own mind, that rabbinic authority had fundamental and basic issues of competence. The rabbis, as long as you did not step on their halachic toes, behaved in a courteous manner. Alas, my opposition to rabbi Yoel Schwartz bnai Noach, and his attempt to expand the mandate of the Sanhedrin unto international judicial issues, aroused my strongest objections. Some of the rabbis who supported the position taken by rabbi Schwartz ceased behaving with דרך ארץ, at least towards me. These rabbis demanded my expulsion as a member of the Nascent Sanhedrin. Had my behavior resembled unto a complacent poodle – to the leadership course taken by rabbi Schwartz – most probably my rabbinic peers would not have taken such great offense at my continued presence in the Sanhedrin attempt.

    Expelled from the Court, returned to living a life as a simple בעל הבית. Making a living became a full time job. Success or failure continually hung in the balance. The study of the Talmud, limited primarily to within the domains of the memory of my mind. Then exploded the issue of the ‘Women at the Wall’, the Liberal Judaism insistence on the matter of equal rights for women – specifically to place tefillen, tallit, and read from the Torah at the Western Wall. The over-reaction, primarily by observant males disturbed me. It seemed to me that this dispute primarily centered among and between women, not men. As a simple בעל הבית, chose not to get involved in this vocal dispute. But the issue of women’s equality has great merits.

    In my ‘personal’ life, women generally have developed far greater emotional maturity than the Men in my ‘personal’ association. Marriage with Karen immediately involved her children. They almost immediately revealed, to my utter horror and shock, the real level of my ‘personal’ emotional development. Karen refers to the retarded emotional maturity displayed by most men as – ‘testosterone poisoning’.

    In some ways my relations with Karen’s children reminded me of my relationship with my Sanhedrin rabbinic peers. Public outings and meetings required me to make plans and do research. Having married into a preexisting family of teenagers, not surprisingly it quickly dawned upon me that Karen’s children viewed me as the odd Man out. Needless to say, my relationship with all Karen’s children never developed into close ties. Acceptance and tolerance became the hoped for model. My personal influence upon these children – minimal. Learning to become a parent turned out much more difficult than originally expected.

    Only one of Karen’s children decided to make her life here in Israel. Family First became the standard whereby choices to financially assist Karen’s family and grandchildren became my creed. My place in this extended family, I served as the shadow to give them shade. My support functioned to help them shine as individuals. This clashed with my self centered emotional immaturity. Like business, my relationship with Karen’s family, experienced tactical failures and disappointments in relationships more than emotional victories. My strategy centered upon playing the long game. If my relationship to this family compared to a board game, my position on the board – very weak.

    Karen’s children, born and raised as Torah observant Jews. This totally contrasted with this Texas born, Israeli baali-t’shuva. My Yatzir appetite for trief foods and free sex hedonism has never stopped. Such a Yatzir, at least it appears to me, something totally alien to Karen’s children. My involvement in the education of these children required me to develop the Baal Ha’Tanya’s concept of bittal; transforming the LARGE I, into a small i. This astonishing revelation of personal identity, it greatly contributed how to interpret the k’vanna of the difficulties in the Gemara, mentioned above, within ברכות.

    As a simple בעל הבית, sometimes unemployed working man, my focus of learning switched to the T’NaCH (sex, Jazz and rock n roll). Launching research on this Primary source caused me to develop a grasp of Rabbi Akiva’s kabbala of פרדס. Music requires its own unique musical score. Why should the rabbinic framers of T’NaCH interpretation, too not develop their own musical score. The reading of a sefer Torah requires wisdom which includes its own unique musical score. Why should the T’NaCH literature as a whole sit as ”the odd man out”? This question radically changed my approach to the study of the T’NaCH. The study of literature stands upon the foundations of Compare and Contrast. The body of Jewish law, ie the Talmud – by comparison – stands upon the יסוד of precedents! Therefore this rule equally applies to the study of the T’NaCH.

    Learning to play a trumpet requires repeating over and again and again the scales. This repetition of scales slowly imparts a profound wisdom, how to make Jazz music playing a horn. The Gemara of ראש השנה refers to blowing the Shofar,,, as a wisdom. Consequently, to discern the ‘wisdom’ of the T’NaCH most essentially requires development of a scale, which uniquely defines the entire body of the T’NaCH literature as a whole.

    Learning the T’NaCH לשמה, made the Divine Name the key; affixed to the Name, in a rotating pattern, the 13 tohor middot. Whenever the Name appeared in the T’NaCH, affixed a designated midda to the Name, in a continuous repeating succession. The Name lives as Spirit rather than a word. To blow the horn requires the investment of spirits. The wisdom of blowing a horn equally applies to the shofar, a horn made from a ram! Blowing the shofar therein defines the k’vanna in pronouncing the Name. Not bad for a simple בעל הבית.

    Herein brings us full circle. Women have a רשות to keep and observe positive time oriented commandments! If the mitzva of kre’a shma in the morning requires tallit and tefillen, then so too the kre’a shma in the evening requires tallit and tefillen – because both mitzvot most essentially involve swearing a Torah oath. A person swears a Torah oath either by standing in front of a Sefer Torah or sitting with tefillen. The Rashi\Rabbeinu Tam contrasting order of tefillen parchments serves as a proof. The contrast between these two sets of tefillen stands upon the יסוד of the different oath britot cut at Gilgal and at Sh’Cem. In the morning da’avening, based upon the concept of making one’s da’avening from a fixed location, affixed the Rashi on the arm and the Rabbeinu Tam upon the head. In the evening da’avening, based upon the concept of making one’s da’avening from a fixed location, affixed the Rabbeinu Tam on the arm and the Rashi upon the head. Herein defines the k’vanna of ברכות on the matter of רשות, as it applies equally to both Men and Women.

    The kre’a shma has the k’vanna of swearing a Torah oath. Acceptance of the curse\blessing yoke of heaven equally requires the mitzvot of tallit and tefillen. The kre’a shma, in its time, determines the k’vanna of t’shuva made by a specific Yatzir within the heart. The t’shuva of post Adam – Man, tefilla as a positive time oriented commandment. Man does not point his finger at Eve, and declare to HaShem – she did it!

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