Walking in the Way

sandals-walkIn today’s class Ross teaches on the subject of walking in the Way of Yehovah. He uses several examples from the patriarchal narratives to show that there have always been people, who despite the actions of the majority, have been singled out for their righteous behavior. He cites passages related to Noah, Abraham, and Job. What was it about these men that set them apart? How did their righteous walk affect those around them? While mankind has demonstrated a tendency towards sin, there are those who in every generation have “walked with God.” He appeals to the words of David to make his final point concerning the formation of the thoughts of the heart. You will not want to miss this teaching on walking upright with God in this generation.

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A Righteous Man

300px-Noah_catacombeIn this week’s class, Ross shares some insights from the first two Torah portions of Genesis. He begins with the creation of man and follows the story through the flood of Noah pointing out the great potential of man for both good and bad. Why was man created in the first place? How did man’s story go so quickly from good to bad? What was it that caused God to regret that he made man in the beginning? What led to man’s banishment from Eden? As the story introduces Noah, we read that he was a righteous man, whole in his generation. What was it about Noah, and is righteousness something that can be attained by others? These questions and more are answered in this teaching. You will not want to miss this class.

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An Old Vision for a New Beginning

Temple_Sinai_Circa1905In this message, drawing partly from Biblical passages, and partly from records of the dedicatory service of Temple Sinai in 1903, Ross shared an old vision for a new beginning for Roots of Faith from the Historic Temple Sinai Synagogue in Saint Francisville, Louisiana. Inspired by the hopes and dreams of Saint Francisville’s former Hebrew citizens, Ross set forth to encourage his listeners to seize their vision and bring it into fruition. You will not want to miss this inspiring message.

 

 

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Steve Jobs, The Torah and Technology

440px-Steve_Jobs_Headshot_2010-CROPToday marks three years since the passing of Steve Jobs on October 5, 2011. As an owner of a MacBook Pro, an iPad Mini, and an iPhone, I guess you could call me an Apple man. I love these wonderful devices. I recall when the first iPhone was released. The Torah reading was Balak, which tells the story of Balaam, the pagan prophet who was hired to curse Israel but ended up blessing them instead. I found it interesting then, and still do, that this was not the first technological advancement that was associated with this ancient Torah reading.

On Shavuot (Pentecost), in the year 1844, a similar advancement in technology took place. At 8:45 AM on Friday, May 24th, 1844, Samuel Morse sent a communication from Washington to Alfred Vail in Baltimore. The technology revolution of that time was called the telegraph – formed by two Greek words; tele=far and graphy=to write.

Interestingly, the same words that were telegraphed on Pentecost 1844 were also read on the day that Apple released the first iPhone. In 1844, Annie Ellsworth sent the first telegraphed message. It was short, and taken from the King James Version of the Bible. The message said, “What hath God wrought?” Annie Ellsworth chose Balaam’s words to inaugurate the Technological Communication Age and then the latest “revolution” in Communication Technology was released on the day that these words were read again in synagogues throughout the world!

Is there something deeper in all of this? Is there a Divine hand at work? I am a fan of technology and continually seek new ways to utilize it in my efforts to teach the Bible. Steve Jobs and Apple have been very instrumental in providing innovative devices that enable me to reach the ends of the earth with my teachings. His work has been a blessing to me and to many others. Thinking of the genius today. May he rest in peace, and may his name be for a blessing.

Samuel Morse sent a final telegraph in June of 1871. It read, “Greetings and thanks to the telegraph Fraternity throughout the world, Glory to God in the Highest, on earth, peace, goodwill to men.” May we always find more ways to speak and communicate God’s prophetic word through modern technology! Indeed, what hath God wrought!

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Yom HaKippurim – Is Fasting Enough?

480px-Gottlieb-Jews_Praying_in_the_Synagogue_on_Yom_KippurIn today’s teaching, Ross covers some essential points from selected Yom Kippur readings in order to stress the meaning of the day. He begins with three readings found in the Bible’s book of Leviticus which discuss the 10th day of the 7th month (Leviticus 16; 23:26-32; and 25:8-10). Ross shares some key points from these three passages, highlighting a phrase that is translated to “afflict the soul.” What does this mean? How is one to afflict the soul? It is generally understood that this means to fast, but is refraining from eating enough? Is this what is required on the holiest of days? Ross goes on to show from various Scriptures how one is to afflict the soul and then he turns his attention to yet one more portion of Scripture associated with the Day of Atonement – the Book of Jonah. He shares parts of the story with the intent of challenging his listeners on this day. You will not want to miss this teaching.

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