Shavua Tov

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Start Your New Week with a Word of Edification, Exhortation and Comfort from Daniel Botkin

Welcome to the Gates of Eden Blog ~ New posts weekly at 8PM following Shabbat

June 30, 2019

God's Kingdom is a kingdom of law and order, a kingdom wherein imperfect humans are appointed by God to exercise authority over other imperfect humans until the Lord returns. Authority in God's Kingdom is hierarchical and begins with the Supreme Authority, God. The Bible says that God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man, and man is the head of woman. (See 1 Corinthians 11:3.) Women are also delegated to exercise authority. Older women have authority to teach younger women ("The aged women...that they may teach the younger women," Titus 2:3f), and mothers have authority over their children ("Forsake not the law of thy mother," Proverbs 1:8). In God's Kingdom, authority in the family is gender-based: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church" (Eph. 5:22f). "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own

June 23, 2019

Growing up as a kid in the 1950s and early 60s, I read a lot of superhero comic books. I even read the Letters pages, where readers sent comments and questions about the various characters. Some readers seemed to think of the superheroes as real people. I remember one reader wrote and asked if Superman believed in God. The editor answered Yes, Superman indeed believes in God. I was glad to learn that the Man of Steel was not an atheist. As a kid I knew very little about God, and virtually nothing about Jews and Judaism. In later years I learned that nearly all of the most popular superheroes were created by Jews, and that Jewish themes were often woven into many of the stories. I also learned about the original mythical Jewish superhero, the Golem. The legend of the Golem took place in 16th-century Prague. To defend the

June 16, 2019

In English we call the fourth book of the Bible “Numbers.” This is a translation of the Latin title of the book, Numeri, which is a translation of the Greek title Arithmoi. If you read the first several chapters of the book, it’s easy to see why Greek-speaking, Latin-speaking, and English-speaking people gave it a title that includes the ideas of arithmetic and numbers. The first several chapters consist primarily of long lists of numbers and mathematical calculations to record the total amounts of various countings: how many men in each of the twelve tribes; how to set up the camp according to the tribes; how many men in each of the families of the Levites; how many shekels of redemption money to collect; how many of each item that each of the tribal leaders brought as an offering, etc., etc.,

June 9, 2019

A few years ago I was asked to teach a seminar on “Hebrew Holidays and Their Import For Christians” at Bradley University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The students were all 50 or older, so I knew they would remember the Marx Brothers comedy team. I asked them if they could name all the Marx Brothers. They immediately rattled off the names: Groucho, Chico, Harpo. But there was a fourth Marx Brother that people tend to forget, and none of my students could remember his name. (No, it wasn’t Karl.) It was Zeppo, I told them. Oh, yeah, Zeppo Marx!

   Then I showed them a column from the 5/1/10 Jewish Forward called “Shavuot: The Zeppo Marx of Jewish Holidays.” J.J. Goldberg, the author, starts his column by saying:

   “Of all the major Jewish holidays, the least familiar to the general, synagogue-avoiding Jewish public is the festival of Shavuot… In fact, its obscurity is so striking that discussions of the holiday commonly start by noting its obscurity, as I did. As a result, it...

June 2, 2019

In the early years of the twentieth century, God did an amazing thing. He poured out His Spirit in a mighty and marvelous way. All over the world, in Wales, in America, in India, in Africa, in Asia, all over the world, the Holy Spirit moved mightily. Great multitudes of people were awakened, converted, and filled with the Holy Spirit. Out of this world-wide revival emerged the Pentecostal Movement. The history of the Pentecostal Movement has been documented in books such as Vinson Synan's The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century (Eerdman's 1997), Walter Hollenweger's Pentecostalism: Origins and Developments Worldwide

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