Sunday, March 28, 2010

Newly Kosher for the White House

Last year's White House Passover seder, a new tradition instituted by President Obama, apparently did not come without problems:
Then came what is now remembered as the Macaroon Security Standoff. At 6:30, with the Seder about to start, Neil Cohen, the husband of Michelle Obama’s friend and adviser Susan Sher, was stuck at the gate bearing flourless cookies he had brought from Chicago. They were kosher for Passover, but not kosher with the Secret Service, which does not allow food into the building.
May your Passovers be joyous, and without major security problems.

Friday, March 26, 2010

holiness as true freedom

At a rollicking debate Wednesday night on the existence of God between William Lane Craig and Michael Tooley (short story: Craig won, and the God of Israel exists), Dr. Craig illustrated a key premise of his moral argument by noting that without a moral law giver, and hence without objective moral facts, something like "murdering babies for fun," instead of being objectively wrong, would be "unfashionable ... like Lady Gaga" (!). This brought welcome laughs, but I think Dr. Craig was being clever in a purpose beyond levity. Now it is not my interest to comment on his argument, but rather the spiritual significance of Lady Gaga.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The furtive patakh and how to transliterate ישוע

I inserted this into the middle of an unnecessarily-mega post on Messiah's Hebrew name. But I really wanted to stop doing that after say 24-hours of making a post. So here it is. 

May you live to be 120!

Via Israel21c, David Pur, who lives in Israel, is to be declared the oldest man in the world:

Born in 1895 in what was then Persia and today is Iran, Pur became an adviser to the Shah, who admired his mastery of languages, including Persian, Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic and French. He later added Tagalog, while learning to care for Filipinos. He and his family came to Israel in 1948.

A commenter couldn't help but notice a strange math issue though.
Today, the man who smoked for nearly 110 years and has a glass of brandy and some nuts for breakfast seems to know instinctively what recent Israeli research has proved - that increasing vegetables and cutting out trans fats and processed foods can reverse hardening of the arteries. "I avoid meat and fried foods, and eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible," he says. (emph. mine)
He is now 115. Did he really start smoking not long after he turned five?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Что нового? New Russian site!

I am surprised there were no posts for Feburary and half of March, especially since there are many things worth blogging about for that stretch of time! Among other things, if you are by any chance a Russian speaker please take a minute to check out our Russian site made through the help of Heaven as well as the gracious talents of Natalia Fomin, and to which content is added regularly. Also, if you would like to help, please do pass it along to Russian-speaking friends!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Restoration of "Yeshua" vs. accommodation to "Yeshu"

The most popular Hebrew term used for Jesus is "Yeshu," a word spelled with three Hebrew letters. You find this in textbooks, newspapers, and in conversations about Jesus.

However, “Yeshu” is generally not the term used by Messianic Jewish Hebrew-speakers. The reason is simple: other than as the negation "may his name and memory be blotted out" (yemach shmo vezichro ימח שמו וזכרו = y-sh-v --> Yeshu יש''ו, often written without the abbreviation marks as ישו), the name has no clear meaning or origin.

Often, a Hebrew-speaking believer has the experience of being asked if she believes in "Yeshu" ישו, wherein she responds that no, she believes in "Yeshua" ישוע (which means "the Lord saves"). Her clarification then may be met by skeptical looks and the question: "who is this Yeshua?"

Is "Yeshua" Jesus' name in Hebrew? And how do we know?