Evolutionary religion is the quest for truth. Revelatory religion IS that truth.

Our Savior, Jesus Christ - Yeshua

The Christus

Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy

with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; Deuteronomy 7:9

Link to the 613 Commandments (Mitzvot) of Judaism

www.jewfaq.org/613.htm, and/or this one by a rabbi: http://ohr.edu/judaism/articles/taryag.pdf.

A large number of these 613 relate to the ancient temple practices and are, of course, no longer valid. Many others still have efficacy in the Orthodox Jewish community.

Want to see Marlena's other sites?

http://comeuntochrist.blogspot.com/, http://judaicaworld.wordpress.com/, http://www.mormonsandjews.net/ http://www.jewishconvert-lds.com/ http://www.peopleofthebook-judaica.com/

New article by Marlena on JewishJournal.com.
Why Would a Jew Become a Mormon?


A Mormon's Guide to Judaism, People of The Book and Notes of a Jewish Convert to the LDS Church available on Kindle!! Download them to your phone and read anytime. They will help you understand one of the three seminal religions and cultures; the similarities and differences between Judaism and the LDS Church.

For more info: marlenatanya@gmail.com

Search This Blog

November 12, 2012  RSS

Interview with a Jew-loving Ukrainian Mormon

Posted by Mark Paredes
LDS Seminary and Institute (= Mormon Hillel) coordinators are an oft-overlooked resource for Jewish leaders in Europe who are attempting to conduct outreach to friendly Christian communities. Some of the most philo-Semitic Mormons I have ever met are Institute directors, and one has profoundly changed my life. Marin Iachimov, the Institute coordinator for Romania and several other countries, kindly invited me to speak on LDS-Jewish relations in Romania and Moldova, and I met my lovely wife-to-be in Bucharest. I havealready blogged about the former Institute directors in Lund, Sweden, a German couple who organized groups of young Mormons to clean Jewish cemeteries. In this column I’d like to profile the dynamic philo-Semite who serves as the Seminary and Institute coordinator for Ukraine. If you know Jews in Ukraine, by all means forward this interview to them.     
Igor Piddubnyi has been an Institute coordinator for 15 years, and writes that he “was always attracted to our brothers, the Jews. I had many Jewish friends during my school years.” Like many Mormons, Igor had this to say about his trip to Israel: “I love them [Jews] with all my heart. I have never heard that I had Jewish roots, but when I went to Israel, I felt home. I almost wept as I stood at the Western wall. There is still something sacred there.” In addition, Igor speaks and reads some Hebrew. I asked him to respond to a few questions for this blog, and he was kind enough to send the following responses:
How long have you been a Mormon? When did your interest in Judaism begin?
I was baptized in June 1993. My wife was baptized in February 1991, when there were only five members of the Church in Ukraine. As I look back, the topic of Judaism has been on my mind since I can remember. Basically, it started along with my membership in the Church, after I had come back from serving in the Soviet Army.
Which Jewish sites have you visited in Ukraine?
As a S&I (CES) coordinator I travel a lot throughout Ukraine. As I visit classes in the mission branches, I often pass by famous Jewish sites. All of them are located in picturesque areas. Sometimes I visit such places to think about my life and feel closer to God. So far I have visited:
  • the grave of Baal Shem Tov (in Medzhybyzh), the founder of Hasidism
  • the grave of Rabbi Nahman (in Uman), the most famous leader of Hasidism
  • the grave of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak (in Berdichev)
  • the grave of Rabbi Nathan (in Bratslav), the disciple of Rabbi Nachman
  • old synagogues in western Ukraine, including Rivne and Dubno, Lviv and Chernivtsi. Here is a site in Russian about the Jewish heritage of Ukraine. I believe they are working on the English version, but it’s not available yet. I have visited more than half of these places.
Besides the Bible, what is your favorite work of Jewish literature?
I have not read the Talmud yet, but I really like Moshe Haim Luzzato’s “Mesilat Yesharim” (The Path of the Just). He wrote it when he was 33. I also like Martin Buber’s “The Tales of Hasidim” (parables and stories) and  “Roots of the Bible” by Friedrich Weinreb. The three books (Gardens) by the modern writer Shalom Arush (especially his “Garden of Peace”) should be read by every husband.
You recently purchased a Torah with commentary by Rashi. How does this add to your understanding of Judaism -- and Mormonism?
Jewish people are people of details as we know. They believe that there are no excess words in the Scriptures. Rashi wrote his commentaries with a close look at small details, but also gives a lot of contextual material. When I read some passages in the Bible that are difficult to understand, where principles can't be seen because of lack of context, I usually try to look up the same passage in the Torah with Rashi or other commentaries to see what historical background can found there. For example, in Genesis 6:1 – 8 we read about “sons of God and daughters of men” – the time when the Lord, because of the wickedness of men, gives them a certain time to repent. Rashi suggests two meanings for the expression “the sons of God” – 1. Sons of the princes and the nobles of the land; 2. Messengers of the Most High, who mingled with men. Regarding the first possible meaning he explained, by quoting other authors, that wickedness was so great that when princes or nobles of the land saw “daughters of men” beautifying themselves before entering the nuptial canopy, a son of the noble or prince would come and take them by force “from whomever they chose” - even a married woman. After that the Lord sets the countdown timer. Many details give additional insights into the situation from which we can draw principles. The stories I used to read by blocks and pages, now become words and letters. I started to underline not sentences or verses as before, but words that become a basis for principles and doctrines
What were the spiritual highlights of your trip to Israel?
When I first went to Israel (it was November and I was flying in from cold Moscow), the very smell of the air in Tel Aviv, rose bushes, trees and many other details added to my understanding of why it’s a land chosen above all other lands and why they still fight for it. I remember my first feeling of seeing the Western Wall. I could not believe I was standing there. I was touching the wall of the Temple Mount and thinking how many lives were lost and touched at this place. I could feel somehow that I was standing in the middle of the universe, that that was the place of most interest for me. I have visited quite a few countries and seen wonderful sites and historical places, but I have never felt anything like that. For me it was such a native and natural place. Another highlight – Masada. It has a very dramatic story. It was so amazing to walk among stones that have seen so much. The trip to Israel changed my understanding of the Scriptures. The distances to, colors, smell of the places I visited – every time I come across those in the Scriptures – they become alive, it expands my understanding. Also, the Garden Tomb was such a touching moment. When we were leaving, I stood on Friday night on the Mount of Olives and looked at the Temple Mount. It was difficult to part with this city, I felt as if I was leaving someone very close to my heart. Jerusalem has a living soul.
What do you see as the most important Jewish-Mormon ties?
The belief in the absolute truth. Focus on the family. Working on your personal salvation by hard spiritual labor. Following the path of those who have trodden the path of righteousness before. Waiting for the Messiah (or for His return) with an single to the glory of God. Being separated from the world. I believe the Lord applied the same pattern working with the latter-day group of His covenant people as he used with ancient Israel. That’s why we have the same Root and we can find many similarities in the concepts of Judaism and Mormonism.

Mark Paredes blogs for the Jewish Journal, the Deseret News, and Meridian Magazine. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Biblical Roots of Judaism-Outline of Progress Series

Understanding the Old Testament Through Jewish Eyes:http://judaicaworld.wordpress.com/understanding-the-o-t-through-jewish-eyes/ *********************************************************

Chart of Tribal Lineage

Sometimes the tribes are listed genealogically (Gen. 35:23; I Chron. 2:1-2) sometimes in cultic formation (Num. 2-3; Deut. 27:12); and sometimes geographically (Num. 34:14-28; I Chron. 6:54 ff.; Ezek. 48:1 ff.). Usually twelve tribes are mentioned, but the identification of the tribes varies: in one Dinah is listed in place of Benjamin (Gen. 29-30), and in Chronicles both halves of the tribe of Manasseh are counted (I Chron. 2-3; 6:54-80). Some lists mention only ten tribes (Deut. 33:6 ff.; II Sam. 19:43); one gives eleven tribes (I King 11:31); and in Gen. 46:48 ff. there are thirteen. Gerald A. Larue, PhD.

Blog Archive

Ken Bowers - Champion of Freedom

Dear Reader: The fight for brotherhood and individual freedom is a universal one. The Jewish people are a sub-civilization - seemingly complete - and yet they have struggled for millenia to be able to enjoy the unalienable rights which a loving and benevolent God gave all of mankind. We must protect our freedoms. The Adversary relishes the opportunities he has to take them from us. One of the strongest advocates we have today is a man who has worked at the side of the great W. Cleon Skousen (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/cleonskousen). Ken Bowers is a brilliant researcher, popular speaker and the author of several books and CDs which provide deep insight on the issues of the secret combinations that threaten our country's freedom. Please check out his books. View his short video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdug-XaSMik If you are interested in Ken's books, email him at ken.bowers@yahoo.com. He will mail them to you. Please purchase through Ken. His website is: An Appeal to Heaven: http://www.kenbowers.blogspot.com/. You will be very interested in his books. New classics, intense, very readable! Beneath The Tide Beneath the Tide (Ken Bowers) Hiding In Plain Sight - for Latter-day Saints
Hiding in Plain Sight (Ken Bowers)
Quotations on Liberty - a compilation of quotations from General Authorities of the LDS church, our Founding Fathers and other great men and women throughout history. Knowing what threatens our peace helps to keep the peace.

The Gospel Dispensations

First: Six generations Adam (4,000 bc), Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahaleleel, Jared Second: Three generations Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech Third: Ten generations Noah (2944 bc), Shem, Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah Fourth: 14 generations Abraham (1992 b.c. if born when Terah was 130), Isaac, Jacob, Judah, David Fifth: 14 generations Moses, Jechonias, Jesus Christ (a.d. 7*) Sixth: Dispensation of Meridian of Time Commenced 1830-40 Twelve apostles Seventh: Dispensation Fulness of Times Joseph Smith (1805). The 7th dispensation began 1800 years after the 6th dispensation began. * refers to latter-day scholarship. From: Old Testament Student Manual: Genesis-2 Samuel; LDS Church Education System 1980

Total Pageviews

Marlena with Messianic Jews

Marlena with Messianic Jews

Kippah - A Blessing On Your Head

It is perhaps the most instantly identifiable mark of a Jew.

In the Western world, it is customary to remove one's head covering when meeting an important person. In Judaism, putting on a head covering is a sign of respect.

The uniqueness of a Jewish head covering is hinted at in the blessing we say every morning, thanking God for "crowning Israel with splendor" (Talmud - Brachot 60b)

The kippah is a means to draw out one's inner sense of respect for God.

The Talmud says that the purpose of wearing a kippah is to remind us of God, who is the Higher Authority "above us" (Kiddushin 31a). External actions create internal awareness; wearing a symbolic, tangible "something above us" reinforces that idea that God is always watching. The kippah is a means to draw out one's inner sense of respect for God.

It's easy to remember God while at the synagogue or around the Shabbat table. But Jewish consciousness is meant to pervade all aspects of our lives ― how we treat others, how we conduct business, and how we look at the world.

Appropriately, the Yiddish word for head covering, "yarmulke," comes from the Aramaic, yira malka, which means "awe of the King."

In Hebrew, the head covering is called "kippah" ― literally "dome."

Making A Statement

To wear a kippah is to proclaim "I am a proud Jew." There is a fascinating phenomenon whereby non-observant Jews visiting Israel will wear a kippah for the duration of their stay. It may be out of a sense that the entire Land of Israel is holy like a synagogue. Or it may be the removal of any self-consciousness that can often accompany public expression of Jewishness in the diaspora.

Wearing a kippah makes one a Torah ambassador and reflects on all Jews.

Indeed, wearing a kippah is a big statement, and obligates the wearer to live up to a certain standard of behavior. A person has to think twice before cutting in line at the bank, or berating an incompetent waiter. Wearing a kippah makes one a Torah ambassador and reflects on all Jews. The actions of someone wearing a kippah can create a Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of God's name) or conversely a Chillul Hashem (desecration of His name).

Of course, putting on a kippah does not automatically confer "role model" status. Sometimes we unfortunately hear of a religious person caught in some indiscretion. I recall one time in Los Angeles, noticing that a drunken, disheveled man was walking down the street ― wearing a kippah! He wasn't Jewish, but he'd found an old kippah and thought it helped him fit in with the neighborhood atmosphere. For me, it drove home the idea that it's not fair to "judge Judaism" based on someone displaying the outer trappings of observance.

When To Wear A Kippah?

From a biblical standpoint, only the Kohanim serving in the Temple were required to cover their heads (see Exodus 28:4). Yet for many centuries, the obligatory custom has been for Jewish men to wear a kippah all the time, as the Code of Jewish Law says, "It is forbidden to walk four cubits without a head covering."

Does a kippah have to be worn while playing sports? This issue came to the fore recently with the publicity surrounding Tamir Goodman, the basketball sensation who is an observant Jew.

The answer is that it is preferable to wear even a small kippah, pinned to the hair. (Velcro works great!) If it is impossible because of the game conditions or rules, it is okay to play without a kippah.

When bathing or swimming, one does not wear a kippah.

Certainly, a head covering is obligatory while engaged in prayer and Torah study.

What kind of head covering qualifies? Basically anything ― including a baseball cap or a scarf tied around one's head. Of course, in the synagogue, it is more respectful to use a regular kippah.

A kippah should be large enough to be seen from all sides.

How large must a kippah be? Rabbi Moshe Feinstein states that the minimum measure is that "which would be called a head covering." Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef says the kippah should be large enough to be seen from all sides.

The style of kippah worn can reflect an interesting sociological phenomena, often denoting a person's group affiliation. For example, yeshivah-style Jews wear a black velvet kippah. Modern Orthodox Jews often wear a knitted, colored kippah. Many Chassidic Jews wear a fur hat (shtreimel) on Shabbat and holidays.

Additionally, many also wear a hat when they pray to increase awareness of the Almighty as they stand before Him. (Mishne Brura 183:11)

Rabbi Shraga Simmons, www.aish.com

Biblical Hebrew Names: by Index or Category

Check this out. Can be very helpful in learning Old Testament names and meanings in history.


Shabbat Menorah

Shabbat Menorah
Friday night worship

Moses Delivers The Law Into Hands of Priests