Day: June 1, 2023

Freedom – Juneteenth 2023

Freedom – Juneteenth 2023

By Eric Carlson in 06_2023-3 on June 1, 2023

    Juneteenth commemorates the dates June 18 and 19, 1865. June 18 is the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the Confederate state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves. On June 19, 1865, while standing on the balcony of Galveston’s Ashton Villa, Granger read the contents of “General Order No. 3”: 

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere. 

    That day has since become known as Juneteenth, a name coming from a portmanteau of the words June and teenth like nineteenth and other numbers ending with –teenth. The North’s victory brought an end to both the Civil war and the scourge of slaveryThis national conflict resulted in three addendums to the Freedom document, the Bill of RightsThe 13th Amendment abolished slavery, the 14th amendment gave equal citizenship to every human being born in this country regardless of race, granting the full rights and protection of the U.S. Constitution, and the 15th amendment guaranteed the right to vote for all citizens regardless of race or previous condition of servitude. Unfortunately, these amendments weren’t kept or honored for over 100 years causing great oppression, pain, and suffering! The word shares that we are to be concerned about the welfare of all our brothers and sisters: 

I Corinthians 12:2526. So that there will be no disagreements within the body, but rather all the parts will be equally concerned for all the others. 26 Thus if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; and if one part is honored, all the parts share its happiness. 

    This is why the issue of Racism, or any prejudice is so critical-if one of us is suffering, we all suffer! It inhibits the release of the One New Man! Legalized slavery stopped in 1865 with the defeat to the Confederacy, but the end of slavery still hasn’t effectively come to pass even though the civil rights act of 1964 was passed, 99 years laterAt the end of the Civil War there was no closure, the enemy wasn’t defeated, the threat of a return to slavery was real and existed. President Lincoln, a man of God, had a plan to give 40 acres of land and a mule to every former slave family, but he was assassinated before this could come to pass!  

    Instead, Jim Crow laws were instituted in the 1880’s as the reconstruction period ended in 1879In 1890 Separate but Equal legislation was passed by all southern state legislatures. In the 1870s the former slave owners gradually regained power in the Southern legislatures, having used insurgent paramilitary groups, such as the KKK, the White League and Red Shirts, to disrupt black political organizing, run officeholders out of town, and intimidate blacks to suppress their voting.  

    Extensive voter fraud was also used. Gubernatorial elections were close and had been disputed in Louisiana for years, with increasing violence against blacks during campaigns from 1868 onward. Before I go on, I’m making a disclaimer:  Im not endorsing any political party, I’m sharing U.S. history as it happened. In 1877, a national Democratic Party compromise to gain Southern support in the presidential election resulted in the U.S. government’s withdrawing the last of the federal troops from the South. White Democrats regained political power in every Southern state and restored white supremacy.  These Southern, white, governments legislated Jim Crow laws, officially segregating black people from the white population. 

    Blacks were still elected to local offices through the early 1880s, but the establishment were passing laws to make voter registration and electoral rules severely restrictive, with the result that political participation by most blacks and many poor whites began to decrease. Between 1890 and 1910, ten of the eleven former Confederate states, starting with Mississippi, passed new constitutions or amendments that effectively removed the vote from most blacks and tens of thousands of poor whites through a combination of poll taxes, literacy and comprehension tests, and residency and record-keeping requirements. Grandfather clauses temporarily permitted some illiterate whites to vote, but gave no relief to most blacks.

    Those who could not vote were not eligible to serve on juries and could not run for local offices Blacks disappeared from political life, as they could not influence the state legislatures, and their interests were overlooked. While public schools had been established by Reconstruction legislatures for the first time in most Southern states; those for black children were consistently underfunded compared to schools for white children, even when considered within the strained finances of the postwar South where the decreasing price of cotton kept the agricultural economy at a low.   

    In just 20 years after the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, all blacks were effectively returned to slaveryIt had different names: “Share Croppers” “Segregation” “Separate but equal“Jim Crow” but the effects were identical. Slavery in America has yet to have a closure, a transition or transformation into freedom and liberty. It’s the “Pink Elephant” sitting in the middle of our Republic that no one desires to discuss or talk about! The modern welfare institution is still a form of slavery and suppression as is the Bureau of Indians Affairs and the reservation system for our Native, Indigenous brothers and sisters As Messianic Jews we must not only be involved, we must lead! The Messianic Movement must lead, and the Church must break its silence on this! We are commanded to be a voice for the voiceless. We are surrounded by the oppressed, the persecuted, and voiceless. We are commanded to be an advocate; The greater body of Messiah’s silence on this is deafening, Silence is a sin!

Proverbs 31:8. Speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves, for the rights of all who need an advocate. 

    Slave hood isn’t relegated to human servitude alone.  Slavery manifests physically, spiritually, and financially. God decreed that He would send His servant who would bring freedom to the captives physically, spiritually, and financially!  

Isaiah 61:1. The Spirit of Adonai ELOHIM is upon me, because ADONAI has anointed me to announce good news to the poor (Ana’yim: poor, humble, afflicted, meek, needy). He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted (L’nish bry; Brokenhearted, crushed, broken, fractured hurt, injured) to proclaim freedom to the captives (Lish’vu’yim: captive, taken captive, prisoner, enslaved), to let out into light those bound in the dark (pek-akh-ko’-akh: opening of the eyes, opening of a dungeon or prison, salvation from sin).

    Yeshua alone is the source of our freedom from every and all types of enslavement. He alone is our source of restoration, redemption, and freedomOur kinsman redeemer who will restore both all rights and free us from captivity to whatever enslaves us. Like the African American slaves prior to 1865, Spiritually, every individual is enslaved, the thing that traps you and holds you into submission. It’s literally slavery as well as unbiblical behaviors, actions, gambling, pornography, drugs, alcohol, immorality, Unforgiveness, all sin enslaves usSome people know what they are a slave to and have defeated it, others have not!  

    Since the dawn of creation humans have enslaved other humans! Even today in certain areas of Africa and across the Muslim Nation’s slavery continues on! At one time or another every people group has been enslaved. The Egyptians did it, the Greeks did it, the Romans did it, the Byzantine Empire did, the Ottoman Turkish Empire did it, the British Empire, the European monarchies of old kept its own citizens as serfs, slaves! Both France and Germany enslaved the Africans in their respective African colonies and killed hundreds of Thousands through forced labor. 

    I’m saddened to witness and experience the toxic racial division and anarchy that has formed in this countryThis is not of GodCommunism, Socialism, BLM, and Critical Race Theory are not of Adonai or His word For over 3,500 years the greater Jewish community has celebrated Pesach through which we remember and celebrate our own redemption from slavery! Remembering is part of the healing processJuneteenth is now a State and federal holidayIt’s a step in the right direction! But there are gigantic leaps that we still need to take. No matter what your skin, hair, or eye color is we’re all members of the human race! Why does every federal form ask what race you are? Why do loan applications ask yoru race? What matters is if you pay your bills on time, not what color you are! As Adonai Himself said: 

I Samuel 16:7. But ADONAI said to Sh’mu’el, “Don’t pay attention to how he looks or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. ADONAI doesn’t see the way humans see – humans look at the outward appearance, but ADONAI looks at the heart.”

    We will not submit to fear, we will not walk in fear, we will not be swayed by hatred, aggression, racism, disunity, Anti-Semitism, or any other divisive spiritWe will serve the Lord and move forward in God’s Word and in the Power of the RuachIt took a small handful of brave, courageous people like W.E.B Dubois, Rosa Parks, Dr. King and others who had their eyes opened, who boldly stood for the freedom that was already granted 100 years earlierIt was the absolute resolve of tens of thousands of WWII African American veterans like the Red Tails of the Tuskegee Airman who had proven their equality on the battlefield. They fought to win freedom for our people, the Jewish People in the death camps, they liberated Europe and Asia yet returned home to face a life of segregation, inequality, racism, bigotry, and injustice The very principles they were fighting for elsewhere in the world! Intentionality in relationship overcomes racism and Anti-Semitism.  

As an ancient Native American Proverb states:Don’t judge any man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins..  Yeshua’s warning speaks directly to us across the threads of time:

Mark 3:24-25. If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom can’t survive; 25 and if a household is divided against itself, that household can’t survive. 

    The only way we will conquer, and defeat racism, prejudice, and Anti-Semitism is through focused intentionality, active dialogue, relationship, fellowship, and the Blood of Yeshua coupled with the Holy Spirit Racism and prejudice are taught, not inherited! It won’t just go away! That which was taught can be untaught! In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King: 

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.” 

    May we pause June 19th to consider what this day represents and what we can do to move forward! 

Blessings and Love, 

Rabbi Eric S Carlson 

Father’s Day

Father’s Day

By Eric Carlson in 06_2023-1 on June 1, 2023

    Father’s Day is a day set apart to honor and celebrate our Father and fatherhood in general. We recognize and honor the influence of fathers in our homes and society, and in blended family paternal bonds. It is also celebrated to honor and commemorate our fathers and forefathers. FathersDay is celebrated in the U.S. on the third Sunday of June. Tradition has it that Father’s Day was first observed on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington, through the efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd, a Christian woman and the daughter of American Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart. Sonora’s mother died when she was age 16, and she wanted a day that would commemorate and honor fathers like her own, who had raised her and five other children.  

    Once she began pressing the idea of an official Father’s Day, she met opposition and even derision, but she persevered. A bill was introduced in Congress in 1913, and in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson spoke at a Father’s Day celebration in Spokane, Washington, wanting to make it an official holiday, but Congress still resisted. In 1924, Calvin Coolidge became involved, and in 1930 a national committee was formed by various trade groups in an effort to legitimize the holiday. The battle continued, and in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson made a proclamation for the third Sunday of June to be Father’s Day. Finally, it was made an official national holiday when President Nixon signed a similar proclamation in 1972. 

    Scripture doesn’t mention any day being set aside specifically to honor fathers, but the word does recognize a special place of honor for men who were leaders or examples of excellence in certain skills, such as Yaval, who was “the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock” and his brother Yuval, who was “the father of all who play the harp and flute 

Genesis 4:20-21. ‘Adah gave birth to Yaval; he was the ancestor of those who live in tents and have cattle. 21 His brother’s name was Yuval; and he was the ancestor of all who play lyre and flute.  

    Also, when Avram’s name was changed to Avraham, Adonai told him: 

Genesis 17:5. Your name will no longer be Avram [exalted father], but your name will be Avraham [father of many], because I have made you the father of many nations. 

    In the eyes of Adonai fatherhood is a place of exalted honor. This name change given by Adonai revolves around the root word abba; father! Avraham is the founding father of the unique, intimate relationship between the Jewish and Adonai; he is the spiritual patriarch of all believers! The name change signifies a change in Avraham’s divine destiny! His obedient relationship with Adonai was credited to him as righteousness. Abraham was declared righteous because of his trust, he kept on reaching out to Adonai again and again. It wasn’t that he was a perfect man, he misled others regarding Sarah and tried to bring Adonai’s plan about himself through Hagar! But Avraham was consistent in his desire for Adonai, he was faithful in his relationship with Adonai. He showed trust in God by moving to a new land and was chosen by God to be the father of God’s chosen people. Avraham kept coming back and Adonai credited it to him as righteousness and will do the same for us if we seek Adonai! The entire story of Avraham revolves around fatherhood revealing how important this position is to Adonai who recognizes the critical importance of fathers, giving them special honor throughout history.

    Avraham’s name change is a kingdom promotion for his character, integrity, loyalty, and trust! He transitions from Exalted Father to Father of multitudes, Father of Israel via Adonai’s elective covenant, Father of Nations including royal dynasties, a Father of Kings! The “Father” theme of relationship is found throughout scripture, even referring to Adonai Himself!  Yeshua, the Son of Adonai told us to pray like this:

Matthew 6:9. You, therefore, pray like this: `Our Father in heaven! May your Name be kept holy. 

    We have many scriptural instances that speak of Yeshua, the Son, honoring His Father and honoring the will of His Father 

John 17:1,5. After Yeshua had said these things, he looked up toward heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that the Son may glorify you

 

5 Now, Father, glorify me alongside yourself. Give me the same glory I had with you before the world existed.

    The kingdom of Adonai is modeled upon a Child/Father relationship! By receiving the blood of Yeshua we become children of the Most High God, and He is our Abba, Father”

John 1:12-13. But to as many as did receive him, to those who put their trust in his person and power, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 not because of bloodline, physical impulse or human intention, but because of God 

    Our relationship With Adonai through Yeshua gives us a clear definition of what being a Father is! Sha’ul taught that to honor one’s earthly father is not only a commandment but the first commandment that, when obeyed, has a promise of things going well and living long on the earth As Sha’ul quotes Exodus 20:12 in:

Ephesians 6:1-3. Children, what you should do in union with the Lord is obey your parents, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” – this is the first commandment that embodies a promise – 3 “so that it may go well with you, and you may live long in the Land. 

    In light of these verses, and many others, it would seem to be perfectly God-honoring to celebrate a day in which fathers, the God-given spiritual head of the family, could and should be honored. Ultimately, whether or not to celebrate a specific day or holiday is a matter of personal preference. We have the freedom to celebrate and the freedom not to celebrate if we so choose. 

    Father = Identity. Our earthly fathers are an important source of our genetic makeup. Adonai is the ultimate source of our lives and identity, we are descended from one DNA strand, the seed of Adam. 

Genesis 4:25. Adam again had sexual relations with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Shet [granted], “For God has granted me another seed in place of Hevel, since Kayin killed him.” 

    We are made in the image of our creator. God spoke the Aleph-Bet, our seed, and we were createdThat see is DNA, Chromosomes. When children are conceived, the child receives one strand of helix from each parent. The language, the program of the two parents come together to form a new helix from the individual strands from the parents. If two XX strands come together the child is a girl, if one x and one y comes together it’s a boyThe only source of Y chromosomes is the maleNow get this, All other chromosomes pairs exchange genetic material, a shuffling of DNA information except for the Y chromosomeThere are over approximately 2.1 million code instructions in human DNA and between us all there all identical except for several thousandIn other words, DNA confirms that there is no basis for biological race differencesThe genetic variance affecting skin color, facial futures, eye and hair color are essentially meaningless. Since the Y Chromosome isn’t affected by this genetic shuffling during conception, the Y Chromosome passed down from father to son is basically the same as it was thousands of years ago. 

    Father = provision. Fathers find joy in giving to their children. That’s because a chief role of fatherhood is to provide. Yeshua used a fatherly example to explain the goodness of God when He said:  

Matthew 7:11. So if you, even though you are bad, know how to give your children gifts that are good, how much more will your Father in heaven keep giving good things to those who keep asking him! 

    Father = Instruction & Correction. We are blessed to have Proverbs, compiled by a father whose heart burned to impart wisdom from above into the heart of his son: 

Proverbs 1:3-9.  for gaining an intelligently disciplined life, doing what is right, just and fair; 4 for endowing with caution those who don’t think and the young person with knowledge and discretion. 5 Someone who is already wise will hear and learn still more; someone who already understands will gain the ability to counsel well; 6 he will understand proverbs, obscure expressions, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7 The fear of ADONAI is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. 8 My son, heed the discipline of your father, and do not abandon the teaching of your mother; 9 they will be a garland to grace your head, a medal of honor for your neck. 

    The problem is children don’t like discipline, but it fosters security knowing Mom and Dad love them enough to correct wayward behavior. Good parents mimic the kingdom fatherhood of Adonai when they correct and discipline to shape a child’s long-term character and behavior. As the word states: 

Hebrews 12:5-6. Also you have forgotten the counsel which speaks with you as sons: “My son, don’t despise the discipline of ADONAI or become despondent when he corrects you.6 For ADONAI disciplines those he loves and whips everyone he accepts as a son.” 

    In the famous proverb: 

Proverbs 13:24. (TLV) He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent with discipline.  

    Father = love. As a parent, you experience a small taste of how Adonai feels as “our Father in heaven.” When parents look into the face of their newborn baby, they know true unconditional love no matter what. That’s exactly how Adonai feels about us. Even when we stray, sin, are disobedient, Adonai loves us, He is disappointed yet still loves usHate the sin, but love the person! Abba Father is the source of our existence. He provides for us, corrects us, and loves us unconditionally.  

I John 3:1. See what love the Father has lavished on us in letting us be called God’s children! For that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it has not known him. 

    Lord, we pray specifically for all fathers and fatherhood across our nation. Your Word clearly instructs fathers to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Adonai, we thank You for the men who are leading according to Your commands and Mitzvahs, the ones that are laying their lives down for Your purposes. We pray that You will continue to use these men to lead their families and other men. We pray You will strengthen the fathers of our nation and that You will continue to empower congregations, organizations, and individuals to invest in fathers and fatherhood for the sake of our children. In Yeshua’s name we pray, Amen! 

    May all you Fathers have a blessed and special day, Happy Father’s Day!

Rabbi Eric S Carlson

Rabbi and Rebbitzen’s Corner June 2023

Rabbi and Rebbitzen’s Corner June 2023

By Eric Carlson in 06_2023-2 on June 1, 2023

Shalom Mishpocha, 

    Spring and May have flown by! We are now in June, getting ready for summer! The Summer solstice, the longest day of the year occurs on Wednesday, June 21st, 2023 at 9:57 AM. June 10th is Flag Day! Flag Day is a celebration of the adoption of the American flag by Continental Congress in the First Flag Resolution of June 14, 1777. Although the 200-year anniversary of this date was celebrated by flying flags on public buildings and holding remembrances in several cities, Flag Day wasn’t officially recognized until President Harry Truman signed it into law in 1949. To observe Flag Day, fly your American flag! It’s also a time to remember and honor military men and women who defend our flag and our country. 

    Father’s Day is Sunday, June 18th; Father’s Day is a holiday honoring one’s father, or relevant father figure. The single most common date among world countries is the third Sunday of June, which was founded in the state of Washington, United States by Sonora Smart Dodd in 1910 to honor Fathers! Then the next day, Monday, June 19th is Juneteenth. A federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Deriving its name from combining “June” and “nineteenth”, it is celebrated on the anniversary of the order, issued by Major General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for slaves in Texas. Originating in Galveston, Juneteenth has since been observed annually in various parts of the United States. 

    June also means that school is out and summer is in full swing, which means one thing – it’s time for a vacation. Everybody loves June, right? It’s typically the month with the most daylight hours to enjoy, which means endless summer BBQs, basking in the sun on the beach, swimming in the ocean, and pool time! Or maybe spending time at Bush Gardens, or Bush Water Country! Our area is rich in historyBefore the humidity sets in this month is a good time to visit Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Battlefield and Victory Center, or Colonial WilliamsburgWhatever activity you and your family choose, always remember to pray for your safety and travel mercies before you go! Remember to stay hydrated and don’t forget the sunscreen! Praying you have a blessed and fun filled summer!   

Blessings, 

Rabbi and Rebbitzen Carlson!