Marry, Marry, Quite Contrary

Of no consequence? The legalization of same-sex marriages across the 50 states, if permitted to stand, will have many intended and unintended consequences. Many of these potential consequences are already in the works. First, civil marriage will become completely separated from child-rearing (a consequence generally intended by advocates). Second, the courts will have no legal or principled basis for upholding prohibitions against polygamous, incestuous, and group marriages. In addition, there will be pressure to permit marriages within all age groups, including adults and children. Third, because "marriage" will become a way of accessing financial benefits, said financial benefits will eventually become too burdensome to continue and everybody will lose them (a move which will have the virtue of being both financially responsible and fair). Fourth, as a corollary, marriage as a civil institution will all but disappear and become strictly a religious institution (not an altogether bad outcome, in theory). Fifth, and this is what makes consequence #4 problematical, the gay lobby will seek to define opposition to same-sex marriage and negative comments about homosexual behavior as a hate crime. This concept will be applied with particular vigor against religious institutions, which will be challenged legally to provide for same sex marriages no matter what their interpretation of the Christian bible, Torah, or the Koran. Sixth, schools will be required to take a "balanced" view toward marriage, with equal provisions for marriage in all of its perturbations in textbooks, libraries, and student clubs. Seventh, adoption agencies will be prohibited from showing favoritism to heterosexual married couples or indeed to couples at all. Seventh, the tactic of calling whoever doesn't agree with you a "bigot" and a "[whatever]phobic," having proven itself, will be become a prized weapon in the war against faith-based communities. Email your comments.


Kosher on the Road

Question from our Schueller House Website: "How do I find kosher restaurants in each state. We are taking a car trip." (Elaine R.). The easiest way anymore (though it takes some work) is to get on the internet and search. There are various sites that list kosher restaurants (and synagogues, etc.) by state. They aren't all comprehensive or up-to-date, but you can do better on the internet than looking in a book. Seder Olam is an Israeli site that covers the world, including the U.S. Shamash is another well-known site. Happy trails. Email me from home or on the road.


Put Some Clothes on Already.

Too much naked truth: The Orthodox Jewish community taught me the importance of clothing. Dressing modestly and well shows respect for those you interact with. This is a notion that deserves wider distribution. Even in Colorado Springs, which has a reputation for buttoned-down conservatism, people seem to dress mainly to show off their tattoos. And given where they're putting their tattoos these days, things are getting pretty ugly out there. Email me your comment or add one below.


What's the Deal with the Seal?

In P*mona they trust: The ACLU is threatening to sue the County of Los Angeles if it does not remove a cross from it's city seal. Three supervisors are supporting them. The ACLU might have a case, namely that the itsy-bitsy cross represents a violation of church and state, except that the cross is clearly there as a historical reference to the missions and--for me this is the kicker--they have no problem at all with the centerpiece of the seal, a representation of the Roman g*ddess P*mona. Logic says that the ACLU and its supporters think paganism if fine; Christianity is anathema. What's up with that? See the Los Angeles County Seal.


Ordering Kosher Meat Online

Memo to Netzarim: If you don't live within a Jewish community, you'll have a hard time gaining access to kosher meat, with the possible exception of poultry. Try ordering online. Best prices I've found are at Kohn's Kosher Market in St. Louis. You'll have to pay for overnight or two-day shipping, which is a bite, but ordering online is more convenient and may be cheaper than driving 100-200 miles to the nearest kosher market. Email me with your comments.


The Kosher Kokonut

Thai One On: A good substitute for milk in some meat recipes is coconut milk. In fact, this has led us to explore some wonderful Thai recipes. Kosher versions of the canned stuff can be hard to find. No matter, you make your own from, surprise, a coconut. Coconut milk for cooking is not the clear stuff you get when you first open a coconut. Save that for your Mai Tai. It's the cocunut meat, ground up, soaked with boiling water, and run through cheesecloth and/or a sieve. There are more detailed recipes on the web, but the process is reasonably simple. Email me with your comments.

Texas Executes Schizophrenic Killer

The Responsible Schizophrenic: Yesterday, Texas executed a man convicted of killing a businessman and his secretary in his hometown of Palestine, Texas. The man, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, once said a plate of beans spoke to him and accused his sisters of spying on him. After the shooting, he went home, took off all his clothes except for his socks and stood in the middle of the street until police came. The execution of a schizophrenic person seems harsh. On the other hand, the legal system has tended to treat schizophrenics as if they have free choice and are capable of making informed decisions about whether to take their meds, where to live, and so forth. This is sometimes to the consternation of families trying to control the often considerable damage done to property and lives by schizophrenics. So, in this case, the legal system is being consistent if not wise. Email your comments to me.


And Now for a Little Body Mutilation ...

Women who look like lizards: At least it's not just me. In their newspaper column, Style Matters, radio personalities Judie Schwartz and Evelinda Urman hold forth against tattoos on people who should know better. We're not talking about bikers, teenagers, and sailors either. "It's upper middle-class women between 20 and 40 years old--especially those that dread mutating into soccer moms--who fuel most of the growth, according to the tattoo parlors," says Judie. And Evelinda, noting that the phenomenon seems to be about a mid-life crisis, adds, "If you're having a mid-life crisis, go out and buy some jewelry. Or better yet, forget about your privileged life and volunteer your time." Hooray for them. In case you were wondering, the Bible (specifically written Torah) associates various kinds of bodily mutilation with pagan practices, which makes me wonder why the "tat fad" has spread to so many Christians, especially women. Apparently, though, Jewish halakha does not forbid nose rings and pierced ears. But I've got to check on that. In the meantime, see this explanation of Jewish Law from a Conservative Rabbi. Please email me with your comments. And see Schueller House for more info.


Hebrew National Kosher Status

Hot Dog: For those of you keeping kosher or buying kosher products, note that Hebrew National processed meat products are now being certified by a rabbi more widely trusted in the observant Jewish community and carry the Triangle-K hechser (stamp of approval). This is good news because the Hebrew National brand is widely distributed and often available in regular supermarkets. Hebrew National products are "regular" kosher rather than "glatt" kosher, which is a loftier designation given when the kosher status of the product was never in doubt. However, this should not be an issue for people new to keeping kosher. Please email me your comments. For more info, see Schueller House.


"Last Supper" Timetable

Some scholars doubt that what Christians call the "Last Supper" was a seder. Here is the Netzarim timetable for what happened to Ribi Yehoshua.
SEDER: Nisan 15, Yom Khamishi or the fifth day of the week (but Wednesday evening on the secular calendar before midnight). The arrest happened after the seder.
TRIALS, TORTURE, ETC. Nisan 16-19, all during the next week.
EXECUTION AND BURIAL: Nisan 20 (the third day of the following week or Tuesday on the secular calendar). Execution began in the AM, burial occured before sundown, as was necessary to accomodate Jewish law, the next day being the seventh day of Pesach and a shabbaton. (Christians interpreted the Preparation Day and the Sabbath as a reference to the seventh day of the week. This is the source of a timetable mistake.) All the stuff that was supposed to have happened to Ribi Yehoshua could not have happened overnight on a yom tov, even allowing for the fishiness of the Temple kohanim and Herod.
DISCOVERY OF THE MISSING BODY: Nisan 25, motzei shabbat or after dark on what would be Saturday evening on the secular calendar. Christians interpreted reference to twilight as "dawn" in the morning. More naturally, women went to the tomb at first chance after shabbat ended with spices etc. So whatever happened to account for a missing body happened on shabbat.
This is the only timetable that seems to make sense viz. Jewish law and dates the year. The Christian timetable was designed to accommodate the substitution of Sunday for shabbat and makes little logical sense. Much more information in the Netzarim Reconstruction of Matiytyahu. See Schueller House.


Don't Conceal!

Conversion without integrity: Thinking of pursuing conversion to Judaism while concealing your belief in Yehoshua as Mashiakh? Don't do it. This is the kind of deception that can get your conversion nullified. That's not the worst of it. While I (as a Netzarim geir toshav) do not believe that observant Jews need to share my beliefs about the identity of the mashiakh, I am well aware that concealing or denying what I understand to be true can have no good consequences for my own soul. Be honest. From Schueller House.