Wisdom of Kahana: Clans of Abraham
My apologies to those that have written me asking why haven't I written recently. It is not for the lack of wanting to, but merely the lack of time. The work in China has been all-consuming and before I know it weeks have flown by. But being in China also provides me with a perspective that I would not have if I was living in America, or Israel, or even Europe. For all its being accused of controlling the media, government restrictions and over-zealous idealogies, the one thing that China does provide is a degree of impartiality towards news and events in the West that could not be obtained if residing in any of those aforementioned regions. Living there would be like living in the eye of a hurricane. You are both insulated and isolated from the reality that is circling constantly around you. You could be on the verge of destruction and you would not know it because everthing appears calm or at least 'different' while sitting in the eye. Since China's motivations and perceptions are unique (self-sustaining) then it can cast an eye over world events and see it not as pro or con, but whether or not it has a direct effect on China. If not, then they can present both sides to the event without making judgment which is impossible to do in Western or middle Eastern media. There, you must be either for or against and there is no middle ground. Sadly, from my observation point, it does appear that we are winding down the count while sitting directly on top of the time bomb. Some friends and relatives have expressed their satisfaction to me that it is about time, that the end of the world as we know it is a welcom event. Some have even provided me with the numbers they've interpreted from their religious studies that two thirds of the world's population will be destroyed in the coming events. Of course, they count themselves as being part of the one third that will survive. I on the other hand can only shake my head and say how can we be so callous about the loss of billions of lives? Like Abraham, when encountering the impending destruction of Sodom and Gemorrah, he pleaded with God on behalf of the sinners, to let him find at least ten good people so that all might live. I will also lend my plea on behalf of all the children of Abraham, imploring God to let us find a way to co-exist. Do not write us off so quickly and with such finality. There is good in this world. There is good in mankind. Perhaps we just need to stare death in the face more deliberately in order for us to find that good that truly exists.
Three Misbehaving Children
Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, as faiths are all born from the seed of Abraham. It matters not whether we call God simply God, or Allah, or Elohim, or Yahweh. The fact is that these are merely names which when translated again simply mean God. Underlying all our sacred writings, once we strip away the rhetoric, the legends and the anecdotes are identical belief systems. If we all agree that God is Great, and God is all-powerful, and God is wise and God is merciful, then we also must agree that we all believe in the same thing.
Again, I will emphasize that we must strip down to the core of these faiths to see that they are identical. Too often we are only focus on the facts that one claims God had a son, that took human form and walked among us. That is superfluous and immaterial, as I mention in my series 'To My Brother Yeshua' and I encourage my Christian readers to ask the question of themselves, "which was more important, the Word or the Man?" Too much emphasis was placed on the man and not enough on the teachings of Jesus which are fundamentally Jewish and adhere to Torah. Members of all three faiths must agree that the Word of God, the essential core message of all three religions, is what we truly believe in and which has shaped our culture, our history and our very existence.
Like so many other things in our world, even the Word of God has been misued, abused and diffused to the point that in many cases it is unrecognizable and the adherents that follow these misinterpretations actually outnumber the adherents to God's actual message. The religious zealots of Islam, these Jihadists, these followers of false messages, have turned Mohammed's original intention of uniting all the Peoples of the Book into a single coherent faith into a fractionating, terrorizing, and beligerant force of malcontents that are only satisfied when leaving a trail of blood and destruction. But there are those that follow Islam that disassociate themselves from the terrorists, knowing that their true tenets of the religion are set against such actions, yet their voices are drowned out by the machine gun fire, the rockets and the media that only seem to focus on the commission of atrocities and horrors.
The Torah, the New Testament and the Qr'an, all have precepts and lessons of human decency from the same source; that source being God. None of them intended for further interpretations, commentaries and distortions to be written, as is clearly evident from statements made by Joshua, Jesus and Mohammed. No sooner had all three passed away, their adherents began to do exactly as they were instructed not to do.
Remember that Joshua said, "All that God has said, all that He needs to say, is written in the Books of Moses. Neither shall you add, nor shall you detract from them." This was further confirmed by Jesus whom said, "I have not come to change the words of Moses but to confirm them." And do not forget that Mohammed first approached the Jews, saying that he had come to fulfill the prophecies of the Torah. Clearly it was the intention of all three to emphasize that we all united by Torah, the basic laws of God, for we are all children of Abraham.
Yes, we have disagreements among the three religions. Fact is there are disagreements within the various sects that exist within all three religions. These internal and external disagreements are ancient and have been the cause of the death of millions over the centuries. The motivations have been anything but religious, but instead political, expansionisitic, imperialistic and therefore we cannot ignore the pursuit of wealth and power that is the ultimate goal of these three motivators. Somewhere, somehow, sometime that original message, that universal concept that underlies all three reigions has been lost.
As I see it now, we can continue as we have been, pursuing those values that have led us down this path of destruction towards the final countdown of Armegeddon. We can have our Megiddo, where we unleash a nuclear holocaust and possibly wipe two thirds of the world's population from the planet. Or we can admit that we have been misled by those that have caused us to stray from the word of God, that in principle we all believe in the same things, but it is merely the smoke and mirrors that have been added by others that creates the illusion of our being very different.
The clock is ticking. As I sit in my perch over in Asia, I can see that it is quickly approaching midnight. Whether you believe it or not, you have the power to see that the clock does not strike at the appointed hour. Just as God gave permission for Abraham to find those ten good men, He in his mercy will give us the opportunity to prevent universal suicide. But you cannot do that sitting in the assumed comfort of your homes, playing games on your Ipads and Iphones, or for those in less fortunage circumstances around the globe by blaming everything that is wrong in your life on supposed religious enemies that you have never encountered and never known. If you want it to stop, then you have to make it stop.
Pray for Peace
Avrom Aryeh-Zuk Kahana