Edebwetagwziyan

I post stuff on this page as to my beliefs about spiritual stuff, much of which has taken me some time to acquire the knowledge of. I am no Spring Chicken by any stretch of the words, I have paid my dues in so many ways as to be still alive at this date. I have been clinically dead several times in my life and should have been dead many other times from some of the situations I had to endure. Were it not for the grace of God, I would have met my Maker some time ago.

Neshnabe ma shna ndaw Mshkwedeni memeje eyawyan. I am a Native person, Prairie Band Potawatomi specifically is what and who I am. I speak several languages among my people and am attempting to learn some Hebrew and Greek at my age. I guess I have always wanted to know what Jesus Christ said in his language that he spoke and sometimes don’t trust the many translations of the Scriptures out there. Careful study renders much truth and learning and what the original Hebrew and Greek meant has clarified much for my understanding. Hence, my posting and sharing some of the truth I have gleaned in my studying the Word of the Lord.

I also have come to the understanding the Word is alive and his names are many and varied, all depicting the same entity, God, Jesus the Son, The Holy Ghost, Yeshuah ha Mashiach, Jehovah, YHVH, just to name a few of His glorious names. I don’t wish to make any bones about it though, as I accept the LORD Jesus Christ as he is and he has accepted me as I am, cleansing me in the precious blood he shed for all, and changing me to the person I have become today. I might add though, I die daily, for me to live is Christ. So God isn’t through with me yet and I fully realize there is much more to mature Christian growth that I must yet attain unto.

I believe in the infilling of the Holy Ghost and have been baptized in Jesus name in accordance with Acts 2:38. I have repented for the sins I have committed and am still learning to repent from root sins as God leads me to take closer looks at the old me, so I can become comfortable with the new me. If you are reading what I post, wonderful. If you can agree as to God’s goodness and greatness, more wonderful, if you cannot agree with some of what I say or think, let us keep in mind, my walk isn’t anyone’s walk but mine, yours is yours!

Le t us love one another and thereby fulfill his commandment that we are to love one another. Mark 12: 28-31.

Iw enajmoyan ngom….that is all I have to say today.

Nin se Neaseno.

On Joseph

The Lord Was With Joseph

His Master Saw… 

We are back to Joseph’s saga. “The Lord was with Joseph” – these words are the key to the developing drama that now takes up the thread dropped for a while because of the Judah and Tamar interlude. God’s presence is constantly in the background, both when Joseph is in trouble and when he is successful. A Midrash comments: human friends can always be found when a man is successful, but in time of trouble, they tend to forsake him. Not so God: he was with Joseph when he was a slave, when he was in a prison, and when he was viceroy.

The beginning of chapter 39 is remarkable: it describes the pattern that we will see several time more in this story.

  • The Lord was with Joseph (Gen 39:2)
  • Joseph’s master saw that the Lord was with him (39:3)
  • Therefore, his master gave everything into his hands(39:4)

When his master saw that the Lord was with him… For me, this is one of the most powerful testimonies of this book: the Bible is very honest, and we often see the flaws, the mistakes, the weaknesses and even sins of its main characters; however, the moment inevitably comes when people around also see the blessing of God upon them. We have seen it with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and we see it with Joseph as well. Potiphar, Joseph’s master, saw that the Lord was with Joseph – and placed everything in his hands.

Well-built and handsome

Right after learning that Joseph’s master placed everything in his hands, we also learn that Joseph was well-built and handsome. These words mark a transition to the next part of the story. We learn that Joseph seemed special – not only to his master.

Everyone knows the story about Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. It’s interesting that Scripture doesn’t even give her name; we are simply told about Joseph refusing his master’s wife. Why? Because as a servant, he probably had to obey her – after all, she was his master’s wife; but in this conflict between the servant’s duty and his conscience and God, he chose God.

In his response to Potiphar’s wife, Joseph says that yielding to her would be a sin before God. Let us contemplate these words—“sin before God”—and let us imagine how different it was from other cultures.  In many other cultures, adultery would be merely misbehavior; a wife would be considered a property, and it would be regarded as injury to a man’s possession. In the Bible, however, marital trust has divine sanction and is fundamental to human relationship. Therefore, adultery is a sin before God. Of course, Joseph doesn’t want to violate the trust of Potiphar either, but still, the main point was God: he didn’t want to sin before God. It means that, even though God was also with Joseph in these moments of great temptation and responsibility, His presence was not Joseph’s magic power to be righteous, but his moral compass that provided spiritual guidance.

We have reason to believe that Potiphar suspected something and didn’t really believe his wife – because in Egypt the punishment for the crime of which she had accused him was far more severe than what Joseph received. Potiphar had to remove Joseph from his wife, so Joseph was imprisoned – but he was sent to the king’s prison (some believe that Potiphar himself was the superintendent of that prison).  However, the prison doors could not hold the LORD’s presence back. Once again, we are told that “the LORD was with Joseph”.

The Prison

The last verse of this chapter tells us about the same pattern that we saw in Potiphar’s house: the chief jailer “did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper”.

  • The Lord was with Joseph
  • The chief jailer saw that the Lord was with Joseph
  • The chief jailer put everything and everybody in Joseph’s charge.

The next chapter – and next section of the narrative – begins with Pharaoh’s displeasure with hisמַשְׁקֵה  (mashkeh) “cup bearer” and הָאֹפֶה (haofeh) his “baker” that served in his royal court. Mashke – Cupbearer: the royal taster, an important government official; Chief baker: the Egyptians were renowned gourmets and knew 57 varieties of bread and 38 different kinds of cakes. Pharaoh puts both of his main servants into the same prison as Joseph.

They had not been long in prison when both had disturbing dreams in the same night. In the morning, Joseph noticed their anxiety and inquired into the cause. They explained their distress: because they were in prison, they had no access to priests, and no professional dream interpreters were around for them to seek explanations. In Egypt, dreams usually were considered coded visions to which a key was needed. Professional dream interpreters who claim to possess these keys, were prominent in Egypt, an Egyptian manual of dreams (around 1300 BC) contains over 200 interpretations. Now you can understand why they were so distressed! They were in prison, they had no access to priests or to professional dream interpreters. But Joseph pointed them straight to God: “Do not interpretations belong to God?” –encouraging them to tell their dreams and trusting God to give him correct interpretations. This means that in any case, whether or not he was able to interpret their dreams, he would not claim power or wisdom like the Egyptian magicians. It is clear to Joseph that interpretations belong to God alone!

We spoke already about the two types of dreams: those in which God actually addresses man[1], and dreams in the form of parables or pictures, which require interpretation. Usually, God communicates directly to outsiders: Abimelech and Laban, for example. Of course, He could have done the same here, yet the whole theme of the dream interpretations here is needed for the sake of Joseph. However, there is a remarkable detail not to be missed: when Joseph shared his dreams with his family, there was no need to interpret them professionally. In Canaan, not only Jacob/Israel but also Joseph’s brothers – who were not very good or spiritual guys at this point – understood the content of dreams perfectly, while the Egyptians needed interpretation. You may all know this joke: When the Pope visits Israel and sees  ‘the direct phone line to God’ in the Israeli Rabbi’s office, he asks  how much it would cost and is surprised by the response: “One shekel.”  “Why so cheap?!” the Pope asks. The Rabbi smiles: “Local call.” I can’t help but remember this joke every time I read this scene: The language of these dreams seems like a local language in the land of Canaan, but is not understood by the Egyptians.

Both of Joseph’s dream interpretations come true exactly in the way he explained them[2]. However, the chief cupbearer who went back to Pharaoh’s palace never told Pharaoh about Joseph. Yet, can the hand of God be stopped?

[1] Gen. 20:3

[2] Gen.40:9-13

On Prayer in Hebrew, It is the same in Bodewadmimwen

In the English language, prayer is largely defined by the idea of asking. In old English one could say, either to God or to anyone else: “I pray thee to do such and such.” The basic concept here is a heart-felt request. The Jewish concept of prayer, however, is best defined by its Hebrew word “tfilah (תפילה).

The primary meaning of the verb “lehitpalel” (להתפלל), the verb behind the noun, is self-judgement or introspection. Especially in Jewish Hassidic traditions, tfiliah is understood to be an introspection that results in bonding between the creature and the Creator, as a child would bond with his/her father.

It is not a surprise that when the Jewish Christ was asked by his disciples how they should pray, he taught them what to request, making sure to address their Heavenly King as “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9). Shortly before that Jesus warned them to avoid using vain repetitions that characterized pagan approaches to prayer (Matt 6:7).

In Isaiah, we find a curious text: “These I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in the house of my prayer” (וְשִׂמַּחְתִּים בְּבֵית תְּפִלָּתִי). Note the wording: not “my house of prayer,” but “the house of my prayer.” (Isaiah 56:7; cf. b. Barachot 7a). But how is it possible for God to engage in prayer? And with whom?

The answer lies in understanding that Hebrew prayer is not only a “request-making session.” It is a communal bonding between God and his child. The house of “his prayer” is, therefore, where God himself engages in introspection and, in so doing, bonds deeply with his people. They in turn reciprocate this action in their own prayers and bond with God.

Being born again….

What did Jesus mean?

First of all, this conversation wasn’t in Greek, but rather in Hebrew. Looking at the Hebrew gospels, we find a slightly different meaning. Jesus’ words, “yivvaled ish milma’ǝlah” are often translated as “born again”, however the word ma’alah in Hebrew means “above”. Apparently, Jesus used a well-known Hebrew expression, ‘born from above’. What did that mean?
 

The 1st century meaning

We often find the expression “reborn” in Rabbinic literature – for instance, describing Israel after receiving the Torah. However, in the first century it was mostly used to describe the process of becoming a proselyte. A Gentile would turn away from pagan gods to the God of Israel, be circumcised (if male) and finally, go through waters of a mikveh. When he emerged out of the water, he was considered as being ‘reborn’, or ‘born from above’.

Discover the Jewish background

Many Gentiles made this crucial choice in Jesus’ times: they were ready to abandon their former lives for the people and the God of Israel. Jesus seems to refer to the experience of those proselytes – for Him, being ‘born from above’ means turning to God and His Word, following His ways and His commandments.

Appropriate for today…..

The Seven Grandfather Teachings

Bwakawen

Wisdom

Zagidwen

Ndebanawen

 Love

Mnadendemowen

Wdetanmowen

Respect

Akwadewen

Wedasewen

Bravery

Gwekwadzewen

Honesty

Dbesendamowen

Edbesendamowen

Humility

Debwewin

Truth

Background

According to the aadizookaan Atsokan (traditional story), the teachings were given to the Anishinaabeg early in their history. Seven Grandfathers asked their messenger to take a survey of the human condition. At that time the human condition was not very good. Eventually in his quest, the messenger came across a child. After receiving approval from the Seven Grandfathers, tutored the child in the “Good way of Life”. Before departing from the Seven Grandfathers, each of the Grandfathers instructed the child with a principle.  

  • Bwakawen—Wisdom: To cherish knowledge is to know Wisdom. Wisdom is given by the Creator to be used for the good of the people. In the Anishinaabe language, this word expresses not only “wisdom,” but also means “prudence,” or “intelligence.” In some communities, Gkendasewen is used; in addition to “wisdom,” this word can also mean “intelligence” or “knowledge.”
  • Zagidwen—Love: To know Love is to know peace. Love must be unconditional. When people are weak they need love the most. In the Anishinaabe language, this word with the reciprocal theme /idi/ indicates that this form of love is mutual. In some communities, Gzhawenidiwen is used, which in most context means “jealousy” but in this context is translated as either “love” or “zeal”. Again, the reciprocal theme /idi/ indicates that this form of love is mutual.
  • Mnadendemowen—Respect: To honor all creation is to have Respect. All of creation should be treated with respect. You must give respect if you wish to be respected. Some communities instead use Ewetodendemidiwen or Kejitwaweninidiwen.
  • Akwadewen—Bravery: Bravery is to face the foe with integrity. In the Anishinaabe language, this word literally means “state of having a fearless heart.” To do what is right even when the consequences are unpleasant. Some communities instead use either Zongadikiwen (“state of having a strong casing”) or Zongide’ewen (“state of having a strong heart”).
  • Gwekwadzewen—Honesty: Honesty in facing a situation is to be brave. Always be honest in word and action. Be honest first with yourself, and you will more easily be able to be honest with others. In the Anishinaabe language, this word can also mean “righteousness.”
  • Dbesendamowen—Humility: Humility is to know yourself as a sacred part of Creation. In the Anishinaabe language, this word can also mean “compassion.” You are equal to others, but you are not better. Some communities instead express this with Bekadiziwen, which in addition to “humility” can also be translated as “calmness,” “meekness,” “gentility” or “patience.”
  • Debwewin—Truth: Truth is to know all of these things. Speak the truth. Do not deceive yourself or others.

Aujesokanek, adesokanek, audesokanek

The Muses: The Powers regarded as inspiring a thinker, artist, poet, and in this case, many of the old time Seers, Prophets, Holy Men, and other such people that officiated the various ceremonies of the Neshnabek.

I love this story and it’s deeper levels of meaning.

The Hidden Message

By Julia BlumMay 27, 2021No comments

The Opening of the Eyes
We are still in Genesis 38, in this strange and unexpected interruption to the narrative, in the story of Judah and Tamar. We are entering the most interesting part of the story, the “action” of the story, which according to the text happens “a long time afterward”—a long time after the events we discussed last time.
We read that a long time afterward, “the daughter of Shua, Judah’s wife, died” – and when the period of mourning was over, “Judah went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite”. Here Tamar enters the picture again: we read that it was told Tamar, saying, “Look, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” What did Tamar do upon hearing this news?

Let us remember that Tamar has been agunah for a long time already, for she was considered engaged to Shelah, and although “Shelah was grown she was not given to him as a wife”. After the tragedy she had experienced (twice), it appeared that she would remain childless. However, Tamar decided that her father-in-law’s unfaithfulness would not stop her from having children and being part of God’s family, so she pretended to be a prostitute in order to trap her father-in-law. She “took off her widow’s garments, covered herself with a veil and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place which was on the way to Timnah”.
Most translations read that she sat in an open place. Sometimes, the name of the place where she was sitting is transliterated: “she sat down at the entrance to Enaim.” However, if we read the story of Judah and Tamar in Hebrew – we are struck by the name of the place: בְּפֶתַח עֵינַיִם BePetach Eyanim – literally: “in the opening of the eyes”. These words are incredibly meaningful and really designate what this story is all about—it is about the “opening of the eyes” of the heart.  At this point, Judah’s eyes are still closed, but they will not remain so. That is why Tamar, God’s unexpected and unlikely tool, is sitting at this place – because God wants to open the eyes of Judah’s heart.

Discern, Please
When Judah saw Tamar, he did not recognize her and took her for a prostitute. As payment for her service, he promised to send her a kid goat, which brings us back to the story of Joseph’s sale in the previous chapter. Do you remember that the brothers slaughtered a kid, dipped Joseph’s tunic in the blood, and then sent the tunic to their father? Moreover, when we saw Jacob deceived by this tunic, we could not help but remember that the same set —special clothes and a slaughtered animal —was also used by Rebecca, and Jacob himself, in order to deceive his father Isaac! It seems that, beginning from Genesis 3, every time we have a slaughtered animal and special garments, it serves as a cover-up for some serious sin or deceit. In this story, however, we will soon see the opening of the eyes. Tamar asked for a pledge: “Will you give me a pledge till you send it?” She asked for his “signet and cord, and staff,” and surprisingly, he gave her all these items.
We learn that through this trickery, Tamar becomes pregnant by Judah: “she conceived by him.” When, about three months later, Judah was told that “Tamar your daughter-in-law … is with child by harlotry,” Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” Tamar was still considered engaged to Shelah, and Judah, as the head of the family, had judicial powers. His decision was both harsh and quick.
But then something very significant happens. When Tamar brings out Judah’s personal items, she says: Discern, I pray thee – הַכֶּר־נָ֔א. In English, nothing strikes us as unusual in this sentence – however, when read in Hebrew, the connection between these two stories—the story of Joseph’s sale and the story of Judah and Tamar—becomes absolutely evident. This expression, הַכֶּר־נָ֔א – “discern, please” or “recognize, please” – appears only twice in the entire Torah, and can you guess where it is first used? Right in the previous chapter, when the brothers bring Joseph’s coat to Jacob and say: “discern please whether it be thy son’s coat” הַכֶּר־נָ֗א – discern, recognize, examine. Can you imagine? In the entire Torah, this expression appears only in these two chapters: Genesis 37 and 38. In the first case, Judah was a deceiver, very likely, he was the one who said these words, because, as we saw, he was a leader among the brothers; now, however, he is the one who is deceived!  Judah’s deception revisits him in his very own words – and it is at this very moment, when Judah hears these words, that his heart is pierced by the recognition—not only by the recognition of his own things, but much more deeply, by recognition of his own guilt. Now his eyes are indeed opened, and he has a true change of heart. He confessed and repented.

Judah’s Confession
We come to the climax of this story – Judah’s confession: “And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son.”
We read a beautiful description of this transformation in Midrash: “Then Judah rose up and said: … I make it known that with what measure a man metes it shall measured unto him, be it for good or for evil, but happy the man that acknowledgeth his sins. Because I took the coat of Joseph, and colored it with the blood of a kid, and then laid it at the feet of my father, saying: Know now whether it be thy son’s coat or not, therefore must I now confess, before the court, unto whom belongeth this signet, this mantle, and this staff.”
Of course, Midrash just fills in the gaps that Scripture leaves out. Yet, there is a point not to be missed: Judah did acknowledge and confess his sin. Moreover, he didn’t do it under external pressure: it was his word against hers, and since her social status was incomparable lower than his – a woman, a widow, probably Canaanite – nobody would even pay attention to her word. However, God wanted to open the eyes of his heart, and therefore we witness this profound inner transformation in Judah’s heart.

Why is this story here in the middle of Joseph’s saga? The Torah wants to make sure we know that the Judah who comes to Egypt and approaches Joseph, is not the same Judah we saw in chapter 37, in the story of the sale. This Judah has a completely different character: God had been working in his heart and the eyes of his heart have been opened! Moreover, if you have ever wondered why King David, and also Jesus, came from the tribe of Judah, this story gives you the answer: in a sense,  Judah starts “tikkun olam[1], repairing the world, bringing it back to God’s hesign! How so? We know that in Genesis 3, answering God’s question, Adam points his finger at his wife: she is the one to blame. When God questions Eve, He gets a similar response from her: the Serpent was to blame. After that, the LORD pronounces His punishment – but I daresay Adam and Eve were punished not only for eating the fruit: this blame-shifting was something that distorted creation and moved it off the path God had originally planned. In Genesis 38, Judah becomes the first biblical character to repair it—he takes responsibility for his own deeds and repents. Unlike Adam, who said, “she is the one to blame,” Judah said: “I am the one to blame!” Thus, Judah is the first person in the book of Genesis – and therefore the entire Bible – to confess his sin, take responsibility for it, and change his behavior. He is indeed the confessing one.

[1] These Hebrew words are typically translated as “repair the world”