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ZDK ASTARIA Cultures - EMUSPATEL Introductory Literature

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Sh'MaH... (Love God!)

The Foundation of ALL Abrahamic Belief

While Jews may argue over what being Jewish is (and who is a Jew and who isn't), one thing that most can agree on is the Sh'MaH. For, this Passage of the Holy Scriptures has been read before the Hebrew Peoples since the Days of Moses. And has been one of the major signs or symbols for identifying who God's People really were.

Consequently, EMUSPATEL subscribes to the Sh'MaH and encourges it to be read before Our Members. Which is one of the main reasons why we publish it here, in Our Web Site, so that Our Members will become familiar with it. However, as this forms something of a Statement of Faith or Creed, we also feel the need to explain exactly what it is that we are subscribing to. So, that Our Members will not be just blind followers, but will have some idea of why we do what we do.

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The name Sh'MaH or shmh comes from the beginning of that Passage in the Holy Sriptures, which starts with HEAR Oh Israel...

Or, to quote it at length:

HEAR Oh Isreal...
The Lord Our God, the Lord is *** ONE ***.

And you shall LOVE the Lord your God
with all your heart (spirit)
and with all your soul (mind)
and with all your might (body)

And these Words, which I command you this day,
shall be in your heart:

And you shall teach them diligently unto you children;
And shall talk of them when you sit in your house,
And when you walk by the Way,
And when you lie down,
And when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)

Consequently, these are the beginning passages that Hebrew children first begin to hear and then recite, as they are taught by their parents about the things of God.

So, also for this reason, we want all of Our members to know it, too!

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This has been one of the main things that has made ALL the Hebrew Peoples (whether they be Jews, Christians, or Muslims) unique from the other Peoples of the earth! For, while the Pagans and Idolaters worships many gods or spirits (polytheism), the Hebrews insist on ONLY worshipping the ONE True God (John 17:3). And, this insistance on only ONE God is what monotheism is all about. (And one of the cornerstones of Hebrew Thought!)

Quite clearly then, the Sh'MaH stands for monotheism. For, there is only ONE God and there is only ONE Lord. And HE alone is the ONE to be worshipped. There is no other! Even as the Mi Chamocha or Mey KhahMoKha says (Exodus 15:11), which is also sung before most Jewish congregations. Thus, this is quite clearly one of the Foundations of Jewish Theology!

And as equally clear, the Pagans, the Idolaters, the New Agers, and the Cults DO NOT subscribe to this--as they worship gods or spirits other than the ONE True God! Whereas, ALL the Hebrew Peoples (whether they be Jews, Christians, or Muslims) worhsip ONLY the ONE True God. Consequently, this serves as a good separator of the sheep from the goats--dividing God's People from among the wicked of the world.

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The Sh'MaH clearly Commands Us (as God's People) to LOVE GOD! It is there in black and white for all to see and read. However, the importance of this message is often obscured. And the Focus of Our Faith can all too easily become clouded.

In more Ancient Days, there arose quite a dispute about the 10 Commandments. For, if you read the text (Exodus 20:1-17 or Deuteronomy 5:6-21), you will actually only find 9 Commandments listed. So, where is the First one? The Pharisees claimed that the division was between no other gods and the making of images. But, the Saduccees claimed that it was between covetousness in general and specifically coveting things of your neighbor. And the debate raged for centuries!

But, in the Days of the Messiah, when Y'Shua walked the Earth, HE settled the debate and set the path straight (as it had been orginally intended by God). For, when confronted with this question, HE replied that neither one was right! Rather, the Sh'MaH (found over a few verses from the 10 Commandments) was actually the FIRST AND GREATEST COMMANDMENT! (Matthew 22:36-38) Consequently, Y'Shua (or Jesus) upheld what was the focus of Hebrew worship for centures as being the actual FIRST Commandment! And, put Our focus back on it (and the Love of God), where it belonged.

Moreover, in the days to come, the idea of the LOVE of God became one of the central teachings of the early Christians (though many modern churches seem to have lost sight of this). And, we find that that the Apostle John expounded upon this lesson at length (I John 2:7-17, 3:14-23, 4:7-12). And, that it was one of the main teachings of the Messiah (John 13:34-35). So, is it surprizing that we find this concept bound up with the Sh'MaH as well! (And one of the major teachings of EMUSPATEL!)

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Now, one of the biggest squabbles between the Church and the Synagogue (as well as with the Mosque) is the issue of the divisiblity of God. Jews and Muslim tend to argue that God is monolithic and indivisible. Christian hold to a Three-In-One concept, or the Trinity, which says that while God is ONE united whole, HE also has 3 Parts or Personages. So, is God tri-part or is HE monolithic (one, indivisible whole)? Well, let us examim the Holy Scriptures and see what HE says of HIMSELF.

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Despite the debate on this in Jewish and Messianic circles, quite clearly, the New Testament comes out and boldly proclaims the Trinity or Tri-Part United Oneness of God. And all of orthodox Christianity is based on it.

As, it is clearly written:

"For there are THREE that bear record in Heaven:
the Father, the Word (the Son), and the Holy Ghost;
and THESE THREE ARE ONE!" (I John 5:7)

Moreover, we also find the plain command:
"Go ye (you) into All Nations,
baptizing them in the Name of,
the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Ghost!"
(Matthew 28:19)

Furthermore, the concerted and united action of all Three Together is clearly seen at the Baptism of Y'Shua (Matthew 3:16-17). So, based on the Brit Chadashah or B'Reyt QahDaShaH (New Testament Scriptures), quite clearly the Christian God is one of the Three-In-One or Trinity classification.

Now, does that hold true in the Tanach or TeNahKh (Old Testament)?

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Unfortunately, in the Tanach or Old Testament, God keeps HIMSELF rather aloof and distant from people. Consequently, knowledge about HIS Nature or Character is not given plainly. And, we are told that even HIS Name is hidden or secret (Judges 13:17-18) from Mankind (at that time). So, if we find it, it is likely to be somewhat symbolic or cryptic (or only revealed to those of deep prayer and communion with HIM). Yet, can we even find that, there?

Isaiah, who had a very dramatic vision of exactly who God was, and saw the Angel of the Lord (or the Visible Representation of God), gives us some insight. For he records that the Seraphim, which fly about the Throne of God, cry out: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY! Yes, THREE times. Once of each of the THREE parts of God! (Isaiah 6:3)

Other cues can also be found. In the beginning, when God laid out HIS Plans for the creation of Man, HE spoke to HIMSELF (as we might talk to ourselves) and called HIMSELF "US" clearly indicating that HE is not one indivisible monolith, but rather a plurality or collection (a set of some sort). Hence, more indication of the Trinity.

Even more so, when God is refered to as ELoHiM in the Holy Scriptures, the ending indicates a plurality. Now as God is held to be ONE, we must not be talking about polytheism here, but this grammar could be explained by the Trinity or Three-In-Oneness. God is ONE, but has THREE Parts.

Is it possible to be one united whole yet in three parts? Well, there is the egg (shell, egg white, and yoke) and there is the clover (one leaf with three branches), and man (mind-soul, spirit, body--below). So, it is not all that illogical or irrational a concept! (Yet, it just seems hard for some to accept.)

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Now, some are going to ask, WHAT HAS THIS TO DO WITH THE Sh'MaH? (Aren't we seriously drifting from the subjcet, here?) There is no Trinity found there!

Or, is there?

Well, hold onto your hat! And let us take a look at the word ONE, used to describe God. In Hebrew it is echad or eKhahD. And, rather than meaning a monolithic (or indivisible) whole, echad refers to a CLUSTER or some kind of set or group--a united whole. Even as the Holy Scriptures say that the People (Nation) are echad or ONE (Genesis 11:6). And, obviously, a Nation is a collection of people or a united whole (cluster) and not, rather a monolithic (indivisible) whole. Thus, God MUST BE A CLUSTER (of more than one part). Yes, and it is right there in the Sh'MaH, which is read before the congregation all the time! (So, don't say there isn't TRINITY in the Sh'MaH!)

Well, while you are thinking that mindboggling one over, perpare yourself for another blast! The Holy Scriptures clearly tell us that Man was made in God's own Image (Genesis 1:26). Thus, in some senses of the word, we must look something like God, HIMSELF. But, is that all? For, the study of Man shows that he is composed of 3 basic parts: spirit, mind (soul), and body (I Thessalonians 5:23). Is this a reflection of the Three-In-One Nature of God, HIMSELF? Yes, it is! And, even more so, if you look closely at the Sh'MaH, you will find the 3 distinct parts of Man listed--thus reflecting the IMAGE of God's own THREE Part Nature! (Yes, go back and read it again--above!)

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Therefore, the Sh'MaH is not just a Statement of Faith or a Creed. It is a bold revelation and proclamation of the Trinity--the THREE Part Nature of God. Or, as they say, HIS Three-In-Oneness.

And, perhaps even more mindboggling, the Sh'MaH is thus quite clearly Christian and holds up that version of God!

So, is it any wonder that EMUSPATEL so strongly supports the Sh'MaH? For it is one of the main planks of Our Judeo-Christian Theology. (And part of the common Messianic Creed.)

So, come and join us, in doing so!

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Sh'MaH's Corollary - GOLDEN RULE!!!

As logic dictates, you cannot have just one side to a coin! For there are two sides.

In a similar vein, the Sh'MaH is only half the story. (Though certainly, a good story!) The other half was openly declared by the Messiah Y'Shua, who said:

This (Sh'MaH) is the First and Greatest Commandment! And, the Second is like unto it: LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF! (Leviticus 19:18) For on these two Commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets! (Matthew 22:38-40)

Consequently, if we turly Love God, we MUST also be our brother's keeper--and be good stewards of the neighbors that God has given us, around us. (James 2:15-17)

So, be sure to practice the Golden Rule: DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU (Matthew 7:12)!

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Well, we have more! The next Article in this series deals with the Hebrew Holy Days. And why they are important! (And why EMUSPATEL promotes keeping them.) So, why don't you just turn over to there, and read that Article, too? It is easy to get:
To get HEBREW HOLIDAYS Article (click here): [Keeping the Calendar]

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Further Contacts:


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Filed: 07-08-99 . . . Up-dated: 06-06-01