These thought provoking lectures are given my distinguished scholars .
BELIEF VERSUS FAITH
J. David Davis
In Genesis, Abraham’s belief in God is not that of blind faith, but rather it is a certainty that is substantiated by a direct knowledge of God. This idea is significant, since God first promises, and then He acts. Thus certainty on the part of man is a requirement for incipient performance by God.
Torah is the pursuit of truth reinforced by fact. This idea is central to the Noahide understanding of God, which is unfettered by a faith having no proven relation to reality. This difference in outlook is what sets apart the Jewish conception of God versus the Christian imperative of absolute faith.
53 Minutes, CD; $12.95
J. David Davis
To study Judaism successfully, it is essential to give up all preconceived notions of God, and instead to look to the Torah for knowledge. The Prophets (“Neviim” in Hebrew) received God’s words and spoke them or wrote them to the Jewish People. But how did the Jewish nation receive God’s words, and by what means does God even today speak to man? Virtually everyone dreams, but on the whole we either forget our dreams or dismiss them as mere recollections not particularly applicable to life. Dreams, though, are the first step in the higher realm of consciousness.
Thus Avimelech dreamt of Abraham and Sarah; Jacob dreamt of the Ladder up to Heaven; and Joseph was known to all as an interpreter of dreams. Visions are of a higher order than dreams. They involve out-of-body experiences which, though many of us have had, we usually deny, or do not permit ourselves to recognize as visions. To attain a spiritual high level requires isolation from the external world, along with relaxation of the internal mind. Our religious thoughts often come from our dreams, if we are open to receiving and recognizing them. The prophet, unlike others, is “Called by God,” and has no choice but to receive and interpret visions. Prophecy is the highest level of communication. Openness to our inner world of dreams permits us to come closer to God. In this five part series, J. David Davis explores a hitherto unexplored but esoteric area of Judaism.
5 Hours, 21 Minutes, 5 CDs; $59.95
The Messianic vision of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, of a world where Mankind ascends to a life of Mercy (“Chesed”), Justice (“Mishpat”), and Righteousness (“Tzedakah”), is the whole point of the Bible (Tanach). As mandated in Deuteronomy, until its final mention in Malachi, the mission of the Jewish People as God’s “chosen” or “possession” (“Segula”), is to teach the Nations about God. In this inspiring lecture, Dr. James Tabor explores the subject of God’s Dream and the belief in a covenantal God who acts in history.
50 Minutes, CD; $12.95
SACRED SEASONS OF HASHEM
In Judaism there is a harmony and dynamic understanding of time and space that is contrary to the Greek stasis (being), and its offspring, the current Western and Christian civilizations. The Judaic month and moon are connected: the word “month” is derived from the word “moon”; the beginning of the Jewish day is sundown, which is observable rather than just mandated. The observed calendar is like looking at God’s watch, with its days, months, seasons and years. The time period of the week and its seven days does not correlate to anything in nature. It can be understood only by the acknowledgment of the primacy of the Sabbath day.
Sacred Seasons of Hashem, a riveting two part lecture presented by Dr. James D. Tabor, Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, discusses the correlation between sanctified time and space in the Tanach (Bible), and God’s promise to mankind.
109 Minutes, 2 CDs; $24.95
Satan is the fallen angel of gnostic origins and the universal symbol of evil as defined by Christianity and Islam. He is described in literature (Paradise Lost, et al.) and in theology as an adversary of God. This notion of Satan as a fiend or a Prince of Darkness is inimical to the Jewish concept of God, which regards Satan as a servant of God.
First mentioned in the Book of Job, Satan asks God to take away the earthly advantages of Job, in an effort to prove that Job might well not be so wonderful if all his benefits were removed. God permits Satan to do this, which is an example showing that Satan is always acting on God’s behalf, whether as the evil inclination or as the prosecuting angel in the world to come. Satan’s task is a thankless job where failure in effect denotes success. God creates Good and Evil in order to give man free will; Satan, rather than being an instigator creating evil, is God’s vehicle to test man’s free will of good versus evil. In this lecture, Rabbi Michael Katz explains who Satan really is and is not.
75 Minutes, CD, $12.95
UNDERSTANDING THE TALMUD
In the revelation at Sinai, God (Hashem) gives the Jewish People the Law, the Written Torah, and the Oral Torah, also known as the Talmud. The Oral Law was written down in the 3rd and 4th centuries in response to the turmoil then taking place in Israel. These oral laws became the beginnings of the Talmud and of Talmudic literature. In this lecture, Rabbi Zweitter gives a glimpse of the Holy Book, and presents how it defines the normative Judaism of today and that of ancient times. This introduction, though brief in comparison to the huge existent body of knowledge, provides the Noahide Movement with a deeper understanding of how Jesus and his apostles lived and thought.
87 Minutes, 2 CDs; $24.95
The two fundamental books of Judaism are the Torah, which includes the five books of Moses, the Prophets and the Writings; and the Talmud, otherwise referred to as “The Written Law” (Torah), and “The Oral Law” (Talmud). What is the Talmud? How does it correspond to the Torah, and why is it necessary? These questions lead to the kernel of Judaism – God’s revelation to the Jewish People at Sinai – and are essential for a real understanding of Judaism and of its unique way of worshipping God and following His precepts.
To better understand these questions, think of the Torah as a machine, and the Talmud as its manual. Without the manual, you could interpret the Torah in any way you choose. You could even go against the judgments and precepts of God. Torah and Talmud, in order to reach the real meaning of God’s Laws, must therefore always be intertwined. In this DVD, Rabbi Saul Zucker leads the viewer into the intricate world of Talmudic thought and the Talmud’s significance to Judaism.
93 Minutes, DVD; $24.95
TO TORAH AND TESTIMONY
TO TORAH AND TESTIMONY
In today’s culture of Post Modernism and moral relativism, can there be certainty in this age of uncertainty? This is the quintessential question posed in this intriguing DVD. Dr. James Tabor explores the message of the “Testimony,” also known as the “Law,” which Moses brings down to the Jewish People from Sinai. The witnessing of God’s presence by the Jewish People at Sinai is a unique event in history – it had never happened before, and probably will never happen again. According to Dr. Tabor, this witnessing serves as the bedrock faith, which is the foundation to inspire and comfort the true man of faith in the existence of Hashem (God).
63 Minutes, DVD; $24.95
DNA AND TORAH
The creation of life in the aqueous (water solution) environment of the cell is impossible to replicate in a laboratory, since chemicals cannot make changes without other chemicals (catalysts and enzymes) and heat. In other words, although man can create changes with the aid of catalysts, enzymes, and heat, we are not able to duplicate the miracle of life using the inert medium of water alone, as is found in all living matter.
The molecule responsible for this miracle of life is DNA. DNA is composed of four nucleic acids, Adenine (A); Cytosine (C); Guanine (G); and Thiamine (T), and serves as the alphabet of all creation. This simple alphabet of the four letters A, C, G, &T expands in sequence and number to determine the life and form of all organisms. In a similar fashion, in the Torah, the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet provide a similar master code of how and why we exist, while DNA is a physical Torah of our chemical makeup. In this DVD, Dr. Lavers gives a clear and compelling introduction to one of the major building blocks of biology, DNA, and discusses its similarity to Torah.
65 Minutes, DVD; $24.95
The subject of idolatry, albeit a relic of the ancient world and seemingly far in the past, remains one of the most important areas of Jewish Law. Why is this? Torah considers one instinct of man to be the most dangerous: the religious/spiritual instinct. While Judaism acknowledges that idolatry is a part of man’s makeup in that it makes him feel secure, the unique doctrine of Judaism, one of its basic tenets, is that there are no idolatrous beliefs in its worship.
In the ancient world, many civilizations believed in an invisible supreme being, but continued to rely on magical thinking, astrology, and other manifestations of idol worship. Today idolatrous notions are not just from the past, but exist in the here and now in many spiritual new age movements. This reliance on primitive thought is becoming a hallmark of the modern age, just as it had been thousands of years ago.
In this DVD, Rabbi Israel Chait explores the important subject of idolatry, and its metaphysical construct as a universal primitive urge of mankind.
62 Minutes, DVD; $24.95
About the Lecturers
RABBI ISRAEL CHAIT is Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva B’Nai Torah in Far Rockaway, New York, and has collaborated closely with the Noahide Movement.
J. DAVID DAVIS, a former ordained Baptist Minister, graduated from Tennessee Temple University of Chattanooga in 1972. Hired as Pastor of the Emmanuel Baptist Church of Athens in Tennessee, Mr. Davis and his congregants set out on a long and difficult journey seeking further knowledge, not of the “World as it is” but about the “Why” of the world. It was during this process of exploration that Mr. Davis discovered that people of all backgrounds want to relate to God without fear or condemnation. This study led to his discovery of one of the most fundamental, yet obscure, doctrines of biblical and ancient Hebrew tradition, “The Seven Universal Laws of Noah.”
RABBI MICHAEL KATZ, formerly of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was the first Rabbi to provide instruction to members of the Noahide movement in the Seven Commandments of Noah.
DR. GENE LAVERS, Professor of Biochemistry at New York University, is the coeditor of Cellular and Molecular Aspects of Eye Research, former chair of biochemistry and director of the graduate program in basic medical sciences. His interest in the relationship between the codes and instructions of life (DNA) and Torah correspond to his research in molecular biology, information transfer, and the nature of consciousness.
DR. JAMES D. TABOR, author of Things Unutterable, which is about the mysticism of the apostle Paul, is co-author of both A Noble Death, which discusses suicide and martyrdom in antiquity, and Why Waco? Cults and the Battle of Religious Freedom in America. He is a leading scholar on the Dead Sea Scrolls, on the Second Temple period, and on the origins of Christianity. Dr. Tabor also serves as Chief Editor of the Original Bible Project. He is currently working on his newest book, The Jesus Dynasty; A New Historical Investigation of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity.
RABBI SAUL ZUCKER is principal of the Mesivta of New Jersey in Teaneck, New Jersey.
RABBI SOLOMON ZWEITTER is Professor of Talmudic Literature at Bar Ilan University in Israel, and a graduate of the Rabbi Isaac Elhanan Seminary at Yeshiva University in New York.