Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, January 17, 2021

Shavuah Tov,

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Sun 17-Jan-2020 4th of Sh’vat, 5781

Ex 10:1-11 1 Ki 12 Ps 113-114 Lk 23:1-25 (Php 4)

All Lives Matter – Part 3

by Dr. Raymond Finney 

REMORSEFUL ABOUT ABORTION? In a congregation of this size, we almost certainly have women who have had abortions and men who have fathered  aborted babies. This RR may stir emotional pain. It is beyond the scope of this RR to discuss in detail “post-abortion syndrome,” a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Several Websites offer suggestions. (Google for more information.)  You probably live near a crisis pregnancy center, staffed by women who deeply love Yeshua and want to help you. Rabbi Weiner ( rabbi@syknox.org ) and his wife, Jan, are also available for counseling. Also remember: Your Heavenly Father loves you and is willing to forgive and forget any transgression, if you ask Him. Now is the time to rid yourself of any guilt you may have harbored for years (1 John 1:9): If we confess our sins, He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. God has created you for a life of joyful worship and service, not a life of sadness and grief-stricken guilt.

CONSEQUENCES: January 22, 1973, the day the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decided the Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton cases, was a day that had great consequences for America. I will review a few of these consequences in this RR:

UNPRECEDENTED CARNAGE: As of January 10, 2020, 61,628,584 babies  have been murdered by abortions since Roe vs. Wade. These data, now a year old,  come from a theoretically neutral source (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC) and a pro-abortion source (Guttmacher Institute). This number, at best an estimate, may be under-reported. If an abortion clinic has no qualms against killing babies, would it be comfortable about lying about the number of babies it kills? Data are incomplete/ missing from New York City; Washington, D.C.; California; New Hampshire; and another state. Are these data believable? The CDC has not had a good run in 2020, advising Americans about the impact of COVID-19, and the Guttmacher Institute is a former Planned Parenthood research arm. Having no better data, we will go with 61.63-million (plus) unborn babies killed by American abortionists (as of January, 2020).

The danger of such large numbers is that we are immune from being shocked. Joseph Stalin, former USSR dictator, recognized this principle, as it related to deaths of soldiers, when he said: “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” One dead baby might make national news, but tens of millions of dead babies are not reported.

In America, the number of abortions rose in the 1970s and 1980s, peaked in 1990 (more than 1.6-million abortions), and has fallen in recent years. Reasons for the recent decline include: (1) hard work of crisis pregnancy centers may have slightly turned the corner through the use of ultrasound and effective women counselors; (2) pro-life legislation was enacted in states; (3) the Internet has spread the pro-life message; (4) partial-birth abortions were exposed and banned; (5) the average age of women has increased (baby boomers no longer in reproductive age); (6) broader access to contraceptives, abortifacient drugs (RU-486), and emergency contraception (Plan B); and (7) we Believers should believe that faithful prayer and influence of the Ruach HaKodesh are effective. 

The widespread use of 3D and 4D ultrasound technology has saved many babies. Personal experience: Elsewhere in this RR, I mention that Linda and I have been directors of the Pregnancy Resource Center in Blount County. Abortion-minded, usually young women have come to this Center (and many others like it throughout the nation) for the free pregnancy tests to confirm pregnancy before making an appointment for an abortion (at a Knoxville clinic for Blount County women). Commonly, when a young woman sees ultrasound images of her baby in her womb, she realizes she had been lied to. This “clump of cells” has a beating heart and tiny toes and fingers, and moves. This “clump of cells” is a BABY! This“clump of cells” is HUMAN! This “clump of cells” is made in the IMAGE OF GOD! An abortion-minded woman may burst into tears and change immediately, wanting to give birth to this baby, this heritage from God. How many abortion clinics show a woman an ultrasound of her pregnancy before abortion? I suppose this would not be part of their marketing plan ($$$).

Speaking of money, know that abortion is a lucrative business (billion of dollars annually nationwide). The abortion pill, RU-486, costs 500 dollars, more or less. A standard surgical abortion costs between 500 to several thousand dollars.

Our Blount County Pregnancy Resource Center took a leap of faith and purchased a mobile medical van, fitted with an ultrasound unit and other necessary equipment. See van: https://www.prcbctn.com/mobile-unit . Business-savvy people would have advised us we could not afford this expensive van. We Board members, not being business people, stepped out in faith. Now, women in Blount County and other eastern Tennessee counties have the benefit of ultrasound examinations brought to them in their home counties, while they hear the truth about abortions and the Gospel of Yeshua. Babies’ lives are saved! Mamas’ souls are saved! Childless couples have beautiful babies to adopt! Yehovhah yireh– “God provides!” More about crisis pregnancy centers follows.

WHO HAS ABORTIONS? An older study (2004) by the Guttmacher Institute analyzed the reasons given for abortion in America: victim of rape (less than 0.5%); suspected fetal health problem (3%); maternal physical heath problem  (4%); pregnancy interference with education or career (4%); mama not mature enough to raise a child (7%); does not want to be a single mom (8%); through having kids (19%); can’t afford another child (23%); not ready for a child (25%) and other reasons (6%). The datum for “physical health of the mother” as a reason for abortion seems inflated to me. Modern healthcare can handle most problems occurring in pregnancy.

Rabbi’s note:  I recently asked an OBGYN doctor about the likelihood of an abortion being necessary to save the life of the mother.  Her response was that in the case of a fallopian tubal pregnancy it might be necessary (if natural causes didn’t end the pregnancy, but that in her entire career, she had never seen such a circumstance.  End RN. 

A LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH: Abortion is a leading cause of death in the world, accounting for 42-million baby deaths annually. America’s abortion death rate seems to be falling (reasons discussed elsewhere) and is now thought to be under 1-million deaths per year (between 640,000 and 1,000,000 per year). This death rate is higher than the next leading cause of death– heart disease (less than 650,000). America’s “experts” never list abortion as THE leading cause of death in America (or, even a cause of any death). How could these “experts” miss hundreds of thousands of deaths annually? Well, since they do not consider an unborn baby as human (a person), they do not consider him or her to represent a death. To them, the aborted baby is merely medical waste (thrown into red plastic garbage bags and incinerated, meeting OSHA’s bloodborne pathogen regulations). If these unborn babies were counted as human deaths, there would need to be hundreds of thousands of charges of first-degree (premeditated) homicide filed against abortionists. And, this will never happen.

AN EPIDEMIC OF DEATH: We are all sensitive to the COVID-19 pandemic deaths now sweeping much of the world. What if every person in 26 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had died from an epidemic since 1973? That is, suppose an epidemic struck America in 1973. And, suppose this epidemic resulted in more than 60-million deaths. And, suppose we can reasonably believe that another 650,000 – 900,000 deaths will occur this year. And, suppose there is no reason to believe this epidemic will cease in the future.

Such an epidemic HAS struck America. This epidemic is abortion on demand. The victims are unborn babies. There have been enough babies killed by abortion to equal the entire population of twenty-six American states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The abortion epidemic is the equivalent of EVERY person– every man, woman, and child– populating these states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. to have died: Louisiana, Kentucky, Oregon, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Utah, Iowa, Nevada, Arkansas, Puerto Rico, Mississippi, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Idaho, West Virginia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, District of Columbia, Vermont, and Wyoming.

To end this “epidemic,” politicians, the news media, and the populace would panic. Calls for action would come from all quarters. Citizens would demand answers (solutions). Dr. Fauci and Governor Cuomo would give hourly updates on CNN. But, since this “epidemic” only involves unborn babies (“clumps of cells”), never mind! Continue with the abortions and be quiet about it.

AMERICA’S WAR CASUALTIES: The United States has lost slightly more than 1.1-million men/ women in all wars fought from the Revolutionary War (late eighteenth century) to the present. Nearly a half-million of these deaths occurred in the Civil War (both North and South casualties). As a nation, we recognize, honor, and mourn our war dead annually. The “War on the Unborn Baby” (abortion) has produced more than forty times as many casualties (more than 46-million deaths) since 1973, but almost no one takes notice.

A “9/11 TRAGEDY” EVERY DAY IN AMERICA: On September 11, 2001 (9/11), America suffered a great tragedy when Muslim homicide terrorists flew fuel-laden jetliners into the World Trade Center Twin towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Approximately 3,000 persons died in these tragedies. The nation collectively mourned the loss of these lives, and justifiably so. It was a horrible national tragedy. However, nearly the same number of babies are killed by abortion in America EVERY DAY of the year, not as a one-day occurrence. Sadly, America does not mourn or remember the deaths of these aborted unborn babies.

ABORTION AS AMERICA’S HOLOCAUST: Many persons have drawn parallels between the genocide of Jews and other “inconvenient people” in Nazi Germany (the Shoah) and the genocide of unborn babies in America. Compare and contrast the two events:

● Dates:

*** German Holocaust: 1933 – 1945. 12 years.

*** American Holocaust: 1973 – 2021 (present), 48 years, with no end in sight.

● Killing sanctioned by government:

*** German Holocaust: Yes (sanctioned by the Third Reich, through Adolf Hitler).

*** American Holocaust: Yes (sanctioned through active or tacit approval of all three Branches of the federal government).

● Involvement of citizens:

*** German Holocaust: Tolerated and accepted because of apathetic citizens and churches. A small number of citizens worked in the death camps; most citizens wanted not to think about the death camps.

*** American Holocaust: Tolerated and accepted because of apathetic citizens and churches. A small number of citizens work in the abortion clinics; most citizens want not to think about the abortion clinics.

● Victims:

*** German Holocaust: Innocent Jews, as well as other “undesirable” people.

*** American Holocaust: Innocent unborn children.

● Legal proceedings against those put to death:

*** German Holocaust: None– no charges, no attorney representation, no trial, no appeal or review of death sentence. All rights abolished.

*** American Holocaust: None– no charges, no attorney representation, no trial, no appeal or review of death sentence. All rights abolished.

● Killing place:

*** German Holocaust: Mostly, Nazi concentration camps.

*** American Holocaust: Mostly, American abortion clinics.

● Method of execution:

*** German Holocaust: Gas suffocation/ intoxication, starvation, burning, shooting.

*** American Holocaust: Chemical poisoning (salt water, RU-486), tearing apart (suction, knife), etc.

● Reasons for killing:

*** German Holocaust: Jews and others inconvenient, unwanted, burdensome, with few friends to speak in their defense.

*** American Holocaust: Unborn children inconvenient, unwanted, burdensome, with few friends to speak in their defense.

● Results:

*** German Holocaust: 6,000,00 Jews killed.

*** American Holocaust: More than 61-million unborn babies killed (and more are continuing to be killed).

● Date killing stopped:

*** German Holocaust: 1945.

*** American Holocaust: Killing continues at present, with no end in sight.

● Repentance?

*** German Holocaust: Yes. Nazi concentration camps are closed. No Jews or  other “undesirables” are executed en masse.

*** American Holocaust: No. An unrepentant America still operates many abortion clinics– mandated by the government to be easily accessible to any woman, even minors without parental consent and knowledge– and continues killing unborn children openly and shamelessly. NO LONGER IS GOD FEARED!

HAS GOD PATTERNED DEVELOPMENT OF A BABY’S LIFE DURING GESTATION TO CORRESPOND WITH THE FEASTS OF ISRAEL? In 1979, the late Zola Levitt published a small book, The Seven Feasts of Israel. Zola and his wife were expecting a child. As the obstetrician explained the major stages of pregnancy (gestation), Zola thought the obstetrician seemed to be explaining the schedule for the Feasts of Israel. Adonai seemed to have arranged for a baby in the mother’s womb to develop on about the same schedule as Adonai  ordained the Feasts. I had summarized Zola’s book for this RR, but I deleted my summary because of the excessive length of this RR. Others have summarized Zola’s book, including: http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/oct2012/leung109.htm . If the schedule of fetal development is intentionally designed to correspond with the schedule of the Feasts of Israel, it amplifies Adonai’s love for unborn babies!

HAS GOD– A GOD OF PATTERN– WARNED AMERICA FOR THE LAST TIME? Consider these truths: 

● Bible study shows that God is a God of pattern. God-ordained acts performed in the past are often repeated. God wants His children to learn from past mistakes, and repent. 

● We surely are living in the “end-times” (the end of the Dispensation of Grace). All end-time prophecies necessary for Yeshua to return for His Believers have been fulfilled since 1948 (the year of the Aliyah, the rising up of Jews from all nations to return to Israel). Yeshua promised that He would return during the lives of “the generation” which witnessed this event. 

● End-time prophecies are remarkably accurate, reading like a current newspaper. However, one glaring omission occurs in these accurate end-time prophecies– America is (may be) missing. America’s power will some day be assumed by the Unholy Trinity’s regime (the feet and toes of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream statue, interpreted in Daniel, chapter 2). 

● America surely must be severely compromised prior to the Tribulation. For years, many prophecy teachers have interpreted Scriptures to suggest that America must fall before the Antichrist can rise to power. 

● As part of God’s pattern of dealing with people and nations, He first issues a warning; then, follows a period of grace for repentance; finally, follows judgment, if repentance does not occur. Were the terrorists’ attacks on the World Trade Center (the symbol of America’s economic power) and the Pentagon (the symbol of America’s military power) on September 11, 2001, the warning from God? Has the terrorism-free interval since these attacks been the period of God’s grace? Since America has not repented, why would we not expect God’s judgment to follow? Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth, once said: “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” God has repeatedly punished nations for their sins, and I find no Scriptural exemption for America’s  punishment for her sins.

● I believe America will be judged for at least two reasons: (1) the shedding of innocent blood through abortion (now present); and (2) abandonment of God’s covenant land, Israel, and God’s covenant people, the Jews (coming soon, I fear). 

AMERICA’S IMMEDIATE FUTURE (IN MY OPINION): Concerning abortion, unborn babies will be at increased risk in coming years. The federal government is now completely controlled by the Democratic Party. This statement has profound eschatological implications for America (and Israel), but I will not discuss further, wishing not to jeopardize Shomair’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

● The Executive Branch is controlled by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who are deeply committed pro-abortion politicians. Do not be fooled by Biden’s supposed Catholic roots, which should make him pro-life (if he would only follow Catholic dogma). Being a “good Catholic” means more than having his photograph taken with a smudged forehead on Ash Wednesday and having a publicist issue a press release about his “deep faith.” Biden is not allowed by some priests to partake in the Communion of Mass, because of his abortion stance. Biden will nominate passionately pro-abortion lawyers to replace Supreme Court justices. And, Kamala Harris may even be more pro-abortion.

● The Legislative Branch is led by pro-abortion fanatics Chuck Schumer (Senate) and Nancy Pelosi (House of Representatives). Democrats, who control a majority in both Congressional houses, are highly disciplined and will vote lockstep as a bloc, as demanded by Schumer and Pelosi. And, they may even pick up “stray” Republican (RINO) votes (such as, Romney, Collins, Murkowski,…) on important issues. Generous federal funding for Planned Parenthood is a slam dunk. I look for the Hyde Amendment to be rescinded. [Hyde Amendment = legislation prohibiting federal funds to pay for abortion, except to save the mother’s life.] No Supreme Court justice will be nominated by Biden or confirmed by the Senate, unless he/she is adamantly pro-abortion.

● The Supreme Court will remain a left-leaning enigma (with Chief Justice Roberts’ vote being uncertain, depending on how he makes decisions that day).  The Court will undoubtedly uphold Roe vs. Wade and all other abortion-favoring cases. New justices, nominated by President Biden and confirmed by the Democratic Senate, will be carbon copies of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

FINALLY: If you honor Sanctity of Human Life Sunday 2021, please consider becoming a voice for those who have no voice– unborn babies. Our God has commanded us to speak out for the weak and defenseless. I wish to add something about crisis pregnancy centers. If you can volunteer– this really is a ministry suited for women– great! Otherwise, pray for their work or donate a little something to help with expenses. And, if you know someone who needs their services, I add (following) a directory of centers in or near Knox County.

Rabbi’s note:  Shomair has supported and continues to support the Hope Resource Center in Knoxville.  Since 1997 we have donated over $10,000 to assist them in their work in saving the lives of the unborn.  If you ever put change into the Shomair offering, all our loose change goes to the HRC; plus we make an automatic monthly donation.  End RN.

Crisis pregnancy centers offer pregnancy tests, ultrasound examinations, counseling, truthful information about unplanned pregnancies, parenting classes, infant care supplies, and options for pregnancy other than abortion. Many women who become pregnant are young and single. They may be too ashamed or afraid to discuss the pregnancy with their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, or aunts. They welcome a kind, understanding, non-judgmental woman who will lend them a sympathetic shoulder upon which to cry and will share the truth about their present predicament and God’s love for them.

Crisis pregnancy centers are staffed by caring women– mostly volunteers, some of whom may have experienced an unplanned pregnancy (or, even an abortion). Staff members believe strongly in Yeshua. Saving lives of unborn babies through gentle persuasion is important, but sharing the Gospel is equally important. Staff counselors are always aware that they minister to two eternal lives, and they rely on the Ruach HaKodesh to build on seeds of faith and truth that they plant.

My wife and I have both served on the Board of Directors of Blount County’s crisis pregnancy center, the Pregnancy Resource Center (Maryville). We fully endorse and applaud the effective efforts of the women who staff this facility.

Use https://www.resources.care-net.org/find-a-pregnancy-center/ (Care▪Net) to locate a local crisis pregnancy center. Centers in and near Knox County include:

● Cleveland, TN: New Hope Pregnancy Care Center, 353 Worth Street NW || (423) 479-6683.

● Crossville, TN: Plateau Pregnancy Services, 99 Walker Hill Street || (931) 456-6944.

● Dayton, TN: The Care Center, 285 Main Street || (423) 775-0019.

● Greeneville, TN: The Hope Center, 314 Tusculum Boulevard || (423) 638-5433.

● Harriman, TN: Life Choices Resource Center, 2415 N Gateway Ave Suite B || (865) 234-8900. 

● Jefferson City, TN: Life Outreach Center, Inc., 1179 N Highway 92 || (865) 471-0510.

● Knoxville, TN: Hope Resource Center, 2700 Painter Avenue || (865) 525-4673 || https://www.knoxvillehope.com .

● Knoxville, TN: Pregnancy Help Center – UT Campus, 1710 Melrose Place || (877) 990-4673. 

● Knoxville, TN: Pregnancy Help Center, 119 Dameron Avenue || (877) 990-4673. 

● La Follette, TN: Pregnancy Help Center – LaFollette, 300 W Beech Street || (423) 437-3416. 

● Maryville, TN: Pregnancy Resource Center, 103 Station Drive || (865) 977-8378 || https://www.prcbctn.com .

● Morristown, TN: Pregnancy Crisis Center, Inc., 304 Calvary Drive || (423) 587-2273.

● Oak Ridge, TN: Choices Resource Center, 170 Raleigh Road || (865) 483-0092.

Until next Sunday, Shalom and Maranatha.

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