An Easter Reflection on Matthew 23

I was raised in the Orthodox and Reformed traditions of Judaism.

My Father was an Orthodox Jew when I was born and changed to

Reformed Judaism when I was older.

I had my Bar Mitzvah ceremony at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue.

The Rabbi at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue placed more emphasis
on action in the World over ritual in the Temple.

More pointedly, he taught that mercy is the heart of the law and the soul of faith.

Judaism informs my faith as a Christian.

Jesus said that he was the light of the World, which suggests the
world he entered lived in spiritual darkness.

The light of the world is the light of mercy and justice.

Mercy requires us to use our minds to know our souls and to know the
sufferings of another.

If each of us truly felt the horror of waking up to your city in flames, we would have no deadly shock and awe campaigns.

God chose to live among the people who barely survived at the bottom
of a merciless class system.

Why?

That question is as profound as the mystery of faith.

I believe in a perfect God in a perfect universe that is still evolving
to become more perfect.

People of faith know that dogma and rhetoric are meaningless
word games.

Winning a war of lies is not the same as acting on faith.

We cannot justify hunger and deprivation when we have plenty.

Faith is quiet.

Faith is humble.

Faith gives freely and expects nothing in return.

Faith heals.

Our wounded world needs Faith, not dogma.

Our wounded souls need compassion, not angry politics.

Our suffering children need food and shelter, not guns for racist
vigilantes and tax cuts for a corrupt élite.

Faith transcends all religions and all political dogma.

In faith, we are one people; this includes the atheist.

Faith does not need belief in a God.

Acting on faith is as simple as bringing a meal to a hungry child, to
nourish what is human in that child.

Faith does not need to control the minds and bodies of other people.

True faith sets everyone free.

***

Happy Easter!

Rob Goldstein 2018
First posted 2015

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Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to my Friends on WordPress

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
to friends and followers of Art by Rob
Goldstein.

Thank you for being here.

Royal Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham, cond.
RCA/BMG, recorded 1959
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His Empty Grave Fills Lives, Rob Goldstein 2017

What I did on my Summer Vacation

  1. I gave myself permission to post only when I wanted to.
  2. I spent time with my partner, loving our love for each
    other.
  3. I studied the Constitution and early 20th Century History.
  4. I gave myself a break from the emotionally laden material I
    wrote in the 1980’s and 90’s.
  5. I accepted that my writing is only for me and that when I die my
    work will die with me. Greatness is not required; an idea beautifully
    affirmed on Sue Vincent’s fine blog.
  6. I accepted the challenge of being present for my niece to the best of
    my ability.  I now understand in some small way, the worries of
    parenting adult children.
  7. I bought a powerful new laptop and so far, I’ve learned four new image-processing programs.
  8. I redesigned Art by Rob Goldstein.
  9. I re-thought and rewrote the ‘about me’ section of Art by Rob Goldstein
  10. I learned the terrible and exceedingly dull mysteries of SEO.
  11. I restructured and simplified the Menu options at the top of the page.
  12. I wrote a posting schedule:I will post on Monday’s, Wednesdays, and Saturdays and will use
    the rest of he week to make content and catch up with the blogs
    I follow.The schedule remains subject to whim.
  13. I realized how lucky I am to be alive and creative.
  14. My partner and I celebrated our Silver Anniversary last week.
    Photograph of two men in San Francisco City hall
    25 Years together, October 2017

    25 years and I couldn’t love him more.

Rob Goldstein 2017

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Brother Matthew’s Bible Story Mashups: The Story of Lot and Carlotta

There lived in the ancient City of Felare an old couple
named Lot and Carlotta.

Carlotta’s sincerest desire was a child but she was
past the age of childbearing.

One day, a group of maniacal tourists flew into town.

The men tore into Lot’s tent and demanded to
knowCarlotta.

What could Lot do?

For it is written: women are property and the
old ones ain’t worth squat.

The tourists ‘knew’ Carlotta for three days and two nights.

Eight months later Carlotta was miraculously heavy with
child.

“Lord!” Lot exclaimed, “I have sired a Son.

“Praise God” mumbled Carlotta.

Soon it was time for the census.

“We must make haste from Felare and travel to Bethlehem!” said Lot.

But lo! A star rose in the West, which did confuse Lot who went
north to Landica; avoiding a possible brush with fame.

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The Adoration of the Shepherds with Saint Catherine of Alexandria

The Adoration of the Shepherds with Saint Catherine of Alexandria
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Portrait of Brother Matthew (c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved
The Story of Lot and Carlotta, (c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved