This Week’s Torah Portion | April 23 – April 29, 2017 – 27 Nissan – 3 Lyar, 5777


Tazria—Metzorah (When A Woman Delivers—The Leper) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Tazria—Metzorah

TAZRIA/METZORA 

TORAH : LEVITICUS 12:1-15:33

PROPHETS : 2 KINGS 7:3-20

GOSPEL : MARK 9:14-50

                  LUKE 9:51-10:42

From ancient times there has been a weekly portion (Parashah) from the first five books of Moses (The Torah) and an ending (Haftarah) from the Prophets read on the Sabbath in synagogues around the world. This portion is given a Hebrew name drawn from the opening words of the Torah passage. An illustration of this practice appears to have been recorded in Luke 4:16 where Yeshua (Jesus) arrived in the synagogue in Nazareth and was asked to read the portion (Isaiah 61) from the Prophets. 

We have found that in perusing these weekly readings, not only are we provided opportunity to identify in the context of God’s Word with millions of Jewish people around the world, but very often the Holy Spirit will illumine specific passages pertinent that week in our intercession for the Land and people of Israel. The Haftarah, unless otherwise noted, will be that read in Ashkenazy synagogues around the world. The references for all texts are those found in English translations of the Scriptures.

“And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath. From the day that you brought the omer (sheaf) of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD” (Leviticus 23:15-16).

The Parashah for this week April 23-29, 2017 is a “double reading”:

I. Thazria—“Quicken with Seed”

TORAH: Leviticus 12:1—13:59

  • HAFTARAH: II Kings 4:42—5:19

II. Metzora—“Skin Disease, Leprosy”

TORAH: Leviticus 14:1—15:33

HAFTARAH: II Kings 7:3-20

  • On weeks in which a “double reading” occurs, only the haftarah of the second reading is generally used.

After last week’s focus on the importance of Israel’s being ‘set apart’, of her distinguishing between the holy and unholy, the unclean and clean (Lev. 10:10)—this week’s portion continues in instruction of how this was to be worked out in everyday life. There needed to be purification and atonement made for a mother when bringing forth children; there must be measures of isolation and testing taken for outbreaks of surface diseases or blights (both on physical bodies and on dwellings), and for contaminating discharges from the body. And there was the way prescribed for restoration once healing had occurred.

When Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus) came to be born in a stable, his mother Miriam (Mary) submitted to these same instructions for purification (Luke 2:22), and when it was time for the sacrifice, she and Joseph could only afford the humble offering mentioned here (Lev 12:8; Luke 2:24). Yeshua’s coming was to “undo the works of the devil” manifest in all of these diseases, to bring atonement, redemption healing and cleansing. It is very significant that among his healing miracles, special mention is made of those involving lepers and a woman with an ‘issue of blood’. 

PLEASE PRAY: as those in synagogues this coming weekend hear these words which so graphically picture the presence and result of sin in our midst and man’s need for healing and being pronounced clean—that the Holy Spirit will convict of sin and righteousness and judgment, and draw Jews to seek cleansing through the One who washes white as snow!

The Torah and Haftarah portions for next week April 30—May 6, 2017 is also a “double reading”:  

I. Torah: Leviticus 16:1—18:30

Haftarah: Ezekiel 22:1-19.

II. Torah: Leviticus 19:1—20:27

Haftarah: Amos 9:7-15

In A Nutshell

In the portion, Tazria (When a Woman Delivers), we learn about laws related to a woman who has delivered. If she delivers a boy, she is considered impure for seven days. On the eighth day the boy is circumcised and the woman begins a 33 day purification period. If the woman delivers a girl she is considered impure for fourteen days, and the purification period lasts 66 days.

The portion also details rules concerning afflictions. A person who is infected with something must come to the priest, who diagnoses the sore and knows the rules concerning each of them.

The portion, Metzorah (The Leper), is dedicated to the rules concerning leprosy, and what to do when one has been infected with it. A leper who has healed must be examined by the priest, then bring two birds. The priest slaughters one bird and dips the other in clean water.

The end of the portion discusses the impurity of nocturnal ejaculation and the rules concerning a woman in menstruation—anyone who touches her is impure until the evening.

Commentary

Why are the rules in the portions described in such detail?

The whole Torah is an instruction by which to correct our nature. Man was deliberately created with an egoistic desire; this is why we want everything for our own good, as it is written, “For the inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis, 8:21). Creation itself is the evil inclination, the sum of our negative qualities. The inanimate nature, the vegetative, and the animate around us are completely neutral—neither good nor bad. It is managed by the laws of nature that act instinctively on all its elements.

But man has free choice, and therefore uses the ego to others’ harm. Such is the software from which we are built. We constantly examine ourselves in relation to others—if we are worse or better off they are. This is how human nature constantly operates us with the thought, “How can I benefit myself or harm others?” One who does not see it is unaware of this law.

The Torah indicates and explains how to correct ourselves, how to transform us from a form that is the opposite of the form of the Creator, and into a corrected and complete form. This is why we cannot see the upper worlds, the upper force, the eternity and perfection we are in, and which is hidden from us. We can only see a tiny sphere known as “this world.” In this world there is nothing but a set time in which we exist, then leave, just like animals. We incarnate from above, descending from the upper world and back up, unaware of the rest of the stages in our development.

The Torah tells us how we can correct ourselves so we may begin to discover ourselves in our eternal and complete form. The Torah shows us how we should work in order to discover the eternal, perfect world, and exit the sensation of exile we are in, toward a good and enlightened world.

The two portions indicate all the corrections we must do. Tazria and Metzorah detail how one can correct the egoistic, corrupt signs we constantly discover in ourselves.

It is written in Tazria that birth is a good thing, a new degree. The one who can deliver is the desire that craves birth, in order to turn itself to bestowal. When that desire can deliver from the woman the male part in her, all the surpluses of the will to receive that cannot be corrected are secreted as birth-blood, impure blood.

At that time a person is called a “woman,” though it may well be a man. It depends on whether one is in a state of reception or bestowal. If a person delivers out of oneself an act of bestowal, that person is called a “woman,” who delivers a child. Then a person is told what to do with all that did not come out in this act, called a “newborn.” Thus, those desires that he or she used but which still could not be corrected come out as blood, as various secretions, as it happens in a physical birth. After some time these desires return and become corrected on higher degrees.

Accordingly, after delivering a boy we undergo seven days of Tuma’a (impurity), a circumcision on the eighth, and the thirty-three days of purification. After delivering a girl we undergo sixty-six days of purification. These are special corrections. Once we have corrected these desires through a special act called Korban (sacrifice/offering), we perform an act in order to bestow in which we sacrifice, meaning bring ourselves closer to bestowal upon the Creator, according to the law of equivalence of form in order to become more similar to the Creator. This is how we progress another step in the correction.

Here the corrections are in the tiny revelations of all the forms of the egoistic desire, which appears through leprosy, and through other problems that encounter us in our homes and our animals, namely in all the degrees, meaning desires of still, vegetative, and animate.

The portion, Metzorah, details the corrections performed by the priest. We begin to discern forces in our inner structure that help us from experience—from previous corrections—to correct ourselves in all the qualities that appear as bad.

The portion speaks of a man who brings himself or his wife to the priest. The portion details how to correct the “dresses” over the soul, which are called “garments.” The clothing is called Ohr Hozer (Reflected Light) or Ohr Hassadim (light of mercy), meaning an intention to bestow. Although we are born with egoistic desires, if we “clothe” them with the aim to bestow and want to perform acts of bestowal, we will thus correct our “garments.” The highest degree in this correction is to clean the clothes and show them to the priest for his examination. This is the meaning of the relation between the degrees in the upper system.

In this manner we advance in our corrected desires toward the revelation of the upper world, as it is written, “You will see your world in your life.”[1]

We are constantly developing and discovering the world. We feel more and more included in something eternal and complete. A person lives in this world as an animate body, yet discover the eternal part within, which is called the “soul.” We identify with that part because it is much greater and more powerful than the animate part. That sympathy causes us to feel that our animate part is like a domesticated animal we keep in the yard, and it makes no difference whether it is dead or alive because the self, the human we have raised within, which we have built in similarity with the Creator, is as eternal and complete as Him.

All this is done through work by which we discover all that is still not “clean” in us. We clean ourselves from all the ill thoughts and intentions, which aim for our own benefit and to others’ detriment. With each correction and cleansing we become increasingly similar to the Creator.

The two portions are connected. One speaks of a quality called “woman,” and the other of a leper. What is a woman? What is a leper? And what is the connection between them?

In our perception, “man is a small world.”

[2] Within us is a special force that “paints” an image in the back of our minds, in our awareness and consciousness, that there is a world before us, outside of us. But if our senses suddenly stop working we will not perceive any world. If one of our senses disappeared, such as sight or hearing, part of our perception would disappear as well.

The world is a product of our senses, which depict within us a certain reality. That reality has nothing to do with what is actually happening outside. If we study animals that live near us we will find that they perceive our world very differently. A dog’s world, for example, is full of scents. Dogs perceive the world through their sense of smell. They have no problem discerning things using that sense. Snakes perceive their world through temperature, distinguishing each element with great accuracy. 97% of the perception of our world depends on our vision. Thus, each one has a different picture of reality, but it is still a picture of reality.

When we attain the perception of the actual reality, the sixth sense opens in us. We begin to see the upper force, the upper world alongside this world. The upper world is present here and now. We need not die in order to perceive it. Our death changes nothing in this case. Also, we begin to discover that the world is very different from what we previously imagined. This is why it is written about our world that it is imaginary: “I saw an upside down world.”[3]

We attain the true perception through all those corrections that appear in the portions before us, when we correct our desires into having the intention to bestow more and more. If we use our desires with the aim to receive, we constantly absorb everything our tiny and limited tools of perception depict for us. But when we come out of ourselves into the endless frequencies beyond those of our eyes and ears, whose range is very limited, we enter the sense called “in order to bestow,” the “sense of giving and love.” In that state we find an unbounded reality, as though we have emerged from our skin, as it is written, “After my skin they lifted it” (Job, 19:26). Then the reality we begin to see is not limited to the five physical senses, but is the actual reality, the upper world that the Torah describes.

In that new sense, what is a woman who delivers, and what is a leper?

A woman who delivers is a correction of one of the senses, thus achieving new attainment, new bestowal, in which we discover another new world. Yet, we cannot use these forces for correction in order to bestow, a limitation formed by the contrast in it. We perceive everything through opposites. As creatures, we always see one thing opposite another. When we have only one color, or something without an opposite, or something for which we have no scale by which to measure or compare, we cannot see or feel it. If there is no black and white situation, we cannot see black, white, or yellow.

The revelation of our correction is always under limitations. The boundary gives us a sense of orientation, that we are in something, gripping something. Otherwise we have no idea what is permitted and what is forbidden. In that state everything is completely amorphous and our sensations disappear.

The woman is the one who gives birth. The Creator could have created a man who can give birth; why did He create only women with the ability to give birth?

A woman is called the “will to receive.” The man is called the “intention to bestow.” Therefore, the man assists with the birth; it cannot happen without him. The man gives only a drop, from which the woman raises the newborn. The man begets only the will to receive through the correction he performs on himself. These corrections are called “nine months of labor.”

In Baal HaSulam’s book, The Study of the Ten Sephirot, as in the whole of the wisdom of Kabbalah, we learn about this form, in which we grow and put ourselves by ourselves into a complicated situation, the upper womb—a situation in which we can grow. We are assisting our growth inside the womb. It is great work that we do in order to adapt ourselves to the degree of the Creator until we are similar to Him, and then we are born. However, each of us has a personal reality, the stage of adulthood, opposite the stage of Katnut (infancy). The rest of the stages continue until we achieve the complete level.

So a woman symbolizes the will to receive and a man symbolizes the desire to bestow?

Yes.

Are matters arranged from above in a way that the will to receive is the only one that can deliver, while the man, who is bestowal, cannot?

The man provides the future form of bestowal. Were it not for the force of bestowal, the woman would not be able to deliver. If there is no expansion to the will to receive itself through the force of bestowal, it will not be able to give birth to anything.

The portion, Metzorah, deals with skin infections. Why specifically the skin, there are many other afflictions?

The skin is our place of scrutiny. Our desires consist of five degrees: Mocha (marrow), Atzamot (bones), Gidin (tendons), Bassar (flesh), and Or (skin). The Or desire contains seven layers; it is the final, crudest desire. This is why it is where we scrutinize our egoistic intentions, our ability to correct, and how.

We correct a part of the skin by writing a book of Torah on leather. There is a parchment of leather that we cut in the middle, and write the letters of the book of Torah on the outer part. We separate the part that cannot be corrected. This part will be corrected only at the end of correction, when there are no limitations and no letters. The actual revelation of the Creator is on the last, most egoistic degree that can be corrected.

Does leprosy symbolize inappropriate use of this concept?

Leprosy symbolizes the revelation of the boundary, the place of recognition of evil that a person corrects through the force within—the great force of bestowal called “priest.”

The Torah is dealing with a disease that is still today incurable.

All skin diseases are hard to cure. We suffer from them our whole life. It happens because the skin is the last degree of the body, so it is very difficult for us to influence it. We treat it as the ending of the body, an outer cover of our internal organs, but the skin is just like the heart, lungs, and kidneys. It is an organ in and of itself, which we have yet to comprehend.

When we weigh the skin we find it is the heaviest organ in the body. Also, we cannot live without it.

True. We can see it with the problems that people who suffered serious burns have. It is an offshoot of spirituality, where the corrections on this degree are the hardest. It is Malchut at its conclusion.

Is the skin “curable” or is it a chronic disease?

Only at the end of correction, when we have corrected everything, will we be able to correct the skin, as well. Then the light will shine in Aleph through the whole structure known as Adam, as well as inside the skin, in the letter Ayin.

From The Zohar: Two Live Birds

“He took for the purification two live, pure birds, and a cedar tree, and scarlet, and hyssop.” One who engages in the work of one’s master and engages in the Torah, the Creator is over him and the Shechina (Divinity) connects with him. When one comes to be defiled, the Shechina departs from him, the Creator departs from him, and all the side of Kedusha (holiness) of his master departs from him. Then the spirit of Tuma’a (impurity) and the whole side of Tuma’a are on him. If he comes to be purified; he is aided. Once he has purified and repented, what has departed him returns to him, and the Creator and His Shechina are on him.

Zohar for All, Metzorah (The Leper), item 18

This concerns a person who has come to be purified. The person brings two different birds, as well as part of a tree, through certain people. This is how we correct through our own forces, the desires that appear on the road to correction. Such people must discover the desires that require correction and correct them.

[1] Babylonian Talmud, Masechet Berachot, 17a.

[2] Midrash Tanchuma, Pekudei, item 3.

[3] Babylonian Talmud, Masechet Nezikin, Baba Batra, 10b; Babylonian Talmud, Masechet Pesachim, 50a.

The Top Trump Advisors Practicing Weekly White House Prayer Meetings


“When the righteous are increased, the people rejoice; but when the wicked beareth rule, the people sigh.” Proverbs 29:2 (The Israel Bible™)

Since the beginning of the White House transition in January, members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet have been gathering for weekly prayer sessions led by Capitol Ministries Pastor Ralph Drollinger. Though religion has always been part of the White House, these sessions include an impressive number of the highest-ranking members of the Trump Administration.

Capitol Ministries provides Bible studies, evangelism and discipleship to political leaders in over 40 US state capitols. The ministry also hosts separate weekly Bible studies in the House and Senate.

“In terms of a country’s health and direction, when its leaders are seeking God, the nation is in a position to be blessed by God,” Drollinger told CBN News.

Though not personally observant, Trump was blessed several times by pastors and rabbis during his presidential campaign. He has yet to attend the weekly prayer sessions but last month, he held a group moment prayer after he announced the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.

As an outside group, the Capitol Ministry sessions, which are closed, must be sponsored by someone in the government in order to hold meetings in a Congressional building. In the White House, they are currently sponsored by no less than eight politicians: Vice President Mike Pence; Secretaries Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson, Sonny Perdue, Rick Perry, Tom Price and Jeff Sessions; EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Former US Rep. Michelle Bachmann (Rep-Minnesota) serves on the board.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses Extremist Views


Shunning: The JWs are not permitted to speak to family or friends who leave the religion. They are taught that ExJWs are “Satanic”, and “partaking of the table of demons”.

Disfellowshipping: A member of JWs can get expelled (disfellowshipped) if they accept a life saving blood transfusion. If one accepts such treatment, they will be shunned unless they live under the same roof of a JW family member.

Apostasy: If a JW leaves the religion by way of formal disassociation letter, they will be shunned unless they return.

Pedophilia Coverups: The organization has been found guilty of hiding over 1000 pedophiles in their private files, and have forced abused children to face their abusers. The Australian Royal Commission brought Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson on the stand, who denied that he knew about the situation. JWs have also been warned on occasions against going to police with any such allegations, due to the “image” that could be destroyed as “God’s Organization”.

Bunker Videos: The JWs have released videos of acted scripts which place themselves in bunkers during a catastrophic event known as Armageddon. Bombs go off, and no one knows what’s going on outside. The mini movie portrays that the only ones who are saved are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Those who strayed from the cult are depicted as doomed. The actors tell each other stories and badmouth former JWs who could’ve been safe if they had only stayed in Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Children’s Videos: The infamous Caleb and Sofia videos are cartoons shown to Jehovah’s Witness kids. In one video, a child called Caleb is seen playing with a toy wizard called “Sparlock the Warrior Wizard”. The mother in the cartoon tells the child that Satan wants him to play with those kinds of toys. A serpent is shown hissing around the child’s head in a dark room. The child throws the toy in the garbage out of “obedience to Jehovah”. Terror is consequently provoked in the minds of small children watching such a video, which in turn gives the Jehovah’s Witness Society control over the child’s mind at an early age.

Intolerance of churches: The Jehovah’s Witnesses adamantly refuse to step foot in other churches, believing them to be demonized. This includes weddings and funerals of friends, relatives, or loved ones.

Persecution: The religion believes that anyone who disagrees with them are persecuting them. This includes allegations of sexual abuse, rape, and crime. They typically deny any and all accusations of any wrongdoing, blaming former JWs for starting “rumors” and spreading lies.

Isolation: The Jehovah’s Witnesses are strongly advised against associating with anyone who is not a JW. This includes other Christians who will not become JWs, or even people who smoke.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses claims what happens when a JW gets found guilty of sin, and is disfellowshipped. “Sin” includes questioning the elders or the doctrines of JWs and it’s Idol to be worshipped Governing Body.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses website claims they can prove they are not extremist, because they have been around for 100 years.The Jehovah’s Witnesses religion practices which have resulted in deaths, suicides, mental and emotional damage, division of families, drug and alcohol abuse, divorce, custody battles, crimes, and financial devastation.

There are many more extremist views that may be found in the teachings and history of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society. 

The New Bible Codes Hint Syria, Russia Are Amalek – And Trump Will Help Israel Destroy Them

“Therefore it shall be, when Hashem thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which Hashem thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget.” Deuteronomy 25:19 (The Israel Bible™)

The Israelites defeating the Amalekites in the desert. (The Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites, Nicolas Poussin/Wikimedia Commons)

A recent Bible codes video revealed a startling connection between Russia and Syria, indicating that the alliance between them represents the archetypal evil entity Israel is commanded to wipe out. The codes reveal the Biblical nature of the Syrian conflict, with President Donald Trump’s recent missile strike placing him firmly on the side of Israel.

Bible codes expert Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson opened his new video on the situation in Syria by pointing out that in Hebrew, Russia and Syria are spelled using the same letters, indicating an essential connection between the two countries that transcends the current political interests they share.


Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson (Screenshot)

He prefaced his findings in the Bible by noting that in previous charts, US President Donald Trump was linked to Cyrus the Great, the Persian king who enabled the Jews to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Trump’s role in Syria, the rabbi emphasized, “is clearly a result of this spiritual connection with Israel.”

Rabbi Glazerson credited the US missile attack against the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with effecting drastic changes in the global political atmosphere.

“It was a sign for all others,” Rabbi Glazerson said. “Even Iran is starting to be afraid that there is a force that will not allow evil to continue doing what they are doing.”

Rabbi Glazerson searched the Book of Deuteronomy, which Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna, the preeminent 18th century scholar known as the Vilna Gaon, instructed contains the clues for our millennium. Using a computer program for revealing Bible codes, Rabbi Glazerson found a convergence of the words, “Russia in Syria”. This was in close proximity to the letters, “Aleph, Resh, Heh, Bet”, which is the acronym for “Artzot Habrit” (the United States).

When the rabbi searched for a clue as to how the countries were linked, he discovered that the key phrase singling out the US was found within a verse instructing the Jews to destroy an evil that comes from within.

So thou shalt put away the evil from the midst of thee… Deuteronomy 17:7

In the rabbi’s graph, this verse came directly under another dealing with the Passover sacrifice. The rabbi saw this as a hint that the recent holiday would be the beginning of a new stage in the multi-nation scenario being played out in Syria. It should be noted that President Trump ordered the missile strike against the Syrian air-force a mere three days before Passover.

“There is no doubt this is a sign from Heaven that we have the help of Trump, like Cyrus, for Israel,” said Rabbi Glazerson.

These clues precede the coded message of “David, the son of Yishai (Jesse)”, a pseudonym for the Messiah. In connection with this hint at Messiah, the rabbi also found the letters spelling the word “terror” intermingled with the word “tshuva” (repentance).

“This is a special time to repent out of love,” Rabbi Glazerson said, noting that this is in direct counterpoint to terror, which is a false service of a messiah brought through killing and hatred. “What is happening now [in Syria] is indicating that this can be a big step towards Moshiach (Messiah). In the end, it will clearly be for the good of Israel.”

But the rabbi concluded that the most important part of the coded messages came at the end, with the verse commanding Israel to wipe out the memory of Amalek.

Therefore it shall be, when Hashem thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which Hashem thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget. Deuteronomy 25:19

The Amalekites became the archetypal nation of evil by attacking Israel as they wandered the desert. The Amalekites struck from behind, targeting the children and the elderly, the sick and the weak. Earlier this month, Assad ordered sarin, a horrific nerve agent, to be used against his own civilians, killing at least 80 Syrians – a disturbing echo of the Amalekite attack that led to God’s decree against them.

Rabbi Glazerson understood this trait as identifying Syria as Amalek, along with terror groups that use similar tactics.

“Israel was commanded to wipe out the evil forces from under heaven,” Rabbi Glazerson said. “And Trump, as Cyrus, has come to help us in this.”

The Russian Federation Bans Jehovah’s Witnesses Because Of Several Violations Of The Law and Refusal To Correct Them


On Thursday, Russia’s Supreme Court ruled that Jehovah’s Witnesses was an “extremist” organization after the justice ministry applied for an order to shut down the group’s national headquarters near St Petersburg, Russian TASS news agency reported. Russian authorities had put several of the group’s publications on a list of banned extremist literature, and prosecutors have long cast it as an organization that destroys families, fosters hatred and threatens lives, a description the organization says is false.

In its lawsuit the Justice Ministry mentioned various violations, exposed by a snap check of the organization’s activities, including those of the federal law on resistance to extremist activities. The Justice Ministry wanted the organization and its 395 local chapters to be declared as extremist and outlawed and its properties to be confiscated.

The Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses told TASS it found this affair very worrisome, because a future decision would concern 175,000 practicing believers. ACJW spokesman Ivan Bilenko said the organization was prepared to seek protection of its rights in courts of any instance.

A court in Moscow on October 12, 2016 warned Jehovah’s Witnesses over what it ruled was extremist activities. Under Russian legislation the religious organization in question is to be closed down if it fails to eliminate the exposed violations within the required deadline or if new evidence of its extremist activities come to light. The Moscow City Court on January 16, 2017 upheld the warning over extremism handed to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Concluding Words:

Every country has its own laws and if law requires any religion should change their organization rules if government asks for or basically warning if you guys don’t change rules and behavior then you going to be banned.

That was at least in two court cases Russian authorities warned Jehovah’s Witnesses to correct violations however Watchtower organization acts like superior over any human beings and refuse to do anything or nothing about it.

When you loose Court cases and refuse correct anything then you going to be punished and imprisoned for it!Such a implementation of laws works in any country.I hope this is going to be be lesson for Jehovah’s Witnesses or again they will refuse correct anything and that will be happening to them again in different countries in this world.Shalom.

This Week’s Torah Portion | April 16 – April 22, 2017 – 20 Nissan – 26 Nissan, 5777

Shmini (On the Eighth Day) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion
SH’MINI TORAH :

LEVITICUS 9:1-11:47| 

PROPHETS : 2 SAM. 6:1-7:17| 

GOSPEL : MARK 9:1-13

From ancient times there has been a weekly portion (Parashah) from the first five books of Moses (The Torah) and an ending (Haftarah) from the Prophets read on the Sabbath in synagogues around the world. This portion is given a Hebrew name drawn from the opening words of the Torah passage. An illustration of this practice appears to have been recorded in Luke 4:16 where Yeshua (Jesus) arrived in the synagogue in Nazareth and was asked to read the portion (Isaiah 61) from the Prophets. 

We have found that in perusing these weekly readings, not only are we provided opportunity to identify in the context of God’s Word with millions of Jewish people around the world, but very often the Holy Spirit will illumine specific passages pertinent that week in our intercession for the Land and people of Israel. The Haftarah, unless otherwise noted, will be that read in Ashkenazy synagogues around the world. The references for all texts are those found in English translations of the Scriptures.

The readings for this week April 18-22, 2017 are called Shemini—“Eighth Day”:

TORAH: Leviticus 9:1—11`:47

HAFTARAH: II Samuel 6:1—7:17

*Leviticus 9:4, 6, 23b-24. “…for today, the LORD will appear to you.” “…and the glory of the LORD will appear to you.” “Then the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people, and fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.”

It had been the LORD’s desire to dwell in the midst of His people, and, as we saw in Exodus 40:34, after they had done their part in preparing the way, the Glory of His presence came into and filled the mishkan (dwelling place, tabernacle). But it was also His desire that his people be able to minister to Him personally through bringing their offerings, which would then be presented before Him by the priests—and that the glory of His presence and acceptance of these gifts and sacrifices be witnessed and experienced by all the congregation.

Here it finally takes place—and as the holy Fire appears and consumes the sacrifices, the people can only respond with a shout and with falling down under the weight of His Glory (Interestingly, the root for this Hebrew word “glory” kavod is also the root for the word “weight”). And it is intriguing that the word for the “shout” the people release is quite often in Scripture (Job 38:7, Prov. 29:6; Isa. 35:6, I Chron 16:33…) translated “song”. When God’s glory falls on His people, they often can no longer remain standing—and sometimes its coming is accompanied by release of the Song of the Lord!

HOLINESS

This week’s readings center upon the Holiness of Israel’s LORD—including the consequences to his children, especially those who minister on His behalf before the people, of not honoring that holiness:

*Leviticus 10:3b. “By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, and before all the people I will be honoured.” 

*Leviticus 11:44-45: “For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean…For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Aaron’s two eldest sons Nadav and Avihu had been granted a high and exalted “positioning” of ministry before the LORD, second only to Moses and to their father the High Priest. For them there was clothing and anointing (8:13, 24, 30) providing them special protection to minister in ways not granted to the other Levites. However, they were not commanded nor were they clothed and anointed to draw near to God in that specific ministry assigned to their father Aaron the High Priest.

Yet, discontent with the appointed “place” God had chosen for them, they presumed to operate in the ministry of their father’s office rather than being faithful to that of their own—they offered “strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.” In doing so, they dishonored God in the eyes of the people who looked up to and depended upon them. They also stepped into a place where the unique protection provided for their assignment of ministry was no longer effective, and the very fire from God’s presence which showed his favor in devouring the sacrifices in 9:24, devours in judgment these two sons who had abandoned their appointed places.

There is no reason to see in this passage a portrayal of severe judgment upon those who are novices and have accidentally slipped and made a mistake while attempting something new. James 3:16 and 1:13-15 shows how “where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is confusion and every evil thing”, and how “each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed, Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” At this crucial time of testing, the darkness which had been growing in Nadav and Avihu was manifest and they were betrayed.

In the Haftarah (II Samuel 6:1—7:17) it appears not to have been a “growing darkness” in King David’s character which is manifest, but rather what had become a “blind spot” in his discernment after presuming to rate certain of God’s words as worthy of more respect than others. He deeply loved the Torah (instruction) of the LORD, declaring it perfect, capable of “converting the soul” (Psalm 19:7). Yet when it came time to bring the ark of God into Jerusalem (the incredible holiness of such an endeavor is emphasized in the text, “the ark of God, whose name is called by the Name—YHVH of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim” (II Sam. 6:2)), he evidently allowed his logic to preempt the LORD’s repeated instructions in the Torah that it was to be transferred by the use of poles on the shoulders of the priests (Exodus 25:12-15, and other places).

After all, that was almost 500 years ago; a cart with wheels was more modern and took fewer men (even the Philistines had realized that), and it was a “new” cart. His negligence in treating God’s whole Word as holy resulted in disaster, in this case to others. Whether or not Uza volunteered for guiding the cart, he was not protected as the priests would have been—he had been placed in a role which was not God’s “positioning,” and when he spontaneously touched the ark to keep it from falling, like Nadav and Avihu, he was slain.

Today our Lord has provided a way for us also to come into His presence safely, through the finished work of Yeshua. But we are to do so in reverence, not in presumption or disobedience. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29).  

Malachi 3:2-3 says that the coming LORD “is like a refiner’s fire” and will “purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver that they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness.” 

PLEASE PRAY: for a sense of the ‘holy’ in the Body of Messiah in Israel—that we will not be presumptuous in our worship and will not covet positions which God has granted to others, but be humbly thankful for the special responsibilities He chooses for us. Pray that we will at the same time yield ourselves to the refining purifying fire of God’s Spirit; and that the offerings which we offer up will be done in righteousness, in spirit and in truth.

*Leviticus 10:8-12. “Then the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying: ‘Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.” 

Perhaps intoxication was also a factor in the presumptuous sin of Nadav and Avihu. Although the Bible makes clear that God sanctions the drinking of wine or strong drink by His children (“before the LORD your God”— Deut. 14:22-26), Isaiah 28:7 just as clearly condemns its misuse, which can spoil our ministry, resulting in “erring in vision and stumbling in judgment”, not only in ourselves, but also in those who are looking up to us in seeking to follow His ways.

*Leviticus 10:10. “…that you may distinguish between holy and unholy.” 

An even better translation would be “distinguish between the holy and the common.” The opposite of “holiness” is not necessarily “sinful.” That which is holy is first of all that which is “set-apart from the ordinary.” So for the priests, certain things (such as drinking wine) which might be acceptable under ordinary circumstances were not allowed when they went into the Tent of Meeting to perform their duties there before the Lord.

Chapter Eleven lists ways in which the Hebrews were to be “holy” or “set apart” from other peoples by their diet.

*Leviticus 11:4, 46-47. “Nevertheless, these you shall not eat among those that chew the cud or that have cloven hooves… This is the law of the animals and the birds and every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth, to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.” 

The Israelites were forbidden to eat these animals, not from “touching” them. As with Eve in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:3), there would be those who might add such restrictions, but the LORD’s restrictions regarding touch were related to the carcasses of dead animals (11:8).

These were dietary guidelines for Israel—for the Hebrew race, which God chose to set apart in this way. There is nothing in Scripture to imply that God desires or requires all people to follow these guidelines. Following the Flood, when Noah and his family came forth from the Ark, God released a special blessing, “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs” (Genesis 9:3; Emphasis ours.). All humankind were (and still are, Genesis 9:4; Acts 15:29) forbidden to eat blood. But Biblical restrictions regarding particular creatures applied only to the Hebrews.

The Torah and Haftarah portions for next week, April 23-29, are a “double reading”: 

I. Thazria –-“Quicken with Seed”, “Conceive”: TORAH: Leviticus 12:1—13:59 

II. Metsora—“Skin disease, leprosy”: TORAH: Leviticus 14:1—15:33

HAFTARAH: II Kings 7:3-20

In A Nutshell

The portion, Shmini (On the Eighth Day), deals with the events of the eighth day after the seven days of filling.[1] This is the inauguration day of the tabernacle. Aaron and his sons offer special sacrifices on this day. Moses and Aaron go to bless the people, and finally, the Creator appears to the people of Israel.

Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Avihu sin with offering on a foreign fire, and the fire consumes them. Aaron and the remaining sons receive special instructions how to conduct themselves in the situation, and among others orders, they are forbidden to mourn.

The portion tells of another misunderstanding between Moses and Aaron and his sons concerning eating the sin offering. The portion ends with the rules concerning forbidden food, detailing the animals, beasts, poultry, and fish that are forbidden to eat. Rules of Tuma’a (impurity) and Taharah (purity) are also briefly explained.

Commentary

The portion mentions many details concerning the tabernacle and offering sacrifices, what is forbidden and what is permitted. How should we understand it internally?

We need to examine which of our 613 desires we need to correct, and how. It was said about man, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created for it the Torah as a spice,”[2] so we may correct our evil inclination—the egoistic desires—in which we think only of ourselves and cannot perform a single act of giving and love of others.

It is written, “love your neighbor as yourself.”[3] This is a special force, and the Torah was given for the sole purpose of obtaining it. If we study the internality of the Torah properly—namely Kabbalah, the wisdom of light, we draw the light that reforms, which corrects us.

The desires in us are called the “evil inclination.” Initially, they are egoistic because “the inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis, 8:21). Our goal is to correct it through the study and turn it to the intention to bestow upon others, to the aim to connect and love. By correcting ourselves we obtain the quality of bestowal, equivalence with the Creator and Dvekut (adhesion) with Him in order to be like Him. This is the purpose of man’s creation—to be like the Creator.
To correct our desires, our inclination, we must follow a certain order from easy to hard. To properly correct our nature we are required to conduct ourselves according to our development. Like an infant that grows into being a small child, then a youth, and finally an adult, each stage in the development requires more actions and greater complexity. At each stage we draw the light that reforms. It sorts for us by order of difficulty the desires whose time for correction has come. This is why the Torah is called Horaa (instruction), as through it we advance and climb the ladder of degrees through the end of correction of all our desires.

In the portion, Shmini, we scrutinize which desires we can correct, how we can correct them, and which desires we cannot correct. Within us are desires that cannot be corrected. They are called the “stony heart.” These desires are the basis of our nature. They are so intense that we cannot even ask for their correction.

By correcting what we must, and by regretting not being able to correct the stony heart, as well as by distinguishing what is correctable and what is beyond our ability to correct, we gain a clear perception of the difference between them. By regretting that we cannot correct, yet doing all we can in regard to these desires, they become corrected.

This is why the laws of Kedusha (holiness) and Tahara (purity) are called “laws of Kashrut (the noun of the adjective, Kosher).” We scrutinize these laws—what is kosher and what is not—in the still, vegetative, animate, and human, how we should perform them and at what level.

The word Kashrut refers to the word Kosher (“permitted,” “proper,” “lawful”), to the readiness for bestowal. A kosher person has corrected him or herself in all the desires to bestowal and love of others, at least on a certain level.

The measure of the desire is the sum of all the desires in us at the levels of still, vegetative, and animate. The more the desire mingles with emotion, reason, understanding, connection with people, and with the upper force, the more we correct it. The laws of Kashrut tell us how to sanctity, how to bring each desire to correction and use it to bestow. The Torah tells us through examples from our world, like using the desire for food, which actually refers to man’s correction.

We are bound to fail. It is like a child who cannot understand how a new toy works until he breaks it. He does not even understand that he broke it, or how, if at all, is it possible to fix it. As long as the child does not fully comprehend the making of the toy—how it was made, and what is the role of each part and wheel—the child will not become attached to it.

Similarly, we must comprehend the foundations of creation, touch our most basic, egoistic desires, as it is written, “There is not a righteous man on earth who does good and did not sin” (Ecclesiastes, 7:20). We must experience all the sins, fail, and correct them. There is no other way.
We must recognize all the evil in us, as the Creator says, “I have created the evil inclination.” Man is the one who must discover where our evil inclination resides. When we discover it, we are considered “wicked,” “transgressors.” We recognize the evil and we regret it.

However, we do not regret the recognition of the evil within us because this is how we were made. Rather, we regret that our inclination is not to bestow, but to receive for ourselves. We demand the correcting force, and receive from the above the light that reforms, thus shifting from using each desire egoistically, looking for self-gratification, to the seeking the benefit of others. This is how we correct ourselves.

The general recognition of the evil inclination occurs by the breaking of the vessels in the upper worlds. This is our root, from which this world was created. It was prepared in the upper roots, the upper system. It is embedded in the foundation of the nation, in the acts of Nadav and Avihu, as mentioned in this portion. We have to discover it in us in this world.

Nadav and Avihu had to go through this process, and by so doing they did a great thing. It may seem to us as transgression or ruin, but in it we discover the foundation of “I have created the evil inclination” and correct it.

Nadav and Avihu wanted to reach the end of correction instantaneously. When a person does so, he or she discovers the will to receive in order to receive, the evil inclination, Sitra Achra, Klipa (shell/peel), in its true, and worst form. This is what they did; they drew such a powerful light on themselves that they could not resist it and receive in order to bestow, so they received it in order to receive and therefore died.

A person who advances on the degrees does so, too. In us, too, are forces called Nadav and Avihu, in addition to the forces of Aaron and Moses. “Man is a small world,”[4] and all that is told in the Torah exists in each and every one of us. We make the same transgressions and correct them after some time. This is how we become aware of the real evil inclination, the stony heart, which cannot be touched. This is how we learn to correct the desires that can be corrected, and the right order of correction.

The laws of Kashrut at the end of the portion stem from all those scrutinies we make. They explain to us how we can correct, and in which way we can bring the incense. That is, how to bring the desires that are properly mingled—the forces of bestowal and reception within us—so they correct one another.

This is what the portion, Shmini (On the Eighth Day) deals with. It is called so because Malchut that ascends to Yesod is the eighth Malchut, and we must know how to correct it. It is called “Eighth” after the basic correction, to distinguish between the parts of Malchut that cannot be corrected and those that can be, and to know how we can draw the forces that will correct. We scrutinize all that on our spiritual path, in a correction called Shmini.

The number 7 appears many times in this portion. Is there a special meaning to it?

It is written that there are six days of work and the seventh is the Sabbath.[5] The six days are Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, and Yesod. Days are degrees by which we can correct our desires. The seventh day is Malchut that is corrected by itself by what we have done during the six degrees, and by drawing the lights. In fact, all corrections are made on the seventh day.
The Sabbath is actually not a day of rest. It is a state where it is no longer possible to scrutinize and arrange anything. Instead, “One who labored on the Sabbath Eve shall eat on the Sabbath.”[6] Only what we do during the six days enters Malchut and is corrected in Malchut, in our Yesod (also “foundation”), in our substance, our meaning desires.

The eighth is the reception of the quality of Aaron, quality of Bina, as it is written, “Sons of Bina, eight days.”[7] Malchut connects to Bina, from whom we draw the correcting force on the eighth day.

The upper system is called Zeir Anpin, or HaKadosh Baruch Hu (The Holy One Blessed Be He). It is the system that corrects us, the clothing Malchut, which ties to the upper system. In other words, our soul connects to the Creator.

The soul is also called the “Assembly of Israel” because it assembles all the souls that desire correction. This is how we come to the eighth. Here we must be careful when we encounter situations such as with Nadav and Avihu, but we will still have to experience them.

As was already mentioned, “There is not a righteous man on earth who does good and did not sin” (Ecclesiastes, 7:20). This means that we will encounter many more scrutinies on our way, following our roots, and following what had happened to our forefathers. After all the corrections and exiles we have been through, we arrive at the disclosure and know how to continue. Additionally, we will have good instructions from the wisdom of Kabbalah, so when we face demanding scrutinies we will go through them quickly and continue.

Regarding the example of Nadav and Avihu, we always want our children not to make mistakes, but this shows us that mistakes are mandatory?
Without being aware of it we constantly lead our children to mistakes. And not only children; even university students about to become PhDs learn by being presented with problems. The learning process itself actually involves solving problems. We present the children with problems and want them to play and resolve it. Alternatively, we give them something to assemble or give them exercises in math, physics, or chemistry. We constantly challenge them with problems.

When our children grow and become youths or young adults, we still worry that they might make mistakes. How do we raise children that will not act on their intense desires, as did Nadav and Avihu, who were burned for it?

Children learn what to do, how to do it—and if they should do it at all—only by trial and error. Similarly, we have to try and err. We have to discover the shattering, the crisis, our nature, or we will not know how to correct it. This is why we were given the Torah, whose light shines for us and clarifies matters.

There is light for the scrutiny of the Kelim (vessels), and there is light for the correction of the Kelim. If we know how to use our Kelim (desires) correctly, we will go through the corrections quickly and pleasantly. If each time we encounter a corruption we will also know that we can fix it, and specifically this way discover another portion of the spiritual world, our eternity, perfection, there is no doubt we will be happy by the appearance of that corruption.

In relation to education, when we see our children make mistakes and correct themselves, should we view it as something good?

Yes. There are customs where we act joyfully (even on the Day of Atonement [Yom Kippur]), as opposed to the sadness in other customs. The differences stem from misunderstanding what we are discovering. In truth, there is something to each of the expressions of the customs. In each revelation of evil there must be joy, too, since we have the means to correct it and achieve contentment. It is impossible to feel good without discovering and correcting the bad.

It is written that everyone will know the difference between the rules of Tuma’a (impurity) and Tahara (purity), and that at the time of the First Temple, every child from six years old knew those laws. What does it mean?

This does not refer to children in the physical sense of the word, although that was the prevailing type of education then and children did grow with understanding, sensation, and perception of the upper force. They received upbringing that brought them to bestowal and opening of the eyes. Besides this world, which they saw through their five physical senses, they were assisted in developing a sixth sense, called Neshama (soul). With that sense they experienced the upper force and therefore knew what was good and what was bad. They could distinguish between them and thus grow.

Everything depends on the environment. The environment educated children toward corrections, and each child whose ego (will to receive) grew received the appropriate education. Education is a system of correction through the environment, of explanation and support, as our desires grow. Education means teaching children that their desires are constantly growing and should be used in order to bestow, for love.

Can such education be established today, as well?

It will happen anyway because nature is obliging us to do it. We are heading toward a state where we will have to instill this type of education throughout the world, not just for us, but for the entire nation and the entire world. We need to be “a light for the nations” (Isaiah, 42:6), and pass on the method, “for My house shall be called ‘a house of prayer’ for all the nations” (Isaiah, 56:7) so they will all be as one bundle.

Today we are in the last exile, preceding the complete redemption. Therefore, we must first bring this education to the people of Israel, and subsequently to the rest of the world. We are in advanced stages on this path. The crisis we are experiencing, the helplessness in education, and the collapse of the family institution were all intended to open our eyes to big changes.

Does that mean that the crisis was meant to make us ask for a solution on a higher level?

Yes. The solution already exists, and it is simple. We must understand that there is no other choice, that we have an easy and effective means to obtain bounty and happiness, especially with our children. Otherwise, what kind of world are we leaving for our children?

We know that days and occasions mentioned in the Torah symbolize internal stages; what is the day of the inauguration of the tabernacle?

Once a person has sorted all of one’s Kelim in mind and heart, meaning in one’s desires, thoughts, and intentions, that person can work with these Kelim in full power. This is called the “inauguration of the tabernacle.” One brings them as offerings when they are scrutinized.

The offerings are all the desires that a person can turn from aiming to receive, from egoistic (evil inclination), to aiming to bestow, to the form of bestowal and love. This is the correction. By correcting more and more of one’s desires to bestowal and love, we draw closer to the Creator. The word Korban (sacrifice/offering) comes from the word Karov (near/close), and Makriv (bringing near/offering/sacrificing). This is man’s primary work. So the inauguration of the tabernacle means that one has prepared the Kelim with which one can begin to work.

Does being in the light, in the day, refer to a state that is opposite from the night?

It is written (Psalms, 36:10), “By Your light we shall see light.” Once we have corrected ourselves in the degree of desiring mercy—bestowing in order to bestow, the degree of Aaron—we correct our desires that are not in reception in order to bestow. We move from constantly wanting to receive for ourselves in all our desires to a state where what is happening is clear to us and we neutralize those desires into a point where we do not want to use them for our own sake, since that would literally destroy and “burn” our soul. Preparing ourselves, this is the tabernacle. Henceforth we begin to correct these desires in order to bestow.

[1] “You shall not go outside the doorway of the tent of meeting for seven days, until the day that the period of your ordination is fulfilled; for he will ordain you through seven days” (Leviticus, 8:33).

[2] Babylonian Talmud, Masechet Kidushin, 30b.

[3] Jerusalem Talmud, Seder Nashim, Masechet Nedarim, Chapter 9, p 30b.

[4] Midrash Tanchuma, Pekudei, item 3.

[5] “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to the Lord in all your dwellings” (Leviticus, 23:3).

[6] Babylonian Talmud, Masechet Avodah Zarah, p 3a.

[7] As sung in the Hanukah song, Maoz Tzur.

The Russian Supreme Court Case To Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses (Day 6)


April 20, 2017 –Today’s proceedings is in the format of a debate. The Ministry of Justice presents their reasons for banning Jehovah’s Witnesses and liquidating all of their assets, namely the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in St. Petersburg and the 395 LROs scattered throughout the country.

13:15 The courtroom of the Supreme Court gradually filled with spectators. There was a feelings of nervousness and restrained excitement. The parties were preparing their speeches to deliberate in the debate.

13:50 Most of the seats were filled by this time.

14:09 The hearings begin. Omelchenko made a quick petition to attach a statement from the European Union on the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia to the case materials. In it, the European Union said that “the statement of March 15, filed by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation in the Supreme Court, is the last severe measure taken in its fight against Jehovah’s Witnesses and these prosecutions they are subjected to in Russia is a further increase in violations of their rights which contradicts international standards in the field of freedom of religion or belief.” The court asked how this statement could affect the outcome of the day’s proceedings. Omelchenko said that this is evidence of a violation of Article 18 of the European Convention. Although the European Union is not a body of the Council of Europe, it was made at a meeting of the Council of Europe. The court refuses to attach the document.

14:15 The court started the debate. The Ministry of Justice representative made her case.

14:16 The Ministry of Justice drew attention to the fact that Russia adheres to the principle of the rule of law. The law on freedom of conscience provides a framework. The Ministry of Justice drew attention to the fact that the very name of the Center, the “Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia,” indicates that the centralized organization exercises control over the LROs. The Ministry of Justice drew attention to the leading role of the Administrative Center in its interactions with the LROs. The Administrative Center agrees on the issues related to the appointment of the chairmen of the LROs, etc. Organizations of Jehovah’s Witnesses are a holistic organism. They are characterized by organizational unity. References to the canonical connection by the Ministry of Justice are inconclusive.

14:25 According to the Ministry of Justice representative, the face that the defendant continues to claim that there was planting of extremist materials indicates that the Administrative Center does not repent of its extremist activities.

14:28 The Ministry of Justice representative continued: Although many religions express some sort of relationship with secular authorities, the texts of Jehovah’s Witnesses contain prohibitively insulting ways of expressing the truth of their beliefs. Extremists do not recognize quotes from the bible, but rather their interpretation of what is written in the bible.

14:35 The Ministry of Justice believed that the numerous court decisions made in connection with what materials they recognized as extremist should have given the Administrative Center enough of an opportunity to determine what literature not to import into the country.

14:35 The fact is, according to the Ministry of Justice, over the last 25 years, the Administrative Center had imported materials that were later recognized as extremist.

14:38 The Ministry of Justice believes that because “extremist” (as applied to Jehovah’s Witnesses’ literature) is placed within quotation marks in the literature of Jehovah’s Witnesses, they are being cynical of the matter – despite the fact that the courts’ decisions to recognize extremist literature had entered into legal force.

14:40 Summing up, the Ministry of Justice representative, as before, asks to liquidate the Administrative Center, all the LROs and confiscate all of their property – without waiting for the court’s decision to put it into legal force.

14:42 Omelchenko, on behalf of the defendant, the Administrative Center, began his speech in the debate.

14:45 Omelchenko analyzed the non-legal nature of the Ministry of Justice’s generalization that the various organizations of Jehovah’s Witnesses are supposed to be a single organization “with structural units”.

14:50 Omelchenko cited the norms of legislation on countering extremism. The law does not provide for such extremist actions as “an act in the form of inaction”, “an act committed inadvertently, by imprudence”. The Supreme Court of Russia has repeatedly pointed out that extremism can only be active actions aimed at violent change of the foundations of the constitutional system.

15:02 According to Omelchenko, the plaintiff’s representative gave their own interpretation of what extremism is in the debate. However, the defendant recalled that the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation give legal interpretation. And these courts ruled that “inciting hatred and propaganda of social, racial, national, religious superiority, whose existence should be determined taking into account all the significant circumstances of each particular case, namely the form and content of activities or information, their addressees and the target audience , Socio-political context, the existence of a real threat, including calls for unlawful attacks on constitutionally protected values, or justification of their commission.”

“Restriction through the anti-extremist legislation of freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of speech and the right to disseminate information should not take place in relation to any activity or information on the sole ground that they do not fit into generally accepted notions or are not consistent with established traditional views and opinions, come into conflict with moral or religious preferences. Anything else would mean a deviation from the constitutional requirement of necessity, proportionality and justice by restricting the rights and freedoms of man and citizen.”

15:13 Omelchenko: The actions of the Ministry of Justice do not pursue a legitimate aim, they bear all signs of political repression. “I ask that the plaintiff’s complaints not be met but be refused completely.”

15:16 Lawyer Chenkov spoke in the debate. He began with his personal impression of the last few days. He found himself in one of Moscow’s parks and saw that dozens of Jehovah’s Witnesses came to this park. They did not have any posters and they did not come out to protest the lawsuit that began in the Supreme Court on April 5, 2017. They went out to clean up the garbage that had accumulated over the winter. So who are these people? Extremists or good Christians?

15:20 The Ministry of Justice has demanded to take all the buildings of worship of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, built by believers at their own expense. This happened only once in Russia, namely, a hundred years ago, in 1918. At that time, the Council of the People’s Commissars decreed that all property be taken away, including the religious buildings of the Russian Orthodox Church.

15:27 Zhenkov: The Ministry of Justice suggested that Jehovah’s Witnesses, through despair, said that the cases against them were falsified. However, believers do not despair, notes Chenkov. They believe the words of the Bible that there is nothing secret that would not become obvious. And everyone will bear responsibility before God for their deeds. Just the other day, on April 17, 2017, the President of the Russian Federation approved an amendment to Article 303 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, now provides for criminal liability for falsifying evidence in administrative cases However, the problem of falsifications should concern not only the President, but all of the executive bodies, such as the Ministry of Justice (Justice in Latin means justice).

15:35 In this case there are dozens of certificates: gratitude, not only for the improvement of the country, but for an active life position, for helping those affected by natural disasters, for helping Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) from the territory of Ukraine, for helping orphanages, for improving the leisure center for children with disabilities, for participation in the marathon “Help the child”, etc. “Is it so that the organization is both useful and dangerous?” Chenkov is perplexed.

15:40 Chenkov analyzed the testimony of witnesses, both from the plaintiff’s side and from the defendant’s side.

15:45 The lawyer drew attention to expert opinions on the literature of Jehovah’s Witnesses. “Why do I stop at literature again? Because literature, recognized as extremist, is the only complaint against Jehovah’s Witnesses in carrying out extremist activities.”

15:46 Chenkov: “In this room, there was a man who was born in prison. Because his mother was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment when she was 5 months pregnant as an enemy of the state just because she was a Jehovah’s Witness. She gave birth in prison, and he spent two years in a prison orphanage. His father could not take him, because he was exiled to Siberia. In 1991, the state recognized the mother as a victim of political repression, apologized to her, and provided her with a pension. And here in court this person, who was born in prison, approached me and asked: “Does the Ministry of Justice wish to repeat this terrible story?”. And I did not know what to say. I still do not know what moves the representatives of the Ministry of Justice and those who direct this process.

15:50 Chenkov: “What will happen if the court satisfies the request of the Ministry of Justice? Respected court, if this is the will of the state, then the country successfully acquires 170 thousand prisoners of conscience and a corresponding reputation. If the state’s will is to comply with the law, then the court’s decision can be only one thing – to refuse the Ministry of Justice’s complaint against the Administrative Center. ”

15:52 Toporov spoke in the debate. “Blaming Jehovah’s Witnesses for extremism is like blaming an infant of extremism. Only an infant is not able to commit extremist activity because of his age, nor are Jehovah’s Witnesses due to their religious worldview. For them, calls for any kind of violence against people, violent actions, enmity and hatred towards people by any indication are serious sins against God.”

16:02 Speaking about the independence of the LRO, Toporov refers to the Charter of the Administrative Center. LROs are endowed with the absolute right, without taking into account the will of the Administrative Center, to determine the term of their presence in the said structure, to resolve issues of liquidation, transfer to other centralized religious organizations, etc. “The Administrative Center does not have the right to liquidate the LRO, as it is not their founder … What is this structural unit?” – asks Toporov.

16:12 Concluding his speech, Toporov cited the statement of human rights activist L. Alekseeva in its entirety. In the end, he says: “You, the respected court, it is you, here and today, can eliminate injustice and dishonesty towards hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens, restore their good name, strengthen confidence in the law on countering extremism, clearly showing the difference between these extremists and Extremists drawn on paper. We hope that the court will have the courage to do this and make a fair and impartial decision, guided by the law and the gift from God – a human conscience. ”

16:13 Novakov was next to speak in the debate. He drew attention to the fact that due to the suspension of activities, believers throughout the country were subjected to massive violations of rights: law enforcement officers invaded the services and copied personal data of citizens who had not committed any offense. The police officers carried out illegal detentions by bringing them into custody, personal searches, videotaping of persons. Administrative cases are raised, warnings are made about the possibility of criminal prosecution under Article 282 of the Criminal Code.

16:16 Referring to the increase in violations of rights, Novakov said: “Moreover, if the Court makes a decision on liquidation, this will produce even more tragic consequences throughout the country. Any Jehovah’s Witness may be considered an extremist with all the ensuing consequences: widespread religious violence against Witnesses: from destruction and damage to property and attacks, to causing serious harm to health and killing peaceful religious citizens on the grounds of religious hatred. At an international level, blame for the condoning of violence and prosecution for far-fetched circumstances will be assigned to state authorities in Russia. ”

16:32 Novakov recalled that the Ministry of Justice representative accused Jehovah’s Witnesses of cynicism in her debate. “I’ll tell you what cynicism is,” Novakov said. “When the Ministry of Justice in the first trial of the LRO says that the rights af the Administrative Center are not affected, but then makes those court decisions as the basis for the elimination of the Administrative Center. Or when the Ministry of Justice perceives much more harsh statements against Jehovah’s Witnesses as “ordinary criticism”, while calling “extremism” those statements that are far from extremism. When, contrary to the available data, the Ministry of Justice dismisses reports of falsification, it does not dare to cite cases when falsification is clearly fixed on the video. “That’s what cynicism is!” Novakov concluded.

16:40 Cherepanove next spoke in the debate. He believed that if the court left Jehovah’s Witnesses to exist legally, Russia will not only not suffer damage, but on the contrary will improve its reputation both inside the country and in the international arena. Decisions against Jehovah’s Witnesses have been appealed to the ECHR and the UN Human Rights Committee.

16:45 “We have had good cooperation with the Justice Ministry for decades,” said Cherepanov. “I think the Justice Ministry should feel in a sense our defender, he registered us!” Addressing to the representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Cherepanov said: “Let’s be friends! Do not become a punitive body. We do not want to sue you, we ask that you help us, and do not look for a reason to close us. ”

16:47 Cherepanov spoke about the problem of denigrating the good name of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the media. Various crimes had been attributed towards them, for example, “weaning apartments.” Proving the falsity of this myth, Cherepanov recallsedthe biblical commandment “Do not covet someone else’s wife”.

16:50 “The strength of a powerful state is precisely to protect the interests of the minority, because the majority will stand for itself.”

16:55 Kalin spoke next: “The Ministry of Justice not only humiliates itself and its functions, but humiliates the entire state in the eyes of the international community. If a respected representative of the Ministry of Justice has personal convictions that Jehovah’s Witnesses are extremists, I’m very sorry. If the representative of the Ministry of Justice was a victim of the circumstances in which he fell into, and is forced to perform just the role of accuser, I am also sorry. But in either case you will have to answer before your own conscience. ”

16:56 Kalin recalled one’s responsibility before God and said: “I take this opportunity to issue a warning to the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Ministry of Justice. Please, come to your senses! Please, come to your senses! ”

17:00 Both sides exchanged remarks.

17:01 The Ministry of Justice representative recalled that the essence of the complaint is to liquidate a legal entity; the Justice Ministry does not make complaints against individuals. The Justice Ministry reminded the court of the testimony of one of the witnesses of the plaintiff who was expelled from the religious community. The Ministry of Justice considered this a violation of the rights of citizens. In response, Chenkov recalled that at one time the Russian Orthodox Church excommunicated the writer L. Tolstoy. In our time, the ROC refused to cancel the decision on excommunication, despite the petitions for this. This is an internal matter of the church. Chenkov asked whether the Ministry of Justice intended to present any demands to the ROC.

17:09 The court retires to the advisory room.

17:18 The courtroom is filled with television journalists.

18:25 The court is still in the advisory room. The courtroom awaits the announcement of the judgment.

18:50 The Supreme Court decided to liquidate the centralized religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, as well as all 395 local religious organizations of this religion.

Believers have already begun to prepare a complaint to the appellate court (a panel consisting of three judges of the Supreme Court), which should be considered within a month.