In these many years up to now,  I have seen people not only choose to accept religion instead of the true faith of the scriptures, but also by accepting mere religion, have allowed it to replace the intimacy of a real, relevant, close and lasting relationship with the Creator of the universe.  Yes, many people can be devout in their religion and still not know G-d!  Anyone can attend a synagogue, Jewish community center, go to church, even give what they perceive as a tithe, or offering, and still have no idea who G-d is!  When I meet people across the board, from every walk of life, from month to month,  I can tell by how they act, or carry themselves, if they are just religious.  Religion does something that a relationship with G-d cannot do;  produce arrogance and pride!  Many, having a form of  godliness, but denying the power thereof, are ever learning, but never coming to the acknowledgement of the truth!  

     Here is another thought,  religion does not teach this one important truth; that your covenant relationship defines your identity,  and your identity defines your behavior!  A relationship with the master of the universe, through the atonement of the Moshiach Yeshua – the divine tzaddik, and our obedience to his covenant, the mosaic laws, and the oral tradition,  can be so spiritually changing, to such a degree,  that a person’s whole physical lifestyle can be altered!  

At our Hebrew seminary, students work on their dissertations, and there is a lot to study.   What is also of import, is the student living out their covenant relationship within community.  The school and the community are never separated!  65% of the commandments of the bible are domestically oriented!  The master/teacher student relationship,  the rabbis, the sages, the old ones, become actively involved with each student, and each community member!  Being a part of an intimate, local community forces us to look at one another, work with each other, forgive one another, and helps maintain our Jewish traditions and customs, which again, is community!  People jump from one group to the next, one doctrine to the next, all on a whim, with no true commitment.  Here at Brit Avraham,  and our other communities around the world,  we are attempting to stop assimilation into the world system.  Because the world system has joined religion!  


May we all work together, drawing ever closer to a real, true and living G-d, who loves us, and has great things in store for us.


                                                                                Think on these things,  


                                                                             Chief Rabbi, Yosef Hilbrant


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