The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Letters and Responses
Letter from Carolyn Yane about One Synagogue's Response to Vegetarianism - 29 Jun 2006
Thank you so much for your site. It is such a blessing to those of us who find we are Christians without a place where we feel we belong. I truly do thank God for you. I know my email is quite long, but I have tried to trim it down. There is just so much to tell.
I just turned 44 years old and have, until February of this year, eaten meat without a thought. I am now a vegan. This came about one night in February when I was sitting at my kitchen table doodling. Without any thought on my part, I began writing, and what I wrote led to my eyes seeing, my ears hearing and my heart feeling. I had not known that my senses were so dull. I had always been an animal lover, or so I thought. I just had never made the connection, or really the disconnection of loving animals and supporting cruelty against them. God spoke to me through my own hand that evening and I now know animal rights will be my fight until the day I see my God face to face.
I now thank Him every day for giving me this fight, however, in the beginning I did not feel this way. I am a Messianic Jew who has followed Messianic Judaism for quite some time now and I love the fact that I can walk in my faith and live my life as Jesus did as a Jew while accepting him as my Messiah.
For so long I thought that the people leading my Synagogue were compassionate people and were led by the Spirit of God. However, when I presented them with what God had shown me, I learned differently.
The word that God had given me told me that they would not accept what He had given me, but He still led me to present them with information regarding the feeding and treatment of factory-farmed animals. You see, we still keep kosher rules and I proposed that a cow that is fed a pig is not kosher. I thought, well if anything might stick with them to be used or thought of at another time, this might be it. I have since found the following. I have not presented this to them:
Look in Strong’s at the Hebrew meaning of ‘moving thing’ of 9:3. When we do we find the following definition: H7431 רמשׂ remeś reh'-mes from H7430; a reptile or any other rapidly moving animal: - that creepeth, creeping (moving) thing. I would like your opinion as to the accurateness of this translation.
I don't think many at my Synagogue believe that it is OK to eat reptiles or many other rapidly moving animals. I have heard it said by many a preachers, if there is even the appearance of discrepancy we should always err on the conservative side of God.
In addition, I presented them with all of the information I could find depicting the gross mistreatment of today's factory farmed animals. I told them that this horrific treatment is a sin against God and if you financially support evil, you are committing evil acts. They did agree that torturing animals is a sin, but said they were not responsible and could not be held responsible for the way animals are treated, even when financially supporting this industry. They continue treating me as if I am making this up because of my love for animals. I kept asking God, “Why do you send me as Moses to Pharaoh? You have told me they would not accept this.” He finally answered me by saying, "Be patient, listen, I have your answers." So I did. I realize that God was keeping me somewhat blind to the outrageousness of their statements until He was ready to reveal what He wanted me to see.
I have had several conversations with them over the last few months and I have been dumbfounded by what my religious leaders have said to me. I would like to share the first and last of these conversations with you and get your opinion. I am absolutely catatonic with the lack of compassion that they are showing and the sense of entitlement they seem to harbor. I do not know what to do. I cannot continue to financially support my Synagogue as long as they support this evil. However, I know of no Church close to me that doesn't support the torture of animals through their silence and/or their eating. There is the Episcopal Church in Ohio, but it is about 3 hours from me.
First conversation: My Rabbi, his wife and their son yelled out scriptures at me to try and trick me. For instance they said that there would be seducing spirits, that would tell people not to eat meat, etc. I know that this scripture is not talking about meat, but food or nourishment. I know that they know this, but they did not know that I knew this was not the correct translation. There were several other scriptures that they used in the same way, thinking they could trick me. In this same conversation, my Rabbi's son, (I will call M), said to me that if my only reason for telling them to abstain from eating meat is mercy, that I could forget it. I cannot imagine someone who claims to be a follower of the Prince of Peace saying that mercy is not a good enough reason to abstain from cruelty. God did not allow me to see this fully until my last conversation where He revealed the ungodliness of what they were saying.
The last conversation: My rabbi's wife (I will call Y) asked me, "What about all the tanneries?" My response to her was, "We no longer live in igloos, thus we no longer need to use animal skins. If you choose to use these products you have to face the fact that you are causing the needless suffering of animals, because you do not need it. God created animals with the ability to suffer. He gave them everything that we use when we experience pain." Y looked at me and screamed, "It is just an animal!!!!" And then she stormed out of the room.
At that moment God spoke to me and said, "This is the first part of your answer, how cheap is My creation to her? What value does My creation have to her outside of her own selfishness? She has stolen my glory." I almost fell on my face that second, but God said to me, “Wait, listen, there is more." My rabbi then said to me, “They don't have a forebrain; only the reptilian brain.” At that moment, God said, "They will not even allow them their suffering." I told my Rabbi that, having gone through a doctoral program in neuroscience, I had dissected both human and to my heartbreaking regret, all kinds of nonhuman brains. They all have forebrains. He then told me that God had created animals to be eaten. I referred him back to Genesis. I knew he was aware of this verse because I had previously shown him where in Eden both human and nonhuman were vegetarian. I then pointed out to him that if they had been created to be eaten, God would have commanded us to eat them, but that this was not the case. I could not believe his response. This is a man who I know studies his Bible constantly. He said, "Well, he didn't tell them not to." I was almost speechless for a religious leader to resort to such a tactic. He did finally ask me, “Well, why were they created?” I answered him by asking, "What does the Bible say?”
Let's look and see. He tells us to: Job 12:7 but199 ask7592 now4994 the beasts,929 and they shall teach3384 thee; and the fowls5775 of the air,8064 and they shall tell5046 thee: Job 12:8 or176 speak7878 to the earth,776 and it shall teach3384 thee: and the fishes1709 of the sea3220 shall declare5608 unto thee. Job 12:9 who4310 knoweth3045 not3808 in all3605 these428 that3588 the hand3027 of the lord3068 hath wrought6213 this?2063 Job 12:10 in whose834 hand3027 is the soul5315 of every3605 living thing,2416 and the breath7307 of all3605 mankind.1320, 376
When we ask the animals, what do they tell and teach us? Let us look to the natures that God gave them? What do they do? Well, let’s see. None take from the land. The grazing animals graze the land, fertilize and move on. Never taking more than they need; only replenishing. What do the tree animals do? They eat the fruit, seeds, leaves, etc. They drop seeds, etc., to the ground to feed other animals. They also plant more trees by their messy eating and taking seeds to other places. If fact, there are thousands of animals that follow parrots in the wild and live under their nests and feeding areas because parrots are one of the messiest eaters (I know this to be true, I am, uh, fortunate enough to have one on loan from God). What about the animals who just buzz around; what do they do? They pollinate plants for plant reproduction among other things. What do the soil animals do? They fertilize and clean up, etc. I could go on and on, but I think that you get the point of what I told him. Animals bring forth the fruit/bread from the land!!!
What an amazing Creator we have!!! Think of the times in the Bible when desolate land is mentioned. The animals are mostly absent. Without animals, humankind could not survive!!! We could never supply ourselves and replenish the land for our food. Animals do feed us and take care of us, but they should not have to shed their innocent blood to do so, but we continue requiring their sacrifice to this day.' I think that this was the only point that he acknowledged at all.
They have told me that they are going to come to my house the last of July and spend the day to give me some comfort and show me why they are not sinning and why it would not be a sin for me to support this industry. I know what God has shown me and I know the truth. However, I did give them my word that I would not share any of this with other members until they had a chance to meet with me, although they have not put themselves under this same gag order. And I think that I would lose some credibility with others if I were no longer attending. Therefore, my plan is to go throughout the month of July, have the meeting and then give the members the info that I have found. Beyond that I do not know what to do. I really am heart broken. This is a place that I have called and family home for a long time. Any advice?
Do you have suggestions as to the handling of this meeting?
Reply from Frank and Mary Hoffman
Thank you very much for your kind and encouraging words, and for telling us about yourself.
We believe that your understanding of the reh-mes is correct, especially when in verse 9:2 where these animals are listed separately from the other animals. The same holds true for Genesis 1:30
We always say that if we’re not sure of the interpretation or meaning, or the will of God, we should always make our decision on the side of God’s perfect love. Also, perfect love would never lead us to harm another living being. And even if we make a mistake, love covers a multitude of sins.
Like you, we have found some of the hardest of heart people in the churches and synagogues. We are afraid that these are the people who will cry “Lord, Lord!” and He will say that He never knew them.
If the leaders don’t respect the same “gag order”, then you have every right to respond. If they were truly interested in meeting with you about this, they would have the meeting much sooner. As far as the meeting goes, we don’t believe you should present any more facts. You already presented your case, and in our opinion, it is a testimony against them. Just listen to what they have to say, and respond as you feel prompted by the Holy Spirit.
Rightly so did Jesus call the religious leaders, hypocrites.
We look forward to hearing back from you.
In the Love of the Lord,
Frank and Mary
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