TEACHINGS OF THE ECOKOSHER REBBE
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THE ECOREBBE

"Derakhekha YHVH hodee'eynee oro'hotekha lamdaynee (Your Paths, O ADONAI, let me know, teach me Your Ways)." "Hadreekhaynee v'ametekha v'lamdeynee, kee-Atah Elohai yishee otekha... (Lead me in Your truth, and teach me: for You are the Creator of my salvation)." PSALM 25: 4,5

"Kee yira'hem YHVH et-Ya'acov, uba'har od b'Yisrael, v'hinee'ham al-admatam: v'nilvah hageyr aleyhem, v'nispe'hu al-Ya'acov (For ADONAI will have mercy on Jacob (the Jewish people), and will yet choose Israel (the scattered people of Israel), and set them in their own land: and the convert will join with them, and they shall all be joined together with the House of Jacob-the Jews)." ISAIAH 14: 1

"Yehoshua Ben-Pera'hyah omer: 'Aseh lekha rav uk'ney lekha 'haver. Veheveh dan et-kol-ha'adam l'khaf zekhut (A favorite saying of Joshua son of Pera'hyah was: 'Make for yourself a teacher and purchase for yourself a student, and humbly judge all people charitably)." PIRKE ABOT 1: 6

***WHO IS THE ECOREBBE?***

Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill, is an ordained RABBI with s'mika as a Rebbe in the Jewish tradition.

He was ordained with s'mikha from Rabbi Gershon Winkler of Thousand Oaks, California, (www.walkingstick.org), who is a Rabbi with an Ultra-Orthodox s'mikha from Rabbi Eliezer Bension of Jerusalem.

*AVODAH OR SERVICE TO COMMUNITY*

Rabbi Steinberg-Caudill has served in the Jewish community in many capacities since 1975. He served as a Lay-Rabbi in Mormon country, Boise, Idaho (1986-1994), and as a Lay-Rabbi, was privileged to garner a working relationship with the leadership of various Christian Churches in Boise, including the LDS Church. He also led services, performed weddings, funerals, and taught Hebrew and B'nai Mitzvah classes.

As a historical side note: Idaho had the privilege of being the first State in the United States to elect a Jewish Governor. Governor Moses Alexander was elected to two terms as Governor beginning in 1914.

Also of note: Utah had the second Jewish Governor, Governor Samuel Bamberger (1914) who was also the first non-Mormon governor of Utah and was elected by the popular vote over a member of the Council of Twelve Apostles.

Rabbi Steinberg-Caudill was privileged to be presented, while Lay-Rabbi of Boise's Jewish community, with a beautiful edition of the Holy Qur'an by the Muslim community of Boise in 1994 for his active support of Muslim peoples in the Balkan tragedies.

**ETYMOLOGICAL ORIGIN OF THE HEBREW WORD "REBBE"**

The word REBBE and RABBI come from the Hebrew root for "teacher," <Reysh, Beyt, Heh> which has the inner meaning of "forming," or "educating." Every Hebrew letter is filled with meaning that contributes to the meaning of any word that the letter makes up. In this case <Reysh> has the inner essence of the "Teachings of the Divine Cosmic Mind brought into the understanding of the <Beyt> individual teaching situation through <Heh> Divine Revelation or Inspiration and learning."

As an ordained Rebbe, Rabbi Steinberg-Caudill is known as the "ECOREBBE." He is a teacher of the ecological, earth based, spiritual physical principles and teachings of his holy Rebbes and teachers; Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Rabbi Gershon Winkler, Rabbi Michael Lerner and Rabbi Arthur Waskow (among others) AS HE UNDERSTANDS THEM and interprets them. These teachings promote environmental concerns as well as the concerns taught by the Hasidic Rebbes of the Ba'al Shem Tov tradition.

FOLLOWING AUTHORITY FIGURES WITHOUT QUESTION

Rabbi Steinberg-Caudill does not believe in accepting the teachings of any person or text without question. He does not follow gurus or Prophets blindly. He believes that he has the right to draw from his own training and understanding to help him understand and evaluate the teachings of his teachers and Rebbes. He suggests that you do the same.

As you read the various pages on this website, you will often notice that Rabbi Steinberg-Caudill will often refer to the teachings of his holy teachers and Rebbes. Yet, just as often, and maybe even more so, Rabbi Steinberg-Caudill will differ from the TOTAL teachings of those who he considers his teachers and Rebbes.

As a TRADITIONAL and FLEXIDOX Jew, who follows a basic Sephardic minhag (custom), Rabbi Steinberg-Caudill does not believe in proselytizing people of other religions, as he is accepting of ALL religions as necessary, for traditionally Judaism teaches that there are many Paths to the One God.

The Prophet Micah tells us; "For all people will walk in the religious concept of the Creator that their Name for the Creator implies, and we (who are Israelitish peoples) will walk in the Name concept of YHVH, our Creative Transformational Power, forever and even longer. (See Micah 4:5; see also Amos 9: 7).
One will search the Hebrew Tanakh (Bible) in vain for any text promoting missionary work. To the contrary, Deuteronomy 4: 19 requires that we accept that it is God who gives the other nations the right to worship as they choose to.

The Prophets inform us that it will be God who brings the two peoples of Israel and Judah together, neither missionaries nor the results of proselytizing. Missionaries destroy traditions and cultures; they do not preserve them or acknowledge their value.

If God had wanted there to be only one Path to God, or one race, or one language, or one of anything, God would not have created the diversity of our BEAUTIFUL WORLD!

It is the firm belief of Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill, the EcoRebbe that we are in the beginning stages of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Deli, the Coming of the Bride-Messiah, (may She come in the days of our life).

This time period is marked by a fluidity of instantaneous computerized knowledge throughout the world; by a zeal for equality for all peoples, races, ethnicities, sexual identities and religions; by a growing social and environmental consciousness; by a loosening of rigid national borders and boundaries; and by women rising to the fore in religion, government and other areas where they previously were under-represented and under empowered.

The birthing of the Age of Aquarius cannot be stopped; it is a divinely pre-ordained Plan of Salvation. In the beginning stages, it will experience the pull of the tribalistic, fundamentalist-religion dominated Age of Pisces, which will seek to curtail or overturn the advances that signal the Age of Aquarius.

However, the significant dominant feature of this NEW AGE is the rising to power of the Divine Feminine, THE SHEKHINAH, to bring to a harmonious balance the overly masculine testosterone dominated, fundamentalist religion based, age of war, hatred and inequality, to a place of loving, caring, respecting, and honoring; in effect, the Messianic Age, will win out in the end and the Age of Aquarius will become fully born as is taught in the Torah and the Prophets.

It is important to remember that the past ages are there to look to for where we have come from, not for us to remain there, or even to hope to return there. The Messianic Age is in the future for us to work towards and to bring to fruition.

As the Torah states: "The Messiah will come when She is no longer needed (based upon the understanding of several texts)."

In other words; the Messianic Age will be realized only when we have brought about a world where swords are beaten into plowshares, spears into pruning-hooks; and people do not learn or teach violence as an acceptable way to resolve differences. A time when there is neither hungry nor homeless, because we know how to share the wealth that the Earth Mother provides for ALL humanity, not just the "privileged" few. A time when we each shall care for the welfare of each other. At that time, the Spirit of Shekhinah shall infuse all of us with the knowing of what the real meaning of LOVE is!

*RAINBOW RELIGION (NOAHIDE COVENANT)*

Rabbi Steinberg-Caudill believes that all religions are part of the One Rainbow Religion of the One God, whether Jew, Mormon, Moslem, Native American Indian, Baptist, Hindu, Buddhist, et all, even if that religion does not acknowledge the relationship.

Every religion has a piece of the puzzle to add to the whole. We all sit at different places around God's Table of Truth. Some of us believe that our small portion of TRUTH is the whole meal, and thus we deny ourselves much that is there for our benefit and enjoyment. We need to learn how to feed each other from that which is in front of each of us, so we all benefit.

Continual revelation implies that NO religion has all the truth at the moment. We Jews teach that every teaching taught by the Teachers of our Traditions was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, including a future responsa of a yet future Rabbi.

*PROPHETS OF OTHER FAITH BASED RELIGIONS *

Rabbi Steinberg-Caudill honors all of God's Prophets, past and future, of all religious Paths; Moses, Balaam, Jesus [the Nazareener Rebbe], Black Elk, Mohammed, Joseph Smith, Ramakrishna, Baha'u'llah, Pope John Paul II, Eli Weisel, Rabbi Michael Lerner and many, many others, many of whom he is unfamiliar with. He honors them and their teachings, but follows only the teachings and teachers of his own Path, the Jewish Path.

*QUESTIONS FROM THOSE OF OTHER RELIGIONS*

Rabbi Steinberg-Caudill teaches that the only "dumb" question is the one that is not asked. If he chooses not to respond to an irreverent question, he will say so, but honest questions he responds to. If you have a question you would like answered, please write Rabbi Steinberg-Caudill at ecorebbe@earthlink.net. Please allow a while for him to respond.

Rabbi Steinberg-Caudill is well grounded in his own traditions, faith and beliefs, He does not fear the questions nor the responses of those whose traditions, faith and beliefs differ from his. He believes that it is all right for people to have diverse opinions.

**Pirkei Abot and Maimonides on the sacredness of rabbis working at "mundane" labor for their livelihood**

Pirkei Abot 4: 7 "Rabbee Tzadok omeyr: Al ta'aseym 'atarah l'hitgadel bahem. V'lo kardom lachpod bahem. V'khakh hayah Hillel omeyr: Udeeshtameysh bataga, chalaf. Ha lamadta, Kal hanneheneh midibrey Torah, noteyl chayaev min haolam."

The Ethics of the Ancestors, chapter 4, verse 7: "Rabbi Tzadok said: Do not make [the Torah] a crown for self-aggrandizement, nor an axe with which to cut. So, too, Hillel used to say: He who exploits the crown [of the Torah for his own ends] shall perish. From this you can conclude: anyone who derives personal gain from the words of Torah removes his life from the World [to Come]."

Rabbi Moses ben Maimon [Maimonides] (1135-1204 CE) was born in Spain into a distinguished family that claimed descent from King David. He fled the fanatical Moslem religious fervor of the 12th century in his native Cordoba and went to Egypt where he became the physician to the Sultan as well as the religious leader of the Jewish community. He operated a free clinic for the ill of both the Jewish and Moslem communities. He was an accomplished philosopher and wrote several outstanding works still used in Judaism; "Mishnah Torah", written originally in Mishnaic Hebrew, was a concise depiction of all the halakhic rulings of the Talmud-Torah, grouped under its appropriate headings. His "Guide of the Perplexed" is his philosophical guide for understanding the often contradictory philosophy of the Torah and Judaism. His Commentary on Pirkei Abot is read every Shabbat afternoon in many Sephardic communities.

Rabbi Maimon writes in his "Commentary on Pirkei Abot": I thought not to comment with regard to this [Mishnah] instruction, because [its meaning] is obvious. And also because I know that what I have to say about this will not find favor in the eyes of most of the Torah scholars, and perhaps not in the eyes of any of them. Nevertheless, I will make my statement without paying attention or showing concern for those who preceed me, or [the sages of] the present day.

The meaning of the statement: "Do not make [the Torah]... an axe with which to cut" is not to consider it as a means to earn one's livlihood. [The mishnah] explains that everyone who derives benefit from the honor of the Torah in this world will have his soul cut off from the World to Come. People ignore this clear and obvious message and refuse to pay attention to it. Instead, they choose to follow the superficial meaning of certain statements, without comprehending them. I will explain [the true meaning of those statements].

[On the basis of their interpretations,] they imposed assessments on individuals and on communities, and made the positions of status in Torah a collector's enterprise. They [purposely] deceived people with a blatant misconception, [saying] that it is an obligation and a necessity to help the scholars, their students and those people who are involved in the Torah and for whom the Torah is their occupation.

This is AN ERROR that has no foundation in the Torah and no support whatsoever. When we observe the conduct of our Sages of blessed memory, we see that they did not impose levies on the people, nor gathered alms for their magnificent and honorable yeshivot (schools), nor for the leaders and not for any person.

There were some Sages who lived in indigent poverty, and some were very wealthy. Heaven forbid to say that the wealthy were not generous and did not give charity. If those who were poor had extended their hand [in search of alms], [the wealthy] would have filled their homes with gold and pearls. [The poor] did not do this. Instead, they labored, working to derive their livlihood, whether amply or with difficulty. As you know, Hillel was a hewer of wood and would study before Shemayah and Avtalion. He lived in utter poverty. [Now] his stature was well known, [for] his students were compared to Moses, Aaron, Joshua; the least of them was Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai. No thinking person would doubt that if he had allowed people to assist him, they would not have let him continue hewing wood.

Similarly, with regard to Chanina ben Dosa: About him it was proclaimed: "The entire world derives its sustenance solely by virtue of My son Chanina. And My son Chanina makes do with a kav of carobs from Friday to Friday." He did not seek [assistance] from other men."

And Karna was a judge of renown throughout the diaspora; and he was a water carrier. When litigants would appear before him, he would tell them: "Give me someone who will draw water instead of me while I am busy with you, or pay me what I will forfeit from not being involved in my occupation, and I will judge for you.

The Jews of that era or of eras like theirs were not callus, nor did they fail to perform acts of kindness. Indeed, we do not find that a poor sage would criticize the people of his generation for not assisting them. It is only that [the sages] themselves were pious men, who believed in the truth for the sake of the truth, and believed in God and the Torah of Moses, through which a person derives a share of the eternal world. [For this reason], they did not allow themselves to [ask for assistance].

They considered that as desecrating God's Name (a chillul HaShem) in the eyes of the public, for they would think that the Torah is a profession like other professions, from which people derive their livelihood. This would cause them to lose respect for (Torah), and to the person who [brought them to such thought would be applied the verse], "He brought scorn upon the word of God" (Numbers 15: 31).

Nevertheless, those who deny the truth and [ignore] these clear statements take money from people willingly or unwillingly, based on stories from the Talmud about people whose bodies were impaired or who were of extreme old age and for these reasons could not do any work [and support themselves in any other way], except by receiving [alms]. What should these people have done? Left themselves to die? The Torah does not obligate that.

[To explain:] One of the sources on which these people depend is the narrative [in the Talmud, Bava Metzia 84b], based upon the verse, Proverbs 31: 14; "She [the Torah] is like a merchant ship, bringing sustenance from afar." This narrative was told about a person whose health was impaired and who was unable to work. But if a person is able to work, he should not employ the Torah for such a purpose.

*A STORY ABOUT WHEN A RABBI IS ACTING AS A REBBE*

In the 1st century, there lived in the Galilee a Holy Rebbe by the name of Rabbi Jose. Once a poor widow invited Rabbi Jose and his disciples to her humble home for a Shabbat meal.

When they arrived, she brought out a chicken for Rabbi Jose to inspect to see if it was kosher. She then returned to the kitchen to prepare the meal. The Rabbi lifted its tail and sniffed under it. He lifted the wings and sniffed under them. He examined the crop and gizzard. Finally he told a disciple to tell the widow that the chicken was kosher. "But Rebbe," spoke the disciple, "the chicken is plainly NOT kosher! Why do you say that it is?" "You be quiet!" said the Rabbi.

Later, after the Shabbat meal, when the Rabbi and his disciples were walking back to the yeshiva from the widow's home, the hushed student came up to the Rabbi and asked, "Rebbe, why did you say that the chicken was kosher, when we both know that it was not?"

The Rabbi stopped walking. He turned and put his face close to the students face and said, "I want you to learn from this the difference between being a Rabbi, and being a Rebbe. A Rabbi would have had no recourse except to declare the halakhah that the chicken was not kosher. But a Rebbe, a Rebbe has at his disposal other criteria.

I looked at the chicken and saw that even though it was not kosher, it would not harm us. So knowing that the widow could not afford to purchase another chicken, and knowing that she was feeling greatly honored by our eating Shabbat at her home, I declared the chicken KOSHER BY REASON OF COMPASSION!" (End of story).

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