God and Man
“Apart from me you can do nothing” Jn 15:5. Rabbi Yeshua is the vine, we are the branches. All of the insights on this site, all that reveals Rabbi Yeshua‘s shining glory, came from him. All I’m doing is trying to reflect Rabbi Yeshua‘s glory back to him and to everyone in the world. I contributed only my yes, and he gave me the grace and the free will to do even that. Our fallen race can contribute only errors. Any you find on this site are mine alone.
Why So Big
In the photo above, the very tall trees represent the long pages in much of the site. In an age that demands short answers to big questions, Second Exodus offers a great deal of depth.
I’m God’s parrot. “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” Lk 10:16.
Cardinal Raymond Burke, my mentor, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, his good friend, in Criticism of Errors is Fidelity to the Pope, said, “No honest person can anymore deny the almost general doctrinal confusion which is reigning in the life of the Church in our days.”
During the long dark era called the Apostasy of the Gentiles, Second Exodus is concerned that a significant amount of understanding may be lost. This site captures and keeps as much of it as I could. Second Exodus is faithful to the Magisterium. By far its most frequent reference is directly to God-inspired Sacred Scripture and Catechism § 112-114 to ensure true Catholic Church-based interpretation. Its second most-used reference is the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You can verify every Scripture or Catechism reference with a single click. Where you find a § mark followed by a number without explanation it refers to a Catechism page, unless a particular Church document is mentioned. To be certain, click on the number and look at the top of the page.
For the most part, I stay with Church language as it was before Pope Francis‘ election.
The Church in Our Time
“The Church stands in particularly pressing need of convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship of the spirit of the age and who live and think the faith with determination.”
The apostasy of this age has its roots in relativism, the common heresy that all truth and morality are relative to each individual. Relativism speaks of “your reality” and “my reality” as if there is no objective reality. Our existence, and our separate understandings of it, drift apart.
In this environment there is great interest in fast answers to hard questions that cater to short attention spans. However, in the end, someone has to understand where the Catholic Church came from and how it all fits together. The Word of God is comprehensive, a vast panorama to be taken in over a lifetime. So, therefore, is Second Exodus. On this subject of the papacy, a little perspective: Scott Hahn explains Papal Infallibility 4:40. Is Peter the Rock in Matthew 16:18? 6:37. What About the Bad Popes? 5:13
Rabbi Yeshua‘s lifetime mission for me is: Communicate my Word as far and wide as you can. Second Exodus is therefore called to teach in a deep way that repays serious time-consuming study with convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship of the spirit of the age and who live and think the Catholic faith with determination, all the way to the Cross.
At the upper right corner of every page is a Search engine portal. Type in the word or words you’re looking for, between quotation marks, for instance, “About the Site”, and click the search icon (magnifying glass). The Search engine looks for any appearance of the word (or words) anywhere on every page.
After the Search engine has displayed its “slideshow,” select the one most likely to have the information you’re looking for. It will take you to that page. Virtually all modern web browsers have a “page search” capability, so enter your search term in the page search field and let it take you to each reference to your subject of interest.
The Best Site of Its Kind
I didn’t want to do “another Catholic web site.” My idea was, and remains, that each Catholic site should specialize in something and do it better than every other site out there. By linking to each other, the body of topflight Catholic web sites could present an excellent overall information base. My specialty would be the Catholic Church‘s Jewish origins.
Second Exodus refers to Jesus as Rabbi Yeshua, to the Apostles as shlikhim, to each of them individually by his actual name, for instance St. Matthew as Rabbi Matityahu. Second Exodus believes that getting to know them by their original Jewish names gives a better sense of who they really were. However, we do not change any text quoted from an authoritative source.
Some readers would prefer to read the Second Exodus site as they would a book, from beginning to end. That way they don’t have to figure out where to go next. Eternal Israel is the site’s book. Eternal Israel is deeper and more comprehensive than the rest of the site, for readers who want to penetrate more deeply.
Second Exodus is available in languages spoken worldwide. To change the language, look at the sidebar on the right side of every page on the site. The last (lowest) item on the page is a widget, powered by Google Translate, that allows you to choose any language you prefer. Select the language you prefer, refresh the page if necessary, and it will display in your language.
Some computers require a page refresh to display the new language, others don’t. Refresh the page simply means click on the symbol to the right of the page address field. Google Chrome uses a star. Apple Safari uses a round arrow.
The language translations are of course done by computer and so they lack the polish that human translation allows. As a rule, I insist on high quality everywhere on the site. However, I’ve often been asked whether I could also provide the site in Spanish or in other languages. Google’s widget is the only way I can. I hope it helps.
The Association of Hebrew Catholics
Second Exodus is a brother site of the Association of Hebrew Catholics (AHC), run by my very good friend and mishpucha David Moss, president of the AHC. The AHC site is designed to help Hebrew Catholics preserve their identity and heritage and provide a collective witness to Rabbi Yeshua and his Church.
I’m on the AHC Board of Directors, so David’s site and mine naturally have a lot in common. We both invite inquiring Jews to consider Catholic faith as the fulfillment of what they have already begun while retaining their core Jewish identity. We’re both passionate about teaching the Catholic faith in the light of its Jewish origins, so we both do a lot of that. We teach in different voices, so each site visitor can choose the style he prefers.
So there are two world-class Hebrew Catholic sites. For a succinct comparison, David’s site is outreach while mine is defense. If you want to meet and share ideas with other Hebrew Catholics, David’s Association of Hebrew Catholics site will serve you best. If someone questions or challenges the Catholic faith, Second Exodus is where you can find defense ammunition.
If you want to contact me type Contact in the search field on any page, click, and you’ll come right to it. If you prefer to find it in the top-down menu, hover over About the Site. A sub-menu will open. Look for Contact.
Rabbi Yeshua is so important for our immortal souls that I want to present him in an atmosphere of peace in which site visitors can concentrate entirely on him. Therefore, Second Exodus takes no advertising. I pay all expenses for the site myself, including research materials, computer hardware and software, site hosting, domain name registration, all of it.
Many site owners earn their livelihood by presenting advertiser-supported high quality Catholic content. We’re much better off with their high quality content and a few ads than we would be without both. Second Exodus often links to sites with advertising to reach the highest quality information. But Second Exodus wants you to concentrate 100% on Rabbi Yeshua and his extraordinary Catholic Church.
Father Hardon, Second Exodus’ mentor during his lifetime, considered advertisements inconsistent with Rabbi Yeshua’s, “You received without pay, give without pay” Mt 10:8. Web site ads intentionally distract from what we want to teach. Second Exodus serves Rabbi Yeshua 100%, mammon 0% Mt 6:24.
The Second Exodus web site didn’t always look like this. Here are some snapshots from years gone by. When you finish looking at any of these, use the Back button to return to this page.
Second Exodus has used its traditional top-down menu style since 2013 except for a year or so in 2014 when I got interested in my winter site design. By 2016 I had returned to a variation on the top-down menu. By 2017 I settled back into a full traditional top-down menu layout that I expect will remain for a very long time.
The most recent site style is the vertical layout, such as Apple‘s. I briefly considered moving to a new vertical-layout theme, but then I realized that it wouldn’t be right for Second Exodus. It works very well for most sites that try to convey a fairly simple idea visually, but Second Exodus tells its story in text. The top-down menu system still works best for that. I hope you enjoy this layout with its white background, very dark gray (near-black) text on white background, and red-orange links.
Site visitors often notice the unusual number of road and path images. They remind us of our journey from this life to heaven. Along the journey our path passes through many kinds of paths. Some are roads that can be driven at high speed, others are leisurely country roads, still others are footpaths, often through a forest or garden, intended to gently heal our soul as we pass by. In each one, Rabbi Yeshua teaches us gently without words.
There are also an unusual number of house images. They bring to mind, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” Jn 14:2–3. These houses are the journey’s end where we will live with Rabbi Yeshua for all eternity.
Many of the images are colorful, especially autumn colors. Many of us are in the autumn of life, and many Catholics believe that the last days are coming soon. The colors are bright to remind us that at the end of our journey eternal life will also be colorful far beyond anything the human eye can see. A smaller but still significant number of the images are houses in winter, to remind us that Rabbi Yeshua uses winter to comfort us. On the last day of our lives we can approach earthly death with comfort and reassurance. We have lived through many winters, and after each one came the spring, full of regrowth, renewal, and refreshment, so we will be confident that this time we will also pass into Rabbi Yeshua‘s brightly shining eternal home.
The Journey Home
I drove to EWTN with my beautiful Irene a day early, spent the day in one of its guest houses, and felt fit and ready for any question Marcus or a caller might ask me on-air. Then, several hours before the show, I suddenly came down with a ferocious cold. Coughing and sneezing almost constantly, I asked Irene how I could do a show in that condition. She went to a local supermarket in Irondale and bought several cold remedies. When she returned she gave them to me in high doses and said, “These should get you dried up enough for an hour.” They did, but we didn’t anticipate that they would also make me very light-sensitive. After I sat down at Marcus’ table EWTN’s technicians turned on their very bright studio lights. Oh my Lord, I could barely see. But at that point there was no way to get out of it.
All the way through the show I was convinced that, dull-witted from all the drugs, nearly blinded by the bright lights, I was ruining it. After the show, desperate for a compliment, I asked Marcus how I had done. Tactfully, he changed the subject. That did it. All the way home my beautiful Irene had to listen to me explain that I’d wrecked my entire apostolate, that I’d have to find some other way to serve the Church. We prayed that in some way the Blessed Virgin would make it useful for the Body of Christ.
When we got home I turned on my computer. Wow! More than 100 new e-mails. Every one said in some way how much he learned, how much he enjoyed the interview. I was stunned, but concluded, “Devout Catholics are generous souls. My stats (web site tracking statistics) will tell me more objectively whether anyone actually looked at my site.” I looked at the stats, and looked again. I’d had more visitors the evening of the show and the next day than I’d had in the preceding two months!
The next morning, after Daily Mass, more than 50 parishioners surrounded me to tell me what a great job I had done. My closest parish friends took me out to a restaurant for breakfast so I could tell them all about it. It turned out to be a three hour breakfast. We left only after the restaurant’s lunch crowd started arriving.
The whole thing reminded me of my favorite Blessed Virgin Mary tale, from Merry Olde England I believe. The story is told of a man who had an apple orchard. Each year the man would choose the finest apples from his orchard and take them as a gift to the king. The king loved the delicious apples and looked forward to the gift every year. But one year a blight severely damaged all the apples in the country. The man walked his orchard looking for even one apple that had survived, but saw none. What to do? He couldn’t skip the gift that year, and he couldn’t give the king bad apples. So he took a bag of his apples, brought them to the queen, and explained the predicament. The queen took all the apples, cut out the bad parts, and used the good parts to make a huge apple pie. She and the man brought it to the king, who happily declared that it was the best gift the man had ever brought him!