Today's Declaration: I will take up the weapon God has given me, His word will be on my lips, I will prosper and be successful, because that is His plan for me. God causes everything that happens today to turn out good for me, and He always promises me the victory. This is my declaration!

Rabbi David Saperstein tapped as first non-Christian to serve as U.S. ambassador for religious freedom

President Obama on Monday (July 28) said he plans to tap Rabbi David Saperstein as the next ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, the first non-Christian to hold the job, which was created in 1998. As ambassador, the man named as the most influential rabbi in America by Newsweek magazine in 2009, will head the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, and will be tasked with monitoring religious freedom abuses around the world.

A Reform rabbi and lawyer, Saperstein, 66, has led the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism for 40 years, and has spent his career in Washington, focusing on social justice and religious freedom issues. He was instrumental in the 1993 passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which requires the government to show a compelling reason for any action that impinges upon the exercise of religion.

JEREMIAH Chapter 13

Judah’s Corruption.* 1The LORD said to me: Go buy yourself a linen loincloth; wear it on your loins, but do not put it in water. 2I bought the loincloth, as the LORD commanded, and put it on. 3A second time the word of the LORD came to me thus: 4Take the loincloth which you bought and are wearing, and go at once to the Perath; hide it there in a cleft of the rock. 5Obedient to the LORD’s command, I went to the Perath and buried the loincloth. 6After a long time, the LORD said to me: Go now to the Perath and fetch the loincloth which I told you to hide there. 7So I went to the Perath, looked for the loincloth and took it from the place I had hidden it. But it was rotted, good for nothing! 8Then the word came to me from the LORD: 9Thus says the LORD: So also I will allow the pride of Judah to rot, the great pride of Jerusalem.a 10This wicked people who refuse to obey my words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and follow other gods, serving and worshiping them, will be like this loincloth, good for nothing.b 11For, as the loincloth clings to a man’s loins, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me—oracle of the LORD—to be my people, my fame, my praise, my glory. But they did not listen.c

A Last Warning

15Listen and give ear, do not be arrogant, for the LORD speaks. 16Give glory to the LORD, your God, before he brings darkness; Before your feet stumble on mountains at twilight; Before the light you look for turns to darkness, changes into black clouds.f  17If you do not listen to this in your pride, I will weep many tears in secret; My eyes will run with tears for the LORD’s flock, led away to exile.g


18Say to the king and to the queen mother: come down from your throne; From your heads your splendid crowns will fall.h 19The cities of the Negeb are besieged, with no one to relieve them; Judah is taken into exile—all of it— in total exile.

Jerusalem’s Disgrace

20Lift up your eyes and see those coming in from the north. Where is the flock entrusted to you, your splendid sheep?21What will you say when rulers are appointed over you, those you taught to be allies? Will not pains seize you like those of a woman giving birth?j  22If you say to yourself: “Why have these things happened to me?” For your great guilt your skirts are stripped away and you are violated.k  23Can Ethiopians change their skin, leopards their spots? As easily would you be able to do good, accustomed to evil as you are.l  24I will scatter them like chaff that flies on the desert wind.m  25This is your lot, the portion I have measured out to you— oracle of the LORD.  Because you have forgotten me, and trusted in deception,* n  26I now will strip away your skirts, so that your shame is visible.o 27Your adulteries, your neighings, your shameless prostitutions: On the hills, in the fields I see your detestable crimes. Woe to you, Jerusalem! How long will it be before you are clean?p


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