What is in a name?
Механик = Mechanic механик means mechanic, fitter, engineer, mechanician, machinist, operator
"Mekhanik" in English is "Mechanic"
How did you land up with a name like “Mechanic?” It is of Russian Jewish origin, and in the Russian language Mechanic means a technician or mechanic. My younger brother and I are the two most technically, practically and mechanically minded of our direct family. As far as I can tell all those who bear this surname are of eastern European origin.
When my wife and I visited Auschwitz in September 2021, Poland, in the hall that has the record of over 4,000,000 Jews that perished due to the Nazi genocide there were at least 25 Jewish name called “Mechanik or “Mechanic” or similar spelling.
What needs fixing?
That is an important question to ask. For as some great philosopher said, “The Universe is broken!”
Brokenness can be expressed in many different ways:
While there is scientific and physical evidence of brokenness, I am particularly concerned about the spiritual state of humankind. Everywhere we care to look we not that things are out of order and lay broken to some extent.
According to the Scriptures:
The Hebrew Scriptures and equally the New Testament Scriptures testify to the human condition. It was not always like that, but the more people turned away from God’s design for humankind the worse things got. In the beginning our common ancestors Adam and Eve lived in harmony with their creator and enjoyed fellowship with him. It was not God’s designer intention that humans should be like robots or puppets on a string. He gave us free will and the ability to choose between good and evil. According to Judaism we are given two inclinations––nefesh ha tov and nefesh ha rah. According to St Augustine in his attempt to explain the condition of human nature and the subsequent fall, as “original sin.” In contrast Judaism teaches that babies are born innocent, but as they grow mature they must begin to make moral choices that will lead in them either becoming good or bad people.
How are we to choose to live? According to Judaism to gain God’s favour it is an issue to which of the two inclinations that we yield to––the choice is unto us individually. If we want to be good then we should pay attention to the study of the Torah. In addition one must seek to keep the mitzvoth––commandments, show acts of mercy to our fellow human beings and practice tesuvah––repentance for our wrong doing. According to the Messianic/Christian faith, all of humankind have failed to live righteously and fall short of the glory of God. Salvation or deliverance is only possible through trusting in the ‘finished work of Messiah Yeshua,’ when he died on the Cursed Tree (Cross). All human virtue however good we may be, does not fulfil God’s way of making atonement. We cannot save ourselves!
God’s Part verse Our Part
We are the weaker and He is the stronger and we depend upon him to do his work in the world. In helping to play our part in Tikun Olam––Repairing the World, a partnership needs to be developed, a plan devised and then action begin to be taken.
As we face the New Year let us go forth with courage and hope trusting in God’s unending love.
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