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Grafted In Fellowship is a gathering of like-minded people who understand the importance of following ALL of our Father's Word.  We understand our Father is the "same yesterday, today and forever" and furthermore, the Word of God is a complete writing without contradiction within what is commonly called the Old and New Testaments. 

YES!  We Shabbat!  Or more properly stated, "We observe Shabbat!"  What does this mean?  Shabbat is Hebrew for Sabbath.  We believe the day our Father has "set apart" is the Sabbath!  The Day of Shabbat has not been moved to Sunday!  Shabbat is the Seventh Day...the day we call Saturday.  
 
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FALL FEASTS!
Start planning now for the Fall Feasts!

Here are the dates:

TODAY!!!!
Yom Teruah: Sep 21
Joint meeting with House of David Richmond & House of David Gloucester
Location: King & Queen Branch Library,
Conference Center is attached to back of Library
Time: 3:00 pm

Yom HaKippurimSep 30
Time & Location to be announced

Sukkot: Oct 5 - Oct 11
Bethpage Camp Resort
Click HERE for more info.

Shimini Atzeret: Oct 12
Bethpage Camp Resort

We look forward to joining you for these Appointed Times with our Creator, Father, Yahweh!



MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!


GIFKG has joined/merged with House of David Richmond!


House of David (HODF) meets on the first and third Shabbat (Saturday) of each month.  

On OCT 29, 2016, GIFKG returned to meeting each week at the Smoot Library!  How is this possible with the HODF merger? Easy!

1st & 3rd Shabbat meetings: 
Kevin will be the Lead Teacher 

2nd & 4th (& 5th) Shabbat meetings: 
Rick will be the Lead Teacher


GIFKG Meeting Information:

Meeting Place: Smoot Library

Meeting Time: 1:00 - 3:30 pm 

Why the change back to weekly meetings?  There are those who are not able to travel to the various locations HODF meets -- the distance is too far for them.  In order to make sure Shabbat is still observed, going back to a weekly meeting in King George will allow this opportunity!
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HODF Meeting Information:

Meeting Place: Bethpage

Meeting Time: 9:30 - 11:30 am; 2:00 - 4:30 pm 
Meeting Day: Oct 7,  2017
(1st & 3rd Shabbat of each month)




 
Bearing False Witness

Let’s go back to when Yeshua was taken from the garden to the Sanhedrin.  

Matthew 26:59

Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against [Yeshua] to put Him to death,


What was the false testimony the Sanhedrin was seeking?  Again, we have to put this in the context of the first century audience.

The false testimony they were looking for was, “Yeshua said the Torah was done away with.”

Need proof?  

Go to Acts 6:13

They also set up false witnesses who said, “This man [Stephen] does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law...


The same council brought false witnesses against Stephen.  The false witnesses accused Stephen of speaking against the Torah — meaning the Torah was done away with.

<<Many have also pointed out the false witnesses against Sha'ul (Paul).  This can be used as a third witness for this writing.  Read Acts 21.  But the key verses are:
Acts 21:21

but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. [emphasis mine]


Acts 21:28

crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” [emphasis mine]


Acts 22, continues and Sha'ul addresses the crowd.  He explains that he IS a Jew (not, "was" a Jew).  Acts 23, is about Sha'ul before the Sanhedrin when he used the very Torah against Ananias -- who was not following Torah properly.>>


So, for both Yeshua and Stephen <<and Sha'ul>>, the FALSE accusation was that they said the Torah was done away with — we no longer had to obey the Torah.  

Where does that place the Church when it also agrees with the false witnesses?

Some will say he did speak against the Torah.  Actually, all the instances of Yeshua’s challenges dealt with the “Oral Torah” (traditions).  Look at the challenges again:  Yeshua said, "You have heard it SAID (Oral Torah)…, but I tell you, it is WRITTEN (Torah)…”.  Yeshua was NOT nullifying the WRITTEN Torah, he was nullifying the ORAL traditions.  Once you understand this, the rest of Yeshua’s ministry falls into place.  

Matthew 15:3

He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?


Are you one of the FALSE witnesses against Yeshua? Maybe it is time to reconsider your understanding?

ADDITIONAL POINTS TO PONDER


Updated: 10/30/2016
Note: The 5777 Torah Portions Schedule does not align completely with the "traditional" reading schedule; however, all Torah Portions are included.



INTERESTING QUESTION:

I recently watched the documentary, The Way.  It poses an interesting question: If Jesus was perfect, and He followed the Law -- the Feasts, dietary restrictions, Sabbath -- and we claim to want to live like Him, why don't we do what He did?

The Way

The Truth & The Life
Click the picture above 
 to see the video trailer.


The following is an excellent description of the power of paradigms -- how we approach reading/studying the Bible.

The excerpt  is from, The Jewish Gospel of John by Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg:
Interpreting the Bible is a difficult task. We bring our past, our preconceived notions, our already formed theology, our cultural blind spots, our social standing, our gender, our political views, and many other influences to our interpretation of the Bible. In short, all that we are in some way determines how we interpret everything. This does not imply that the meaning of the text is dependent on its reader. The meaning remains constant. But the reading of the text does differ and is dependent on many factors surrounding the interpretive process. In other words, how a reader or listener understands the text can differ greatly from person to person.


One of the biggest handicaps in the enterprise of Bible interpretation has been an inability to recognize and admit that a particular interpretation may have a weak spot. The weak spot is usually determined by personal preferences and heartfelt desires to prove a particular theory, regardless of the cost. I consider that, having an awareness of our own blind spots and being honestly willing to admit problems with our interpretations when they exist, is more important than the intellectual brilliance with which we argue our position. 


Page 78, Chapter 4


NEW FEATURE: TODAY'S WORD BY DR. SKIP MOEN 

INTRODUCTION:  Who is Skip Moen?

A few weeks ago I was the guest on a local television show.  The interviewer asked me about my background, my development and approach to Scripture and where I am headed.  You might enjoy the result if you want to know a bit more about me.  Here’s the link.     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHJhXUhaMsY

OR you can just CLICK HERE.



We Interrupt This Broadcast for the Following
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

Want to know why I keep pursuing the questions of faith? Want some insight into what I am thinking about history, culture, language and exegesis? Want to know what role I think I need to play in all this? Then take a look at this video interview. I hope you will understand me a little better.


Skip



After reading the TW, be sure to continue reading the comments section online!

09/21/2017
Committed Contradictions: Part 1
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things. 2 Corinthians 6:10 NASB


Sorrowful/rejoicing – Has your life become a reflection of the life of Paul? Do you know both sides of the coin of committed contradictions?


In the last few weeks, God has been pressing me. My fellowship with Job has not graduated from chapter 37 to chapter 38. Just in case you have forgotten, chapter 38 is God’s answer to Job’s plea. From chapter 38 to the end of Job, God takes charge. I want to be ready to hear His answer, but I still feel stuck in the middle of the story.


One of the participants in a study of Romans made a comment that pushed me a little closer to chapter 38. He said, “Our problem is that we don’t get to see our heavenly bank accounts. The only way we get a glimpse of what we’re building is in groups like this. We see people changing. We see lives being reborn. That’s money in the bank from God’s perspective. But we don’t see it except in other people. We think we don’t have much, but God sees something we don’t.”


Paul captured the same thought when he wrote to the Corinthian church.


How can you be sorrowful but always rejoicing, poor but rich, possess everything but have nothing? Answering these questions reveals the dual foundation of our understanding of the world. One pillar of that foundation stands on the Greek concept of control and success. The other pillar stands on the Hebrew view of obedience and wisdom.


Let’s start with Paul’s first contradiction: sorrowful but always rejoicing.


The Greeks believed that the opposite of sorrow was pleasure. We have carried that idea into our world with the word hedonism. The ancient Greek word did not have the connotation of unrestrained physical indulgence that we associate with contemporary hedonism. Hedone is a Greek word for pleasure, but it included the pleasure of what is good, the pleasure of virtue and reason. Hedone covers all kinds of pleasure, from sensuality to ethical self-control. Notice that the Greek culture believed that this wide umbrella called pleasure was the opposite of sorrow. Life without grief, troubles and turmoil was the life of pleasant harmony, laudable virtues and highest self-control. Many of our contemporary culture’s heroes and heroines speak this Greek philosophy of life. They point us in the direction of a world governed by reasonable men and women, built on high values, measured by education, enlightenment and peaceful coexistence.


Sorrow in Greek is lupe. The see-saw of life throws us into constant swings between lupe and hedone, but even though we all strive for pleasure rather than pain and sorrow, life without the valley of suffering could lose its meaning. In order to know pleasure, we must endure pain. This is why hedone is not restricted to sensual indulgence. True pleasure is the antithesis of all painful endurance including the sorrow of misunderstanding and deception, the agony of the mind and the emotions.


Today we stand with one pillar of our cultural experience firmly planted on this Greek foundation. We chase the dream of life without pain and suffering. We pursue hedone, not merely as sensual experience but in the beauty of the arts, the excellence of a trained mind and the achievement of human goals. We know sorrow because we are subject to see-saw human experience. But we almost universally hope to win the lottery and enjoy the “good life”—the life free from the very struggle that makes pleasure so desirable.


The celebrity culture is a testimony to the ultimate inadequacy of this Greek way of thinking. How many times have we seen the same scene played out in the lives of our modern day icons of pleasure? The ones who have everything run into the wall of meaninglessness. Without sorrow and struggle, their lives become an endless and fruitless pursuit of one more encounter with hedone. They discover what Solomon knew centuries ago. Desire remains unsatisfied no matter how large the appetite. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. In the end, “man goes to his eternal home while mourners go about the street” (Ecclesiastes 11:5).


We live in a world that seeks a Greek solution. We call it the “balanced life.” Balance is supposed to provide us control of this see-saw world so that we aren’t affected by the wild swings of suffering. That’s why the Greeks feared emotions. They knew, just as we do, that all emotions push us off the playing field of rational control. Love is no better than heartache when it comes to upsetting reason, although most of us would rather be driven crazy with love than with broken hearts. The fundamental operational commitment of balanced-life thinking is the assumption that reason reins supreme and that control is a rational exercise. So we tell people to get their heads straight or stop listening to their emotions or think before they act. We’re confused. If we really looked at the evidence, we would discover why the Greeks were afraid. Emotions are passive. That doesn’t mean that they sit around in the corner waiting for something to do. It means that we are not the active agents in emotional dramas. They happen to us, not through us. That’s why they are so frightening. They are alien invaders that somehow reside in our best intentions. They have a will of their own and the ability to attack our carefully controlled lives at a whim. In the Greek world, no one is safe from the fate of emotional upheaval. Twenty-five centuries later, neither are we.


Eventually the Greeks settled on the Stoic answer. It is still with us today. If emotions are the real culprits of life, then we can protect ourselves from emotions by disconnecting from feelings. This may require austerity. After all, attachment to things is an open door for impending disappointment. This may also require isolation and insulation. Don’t get too close to anyone. Heartache is right around the corner. We have a common wisdom saying about getting burned twice. In the end, the stoic existence is a neutered world. Freedom from pain comes at the price of denial of pleasure.


The apostles also use the word lupe for sorrow. But they do not see hedone as the opposite of sorrow. The apostolic writings reflect the other pillar of our cultural heritage—the Hebrew/Jewish side. In the writings of the apostles, the opposite of sorrow is not pleasure. It is rejoicing.


We don’t have too much trouble with the Greek view. Pleasure and pain seem so logically opposed that we hardly think about this. Sorrow and harmony feel like opposites.   But how can rejoicing release us from this emotional roller coaster tyranny?   What possible reason can there be for rejoicing in the midst of suffering?


There are answers here but not the ones we might expect. First, notice that the biblical focus is not on escaping sorrow. The focus is on how we respond to sorrow, not how we avoid it. The Bible does not embrace the Greek worldview that emotions like sorrow are destructive attacks on the goal of a balanced life. The Bible does not endorse the myth of balance. In fact, Yeshua tells us that if we are his followers, we can expect trouble. We will live in a world that hates us and seeks to harm us. There is no avoiding it. Yeshua does not offer a way of blissful repose, a spiritual prosperity investment scheme or a life of protection from consequences. The goal of serving God is not balance. It is alignment. If you seek alignment with God, you will be at odds with the world. That entails conflict. Paul reminds us that being a friend to the world means that you are an enemy of God. There is no middle ground here. The reason that followers of Yeshua have sorrow is that alignment with God means living according to an ethic alien to this place and time.


It is worthwhile to ask ourselves if we are really ready to act upon this fact. If our motivation is to find a comfortable fit between who we want to be and the world that we live in, we need to do some serious reassessment. There is a lot more at stake than morality when Paul exhorts us to avoid the patterns of this world. Alignment is going to demand sacrifice and hardship. That’s the background to our opening verse: “as sorrowful yet always rejoicing”. When Yeshua says that His followers need to count the cost, he is not speaking metaphorically. The cost of discipleship is high. The price is walking directly into the path of suffering, not because we seek pain but because alignment with God means pain is unavoidable. If you thought that being a follower meant freedom from consequences, then you did not understand the call. You did not understand the cross. You did not understand what God intended for those who are asked to redeem a broken world.


There are two reactions in the Biblical perspective. The first is passive. Alignment with God causes us to be grieved, to be sorrowful.   Our efforts at alignment bring about consequences. We do not actively seek grief and sorrow. The Greeks were right: it happens to us. But the Greeks thought that such emotions were dangerous disturbances to balance. The follower of Yeshua sees that these are not emotional interruptions; they are the consequences of living for God in an alien environment. Sorrow and grief come as a result of the disparity between the world God wants and the world as it is, and we, His representatives, become the intersections of these two worlds. As long as we are aliens here, these worlds will collide around us. But that collision is not the dungeon of emotional tyranny. It is the evidence that God is at work, dismantling the old and replacing it with the new. The work is painful but entirely necessary.


As a result of this change in perspective, we are not simply the passive victims of sorrow and grief. We are called to active response. This is the other side of the movement. The world in its struggle against God’s intentions brings about sorrow. That conflict plays its hand in our lives. And we respond by rejoicing!


We are not the actors when the conflict between God’s way and the way of the world produces sorrow. We are the audience. It often brings us to tears as we see lives torn apart in this cosmic battle. But at that point, the stage changes. We are called to leave the seat in the audience and step onto the stage. God’s answer to the terror of worlds in collision is—rejoice! How can this be? How can the terrible trauma of life lead us to joy? It cannot! Unless there is a God Who is directing all things toward His purposes!


Imagine the differences in worldview. The Greek post-modern view is a world filled with unpredictability and risk. Emotional trauma only exposes our carefully constructed mythology. We are faced with the frightening reality that we are helpless victims of forces beyond any human control. The Hebrew worldview begins from a completely different observation. God, the same God Who created all that is, is in charge. The universe is not a random pinball bouncing in some cosmic machine. It moves with intentional purpose. Much more importantly, the God Who is Creator has invited me to...


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09/20/2017
Penetrating the Veil
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God inChrist also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 NASB


In – How does one translate without interpreting when the word in question has multiple, ambiguous meanings depending on the context? The perfect answer would be to ask the author what he meant, but, of course, this is impossible. The next nearly perfect answer would be to supply all the possible meanings rather than pick one out of the herd. But that has serious theological consequences. Suppose we take this preposition, en, as agency or instrumentality, rather than sphere of reference. Then we could translate the passage, “Just as God through the Messiah also has forgiven you.” But that would mean that forgiveness comes from God, not the Messiah. In other words, the Messiah is only the instrument of God’s forgiveness. “Jesus” did not die on the cross for your sins. His death was the instrument by which God brought reconciliation to men and it is God who does the forgiving (please, don’t pull out the “Jesus is God” rebuttal here. The verse draws a distinction, not an equivalence). But this isn’t the end of the problem. En as a preposition simply disappears from Greek over time. Furthermore, when it is used in earlier periods, it seems to overlap quite a few other prepositions, in both literal and figurative cases. Apparently the ambiguity of en is built into the word itself. Good luck with picking an English translation.


Why does this even matter? Can’t we be content with “in Christ” rather than “through Christ?” If our Christology (what we believe about Yeshua) is not well thought out, subject to inherited drift or just plain dogmatic, then maybe any word will do. But if we care about the cultural background of the author and the assumptions of the original audience, then the words really matter. And in this case, if Paul is a Torah-observant, monotheistic Pharisee, it is quite unlikely that he would think Yeshua as Messiah is the author of forgiveness. The translator’s choice of “in” pushes us toward Trinitarianism, away from orthodox Jewish thought, and perhaps, away from what Paul intended to communicate.


Translation is verbalized, interpretative bias. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It only means that the hearer in the receptor language is getting a picture drawn in his own way of thinking, not necessarily according to the author’s way of thinking. This is particular acute when the author and the hearer do not share the same historical and cultural paradigms. But that is precisely the case when it comes to translating the Bible. We need constant reminders that we are not native speakers. I don’t mean that we are not Jews. What I mean is that no one on the planet today speaks and thinks like the world of the 10th century BCE or the 1st Century CE. We need authors like Aviya Kushner to force us to admit that the language of the Tanakh is “beautifully unruly, often ambiguous, multiple in meaning, and hard to pin down.”[1] We need scholars like Daniel Gruber to correct our perceptions of biblical Greek and realize that it is Jewish Greek, not Western.[2] But most of all we need to come to terms with the fact that...


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09/19/2017
Good Digestion
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 NASB


Tender-hearted – Have you ever been so emotionally mistreated that your stomach became upset? Have you experienced trauma to the point of getting sick? Then you know exactly what this Greek word is all about. The word is eusplanchnoi, from two other Greek words, eu, meaning “good,” and splanchnon, a word that refers to the intestines. Getting sick to your stomach over an insult, abuse or personal slight is the exact opposite of this word.


In the ancient world, men believed that the seat of emotions was in the belly, the gut. Therefore, this word refers to that area of the body where we feel the upset or the joy. Paul exhorts the Ephesians to demonstrate compassion (tender-heartedness in English) to others. Why? Because compassion is desperately needed to allow disciples to grow. I don’t mean grading on the curve or avoiding red pen marks on student papers. I mean personal empathy with the deepest wounds of another.


Eusplanchnoi is in very short supply in this world. Most of us live with a mild case of emotional indigestion. Despite personal insults, accusations, misunderstanding and errors, we survive. We survive because we tolerate this mild abuse and we learn to self-medicate so we won’t feel the sting. We know things aren’t really right, but we have put up with these small emotional snubs so long and so often that we’ve developed what we think is an immunity. In fact, the disease of shame is still there, waiting for a trigger event to claim its hold over us.


God is not interested in our survival. That isn’t life. That’s just existing. Rocks exist. That don’t feel shame or guilt or joy or pleasure. At least not in our paradigm. But in Hebrew, everything feels. Mountains clap their hands for joy. Stars sing praises to the Lord. The earth performs a symphony of amazement. But we live in the truncated world of Greek rationalism. We have neutered our emotions in order to control our destinies. We survive. What kind of life is that? We know how to mix concrete but we don’t know how to listen to the music of the creation.


When was the last time you...


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09/18/2017
The Roast
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 NASB


Forgiving – How humorous is it to sit around a room and belittle another person? How much laughter do we derive from pointing out someone else’s flaws or embarrassing moments? Why do we enjoy watching another person squirm under the spotlight? One more invasive question. Why is the “roast” is usually conducted among men?


For years I have been troubled by the typical verbal sport of men putting each other down. I see no redeeming value in this kind of humor. In fact, I consider it a form of lashon ha’ra (the evil tongue). Oh, it’s culturally accepted, I know. In fact, some of the worst behavior I ever witnessed was conducted at men’s retreats. Bawdy laughter over another man’s failures is not what I think Paul had in mind.


And, as far as I can tell, this is only the tip of the iceberg in a world where men are taught, by word and deed, to never expose themselves to personal vulnerability. The results are tragic. Men are not happy. How can they be when they face a world, even a Christian world, that humiliates them for their weaknesses? When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he used some very important words; words that should eliminate pitiful attempt at humor at the expense of another person. The first of these words that we must examine is charizomai; a verb that means, “to give freely,” in this context, “to forgive without strings.” The root of this word is chairo, “to rejoice, to experience joy.” That’s the point of forgiveness—to experience the joy of knowing you are right with the world and with God. If that doesn’t happen, then something is wrong. For men to be happy, joy must be present. The tragedy of the male cultural world is the joy probably isn’t even in the vocabulary. Men can be satisfied, successful, satiated, substantial and sagacious, but not joyful. There is a tiny bit of embarrassment associated with David dancing before the Lord or singing as he entered Jerusalem. Those actions might be acceptable in the ancient Hebrew culture, but not today. Today men need to be powerful, hardened and resolute. No tears of exuberance, please.


Paul pushes us toward a different reality; a reality where...


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09/17/2016
Jewish Evangelism?
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19 NASB


Go – John Piper wrote the introduction to Avi Snyder’s book, Jews Don’t Need Jesus . . . and Other Misconceptions. In his introduction, Piper says, “Before I knew this book was being written, I had said to the content team at our web-based ministry, desiringGod.org, ‘I want us to do more for the cause of Jewish evangelism.’” [1] Frankly, that’s all you need to read about Piper and Snyder. Both are quite mistaken.


Piper notes that “Jewish people embraced Jesus in the early days of the Christian church;” and “the first and greatest Christian missionary, a Jew himself and former Pharisee, the apostle Paul, . . .” Piper’s replacement theology defies his emotional affirmation of Jews. Like most evangelicals, he reads Scripture with the eyes of the Greek church fathers and he concludes, as they do, that the Jews rejected the Messiah, that the followers of the Messiah are Christians and that the Jews must convert to Christianity or face the judgment of God. There is nothing new here. We might as well be reading Justin Martyr. It’s just a shame that 2000 years of anti-Semitic teaching is still in place in popular ministries.


Piper ignores that fact that Paul does not call himself a former Pharisee. He ignores that fact that the term “Christian” is never used as a self-identification appellation by the followers of Yeshua. He ignores the fact that “Jesus” is not the name of the Messiah. He ignores that fact that the word translated “convert” is never applied to any Jew but only to Gentiles. HE ignores that fact that the Jerusalem counsel of acts 15 did not struggle with the question of how to make Jews into Christians but rather what to do about Gentiles who were coming into the Jewish community. And he makes no effort to understand what the commission of Matthew 28 really says. Piper is a proto-typical Christian evangelical. He believes he has the answer and no amount of lexical or historical analysis is going to change that.


“Go,” says the evangelically biased translation. But the word is poreuthentes, an aorist, passive participle. It is not an imperative (a command). It is rather a description, something like, “As you have been going along.” In other words, this is not a commission. It is an instruction about how to act in the ordinary course of your journey in life. Evangelicals desperately want “Jesus” to tell them to convert the world, but Yeshua doesn’t say that. He says, “While traveling the road, disciple others.” When a rabbi talks about discipling others, he is not speaking about conversion. He is speaking about...


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