This blog is where I write on matters regarding a Christian lifestyle lived with an acute understanding of what it is that Jesus have called us for. The intention is to challenge the status quo on how we (as Christians) should think about being in the world and the things with which we are confronted, and to guide non-Christians to understand the reasons and intents of those who love Jesus of Nazareth.
About the Name
The Hebrew word "siyach" (שִׂ֫יחַ) is found in the Old Testament. It means deep reflection, a meditation, a groaning, and symbolises an internal struggle with one's inner thoughts and prayers to God. This way of deep contemplation is perhaps disappearing from the Western world as we bounce from one task to the next, fill the gaps with social and entertainment media, and lose ourselves in amusement and escapism.
In the Hebrew, the word "hagah" (הָגָה) has a very similar meaning. They are used together, although hagah usually precedes the use of siyach. Both of these words have are homonyms. Hagah also means to purge, to clear out the dross. This is the first step that needs to happen in the process of deep contemplation: clearing our the things clouding your thoughts: your pains, your struggles, your presuppositions etc. Siyach can also mean to grow, as plants do. Once purged, one grows by coming to God, seeking His will, and asking Him, rather than accusing Him.
History of the Website
This website has evolved from the one which I started in 2009. It was originally intended to be a place where I gather, collect and organise the various things I learned about the Bible and the Christian faith, following a revival of my faith the previous year. My idea was that, it is easy to get caught up in the fervour of a good Bible teaching, but one runs a real risk of losing the significance which that sermon or lesson had for you in the long run if you do not return to the notes and the passage. So I decided to rework and gather some of those notes to a single place. The decision to have such a repository on-line was that other people might come across it and find encouragement and inspiration in what I had learned.
However this proved to be too ambitious (perhaps ironically). I was never able to satisfactorily post the resources I wanted. The next direction I took in was to try and create a community of people who want to discuss matters of faith and apologetics. This also did not happen as expected: while numerous people have commented on my blog posts, that often happens off-site (such as on Facebook or in person). I therefore eventually scaled down the scope of the website to only the blog and a few other pages (some legacy content remains in the depths).
In 2015 I changed the name from (Café) On the Rock to Siyach. The reason for this is that I wanted to move away from something which was intended to be community focussed to something which is more personal. The reality is that over the past few years, my musings over Christianity and current affairs have had the most impact on my audience. I therefore wanted to reflect this (hopefully final) change.
This website was previously known as (Café) On the Rock (I eventually dropped the "café" part).
In 1996—when I was still a pre-teen—I was invited by a friend to attend a coffee bar which was held on Friday evenings at the local church for children and Saturday evenings older youths and young adults. This coffee bar was named "Café on the Rock". During the years in which I attended this youth initiative, I met good people whose teachings were invaluable to my growth and understanding of the faith.
Around 2000, Café on the Rock was closed down. The idea was to go back to the drawing board and rethink priorities, missions and think about a general revitalisation. Shortly after this, in-fighting within the church caused the youth ministry (among other things) to collapse. What followed was a series of lies and cover-ups. For many years afterwards, long time members of the congregation did not fully know what happened. I left the church a couple of years later while still attending confirmation classes and have never returned.
I do not know if that church has since restarted the tradition of having a coffee bar, but the last time I was there, the mural still had the name "Café on the Rock" painted on it.
This website never had any affiliation to any institution, whether it be an organised church body, a coffee bar or anything else. I chose this name (and the tag-line, "Let's Rock with Yeshua!") because it has great sentimental value for me. The good people I met in that church I effectively met through the coffee bar. The spirit and devotion with which most of the various youth workers (who were associated with that coffee bar over the years) worked within that ministry was an inspiration and I am thankful to have had such faithful teachers.