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Jacob Ben Avraham

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  1. SHAVUOT/PENTECOST What’s it all about? This is the time of year when this “Moed” (appointed time) is celebrated. There are three times when all Israelites were commanded to go up to Yerushalayim to celebrate God’s appointed times, Passover, The Feast of Tabernacles, and the Feast of Weeks, known as “Shavuot” or in Greek “Pentecost” which most churches recognize. We all remember the day of “Pentecost” as when the “Ruach HaKodesh” (The Holy Spirit) fell upon all the believers that were gathered in Yerushalayim to celebrate the Feast of Weeks. Yet the “Feast of Weeks” (Shavuot) had been celebrated yearly for the past thousand years, ever since the day that Fire fell on Mt. Sinai. That was the very first “Shavuot”. When Moshe and the People of Israel received the Torah from God at Sinai in the form of two tablets of stone, but this was just the major points of the Torah, there were to be many more details in the making. It really goes back to Egypt when the Israelites were still slaves. YHVH made some promises to His people, and we remember those promises in the forms of the 4 cups of wine during Passover. 1. “I am YHVH, I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians 2. “I will deliver you from their bondage 3. “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 4. “I will take you for MY PEOPLE and I will be YOUR GOD. The first three were accomplished in Egypt, then, at Sinai, on the day of Shavuot, the 4th promise was fulfilled. YHVH took the 12 tribes of Israel and united them as a NATION. The Israelites left behind Egypt, yet “Egypt” followed them across the Red Sea, in the form of mindset and philosophy and in the form of “false gods” This was evident when they made the “golden calf”. It took YHVH one day to take Israel out of Egypt, but it took 40 years to take Egypt out of Israel. When we read Exodus 19:18,19 we read about the day of “Torah-giving” at Sinai. They received the Torah amidst lightning, thunder, the sound of the Shofar and the voice of God. Yet when YHVH finished the 10th commandment, the people said, “Speak to us yourself Moshe, but don’t let God speak to us or we will die” We wonder what would have happened if the people had not said that? Perhaps YHVH would have continued speaking out the commandments in front of all the people. But, YHVH called Moshe up to the top of the Mountain and the rest of the Torah was given. 10 commandments were spoken directly to the people by YHVH, and 603 were spoken by God to Moshe, and later, given to the people In Leviticus, we see the commandment to celebrate Shavuot in chapter 23:15-22. They were to count “7” sabbaths (49 days) and then the next day (day 50) they were to celebrate. This time was harvest time. During the time of Passover, the barley harvest was ready, then 50 days later, the wheat harvest. Two loaves of wheat bread were to be made and “waved” before YHVH (up towards heaven, down towards the earth, then to the North, South, East, and West) Blessing and thinking Adonai for the blessings from heaven (the rain that falls from Heaven down to the earth) blessing all the lands of the earth, those lands that are in the North, the South, the East, and the West. When it rains, the seeds come up, grow, and mature, then harvested. On thing to note, God said; “when you enter the land which I am going to give you and reap the harvest…) So, this was not done while the Israelites were in the wilderness, but when they entered Canaan! And settled that land. The two loaves of bread were to be baked with leaven. We think of leaven as related to sin, but it is also a good thing, leaven is also related to teaching and instruction. Yes, we are all “leavened” with the “sin nature” yet we are also “leavened” by God’s Word, his Torah, which should “grow” inside of us. So just as bread swells up and grows through leaven, so we grow through the “leaven” of God’s Word. Together with the two loaves, 7 yearling lambs were offered, also a bullock, two rams, and a drink offering were presented as burnt offerings. The lambs symbolize “Yeshua” who is the “lamb of God” the number 7 symbolizes perfection. The bullock symbolizes the “strength” of Adonai, the two rams remind us of the substitute ram which took Isaac’s place on Mt. Moriah. Two rams, perhaps one for the Jews and other for the Gentiles, with the understanding that Yeshua was the substitute and redeemer for both Israel and for the rest of the nations (HaGoyim) The drink offering was wine, which symbolizes the blood of Yeshua. One can wonder, why 2 loaves? The number 2 in Hebrew can symbolize “union and division”. It takes 2 entities to make a covenant. In our case, Yeshua and us! Through his death, we are “united” in Him when we trust Him as our LORD and Savior, and we are “divided” from the lost world of perdition. We can look at the number 2 as in the loaves of bread as things that come in pairs; 2 tablets of the commandments, transformation and resurrection, cleansing and purification, death and life illustrated by the believer’s baptism, but it also symbolizes the Jews and Gentiles. We can also see parallels in Sinai and Yerushalayim; Fire came down on Sinai, it also came down at Jerusalem. The fire at Sinai did not touch the people, the fire during Jerusalem’s Pentecost DID touch each and every believer! At Sinai, the “Ruach Elohim” (Spirit of God) rested on Moshe, at Pentecost, it INDWELLED in every believer. At Sinai, the Torah was written on tables of Stone and read to the people, at Jerusalem, the Torah was written on the tables of the heart of believers. Both events took place on Shavuot, both events were accompanied by languages. At Sinai, in Hebrew, at Jerusalem, in Hebrew PLUS many, many other languages (some believe 70) At Sinai, there was a mixed-multitude (Israelites, Egyptians, and perhaps Nubians) at Jerusalem, people from all over the then populated world. The Torah is the teaching, the Holy Spirit is the “teacher” Pentecost at Jerusalem also fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy: “For out of Zion shall come forth the Torah and the WORD of Adonai, from Jerusalem” (2:3) At Sinai, the people were kept away, at Jerusalem, the people were touched by God, the glory of God came to each believer. In Old Testament times, the Spirit of God rested on only certain individuals, such as the Prophets, at Pentecost, it filled ALL BELIEVERS just as today, when a person receives Yeshua as LORD and Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside of that person. Another note; the Hebrew word KOLOT means both “voices” and “thunder”. At Sinai, the people heard “voices” both thunder and the voice of God. At Jerusalem, the people heard the “voices” of those who were gifted with the different languages to preach God’s WORD. A final note, the first fruits of the harvest can symbolize “Yeshua” and the “harvest” itself, ALL BELIEVERS who are part of it. Today, there is still much “fruit” to harvest, so, we must get busy and teach the word and share the gospel with those who have an ear to hear and a heart to accept the same. HAG SAMEACH SHAVUOT HAPPY SHAVUOT/PENTECOST Rabbi Ben Avraham Beth Yeshua Messianic Synagogue
  2. PARASHAH: “B’Midbar” (in the wilderness) NUMBERS 1:1-4:20………………HOSEA 2:1-22……………. LUKE 11:1-12:59 We start the new Torah Sefer called “Numbers” in English because it talks about “numbering” the tribes of Israel. We wonder why the reason of “numbering the people?” for this reason, we need to go back to the beginning to see. In Egypt, Israel was a hodge-podge of undisciplined slaves working for Pharaoh, In Adonai’s timing, He sent Moshe, a “Messiah Type” to lead the people out of slavery to freedom. Once out of Egypt, came the task of taking Egypt out of the Israelites. They came to Har Sinai, ready to become a nation united under YHVH. The Ten Commandments served as the document in stone, a “Ketuba” to solidify the covenant. Now, the United Tribes of Israel under YHVH is established. But this is only the first part. Each Shavuot, we remember the giving of the “Torah in Stone” in the midst of thunder and fire. Now that the nation is established, YHVH takes a count, why the count? As a nation, as every nation in the world has, the Nation of Israel needs an army! So, the count is taken to form the very first IDF (Israel Defense Force). I am sure that many of you that are reading this have served in one of the branches of the Armed Forces of the USA, or of other countries. I myself served in the US Army from 1972-1984. I met many people and learned many things. It was a great experience and a special time in my life. Quite a few of my family members also served in the Armed Forces, the first being an ancestor of mine, Richard Ellis, who served in the Massachusetts Militia in 1640. YHVH takes up the count and “enlists” every man who is 20 years old and older. They will serve in the armies of Israel. All those who are …”20 years old and upward who are able to go to war.” After the numbering, part of the daily life would have been practicing and be learning how to use different combat weapons, back then would have been swords, spears, bows and arrows, and slingshots. Every soldier has a job to do. Today we call these jobs MOS, (Military Occupation Specialties) One of mine was that of chaplain assistant. I was to assist a Catholic chaplain who everyone called; “Father McCarthy” who had a bulldog named “Gus” who also went to chapel with him. 11 of the 12 tribes were called to be fighting men yet the tribe of Levi, was called to be the “chaplain tribe” They were exempt from combat duty, they would attend the Tabernacle and services. There were the kohanim (the priests) who would be the “chaplains” and the “Levites” who would serve as the “chaplain assistants” sort of speaking. So, you are thinking, what does this numbering have to do with us as born-again believers in Messiah Yeshua? We need to again, go back and look at our lives before and after Messiah Yeshua. Before we were just a bunch of “hodge-podge lost sinners in the camp of HaSatan, until Yeshua took us out of that camp by shedding his blood on the cross of Calvary, when we accepted his sacrifice, we were officially “out” of the camp. Yet, there would still be a lot of “HaSatan and worldly influence” still in us, so, like the Israelites, “Egypt” was still in us. When we accepted Messiah Yeshua as our Mashiach and Goel (Redeemer) we were added to the Commonwealth of Israel, now part of the Community, the “Adat” which began at Sinai 3500 years ago. We are the “olive branches” that have been “grafted into” the Olive Tree. Now that we are members and citizens of “HIS People” we also are considered “soldiers” and in the LORD’s Army. However, we fight a different type of war. In this world, armies fight with RPGs, M-16s, Kalashnikovs, Berettas, M-60s, etc. We fight against, “spirits and principalities of darkness” it is a spiritual war against HaSatan and his demons. Only through the Ruach HaKodesh (The Holy Spirit) and the power of His WORD can we overcome the onslaughts of the enemy. He realizes he has lost the war, yet still continues to fight a losing battle, which was won at the cross 2000 years ago. As the Cohenim ministered and had jobs to do, and also the soldiers had their jobs to do, we believers also have jobs within our “Kehilot” and “Adat” (congregations). That is why the Holy Spirit has given gifts of the Spirit so that we might all serve in different capacities in the body of Messiah. In this way, the body grows and prospers. Some of us are rabbis, pastors, who also serve as teachers, also we have ministers in music and praise, finances, maintenance, prayer intercessors, counselors, and the list can go on. The twelve tribes of Israel encircled the Tabernacle, with the tribe of Levi next to it. The “Mishkan” was at the center of the People. So also, YHVH should be the “Center” of our life. The whole purpose of our life is to serve our God and Creator, while loving and supporting our brothers and sisters in the faith, reaching out to others who are lost and teaching Torah to those who have ears to hear and learn. We are “numbered” in the eyes of Elohim, HE knows who we are, He has numbered the hairs on our head, and there is no such thing as “retirement” in the work of YHVH, well, there is…. It is called d-e-a-t-h. HOSEA 2:1-22 How would you react if God spoke to you in a dream or vision, and you knew that is was really HIM, and he told you, “Hey_________ I want you to marry a prostitute!” Weeelll, you would think, was it really God who spoke to me, or was it the pizza I ate last night giving me nightmares? Hosea was told to marry a prostitute, a “wife of harlotry” and…he obeys! Even though he knows that she will be unfaithful to him. He still loves her, in spite of her unfaithfulness. This mirrors the love of God toward his people. Israel was unfaithful to YHVH. They went after false gods and committed “spiritual adultery” yet…the love of our LORD and Savior is beyond measure, and he forgave them, Yes, there was punishment, as all fathers will chastise and punish their sons and daughters, so Israel suffered captivity, banishment from the land, dispersion among the nations, yet we have not been forgotten, we are being gathered together and being brought back to the roots of our faith. Will be unfaithful to our God? Every time we break the commandments, we are in a way, being unfaithful, we are being disobedient sons and daughters, but we have a forgiving Father, King, Savior. If we wander away, let us return to the bridegroom, who awaits the return of his bride. LUKE 11:1-12:59 This portion has quite a few themes. One of the most important is the “LORD’s prayer”. Many people “pray” this in a robotic way, a series of words in repetition, many “pray” this without really thinking, “What am I saying really?” Yeshua wanted his talmidim to do more than just “pray” the words, but to “think and meditate on what the words are saying; OUR FATHER…only believers can call God “Father” it is a special relationship, to a lost person, God is their creator and will be their judge in the future, to a born-again believer, there is a “father-son/daughter” relationship….IN HEAVEN…He lives in the heavens (plural) in Hebrew it is always plural “HaShamayim” He is in the New Jerusalem, in Outer Space, in our atmosphere, in our backyard, in our front yard, in our living room, and living inside of us. KADOSH BE YOUR NAME. His name “YHVH” is HOLY, and being Holy, His name should be spoken with reverence, whether we call him Yod Hey Vav Hey, or Adonai, or HaShem, or Adonai-Yeshua, Is our comportment as believers reflecting the holiness of HIS name? YOUR KINGDOM COME. His kingdom is already here! His kingdom is his activity on earth. His activity began with creation. There will be a political Kingdom that WILL COME down to earth in the future, and we will all be part of it…. YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN… We should always ask for and expect his PERFECT will for our lives. There is his “permissive will” and his “perfect will” We want to be in his “perfect will” as He wants the best for us All the time. GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD… We ask for our daily needs be met, and when we are in his will, our needs will be met, and many times, our wants as well. However, be careful about what we ask for, since sometimes “He will give us want we want, but we won’t want what we get! If you catch the drift! Sometimes, when we don’t ask for much, he gives us that, and much more, and sometimes, he gives us just a “little at a time” to keep us humble. FORGIVE US OUR SINS AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN AGAINST US. How can our Heavenly father forgive us if we hold grudges against others who have offended us? Sometimes, forgiveness is hard, but our Father commands it, and only through the Holy Spirit can we do it Hosea forgave Gomer, his harlot wife, just like YHVH forgives us, LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE. But wasn’t Yeshua tempted? Yes, and he called upon the Father for strength. When temptations come our way, and they will, we should ask that we not succumb to the temptation and pray for an escape route. The enemy preys on our weaknesses, our eyes, our mind, our ears, however, if we have our sight on Yeshua, our mind tuned to HIM, and our ears to hear his WORD, we will overcome temptation. Shabbat Shalom
  3. PARASHAH: “B’Har” (on the Mountain) LEVITICUS 25:1-26:2…… JEREMIAH 32:6-27………LUKE 7:1-8:56 “Give it a rest! Will ya?” I am sure you have heard that expression before, or “Give it a rest already!” People tend to say that when one continues in some theme or argues over a point which is not really worth it, HOWEVER, this is what God is saying when He sees the earth, soil, ground being over-worked; “Give it a rest!” just as people need to rest and take their “shabbat rest” so does the land which really belongs to HIM, we are just using it. This parashah deals with the giving the land a rest after six years of planting and harvesting, on the seventh year the land shall rest. This, agriculturally, is very sound and comes from the mouth of the creator of all the earth. The reason is quite simple to understand. Crops, such as corn, wheat, barley, vegetables, etc., when they grow in the soil, take in nutrients, quite like us, when we eat, we absorb nutrients from the food we eat. Imagine the land after 6 years of planting and harvesting, all those nutrients, minerals, chemicals from the soil, are being absorbed by the crops sown, if the land does not have a chance to rest and renew itself, it will soon become useless, quite void of nutrients…so… a year’s rest will give the soil enough time to replenish itself. We can apply this commandment today, to allow the land to rest after six years of planting and harvesting, even families that have little vegetable gardens in the back of their houses. May they enjoy six years of vegetables and then in the seventh year, just dump compost in the soil, food that goes bad, moldy bread, etc., don’t put it in the garbage, bury it in the garden, do that in that seventh year, and then the next year, plant and harvest again. We can look at ourselves in a similar way. How do we count our lives? By a 365-day year? Or by sabbaticals? If we were to count our years by the day, we could say we have many days and years ahead of us! Really? Do we know tomorrow? (didn’t think so). However, if we were to count our years on earth by counting by sevens? How many “sabbaticals” have we lived? How many “might” be left? If I were to count my sabbaticals, I would have to count starting in 1954. 1954-1960 first seven years, 1961-67, the second sabbatical. I would have to ask myself, what have I done or accomplished in each of these periods of seven years? Anything of importance? Have I influenced other lives? If we count by sabbaticals, we will find that we really don’t have many sabbaticals to live. What do we do in our “seventh year?” wouldn’t it be wonderful to “rest” a whole year? Or just dedicate that “seventh year” to full time ministry work? That would be quite hard to do for those of us that work for a living Who depend on a salary. Don’t think the boss would be very happy to hear us say; “Boss, I want to take off for this year, it is my “sabbatical” I’ll come back next year at the same time!” (Yeah, u-huh, weeelll, you might not find your job waiting for you after a year) but we do have the summers to rest. If we could divide the year into seven parts, we would end up with more or less 1.7 months of time. Why not minister during 1.7 months? Share God’s Word, teach the WORD to others, for those who can take off a year without compromising their jobs, take every seventh year and just take that time to rest, travel, minister, hike, walk, leave behind gospel tracts, visit different churches and/or Messianic synagogues, and may ADONAI supply ALL of your needs. 26:2 “YE SHALL KEEP MY SABBATHS! AND VENERATE MY SANCTUARY. We can look at this in the spiritual realm as well. We are like the crops, which are planted, by Adonai, on this earth, to grow in HIM, reach maturity, yet there comes a harvest time, when we will be harvested to go back home, to our eternal Sabbath’s rest, to enjoy our “Yovel” our time of “Jubilee” to reap what we have sown, souls that have come to YESHUA through our testimonies, believers who have grown to maturity through “teachers of the WORD” it is not enough to give out the WORD of God, there must be the ones who teach it, like seeds that are planted and watered. For this reason, the spiritual gifts are given, and among those are the “teachers of the WORD” the ones who water the seeds so that they may grow, mature, and in the end, harvested. B’CHUKOTAI (in my statutes) LEVITICUS 26:3-27:34 This double Parashah week brings the book of Leviticus to an end. When we read these final chapters, what YHVH is saying is; IF…you follow my torat (teachings, laws) and faithfully observe my mitzvoth (commandments) I WILL…. It is ALL CONDITIONAL, there is nothing without a condition. If we want Elohim’s blessings and good favor, we will follow HIS WORD, accept HIS LIVING WORD (Yeshua) into our life. Yeshua said; “If you love me, ye will obey my commandments” not only the commandments that he spoke about during his life on earth, but also, the ones which he gave to Moshe when HE was with the FATHER as part of ELOHIM. Blessings and curses are a part of life. The world calls them as “good luck and bad luck” there is no such animal! All things that happen in our lives are a result of blessings, curses, and testing’s. Do we want to best of our Mashiach? Then, follow HIS Word, follow HIS mitzvoth, not to bring us salvation, that we already have, but as a RESULT OF our salvation (Yeshuah) And if you haven’t accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as your LORD and Savior, and Messiah, NOW is the perfect time, remember, we are NOT promised tomorrow, we are only one HEART BEAT away from eternity. JEREMIAH 32:6-27; 16:19-17:14 The prophet, before his people went into exile in Babylon, buys a piece of property, Why? Because Adonai has promised him that he will, to buy and sell again, build houses, plant vineyards, AFTER a period of 10 periods of 7 years each. Israel did not honor the sabbatical years, and now, the land will rest for 70 years. HOWEVER…The prophet was promised that Israel would return and repossess the land. We see in reading this parashah that Adonai is a God of judgment, but at the same time, a God of forgiveness Many times, we break HIS commandments, and many times, suffer the consequences for our actions, but there is forgiveness, after the time of suffering and tears, YHVH will never forget HIS PEOPLE. We might go under, but we will never be annihilated. ISRAEL is 4-ever. In chapters 16 to 17, the same thing is being said, YHVH sees all, “For my eyes are on all their ways, they are not hidden from my presence” Who can hide from a Holy God? Yet the prophet says; “O YHVH, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in a day of trouble” He continues to trust in Adonai, even though the rest of Israel goes into captivity. We might live in the midst of idolaters, lovers of the world, yet still we must trust HIM. LUKE 7:1-8:56 We read about the miracles of Yeshua, Even the faith of a Roman Army officer whose servant was sick unto death, and the servant was healed. What is required of receiving a miracle? Faith! Not blind faith, but faith in the healing powers of Adonai, The Roman believed being far away, yet his servant was healed. He did not see Yeshua, yet he believed. Yeshua said, “blessed are those who do not see, yet believe. Yochanan the Baptizer was recognized by Yeshua, as one of the best “talmidim” since he endured imprisonment, and even death, for the sake of the truth. Could we do that? Do we even dare to answer? Time will tell. Shabbat Shalom………… PIC: "The Moon Maiden" (who watches over her beloved as he sails the sea, looking for safe haven) (a pic of my wife Judith, when she was 17 years old. and indeed, I do need to be watched over)
  4. Parashah "Emor" (say)

    PARASHAH: “Emor” (say.) LEVITICUS 21:1-24:23……………. EZEKIEL 44:15-31……………. LUKE 5:1-6:49 In this parashah study, we see more details on the sanctity, Holiness, and comportment of priests. When we read in chapter 21, we read that YHVH is very particular and pays much attention to the physical. We might think that God only looks upon the heart, but thousands of years ago, the physical appearance was important, some with any kind of imperfection; like a broken foot, blind in one eye, hunchback, dwarf…It doesn’t say that they could not serve in the tabernacle or later on, the temple, but they couldn’t offer sacrifices. We must remember that the priest was a kind of mediator between the people and YHVH, Today, YESHUA the Messiah is our mediator, between us and the Father, and Yeshua was/IS without sin, perfect in all ways, both inside and outside. We may not know what he looked like physically, but we can know that he didn’t have any physical deformities, being God in the flesh. We also see regulations on marriage, touching dead things, etc.…the priest was in a class of his own. The priest was “God’s man” his “representative” on earth, so, as the priests had a higher calling, their expectations were much higher than the regular “Joe Israelite” There is a repeated phrase: “You shall not profane my Holy Name, I am YHVH (Yod Hey Vav Hey) “ when we act contrary to His commandments, expectations as “b’nei Elohim” (children of God) we ARE profaning HIS Holy name, be it in words, or deeds. If the Israelites were observed by God through a looking glass, then the priests were observed by God through a microscope! If you get my drift! How are WE seen by our HOLY, SINLESS, GOD? Our standards are based on the Torah of Adonai. HIS standards should be OURS as well, yet we always come up lacking, because of our inborn sin nature. Thank Adonai for YESHUA, who bridged the gap caused by sin, to be our “high priest” before a Holy God, although our sin in dark and ugly, and we should see ourselves as such, because it is reality, through YESHUA, Our Heavenly Father sees us as “white as snow” or “white a wool” and now, under the new covenant, we are all “high priests” in his eyes, should not our expectations be as a “higher calling” just like the priests of old? We must also take into thought the phrase “Kiddush HaShem” which is “honoring/blessing/Holiness to the Name of Adonai” There are two Hebrew words which are almost the same; “Halel” and “Chilul” “Bless/praise” and “profane” in Hebrew, they are just three letters. The difference is the first letter; the “Hey” and the Chet” the difference between the two is just a line which is about one millimeter. What can we say? There is just a fine line between “blessing” the name of God, or “profaning” the name of God. We must be careful of our words, and deeds, lest we “bless” with one breath, and then take another breath and “profane”. The idea of the “priests being holy, for I AM Holy” is there in this parashah. The difference in the words, “Kadosh” (Holy) and “Kadoshim” (holy ones) is that when YHVH talks about HIS Holiness, the word “Kadosh” has the “vav”, the letter “o” that letter symbolizes the “nail” whereas our “holiness” lacks the “vav” since we did NOT receive the “nails” only YESHUA did, who received them in our place! Chap 23: “HaMoedim of YHVH” (The feasts of the LORD). Here the special days of worship and assembly are mentioned, the first being the “Sabbath Day” it is a “day of Rest” a time of worship and coming together to worship Adonai and learn from HIS Word through His teachers, pastors, rabbis, evangelists, etc. The Sabbath day was NEVER changed to Sunday. Not that it was bad to come together on Sundays, any day of the week is a good time to come together. It just became customary for the believers in the first century to come together on the “first day of the week” like it is mentioned in Acts, to fellowship and eat together, but the believers ALWAYS considered Saturday, the Sabbath, the special and the official appointed day for rest, worship, and Bible study. For me, the Sabbath and Sunday are both special days to worship God and study his word with other believers. The Passover and days of unleavened bread, symbolize Messiah Yeshua in our lives as the “Lamb of God” who took away the sin of the world, and who is also, the “Bread of Life”, who was “roasted in the fires of judgment for our sins, whose blood was shed for our sins, once and forever. The “matzah” bread without leaven symbolizes Yeshua as the Bread of Life, without sin (leaven). And his blood is symbolized by the wine. The Feast of First Fruits and Shavuot; counting 50 days from the time of Passover, to celebrate the blessing of a good and fruitful harvest of grains, (wheat and barley, the main crops). On Shavuot or “Pentecost” two leavened loaves of bread were made, each weighed about 5 pounds, were “waved” by the priest before the LORD in a special ceremony. These loaves symbolize the blessings of YHVH, they could also represent Israel and the Nations, “2” is the number of “unity” and “division” we are all “united” to YHVH by Messiah Yeshua and have been “divided” or “separated” from the lost world of sin, YET, we still have our sin nature, noted by the leaven in the loaves of bread. It was also on “Shavuot” that the Torah was given on Mt. Sinai The Feast of Trumpets, “Yom Teruah” symbolizes the start of the “days of Awe” when we reflect on our own relationship with Adonai. How do we measure up to God’s standards? Lacking? Fall short? I would say YES. 10 days later, comes “Yom Kippur” the day of “covering” or “Atonement” which was when the high priest came into the Holy of Holies, once a year, to commune with Adonai. This day points to Calvary, when Yeshua’s blood “atoned” for our sins, past, present, and future. It is a day of fasting, repentance, and soul-searching. It is a day when we are accustomed to dressing in white. Feast of Tabernacles, or “Sukkot” is a joyous festival, when the “harvest” is in, kind of like “Thanksgiving” in the US of A. The time when God came to earth in human form as Yeshua, born in Beit Lechem, being raised learning carpentry and Torah, a teacher of Torah, healer of diseases, a raiser of the dead, and a sacrifice for our sins. This festivity was for 7 days, “7” the perfect number, and a special “8th” day “Hoshanah Raba” when the customary reading of the Torah starts over again from Genesis. It also symbolizes when the Israelites lived in tents, “temporary dwellings” as our bodies are “temporary dwellings” for our souls and for the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. Chapter 24: The Menorah, the lamps were lit from dusk to morning, the menorah was made of gold, which symbolizes perfection. The flame/light symbolizing Yeshua who is the “Light of the World” and the “all-consuming fire” and also, all believers are the “lights of the world” reflecting the SON light! “Table of Shewbread” which was in the Holy place across from the Menorah. Has 12 loaves of unleavened bread, representing the 12 tribes of Israel, again, Yeshua the “Bread of Life” Hey, maybe that was where the idea of the “bagel” came from, bread with a hole in the middle, who knows! Maybe! This bread was for Aaron and his sons. EZEKIEL 44:15-31 In this prophetic book, the Prophets sees into the future, the future priests of the third temple, (to be built in the near future) the descendants of “Zadok” will be the priests in the millennium, the same high standards are for these priests as well. It also states the job of the priest: “And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean” This should also be the goal of every Torah teacher, rabbi, minister, pastor, etc. to teach the WHOLE TORAH in their place of worship and study, so that their sheep might follow their shepherd wholeheartedly and secure. LUKE 5:1-6:49 Yeshua speaks to the people, from a boat. After teaching, He and Kefa go out a way out on the lake and the result is a boat-load of fish. Kefa hears, yet protests, “We fished all night and caught nothing” yet still obeys and “reaps the harvest” many fish, the take home to sell and eat. With simple obedience through faith, we can all reap the blessings that YHVH has in store for us. A little bit of faith, trust, and obedience will bring in a big catch. Now, Kefa is promoted to be a “fisher-of-MEN” rescuing men’s souls from the grasp of HaSatan and bringing them into the Kingdom. Are you a fisher of men (and women) or are you still content with the small “fishy” things of life? You decide! Shabbat Shalom
  5. Parashiot "Achrei Mot" and "Kadoshim"

    It is customary for some to spell out "God" without the "o" because in the original language, there are no vowels in the name of God, but it is just out of custom, I have spelled it both ways, the original and the "most holy" name is YHVH which comes from the Hebrew word "Havayah" which means "the essence of existence" so, you can see the letters HaVaYaH (YHVH)
  6. PARASHAH: “Achrei Mot” (after the death) and "Kadoshim" (Holy Ones) Lev 16:1-20: 27; Amos 9: 7-15; Luke 2:1-52 This Parashah speaks of the solemn Moed (appointed day) of Yom Kippur. The “Day of Redemption” also known as the “day of Coverings” (Yom HaKipurim). It was the only day of the year when the High Priest could enter into the “Most Holy Place” (Kadosh HaKadoshim) the “Holy of Holies”. This is where the “Aron HaKodesh” (Ark of the Covenant) was kept and where the “Shekinah” (Glory of YHVH) hovered over the “Kaporet” (the covering of the Ark of the Covenant, looking down upon the Mercy Seat. The Parashah starts out with; “ Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the Ark, lest he dies” Was this perhaps the reason why Nadab and Abihu died? Because the went into the Holy of Holies with their own fire? That is another thought. The high priest had to put on a special tunic, all white, of fine linen. Thus, today it is customary during Yom Kippur to wear all white, symbolic of how YHVH views us through Yeshua our Messiah, but ONLY through Yeshua, can we be viewed as “Holy unto the LORD” The High Priest had to sacrifice a bull and a ram for the sin and burnt offering. The bull could signify the “strength” of G-d, representing also Aaron and his family. and the ram, to remind us of the ram sacrificed instead of Isaac on “Mt. Moriah”. The ram symbolizes YESHUA who took our place on the cross of “Mt. Calvary” Two goats were also present; one served as a “scapegoat” and the other the “sacrificial goat”. We see Yeshua symbolized in both goats. One was sacrificed as a sin offering, symbolizing Yeshua as our “sacrifice of sin” because we are sinners. The other goat carried symbolically our sins, and was sent off into the desert, (Azazel) as “Yeshua took our sins away from us”, and as far as the East is from the West, so our sins will be separated from us. Aaron then took a censor of hot coals from the brazen altar, and he took incense and put the incense on the hot coals, then, with the smoking incense, he went into the Holy of Holies and put blood on the Mercy Seat. We see our Messiah Yeshua in all of this. To have fellowship with our creator, we need to start at the cross, where our sins were judged. This is the brazen altar. The incense symbolizes our prayers that go up before our Heavenly Father, through our prayers, we have fellowship with HIM. The blood that is sprinkled on the mercy seat symbolizes the blood of Messiah, that was shed for all of our sins. Under the mercy seat are the commandments that were given on Sinai. These were broken by our rebellion, and the blood of Messiah “covers” the sins of us all, BUT, more than that, they have been REMOVED, once and forever. Chapter 17 speaks on the “HaDam Kodesh” The sanctity of blood. Since blood symbolizes life, then, YHVH has prohibited the drinking of blood. One of the reasons that carnivorous animals are not kosher to eat is because they eat flesh, and flesh contains blood. “You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood” 17:14 Chapter 18 deals with sexual sins, there is no need to go over them since they are self-explanatory, much is common sense, yet in today’s societies, there is a perverse sexual expression, and philosophy of “if it feels good, do it” this is a lie straight from the pit of hell, straight from HaSatan! Sex should be expressed in the bond of matrimony and in this sense, it is entirely holy and sacred, because there is a commitment between the husband and wife, which (should) last a lifetime. And this is where the enemy attacks, Satan hates families, that’s a fact. chapter 19 deals with quite a variety of commandments; “You shall not profane the name of the LORD thy YHVH; You shall love thy neighbor as thyself, I AM YHVH”. All of the 613 commandments of HaShem have to do with honoring YHVH and our relationship with our fellow man. When we honor and love the LORD with all of our heart, we are honoring and not profaning the Name YHVH, and when we honor and treat our fellow man well and try to establish a good relationship with him or her, we are, in a matter of sense, keeping the whole Torah, (in a general sense). When we are a bad witness before our fellow man, when we are an embarrassment because our sins are brought into the light, then, we are profaning the name of YHVH. ” you shall not curse the deaf nor put a stumbling block before the blind” (19:14) When one talks about another in a negative sense or spreading an “untruth” the “other” cannot hear what is being said, it is as if that person is “deaf”. When we misrepresent the Truth of God, teach or spread false teaching whether on purpose or by error, we are in a way a “stumbling block” before someone that does not know Yeshua “The blind” (spiritually). “You shall not sow your field with mixed seed” (19:19) because each plant takes away from the soil nutrients, planting a mixture of crops will very soon deplete the soil of all of its nutrients, making the soil useless. “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor TATTOO any marks on you I AM YHVH! That is quite a statement. I am of the opinion that if God wanted us to have tattoos on our bodies, we would have been born with them. Why can’t people be happy with the bodies God gave them? Why do they have to alter them with drawings and markings? But such was the custom of the pagan cultures like the Canaanites, Moabites, etc., and it continues today. However, the blood of Yeshua covers, cleanses, forgives ALL sin, even the sin of tattooing, yet tattooing is one sin that will leave its mark forever! (unless it is somehow removed) ” uncovering the nakedness of ….” Is another way of saying, “having sex” chapter 20 takes up that topic again along with other topics? Adultery, under Torah command, resulted in the death penalty, if this were effective today, how many couples would be true to each other, really? Perhaps many more than we imagine. It seems like sexuality is a serious issue with our creator. If it is serious with Him, it should be with us as well. When we follow the Torah of Adonai and put his commandments into practice with all of our heart, we are consecrating ourselves to Him, as “Kedoshim and Tzadikim” (holy and righteous ones) however always remember, that “SALVATION” comes ONLY through FAITH IN YESHUA! It is our faith in HIM that makes us Holy and Righteous, and this relationship leads us to Holy and Righteous works, which are obedience to his mitzvoth (commandments) AMOS 9:7-15 Amos Ha Navi (Amos the Prophet) speaks through the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) saying that Yes, Adonai will seek out and punish Israel for their sins, and will search out the kingdoms of the earth where they are at, many will and have been destroyed because of their rebellion, HOWEVER, not all, there is always a remnant which is faithful, and true to the God of creation. Amos looks into the future, and sees that Israel, and all of God’s children, both born as Israelis, and born in the Gentile nations will come together as ONE, (echad), …”Behold, the day is coming says YHVH…” we look into the future millennium and see “paradise restored” and real and eternal peace and Yeshua will be on the throne as KING and LORD of all the world, what a time that will be for ALL of us. LUKE 2:1-52 Do we forward to the future return of Yeshua? In this chapter, Simeon and Anna looked forward and greatly rejoiced to see Mashiach, even as a baby. He was presented at the Temple and was circumcised, Simeon and Anna recognized him as Mashiach, even before he grew up and performed miracles. Simeon said; “My eyes have seen YESHUAH! Who is a LIGHT (HaOr) to bring revelation to the Gentiles? It is God’s perfect will that Yeshua be revealed to ALL PEOPLES, both those of Israel and those outside of Israel, so that HIS BODY might be complete, a “Kehilah Kadosh, Kol HaAm” (A holy congregation of all people) Rabbi Ben Avraham
  7. PARASHIOT: “Tazriah” (she bears seed) and “Metsora” (infected ones). Lev 12:1-13:59 Lev 14:1-15:33 Prophets: 2 Kings 4:42-5:19 Brit HaDashah: Luke 17:11-17 This week we have a double Torah portion; “Tazriah” which talks about when a woman gives childbirth, and “Metsora” which talks about “Tzara-at” which most Bibles interpret as “leprosy” but in actuality, the word “Tzara-at” covers ALL skin afflictions and diseases, including the dreaded disease called leprosy, medically known as “Hanson’s disease. Go to google “images” and see it, but be sure you don’t eat anything before hand, it is quite horrible. Leviticus Chapter 12 covers childbirth, and YHVH deems “unclean” a woman after giving birth, and she has to stay put in her tent, 7 days plus 33 days. All together, “40” days, “40” is the number for testings’ and trials. Why, we might wonder, should a woman be rendered “Tamei” or “Unclean” because of giving birth? Only YHVH has the pure and true answer. It isn’t that she has sinned by giving birth, on the contrary, she has given life! Some rabbinical midrashim (commentaries) state that there is both “death” and “life” during childhood. “Life” is the new baby, yet “death” because the woman loses fluids (blood) which symbolizes life. Not that the woman actually dies, but the “lost blood” however much or little, still symbolizes life. For a female child, the purification time is longer, 2 weeks plus 66 days, altogether, “80” days, the number “8” is the number of “new beginning” If we remember when Yeshua was born, Miryam and Yosef brought two turtle doves to be sacrificed after she went through her ritual cleansing, Yosef brought Yeshua to be circumcised on the 8th day. Chapter 13 deals with two kinds of “Tzara-at” skin diseases (all kinds, both major and minor) and “mold & mildew on clothing. In ancient times, the person with a skin disease had to be isolated outside the camp until he or she got better, and was “healed” there were probably some ointments available then, probably primitive, the priests were not doctors, but acted as “judges” who would “judge” the person “healed” if the disease was temporary, today we have many kinds of skin ailments, Psoriasis, Eczema, simple rashes caused by allergies, scabies, ringworm, etc., were all based under the word “Tzara-at” when the person was well and the disease was no more, the person would offer a sacrifice and return to the camp. Here again, we see a form of “death” (cast out, rejected) and “rebirth” entering into the body of Israel once again after healing. But let’s take a look at this a step further. When talking about symbolism, one could symbolize the “Metsora” (the one infected) as “Yeshua” in the following manner; In the beginning of Chapter 13, “and YHVH spoke unto Moshe and Aaron saying; when a MAN shall have in the skin of his flesh…” Since every word in the Torah is put there for a purpose, the fact that the word “Adam” (man) is used is important. It could have been “Ish” or “Enosh” but it is “Adam”. This also has meaning. If we were to take the acronyms A.D.M (since that is how “Adam” is spelled in Hebrew) and apply a bit of meaning to the letters “Alef” “Dalet” and “Mem” we can see “Adam’ “David” and “Mashiach” two titles of “Mashiach” are “Mashiach HaAdam Sheni” (Messiah Yeshua, the Second Adam) and “Mashiach Ben David” (Messiah Yeshua, Son of David) Our Messiah accepted and brought upon himself all of our “leprosy” of sinfulness, which affects not only our exterior but also our inner being. He was nailed to the cross “outside” of the city, just as one afflicted with leprosy was cast outside of the city. Then he was made whole once again, arising on the third day. Isaiah 53 says that he bore our grief, carried our sorrows and was stricken and smitten of God, just as a leper is in the same condition, in a state of sorrow and smitten with a deadly disease that consumes the flesh. We remember that the Roman whips “ate up” the flesh of our Messiah, all for our sakes. In another way, the “Metsora” is US! We have been afflicted with “spiritual leprosy” being our “sinful nature” at birth. When the pure soul from Heaven is introduced into the human body, it becomes part of it and partakes of the sin nature. Both the body and the soul suffer, the body ages, contracts diseases, etc. and without the “born-again” experience, we are “cast outside” of the city, we are forbidden entrance into the Kingdom of God. When we become members of the family of God through Yeshua, He acts as the “priest” who “heals” us. In ancient times, the priest had to visit the leper to see if the leprosy had left the body, “leprosy” being “any kind of skin disease. The priest had no power to heal, only to observe and pronounce “tahor” (clean) or declare “Tamei” (unclean). However, Yeshua HAS the power to heal, as Isaiah says, “By His stripes we are healed” of the “Tza-arat Nefesh” (the leprosy of the soul). So, we are the “Metsorat” that are HEALED, and integrated into the body of Messiah, and HIS Kingdom someday soon. This is an eternal promise! Clothing also had to be checked as well. God knew about the dangers of mold and mildew long before man found out. People had to carefully check the fabric of their clothing, the sewing together of the yard was called “woofs” and “warps” and if there was a red or green discoloration, it was “mold and mildew” (also called “tsara-at”) A person’s house could also be affected with “tsara-at” with mold and mildew, if it was, the walls had to be scraped and the affected stones removed and replaced. How does this affect us spiritually? There is a “spiritual leprosy” that is rebellion against YHVH, living in contrary to His Word, doing what is “right in our own eyes” disregarding the commandments as if they were “only for the past” claiming that “Now we are under grace” and not guided by the Torah. Grace and Torah always co-existed, and they still do! Abraham was saved by grace, and this was before the written Torah. Even though many commandments cannot be followed today, there are still many that CAN BE followed, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater! If we were to analyze our spiritual lives and maturity honestly, how many of us would have to cry out “Tamei” (unclean) and go run and hide? Yet there is forgiveness and a new beginning in our Messiah Yeshua, who paid our sin price and penalty on Calvary’s cross once and for ever. We can “come in the camp again” when we confess of sins before a Holy God, and accept His forgiveness, and accept his inner “healing”. Some rabbinical commentaries claim that “Tzara-at” came upon people’s skin, clothing, and houses because of ‘Leshon Hara” (evil tongue) because of spreading lies, slander, gossip, backbiting, backstabbing, etc. Take in account “Miriam” who was struck with “Tzara-at” when she spoke against Moshe! Yet Moshe interceded on her behalf, and she was healed. The same way Yeshua heals us when he goes on our behalf before the Father. We should be careful when speaking and only speak positive things about others, if another is in error, go to that person personally and confront the person in love, not talk about what he or she is doing wrong with others. No wonder we have only ONE mouth, yet two EARS. Listen carefully yet speak little. 2 KINGS 4:42-5:19 We read about “Naaman” the Syrian who was healed of his Tzara-at, whatever kind he had, He was healed, not because of anything he could pay Elisha, but what he did in OBEDIENCE and FAITH. He went and bathed in the River Jordan, when down 7 times, again, “7” is YHVH’s perfect number, it kind of symbolizes baptism in a way. When we came up the seventh time, he was healed of his disease. We can become clean inside when we obey God’s Word, and accept Yeshua as Savior and LORD, Yeshua is the “Living Water” and when we “bathe in Him” we become clean, our “Tamei” becomes “tahor” LUKE 17:11-17 Not the official Parashah reading, but this deals also with the healing of 10 who suffered with some sort of skin ailment, which made them “Tamei” and “outcasts”. Yeshua healed them all, only for the asking, YET only ONE returned to say “thanks”. Do we take our Salvation for granted? Do we think we deserve it? Remember that only through the grace of YHVH does he allow us into HIS family. Do we really live like “B’nei Malach?” (children of the King) or….do we succumb to the deceiver and lair of all times? Do we praise and thank Him for so great a gift such as YESHUAH (Salvation)? do we thank and praise YESHUA for YESHUAH? Something to think about. Shabbat Shalom .............Ben Avraham
  8. PARASHAH: “Shemini” (Eighth) LEVITICUS 9:1-11:47………………2 SAM 6:1-7:17……………. MARK 14:1-72 Aaron and his sons had been preparing for the priesthood for seven days. So, we see a period of “7” days, that Aaron and his sons have been in the Mishkan, preparing, praying, being “ordained” by YHVH to take on the ministry of High Priest (Aaron) and “priests” Nadav, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Is it any surprise that we see the number “7” here, since it is God’s number of perfection? The Hebrew letter “Zayin” has the equivalent of the number “7” in gematria. “Zayin” symbolizes “weapon”. The Holiness of Yeshua is our “weapon” against HaSatan. On the “Eighth” day, the sacrifices begin, the whole ministry begins, and YHVH himself will ignite the first fire on the brazen altar, saying, “I AM HERE, in your presence” Chapter nine tells of the animal sacrifices that the priests offered. They symbolize “Yeshua” who took our place and paid our sin debt. The brazen altar is the “Cross” upon which “Yeshua” was judged for our iniquities. The animals being sacrificed symbolized that. But wait a minute, something is about to go wrong! Inauguration day is about to smudged. The football is about to be fumbled. The waiter carrying the wedding cake is about to slip and fall. Vs 10, “Then Nadab and Abihu, “b’nei Aaron” (sons of Aaron) each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane (Tamei) fire before YHVH which He had not commanded them. So, fire went out from YHVH and devoured them, and they died before YHVH” Many Bible students look for a meaning in all of this. What was the “Esh Tamei” (profane fire)? The Torah is not crystal clear on that, so we can only assume, or come to an educated guess taking into account “clues” Perhaps, Nadab and Abihu were not asked or commanded to offer incense PERIOD! Or at least at that time, perhaps they thought, “Yo bro, this might be a good idea! Let’s try this!” well, they got fried! Many believe that they can come to God “their own way” or might think; “there are many ways to get to God” YHVH has set the record straight, the ONLY way is through YESHUA, through simple FAITH. Yeshua said; “I AM the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE, NO ONE comes to the Father but by ME, (John 14:6) Another thought is that perhaps Nadav and Abihu had too much to drink, that they might have been drunk when they offered the incense, that they were not in their right minds, with clouded reason, so the “incense offering became “profane” their “holiness” was marred, so, being a God of Holiness, HE could not accept the sacrifice, and so, HE burned THEM up! We can understand this concept by Moshe’s words: ” By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people, I must be glorified” We see that the LORD speaks and says; “Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you when you go into the tabernacle of Meeting, lest you DIE”. The other thought is that they made their own “fire” instead of taking the fire from the brazen Altar and placing the incense on IT. This also could be “profane fire” that would symbolize that entrance to the Holiness of YHVH could be from OTHER sources, other than the Brazen Altar, remember, it symbolizes the cross and Yeshua was crucified on it to pay our sin debt. By making their own fire, they were in a way saying, “We can come to God by OUR OWN WAY. Not the “Yeshua” way. If this is indeed the meaning, perhaps they erred in their reasoning because they were not in their right mind, because of “strong drink?” so we are back to the “strong drink prohibition” Well, it makes sense, when ministers serve in the pulpit, behind the Bema, and they are teaching Torah, they need to be in their right mind, clear thinking and not have their reasoning clouded because of alcohol or other drugs. It isn’t that alcoholic beverages are prohibited to believers, they are prohibited when we are “Ministering” before the LORD and others. Wine helps the digestion of food; did you know that? But many are of the opinion that it is better to abstain at all times, so as “not to fall” into temptation of “overdoing it” by taking “one cup too many.” The other aspect of this Parashah is Chapter 11. It talks about the food we are to eat. This is where some believers get upset, start misinterpreting scripture, by saying; “God has cleansed ALL FOOD” so now we can eat “porky the pig” and dive into the seafood restaurants and indulge in lobster, crabs, oysters, clams, crawdads, shrimp, and other marine cockroaches, which God never intended for human consumption. “ALL FOODS” are what HE has ALREADY DEEMED as our FOOD! Which are the animals listed in Lev 11! Not what “man” has come up with to be “food” as if God’s menu is lacking! Many will go to Acts 10 to the vision of Sh’mon Kefa and say, “You see, God told him to eat all those creepy, crawly things!” but Adonai was using food as a “focal point” to get Kefa’s attention, it wasn’t about food at all. Kefa only ate “kosher’ food, from Lev 11, He knew it, God knew it, so, in a way, God is saying to Kefa, “The same way you feel about all these creepy crawly beasts in the sheet, you won’t touch them, you feel that way about the Gentiles! He says, “Don’t call unclean, what I call Clean” in other words, “I have “cleaned” the Gentiles! (it wasn’t about food at all). ALL PEOPLES from ALL OVER THE EARTH, are considered “Tahor” (clean) when we come to Yeshua as LORD and Savior, not just the Israelis from Israel. So why the prohibition of many of the popular “food” items we see today; like pork, pork sausage, ham, shellfish, catfish, shrimp, etc.? God made our bodies and our physical makeup, so as our creator, HE KNOWS what should go into our bodies and what needs to stay OUT. Those animals are “scavengers” and will eat almost ANYTHING dead or alive, many have toxins in their fatty flesh, high levels of cholesterol, etc, so, even though all that Italian prosciutto, and hard salami looks and smells great! Resist it! Chose turkey sausage and bacon rather than the pork sausage and bacon. Yeah, Yeah, it doesn’t taste the same, Yo dude, deal with it!! Yes, we are free to eat anything we want to, it is a free world, we are in a free society, and we have free choice So did Adam and Eve, and see where it got them, they ate something they weren’t supposed to have eaten! If we want optimum health, and feel good, stay with God’s diet, if we want something less than God’s best for our health, go for Porky P. Our LORD and God wants the best for our Spiritual health as well as for our physical health, that’s why he gave us his Torah. Read it, study it, and learn from it, put it into practice. 2 SAMUEL 6:1-7:17 We see another case of “good intentions” which ended up bad. The Aron Ha Kodesh (Ark of the Covenant) had been in the hands of the Philistines for some time, YHVH cursed them and caused them to return it to Israel. David received it with glory and honor, HOWEVER, He did not transport it CORRECTLY, to Yerushalayim. It should have been brought back on the shoulders of the Levites, bearing it on the appropriate staves. Instead, it was on an ox cart being driven by oxen. As we read the story, the oxen stumbled, and in order to keep the Ark from falling off the cart, Uzzah put out his hands and touched the ark, held it to keep it from falling. ZAP! Uzzah was fried! He meant well, he was sincere, but…he was sincerely WRONG. NO ONE was allowed to touch the Ark, NO ONE! Only the Levite priests, and they could only carry it on poles. Today, many might seem to want to come to the LORD on THEIR STANDARDS, doing THEIR OWN THING. If today’s times were like the times back in the old days, back in the old Bible days, we might all have been ZAPPED! Years ago Yet we serve a loving, forgiving God, who will put up with our issues, ways of doing things, our tongues, attitudes, etc., By the death of Yeshua our Mashiach, we have free access to the Throne of Grace. But “Kodesh” (Holiness) still comes ONLY through YESHUA. MARK 14:1-72 YESHUA and his talmidim celebrate Passover. The original Passover in Goshen consisted only of roasted lamb or goat, bitter herbs, and unleavened bread. But during this time of fellowship, the “last Supper” a few more elements had been added, the “sop” (Charoseth) which is a mix of apples, nuts, cinnamon, and honey, and wine. He has his twelve together, Y’hudah Ish Kariot, made his exit, the worse mistake a man can do, He lived and followed Messiah for three years and learned nothing. The unleavened bread symbolized his body, which was/would be broken, for THEM and for ALL OF US. The wine symbolized his Blood, which was shed/would be shed for THEM and for ALL OF US. The shepherd was struck, and the sheep were scattered! Yet 50 days later, the shepherd returned in Spirit form and HE is STILL WITH US. Yeshua rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and returned with his Holy Spirit. Indeed, the curse of sin and death had been conquered, Baruch HaShem!! As Yeshua submitted to the will of the FATHER, right there in the Garden, let us also be guided by the perfect will of YHVH, in ALL areas of our life. Shabbat Shalom
  9. PARASHAH: “Tzav” (command) LEVITICUS 6:8-8:36………. JEREMIAH 7:21-8:3………MARK 13:1-37 We continue to look at the “Korbanot Shel Mishkan” (the sacrifices of the Tabernacle) which are… “The Burnt Offering” (Korban Olah), “The Grain Offering” (Minchah), “The Peace offering” (Zevah Shelamim), the “Sin Offering” (Korban Chatat), “The Trespass or guilt offering” (Korban Asham). One thing about the burnt, sin, and guilt offerings, there had to be “Teshuvah” (repentance) or “a change of heart”. A “Turning away from sin” like when Yeshua told the woman who was caught in the act of adultery; “Go and sin no more!” (by the way, I wonder why the crowd didn’t bring the man?) I mean, if the woman was caught in the “act” the man was there too! Yet he was not brought forth. The burnt offerings symbolized the recognition of our sin nature and a willingness to give oneself to God. The sin and trespass/guilt offerings symbolized the offeror’s recognition that “I have sinned” in a specific way, unintentionally, and forgiveness was sought. If the trespass was some property damage or stolen, the person offering the animal has to first “compensate” the person offended, and “restitution” was in order. Yet it was restitution plus 5 more of the item, plus a fine besides the offering. Very strict. It would be good if those tried and imprisoned for theft, would have to pay back the victim the value of said property doing labor in prison, and not be released until the compensation was complete. Or…the state would pay the victim, and the offender would have to pay back the state with said labor. Good idea! Let’s vote on it! The grain and peace offerings were to “give thanks to God” for blessings received or anticipated. Every time people go to the park and fire-up the BBQ grills and invite guests to eat hamburgers, hot-dogs, sausage, tostadas, grilled peppers, they are, in a way, lifting up a “peace offering”. These offerings were not without fine flour, olive oil, salt, and Frankincense. I guess a good outing in the park could not be complete without garlic bread brushed with a bit of olive oil and salt. Salt in the bible symbolizes “incorruptibility” and what a better way to lay down to rest at night than to light an incense stick of Frankincense. We can see Yeshua in all of these offerings. The clean animals symbolize Yeshua as the “perfect sacrificed lamb of God” the grain offerings symbolize “Yeshua the Bread of Life” the peace offerings “Yeshua, the Prince of Peace” (Yeshua Sar Shalom). The olive oil the “Ruach HaKodesh” (The Holy Spirit) and the Frankincense “Our prayers and supplications” which go “up” like burning incense. In this Parashah we see “Ner Tamid” or “Esh Tamid” (the eternal flame or fire) the burnt offering roasted all night and the ashes that remained in the morning were removed to a clean place outside the camp. The fire symbolizes purification, destruction, heat, light, and judgement of sin. It can also symbolize our zeal and love for God and for the things of God, service to Adonai, I am sure you have heard the expression “being on fire for God!” The things we did yesterday are gone, and the things of today remain to be done. We can consider the “ashes” the things of yesterday, and the things of today, are being done, and the things of tomorrow, “yet to be done” YHVH takes into account ALL things done for His name’s sake, honor, and glory. The ashes of “yesterday” can be our “future rewards” in Heaven in the world to come. Chapter 8 in the highlight of the Torah. The Torah (Genesis – Deuteronomy) has 304,805 Hebrew letters, 79,977 words, and 5845 verses. Lev 8:15 is the “midpoint” with the word “Yesod” (foundation or base). It talks about Aaron being anointed as high priest. He is symbolically a “type of Messiah.” “to anoint” is “m sh k” in Hebrew letters. The word “Mishkan” (Tabernacle) also has those letters. The Mishkan was anointed for the place of worship. In the high priest, we have the mediator between man and God, and now “Yeshua” is our “Cohen Gadol” (High Priest) The blood of the animals used to anoint Aaron and his sons was sprinkled on the horns of the brazen altar and poured out at the “base” or “foundation” of the altar, pointing us to Yeshua who is the “Chief Corner-stone” or the “Foundation Stone” (Yeshua HaYesod) It is also interesting to see that the first word in the Torah is “B’reisheet” (in the beginning) the middle was now know is “Yesod” (foundation) and the last word in Deuteronomy is “Yisrael” giving us the message that “Yeshua is the Foundation of Israel” but where is “Yeshua” in Genesis? If we take the last letters of the first three words of Genesis “B’reisheet Bara Elohim” we get the word “Emet” (truth) and one of Yeshua’s titles is “The Truth” the “Alef” “Mem” and “Tav”. Yeshua said; “I AM the Way the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6) . Aaron and his sons were anointed with blood on their right ear lobes, their right thumbs, and the big toe on their right feet. This can symbolize our “hearing” (Shema) and putting into action what we hear from God’s Word, our “doing” through mitzvoth (good needs, following the commandments) and “walking” according to HIS direction, walking a “Torah based life-style, or “Halacha” as some put it. This was the ministry of Aaron and his sons, and also our ministry as well. JEREMIAH 7:21-8:3; 9:22,23 Adonai speaks to Yirimyahu (Jeremiah) telling Israel to repent and return to God, yet God told him that Israel would not listen to him. So sad, that was the case. Sacrifices were continued, but without true repentance. Kind of like the Mafia big bosses murdering and gunning down people, and then going to mass at church and confess before the priests (if they even did that). Israel was taken into slavery to live in Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, only many years later did a remnant return to Israel. We need to get back to God today through true repentance, from the heart and not just with words. Adonai did not ask for sacrifices when he took his people out of Egypt, only obedience to his voice and words, yet Israel failed to obey. The “Korbanot” were HIS way to point his people back to him through Yeshua, the “Emet” (Truth) and the foundation stone from the beginning. MARK 13:1-37 Yeshua tells his Talmidim about the future. “The end is near” he tells them. Yet many will say; “Well, that was thousands of years ago, and the end is not in sight!” We need to remember that our perspective of time is not the same perspective of Adonai’s time. If one thousand years are like a day, then, in reality, time is of no matter to YHVH. Yeshua is saying that “Many will come in my name”. We see that it is true with many false Messiahs, false cults, false doctrines, “adding” to the Word of God saying, “Yeshua isn’t enough, you need…” Many cults, denominations change God’s Word to fit their beliefs, mis-interpret original words. When we listen to preachers and teachers, we must ask ourselves, “Is this what God’s Word is really saying?” does it support solid Bible doctrine, if it does not, then it is mere commentary, “man’s opinion, nothing more. I believe that the best way to understand God’s word is to get back to the original language and culture to understand what the original writers were saying. Yeshua is coming back, are you ready? We must live and prepare our lives as if Yeshua will return in the far future yet be ready if He returns tomorrow. It is good to make plans, yet YHVH has the final say. MESSIAH YESHUA IN THE PASSOVER From EXODUS 12:1-13 Vs 2; “THIS MONTH SHALL BE THE BEGINNING OF MONTHS, IT SHALL BE THE FIRST MONTH OF THE YEAR TO YOU” So where does January 1st fit in? It doesn’t! This was an invention of man, to change the calendar that God had already given us. God operates on a lunar calendar, and the Gregorian calendar uses the sun. But if we are going to understand the events and dates that events occur in the Bible, we need to be familiar with the lunar calendar. The month of “Nisan” which usually starts in April, is the “New Year” for us. This year, 2018, “New Year’s Day” was on March, 17th. Passover starts on the eve of March 30th. Vss 3-5; ON THE TENTH OF THIS MONTH, EVERY MAN SHALL TAKE FOR HIMSELF A LAMB......................YOUR LAMB WILL BE WITHOUT BLEMISH...FROM THE SHEEP OR FROM THE GOATS. Something tremendous is about to happen, a joyous occasion, an event of “Thanksgiving” sort of speaking. In the USA we are accustomed to celebrate “Thanksgiving” in November, with turkeys, and we invite all family and relatives over to eat. In Egypt, the Israelites were slaves, and were about to be freed. This “Thanksgiving” occasion called for “lambs” perfect lambs without illness, or deformities, one of the names of “Yeshua” our Messiah is the “Lamb of God” who was also, and still is “without blemish” what happened on the 10th day of the month of Nisan two thousand years ago? Yeshua entered Jerusalem on a donkey, to be known as Messiah, to heal the sick, and teach the Torah, to be known by the people, everyone greeted him with palm branches and shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David” and five days later shouted “Crucify him” (well, not all shouted that) many wept and many understood Daniel's prophecy that the “Messiah would be “cut off” (crucified) in Daniel chapter 8. This date is commonly known as “Palm Sunday” in the Christian communities. “Palm Sunday” was on the 17th of April this year. Vss 6-7; YOU SHALL KEEP IT UNTIL THE FOURTEENTH DAY OF THE SAME MONTH, THEN THE WHOLE ASSEMBLY OF THE CONGREGATION OF ISRAEL SHALL KILL IT AT TWILIGHT. AND THEY SHALL TAKE SOME OF THE BLOOD AND PUT IT ON THE TWO DOORPOSTS AND ON THE LINTEL OF THE HOUSES WHERE THEY EAT IT” A day begins at “twilight” when the sun goes down, it is the start of a new day. So, five days after the lamb was in the houses, being inspected to see if it had any blemishes, it was slaughtered at “twilight” and the blood was placed on the two side beams of the houses, and on the top beam. When we see Yeshua in this, we see him in Jerusalem, comes in on the tenth of Nisan, then on the 14th day of Nisan, five days later (ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, and fourteen) he is crucified on the cross of Calvary, for our sins, once and for all time, The blood on the doorposts and lintel form a “cross” we can imagine the head of Yeshua at the top, wet with the blood from his head where the crown of thorns was, and the two side posts where his hands were nailed, and the blood ran down to the base of the cross. Vs 8; AND THEY SHALL EAT THE FLESH ON THAT NIGHT, ROASTED WITH FIRE, AND WITH UNLEAVENED BREAD AND WITH BITTER HERBS, THEY SHALL EAT IT” We often see this done in parks, on BBQ pits, families bring hamburgers, hot dogs, fajitas, sausage, etc. and roast them over an open fire, well in Goshen, the lambs were roasted over open fires on spits, we look at the symbolism of “fire” and we are reminded of “heat, light, destruction, purification, zeal, and judgment. Yeshua was “roasted” on Calvary's cross in the fire of judgment, being judged for all of our sins, past, present, and future. Yeshua is also known by the name “The Bread of Life” who was born in the “House of Bread” (Beit-Lechem) or in English “Bethlehem” it is only fitting that the “Bread of Life” would be born in the “House of Bread” Unleavened bread symbolizes “without sin” leaven symbolizes “sin” as “leaven or yeast” puffs up the dough, and so we get bread made with flour and yeast, sin often makes us “swell or puff up with false pride” . The “bitter herbs” remind us of the slavery that the Israelites went through in Egypt for 400 years. We are reminded of the “slavery to sin” being bound to Ha Satan. We don't know exactly what kind of bitter herbs were used back then, but today, we use horse radish. The bitterness of sin is passed when we come to Yeshua and accept Him as LORD and Savior. Vss 11-13: …...” YOU SHALL EAT IT IN HASTE, IT IS THE LORD'S PASSOVER, FOR I WILL PASS THROUGH THE LAND OF EGYPT ON THAT NIGHT AND WILL STRIKE ALL THE FIRST BORN OF EGYPT, BOTH MAN AND BEAST, AND AGAINST ALL THE GODS OF EGYPT, I WILL EXECUTE JUDGMENT, I AM YHVH. NOW THE BLOOD WILL BE A SIGN FOR YOU ON THE HOUSES WHERE YOU ARE, AND WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD, I WILL “PASS OVER” YOU, AND THE PLAGUE SHALL NOT BE ON YOU TO DESTROY YOU WHEN I STRIKE THE LAND OF EGYPT” This is the night when the Egyptians get paid back for all their abuse and cruelty. In one night, Egypt was ruined. And a few days later, Egypt's army found itself on the bottom of the Red Sea. Egypt never quite recovered from the blow. Adonai-Elohim was saying to Pharaoh “I AM the LORD God, and YOU are not ME!” nor were the gods, any kind of gods, if anything, demonic entities. Each plague was against one of the many gods. “darkness” came against “Ra” the sun god. The death of the cattle came against “Apis” a god with the head of a bull. The Nile turned to blood, against the Nile goddess, and so forth. But the “Blood Standard” would “save” all who found themselves behind the closed doors of the houses where the blood was. Even the Egyptians Many who “woke up and smelled the coffee” sort of speaking, who realized they were on the losing side, if they put blood on their doors, they would also be saved. This shows that we serve a just God who is not racist. He accepts ALL people of ALL NATIONS, and RACES. Who would trust in the shed blood of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus the Christ) that is why we see a “mixed multitude” that left Egypt together with the Israelites, it consisted of Egyptians and Nubians (people from Ethiopia and Sudan) who were living in Egypt at that time. The LORD would PASS OVER those houses where the blood of the lambs was placed. Today when we trust in the one-time sacrifice of Yeshua (Jesus) who shed his blood on Calvary's cross, we are saved from eternal destruction, eternal death, and separation from our creator. Just as the blood standard was in effect back then, it is still in effect NOW, and always will be. HAG SAMEACH PESACH (Happy Passover 2018 to all)
  10. PARASHA: “Vayikra” (and he called) LEVITICUS 1:1-6:7………………ISAIAH 43:21-44:23……………MARK 11:1-12:44 We start the book of Leviticus, this part of the Torah has to do with the Mishkan (the tabernacle) now ready to be used, and the sacrificial system that will be instituted within the Mishkan. All the sacrifices point to and illustrate MESIAH YESHUA (Jesus the Christ) who he is and what his one-time sacrifice means to us as believers. Even though the sacrificial system was completed with Messiahs’ death on Calvary, it is still worth while studying the meaning of it all, since it is a very integral part of the Torah. The first thing you must do is read over the scripture verses, from Chapter 1:1 through 6:7. Now we are ready for a discussion. The whole idea of a “Korban” (sacrifice) is to generate the idea of “substitution”. The sacrificial system involves; a gift, a death, a substitute, a renewed relationship. “The gift (HaMatanah)” comes from the person offering, which is an animal. The animal, which would be a goat, a lamb, a bull, or a bird, would be killed and the blood splattered on the altar (Mizbeach), the animal would be a “substitute” for the person who offers it. The sins of the person “transfer” to the animal. Through the sacrifice, the relationship between the offeror and YHVH is renewed. But remember that the “sacrifices” are just symbolic of what they really mean, Which is Messiah Yeshua taking on ALL of our sins and him being nailed to the cross, and shedding his blood for our sins, giving us a “renewed” relationship with Him, through a “born-again” experience. There were 5 kinds of “korbanot” (sacrifices); 1. The burnt offering (Olah) 2. The sin offering, 3. The guilt or trespass offering; 4. The Peace offering (Korban Shelamim) 5. The grain or meat offering (Minchah). Each one identifies our relationship with Messiah Yeshua. THE BURNT OFFERING (Olah) This involved an animal sacrifice, the animal was completely burned on the altar and the ashes taken away and buried “outside the camp” the head, the inner organs, and the legs were burned as well. The pieces of the animal were arranged on the altar and burned. The head could symbolize our “thoughts” the inner organs could represent our “inner being, the heart, and the legs, our “walk” all of these were “offered up” to YHVH, thus symbolizing our “complete surrender to God in all that we are and have. The altar as you remember was made of hard wood overlaid with bronze and had a grill in the middle, and under the grill was earth and stones. Wood was laid on the grill and the animals were cut up and laid on the grill and burned. This reminds us of Yeshua who was “sacrificed” by his own free will on a WOODEN cross and was consumed by the “fires of judgment” He was judged for OUR SINS. The animal’s throat was cut and the blood was poured out and splashed on the altar. The person offering the animal showed that he/his family was “offering themselves to the LORD”. It also symbolizes our awareness of our sin nature. This sacrifice originated in Genesis, with Adam and Eve, Abel offered an “Olah Korban” so did Abraham, when he offered up the ram instead of his son Isaac, so did Noah, when he left the ark. THE SIN OFFERING (korban chatat) This also involved an animal sacrifice. It symbolized our specific sins that we commit by mistake, (active) or something we do not do, or forget to do (passive). In this korban, the person would offer the animal as a sacrifice, the person would place his hands on the head of the animal, transferring his “sins” into the animal, which would be the “substitute. The animal’s throat would be cut and the blood splattered on the altar. The priest would offer on the altar the fat, the liver, and the kidneys of the animal. These could symbolize our inner being. In this, the person confessed their sins and they did it by free will, and the animal symbolized Yeshua who paid our sin price in full. THE TRESPASS OR GUILT OFFERING; This involved the same process, only that the person who committed an offense against another would also have to bring compensation for the wrong doing, either in payment in silver or gold, or payment with animals. When we offend another person, be the person a brother or sister in Messiah or an unbeliever, we need to “compensate” the sin, if we can do it, sometimes, we cannot, if the sin is against the person’s character, no amount of money can repay the damage done, only a sincere confession in humbleness. So, we need to watch our “walk”. THE PEACE OFFERING (Shelamim). The word “Shelamim” comes from “Shalom” (peace) this was an enjoyable sacrifice in which both the priest and the offeror and his family would enjoy “roast beef, goat, or lamb” This was a “thankfulness” offering for blessings received. The animal was offered in the same way, only the meat was shared between the priest and his family, and the offeror and his family. We see this kind of “korban” even today in the parks, when families go out and BBQ ribs (hopefully beef and not pork) chicken, beef sausage, steaks, etc., many times they invite friends and family to enjoy in the “grilling and BBQ” they also have bread, or tostadas, tortillas, drinks, salad, etc. to accompany the meal. THE MEAL OR MEAT OFFERING (Minchah) this was a non-blood offering on the altar, in this korban, fine flour was offered, mixed with olive oil, frankincense, and also, the flour was made into cakes, rolls of bread, or flat breads (tortillas) but made without leaven or honey. These usually accompanied the peace offerings, to make the meal a “feast”. The fine flour symbolizes “YESHUA THE BREAD OF LIFE” the oil THE RUACH HA KODESH (The holy Spirit) the frankincense, OUR FELLOWSHIP THROUGH PRAYER. The animal itself represented Yeshua who gave his life for us, and took upon himself ALL of our sins, past, present, and future. The word “KORBAN” (sacrifice) comes from the Hebrew verb KARAV which means; “to come near” We can only come near to YHVH through the shed blood of Messiah Yeshua, who was the “sacrificed lamb” the Bible says that “without the shedding of blood, there can be no remission of sins” Our sins were “atoned for once and forever. That is why the “new covenant” or “renewed” covenant is a BETTER covenant, because there is no more need for animal sacrifices, because YESHUA took their place. ISAIAH 43:21-44:23 YHVH speaks through the Prophet Yeshayahu and is complaining that Israel has forgotten about God, they no longer bring sacrifices, but are engrossed in sin, He explains that craftsmen will use their skill to make idols, that have no value, what a waste of craftsmanship! They can take iron and make a plowshare, swords, and even an idol. Is the fault in the iron? Or in the craftsman? Iron is just a material from the ground, the craftsman can turn it into something for usefulness or for idolatry. The worker in wood can cut down trees, make perhaps a plow, a wheel, use the wood for fuel for fire, or make a wooden idol. Is it the wood’s fault? or does the fault lie with the craftsman? Even today, we can use money either to buy food for our family, pay our bills, or buy and sell drugs! Does the fault lie in the money? Or the use of it? We can use money to honor or dishonor God and those around us, the choice is ours. God cries out to Israel; “I SHALL WIPE OUT YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS LIKE A CLOUD, AND YOUR SINS LIKE A MIST, RETURN TO ME AND I SHALL REDEEM YOU” (44:22) The promise still stands. If we “teshuv” to HIM, HE will save us! MARK 11:1-12:44 There are several themes in these verses. Yeshua is in all of them. One theme is that when he went into the temple in Yerushalayim, he threw over the money tables and chased out the money changers, saying “My house is a House of prayer but you have made it a den of thieves” there are many synagogues and some churches that refuse to conduct business on the Sabbath or on the day of worship because they are reminded of that verse. However, Yeshua called them “thieves” these money changers were exchanging foreign money such as Greek “drachmas” and Roman “Denarii” for Israel “Shekels” in order to buy sacrifice animals. Many times, the money changers would not honor the exchange rate, and would “cheat” the clients. If 12 Mexican pesos equaled 1 US dollar, it would be like accepting the 12 pesos and giving the person 75 cents! Perhaps these money changers were cheating in this way. In 12:29-31 Yeshua quotes the “Shema” Hear O Israel YHVH is our Elohim, YHVH is ONE (Echad) and he continues, Love Elohim with all your heart, being, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. Yeshua just summed up all the 613 commandments in two verses! Because all the commandments have to do with our relationship with YHVH and our relationship with our fellow man. That is the purpose of Bible study, to learn of these commandments and put them into practice, so as to deepen our relationship with Messiah Yeshua and to be a good witness to our fellow man, and…bring lost mankind to a saving relationship with Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ) Shabbat Shalom………………. rabbi Ben Avraham
  11. PARASHA: VaYakhel (and he assembled) and P’Kudei (Accountings of) EX 35:1-38:20 and EX 38:21-40:38…………….1 KINGS 7:13-8:21…………. MARK 9:1-50 These are the final chapters of Exodus (Shemot) and Moshe talks about honoring the Sabbath day, the prohibition of lighting a fire on the Sabbath, gathering an offering to build the tabernacle and it’s furnishings, the appointment of persons to make certain items, and finally, the building project in detail and the outcome. All these are worth talking about. ” Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to YHVH” ” You shall kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath day.” These are very important statements, commandments repeated from before. Even before the building project begins, YHVH wants his people to know the work days, rules, and regulations. In this “work-a-holic” world in which we live, the believer should know when to stop and rest. YHVH commands it, for our own good and mental soundness. Too many people work all seven days a week, perhaps 10 or more hours each day to make a “lot-of-money” only to spend the extra money at the hospital when they have a nervous breakdown because of all the extra work hours. The Sabbath is a day to spend with the family, at the family’s place of worship., be it at a synagogue or at a church. It is a time to spend with the LORD, to worship, learn from HIS WORD, and fellowship with other believers. It is a time to leave the things of the house alone, perhaps eat out, and return home at the end of Sabbath. It is intended as a “day of rest” so, “rest” means exactly that, “rest”. When we look at the commandment; “Thou shalt kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath” we need to ask ourselves, what was fire used mainly for? Probably for cooking! To boil water, prepare food in different ways. Manna fell from the sky and the Israelites perhaps ate it as is, or boiled it, made it into bread, they probably roasted goats or lambs from the flocks, heated ovens for “Manna flat bread” It was a task and a half to start and maintain a fire, cooking, preparing and all that. So, YHVH is saying STOP! just for the Sabbath, and take a break from it all. Stop slaving over the hot stove and rest, prepare something on Friday, that is why HE gave a “double-portion” of Manna on Friday. Today, how can we put that “mitzvah” into good use without “overdoing it” as some Jewish sects do, not, turning on a light switch, not driving a car, etc. Well, to start, we can prepare meals for Saturday on Friday, and on the Sabbath, just heat them up. Another idea, eat something light like salad and sandwiches. Many churches and synagogues have the custom of eating out or eating “in”. Some Jewish synagogues have “Oneg” a lunch prepared for the members and guests after service. Some church Sunday school classes go out to eat as families after services on Sundays. Why not? Give the house-wife or house-husband a break from kitchen duty! Don’t they deserve it? Anyway, the Sabbath was made for man and woman, to “rest” and take it easy, and mediate on YHVH. The rest of these two Parashot have to do with the Tabernacle. The order to build it, to take up an offering of materials, to assign workers, to “build it” to “put it all together” and finally, to invite YHVH to come down and dwell in it, which he DID, at the close of the book of Exodus. So, go ahead and read the chapters. How can we look at this in light of our lives as born-again believers in Messiah Yeshua? The “tabernacle” today is YHVH’s dwelling place which is each and every “Kehilah” (congregation) where born-again believers meet to worship the LORD, singing praises and teaching his WORD. The tabernacle is also the bodies of all believers, with the Ruach HaKodesh dwelling inside of us! YHVH has given each and every believer some gift and talent to “maintain” the “Mishkan of Believers” as YHVH chose different individuals to build the furniture of the Mishkan, so HE has selected different believers with different talents to maintain the Kehilah. So, what does every article of tabernacle furniture symbolize in relationship with Yeshua and believers? 1. The Mishkan itself with the curtains, poles, staves, etc. = A “fence” to keep holiness in and ungodliness out! Once inside, you are in the holy place, where YHVH dwells, and where the priests minister. Our Kehilot are “holy places” where the LORD dwells and where we join for fellowship with other believers. 2. “Aron HaKodesh” (The Ark of the Covenant) the “heart” of the Mishkan, where the tablets of the commandments are kept, together with a pot of Manna, and Aron’s rod. It symbolizes the believer who “should” shine like “gold” both inwardly as well as outwardly. We should be mindful of the commandments to put them into action as “unto good works” Yeshua is our “Manna” the “Bread of Life” and the Rod of Aron as our “Rod of authority, our high priesthood of believers” the “Shekinah glory” which rested above the mercy seat is the everlasting presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. 3. “The Table of Incense” it symbolizes our prayers as they go up “like smoke” unto the heavenlies, even to the Throne of Grace. One thing to point out, all the furniture with the exception of the Menorah, was made of Acacia wood overlaid with gold, the wood symbolizes the humanity of Yeshua, and the gold “purity”. The incense was made of various ingredients but making an exact replica of the original substance is forbidden, most worshippers today that use incense use a mixture of Frankincense and Myrrh, which is readily available. It is a relaxing aroma that helps one to go to sleep at night. 4. “The Golden Menorah” was made of one solid piece of gold, hammered and formed into a seven-branch candlestick. It had seven lamps which were filled with olive oil and burned all night. In the morning, the priest would come into the Holy Place and trim the wicks and re-fill the lamps with olive oil. We look at the Menorah as “Yeshua Ha Or Olam” (Yeshua who is the light of the world, the Eternal Light) we are the 6 branches that are on either side of the “Shamash” the helper lamp which is in the middle, Yeshua said, “Ye are the light of the world” that means “every believer is a light in dark places” but our light comes from Yeshua” we have no light of our own, like the moon, moon light is sun light reflected off the lunar surface. The oil symbolizes the Ruach Ha Kodesh, (The Holy Spirit) and the wicks are “us” we need to be in contact with the “oil” in order to have brightness. 5. “The Table of Shewbread” made of hard wood overlaid with gold. Had 12 loaves of bread, symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel. The table and bread symbolize “Yeshua HaLechem Chayim” (Yeshua the Bread of Life) Even the “unleavened bread” of Passover which symbolizes “Yeshua” who is the unleavened bread” 6. Outside the holy place are two items, the bronze laver and the Brazen Altar. The bronze laver was a huge bronze bowl filled with water. The priests would wash their hands and feet after offering blood sacrifices. It was made of bronze which symbolizes “judgment” when the water was still, the priest would see his reflection in the water. When we look in still water, or in a mirror, we see our reflection, we see who we are, sinners saved by grace, yet we still have the sin nature, and Yeshua went through “judgment” in our place, we have been “washed” in his blood and made clean. Remember that Yeshua washed the feet of his talmidim. 7. “the Bronze Altar” (Mizbeach) (pronunciation = “ach” like Yohann Sebastian Bach) not “beach” which is by the ocean, NO! was made of hard wood overlaid with bronze, symbolizing the humanity of Yeshua who was judged in the “fires of our sin”. The animal sacrifices were performed on this altar, the blood was poured out at the base of the altar and the animals roasted on a grill. Think of the Mizbeach as a big BBQ pit. The brazen altar symbolizes the cross of Messiah Yeshua, the animals symbolizing Yeshua himself who poured out his blood for us sinners, who incurred “our judgment” in his own body. We see the materials that went into building the tabernacle; gold, silver, bronze, fine linen, wood, blue, purple, scarlet, and animal skins, They all have symbolic meanings; Gold=purity (of Messiah) and the goal of every follower of Mashiach, Silver=redemption (Yeshua redeemed us from the curse of sin) bronze=Judgment (Yeshua was judged for our sins, Fine linen= our new nature and our walk with the LORD, wood=Humanity of Messiah Blue=Heaven, Purple=Royalty, (we are royalty in Messiah Yeshua, part of his royal family) Scarlet=blood. Animal skins=the covering of our sins before, but now, our sins have been erased, not just covered. At the end of Exodus, in 40:38 it says that YHVH settled upon the Mishkan in a cloud. Now his presence is visible. Messiah is still with us in the form of the Holy Spirit, WE are the living Tabernacles and the Spirit of God lives in our heart, as well as within the “Kehilot” of believers who come together for worship. There is much more to say, but I better end here, or I’ll be here all night and it is already past midnight. 1 KINGS 7:51-8:21 We see here a repetition of the same building project, but on a larger scale. Solomon builds the first “Temple” for the presence of YHVH. Wherein the tabernacle was a mobile structure (kinda like a mobile home) the Temple was a fixed place. He employed thousands of workers, so there wasn’t much unemployment in Israel during that time. It took many years to build whereas the tabernacle was finished in a matter of months. It takes time to build a ministry, many years sometimes. But if the goal is to share/teach the Word of God to others, to minister HIS word, then the LORD will bless that work, no matter how small or how big, whether a “mobile” ministry or a “fixed-in-one-place ministry, Adonai will bless and it will last. MARK 10:1-52 Here, Yeshua teaches on divorce. This is a big subject, and a sad subject because many couples do not take marriage seriously any more. “Love” is a “commitment” it is a “conscious choice” to care for a person, it has nothing to do with “feelings”, yet “feelings” can lead two people together in order to “make a “love” commitment” Divorce was allowed out of the “hardness of man’s heart” in biblical times, it was instituted by the man, never the woman, all is different now, get tired of your mate? Bored? Run to the lawyer and get a divorce, look for a new mate, someone more exciting and full of life. This is the mentality of the world, but not the mentality of God. The only biblical reason for allowing divorce is adultery, and for unbelief, if there is a mixed marriage and the unbeliever refuses to live with the believer, “let him (or her) depart” for we are not called to strife. All the more reason to be “equally yoked together, believers with other believers” Personally, divorce should be a last choice if one is living in a “hell hole” and the mate is a “unholy terror” but let’s not even go there now, we need to lift up our mates in prayer and pray for understanding one with the other. We are all different, and our mates complement our weaknesses, and through our mates, our weaknesses become “strong” Rabbi Ben Avraham
  12. Parasha "Tetsaveh" (you shall command)

    Thank you reading them, We had a fire in our building at the beginning of March which rendered us without electric power, nor phone, nor water for nearly a month, but we survived, got them back again, got to catch up on the Parashats
  13. PARASHA: “Ki Tisa” (when you elevate) EXDOUS 30:11-34:35………………1 KINGS 18:1-39……………MARK 7:1-8:38 This parashah starts out by numbering the people, those who are 20 years old and older, Each person has to give one half shekel of silver. Why the count? This is to count those who are old enough for the Army, the very first IDF (Israel Defense Forces). Since it is not appropriate to count “people” perhaps as to not trust in “numbers” for strength, which might lead to pride, YHVH tells Moshe to collect silver, and for each half-shekel of silver, one person is represented. The silver is to be used for the Mishkan, for repair and maintenance. Of course, we realize that the Levites were not included in the Armed Forces, they were exempt, their jobs were to be “chaplains” of a sort, working with the priests in ministry. Every born-again believer is “numbered” in the eyes of YHVH for HIS army of adopted sons and daughters, we are fighting a spiritual battle against a hardened enemy, HaSatan, who has his own army of demons, devils, and unsaved humans working for him. Even though there will be many battles, the war has already been won, it was won 2000 years ago, on Calvary’s cross. YHVH came down in flesh and blood and paid our sin price in full. We are fighting against an enemy who has lost the war, but he has an attitude and will not relent, He wants to cause havoc among the brethren, and “sisteren” (my own made-up word) YHVH commands Moshe to prepare incense and anointing oil. The incense is to be used in worship, burned on the table of incense, which is before the “Kadosh-Kedoshim” (Holy of Holies) and also, on the bread, and on the sacrifices. Incense is still used today in religious services, it has a calming effect on the emotional and nervous system of those who are around it. There are many distinct aromas, the aromas that are similar to the incense that was used in the tabernacle and temple would be frankincense and some even say “musk” scent, however no one can be sure of the original ingredients, what they are today, besides, YHVH prohibits an exact duplication of the formula. The anointing oil was used to anoint the Levites and priests “on their heads” and not on the flesh, the ingredients were sweet cinnamon, calamus, cassia, myrrh, and olive oil, there are oils today that are used for anointing, yet it was prohibited to replicate the “exact” recipe. In Remez, the incense symbolizes our prayers that go upward towards heaven, and the oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit who is with us all the time. Through the Ruach HaKodesh, our prayers go up and are heard by our Messiah Yeshua. We see later on in this parashah that Moshe goes up Har Sinai to receive the tablets of the Mitzvoth, and as we all know the story, after a while the people wonder; “and Moshe? What happened to him?” their faith was weak, and when faith is weak, the enemy HaSatan will take advantage, Aaron who was left in charge was pressured into relenting, with gold earrings, the people made a “golden Calf”. “This is our god” they said, could one think that they replaced YHVH with this false god? The Egyptian god “hapis” took form of a cow or bull, and perhaps, they had a miniature one of those gods with them. I would think they still believed in YHVH but they wanted to “See” with their eyes, some kind of form, breaking of course the commandment, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”. True faith is “believing” even if we cannot see something that is invisible. Yeshua said to his talmidim; “Blessed are those who do not see yet believe”. Do we trust Adonai, even when we cannot see the immediate results? That is what testing is all about, He will try our faith, will we trust HIM even unto the end? YHVH lives in the infinite dimension of time and space, while we live in the finite dimension. He can see the end while we can’t even see around the corner. He has everything under control, we just have to believe and wait on him, as the Israelites should have done. It would have saved a lot of grief, lives, and dishonor. Moshe comes back down only to witness the disaster, breaks the tablets as a sign of a “broken covenant” between YHVH and the people. It is like getting married and on the same wedding night, the bride goes out and commits adultery. YHVH wants to DESTROY the people, and start over with Moshe. YET, Moshe intercedes before YHVH for Am Israel. Just as Moshe interceded, so did YESHUA intercede before the Father on our behalf, and still does. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Yeshua’s words). “Yet now, if you will forgive their sin, and if not, blot ME out of thy book” (Moshe’s words) and…. YHVH forgave them. Just like YHVH forgives us of our sins, when we confess and turn from our wicked ways. Moshe wants to see the glory “HaKavod YHVH” he goes back up for a second copy of the commandments. “Show me thy glory!” the LORD responded; “I will make all my goodness go before thee” yet, he said that no one could see the “face” of YHVH, who can look upon the pure essence of YHVH? For it would drive the spirit out of the body, So, as YHVH passed by, Moshe saw the “after-effect” the “tail end”. It could be similar to my experience in seeing Haley’s comet back in 1987. While I was in college, I went to Lynchburg College Observatory which was open to the public, we could see Haley’s comet going back out into space, I saw the “tail end” of the comet, which was just a faint glow at that time. Now Moshe gets the second set of the tablets, and YHVH gives them to him with these words: “YHVH, YHVH God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and their children’s children……” Now, how does that describe our God? He IS full of mercy and showed us grace, in that we were yet sinners, He came to earth in human form and died for us all. He is “long suffering” in that he puts up with our “stuff’ our “attitudes” and “rebellions” and gives us second, third, and fourth “chances” to repent, He could have wiped out Israel in one second, but he didn’t. He gave us his Torah, the Bible which is full of “goodness” and IS the TRUTH, he forgives sin, but ONLY when we come to him as repentant sinners and trust Yeshua as our Savior and LORD. He does not clear the guilty ONLY WHEN, the guilty DO NOT REPENT! And yes, the sins of the fathers can affect the children, just look at the public schools today, the students are rebellious, disrespectful because they have learned that from THEIR PARENTS! If the kids hear the parents fuss and cuss, they will too, If the parents smoke dope, they will have the tendency to do the same, children will copy their parents in all ways, HOWEVER, the blood of Yeshua can heal all of that, the generational curses can be cut short when YESHUA comes into the lives of families. Moshe returns to the congregation with the new set of tablets, and YHVH instructs him and reminds him of his commandments, “Yes, I will go before thee…only observe all that I am commanding thee this day…. And toward the end, YHVH mentions, “thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk” which is a repeated commandment, this was discussed before, it symbolizes a separation between, “life and death” of the “clean and unclean” Moshe comes down “glowing” like a thousand-watt light bulb, why? He has been in the presence of YHVH right there, in the middle of the Shekinah glory! If he glowed with God’s glory, Moshe being a sinner like all of us, can you imagine how Adam and Eve glowed before the fall? Being in constant fellowship with Elohim? It was only after the fall that the “light covering” left, and they found themselves “naked!” Yeshua said; “Ye are the light of the world” Yes, we are, yet we have no light of our own, we reflect the light of Messiah Yeshua, in our own lives. Is our light bright, like that which reflected from Moshe? Or…dim? “Standing on the rock!” (33:12-23) Moshe asks YHVH a very interesting question; “You say ‘bring this people up’ but who is going with me?” Without guidance, we can go nowhere. It is like walking in the dark without a lantern or being in the middle of the ocean without a compass. Where will we go? Who will lead us? Adonai has the answer that Moshe is searching for; “My presence goes, and I shall give you rest” (vs 14) The “Ruach Elohim” will go with the people and they will receive “shalom”. There are two kinds of rest; “physical rest” from our labors, and “spiritual rest” which is from within us. Before knowing Yeshua, we were burdened down with the curse of sin, but after accepting Him as LORD and Savior, we receive his presence inside of us, and we can be assured of our salvation, eternal life in heaven is ours, that gives us “inner peace” and a good “state of mind” knowing what lies ahead of us once we face physical death. Moshe wants to experience the “essence” of YHVH, but who can know who he really is? Can we grasp the meaning of the universe? Or the mind of God? The truth is that we are limited, because we are finite beings, fallen beings, yet YHVH listens to Moshe and gives him an answer; “I shall cause all my goodness to pass before you, and I shall proclaim the Name of YHVH…See, there is a place with me, and you shall stand on the ROCK” (vss 19-21). There was a special place, a special ROCK where Moshe was placed, he “stood” upon the ROCK (HaTzur). In the picturesque ancient Hebrew the letters “Tzadik” “Vav” and “Resh” which spell “Tzur” could very well symbolize “The first Righteous one who receives the nail” . The ROCK symbolizes YESHUA who is the TZADIK (the righteous one) who received the nails at Calvary and paid our sin debt in full, thus giving us SHALOM, rest from our spiritual torment of being lost sinners. The name YHVH comes from the word HAVAYAH (the essence of existence) who IS (HAYA-present) HOVEH (the past) and YIYAH (the future) 1 KINGS 18:1-39 …. This relates the time when there is a contest, sponsored by Eliyahu Ha Navi, Elijah the prophet calls for a contest between “Baal” and “YHVH” it is time to take action, clear up the error that Baal even exists. So, it is Baal vs YHVH, Elijah against 450 false prophets of Baal. Sacrifices are ready, all that is needed is fire, but fire not kindled by man, only by the true God, we all know who won the contest, Elijah called upon YHVH; ” ATAH YHVH HaELOHIM” (you are YHVH you are God) and fire fell from heaven and consumed EVERYTHING, the sacrifice, altar, stones, water, the people now had proof, the false prophets were still crying out and dancing around. Judgment; death for all false prophets. The people repented and returned to YHVH Are we worshiping and serving our true God? Or are we chasing after idols, idols of money, fame, popularity, jobs, fast cars, lust, avarice, etc. We can only serve one master, who is it going to be? Do we serve YHVH? Or the world? The choice is ours. MARK 7: 1-8:38 In this portion of scripture, we see Yeshua rebuking the Prushim (Pharisees) they are pointing out that the disciples did not wash their hands before eating. It is true, that one of the rites of the priests was to wash their hands and feet before entering into the Holy place, yet this was never stated as a commandment. …. Today, we see many religious practices which are stressed and done as if they were commandments. There is a big difference between “commandments” and “tradition” many traditions stem from commandments, but we need to differentiate between the two. Wearing a Kippa, is a tradition, different manner of dress in Judaism is tradition, but wearing Tzitziot is a commandment, putting a mezuzah on the doorpost is a commandment. But one should not judge one another in these cases. One can point out different scripture verses, but we must leave everything in the hands of God. ” It is not what goes into a person that which defiles, but what comes out of a person that which defiles, for out of the HEART comes forth……. So as not to confuse one thing from another, eating certain kinds of food does not defile a person SPIRITUALLY! it may defile one physically, eating what is not considered biblically kosher, like pork, shellfish, etc... BUT there are other things that can defile a person spiritually, like listening to unholy music, doing things, watching things, movies, etc. that are un-holy, satanic, things tied in with the occult, etc. Physical defilement is different from spiritual defilement. In this passage of scripture, Yeshua is performing many miracles, opens the ears of a deaf man, healing the eyes of a blind man, casting out demons, how are our eyes, ears, heart? Can we see the truth in scripture? Can we hear the WORD of God clearly? Is our heart open to receive his word? Do we come against HaSatan and his demons through the power of the Holy Spirit? Is Yeshua HaMashiach your savior and LORD? Shabbat Shalom………. rabbi Ben Avraham
  14. through trials and testings

    On March 4th, there was a fire in our building which rendered us without electric and water for almost a month, so that is why I have not been able to send out the weekly Bible (Parasha) studies, no electric = no phone, no phone = no internet But good Samaritans in our neighborhood brought us water and one neighbor passed an electric cord through our window to give us electric power, the red cross gave us a generous check and our insurance company put us up in a hotel for 20 days, now we have electric and water again, phone lines were fried so all we can have in wireless phone, Hate it! too difficult to manage and understand, but no other options, I don't know how I got connected to the internet through this LG phone, just hit the right buttons I guess. I am sending the belated Bible studies to "Understanding Hebrew Roots" sections Ben Avraham
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