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Jacob Ben Avraham

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About Jacob Ben Avraham

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  1. 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 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, and those 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, uh-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. The parashah also talks about slaves and servants. An Israelite could not be considered a slave, but a servant, yet a foreigner could be considered a slave. Yet both treatments of the slave or servant had to be humane, and they had to be released during the time of Jubilee, every 50 years. Normally, a slave or servant would be released at the end of 6 years, however, if the slave or servant wished to remain with the master, the time with the master ended at the time of Jubilee. The word "Jubilee" comes from the Hebrew "Yoveil" which means "Ram" A ram's horn was sounded every 50 years on Yom Kippur to announce that all would revert back to the original owners. What this portion of Torah is saying is that ALL possessions, both material, animal, human, belong to Adonai. We have each other, our material blessings for only a season. We should enjoy each other and the blessings that the LORD has given us, for a season, employers should treat their employees with respect and with honor (they would be like the slaves and servants in Biblical times) Employers have their employees, just for a season. Someday, when we stand before our Heavenly Father, we will be accountable for all the things we have been given, both human, animal, and material things. For the season in which they were given to us, how did we treat them? In the time of Jubilee, how will we stand before Yeshua? Something to think about. 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. Ben Avraham
  2. 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 read about the priest; “offering the food to Adonai” and many regulations in reference to “food”. It is talking about the animal offerings that were offered on the altar, yet the Hebrew word for “food” in this case is “Lechem” (bread). The priest had to be in perfect physical condition because he represented a perfect G-d. To be any less than “perfect” would have probably been a distraction. Today, Adonai does not look at our physical bodily conditions, as many people are born with physical defects. Adonai looks at the heart and into our spirit being. Before the priests would offer up the “lechem” (food, bread) to Adonai, 2000 years ago, the “Bread of Life” was offered up for US! Today, what could be the “bread” which we could “offer to Adonai?” One could say that we offer up our service and spiritual gifts to HIM, through exercising the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit, by teaching others, preaching the Word, evangelizing, giving to others, etc…we are in a way, giving back “bread” to HaShem. He has given to us, and we give back to HIM through serving others and being faithful “priests” on earth. We can take note of Leviticus 22:31 and apply this to our lives as “Yeshua’s priests.” Therefore, you shall keep my commandments and perform them: I AM the LORD. You shall not profane my Holy Name, but I will be “Kadoshed” among “B’nei Yisrael” I AM Adonai who sanctified you.” Of course, we can not keep ALL of the commandments set down in ancient times, yet many still apply to today’s life. We should learn them and take heed to them, and teach others HIS Torah! In doing this, we ARE hallowing HIS Holy Name. 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, 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. So, why such high standards for priests? BECAUSE They symbolized the presence of a Holy, Perfect, and Righteous God! 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. The other incident when Yeshua caused his talmidim to catch a boat-load of fish, the number of fishes caught summed “153.” Why is this number recorded? Is it significant? Perhaps Yeshua is making a statement through the fishes caught. The statement in Hebrew “Ani Elohim” ( I AM Elohim) sums “153” in gematria (using the “vav” in “Elohim”) 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! Yeshua also, after the blessing of many fish, healed three people; one who had “Tzara ’at” (some sort of skin disease) a person who was paralyzed, and a person who was “worldly minded.” To the first He said; “be cleansed” to the second one He said; “Your sins are forgiven you” to the third, (Who was Matthew) He just said; “Follow me!” In all three cases, we have changed lives. When our sins are forgiven us, through repentance and accepting Yeshua as Messiah and LORD, we are “cleansed” (internally) and even at times, physically. And then, we “follow Him” which should be the logical reaction. “I have not called the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32) We must understand that everyone who is “righteous” (in right standing) similar to “Kadosh” was at one time “a sinner” (living a lifestyle of sin and rebellion). So, it is a change for the better, from a lost sinner to a “righteous” one who has been “born again.” The lost sinner needs to be instructed by the Torah unto righteousness, and the righteous need to be instructed by the Torah to “stay guided in the Path of Righteousness” Shalom; Rabbi Ben Avraham
  3. 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 die” 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, the reminder 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 starts with the words; “Ye shall be Holy for I am Holy”. When we look at the original Hebrew we read; “Amarta Aleichem Kadoshim ti’hiyu Ki Kadosh Ani” But there is something different in the two words; “Kadoshim” (ones who are holy) and Kadosh (Holy ONE). The word “Be ye Holy” in the original Hebrew has 5 letters, and the word “Kadosh” has 4 letters. The biggest difference is that the “o” in “Kadoshim” is not present, but it IS present in “Kadosh”. If we write these words in English, they would be “Kadshim” and “Kadosh” Why? There is a missing letter “Vav” The “vav” is pronounced as either “v” “o” or “u”. It symbolizes the “nail”. Perfect Holiness without sin is only Adonai! He alone has the “vav” He took the “nail” for our sins. Our Holiness is lacking, we are not perfect as we have the sin nature, therefore, our Holiness cannot carry the “Vav” 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) Shabbat Shalom J. Ben Avraham
  4. PARASHAH: “B'shalach” (when he let go) “For the end of the Season of Passover” This Parasha is being read because of the ending of the season of Passover. The week of unleavened bread is finalized. It is day 7 of the counting of the Omer. One may ask why do we read this Torah portion on the last day of Passover season? Is it somehow connected with The exodus from Egypt? All we can do is take an educated guess, given geographical facts. Could it be that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, (The part of the sea now known as the Gulf of Aqaba) 7 or 8 days after leaving Goshen on the 14th of Nissan, or probably the 15th, the day after the death of the firstborn? Very possible. I measured on a Bible map, more or less, the distance from the area of Goshen to Nuweba Beach, on the Eastern side of Sinai where the Israelites crossed. It measured more or less 200 miles. If the Israelites walked between 20 and 30 miles per day, the trip from Goshen to Nuweba Beach would have been approximately 7 days, around this time, the 7 or 8th day of the Passover season. 20 to 30 are realistic taking into account the young children walking, the cattle, animals moving at a slow pace. They would have walked from sunup to sundown during the light of the day. Let’s just say that there were 10 hours of sunlight, that would mean they would have walked 2 miles per hour to have walked at least 20 miles per day. The Egyptians, on the other hand, when they realized that they weren’t coming back, wanted to get even. It would have taken Pharaoh at least 3 days to organize all his military forces and chase after them, thus given the Israelites a three-day head start. When the sea opened up, Adonai had to stop the Egyptians in order to allow the Israelites to cross over from Nuweba Beach to the land of Midian, which is about a 10- mile crossing. Since we have about 2 million people, plus all the cattle, sheep, (perhaps even dogs and cats), it would take the entire night for them to cross over, thus the darkness kept the Egyptians back until daylight, then, of course, we know the “rest of the story.” EXODUS 13:17-17:16........JUDGES 4:4-5: 31........MATT 26:1-75 We are coming down to the “showdown” where Pharaoh gets his just desserts and gets what he deserves for defying the God of Israel, going back on his word to “let Israel go”, you cannot pursue Israel without getting hurt, and Pharaoh and his army got to drink bitter waters went off the “deep end” received a very fatal “water baptism”. Yet before all this happens, there are some interesting verses to look at. Exodus 17: 18 states that; “The children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt” yet it also states that Elohim did not lead them through the land of the F’lishtim: (The Philistines) because an encounter with them might bring for war, frighten them and cause them to go back to Egypt. But if they had weapons, why would they fear a battle? One can assume that even though they had weapons if they didn’t know how to use them, they would be no good. We can say the same thing about a Bible, it is useless in the hands of one who does not know how to use it, or uses it in wrongful ways, inventing “strange” doctrines, or taking verses out of context. The Israelites were ex-slaves, not men of war. Another question, where did they get the weapons? Were the weapons among the spoils of Egypt? They might have been. But here is another view from a derashic perspective (Moral and spiritual) The word for “armed” in Hebrew which is used is “chamushim” the wise rabbis of old state that this word has roots in the words “chamesh” (the number 5) and “chamishim” (50). So how does this a part in this verse? It is said that it was the 5th generation after Yosef that left Egypt, if a generation is 80 years, it would add up to 400 years. Also, the number 5 symbolizes “grace”. So, the Israelites not only left Egypt with some spears and swords, but they were also armed with the “grace” that Elohim bestowed on them. More importantly, they were armed with the protection, and the blessings, and the leadership of Elohim who lead them out of Egypt. The number “50” also reminds us of the “50 gates of understanding” which the ancient rabbis say that these are 50 questions that Elohim asked Job at the end of “Sefer Job.” Another Midrash is that only 1 out of 5 Israelites left Egypt. Now I ask you if all of Israel was witness to the destruction of Egypt by Elohim, why would they want to stay behind? Other sages say that only 1 out of 5 households put blood on their doorposts. Remember that these are ideas presented by unsaved rabbis. However, I ask you again, if Israel is witness to all the miracles and judgments, why would they NOT want to put lamb’s blood on their doorposts? I would like to answer the question using a question. If we can have eternal life through the blood and sacrifice of Yeshua for our sins, past, present, and future, why do so many people still REJECT Him? The scripture states that ‘Wide is the way that leads to destruction, but narrow is the way that leads to eternal life.’ Another word for “armed” is “equipped”. One can also say that “B’nei Yisrael” went out of Egypt “equipped” with the “5” promises that Adonai gave to His people; 1) Elohim will deliver Israel out from under the burden of Egyptian Slavery; 2) Israel will be REDEEMED by the ARM of Elohim-YHVH; 3) Elohim-YHVH will take Israel as HIS people and will be their GOD; 4) Israel will be brought into the chosen land of promise; 5) The promised land will be an INHERITANCE. There are also 50 words that are part of our Judeo-Christian faith, there is wisdom and understanding each and every one of them. It took Israel also 50 days from leaving Egypt to receiving the Torah in the land of Midian. But let’s look at the Peshat, the literal meaning of the word; “armed” it could also come from the Egyptian word “chams” which is “lance” but I ask you to ponder on this. The Israelites were ex-slaves, not warriors. If they came out of Egypt with lances, swords, etc.… How would they know how to use them? Without training, it would be very difficult to be victorious in a battle. As believers, we have the Word of God, but if we are unskilled in using His WORD, or if we do not know how to interpret it correctly, we could actually do much harm to others, just like a sword in the hands of a child, the child could cut himself, or hurt one of his friends Another thing to ponder upon is that when the word “Egyptians” is used, the word “Mitzraim” is used, which also means “Egypt” (the nation of). Why “Mitzraim” and not “Mitzrim?” One can say that even though “b’nei Yisrael” left Egypt, Egypt still followed them out! They left with the Egyptian culture, ways, language, and all that was part of them in those 400 years as slaves. It took Elohim one day to take Israel out of Egypt, but it took 40 years to take Egypt out of Israel! We are the same way, even though we are born-again believers, we still carry around the garbage related to our “Yetzer-Hara” (sin nature) but little by little, the Ruach HaKodesh takes that from us as we mature in the faith. We might wonder how many Israelites left Egypt, probably about 2 million, plus those Egyptians that “saw the light” plus the sheep and cattle, it was a huge people group that headed eastward across the Sinai Peninsula and then headed south after reaching “Midol” (an Egyptian army base, where weapons were stored). We are told...” and it was told the King of Egypt that the people were fled” ...14:5. What? Didn't he already know that? Of course, he did, he let them go! It was probably a team of scouts that were sent out to track down the Israelites to see where they were going, and they gave their report back to Pharaoh. Now, this took place a few days later, now Pharaoh is sorry he let them go. What? Didn't he remember the plagues? Some people never learn, they love misery. Now Pharaoh musters together his entire army! Another mistake, never send out your entire armed forces, always leave behind reserve units. But Pharaoh was not a wise general. This probably took another few days, thus giving Israel about a week's head start, it would take quite a few days for about 2 million people to cross the Sinai Peninsula. The name “Elohim” and “YHVH” are both used in this Parashah, “Elohim” is used at the beginning of this parashah, in Chap 13:17 meaning the “Strong, powerful God” yet the name YHVH later on, shows the personal name, (coming from “Havayah” meaning “to exist”) shows the personal relationship as “Adonai” which we also say when reading YHVH, anytime the word LORD is used in scripture, it is the name YHVH. YHVH takes them across the Sinai Peninsula to thus entice the Egyptians, to utterly finish destroying them thus ends the powerful rule of Egypt, Egypt never recovered from that defeat, it formed another army years later, but it never had the power it once had with Rameses, Thutmose, Narmer, and other pharaohs of the past dynasties. When the Israelites get to the beach, they get ready to cross, in Hebrew, it is known as “Yam Suf” in English, it is known as “Nuweba Beach” it is a tourist resort today in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. We see that YHVH goes behind the Israelites to protect them, in the form of darkness to the Egyptians, yet light to the Israelites. To us as believers, Yeshua is our light, for us to follow, but to Satan, Yeshua is the conquering king, without the light of Yeshua, without the light of the Torah, we live in darkness, spiritual darkness. Now YHVH tells Moshe to “lift up your rod and your hand” and cause the sea to part, and it did, divide in two, we read that Israel crossed on “dry land” what with a strong wind to dry up the sea bottom, today this area is known as the “Gulf of Aqaba” they crossed a small stretch of sea bottom, about 10 miles across, to get to the land of Midian, now known as Saudi Arabia, if you go to Google earth, and look up “Nuweba Beach” you can see the area that the Israelites crossed over at. Then, YHVH gives the order to Moshe to raise his hand over the water again, and the waters closed up again and drowned the Egyptian army, the army was half-way across, we see something in the words, “hand” (Yad) and “rod” (Mateh) that make us think. The “rod” is a symbol of authority, of rulership. The “hand” is a symbol of “power and strength” the Torah speaks of YHVH reveling his “Holy Arm” the “arm is connected to the hand” the ancient Hebrew symbol of the “Yod” is the extended “arm and hand” so we can see the message here, “Moshe” is the authority as he shows his leadership by raising his rod, and his hand opens and closes the sea, thus demonstrating his strength and power, but of course, it is not HIS, it is GOD's leadership and strength, being revealed THROUGH Moshe. When the people follow Moshe, it is as if they are following GOD, trusting in his leadership and strength. When we receive Yeshua as Messiah, we trust in HIM as our leader and our strength, and we follow HIM through his WORD, yet many hope that Yeshua will follow THEM! (not going to happen) . Today, you can see on YouTube what is left of the Egyptian chariots at the bottom of the Gulf of Aqaba, they are coral formations that look like mushrooms, probably the axle and wheels of the chariots, look up, “The real Exodus Crossing” When we look at all this from a moral and spiritual insight (Derash) We have been rescued from HaSatan, by our Leader, who is strong, whose “hand” struck the death blow to Satan, whose “hands” bore the nails of Calvary's cross, and who leads us to a new life, we have been “kadoshed” (set apart) to follow HIM for all of our days, (Should we choose to) of course it is a choice, but the “good Shepherd always “looks back” for his lost or misguided sheep, to lead them back to the fold. We see other events that show God's protection and provision for his people, in verses 22-27 we see the “bitter waters made sweet” Moshe threw into the water “a tree” probably cut it down and threw it in, the waters were made sweet, the Torah is also called, “The TREE of LIFE” (Etz Chaim) that changes our bitterness to sweetness, from sorrow to happiness, from lost to saved. In chapter 16, the provision of “Manna” in the desert “Bread from Heaven” (Lechem b'Shemayim) another provision from YHVH, it symbolizes “Yeshua the Bread of Life” and in chap 17, “Water from the Rock” this rock is there today in the Saudi Arabian desert very close to Mt. Sinai, it seems to be about 50 feet tall and has a crack down the middle. Go to “google images” and click on “The water rock at Horeb” Moshe was told to “strike the rock” and he did with his staff/rod” and out flowed water so that the congregation and the livestock could drink. This symbolizes “Yeshua the Solid Rock” (Yeshua HaTzur) and Yeshua who is the Living Water. (Yeshua Mayim Chayim). It also symbolizes that Yeshua was “struck ONLY ONCE for our sins at Calvary, ONLY ONCE meaning “nailed to the cross and died one time” and when Moshe got mad later on and struck the rock again, he was punished by God and couldn't enter the promised land, since he “misrepresented” who God is, JUDGES 4:4-5:31 In this reading, we read about Devorah and Jael, two women of God who played an important role in Israel's history. We read about many “men of God” but very few “women of God” but they are out there, and today, we have many women who are used mightily by God in ministry. Through Deborah and Jael, Sisera and his army was vanquished, just as Moshe was an example as a leader, Deborah was also a leader, and Jael, whose name in Hebrew “Yah-El” means “El (God) is YHVH (Yah) “his Holy Arm revealed” If you are a woman and reading this Parashah, never say “because I am a woman, God cannot use me” Yes, he can, there are ministries for women, mostly, women ministering to other women, reaching out to those who have been abused in marriages, victims of rape, assault, homeless women, etc. YOU, my sister, have a place in ministry. Venture out and discover what it is, just be available. MATTHEW 26:1-75 This chapter deals with Yeshua's final days with his talmidim on earth, His anointing by the generous woman who poured the “nard” perfume on him, the betrayal by “Y'hudah Ish Kariot” (Judas, the man from the region of Kariot) in every group of disciples, there are always a few who are “fakers” We have the final “Pesach” dinner with his disciples and Kefa's denial, But there is a lot we can learn from this, Peter denied knowing Yeshua, out of fear, but Judas openly rejected him by identifying him by a kiss on the cheek. Both sins forgivable, the only difference is that Peter confessed and received forgiveness, while Judas felt remorse, but did not cry out for forgiveness, but went out and committed suicide. There is sin that leads to remorse and a “feeling sorry for oneself” and sin that leads to remorse, and from remorse to confession, and from confession to forgiveness, and from forgiveness to restored fellowship. How many readers out there have chosen the later? We are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God, but confession of sins, and receiving forgiveness is something only you can do, I cannot do it for you. Yeshua receives ALL who come to him, no matter how bad or evil you have been, nor what you have done, no sin is beyond forgiveness. Just ask, and turn from your sin, and forgiveness and restoration is yours. Shabbat Shalom .. Ben Avraham
  5. 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, 2019, “New Year’s Day” was on April 6th. It is also interesting that the original Hebrew word for Springtime is "Aviv" and that used to be the name for this month. After the return of the Israelites from captivity in Babylon, the name was changed to "Nisan" (almost like the name of the car) 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 celebrating “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. 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 horseradish. 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. Happy Peach "Hag Sameach Pesach" Rabbi Ben Avraham
  6. Did you know that some people eat Armadillos? Oi Vey! what next?
  7. Since we went through both “Tazriah” and “Metsorah” parashot last week, I want to look at the “13 Principles of the Faith” this week. But first, I wanted to comment on one more aspect of the Parasha “Tazriah” There is another aspect of the Torah portion “Tazriah” that might be considered a bit abstract, but still, we might look at this from a “Remez and Sod” point of view (symbolic and gematric). Since there is always symbolism in G-d’s Word. As many know, and for those who don’t know, “Gematria” is assigning number values to Hebrew letters and words. When we look at the sum of numbers, as each number is symbolic, we come to spiritual truths especially when two sets of numbers are equal or near equal. Let’s look at verse 2 in Leviticus 12; “If a woman has conceived seed, and born a man child; then she shall be unclean 7 days.” In the Hebrew, it reads; “Isha Ki Tazria V’yaldah Zakhar V’tamah Shivat Yamim.” Within these 8 words, we find the letters that spell out “Yeshua!” Also, when we take the first letters of the first 5 words; “Isha Ki Tazria V’yalda Zakhar” (Aleph) (Kaf) (Tav) (Vav) (Zayin) summing the gematria value of each letter we get “434”. One of the titles of Yeshua is “Mashiach Ben David” the gematria value of “Mashiach Ben David” = 424. Almost the same, the difference is “10”. What is “10” in gematria? It is the letter “Yod” (hand). What did Yeshua, who is Messiah Ben David do on Calvary? He stretched forth his hands to receive the nails, to pay in full our sin debt. The number “5” is the number of grace. The woman (Mary) conceived seed, through the Ruach HaKodesh, the seed was Yeshua, the man-child who was “G-d-Man-Child” and through His Grace, we are saved. Symbolically, we might look at the woman as being “Israel” since Mary was Israelite, of the House of David, “Beit David” who bore “Messiah Ben David.” How was Israel unclean? Israel was unclean in that “Bat Zion” went after idols and followed the ways of Baal for a long time. Even during the time of Yeshua, there was corruption, both morally and spiritually. Many rejected Yeshua as Messiah, yet many accepted him too. On the 8th day, Yeshua was circumcised as we read in the gospels. “8” is the number of a “New Beginning.” 7 days is the number which fulfills a complete week. Day 8 is Sunday, the first day of the week. If we count from Sunday to Sunday, we have 8 days. Our Messiah resurrected on the first day of the week, on day “8.” He was “unclean” during the time of hanging on the cross, carrying, bearing our sins. He bore our “Metsorat” our “infections” both physical and spiritual. As in the words of Isaiah the Prophet; “he bore our infirmities.” The perfect one “7” was “unclean!” Now, all of Israel, all of the world, has a “New Beginning” through Messiah Yeshua Ben David. That New Beginning is our choice if we so desire. It is a choice. Life is all about choices. We can either accept or reject Mashiach, accept the blessing or accept the curse. Remember, it is about “choices” THE 13 PRINCIPLES OF THE FAITH, BY RAMBAM (A Midrash) These are the 13 Principles or “I believe” of the Judeo-Christian faith that a famous Jewish philosopher, Torah scholar, and physician composed over 800 years ago. His full name was Moses Ben Maimon, or commonly known as “Maimonides” or “Rambam. He was born in Spain in 1135 and died in Egypt in the year 1205. His tomb is located in Tiberias, Israel. It is an interesting place to visit. I was there in 2015 and saw his tomb. The reason I say, “Judeo-Christian” is because the articles/statements of beliefs pertain to both the Jewish and the Christian faiths. If it weren’t for Judaism, Christianity would be non-existent. Yeshua/Jesus is the realization and fulfillment of the Jewish faith. So, I would like to look at these articles and comment on them. Are these what we as born-again believers believe? Or are there variations of these statements? Let’s just read them and see what they are all about. 1. I believe by complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is the Creator and Guide for all created beings. he alone made, makes, and will make all that is created. We can agree pretty much with this principle. He created “Bara” since the beginning as stated by the very first verse in God’s Word; “B’Reisheet Bara Elohim ET HaShamayim v’ET HaAretz” (In the beginning, Elohim created the Heavens and the earth). The word “Bara” in the original Hebrew means “to make or bring into being something without any previous material” If we say, “something comes from nothing” it is a true statement as that happened only once in history, way back in Genesis. All things that were created “Bara” were created by His Word. Yeshua was part of Elohim and had everything to do with the original creation, as He was and Is the Living Word (John 1:1). Adonai “spoke” all things into existence, yet man was “made” (Asah) from the earth, which was already created “bara” All original flora and fauna were “created” in those 6 literal days, but afterward, they were “made” from the parent plants and animals, so as to reproduce. HE made, makes, and will make, or “bring into being” (Asah, not Bara) all that lives, yet all that lives and will live is affected and will be affected by the original sin, so all things that live are tainted by sin. The day will come when Yeshua returns to re-make the earth and all will revert back to the original form and plan of perfection. May that day come soon. 2. I believe by complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is a Unity, and there is no union in any way like Him. He alone is our God who was, is, and who is to be. Every morning, many of us get up from our beds and recite the “Shema” from Deuteronomy 6:4; “Shema Israel, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad!” (Hear O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is ONE). Many times, we might refer to God as being the “Trinity” or “Tri-Unity” yet those words are not in the Bible. The words that express God as a Unity are; “Elohim” and “Echad.” The plural masculine ending “im” tells us that Adonai is plural, yet He is still ONE. The word “Echad” means the “unity of ONE” When we look at the gematria for the word “Echad” we get “13” There is the number 1 and 3. “Elohim” can be considered as “3” being “Av’ (father) “Ben” (son), and the “Ruach” (Spirit), yet they are still considered as “1” (one). God is Spirit without physical form yet in order to pay the price of sin, He saw it necessary to come down to earth in human form as “The Second Adam” to die for the sins of all humankind. Therefore, one of Yeshua’s titles is; “Yeshua, Son of Man (Adam), or Yeshua, the Second Adam. Sin came into the world via a man, so a “perfect” man had to pay the price of sin. The only way possible would be that the “man” be also “God.” “There is no union in any way like Him” True, there is no union like Adonai-Echad, one can say that “Adonai Echad is “Yachid” (unique) There are unions, like marriages, contracts, etc…yet a “perfect” union where there is no sin at all, and where holiness only exists, can be found only in the “Echad” of “Elohim”. Here is another interesting fact. The first letter in “Elohim” is the “Aleph”. The “Aleph” in gematria is the number “1”. When we spell out “Aleph” we get; “Aleph, Lamed, and Peh.” When we add those letters in accordance to their gematric value, we get 1 + 30 + 80 = 111. Here we have the three in one. 1+1+1=3, yet even better; 1x1x1=1. So, Adonai-Elohim is “Echad’ (One) and none like him, who was, is, and will be; “Haya, Hoveh, Yiyah” all words have the same letters, Y H and V, and those letters make up the great and infallible name of YHVH. 3. “I believe by complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is not a body, and is not affected by physical matter and nothing whatsoever can compare to Him (or be compared with Him)” What can we, as believers, say about this statement? Adonai in His natural and eternal state is Spirit, Yes indeed, yet as Yeshua, He DID have a body. It was a human body that was subject to cold, heat, pain, and suffering. Yeshua, in his resurrected body, was NOT affected by physical matter. Remember that he just “appeared” to his disciples without knocking on the door. He walked with the two who were discussing his death on the road to Emmaus when he “broke bread” and then simply “vanished” I would imagine that someday, we will all have eternal bodies which will not be affected by physical matter, bodies such as the resurrected body of Yeshua. That would be great, no more colds, sniffles, stomachaches, headaches, backaches, etc…If we want to travel to someplace, no need for airplanes, just “wish I was there” and “boom” I’m already there! (nice thought). 4. “I believe by complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is the first and the last.” Absolutely, Adonai-Elohim IS the first and the last. He is the “Alfa and Omega” the “Aleph and the Tav” Scripture says; “Behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the ALPHA AND THE OMEGA, THE FIRST AND THE LAST, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:12) Scripture also says; “In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with God, and God was the WORD” the WORD is just another title for Mashiach, He is the “Living Word.” Adonai existed in eternity past, He exists in the present, and will exist in eternity future. The Hebrew word “ET” consists of only two Hebrew letters, the “Aleph and the Tav.” We see this word throughout the whole Torah, it is placed before word-nouns which have great importance. This word always reminds us that Adonai-Elohim is the first and last in all things. The ancient Hebrew significance of these two letters is; “The God of the Covenant” 5. “I believe by complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, to Him alone is it fitting to make prayer and to another, prayer shall not be made.” Absolutely, Yeshua says in John 14:6; “I AM the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, no one comes to the Father but by ME.” We must understand that “another” would be a person outside of “Elohim.” Some religions pray to the saints believing that they are closer to God than we are, and think that they stand a better chance if they go through them, yet Adonai listens to ALL prayers. He wants to hear from you. 6. “I believe by complete faith that all the words of the prophets are true.” Absolutely! 2 Timothy 3:16 reads; “All scripture is G-d-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living, thus anyone who belongs to G-d may be fully equipped for every good work” (Jewish New Testament). Who is considered a prophet? Anyone who receives revelation from G-d and conveys it to others. All revelation from Adonai has been written down in the “whole Torah” (all 66 books of the Bible). Those who wrote down the Words of Adonai were inspired by the Ruach HaKodesh (The Holy Spirit) and Yeshua is the greatest prophet of all. 7. “I believe by complete faith that the prophecy of Moses our teacher (Moshe Rabeinu) may peace rest upon him, was true and that he was the father of all prophets that preceded him as well as all that came after him.” Moshe (Moses) received the words of Adonai at the foot of Mr. Sinai and revealed those words to the people of Israel. All the words which Adonai spoke were written down by Moshe in the 5 first books of the Torah, with of course, the last part of Deuteronomy, which was written down after his death. All the words which came from Adonai were and are indeed the truth, as well as the prophets which came after him. 8. “I believe by complete faith that the whole Torah now found in our hands was the exact same one given to Moshe, may peace rest upon him.” What does Rambam mean when he states; “the exact same one?” We can say that the Hebrew words are the same, yet the Torah has been translated into different languages, and with translations, the words might change and with those changes, the meanings may differ. That is a problem we face when reading the Bible in different versions. To better understand G-d’s Holy Writ, it is always best to go back to the original Hebrew and understand the meaning of the original Hebrew words in the correct context. This is why it is so important to have a fundamental knowledge of the Hebrew language. 9. “I believe by complete faith that this is the Torah, and it shall not be changed and it shall not be replaced with another from the Creator, blessed be His name.” Absolutely! We believe and serve an unchangeable G-d, He is the same before, now, and forever more. His Holy Word is true and does not change and cannot and will not be replaced by another. Unfortunately, there are perversions of the Bible in which the publishers will take out, add, or replace some keywords which will back-up their erroneous beliefs, therefore, again, it is important to recognize those errors by knowing and understanding the original Hebrew, and in the case of the New Testament, the original Greek translations. 10. “I believe by complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, knows every action done by each human being as well as all their thoughts, as it was said, ‘It is He that fashions their hearts together and He ponders all their deeds’ (Psalm 33:15) Absolutely! We serve and believe in an ‘all-knowing’ G-d who sees into our hearts, souls, and thoughts. Just knowing this should scare us. When we think we are alone, we really are not alone, nor ever alone. Our heavenly Father is looking straight inside us. King David, speaking to his son Solomon said; “As for you my son Solomon, know the G-d of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the L-RD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of thoughts…” (1 Chronicles 28:9). Rav Shaul (Apostle Paul) writes; “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of G-d.” (Romans 8:27). There are times when inner prayers are answered because He already knows our needs. Adonai knows all things, nothing is hidden from Him! 11. “I believe by complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, rewards all who keep the commandments and punishes all those who transgress His commandments.” There has always been the belief of “rewards and punishments” for deeds or for lacking deeds in almost all religions of the world. Many religions base their belief system on how many “good deeds” a person can do in order to gain acceptance by G-d, or whatever god they might believe in. Yet in Judeo-Christianity, or in Messianic Judaism, we indeed have commandments to follow (Mitzvoth) yet our obedience to those commandments, at least those that can be followed today, have NOTHING to do with our salvation experience. We are accepted totally by Adonai by our trusting and believing in the sacrifice of Yeshua on the Cross of Calvary. Our salvation is, therefore, a done deal. No works required, no commandments to be followed to gain salvation, only our faith, and trust in our Messiah Yeshua. Yet now, as “family members” of the great I AM, there are commandments to be followed and/or lived by, as born-again believers. A Holy Lifestyle unto G-d. Just as there are rewards and consequences in following the rules and regulations of, let’s say, city ordinances, stopping at red lights, going on green lights, etc…We also reap rewards or consequences in following G-d’s commandments. He gave them to us for “right-living” (righteousness) yet not to be confused with our salvation experience, in that we are made “righteous” through the blood of Yeshua. There is “righteous” salvation, and “righteous” living, the first leads to the next, not the other way around. In the world to come, there is the “Bema Judgment seat of Messiah” in which all believers will present their works, and will receive rewards or lose rewards. Perhaps some might think of the “loss of rewards” a kind of punishment. Perhaps some rewards for our obedience to His Torah will be received on earth, while other rewards will be received in Heaven. But the question is; do we support Rambam’s statement about rewards and punishments for either fulfilling or transgressing G-d’s commandments? I believe we can say yes to that. Even Moshe (Moses) supports that by saying; “See, I am putting before you this day a blessing and a curse, the blessing when you obey the commands of Adonai your Elohim, which I command you this day, and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of Adonai your Elohim, but turn aside from “The Way” which I command you today…” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28). I guess one could translate “blessing and curse” to “reward and punishment” It is interesting that one of the titles of Yeshua is “The Way.” Another interesting fact is that Moshe writes in the singular; “B’rakhah v’ K’lalah” (a blessing and a curse) why would he write in the singular “blessing and curse?” why not “Blessings and curses?” Perhaps we can say that Moshe uses the singular because “Am Israel” (The People of Israel) is united as ONE people, who would follow ONE Torah. So, we could say; “B’rakhah K’lalah, Israel Echad, Torah Echad” (A blessing and a curse for Israel who is ONE in unity, who chooses to follow (or reject) the ONE Torah. What then is the punishment for transgressing His Torah? The worse punishment for rejecting the one and only all-sufficient sacrifice for sin through Yeshua is eternal separation from G-d, living for all eternity in the Lake of Fire. What could be worse than that? 12. I believe by complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even though he tarry in waiting, in spite of that, I will still wait expectantly for him each day that he will come. Absolutely! we believe that the Messiah, who is Yeshua, will come AGAIN someday in the future to put an end to sin, to set up his millennial kingdom, unit ALL of his people from all corners of the world, to imprison Satan, to make this world anew, and usher in eternity future. Sadly, a great part of our Jewish people still refuses to accept Yeshua as the Messiah. Yes, they believe that the “Messiah” will come in the future, but, the real fact is the HE, the MESSIAH has already COME. The prophet Daniel predicted the year pretty much accurately when Messiah would come and would be “cut-off” from the land of the living; (Daniel 9:24-26). The way one should live today is; plan our days as if he tarries many years more, but be prepared as if he would come today. He came, lived, died for our sins, and will return in the future. Those are the facts! 13. I believe by complete faith that there will be a resurrection of the dead at the time that will be pleasing before the Creator, blessed be His name, and the remembrance of Him will be exalted forever and for all . eternity Absolutely! We believe in complete faith that there will be, not one, but TWO resurrections of the dead in the near future. In the book of Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul writes about the “sounding of the shofar” and the resurrection of the dead in Mashiach and “we” who are still alive, will follow those who have gone on before us. We could say that this is the “resurrection of the “Kadoshim” (The Saints). At the end of the one-thousand-year reign of Messiah Yeshua on earth, there will be the second resurrection, that of the lost! They will all appear before the “Great White Throne” of judgment, where Messiah Yeshua will be sitting. This will be a very sad day indeed, to see the thousands upon thousands of souls who rejected the free gift of “Yeshuah” by “Yeshua” himself. They will all be judged guilty and sentenced to eternity in the Lake of Fire, without hope, banished from all loved-ones, never to get a second chance. Many might say; “And what about those who never heard the name Jesus/Yeshua? It seems unfair to send them to hell if they never heard of Him.” I would say that all persons will be judged according to what they knew, or what they were told. We can not put ourselves in the feet of our Messiah and try to think what He might or might not do. All the more reason to tell the world of the complete work of redemption through Messiah Yeshua. Rabbi Ben Avraham
  8. PARASHOT: “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 "Leprosy"(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 beforehand, 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. Altogether, “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 a 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. The child is in the womb for 9 months, this is a protected area, a world in itself. Then the child comes out into the world, a new world contrary to where it was. It has life both inside the womb and outside the womb, yet the child comes forth with the sin nature, and the sin nature brings death. 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. On this 8th day, the mitzvah of “Brit Milah” (Circumcision) is performed in all males that are born. As we know, this was a sign of the covenant with Abraham. Some Jewish denominations still place a high priority on Brit Milah, yet how important is it really? Moshe stresses that which is most important, and that is the “circumcision of the heart” (Brit Milah b’lev). He does not, however, state that circumcision is no longer necessary nor important, only that the emphasis should be placed on the heart and not so much in the flesh. Removing the “foreskin” of the heart is surrendering our fleshly nature to Adonai, that we are to walk more in the spirit and less in the flesh. So, what is the importance today of circumcision? It does have health benefits, it keeps the male genital area cleaner and less prone to infections. Circumcision still joins us with the Abrahamic covenant, yet what joins us, even more, is our relationship with Messiah Yeshua. The brit which joins us with Yeshuah (Salvation) is our born-again experience with “Yeshua” (kind of play on words). 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 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 forever. 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. Are we saying that skin diseases come from speaking evil and slander of others? We have no medical proof that this is correct, however, we serve a G-d of creation and he created our bodies and has the right to inflict illnesses upon the guilty parties whenever He wishes. Personally, I think that if he DID do EXACTLY THAT, then, we would ALL be covered with rashes and sores from time to time. 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 also see that Gehazi, Elisha’s servant was stricken with “Tzara-at” because of his selfish motives and because he lied to his master. 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 from 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. Shalom ....Ben Avraham
  9. Bless those who curse Israel?! why? , Don't you think we should pray for those who curse, so that they might change their curse to a blessing?
  10. PARASHA: “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. Yet we can also recall that during the Feast of Tabernacles, there was an “eighth day” the day which is called “Shemini Atzeret” “7” symbolizes the ending of the week, the Sabbath, the “Perfect” Sabbath which Adonai had ordained for man since the beginning. The 7-day week symbolizes a complete unit, and the “eighth” day, is like “starting over at a new level” The Children of Israel have accomplished “leaving Egypt” via “Yad Elohim” (The Hand of G-d), “Receiving the Torah” (At Sinai) “Building the Mishkan” (Per instructions of Elohim via Moshe) and now, “The beginning of offerings” They will come “close” to G-d through the offerings, via the kohanim. For us as believers, we get “Close” to G-d through Yeshua, who is the realization and culmination of ALL the Levitical offerings. Getting “close” to Adonai was what the animal offerings symbolized. 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 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. BY THE GRACE OF G-D, BLIND EYES WERE OPENED We all know the story of Shaul (Paul). He was a persecutor of the Messianic Jewish community until his “eyes were opened.” One can be blind both “physically” and “spiritually.” Rav Shaul was blind in “both ways” He thought he was serving G-d in persecuting those who followed Yeshua, thinking that Yeshua was some imposter, pretending to be G-d. But we know the story, on his way to Damascus, Yeshua appeared to him in a blinding light. This convinced him thoroughly. But now, what was he to do? Adonai had some special plans for him. His eyes would be re-opened, by a disciple (Talmid) named “Ananias” We know him as the disciple who touched his eyes and they were opened again. Now he could “physically” see again. “And Ananias went his way and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Shaul, Yeshua Adonai, that appeared to thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight and be filled with the Ruach HaKodesh. And Immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales, and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized” (Acts 9:17,18) We know the name of the disciple in English as “Ananias” yet in the Hebrew, his name is “Chananyah” There are two words which make up this name; “Chen, Chanun, Chanan” which mean “Grace” and “Yah” is short for the most sacred name YHVH (YH) so, we can say that through the “Grace of G-d” (Chananyah) The eyes of Shaul were opened physically, and by Yeshua himself, his eyes were opened “Spiritually” Ben Avraham
  11. There are two words for "stone" and "rock" that are used in the Greek language, "Petra" (Rock) and "Petros" (Stone) or "Little rock" When Yeshua told Kefa, "You Kefa are the rock and upon this Rock I will build my church" The word Yeshua used for Kefa was "Petros" (Little Rock or stone) and Yeshua used the word "Petra" (ROCK) or (Solid Rock) for himself. The catholics believe that Peter was the founder of the church because Yeshua called him the "rock" but acutally, the Church (Kahal) was founded by Yeshua himself, because Yeshua is the ROCK, hey, but nothing wrong with being a stone, as long as the stone is following the ROCK!
  12. PARASHAH: “Tzav” (command) LEVITICUS 6:8-8:36………. JEREMIAH 7:21-8:3………MARK 13:1-37 Last week we studied Parasha “Vayikra” (and he called) and this week, we read Parashat “Tzav” (command). We are studying the same offerings, yet the titles are different. One is “Called” and this study falls under “command.” What is the relationship here? One way to look at this is that “offering up to Adonai” is a calling. We are called to “offer up to Him” yet not all respond. But for those who DO respond to the calling, there is a set way to offer up to HIM. HaShem is saying in a way; “You are called, but I know that not all you will respond, yet to those who DO respond, THIS is how it is done! Remember that today, there are no more animal offerings/sacrifices, yet the offerings are symbolic in the way we relate to HaShem today, through prayer, mitzvoth, our personal relationship with Messiah Yeshua. We continue to look at the “Korbanot Shel Mishkan” (the offerings 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 items, 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 judgment 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 word 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 deeds, following the commandments) and “walking” according to HIS direction, walking a “Torah based lifestyle, 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 Yirmeyahu (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. (I know, seems like bad English to use "were" but "Korbanot" is plural, so "were"is correct) 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. Shalom... Rabbi Ben Avraham
  13. A QUICK MIDRASH ON THE BOOK OF ESTHER, SINCE PURIM IS UPON US. A long time ago, in a palace called Sushan, in the kingdom of Persia, there was a king named Ahasuerus who had just a little too much to drink, he called for his wife and he called for more wine, and the wine he got but the wife he got not! His wife Vashti refused to come, ” Hey, husband, Mr. King, I have my own party, kinda busy now, so, later dude...” Wrong response, that cost her job, she got fired! She got “de-queened” But when King Ahasuerus sobered up again when the Manashevitz ran out, he said, “Oi Vey, what have I done?” Did I really fire the queen?” “Yeah,” his counselors said, “and you signed her out of the palace too, can't get her back now... But. You can send out for a replacement queen!” ” Welllll, Okkkkeeyy” let's have a beauty contest, the prettiest girl gets to be queen, that'll work” So, we know the rest of the story, Esther (Hadasah) the niece of Mordechai becomes queen. This is not by accident, even though YHVH's name is never mentioned, He is still controlling the situation. The Book of Esther reveals YHVH's activity in spite of his name being omitted. He is still there on the scene, behind the scene, controlling all the events; We can even see symbolism in the characters and events. Did it just happen that Vashti got fired and the king arranged for a beauty contest? And that of all the pretty women in the kingdom, all virgins, that Hadasah (Esther) was chosen... I would say that YHVH arranged the whole thing...put everything and everyone in its place and in his and her place, for a reason. HaSatan is always out to destroy the Jewish people, and this time, he used Haman to try and do it. So, Haman is a type of HaSatan. God places Mordechai at the right place at the right time, in order to learn of two plots, one plot to assassinate the king, the other to murder all the Jews of the provinces controlled by Persia. He sends word to his niece, now queen, of the plans, both plans were revealed by Mordechai, to Queen Esther. Now she has to let the king know. But he hasn't sent for her in a month, to go before the king without being summoned is a death penalty, but she prays and fasts and so do the Jews of Shushan area, Since the king loves Esther, He receives her, she touches his scepter, and she invites him to two parties, along with Haman, Now Haman already has an attitude against Mordechai since he will not bow before his presence, I think YHVH has a bit of a sense of humor, Haman rides on a horse and looks down at the people under him, and everyone bows before him in homage, except Mordechai. Now, The king orders Mordechai to ride a horse, wear a crown, and royal apparel, while Haman is below him and has to look up! Interesting change of events. Haman's plot to have the Jews killed is revealed, the king is wroth, orders Haman to be hanged on the same gallows (75 feet high) that he meant for Mordechai. That was one big and tall neck-stretcher! Haman probably grew a few more inches in a matter of seconds in that fall from “heaven to earth” by a rope. Remind you of someone who was cast down from “the heavens to earth?” a few thousand years ago? The Jews defended themselves on the 13th day of Adar, which was today, March 20th! And won the battle, they also collected the “spoils of war” which was a custom back then, and still is in some parts. To the victor go the spoils, like weapons, money, combat equipment, etc., that the enemy used. Mordechai, who became a leader under the king much as Pharaoh appointed Yosef as Vizor, appointed the days 14h and 15th of Adar as two days to remember, and we should also remember the 13th as well, the day that the Jews gained victory over their enemies. This year, 2019, they are March 20, 21st and 22nd. The King and Esther can symbolize YHVH and mankind, the only way to gain access to our Heavenly Father is through YESHUA, the scepter can symbolize YESHUA, we can only come by invitation, the Father invites us to come to him THROUGH YESHUA, if the scepter is not extended, you don't come, without the scepter, death is for sure, We can look at it this way too. Esther can symbolize YESHUA, and the king, our Heavenly Father, As Esther intervened before the king for her people, so does YESHUA intervene before the Father on our behalf. Esther, the bride, and wife, can also symbolize all believers, the “Kehilah” of Messiah. And the king, Messiah Yeshua. As King Ahasuerus loved Esther so much that he listened to her petition, so Yeshua loves his bride and soon to be wife, so much that he gave up his life for us all, on Calvary's cross. His bride consists of all believers everywhere. He listens to our petitions, our prayers, and he responds according to his perfect will. Satan was defeated again back then. Never bow the head or knee to HaSatan, as Mordechai resisted Haman, so should all believers resist the temptations that are thrown at us by the father of lies. So, let us rejoice this day and tomorrow, remembering the Feast of Lots, (Purim) which fell upon the 13th day of Adar, a day meant for destruction of the Jewish people, but death and destruction were changed to continued life and prosperity for “b'nei Israel” and so we continue to exist, and will always exist, and be the apple of our Savior's eye, for all eternity. THE BOOK OF ESTHER - Midrash and Symbolism The reading of the book of Esther during the time of Purim is customary, and when one reads the entire book, one will notice that the name of God is never mentioned. We do not see “LORD” or God nor even in the Hebrew is the name “Adonai” or “Elohim” written in the entire book, yet the intervention of Adonai is clearly there. There is also symbolism in the characters that play a part in this true Biblical drama of suspense and final victory. The characters are; King Ahasuerus, king of Persia, Vashti, Esther, Mordechai, Haman. There are more characters but these are the main players. As we know from the reading, the king throws a six-month party, gets drunk, invites queen Vashti to his part of the party to show her to his guests, she refuses, she is deposed, she is replaced by Esther who becomes the new queen of Persia. The first symbolism that we could see is this; The king could be a picture of Yeshua who receives his bride (Esther) He extends the scepter to receive her, and when we accept Yeshua as Messiah and LORD in our lives, we are joining in the “body of the bride”. (of course, we would never imagine our Messiah as a drunkard, that would be the exception). The second symbolism could be that the king symbolizes the master. The master calls for his servant (Vashti) she refuses the master’s request to come. The master then turns to the second servant, (Esther) and she accepts the follow the master (in marriage). Which one of the servants do we identify ourselves with? Of course, with Esther. We must be careful never to say “No” to our LORD, Messiah, and Master, lest we be replaced by someone else who will heed the calling. Saying “No” to Yeshua in serving him in ways of his calling could result in lost blessings, being replaced by someone else who WILL obey. The third symbolism can be in the character of Mordechai. He acted as Esther’s counselor and advisor. He supported her in all ways. We, as the body of Messiah, need counselors in ministry, those that will support us, and guide us. There are no “Lone Rangers” in ministry. As the Apostle Paul had Barnabas, we also need our “Mordechai” who will advise us and give us that “push” when we need to be “pushed” a bit. The fourth symbolism is that of Haman, who of course, as we can all imagine, symbolizes Satan, who wishes to destroy the Jewish people. Esther and the King team up to destroy Haman. She invites the king and Haman to her party, and Haman gets stretched out on the end of the rope. Yeshua destroyed the curse of sin and death whose author is Satan. Satan was conquered at Calvary’s cross. The body of Messiah, his beloved bride and “queen” is also involved because when we direct a person to accept Yeshua as Messiah and LORD, being “Born-again” (John 3:3) we are taking another soul from the grasp of HaSatan. We are pulling the “rope” that hangs Haman. And as the word “Purim” starts with the letter “P” (Pey) and ends with the letter “M” (mem) we are to use our “mouth” (Pey) to share this story with the “masses of humanity” (mem) to all who would listen and understand. CUSTOMS TODAY: When Purim is celebrated in synagogues today, it is a time of rejoicing, reading the Book of Esther, everyone taking turns reading. A play or drama is put on, there may be the "Bottle Dance" from "Fiddler on the Roof" some people might dress up in ancient clothing of the past. (I always do). All eat "Hamantashens" which are three-cornered cookies with jelly in the middle. When they are eaten, it is like eating "Haman" chew him up! chew him up ! When the Book of Esther is read, there are noisemakers, we cheer when the names "Esther" and "Mordechai" are mentioned, and "Boo, Hisssss!!" when the name "Haman" is mentioned. Some write the name of "Haman" under their shoes, so when they hear the name "Haman" they stomp their feet, symbolizing "crushing Haman" underfoot. Rabbi Ben Avraham
  14. SYMBOLISM IN THE “SERPENT” (Num 21:6; John 3:14) When we read about “The Serpent” in the Torah/Bible, we are reminded of Satan. “The Devil is the Serpent.” 99% of the time, it DOES symbolize “HaSatan.” But what about the other 1%. If it isn’t HaSatan, then, who can it be? Are you thinking about Messiah? Really? Seriously? Well, let’s see. We read in the Torah when the people of Israel sinned and complained, that Adonai sent “fiery serpents” to bite the people. Some translations say that they were “Seraphim” angels of fire, or perhaps the “Seraphim” directed the serpents to bite the people. One can only wonder. Yet when the people repented, Adonai directed Moshe to erect a bronze serpent on a pole and whoever looked at it, would be healed of the serpent poison.(Numbers 21:6-9) In John 3:14, Yeshua speaks saying; “As Moshe lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so the Son of Man be lifted up.” Does this mean that the serpent, in this case, is Messiah? Or is the bronze serpent “likened” unto Messiah in being “lifted up?’ Here are some things to ponder on. The people were poisoned by the serpents’ bites, yet the same serpent on the pole, when looked at, healed the one looking at it. Scientists take snake venom and make serum out of it, so as to heal people who are bitten by that same snake. The venom that kills, is the venom that heals. In our case, sin kills, yet Messiah Yeshua carried our sins on the cross, so being filled with our sins, we who look and trust IN Him, who carried our sins, are healed! What else can we see? In Hebrew gematria. The words we look at are; “Nachash” (serpent) and “Mashiach” (Messiah). When we add up the number values, they both equal “358”. “Nun, Chet, Sheen” = 358, “Mem, Sheen, Yod, Chet” = 358. Then we look at the symbolism in these numbers. 3 = Elohim, 5=grace, 8=new beginning. What can we see in the number 358 then? One way we can look at it is; “Elohim gives grace in our new beginning” (as born-again believers, we are saved by “saving grace”. 3+5+8 = 16. 1=Echad, 6=man. “Elohim who is “Echad” (the Unity of ONE) became man (to save mankind from the curse of sin). “16” 1+6=7. “7” is perfection. What then can be the whole message? “Elohim, who is “echad” ONEness in three, in his grace toward mankind, became a perfect man, without sin, so that mankind, whosoever that “looks up” to HIM, might be saved and have a “new beginning”. Shalom... Ben Avraham
  15. 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 MESSIAH 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 Messiah's death on Calvary, it is still worthwhile studying the meaning of it all, since it is a very integral part of the Torah. One interesting part of the word; “Vayikra” is that in the Hebrew, there is a small “Aleph” at the end of the word. Some ask as to why? Why is the “Aleph” small and a bit elevated? One answer is that it reminds us that we must approach God in a humble way, we must humble ourselves when we look up to HIM. 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” (offering) is to generate the idea of “substitution”. Also, the word “Korban” symbolizes “coming close to God.” Our sin separates us from God, yet through the blood, in our case, the blood of Yeshua, we come “close” to God. The sacrificial system involves; a gift, a death, a substitute, a renewed “close” 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 offerer 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” (offerings); 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 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 hardwood 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 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 wrongdoing, 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 offerer 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 offerer 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 flatbreads (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 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 the 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 “shuv” 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
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