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Jacob Ben Avraham

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. YESHUA; THE GREAT MOUNTAIN We know the different titles of Yeshua, like “The Bread of Life,” “The Light of the World,” “The Living Water,” “The Good Shepherd,” and many more, but have you heard of “Yeshua, the Great Mountain?” This is a title that is not well known, yet it is a title. It comes from the book of Zechariah; “Who are you? A Great Mountain before Zerubbabel? A plain, and He shall bring forth the Top Stone with shoutings of grace, grace unto it (him). (Zechariah 4:7) The question; “who are you?” indicates that it IS a person that the mountain refers to. We can see some symbolism in the original Hebrew; “Mi atah HaHar HaGadol?” In this verse, we can find the letters YHVH. If we look at the “Sod” understanding of “HaHar, HaGadol” (A Great Mountain) using gematria, the two words sum “703.” One way we can look at this number is; “The Perfect, Eternal, Elohim.” Two other words which can point to Mashiach are “plain” (mishor) and “Top Stone’ (Aven). While a mountain is “very high” or “tall”, a plain, on the other hand, is lower than a mountain and flat. Yeshua was with the Father in Heaven, yet he left his place “On High” to come “down” to earth to dwell among men. Serve, heal, teach, and finally, die for our sins. The Hebrew word “mishor” comes from “Yashar” which means “straight” or “blameless” Yeshua was “straight and blameless” Hitting the mark, fulfilling all the Torah and the Prophets. The word; “Yashar” is part of the word “Yisrael” it means “Yashar-El” (Straight to God). The “Top Stone” is the most important stone, “Stone” in Hebrew is “Aven” which is the combination of “Av” (Father) and “Ben” (Son). And who is the “he” that brings forth the “Top Stone?” Could it be the Father who brings forth the Son? And the Son is full of “Chen” (grace). The word “Grace” is mentioned twice. The word “it” can also be translated “him” There are two types of “grace;” Saving grace and Covenant grace. By grace, we are saved, and through the renewed covenant, we “grow” in grace and faith. Another verse that can support this is Isaiah 52:13; “He shall be lifted up and be very high” What on earth is higher than a mountain? Yeshua died for our sins, was buried and then, “lifted up” resurrected and now is “on high.” He came from being “on high” to come down and be a “plain” and then was lifted up and ascended unto the Father once again. Have a blessed day…..Rabbi Ben Avraham Ref: “The Return of the Kosher Pig” pgs 84-90
  6. Continuing in a Midrash over Parashah “P’Kudei” (accounting of) in Exodus 38, the tabernacle seems to be mentioned/referred to in three ways; 1. HaMishkan (The Tabernacle) 2. HaMishkan, HaOhel Moed (The Tabernacle, Tent of Meeting) 3. HaMishkan, HaEidut (The Tabernacle of the Testimony). In reality, there are ALL the same, yet referred to by different names. Why is that? Why does Moshe refer to them in different ways? Perhaps we can see the ministry of Adonai in different ways. “HaMishkan” If we go back to the ancient Hebrew spelling of the word “Mishkan” It is spelled with 4 Hebrew letters. “Mem” “Sheen” “Kaph” and “Nun” It comes from the verb “Sh’ken” which is “to dwell”. The reason that Adonai ordered Moshe to build the Tabernacle was so that HE could dwell amongst HIS people. One can look at the letters from the ancient Hebrew perspective and say; “The Living Water who is the All-Consuming Fire anoints (his people) with life” … or … “Our lives became anointed when the presence of the All-Consuming Fire /the Living Water is amongst us” “HaOhel Moed” (The Tent of Meeting) Why do we go to the synagogue/church? Because it is the meeting place where we meet with Elohim. His spirit is there! Even if there are only two believers present in some place, HE is in the midst! So, Adonai dwells with his people so that we can “meet” with HIM. “Ohel Moed” has 7 letters, “7” is the number of perfection. “Aleph” “Hey” “Lamed” and then; “Mem” “Vav” “Ayin’ “Tav” Again, going back to the ancient Hebrew understanding of the symbolism in the letters, we could understand these two words in the following manner: “Behold the God of Instruction and Teaching (gives his people/us) the “living water (of the word) which connects us with insight, which is at the door”. When we meet with Adonai, we are taught His Word through his chosen teachers, we are taught about Yeshua who is the “Living Water” who gives “insight’ (or understanding). The understanding is there at the door, all we have to do is open the door (of our mind and heart) to receive it. It is interesting that the last word “Moed” has the letters “Ayin and Dalet” which spell “Witness” there are witnesses when we meet with Adonai, Adonai himself and his holy angels besides those who are there to receive the Word of God. “HaEidut” (Testimony or Pact) The Mishkan was also known as the “Eidut” the Tabernacle of Testimony. What is the testimony? The testimony is the presence of the “Tables of the Torah” The tablets of the Commandments which were placed in the Ark of the Covenant. The word “Eidut” spelled in the Hebrew consists of three letters; “Ayin’ “Dalet” and “Tav”. When we see these from the ancient Hebraic perspective, we can see this message; “Insight is at the door of the Covenant” or we could also understand it as; “The covenant gives insight, and that is at the door”. The letter “Tav” in the ancient spelling looks like a cross leaning to one side. It speaks of the New Covenant under Yeshua, and when we understand (insight) the message of “Yeshuah” (Salvation) then that “Yeshuah” is at the “door”. All that we need to do is open the door and receive “Yeshuah” that comes from “Yeshua” (seems like a play on words). Again, we see the two letter “Ayin and Dalet” (ED) yet here they are reversed, yet they are still present, the “Witness” In conclusion, the Tabernacle was all about where Adonai came to dwell amongst his people to dwell with them, teach them his word, his ordinances, his commandments, to direct them to a new lifestyle other than the life they had in Egypt. We meet with Adonai in HIS place of worship to receive his word, and to allow HIM to dwell inside of us through His Holy Spirit. We learn His Word and his Word directs ALL to YESHUA, who is the New Covenant Rabbi Ben Avraham (just finished my Ebook "God Tales An Anthology," just have to get a website now.)
  7. Thank you for your support, just finished my EBook, "God Tales, An Anthology" Just have to get a website now and a Paypal account and I can introduce it to the world, but if you want, I can send you a free copy.
  8. PARASHA: VaYakhel (and he assembled) and P’Kudei (Accountings of) EX 35:1-38:20 and EX 38:21-40:38…………….1 KINGS 7:13-8:21…………. MARK 9:1-50 These are the final chapters of Exodus (Shemot) and Moshe talks about honoring the Sabbath day, the prohibition of lighting a fire on the Sabbath, gathering an offering to build the tabernacle and it’s furnishings, the appointment of persons to make certain items, and finally, the building project in detail and the outcome. All these are worth talking about. ” Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to YHVH” ” You shall kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath day.” These are very important statements, commandments repeated from before. Even before the building project begins, YHVH wants his people to know the work days, rules, and regulations. In this “work-a-holic” world in which we live, the believer should know when to stop and rest. YHVH commands it, for our own good and mental soundness. Too many people work all seven days a week, perhaps 10 or more hours each day to make a “lot-of-money” only to spend the extra money at the hospital when they have a nervous breakdown because of all the extra work hours. The Sabbath is a day to spend with the family, at the family’s place of worship., be it at a synagogue or at a church. It is a time to spend with the LORD, to worship, learn from HIS WORD, and fellowship with other believers. It is a time to leave the things of the house alone, perhaps eat out, and return home at the end of Sabbath. It is intended as a “day of rest” so, “rest” means exactly that, “rest”. When we look at the commandment; “Thou shalt kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath” we need to ask ourselves, what was fire used mainly for? Probably for cooking! To boil water, prepare food in different ways. Manna fell from the sky and the Israelites perhaps ate it as is, or boiled it, made it into bread, they probably roasted goats or lambs from the flocks, heated ovens for “Manna flatbread” It was a task and a half to start and maintain a fire, cooking, preparing and all that. So, YHVH is saying STOP! just for the Sabbath, and take a break from it all. Stop slaving over the hot stove and rest, prepare something on Friday, that is why HE gave a “double-portion” of Manna on Friday. Today, how can we put that “mitzvah” into good use without “overdoing it” as some Jewish sects do, not, turning on a light switch, not driving a car, etc. Well, to start, we can prepare meals for Saturday on Friday, and on the Sabbath, just heat them up. Another idea, eat something light like salad and sandwiches. Many churches and synagogues have the custom of eating out or eating “in”. Some Jewish synagogues have “Oneg” a lunch prepared for the members and guests after service. Some church Sunday school classes go out to eat as families after services on Sundays. Why not? Give the house-wife or house-husband a break from kitchen duty! Don’t they deserve it? Anyway, the Sabbath was made for man and woman, to “rest” and take it easy, and meditate on YHVH. The rest of these two Parashot have to do with the Tabernacle. The order to build it, to take up an offering of materials, to assign workers, to “build it” to “put it all together” and finally, to invite YHVH to come down and dwell in it, which he DID, at the close of the book of Exodus. So, go ahead and read the chapters. How can we look at this in light of our lives as born-again believers in Messiah Yeshua? The “tabernacle” today is YHVH’s dwelling place which is each and every “Kehilah” (congregation) where born-again believers meet to worship the LORD, singing praises and teaching his WORD. The tabernacle is also the bodies of all believers, with the Ruach HaKodesh dwelling inside of us! YHVH has given each and every believer some gift and talent to “maintain” the “Mishkan of Believers” as YHVH chose different individuals to build the furniture of the Mishkan, so HE has selected different believers with different talents to maintain the Kehilah. The root word of “Mishkan” are the letters SH+K+N, (Shaken) meaning to “dwell with” or one could say “to live among” This is the Hebrew word for “Tabernacle” (Mishkan). If we are to look at this word from an ancient Hebraic view, the letters would be “Sheen” (the all-consuming fire) “Kaph” (anointing), and “Nun” (life). We can see the symbolism in these three letters; “The All-consuming fire (Adonai) wants to anoint the lives (of all believers) through HIS presence and ministry of teaching from his Torah, through his chosen teachers, preachers, rabbis, etc. He inhabited the Tabernacle with HIS divine presence and ministered to the People of Israel through the Levites and the priests. When we look at the gematria for the letters “Sheen” “kaph” and “Nun” we get 300+20+50 = 370. We can look at this sum through symbolism seeing; Elohim (300) who is perfect (7) is eternal (0). 3+7+0=10. 10 is the number of the Law (Torah) His Word is Perfect, for all eternity. so, what does every article of tabernacle furniture symbolize in a relationship with Yeshua and believers? 1. The Mishkan itself with the curtains, poles, staves, etc. = A “fence” to keep holiness in and ungodliness out! Once inside, you are in the holy place, where YHVH dwells, and where the priests minister. Our Kehilot are “holy places” where the LORD dwells and where we join for fellowship with other believers. 2. “Aron HaKodesh” (The Ark of the Covenant) the “heart” of the Mishkan, where the tablets of the commandments are kept, together with a pot of Manna, and Aron’s rod. It symbolizes the believer who “should” shine like “gold” both inwardly as well as outwardly. We should be mindful of the commandments to put them into action as “unto good works” Yeshua is our “Manna” the “Bread of Life” and the Rod of Aron as our “Rod of authority, our high priesthood of believers” the “Shekinah glory” which rested above the mercy seat is the everlasting presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. 3. “The Table of Incense” it symbolizes our prayers as they go up “like smoke” unto the heavenlies, even to the Throne of Grace. One thing to point out, all the furniture with the exception of the Menorah, was made of Acacia wood overlaid with gold, the wood symbolizes the humanity of Yeshua, and the gold “purity”. The incense was made of various ingredients but making an exact replica of the original substance is forbidden, most worshippers today that use incense use a mixture of Frankincense and Myrrh, which is readily available. It is a relaxing aroma that helps one to go to sleep at night. 4. “The Golden Menorah” was made of one solid piece of gold, hammered and formed into a seven-branch candlestick. It had seven lamps which were filled with olive oil and burned all night. In the morning, the priest would come into the Holy Place and trim the wicks and re-fill the lamps with olive oil. We look at the Menorah as “Yeshua Ha-Or Olam” (Yeshua who is the light of the world, the Eternal Light) we are the 6 branches that are on either side of the “Shamash” the helper lamp which is in the middle, Yeshua said, “Ye are the light of the world” that means “every believer is a light in dark places” but our light comes from Yeshua” we have no light of our own, like the moon, moonlight is sunlight reflected off the lunar surface. The oil symbolizes the Ruach Ha Kodesh, (The Holy Spirit) and the wicks are “us” we need to be in contact with the “oil” in order to have brightness. 5. “The Table of Shewbread” made of hardwood overlaid with gold. Had 12 loaves of bread, symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel. The table and bread symbolize “Yeshua HaLechem Chayim” (Yeshua the Bread of Life) Even the “unleavened bread” of Passover which symbolizes “Yeshua” who is the unleavened bread” 6. Outside the holy place are two items, the bronze laver, and the Brazen Altar. The bronze laver was a huge bronze bowl filled with water. The priests would wash their hands and feet after offering blood sacrifices. It was made of bronze which symbolizes “judgment” when the water was still, the priest would see his reflection in the water. When we look in still water, or in a mirror, we see our reflection, we see who we are, sinners saved by grace, yet we still have the sin nature, and Yeshua went through “judgment” in our place, we have been “washed” in his blood and made clean. Remember that Yeshua washed the feet of his talmidim. 7. “the Bronze Altar” (Mizbeach) (pronunciation = “ach” like Johann Sebastian Bach) not “beach” which is by the ocean, NO! was made of hardwood overlaid with bronze, symbolizing the humanity of Yeshua who was judged in the “fires of our sin”. The animal sacrifices were performed on this altar, the blood was poured out at the base of the altar and the animals roasted on a grill. Think of the Mizbeach as a big BBQ pit. The brazen altar symbolizes the cross of Messiah Yeshua, the animals symbolizing Yeshua himself who poured out his blood for us sinners, who incurred “our judgment” in his own body. We see the materials that went into building the tabernacle; gold, silver, bronze, fine linen, wood, blue, purple, scarlet, and animal skins, They all have symbolic meanings; Gold=purity (of Messiah) and the goal of every follower of Mashiach, Silver=redemption (Yeshua redeemed us from the curse of sin) bronze=Judgment (Yeshua was judged for our sins, Fine linen= our new nature and our walk with the LORD, wood=Humanity of Messiah Blue=Heaven, Purple=Royalty, (we are royalty in Messiah Yeshua, part of his royal family) Scarlet=blood. Animal skins=the covering of our sins before, but now, our sins have been erased, not just covered. At the end of Exodus, in 40:38 it says that YHVH settled upon the Mishkan in a cloud. Now his presence is visible. Messiah is still with us in the form of the Holy Spirit, WE are the living Tabernacles and the Spirit of God lives in our heart, as well as within the “Kehilot” of believers who come together for worship. There is much more to say, but I better end here, or I’ll be here all night and it is already past midnight. 1 KINGS 7:51-8:21 We see here a repetition of the same building project but on a larger scale. Solomon builds the first “Temple” for the presence of YHVH. Wherein the tabernacle was a mobile structure (kinda like a mobile home) the Temple was a fixed place. He employed thousands of workers, so there wasn’t much unemployment in Israel during that time. It took many years to build whereas the tabernacle was finished in a matter of months. It takes time to build a ministry, many years sometimes. But if the goal is to share/teach the Word of God to others, to minister HIS word, then the LORD will bless that work, no matter how small or how big, whether a “mobile” ministry or a “fixed-in-one-place ministry, Adonai will bless and it will last. MARK 9:1-50; 10:1-52 Yeshua takes his three chosen disciples; Kefa, Jacob, and Yochanan (Peter, James, and John) to witness a special event. We know this as the “Transfiguration.” They went up a mountain and the clothing of Yeshua was transformed into dazzling white. He then talked with Moshe and Eliyahu. The scripture does not say what they talked about. We can only imagine. Perhaps, it was the following; Moses represents the Torah, (the first 5 books) and Elijah, the Prophets and writings, and Yeshua, the New Covenant. Altogether, we have the complete Torah, the Complete Word of God! Perhaps Yeshua told the two how He was the one that they wrote about and how all of their prophecies would be complete in HIM. Well, that is just an idea. What do you think they talked about if not that? In Mark 10, Yeshua teaches on divorce. This is a big subject, and a sad subject because many couples do not take marriage seriously anymore. “Love” is a “commitment” it is a “conscious choice” to care for a person, it has nothing to do with “feelings”, yet “feelings” can lead two people together in order to “make a “love” commitment” Divorce was allowed out of the “hardness of man’s heart” in biblical times, it was instituted by the man, never the woman, all is different now, get tired of your mate? Bored? Run to the lawyer and get a divorce, look for a new mate, someone more exciting and fuller of life. This is the mentality of the world, but not the mentality of God. The only biblical reason for allowing divorce is adultery, and for unbelief, if there is a mixed marriage and the unbeliever refuses to live with the believer, “let him (or her) depart” for we are not called to strife. All the more reason to be “equally yoked together, believers with other believers” Personally, divorce should be the last choice if one is living in a “hell hole” and the mate is an “unholy terror” but let’s not even go there now, we need to lift up our mates in prayer and pray for understanding one with the other. We are all different, and our mates complement our weaknesses, and through our mates, our weaknesses become “strong” Rabbi Ben Avraham
  9. PARASHA: “Ki Tisa” (when you elevate) EXDOUS 30:11-34:35………………1 KINGS 18:1-39……………MARK 7:1-8:38 ….This parashah starts out by numbering the people, those who are 20 years old and older, Each person has to give one half shekel of silver. Why the count? This is to count those who are old enough for the Army, the very first IDF (Israel Defense Forces). Since it is not appropriate to count “people” perhaps as to not trust in “numbers” for strength, which might lead to pride, YHVH tells Moshe to collect silver, and for each half-shekel of silver, one person is represented. The silver is to be used for the Mishkan, for repair and maintenance. Of course, we realize that the Levites were not included in the Armed Forces, they were exempt, their jobs were to be “chaplains” of a sort, working with the priests in ministry. …..Every born again believer is “numbered” in the eyes of YHVH for HIS army of adopted sons and daughters, we are fighting a spiritual battle against a hardened enemy, HaSatan, who has his own army of demons, devils, and unsaved humans working for him. Even though there will be many battles, the war has already been won, it was won 2000 years ago, on Calvary’s cross. YHVH came down in flesh and blood and paid our sin price in full. We are fighting against an enemy who has lost the war, but he has an attitude and will not relent, He wants to cause havoc among the brethren, and “sisteren” (my own made-up word) …..YHVH commands Moshe to prepare incense and anointing oil. The incense is to be used in worship, burned on the table of incense, which is before the “Kadosh-Kedoshim” (Holy of Holies) and also, on the bread, and on the sacrifices. Incense is still used today in religious services, it has a calming effect on the emotional and nervous system of those who are around it. There are many distinct aromas, the aromas that are similar to the incense that was used in the tabernacle and temple would be frankincense and some even say “musk” scent, however no one can be sure of the original ingredients, what they are today, besides, YHVH prohibits an exact duplication of the formula. …..The anointing oil was used to anoint the Levites and priests “on their heads” and not on the flesh, the ingredients were sweet cinnamon, calamus, cassia, myrrh, and olive oil, there are oils today that are used for anointing, yet it was prohibited to replicate the “exact” recipe. …..In Remez, the incense symbolizes our prayers that go upward towards heaven, and the oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit who is with us all the time. Through the Ruach HaKodesh, our prayers go up and are heard by our Messiah Yeshua. …..We see later on in this parashah that Moshe goes up Har Sinai to receive the tablets of the Mitzvoth, and as we all know the story, after a while the people wonder; “and Moshe? What happened to him?” their faith was weak, and when faith is weak, the enemy HaSatan will take advantage, Aaron who was left in charge was pressured into relenting, with gold earrings, the people made a “golden Calf”. “This is our god” they said, Could one think that they replaced YHVH with this false god? The Egyptian god “hapis” took form of a cow or bull, and perhaps, they had a miniature one of those gods with them. I would think they still believed in YHVH but they wanted to “See” with their eyes, some kind of form, breaking of course the commandment, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”. True faith is “believing” even if we cannot see something that is invisible. Yeshua said to his talmidim; “Blessed are those who do not see yet believe”. …..Do we trust Adonai, even when we cannot see the immediate results? That is what testing is all about, He will try our faith, will we trust HIM even unto the end? YHVH lives in the infinite dimension of time and space, while we live in the finite dimension. He can see the end while we can’t even see around the corner. He has everything under control, we just have to believe and wait on him, as the Israelites should have done. It would have saved a lot of grief, lives, and dishonor. …..Moshe comes back down only to witness the disaster, breaks the tablets as a sign of a “broken covenant” between YHVH and the people. It is like getting married and on the same wedding night, the bride goes out and commits adultery. YHVH wants to DESTROY the people, and start over with Moshe. YET, Moshe intercedes before YHVH for Am Israel. Just as Moshe interceded, so did YESHUA intercede before the Father on our behalf, and still does. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Yeshua’s words). “Yet now, if you will forgive their sin, and if not, blot ME out of thy book” (Moshe’s words) and…. YHVH forgave them. Just like YHVH forgives us of our sins, when we confess and turn from our wicked ways. …..Moshe wants to see the glory “HaKavod YHVH” he goes back up for a second copy of the commandments. “Show me thy glory!” the LORD responded; “I will make all my goodness go before thee” yet, he said that no one could see the “face” of YHVH, who can look upon the pure essence of YHVH? For it would drive the spirit out of the body, So, as YHVH passed by, Moshe saw the “after-effect” the “tail end”. It could be similar to my experience in seeing Haley’s comet back in 1987. While I was in college, I went to Lynchburg College Observatory which was open to the public, we could see Haley’s comet going back out into space, I saw the “tail end” of the comet, which was just a faint glow at that time. …..Now Moshe gets the second set of the tablets, and YHVH gives them to him with these words: …..YHVH, YHVH God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and their children’s children……” …..Now, how does that describe our God? He IS full of mercy and showed us grace, in that we were yet sinners, He came to earth in human form and died for us all. He is “long suffering” in that he puts up with our “stuff’ our “attitudes” and “rebellions” and gives us second, third, and fourth “chances” to repent, He could have wiped out Israel in one second, but he didn’t. He gave us his Torah, the Bible which is full of “goodness” and IS the TRUTH, he forgives sin, but ONLY when we come to him as repentant sinners and trust Yeshua as our Savior and LORD. He does not clear the guilty ONLY WHEN, the guilty DO NOT REPENT! And yes, the sins of the fathers can affect the children, just look at the public schools today, the students are rebellious, disrespectful because they have learned that from THEIR PARENTS! …..If they kids hear the parents fuss and cuss, they will too, If the parents smoke dope, they will have the tendency to do the same, children will copy their parents in all ways, HOWEVER, the blood of Yeshua can heal all of that, the generational curses can be cut short when YESHUA comes into the lives of families. …..Moshe returns to the congregation with the new set of tablets, and YHVH instructs him and reminds him of his commandments, “Yes, I will go before thee…only observe all that I am commanding thee this day…. And toward the end, YHVH mentions, “thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk” which is a repeated commandment, this was discussed before, it symbolizes a separation between, “life and death” of the “clean and unclean” …..Moshe comes down “glowing” like a thousand watt light bulb, why? He has been in the presence of YHVH right there, in the middle of the Shekinah glory! If he glowed with God’s glory, Moshe being a sinner like all of us, can you imagine how Adam and Eve glowed before the fall? Being in constant fellowship with Elohim? It was only after the fall that the “light covering” left, and they found themselves “naked!” …..Yeshua said; “Ye are the light of the world” Yes, we are, yet we have no light of our own, we reflect the light of Messiah Yeshua, in our own lives. Is our light bright, like that which reflected from Moshe? Or…dim? 1 KINGS 18:1-39 …. This relates the time when there is a contest, sponsored by Eliyahu Ha Navi, Elijah the prophet calls for a contest between “Baal” and “YHVH” it is time to take action, clear up the error that Baal even exists. So, it is Baal vs YHVH, Elijah against 450 false prophets of Baal. Sacrifices are ready, all that is needed is fire, but fire not kindled by man, only by the true God, We all know who won the contest, Elijah called upon YHVH; …..”ATAH YHVH HaELOHIM” (you are YHVH you are God) and fire fell from heaven and consumed EVERYTHING , the sacrifice, altar, stones, water, The people now had proof, the false prophets were still crying out and dancing around. Judgment; death for all false prophets. The people repented and returned to YHVH …..Are we worshiping and serving our true God? Or are we chasing after idols, idols of money, fame, popularity, jobs, fast cars, lust, avarice, etc. We can only serve one master, who is it going to be? Do we serve YHVH? Or the world? The choice is ours. MARK 7: 1-8:38 …..In this portion of scripture, we see Yeshua rebuking the prushim (pharisees) they are pointing out that the disciples did not wash their hands before eating. It is true, that one of the rites of the priests was to wash their hands and feet before entering into the Holy place, yet this was never stated as a commandment. …. Today, we see many religious practices which are stressed and done as if they were commandments. There is a big difference between “commandments” and “tradition” many traditions stem from commandments, but we need to differentiate between the two. Wearing a Kippa, is a tradition, different manner of dress in Judaism is tradition, but wearing Tzitziot is a commandment, putting a mezuzah on the doorpost is a commandment. But one should not judge one another in these cases. One can point out different scripture verses, but we must leave everything in the hands of God. …..”It is not what goes into a person that which defiles, but what comes out of a person that which defiles, for out of the HEART comes forth……. …..So as not to confuse one thing from another, eating certain kinds of food does not defile a person SPIRITUALLY!, it may defile one physically, eating what is not considered biblically kosher, like pork, shellfish, etc.. BUT there are other things that can defile a person spiritually, like listening to unholy music, doing things, watching things, movies, etc. that are un-holy, satanic, occultic, etc. …..Physical defilement is different from spiritual defilement. In this passage of scripture, Yeshua is performing many miracles, opens the ears of a deaf man, healing the eyes of a blind man, casting out demons, how are our eyes, ears, heart? Can we see the truth in scripture? Can we hear the WORD of God clearly? Is our heart open to receive his word? Do we come against HaSatan and his demons through the power of the Holy Spirit? Is Yeshua HaMashiach your savior and LORD? Shabbat Shalom……….Rabbi Ben Avraham
  10. PARASHA: “Tetsaveh” (you shall command) EXODUS 27:20-30:10.............EZEKIEL 43:10-27..............MARK 5:1-6:56 In this parashah, we will see the preparation of the Menorah, and the clothing of the priests. The study starts out with preparing olive oil to fill the lamps of the Menorah, The Torah tells us that it was a “permanent light” (Ner Tamid). It would be the only light outside of the “Kadosh Kedoshim” (The HOLY of Holies) where the “Shekinah” illuminated that small area where the only article was the “Aron Ha Kodesh” (The Ark of the Covenant. Verse 20 states; “And thou shalt command the children of Israel that they bring unto thee pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually.” In the original Hebrew, this verse has 15 words. The word “Shemen” (oil) is the “eighth” word. It is the “middle word” with 7 words before and after. Is this a coincidence? from the word “Shemen”, we get “Shemini” (eighth). What does the number 8 symbolize? It symbolizes a “New Beginning.” This is a “New Beginning” after their slavery in Egypt. While in Egypt, Pharaoh symbolized the “light of Ra!” yet now, the “light of Elohim” would be the light of “Yeshuah” (OR YESHUAH) the Light of Salvation. The instrument of light would be the Menorah, which would hold the “shemen” the “Olive Oil.” The Menorah was “outside” the curtain, yet still inside the tabernacle. In the same room with the Menorah was the Table of Shewbread, where the 12 loaves of bread were, and the Table of Incense. Here we have a three-fold symbolism of Messiah Yeshua. The table of Shew Bread, “Yeshua HaLechem Chaim” (Yeshua the Bread of Life) and the incense altar, where our “Prayers go upward to heaven” and where “Yeshua intercedes on our behalf. The Menorah is “Yeshua HaOr Olam v'ha Or Tamid” (Yeshua the Light of the World and the Eternal Light. The Menorah was to burn all night, and in the morning, the high priest (Aaron) would come in to trim the wicks and prepare the Menorah for the evening lighting. The Menorah was all about “Light” in the words “from Morning to evening” (the lamps of the Menorah were to burn” we can see the Hebrew word “Ad” (ayin and dalet) The word “Ad “means “witness” during the evening, the Shekinah Elohim was the outside light, while the lamps were the inside lights. During the day, the Shenika glory which was above the Mercy Seat of the Aron Ha Kodesh (Ark of the Covenant) was the inner light of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). There is a difference between light and darkness, Good and Evil, Holiness and Sin, Lost and saved. The olive oil in the lamps symbolizes the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which the wicks can symbolize every believer. If we are to burn bright, we must be in constant contact with the oil, if not, we will “burn out” In pagan cultures, darkness was when evil came about, demons, etc. In ancient Egypt, their god “Ra” went to sleep at night, so the Egyptians were without protection against the “evils of the night”. Those who ventured out usually took a cat with them, symbolizing “Bastet” goddess of the night, who would protect the person against “evil”. Wow, what if the cat saw a mouse or a dog, and....ran off? Oh, well. The Menorah that burned during the night symbolized “Elohim” who would be the “light in the evening” as well as in the day. The light was inside the tabernacle, and also, outside in the form of the “column of Fire”.We are blessed by the presence of the Ruach HaKodesh (The Holy Spirit) at all times, in the day and during the night, inside and out, the believer is NEVER alone, the Light of G-d is forever with us. The Menorah had seven branches, it was made of pure gold, the middle branch was called the “Shamash” or the “helper”. “Seven” is the perfect number of holiness. “Six” branches (six is the number of mankind) are on either side of the Shamash, three on the right and three on the left. Mankind needs the presence of Yeshua, to fulfill his destiny, to get right again, into a right relationship with his creator through Yeshua, through the “New birth” (John 3:3). The wicks are “all of us” and the oil that goes into the lamps, the “Holy Spirit” we need to be in continuous contact and communion with the Ruach HaKodesh, so that our lamps will “shine brightly” continuously, after all, Yeshua said to his followers, “Ye are the Light of the world” (Atem ha Orot ha Olam). Israel's purpose was to be the “light to the Gentiles” to go into the world and teach the pagan peoples who worshipped idols, that there was only ONE GOD, to bring the Torah to the world. This is what happened during the “scattering” of the tribes of Israel to the nations, now, there are “Y'hudim” in all nations, and in all nations, there are many who worship our LORD and God. Even among the Jewish peoples of the world, there are many Messianic believers who embrace Yeshua HaMashiach. In the next chapter, it talks about the vestments of the priests. Clothing has always been a thing of importance. The world says, “according to how a person dresses, that person IS” a “bum” or “hobo” (a word of the 1930s), usually has dirty and torn clothes, unkempt hair and a scraggly beard, HOWEVER, that “bum” or “hobo” might be a “born again believer” who is going through hard times, maybe being chastised by God for some sin. Many ask what was the first “clothing” like? How were Adam and Eve dressed? If we go back to Genesis, we can get an idea and answer that question to the best of our ability. “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, yet they were not ashamed; Gen 2:25. This verse is insinuating that there IS SHAME connected to nakedness, yet, Adam and Eve did not have any physical clothing at that time. This was before their sin. But was there something that covered their bodies? If we remember, Moshe was with the LORD for 40 days and nights. When he came down from Mt. Sinai, he was “aglow” His was shining with the Ruach HaKodesh. Could that be the case with Adam and Chavah? Many believe that they were covered with a “skin of light” (a play on words) Since these two Hebrew words are the same pronunciation; “OR” yet the first letters are different. “Light” is spelled with an “Aleph” which symbolizes the spiritual essence of Adonai (Aleph, Vav, Resh) The other word “OR” (skin) is spelled with an “Ayin” (Ayin, Vav, Resh). The letter “Ayin” symbolizes, the “eye” or “insight” “Skin” is something we can “see” Our souls/spirits are inside our bodies, and our bodies are covered with “skin” on the outside. So the “light” covered the “skin” meaning the oneness in the relationship with the Creator. However, after the sin of Adam and Chavah, we read the verse; “Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew that they were naked” (Gen 3:7) …” I was afraid because I was naked so I hid myself (Adam) Gen 3:10. Here we can relate “nakedness” with “fear” yet not before, only NOW. How is it that NOW they realized that they were naked? It was because the covered of light was lifted up, taken away from their bodies, leaving them only with their “skin”. “Nakedness” And “shame/fear = broken relationship with the Creator! Adonai made them new clothing, an “animal skin covering” which required the sacrifice and death of an innocent animal. This first material clothing symbolizes our Messiah who died and not only “covered” our sins, but completely “atoned for” them. With physical clothing, Adam and Eve could now have fellowship with the creator again. YHVH looking down at them and seeing the animal skin covering would think of the future covenant of blood of Yeshua. When my family went to worship at our congregation, we all put on our suit and ties, and mom wore her best dress. Yet today, some come to synagogue or church dressed as if they were going on a walk in the park, or to the beach. I mean, God still sees our hearts, even if we wear a sports shirt or long sleeve shirt with a suit and tie, BUT... if we are going to meet with the KING of Kings, shouldn't we wear our BEST? What would you wear if the president of your nation invited you to his house? In different Jewish denominations, different clothing is worn, some casual, some dressed up, some only wear “black and white” (Ashkenazim/orthodox). Some wear black and white to be reminded of the destruction of the Temple, others because they are reminded that physically, we are in the state of sin, our bodies are corrupt, yet inwardly, we are like Yeshua, “white” and “Pure” yet only through the blood of Yeshua! Not by our own merit. The priests had their own vestments. The completely white tunic was worn on Yom Kippur when the Cohen Gadol would enter the “Holy of Holies” to meet with YHVH. Perhaps this completely white tunic reminds us of the white glowing light that must have covered the bodies of Adam and Eve before their sin. We are also reminded that the clothing of Yeshua was “glowing white” when He was on Mt. Tabor when he met with Moshe and Eliyahu. There the three represented the whole Torah! Moshe, the Torah, Eliyahu, the Prophets, and Yeshua, the Brit HaDashah, “The New Covenant” As you read the parashah chapters and verses, we see the tunic/robe, bonnet, ephod, breastplate, etc., all meaningful. The onyx stones on the priests’ shoulders had the names of the tribes of Israel engraved, the priest would “shoulder the burden” of the nation, taking the animal sacrifices (that represented Yeshua's death) would intercede before YHVH on the nation's behalf. Now, Yeshua intercedes before the Father on our behalf with his “once only” death/sacrifice for all sin for ALL time. The breastplate would have 12 stones engraved with the names of the tribes of Israel, “Israel was/is next to YHVH's heart! As we are too since we are all part of the Commonwealth of Israel. Two interesting things are the “Urim and Thumim” no one knows exactly what they were, there are suggestions, they might have been two stones which lit up and glowed when the priest would ask YHVH a question, the “Urim and Thumim' (Light and perfections) were placed under the breastplate. When the priest went before YHVH seeking an answer to some judgment concerning the people, the stones would light up “illuminating” the priest with perhaps special wisdom from God, and it would be a “Perfect” response from God. name of God (Y H V H) on it, and placed inside the breastplate, and then, some think, that the letters of the names of the tribes of Israel that were engraved on the stones, would glow. The priest under the anointing of the Spirit of God, would then put the letters together and would “read” God's answer. But these are just ideas, nothing 100% certain. In heaven, we will discover what the “Urim and Thumim were/are! “ Today, we have the Word of God. YHVH speaks to us through his written Word, but also, through dreams, at times, through other people who are very sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, YHVH conveys messages through events in our lives. If we look back in our lives, we can see that YHVH has been right there working and preparing events/people to bring us to where we are now. In chapter 29, we have the anointing/dedication of Aaron and his sons for the ministry. The sacrifices were a bullock and two rams, unleavened bread with olive oil. All these points to Yeshua, these were clean animals, whose blood symbolizes the blood of our Messiah, just like the unleavened bread, “Yeshua the Bread of Life” and the oil, the “Ruach HaKodesh” a little bit of the blood was placed on Aaron's right ear lobe, right thumb, and on the right toe, the same was done to his sons. What does this symbolize? We could say that as priests, “May they always HEAR, LISTEN TO the voice of God, that they might DO his will, and follow his commandments, and WALK in HIS footsteps, FOLLOWING the path of Torah. This would be the same expectation of ministers who are anointed as rabbis, chaplains, pastors, priests, etc. that they might always listen to the voice of God, and follow/do his will through his Word, to serve those who are placed under their leadership. We don't use blood today, but we do use anointing oil, so, the next time you might be called to anoint a Mnister, place some anointing oil on the right ear lobe, on the right thumb, and the right toe, (or on top of the shoe) since most don't use sandals today, (except on Purim). Chapter 30 talks about the altar of incense, this was made of shittim wood overlaid with gold, again, the humanity of Yeshua and the purity of HIM who is God. On this altar, the incense was burned, symbolizing our prayers that go up to YHVH as a sweet savor. A final thought on “clothing” let us “clothe” ourselves in the Spirit of God so that we might be spiritually controlled. Just as the Ark of the Covenant was “clothed” inside and out by pure gold, we should also be “clothed” inside and out with vestments that are God-honoring. EZEKIEL 43: 10-27 The prophet receives a vision of the heavenly temple, which is an exact replica of the tabernacle and temple on earth. When YHVH gave the instructions to Moshe to make the tabernacle and later, when Solomon built the temple, it was with the plan of the heavenly temple that was in mind. When Yeshua died for our sins, He went up to the Heavenlies and placed his own blood on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant, meaning that our sins are forgiven, erased, blotted out forever! MARK 5:1-6:56 This is when Yeshua heals the man who was possessed by demons. There were one thousand demons inside the body of this man since demons are in the spirit world, the physical body is not an obstacle, no, they didn't feel “crowded”. And since the demons have to obey the voice of God, they left, and as we read, they went into the bodies of swine. we can see how far away some Israelites were, from walking in fellowship and obedience to the Torah, since they herded swine, which was and still is, an unclean animal, unsuitable for eating although many Christians believe the contrary. When the swine took a suicide leap from the cliff into the Sea of Galilee, they told Yeshua to “Leave”! Imagine that, telling “God” that he was not welcome in their city. “Hey, you just ruined our business, get out of here!” well, THEY had no business herding and raising pigs, to begin with. Sheep and goats would have been better. How do we react when God calls our attention to something, do we tell him to “get away from us?” or do we “welcome” his visit and correct our sinful ways? The man who was demonized, now in his right mind wanted to follow Yeshua, yet Yeshua told him; “go and tell what has happened to you to your family and people” Even though he wanted to follow Yeshua personally, Yeshua sent him on another mission, to “evangelize and be a living witness” He had credibility, since everyone knew him. YHVH sends each and everyone on us has a special mission to fulfill while we are on earth, He has equipped each and every believer with the gifts of the spirit to fulfill our mission. Let us be faithful to HIM who has provided us with such a blessing as eternal life. Sabbath Shalom...Ben Avraham
  11. Actually, the original meaning of the word "Gentile" was "pagan idol worshipper" Because in ancient times, all the nations outside of Israel were exactly that. They worshipped idols, Only Israel worshipped the ONE and TRUE GOD; Adonai-Elohim.
  12. Parashah: “T'ruma” (offering) EXODUS 25:1-27:19............. 1 KINGS 5:12-6:13.......... MARK 3:1-4:41 Gut Shabbos, in this Parashah, we see that a request is made for a “free-will offering” so that the tabernacle can be built and the articles of furnishings for the same. As we remember, when the Israelites left Egypt, they left with quite a treasure which the Egyptians gave them so that they would leave. We could consider this, “back pay” for all the work they had done for four-hundred years. Egypt had quite a wealth in gold, silver, gems, fine fabrics, etc., and now, Egypt remained poor and in ruins while “B'nei Yisrael” left with the “spoils of war” a war which YHVH fought against the gods of Egypt, and won. So, in a battle, the spoils of war belong to the victor. So, while the Israelites were protected, G-d fought against the demonic entities, in the guise of the “gods of Egypt” Pharaoh included. So, rightly, the riches and spoils of Egypt belong to YHVH, being carried by HIS people. So, where in the desert are the people going to spend it all? they are just carrying it around, a lot of extra weight and burden might as well put it to good use. The plan is to build a place where YHVH can come down and live with his chosen people. It isn't that YHVH can only live in one place, He is eternal, everywhere, yet He will “rest” with His people, minister to His people right there, visible by a cloud by day and fire by night. The “invisible God” will be “visible” in those two ways. In “Yitro” The Torah was given to Israel, the marriage “Ketubah” was given in the form of the Ten Commandments, written in stone, In “Mishpatim” “justice” was given, some more commandments explained by YHVH through Moshe, and now, YHVH is saying “Take ME into your life, make ME a place to dwell among you” There was even a musical band to play, the thunder and shofar sounds. There was even a wedding canopy, the Glory Cloud Yet first, the people have to gather the materials in order to make HIM a “Mikdash” (Sanctuary) yet more on this word later. The materials would be “freely given” The Word says; “Take for me an offering” (Terumah) yet at the end of the verse, the word is “Terumati” (my offering). Question, is it Israel’s offering, or God’s offering? It is BOTH. Israel gave and God made sure it was enough, and it was “more than enough”. Remember in the New Covenant when the boy offered 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes. “He gave” and then, Yeshua multiplied the offering, “HE gave BACK”. In the days of Elisha, the widow gave a bit a wheat and oil to make some bread for the prophet, then, GOD through Elisha gave back! Many pots of olive oil were left over, enough to sell and pay off the widow’s debt. Whatever we have to offer, Adonai will bless and double it in only a way that HE will be glorified. There is also an interesting word in verse 2; “meiet Kol ish” (of every man). Each man would give and offer, a free-will offering. The word “meiet” is really the letter “M” with “ET”. “ET” carries the symbolism of “God of the Covenant” or the “Alef and the Tav”. So, what can we see here? It is that since every man would give a free-will offering, we are reminded that Yeshua, who is the “Alef and the Tav” gave HIMSELF as a free-will offering for sin, once and only once on Calvary’s cross for ALL MANKIND, (Kol ish!). The letter “m” (mem) can mean “of” or “from” it also symbolizes “Mashiach” and “water”. Messiah who is the “Living Water”. We look at 25:8, there is something interesting; “.and let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them…” thus said Adonai speaking to Moshe. The word “to dwell among” is “Shakhn’ti” and it not only means “to dwell among” it also means “to dwell inside” and that is the way it is today, the “Ruach Elohim” the “Spirit of God dwells “inside” of every born-again believer. God is our “neighbor”. The word “neighbor” in Hebrew is the word; “Shakhein” and we can see those letters in the word “shakhn’ti” the three main letters in the word “Shakhein” are “sheen” “kaph” and “nun” “sh” “k” “n” we can also see those letters “inside” the word “Mishkan” (tabernacle) and the word “Shekinah” (the Shekinah glory) today we know it as the Spirit of God, who dwells inside every believer. So, YHVH is our “neighbor” who dwells inside of us 24-7. Another word “Tabernacle” is “sanctuary” (Mikdash) Something interesting about this word is that in Hebrew, the word has 4 letters; “m” “k” “d” and “sh” (mem, qof, dalet, sheen). The letter “k” or “Qof” symbolizes “holiness” it is right in the middle of the word. Without the “Qof” we would have the other 3 letters and if one puts the “Sheen” (sh) first, the word would be “Sh +m+d” (Shemed) which means “vanity”. What is the symbolism here? A sanctuary without holiness would be a place for vanity. Without holiness, what else is there besides vanity? The building project was, one could say, financed by Egypt. For 4 hundred years, Israel worked for a hard taskmaster, “Pharaoh and Company” building edifices dedicated to false gods, now, Israel has a new master, The Creator of the Universe, the Maker of Man, the future “Yeshua Ha Mashiach” A place will be built for HIM to minister to his people, and every piece of furniture will reflect who HE IS. There are 13 general items for the building project; 1. Gold, 2. Silver, 3. Brass, 4. Blue, purple, and scarlet fabric, 5. Fine linen, 6. Goat’s hair, 7. Ram’s skins, 8. Sealskins, 9. Acacia-wood, 10. Oil, 11. Spices, 12. Onyx stones, 13. Other gemstones. The number “13” in Gematria is the sum of the letters in the word “Echad” which means “ONE in unity”. With those materials, the Mishkan/Mikdash was built, so that Adonai could be ONE with HIS PEOPLE, which now includes all believers. We are all ONE with Messiah Yeshua. Gold, silver, precious stones, fabric, and wood. Now there is a question, where did the wood come from? Are there any Shittim and Acacia trees in the desert? If one looks at the desert of Saudi Arabia today, even though “google maps” or “google earth” one can see almost no trees, just bare mountains. But we are talking about a desert almost 4000 years ago, it was probably very different, it had to be, remember that the Israelites brought with them cattle, sheep, what are they going to eat? Sand? NO, there had to have been vegetation, trees. They could have cut the trees down in the desert and fashioned them into boards for the “Mishkan” (tabernacle) or they might have brought them out of Egypt, already cut and fashioned, perhaps some of the Egyptian lumber yards just gave them all that, since not all of the Egyptians were rich in gold and silver (just an idea) This is a “free-will offering” Moshe states, “of every man whose heart maketh him willing”. So it was not forced, it was “of free will”. We know that the people gladly gave, so much that later on, Moshe has to say, “Stop giving already, we have enough”. Can you imagine a pastor or rabbi from a church or synagogue that would say that to his congregation, “OK brothers and sisters, we have enough money for all of our needs, you can stop giving?” I don't think that will ever happen when one gives of his or her time, talent, and treasure, God gives back many times over. Money is like a conduit, it should flow like water through a pipe, to be spread out, no “backlogged” There are many who hoard money like a squirrel hoards nuts in a tree, no amount in the bank seems to be enough. One rich man was asked, “how much is enough?' he said, “only one dollar more...” and it never ends. Adonai has promised us that He would provide for ALL of our needs, through his abundance in grace, both in spiritual ways, physical, and material ways, if we will only trust Him. We ask ourselves, what kind of “T’rumot” (offerings) can we “offer up” today? Gold, silver, and bronze? Yes, that would be money, from our paychecks, tithes, and offerings. Fine linen, blue, purple and scarlet threads? Yes, that would be clothing. There are ministries that collect used and new clothing to donate to the poor and needy. I would say, we can offer up almost anything of value to someone in need. But most of all, we can “offer up ourselves” as living sacrifices. We can offer up our abilities to serve, offer up our spiritual gifts since that is why God has given spiritual gifts, to edify the body of Messiah. Now, on to the building project; So, the building project is started, with “tent of meeting” (The tabernacle/Mishkan) with its wooden boards, bars, clamps, and curtains of linen, the furniture that would go inside; The Brazen Altar, the Brazen Laver, the Menorah, the table of shew-bread, the incense altar, and finally, the Ark of the Covenant, (Aron Ha Kodesh. Each and every one of these pieces reflects who Yeshua is and his finished work on Calvary's cross. The Ark of the Covenant is mentioned first, made of acacia wood overlaid with gold, both inside and out. Inside this box would be the tables of the Law, the “Torah” It symbolizes the purity and sinlessness of YHVH. The wood; the humanity of Yeshua who was YHVH in the flesh, both God and man. As it was covered with gold inside and out, it symbolizes that we also should be, through the Holy Spirit, “pure” inside and out, both physically, and spiritually, where people can see and where only God can see, inside us. The Torah, God's teaching and instruction to us, is inside the Ark, as the “Living Torah” who is Yeshua is inside of us, and also, his teaching, his “Torah” inside of us, to understand, learn from, and put into action in our daily lives. The Cherubim that are on top of the Kaporet look down upon the mercy seat, and they remind us of God's Holy Angels that are around us and who protect us. The “Shekinah Glory” the “Holy Presence of YHVH” was on top of the “Kaporet” (the cover) and when the high priest would sprinkle blood on the cover, YHVH would see the blood. The blood on the cover symbolized (before Yeshua) that the sins of man were “covered” for one year, but after Calvary, the sins of all of us were “erased” “wiped away” “blotted out” FOREVER. The 7 branch Menorah (candlestick) was made of pure gold, with 7 branches, the “perfect number of God” the six branches would extend from the central branch, just like we, believers, depending on the center branch, or “trunk” for our sustenance, there were “6” branches, (number of man) connected to the “7th” main branch. This Menorah symbolizes “Yeshua” as the “Light of the World” and the oil inside it as the “Ruach Ha Kodesh” (The Holy Spirit) We see the “wicks” that are inside the lamps as “believers” who depend on the “oil” (the Ruach HaKodesh) for our continuous growth, as part of the body of Messiah Yeshua. The table of shew-bread symbolizes Messiah Yeshua as the “Bread of Life” with the 12 loaves of unleavened bread. The bread was to be there, “continuously” the priests would eat the bread on the Sabbath and more bread was placed on the table, so that there would be “always the presence of “the Bread of Life” As believers, the living Torah is our spiritual bread, and we must partake daily of this bread. No wonder Yeshua was born in Bethlehem, yet in Hebrew, the name is “Beit-Lechem” the “House of Bread” Again, the table was made of Acacia wood overlaid with gold, the purity of the sinless presence of God and the humanity of Messiah Yeshua. Then there is the table of Incense, also made of acacia wood overlaid with gold. This is where coals from the brazen altar were placed, and incense burned. The incense symbolizes our prayers, which go up to Heaven as the sweet-smelling incense smoke also goes up. The curtains of the tabernacle were to be made of fine linen, with the colors, blue, purple, and scarlet. These colors remind us of “blue skies of heaven above” “purple” (color of royalty, Yeshua the King) and scarlet, (color of blood) reminding us of Yeshua's blood that was shed for all our sins, past, present and future. And of course, the wooden planks that remind us of the humanity of Yeshua. In the outer court of the tabernacle, there is the brazen altar, made of bronze and filled with water. This is where the priests washed their hands and feet. Bronze symbolizes judgment, imagine when the priests approached the still waters in the bronze laver, they would be able to see their reflection in the water. Imagine that is us looking into a mirror, what do we see? The image of a holy God, yet tainted with sin, we need to judge ourselves, and turn from our sinful ways, repent of our sins, like Yeshua said, “Your sins are forgiven, GO, and SIN NO MORE”. Finally, there is the brazen altar, which is really the first thing a person would see inside the tabernacle. It symbolizes Yeshua who was judged for our sins. It is made of acacia wood overlaid with bronze. The bronze symbolizes the judgment that Messiah Yeshua went through to pay our sin price. The animal sacrifices were placed on the grills which were on top of the altar. The animals symbolize our Messiah Yeshua, their blood symbolize HIS blood, and the fire symbolizes the “fires of judgment” which Yeshua endured on the cross of Calvary, once and only once. It was sufficient, for our sins, past, present, and future. Let not his sacrifice for sin be for naught. If you have never placed your faith in Yeshua as Messiah, Savior, and LORD, do it now. 1 KINGS 5:12-6:13 The tabernacle was used for many, many years. It followed “B'nei Israel” when they crossed over the Jordan, but 480 years later, it was replaced by the first temple which Melech Shlomo (King Solomon) built. It must have been magnificent. The Ark of the Covenant and the furniture that were inside the Mishkan were transferred to the new temple. Yet many years later, after the death of Shlomo, the priesthood corrupted themselves, the kings as well. The temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, and the furniture was taken away. A believer can walk away from God, we can go astray, and the Ruach HaKodesh will call for us, to invite us back into fellowship, yet for how long? Will the Spirit of God call us back indefinitely? Or...like the Spirit of God that finally, “Left” the presence of the Temple, leaving it “Ichabod” just an empty building, can we become like an “empty vessel? Just walking around empty and lifeless? But just as a believer is capable of going astray and walks away from the presence of God, the believer can also return, and be received with open arms by the Father. One day, the third temple will be built, and the presence of YHVH will be there, and Yeshua will be back to rule the earth. We will be there too, to share in this rule for one thousand years, and then...into eternity. MARK 3:1-4:41 Here we see Yeshua on the Sabbath, and he heals a man with a withered hand, yet receives criticism from the Prushim (Pharisees). Yet Yeshua explains, “doing a good deed on the Sabbath is permitted” so, YES, if one works, doing a “mitzvah” on the Sabbath is permitted, if it is to bless another, help another, be it to bring medicine for someone who is sick, help repair a hole in a roof (if you see the rain clouds a comin!) . Yeshua went down to the Lake and more people came to be healed. The Sea of Galilee is a peaceful place to swim in. Just stand in the water and feel the fish nibble at your feet, quite an experience. I swam down about 10 feet in the lake at Tiberias and brought up a ceramic dish. Still have it, a free souvenir. But just looking at the Lake brings back thoughts of Yeshua there 2000 years ago, healing those with illnesses. He still does, and he heals our souls as well. Shabbat Shalom. I thank God for giving me 65 years of life, fulfilled today. I would like to honor the memory of our departed brother in Messiah, Tommy Chauvini, who offered himself as a “Terumah” to serve in “God’s chosen House” the “House of Yeshua” He served with love and unselfish devotion to make the sanctuary secure and safe, and to help clean and lift heavy things. He also shared his knowledge in natural health-science areas. He will be remembered in our hearts and is still alive in Heaven. He is not a jewel that has been lost, only a jewel which has returned to the Master Jeweler. Where he is we will be someday.
  13. PARASHA: “Mishpatim” (Judgments) “Bringing to light the meaning of some difficult mitzvoth” EXODUS 21:1-24:18...... JEREMIAH 34:8-22, 33:25-26.... MARK 1:1-2:28 About the word "Judgement"; When people think of "judgment" they think of a criminal sentenced to prison by a judge. Yet in the Hebraic sense, it is a decision rendered upon hearing a case, (which might include punishment) yet it is also understanding what a certain commandment means. We would hear a Rabbi mention a commandment, and then discuss its meaning with other rabbis and scholars. They try to make sense of it in light of the present situation, whatever it may be. The commandments have literal meanings and they also have symbolic and spiritual meanings, we must know and have in mind ALL meanings. This parashah involves the giving of a variety of commandments, that Elohim gave to Moshe to give/write down, and teach to “b'nei Israel” the first has to do with slaves and the treatment of slaves. The system of slavery in Israel back in Biblical times was very much different than the cruel slavery of Africans here in the United States, starting from the 1600s, into colonial days, up until the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Unfortunately, the slave owners used the bible as a “reason” to own slaves, as they said, “The Bible permits slavery!” Yes, but only in extreme circumstances when one could not pay one's debts. And the person was only a slave for 7 years, in year 7, the master had to release the slave, give the slave gifts of oil, wine, wheat, so he or she could start life over again. The slave could not be abused like slaves were whipped and abused under American slavery. But if the slave wished to remain with the master, the master could make a hole in the slave's ear and put in a ring, indicating that the slave was slave for life, (being the choice of the slave) but “life” was up to 50 years, until the year of “Jubilee” if the slave chose to be with his or her master for “life” and the year, let's say was “40” then, “Life” was 10 years more, and then the slave would be released. It is interesting to read that the scripture says in Exodus 21:6 “Then his master will bring him before Elohim, and shall bring him to the door or the doorpost and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl” The word, Elohim, cannot only mean “God” but also, “Those who represent God” perhaps Levites, officials of the Tabernacle, the temple, city, etc. The word “Master” is a form of “Adonai” in this part, it is spelled; “Adonav” (his master). The doorpost was the official place of doing business, like at the county clerk’s office. So the person who loved his master made his love for him official, before “Adonav” (His master) before “Elohim” (God himself and before those who represent Him. If the slave was hurt in any way, say the master hit the slave and knocked a tooth out, or put an eye out, the slave was to be released immediately, and with compensation. Not so in America during the years of slavery. Rav Shaul/Paul the Apostle talks about being “bond slaves” to Messiah Yeshua, and that is our state. Would we want to be “released” from following HIM? Would we want to be under a “different master?” There are only two that claim our lives; Yeshua or HaSatan? We were “bought with a price” the price of blood, and we were released from Satan's bondage, to follow and subject ourselves to a new master, “Adonai” which means; “my master” We are “servants” to the Most High God. The Hebrew word for “Slave” and “servant” is the same in Hebrew; “Eved” slaves/servants were not considered “objects of purchase” or “property” they were considered “human beings” just like we are considered in the eyes of YHVH his “servants” “children” “adopted sons and daughters”. Do not sons and daughters serve their parents? ”An eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe; (21:24....) if you read on, we see that it doesn't mean, “if you knock out my tooth, I have a right to knock your tooth out too” or “if you blind me in on eye, I have the right to put out your eye” or in modern terminology, “If you break my stereo, I have the right to go into your house and smash your stereo” how, I ask you, does that solve the problem? It doesn't, it just creates more problems. If we look at this situation in light of scripture, it is saying in other words; “just compensation for hurt or damage received” How would that work? If I broke your arm accidentally or on purpose, I would be responsible for taking you to the doctor and paying the medical bill, and even, paying you “lost wages” if you couldn't work. It doesn't mean that the other guy could break “my arm too”. If you broke my stereo, then I would expect you to either pay to have it fixed, or buy me another one of equal value, (arm for an arm, stereo for stereo, etc.) We continue to read about many rules, commandments, judgments, that make very good sense, even today, yet many of these judgments are not practiced today, everyone is off to the lawyers for a lawsuit. My opinion is that if the legal system today, was set up to reflect the Biblical standards of criminal justice in accordance to God's Word, there would be a lot less crime. The criminals would think twice before committing crimes. An example would be the following; A man goes to prison for stealing a car, he sells it, spends the money, so the prisoner has to work in prison and the money he would make would be sent to the victim to compensate the loss. His sentence would end only when the sum is completed. Or...the court system would pay the victim the money lost in the theft, and the thief would have to work to pay back the court. This type of punishment would reflect more the Torah standard of criminal justice. We come now to Exodus 23:19. “You shall bring the first-fruits of thy land unto the House of YHVH, thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk” One commandment does not even reflect the other. It would be like saying, “turn out the lights when you leave the house, hey, don't forget to check the mailbox for mail”. What has one got to do with the other? G-d is saying is saying here to bring your tithe to the House of YHVH but then goes on to a different subject. Would this; “seething a kid in its mother's milk” be taken literally? In order to break this commandment, one would have to take a kid goat, butcher it, cut up the meat, then take the mother goat, milk her, then boil the meat in the mother's milk. Who would go to the trouble to do all that? Today, when people make stew, the meat is usually boiled/seethed in water with condiments, not in milk. But if we look at this commandment in a derashic sense, (the moral and spiritual sense) we could get this understanding; It may be all about the separation of life and death, of the clean from unclean (Tamei from tahor) good from bad. In “Basar v'chalav” (meat and milk) we can see that the word “Chalav”(milk) spelled in Hebrew is “Chet, Lamed, Beit (ch+l+v) yet the word “fat” is also spelled (ch+l+v) yet pronounced “Chelev” They are related, “milk” is a form of “fat”, and the fat of an animal was offered upon the altar to YHVH, as a “sweet savor” a “pleasant smell” unto YHVH, this was part of the worship service. We worship G-d with our full “heart” and the word “Ch+l+v” contains the letters “lamed” and “beit” (l+v) (Lev) which means “heart” Milk symbolizes “life” a baby is nurtured by its mother's milk to live, to have a life. Yet the flesh (Basar) symbolizes death, as a believer, to be in the “flesh” is the opposite to being “in the spirit, full of life”. Once the animal is cut up, if not used, the flesh sits and rots, flies come around, and it becomes “Tamei” (unclean) when we are in the “flesh” we are in a way of speaking, “unclean” spiritually, until we confess our sins, and become as “milk” (full of life) again, walking in the spirit, and, like the fat of a clean animal, being a “sweet savor unto YHVH” . This just one way one can look at this prohibition of boiling a kid in its mother's milk, from a Derashic (moral and spiritual) standpoint. (watch “Basar v' Chalav/Meat and Milk” on YouTube “Kehilah Melech Yisrael”) ”if you meet an enemy's ox or his ass going astray, you will bring it back to him again” (Ex 23:4) This is one way to make your enemy, your friend, make peace with him. Would not this be for today as well, of course, it would! “Do not oppress the stranger, seeing you were strangers in the land of Egypt” other bibles say “foreigner” the USA used to welcome all immigrants, now many are being oppressed, being deported, being cheated in wages, we must turn this around and start helping those who come to this country to seek a better life, thus turning a curse into a blessing. If you read from chap 21 to 24, look carefully at the commandments/judgments, you will see that most make perfect sense even unto our modern days. God's Word is right on the money! JEREMIAH 34:8-22, 33:25-26 Jeremiah is known as the “weeping prophet” because Israel had returned to idolatry, and corruption, YHVH sends him with a message to Israel, “Repent” and “turn from your sins”, one of the sins was to go back on their word. Jeremiah told them that God had said, “release your slaves” since they had not released them after 7 years, they did that, but afterward, they “re-captured” their slaves and returned them to captivity, this is to be “double-minded” for “appearance sake” they released the slaves/servants, but when they thought that “the prophet wasn't looking” they went back on their word. Result? Babylon came and captured Israel! And king Zedekiah was taken to Babylon as a slave. How well do we as believers respond when someone calls our attention? When we are in the wrong, do we really repent, and turn from our sins? or.... when we think no one is looking, go back to our sins? Our old attitudes, our old “issues?” A thief looks ahead, in back, to the left, to the right, to make sure that no one is looking, but the thief never looks “up”! Yes, our Heavenly Father who is on high is looking down on us all, and observes ALL our actions, even in private, so, we really are NEVER alone! Someone is always watching us. God, his holy angels, Satan, and his demons, all that are in the spirit realm are always watching our every move. So, make sure our lives are holy, unto God on high. MARK 1:1-2:28 The talmid/disciple Mark writes about John the Baptist, his ministry to prepare the people for the coming of his cousin, Yeshua, preparing hearts, minds. Baptism was important in Jewish life, it symbolized who was once unclean, is now clean, from “Tamei” to “Tahor”, from “death to life”. When a born-again believer is baptized, the believer identifies himself or herself with Yeshua in death and life, death, burial, and resurrection. But John was just “preparing” the way for He who is THE WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. Yeshua is the WAY to eternal life, He is the TRUTH, which is the opposite of lies and deception, and He is LIFE eternal, to those who embrace Him as Savior and LORD. Yeshua went walking along the Sea of Galilee, and there he invited Kefa and Andrew to come with him, and later, at K’far Nachum (Capernaum) went to the synagogue there and began to teach the people. I thank God that I visited that same synagogue back in 2015 when I went to Israel to serve the IDF with the reserve units. Ben Avraham
  14. PARASHA: “Yitro” (Jethro) EXODUS 18:1-20:26.......... ISAIAH 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6....... MATT 27:1-28:20 We see in this parashah, a lot of wisdom on the part of Moshe and Yitro, his father-in-law. First, we learn that Moshe had sent his wife and children back to stay with father and grandfather. I believe for safe-keeping, when one sees danger, it is wise to care for one's family, as Moshe did, His wife and children might have been in danger, the Egyptians might have retaliated, might have kidnapped his wife and children, or killed them, so Moshe took precaution, which is a good thing. The second piece of wisdom comes from Yitro, He is a man of experience, so he says; “Moshe, what are you doing to this people?” hey, you are only one man, and a few million of them? Come on dude, get wise-er, this isn't a one-man deal here, no such things as “lone-rangers” in ministry, even the “Lone-Ranger” was not alone, he had “Tonto”. Ministry is to be shared with other believers, that is why the Ruach Ha Kodesh has given the Spiritual gifts, to be shared, to minister to others, by many, not just one. The rabbi cannot do it alone, neither can the pastor. The rabbi needs his co-workers, and so does the pastor, if not, they are going to run themselves ragged. This is called “pastor/rabbi Burn-out” This is the parashah of the “Ten Mitzvoth” the “Ten Commandments” but before the giving of these, YHVH presents the deal to the people, kind of like when the bride-groom presents himself to the bride, these are beautiful words; ” Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you unto myself, therefore IF you harken unto my voice and keep my covenant, THEN ye shall be my own treasure from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine, and you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation” (19:4-6) It is all conditional, like all contracts, covenants, we see the “IF” and “THEN” He says that He bore Israel on eagles' wings. An eagle will carry her young on her wings to protect them from harm. So did YHVH, He brought Israel through the Sea on dry land, and brought them nigh unto Har Sinai, now, they have to decide, will they accept YHVH as their one and only God? And obey HIS words? It is like asking the bride to accept the groom as her only husband, provider, and loving ruler, (not tyrant) BUT…even though Israel broke the covenant many times, YHVH has remained faithful and we are HIS HOLY PEOPLE, his ELECT, whether we were born and raised in Israel or from the nations, doesn't matter, we are HIS because we have accepted HIS sacrifice in YESHUA our “Goel” (Redeemer), and we choose the follow his Torah, his LIVING Torah. The HE lays out the first 10 of the 613 commandments, which generalize, one can say “all” of the Torah: We need to realize that the first ten were given directly by Adonai to his people, HIS voice to HIS people, the other 603 were given to the people THROUGH Moshe, but still, they are all GOD’s commandments. Moshe simply did not make them up. ”ANOCHI YHVH ELOHEIHA” ( I AM ADONAI YOUR GOD) with the I AM emphasized, one can say “Ani” (I) or Anochi (I really AM) He is saying, I am who I have claimed to be, the God who took you out of Egypt and brought you here, I am ready to be your God, so if that is the case, there can only be ONE God in your life, that is ME, I don't want statues of me, that what the Egyptians did, so, don't do as they did, (It took one day to take Israel out of Egypt, but 40 years to take Egypt out of Israel, if you get the meaning). Don't bow down and worship other gods, that will NOT be accepted. It is interesting to see that the word “Egyptians” and “Egypt” is the same in Hebrew, it is the word “Mitzraim”. When Israel crossed the Red Sea, the “Egyptians” were drowned in the sea, yet “Egypt” followed Israel still, in the manner of “mindset” “philosophy”, “influence”. Today when we reject the ways of the world, and come to “Yeshua” there are still “world-ways” one tends to follow, sometimes we do things even without thinking, which remind us of the “ways of the world” (evil things). Yet we see today, even though we don't make or bow down to silver, gold, wooden statues that symbolize who God is, or TRY to symbolize who he is, sorry guys, they didn't have cameras back then to take pictures, many bow down and consider more important things like; football, soccer, money, sex, TV, fast cars, work, you name it, if these come before our worship and service to our God YHVH, then those things ARE OUR gods!! put them in their proper places, least YHVH takes them from us by force!! THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF YHVH IN VAIN... What is being said here? When many take oaths, promises, many times the name of GOD is used; like “I swear to God I'll pay you back next week” Well, if next week rolls around and you pay back what you owe, you will have HONORED the NAME of GOD, yet if you don't, you will have taken the NAME of God in vain! It is better not to make promises and use God's name, we can always say “I'll do my best to pay you back as soon as I am able” and leave it at that. One can take the name of the LORD thy God in vain without words, our mere actions and comportment speak of God and who He is, if we behave unlike born-again believers, if we behave like a lost person, using foul language in front of others, getting upset and throwing temper fits, we are TAKING HIS NAME IN VAIN. And using those ugly 4 letter words, And other sorts of ugly language...well. that is not swearing, that is being just plain vulgar. REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY TO KEEP IT HOLY....The Sabbath is and always will be Saturday, it was never changed to Sunday, nothing wrong with going to church on Sunday, to me, it is a “double blessing” to worship Adonai two days straight. Yes, the early believers met on the first day of the week (Sunday) to break bread and have fellowship, this was “Havdalah” this was the close of the Sabbath and the welcome of the new week. This was a “custom” that they did, and we still do, it was not a CHANGE of sabbaths. Yeshua resurrected on the first day of the week, Baruch HaShem!! great! And we also can worship on Sundays at local churches, but it was NEVER a change of sabbaths. We should dedicate the sabbath day to be in the Synagogue or at church, to worship, learn from his word through God's chosen ministers, Sunday school teachers, Torah teachers. Go home and rest, or take the family out to lunch, give the wife a break from the kitchen, or eat lunch at the synagogue (Oneg) leave the material things and worldly things to the next day. Rest means rest! I have read in rabbinical commentaries that when “The World keeps the Sabbath perfectly...THEN… Messiah will return!” well, He still has never returned, does that mean that the world has not kept Shabbos perfectly? Guess so. Shabbat is HaSatan's perfect and favorite time to stir up trouble and tempers so that we will NOT have a restful Shabbat. Be aware of that. HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER...This really needs no explanation, it is common sense to honor our parents and respect them because of WHO they are, and what they have done for us. My mom and dad used to say to me; “We went without many times to give you the things that you have today” Our parents give us love, raise us, hopefully, to love God, ( I can't speak for all of you readers, since everyone is different) But, if our parents gave us love and taught us about God and Yeshua/Jesus, then, we ought to do the same for our kids. Honoring father and mother does not mean sticking them in a rest home when they are old and going off and forgetting about them, doesn't work like that. Were your parents rotten to you? Did they mistreat you? Well, love them anyway! It is what Yeshua taught THOU SHALT NOT MURDER, THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, THOU SHALT NOT STEAL.....ever wonder why those three commandments are together? If one commits adultery, sleeps with another man's wife or husband, one is “murdering” a marital relationship, and “stealing” what does not belong to you, being another person's spouse. Yeshua explains it even better, He said if you only “think” of sleeping, having sex with another person's wife or husband, that person has already committed adultery in his or her mind, it gets pretty intense if you look at it that way. “Murder” does NOT include going to war and fighting for your nation, you are DEFENDING your family and homeland. “Stealing?” that can be a two or three-page explanation, if you come back late from lunch, you are “stealing” time from your employer, if you do not do your very best, then you are “stealing” from your employer, your own ability and usefulness. Can a man rob God? Malachi says, “Yes” God speaking through his prophet, “You have ROBBED me of your tithes and offerings” One can rob from God when we do not utilize our spiritual gifts, or waste them on worldly things. DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS....this is another lengthy subject, but with simple words, always tell the truth, and do not hide the truth from others. To know that some thieves are planning to rob your neighbor, and you remain silent and do not alert your neighbor, it is if you opened your neighbor's door for the thieves, you are being false. To tell a half-truth is to be false. Yes, the truth at times can be costly, and painful, but being false can be worse. DO NOT COVET... Be satisfied with what you have, the job you have, the bank account you have, with the car you have, with the wife or husband you have...Coveting can lead to worse crimes, look at Aachen, who coveted the Babylonian tunic and gold from Jericho, it cost him his life, and his family's lives too. If you want more than you have already, take it to the LORD in prayer, if the LORD sees that there is nothing wrong with giving you a little more, HE will give it to you in HIS perfect time. You never know, people with “more things” usually have “more headaches” or “more” to worry about. I remember what the TV preacher Rex Humbard said once, “God may give you what you want, but you're not going to want what you get!” So, give thanks for what you already have, when we go to heaven, we will leave it ALL BEHIND. ISAIAH 6:1-7:6 ” KADOSH, KADOSH, KADOSH, ADONAI TZEVA’OT”... Holy, Holy, Holy, is YHVH of hosts” When the Torah mentions the “Holiness” of God, the word is KADOSH, the “O” is there, (the letter “vav” in Hebrew) but when “holiness” is mentioned referring to mankind, the “O” is missing, and we have KAD_SH, this “missing “vav” symbolizes the “incompleteness of our holiness, because of our inborn “sin nature” Yeshayahu (Isaiah) is being asked by God, “Whom shall I send, who will go for US?” (Elohim) The Prophet answers, “Here am I, send me!” and God responds, “Go, and tell the people!” That should be our attitude as well, we have those orders too from God, to “tell the people” about Yeshua, to teach those who will listen, his WORD, even though many will not understand at the beginning, or will refuse, we have to try, WE (all believers) are responsible for taking the “Good News” to others who will listen, and with modern technology, the internet, this has become possible, what used to be almost impossible, now is possible, with fingers going across the keyboard and with the click of the mouse, the word is sent out. Isaiah must be saying right now, “Oh how I wish I had a laptop back then!” MATTHEW 27:1-28:20 This relates the age-old story of Yeshua's trial, execution, and resurrection, this story we know well, He did it to pay the price of our sins, past, present, and future, His onetime only sacrifice was good forever, and still IS good forever. But many people still reject this sacrifice, reject this free gift of salvation, for a short-lived world of pleasure, for an eternity of suffering and pain. When we look at Passover, which is coming up soon, we are reminded of the “Passover lambs” which were sacrificed/slaughtered on the eve of Passover. The blood of the lambs sprinkled on the doorposts of the Israelite houses in Goshen, thus protecting them from the Angel of Death. We could also presume that if an Egyptian family did the same, they also would have been spared being struck dead by the Death-Angel. (the firstborn that is). All those sacrificed lambs point to Yeshua, who was the “Lamb of God” who took away the curse of sin from the world. The unleavened bread which was eaten that night, which we still eat on Passover, is “Yeshua the Bread of Life”. The Lamb of God and the Living Bread go together. Pilate wrote these words on the cross, YESHUA OF NAZARETH, KING OF THE JEWS, in Hebrew it would have been 'YESHUA HA NOTZRI, V'HA MELECH Y'HUDIM. Within this title are the letters YHVH, which explain who Yeshua is really, God on earth, made flesh and blood, whose blood was shed to set us free. Shabbat Shalom..............rabbi Ben Avraham
  15. PARASHAH: “B'shalach” (when he let go) 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 important, 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 in 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 where the Israelites crossed over. 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 a 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 are yours. Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Ben Avraham
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