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Jacob Ben Avraham

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  1. PARASHA: “HaAzinu” (give ear) DEUT 32:1-52…………………2 SAM 22:1-51…………………JOHN 20:1-31 Before going into this study, I would like to go back to chapter 30:15; “See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil in that I command you this day to love YHVH thy God to walk in his ways and to keep his commandments…” It is very interesting to see how Moshe words this. We are used to hearing and reading the words “life and death” associated together, and “good and evil” associated together. We see these word comparisons because they are opposites, yet here we see the words “life and good” associated together, as well as “death and evil” associated together. Is there perhaps a connection? Perhaps the answer is in that “doing good deeds, “mitzvoth” will produce a prosperous life, a life which is blessed by Adonai be it a short life or a long life. We can also see that living a life doing evil deeds, will produce death, perhaps death very soon. It can also bring spiritual death as well as physical if the person does not repent and turn to Yeshua. That is why Moshe commands us to “Love” Adonai and walk in his ways and keep his commandments. In this way, we are certain to live a life of meaning and reap the rewards when we appear before the judgment seat of Messiah. Again, keeping the commandments does not bring salvation, salvation is a separate issue based on our faith in our risen Messiah. “Give ear!” I am sure that we don’t hear that expression very often today, but in the times of Yeshua, it was like saying today; “Yo, listen up dudes!” “Will ya listen t’me already?” or “Hey, listen, I have something important to say!” This is Moshe’s last speech, and he wants all of Israel to pay attention, He is looking into the future, and sadly, he sees the nation of Israel in apostasy, going against the commandments of YHVH, going after strange gods and heading to corruption. He calls all of Heaven and earth as witnesses. We can be assured that the angels of heaven heard this speech, and “His” people who were on earth also heard, they were right there. “I will proclaim the name YHVH, and the greatness of Eloheinu” Here Moshe mentions two of the many names of God, the most holy, “Yod Hey Vav Hey” When we look at these letters from the ancient Hebraic aspect we get “behold the hand, behold the nail” this takes us directly to Calvary and imagine Mashiach hanging there by the nails in his hands (wrists). The name “Eloheinu” is the “behold the God who leads (us) and connects (us) to life through his hands” when we go to the ancient Hebraic symbolism of the letters. “The ROCK, His work is perfect! Here is another name of God, “The ROCK” (HaTzur) from the letter “Tz” which symbolizes “Tzadik” (one who is righteous) and the word “Perfect” (Tamim) from “Tamei” which is “clean and pure” we have heard of God being called the “Rock of Ages” the “Solid Rock” Moshe is saying all of this through the Holy Spirit so that the people can understand that THEY are the problem, not God. In all this song (Shir) he lets Israel know that they will be “doing wrong” and “have been wrong” Moshe is like a father speaking to his children to change their ways, or curses will follow. All this time, YHVH has provided for their needs, giving them water from the ROCK, and when Israel goes into the promised land, they will “wax fat” they will receive blessings from their cattle and crops, YHVH refers to Israel as “Yeshurun” which is the ancient name for “Yerushalayim” it was the ROCK (YHVH) who begot thee! This, of course, refers to ELOHIM as their “father” so why go against him? It also says that he will “rouse them to jealousy with a no-people and a vile nation” because they provoked YHVH with a “no-god” the “no-people” and “vile nation” could be the pagan nations outside of Israel. At that time, all the nations outside of Israel were pagan, idolatrous nations, worshiping false gods. Adonai has “called” those nations to worship and recognize HIM as God, in a way, He is saying; “OK, you want to go after false gods, OK, I will look for worshipers in other places, I will accept other “peoples” to become part of my “called out ones”. Not that HE rejected Israel as his people, NEVER! He just “added” more people, (the Gentile nations) to become part of his “called out family”. We must remember that Abraham was from Mesopotamia! which was a pagan nation, yet her responded to the “call” to “Leave his people and follow HIM” and the result would be a “New People” a people of the “Book” of the “Torah” who would be a “light to the pagan world”, a people who would bring forth the Messiah. “For YHVH will judge his people” (vs 36) and Yes, he DID, and still does. The word “judge” has two meanings, one is “taking counsel to take certain kind of action either for or against” and the other meaning is “condemn, or sentence” Israel sowed corruption and chased after false gods, and reaped the whirlwind! Yet YHVH is a God of forgiveness and love. (43) “Sing aloud all ye nations of His People (Goyim Amo!) This verse sees the nations as part of HIS PEOPLE, being grafted into the olive tree, peoples outside of Israel, who have accepted the atonement of Yeshua for their sins, become part of “Am Yisrael” and YHVH will avenge the “blood of his servants” We are all part of HIS PEOPLE, He loves us and has blessings in store for us, whether we were born in Israel or not, it doesn’t matter. His people started with 12 tribes and has extended to the whole world. 2 SAM 22:1-51 YHVH is my ROCK (Tzuri) and my fortress, and my deliverer; “Elohei Tzuri” (My God) in who I will take refuge. My shield and horn of YESHUATI. (2 Sam) The Spirit of God is speaking, again, using the name ROCK and ELOHEI TZURI, (the God who leads who is my righteousness) We see the name YESHUA…my “Hightower” (hey, that’s the name of my high school!) and my refuge. We take refuge in HIM because he has provided us with salvation, eternal life, a “Hightower” is a look-out tower in a fortress where the guards can see the enemy coming. Through Yeshua, the enemy has been beaten. He has been beaten by the “blood”. Vs 32; “Who is God save YHVH and who is a ROCK save our God?” again, the names TZUR-ELOHEINU Also, in Hosea 14, the prophet tells Israel “Return to YHVH your Elohim, for you have stumbled by your wickedness… for the ways of YHVH are straight and the righteous walk in them! (vs 9). The Prophet Micah also says; “He shall turn back, and have compassion on us, He shall trample upon our wickedness. And you shall throw all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19) It is not surprising that this verse is read just a week before Yom Kippur. A Yom Kippur tradition is taking breadcrumbs and going to a flowing body of water, throwing the bread crumbs into it. This tradition is known as “tashlich” the breadcrumbs symbolize our sins and the body of flowing water, the sea! The prophet Joel says; “and you shall know that I AM in the midst of Israel and that I AM YHVH your ELOHIM, and there is no one else.” No wonder he speaks through his prophets, over and over again telling his people to “love HIM” and to “Follow HIM” doing and keeping his commandments. Unfortunately, his people forgot all of that and later on, follow pagan gods, thus reaping the whirlwind! But just as a father will punish, but not abandon his son, neither will Adonai abandon HIS people and forget them. A loving father chastises yet continues to love. JOHN 20:26-21:25 A very interesting reading, as Yeshua appears to his talmidim after his resurrection, and meets them by the Sea of Galilee, or Tiberias, as it is sometimes called. Since he knew that they were fishermen, he decided to help them out again, since they caught no fish during the night. “Throw your net over the right side of the boat,” Yeshua told them, and the caught 153 fish. It was then that they realized; “It is Mashiach Yeshua!” It is also interesting that the number “153” is symbolic as well. The words, “Ani Elohim” (I am God) sums up in Hebrew gematria to “153” (Ani = 61) (Elohim = 92) 61+92=153. Yeshua also has a talk with Kefa, “Do you love me?” then…feed my lambs, shepherd my sheep, feed my sheep” three times he asked, “do you love me?” the answer came back, feed and shepherd the lambs and the sheep. What is the difference between a lamb and a sheep? A lamb is a very young sheep, up to one-year-old. So, what is Yeshua telling us here? If we love the LORD, then, as believers and followers, we are to teach and guide both young and old believers, believers who are at different stages in their spiritual walk. If you want to be used by the LORD, just ask HIM for opportunities to share the Word and teach the Word, there are believers who are willing to learn and be guided. There are also the “lost” yet have an open mind to listen to the Words of God, the Words of the “Lamb” of God who took the sins of the world upon himself to set us free! Shabbat Shalom………. Rabbi Ben Avraham
  2. PARASHAH: “VaYelech” (and he went) DEUT 31:1-30………………. ISAIAH 55:6-56:8……………...JOHN 18:1-19:42 Just a few important points over this short Parashah. A few more points to add to the previous study where we combined “Nitsavim and VaYelech”. “I am 120 years old today” starts Moshe, “I can no more go out and come in…” It is interesting that he mentions his age, 120 years old. Guess the day he spoke to his people was his last birthday. He would complete 120 years on earth and give up the ghost. We can divide 120 years into 3 parts, the first 40 years, the second 40 years and the third 40 years. “40” is the number of testings and trials. He lived the first 40 years as a price of Egypt and a general in the Egyptian army, through circumstances (which never happen by accident) Adonai sends Moshe running to the land of Midian where he meets his wife and family and becomes a shepherd. So, we go from royalty to a shepherd, a profession loathed by the Egyptians. Then the last 40 years are the “ministry years”. Adonai changed his profession so that he could fit into God’s perfect plan, that of freeing his people from the bondage of slavery through HIS chosen vessel. Moshe was 80 years old when he received the commission to free his people. The prior years were all “training years” or “Years of getting ready”. We ask ourselves what we will be doing when and if we reach 80 years of life? Will we be ready to continue in ministry? Or will we be looking forward to a rocking chair and sipping ice-tea through a straw? We must take the example of Moshe, active until the day he dies. One can retire from a secular job, but not from ministry. Ministry is a life-long calling. Whether it be a pastor or rabbi, Torah teacher or Sunday School teacher, music leader, youth worker, o just giving out bread to the hungry along with a gospel tract of the “Bread of Life” we must no think of retirement, not from that. “I can no more go out and come in” Moshe has already been told that he is about to leave the land of the living, so, he is to anoint the future leader, “Yehoshua” he will take the lead and lead the people to the promised land. “Yehoshua” (Joshua) is the longer name of “Yeshua” the name “Yehoshua” contains the name “Yeshuah” which is “salvation” or we could say, the name “Yeshua” with the added “h” which means “Behold, Salvation comes from “YAH” Symbolically, it is God himself who will take the people through the final steps of the journey to reach the promised land, through his servant Joshua. We will not live forever in our mortal bodies, sooner or later, we must name a successor, someone who will take our place. Kind of like Luke Skywalker taking “Yoda’s place as the next “Jedi” yet he had to get prepared first! We need to be preparing someone who will be the next “you” in ministry. After Moshe had finished writing the scrolls of the Torah, he gave them to the priests to put besides the Ark of the Covenant. So, I imagine that the Ark of the Covenant had some sort of “side-pocket” or a place to put the scrolls. Now, the “Aron HaKodesh” was complete, with a gold chest with the tablets of the Commandments, the pot of Manna, Aron’s rod, and now the Torah scrolls. All to remind us that the “Torah is our guide and leader to give us the “Bread of Life” who is Yeshua, who leads us through his Holy Spirit and his WORD. Moshe also commanded that the Torah would be read during the time of Sukkot at the end of seven years (vss 10,11) It may have been just the book of “D’varim (Deuteronomy) or the whole Torah (from Genesis to Deuteronomy) I would like to think that it was the whole Torah (the five books at that time). That way, the people would listen to the history of the world, the entrance of sin, and the plan of redemption. Why is the WORD of God important to us? What is its purpose in our lives? Why should it be so important to read and study it? It shows us the perfection and sinless being of God and who He is. It points out our weakness and sinful nature, and it points us to reconciliation with God through Yeshua. Then it teaches us how to live a holy and righteous life-style through the mitzvoth (commandments) (In that order!) Good works do not come before salvation, rather the other way around. Righteous works will count towards rewards in heaven, not towards a salvation experience, THAT only comes by faith in the completed work of Yeshua at Calvary. ISAIAH 55:6-56:8 “Seek YHVH while he may be found, call upon him while he is near” But we ask ourselves, is there a time when he can NOT be found? Or when he is NOT near? One answer would be “at the time of death” if a person has not reconciled himself or herself with God through Yeshua, if a person dies lost and in the state of sin, then, YHVH will NOT be able to be found, and HE will be forever FAR AWAY. A second answer would be this. When we are living in a state of sin, or out of fellowship because of sin in our lives, it will seem that God is far from us. In reality, HE is as near as prayer and repentance. He can be “found” again. It isn’t that HE is away from us, rather WE are away from HIM. “Let him return unto YHVH” (vs 7) The word for “return” is “Shoov” or “Teshuvah” which is what the High Holy days are all about. The sinner should forsake his evil ways and “return” to Adonai. Just as the prodigal son returned to his father, we should return to OUR heavenly father. Remember that the prodigal son WAS A MEMBER OF HIS FATHER’S FAMILY! He was not an outsider. That should tell us something. 56:1 “Thus saith YHVH, keep judgment and do justice, for my YESHUAH is near to come and my righteousness to be revealed. Interested verse, the Hebrew “Mishpat (judgment) is keeping his commandments and understanding discernment in what we do. The word “justice” is Hebrew in this verse is translated as “Tzedakah” which is also giving charity. “Righteousness” is translated as “Kadosh” which is also “Holiness” so, the prophet foresees the coming of Yeshua as YHVH’s “righteousness” to be revealed to all mankind. He has already come and will come again. Are you ready for his second coming? JOHN 18:1-19:42 “After Yeshua had said all this…” but what is “all this?” He had just prayed for his disciples, his followers, if you read all of chapter 17, it shows how Yeshua prayed for all those who came to trust in him, he prayed for their protection against HaSatan, he also states; “those who WILL trust in me because of THEIR word that they may all be ONE (Echad) He is talking about you and me, we are all ONE in the body of Messiah. I think that “Y’hudah Ish Kariot” (Judas Iscariot) missed the greatest opportunity to be one of Yeshua’s disciples. Yes, he was “With” Yeshua but was not “part” of Yeshua. He was just along for the ride, didn’t learn very much (it seems). When the soldiers and temple guards said, “we are looking for Yeshua” and Yeshua answered, the word of God says that they “all fell backward”. Some believe that Yeshua answered with the infallible name of YHVH. Yet in the Hebrew New Testament, the words that Yeshua said were; “Yeshua Ani” (I am Yeshua), it does not mention the infallible name, yet even the name “Yeshua” has power in itself. Even though they came and took him roughly, and Kefa took matters into his own hands by cutting off Malchus’ ear, even then, Yeshua rebuked his own disciple and healed Malchus! Even at that time, he showed love and mercy. The world accuses the Jews as “killing Jesus!” when the truth of the matter is that no one took his life, he offered it up willingly as part of the Father’s perfect plan of redemption. It was just a handful of religious zealots who captured him, and the Romans hammered in the nails, yet it was really our sins that caused his death, his death for our life, life eternal. Rabbi Ben Avraham flying over Tel Aviv 7/2015
  3. Are the Jewish High Holy days for all believers? The reason that I have begun this writing with “Jewish” High holy days is because this is what most of Christendom believe when the holy days of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot are mentioned. But in reality, they are “God’s” Holy days for ALL believers. Why do I say this? Let’s keep on reading. In Genesis 1:14 Elohim says; “and God said, let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons” This is not talking about the 4 seasons of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. The Hebrew word “seasons” here is “Moedim” which means “appointed times when God instructs man to come to worship” these are special times with special meanings. Elohim originally called his people Israel to celebrate these appointed times, yet when they came out of Egypt, not only did members of the 12 tribes come out but also many Egyptians and probably Nubians as well followed the Israelites out. They became part of Israel by their own choice. God made a covenant with his people, and He also had in mind these peoples who followed the true God, YHVH. In Deuteronomy 29:10-15, Adonai speaks through Moshe stating that everyone that was standing that day, from the most important person down to the lowliest common laborer, standing before Adonai were being made HIS PEOPLE, and he mentions in verse 11; “your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp” the mention of the word “stranger” usually means one who is not of the 12 tribes, “that thou should enter into covenant with YHVH thy Elohim. He included ALL into his covenant to be HIS people. From that time up til now, the people of the 12 tribes have been spread out over all the earth and from the original 12 tribes, the Ashkenazim, Sephardim, and the Falashim groups have been formed whose roots are in Israel, yet they are from the nations of East Europe, Spain and Middle East, and Africa. Christendom may be divided up into denominations, but we are all still part of the Commonwealth/community of Israel, extended outward into the world. So, we can well say that all the appointed days of Adonai are for ALL believers and followers in Yeshua/Jesus. So, these are not “Jewish” appointed days, but “God’s” appointed days. From September 9th to the end of this month we are celebrating Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. How do these appointed days point to Yeshua? To be very brief, we could say the following; The sound of the trumpet or shofar which is heard on Rosh Hashanah, or Yom Teruah marks the time of repentance and inner reflection. It reminds us that the “King is coming” and for us to ready our hearts and minds. It is time for us to “Shoov” or “return” to HIM who redeemed us from the curse of sin. If we have fallen short of the mark, we should take better aim and point ourselves back to our relationship with Yeshua. Yes, we all sin and come short, yet God invites all repentant sinners to come home. The father welcomed his wayward son who had gone astray. He was returning home. He was “part” of the family already, he had just gone astray and realized the error of his ways, and returned into the arms of his beloved father. Repentance in the Hebrew is “Teshuvah” which means “a return” or “change of mind and heart.” As we think and ponder upon our relationship with our Savior. We come to “Yom Kippur” or the “Day of Atonement” Under the old covenant, the high priest could come only once a year into the “Holy of Holies” in the Tabernacle and later in the temple. That was where the “Aron HaKodesh” was kept, the “Holy of Holies” in this box were the tablets of the commandments. The high priest sprinkled blood on the mercy seat and when the “Shekinah” or the “Holy Spirit” looked down upon the mercy seat, he saw the blood of innocent animals and not the broken commandments. Yet this was only temporary, as the blood of animals could not really atone for sin, only “cover” sin. The animal blood points us to the blood that really counts, to the blood of Yeshua, whose one time only sacrifice on the cross not only covered our sins but paid the entire price of sin, eternal separation from God. His blood for our salvation. We are now rejoined with God and not separated from God. During Yom Kippur, two goats were brought to the priest. One was sacrificed and the other sent away. A priest placed his hands on the goat’s head, symbolically placing all of our sins onto the goat. The other goat was sacrificed What does this ceremony mean? It means that just as our sins were dealt with on the cross, they are also “driven away from us” never to be remembered, never to return upon our heads. The words “Yom Kippur” mean “day” (Yom) “Kippur” comes from “Kafar” meaning “covering” or also “Yom Hakipurim” (Day of the coverings) because more than one animal was sacrificed at this time. So, it wasn’t a singular “blood” (dam) but “Bloods” (damei) therefore “coverings.” Yet Yeshua’s blood was unique and ONE (one of a kind) Sinless and perfect. Just like Adam had when he was originally made in the image of Elohim. It is also a day of prayer and fasting, when the Word of God says; “afflicting one’s soul” it is a time of taking note of our sinful state, and spend the day in fasting. This year, Yom Kippur starts the evening of Sept 18 and ends the evening of Sept 19th. In mainline Jewish belief, the books that God has concerning people are closed. The state of the soul in written in those books and it will be so for one year. However, we know that the books are “always open” since the line from man to God is open 24-7 for repentance. Yeshua’s death on the cross is for all time. The final appointed day is “Sukkot” or the “Feast of Tabernacles”. This is a time of joy, gladness, rejoicing that the “King is here”. We can look at Rosh Hashanah as saying; the king is coming, get ready, Yom Kippur we could say “the King is at the door, really get ready, if you need to repent, do it now! then Sukkot would mean; “The King is here, he has come, so rejoice!” This festival of “Tabernacles” symbolizes the coming of God to this earth. A “tabernacle” is a dwelling place, usually a temporary dwelling place like a tent. YHVH came down first to his people on Sinai, in a cloud of fire and smoke on top of Mt. Sinai. There he invited Moshe up to commune with him, he gave him the commandments for HIS people. Then he came down all the way to rest on the “Mishkan” (The Tabernacle) in a cloud by day and a column of fire by night. He led his people through the desert for 40 years. Eventually, the tabernacle was replaced by the Temple. Then YHVH came to earth in the form of flesh and blood, as a man, as God-man, as Yeshua. He came around this time towards the end of September or early October. This can be proved mathematically. I am not going into “Christmas bashing” at this time, but December 25th was set aside in ancient times by Rome to commemorate the festival of Saturnalia. It celebrates the birthdate of all the pagan gods of Rome. Sukkot is a seven-day celebration, culminating on the 7th day as “Hoshana Raba” the great day of the feast. This was when Yeshua was in the temple and said; “whoever comes to me from him will flow rivers of living water” The priests at that time poured out near the altar water and wine, as Yeshua poured out his blood mixed with water on the cross, when the Roman soldier stuck a spear in his side. During this festival was when Solomon dedicated the temple. On the 8th day, it is a time to rejoice in the Torah, that we have God’s Word in our midst. The Hanukkah lights are lit for 8 days to remind us of the dedication of the first temple, and also to remind us that today we are the temple of YHVH. Our bodies contain the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of God at one time inhabited the Tabernacle and the temple. The entire chapter of Leviticus 23 speaks of the “appointed days” set aside to worship and to get right with Him. Of course, it is the choice of every believer to either celebrate or not to celebrate these days. Life is all about choices. We can either ignore these days or celebrate these days. We should not judge our brother or sister if he or she chooses not to. We are saved by grace through Yeshua, not through observance of the commandments. However, if we love the LORD we will want to do as He commands in scripture. If you want some detailed info on these Holy Days, you can go to www.hebrew4christians.com. When you go to that site, look to the left and under “home” look for and click on “Holidays” and you can get detailed info under the “Days of Awe” . Shalom Rabbi Ben Avraham
  4. PARASHIOT; “Nitsavin” (you are standing) and “VaYelech” (and he went) DEUT 29:10-31:30………………ISAIAH 61:10-63:9…………. JOHN 16:1-17:26 QUESTION? How does one stand before a righteous GOD? We are coming up to the end of Moshe’s earthly ministry. He has walked with God’s people for 40 years and has gone through a lot with them. He received the Commandments from Elohim and taught the people HIS Word. As we remember, YHVH gave the people the Ten Commandments directly and the rest of the 603 commandments were given to the people through Moshe, yet ALL the Torah comes from Adonai. Moshe has intervened quite a few times to rescue Israel from destruction. As you remember, YHVH wanted on a few occasions destroy the whole nation because of their disobedience and unbelief, yet Moshe intervened on their behalf. The same thing happens today when we have an advocate in Heaven who pleads our case before our Heavenly Father. Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Christ is that person who is our “mediator” and pleads our case and atones for our sins. As long as we have the sin nature in our bodies, we need a redeemer, a Messiah who will stand before a Holy God, who sees us as “righteous” because we have accepted HIS righteousness by faith. Moshes starts out saying…” You stand, All of you, before YHVH your God, your chiefs, tribes, elders, officers, men, women, children, etc.…” He goes on to say “that you may enter into the covenant with YHVH your God. He is making this covenant with you today in order that “He may establish you as HIS PEOPLE! What is this covenant which Moshe talks about? It is the first covenant established by blood, the blood of rams, bulls, goats, and sheep, the establishment of the sacrificial system which lasted many, many years. Yet about 1400 years later, Rav Shaul (Paul) writes that this covenant was changed to a “better covenant”, the “better covenant was NOT based on the blood of rams, bulls, sheep, and goats, rather based on the blood of YESHUA! The difference was that the sacrificial system continued for years, every day, day after day, and the blood of the animals only “Covered” sin for one year, and the covenant was renewed every “Yom Kippur”. The covenant of YESHUA, however, was a “one- time deal”. His death on the cross was enough for ALL TIME. His covenant wiped away the stain of sin, it “atoned” “got rid of” the curse of sin. So, one might ask, what was the reason for the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament? They were to “point” to Yeshua’s future sacrifice for sin. The animal sacrifices “symbolized” what Yeshua would do in the future. People were still saved by faith, the only difference was that before Calvary, people looked “forward” to the cross, and after Calvary, we look “back” towards the cross. One thing both covenants have in common; “The Blood!” Moshe announces that “everyone” is involved and included, from the tribal chiefs to the simple water fetchers, everyone was included, and NO ONE was excluded. He goes on to say; “I am making this covenant and this oath with those who are here today and with those who are NOT here today….” Who are the ones that were NOT here! Why you and me of course! We weren’t around back then. Who knows, perhaps we were just souls in heat We are coming up to the end of Moshe’s earthly ministry. He has walked with God’s people for 40 years and has gone through a lot with them. He received the commandments from Elohim and taught the people the Word of Adonai. As we remember, YHVH gave the people the Ten Commandments directly, and the rest of the 603 commandments were given to the people through Moshe, yet ALL the Torah comes from Adonai. Moshe has intervened quite a few times to rescue Israel from destruction. Why did God want to destroy Israel? Because of disobedience and unbelief. When Moshe mentioned “all who are not here” he had us in mind, YHVH knew that one day, we would be here and this covenant would be for us too. The “Covenant Renewed” this is our covenant, a covenant of faith which is not based on the blood of animals but on the blood of Messiah Yeshua. This “blood” covenant unites us with YHVH through Yeshua, which brings us YESHUAH (salvation). Now, does this do away with the Torah (instruction) of Adonai? Never! In Yeshua’s own words; “I come not to abolish the Torah, but to Fulfill the Torah” (or render a perfect interpretation of it) He fulfilled it with his own blood. The commandments are for our edification and our blessings, the blood of Yeshua is for our “Salvation!” Moshe goes on to say that no one should ever think that one can live anyway one pleases, sinning here and there, living like the devil himself and still say, “I have peace, everything is OK!” That is NEVER the case, that person will be reaping curses 29:30 says; “The secret things belong to YHVH Eloheinu (Our God) but the things revealed belong to us and our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this Torah!” So, what are the “secret things?” perhaps things in scripture that we haven’t figured out yet, things like, what were the “Urim and Thumim” really? One can suggest, but no one really knows for sure. There are many more things that, to us, are “secret” (known)only to God) like things in the universe, far away galaxies, life out there in those galaxies that might have planets with life, where every single diamond, emerald, and ruby is located, where all the “buried treasure” is located. Moshe also establishes “Yehoshuah” as his successor, He knows his death is near, and he knows that Israel will fall away from God, it has been revealed to him by God himself, there is no other explanation. However, he also says that “when they repent, YHVH will bring them back to the land” this is happening already, Israel was re-established as a nation in 1948, and His people are coming back! “Yehoshua” is another way of spelling “Yeshua” It is fitting that “Yehoshuah” leads the people to the “promised land” just as our LORD and Savior “Yeshua HaMashiach” has led us to the “salvation” experience, and is awaiting us in “His Promised Land” (The New Jerusalem) our heavenly home! ISAIAH 61:10-63:9 The prophet Yeshayahu sees the future glory of Israel, “He has clothed me in garments of YESHUAH (salvation) and has wrapped me with a robe of “righteousness” (Tzedek). It is fitting that the two go together when we accept Yeshua as our LORD and Savior, we receive “righteousness” through our faith in HIM. We come under a “right-relationship” with him now, where before we were “unrighteous” living in sin, now, we are in right-standing with Him, and therefore, we are “Tzadikim” (righteous ones). Even though we still have our sin nature, God still looks on us as righteous. “Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your YESHUAH comes” (62:11) Yeshua came to Zion, but many in Zion did not receive him, yet He will return in the future, and then, ALL Zion will receive him. The future is bright for Israel, and we will be a part of that future, keep praying for the peace of Yerushalayim, but real, permanent peace will only come when Yeshua returns. He will return to his people to conquer his enemies, rescue his bride, and reign for one-thousand years, and then more. Seems like a very good future. JOHN 16:1-17:26 Yeshua promised his “Ruach HaKodesh” (his Holy Spirit) He was the “sent one” by the Father, yet he also promised another “sent one”. The difference between Yeshua and the Ruach HaKodesh is that when Yeshua was on ea This is the “comforter” that was promised. Yes, his followers would be persecuted, cast out of churches and synagogues, and this continues today. To be a believer is to be “persona non-grata” in some places. Can we endure this? Another title for the Holy Spirit is “Ruach HaEmet” (The Spirit of Truth) since it was also one of the titles of Yeshua, the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE, (HaDerech, HaEmet, HaChai) Are we following the Spirit of Truth as he leads us through the Written Truth? He is here to guide us through. , he could only be in one place at one time, while the Ruach HaKodesh, is EVERYWHERE, ALL THE We are coming up to the end of Moshe’s earthly ministry. He has walked with God’s people for 40 years and has gone through a lot with them. He received the commandments from Elohim and taught the people the Word of Adonai. As we remember, YHVH gave the people the Ten Commandments directly, and the rest of the 603 commandments were given to the people through Moshe, yet ALL the Torah comes from Adonai. Moshe has intervened quite a few times to rescue Israel from destruction, as we remember, YHVH wanted on a few occasions destroy the whole people because of their disobedience and unbelief, yet Moshe intervened on their behalf. The same thing happens today, we have an advocate in Heaven who pleads our case before our Heavenly Father. Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Christ is our “mediator” and his blood pleads our case and atones for our sins. As long as we have the sin nature in our bodies, we need a redeemer, a Messiah who will stand before a Holy God, and HE sees us as “righteous” So, to answer the question. How do we stand before our GOD? Only one way, through YESHUA! Shabbat Shalom…. Rabbi Ben Avraham
  5. When the Sabbath ends, my wife and I often visit churches on Sundays that are close by in our neighborhood because some of them are looking for understanding in the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. The following is a Sunday School lesson which I received from “Reconciliation Anglican Church” here in Houston, Texas on 8/26/18. The pastor was kind enough to give me permission to put this lesson online for all to see and feel free to download and make copies to share with your Bible study groups and congregations. Rabbi Ben Avraham ________________________________________________________________________________ BIBLE STUDY: “THE VALUE OF PRAYER” Aim/purpose: to teach those who have the desire to learn the value of prayer, how to pray, to identify hindrances to prayer, and how to pray effectively. \ INTRODUCTION: Prayer is to the Christian what breath is to the living organism. That is why Scripture instructs Christians to pray ceaselessly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Luke 18:1) By praying, the believer gets his or her needs met. Jesus himself prayed before every major activity He carried out (Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12) QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: What is prayer? (1 Samuel 1:15; 2 Samuel 22:4; Mark 11:24) Why is prayer necessary in the life of a believer? (Nehemiah 9:27; Psalm 40:1-2; Ephesians 6:12; Joel 2:32; (Matthew 26:41; Mark 11:24). How should a believer pray to receive answers? (Matt 6:9-15; Romans 8:26,27; Gen 24:12-19; James 1:6-8 ; 1 Thess 5:17; Psalm 55:16,17) What hinders prayer? ((Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:1-3; Matt 5:23-24; 6:14,15; Ephesians 4:26, 27) MEMORY VERSE: Luke 18:1 “He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” CONCLUSION: For us to enjoy fellowship and due relationship with God, we need to initiate the process of asking, seeking, and knocking. When we initiate, God gives us enabling grace to seek more persistently till we receive answers. Unless we initiate and persist we might not obtain. We may not also enjoy the warmth of fellowship with God. Make sure you forgive anyone who offends you. Do not have the spirit of unforgiveness at all in your heart.
  6. PARASHAH: “KI TAVO” (When you enter in) DEUT 26:1-29:9……………ISAIAH 60:1-22……………………. JOHN 13:1-15:27 We are coming to the end of Moshe’s earthly ministry, and he reiterates again, the importance of following and obeying the Torah of Elohim. Am Israel is still in the desert wilderness, but it isn’t like the desert that we find today in the middle east. Remember that the people had much cattle to tend and care for, there had to be Grass and water to drink, otherwise, the cattle would have died out. Moshe starts off with; “when you enter the land that YHVH gives you as an inheritance…” they will be planting and harvesting crops like wheat, barley, corn, etc. In the third year of harvest, the people must give tithes and offerings of whatever they harvest. Tithes to the priests, where? “to the place where YHVH your God chooses to have his name dwell! They must also care for the widows, orphans, foreigners, etc., giving them also from the tithe and offerings of the crops. This is so that everyone is taken care of. Back in the Bible days, there was no such thing as the welfare office and food stamps. God’s people were responsible for caring for each other. The same thing should exist today, if there are brothers and sisters in the faith that are suffering, God’s people should take care of them until they can get back on their feet. Today we cannot only give monetary tithes and offerings to our congregations, since this is where YHVH has chosen to place his name, we can also give of our time, and talent. Whatever spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit has given us, we can give back and minister to others. Also, when the people offered up their tithes and offerings of their crops, they would recite to the priest; “a wandering Aramean was my father…” and the people would affirm that he was oppressed by the Egyptians, and were in slavery, yet taken out of Egypt by a mighty hand…” this reminds us of the story of Passover. If we were to recite the same thing, or almost the same thing, what would we say? We could probably say: “We were a wandering lost people, on our way to hell, and Messiah Yeshua took us out of the bondage of sin, away from the land of HaSatan…” the crops we would offer up would be the offerings of praise and service to HaShem. Moshe continues to say to his people; “Today you have affirmed that YHVH is your God and that you will walk in his ways, keep his statutes, commandments, and ordinances, and obey him. And today, YHVH has affirmed that you are His special people as He promised you……You will be a AM KADOSH (Holy People) To YHVH your God as He promised. There is something interesting in Chapter 27, it says: “Keep all the Commandment which I command you this day” Why is it written in the singular “HaMitzvah?” and not in the plural “commandments?” Could it be that all the commandments are boiled down to one singular commandment; to “Love thy God with all thy heart, soul, and strength? And if thus be the case, then, when we love the LORD our Elohim, we will obey his instructions in his Torah. There is another interesting detail in this chapter, the Israelites had to take stones (Avanim) and cover them with plaster and write upon the stones all the Torah! Probably took more than two stones to do that. Once across the River Jordan, they would set those stones up as witnesses. Those stones would be set up on Har Ebal (Mt. Ebal) the word “Avanim” (stones) comes from the singular “Aven” which is the combination of “Av” and “Ben” (Father and Son) these stones could very well symbolize the unity “echad” of “God the Father and God the Son (Yeshua) The Israelites would also make a stone altar made of “unhewn stones” (stones that are uncut). The Hebrew word for “unhewn” is “Sh’leimot” which has a root word “Shalom” (Peace) the word “Sh’leimot” spelled in Hebrew would be “Sheen, lamed, mem, vav, tav” (sh + l + m + v + t) if we put the “vav” before the “mem” we get “Shalom” (peace) and the “Tav” symbolizes “Covenant” so we see in the altar “Covenant of Peace” the word also has 5 letters, and “5” is the number of grace, so we have a “Covenant of Peace through grace” Also, in Gematria, the word “Sh’leimot” is “776” we see the “7” which is perfection, and “6” which is the number for man. The perfect “Aven” (Father and Son) offers peace to “man” . Yeshua offered himself up as an “offering of peace” to convert enmity between God and man into a relationship of peace and Salvation (Yeshuah) and thus making us a “Holy People” (Am Kadosh) a “set aside people” to HIM. Every born-again believer today is part of His “AM KADOSH” even though we were born and raised in Israel, and perhaps our parents weren’t either. The Commonwealth of Israel has extended from that specific group of Israelites that were ready to cross the Jordan River, to ALL people who embrace the God of All creation and accept the blood atonement of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ), and so become part of HIS family, we have been all called out and separated from the rest of the world, a world that rejects God and all that is holy. We are the “odd-balls” of the world. But it is good being that kind of an odd-ball. There is, however, belief in Christendom that the “law” has been done away with, abolished, and in its place, “grace”. All the commandments that God gave are no more. It may be that many are not for today, because there is no more Levitical priesthood, no more animal sacrifices. Yet we know that Yeshua FULFILLED all the Torah in its entirety. “Fulfilling” is not “abolishing” Yeshua said so himself “I have not come to abolish the Torah and the Prophets, but to fulfill” in other words, to give a precise interpretation of the same. The Torah (God’s instructions to his people) has always existed, it just was not written down until the time of Moshe, and “Grace” has always existed as well. Adam was saved by grace, so was Eve, so was Noach, so was Abraham. But let us also remember that “Salvation” is a separate issue, “salvation” is a done deal when we accept Yeshua as Messiah and LORD in our lives. Through our salvation experience, we should be led by the Holy Spirit to love and obey the teaching that is within God’s Holy Writ, and not that we can choose only what is convenient to us, like, “guess it is OK now to have a ham sandwich, or order shrimp scampi at a restaurant, “wrong” Elohim already made up man’s menu, it is up to us to follow it, or reap a physical curse of high cholesterol Speaking about curses, there are “covenant curses” that we should all be aware of, starting in chapter 27:15 “Cursed is the person who: makes carved idol images, who dishonors parents, who moves boundary markers, Who leads a blind person astray, who denies justice to foreigners, who does illicit sexual practices, who commits murder, who accepts bribes to kill an innocent person, and all those who does not put the Torah into practice. Let’s look at some of these, “no images” yet most religions today have them, many of them, have they not read about this curse? It is always best never to condemn religious denominations that have images, because God’s Word already does it, our job is to lead a person to study God’s word and see it for themselves. “removing boundary markers!” the Word of God makes boundaries for us NOT to cross over. God’s Word is like a fence, it keeps us in and keeps evil out, cross the boundary marker, or “take away” boundary markers, then, we are “taking away” from God’s WORD, we are headed for trouble. “Leading a blind person astray” who would intentionally do that one may ask? But when one brings erroneous or bad teaching of God’s Word to people, we are “leading astray” those who do not know God’s Word, many being “blind” to the truth, and leading others away from the truth. “Those who deny justice to foreigners” are under a curse, is the USA government under a curse? For deporting so many innocent immigrants who just want to come to America for a better life? Did “Harvey” just happen? Did Irma just happen? Or are these weather conditions part of divine judgment? Something to think about! “Illicit sexual practices” goes without saying, yet many call these practices, “alternate life-styles” Why not just call it what it is; SIN and REBELLION to God’s WORD! and be honest? Murder and bribes to murder, this goes without saying, we all can understand that. The last is a hard statement, “cursed is anyone who does Not put the words of this Torah into practice!” Yet Yeshua, took the curse of sin from us, and nailed all of our disobedience to the cross of Calvary, so even when we do sin, and fail to put the “words of the Torah” into practice, there is forgiveness when there is sincere repentance, As Yeshua told the woman who was caught in the act of adultery, “I condemn thee not, go and sin no more” If the one who could have condemned her, did not, but forgave her, we also can receive forgiveness. Remember, first comes a personal salvation experience with Yeshua, which leads us to follow the Word of God, in that order, never the other way around. (we are saved unto good works, not to do good works to be saved) But on a better note, there are blessings for obedience! IF…. we obey, blessings and curses are always and have always been conditional. It is up to us, to follow in the master’s footsteps, following the master’s words. There are earthly blessings, and eternal blessings, the best of both worlds. ISAIAH 60:1-22 Israel can rejoice, for the OR ISRAEL has come, the LIGHT of ISRAEL, will attract all the nations. Isaiah gets a glimpse of the future of Israel, perhaps the millennium Israel, when YESHUA is on the throne, what a time that will be. Jerusalem will be the capital of the world, and best of all, we will be serving the LORD during that time too. Did the prophet Isaiah see airplanes; “Who are these who fly like a cloud, like doves in their windows?” sounds like an airplane to me. JOHN 13:1-15:27 In this chapter, we see Yeshua washing his disciples’ feet, this was after the last supper. Many might wonder what was this all about. We must understand the custom of that time. Today, when visitors come to our house, we might show them to some easy chairs, get them a drink of water or juice. In winter, we might take their coat and hang it in a clothing closet which might be near the front door. In my aunt and uncle’s house, it was by the front door. In ancient times, the host would have the guest sit down and the host, or the host’s servant or slave would take the guest’s sandals off and wash the guest’s feet. There were no paved roads back then, the roads were dry and dusty, and when it rained, the roads became muddy. A guest might come with either dusty or muddy Sandals and feet. When Yeshua washed the disciples’ feet, he was giving the example of “servanthood” the “master” becomes the “servant” to “lead” one must first learn to “serve” washing of the feet also symbolizes “fellowship among believers” An important part of ministry, is serving others, when we serve others, we are doing it unto God. Rabbi Ben Avraham
  7. Parashah: Ki Tetse” (when you go out) DEUT 21:10-25:19……………ISAIAH 54:1-10…………………JOHN 12:1-50 In this Parashah we see a lot of common sense mitzvoth that are for today, and we can also see some mitzvoth that we need to take a good look at to see how we can apply them, perhaps not so much literally, but spiritually and morally. In some cases, both. Verse 10 talks about taking a captive woman from the enemy and making her your wife. Well, I wouldn’t recommend that very much, you might end up with your throat cut when you are sleeping. In Biblical times an Israelite soldier has the right to take a woman who was from an enemy city, once captive, and makes her his wife if he chose to do so. We might ask ourselves why? Well, the soldier just might like the way she looks, but what is the “bigger picture?” The Israelite soldier shows the captive woman “compassion”. She has lost her family, her city is in ruins, her “gods” have abandoned her. All she has now is this “soldier” who is from the nation of Israel who has brought her to his camp, his tent, and to his “One God”. Soon she will see the difference between the false gods she left behind and the one and only God; Adonai-Elohim. Perhaps she was ill-treated in her city and perhaps even by her husband if she was married. But here she is shown compassion. She is allowed to mourn her loss, and in time, she will learn about Adonai and perhaps even to love her Israelite husband. At first, it seems to be a bad thing, but in time, it turns into a good thing. Many US soldiers have returned home with foreign wives, perhaps some who worshipped idols. Once with the soldier and in the USA, she would give up her idol worship and embrace Yeshua. We would certainly like to hope so. Looking at this from another standpoint, we were at one time in the enemy’s camp. We were in the camp of HaSatan, and our “bridegroom” (Yeshua) paid the price of ransom and bought our freedom with his own blood. Now he takes us “his bride” to his encampment. All believers are part of the “bride of Messiah” Baruch HaShem! And we will be HIS OWN for all eternity. Vs 18 talks about the “wayward son” in that, if he is rebellious and defiant, refusing correction, his parents have the right to take him to the “shoftim” (judges) and they would order him to be stoned. Rebellion had a death sentence connected to it. We never read in scripture that this actually happened, but it was still written down as a commandment “in case” family rebellion occurred. Try to stone a rebellious child today and you will definitely be standing before the man! (and off to prison you will go). If, as parents, we train up a child in God’s Word, read him or her Bible stories instead of fairy tales about ghosts and Boogiemen, then, when the child grows into a youth, he or she will have a solid foundation before him/her. It is not about being stoned with rocks, it is all about following the ROCK of ages! Vs 22: Those that have received the death penalty could not be left “hanging around” from neither a rope, a cross, nor a stake. They had to be taken down and buried. In ancient times, a person who received the death penalty many times were displayed to the public, hanging from a rope for all to see. The dead person was taken and left hanging but had to be taken down and buried before the end of the day. Yeshua was taken down from the cross and buried in a tomb. We see many crucifixes today with Yeshua still on them, the fact is that he did NOT remain on the cross, but was buried and arose the third day. We worship a risen Savior, and not one who is still on the cross. Chap 22; 1-4. To help someone find a lost item is a big mitzvah, being the item a lost animal such as a dog or a cat, or a wallet, important papers, etc. Unfortunately, we live in an age of worldly materialism. The ideology is “Finders keepers losers’ weepers.” That is the philosophy of the lost world, not born-again believers. If one finds a wallet with money inside, and there is an ID, we must return it to the person, money intact! Not minus the cash. Taking the cash and returning the wallet empty just making one an ‘honest thief’ (if a thief can be called that). Vs 5; “A woman must not put on a man’s apparel, not a man, woman’s clothing” In Biblical times, clothing was generally the same; long, flowing tunics tied with a cloth or leather belt or sash and on the feet, sandals. There was, however, a difference between men’s and women’s tunics, perhaps in the material, the color and design being used. Today we see “unisex” clothing such as blue-jeans, but even in blue-jeans, there are “women’s” jeans. A man had better not put on a skirt unless he’s a Scotsman with a kilt and bagpipes. Let us abide by this commandment. Anyway, a woman looks better in a dress than with pants. (my opinion only). Vs 8; Common sense tells us that when we build a roof, and it is the type of roof where one can go up and sit down and enjoy the coolness of the evenings, one must build a fence or a wall that surrounds the roof, to keep one from falling off in case one gets too close to the edge. The Torah can be like a roof and the commandments the fence that surrounds the roof, they keep us from “falling off into sin” Vs 9; Prohibition of mixing seed, wool, and linen, mixing work animals. These all can be considered “unequally yoked” as an ox is stronger than an ass. It tends to pull stronger and the ass will just slow it down causing undue strain on both animals. Such is an unequally yoked marriage, it strains on both parties and causes undue stress and tension. Mixed seeds will take out more chemicals from the soil leaving the soil useless. Wool will shrink in the hot wash and linen will not. Wool comes from an animal (sheep) and linen comes from a plant (cotton). A garment made with both wool and linen will be ruined and will pull apart. An unequally yoked marriage or even business partners will “pull-apart” when put in “hot water” if you get my drift. Mixing a believer with a non-believer will bring on different goals, ideas, philosophies, mannerisms, etc. One will serve God the other will serve the world. The Torah makes a difference between “Kadosh” and “Non-Kadosh” the holy and the unholy. Vs 12: “You shall make Tzitziot (tassels) on the four corners of your garments” This is still for today and speaks about our relationship with Messiah Yeshua, our relationship with the Torah and the commandments. It also connects us with our Jewish culture. The number of windings and the blue thread is 7,8,11, and 13 which are significant. (7+8=15) (Yod + Hey) and 11 (Vav=6, and Hey = 5) YHVH and “Echad” (ONE in unity) (13). It is still customary to wear Tzitziot on garments and even on one’s belt hoops when one goes outside. Chap 24 addresses divorce, if a woman is found in “uncleanness” as some texts state, the man can divorce her. This word is connected to “nudity” and could even go as far as saying, the husband finds the wife nude with another man, (adultery) the word in Hebrew is “Ervat” (uncleanness) yet Yeshua teaches that forgiveness is more important than “putting away the wife” but…the exception remains “adultery” yet even this can be forgiven, a marriage is important, and Satan will do everything in his power to destroy marriages. 24:14 “You shall not abuse a needy and destitute laborer, whether a fellow countryman or a STRANGER (foreigner) in one of the communities of your land” Very important to know, that ALL workers, including immigrants, with or without work visas, should be respected, helped, and not HARRASSED! Hello!! The USA was founded by immigrants, let’s do our best to pray for them and respect them, and help them, vs 17 says “You shall NOT subvert the RIGHTS of the stranger…” Every immigrant has the right to the “pursuit of happiness and well-being in this country called the US of A. If the immigrant is an unrepentant criminal, that is a different story. The chapter also talks about the farmer and his crops. He should let the needy take what they need and not consider it stealing. We should not look at everything with $ in mind, we should share the blessings that the LORD has given us and share them with others. 25:4; “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is threshing.” In other words, every employee has the right to his or her lunch break. The ox can work and eat at the same time since its work is demanding. 25:5-10 talks about the “Levirate marriage” when a man dies and leaves no sons, the man’s brother (if single) must marry the man’s widow so as to raise up children. Well, would this be a good thing today? There are some who would say yes, and others would say no. I’ll let you decide, If I were single and, in that situation, if I wasn’t going with anyone, well…. maybe I’d go for it, why not? (especially if she was pretty). I guess it would Be good because the marriage is kept within the family. 25:13 talks about “diverse weights” very important to conduct “honest business transactions” not crooked and unfair. Unfortunately, we live in a world of greed and there are people out there, scammers, that want to get over on you. Be careful, especially on the Net. ISAIAH 54:1-10 “Shout O Barren one, you who bore no child, shout aloud for joy…” We ask when does a barren woman shout for joy because she cannot have children. I would guess that it depends on the circumstances. This reminds us of Sarah, who was barren, yet she did not give up hope, in spite of her error, in giving to Abraham her servant Hagar, YHVH still blessed her, and her child “Yitzchak” was the blessing she hoped for, her “offspring will dispossess nations” from Yitzchak to Ya’akov, from Ya’akov to the 12 sons, and from the 12 sons, we are all here today, many of us mixed in the with the nations, yet we are all still here. The LORD has called us back! There was a time when we didn’t give spiritual things a second thought, the Bible was just another book on the bookshelf. I for sure didn’t have any interest in it growing up as a teenager. Yet the LORD called me through another teen, and from there, Bible study groups in the Army, and from there, Yeshiva school. We are chastised, yet we are forgiven, the LORD chastens all whom he receives. I think that the worst type of chastening is having an indifferent spirit, neither hot nor cold. The LORD has taken us back in love. His love is seen in Yeshua HaMashiach, who gave his all for us all! JOHN 12:1-50 Nearing the time of Pesach, when Yeshua entered Yerushalayim, people welcomed him. We know the story, with palm branches. It reminds us of the first Passover when a lamb was to be taken on the tenth day of Nissan And then, sacrificed on the 14th. The Lamb of YHVH entered on the tenth day and gave up his life on the 14th Yet before Calvary, he made a statement; “Unless a grain of wheat that falls to the ground dies, it stays just a grain, but if it dies, it produces a big harvest” What is he saying here? HE is the grain of wheat that died, yet arose again with life. We are the big harvest of believers that have come from his death and resurrection, and when we “sow the seed” (God’s Word) we are helping to create big harvests. Yet we need to understand that some seed will land on stony ground, not all seed that ends up on the ground will sprout. There is a different between “on” the ground and “in” the ground. If we are “in” the ground, and we respond to the “Living Water” and the “SON light” then, we will “sprout and come up” Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Ben Avraham
  8. Jacob Ben Avraham

    One Cross, One God, One Way

    Yes, I have listened to "Lamb" I like it, also, "Miquedem" is a Messianic group that sings songs from Psalms in Hebrew, I like some Israeli singers like "Chaim Israel" and his brother "Yitzik Eshel" I also like "Paul Wilber" and "Jonathan Setel" Explaining the word "NOD?" well, that would be a good idea.
  9. PARASHAH: “Shoftim” (judges) DEUT: 16:18: -21:9…………………. ISAIAH 51:12-52:12………………. JOHN 1:1-57 This parashah starts off with; “Judges (shoftim) and officers shalt thou make thee at thy gates, which YHVH thy Elohim giveth thee…. they shall judge the people with “righteous judgment…” Many people when they think of the word “judge” they think of the elderly man or woman with the black robe in the courtroom who points a finger and dishes out a prison sentence, a sentence that condemns a criminal who is standing before said, judge. While it is true that the word “judge” can mean to issue or decide a sentence that could condemn, in the Hebrew, it also means one who “knows, teaches, and decides issues related to the Torah”. A “shofet” was someone like a Torah teacher, but the job not only included making plain the teachings of Adonai through His Torah, but the “shofet” also rendered decisions based on God’s Holy Writ. Today, there are “shoftim” in every Bible-based church, synagogue, congregation, Torah study group, etc., perhaps we do not call them “shoftim” or “judges” we just call them “rabbis, pastors, Torah teachers, Sunday school teachers. They (should) expound and make plain the scriptures to those who are listening, and if needed, take necessary decisions based on God’s Word, concerning matters such as finances, church/synagogue discipline, or any decision based on our Judeo-Christian faith and ethics. Some call them “gatekeepers” the “gatekeepers” keep in sound doctrine, and “do not let in” false teaching, or, have to “expose” false teaching that perhaps has been circulating. “making righteous judgment” is making “correct or decisions which are “right” according to God’s Word. The Word of God and the Torah is for ALL PEOPLE, and for this reason, the Torah says; “thou shalt not respect persons…” meaning that “one should not single out a person because that person is either rich, poor, famous, in politics, etc.… in order to say, “well, because it is YOU, my friend, I will make an exception to the Torah rule” Elohim says NO!, we are ALL EQUAL, we are ALL SINNERS are deserve righteous judgment, and what applies to the rich man, applies to the poor man as well. (16:20) “Tzedek, Tzedek tirdof” (Righteousness, Righteousness pursue!) Why does the Torah say “righteousness twice? There are two points of view from the rabbis. One is that one must pursue (run after) righteousness as long as the end result is also righteous. An example is, from the Talmud, a story about an olive grower. The Owner owns many acres of olive trees and he makes a lot of olive oil and fills many urns with the oil and sells each urn for 100 shekels. A servant of the owner is carrying an urn to the storehouse and he slips and falls, dropping and breaking the urn. The result, the oil is lost. The owner’s son drags the servant to the judge at the city gate, and the judge judges according to the “eye for an eye” judgment. He renders a “right” judgment, that, the servant will have to pay 100 shekels for the lost oil. The son is also in agreement. He will dock the servants pay for that month, which is also 100 shekels. The servant cries out to the owner and explains the situation. The owner who is kind and merciful calls his son “My son, you had the right to bring the servant to judgment, and the judgment is just and right according to the Torah…HOWEVER… the end result will be very unfair and unrighteous, the servant’s family will suffer loss and will not be able to buy food for the month….so…we, on the other hand, can afford the loss, while the servant cannot. I will render this judgment, that the servant’s mishap is forgiven, and no wage kept back!” Thus, “righteousness, righteousness we will pursue!” The other understanding of this verse is that there are two kinds of “righteousness” “Righteous faith” and “Righteous works” both we must pursue! We pursue “righteous faith” through prayer and our personal relationship with Yeshua HaMashiach, reading/studying the Torah, and occupy ourselves as well with “righteous mitzvoth” through our obedience and following the commandments. The scripture says that “we are saved (righteous faith) unto good works (righteous works). But we must always remember that “righteous works never lead to righteous salvation, rather it is the other way, “righteous salvation leads us to do works of righteousness” Chapter 17 deals with offering sacrificial animals with blemishes. Since today, we don’t sacrifice animals, how can we relate to this verse? The animals were “offered up” to Adonai, we “offer up” to YHVH our praises, prayers, and our service in form of our spiritual gifts, may our prayers be “without blemish” (without distraction, wholehearted, and sincere) not just repeating words that are printed in a prayer book, but “understanding” the words in the prayer book, or better yet, your own words from the heart. May we offer up our spiritual gift with a whole heart to the best of our ability. (17:14) talks about “setting a king over thee” It was not Adonai’s perfect will that Israel would have kings, as He already knew what the outcome would be. You could probably count on one hand the righteous kings of Israel; David, Josiah, Hezekiah, the rest were perverted and evil (perhaps there were a few more). Manasseh corrected his ways towards the end of his life. God instructs every king to make a copy of the Torah and to study the Torah (17:18). If every president of every nation did that, every nation would be at peace, one with the other, we would not have anti-immigrant laws, racism, etc. We must pray that our president, men, and women in authority govern according to the commandments of the Torah, in accordance to what the Bible teaches. Chapter 18. The priests and Levites are supported by the people, they get food, (meat, and produce from the field) and skins from the animals that are sacrificed. This was God’s provision for his ministers. Should it be any different today? I would say not! Those who live to teach God’s Word should be maintained by God’s people. Unfortunately, in many countries, some pastors, rabbis, etc. live lives in poverty because the people of their congregation don’t give, yet, some probably do live well, IF they teach their people to give, then, they will, because they love God’s teaching servants and want the best for them and their families. Some ministers have to work secular jobs in order to survive, this affects their ministry because their time is limited. (18:9) “When you come unto the land which YHVH gives you…you will NOT… and the Torah mentions the abominations that the pagan peoples do. When we move to go to a new town, city, or even to a different job, we will notice the habits, and customs of the people of those new towns, cities, or job sites. Perhaps some of their ways will not be in accordance to what the WORD of God teaches; Cheating on spouses, cheating at work, gossip, (Leshon Hara) dirty jokes, lying to the boss, ill-treatment of others, the list could go on, will we separate ourselves from them? Or…in order to be accepted and not ridiculed, will we “compromise” our standards? Yet the Torah says; “thou shall not learn to do after the abominations of those nations!” (or job sites, neighborhoods, cities, towns, etc.) (19:14) “Thou shalt not remove thy neighbor’s landmark which they of old time have set” I remember when I lived in New York, seeing 4-foot-high stone walls that were in the wooded area behind my house. I was told that way back in colonial days, the owners of that property built those walls to separate their property from the property of others. The stone walls indicated, “behind this wall is my area, beyond the wall is your area”. God has established “landmarks” His WORD is a “boundary” a “landmark” when we venture out of God’s Holy Writ, we leave the protection of “His property” and enter into the property of HaSatan. In this world, there are only two standards of living, God’s standards, and Satan’s standards. YHVH has guidelines, it is called “The Torah” the landmarks are the 66 books of his Torah, outside of that, is the “anything goes” philosophy, “do whatever feels good” way of living. If we attempt to change a biblical landmark, we are “taking away” from the Word of God, we are headed for trouble. Dad told Jimmy, “Ten feet away from the wasp nest is the landmark, don’t go beyond it!” but Jimmy went beyond it, he got closer, the wasps didn’t like that, and a wasp flew over and stung little Jimmy on the leg” had Jimmy obeyed the voice of his father, and had respected the landmark, he wouldn’t have gotten stung. (yes, that is a portion from “my life”) (20:19) teaches us to respect trees. Yes, YHVH is concerned about trees. There are some trees that are used for building, like Oak, pine, willow, etc.… yet there are trees that are for fruit and nuts. Many times, when people build homes, they must first clear the field. At times, these fruit trees are cut down. These trees are for food, I have seen in some places, that homes are built “around” a certain fruit tree, and the tree grows in the corner of the kitchen, and a place is made in the roof so that the tree can keep growing without hitting obstacles. The family then can enjoy the fruit and is honoring God’s Word concerning fruit trees. If we remember back in Genesis, the whole food menu consisted only of fruit and nuts from the trees, and from grains and vegetables, and people lived to 900 years. Kind of makes sense to protect “food trees”. ISAIAH 51:12-52:12 The prophet speaks through the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) “Therefore, my people shall know MY NAME…..” one thing is to know about God, the other is to KNOW HIM, and “HIS NAME” but we know that God has many names and titles, But his Most Holy Name is Y_H V H (Yod Hey Vav Hey) The one who WAS, IS, and WILL BE, whose letters, in the ancient Hebrew, symbolize “Behold the nail, behold the hand” whose name is also YESHUAH which means SALVATION. ” How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings, who announces “shalom” who announces YESHUAH (salvation) and who announces “God Rules!” This is the message that every born-again believer should be concerned with. When we talk to people about God, the message is that “YHVH is alive and well, and that He Rules in the hearts of all who come to him through YESHUA and that through YESHUA we get YESHUAH and SHALOM in our lives. ” YHVH hath made bare His HOLY ARM, in the eyes of ALL NATIONS, and all the ends of the earth shalt see the YESHUAH of our God” 2000 years ago, Adonai made bare his HOLY ARM in the person of Yeshua HaMashiach, who walked on this earth, who taught the truths of the Torah, who healed the sick, and raised the dead, and who took upon himself all of our sins, the name YAH which is a short form of YAHWEH, is spelled with only two Hebrew letters, the YOD, and the HEY, which symbolize “Behold the Arm (or hand) so…YeshuAH has the Y and the H, Salvation is for ALL THE NATIONS, for those who will put their trust in the Messiah Yeshua. One day, ALL the Nations will SEE YESHUA, in the flesh, and HE WILL REIGN! Baruch HaShem! JOHN 11:1-57 This is the story about “Elazar” (Lazarus) who died and was resurrected. We see that Miryam sends word to Yeshua that Elazar, her brother is sick and dying, yet Yeshua tarries, does not rush to heal Elazar, he waits until he is finally dead, and then, 4 days later, he shows up. He could have arrived in time to heal him, yet he waits! But why? To understand, we need to understand one of the Jewish mind-sets of that time. It was believed back then that when a person died, his or her soul left the body, yet stayed near the body for three days, on the fourth day, it left and descended to Sheol, It was believed that after 4 days, only the MESSIAH could resurrect a person, even from the pit of Sheol. When He called out “Elazar, come forth” he did come out of the tomb. As believers, we all look forward to the resurrection of our bodies, when we die, our bodies will be buried, yet WE will be in the presence of the LORD. Our bodies will be transformed into incorruptible bodies, which will join our souls in Heaven. Rav Shaul said, “To be absent from the body is to be in the presence of the LORD” which means, either we are in our bodies, or we are in heaven with the LORD, how else could one interpret that verse? So, take heart, we have “x” number of years to live here on earth, yet, the earth is not our permanent home, our home is in the New Jerusalem, where we will live…well…time is not a factor…FOR EVER….is! MATT 7:1-3 “Judge Not lest ye be judged,” I thought I might add this verse, since many people misinterpret this verse by saying; “Well, there are judges, and their job is to render decisions and even dictate prison sentences, why does it say that we should not judge?” The type of “judgment” that is being mentioned is “final condemnation” or “pre-judging” a person without knowing all the facts. We might talk to a person, invite the person to church or synagogue. That person might come twice and then, not return, maybe two shabbats or Sundays, that person might be absent. It would be wrong to say; “So-and-so really didn’t accept Yeshua, where is he (or she)? That person isn’t here, so, that person was not really serious, watch out “so-and-so” you’re on your way to hell!” That person might be sick or had to work, we don’t know the situation. We should not “judge” that person in that way, with a condemning attitude, rather call or visit the person and find out if he or she needs help or what the case could be. Is the car working? Does the person need a ride? Careful that we do not condemn, because we will be “judged” by Adonai in the same way we might “condemn” another person. Let us reach out to the person and offer to advise from the Torah in a loving way if the person is erring, we should “correct” the person according to scripture, privately and in love, and never in a “condemning” fashion. Remember that we will ALL face our righteous “shofet” one day. Shabbat shalom…. Rabbi Ben Avraham
  10. ONE CROSS, ONE GOD, ONE WAY The Way of the cross is God's only way, to save a lost sinner from sin's eternal fate. The Passover lamb, God's perfect plan, to pay sin's debt , when God became man. One Cross, One God, One Way. Messiah Yeshua, his cross he did bare, His cross was our cross, for our sins to us were a snare. One Cross, One God, One Way. The One God dressed as man, the One God who is *Echad I AM, who came to Israel's land, to become the Passover lamb, who was, is, and will be, who took us from the land of *Nod, to set us free. By rabbi Jacob Ben Avraham *Echad = “ch” pronounced as “h” meaning “unity of ONE” “Tri-Unity” “Elohim” *Nod = Wandering without direction, aimlessly, the “way of Cain”.
  11. Parashah: “Re’eh” (see) DEUT: 11:26-16:17………………ISAIAH 54:11-55:5………………. JOHN 9:1-10:42 See” (Re’eh) this day I set before you a blessing and a curse” we wonder why YHVH did not say in plural, “blessings and curses?” one could say perhaps “blessing” goes with “obedience” and “curse” with “disobedience” both words are also singular. One could also say that “all blessings” fall under “ONE BLESSING” (B’rakhah echad) and all curses fall under ONE CURSE, “K’lalah Echad” the word “echad” is ONE in UNITY, Elohim (who is unity) blesses all humanity (also echad) that is in obedience to the WORD, and to the LIVING WORD. and also, the curse is also upon “All humanity” that does not obey and that walks in rebellion against Adonai. Well, that’s one way to look at it. This is a repetition of last week’s parashah, Moshe mentions these many times, and cannot stress it enough for his people. Even the pronoun “I” in “I set before you. is stressed in Hebrew “Anochi!” meaning “I MYSELF!!!!” (People, I am really serious) 12:2 “you must destroy all the sites….” The pagan nations gathered together at different places to erect false gods and worship them, these must be destroyed! Today, we must walk away from false gods, put them behind us, even, destroy them if necessary. If a TV has become a god to you, and you find yourself addicted to it, sell it, give it away, or destroy it. If money has become a “god” to you, give some of it away to the poor and needy. Anything that comes before your love and worship of Adonai is considered a “false god” get rid of it! 12:13 speaks of burnt offerings, it is good to dedicate our meals to Adonai, we are blessed to be able to go to a store and buy chicken and beef already prepared. We must remember to thank YHVH for this food, ALL FOOD which means ALL that is mentioned in Leviticus 11, is for us to enjoy, now, verse 15 says, “The unclean and the clean alike may partake of it, as of the gazelle and the deer…” this is NOT talking about unclean and clean FOODS, it is talking about PEOPLE who are clean and unclean. Anyway, gazelles and deer are both clean animals, but I have never seen gazelle steaks in the supermarket, maybe in Africa they have them. It is saying that people who have diseases that render them “unclean” like lepers, may partake of this food, just like people who are disease free may, verse 22 mentions this again, “the unclean may it to together with the clean” (people) Chap 13 deals with false prophets. These deceivers were NOT TOLERATED back then! Turning people away from true worship of Adonai warranted a death sentence. Back then, God was dead serious about true worship and teaching the truth, and…HE STILL IS! We must all worship him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH, when studying the scriptures (Truth) we must do so in the ‘spirit” of joy and ask for wisdom. Chap 14 deals with the chosen kosher foods which YHVH has selected for all humanity, it is a repetition of Leviticus 11. However, man thinks he is smarter than God and has added stuff to His perfect menu, and the result is obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. We all know what foods have been added to the menu, I won’t go over them as that will produce a bunch of negative comments from readers. When people’s “food comfort zone” is threatened, it is very uncomfortable to “give up” those unclean meats, no matter how tasty they may be. Well, we all can either obey or disobey, the choice is ours. ” You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk” This verse has caused questions, and traditions, even unto separating meat and milk items, getting separate refrigerators, etc. All it is saying is this; (literally) if you have a female goat, and the mother goat is raising its kid, do not kill the kid, then milk the mother goat, and boil the kid in its mother’s milk. I mean, who would go out of the way to do that anyway? However, this might also have a deeper spiritual meaning. So, there is more than meets the eye and the basic understanding, if we take this derashically, we can look at it this way; ” meat” can symbolize the “flesh” and “milk” symbolize “life” it is the mother’s milk which maintains life to her young, yet “meat” once off the bone is dead! dead flesh! So, the connection is “our carnal flesh is sinful” yet the “milk of the WORD” (as said by Rav Shaul/Paul the Apostle) is what gives us LIFE. The Hebrew word for meat is “Basar” yet milk, in Hebrew is “Chalav”. written with the same Hebrew letters, but with different vowels is “Chelev” which means “pleasure” the three Hebrew letters “Chet, Lamed, and Beit, (CH L V) “LeiV” is also the word for “heart” so “milk” can be connected to “pleasure for the heart” and indeed, the sincere “MILK of the WORD of God is indeed, pleasure for the heart, while the things of the “flesh” (meat) are of the world. So, there is a separation of “meat and milk” symbolizing “things that give life, from things that produce death” This, of course, is not a literal separation, but spiritual and moral. (if literal, we shouldn’t eat Lasagna! Or cheeseburgers) Chapter 16 deals with “Yamim Kadoshim” the HOLY DAYS, the days that YHVH has separated for our observance and worship; PASSOVER, we remember the “Passover Lamb” who was Yeshua HaMashiach who gave his life for us all. The week of UNLEAVENED BREAD, when we put the leavened bread away since leaven reminds us of SIN in our lives. SHAVUOT (Pentecost) when the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) came to earth to stay, and when the Torah was given to Israel on Har Sinai. SUKKOT the feast of booths, which is a time of Thanksgiving, similar to the Thanksgiving of the pilgrims of Plymouth. When we thank God for an abundant harvest, and for the coming of God to earth (as Yeshua) to walk among humankind, to teach Torah, heal, raise the dead, and die for our sins. Have you accepted HIM as your LORD and Savior? ISAIAH 54:11-55:5 “Navi Yeshayahu” (Prophet Isaiah) speaks as directed by the Holy Spirit, as a father who comforts his children, promising them blessings, but begins with “Unhappy, storm-tossed one”, meaning that Israel has been through a lot, deportation to Babylon, destruction of the temple, scattered throughout the nations of the world…YET…blessings, protection, etc. will follow for THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD. Yes, for THOSE who SERVE the LORD. Yes, we have to be on HIS side, part of HIS FAMILY, and walk in OBEDIENCE. ” Come, all who are thirsty, come for water….” (Chap 55) Yeshua mentions LIVING WATER (himself) on Hoshanah Raba (the eighth day of Sukkot) and also, to the woman of Samaria, this water is available to US ALL, if we just choose to drink of his WORD. JOHN 9:1-10:42 This is the story of the healing of the blind man. Yeshua spat in the dust and make him “new eyes!” What a miracle, and why not? Are we not made from the dust of the earth (Adamah)? So Yeshua takes of the same dust, adds his own spittle (a form of water) and now, the blind man washes in the “Pool of Siloach” (which means “sent”) So, we see this; a man who has a defect (blindness) meets Yeshua (The Living God) who made man from the dust of the earth, puts dust on the blind man’s eyes, add a bit of water, then “sends” the man to wash in the pool that means “Sent” and then, he sees! There are many who are blind spiritually, they cannot or don’t want, or will not “see” the truth. They see it, yet they don’t. The Bible is TRUTH yet many just see a book with stories in it, yet when the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of the spiritually blind, then, they can now SEE! The difference between the “clean” and the “unclean” the “worldly” and “Holy”, “obedience” and “disobedience” before they were blind and now they can see. We were all blind, yet now, we can see! Baruch HaShem! Shabbat Shalom…. Rabbi Ben Avraham
  12. Jacob Ben Avraham

    Parasha "V'Et'Chanan (and I pleaded...for mercy)

    I wrote the poem "and Yeshua wept" many, many moons ago, I believe it was my first poem, I am more a short story writer than a poet, but when I finish my ebook "God Tales" I will have three sections in it, "faith stories" "poetry" and "life experiences" I just joined the poetry club
  13. PARASHAH: Ekev (as a result) DEUT: 7:12-11:25…………ISAIAH 49:14-51:3…………JOHN 7:1-8:59 Moshe starts out reminding and giving “Am Israel” assurance that “because ye hearken unto these ordinances and keep them, and do them…YHVH shall keep with thee the covenant…. He starts out on a positive note; however, we know that history reveals that Israel did NOT keep the covenant, but broke the covenant, and went after strange gods, idolatry, etc. Perhaps this was an incentive to obey, and they would reap the blessings of obedience…IF…they would obey. Many parts of this Parashah are a repetition of the words; “if” and “then”. We are talking about a conditional covenant. ALL covenants are conditional. The word “life” itself contains the word “if” right in the middle. We can sum up “life” as many “conditional experiences” depending on how we react to them; “if” we react in one way, “then” the result will follow, either negative or positive. Even the covenant of salvation which is for ALL mankind is “conditional” “If” we repent and accept Yeshua as our Redeemer and LORD, “Then” we will receive the gift of salvation which follows. Salvation is a gift for all mankind, yet we must receive it through a repentant and contrite heart, a willingness to turn “Shoov” and follow the Master. Our master is like our father who loves his children very much. The father promises his son that if the son would obey the rules of the house, do his homework on time, help take out the garbage, clean the bathroom, help mom with the dishes…THEN…the father would take the son camping during the summer. It is all about “rewards” for “obedience” Is this any different for us? I would say not. Rewards for obedience has nothing to do with our salvation experience. Our salvation is based on FAITH and FAITH ONLY, and not on our obedience to mitzvoth, yet obedience to the Torah comes as a result of our relationship with Yeshua HaMashiach. Even he said; “If you love me, obey my commandments. Yes, he gave some new ones unlike those written down by Moshe, who received them from G-d on Mt. Sinai. Yet even back then, Yeshua was with the Father during the giving of the Ten Commandments, and later, the rest of the 603 that were given during the 40-day period of being with God on Har Sinai. So, did Yeshua give us ALL the mitzvoth? I would have to say YES. More than once Moshe reminds the people to “follow and obey” the commandments, to “Hear” (Shema) the word “Shema” is related to “Shamar” which is to “guard”. So, to “Shema” the commandments of Adonai is to “remember, observe, put into action, and guard, not only “hear and listen to”. We must always remember that obedience to the commandments of Adonai, the ones that can be observed literally today, has nothing to do with our salvation experience. We are saved, secure, forever, by the blood of Yeshua, by his once-only sacrifice. Obedience to the Torah commandments comes as a “result of” our family relationship with Adonai, as obedient children, we will “want to” do as our father tells us to do, for our own good, to be a Holy, set-apart people. An interesting verse is 8:1 “All the COMMANDMENT which I command thee this day shall yet observe to do, the ye may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land….” in the Hebrew it is “Kol ha Mitzvah” it is written in the singular and not in the plural! But shouldn’t it be “mitzvoth” (commandments)? One would think so, but it IS in the SINGULAR, but why? The sages’ comment that all the commandments can be summed up into ONE commandment; “Love YHVH thy God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might, and strength” and when we do love Adonai in this way, we will follow all the rest of the commandments, including loving our neighbor as ourselves. Chap 9:4…. Moshe reminds the people that it isn’t because they are a “righteous” nation that God is allowing Am Israel to move into the land Canaan, conquer the pagan inhabitants and take possession, rather it is because of those nations’ “unrighteousness” and “wickedness” that is the reason. Just like the time of the flood, the wicked world was destroyed and Noach and his family were saved, yet Noach had his problems too, his righteousness had flaws too, just like ALL of us. Our holiness is full of “holes”, and our salvation is because our God is a merciful God and he just chose to love us, just because HE is a LOVING and MERCIFUL GOD, and not that we deserve salvation. We can also state that the land of Canaan was being given to the Israelites because of the promise that YHVH made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob too. YHVH never breaks his promises. Chap 11, Moshe gives an order; “Therefore, thou shall love YHVH thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his ordinances and his commandments ALWAYS! Moshe cannot say this enough, like a father tells his children, “obey the rules, obey the rules, obey the rules” it is for their own good. Unfortunately, the admonition of obedience for many people goes in one ear and out the other. Let us go forth with a renewed heart, and show our love to God, by learning and obeying his Torah, of course we cannot be Torah observant 100%, but through the power of the Ruach HaKodesh, we can be obedient sons and daughters of Adonai El Elyon, and live a lifestyle that honors HIM. ISAIAH 49:14-51:3 Israel cries out “The LORD hath forsaken me and forgotten me” but the prophet through the Holy Spirit assures the people, NO, the LORD has NOT forsaken you. There is a big difference between, “abandonment, forgetfulness, and chastisement”. The fact that YHVH has punished his people does not mean that He has abandoned Israel. When a father chastises his son or daughter, does that mean he no longer loves him or her? Does he cast them out of the house? Or say, “you are no longer my son or daughter?” No, of course not, Scripture tells us that a father who loves his children will discipline them. We can say the same with YHVH and “Am Israel” He loves his people, and so, HE will discipline them. Yes, he cast them out of the land, but in goyim lands, they continued to live and spread the teaching of the ONE GOD (Echad) who is Adonai-Elohim-Yeshuah. We are loved by our heavenly father, even when it hurts. JOHN 7:1-8:59 Some are a bit confused when Yeshua says to his brothers, “You guys go up to Yerushalayim to Sukkot, I will not YET go up. He did NOT LIE, (as some critics try to say). He was planning to go up, but not at that time. Remember that the celebration of Sukkot (Tabernacles) is a 7-day celebration, culminating on the 8th day, “Hoshanah Raba” it is possible that his brothers and his talmidim went during the beginning of the festivities, and Yeshua waited until the end, the 8th day. It was on the 8th day that the priests brought up water from the pool of Siloam, and Yeshua took this opportunity to say to the people; “If anyone is thirsty, let him keep coming to me and drink, whoever puts his trust in me, as the scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being” We can remember the time when “B’nei Israel” (the children of Israel) were in the desert, and they got water from a ROCK. The ROCK symbolizes Yeshua, who is the ROCK of ages and the LIVING water. Water flowed from the rock so that the Israelites and the cattle could drink as much as they wanted. The water that Yeshua talks about is our inner life through a renewed spirit, remember that He also told the woman of Samaria the same thing. It was to her that he revealed himself as Mashiach openly. So, when we read the WORD of God, listen to music that praises HIM, we are receiving “living water” Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Ben Avraham
  14. Jacob Ben Avraham

    Parasha "V'Et'Chanan (and I pleaded...for mercy)

    If you go to "google search" and type in "a list of the 613 commandments" several links will pop up where you can get a list of them all. They go from Genesis 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply" all the way to "Now therefore, write you this song for me" Deut 31:19, talking about writing a copy of the whole Torah for oneself, today, since we have Bible bookstores, people really don't do that, but before, thousands of years ago, the only way to have a copy of the scriptures was to copy one or have it done for you by a scribe, which would be very costly. Today, professional scribes do that, they handwrite complete Torah scrolls, it takes about three years to do that and they are sold from between $25,000 and $70,000. That is how scribes make their living. I did one, but I had the pages copied at Office Depot and I glued them together on many sheets of bond paper to make my own scroll. Took me about one year doing it on the weekends. used 7 bottles of glue and recycled paper which I got from our high school There is a good book titled "The Mitzvot" (The commandments and their rationale) by Abraham Chill which explain the 613 commandments. You might look for it on Amazon or an Ebay. I had two copies, gave one away and kept the other
  15. PARASHAH; “V’et’ Chanan” (and I pleaded) DEUT 3:23-7:11……………ISAIAH 40:1-26………………JOHN 6:1-71 Moshe continues to retell the experiences of his life to “Am Israel” as the end of his life is nearing, He is like a father on his deathbed, and causes all of his children to come near and listen to their father’s experiences, or rather “all” of their experiences “V’et ‘Chanan l’Adonai” begins Moshe, “I pleaded to YHVH…” on the account of entering into the promised land. As we remember, Moshe in anger and had struck the “Rock” (Selah) and yet, water still came forth because of the mercy of Adonai, yet now Moshe pleads for mercy, the word “chanun” is a form of the Hebrew “mercy”. One Israeli singer has a song which is; “Avi Chanun” (My father who is merciful). So, Moshe in a way is saying, “I plead for mercy to Adonai” let me see the promised land. Yet the answer of Adonai was still “No” (Speak no more of this matter). We are all destined an “x” amount of years on this earth, who knows if, through actions we do, might “speed up” that time, or even “prolong” the time. King Hezekiah pleaded for more years of life, and he was granted the years, however, during those extra years, there was born to him “Manasseh” who proved to be one of the worst kings in Israel. Should Hezekiah have asked for those extra years? We should take advantage of the years that God is giving to us on this planet called “earth” and make the best of them. If He has called us into ministry, let us perform that which He has called us to do to the best of our ability, doing it unto HIM who is the author of life, and when he calls for us, we will go, without complaining, or ask for “more years” In this Parashah, we see the review of the Ten Commandments. What are these all about? They formed the “Ketubah” the contract between Elohim and Israel. They were given on Har Sinai, directly to the Israelites by HaShem himself, the rest of the 603 mitzvoth were given to Moshe who relayed them unto the people, still, they ALL came from Adonai. (4) “Now, therefore, harken O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments which I teach you, for to do them” Moshe was the teacher, taking all that the “Master” charged him to teach, and not “adding to” nor “diminishing” anything, teaching all the details, the “fine print” sort of to say. Teachers of God’s Word, have a unique calling, it is their life, it is their passion, and they will not rest until they accomplish what they have set off to do. I AM the LORD thy God: “Anochi Adonai Eloheicha” He is emphasizing “I AM” (I MYSELF AM) “Anochi” a very important statement, telling his people, that is was HE who brought them out of Egypt, and out of slavery. Two very important things, therefore, He has every right to be their God, and He has every right to be OUR God, since He has taken us out of the “World of Sin” (Egypt) and out from “Spiritual slavery” “THOU shall not have any other gods before me” since pagan worship was the norm of Egypt, worshiping and bowing down to false “elohim” this was a reminder to Israel that YHVH is different, He is NOT like the false deities of Egypt, He is UNIQUE (Yachid) and He is ONE (Echad). But when people over-emphasize jobs and work, making money, sports, etc.… making them more important than our worship and attention towards Adonai, those “things” become “other gods” Yes, Adonai is a “Jealous” and “Zealous” God! (El Kanah) and has every right to be so. “THOU SHALT NOT take the name of YHVH thy God in vain” What is that? It is using our LORD’s holy name in unholy ways, in unholy conversations, making promises using God’s name, like “I swear to God that I’ll…” and then, not fulfilling those promises. We should use HIS HOLY NAME in worship and praise only. “KEEP (guard) the Sabbath Day to keep it Holy” Where are we on the sabbath day? We should be in God’s House to worship, praise, and learn from his word through teachers of the Word. It is a time of rest, and relaxation, a time for family to get together and worship the LORD, even for the house-wives, turn off the ovens and husbands, take them out to eat, or just whip up some sandwiches. Enjoy the Sabbath day, it is the LORD’s to rejoice and relax in. The Sabbath day has always been Saturday, it was never changed to Sunday (this will probably create some comments). But EVERY day of the week is a time to study God’s Word and praise Him for all of his blessings. “HONOR Thy Father and Thy Mother” this goes without explanation. I think it is common sense for children to honor and obey their parents, for they are the ones who raise them up. Yet the Fathers and Mothers have a GREAT responsibility, to raise them in the knowledge of God and his word. If not, then, they will be responsible for possible “rebels” later one in life. “THOU shalt not kill; THOU shalt not commit adultery; THOU shalt not steal”. Ever wonder why these are listed together? Example, if one commits adultery, takes the wife of another in sex, that person is “killing” that relationship and is “stealing” what does not belong to him. The word “Kill” means “murder” taking an innocent life, it does NOT refer to self-defense or soldiers fighting in a war. There are many ways of “stealing” some rabbis say that “all sins” are a form of “stealing” not just taking money, coming back late from lunch break is “stealing” time from your employer, telling a lie is “stealing” the confidence one might have had in you, and it is “murdering” that trust. “THOU shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” being truthful to someone is very important, and not telling the whole truth, is in fact, telling a lie, and being false to someone who is close to you, again, it is “stealing trust” and “murdering a relationship” through being “false”. ‘THOU shalt not covet” If Adonai wants you to have what your neighbor has, He will give it to you. We should be content with the much or the little we have, anyway, when we die, ALL will be left behind. So, no need to covet, it just brings about headaches. (6) This chapter has the “Shema” one of the most important verses in the Torah; “Shema Israel, YHVH Eloheinu, YHVH Echad” “Shema” (Listen to and heed/do/obey) “Yisrael” we are part of HIS people, we have been adopted into HIS Chosen family through Yeshua HaMashiach, it pertains to ALL believers. Adonai is OUR GOD, since we are FAMILY, and He is ONE in Unity (Father, Son, Spirit “Echad” “You shall love…” (vs 5) Yes, with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. This includes “teaching” His word to our children, at all times, to others who have the ears and willingness to listen Be the person in our house, Be the person “walking with us on the “way” at bedtime and at morning time, the time for God’s Word and teaching it is at ALL TIMES, provided of course that the other person wished to hear it. God’s Word is to be shared and taught, NEVER to be forced upon another! Binding upon the hands and frontlets between our eyes, using Tefillin are symbolic in that God’s Word is to be in our minds and put into action using our hands, in performing mitzvoth (good works) Writing them and putting God’s Word on our doorposts and gates using “mezuzot” is symbolic to let people know that “living here is a family who honors God and His Word” Moshe reminds the people again and again to “Keep the commandments of the LORD thy God and his testimonies and statutes” in many verses. Just keep in mind that “keeping the commandments does not “save a soul” Salvation comes only from accepting Yeshua (Jesus) as LORD and Savior, that and that ONLY saves a person from eternal condemnation. Obedience to the commandments comes “after” as a sign that we are now part of HIS family, and we now have new desires to follow HIM in HIS ways. There is “Yeshuah Kadosh” (Righteous Salvation) and “Mitzvoth Kadoshim” (righteous works) both are separate yet both go together. The later is a result of the first. ISAIAH 40:1-26 The prophet comforts Israel that their sins have been forgiven, the punishment is over. YHVH again is compared to a father who must punish his children for sins and disobedience. The father will chastise, yet not forever. Darkness has passed and the light has come. “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of YHVVH, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Yochanan the Baptizer fulfilled these words. AS we know, he prepared the way for Yeshua, his cousin and his LORD, preparing peoples’ hearts and minds “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd, he shall gather the lambs with his arm and carry them in his bosom and shall gently lead those that are with young” (vs 11) Doesn’t this sound like our Savior and LORD? We are HIS flock and He feeds us with His WORD. His word guides us and leads us all. He has sent shepherds to teach his word and to guide us. There are many “old sheep” and “young sheep” those that are young are young in the word, yet through the right guidance, the young will mature into older and wiser sheep. As a shepherd leads his sheep, allow us LORD to be led by YOUR Word, and by your shepherds who have been sent by You to lead, guide, and teach ALL of your people. Amen” JOHN 6:1-71 This starts out “After these things…” what things one might ask? In the previous chapter it talks about Yeshua going up to Yerushalayim after the feast of the Passover, and he healed a lame man at the pool of Siloam. Yes, he was criticized by many, as even many of his believers and followers were and still “are” criticized, made fun of, and even murdered, all in HIS name. “After these things, Yeshua went over the Sea of Galilee, which is of Tiberias. I have been in the city of Tiberias. In July, it is “Hot” very much so, but the Sea of Galilee is very refreshing, but watch out, there are a lot of fish that come by to nibble at your feet. This is where the crowd comes to hear Yeshua, he goes to a nearby mountain and has the people to sit down. The number was about 5000. Yeshua knew that the people were hungry, so, he turns to Philip and says; “Where shall we buy bread so that these may eat?” Didn’t he know? Yes, of course, He was just waiting for Philip’s response. Perhaps, He was waiting for an answer such as; “We can’t possibly buy so much bread, so…YOU feed them LORD!” but he didn’t say that. It was Andrew who came with the boy who had 5 loaves of barley bread and 2 fishes. We need to know that first, the boy must have come forward to offer his lunch. Of course, the boy knew that 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes would not be enough for the whole crowd…BUT…with a little bit of faith…ANYTHING is possible. I mean, if Yeshua could heal the lame man, he could also feed this crowd. We have the offer, 5 pieces of bread and 2 fishes. We have the blessing and thanks, Yeshua lifts the loaves and fishes, (probably found a basket to put them in) and then, the distribution. There was enough for ALL. With the faith of a little boy, the faith of a mustard seed, we see a “mountain” of pieces of bread and a whole bunch of fish. The result, 12 baskets full were left over. One wonders who got the baskets of bread and fish. Probably the boy, to redistribute the blessing to his family and friends. We look at the numbers, “5” and “2” “5” is the number of grace, and “2” is the number of a covenant. It takes “2” entities or parties to make a covenant. Yeshua shows “grace” to the people, and makes a small covenant, “blessings to this crowd, for the faith of a small boy” When we add 5 + 2 we get the perfect number “7” which is the number of God. Yeshua, who is the “bread of Life” who has made his followers “fishers of men” has made a covenant in heaven, His life and blood for our salvation. The Word of God is also the “Bread of Life” which comes from the Father for all of us to eat and digest. Let us all go forth and be “fishers of men (and women) to reach and teach them the Words of the Master so that ALL might have eternal life through HIM who died to set us free. Shabbat Shalom…………Rabbi Ben Avraham
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