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Jacob Ben Avraham

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  1. PARASHA: “BO” (enter) EXODUS 10:1-13:16....................JEREMIAH 46:13-28.................MATT 25:1-46 The plagues against the Egyptian gods continue, it is our “Creator God YHVH” against Pharaoh and his false deities. Guess who is winning, yes, you know it. However, I need to point out that many of us peg Pharaoh and the Egyptians as the “bad guys” and the Israelites as the “good guys”. But we need to take note of something that many believers have in common with pharaoh, After the plague of locusts, pharaoh said; “I have sinned against the LORD your God, (notice that he said “YOUR” ) and against you, Now therefore forgive I pray thee my sin only this once and entreat the LORD your God that he may take away this death only”(Ex 10:17) and even before that, pharaoh spoke saying; “I have sinned this time, the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked, entreat the LORD that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail, and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer (EX 9:27,28) Pharaoh seems to be repentant yet it is just “lip service” in Spanish it would be “de diente a labio” or from “tooth to lip” he continues to rebel against YHVH, and refuses to let Israel go. How many believers claim to love God and admit that they are sinners and wicked, and we all are because of our “yetzer hara” (evil inclination) or in simple words, “sin nature” yet we ignore the Torah, we disobey HIS commandments…or…we promise that we will obey, yet we go back on our promise. I think this is true for ALL of us from time to time, for some more often than others. Even the Israelites, once they got out of Egypt, began to complain, and gripe, grumble and groan, and break G-d’s commandment making an idol calf of gold. Are we any better? Do we not grumble and complain too? For this and for that? We break YHVH’s commandments, and we say, “sorry” and seem repentant, but continue in the same sins, I think we are like Pharaoh as much as like the Israelites. Sometimes, we want to compromise, not follow ALL of Adonai’s instructions, perhaps not follow the whole Torah. Adonai’s instructions to Moshe, as he revealed to pharaoh, were to leave Egypt, the whole people, with all their properties (herds and flocks) go to the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD, yet pharaoh said he would comply…but…not all the way; “go sacrifice to your God in the land” (just stay in Egypt) “go to the wilderness, but not so far away” (yes, so we can keep an eye on you that you don’t run away!) “Go serve the LORD, the men only” (yet Adonai wants “all the people”) “go serve the LORD, but your herds and flocks stay here” (so, how are they going to sacrifice without the flocks and the herds?) Do we follow whole heartedly? Or do we pick and choose? Do we follow Torah only when convenient? Or parts that won’t interrupt our life styles? Do we follow some commandments and not follow others saying “these aren’t for us, only for Israel” if we are picking and choosing, then we are like pharaoh, trying to “bargain” or make “Compromise” with the LORD through his chosen servant? Chapter 12 is one of the most important chapters of Exodus, it is “Pesach time” ” This month shall be your beginning of months for you, it shall be the first month of the year for you” This can't be any clearer in my observation, it isn't January 1st, it is the first of Nissan, and since the lunar calendar changes from year to year, our “New Year's Day” (the real one) comes on March 27th (New Year's Eve). ” On the tenth of this month, everyone shall take a lamb.... a lamb for each household” ...... This lamb was to be a young, healthy lamb, and it would be kept for 5 days, on the 14th day, it would be slaughtered, and as we know, the blood would be placed on the two side posts of the door of the house entrance and along the top frame. As the story goes on, the death angel would come and see the blood and thus “pass-over” that house that had the blood on the doorposts. If you imagine that, the blood on the door posts...forms sort of a “cross” you can imagine Yeshua with his arms and hands extended, each one touch one of the “door posts” and his head against the “top part” where the blood from his head would be (where the Roman soldiers pushed in the crown of thorns) and where the nails were hammered (in the wrists) between the two small bones that form the arm (remember that not one bone was broken), so it had to between the bones, through the muscle. The lamb or goat was to be eaten roasted, with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. The other elements were added later, and were present when Yeshua celebrated the Pesach Supper with his talmidim. The roasted lamb or goat symbolizes “Yeshua being “roasted” in the “fires of judgment for our sins. He took upon himself ALL of our sins, past, present, and future. They were all “nailed” to the cross and judged by the Father. The “bitter herbs” symbolize the bitterness of slavery, the slavery to sin, and having a master “HaSatan” as our taskmaster. The unleavened bread symbolizes “Yeshua The Bread of Life” bread without leaven can be considered “perfect, sinless bread, therefore calling Yeshua who is without sin, “The Bread of Life”, and when we eat the “bread without leaven” (Matzah) we are symbolizing “taking into us Yeshua” and when we eat only unleavened bread for 7 days afterwards, we are being conscience of “sin in our lives” (avoiding it) being reminded by the matzah. At the first Passover, wine wasn't mentioned nor does it mention “Charoseth” (sweet mixture of nuts, apples, honey, cinnamon, etc.). They may have had wine, or water, or another drink, but no one knows for sure, nor do we know what kind of “bitter herbs” were used, today we use horseradish. Back then, it had to be something common in Egypt. The death angel visited the houses where no blood was found, so probably all the houses of the Egyptians lacked the blood, but perhaps there were a few houses that had members that paid attention to Moshe, and they might have gone to the Israelites and put blood on their doors. We are talking about a “substitution sacrifice” the “lambs and goats” were substituted for the Israelites' first-born. And any Egyptian household that also placed the blood on their doors (those who believed). We can see in scripture where a “substitute” was used. When Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac, God provided a “ram” as a substitute for Isaac, On Yom Kippur, two goats are used as “substitutes” for all of the people of Israel, and finally, “Yeshua Ha Mashiach” (Jesus the Messiah/Christ) was “OUR” substitute on the cross, HE exchanged his “Righteousness for our sinfulness” instead of us being punished for our sins, Yeshua accepted the punishment in our place. All that remains for us is to accept his “one time only” sacrifice and receive and accept HIM as our LORD and SAVIOR, and thus being “born again” according to John 3:3. Have you done this? If you were to die today, are you sure that Yeshua is your LORD and Savior? Will HE let you into his Kingdom? Only you can answer that question. ANCIENT EGYPTIAN WORDS/VOCABULARY (just for the fun of knowing them) “Aw Ibek” = May your heart rejoice, “Em Hotep” = shalom, peace, “Kemet” = Egypt “Qed” = architect (masculine) “Qedet” = architect (feminine) “baket” = female servant “Em heset net Ra” = be in favor with (the god) Ra, “Em heset net Yah” = be in favor with Yah (YHVH) “Retehtey” = baker “Retehtet” = baker (female) , “Neter” = god “Sen” = brother, “Sat” = sister “Dua netjer en ek” = thank you. Moshe spoke all of these fluently. Try some of them on your neighbor, “Em Hotep” (good bumper sticker?) ya never know what will fly these days. (kinda like the pet rock?) JEREMIAH 46:13-28 600 years later, after the fall of Egypt at Passover, disaster strikes against, this time, YHVH uses Nebuchadnezzar , king of Babylon as instrument of destruction against Egypt, seems like Egypt was not humbled after the Passover experience. You would think that the pharaohs that rose to power after the time of Passover would have realized the author of Egypt's destruction, but seems like they did not, a hard heart is hard to break at times. There are people today that have hardened hearts, that still resist the will of YHVH, to become sons of God, servants of Yeshua, talmidim, at times, God will humble us through accidents, illnesses, etc.. don't wait for that to happen, HUMBLE THY SELF IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD! He loves you and wants you as his own! MAT 25:1-46 ”The Ten Talents” A “talent” was a “weight” of money thousands of years ago. It was a lot, one could have a “talent” of gold, or silver, or copper, brass, bronze, etc. And like money today, it could be invested, or wisely spent, We also use the word “talent” as something that we have, like an “ability” to do good. As believers, we all have “talents” or “abilities” given to us through the Ruach HaKodesh (The Holy Spirit), with which to serve our LORD and Savior on earth. But, like the evil servant in the parable, who did nothing with his talent, only buried it, there are believers today who are doing the same. Many have more than one talent, or “spiritual gift” and they are not using it (or them). They are going to waste, or are squandering them in “things of the world. Can you sing? Yes, are you singing for God? Can you write? Are you writing for God? Can you teach? Are you teaching God's word to others? Can you play an instrument? Are you playing for the LORD? Think about the talents you have. How are you using them? Shabbat Shalom.......rabbi Ben Avraham
  2. PARASHA: “Va’era” (and I appeared) EXODUS 6:2-9:35......................EZEKIEL 28:25-29: 21...................MATT 24:1-51 YHVH speaks to Moshe saying that when he appeared to Abraham, he revealed himself as “El Shaddai” which means “God Almighty” or “God all-powerful, yet he did not reveal himself as he did to Moshe, with Moshe he revealed himself with the more personal name; YHVH (Yod Hey Vav Hey) These letters stem from the word; “HaVaYaH” which means “To exist” (we just re-arrange the letters) one could say that the name YHVH means “the God who exists from time past, present, and future) “Haya=the past” “Hoveh=the present “Yiyah”=future” As one can see, these words are a mixture of the letters YHVH. YHVH plans to take his people out of Egypt and return them to Canaan, the promised land, and at the same time, “judge the Egyptians” using a series of judgments leading up to the slaughter of the “Passover lambs” a very important “Moed” which we know so well. This year, Passover starts April 10th. We can look forward to this time as we do every year. The judgments are directed against the false deities of Egypt and against Pharaoh himself. Egypt is pretty well destroyed and left in ruin afterward, and never did regain the power and military might it once boasted of. From verses 6 to 9, YHVH makes 8 “I will” promises to his people and I want to look at the these promises in light of how they affect us as believers in Messiah Yeshua today; 1. I WILL bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 2. I WILL rescue you from their bondage. 3. I WILL redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 4. I WILL take you as my people. 5. I WILL be your God. 6. I WILL make myself known to you as your GOD who brings you out from under the burdens of Egypt. 7. I WILL bring you to the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 8. I WILL give it to you as an inheritance. …..Before being “born again”, accepting Yeshua/Jesus as our LORD and Savior, Messiah, we are under the burden and bondage of “HaSatan” the deceiver, father of Lies, and we do “his bidding” whether we know it or not, maybe a lot of us were not involved in crime, drugs, murder, etc., but we were hell bound and just did not give God a second thought, If Yeshua/YHVH is not our Father, LORD, redeemer, than, we are of our father, “the devil”, there is no other choice, we are either on one side of the fence or on the other side, there is no “in between” fences. We are under the bondage of sin, and under its burden until we are redeemed. Yet Yeshua DID rescue us from the bondage and burden of sin with “HIS OUTSTRETCHED ARMS” He stretched out his arms and hands to receive the nails of Calvary. He allowed the Roman soldiers to nail him to that rugged cross that Passover day, so as to pay the price of sin for us all. That day, he “judged” sin and death with his blood. From the moment we accept HIM as LORD and Savior, we are taken by him as HIS PEOPLE, we join the great Commonwealth of Israel, being grafted in to the Olive Tree. We are now HIS PEOPLE and part of HIS FAMILY of redeemed. He is OUR GOD, and he made himself known to us through his WORD. His WORD, has been taught to us through his faithful ministers, preachers, rabbis, teachers, etc. We are now living in different lands, in the USA and in other countries, yet someday, we will go to live in HIS glorious city “The New Jerusalem” which is now in the Heavenlies, yet will one day come to rest on earth. This is our inheritance as believers in Messiah Yeshua, Eternal life in his glorious kingdom. We can rest assured that we all have a glorious future to look forward to.EZEKIEL 28:25-29:21 The prophet speaks through the Holy Spirit and affirms that even though Israel has been scattered throughout the countries of the world, they will be returned to their land in the future, it is already happening, Israel was recognized as a nation in 1948, and since then, the people have been returning. One positive thing to dwell upon, the Jewish people made known to the nations of the ONE GOD, Adonai-Elohim-YHVH” and through the migration of the Jewish peoples to different parts of the world, we now have the Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Falashim, people groups which make up most to the Jewish peoples today. These people groups have introduced many varieties of foods, customs, and ways of worship in today's Judaism, many are also Messianic believers. Bad news for Egypt, just as the Israelites were scattered among the nations, the Egyptians will also be scattered among the nations for 40 years, Egypt will be desolate and people-less, for this period of time, this will probably happen during the millennium. The Egyptian people will come back after that time, but Egypt will never be a prosperous country. Since the fall of Egypt after the time of Passover, Egypt was conquered by the Babylonians, the Greeks, and Romans. Even today, there are Egyptians living in many countries in the world, but Egypt has never been left completely without people and animals, at least not yet. Yet a good note to ponder on, Egypt opened its doors to receive young Yeshua with Mary, and Joseph when they were fleeing from Herod. There are quite a few believers in Egypt today, making up the “Coptic Church” My wife and I visited Egypt in 1999 and it is indeed an interesting (yet poor) country. The food is fantastic! MATT 24:1-51 Yeshua tells his talmidim about the “end times” and we all know and have read this chapter, of “wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, etc. As we look around today, we can be certain that we are living in these “end times” for sure, yet the end is not yet...we still have a way to go. We have heard of many “false-Messiahs” leaders claiming to be “Jesus” yet we know better than believing on them. When Yeshua returns, the “Whole World” will see him returning, what will modern satellite cameras, etc. The gospel will be preached to the whole world, which is happening now, we need to be ready for his return, those of us that are alive, we will be gathered together as well as those who have gone on before us and who are now in heaven, we will be ONE FAMILY and share life together in the Millennial Kingdom of Yeshua and for all eternity.Rav Ben Avraham
  3. Parashah "Shemot" EX 1:1-6:1

    PARASHA: “Shemot” (Names) EXODUS 1:1-6:1.......................ISAIAH 27:6-28: 13...................MATT 22:1-23:39 We enter into a new era, Jacob/Israel and Joseph are now in the past, yet their legacy continues, in “Am Yisrael” (The People of Israel). ”70 souls” entered Mitzraim (Egypt) and then, hundreds of years later, we have a few million. There is a list in the beginning of Exodus of the “b'nei Israel” (the sons of Israel) and they had their children, and their children had children, etc. They remained in the area of “Goshen” along the Nile Delta, farming, raising cattle, probably a few became merchants, they adapted to the life in Egypt, got used to seeing Egyptian deities, probably understood spoken Egyptian. Who knows if many became “Egyptianized” did they bow down to the deities? Let's hope not. How much did they retain about Adonai? El Shaddai? We don't know, but I am sure that the story of Joseph and how he brought his family to Egypt from Canaan was passed down from family to family. The story of the famine, and how Yosef preserved life in midst of the famine. So “b'nei Israel” multiplied, and the land was filled with the “b'nei Israel”, and now the Egyptians start to get nervous. In verse 8, problems start; ” And there arose a new king over Egypt who knew not Joseph” there are a few ideas of who it might have been. Some believer it might have been “Pharaoh Ahmose” the title “Pharaoh” is not the name, it is only a title which means “ruler”. It might have been “Ahmose” or even “Rameses II”. A little on Egyptian words and etymology, the Egyptian word “meses” or “mose” means “born of” so the name “Moshe” or “Moses” is similar to “meses” (born of) or (Taken from). There were many “Rameses” it means “Born of the god RA” “Ahmose” probably (born of “Ah”) “Thutmose” (born of the god Thut) and so on. So many pharaohs took on those names. The pharaoh of verse 8 is paranoid and thinks that the Israelites will join, perhaps with the Hittites, to over throw Egypt. It is said that “Senoset” the pharaoh that gave rise to power to Joseph was a foreign king, a “Semite” known as a “Hyksos king”, perhaps that was why he felt some kinship with Joseph. Now the slavery starts and the Hebrews (Egyptian word is “Hapiru”) are made slaves, and the good times are over. Yet Elohim hears the cries of his people, and has selected the tribe of Levi, through a couple; Amran and Jochebed, to bring into the world, “Moshe” who would be a sort of “Mashiach” (like Yosef) to lead Israel OUT of Egypt, in God's appointed time. YHVH has a time for ALL THINGS, we cannot rush God's clock, it ticks slowly for us, yet it ticks out second by second and includes us all in the plan of things. the throne of Egyptian probably changes, and the pharaohs continue to be paranoid, one develops a plan to “curb” the birth rate by killing the baby boys, according to the historian 'Ted Stewart' in his book “solving the Exodus Mystery” the pharaoh who ordered the death of the male infants was “Sesostris III” we see that Moshe is adopted by the daughter of this pharaoh. At the time when Moshe grows up and is in the palace, being raised as a “prince of Egypt” and at the time, “retaining (inside) his Hebrew identity”. We remember that his kills an Egyptian in defending one of his own, the Pharaoh that sought his death was “Amenemhet III”. When Moshe fled and spent 40 years in Madian, upon returning, he faced the Pharaoh “Amenemhet IV” who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus, who pursued the Israelites through the Red Sea, (and didn't quite make it, receiving a very fatal water baptism). (T. Stewart, Solving the Exodus Mystery, www.biblediscoveries.com) This Parashah has so much that I wish to concentrate on the “Calling of Moshe” in chapter three of Shemot God calls to Moshe while he is taking care of Yitro's sheep near Mt. Sinai. A note to mention is that God prepares his servants beforehand, before sending them out on the mission fields, “Midian and the flocks of sheep” were the training grounds and subjects of his training, before leading out “Human sheep” to the land of Midian that “he now knew and was familiar with” God calls him saying; “Anochi Elohei Aviyha” (I am the God of your father) so the name “Elohei” is used, then he uses a more personal name in verse 14; “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” if you can really call it a name, it is translated as I AM that or who I AM, which is really not a name at all. So, what is God trying to convey to Moshe? In a way, he is saying, “Is a proper name so important Moe? Just understand that I EXIST! I have existed in the past, the present, and will exist in the future” from the word “Ehyeh” is a form of “Haya” or “Havayah” meaning “to exist” or “the essence of being” from this we get the most sacred name of God: YHVH HaVaYaH (re-arrange the letters a we get YHVH) modern translators put in vowels to get YeHoVaH and have changed the Y to J to become JEHOVAH, but that is not the original name, there exists no “J” in Hebrew. The other name used in chapter 3 is “Elohim” “Elohim” said to Moshe....Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh...” “Elohim” is the “all power God of Creation, the Tri-une God (im) who we know, as Messianic believers, as being EL (father) BEN-YESHUA, (Yeshua the Son) RUACH-HaKodesh (The Holy Spirit) . Elohim has revealed himself to us in human form through YESHUA, and as Moshe lead his people out of the slavery of physical bondage, YESHUA lead us out of the bondage of spiritual slavery of sin, leading us to a new life, in a personal relationship with HIM, as the Israelites entered into a renewed relationship with Elohei starting at Sinai, our relationship starts at Calvary. We are now joined to “His chosen people” through adoption, both native born in Israel, and those who are from the diaspora, we are all ONE (ECHAD) in Messiah Yeshua Ben David, Ben Adam, Ben YHVH. We continue to read and we find in chapter 4 that YHVH sends Moshe back to Egypt to lead his people out. We find that God works through people, some very special, others very ordinary. Yet before sending back Moshe, He prepares him in the desert as a shepherd. One can divide the life of Moshe into three parts, the first 40 years as prince and general in Egypt, the second 40 years as an outcast, yet an instrument in the hands of YHVH, and the last 40 years as leader of Israel. Before sending him back, there are three signs that YHVH gives Moshe, as “authority”. When we look at these three signs of authority, we see “Yeshua” in these signs. The first was the “Mateh” (The staff). It was common for every household leader to carry a staff, a little more than just a “walking stick”. The “Mateh” was the sign of leadership and authority. But this one would be changed into a serpent when Moshe threw it down before Pharaoh. The serpent was the sign of “kingly authority” in Egypt, as it was a part of the royal headdress that the pharaohs wore. Shepherds carried a “rod” and a “staff” when leading sheep. The “rod” being a short, heavy club that was used as a weapon, and the “staff” to lead. Yeshua is the “good shepherd” who leads us, who, “crushed the head of the serpent” at Calvary. The second sign was the sign of “disease and healing of said disease” namely “Tza-arat” (leprosy). We see in the Prophets that Elisha healed Naaman the Syrian of leprosy, Yeshua also healed the sick, including lepers. Even in the desert, those who were bitten by “serpents” were healed by a “bronze serpent on a staff” (again, returning to the staff and serpent). Yeshua is our healer and heals us of the curse of sin and death. The third sign was the “water turned to blood” on dry land (4:9). This reminds us of our Messiah Yeshua, who when on the cross, was pierced by a roman spear, and out of his side came “blood and water” and this mixture of “blood and water” fell from the cross on dry land. By his shed blood we are saved, by Yeshua who is the “living Water”. So, we also see in these three signs, the “Torah” the “Prophets” and the “Brit HaDashah” ISAIAH 27:6-28:13 ” In the days to come, shall Jacob take root, Israel shall blossom and bud....” We see a fulfilling of this prophecy in that once taken from Egypt, and united and solidified as a “People” a “Nation”, this people/nation has grown and has spread out throughout the world Though many nations have tried to “snuff out” Am Yisrael, they, in turn (those nations) have suffered punishment and defeat in trying to do just that. Can a mouse “snuff-out” an elephant? Israel, upon being scattered throughout the nations, brought the belief in “ONE GOD” when the nations believed in “Multi-gods” Through the Tribe of Y’hudah, came forth YHVH in the flesh, “Yeshua” who is “Yeshuah” (Salvation) to all those who believe on him who died to set men free from sin. MATT 22:1-23:39 Yeshua tells a parable about the “Kingdom of Heaven” being likened to a “marriage/wedding feast, and the king invites many to come, but they refuse, and even kill the servants, then he sends an army to destroy those who rejected him and killed his servants, and sent others to invite others to come, and many came, and the feast was given. Both good and bad came, When we look at this in plain light, Yeshua is now preparing a “wedding feast” to those who have accepted his “invitation”. Many accept, even those who walk in evil ways, want to change their lives, so they come to the wedding feast, yet also, many reject. The offer still stands, Yeshua died on the cross to offer mankind “salvation” (Yeshuah) through his blood and full atonement of sins. Yet many still make fun of that and refuse the free gift of salvation, to prefer the ways of the world. Those who refuse, and die in their sins, will suffer eternal punishment in the Lake of fire, While the offer was made, they refused, while others accepted. What will you do with the free gift of Salvation? Accept or reject? Shabbat Shalom... J. Ben Avraham
  4. PARASHA: “VaYechi” (and he lived) GEN 47:28-50:26......................1 KINGS 2:1-12......................MATT 20:1-21:46 In this we see Jacob (Israel) in his last days, he prepares to “go the way of all men” (As king David put it), Jacob is getting ready to die. He prepares himself, and makes sure that his sons and grandsons are blessed and they know what is ahead of them. A father's blessing to his children is very important. We see that he lives 17 years in Egypt, and strangely enough, Yosef comes to Egypt at age 17! When we add up the two “17s” we get “34”, then adding 3+4 = 7, we are back to the number “7” which is God's number, Both Jacob and Joseph were in God's perfect will and HE fulfilled HIS perfect purpose through those men. Jacob lives 147 years. Those numbers and significant also. Jacob has “12” sons all together, the “founding fathers” of what and who are the Israelis, Israelites, Jewish people today. When we add up the numbers 1 +4+7 in the number 147, we get 1+4+7= “12”. To write the number 147 using Hebrew letters we would use a “Qoph” (Q or K) “mem” (M) and a “Zayin” (z) Qoph = 100, Mem = 40, Zayin = 7, how do these numbers tell us about Jacob/Israel? Jacob/Israel was set side “Kadosh” for YHVH's special purpose, to bring forth a “multitude of people “mem” and this people, the Jewish people would have to “fight” (Zayin) for survival, “zayin = weapon”,” mem” = “multitude, water, or chaos” Before he dies, Jacob blesses his 12 children and his 2 grandkids, and tells them about their futures, some are bleak, not so nice (one reaps what one sows). Each name of “b'nei Israel” (children of Israel) has a symbolic meaning, what does these names mean to us as “born again believers in Yeshua HaMashiach?” well, let's see; RUEBEN (Re'eh) “to see” , SIMEON (Sh'ma) “to hear”, LEVI (lev=heart) “united, joined together” Y'HUDAH (contains the most sacred name of God, YHVH) “praise” ,DAN “judge” , NAPHTALI “wrestling” GAD “a troop comes”, ASHER “blessed” , ISSACHAR “wages”, ZEBULUN “dwelling with husband”, YOSEF “YHVH will add a son” , BENJAMIN “son of the right hand” MANASSEH “forget my toil and my father's house” (pray 4 Zion, the significance of the twelve tribes of Israel). What do we see when we apply these meanings to our lives as “born again believers?” We can all SEE the changed lives, the miracles that have been done in believers' lives, and we HEAR of the faith of others who have been challenged by oppressive governments, we HEAR God's Word through SEEING the words in the Torah, and take them into our HEART, so that the words of Torah are JOINED TOGETHER to our lives, so that we may PRAISE the name of YHVH. We must all look at our lives and JUDGE ourselves in light of the scriptures, are we living the way YHVH wants us to live? We must judge ourselves, least we be judged, yet we will ALL incur JUDGEMENT at the “Judgment seat of Messiah. Every day is a kind of “WRESTLING” match between our old nature and our renewed nature, the sinful flesh against our new “born again” selves. We are Adonai's TROOPS, we are at war against HaSatan, and his unholy fallen angels, it is spiritual warfare, and our weapons are the WORD of God, His Holy Spirit and HIS holy angels, and our prayers, we have been BLESSED with a new relationship with our creator and redeemer, and we will receive WAGES for our good works, (mitzvoth) in form of rewards in heaven, as “gold, silver, precious stones” Our future hope is one day, to DWELL WITH OUR HUSBAND, who is Messiah Yeshua, who loves us as his “bride”. Every time a lost person is “born again” a SON IS ADDED, to God's redeemed family of believers. We are sons of Adonai's RIGHT HAND, who is Messiah Yeshua, who stretched out his HANDS to receive the nails. We can forget our TOILS, rest from them on the Sabbath, Every Sabbath day is our time to rest from our TOILS, and to be in OUR FATHER'S HOUSE. Someday, we will have our permanent “Sabbath rest”. We must not forget that one of the blessings of Judah is the coming forth of SHILOH, who is Yeshua, who will have the ruler's scepter, who will be “king over all the earth” to him will gather ALL nations. 1 KINGS 2:1-12 King David is on his death bed and calls his son Solomon, and tells him “what it is to be a MAN!” so here's the truth to all “macho guys out there who just THINK they know what it is to be a real man. Melech David tells the truth through the Holy Spirit who guides his words; ” Keep charge of YHVH thy God, Walk in HIS ways, Keep HIS commandments as they are written in the Torah, SO THAT, you may prosper in ALL you do. So, there you have it, what it is to be a man, (or a woman) of God, Trust in Yeshua as LORD and Savior, Depend of HIS righteousness through his blood and sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, which will lead us to a right relation with HIM and with his written word, to put into practice as our way of life. But always remember that salvation is through FAITH, and by FAITH only, and never depending on works! (mitzvoth) the “works” are an “aftermath” of our faith experience. MATT 22:1-23:39 Yeshua tells the story of a man who pays the same wage to various workers who went to work for him at different times during the day. The guy who worked 10 hours, gets, let's say, $100.00 and the guy who just worked 2 hours, also gets $100.00. The guy who worked 10 hours gets upset, “Hey, that's not fair!” but why should he worry, if the man wants to be generous, that's on him, right? Which proves that YHVH shows mercy on whom he pleases, no matter where he or she is, and blesses in abundance with some, and not so much abundance with others, the thing to remember is that HE supplies our NEEDS, one way or another, whether or not we work a lot to get blessed, the blessings will ALWAYS come from ABOVE. Shabbat Shalom
  5. Parashah: “Miketz” (at the end of) JOSEPH AND BRETHERN MEET AND ARE RECONCILED (yet a changed heart and attitude is needed first) GENESIS 41:1-44:17.........................1 KINGS 3:15-4:1....................MATT 16:1-17:27 When we look into this parashah study, we see Yosef, who was, in a way of speaking, in the “pit” He was cast into the prison for something he did not do, yet he continued to trust YHVH for his needs. This reminds us of Melech David's words “You will not leave my soul in Sheol” This was a time of testing for Yosef. It was out of his hands. He came to Egypt as a slave, got a good position in Potiphar’s house, went from a common slave to comfort of a house, from house to the prison, and from prison to fame and fortune. All in YHVH's perfect timing and planning. We might ask ourselves, if Yosef could have managed an escape from the house of Potiphar, or even from prison, he probably would have headed straight back to his home in Canaan. No one would have been in Egypt to interpret Pharaoh's dreams, and thus, save the world from starvation. Yet we see that Yosef did submit himself to the perfect will of HaShem, and he was finally taken out of prison via the “cup bearer” (Oh yes, now I realize my shortcomings, there IS a guy in prison that can interpret your dreams your majesty...) Yet Yosef gives all glory to God, “God will give the interpretation” which is a positive witness to YHVH. Pharaoh probably saw the shortcomings and weakness of the Egyptian priests who were “supposed” to get their wisdom from Egyptian gods, yet this foreign “Hebrew” gets his wisdom to interpret dreams from an “invisible” God. Another thing we see is that Yosef not only gives the interpretation, but also the “solution”. For what good is an interpretation of a dream that speaks “calamity” if there is no solution to the problem? It is kind of like saying; “Hey king, your country is doomed, 7 years of famine, starvation, death...well OK.... nice meeting you Mr. King.” yet Yosef is faithful and brings a solution, through YHVH's wisdom and perhaps the experience he already had in agriculture and livestock when he was in Canaan as a teen. Now, he is elevated to “assistant in command” to Pharaoh, and goes from “rags to riches” He is now in position to sort of “run the country” and we see that in time, Yosef's brothers come in search of food, of course they do not recognize him, in Egyptian clothing, some 20 years later, no beard, etc. The brothers have to be tested to see if they are really sorry for what they did to Yosef, Yosef needs to see “true repentance”. Yosef is now in the position as “judge” yet when he tested them, using Benjamin, he sees true repentance through Y'hudah, now that he sees this, he reveals his true self, “Ani Yosef!!” (I AM Yosef) He is no longer in the position of “judge” but “family” When we were lost sinners, Yeshua was in the position as our “judge” As many who will continue to reject the free gift of salvation, they will be “judged” guilty by Messiah Yeshua at the Great White Throne Judgment, yet once we come to Yeshua and accept Him as our Savior and LORD, then, we come “Family” members, and we will be treated as “family”. “Y'hudah” symbolizes “Israel” who, in the future, will recognize “HE who was pierced” and those in Israel will say, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of YHVH” as Yosef then “Talked” with his brothers, so YHVH desires to “talk” with us, through prayer and fellowship. As Yosef invited ALL his family to Egypt, so ALL who come to recognize Yeshua as Mashiach, are invited to join the “Heavenly family” Yosef is a “Messiah type” who saved the local world from physical famine, Yeshua saves the world from “spiritual famine” to all those who come to HIM and accept him as Savior and LORD! 1 KINGS 3:15-4:1 In this scripture portion, we see Solomon lifting up “burnt-offerings” and “peace-offerings” after also having “dreams” In his dream YHVH asked him what he wished for, “For wisdom, an understanding heart to judge this people” and YHVH thus granted him what he wished for. This should be a guide for us when we wish for things. I think the best wish would be knowledge of the Torah and wisdom to put into action what we learn from God's Holy Writ. As we see. God gave Solomon that and more. ” Burnt-offerings” symbolize our sinful nature, and the “peace-offerings” speak of our happiness and joy because of our salvation experience. Today these offerings are “offered up” in “prayer and thanksgiving” the prayers of confession of sin are always heard, and so are the prayers of praise and thanksgiving, because we know we have been forgiven. MATT 16: 1-17:27 The “leaven” of the Pharisees is non-the less “unbelief” as Yeshua said, this reminds us when He was visiting the temple during this same time of Hanukkah, and the Jews came around him and said; “tell us plainly if you are the Messiah or not!” yet He rebukes them saying “I have already told you and you do not believe!” He had already given signs through his miracles of healing, raising of the dead, how much more proof did they need? What does “leaven” do in bread? It “puffs up the bread” and that is what pride does, it “puffs up” and person, and sometimes, stubborn pride brings on unbelief. Kefa exhibits his faith when he said; “You are Messiah, the Living God” Faith is “believing what we cannot see” yet Kefa sees Yeshua and sees the miracles, and so he believes, yet Yeshua says later on after the resurrection, “You have believed because you see, blessed are those who do not see yet BELIEVE! PARASHA: “VaYIGASH” (and he drew near) GENESIS 44:18-47:27........................EZEKIEL 37:15-28.......................MATT 18:1-19:30 In this Parashah, we read that “he (Y'hudah) drew near” to Yosef, and shows himself as truly repentant for his past actions against Yosef, for selling him for the price of a common slave. And we see the reaction of Yosef once he hears Y'hudah, he then reveals himself as his TRUE self, their BROTHER. Before, Yosef stood in front of his brothers as “judge” now he stands before them with “open arms” as “Family” “Savior” “Provider” Mashiach. But it took a repentant and contrite heart to bring about the “revelation”. Before we come to Yeshua as a repentant sinner, He is our JUDGE, and as a Holy God, and Judge, he has the right to judge us guilty as lost sinners, yet all this change when we come and accept him as Savior and LORD, THEN, our position changes, we become members of “Mishpochah Adonai” (Family of God) and Yeshua is our mediator to our Heavenly Father. Yeshua is no longer our “judge” but our Savior, Redeemer, Messiah, (Yeshuah, Goel, Mashiach) We see something similar. Pharaoh (who some believe bore the name “Senoset”) was ruler of Egypt, and Yosef was his “right-hand man” or Viceroy” Prime Minister, if you could call him that. Yosef had to get Pharaoh's permission for his family to go down to Egypt, and of course, permission was granted. For us to get right-standing before our Holy God, we go through Yeshua, who is GOD, in the flesh, as Yosef was “Pharaoh” in a sense, when Pharaoh could not leave the palace. Yosef spoke in “Name of” Pharaoh, as Yeshua represents the Father who is in Heaven. …..We see the words of Yosef in 45:3 “Ani Yosef!” powerful words, what do they symbolize in the ancient Hebrew letters, “Ani” (I) “Alef” (strong leader, God) “Nun” (who gives life) “Yod” (does mighty works) and the name “Yosef” : “Yod” (who does works) “Vav” (connects) “Samekh” (to lean on, to support, to uphold) “Pey” (mouth, to speak) so, the name “YOSEF” in certain words can mean “He who does might works, speaks to (us) (to his brothers) and connects them to him through support. He spoke words of comfort to his brothers, promising them “support” throughout the years of famine, they could “lean on him” and thus have that “connection” so we see that “Yosef” (I know, everyone is used to spelling it “Joseph” (the regular English spelling) but the Hebrew does not have a “J” so “Yosef” is the correct and original spelling. “Yosef” is related to our “Messiah Yeshua” in that “Both have spoken words of comfort to us, through His WORD, and we are connected to him through his blood and being “born again” and we can “Lean on Him” who has set captives free. Yosef, who once was a captive slave, went down to Egypt, sold for 20 pieces of silver, (the price of a slave back then) and became the “Savior” of many lives through the distribution of food in that time of famine. Yeshua, who went “down to Egypt” as a baby. Came “up out of Egypt” and was sold for “30 pieces of silver” (the price of a slave then in his times) and became the “Savior” of the world, and saved the world of “Spiritual death and spiritual famine” We see in Chapter 47 that “Jacob” (who is ISRAEL now) goes down to Egypt, with his family of 70 (includes children, grandkids, servants, etc.) “Israel” and “Yosef” meet. Yosef's legal name is “Yosef Ben Israel” or “Ben Jacob” the name ISRAEL comes from “Yasher El” (straight to GOD) Yosef is happy to see “Abba” again and goes “straight to God” as we believers should be happy to go “straight to God” through Yeshua. This is the beginning of Israel's “sojourn” in the land of Egypt, interesting fact, “Yosef” in a way “Enslaved the Egyptians” by taking from them their land, cattle, money, in exchange for food. Later on, the “worm turned” and the Egyptians, under the power of a different Pharaoh (who some think was “Ahmose”) enslaved ISRAEL, until the time of Moshe. Israel is still enslaved to tradition, religiosity, blind eyes that refuse to recognize Messiah Yeshua, as the promised “Mashiach” that the Torah speaks of. Yet many are coming to Mashiach, but there are still many more that need “Yeshuah” (Salvation) EZEKIEL 37:15-28 Here, “Yeches’kel Ha Navi” (Ezekiel the Prophet) sees the joining of Judah and the children of Israel, and Yosef, with his son Efrain” and they are joined together as ONE (Echad) “One in Unity” Once they were separated, Yosef and his sons in Egypt, and Israel, Judah, and his brothers, in Canaan, but NOW, together as ONE FAMILY. As we are also ONE (echad) in Messiah Yeshua's love. We are “Kehilah Echad” (One congregation united in Yeshua) even though there are thousands of “Kehilot” all over the world, our relationship in Yeshua makes us ONE. MATT 18:1-19:30 Yeshua says that “unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven”. A child is “innocent” and has an eager mind to learn. When we are “born again” we start anew, like “little children” and slowly “grow into maturity” yes, we will stumble and fall, get into trouble, and get “spanked” by the Father, but HE will still love us as HIS CHILDREN. Shabbat Shalom...Ben Avraham
  6. A BRIEF STUDY ON HANUKKAH, WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? “And it was at Jerusalem the Feast of the Dedication (Hanukkah), and it was winter, and Yeshua (Jesus) walked in the temple in Solomon's porch” (John 10:22,23) the chapter goes on to say that the Jews gathered around him, asking him to tell them plainly if he was the Messiah. Hanukkah was an important festival, important enough for our Messiah to be at the temple and answer questions. The meaning of the word “Hanukkah” means “dedication”. In order to understand this better, we need to go back and read 2 Chronicles 7:8-10. King Solomon finished building the first temple, and he celebrated with the people in having a big sacrifice, sacrificing thousands of bulls and sheep, he invited the people and they shared in the festivity. He celebrated for 8 days, during the time of Sukkot, (Feast of Tabernacles) on the 8th day, “Hoshanah Raba” he blessed the people and sent them home. A lot happened after that time, the priests and much of the people took their eyes off the LORD, and went into idolatry. Years later, the Prophet Malachi prophesied that YHVH would punish the people, and the end result would be that the temple would be desecrated, the “seed” of Israel would be “contaminated”. You can read this in Malachi 1:6; 2:1,2,8,9. The Prophet Daniel was more precise. He had visions of what would happen in the future. The visions of Daniel in chapter 8 had to do with “two” end time periods. One, the end time before the first coming of Messiah Yeshua, and the second, the end time before the second coming of Messiah, which is still in the future. In Chapter 8:5 the prophet sees a “he goat” (Greece) and a “ram” (Persia). This is when Alexander the Great went forth to conquer many nations, he traveled very fast (touched not the ground). This happened around 330 B.C. He went from West (Greece) towards the East (nations East of Greece) these nations included Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Israel (Judea). The prophet mentions the “horn that was broken” (Alexander's death) and from that, 4 other horns came out (four generals took over). (Daniel 8:8). “Ptolemy” took control of Egypt, that is why we see the dynasty of “Ptolemy pharaohs” Queen Cleopatra was a “Ptolemy”. Seleucid took control over Syria. From Seleucid, came the “little horn that waxed great”. This was the rise of Antiochus (Daniel 8:9). First there was Antiochus III, and afterward, Antiochus IV (Epiphanes). It was Antiochus Epiphanes who wreaked Havoc in Judea, was a tyrant, a murderer who was satanically controlled. He proclaimed himself “Zeus incarnate” thus the title “Epiphanes” An epiphany is a carnal likeness of a god. But what happened to Judea before the rise of Antiochus? Alexander had introduced “Hellenism” to the conquered world. Judea could either accept the new Greek ways or reject them. Most Israelites rejected them, they stayed Torah observant and worshiped YHVH. Some accepted the new Greek ways, new Greek style clothing, music, philosophy, gymnastics, drama, language, etc... Under Alexander, and even under the first Antiochus (III) Judeans had a choice, either accept or reject, it didn't really matter, but when Antiochus III died and his son Antiochus IV came to power, all changed. Everyone had to convert to Hellenism, accept Antiochus as supreme ruler and “god” manifested in human form, or die. No longer could they study Torah, the scrolls were destroyed, circumcision of males was a capital offense, when Israelite women married, a Greek soldier would be the first to physically “lay” with the new wife. So life was “hell” for all of Israel that did not convert or accept Hellenism, and accept Antiochus as “Zeus incarnate”. On the 25th of the Hebrew month of Kislev, 167 B.C, Antiochus invades the temple in Jerusalem and desecrates it. He sets up a statue of Zeus and to celebrate, he sacrifices pigs on the sacred altar in the temple, he then takes all the temple furniture made of gold and silver, including the Menorah, and takes them to Syria. The temple is now bare, and desecrated, and now dedicated to Zeus and pagan sacrifices. (Daniel 8:11-12). The next thing that Antiochus did was to replace the Judean “Onias” the high priest and put his own brother “Jason” as priest instead of Onias. Jason started promoting “Zeus worship, and pig sacrifices” throughout Judea. He went to the city of Modin, where the priest Mattathias lived with his five sons; John, Jonathan, Judah, Simon, and Eleazar. This is where the resistance started. Jason had sent an officer to offer Mattathias riches and honor, if only he would set the example and offer pig sacrifices to Zeus. The officer was not prepared for the reaction of Mattathias. With a loud voice he responded; “Though all the nations that are under the king's dominion obey him and fall away everyone from the religion of their fathers, and give consent to his commandments, yet will I and my sons and my brethren walk in the covenant of our fathers. God forbid that we should forsake the Torah and the ordinances. We will not harken to the king's words to go from our religion, either on the right hand or the left!” (1st Book of Maccabees) After hearing these words, another priest standing nearby offered to sacrifice, in exchange for gold and silver. When the priest tried to go forward, Mattathias took a sword and slew him there, and also slew the officer in charge. Now, Mattathias and his sons were wanted criminals in the eyes of Antiochus. Mattathias and his sons had to flee the city and they went into the hills of Judea to hide. Other faithful Judeans heard what Mattathias had done, and went out to be with him and his sons, thus, forming a small army. Yet what did they have, but perhaps wooden spears, a few knives, pitchforks, and not many swords. Judeans from all classes in society went to join him and his sons. There out in the wilderness, they prepared for battle. They would strike out against Antiochus and his trained Greek-Syrian forces. They would fight with guerrilla-warfare tactics. They knew the terrain, the Greeks didn't. This reminds us of the revolutionary war in the United States, when the 13 colonies were under British rule. George Washington (America's Mattathias and Judah the Maccabee) took untrained colonists and fought against the well trained British troops, they fought long and hard, but finally gained independence from Great Britain. Antiochus now knew that Mattathias and his small army were serious. Mattathias was old and he died during this war. He left his eldest son, Judah, to take command. His sur-name “Maccabee” comes from the Hebrew/Aramaic word “Makabah” which means “Hammer” so his whole name in Hebrew “Y'hudah Makavi” is telling us “My God YAH is my hammer”. With the strength and blessings of God, Y'hudah and his army went forth to fight against Antiochus and his armies. Antiochus sent out four generals; Apollonius, Georgias, Seron, and Nicanor. The strength of these armies was probably 100,000 or more. Yet Judah fought them all, (guerrilla style strike and run, strike and hide, ambush, etc...) As these armies were vanquished, Judah and his armies captured their swords, spears, shields, etc... and now they were well equipped. Needless to say, Judah pushed forward and finally drove the Greek-Syrians out of Judea. He and his army re-took Jerusalem. The temple was in a shamble, the altar desecrated with swine blood and guts, the Temple emptied of its treasures. Judah and his men got to work, they tore down the pagan altar and built an altar to YHVH. He went and “brought in new vessels, the candlestick (Menorah) the table of Shewbread, and the altar of incense, which were made of gold” (Josephus, the complete works, pg. 393) they went to work and made the temple like new again, re-lit the menorah, and made a “feast of dedication” for 8 days, just like in the days of Solomon, when he dedicated the first temple for eight days. Judah offered sacrifices on the newly built brazen altar just like Solomon did. This also happened on the same day, 25th of Kislev, 164 B.C. three years after it had been desecrated. Today, we still celebrate this time of year. Many people have a special 9 branch menorah called a “Hanukkah”. This is used especially for this time. The middle branch is called the “Shamash” (the helper) from this middle branch which holds and candle or oil with a wick, the other candles are lit each night for 8 nights. As Messianic Jewish believers, we see the symbolism in the middle branch as “Yeshua” who is the “Light of the World” and we are the “little lights” we get our light from Messiah Yeshua. He even said, “Ye are the light of the world. We can see 9 aspects of the faith in each of the 9 branches of the special Hanukkah menorah; “Teshuvah” (repentance) “Tzedakah” (charity and giving) “Mitzvot” (good works) “Emunah” (faith) “Yeshua” (Salvation) “Mishpochah” (family) “Ahavah” (love) “HaTorah” (God's Word) “Israel” (the Holy Land) are all inter-related and we can also add “Chen” (faith) because by “faith” we are saved, not of works least any man should boast. Many also “spin the dreidel” which is a four-sided top, with the letters N, G, H, S, (but in Hebrew) which symbolize, “Nez, Gadol, Haya, Sham,” (A great miracle happened there). What was the miracle? That a small army of about 10,000 men fought against a superior army of 100,000 or more, yet not through the might of swords and spears, but through the might and power of YHVH, they won and achieved victory. These 4 letters when added up in gematria, = 358, the word “Mashiach” (Messiah) also adds up to the sum of 358. Mashiach gave the victory. He also gives us the victory in our lives against sin. We can think of “Dedication” at this time of year to re-dedicate our lives to Messiah Yeshua, to serve him, and keep on serving him, and to be “lights” in dark places. Our work and service in Messiah Yeshua ends on earth when we are called home, and even in heaven, w ll continue to serve, and see His LIGHT forever.
  7. "The Stain" (a tale from NYC's Little Italy)

    So, you live in Brooklyn? now?
  8. “The Faces of God” (Panim el Panim) GEN 32:30 (a last-minute thought on Parashah VaYishlach) Jacob finds himself alone, facing, as he thinks, eminent danger from being slaughtered by his brother Esau, He puts his family in hiding, he sends gifts of cattle to Esau to maybe “soften him up” he might think. Now comes a wrestling match. Jacob is at his wits ends, it is only he and Elohim. Elohim comes to visit him in form of the “Angel of YHVH” the Torah says that he “wrestled with a man all night” and Jacob did not relent, he did not give up the wrestling match until the Angel touched his thigh, thus wounding him. Then comes the interesting part, the Angel gives him a blessing, he changes his name from “Jacob” to “Israel” From “trickster, deceiver” to “straight to G-d” When we see the name “Yisrael” it can be divided into two parts; “Yasher- El” (straight to G-d) the name “Yisrael” also contains the acronyms of the patriarchs and matriarchs who played a part in forming the nation of Israel; “YI” Yitzchak “S” Sarah “R” Rachel and Riv’kah “AE” Abraham “L” Leah. The gematria for the word “Yisrael” (Yod, Sheen, resh, aleph, lamed) adds up to 541, when we add together 5+4+1 = 10. “10” symbolizes the Torah, it was to the nation of Israel that the 10 Commandments were given as a “wedding contract” or “contract of nationhood” Israel now says something interesting; “Vayikra Ya’akov shem haMakom Peniel Ki ra’iti Elohim Panim Et Panim” (and Jacob called the name of that place “Peniel” (face of God) for I have seen Elohim “faces to faces”. What is interesting is that here, the word “face” is used in the singular and in the plural. Peni-el, (face of God) in the ancient paleo-Hebrew letters, the word is symbolized as “mouth, life, action, God, Leader” in gematria, the word “Peniel” adds up to 171, (the unique, one (echad) G-d is perfect) when we add 1+7+1 = 9. “9” is the number of “emet” (truth) and “Yeshua” also has that title. But “Panim El Panim” (faces to faces) is somewhat strange, or is it? How many faces does God have? Or does he even have a face, since he is “spirit”. In one way, he “has a face” in physical form as the “Angel of YHVH, Jacob saw him, Abraham also saw him. But now “faces?” what could that mean? Here is one idea; I am sure you can remember as a child, making “funny faces” in the mirror. You might have seen in elementary school, school work papers that have different “faces” and you have to guess what they are. A “sad” face, a “happy” face, an “angry” face, etc. do the “faces” describe the person? Or are “faces” an indication of the person’s internal being? I am sure you can remember your mother or father’s face when you disobeyed or goofed up something, you knew you “were in trouble” just by looking at their face. Just as our parents had their “faces” which illustrated what was going on inside their soul and being, so our Heavenly Father has different attributes, personalities, feelings, attitudes, etc. that “could” be compared with “Panim” (faces). He has the “Panim Rachamim” (faces of Mercy) or “mercies” (endless mercy!”) He has the “face of forgiveness” the “face of longsuffering” the “face of patience” yet the faces of “punishment” “chastisement” “judgement and condemnation” for unrepentant sinners, the faces of “joy” and “wrath” of “happiness and sadness” “approval and disappointment” the face of a “God who listens and responds” the list could go on. We can just imagine the “face” of God when he sees us doing certain things, both “kosher” and “un-kosher” If we can imagine his faces, then, we can imagine how he is feeling inside when we are in obedience or disobedience. Another way of seeing “Panim El Panim” is “Faces God Faces” because “El” is one of G-d’s names. (the shortest one) Can we say that during that night of ordeal, when Jacob wrestled with the “Malach Elohim” he saw the different “faces” of G-d? perhaps he saw in the “Panim Elohim” the future of his descendants, his 12 sons! It is something to think about! PARASHA: “VaYeshev” (and he settled) GENESIS 37:1-1-40:23..................AMOS 2:6-3:8................MATT 14:1-15:39, JOHN 10:22-23 In this study, the focus in on Yosef, who is going to be in the lime-light of God. Things seem to be going from bad to worse for this young teen-ager. But it wasn't all his fault we could say. His father Jacob held him high up on a pedestal, “Papa's favorite”. Always when there is family favoritism among sons and daughters, there is bound to be trouble, especially from the other siblings who are the “less preferred” Papa Jacob makes him a “coat of many colors” This coat was a symbol of leadership, this is like getting a kid a three-piece suit made of fine silk, and then sending out to the fields where his brothers are wearing overalls and straw hats. This is going to get jealousy aroused. These brothers are boiling mad, and to make matters worse, Yosef is given dreams by YHVH and he doesn't keep them to himself, he shares them. He shares them not to be haughty, but just to let his family know what is happening, or rather, what is “going to happen” in the future. But I don't think that at that time, Yosef understood the meaning of the dreams. To make a long story short, he gets out to the fields, the brothers strip him of his coat, rip it, dip it in goat's blood, plan to kill him, Judah talks them out of it, and instead, throw him in an empty well, wait until a group of Ishmaelite traders come by, they sell him to the buyers for 20 pieces of silver , and that is that, they are rid of brother Yosef, “daddy's boy” the dreamer, yet unknowingly, they are playing right into the perfect plan of YHVH, they are “investing” in their own future welfare. But let's go back to the events. How do these events symbolize, compare with Messiah Yeshua? We do not see any blemish on Yosef, as if he is “perfect and righteous” as Yeshua was/is “Tzadik kadosh” (Righteous and Holy” Yosef is the “victim” of his own people (his brothers). As Yeshua was given up to the Roman governor, by a group of religious leaders. The brothers striped Yosef of his coat, the coat was dipped in goat's blood. Yeshua was stripped of his clothing, and was beaten, his flesh “ripped” by a Roman whip, until the blood poured out. The “goat's blood” reminds us of “Yom Kippur” where goats were sacrificed and one was “set free” the blood of the goat reminds us of our sins “covered by the blood” (back then) but now, our sins are “erased” by the blood of “God's chosen LAMB” the “Lamb of God” which taketh away the sins of the world. Yosef was thrown into a pit, an empty cistern, void of water. Scripture doesn't say, but I imagine that his brothers tied him up with a rope and lowered him into the pit by the rope. A “water well” symbolizes “Life” but when it is empty, it can symbolize “death”. Just try to climb out a deep pit with dirt sides without anything, you can't, might as well be dead. Yosef being lower into the pit can symbolize Yeshua's death, and his descent into “Sheol” yet when the Midianites came by, the brothers pulled him “out” of the pit, it could symbolize Yeshua's “resurrection unto life”. Before the pit, Yosef was part of his immediate family, after the incident of the pit, he is on his way to a “new life”, with trials, testings, troubles, suffering, and finally, rewards! Doesn't that sound like our life today? Yosef was sold for “20 pieces of silver” by “Y'hudah Ben Ya'akov” (Judah son of Jacob) Yeshua was sold for “30” pieces of silver by “Y'hudah Ish Kariot” (Judah, a man from the region of Kariot) Y'hudah Ben Ya'akov was part of Jacob's family, whose name changed to Israel. Y'hudah Ish Kariot was part of Yeshua's family of talmidim (disciples) by “name only” not spiritually. The name “Israel” comes from “Yasher-El” (straight to God) “Yeshua” relationship is “straight to God”. The difference between 30 pieces of silver and 20 pieces of silver is “10” the number of “Torah”. ALL is recorded and written down in the Torah, and Yeshua is the “Living Torah” AMOS 2:6-3:8 The prophet preaches “judgment on Israel” (because they sell the righteous for silver), and for many more evil deeds, they have turned away from God and are behaving like the heathen, that know not the LORD. Yosef was righteous, and he sold for 20 pieces of silver, Yeshua was / is righteous, and was sold for 30 pieces of silver. Israel has traded a “Torah” (30-20=10) walk for an “unrighteous” walk and lifestyle, trouble is ahead, judgment is coming, and it came, God used Babylon, Greece, Antiochus, Rome, as instruments of judgment, yet Israel prevailed, through YHVH's grace, goodness, righteousness, and through a “few gallant men” who fought the fight of freedom. MATT 14:1-15:39 and JOHN 10:22-23 “Yeshua blesses the crowd” we see that Yeshua went to a place alone, perhaps to mourn the death of his cousin, Yochanan the Baptist, yet the crowd found him, he had compassion and healed the sick, he fed them when he multiplied the 5 loaves and 2 fish. Interesting enough, when we add 5 and 2 we get “7” the perfect number, the number of Holiness, we have the “Bread (loaves) of Life” and he who makes “fishers of men” (fish). Also, the symbol of the “fish” was used in early messianic believers. In John, we see that Yeshua attends the Feast of Hanukkah, the “dedication” and takes this opportunity to tell the Jews, “I AM the Messiah....yet you do not believe” the choice to believe, is always OURS. Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Ben Avraham
  9. Parasha "YaYishlach" (Jacob and Esau re-unite)

    Light in the window, the lamp will guide your path, the Word of God is the lamp unto your feet which will guide you through life's paths
  10. Parashah: “VaYishlach” (and he sent) GENESIS: 32:3-36:43....................OBADIYAH 1:1-21..............MATT 13:1-58 We see in this week's parashah, that Ya'akov is on his way home to Beth-El, He comes to his “encounter” with his brother Esav. It is a time of tension for him, as we know, he “stole” from him the blessing. Or was it really theft? Remember that Esav “sold” or “traded” his birthright for a “bowl of red lentils” so, was it really theft? Perhaps we can say that Jacob took advantage of his brother's worldliness and carnal nature, some say it was “deceit” but was it really? Jacob and Esau departed enemies, time has passed, Jacob has had much to think about. He feels perhaps guilt and remorse for having taken advantage of his brother. YHVH has blessed him with wives and children, the future “Am Yisrael” He now feels a need for “compensation” for wrong doing. Therefore, to “ease” the angry spirit of Esau, (so Jacob thinks) he sends him gifts of cattle, hoping to “cool him off” But let's think about that, is compensation necessary for wrong doing? The Torah says YES, it is. If I borrow your camera, and I drop it, break it, I will owe you another camera, if you and I have a wrestling match, and I accidentally break your hand, I would have to pay the doctor's bill, etc. This is the true meaning of “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” Just for precautionary measures, he separates his family, “just in case” Esau is still on the warpath. Can we blame Jacob? Esau is coming to meet his brother with 400 armed men! Oi Vey, why with 400 men? Armed too! Could this be an attack? Or friendship rekindled? Jacob is “Schvitzen” (sweating). But now he is about to encounter “GOD” in the flesh He says “Adonai, help!” hey God, remember your promise? To keep me safe? You aren't going back on your promise, are you? YHVH responds with a personal visit that night. The Torah says that during the night “a man wrestled with him until the break of day” Ya'akov didn't know it then, but he was wrestling with “HaMalach Elohim (The Angel of the LORD). How do we wrestle with God today? Ever think of that? Good question! Trying to find HIS perfect will for our lives is one way, dealing with “flesh vs spirit” issues is another way. Trying to get HIM to follow “us”, instead of “us” following HIM is another way. Just seeing where we fit in with his plan for our lives is a wrestling match, yet “Jacob prevails” he says, “Bless me before you go!” YHVH says to him “Your name will no longer be Ya'akov, but Yisrael” Jacob prevailed, he passed the test, and now, he has a new name. If we look at the letters; Y I S R A E L we see YaSheR – EL “Straight with God”. And the name YISRAEL has the names of the patriarchs (Ya'akov, Sarah, Riv'kah, Avraham, Leah). Israel is now surrendered to the will of YVHV. He meets Esau, the meeting is touching, no hard feelings. And Israel renders homage before his brother, a very penitent attitude. They fall upon each other’s necks and kiss and weep! The “Midrash” has a funny explanation for that. The “Midrash” (a rabbinical commentary) says that the reason Esau wept was because he tried to bite Israel's neck, yet Israel's neck has turned to iron, and Esau broke his teeth, trying to bite him! Kinda funny, but when we look at the symbolism, we see the idea of Israel being a “stiff-necked people” (I would say iron is stiff, just try to bend it) yet many will try to “bite” or destroy Israel, and Israel will prevail! But not before suffering because of having a “stiff neck”. Israel and his children go to Shechem, where we see that “Dinah is raped” and the brothers take drastic action and retaliate, destroying the city. I would say very “rash” and “violent “action. But why would they want to associate with people who are idol worshipers? Case being, they had no business there in the first place. If you are in the wrong place and at the wrong time, you're bound to get “bit”. However, Jacob (Israel) builds an altar there and called it “El-Elohei-Israel” (God, the God of Israel) He stands firm in his convictions, yet his sons have a lot to learn. There are probably many times when we act rashly, and do not so kosher things, embarrassing our relationship with YHVH. Yes, Israel was very angry with his sons, plus they used “circumcision” as a trick to weaken the men of Shechem, something sacred was used for vengeance. There are quite a few things we can learn NOT to do, by observing the “sons of Jacob”. What we learn from this Torah portion is; from wrong doing, we offer restitution, and from restitution, we get restored fellowship. But at times, we cannot offer material restitution for wrong doing, only a sincere “I am very sorry for what I did, please forgive me” and we must leave it at that, now the ball is in the other person's hand, they can either throw it back to us with forgiveness, or “throw it away” with forgiveness. We just have to leave it in God's hands. OBADIYAH 1:1-21 This prophet talks about Esau as “Edom” similar to the name “Adam” yet spelled with a “vav” Edom is condemned, for his attack on Jacob, later on, the Edomites attack the Israelites, (brothers against brothers) Edom will be “brought down from the lofty cliffs” I have been to “Edom” which is in Jordon, the city of “Petra” has many caves in the cliffs, and as tourists go through Petra, the guides tell the visitors that the cliff caves were homes to Edomites, later on they became burial places, and today, they serve as “toilets” for the tourists that have to take care of business, ( I should know, I used one of those during my visit to Petra in 1999) imagine that, how lowly Edom has fallen, from cave homes to “out-houses” We see that the promise of YHVH to Israel prevails, try to destroy, harm, attack Israel, you will be brought down. The prophet goes on to say, “do not gloat over the misfortune of Judah” Even though we know that Israel will go by the wayside, and forsake YHVH, and will receive punishment, Edom has no business being happy for that reason. It is like a brother laughs when his other brother is being punished by dad, that brother has no business to be happy, because HIS turn will come sooner or later. Today, do you know of any Edomites? There are none, yet do you know of any Israelites? Yes, there is a nation in the middle east full of Israelites, it is called “Eretz Israel” I have been there, twice! It is an honor to serve Israel as military support personnel. MATT 13:1-58 Yeshua speaks to the people in parables, He tells of the “sower of the seed” he goes on to tell his Talmidim that the people “hear but do not understand” it is because their hearts are dull, and that they are not looking for the truth. So there are today, many people who will “hear” the gospel but do not “listen” and if they do not “listen” they will not “understand” just like the sower who sowed the seed on the different soils, some did not take root, some grew but were choked out, some grew into maturity, so is the WORD of God, to some people it has no effect, on others, it is only a “pass time” or a “fad” for a while, but for others, it is the “real thing” and “life changing” has it changed your life?
  11. A Time for Thanksgiving, why?

    I feel a little sad now, wife is away in El Salvador, will be back at end of December, the radio, music, and praise songs keep me going, that and involvement in our synagogue, preparing for "Hanukkah skit"
  12. Parashah: “VaYetze” (and he went out) GENESIS 28:10-32:2............... HOSEAS 12:13-14:9...........JOHN 1:51 In this parashah study, we see that Jacob is on his way to Haran to find himself a wife (or two). He is tired after a long day's journey, He stops to rest outside of a city called “Luz” (In Spanish “Light”) and scripture says that he settles down for the night and takes “of the stones” (m'avenei) and puts “one” under his head for a pillow. I am sure that he chose a large, flat one, wrapped his tunic around it, and put his head down. Perhaps the stone was still warm from the heat of the day, and he went to sleep and dreamed............................. But before we get to the dream, I'd like to note that in all English translations, the number “one” appears which states that he took “one” stone, yet the Hebrew does not give a certain number, the word “m'avenei” is used meaning “of the stones” It could be that he took one “of the stones” or a few “of the stones”. All we know is that he went to sleep and dreamed a strange dream. We all know the story of “Jacob's Ladder” we have read it in Bible story books, and from the Torah itself. Yet I think that the title is misleading, it wasn't “Jacob's Ladder” at all, it was “God's ladder” Jacob was just a witness to seeing it, and the activity that surrounded it. The Word says that the ladder was grounded on the earth and the top reached Heaven, and angels went up and down the ladder. The it says that YHVH stood beside Jacob and spoke saying; “Ani YHVH. Elohei Avraham, Elohei Yitzchak” (I am the LORD, God of Abraham, God of Isaac). The same promise that was given to Abraham and Isaac is now being repeated to Ya'akov. The land where he is at right now, will be a possession for him and his seed. The title and deed of the Land of Israel pertains to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. YHVH said it, case closed! The rest of the people who live there are “residents” not owners! YHVH likens the descendants of Jacob to the “dust of the earth” why dust? Dust cannot be counted, ever try to count a “speck of dust?” dust will “last forever” also, lay something out in the desert for 1000 years, a car for example, in 1000 years, the car will be no more, probably not even a trace of it will be left, because the “dust” will have, in a way of speaking, “eaten it”. The dust is also “trodden upon.” “Am Yisrael” (The people of Israel) will be forever, as our faith in our “Mashiach m'Yisrael” (Messiah from Israel) is an everlasting faith, which will endure forever. Israel has also been “trodden on” stepped on, mistreated, taken as worthless by maniac leaders, yet when all is gone and vanished, Israel will be forever. Scripture also says that Israel will be spread abroad to the North, South, East, and West. In other words, “All over the world” and we have seen just that today. We have Jewish people in all nations of the world, integrated among all the nations, taking the Torah with them, and the belief in ONE GOD (Echad). We have three major Jewish peoples, “Sephardim” from Spain, North Africa and Middle East. “Ashkenazim” from Germany and East Europe, and “Falashim” from Ethiopia and other African countries. The Torah says, “In thy seed will all the families of the earth be blessed Who is the Seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Yeshua! He was of the seed of these patriarchs! And we are all blessed by HIM, whose one-time sacrifice for sin saved us all, from eternal separation from YHVH. His name “YESHUAH” is “Salvation” from YAH. When Jacob awoke from his dream, he stood the “stone” that he placed as a pillow, “upright” and anointed it with oil, calling that place “Beit-El” (House of God). The rabbis of old give meaning to this, some say that the “stones that were together become ONE” some say that Jacob gathered 12 stones, and these 12 stones became ONE, symbolizing the 12 sons of Israel, that became 12 tribes, were “united” as “AM ECHAD (One People) at Sinai under Moshe after they had left Egypt. The word “stone” in Hebrew is “AVEN” which is a combination of two-word, AV (father) and BEN (Son) Father and Son as ONE (Echad). The anointing of the “Stone” reminds us of the anointing of YESHUA as Messiah, teacher of Torah, healer, and redeemer. He is the SOLID ROCK. The ladder itself is symbolic. The sages and rabbis of old liken the ladder to “Moshe climbing up to the top of Sinai to receive the Commandments carved in STONE, and later, went up again for 40 days and nights to receive the whole Torah which he later wrote down. He went UP and YHVH came DOWN, we liken this unto “Yeshua the Living WORD, the living TORAH”. Other rabbis imagine the ladder as having 22 steps, each step being a letter of the Alef-Bet, the Hebrew Alpha-bet. Since all letters form words, we look again at Yeshua who is the “living WORD, the living TRUTH. The ladder is the “WAY up, and the WAY down. Yeshua said, “I AM the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, no one comes the father but by ME” The word “ladder” in Hebrew is “SULAM” in gematria, it equals the sum of 136. the words “Tzom” (fasting) “kol” (voice) and “Mammon” (money) also sum “136”. So how do these words speak of Yeshua? Yeshua “Fasted” for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert, he “voiced” his prayers to His Father in Heaven, and he taught about money, and “Tzedakah” (deeds of kindness) “it is more blessed to give than receive” he taught that we must put money in its proper perspective, since the “LOVE” of money is the root of all evil, he taught that one should be “content” with the wages received, (when speaking to the roman soldier). How do these words speak of our relationship with Yeshua? We first come to “Salvation” (Yeshuah) through “Prayer” (voice) of repentance (tefilah/ teshuva) and there are times when we must “fast” to get prayers answered, and we fast on Yom Kippur. We “give money” through tithes and offerings to our local church/synagogue to keep it going. But who or what is the ladder really? Is there a correct answer? It is in the Brit HaDashah. HOSEA 12:13-14:9 The prophet condemns Israel for “forsaking the LORD” Israel was led out of Egypt by a prophet (Moshe) and tended to, provided for by YHVH, yet Israel forsake the LORD chasing after false gods, going into idolatry. Now the LORD will punish, and his wrath will fall upon his people. Yet YHVH still loves his people, yet will exact punishment, judgment, like a father will punish and judge a disobedient son or daughter. Can we expect anything less from Adonai? If we abandon our LORD, and live like a lost person, loving the desires of the lost world and the flesh, can we expect anything less than judgment from HIM who set us free from sin? JOHN 1:51 Then He said; “I assure you; You will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the 'Son of Man' Mystery solved, YESHUA is the Ladder!
  13. A Time for Thanksgiving, why?

    Why not? While we are having Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, cornbread, pumpkin pie, eggnog, this Thursday, many families might just be having Wednesday's leftovers. Thank God for our blessings. While we might be enjoying our best of health, in shape, good heart, liver and kidneys functioning, low cholesterol, regular blood-sugar level, others might be struggling to stay alive through medicines, treatments, in and out of hospitals and clinics. Thank God for our blessings. While many of us enjoy a house of our own, many might be paying high rent for someplace which will never be their own, while many of us live in a nice neighborhood, some might be in the middle of "the HOOD!" complete with wild barking dogs, drugs, crime up your sleeves, and fighting neighbors. Thank God for our blessings. While many of us enjoy family, such as wife, husband, kids, grandkids, other family members and friends, others might be surrounded by four walls and silence, alone, forgotten, and depressed. Thank God for our blessings. While many of us enjoy the gift of eternal life through Yeshua (Jesus) and look forward to a heavenly home, many are lost and going to hell, and some not even aware of it. Thank God for our blessings. J. Ben Avraham
  14. Parasha "Toldot" (Generations)

    PARASHA: TOLDOT (generations) GEN 25:19-28:9.............MAL 1:1-2:7..................MATT 10:1-11:30 This study starts out with the generations of Abraham and Sarah. After years of waiting and praying they finally had Yitzchak. The legacy continues, the promise of YHVH is revealed once more, but not without testing of faith. Yitzchak and Riv'kah also have to wait, about 20 years, yet they prayed and entreated the LORD to have a child. “The prayer of the righteous prevails” the following is from the Talmud (B.Yevamot 64:a) “Why were our ancestors barren? Because the Holy One (blessed be He) longs to bless the prayers of the righteous” Since Yitzchak and Riv'ka were righteous, and part of the covenant promise, YHVH (in HIS timing) answered their prayer. Does that mean that ALL prayer is answered? Yes, it is, but not always the way we want Adonai to answer it. The answer comes in three forms; Yes, No, and “later on” The sick are prayed over, and many are healed, others are prayed for, and YHVH takes them home. It doesn't mean to stop praying, or pray once, God likes “continuous prayer” I prayed for 40 years for the LORD to reveal to me my biological family, and finally, about 4 years ago, HE DID! But in HIS timing. The birth of “B'nei Yitzchak v'Riv'ka” came as a surprise, “twins inside” and the battle ensued. Yet the LORD speaks to Riv'kah saying: “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people will be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger” When we look at this today, we see prophecy revealed plain as day. From “Ya'akov”, we get “Am Yisrael” the (Nation of Israel) and from “Esav” we get the name “Edom” which is almost the same as “Adam” with the exception of the “o” or in Hebrew the letter “vav” (v) If we look at the paleo-Hebrew, one could get the symbolism of “Esau” who was made of “Blood and spirit” was connected (vav) to “chaos” Esav was a “man of the earth, disinterested in spiritual things, he was materialistic, he related more to the “red” earth than the things of God. From “Esav/Edom” we get Haman (the Agagite) and from Haman, the nation of “Rome” was formed. Rome was stronger, and conquered a good part of the world, and Israel was under the yoke of Rome, YET today, we look at Israel, it has the strongest, and one of the most advanced and modern Military in the world. And it was indeed an honor to serve under the IDF two years ago, and I am looking forward to support the IDF again in the future. Jacob and Esau, twin brothers but two separate nations, two brothers, yet worlds apart, One spiritual, interested in the things of God, then other, interested in the things of the world. Esau and Jacob represent the world of today. We have the “lost” “unrepented man” and we have the “born again believers” which include ALL who have accepted Yeshua the Messiah as LORD and Savior, doesn't matter if we are a sabbath observing messianic believer, or a Sunday, church going believer, we are ALL part of God's family. Yet we see that Jacob exhibited “carnal behavior” he wanted things “his way” yet when God sent Jacob to uncle Laban's “school of hard Knocks” he came out different... (but that is in the next parasha). Jacob symbolizes “all believers” both carnal and spirit filled. We ALL have growing and maturing to go through on this side of heaven. Esau despised his birthright for lentil stew, we can see the same today, many people will prefer a life of sin, money, fast cars, drugs, fame, you name it, and reject the gift of God, “Salvation” (YESHUAH) and then “perish” for all eternity. That's kind of like “exchanging” Eternal life with God for a “temporary life” of comfort and ease, riches, etc. Just doesn't make sense does it? The time of blessing comes, Isaac is old and blind, and there has been family “division” Esau “Loved” Esau (because of his wild game) yet rebecca “loved” Jacob. Does that mean that Isaac didn't love Jacob and Rebecca didn't love Esau? No, only means that there were “family favorites” which is a big NO NO, if we are to live in peace with our children today, even between “students and teachers” no favorites please! We see in Chap 27, that Jacob passes for Esau, and Esau gets the shorter end of the stick. Taking advantage of poor Isaac's blindness, yet there is a saying “The chickens come home to roost” and “What goes around, comes around” We will see LATER, what happens, Jacob is the younger, and pretends to be the older. When Jacob gets married, he thinks he's getting the younger daughter, but gets the older daughter. Jacob deceives Isaac in his “darkness” (blindness) and Jacob gets deceived being in the “darkness” (night time, dark tent) and maybe he had too much to drink to know who got in bed with him. Esau doesn't change, he marries a “hitite” woman and then gets another wife from his uncle Ishamel, all to “get back” (maybe) at Isaac for giving away his birthright, but didn't he already sell it? Hello? MAL 1:1-2:7 The prophet speaks and writes through the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) “Jacob have I loved, but Esau I have hated”. He you ask, “isn't God love?” isn't God all about love? Why does he “hate poor Esau?” The word “hate” has the same meaning as “reject”. YHVH who is “all knowing” knew even before Esau was born that he would reject HIM, so, YHVH rejected Esau! Polluted offerings, corrupt priests. No wonder God is fed up with Israel, they have gone “the way of Esau” offering God the “left-overs” and not offering with “pure hearts”. It is like today, if we serve the LORD with less than our best, or only with “half a heart” or just because we feel we “have to” then, we are offering “polluted offerings” We should serve GOD with all we have, with the best we have, or not at all! MATT 10:1-11:30 Yeshua sends out the twelve talmidim, to teach Torah and to share the word that Yeshua is Mashiach, and has fulfilled all the prophecies of the Torah. First to the “lost sheep of Israel” remember that Israel has been scattered to many different countries, many being absorbed by the nations, yet still remember their identity, but even in Israel, there are those who need to know the truth about Yeshua as Messiah, prophesied by Moshe and the prophets The work and ministry of sharing/teaching the WORD of God is not a lone undertaking, it is to be shared by many, and ALL who have that calling. Even Yeshua, God in human form, could not be in all places at the same time, so he sent out his followers, to fulfill the “Great Commission” . Today, we are equipped with the “gifts of the Spirit” to fulfill this great task, and today we have the internet to help spread the “Good News” whereas hundreds of years ago, only papers and books were available to those who took up that task. We are living in exciting times, let's take advantage of modern technology. Shabbat Shalom...............Rabbi Ben Avraham
  15. PARASHAH: “Chayei Sarah” (Sarah lives) GENESIS 23:1-25:18..................1 KINGS 1:1-31...................MATT 8:1-9:38 The title of the Parashah is “Sarah lives” or “Sarah lived”. Yet Sarah is dead, so, how does she live? She lives on in the memory of Abraham, her legacy lives on, her influence lives on, and this is what the patriarch wants for Isaac. I remember some of the words of Marine Gunnery sergeant Hartman to his trainees in the movie “Full Metal Jacket” “Most of you will go to Viet Nam, some of you will not return alive, but even dead, you will still live, you will live on in the spirit of the corps.” So even dead, Sarah continued to live on as a godly wife and mother, no doubt that Abraham wanted to bless Isaac with a similar wife. Torah says that Sarah lived 127 years. It is not often that the Torah records the age of women, but Sarah is the exception. We can see some symbolism in that number. I guess there are several ways we can look at it, one way is to see the Hebrew letters associated with numbers, 100 is Qoph (Q) 20 is Kaph (K) and 7 is Zayin (Z) Seven is the number of YHVH, the perfect number. According to some rabbis, “120” years are a “full life”. So, Sarah lived a “full life” plus 7 more. Another way we can look at this is, from the Hebrew text; “One-hundred years, and seven years, and twenty years. Why is this worded this way? The rabbis say that when Sarah was one-hundred years old, she was as beautiful as when she was twenty, and when she was twenty, she was as innocent and holy as when she was seven. Moshe lived a “full life” and maybe would have lived longer had he not “struck the rock” Sarah lived a “Kadosh” life (Holy life, separated to serve God, her husband Abraham and raise her son Isaac. One could say she was “anointed to serve” (Kaph) is a letter the symbolizes “anointing”. Zayin (z) is the letter that symbolizes “weapon” anointing and holiness is a “weapon” one can use against “HaSatan” our spiritual enemy can be defeated by the fruit of the Spirit, through the Ruach Ha Kodesh. 127 can also symbolize “echad” (unit of oneness) (1), “covenant blessing” (2) “godliness” (7) Sarah received the blessing of being a godly woman, who joined in the “covenant blessing” of Abraham with YHVH, and together became “Echad Am” (One people) the Hebrew people who later became the Nation of Israel. When we add 1+2+7 we get 10, which is the number of “Torah” (some say “law” personally, I don't like using that word, it is misunderstood) but “Torah” means “instruction” Sarah honored Abraham, and YHVH by submitting to their instruction, she was submissive, in the right way. Yet Sarah had her times of happiness and sorrow, like All marriages go through. Abraham and Sarah loved each other, and in death, Abraham showed his love towards Sarah by purchasing an overpriced piece of real estate. 400 silver shekels was a lot for a cave on a piece of property in Hebron, but He didn't mind paying for it, (guess it is like buying a hamburger for $25) It had to be “written down, and documented” legally, not just “words”, we see that today, words are nothing, but if it is signed, sealed, written down, you can take it to court! The true meaning of the word “love” is NOT feelings. What is “Love at first sight?” (Hey, I like your moves, I like your legs, your hair, your eyes, your build, etc.). yet feelings, emotions can lead two people to enter into a covenant of “love”, “love” is the action of “giving” the Hebrew word is “Ahavah” it has the verb “hav” which is “to give” and the word “av” is in there, being “Our Heavenly father gives” He proved his love toward us that He GAVE His Only Son, Yeshua, as a sacrifice for our sin. When a couple chose to marry, share life together, provide one for another, in health and in sickness, and not “cop out” on each other, THAT is TRUE LOVE. The words, “I feel I don't love you anymore” are silly, worthless words. Imagine if Sarah had told that to Abram. Or if Abram would have said that to Sarah, “I don't love you anymore, because you can't give me children” and the two separated, where would the Nation of Israel be today? It would be nonexistent. Yet they kept by each other’s side in good times and in the bad times, the times of drought, the “Egypt” times, the “Ishmael” times, and the long waited “Isaac” times. Abraham sent his servant Elazar to look for a wife for Isaac. (I wish that custom was still here with us, parents getting their children husbands and wives, those were the 'good ol days') (my opinion). He carried 10 camels with gifts, the “bride price” for the “bride to be”. He had to go to Mesopotamia, to Abraham's family, He did NOT want a Canaanite woman for the bride of Isaac, a pagan Canaanite woman would have been an “unequal yoke” that is wisdom for us today, a “born again believer” should only marry another “born again believer” where the two worship and serve the “same God YHVH/Yeshua” Elazar observed “Rebecca's actions” Rivka watered the thirsty camels, sought not her own comfort, but had a servant's heart. This is what Elazar was looking for, Abraham would be happy, and so would Isaac. The “engagement jewelry” was a nose ring and gold bracelets” today in our society we give an engagement ring. Yet “Rivka” had to be “willing to go with Elazar to be Isaac's wife”. We can see this is our relationship with Yeshua. Yeshua/Jesus is the “bridegroom” and we, the “Kehilah” (Congregation of “called out ones”) are the bride. We have to be a “willing bride” to go with our “heavenly bridegroom”. Just as Elazar brought gifts to the bride-to-be, Yeshua has given “gifts” to us as HIS Bride; Salvation (Yeshuah) an eternal home/mansion in Heaven, spiritual gifts to do service and minister with. Healthy bodies (for the most part) in which to inhabit, spouses and children, jobs to earn a living, if we think about the list could go on, as to the “Blessings” we have through Yeshua. 1 KINGS 1:1-31 This tells the sad story of a father who failed to discipline his sons, and old king David reaped the whirlwind, Adonijah (which means YHVH is my master) if it were so, He would have been in subjection to his father David, had the nerve to proclaim himself king, even before David dies. Yet David corrects the situation and names Solomon as future king. This part of the Parashah teaches us to be under authority, willingly, the bridegroom has his bride under His authority and subjection, BUT NOT in a tyrannical way, not like a “dictatorship” but under a “love “relationship. A wife can be under subjection to the husband, and feel used, like an object, or feel loved and protected, all depends on the husband, if He is under the subjection to the LORD, he will treat his wife with love and respect. MATT 8:1-9:18 We see here that Yeshua shows love through action, in healing the leper, it is an act of “giving” He gave back health to an unclean man, yet Yeshua also respected and honored the Torah, in telling the man to go to the priest and offer the proper sacrifice for his healing, Yeshua, who is our Messiah, Savior and LORD had ALL RESPECT for the Torah and its commandments. Another thing we must note is that there are two types of “Tza-arat” (Leprosy) physical and spiritual. One thing is being healed physically, on the outside, another is being healed on the inside. We can be healthy outside, but corrupt on the inside, or, unhealthy physically, yet Holiness resides inwardly. We need that balance, of being “tahor” (clean) both inwardly and outwardly
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